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Summary

  1. Live news, sport, weather and travel updates from across the West of England on Thursday, 24 August 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Goodnight from us

Thanks for being with us today.

If you, or a member of your family, got GCSE results today, we hope you have celebrated your achievements, as many did across the region.

We are back as usual with all the latest tomorrow morning from 7am.

Ian Fergusson has your weather outlook for the next few days - things will be staying dry with sunny spells.

Ian Fergusson has the forecast for the next few days.

Red panda cub born at Longleat

Yes, cute is definitely the word for this little one.

If you've had a stressful day - here's a little light relief.

A new red panda cub has been born at Longleat Safari Park. The new arrival has been drawing in the crowds, but he's also a vital boost to an endangered species.

We challenge you not to say "awwww" as you watch:

The adorable critter will help boost numbers of the endangered species.
Steven Mullaney

Gary Smee

BBC Sport

Notts Outlaws' middle-order holds its nerve to guide them to a five-wicket win over Somerset in the T20 Blast quarter-final.

Read more

'She would have wanted me to help people', says mourning dad

Two teenagers - Izzy Gentry and George Zographou - both went to St. Brendan's Sixth Form College in Bristol.

But both have died from Meningitis B: 16 year old Izzy died a year ago and George, just last week.

Today - as Michelle Ruminski reports - Izzy's father, Paul, offered his family's support to George's family in their grief.

And he urged new students to "get vaccinated" against the killer infection.

Mourning dad warms others to vaccinate for meningitis

Bristol stab murder: man charged

Police cordon at Ludlow Close in St Pauls area of Bristol earlier this week
BBC

A 37-year-old man has been charged with the murder of Asiyah Harris.

Asiyah, 27, died from stab injuries at a property in Ludlow Close in the St Paul's area of Bristol in the early hours of Tuesday 22nd August. She was named earlier today.

Adan Dahir, of Ludlow Close, has been charged with her murder and remanded in custody. He will appear before Bristol Magistrates' Court tomorrow (25 August).

Another woman who was arrested has been released pending further investigation.

BreakingBristol stab murder : man charged

Police say a man has been charged with the death of 27-year-old Asiyah Harris, who was named earlier today as the stab victim of a St.Paul's incident earlier this week.

West's GCSE results slightly higher than average

First analysis of the GCSE results across the South West have shown - with 66.6% on or above a grade C or new level 4 - the region's teenagers have done slightly better than the average for England (66.1%).

19.5% of GCSE students achieved an A grade (or 7 and above for English Language, Literature and Maths) - slightly lower than last year.

Many success stories have been reported from around the West.

Will Glennon was in Swindon, where today's results were being closely watched after criticisms of the town's schools...

Criticism of schools in Wiltshire meant today's GCSE results were closely scrutinised

Behind the scenes of our Lego film

View more on twitter

Some nifty camera shots were used for our earlier film about the Lego model of Cirencester Abbeyy that's currently under construction. Here's how it was done!

Cirencester Abbey imagined in Lego

There isn't much left of Cirencester Abbey. The whole lot was torn down by Henry VIII in 1539, but now the building has been rebuilt, in miniature, using Lego.

Volunteer builders are three-quarters of the way through creating the building, which has used around 50,000 bricks. Another 20,000 will be needed to finish the model.

People are being asked to 'chip in' a pound to help build it: the money raised will go towards improving the area where the abbey once stood.

A model of the former monastery has been built out of 50,000 bricks so far.

Cambridge's Roberts joins Forest Green Rovers

Mark Roberts
Getty Images

Former Stevenage and Fleetwood defender Mark Roberts joins Forest Green Rovers after leaving Cambridge United.

The 33-year-old former Stevenage and Fleetwood player made 52 league starts for Cambridge over the past two years.

He has signed a one-year contract with Mark Cooper's side.

You can read more about the story here

Crackling with emotion: that pigs' tale

Pig
BBC

Some firemen in Wiltshire save a group of piglets from a barn fire - and are later rewarded with a gift of sausages made from the animals.

It was a story that provoked strong emotion, from discomfort, through to disgust and exasperation.

But what does this bizarre tale - and the reactions to it from across the world - tell us about our attitudes to the consumption of meat?

Click here to read more.

