The Borough Rates. The Town Clerk, Mr. Braddell, following out the instructions of the Council, has issued a batch of summonses against those ratepayers who have neglected to pay up.
Wakanui Rates. — The Board on Thursday decided to prosecute all defaulters without exception, and without further notice, so that arrears had better be paid up forthwith, to avoid unpleasant consequences. Drunkenness. —A first offender pleaded guilty before Mr. F. Guinness yesterday morning to being drunk while in charge of a dray. Sergeant Felton being able to bear testimony to the delinquent’s usual good behaviour and respectability, his Worship leniently let him off with a fine of ss. Sporting. —The running match for L 5 a-side, between Messrs. Montgomery and Groves, previously alluded to in these columns, takes place this afternoon in Mr. Hay T. Smith’s paddock, near the mill, commencing at 3 o’clock. The distance is one mile, and an interesting contest may be anticipated. Bar-framed Hives. Beekeepers—and the interesting employment of beekeeping is becoming very popular—can now be supplied with bar-framed hives after the Christchurch Society’s pattern, by Mr. T. A. Gates, Ashburton. Mr. Gates has become quite enthusiastic on the bar-frame, and is as well posted up in beekeeping as ho can be. In making bis hives he has most slavishly followed Er. Irving’s ideal, and his “ houses ” are quite compact little bee cottages—comfortable dwellings for the busy honey-gatherers, and ornaments as well to any garden. The Borough Council Makes a Rise. —At the Wakanui Road Board’s meeting on Thursday, it was decided to pay over to the Borough the sum of £289 25., being the share ot accrued laud fund coming to the Borough from that Board. From the Longheach Board a sum of £290 or thereby is also due to the Borough, being the proportion of land fund dife, so that between the two Boards a contribution of something like £OOO will be added to the Borough’s funds, a most timely acquisition. This will enable the Council to pay off their overdraft, and have a good nestegg loft over. Civil Cases. —At the Resident Magistrate’s Court yesterday, T. R. Hodder and Company obtained judgment for L 7 Bs. and costs against a man named Bararei for goods supplied, and obtained an order for immediate execution. In the case of Quill v. Herbert Honor, Mr. Purnell appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr. Crisp for the defendant, 'ibis was a claim for L2 IGs. for goods supplied, but tha evidence went to show that the summons should have been served on defendant’s brother, who was now living in Oamaru, the defendant stating that at the time the goods were supplied he was not in the district of Canterbury. Plaintiff was therefore nonsuited, with 10s. Gd. costs. A Needless Delay. —Before the civil ca-es were brought on yestci-day morning, Mr. O’Reilly drew his Worship’s attention to the case of Weeks and Dixon v. Harris, which had been adjourned a month since, to allow of Mr. Harris’ evidence being taken in Dunedin, and the case had been put down for heaving for that day. He had been informed by the Clerk of the Court that the evidence had not arrived from Dunedin, and hence the case could not be heard. This was a delay which, he thought, required soma explanation. His Worship replied that he was helpless in the matter ; the clerk had sent the affidavit, and until the evidence was taken in Dunedin and returned to Ashburton, he could not hear the case. Mr. O’Reilly expressed his astonishment at the evidence not being returned, as a month seemed to be .abundance of time for that to be done. Between the Court at Dunedin and Ashburton, there seems to us, to be some gross carelessness or inefficiency. Me have since learned that Mr. lieland received a telegram Mr. Harris which ran as'follows:—‘ £ Harrell omtifced io send affidavit of service of notices. Adjourned for one month to allow fresh notices to be served.” This telegram at once points out where the fault lies.
