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Summary

  1. Updates on Tuesday 12 July 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Live updates for Devon and Cornwall have finished for the day, but we'll be back at 08:00 on Wednesday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather. 

Don't forget to watch Spotlight on BBC One this evening. There will also be news through the night on your BBC Local Radio station.

Latest weather: Cool overnight and mainly dry on Wednesday

Holly Green

BBC Weather

It will be a quiet night, with clear spells leading to a cooler feel overnight than recent nights, especially on moors. Minimum temperature: 12C (54F).

Weather
BBC

Wednesday may see an odd shower during the morning, and the north-westerly breeze will continue. However, the vast majority of the day will be dry with lengthy sunny spells. Maximum temperature: 18C (64F).

Police funding: Rural residents 'two thirds as likely to be crime victims as urban residents'

Andrew Segal

Local Live

People in rural areas "are two thirds as likely to be the victim of crime as those in urban areas", the Home Office has said in response to a report saying police funding is "skewed in favour of urban areas".

Police van
BBC

The report by Plymouth University for the National Rural Crime Network (NRCN) said the Home Office needed to "take a long hard look at the criteria it uses as work to date appears to be inherently unfair on rural forces, particularly those with sparse populations". 

The Home Office said: "Police reform is working and crime has fallen by more than a quarter since 2010, according to the Independent Crime Survey for England and Wales... reforming the police funding formula remains our ambition and we are carefully considering the options for how best to take this work forward."

Jeremy Corbyn's 'ritual condemnations over threats are not enough'

BBC Politics

Jeremy Corbyn's "ritual condemnations" of threats of violence and harm against MPs are "just not enough" to deal with such situations, a Devon Labour MP says.

Leader Jeremy Corbyn said he "utterly condemns" violence and threats after the MP challenging him for the leadership, Angela Eagle, had a brick thrown at her office, and a venue where she was due to speak received threats. 

Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw said Mr Corbyn was not doing enough to stop such attacks. He said: "We need action. He always condemns, he always says it shouldn't happen, he never actually does anything. He could call off these Momentum [grassroots Labour movement] thugs now, and expel these people if they're members of the party."

Pier fall woman has back injuries

Ryan Morrison

BBC News Online

A 18-year-old woman who fell nearly 20ft (6m) off a sea wall in St Ives suffered back injuries, according to Cornwall Air Ambulance.

Woman injured falling 20ft off St Ives pier

The air ambulance was forced to land on the beach to treat the woman. The local inshore lifeboat crew used their boat tractor and trailer to carry her to the helicopter, which then flew her to the Royal Cornwall Hospital. It is not thought she has been seriously hurt.

A spokeswoman for the Cornwall Air Ambulance said landing on the beach was unusual and they have to be very careful with the tides.

Goonhilly satellite control room to learn about the moon

Tamsin Melville

Political Reporter, BBC Radio Cornwall

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Goonhilly Earth Station, the satellite radio communication site on the Lizard in Cornwall, is to play a key role in missions putting satellites into orbit around the moon. The station will provide the ground control centre in the partnership with Surrey Satellite Technology. 

If the satellites are successfully put in place, it's hoped they will find out more about how the moon formed, whether there's water there and what radiation levels are. The mission could be under way by 2019.

Council 'excluded local concerns' in traffic plans

Cornwall Council has admitted mistakes were made in the planning of a controversial bus gate on a key commuter route.

Residents and commuters reacted angrily to proposals for changes to the road layout at Threemilestone, near Truro, and said they would cause unnecessary delays on a route with a very high volume of traffic.

In a council statement on plans to improve congestion on the A390 around Truro, cabinet member Bert Biscoe said: "The bus gate in particular has generated a lot of interest locally. When we began this project, we focused on the strategic issues to the exclusion of the local concerns, and we thank the local residents, Kenwyn Parish Council and the school for encouraging us to extend the scope of the project."

Dozens of Pokemon Go gamers show up at sex shop in Plymouth

Daily Mirror

Dozens of young gamers playing Pokemon GO are ending up at a SEX SHOP. The latest craze game uses local businesses and popular landmarks as users try to find characters.

