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  1. As it happened across the West of England on Monday 18 July, 2016

Live Reporting

By Hayley Mortimer

All times stated are UK

Warm and muggy overnight and tomorrow will be even hotter

Alina Jenkins has the full forecast

It'll be a warm and rather muggy night, with clear skies and temperatures remaining in double figures leading to a rather uncomfortable night for sleeping. 

Tomorrow will be another dry, fine and hot day with widespread sunshine expected. 

Maximum Temperature: 32C (90F)

That's all from BBC Local Live for the West Country. We're back tomorrow from 7am.

Dozens turn out for mass Pokemon Go walk

About 70 people are currently in Cheltenham town centre and united with one aim and that's to find Pokemon.

The digital game has taken the world by storm with millions of people downloading the app and roaming the streets using their smartphones to catch animated monsters.

George Rawlings, who organised the event, described it as a "mass Pokemon walk through Cheltenham" and said everyone was "loving it".

Cancer patient gets good news on US cancer treatment

Mike Brandon with his wife Kate
Kate and Mike Brandon

You may remember Mike Brandon from Westbury-on-Trym whose wife Kate raised £400,000 in a social media campaign to cover his medical costs in the USA earlier this year.

He went to the States for life-saving treatment as his consultant told him all NHS routes were "exhausted".

We're thrilled to share this Facebook post which says "Mike's initial bone marrow biopsy test has come back clear".

Swindon man stronger than 'The Mountain'

Game of Thrones star "The Mountain" has been beaten to Europe's Strongest Man title by a man from Swindon. 

Laurence Shahlaei took the title in Leeds from Hafthor Bjornsson, who's famous for his role in the popular television series.

The personal trainer is the first Englishman to win the title in 27 years.

After being interviewed on BBC Points West he showed how strong his grip is by crushing an apple.

Brazilian musicians bring sunshine to the city

A group of young Brazilian guitarists have been performing at venues around Bristol this weekend. 

They were spotted by staff at Bristol's community radio BCFM who then raised money for them to visit England. 

For them, it's been an opportunity to see life beyond the impoverished "favellas" of Rio de Janeiro where they all live.

Tractor-pulling demo wows crowds at rural show

We're told tractor-pulling originated in the States when farmers would pull heavily-laden trailers to prove who had the most powerful tractor.

This video was shot at The Somerset Steam and Country Show 2016, which took place over the weekend, where it was among the attractions.

With that load I'm sure they're not getting many miles per gallon.

Marcus Trescothick Somerset

Marcus Trescothick equals Somerset's record for the most first-class centuries as the visitors dominate Nottinghamshire.

Read more

Work starts on controversial incinerator in Gloucestershire

Work has finally started on a controversial waste incinerator in Gloucestershire after years of wrangling.

Planning permission was granted by the government, despite fierce opposition from people concerned about emissions and pollution levels. 

The plant, off junction 12 of the M5, will use household waste to make enough electricity to power 25,000 homes. 

Haul of knives and swords found in police raid

This bundle of weapons was confiscated from three men during a police raid in Swindon...  

Knives and swords
Wiltshire Police

Numerous swords and large hunting knives were found in a house in Manchester Road after it was searched by police following a report of an assault.

Officers found evidence of drug dealing taking place and arrested an 18-year-old man and a 20-year-old man, both from London, and a 13-year-old boy.

Keeping an eye on water pollution levels in Bristol

Monitoring has been taking place for water quality in our area.

As part of this year's Festival of Nature, nearly 200 people went out to monitor the water quality of our rivers and streams.

The results show that some rivers feeding into the Avon in Bristol have higher levels of nitrates than other waterways.

Nitrates come from things like fertilisers and dumped rubbish and can potentially affect aquatic life.

Corrie actor joins Swindon panto cast as Prince Charming

Ryan Thomas
Wyvern Theatre

It might be the hottest day of the year but bosses at the Wyvern Theatre in Swindon are already in panto mode.

They have announced that Coronation Street actor Ryan Thomas will play Prince Charming in their production of Cinderella.

It'll be his stage debut in a panto after leaving the ITV soap as Jason Grimshaw. 

