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Police Kill - Prison Runaway - Microlight Death - Tutor Abuser - Sexual Predator - Spring Disease - Millennium Baby - Tainui Leader - Mt Eden Prison - Breath Machines - Varroa Mite - Stadium Criticised - Piha Preservation - Radical Conservatives - Conservative Radicals

POLICE KILL: A man killed by a volley of police bullets screamed, "You pushed me too far," as he went on a rampage early yesterday through Waitara. Steven Wallace, who was 23, smashed hundreds of windows in the small Taranaki town with a baseball bat and golf club in a trail of destruction that started about 3.30 am.

PRISON RUNAWAY: The mother of prison runaway Travis Burns fears police will shoot her son dead if he does not give himself up. Charlotte Burns last night begged her 32-year-old son to phone her immediately on untraceable prepaid cellphones "so we can organise a voluntary and safe surrender" and avoid his being shot by the armed police officers hunting him.

MICROLIGHT DEATH: A trainee microlight pilot had to teach himself how to land after his instructor died midway through a flying lesson over Napier yesterday. Instructor Bob Gorringe, aged 56, fainted at the controls, leaving trainee Dean Spurdle no option but to land back at Napier airport by himself.

TUTOR ABUSER: A tutor already jailed once for abusing one of his male pupils has been found guilty of violating another young student after lying about his criminal background to land a job teaching life skills to teenagers. The case has again raised questions about the vetting procedures for teachers.

SEXUAL PREDATOR: HAMILTON - Police have stepped up their hunt for a sexual predator in Hamilton and have warned females not to walk alone. Six women have been attacked in Hamilton East since late February. Three of those attacks are believed to have been sexually motivated and committed by a man police fear will strike again.

SPRING DISEASE: HAMILTON - One hot spring has been closed and another is under investigation after a child was admitted to hospital with the usually fatal amoebic meningitis disease. The critically ill 10-year-old Waikato child was still in intensive care late last night after being taken to Waikato Hospital on Friday night with a headache and fever.

MILLENNIUM BABY: He was a bit small to lend a hand, but millennium baby Tuatahi Edwards-Melsom, four months old today, was all concentration as a tree was planted in his honour at the weekend. Tuatahi and his family were among those at Henderson Park planting trees for babies born in Waitakere City in the past year. The project is part of the Keep Waitakere Beautiful campaign.

TAINUI LEADER: Sir Robert Mahuta has been reappointed as Tainui leader despite predictions that he would lose to arch-rival Koro Wetere. The Maori Queen, Dame Te Atairangikaahu, appointed Sir Robert yesterday.

MT EDEN PRISON: Corrections Minister Matt Robson is the latest in a long line of well-intentioned politicians promising to shut barbaric Mt Eden Prison. Let's hope he is more successful than his predecessors. As national disgraces go, this medieval relic must rate among our worst.

BREATH MACHINES: Police will scrap hundreds of alcohol breath-testing machines if a judge forces scientists to hand over the machine's secret manual. Judge Josephine Bouchier has ordered prosecutors to surrender the manual for the Intoxilyzer 5000 - one of two evidential machines used in New Zealand - to defence lawyers wanting to test the device's reliability in a drink-driving case.

VARROA MITE: Beekeepers fearing for their livelihoods as the hunt for the invading Varroa mite enters its fourth week have called on the Government to say how it will compensate them. Yesterday, live bee exporter Russell Berry, of Arataki Honey near Rotorua, killed 10 million bees worth $100,000 by gassing them.

STADIUM CRITICISED: A secret report is scathing of a $37 million stadium meant to be the jewel in Manukau City's crown. And Auckland City's Quay Park arena proposal, costed at between $75 million and $100 million, is in doubt after lukewarm support from councillors.

PIHA PRESERVATION: A plan to preserve Piha Beach from the impact of up to 10,000 visitors a day has been amended to ease the concerns of some property owners. The Waitakere Community Board changed the Piha coastal management plan after hearing 14 submissions about how the dunes and beach should be looked after and visitors managed.

RADICAL CONSERVATIVES: Jenny Shipley drew some puzzled faces when she told the National faithful she wanted them to get back in touch with ordinary New Zealanders by daring to become "radical conservatives." No sooner had they received the leader's message at the Wellington regional conference in Napier than guest speaker Alan Duff bluntly told them they had never been in touch in the first place.

CONSERVATIVE RADICALS: Labour is embracing the Alliance even more avidly, with president Bob Harvey advising treating its members as friends and partners. "They are certainly not enemies, they are not rivals, they are co-partners," he told the party's Wellington regional conference in answer to a question from a Wairarapa delegate about how electorates should deal with the Alliance.

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