Doubtful Range, Hanmer Springs

4 days ago

Regional council ECan proposes hefty rate rises

Nicole Mathewson Reporter from The Press

By reporter Keiller MacDuff:

Environment Canterbury (ECan) floated one of the largest proposed average rates rises in the country on Wednesday - more than 24% - a day after the Christchurch City Council adopted a draft proposal for a 13% rates rise.

Councils nationwide are proposing … View more
By reporter Keiller MacDuff:

Environment Canterbury (ECan) floated one of the largest proposed average rates rises in the country on Wednesday - more than 24% - a day after the Christchurch City Council adopted a draft proposal for a 13% rates rise.

Councils nationwide are proposing significant rises as interest rates bite and increasing severe weather calls for more resilience work.

ECan councillors voted 14:2 to adopt the consultation document for its long-term plan (LTP), which outlines the council's activities, services and finances for the next decade, with councillors Clair McKay and Deon Swiggs voting against the recommendation.

The plan will see ECan spend more than $340 million in the first year, a 26% increase on the $270m programme carried out in 2023-24.

The draft says the council gave “strong consideration“ to the financial pressures the community is facing, but previous decisions on flood management and public transport combined with high inflation meant just maintaining current work required a double digit increase.

The actual rating impact will differ depending on location and targeted rates, meaning the increase will be between 13% and 27%.

If the regional council’s preferred options are adopted, a Christchurch city ratepayer with a $820,000 property would pay $750 in the first year of the plan, while a $1.9m rural property in Hurunui faced a $1030 rates bill for 2024-25, and a $4.76m rural Ashburton property would pay $2681 in rates.

Of ECan's three core services - environmental regulation and protection, hazard preparedness and response, and public transport - the latter has the biggest cost.

The council’s preferred public transport option has a $160m price tag for the first year (a total of $542m over three years) and would see the Public Transport Futures programme improvements delivered within seven years, including upping core bus routes to ten minute frequencies or better by 2028, with average wait times of five minutes.

It also includes:
- More direct services to parts of Waimakariri and Selwyn, starting in 2026-27.
- A review of connector and local services by mid-2026, with improvements implemented by 2031.
- An additional Diamond Harbour ferry and refurbishment of the existing ferry.
- Improvements to the network, such as increasing capacity on crowded buses and small tweaks to routes or frequency
- Enhanced safety improvements, increased investment in reliability and the continued replacement of end-of-life diesel buses with new electric buses.

The option also includes funding to “explore opportunities” to improve transport to and from Te Kaha, on demand services in Greater Christchurch, and - long term - looking at asset ownership.

The document notes the region has “historically under-invested in public transport,” leading to low usage, and proposes “considerable investment.” But both the regional council and the auditor, whose report was also tabled, drew attention to the “high level of uncertainty” surrounding the government’s contribution.

The council’s preferred option for environmental regulation and protection would cost $135m for the LTP’s first year, and could sit alongside a targeted rate for additional biodiversity work in Christchurch and Banks Peninsula.

The separate biodiversity rate works out at 72 cents per $100,000 capital value of rateable properties.

ECan’s preferred option for community preparedness and hazard response - $50.5m - includes a targeted rate for Selwyn residents for district-wide flood and river resilience work.

The targeted rate would cost $7.08 per rate paying property in the first year, $10.62 in the second year, and $14.16 in the third year, raising $400,000 in 2026-27.

Most councillors expressed misgivings about the scale of the proposed rise, but backed the document through the consultation process.

McKay accused her fellow councillors of being “tone deaf”, and asked what right the council had “to treat our ratepayers as an ATM machine?”

She criticised the amount of borrowing and said she was “embarrassed to be associated” with the amount council sought.

Swiggs also expressed misgivings about debt funding, and criticised the local government funding model in general.

“Imagine if Wellington had to budget the way we have to,” Swiggs said, commenting on the discrepency in tax take between central and local government,.

