Cambridge police officer finishes mowing lawns for widow whose partner died half way through task

A good deed by a pair of Cambridge police officers has warmed the hearts of Kiwis.

"Two of the Cambridge crew attended a sudden death this week," Waikato Police wrote on Facebook. 

"Death is the heart-breaking part of life that without exception we all will one day encounter. I know we try our best to help but in reality we know that there is not much we can do.

"Whether it be making a cup of tea for someone or ringing another family, we get stuck in where we can."

During this particular incident, the person who had died had only got half way through completing mowing their lawn before passing away.

"Whilst one constable did his best to comfort the grieving wife the other decided to finish off mowing the lawns," the post read. 

The post has been liked over 1,700 times.

One person wrote one the post: "To those two officers, my utmost respect."

"To the one that finished off the lawns going out of his way when he didn't have to, you made my day."

Another wrote: "That's why policing takes special people to be dedicated to keeping the peace and helping others."

The post on Waikato Police's Facebook page has warmed the hearts of Kiwis. Source: 1 NEWS



US man charged with putting daughter in game machine to steal prizes

A Massachusetts teacher has been charged with putting his toddler daughter into a game machine at a New Hampshire shopping mall and using her to steal prizes.

Police in Salem say 34-year-old Anthony Helinski, of Lawrence, Massachusetts, turned himself in Wednesday, five days after witnesses at the Mall at Rockingham Park recorded video of a man encouraging the girl to hand out prizes from within the KeyMaster game.

The video then shows the toddler climbing out of the machine.

Andover Public Schools told WCVB-TV that Helinski has been placed on leave from his job as a middle school teacher.

Helinski is charged with theft, trespassing and child endangerment.

A Massachusetts teacher has been charged with putting the toddler into a game machine at a shopping mall and using her to steal prizes. Source: Associated Press

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1080 case goes to Māori Land Court as two Northland men challenge DOC's right to drop on Russell State Forest

Two Northland men challenging DOC's right to drop 1080 on Russell State Forest say it needs to show it has consent from Māori and the community.

Riki Ngakoti and Hayward Brown have applied to the Māori Land Court for an injunction to stop the pesticide drop that's set to happen in the next fortnight.

Auckland opponents of 1080 trying to stop a drop in the Hunua Ranges, have taken their case to the Environment Court.

But Mr Ngakoti said he had sought advice from the Tikanga Māori Law Society and believed the Māori Land Court had jurisdiction.

"There will be arguments by the settlers of New Zealand - our fellow Kiwis - and government officials, that the Department of Conservation manages Crown land. We had that argument from the court when we applied, but we...interpret that land to be Māori customary land."

Mr Ngakoti said he and Mr Brown were not so much anti-1080 as anti-risk and DOC had not provided a forum in which that risk could be publicly evaluated and debated.

"We have tried to do a bit of research but some of the risks we haven't been able to satisfy ourselves about are the effect of 1080 on the environment below the ground... the micro-organisms, the works, the bugs - there hasn't been thorough research."

The Māori Land Court will hold the injunction hearing on Monday in Whangarei.

Meanwhile the lawyer acting for the Auckland 1080 opponents, Sue Grey, said further court challenges to the use of 1080 were inevitable.

"There has been no forum for public conversation and it got much worse last year when the former Minister for the Environment Nick Smith passed...regulations exempting 1080 from all the usual resource consent processes.

"You need resource consent if you want to extend your fence - but DOC doesn't have to get a consent or have any public consultation for dropping poison into public areas."

That had led to a build-up of pressure because people had genuine concerns and nowhere to air them, she said.

DOC has linked the anti-1080 spam campaign on Facebook to threats against its staff, based on misinformation about the toxin

But Ms Grey said she stood by her advice to 1080 opponents to use social media to promote their cause.

"I would never advocate any threats or violence. My view is that the court processes are there and we need to use them and that's what I encourage my clients to do."

Ms Grey said there had been a lot of allegations made about threats but she had her doubts.

"I've just seen an OIA response from the police and it seems that very few of those alleged incidents did happen," she said.

