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Summary

  1. Monday 20 March 2017
  2. Chinese tie-up 'means St Bees school can reopen
  3. Kayakers rescued from reservoir island
  4. 16,000 chickens killed in fire
  5. Town angered as health service building lingers empty for years

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Through the day: BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes

Reporter

We've now finished posting news, travel reports, a regular weather forecast and other things that take our fancy from around the county for today. It's been a busy day:

The group set up after St Bees School ran into financial difficulties announced it had formed links with a Chinese institution and would reopen in 18 months' time;

Details emerged of the rescue of four kayakers from an island in the middle of Thirlmere at the weekend - and just how close they came to death;

And town councillors in Ulverston prepared to explain that they'd lost patience with the way a 20-bed dementia assessment unit had been left empty by a local NHS trust for five years .

We'll be back to do it again at 08:00 tomorrow. 

As always, if you have a photograph you'd like to share or you have news you think we should know, you can  email ustweet us   or get in touch  through our Facebook page

Have a very good evening.

Kayakers 'lucky to survive' say rescuers

Four kayakers who became stranded on an island on Thirlmere at the weekend were lucky to survive, according to one of the firefighters involved in rescuing them.

More details emerged this afternoon of events at the weekend, as the kayakers initially intended to spend the night on Hawes Howe island.

Kevin Johnston, of Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, said the four were not properly dressed.

He said: "It was raining very heavily at the time and quite cold conditions and it's essential if people are going on the lakes in Cumbria that they have full thermal protection to do that kind of activity."

Two of the four then capsized as they tried to return to the shore, and the other two got wet rescuing their friends; it was only after one managed to get to shore early on the Sunday morning that the alarm was raised.

Two were treated in hospital for the effects of cold and being in the water.

All the mix was there to make this potentially a fatal incident."

Kevin Johnston Senior firefighter, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service

You can hear a full interview with Kevin Johnston on BBC Radio Cumbria on Newshour, starting at 17:00 .

Chinese partnership means West Cumbrian school can reopen

Martin Lewes

Reporter

St Bees, the west Cumbrian public school that closed in 2015 with financial problems, is to reopen in 18 months' time.

St Bees School
BBC

A  new board of trustees set up after the closure announced today that it had linked up with a Chinese educational organisation, Shenzen College of International Education , which runs a school in a city near Hong Kong offering UK educational qualifications.

The trustees say they'll be welcoming children from Britain and abroad, as well as the local area.

A statement said the two institutions shared "a clear and unified vision of educating global leaders for the internationally mobile world." 

Hospital plans examined at 'health summit'

Health officials have been questioned today about plans that will transform health care in the north, east and west of Cumbria. 

People sitting at a table
Allerdale BC

Allerdale Council is holding a health summit at the Energus Centre in Workington. It will discuss the proposals put forward by the Success Regime, which have been agreed by the county's commissioning group .

A spokesman for Allerdale council said: "The aim of the event is to create a balanced discussion regarding the changes to services and how local people can make the best of them going forward." 

Writer hunts for memories of mystery epidemic 62 years ago

A writer researching the history of Myalgic Encephalopathy, also known as Chronic Fatigue System, is looking for people who remember what may have been an epidemic cluster of the condition in Cumbria more than 60 years ago.

Sarah Staples from the ME Association says that in 1955, more than 200 adults and primary school children in Dalston, Thursby and Orton were affected by symptoms such as extreme exhaustion, which may have been an unrecognised outbreak of the illness.

ME was surrounded by controversy for a number of years with some scientists questioning whether if was an illness at all.

Please contact Ms Staples via email sarah.staples@meassociation.or.uk 

 

Penrith councillors discuss taking the town's time-keeper and other assets

The clock tower in Penrith and other historic buildings could have a new owner after a meeting this evening.

Musgrave monument
Google

Eden Council wants to hand over a number of assets that officials say would normally be cared for by a town or parish council; Penrith's is unusual in being only a few years old.

Farming commoners get a subsidy top-up

Martin Lewes

Reporter

More than half of 4,000 farmers whose basic payments in 2015 for their common land grazing was reviewed, have ended up getting more money, according to a farming organisation.

The payments go to all working farmers and are calcuated on the area of land they work; some commoners, who share grazing land on a medieval system, had to wait a year or more for the money.

The Foundation for Common Land , which has been working with the Rural Payments Agency, says 2,200 farmers were given top-up payments, with around 600 seeing no changes.

The RPA says calculating the basic payments were more complicated for commoners, because the money has to be shared out.

Julia Aglionby, the executive director of the foundation, estimated around 700 of the farmers who got more money were in Cumbria.

Cumbria's weather: Turning much colder with wintry showers

BBC Weather

It'll be a colder night than of late, still  breezy, with clear spells and scattered showers, wintry on high ground. There could be a patchy frost and an ice risk by dawn. Minimum temperature: 1C (34F).

Weather graphic
BBC
View more on twitter

You can find the latest weather forecast for where you are, here .

Brand new pub tapped up by Camra for top honour

A Kendal bar that's been open for less than 18 months has been named Westmorland's best pub by the Campaign for Real Ale.

Three men with pints
Factory Tap

The Factory Tap is in what used to be the gatehouse of the former Goodacre's carpet mill, which has now been turned into a bar serving the dozens of small and large businesses that have moved into the buildings.

The pub's run by Ronnie Mullin (left) of Bowness Bay Brewing and landlord Les Brown   (right).

