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  1. Updates on Thursday 19 March 2015
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather on Friday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved


That's all from BBC Local Live Devon & Cornwall for now.

We'll be back with coverage of the partial eclipse, as well as a full round up of the day's news, sport, weather and travel, on Friday. Fingers crossed for good weather!

News on the hour

The top local stories at 18:00 include:

BBC Radio Cornwall: Cornwall is on high alert for a potentially harmful cloud of smog. DEFRA is warning that the air pollution could cause asthma attacks for those with the illness

BBC Radio Devon: The jury in the murder trial of Lee Dent has been sent home for the night after failing to reach a verdict. Mr Dent denies murdering 17-year-old Alex Peguero Sosa in Kingsbridge last year.

Schoolgirl saved step-dad

Andy Birkett

Reporter, BBC Spotlight

Ten-year-old Cornish schoolgirl Bethany Simpson is being hailed a hero after performing life-saving first aid on her step-father after he collapsed.

Bethany Simpson

Bethany's been congratulated for performing CPR on Robert Hoskins who said "she saved my life". Watch my report on

BBC Spotlight on BBC One at 18:30.

Policeman gives stem cells

BBC Radio Cornwall

A Cornish police constable has successfully donated his blood stem cells to save a stranger's life.

PC Ryan Berry from Bodmin donated his cells after being identified as a rare 'full match' - Ryan said: "Any minor discomfort paled into insignificance when you consider the difficulties the recipient faces and the fact you are potentially providing another person with a chance of life."

A recruitment campaign across Devon and Cornwall Police has signed-up 200 officers and staff to

the Anthony Nolan register in three years.

Teachers help cancer mum

The children of a young mum battling cancer are being taken to and from school by kind-hearted teachers - after the council refused to provide transport for just three weeks as she recovers from major surgery, the

Plymouth Herald reports.

Katie Parker
The Herald

Katie Parker, 27, from Keyham, is recovering after having her breast and ovaries removed and is unable to drive until the wounds heal.

Cyclone damage

BBC Radio Cornwall

Teams from the Cornwall-based disaster relief charity ShelterBox have arrived in the stricken Pacific community of Vanuatu.


It's thought the 185 mph winds of Cyclone Pam last Saturday damaged or destroyed 90% of buildings, 1,000 ShelterBoxes have been deployed.

Team member Ross Mackenzie said: "Flying in yesterday the view out the window was one of total deforestation. The difference from our holiday here in October was immense, no lush tropical trees. The damage to the buildings varied from total destruction to major building collapse, some escaping with minor damage."

Holmes eyes permanent move

Brent Pilnick

BBC South West Sport

Lee Holmes says

he would like to join League Two Exeter City permanently this summer, if he is not offered a new deal to stay at Preston North End.

Lee Holmes

The 27-year-old winger, who is out of contract at Deepdale at the end of the season, has joined the Grecians on loan until the end of the current campaign.

Cheers for brewery

St Austell Brewery's

Big Job beer won a Supreme Champion title at the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) National Beer Competition 2015.

Big Job

The finalist beers were

judged by a panel of experts and enthusiasts in Sheffield and the winners were announced by SIBA chairman Guy Sheppard and BBC Radio food and drink broadcaster Nigel Barden.

M5 junction closure

BBC Travel South West

Junction 27 on the Exeter-bound carriageway of the M5 will be closed tonight because of roadworks.

Diversions will be in place between 20:00 and 06:00 tomorrow.

Helping hand

Students at

Duchy College in Cornwall are helping to hand rear 16 lambs that have become orphaned during the spring lambing season.

Duchy College

The college said there had been an increase in the number of ewes giving birth to triplets at its farm and often the smallest and the weakest lamb were pushed aside and won't get as much milk as they need.

Clipper skippers picked

Matt Pengelly

Local Live

Three skippers from Cornwall have been picked to lead crews of amateur sailors in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.


Huw Fernie, from Falmouth, Ashley Skett from Newquay, and Peter Thornton, from Gorran Haven, will face a huge physical and mental challenge when the 40,000 nautical mile ocean race starts in August.

A30 crash

BBC Travel South West

On the A30 between Okehampton Services and the Meldon Junction there is a lane blocked on the west bound carriageway because of an accident.

Traffic is building.

News on the hour

The top local stories at 17:00 include:

BBC Radio Cornwall: The communities minister has said there will be a seamless transfer from Convergence funding to the third round of European grant aid about to get underway, called the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Programme.

