This week's top five stories

Last updated 05:00 11/08/2012
Suzanne Bettridge
LEILANI HATCH/Fairfax NZ
MUSCLING THE SYSTEM: Bodybuilder Suzanne Bettridge filed false GST returns and wrongly claimed more than $150,000 in refunds. A bronzed Bettridge is pictured here at the Ms Manawatu Figure title.
The weather has closed in around Te Maari crater again today as helicopters ferry DOC officials and scientists around the crater to get a better view.
BRUCE MERCER/ FAIRFAX NZ Zoom
The weather has closed in around Te Maari crater again today as helicopters ferry DOC officials and scientists around the crater to get a better view.
ash3
ADRIFT OUTDOORS LTD/SUPPLIED
SURPRISE ACTIVITY: Volcanic plumes rise from vents on Mt Tongariro.

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1. Another big Lotto win

It seems there’s a lucky Lotto streak happening in Palmerston North. On August 4, one lucky Lotto player won $500,000. 

The winning ticket was sold at Melody’s New World. The supermarket also sold one of the ten second division winning tickets worth $27,915.

2. Revenge behind farm offences

The Ewen Macdonald saga continues, with documents unsealed by the High Court in Wellington show slain Feilding farmer Scott Guy once told his sister, Nikki, that Macdonald was "the worst thing that happened to our family" and the farm would be better off without him.

Macdonald also received police diversion for poaching on private land in Taihape with Callum Boe in 2006.

The revelations emerged after Fairfax Media was granted access to the court file on Macdonald, acquitted last month of murdering Mr Guy, his brother-in-law.

3. Body builder beefed up tax claims

This year's winner of a high-profile Manawatu bodybuilding competition muscled the system when she filed false GST returns and wrongly claimed more than $150,000 in refunds.

Suzanne Judith Bettridge, 45, admitted 56 charges of providing false information to the Inland Revenue Department in Feilding District Court on Monday.

4. Mt Tongariro erupts

Mt Tongariro erupted for the first time in over 100 years just before midnight on Monday.

The eruption sent ash and rock a kilometre into the air and across roads and farmland.

It prompted a potential threat warning for central North Island regions.

Massey University volcanologist John Procter said there had been a lot of unrest on Mt Tongariro, which erupted last night, since mid-July. He said while an eruption had not been predicted it was always a possibility.

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5. New job for porn offender

On Tuesday the Manawatu Standard revealed a prominent Manawatu man who was convicted of downloading more than 300,000 pornographic images, many of children, is now working in Auckland under his middle name.

The man, who was granted permanent name suppression, was sentenced in February 2010 to four months' home detention. The case made national headlines, with widespread public anger at the decision to keep his identity secret.

Stop Demand Foundation spokeswoman Denise Ritchie said it was "deeply concerning" that the offender was back working in a field that gave him direct access to teenage and pre-pubescent girls.


- Manawatu Standard

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