Marilyn Molloy, vice-chair of Westmorland Camra, described the bar, which reopened three days after being flooded by Storm Desmond, as a "hot-shot innovation".

Leading ladies in the cells after 'incident' at wedding

The police in Barrow say a bride and her new mother-in-law spent the night in the cells at the weekend, after an "incident" at the Abbey House Hotel in the town. 

Officers were called to the hotel, a popular wedding venue, in the early hours of yesterday morning. 

The force says a 37-year-old woman received a caution for being drunk and disorderly in a public place, and the 67-year-old woman was bailed pending further inquiries. Neither was from the local area.

Inquiry starts into chicken farm blaze

Inquiries have started at a chicked farm just outside Carlisle to see what started a fire that killed 16,000 hens .

Chicken shed with roof burned through
BBC

Today the Norman family, who've run the farm for more than 30 years, thanked firefighters for stopping the fire before it spread to a second building containing another 16,000 birds.

Carlisle off-licence staff shaken by knife-point raid

Police say two staff at a Bargain Booze branch in Furze Street, Carlisle, were threatened with a knife in a robbery last night.

Bargain Booze
Google

It happened just before 20:00 last night. The robber, who's said to be white and around 5ft 10in threatened two members of staff and made off with about £250.

Det Ch Insp David Pattinson said: “Although nobody was hurt, this was understandably a distressing incident for both members of staff."

20-bed health service building empty for five years

There are new calls today for Cumbria's mental health trust to find a new use for a building which has lain empty, with the heating on, for five years. 

Gill Rise
BBC

Gill Rise, which has 20 beds, was closed in 2012 when patients were moved to a purpose-built unit in Barrow.

Cumbria Partnership Trust says it's talking to other health services to see whether it could be used during an impending refurbishment of the town's health centre, after which the building would be put on the market.

Ulverston town Councillors are meeting today, and will discuss calling for the building to be found a new use.

What we call a wet weekend...

There's no record of homes being flooded, but a lot of Cumbrian backroads had some very large puddles over the weekend.

This was one of the ambulance crews on the way to the Thirlmere rescue .

View more on twitter

Cumbria's weather: brighter spells and showers

BBC Weather

There'll be a few brighter spells this afternoon, but showers too. There'll be moderate to fresh winds and the highest temperature will be about 11C, but it will be getting cooler.

Weather graphic
BBC

You can find the latest weather forecast for where you are, here .

Travel: Roadworks slow A590 traffic

BBC News Travel

Roadworks are causing delays on two lengths of the A590; between Meathop and Lindal, and at Lindal-in-Furness.

Appleby leads way for restoration scheme with £1.6m grant

Appleby has been named one of the first Heritage Action Zones in Britain, a designation that comes with a £1.6m grant.

Boroughgate, Appleby
Google

Historic England, which is providing half the money, hopes the scheme can help increase tourism in the town by highlighting the town's historic buildings, including the two-star listed Moot Hall which needs substantial repairs, according to owner Appleby Town Council.

We're going to use this money to improve shop fronts and repair a number of listed buildings at risk. We're going to take some technical advice and see how much flood resilience we can building into the centre without actually spoiling the very nature of it."

Mike SleeEden District councillor

Severe disruption: A596 Cumbria both ways

BBC News Travel

A596 Cumbria both ways severe disruption, at Ewanrigg Road.

A596 Cumbria - A596 Jubilee Terrace in Maryport blocked and heavy traffic in both directions at the Ewanrigg Road junction, because of an overturned car.

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

Weather on the fell tops: Windy and getting colder

  • Temperatures at 3,000ft: Falling to -1C this afternoon 
  • Winds: Gale force west to southwest gusting 55mph 
  • Cloud: (Patches down to 1,600ft) around the showers 
  • Visibility: Occasionally moderate to poor becoming generally very good but falling to poor in showers 
  • Freezing level: Above the summits at first falling to 2,600ft by midday and 1,300ft by evening

You can see the report from Lake District rangers on winter conditions up there, here .

Stranded kayakers rescued from reservoir island

Martin Lewes

Reporter

Four kayakers spent the night on an island in the middle of Thirlmere after capsizing. 

One of their colleagues managed to get a telephone signal and call emergency services early on Sunday morning.

Ambulances and fire engines
NWAS

Fire crews from Keswick and Penrith were called out along with two ambulances, which had to navigate floodwater to get to the scene along narrow roads on the western side of the lake.

Two of the kayakers were taken to the Cumberland Infirmary for treatment for hypothermia but it's not thought their condition was life-threatening.

Cumbria's weather: Rain clearing

BBC Weather

It will be a cloudy and breezy start with outbreaks of rain, some heavy bursts possible before the rain clears to the south. 

The temperature will be falling away from maximum of 10C (50F). 

Weather graphhic
BBC

You can find the latest weather forecast for where you are  here .

Chicken shed blaze kills 16,000 birds

About 16,000 chickens have been killed in a fire in a poultry barn near Carlisle.

A further 16,000 were saved by firefighters, who prevented the flames spreading to an adjoining shed.  

Fire crews were called to Orton Road shortly before midday. Six engines were needed to bring it under control, including one from Gretna. 

Welcome to BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes

Reporter

Good morning. We'll be be posting news, travel reports, a regular weather forecast and other things that take our fancy from around the county, until about 18:00.

As always, if you have a photograph you'd like to share or you have news you think we should know, you can  email ustweet us  or get in touch  through our Facebook page  .