On Tuesday, the Christchurch City Council voted 13 to 4 in favour of a draft long-term plan that proposes an average rates increase of 13.24% from June, followed by 7.76% in the following financial year, and 4.67% the year after.

Consultation on ECan’s draft LTP will run from mid-March to mid-April, with hearings scheduled for the end of April and early May. The council is scheduled to deliberate at the end of May with a view to adopt the plan and set rates in late June.

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21 hours ago

Last week to enter neighbours!

Prospa

Have you nominated a small business in your community yet? The Prospa Local Business Hero Awards close this week!

Whether you know a great plumber, supermarket, mechanic, bookstore, hairdresser, gardener, pharmacy, builder, shoe store, cafe or electrician - show some love to a small business and… View more
Have you nominated a small business in your community yet? The Prospa Local Business Hero Awards close this week!

Whether you know a great plumber, supermarket, mechanic, bookstore, hairdresser, gardener, pharmacy, builder, shoe store, cafe or electrician - show some love to a small business and make a nomination today.

You'll not only help drum up some support for them in your community, you could also help them win a $10,000 prize package. Plus if your nomination is a regional finalist you'll win a $100 Prezzy® card too!
Nominate now

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10 hours ago

What should happen with the Thames pool?

Libby Totton Reporter from Hauraki Herald

The removal of Thames Centennial Pool from its current site of 50 years will cost $3 million with the land eventually returned to mana whenua.

The ailing and aging Thames Centennial Pool facility, which sits on a sacred urupā, is set to be returned in 2027 as the district looks to establish a … View more
The removal of Thames Centennial Pool from its current site of 50 years will cost $3 million with the land eventually returned to mana whenua.

The ailing and aging Thames Centennial Pool facility, which sits on a sacred urupā, is set to be returned in 2027 as the district looks to establish a replacement facility elsewhere.

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21 hours ago

Want chocolate this Easter?

NZ House & Garden

The sweetest time of the year is just around the corner, and we’ve put together a great deal that will make it even sweeter.

Bennetto Chocolate has helped us put together an amazing chocolate box that’ll be the perfect addition to an NZ House & Garden subscription this Easter. Simply … View more
The sweetest time of the year is just around the corner, and we’ve put together a great deal that will make it even sweeter.

Bennetto Chocolate has helped us put together an amazing chocolate box that’ll be the perfect addition to an NZ House & Garden subscription this Easter. Simply purchase a 1 or 2-year subscription to NZ House & Garden and the Easter Bunny will deliver you a Bennetto Chocolate Box worth $50 for FREE! T&Cs Apply.

Enjoy,
The team at NZ House & Garden
Find out more

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10 hours ago

What do you think of the changes this principal is making?

The Team Reporter from Hamilton Press

Matua Hone Waudby has only been Bankwood Primary’s principal for around 18 months, and in that time he’s been slowly working on turning the school around.

That includes changing when the school year starts and finishes, in a bid to make it easier on families.

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10 hours ago

Are you following the council's talks - and disputes - on the long-term plan?

Libby Totton Reporter from South Waikato News

Two South Waikato councillors unhappy with a perceived lack of information coming from council staff have had their “formal request for members information” quashed by their council colleagues.

In the “notice of motion - formal request for members information”, penned by first term … View more
Two South Waikato councillors unhappy with a perceived lack of information coming from council staff have had their “formal request for members information” quashed by their council colleagues.

In the “notice of motion - formal request for members information”, penned by first term councillor Marie Farrell and co-signed by councillor Sandra Wallace, Farrell said she had several requests for financial information declined by council chief executive Susan Law

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10 hours ago

Do you think Waiuku could get a wind farm?

Libby Totton Reporter from Waikato Times

A proposal to build 13 giant wind turbines up to 190m high on north Waikato coastal land has shocked locals who said they had been blind-sided by the plans which were “fast tracked“ under the Covid-19 Recovery Act.

