Dead woman named

Police have released the name of the woman who died following a domestic incident in Ohaeawai in the Far North on November 6. She was Trudi Teia Tarere Ruffiner, 50, of Ohaeawai. She died after falling from a car at the intersection opposite the small town's pub. "Our thoughts and sympathies are with her family and whānau at this difficult time," Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Dalzell said. Ruffiner's former partner, Phillip Lance Takimoana, was charged with dangerous driving causing death, driving while disqualified and failing to stop after a crash when he appeared in Kaikohe District Court on November 7. The 41-year-old was remanded in custody and is due to reappear in court on November 12. Ruffiner was a teacher at Kerikeri Kindergarten

Cattle truck topples
Traffic north of Whangārei came to a halt yesterday afternoon after a cattle truck was involved in an incident on State Highway 1. Lengthy queues built quickly both ways after the main highway was closed by police; north of Hikurangi. Emergency services were called out just after 3pm, after the cattle truck's trailer tipped on its side. No one was injured and no cattle were on the truck at the time. Detours were in place via Jordan Valley Rd and Hukerenui Rd.
Drone helps fight fire
A drone with thermal imaging camera will be flown over a large vegetation fire that burnt bike tracks in Whangarei. The suspicious fire, on Abbey Caves Rd on November 2, tore through 3ha of regenerated pine trees and closed tracks used and maintained by the Whangarei Mountain Bike Club. Deputy principal rural fire officer Northland, Wayne Martin, said hot weather this week brought the hotspots to the surface which meant firefighters now knew where they were located. He said all crews would withdraw from the scene for the weekend and return on Monday when a drone would be flown. Martin said rain predicted this weekend would hopefully eliminate the hotspots. Police are investigating the fire.

Car wash for Open Arms
Interfaith Whangarei is organising a car wash to raise money for services Open Arms is providing to homeless people in the district. The cash wash is for the whole day on November 23 beside the Boo Boo Sushi, opposite Pak'nSave, on Carruth St in central Whangarei. Open Arms is a day centre for people who are homeless and anyone in crisis. It is based in the Old Army Hall on the corner of Walton and Robert Sts.

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In court
A male and a female are due to appear in Whangārei District Court today after failing to stop for police on State Highway 1, near Hikurangi. The pair fled from police in a stolen vehicle on Thursday morning heading north on State Highway 1. After the driver abandoned the car on Ford Rd, the female passenger was detained by police; the driver fled on foot. Police chased the male in an area east of Ruapekapeka Rd, just outside of Towai, and he was taken into custody later that day. The pair is out on bail.


Cheeky Charlie giveaway
The Northern Advocate has six copies of the latest children's book Cheeky Charlie to the Rescue, based around the Northland Rescue Helicopter crews, to give away. The book follows the service's new chopper, Charlie, on his first day on the job when an unexpected rescue call comes in. The new helicopter will be operational later this year and is one of two new choppers joining the service's fleet. Fans of the story book series will recognise brother and sister duo Ollie and Tia from previous books. No strangers to getting themselves into trouble, this time they encounter a friendly stingray who goes by the name of Tipene while out exploring the mighty Mangawhai on an old tyre tube. The book has been released to help raise funds for the Northland Rescue Helicopter. To win a copy email your name and phone number to competitions@nzme.co.nz by 5pm Monday.