War boat on display after man's six year restoration project

Bristol marine surveyor Robert Morley has spent the past six years restoring a 100-year-old war boat to its former glory.

The CMB.9/DCB.1 torpedoed and sank a German warship during World War One and remained in Royal Navy service before being selected to become a prototype.

It was the world's first autonomous drone vessel, completely unmanned and controlled by radio via a bi-plane.

The boat was displayed over the weekend at The Traditional Boat Festival at Henley-on-Thames.

Penguins cool down in the summer heat

If you think it's rather hot today, spare a thought for the King Penguins at Birdland in Bourton-on-the-Water. 

Here's how they're using ice and water to keep cool...

A penguin stands on a giant ice cube
A penguin has a shower

Heatwave warning for the West Country

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Like it or not much of the UK is basking in a heatwave which is set to last until Wednesday.

Public Health England says while most people needn't worry, for older people, those with underlying health conditions and those with young children, summer heat can bring real health risks.

It has highlighted a number of points to help keep people safe: 

  • Drink plenty of water - sugary, alcoholic and caffeinated drinks can make you more dehydrated
  • Close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
  • Open windows when it feels cooler outside and it’s safe to do so
  • Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
  • Keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm
  • I you have to go out in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat
  • Avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day and wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes    

WW2 hero takes to the sky after photograph goes viral

Ken looks at a Spitfire through a fence at Gloucestershire Airport from his wheelchair
Helen Nock

A terminally-ill former World War Two spitfire engineer has taken to the skies after a poignant photo of him became an unlikely internet hit.

The image of Ken Farlow, 95, staring through a fence at Gloucestershire Airport came to the attention of bosses after it was shared by his daughter.

They transformed that glimpse from behind the fence into a VIP visit where he had a tour of the hangar and talked to pilots.

Ken with staff by a Spitfire
Ken talking to a pilot

But Ken's visits to the airport got better and better. On Saturday he got to take to the skies himself at the airport's charity open day. 

He flew in a two-seat Citabria aircraft with James Peplow, the owner of Aircraft Differences Training, a specialist flying school based at the airport and also got to see (and hear) his beloved Spitfire again.

Ken flew in a 2-seat Citabria aircraft
Ken flew in a 2-seat Citabria aircraft

Couple accused of airgun injury to toddler appear in court

Harry Studley

A couple have appeared at Bristol Crown Court charged with grievous bodily harm after an 18-month-old boy was shot in the head with an airgun. 

Jordan Walters, 24, previously admitted unlawfully and maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm on the toddler and remains in custody.

Harry Studley is in a serious but stable condition after being injured in Hartcliffe, Bristol, at 4pm on 1 July. 

Walters' partner Emma Jane Horseman, 23, has not entered a plea to a charge that she aided or abetted him to commit the offence and a three-day trial has been pencilled in to begin on 30 January.

She has also been bailed to appear at Bristol Crown Court on 30 September.

Palm-sized tortoises stolen from garden centre

Three tortoises worth £150 each have been stolen from a garden centre in Gloucestershire.

They can fit into the palm of your hand and were stolen from a glass tank at Highfield Garden World in Whitminster.

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Game of Thrones star loses European strongman title to...

... a dad from Swindon!

Laurence Shahlaei has beaten Game of Thrones star "The Mountain" to the Europe's Strongest Man title.

Originally from Cheltenham, Laurence took the title in Leeds from two-time title holder Hafthor Bjornsson who is also famed for his role in the popular television series.

The 32-year-old is the first Englishman to win the title in 27 years. You can hear from him on Points West at 6.30pm this evening.

Laurence Shahlaei and Hafthor Bjornsson

LISTEN: Pokemon Go player calls 999 over 'theft'

Yes, you read correctly... someone actually called 999 to tell police that someone had "stolen their Pokemon". 

The gaming fan decided to contact Gloucestershire Police as an emergency while using the popular app Pokemon Go on the day after its UK launch.

Police gave the player "words of advice" on when it is appropriate to call 999 followed by a warning text message.