Drunk. —l Tis Worship the R. M. bad a good many drunk cases to dispose of on Thursday, no less chan five inebriates having been brought up for trial. Robert Hunter was the first, and he was fined LI, with the alternative of 48 hours in limbo. A charge of vagrancy and begging was also preferred against him. On this he was also convicted, but his Worship used lua discretion, and dismissed Hunter on this charge, but laid down a caution that if, within 24 hours after the expiry of his sentence for drunkenness, prisoner did not honor some other part of the colony 7 with his presence, he would be bad up again by the police, and twelve mouths’ enforced servitude of Her Majesty awaited him in that event. Archibald Macdonald was the next “shocking example” who walked up io the Magistrate’s table. Archie had been drunk at the railway station, and for this he was asked to contribute LI to the public purse, or take it out in the public hotel, of which Sergeant Felton is the landlord, for 48 hours. Three others—first offenders, and wo suppress their names, hoping they will not again appear—paid a tax of ss. each for the heavy skinfuls they had taken in. The Year’s Inquests. During the year ending April 30 the coroner has held fifteen inquests in Ashburton and three in Rakaia. Of these, 13 in Ashburton wore on dead bodies, as were also the three in Rakaia, while the remaining two were on fires. In all the cases concerning the circumstances of death, satisfactory 7 verdicts were given, the cause of death havingbeen ascertained in every instance except two—that of Alexander Gordon, who lost his way in the snow storm while going home to Scafield ; and that of the twins Fenny, who were found dead in their bed in Novemoer last, the medical men being unable to assign the cause of death, iu both these cases the jury returned a verdict of “Found dead.” Of the 13 inquests held in Ashburton, nine of the bodies were of children under two years of age. In four of these cases the medical men were able to give the disease which caused death—three being from congestion of the lungs, and one from diphtheria ; the only cause for an inquest in these cases seemed to have been that the children died somewhat suddenly, and that they were not attended by a medical man. In the other cases, one of the children was scalded by a pot of boiling water; another drank something from a bottle given her by a brother of live years; a third was accidentally drowned in a tub of water; and the cause of death of the twins Penny was not ascertained definitely. Except in the case of a farmer who met his death in a well by the breaking of the rope by which he was drawn up, all the other deaths of males were in connection with horses and vehicles oneway or other. There was only one female whose death necessitated an inquest, and that, too, was held because of the absence of a medical man. The three inquests at Rakaia were on adults—one was a death from a horse throw, another was from excessive drinking, and a tim’d was from being run over by the express. The two fire inquiries that were held were—one on a fire that occurred at Tinwald, and the jury brought in a verdict of arson against the owner of the stacks that were burned, but the Grand Jury at the Supreme Court threw out the bill; tho second was on the fire in Tancred street, in which the jury found incendiarism, but could not name the incendiary.
Tenders. —The Borough Engineers invite tenders for the supply of 1,000 .yards of shingle, to bo delivered in East and
Tailored streets. Important to Farmers.—Notwithstanding the number of vessels which were put on for the shipment of grain from Lyttelton, it appears that the supply is not equal to to the demand. In consequence of this a large quantity of produce is being stored in port at the cost of shippers. An advertisement in another column from the Railway Department advises farmers to make arrangements for shipment before sending their grain on to Lyttelton. Not a Thousand, Though. Mr. Leadley, of Prebbloton, wants LI,OOO as compensation for alleged damage done to his land by the tailing through it of Leadloy and Butterick’s drain. He notified the Wakanui Road Board of his want, but the Board, to use a common phrase, were “ not on,” seeing that they considered the drain a great benefit to Mr. Lead ey’s land, and an enhancement to its value. They would give him LlB if he liked—but not a thousand ! oh dear, no. Village Settlements.— I The portions of land to he thrown open for village settlements in Dromore, Hinds, Orari, Horndon, Aylesbury, and South Rakaia, will be open for application on Monday, the 17th instant, on deferred payments, in allotments varying from I to 5 acres, at the rates advertised. The purchase money is payable in ten half-yearly instalments without interest, and application has to be made at the Christchurch, or Timaru survey offices.
The Mount Somers Railway Extension.—An advertisement in another column calls a meeting of those interested in the Mount Somers Railway Extension, to protest against the alteration of the line, as the promoters of the meeting appear to think it is not the intention of Government to proceed with the lino to Mount Somers at all. Another advertisement, by the Engineer-in-charge of the Middle Island announces the withdrawal of the contract frem tender. The Gas Regulator. —Some weeks ago wc announced to ouv readers that Mr. J. 0. Dolman had received a gas regulator from Messrs. A. and T. Burt, of Dunedin, which he connected with Mr. T. Quill’s meter at the Commercial Hotel. At that time we promised our readers that we would give the result of a crucial tost of the machine, after a few weeks’ trial. The regulator lias had a thorough and decisive test —viz., the gas company’s bill to Mr. Quill, who states that the saving is something over 10 per cent. This ought to open up a demand for those gas economisers, as those who have a number of lights will find it to their advantage to to negotiate with the local agent.
