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New Zealand Herald

Fishing Disaster - Work In Texas - Empty School - Prison Editors - National Wagging Day - MP A Kiwi Now - No NZ Music For Quotas - Rower Aborts - Bray Questioned - Cost Of Cup - Burdett Murder - i4free Blocked

FISHING DISASTER: John Lim and Andrew Cantwell became friends while working at Pak 'N Save. They had in common a love of fishing, a love shared by Andrew's 14-year-old son, Tim. The trio went on fishing trips together until the elder Cantwell began to suffer from motor-neurone disease, which causes muscles to waste away.

WORK IN TEXAS: New Zealand nurses are being offered double-your-money deals to work in Texas. The recruiting drive has alarmed hospital chiefs, who are struggling to find the staff they need to handle the early onset of the winter rush.

EMPTY SCHOOL: A school with no pupils, no board of trustees and a principal on sick leave sits empty on the shores of the Kaipara Harbour. But despite its abandoned appearance, Oruawharo School, 19km northwest of Wellsford, has not been closed and is still being run by a paid commissioner.

PRISON EDITORS: Prison inmates are editing television shows at rates which are believed to seriously undercut the local production industry. The Paremoremo prisoners use state-of-the-art equipment retailing for around $100,000, and in recent weeks have worked on segments for TV One's Shell Helix Motorsport show on Sundays.

NATIONAL WAGGING DAY: A radio DJ wreaked havoc with school attendance by encouraging children to skip school as part of a fictitious National Wagging Day. Truancy officers and school principals say the comments on Channel Z were irresponsible - and decimated rolls on Friday, March 24. One school reported losing half of its fifth form.

MP A KIWI NOW: Struth - an Aussie in our most exclusive club has just become a fair dinkum Kiwi. Australian-born cabinet minister Matt Robson has finally done the decent thing and obtained New Zealand citizenship.

NO NZ MUSIC FOR QUOTAS: The head of the country's largest radio company says there is not enough New Zealand music to fill local music quotas and believes Australian records may need to be called "local." Kevin Malone, chief executive of The Radio Network, said lifting local content on classic hits-type stations would be the hardest because of a lack of Kiwi music from the 1960s and 70s.

ROWER ABORTS: Medical experts have grave concerns about the deteriorating health of French ocean rower Jo Le Guen, who is still three days away from being airlifted to a hospital in Chile. Le Guen abandoned his bid to row solo across the Pacific Ocean after doctors said his infected wounds could lead to amputation of his feet.

BRAY QUESTIONED: Three top New Zealand athletes have questioned Olympic swimmer Trent Bray's claims that he may have failed a drug test because he unwittingly took the steroid nandrolone in a fruit drink. Bray has claimed the drug may have been in a drink made for him while he trained at the Mt Roskill pool three months before the positive test.

COST OF CUP: While Team New Zealand yachties squabble with one another over the spoils of victory, Auckland local body leaders are weighing up the cost of hosting future America's Cup regattas. They are also trying to find a way to lock the Government into paying at least part of the running costs of challenges

BURDETT MURDER: Teina Pora may have been too scared to tell police that serial rapist Malcolm Rewa was present when Susan Burdett was killed, the Crown told the High Court at Auckland yesterday. In a number of police video interviews played to the jury, Pora, a Mongrel Mob prospect, said he had helped to hold Susan Burdett down while two gang members raped her and then bludgeoned her with a baseball bat at her Papatoetoe unit on March 23, 1992.

I4FREE BLOCKED - Internet company Ihug has barred its 65,000 customers from accessing two rival free Web services, claiming that it is protecting users from a market "aberration." "We don't believe the free Internet scenario is a viable one," said Ihug managing director Nick Wood. "It's us protecting our customer base." Ihug blocked the i4free

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