A Facebook post has led police to a young woman who allegedly stole a St John donation box from a shop counter.
The theft occurred at the Opua General Store on April 26. Unfortunately for the offender, she was captured clearly on CCTV as she entered the shop with another young woman, loitered by the door, then grabbed the donation box and fled.
Police said she had been seen around the town with three other youths, one male and two female, before the theft about 5.30pm. Opua residents were outraged by the theft and made sure the CCTV images were widely distributed. A post on the Advocate's Facebook page alone was shared 234 times and viewed by almost 6000 people.
As a result of the publicity Paihia police Sergeant Peter Masters said someone from the young woman's school community, in the Whangarei area, had identified her. The case had now been handed over to Whangarei police.
Mr Masters had a warning to would-be thieves: ''You never know in this day and age, who is watching and where, and the lengths people will go to to share information about a crime.''
The offender is understood to be in her early teens.
Mother's Day brekkie
The Kerikeri Cooking Club is putting on a Mother's Day Breakfast to raise money for the Breast Cancer Foundation.
Club members will prepare waffles, eggs benedict, freshly-made muesli and other treats from 10am to 3pm on Sunday, May 11, in exchange for a $5 donation. The event will take place at FlourFlower at 2 Cochrane Drive (off Waipapa Rd, opposite Kerifresh).
Kerikeri businesses have donated food, international pastry chef Natasha MacAller has donated her new book Vanilla Table for a raffle.
Bay of Islands Coastguard is putting out a Mayday of its own, calling on the public to donate the equivalent of an hour's pay to help the group pay for training of its volunteers.
Most members have day jobs so weekend and evening training is a big commitment, but it's essential to keep up their high standard of marine rescues. In the past six months the unit has responded to 46 incidents, clocked up 480 crew hours, brought 129 people home safely, and spent 1073 hours in training.
To donate go to www.givealittle.co.nz and search for 'Coastguard Bay of Islands MayDay Appeal'.
Winter planting is getting underway again for the Tangatapu Wetland Restoration Project on the Rawhiti Peninsula. From 10am on Saturday, May 10, volunteers will be planting 5000 trees and shrubs around the wetland ponds at 717 Rawhiti Rd (at the start of the Whangamumu track, on the road towards Cape Brett). The wetland is already home to the fernbird, white-faced heron and the elusive bittern. Anyone keen to help should email email@example.com and bring a sharp spade, gumboots, gloves, raincoat, sunhat, water and a picnic lunch.
Russell now has its own health shuttle taking locals to the town's medical centre as well as to medical appointments in Paihia, Kawakawa, Kerikeri and Whangarei. The free service for people unable to get to appointments by themselves started on April 22. Initial costs are being covered by Russell's St John Op Shop but donations and koha are welcome.
To book a pick-up call coordinator Michele Fryer on 0274 600350 or fill out the form at Russell Medical Centre. The shuttle may also take patients to Kaikohe and Kaitaia if required. The van was paid for the community's own fundraising efforts.
Let there be light
The new competition-grade lights at Kaikohe's Lindvart Park will be ceremonially turned on for the first time just after 6pm tonight. A barbecue and inter-school hockey matches will start at 4.30pm.
A large proportion of the $200,000 cost, as well as much of the labour, has been donated by Top Energy with the council paying the balance. It is hoped the lights will mean the hockey pitch gets more use and that Far North players will no longer have to travel to Whangarei for evening practice.
No more puff
Anyone keen to help organise next year's Puff and Pull Carnival should email Kelly Stratford at firstname.lastname@example.org or Frank Leadley at email@example.com. The iconic Kawakawa event, in which school and community teams compete to pull the vintage steam engine Gabriel down State Highway 1, was cancelled this year after its long-serving volunteer committee ''ran out of puff''.
Focus Paihia on a roll
Futures projects being considered by Focus Paihia include better lighting for Williams Rd, further improvements to Paihia's Village Green and a mountain bike park.
The community trust has also received a $30,000 grant from Pub Charities for the second stage of its CCTV camera project in the town centre. The shortfall will be split between Business Paihia and Focus Paihia. Cameras are already operating in Kings Rd.
Despite some controversy among townsfolk, a public meeting last month gave unanimous support for Focus Paihia's direction from the 200 people present. The trust is, however, planning an update of its Masterplan to make sure the wider community still backs its long-term vision.
Previous projects include Paihia's Wee Toilet, a Village Green makeover, and the transformation of a waterfront carpark into a well-used public space.
Line dancers, cowboys and guitars are expected to descend en masse this weekend for the 25th Bay of Islands Country Rock Festival. The three-day event starts on Friday with bands playing at eight venues in Paihia, Russell and Haruru Falls.
This year's headline acts are Paul Costa, Baylou and the Kylie Moss Band, all from Australia, and Kiwi acts Eddie Low, Dennis Marsh and Reg McTaggart. Pakaraka farmer Shirley May has organised all 25 festivals to date. See www.country-rock.co.nz for more information.
WWII art show
To mark the 70th anniversary of World War II and the Battle of Monte Cassino, Village Arts Gallery in Kohukohu is holding an art exhibition called A Very Sad Affair. The show features work by Robin Anaru Anderson, Beverly Cox, Lindsay Antrobus Evans, Wally Hicks, Marg Morrow and Rachel Miller and runs until June 4.
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