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Summary

  1. Robber found guilty of ammonia attack
  2. Undertaker jailed for stealing £5,000 worth of donations
  3. Police crackdown on Exeter drug gangs with several raids
  4. Cornish rugby legend Brian 'Stack' Stevens dies aged 77
  5. Emergency meeting amid potential Royal Navy cuts
  6. Police hunt bogus charity collector who stole money from an elderly blind woman
  7. Saltash toilet block fire 'treated as arson'
  8. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

By Sophie Malcolm

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our coverage for the day

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

That's all from your Local Live team for today.

We will be back at 08:00 on Friday with a round-up of the day's news, sport, travel and weather.

Weather update: mild night tonight

BBC Weather

Cloud will thicken overnight, but for most it should remain dry although there will be an increasing breeze.

As a result, it will be milder than last night.

Friday will be mostly dry, although cloudy with a keen southwesterly breeze.

A few breaks may develop in the cloud giving some sunny spells, and it will feel warm.

Top temperature 16C (60F).

weather map
BBC

Cash payment for GPs in rural and coastal areas

BBC Radio Cornwall

Newly-qualified GPs could be offered a one-off payment of £20,000 if they start their careers in areas like Cornwall which struggle to attract family doctors.

The £4m scheme from Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, plans to get more doctors into surgeries in coastal and rural areas.

The Royal College of GPs backed the plan, saying there was a "serious shortage" of family doctors.

The one-off payment will be offered to 200 GPs from 2018.

patient at check up
BBC

Firefighters in Halloween costume warning

Hayley Westcott

Broadcast Journalist

Firefighters in Devon are warning parents of the dangers posed by naked flames near fancy dress costumes in the run up to Halloween.

The latest figure show that 94 people in England were admitted to hospital as a result of their clothing either igniting or melting in 2014, of which 21 were children.

Experts say parents don't realise how quickly clothing can ignite nor do they appreciate quite how serious burn injuries to young skin can be.

pumpkin
BBC

RFU tribute to 'Stack' Stevens

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has paid tribute to former England prop Brian 'Stack' Stevens, from Cornwall, who died this week aged 77.

The RFU said it was Stevens' "outstanding and athletic county performances" which brought selection for the national team.

His debut came against South Africa on 20 December 1969, and it coincided with England’s first victory against the Springboks. He went on to earn 25 Test caps between 1969 and 75.

"Stack Stevens was the epitome of a modern, mobile forward in the days when this was a rarity," said RFU President John Spencer.

"He was one of the great characters of rugby and served his native Cornwall, England and the British & Irish Lions with great distinction and will be missed by all who knew him in the game."

Brian 'Stack' Stevens
RFU

Funeral director jailed for stealing thousands from grieving families at funerals

Devon Live

A funeral director who stole thousands of pounds in charity donations left by bereaved families at funerals has been jailed for eight months.

Plans for Guildhall revamp

BBC Radio Devon

Plans for a major new development at Exeter's Guildhall Shopping Centre have been unveiled.

The new proposals include downsizing the current WHSmith store, changing facades of buildings onto Paul Street and Market Square and creating a new bowling alley and bar at an underground level.

The centre, first built in the mid 1970s, has seen significant investment over the last couple of years with a new dining quarter created in the City's former Higher Market.

Gary Barlow to play at Eden

They can't say when, but former Take That star Gary Barlow will be playing in Cornwall next year.

View more on twitter

Rail disruption for south west

Hayley Westcott

Broadcast Journalist

Rail passengers from the south west face disruption this weekend as engineering work continues ahead of the introduction of electric trains to Paddington.

No services will run through Reading on Saturday or Sunday with buses used instead.

Rail managers expect the line from Exeter to Waterloo to be very busy.

Could Newquay be the home of the UK's first space port?

BBC Radio Cornwall

Cornwall has been strengthening its links with the space industry in America prior to a government decision about where the UK's first space port will be located.

Newquay airport is one of five sites shortlisted for a £10m grant to develop plans to launch satellites and offer space tourism.

The head of the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Sandra Rothwell says Cornwall needs to be more pro-active and stand on its own two feet now it faces the loss of european funding.

Two senior Cornwall Councillors travelled with members of the LEP on the trip to the US which cost £30,000.