Police funding 'sacrifices fairness for simplicity'

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Rural police forces face losing out financially because the government is "sacrificing fairness in pursuit of simplicity" in determining how policing is funded, a professor says.

Police car
BBC

According to a study by Plymouth University, the government "appears to favour" using numbers of crimes recorded in an area as the principal basis for allocating money, not addressing "the growing complexity or the challenges faced by rural areas". 

Professor Sheena Asthana, who led the research, said: "We think a fresh start is needed and that any new approach needs to use a different methodology and draw on different data if it is to achieve a fair system for distributing funds."

The Home Office said it was "carefully considering the options" for how to reform the police funding formula. Last year, the Home Office postponed plans to reform police funding in England and Wales after admitting mistakes in its calculations.

Plymouth road closed after 'suspicious package' found

BBC Radio Devon

A road in Plymouth has been closed after the discovery of what's believed to be a suspicious package.

BBC Travel said Sutton Road was closed between Exeter Street and Commercial Road  

Two local businesses told the BBC a suspicious package was thought to be behind the closures.

Cornish MP calls for cross-party Brexit negotiation team

A Cornish Conservative MP has called for any team involved in renegotiating the UK's role in Europe to be made up of MPs from different parties.

Scott Mann
BBC

Scott Mann, MP for North Cornwall, told BBC Radio Cornwall: "I think it's right that we come together and get the best deal for the country."

Plymouth council not to fine parents for term-time holidays

BBC Radio Devon

Parents in Plymouth who take their children out of school during term-time for a holiday will not be issued with fines after a motion was passed by city councillors. 

Classroom
BBC

The authority said parents still needed to seek permission from head teachers to take children out of school, and that staff would write to families to remind them that any unauthorised absences would continue to be reported.

Prosecutions could still happen if pupils were off school for long periods of time, it added. The council said: "In cases where a child's attendance falls below 90%, we have a statutory safeguarding responsibility and will address persistent absence."

Woman falls off St Ives pier

David George

BBC Spotlight

A woman has fallen about 20ft off a pier in St Ives.

Smeaton's Pier
BBC

The Cornwall Air Ambulance and St Ives lifeboat crew were called to the scene after she fell off Smeatons Pier. The air ambulance has landed on the beach.

The woman's condition is not yet known.

Footprint found in missing lynx search

BBC Radio Devon

Search parties looking for an escaped lynx on Dartmoor have a possible footprint to examine, a zoo boss says.

Flaviu the lynx. Pic: Dartmoor Zoo
Dartmoor Zoo

The search for Flaviu began last Thursday after the wild cat was found to have disappeared from his enclosure in Dartmoor Zoo, the morning after being delivered from Port Lympne Reserve in Kent.

Zoo owner Ben Mee told the BBC there had been "good signs" on Monday night of a possible sighting, as well as the footprint. He added that the Kent reserve was to send bedding from his mother in the hope the scent might attract him, and they were still trying to find a recording of his mother to play to also try and entice him back.

Latest headlines in Devon and Cornwall

Andrew Segal

Local Live

  • The allocation of funding to rural police forces by the Home Office is unfair, Plymouth University says
  • A Cornish parish council which owns a beach where a sperm whale got stranded and died says it is worried about the cost of a removal and clean-up operation
  • Businesses in Devon and Cornwall see a slow-down in growth in the period leading up to the EU Referendum, Chamber of Commerce figures say
  • Search parties looking for Flaviu the escaped lynx on Dartmoor have a possible footprint to examine
  • Goonhilly in West Cornwall is to provide ground control for a project to put satellites around the moon
  • A 91-year-old man is seriously injured by a car in a supermarket car park

Thieving seagull caught on video stealing ferry's takings

Plymouth Herald

A cheeky seagull swooped on a ferry and stole - the day's takings.

Under-threat ray born in aquarium

Andrew Segal

Local Live

A species of ray which is under threat in the wild has hatched in a Cornish aquarium.

Newquay’s Blue Reef Aquarium said the small-eyed ray, or painted ray, was the first of four egg-cases it had to hatch, and aquarists were "confident more will be born in the coming days".