Lunchtime headlines from your local papers


Here's some of the stories being covered in your local papers this lunchtime:

Bristol24/7:One third of sex workers helped off streets

This is Wiltshire:Mixed fortunes for Swindon's MPs as new PM shapes Government

Stroud News & Journal:Experts clash in debate about the best education for children

Somerset County Gazette:Teenage soldier wins best recruit prize

'Wash salad' advice after two people die from E. coli outbreak

Shoppers are being reminded to thoroughly wash mixed salad leaves amid fears it could be the source of an E. coli outbreak that has killed two and infected more than 150 people.

Public Health England says it is still working to establish the exact cause.

E. coli

Many of those struck down by the E. coli O157 bug had eaten pre-packed salad, including rocket leaves.

The majority of people affected are from south west England with many from Bristol, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.

CND Bristol plan protest against Trident renewal

MPs are set to decide on whether to renew Britain's nuclear weapons programme in a Commons vote later.

In her first statement to parliament as prime minister, Theresa May will say it would be a "gross irresponsibility" for the UK to abandon its nuclear weapons.

The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn opposes the renewal, although many of his MPs support the plan.

Here in the West, anti-nuclear campaigners CND Bristol are planning a protest on College Green in Bristol later.

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'Stolen Pokemon' 999 call made to Gloucestershire Police

We've heard so much about Pokemon Go related stories - that this latest offering may not surprise you too much.

Gloucestershirelive has reported a call made to Gloucestershire Police that someone had "stolen their Pokemon".

It turns out the call was made at 11.15 BST on Friday. The operator ended the conversation "swiftly" after giving the caller "words of advice" about when it was appropriate to contact emergency services.

There's a feeling this was a prank call...

Pokemon GO

'Beyond inspirational', teen equestrian moves readers to tears

Horse rider Hannah Francis is currently battling an aggressive form of bone cancer and one could say she's leaving 'hoof-prints' on many hearts.

The 18-year-old, who lives near Radstock, has been writing a blog of her experiences from the point of view of her cuddly toy Willberry.

He was bought at last year's Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials and has taken social media by storm.

Little did Hannah realise that one year on, the toy would become a household name in the equestrian world.  

Hundreds of well-wishers have been sending Hannah messages of support on BBC Radio Bristol's Facebook page.

This put tears in my eyes. Hannah Francis you are an inspiration to everyone.

Francesca Dark

There are no words. Beyond inspirational, I say as I sit here trying to type this, barely able to see the screen for the tears rolling down my cheeks.

Donna Smith

I have followed her journey, their journey together and I pray that this amazing young lady will get better.

Nasreen Alexandra Knight

Think of Hannah a lot, have never met her but follow Willberry on Instagram. Her spirit, determination, bravery and optimism in the most difficult of situations is inspirational.

Jill Cordon

I find this so emotional to watch. Hannah I salute you and your incredible determination. I will be a Friend of Wilberry for life

Catherine Holland

Skin cancer heads up - do you have a mole that looks like this?

NHS England is highlighting the dangers of not using suncream to male outdoor workers such as gardeners, farmers and builders who are less likely to use sun protection.

Even if you don't fall into that category, it's still worth taking a look at this chart below.

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Hot weather pushing up pollen levels, Met Office says

Ambitious plans for new railway in Gloucestershire

There hasn't been a rail link between Kemble and Cirencester since the 1960s...

But ambitious plans could see a light railway installed between the two places.

To get the project started, the team behind the idea first needs to raise up to £75,000 for a feasibility study.  

Proposals are being put together for a light railway between Cirencester and Kemble

Bristol Harbour Festival - boozefest or boatfest?

It's the morning after the weekend before...the boats have sailed off, the music has stopped, and the last of the revellers have made their way home.

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View more on twitter
View more on twitter

But have the changes introduced to make this year's Bristol Harbour Festival 'less boozy' worked? 

Organisers say new security measures such as restricting alcohol being taken into Queen's Square and limiting the amount of alcohol sold at nearby shops helped to make it a more family friendly event. 

Outdoor workers told to "Cover up, Mate" as skin cancer cases rise

When we're on holiday slapping on the sun cream is part of everyone's morning routine.