The Waiuku Wind Farm proposal is being assessed by an independent panel of … View more
A proposal to build 13 giant wind turbines up to 190m high on north Waikato coastal land has shocked locals who said they had been blind-sided by the plans which were “fast tracked“ under the Covid-19 Recovery Act.

The Waiuku Wind Farm proposal is being assessed by an independent panel of experts after it was cleared for fast-tracking by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) in December last year.

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1 day ago

Have you got your tickets yet?

Heart Foundation Lotteries

Don’t miss out! For only $15 a ticket, you could be in to win this brand-new, fully furnished Jennian home in Pegasus, Christchurch worth almost $1 million dollars.

Featuring three bedrooms, two bathrooms and an open-plan kitchen, living and dining area, this home is waiting for its new owner.… View more
Don’t miss out! For only $15 a ticket, you could be in to win this brand-new, fully furnished Jennian home in Pegasus, Christchurch worth almost $1 million dollars.

Featuring three bedrooms, two bathrooms and an open-plan kitchen, living and dining area, this home is waiting for its new owner.

Make this property your permanent residence, a holiday home, rent it or even sell it! Get your tickets today at heartlottery.org.nz.
Buy tickets now

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S
5 days ago

Horse/pony wanted 14.2 to 15.2 prefer older horse must be quiet and good in traffic

Sandi from Hurunui District

Horse or pony wanted for elderly lady wanting to return to riding Experienced horse rider just a little rusty after 30 years off. Must be good in traffic ( mainly stock trucks with trailers and farm machinery on our roads) Good to float mount shoe catch etc. No dirt and nothing that needs breaking… View moreHorse or pony wanted for elderly lady wanting to return to riding Experienced horse rider just a little rusty after 30 years off. Must be good in traffic ( mainly stock trucks with trailers and farm machinery on our roads) Good to float mount shoe catch etc. No dirt and nothing that needs breaking in or green youngsters just something I can get on and hack around the lanes and farm. 100 acre farm home offered with ex UK riding instructress.

Free

3 days ago

Free Bowel Cancer Screening

Mid Central

In MidCentral, free bowel screening is now available for Māori and Pacific people aged 50-74 and from 60 years old for everyone else.

Around your birthday, you will receive an invitation, followed by a bowel screening test kit.

The bowel screening test is quick and simple to do by yourself… View more
In MidCentral, free bowel screening is now available for Māori and Pacific people aged 50-74 and from 60 years old for everyone else.

Around your birthday, you will receive an invitation, followed by a bowel screening test kit.

The bowel screening test is quick and simple to do by yourself at home. Make sure you do the test as soon as possible and send it back.

For further information, see the Time to Screen website, call 0800 924 432, or talk to your doctor.
Find out more

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12 days ago

Looking back on Christchurch...

The Team from Neighbourly.co.nz

It's been 13 years since the 2011 earthquake - a day many of us will never forget.

If you'd like to look back on Christchurch as it was before the earthquakes hit you may wish to head to Google Maps today and see past images of your old school, workplace or favourite haunts.

How to … View more
It's been 13 years since the 2011 earthquake - a day many of us will never forget.

If you'd like to look back on Christchurch as it was before the earthquakes hit you may wish to head to Google Maps today and see past images of your old school, workplace or favourite haunts.

How to do it:
- Head to Google Maps and click the yellow man icon in the bottom right corner.
- If you search an address or location then move him to a spot on the map, it brings up Street View.
- There is a black menu and usually an option to "See more dates". You can view that spot on the map in past Google street images.

Feel free to share any of your finds on Neighbourly for others to see!

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4 days ago

Enjoy Financial Certainty...

The Team from Ryman Healthcare

When you move to a Ryman village, the last thing you need to think about are unexpected costs. We offer financial security with rates, home insurance, exterior maintenance and gardening all covered under one fixed base weekly fee*, meaning once you’ve moved in you can focus on the things you … View moreWhen you move to a Ryman village, the last thing you need to think about are unexpected costs. We offer financial security with rates, home insurance, exterior maintenance and gardening all covered under one fixed base weekly fee*, meaning once you’ve moved in you can focus on the things you enjoy.

