Ex-mayor faces charges
The Northland Regional Council has laid two charges against former Whangārei mayor Stan Semenoff in relation to allegedly discharging contaminants into the air, in contravention of the Resource Management Act. No pleas were taken when his case was called in the Whangārei District Court yesterday and the next callover is on February 15. NRC is alleging Semenoff burnt waste, including tyres, plastic, metal cable, PVC piping, iron, fence posts, plywood from an industrial or trade premises on South End Ave in June last year. The maximum penalty for the alleged offence is jail not exceeding two years or a maximum fine of $300,000.
An investigation into the death of 22-year-old Northlander Bram Willems is continuing with police saying they have had a good response to last week's calls for witnesses to two incidents earlier that same evening. Willems, of Ōkaihau, was fatally stabbed in Ōpua about 11pm on January 7 following earlier altercations outside Work and Income and near Bay of Islands College in Kawakawa. Detective Senior Sergeant Geoff McCarthy said police had received a good response from the community but asked anyone who still had information that might be relevant to the investigation to call 105 quoting file number 210108/7855. A 14-year-old boy has been charged with murder.
Fishing comp needs support
Organisers of the Waipū Cove Women's Fishing Competition have put the call out for donations or sponsorship towards the prize pool and Easter raffle. Female anglers and their skippers can nab prizes for heaviest snapper, skipper of the day, spot prizes, and more from TopCatch, NZ Fishing News, Millers Meats, Waipū 4Square and Doors 4u. The April 3 event will conclude with an auction of the day's catches at 5pm with all proceeds to support the NZ Breast Cancer Foundation. To register for the competition, which kicks off at 7am, or to support the prize pool email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn about volunteer firefighting
Hikurangi residents interested in volunteering with the local fire brigade are invited to check out the role at an open day this Saturday, January 23 at 10am to 2pm. People can head to the Hikurangi Fire Station on Alfred St to meet the team, see the trucks, and check out the tools of the trade. Hikurangi volunteer firefighters attended 185 callouts that included 50 vegetation fires, 32 motor vehicle accidents, and 16 structural fires.
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About 25 Kaikohe-based forestry workers are still working at the scene of a fire which swept through 10ha of young pine trees at Rawene on Monday. The blaze forced the evacuation of three homes and closed Rawene Rd for several hours. Northland deputy principal rural fire officer Clinton Lyall said there were now no helicopters or firefighters at the scene. Locals should not be alarmed if they saw a glow or small amounts of smoke, but any serious flare-up or flames outside the burnt area should be reported by calling 111.