Newquay airport
BBC

Diabetes-related amputations on the rise

BBC Spotlight

The number of diabetes-related amputations in the south west is at an all time high.

A survey by Diabetes UK found more than a thousand patients a year are affected in the region, with complications from the condition meaning a simple blister on a foot can develop into something far more serious.

It also found nearly 3 in 10 people in the region are unaware of the dangers of diabetes-related foot ulcers.

Log store severely damaged in blaze

A fire has severely damaged a log store in Exeter.

Firefighters tackled the blaze in Sylvan Road in the shed which was 16ft (5m) by 13ft (4m).

Police also attended the fire that happened in the early hours, and the cause is yet to be confirmed.

Recyling rates falling short

BBC Radio Cornwall

Recycling rates in parts of Cornwall are falling woefully short of government targets.

Ministers want half of all household waste to be recycled by 2020 - the villages surrounding the clay tips in mid Cornwall are recycling just 15%.

Yet at comparable West Devon Borough Council, targets are being exceeded.

The council collects recycling every week and black bin bags every fortnight.

Bins
BBC

BreakingUndertaker jailed for stealing £5,000 worth of donations

Hayley Westcott

Broadcast Journalist

An undertaker has been jailed for stealing £5,000 worth of donations given to charities by mourners during funerals he conducted.

Robert Loveridge pocketed cash which was given in memory of family members or friends by the congregations at 26 different funerals. He failed to pass on the money and left cheques in a filing cabinet instead of passing it on to the good causes it was intended for.

Loveridge, 62, was the sole operator of his Harris and Loveridge Funeral Directors in Teignmouth and used some of the charity cash to pay off pallbearers who he employed by the day.

He was jailed for eight months by Judge Geoffrey Mercer, QC, at Exeter Crown Court.

Robert Loveridge
APEX NEWS & PICTURES

Fears for missing 32-year-old woman at centre of police search

Plymouth Herald

Police have launched a search for a missing 32-year-old woman who has disappeared from her home in Tavistock.

Brian 'Stack' Stevens - one of Cornwall's finest rugby players dies

Ross Ellis

BBC Radio Cornwall

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Cornish rugby legend Brian 'Stack' Stevens has died at the age of 77.

He won 25 caps for England and played for the British and Irish Lions.

For many 'Stack' Stevens was Cornish rugby. A giant of the game he made over 500 appearances for the Cornish Pirates.

He played 83 times for Cornwall and was also called up for England. 'Stack' made his debut against South Africa at Twickenham in 1969 and scored a try against the All Blacks in New Zealand in 1973. In doing so he became a member of the first of the four home countries teams to beat the All Blacks on New Zealand soil.

'Stack' toured with the British and Irish Lions on their tour of New Zealand in 1971. He also played for the Barbarians, Harlequins, plus the Combined Counties teams.

The word legend is often over used. But there's no doubt it's applicable to Brian 'Stack' Stevens - one of Cornwall's finest rugby players.

View more on twitter

BreakingRobber found guilty of ammonia attack

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

Dawlish
Google

A masked robber has been found guilty of taking part in an ammonia attack on a shopkeeper who was almost blinded as his takings were snatched.

Victim Neil Warner feared he was going to die or lose his sight when he was ambushed by robbers Rikki Ward and Paul Rowntree as he walked from a shop in Dawlish to a nearby Post Office with £5,129.90 of cash.

Ward, 28, of Chatham Road, Sunderland, sprayed undiluted ammonia into his face while Rowntree grabbed a bag which contained the takings from the Costcutter shop during the attack on The Strand in Dawlish on 20 January.

Ward was found guilty after a jury at Exeter Crown Court was shown CCTV of him laying in wait for Mr Warner before the attack.

Rowntree, 37, of Oswald Street, Sunderland, but who was staying at Exeter Road, Dawlish, denied but was convicted of robbery and grievous bodily harm with intent.

They will be sentenced later by Judge Geoffrey Mercer, QC, who remanded them in custody.

£20,000 payment for rural GPs

BBC Radio Cornwall

Newly trained GPs who choose to work in Cornwall could be in line for a £20,000 one-off payment.

It's part of the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt's plan to boost the numbers of doctors in places in the UK struggling to recruit - especially coastal and rural areas.

The Royal College of General Practitioners backed the plan, saying there was a "serious shortage" of family doctors.