Find out more about our living options today and get ready for a new lifestyle.

*Weekly fee’s only increase if you change from independent living to serviced apartment living, or you add extra care options.
Find out more

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5 days ago

What's On: Birth Prep

Marina Neighbourly Lead from Fernside

Explore skills to decrease discomforts of labour. Simple and effective. Come with partner, friend or solo. Pre-registration by phone is essential so please contact Marina before. 021871818
Birth Prep
  • Rangiora Hospital
4 days ago

Happy Leap Year for 2024!

Remuera Gardens

Make your new year plans come true. If you’re looking at your retirement options this summer, you should check out Remuera Gardens - a community in the heart of Auckland.

Our two bedroom apartments and serviced apartments are beautifully renovated, with garden views from your own deck or … View more
Make your new year plans come true. If you’re looking at your retirement options this summer, you should check out Remuera Gardens - a community in the heart of Auckland.

Our two bedroom apartments and serviced apartments are beautifully renovated, with garden views from your own deck or balcony. Sunny and spacious, these homes are perfect for privacy and independence, while household help can also be available to make day-to-day life a little easier.

Why not jump at this chance and come and see us this week!
Call Lyn on 021 845 524 or email lyn.ellis@realliving.co.nz
Learn More

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7 days ago

Have you made a nomination yet?

Prospa

Let your community know how a small business has made a difference in your life by nominating them in the 2024 Prospa Local Business Hero awards.

Whether it's your super friendly barista, the bookstore that knows the exact book you need to read next or the florist with the biggest blooms … View more
Let your community know how a small business has made a difference in your life by nominating them in the 2024 Prospa Local Business Hero awards.

Whether it's your super friendly barista, the bookstore that knows the exact book you need to read next or the florist with the biggest blooms in town nominate them now and make a small business' day.

Share a few words about your favourite local now. You could help them win an incredible prize package worth $10,000.
Nominate now

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4 days ago

St Andrew’s Village Market Day, March 2nd

St. Andrew's Village

Join us tomorrow, Saturday, March 2nd, for St. Andrew's Village Autumn Market Day, starting at 10 a.m.

Discover a delightful array of offerings, including crafts, beauty products, clothing, and exquisite jewellery. As you explore the stalls, savour delectable food and refreshing beverages,… View more
Join us tomorrow, Saturday, March 2nd, for St. Andrew's Village Autumn Market Day, starting at 10 a.m.

Discover a delightful array of offerings, including crafts, beauty products, clothing, and exquisite jewellery. As you explore the stalls, savour delectable food and refreshing beverages, all while being serenaded by local musicians.

It's a perfect day to indulge in shopping, culinary delights, and live music at our Market Day at 207 Riddell Road, Glendowie
Find out more

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11 days ago

Swap food for a FREE Resene testpot!

Resene

Hunger for Colour is back for 2024! Bring two cans of food into your local Resene ColorShop and swap them for one Resene testpot (60-80ml). Resene will donate all food to The Salvation Army foodbanks.

We accept all cans of food in good condition and suitable for humans to eat. If you prefer to … View more
Hunger for Colour is back for 2024! Bring two cans of food into your local Resene ColorShop and swap them for one Resene testpot (60-80ml). Resene will donate all food to The Salvation Army foodbanks.

We accept all cans of food in good condition and suitable for humans to eat. If you prefer to bring in canned pet food, we can accept that also and will donate it to the SPCA and local community animal shelters.

By adding a little more colour to your life you can also help those in need.
Find out more

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6 days ago
12 days ago

Ways to Lower your Power Bill

The Team from NZ Compare

Feeling the Summer heat? Don't let your power bill skyrocket along with the temperatures!

Check out these 10 simple tips to keep cool and save money on your power bills this season.

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6 days ago

Seeking a dependable vehicle dismantler?

Auckland Kiwi Car Parts

Auckland Kiwi Car Parts Ltd offers several advantages.