"There seems to be a pattern of exaggeration of these threats."

However DOC and Forest and Bird sources told RNZ there had been very serious threats made and staff were worried.

By Lois Williams

rnz.co.nz

Source: rnz.co.nz

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Suge Knight, once one of gangsta rap's biggest moguls, agrees to 28-year sentence after murder charge reduced

Former rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight pleaded no contest today in a US courtroom to voluntary manslaughter and after he ran over two men, killing one, nearly four years ago.

The Death Row Records co-founder entered the plea in Los Angeles Superior Court and has agreed to serve 28 years in prison.

Knight was charged with murder, attempted murder and hit-and-run after fleeing the scene of an altercation in January 2015 outside a Compton burger stand. Knight and Cle "Bone" Sloan, a consultant on the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton were involved in a fistfight that ended with Knight clipping the man with his pickup truck and running over businessman Terry Carter, who died from his injuries.

Knight's attorneys have said he was acting in self-defence and was fleeing armed attackers when he ran over Mr Carter and Mr Sloan.

During today's hearing, Knight answered Judge Ronald Coen's questions, loudly and quickly saying "no contest" when the judge asked for his plea.

The plea deal calls for Knight to serve 22 years in prison on the voluntary manslaughter count, and another six years because it is a third strike violation.

Former music mogul and founder of Death Row Records Suge Knight

Knight, 53, was a key player in the gangster rap scene that flourished in the 1990s, and his label once listed Dr. Dre, Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dogg among its artists. Knight lost control of the company after it was forced into bankruptcy.

He has prior felony convictions for armed robbery and assault with a gun. He pleaded no contest in 1995 and was sentenced to five years' probation for assaulting two rap entertainers at a Hollywood recording studio in 1992.

He was sentenced in February 1997 to prison for violating terms of that probation by taking part in a fight at a Las Vegas hotel hours before Shakur was fatally wounded in a drive-by attack as he rode in Knight's car just east of the Las Vegas Strip. Shakur's slaying remains unsolved.

He had faced life in prison if convicted of murder for killing Mr Carter.

FILE - In this July 7, 2015, file photo,  Knight has pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter and after he ran over two men, killing one, nearly four years ago.
The Death Row Records co-founder entered the plea Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court and has agreed to serve 28 years in prison.  (Patrick T. Fallon/Pool Photo via AP, File)
Marion Hugh "Suge" Knight sits for a hearing in his murder case in Superior Court in Los Angeles in 2015. Source: Associated Press


Private housing tenants evicted over meth contamination should also be compensated, says advocate

Tenants in private housing incorrectly evicted as a result of methamphetamine contamination testing should also be in line for compensation, according to Action Against Poverty.

Ricardo Menendez, from Action Against Poverty, said as many as 2400 evicted tenants should be in line for compensation despite Housing Minister Phil Twyford announcing yesterday that around 800 Housing NZ tenants would be reimbursed for costs related to their evictions.

“These (the 800) would have the Housing NZ tenants that would have fallen into the catchment but I do feel that all tenants should be up for compensation as well even though some (were in) private housing,” Mr Menendez told TVNZ1’s Breakfast.

“A lot of these tenants were evicted through the testing as a way to pave for redevelopments or developments for housing so I think it was just an excuse to push people out of their communities."

Housing NZ tenant Kathleen Paraha said she the meth contamination evictions had taken an enormous toll, with WINZ blaming innocent people for being evicted.

"These people have lost their furniture, their clothing, and when they go to WINZ, they’ve been declined of clothing and stuff because they think it’s been contaminated so they’re not offering enough,” she said.

“They’ve been put in debt because they’ve been evicted, because WINZ have been saying that they did this themselves, it’s their fault.”

“For one thing they should clear the debt that the government has put them in the first place.”

“They’ve been told to pay for their motel bills if they put them into motels, they’ve been told to pay for it because it’s their fault.”

Kathleen Paraha said the Housing NZ evictions took an enormous personal toll on those evicted, putting people in debt and often leading to drug use among those left homeless. Source: Breakfast