Top 10 stories: January 28 - February 3

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Last updated 13:48 04/02/2013
CONSIDERING MOVE: Candyland Queen, owner and director Michele Coker wants to move her confectionery operation offshore after a bitter battle in the employment court.
Chris Hillock

ROW: Candyland Queen, owner and director Michele Coker.

COSTLY CANINE: Jimbo, pictured here with owner Carolyn King, is to be put down after a legal fight costing ratepayers at least $76,000.
Fairfax NZ
COSTLY CANINE: Jimbo is to be put down after a legal fight costing ratepayers at least $76,000.
Hugh Pickering
Chris Hillock/Fairfax NZ
WITHOUT HIS WHEELS: Matamata 94-year-old Hugh Pickering, whose 1977 Mazda 323 was stolen.
Sir Paul Holmes
EVA BRADLEY/Fairfax NZ
REFLECTING: Sir Paul Holmes at his family home, Mana Estate, in Poukawa, Hawkes Bay.

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1. Friends seek 'bloody good guy' gone missing

Paul Harrison was reported missing by his family on Wednesday night after he failed to return home from his last day of work at Hamilton engineering firm Tidd Ross Todd. Mr Harrison and his wife Sue were due to move to Taranaki where Paul had a new job. Tragically, Mr Harrison's body was discovered by police after a stolen vehicle was stopped by police.
The two men inside the vehicle admitted to stealing the vehicle and told police where it was stolen from. A search of the area led to the discovery of Mr Harrison's body. His death had been referred to the Coroner and they were not looking for anyone else in relation to his death.

2. Sir Paul Holmes dies

New Zealand TV icon Sir Paul Holmes died on Friday surrounded by his family. Holmes, 62, had  been suffering for much of the past year from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy - a genetic heart condition that thickens muscles and restricts bloodflow - and from prostate cancer.

3. Lolly review leaves bitter taste for owner

A Hamilton business woman is threatening court action against one of the world's most popular travel websites after a failed attempt at writing positive reviews of her own business.
Waikato Candyland boss Michele Coker logged on to TripAdvisor.com where she found customers had written less than favourable reviews of the company. She is now threatening legal action against TripAdvisor claiming libel, defamation and fraud. It is not the first time TripAdvisor has been criticised for allowing unsubstantiated anonymous reviews to be posted. In 2012, an action was brought in Scotland by a guesthouse owner who claimed damages for malicious statements.

4. Woman's body found at Waihi beach

A woman's body was found at Waihi Beach on Tuesday, January 29. Emergency services were called to Anzac Bay, Waihi Beach, shortly after 2pm after reports of a woman's body being found on the beach by a member of the public. Ambulance staff attended the scene but the woman, believed to be aged about 77-years-old, was unable to be revived. The matter was reported to the Coroner.

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5. Three cars hit fallen tree

A fallen tree on a rural Waikato road caused chaos on Thursday morning. Three cars were reported to have hit the tree, and a woman was taken to Waikato Hospital with moderate injuries.

6. Hamilton on brink of water bans

Pleas to curb water use seem to have fallen on deaf ears as Hamilton is on the brink of unprecedented water restrictions. The upgrade would mean a blanket ban on sprinklers and new restrictions for non-residential users, including non-essential water use around the city, from council roundabouts to non-essential cleaning and car washes.

7. Death sentence for Jimbo

After a two-year court battle, a district court judge ordered staffordshire terrier Jimbo to be destroyed. Jimbo's owner, Carolyn King, was convicted in 2011 under the dog control act and an order was issued for Jimbo's destruction. A High Court ruling last year overturned that decision. However, Judge Chris McGuire blasted  Mrs King, calling her "deluded", as he sent the dog to death row for attacking two rabbits - one of which died - in 2010 and later viciously attacking another dog while in Tokoroa pound.

8. Burglar pulls knife on couple


A Matamata couple awoke to the sound of their dog barking, only to find three men breaking into their home. Just after 10pm on Thursday, Leith and Cheryl Shearman, who had just returned from a holiday in Melbourne, awoke when they heard their pet dog Murphy barking in the wash house. After a struggle with two offenders, a third man pulled out a knife. The offenders fled and were later arrested by police.

9. $10m Rototuna project may start soon

Building could get under way soon on a long-planned $10 million mixed apartment, cafe, retail and office development at Rototuna after two court challenges were resolved.

10. The kindness of strangers

A few weeks ago, the Waikato Times published a story about Matamata pensioner Hugh Pickering after his beloved 35-year-old Mazda 323 was stolen. The 94-year-old found his garage door open and his car gone. Two Wellington brothers decided to help the World War II veteran by setting up a Facebook page to raise money for Mr Pickering. Joel Briggs said neither he nor his brother had ever met Mr Pickering, but they were touched when they heard about his plight. ''It wasn't a very nice thing to do to a guy that age,'' he said. ''By the looks of it, he put a lot of time and love into that car to keep it in such good condition.'' The Briggs brothers' Facebook page asks people to make donations to a special bank account.
They are also auctioning off a 6 centimetre Mazda RX7 toy on Trade Me. The bidding was at $300 and the page had more than 11,000 views late last night. 

- Waikato

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