23/02/2011

Other NI News In Brief

Marathon Prizes Costumes

Organizers of the 2011 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon - which celebrates its 30th anniversary on Monday 2 May - are encouraging competitors in this year's event, and particularly the team relay, to add a little colour and fun to proceedings by taking part in fancy dress - with the incentive of prizes of £500, £300 and £200 for the best costumes. Pictured here getting a head start are Maurice Fitzmaurice, Stephen Pearson and Catherine McAuley.

Derry Murder Suspect In Court

The weekend murder of Londonderry man Paddy Harkin, 49, and the attempted murder of his friend, Paul Mythen was recalled in court today as Paul Greatbanks, from Bayview Terrace was charged with both the murder and the attempted murder of Paul Mythen. The defendant, who is originally from England, was remanded in custody and is due to appear via video link on 10 March. Mr Mythen, 39, remains in a critical condition in hospital after Mr Harkin, who was originally from Creggan, was found dead at his flat on Bayview Terrace on Sunday.

Buses Accelerate

Co Antrim's Wrightbus have announced a major new order from the UK for 334 new buses. The contract with bus operator Arriva is valued at around £55m and consists of 204 double-deck and 130 single-deck buses. It is a major boost for the company - which employs over 100 people - with Wrightbus Managing Director Mark Nodder said to be "delighted" at the news. "This is the biggest order we have secured in several years," Mr Nodder added. "Is likely to be the biggest I think in the next 12 months as well," he told the BBC today. "We have been thinking for some time that the second half of 2011 was likely to be an improvement on the last 18 months or so, and that seems to be the way it is turning out."

Indian Eatery Fined
News Image
A Belfast restaurant has been fined £1,750 for a string of food hygiene offences. Mizanur Rahman, who runs the Bengal Brasserie on the Ormeau Road, was also ordered to pay costs of £69 in relation to six separate hygiene offences detected on February 10, 2010 and April 16, 2010. The prosecution was taken by Belfast City Council following a routine inspection of the premises on February 10, 2010 when a number of breaches of food hygiene regulations were detected relating to cigarette butts being found in the bases of some staff lockers, and cooked meat being stored in a fridge that wasn't working properly. Poor hygiene practices were observed with some food preparation being carried out in an unsuitable area. However, Council officers confirmed to the court that food hygiene standards at the restaurant have subsequently improved to their satisfaction.

Bogus Holiday Warning

The Trading Standards Service (TSS) is warning consumers to beware of bogus holiday clubs. The warning comes as new laws are introduced giving consumers more protection when joining holiday clubs. A common approach is to hand out scratch cards to holiday makers telling them they have won a prize. The catch is that in order to claim the prize you have to attend a presentation, where you will be put under pressure by representatives for the holiday club to sign a contract there and then. Kevin McNamara of the TSS said: "Many of the complaints to Consumerline about holiday clubs come from consumers who have paid to join after receiving a telephone call offering membership. It is only once they have received the contract do they realise the deal is not what they thought it was." The advice from TSS is not to be rushed into joining a holiday club: "These new regulations provide a cooling off period, so consumers who are interested in joining should ask for a copy of the contract and take time to study the detail. Reputable companies should have no problem with this. Any attempts to apply pressure tactics should put you on your guard."

(BMcC/GK)

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