'Get vaccinated' dad of meningitis victim tells young people

Paul Gentry says he is determined that increasing the take-up of meningitis vaccines will be a legacy of his daughter's death from the infection.

The father of the 16-year-old Bristol girl, Izzy Gentry, was speaking at his daughter's former college - St. Brendan's - as public health and meningitis awareness groups held an event to improve the take-up of young people being vaccinated ahead of leaving for university.

Mr Gentry also took the opportunity to offer his support "whenever they need it" to the family of another St Brendan's pupil, George Zographou, who died from meningitis B after falling ill at a festival in Cornwall last week.

Although all students from Year 9 have been offered the MenACWY vaccine since last year, just 30% of current sixth-formers and those heading off to University in the coming weeks have sought the free service. They fall into a group that were not routinely targetted.

Paul Gentry is campaigning for greater meningitis vaccine take-up amongst young people

Not a day or night passes when I do not think of Izzy, but I know she is with me

Paul GentryIzzy's dad

Overton twins extend Somerset contracts

Craig (right) and Jamie Overton
Getty Images

Somerset pair Craig and Jamie Overton have both had their contracts with the Division One county extended to the end of the 2020 season.

The 23-year-old twin brothers' deals had been due to expire in 2018.

Click here to read more on this story.

Giant toothbrush reappears after going missing

Bristol's giant toothbrush thief has evidently had a change of heart, and returned the oversized dental device back to Millenium Square.

The large prop had recently gone missing, much to Bristol Water's dismay...

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

GCSE joy across the West

Mass envelope-opening took place this morning as thousands of teenagers across the West picked up their GCSE results.

The pass rate was slightly down on last year in the region, but two thirds still got at least a C or the new equivalent:

This year saw the introduction of new numbered grades, with numbers 1-9 replacing the traditional G to A*.

Here are some of the reactions on social media in the West - congratulations all!

View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Teenage Lego fundraiser dies

Tatiana raised money to buy Lego for other children in hospital.

A Bristol teenager who raised money to buy Lego for patients in Bristol Children's Hospital has died.

Tatiana Stankovic Davis raised £10,000 to buy the toy despite undergoing treatment for leukemia at the same time.

The charity Fairy Bricks that provided the Lego sets wrote on their Facebook page that they were "in tears" at Tatiana's death

View more on facebook

Deaf violinist performs at festival

A 10-year-old boy with severe hearing loss has been chosen to take part in a special music festival in Poland.

Charlie Denton from Stonehouse near Stroud was the only British child to be selected to perform at the Beats of Cochlear event, showcasing the musical talent of deaf children with cochlea implants to help them hear.

He showed off his talents to us, with his mum Emma accompanying him on the cello.

Deaf violinist performs at festival

Radio ham turned hero champions the power of shortwave

Michael Everett
Michael Everett

A ham radio enthusiast from Bristol has been hailed a hero after directing the emergency services to a distress call he received from a remote area of Exmoor.

The call was from a member of a camping party. One of their group, a 12-year-old girl was having a severe epileptic fit.

Mike Everett was browsing the radio spectrum when the call came in.

It was an urgent call. All I heard was "ambulance". I didn't know where they were so I jumped on, confirmed the call sign and I was really excited to help them. The radio brought us all together where a mobile phone wasn't working. We're all too reliant on our mobile phones, so radio is still important.

Mike EverettHam radio enthusiast

Since Mike's story broke he has been flooded with messages from around the world. The girl has made a full recovery.

Young Bristol City quartet sign deals

Zak Vyner (right)
PA

Bristol City have given new contracts to young players Zak Vyner, Lloyd Kelly, Max O'Leary and Jojo Wollacott.

Click here to read the full story.

Bulmers cider family raid: Eleven in court

Endymion
georgefredericwatts.org

Eleven men have appeared in court charged in connection with a multi-million pound raid at a cider-making family's luxury home in Somerset.

Paintings and jewellery valued at £2.7m was stolen in the raid in 2009.

All of the defendants deny any wrongdoing and will appear at Bristol Crown Court on 22 September.

Read more about the case here.

Endymion

Bulmers cider family raid: Eleven in court

Paintings and jewellery valued at £2.7m was stolen in the raid in 2009.

Read more

Severe disruption: M5 Devon northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Devon northbound severe disruption, between J27 for A361 and J26 for A38.

