Centenarian Geddes dies
Northland identity Frank Geddes has died seven months after celebrating his 100th birthday. Born at isolated Whangape in the Far North, Geddes led a varied and fulfilling life which included working as a farmer and teacher and serving as a lieutenant in the British Navy during World War II. He served on the Mangonui County Council, Bay of Islands Power Board and other public bodies, and was a Rotarian for more than 50 years. He was also actively involved in Kaitaia's community arts and drama scene, a champion sheep dog trialist, a marriage celebrant, and the National Party's Hobson electorate chairman for many years. He celebrated his 100th birthday in April via Zoom, due to the Covid pandemic, with family members as far away as the US and the Netherlands taking part. Geddes died peacefully at Jane Mander Retirement Home in Whangārei on November 18. He is survived by two of his three children, eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Car thief jailed
A Kaikohe man has been jailed for two years and two months after robbing a man of his car during a test drive. Keith Mau, 36, was sentenced in the Kaikohe District Court last Friday on charges of aggravated robbery and being unlawfully in a yard after earlier pleading guilty. The court heard Mau was on a test drive with a man selling his $12,000 Holden Commodore ute in June last year when he asked the owner to stop so he could look under the bonnet. Instead, he told the owner he was going to take the car and punched him in the face and body. An associate waiting nearby in a parked car joined in. The victim, who suffered cut and bruises, managed to escape and the ute was later recovered. Mau said he was on meth at the time and didn't want to go back on the drug. A pre-sentence report described Mau's upbringing as ''violent and appalling''. The other charge arose from a separate incident in Papakura.
Weapons charge after crash
A man who allegedly pulled out an air rifle after crashing into another car in the Mid North has been charged with possession of an offensive weapon and dangerous driving causing injury. The incident occurred on Oromahoe Rd, off State Highway 10, about 6.30am on Monday. Police said the 41-year-old Auckland man was waving a rifle around and ''ranting and raving'' after the crash. He is due in the Kaikohe District Court on November 27. He was assessed by mental health services but not found to be in need of treatment. The two people in the other car were taken to Bay of Islands Hospital with minor injuries.
Cuddle A Kitten success
Whangārei Cat Rescue's Cuddle A Kitten event at Piggery Bookshop in Walton St has raised $250. Ten kittens were on show at the Piggery for the fundraiser, during which they looked cute while meeting about 100 cat-lovers. The main purpose of the event was to raise the profile of the cat rescue, which saves litters of strays and street cats, then neuters, vaccinates and cares for the kittens - and their mothers where possible - until they are old enough to be adopted.
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Sea slug in harbour
A toxic sea slug has been found on a beach in Whangārei harbour, sparking a warning from Northland Regional Council to dog walkers. The grey side-gilled Pleurobranchaea maculate carries the toxin Tetrodotoxin (TTX), which is also found in puffer fish. It has not been established whether these sea slugs always contain the bacteria, and are always toxic or if it depended on what they have ingested. The council said those walking dogs should keep them on a leash or muzzled to stop them eating anything washed up on the coast.