A heavy lifting crane was due to try to get a crashed cement truck back on its wheels yesterday afternoon after a crash on State Highway 10 north of Kaeo. Kaeo fire chief Lindsay Murray said the truck veered off the highway and into a ditch just after 3am, coming to rest on its side in a paddock opposite McGee Rd, at the bottom of Kaeo Hill. Passers-by managed to free the driver from his seatbelt while firefighters used a ladder and ''brute force'' to lift him out of the driver's side of the cab. He was checked at the scene by St John medics but had no serious injuries. Murray said the driver complained of mechanical difficulties immediately before the crash. An attempt to get the truck back on to the highway was due to start about 3pm yesterday.

Lucky escape from fire

The occupants of a home in Taipa had a lucky escape yesterday when a fire broke out in their laundry around 2.15am. A Fire and Emergency NZ spokeswoman said two crews from the Mangonui brigade responded and managed to put out the blaze, which covered an area of about 3m x 3m, before it spread beyond the laundry. The cause was unknown at edition time yesterday.

Housing project cancelled

A public meeting regarding a transitional housing facility proposed for Ruakākā by Kainga Ora has been cancelled. The Ruakākā Residents and Ratepayers Association announced earlier this week that the information evening would be held on Monday, December 9, at the Ruakākā Recreation Centre in response to public concern about the planned build of 31 transitional houses in Marsden Village. However late on Thursday, association secretary Warren Daniel said he had received a call from Kainga Ora's Iain Butler advising that the proposed Transitional Housing Project on the corner of Te One and Tamingi Sts has been cancelled.

20 years of Kawakawa loos

The 20th anniversary of New Zealand's most famous toilets will be celebrated with a get-together at Kawakawa's new ātea or town square from 6pm next Tuesday, December 10. Everyone is welcome at the event organised by the Hundertwasser Memorial Park Charitable Trust. The one run-down toilet block was built in the 1960s but transformed in 1999 by the late Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser.

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Firearms deadline closing

Time is running out for firearms owners in Northland to hand over illegal weapons and parts. There are just four events are left for firearms holders to hand-in their prohibited items. The two remaining events are at Kaitaia RSA, Tuesday December 10, 3pm-8pm and the final event at Hikurangi Bowling Club, on Wednesday December 11, between 3pm-8pm. There will be no other events in Northland, so get in now. For more information, please visit https://www.police.govt.nz/…/firearm-law-…/collection-events or call 0800 311 311.