BBC Radio Devon: The jury in the Alex Peguero Sosa murder trial has been sent home for the night after failing to reach a verdict. They will continue deliberating in the morning.

PC remembered

On the day of the funeral of popular Falmouth PC Andy Hocking,

the Falmouth Packet has given his colleagues a page to pay their tributes.

Amid the emotional messages, Sgt Martin Roberts said: "Andy was a fantastic police officer, who gained respect from everyone who came across him. He was a great role model and I would like to thank him for all of the support he gave me over the years."

Smog alert

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

Devon and Cornwall are on high alert for a potentially harmful cloud of

smog affecting the UK.

Smog map

The air pollution could cause asthma attacks for those with the illness, according to the

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. It has issued a
live map of regions affected.

Best of friends

The new tri-service centre in Hayle is up and running, Hayle Fire Station

tweets: Ambulance all moved in today, first shift together in harmony, bless @HayleCFRS

Hayle Fire station

Anger over NHS comments

Plymouth businessman Chris Dawson has been lambasted on social media after airing his views on The Budget in a live televised debate, reports the

Plymouth Herald.

Chris Dawson
Channel 4

The billionaire owner of The Range was part of a group of people interviewed for a live broadcast on Channel 4 after The Budget. Speaking about NHS staff unhappy at their low wages, Mr Dawson suggested they could retrain and work in another industry.

Via Twitter

BBC Radio Cornwall

Brannel School in St Stephen, Cornwall, has
tweeted its
BBC School Report on BBC Radio Cornwall this morning.

Brannel School

Their subject for the

School Report event was the radicalisation of children and whether Cornwall too complacent about it.

Murder jury sent home

Hamish Marshall

BBC Spotlight

The jury in the Lee Dent murder trial has been sent home for the night after failing, so far, to reach a verdict.

Mr Dent denies murdering 17-year-old Alex Peguero Sosa, who died when he was stabbed with a bottle in Kingsbridge last July. Deliberations will continue on Friday.

Beavers closer to release

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

DNA tests have confirmed the beavers found living wild on the River Otter in Devon are a species which was once native in the country.

Devon Wildlife Trust

Devon Wildlife Trust said the results of the tests on the mammals showed they were Eurasian rather than North American beavers, meaning they were another step closer to being released back to the river.

Government agency

Natural England has given the
green light to a five-year trial monitoring and managing the impact of beavers on the river.

News on the hour

The top local stories at 16:00 include:

BBC Radio Cornwall: The third round of top-level European grant help for Cornwall - called the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Programme - is finally poised to get going.

BBC Radio Devon: A warning of unusually high levels of air pollution has come from the Department for the Environment today - and Devon has some of the worst levels in the country.

Snow in Cornwall!

While Cornwall, England, basks in summer-style sun - spare a thought for the residents of its namesake in Canada.

Corey Frizzell in

Cornwall on Prince Edward Island has
tweeted this picture of the SNOW!


Eclipse excitement

Donna Birrell

BBC Radio Cornwall

I've been hearing how Cornish schools have got very different plans for the partial eclipse of the sun on Friday morning.

Getty Images

Some will allow children to stay at home to watch the solar show; some are organising special viewing events and others will have to stay inside and watch it on the TV. Here's some

advice on how to watch it safely.

New trains rolling in

Neil Gallacher

Correspondent, BBC South West

The South West really DOES seem to be on the brink of a promise of new intercity trains that would serve us for decades to come.

The chancellor raised eyebrows with his tantalising mention of new trains in the budget yesterday. Well seasoned rail-watchers believe big news is imminent. I'll have more in

BBC Spotlight tonight.

Handcycle record bid

A futuristic handcycle created at Plymouth University will soon be on a quest to enter the record books later this year.

University of Plymouth

Engineers are finalising the Human Powered Vehicle (HPV) which they hope will set

a new arm-powered speed record in the Nevada desert in September, piloted by para-cyclist Liz McTernan.

B&B for aliens

The owner of a guesthouse in St Austell is preparing to become the first UK B&B which is extraterrestrial/astronaut ready, reports the

St Austell Voice.

An anti-gravity chamber and energising unit to transport guests are just some of the improvements Tim Styles will be investing in to make the B&B space traveller ready and come up to cosmic standards.

Budget calculator

How much better or worse off will you be in the coming tax year following the Budget?

Budget calculator

Use our

Budget calculator, developed by accounting firm KPMG LLP, to find out how the measures being brought in next month affect you.