M5 Devon - One lane closed on M5 northbound between J27, A361 (Tiverton) and J26, A38 (Wellington), because of a lorry having a tyre changed. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Rugby players pose with trophy

Rugby team captains
PA

Gloucester Rugby's Ross Moriarty and Bath Rugby's Anthony Watson have been snapped at Twickenham today.

They were they with other team captains for the official Aviva Premiership season launch.

Meanwhile, New Zealand-born scrum-half Willi Heinz has been named as the new club captain of Premiership side Gloucester.

The 30-year-old replaces Scotland's Greig Laidlaw following his move to French Top 14 side Clermont Auvergne.

Click here to read the full story.

Rugby team captains
PA

Heinz named as new Gloucester captain

Willi Heinz
Getty Images

Gloucester have name scrum-half Willi Heinz as their new club captain before the 2017-18 Premiership season. Read more here.

Victim named in Bristol murder inquiry

Police tape at scene of death
BBC

A 27-year-old woman who died in an incident in the St Paul’s area of Bristol has been formally identified.

Asiyah Harris died at a property in Ludlow Close in the early hours of Monday.

Avon and Somerset Police said a post-mortem examination showed she died from stab injuries.

A 37-year-old man remains in custody for questioning after police obtained a warrant of further detention, and a 27-year-old woman has been released under investigation.

Students celebrate GCSE results

Students at St Mary and Temple School in Bristol
PA

Students across the West, including these at St Mary and Temple School in Bristol, have been celebrating getting top GSCE results.

Grace George and Tim Gibberd
PA
Grace George and Tim Gibberd got a string of top GCSE grades
Sophie Greenwood and Ella Khanna
PA
Sophie Greenwood, 16, and Ella Khanna, 16, received their grades this morning

Students celebrate GCSE results

Students at Corsham School
BBC

These students at Corsham School in Wiltshire have been celebrating getting their GCSE results today.

About 500,000 pupils in England got their results, amid a switch to a new numerical grading system and tougher exams.

Students at Corsham School
BBC
Student at Corsham School
BBC

Radio ham turns hero after helping girl having fit

A ham radio user in Bristol managed to get emergency medics to a young girl after picking up a remote distress call.

Mike Everett was scanning the airwaves when he picked up the call from a remote area of Exmoor – where mobile signals were not available.

A 12-year-old girl on a camping trip was having a severe epileptic fit and a member of the party managed to use their own ham radio to call for help. Mr Everett got the ambulance to their remote location.

The girl - Michaela, known as May - is said to be recovering from the experience.

Hear how radio ham M6MGE helped G6ASK when he called for help

'Snog' request led to bikers' wedding

Listen: How request for a 'snog' led to the marriage

Two bikers from Gloucester are getting married in Scotland today - on the eve of Europe's largest Harley-Davidson rally.

Shelley Denton and Paul Osborn had originally planned a quiet wedding, but now it is to be attended by some of the 3,000 bikers going to the rally.

Paul told BBC Radio Gloucestershire's Steve Kitchen it was cheeky request for a "snog" that led to the marriage.

Wellington Monument restoration begins

The structure's foundation stone was laid 200 years ago and it's in need of repair

Work has begun to restore a famous monument in Somerset.

After being repaired many times since it was originally built in the early 1800s, the Wellington Monument has once again fallen into disrepair.

A project to protect its future is underway with structural testing work taking place.

The National Trust is behind the £19,000 scheme which will allow the public to visit the site and view the restoration.

Waterman out of World Cup final

Danielle Waterman
Getty Images

Bristol and England full-back Danielle Waterman has been ruled out of the Women's Rugby World Cup final with concussion.

Defending champions England face New Zealand in Belfast on Sunday.

The 32-year-old, a World Cup winner in 2014, left the field in the first half of England's 20-3 semi-final victory over France on Tuesday for a head-injury assessment but did not return.

She had been the only England player to have started every match at the World Cup so far.

Click here to read more.

People in the South West 'physically inactive'

People in the South West 'physically inactive'

A new report has found that 37% of adults aged 40-60 in the South West fail to take even one brisk 10 minute walk per month.

The NHS said physical inactivity in adults contributes to one in six deaths in the UK and costs the service nearly £1bn a year.

Now, Public Health England has launched an app to encourage people to engage in more physical activity.