Mr Hunt said it will help "reduce the pressure" on practices in those areas.

stethoscope
BBC

Weather update: Cloudy but dry

BBC Weather

It will be breezy for most but in the sunshine it will feel warm. Cloud will thicken overnight, but it should remain dry and mild. Maximum temperature: 17C (63F).

weather map
BBC

Police launch investigation into Palace Theatre damage

Plymouth Herald

Police are investigating a series of break-ins at the Palace Theatre - which the owner claims are motivated by a "hate campaign" against him.

Kitchen blaze tackled in Exeter

Firefighters have tackled a kitchen blaze in South Devon.

Two fire crews were called to New North Road in Exeter at 10:30.

The blaze on the second floor was started by accident, Devon and Somerset Fire and Service said.

The kitchen suffered 25% smoke damage, but no-one was injured.

Fire service
BBC

Dawlish community to have say on town's future

BBC Radio Devon

People in Dawlish are being given the chance to have their say on how they'd like to see communities and authorities in the town work more closely together.

A meeting this evening at The Warren Retreat will celebrate successful events, discuss ways of improving the area and how to help those most in need in the south Devon town.

Dawlish
BBC

'Strong interest' in Cornwall spaceport

BBC Radio Cornwall

A group behind plans for a spaceport in Cornwall have returned from America saying they found 'strong interest' from potential operators.

Newquay airport is one of five sites shortlisted for a £10 million pound grant to develop plans to launch satellites and offer space tourism.

A delegation has been in the States this week to forge links with counterparts involved in the development of 'Spaceport America'.

spaceport
Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP

Travel update: Accident blocks road

BBC Radio Cornwall

In St Day, the B3298 is blocked in both directions between Vicarage Hill and Church Hill due to an accident.

Travel update: Road blocked

BBC Radio Devon

In Plympton, Steer Park Road is blocked near Sandy Road due to an overturned vehicle.

Pupils inspired by poppy display

BBC Radio Devon

A primary school in Devon has been so inspired by the wave of poppies installation on Plymouth Hoe, they've decided to make their own.

The Tower of London art project marked the centenary of the World War One before visiting the city this summer.

Now, pupils, teachers and parents at High View School are making ceramic poppies for a display in their garden.

They'll sell off each flower for the Royal British Legion.

Poppy installation on Plymouth Hoe
BBC

'Handling error' causes accident on Devon airfield

Hayley Westcott

Broadcast Journalist

An unexpected crosswind caused a private aircraft's main landing gear to collapse on an east Devon runway.

During landing on 27 May at Dunkeswell Airfield, the pilot drifted further across the runway than planned - hitting a runway side light.

The right wing and aileron tips scraped along the tarmac with it eventually resting half on the grass.

The pilot said a handling error was the cause of the accident as he wasn't looking in the right direction when the plane touched down.

Drug arrests made in major police operation

Hayley Westcott

Broadcast Journalist

Group of policemen
BBC

Devon and Cornwall Police say its 'committed to tackling' drug suppliers in a major operation.

Officers have been carrying out a number of arrests and searches in a crackdown on the supply of class A drugs.

Police say Operation Cleft is a signal to organised criminals the region isn't a "soft target".

Eleven people have been arrested with more than 20 charges as a result of the operation.

New Truro council homes available from today

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

People with a local connection to Goonhavern, Truro, will soon be able to bid on new Cornwall Council homes for rent.

The 23 new homes at Marshfield Close will be available for bidding online at Cornwall Homechoice from today.

Managed by Cornwall Housing, the homes were funded by Cornwall Council as part of its new build programme, which aims to see 1,000 council homes delivered over four years across Cornwall.

Runway bump or wind gust 'caused plane engine damage'

Hayley Westcott

Broadcast Journalist

The engine of a private plane was damaged beyond repair during a take off in North Devon, a report has said.

It happened on Runway 08 at Belle Vue Airfield, near Great Torrington, and is thought to have been caused by a bump in the runway or a sudden gust of wind.

The pilot was unable to stop the aircraft from hitting a fence next to the runway on 7 May.

The main body of the aircraft and the left wing were both damaged but no-one was injured, according to the Air Accidents Investigation Branch's monthly report.

Plymouth man, 52, collapsed and died on footpath

Police have said a man that died after collapsing on a footpath in Plymouth was a 52-year-old from the city.

