Man Dies in Rafting Accident
A rafting business that operates along the Motu river says it can sometimes be dangerous, especially when the water levels are extremely high. The body of a Taupo man, Terry Mason, was recovered by searchers on Saturday after he fell out of a raft. The 44 year old was with an experienced rafter who travelled the river, near Whakatane, on a regular basis. Wet and Wild owner Noel Rusden says it's extremely unfortunate and they've had to stop on occassions when the river levels have risen rapidly. Noel Rusden says there's few gung-ho kiwis who go rafting without a guide nowadays.
Property Prices Fall
Median house prices have taken a tumble in the Bay of Plenty. 570 houses were sold in the district, up from 557 in August. The median price house for Mt Maunganui/Papamoa fell again to 377 thousand dollars. And in Tauranga the media price also fell, to 328 thousand dollars. The Western Bay of Plenty saw the largest fall - almost 60 thousand dollars.
Operating Theatre Scheme Launched
A cutting edge hospital operating theatre has been launched in the Bay of Plenty. Minister of Health Tony Ryall was in town on Friday to open the scheme that aims to have operating theatres more efficient and running smoother. The Bay of Plenty DHB is one of seven committed to the scheme. Mr Ryall says the new programme encourages frontline staff to identify problems with operating procedures and find ways to solve them.
Pokie Spending Up
Over seven million dollars has been poured into Tauranga pokie machines in the last two months. According to latest statistics by the Department of Internal Affairs, that amount equated to just over three percent of the total the country spent on gaming machines. Just under 7 million dollars was spent during the same period last year. However there are fewer gaming machines now in the district, fewer licensee holders and gambling venues. Meanwhile in neighbouring Whakatane over 2 million dollars has been spent. That's one percent of the total spent for the country.
Bethlehem Roundabout Works Start
Construction of the new roundabout on State Highway 2 at Bethlehem starts this week. Work is expected to take six months. Traffic management and site screens will be in place but only minimal delays are expected in the early stages.
‘Snake Cake’ a Possible Record Breaker
A group of Whakatane bakers believe they've taken out the record for the biggest cake ever baked. It measured 62.34 metres - and came out in the shape of a snake. The cake was baked in one metre sections, and took 8 people 22 hours to create. They used 800 eggs, 82 kg of sugar and 82 kg of sponge mix. The effort raised just over $2000 for the Fresh Future Children's Hospital Appeal.
Mount College in Short Film Finals
Mt Maunganui College is one of five finalists for an on-screen short film which tackles the issue of drink driving. Entrants had to construct a five minute film that portrayed the key message 'plan B4 U party’. The winning school will be revealed at an awards ceremony in November.