Man arrested after house fire

A Far North man has been arrested after a house was badly damaged in a suspicious fire at Ahipara. The Roma Rd house was well ablaze when firefighters were called just after 8pm on Thursday, but Ahipara fire chief Dave Ross said the volunteers ''had it nailed'' within an hour. One end of the three-bedroom house was gutted but the other end, along with a four-wheel-drive vehicle which had caught alight and another house about 2m away, were saved. The occupant was not home at the time. The Ahipara brigade was backed up by firefighters from Kaitaia, Karikari and Broadwood. Fire investigator Gary Beer said the blaze was suspicious and samples had been sent away to test for accelerants. No further information about the arrested man was available at edition time yesterday. It is the fourth serious house fire in Ahipara since April.

Police seek information

Whangārei police need more information about an incident in which the driver of a car allegedly threatened a bus driver during peak morning traffic. The alleged incident happened just before 8am on Tuesday on Kamo Rd. A motorist on her way to work in town lodged a report that the driver of a car overtook several vehicles, stopped in front of a City Link bus, and allegedly threatened the driver before driving towards Hatea Dr.
Police say they need information such as the registration number of the car before progressing investigations.

Fish Forever AGM

Marine conservation group Fish Forever is holding its AGM in the Paihia War Memorial Hall, on Williams Rd, from 5.30pm next Wednesday, September 18. Topics up for discussion include the Northland Regional Council's marine pests submission report, a ban on swimming with bottlenose dolphins in the Bay of Islands, and more no-fishing signs at the Maunganui Bay rāhui. Guest speaker Ken Grange will talk about Fiordland's unique marine environment and management.

Kaipara community grants

Kaipara District Council has awarded nearly $100,000 to 23 community groups across the district. Biggest beneficiaries are the Northern Wairoa Māori and Pioneer Museum Society, which who also look after the Dargaville Museum, with $10,000. The money will pay towards insurance ongoing cost. Hakaru Hall and Domain Society received just over $10,000 for roof repairs, painting and scaffolding. Another $9000 went to Kaihu Valley War Memorial Hall for roof repairs and a new water tank. The community grants are awarded yearly.

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Free mammograms in Kawakawa

A mobile breast screening clinic will offer mammograms until October 11. The clinic is set up outside Ngāti Hine Health Trust (by Caltex) State Highway 10, in Kawakawa. Breast screening can detect breast cancer before women can feel or notice anything unusual. The free breast X-rays are available for women aged 45-69 through the National Breast Screening Programme. Call 0800 270 200 to book an appointment.

New sculpture for Bascule

A new, prize-winning sculpture by artist Steve Molloy was blessed and unveiled this week at Whangārei's Bascule Park and carpark. The sculpture, called Intrepid Journey, won the Whangārei District Council public art award at the Sculpture Symposium last year. Along with the new sculpture, the re-designed Bascule Park now features planting, furniture, a boardwalk and pergola. Works will continue to seal and paint the parking area and install lighting.