Emergency services were called to the path close to McDonalds on Pomphlett Road, Plymstock at 09:10 on Wednesday.

Police said the man became unwell and collapsed. His death is not being treated as suspicious.

Plymstock
Google

Injuries see Pirates down to 'last man'

Brent Pilnick

BBC Sport

Injuries mean Cornish Pirates are down to the bare bones of their squad, according to coach Alan Paver.

The Pirates have lost five of their six Championship matches and are unable to refresh their side to face Hartpury in the British and Irish Cup.

Experienced players such as skipper Chris Morgan, Canadian internationals Matt Evans and Brett Beukeboom and Alex Cheesman have all been missing.

Cornish Pirates
Brian Tempest

"We're down to the last man," Paver told BBC Radio Cornwall.

"The next man involved is me, so in terms off being able to freshen up and change the focus we've made some small changes, but we're looking pretty similar," added the 39-year-old player-coach, who has not pulled on a shirt as a prop forward since February.

Police target drug networks: South West 'isn't a soft target'

Hayley Westcott

Broadcast Journalist

Police in Devon are targeting dangerous drug networks in a major crackdown across the county.

As part of Operation Cleft, officers have carried out a number of arrests of suspected drug suppliers.

Eleven people have been arrested in connection with the operation.

Police say the drug raids across Devon are a signal to organised criminals the region isn't a "soft target" and officers will clampdown on the supply of class A drugs like heroin and cocaine.

Devon and Cornwall police car
BBC

Intelligence and ongoing proactive work shows that class A drugs are being supplied across Devon by organised crime groups utilising members of the public who originate from the Metropolitan area of London, Manchester, Liverpool and the West Midlands areas.

Det Supt Ken LamontDevon and Cornwall Police

Scientists track Asian hornets using radar and radio waves

BBC Spotlight

Jersey and the UK government are joining forces to tackle the spread of Asian hornets.

The creatures kill and eat native honeybees. Eleven nests have been destroyed in Jersey so far.

A University of Exeter team, funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), recently visited beekeepers in Jersey to field test special tags, one using radio waves and the other radar, which are fitted to Asian hornets.

hornets
BBC

The two systems the study has looked at include a radio tag, the Picopip, which is designed to be attached to small animals and a radar tag which is usually used by mountain rescue teams.

Juliette Osborne, who leads the team from the Environment and Sustainability Institute in Penryn, Cornwall, said they were looking to "slow down the rate of invasion" by being able to accurately track hornets back to their nests, so professional teams could quickly dispose of them.

Oyster festival kicks off today

BBC Spotlight

One of Cornwall's biggest specialist food fairs starts today.

The Falmouth Oyster Festival celebrates the start of the dredging season with four days of cooking demonstrations, live music and craft stalls.

More than 40,000 visitors are expected to attend.

Oysters
BBC

BreakingCornish rugby legend Brian 'Stack' Stevens dies aged 77

Brent Pilnick

BBC Sport

Former England and British and Irish Lions prop Brian 'Stack' Stevens has died at the age of 77.

He captained England once in 1971 but played mainly in his native Cornwall for Penzance and Newlyn and Hayle.

His performances for the Cornwall county side, for whom he won a record 83 caps, finally got him an England call-up in 1969 at the age of 28 and a Lions call-up two years later.

Brian 'Stack' Stevens
Rex Features

"The pride he brought to all of us in Cornwall from the time he played for England was great," former teammate Phil Westren told BBC Sport.

"When you consider the period when he played, to get the recognition he did from the far west of Cornwall, to play for England and still play for Penzance, it was fantastic.

"He was a fantastic competitor, a marvellous rugby player and well ahead of his time."

Weather update: Sunny, but breezy

BBC Weather

After a chilly start, it will be a fine day with sunny spells and some fair weather cloud bubbling up at times.

It will be breezy for most, especially around the coasts but in the sunshine it will feel warm. Maximum temperature: 17C (63F).

weather map
BBC

Severe disruption: M5 Devon southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Devon southbound severe disruption, at J29 for A30 Exeter.

M5 Devon - M5 lane closed on exit slip road southbound at J29, A30 (Exeter), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

Good morning from St Michael's Mount

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

Amanda has taken this beautiful picture of the sky over St Michael's Mount this morning.

If you want to share your sunrise snaps, email us.

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