Benefit gig for tattoo shop damaged in arson attack

Just Good Tattoos shop
BBC

A benefit gig is taking place later in aid of a tattoo parlour in Bath which was damaged by an arson attack two weeks ago.

Owner Marcus Kuhn of Just Good Tattoos in Cork Place ploughed his life savings into the parlour which had only been open for a few days before the fire.

A GoFundMe appeal has already raised more than £9,000, but Marcus says he needs about £15,000 in order to restore the shop.

A fundraising gig is taking place at the Royal Oak in Lower Bristol Road in order to raise the extra money.

Dad calls for 'vaccines without discrimination' following a second meningitis death

The father of a 16-year-old Bristol girl, who died from meningitis B, has called for more widespread access to vaccines for the infection, following the death of a second teenager.

Izzy Gentry's dad Paul has offered help and support to the family of 18-year-old George Zographou, who died after falling ill with the same strain, at Boardmasters Festival in Cornwall last week.

But Mr Gentry said: "There are more than 300 deaths from the bacterial form of the disease each year. Too many people die, when there is a vaccine available."

The family are taking part in an awareness event at the two teenagers' college - St Brendan's - in Bristol today. Public Health England is urging young people to get vaccinated.

Paul Gentry and family, with Izzy
Family of Izzy Gentry
Paul Gentry wants meningitis vaccines made available to as many people as possible

The MenACWY vaccine protects against four strains of meningococcal disease. MenW is one of the most aggressive and life-threatening forms of meningococcal disease and can rapidly become fatal. Many survivors are left with life changing disabilities, including brain damage and loss of limbs.

Julie Yates, Screening and Immunisations LeadPublic Health England, South West

Diana fan's memorabilia to go on show

A Gloucestershire woman's collection of memorabilia dedicated to the late Princess of Wales is to go on show at a special exhibition.

Jo Dobson has amassed hundreds of plates, portraits, trinkets and pictures of Diana, which fill her home in Hucclecote, Gloucester.

To mark the 20th anniversary of the Princess's death, Mrs Dobson has lent some of her collection to the Gloucester Life Museum.

The items go on show from Saturday 26 August.

Watch: A Gloucestershire woman's collection of memorabilia to Princess Diana is to go on show

Police appeal after Cirencester assault

It's GSCE D-day - but what do these new grades mean?

Thousands of GCSE pupils will receive their much-awaited results within the next few minutes.

This year, there are perhaps more nerves than ever, as the first results of the new-style exams are delivered.

Some core subjects - English and Maths - will no longer get letter grades, but numbers.

These subjects have had a complete make-over, so teachers and schools will be as concerned that they have gone well, as their pupils.

Here's our basic guide to the changes in grades ...

The grade system is being replaced by a series of numbers.

Rescued piglet sausage story goes viral

Collage of news stories
BBC

Yesterday, you read first on the BBC website the story of a farmer who rewarded firefighters who extinguished a barn fire, with sausages made from the pigs they had saved.

The firefighters initially said the bangers were "fantastic", but following complaints later said they were sorry after recognising it had "caused offence to some".

The story went viral and was picked up by most national newspapers in the UK.

It was even reported in newspapers around the world including the Washington Post, the New York Post and The Australian.

Newspaper montage
Various

Bulmers cider family raid: Twelve to appear in court

Endymion by George Frederic Watts
georgefredericwatts.org
A total of 15 paintings were stolen, including Endymion by George Frederic Watts

Twelve men are to appear in court later charged with a multi-million pound raid at a cider-making family's luxury home in Somerset.

Esmond and Susie Bulmer's home in Bruton was targeted in 2009 and the couple's housekeeper was allegedly tied to a banister.

A total of 15 paintings worth £1.7m, and £1m of antique jewellery were stolen.

The men are due to appear at Bristol magistrates later.

In the newspapers this morning

Sausage debate farm didn't always breed pigs

Watch: Farm did not have pigs until Pepper was left at there

Yesterday we brought you the story of a farmer who rewarded firefighters who extinguished a barn fire, with sausages made from the pigs they had saved.

Farmer Rachel Rivers says she only began to breed pigs after Pepper the pig was left at the farm three years ago, but she had not done so before.

The firefighters have since apologised after celebrating a delivery of sausages made from a litter of piglets they saved.