Best of TAURANGA

Friday 4 December 2009

Kaimais Smash - 3 Teens 'Serious' Injury
Police are still investigating a bad smash overnight in the lower Kaimais, that’s put three teens in hospital with serious injuries. A car with four occupants lost control on Omanawa Road, shortly before midnight. The vehicle went over a four metre bank and hit a tree in a paddock. Three of the teens were trapped and had to be cut free - the driver suffered serious head injuries and was transferred to Waikato Hospital, two passengers are in Tauranga Hospital's intensive care, also seriously injured. Meanwhile, the Met Service has issued a heavy rain warning. The rain will get heavier through the day, with thunderstorms from this evening. Metservice says expect some intense downpours leading to surface flooding, and hazardous driving conditions.

Crs Vote Yes to 50c a Book Charge
Tauranga library users are facing a user charge of 50 cents for every book they take out. Councillors voted yesterday in favour of the contentious user pays proposal. One councillor, Rick Curach, favoured a fee of at least a dollar, saying not all Tauranga Library users were 'living below the poverty line.' Libraries General Manager Jill Best spoke on the proposals, pointing out that Tauranga would be the first library in years to introduce such a charge. Councillor David Stewart predicted strong objections, he told the gathering that attempts to trivialise the 50 cent fee were unthinking. The council issued a statement yesterday pointing out that the public will get their say on the matter, as part of the annual plan process which starts in March next year. And that children and teens won't pay the charge.

Early Xmas Health Present
A local iwi is giving the Tauranga community an early Christmas present, in the form of free medical checks. The Ngai Te Rangi Iwi has a 'How Bout You?' mobile health clinic, a service aimed at young people, but it's throwing the doors open this weekend to anyone with a community services card. Iwi Spokesman Paul Stanley says there's a clear need for the service, for older people as well. A recent example was three generations of the same family seen in a day. 'Nanna was diagnosed with advanced diabetes and needed urgent care, while Mum and the two children had severe cases of skin diseases.' The mobile clinic will be at Arataki School Hall tomorrow morning, then Greerton Community Hall in the afternoon.

On Watch for Algal Blooms
Summer monitoring's underway again for potentially toxic algal blooms in the Bay's lakes and rivers. Direct exposure to the blooms can cause skin rashes and stomach upsets and other health problems. Environment Bay of Plenty and the Public Health Service say they'll monitor the main lakes and rivers, taking weekly records for signs of the blue-green algae. Medical Officer of Health Dr Jim Miller says ‘look before you leap.’

Food & Wine Ticket Sales 'Healthy'
Organisers of the Gartshore Food and Wine Festival are happy with advance sales, up on previous years. Allison Stewart says the 25 dollar entry is modest, and there's a feel good factor as well, with part of the proceeds going to Waipuna Hospice. And then you don't need to spend a fortune through the day with a lot of meals and glasses of wine costing $6 or $7 dollars.

Posted: Fri 04 Dec 2009

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