South Rah at a School Commxttsje.— The usual monthly meeting of the School Committee was held on Tuesday evening. Present Messrs. Cox, Makcig, and Sharp. In the absence of the chairman (Mr. 0. Tucker), Mr. Makcig was voted to the chair. The minutes of the former meeting having been read and confirmed, Mr. Makcig explained why ho Lad not attended the meetings of the Committee on three occasions. The explanation of Mr. Makcig was considered satisfactory. Correspondence from the Board of Education on several matters was read ; also, the master's report. It was resolved to defer the consideration of several matters for a fuller meeting. The meeting then adjourned. The Cabmen I . —The police have given the cabmen notice that henceforth they will not be allowed to occupy the stand they have chosen for themselves opposite the Somerset Hotel, and the carriers have also been warned to remove. Complaints have been made of the crowd of loafers that obstruct the footpath at the hotel, and the cause of the crowd has been attributed to the cabs. So long as the cabs were standing opposite the hotel door, respectable females were debarred from making use of the footpath ; because of the rude stares that were directed towards them, and the not always choice remarks that were made at if not about them, and in their hearing. The police mean to proceed, under the Canterbury Ordinance, to put a stop to tin’s by the removal of the cabs ; and if the nuisance abates, then the experiment will at once show with whom the cause of it lay. If it does not, .then some other cause must be sought for Gift Auction. On Thursday a gift auction was held in the Town Hall for behoof of the Ashburton Presbyterian Church, when a large quantity of produce, &c., was disposed of by Mr. Bullock, who kindly acted as auctioneer. The gifts comprised orffs, barley, wheat, peas, potatoes, grass seed, onions, carrots, flowers, young trees and shrubs, butter, honey, cheese, roosters, and other farm produce. There were also sold, biscuits (the gift of Mr. Thiele, baker), a clock, jewellery, a workbox (which brought 305.), some Ladies’ bags, drapery and clothing. Good prices were obtained for everything sold, and not a little amusement was caused by the sale of a calf, which changed hands three times, and each time its price went into the church funds. It was first sold for 155., the buyer sold it again for half-a-crown, the second buyer handed the money over to the Treasurer, and gave the calf in, when it was sold a third time by the auctioneer, fetching 255. A consignment of produce arrived too late, for some reason or other, bub it will be sold on Saturday in one of the auction rooms.
Tub Administration of Justice. —• —We have refrained hitherto from expressing opinions, either favorable or adverse on the administration of justice in our little township, allowing the public, however, ample space in our columns to discuss the subject pro and eon. It has struck us, notwithstanding, that there must bo a screw loose somewhere ; and from the numerous complaints which are made from time to time it is very evident that something more than a mere newspaper war in the correspondence columns is required. We had hoped, and still continue to hope that the Civil Service Commission have looked into the matter ; but from what we can gather, the evidence taken before that body in Ashburton, was merely from the officers of the Court themselves. In any case, whether the matters of which complaints are so rife were brought to light before the searching investigations of the Commissioners, it must be some time before their report can go before Government and be acted upon. Meanwhile, to have a fair and impartial view of the ease laid before the Cabinet, we would suggest that a public meeting bo called by the Mayor, when those whoso business brings them into close connection with the Court officials, and who are acquainted with the faults and virtues, and the ability and incapacity of those by whom the law is administered, might be fully discussed, and resolutions, expressing the mind of the public, sent to head-quarters at Wellington.' —Ashburton Herald.
The Christchurch Tramway. Another portion of the branch lino tramway to Manchester street, Christchurch, was opened yesterday morning. A Shoal of Fish.—Recently such a huge swarm of barracouta, kawhai, and other fish was in Wellington harbor, that they could be killed from boats with the oar.
Worn Money. —Riches will not last fo ever, and our silver money is getting worn out by its passage from hand to hand, and over the business counters. At a Cabinet mooting in Wellington on Tuesday the degradation of silver coinage of the colony was considered, and it was decided to take advantage of the facilities offered by the Imperial Government for withdrawing worn coins from circulation.
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