News on the hour

The top local stories at 15:00 include:

BBC Radio Cornwall: The Defence Minister has reaffirmed his commitment to keeping Truro's Territorial Army Centre open.

BBC Radio Devon: Detectives are investigating what they've described as a "nasty assault" in Exeter City Centre which left a man with serious facial injuries.

PC Hocking remembered

The Devon & Cornwall Police & Crime Commissioner Tony Hogg

tweets: I was privileged to attend the funeral today of Falmouth PC Andy Hocking. A wonderful celebration of his life

You can

read more here.

Eclipse warning

David George

BBC Spotlight

People in the South West are being urged to

take no risks with their eyesight when viewing Friday's partial eclipse of the sun.


West Cornwall will be the first mainland location to observe the celestial event, the sun will be at maximum coverage in Penzance at 09:23 - but some local schools are

banning children from watching the eclipse.

A Consultant Eye Surgeon at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro Dr Ashish Patwardhan said: "It is the photochemical reaction which is caused by ultraviolet and infrared rays within the photoreceptors of the retina which initiates the damage."

Chilly and clear tonight

Kevin Thomas

BBC Weather Forecaster

It'll be another dry afternoon with hazy spells of sunshine as well as some patchy cloud, parts of the south coast may become a little more cloudy.


Tonight will be dry, and with largely clear skies at first it will become quite chilly again with a slight frost developing in places. However, cloud will increase at times later in the night, but it will stay dry. Min Temp 1 C (34 F).

Let's hear your eclipse stories!

BBC Radio Devon

Radio Devon's Bill Buckley

tweets: "We're loving your #Eclipse stories and memories on @BBCDevon!"


Tune in to Bill on

Radio Devon until 15:00 to hear people's stories about the 1999 eclipse.
Tweet him to get involved or call 0345 3011034.

Cornish have different genes

BBC Radio Cornwall

A new study into the genetic make-up of the British Isles shows the Cornish have different genomes than the rest of Britain, even compared to nearest neighbours Devon.

Cornish flag

The research has been published in the latest edition of the journal

Nature, following an international investigation led by the University of Oxford and University College ondon.

Bodilly fancies final

Brent Pilnick

BBC South West Sport

Exeter Chiefs full-back Max Bodilly says it is "crazy" to think that he could face

Saracens in Sunday's LV= Cup final.

Getty Images

The 20-year-old, who is dual-registered with the Cornish Pirates, has played in three of Exeter's five LV= Cup games this season - including

the semi-final win over Leicester Tigers - as the club aim to become the first side to retain the title.

Mine blown up

PC Tim Perrin, Neighbourhood Beat Manager in Brixham,

tweets: Assisting @RNLITorbay and #RoyalNavy Bomb Disposal at Breakwater beach. #British mine discovered now detonated.

Devon & Cornwall Police

News on the hour

The top local stories at 14:00 include:

BBC Radio Cornwall: A school in Penzance is allowing children to stay at home until 11:00 tomorrow so they can view the partial solar eclipse with their families.

BBC Radio Devon: Meanwhile a Devon school is defending a decision to ban children from watching tomorrow's eclipse outdoors. Pupils at Oldway Primary in Paignton will follow the action via a live feed inside.

£500m funding for Cornwall

Neil Gallacher

Correspondent, BBC South West

At last, the third round of top-level European grant help for Cornwall is poised to get going. We had Objective One, then we had

Convergence; now we're getting what will be called the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Programme.

Through it, some £500m of funding will be available from now until 2020. One of the upshots is that Cornwall will be the only region in England able to access specific EU funds for transport infrastructure including road and rail investments, and support for green and low carbon projects.

Flat fire funeral

BBC Radio Devon

The funeral is taking place this afternoon of a man killed in a fire in Plymouth on New Years Day.


George Somers, 43, died after

the blaze destroyed a flat on Union Street. The local community has rallied round to help his partner Bart - who he'd been due to marry on Valentine's Day.

Horse aid

Saltash Fire Station

tweet to reassure us that Tor, the 15 year old Welsh cob who got his legs stuck in a gate, is now recovering after he had to be
released by firefighters using crash rescue equipment.

Saltash fire station

A30 Honiton accident

Devon and Cornwall Police

tweets: Collision on A30 #Honiton shortly before 12.45pm today, both carriageways affected. Traffic building up. #Police on scene.

The accident is between the B3177 junction and the A35 Exeter Road junction.