But here in the UK, men who work outdoors for a living are most likely to forget slapping it on.

Now farmers, builders and gardeners are being told to "Cover up, Mate" by NHS England as malignant melanoma cases in the region have gone up by over a third since 2009.

Dr Caroline Gamlin is from NHS England in the south west.

Dog handler and his dog take on #22Pushups challenge

This is just what you need if your Monday morning feels a little sad - seeing a dog doing push-ups.

It's for a serious cause though, as dog handler PC Steve Hopwood from Avon and Somerset Police is doing 22 push-ups everyday as part of the #22Kill challenge to raise awareness about military suicide.

The campaign gets its name from the number of US service veterans who take their own lives every day while in the UK, figures show suicide is the single biggest cause of death for men aged 45 and below.

On the ninth day of his push-up challenge, PC Hopwood was joined by his canine team mate. Clever boy!

Gloucester City AFC sign Leroy Odiero

That's a wrap - clean up begins after Bristol Harbour Festival

It takes six weeks to clean up after Glastonbury but just one night for Bristol Harbour Festival.

Volunteers have spent last night on their hands and knees – literally – picking up litter in the aftermath of this year's festival.

This was the scene at Lloyd's Amphitheatre at 7am this morning...

Lloyds Amphitheatre
Lloyds Amphitheatre

Recycling was a central part of the event and organisers thanked the 250,000 visitors for their help in keeping the city clean over the weekend.

We’ve recycled more waste than ever before and have greatly reduced the amount of glass keeping the festival areas clean and safe for visitors to enjoy the fun of the show.

Laura PyeBristol City Council’s head of culture

In your local newspapers today


Here's a round-up of some of the stories being covered in your local papers this morning:

Somerset LiveBurnham-on-Sea historic pier is on the market

Bristol Post: Bristol Children's Hospital clinic disrupted by Pokemon Go player

Wiltshire TimesDate set for Westbury chimney demolition

Gloucestershire LiveFormer spitfire engineer's final flight after heart-wrenching image goes viral

Bristol MP launches scathing attack on Jeremy Corbyn

A Bristol MP who quit Jeremy Corbyn's front bench has launched a scathing attack on his leadership of the Labour Party.

Over the weekend, Bristol West MP Thangam Debonnaire wrote a long message on her Facebook page, claiming he hired and fired her without her knowledge while she was undergoing cancer treatment. 

Thangam Debbonaire

The former shadow arts minister also said she was unwilling and unable to communicate with, or work with, anyone outside his narrow group. 

A spokesman for Mr Corbyn has denied the claims.

He said: "There was some miscommunication over Thangam's appointment as Shadow Minster for the Arts, but at no point was she sacked". 

Man v Fat football league: 'It's made me feel amazing'

Roger Smith and Les Harding are enjoying their footy and are getting fitter

A football league in which the more weight players lose, the more they win, has taken off in Somerset.

In the Man v Fat Football scheme, extra goals are awarded to teams whose players lose lots of weight.

Before they began in May all those who signed up for the Bridgwater league were classified as obese.

BBC Local Radio headlines from across the West region

BBC radio newsroom

BBC Radio Bristol:  The NHS in the South West is launching a new campaign today to make men who work outdoors for a living more aware of the risks of skin cancer

BBC Somerset: The county council says it has no intention of reducing the amount of time hours carers spend with clients after other councils in England are criticised for shorter allocated visits

BBC Wiltshire: Fresh Watch claims the quality of water in Wiltshire's rivers and streams is worse than in other parts of the country

BBC Radio Gloucestershire: Proposals are being put together for a light railway between Cirencester and Kemble

BBQ weather at last as mini-heatwave arrives

Good morning from Local Live in the West Country.

Like us, you are probably thinking summer 2016 has been a bit, well, rubbish so far in terms of the weather.

But things are about to change - it’s going to be a scorcher this week.

If you are an early riser, any fog you are seeing this morning will clear soon to leave clear blue skies across the region.

It'll be feeling very warm in the sunshine with temperatures reaching 28°C.

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