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Magpies head coach, Mark Ozich, has announced a move to Australia next year.

Yesterday he said he had accepted a full-time role with Super Rugby team the Western Force, and would leave the Magpies at the end of the 2021 season.

Ozich became involved with the Hawke’s Bay team in 2017 in an assistant role, before securing the head coach position later that year.

Hawke’s Bay Rugby Chief Executive Jay Campbell said Ozich had formed an outstanding culture at the Magpies and said he was universally respected.

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A Hawke’s Bay Lotto player woke up $1 million better off yesterday.

The ticket sold on MyLotto was the only first division winning one sold for Saturday nights draw.

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A busy day for local firefighters last Friday, with strong winds causing a number of fires.

At 6am Friday, crews from around CHB were called to a property on Mill Road at Ashley Clinton to a flare-up in a forestry block.

Fanned by strong winds, the fire spread quickly, but was brought under control by around 7.30am.

Brigades from around Tararua were called to a grass fire at Waione just after 6am Friday.

A Fire & Emergency NZ spokesperson said the fire had spread into a stand of macrocarpa trees.

A haybarn was also destroyed by fire on a property at Te Uri on Friday morning.

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Tararua district Council staff will be contacting next of kin from today after extremely high winds caused parts of the columbarium wall at the Mangatainoka Cemetery to collapse.

Two sections of the wall – which hold urns containing ashes – collapsed, affecting 104 niches. 

Mayor Tracey Collis said Council staff, a local kaumatua and funeral director were on site shortly after receiving notification of the incident.

She said the site was blessed and all niches were retrieved and were transported and stored securely in the Pahiatua Town Hall. 

Mrs Collis said one niche sustained significant damage and a further eight have been partially damaged. 

She said Council staff worked over the weekend cross checking records and will be contacting next of kin this morning as soon as contact details are confirmed.

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The nomination period for the CHB Mail – Central Hawke’s Bay Sports Awards has been extended.

The close is now at midday this Thursday the 16th.

Full details are at www.sporthb.net.nz.

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There is another Strong Wind Warning in place for the Tararua District today.

The Metservice says in the period until 6 o’clock tonight, northwest gales are forecast to be severe at times, with gusts reaching 130 km/h.

Forecasters say the strong wind gusts could damage trees, powerlines and unsecured structures.

Driving may also be hazardous, especially for high-sided vehicles and motorcycles.