Horowhenua Mail : December 15th 2011
Editorial (06) 368 6014 -- Display Advertising (04) 298 5019 -- Fax (04) 298 2073 -- email@example.com -- www.horowhenuamail.co.nz IN BRIEF Stone with a story, page 3 Making the most of his transplant, page 5 Canes a hit, page 9 INSIDE Seal shot on beach A New Zealand fur seal (kekeno) was shot and killed while it lay resting on Foxton Beach, just north of the surf club, on Saturday. Concerned residents reported the seal to the Department of Conservation on Saturday morning. The seal was found to be recovering from exhaustion. Later that afternoon DOC area manager Jason Roxburgh received a report that the seal had been shot, apparently by a member of the public. Mr Roxburgh, who buried the seal, said it was not unusual to see tired, thin seals on the beach during summer. He said public concern was ''great'' but it was important to leave seals to rest once DOC had been alerted. ''For the safety of the people involved and the benefit of the animal, the public should never attempt to provide treatment for sick or injured seals. A lot of people don't realise it is an offence to harass or harm native animals, which carried hefty penalties.'' Constable Terry Hansen said any decisions about whether a seal needed to be put down should always fall to DOC, not members of the public. Reflecting your community THURSDAY, December 15, 2011 LED wonderland: Christmas lights at Tony and Margaret Hooper's house pull viewers by the bus load. Lights give festive cheer By TANYA WOOD Tony and Margaret Hooper s home may not be visible from the moon, but the house on York St, Levin, has become a beacon of Christmas light for locals. What started off as a few fairy lights around the outside of the house 10 years ago, has trans- formed into a LED wonderland around home and garden. Mrs Hooper said the couple try to include little features for the children. We get the same people back year after year bringing their kids, she said. She said one little boy, disap- pointed because the train he saw last year wasn t up, has seen Mr Hooper promising to try and fix it .At peak times last year, bus loads of 50 to 60 people were turn- ing up to wander round the gar- den. About 10pm Tony and I stand on the road and look back at the house. We never get tired looking at it. We re just like big kids really. Mrs Hooper said when they first switched over to LED lights, which were much brighter, they thought they ll be able to see us from the moon . She was unable to estimate the amount of money spent, but said it must come to heaps . This year s new feature is Mary and Joseph under the Star of Bethlehem, but Mr Hooper said it s not going to get bigger . The couple, who have not counted the number of lights, said the power bill for the month is about an extra $20, but it s cer- tainly not a shock . Mr Hooper, who works for Power On laying mains cables, said it takes the couple two weeks to plan, test the lights, with up to 50 metres of lighting cable on some pieces, and put up. And what goes up must come down. New Year s Day will see the Hoopers start taking it all down over two days, and storing away for another 11 months. Collision victim named By TANYA WOOD Take extra care - Police A Levin woman killed when her car was hit by a train north of Levin on Sunday evening was this week named as Rosalyn Sylvia Yong. Known as Sylvia, the 69-year- old Jacksons Rd resident is believed to have been driving to a spot where she regularly walked her dog, also killed in the collision. The 500 metre long freight train, heading towards Palmer- ston North, shunted the car about 600m along the tracks after the collision, at 7.05pm near the inter- section of Jacksons and Koputaroa roads. Jacksons Rd resident Janine Wilson, whose kitchen overlooks the rail tracks, had just gone to do the dishes when she heard the crash. About two seconds later I saw the train coming down with a black car attached to the front of it. Ms Wilson said she recognised her neighbour s car. It was like September 11 when you saw the TV, it was unreal. Smoke was coming from the train, and she said her first thoughts were I ve got to get the dogs away, and get out . Ms Wilson said she drove down Koputaroa Rd to the front of the train to see if the driver needed help, arriving just ahead of the emergency services. She climbed down the bank, but the train driver told her not to come any further while he checked on the occupants of the car. He confirmed it was an elderly lady and her dog, which fit with whose car I thought it was. She said the car had been hit squarely in the middle, its windscreen smashed and light fittings lying near the track. Emergency services were quickly on the scene and covered up the car until a crane arrived to free the Toyota from the front of the train. The crossing has no barrier arms or lights, just a stop sign, but Ms Wilson said every time she saw Mrs Yong at the crossing, her neighbour always stopped and looked . Other neighbours told Fairfax NZ Mrs Yong had worked to make the crossing safer, including suc- cessfully lobbying to get it sealed about five years ago. Police communications man- ager Kim Perks said motorists need to take extra care around level crossings, and not just glance up the line , especially if they are uncontrolled. When approaching a level crossing slow down or stop if there is a legal requirement to do so. The Serious Crash Investi- gation Unit is investigating.
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