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New Zealand Herald

Racehorse Trainer - Petrol Prices Up - Savage Pitbull - Bottle Throwers - Knights & Dames - Travis Burns - Mccully Trap - Fantasy Collapse - Amp Tower Battle - Handsfree Danger - Wedding Costs - Maori & Pi Students

RACEHORSE TRAINER: What can a $10 million racehorse do? For Claire Bird, the answer is simple - anything it likes. Even a kick in the face can be forgiven.

- PETROL PRICES UP: Householders face a double hit in the hip pocket today with prices of petrol and milk soaring. BP and Mobil have pushed up petrol and diesel prices by 3c a litre to take the cost in main centres to fractionally less than $1.15 for unleaded 91, $1.20 for premium unleaded and 77.5c for diesel.

- SAVAGE PITBULL: A reluctant hero probably saved the life of a young Taranaki boy being savaged by a pitbull-cross dog. The attack happened while Rick Bell, aged 11, of Stratford, was out cycling.

- BOTTLE THROWERS: Police have been given three names in the investigation into bottle-throwing at the end of Saturday's Bledisloe Cup test at WestpacTrust Stadium in Wellington. Fans disgusted at the pelting of South African referee Jonathan Kaplan phoned the stadium trust with information and seat numbers.

- KNIGHTS & DAMES: Captains of industry, sports stars and judges still smarting at the abolition of knighthoods and damehoods? Mourn no more, for a glimmer of hope has emerged from beneath the pall of republican gloom.

- TRAVIS BURNS: Travis Burns was accused yesterday of attempting a raid on a bank to cover up the murder of Joanne McCarthy. Burns, aged 32, is accused of murdering the 33-year-old kindergarten teacher at her Whangaparaoa home on Thursday, November 12, 1998.

- MCCULLY TRAP: Local Government Minister Sandra Lee has been politically embarrassed by a leaked letter which contradicts her public assurances that she had no problems working with a key lobby group's top official. The Prime Minister, Helen Clark, is also trying to avoid being tarred by the affair after she was also quick to dismiss National Party claims surrounding the resignation of the chief executive of Local Government New Zealand, Carol Stigley.

- FANTASY COLLAPSE: Three young people are lucky to be alive after taking the designer drug Fantasy and collapsing in an Auckland nightclub yesterday. They were at the Power Station, in Mt Eden Rd, celebrating the end of the Erotica Expo with 500 others, and were found in the venue's toilets in drug-induced comas.

- AMP TOWER BATTLE: Property developer Andrew Krukziener's battle with the new waterfront AMP tower, over claims that he and the public were ignored during the planning process, has reached the High Court. No 1 Queen Ltd, a company which Mr Krukziener part-owns, yesterday asked the court to review the Auckland City Council's decision to grant resource consents for the building without allowing the public to have their say about the possible impact of the development.

- HANDSFREE DANGER: First they were good, then they were bad, now it seems hands-free cellphone kits fall somewhere in between. The Consumers' Institute joined forces with its Australian counterpart to test radiation levels coming from the kits, which attach an earpiece and clip-on microphone to a cellphone.

- WEDDING COSTS: The cost of saying "I do" in the Botanic Gardens at Manurewa has gone down. The Auckland Regional Council has decided the cost of a booked, outdoor wedding ceremony at the gardens will drop from $250 to $165.

- MAORI & PI STUDENTS: Disastrous economic and social consequences will result unless under-achievement by Maori and Pacific Island students is tackled urgently, an Auckland principal says. By mid-century, one-third of children will be Maori and one-third Pakeha, according to the Education Review Office. The rest will be mainly Pacific Islanders and Asians.

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