Rumours about School Closing Untrue
There have been been rumours a Welcome Bay School has closed for quarantine. The School was hit with a nasty stomach bug last week with 130 pupils falling ill. Acting School Principal Sandra Torteguys says there's been speculation they have temporarily closed - but in fact it was for a teacher only day which was on Friday. She says it is not true they've shut the school because of absenteeism.
Hydroponics Store Employee Pleads Guilty
A Te Puna man has pleaded guilty to a raft of cannabis charges after a nation-wide swoop on businesses and residents selling equipment used to cultivate the drug. Brian Wood, an employee at Mount Maunganui's GreenDay Hydroponics has admitted to nine charges in the Tauranga District Court. He was earlier forced to surrender his passport, and ordered to record all personal details of his future customers in a special log for police checks. Wood has however denied one charge of cultivating cannabis and will appear in court later this month for a dispute of facts hearing. Meanwhile his manager, Stephen Tilbrook who faces eleven charges has pleaded not guilty and will appear for a call-over late August.
EBOP HQ Battle a ‘Waste of Money’
Tauranga's Mayor has called the court battle over the planned shift of Environment Bay of Plenty's offices, a gross waste of ratepayers’ money. The Regional Council had planned to relocate its headquarters from Whakatane, to Tauranga. The decision was overturned by the Court of Appeal, as a breach of the Local Government Act. Mayor Stuart Crosby says it's been a ridiculous debate and a travesty to put ratepayers through this. Mr Crosby doubts it'll be the end to the debate as it's illogical to have put the headquarters in Whakatane in the first place. Meanwhile Environment Bay of Plenty says it's not the end to the matter. Regional Council Chairman, John Cronin says they'll be seeking legal advice, and will make a decision as to the next step forward within the week. He says although they're extremely disappointed the decision was ruled against their process, not their decision to move the headquarters. It's uncertain at this stage whether they'll appeal the ruling.
Police go Door Knocking in Rape Investigation
Police are continuing to appeal for public help in solving the assault and attempted rape of a 16 year old Kawerau girl in her own home on Sunday. Requests this week for information resulted in some details coming forward, but enquiries are continuing. Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Standen says the focus yesterday was on streets surrounding Domett - where the attack took place. He says they'll be door knocking and talking to local residents, to seek further information.
Schools Hit by Spike in Flu Cases
There's been a huge spike in flu cases around the Bay of Plenty. Mount Maunganui Intermediate has 85 students away sick yesterday, one boy confirmed with swine flu, and 34 others suspected with the virus. Welcome Bay School is only a week out from a bad stomach bug that swept through their school and 20 pupils have called in sick today. Bay of Plenty DHB spokesman Doctor Neil De Wet says they've noticed a definite increase in patients admitted to the Emergency Department, with flu-like symptoms.