Bay small-eyed ray. Pic: Blue Reef Aquarium
Blue Reef Aquarium

The ray, which can grow up to 90cm in length, gets its name from its conspicuously small eyes. Usually found on sandy seabeds in the north east of the Atlantic Ocean, the species often covers itself with sand with just its eyes and spiracles above the surface, the aquarium said.

Latest travel in Devon

BBC Travel

  • In Devon, one lane is blocked on the M5 at Tiverton, heading towards Exeter, due to an incident involving a motor home. Traffic is queuing
  • In Plymouth, Barbican Approach is blocked in both directions near Shapters Road due to an incident
  • In Honiton, the A373 Dowell Street is blocked near Northcote Lane due to an incident
  • The A3122 Halwell to Dartmouth road is reopening, but there be will be temporary traffic lights for several days as work is carried out to resurface the road

Family back flexibility over term-time holiday fines

Kirk England

BBC Radio Devon

A Devon family have backed calls for more flexibility in rules about whether parents should be fined for taking their children out of school during term-time.

Nicole and Lauren Short
BBC

Teenagers Nicole and Lauren Short are hoping to represent England at volleyball, but a trip to train overseas at an elite sports camp led to them being threatened with a fine. The family said they would not pay, arguing the camp was beneficial and that the girls' attendance was good overall.

The government said there was strong evidence that tackling absence could improve performance in schools. The case and fine against the Short family has been dropped, but Devon County Council said it would continue to prosecute persistent unauthorised absence.

Fire in retirement flats block

A fire has been put out in a kitchen in a newly-completed black of retirement flats in Truro, the fire service says.

Tregolls Lodge
BBC

Two fire appliances were called to Tregolls Lodge, in the city centre, at about 10:05, and found the fire on the second floor of the complex, which has 59 apartments. 

The fire was extiguished and the electrical supply isolated.

Family tribute to 12-year-old who died at football match

The aunt of a 12-year-old boy who died in a freak accident while watching a football match has paid tribute to her nephew following yesterday's inquest into his death.

Olly Croker
Tiverton High School

Olly Croker's aunt Tessa Sidnell said: "My nephew's life was taken way too early but he lives on in those of the lives he saved by the gift of organ donation. Heaven's gained a true angel. RIP Oliver my darling."    

Latest weather: Isolated showers later

BBC Weather

It will be an afternoon of variable amounts of cloud, some bright or sunny spells and a few isolated showers around too, most likely later in the day. Winds will be light north westerly, but moderate along the north coast. Maximum temperature: 18C (64F).

Weather
BBC

It will be a mostly dry night, with isolated showers, most likely over the moors or along the north coast. There will also be some some clear spells allowing for a cool end to the night. Winds remain from the northwest reducing light inland. Minimum temperature: 9C (48F).

'More to life and learning than SATs', writes primary school head teacher

West Briton

A head teacher has written a heart-warming and uplifting letter to her Year 6 pupils in which she tells them there's more to learning and life than SATs exam results.

MP criticises GWR rules for bikes on trains

A Devon MP is urging a change of policy from Great Western Railway on rules about taking bikes onto trains.

GWR poster
BBC

Ben Bradshaw - Labour MP for Exeter, and himself a keen cyclist - criticised the firm for putting signs at stations saying cycles could only be taken on board if a space had been pre-booked. He also told the House of Commons that the booking process itself was "incredibly difficult, complicated and clunky".

He said: "You either have to telephone, and the service is only working between certain hours; or you can book online, but you can only do that when you're booking a ticket."

GWR said earlier this year that cyclists could take bikes on 85% of the network without a reservation.

Cornish 'subtropical weather' means 'more exotic crops can be grown'

BBC Radio Cornwall

Cornwall's subtropical weather means it should now be possible to grow exotic crops like quinoa and Japanese persimmon (pictured), according to scientists from the University of Exeter. 

Persimmon. Pic: Thinkstock
Thinkstock

Researchers, who say that parts of Cornwall had become subtropical since 2000, have developed new techniques to monitor the climate. It means they can identify the areas of the landscape most suitable for cultivating crops from warmer countries.