We provide immediate cash payments of up to $5000 for cars.

We purchase cars of all makes and models, regardless of their age or condition.

Most importantly, our service includes complimentary removal, saving you hundreds of dollarsView more
Auckland Kiwi Car Parts Ltd offers several advantages.

We provide immediate cash payments of up to $5000 for cars.

We purchase cars of all makes and models, regardless of their age or condition.

Most importantly, our service includes complimentary removal, saving you hundreds of dollars in removal costs.
Find out more

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12 days ago

The Christchurch Art Show is back!

The Christchurch Art Show

The Christchurch Art Show is back at Te Pae Convention Centre March 8 – 10!

Expect amazing artwork of all types, artist demonstrations, and award- winning artists at New Zealand’s largest art show. The Christchurch Art Show’s new VIP Preview event opens 8 March 5pm, the ever-popular … View more
The Christchurch Art Show is back at Te Pae Convention Centre March 8 – 10!

Expect amazing artwork of all types, artist demonstrations, and award- winning artists at New Zealand’s largest art show. The Christchurch Art Show’s new VIP Preview event opens 8 March 5pm, the ever-popular opening night follows this at 7:30pm. Both are pre- sale catered events and opening night will sell out!

Show Days are: Sat 9th March 10am-8pm and Sun 10th March 10am - 5pm.

Come and view thousands of original quality artworks, meet the artists and view live art demonstrations. Make it a day out and enjoy The Christchurch Art Show!

Buy Christchurch Tickets (New) – ART SHOW TICKETING
Book now

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6 days ago

Free rides, games, toy making and DJ music coming to Ngāti Toa Domain

Porirua City Council

Children’s Day at Ngāti Toa Domain for 2024 is set to be a fun-filled event for our city’s tamariki and rangatahi.

Timed to coincide with national celebrations for Te rā o ngā Tamariki/Children’s Day, Porirua City Council has organised a day of fun and activities on … View more
Children’s Day at Ngāti Toa Domain for 2024 is set to be a fun-filled event for our city’s tamariki and rangatahi.

Timed to coincide with national celebrations for Te rā o ngā Tamariki/Children’s Day, Porirua City Council has organised a day of fun and activities on Sunday 3 March, from 11am–3pm.

Either pack a picnic and make a day of it or purchase something delicious from one of the food trucks. Bunnings Porirua will also be there with a free sausage sizzle while stocks last.

While enjoying some tasty kai, you can listen to tunes from young DJs aged between 12–15 years-old from the Aotearoa DJ Academy.

For those wanting free active fun, the inflatables will be out, with an inflatable sports field, mega obstacle course, inflatable slide, two baby castles and a baby bouncer to choose from – plus much more!
Find out more

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13 days ago

Win this brand-new home!

Heart Foundation Lotteries

For only $15 a ticket, you could be in to win this brand-new, fully furnished Jennian home in Pegasus, Christchurch worth almost $1 million.

Featuring three bedrooms, two bathrooms and an open-plan kitchen, living and dining area, this home is waiting for its new owner.

Make this property … View more
For only $15 a ticket, you could be in to win this brand-new, fully furnished Jennian home in Pegasus, Christchurch worth almost $1 million.

Featuring three bedrooms, two bathrooms and an open-plan kitchen, living and dining area, this home is waiting for its new owner.

Make this property your permanent residence, a holiday home, rent it or even sell it!

Don’t miss out! Get your tickets today at heartlottery.org.nz.
Find out more

6 days ago

Five out of five for Acacia Cove

Acacia Cove

Five apartments have just been completed in Acacia Cove. All of which have just achieved a Lifemark® 5-Star Certification. Acacia Cove has a total of 215 villas and now 15 apartments in its village complex in Wattle downs, Auckland.

As a retirement village Acacia Cove wants to provide great … View more
Five apartments have just been completed in Acacia Cove. All of which have just achieved a Lifemark® 5-Star Certification. Acacia Cove has a total of 215 villas and now 15 apartments in its village complex in Wattle downs, Auckland.

