KFC returns, but drive through only

KFC is back on the menu for fans in Whangārei but at this stage on a drive-through basis. The fast food restaurant has been closed for a few weeks as it undergoes major renovations. The operators are renovating to a new design and have submitted a building consent to the Whangarei District Council to upgrade the kitchen as well as the rest of the premises. KFC currently holds an A grade for the premises. The exact reopening date for the whole restaurant is unknown at this stage.

Medical strike off

Anaesthetic technicians working at Whangarei Hospital have called off their second strike planned for tomorrow. Allied Scientific and Technical Union (APEX) representing the 16 anaesthetic technicians employed by the Northland District Health Board lifted notice of strike action late yesterday.While actual settlement is yet to be reached over better pay and working conditions, APEX said it expected progress at the negotiating table. The first 24-hour strike was held on Thursday while the third was planned for October 18.

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Mental health talk on

An event to bring awareness to mental health, particularly youth mental health, will be held on Friday. Talking the Chalk, which will be held at Whangārei Youth Space from 5.30pm, coincides with Mental Health Awareness Week and is an opportunity for teenagers to upskill and bring awareness to the wider communities, and most importantly youth of Whangarei, about mental health and ways of helping those closest to you.

The event follows the dialogue from the Whangarei Future Leaders project Chalk the Talk which was held last month and saw people use pavement chalk to write positive quotes and affirming messages on the Canopy Bridge. Carla Klink, who has more than 16 years' experience training other social workers, is lined up to speak and share the tools she has. There will also be kai at the event. For more information visit Facebook and search Talking the Chalk.

Early hours pursuit

A 25-year-old man took a slow ride to court yesterday after allegedly leading police on a pursuit through Whangārei in the early hours of the morning. Whangārei police Senior Sergeant Darren Sullivan said the driver was spotted on bank St in the central city about 1.26am and when signalled to stop by officers allegedly drove off. The vehicle was pursued along Hatea drive and then into Ponga Grove where the driver stopped and was arrested. He faced charges of failing to stop, refuses blood and operated a vehicle in a dangerous manner.