Tea is already grown in the county.

Devon minister prepares for change in government

Hugo Swire, MP for East Devon and Foreign Office minister, implies a change in his role could be on the horizon.

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Latest headlines for Devon and Cornwall

Miles Davis

BBC News Online

  • A 91-year-old man who was run over in a supermarket car park is in hospital 
  • A young mother may have contracted cancer following exposure to asbestos at school
  • Goonhilly Earth Station has announced plans for low-cost space exploration
  • Staff at Dartmoor Zoo are playing a recording of an escaped Lynx's mother to try and recapture him

Top ten walks in Cornwall

A list of the top ten summer walks in Cornwall has been put together by Visit Cornwall and the South West Coast Path.

Lizard Point
Visit Cornwall

Diesel spill closes road

Should there be a general election?

Janet Kipling

BBC Radio Devon

With Theresa May set to become the UK's new prime minister, should there be a snap general election, as members of the Labour Party, the Lib Dems and the Green Party have called for?

Also, as dozens of dairy farms close across Devon - as they have across the country - have we done enough to support them?

Call in on 0345 3011034

Whale fluke picture may have tail ...er, tale to tell

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Each of the lobes on a whale's tale are called a fluke.

Do rural police get less money than urban officers?

Martin Bailie

BBC Radio Cornwall

On the lunchtime phone-in today we're talking about a study which says that rural police forces get less money than urban ones. Do you agree?

Call in on 01872 222222.

Red panda gives birth to cub at Cornish park

Andrew Segal

Local Live

A red panda at a Cornish attraction has given birth to a cub, staff say.

Red panda. Pic: Thinkstock
Thinkstock

Paradise Park said five-year-old Jai-Li had a cub at about 18:30 on Sunday 10 July and she was "taking great care with it early on Monday". The park added: "It looks and sounds like a healthy little cub."

Red pandas, like the one pictured above, are classed as an endangered species because of hunting, poaching and forest clearance and their natural habitat, the eastern Himalayas and south west China.

Man arrested after assault in Dartmouth

Andrew Segal

Local Live

A man has been arrested after an assault in Dartmouth over the weekend, police say.

A 32-year-old man from Dartmouth was treated in hospital for a broken ankle after being assaulted following a row outside the Market House Inn in Victoria Road on Sunday at about 00:20.

A 20-year-old man from the town was arrested on suspicion of assault and released on bail. Police have appealed for witnesses, saying they were "particularly interested to hear from anyone with mobile phone footage".

Whale carcass warning from council

BBC Radio Cornwall

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A Cornish council is warning people not to touch a whale carcass that washed up at the weekend.

The 40ft-long female died after being discovered in the shallows of Perranporth beach on Sunday and Perranzabuloe Parish Council said it was not clear what risk the creature could pose to people or dogs. 

A team from the Zoological Society of London has been taking sample to learn more about how the species lives. The team said it could tell the age of the whale by looking at its teeth, which have annual growth layers in them, similar to a tree trunk.

Legal action against football club student flats plan 'met with applause'

Exeter Express & Echo

The announcement of legal proceedings against the plan to build student blocks near Exeter City FC's football ground was reportedly met with "spontaneous applause" from St James Forum members.

Investigation into sudden death of 'devoted' police constable

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Devon and Cornwall Police have paid tribute to an officer who was found dead in Truro at the weekend.

The force said the body of 35-year-old patrol officer Kimberley James was found in a property in Centenary Way at about 12:20 on Sunday and an investigation into her sudden death was being carried out. It added that it was not being treated as suspicious. 

Kimberley James
Devon and Cornwall Police

Ch Insp Sara Crane said: "Our thoughts are with Kim’s family at this difficult time and her death is a very sad loss to both her family and also to the force.

She added: “Kimberley was a loyal and enthusiastic officer who displayed devotion to duty; she was held in high regard by all those who served with her and the many outside agencies with whom she had formed excellent working relationships."

Hello, dear visitor ... or even deer visitor

View more on twitter

BBC Radio Devon's Hayley Westcott either has a very life-like new garden ornament, or something thinks it's a very comfortable looking patio set.