As a retirement village Acacia Cove wants to provide great quality of life for its residents. Acacia Cove gives its residents a social community feel, with bowling greens, snooker table, craft room and indoor pools, providing great opportunities for residents to mix and mingle. The five newly completed apartments are situated 50 metres away from the Village centre.

Acacia Cove understands that its residents require dwellings where they can live safely and independently. Universal Design provides this. Acacia Cove decided applying Universal Design best accessibility practice was of high importance.

If you’re aged 60 and over, value your independence but want greater security, come and have a look at the superb properties we have to offer.

Contact long time manager Burce Cullington on (09) 268 8522.
Find out more

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13 days ago

Don't forget to nominate your favourite local...

Prospa

There have been hundreds of wonderful entries in this year's Prospa Local Business Hero from across the country! If you haven't nominated a special local business yet, do it today.

- Got a great mechanic? Nominate them today.
- A barista who makes you smile? Nominate them today.
- … View more
There have been hundreds of wonderful entries in this year's Prospa Local Business Hero from across the country! If you haven't nominated a special local business yet, do it today.

- Got a great mechanic? Nominate them today.
- A barista who makes you smile? Nominate them today.
- A reassuring pharmacy team? Nominate them today.

Make a small business' day today by nominating them as your Prospa Local Business Hero - and you could make their whole year (our national winner picks up an incredible $10,000 prize package!)
Nominate now

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7 days ago

Sustainable Style. A Special Price.

Mazda NZ

If you’re looking for a stylish SUV that stands out from the crowd and won’t break the bank, the convention-defying Mazda MX-30 has you covered.

Featuring a unique mild hybrid engine and cutting-edge style, as well as sustainable materials that reduce environmental impact, the Mazda MX-30 is… View more
If you’re looking for a stylish SUV that stands out from the crowd and won’t break the bank, the convention-defying Mazda MX-30 has you covered.

Featuring a unique mild hybrid engine and cutting-edge style, as well as sustainable materials that reduce environmental impact, the Mazda MX-30 is perfect for zipping around your neighbourhood.

Find out more and book a test drive at your local Mazda Dealer today.
Read More

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14 days ago

Waikari Valley fire evacuees can return home

Nicole Mathewson Reporter from The Press

Residents evacuated after fire tore through vegetation in North Canterbury’s Waikari Valley have been given the all-clear to return home, fire bosses confirmed.

Anna Engelbrecht said “it’s been a relief” to find their house unscathed after an intense evacuation late Sunday, complicated … View more
Residents evacuated after fire tore through vegetation in North Canterbury’s Waikari Valley have been given the all-clear to return home, fire bosses confirmed.

Anna Engelbrecht said “it’s been a relief” to find their house unscathed after an intense evacuation late Sunday, complicated by her husband’s rare neuromuscular disease.

In the span of 30 minutes, he could be unable to move or breath, Anna said, and stressful situations made things worse.

“For me it was: I need to get him out, I need to get him out.”

The pair fled their house with flames on the horizon after a change in wind direction put them in danger.

Many in the community got little sleep overnight Sunday, and some were forced from their properties by the the blaze, which broke out about 8pm and spread over 300 hectares.

Five helicopters and 80 ground crews of firefighters battled the fire on Monday, when it was fanned by high winds, and fire authorities warned it will not likely be fully extinguished for several days.

On Monday afternoon, Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Fenz) assistant commander Des Irving said residents could now return home but implored them to “be vigilant” and encouraged them to use common sense in the dry and hot conditions.

He praised the way local residents had reacted to the blaze.

“They’ve been amazing, we’re really appreciative of the residents and their support.

“It is never easy to leave your home at short notice like these people had to do last night, but safety is always the priority.”

The cause of the fire is not yet known, but the source has been pinpointed, he said.

No livestock has been reported as lost, nor any structures lost or damaged.

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