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Summary

  1. Woman, 72, dies in house fire
  2. Ambulances wait outside Royal Cornwall Hospital on Wednesday evening
  3. Building's roof stripped after fire
  4. South West hospitals make £7.5m from parking charges
  5. Newquay man's 'Christmas saved' after train cancellation
  6. Devon village wins broadband battle
  7. Updates on Thursday 28 December 2017

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 07:00 on Friday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

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

You can sign up to get the latest news for your area from the BBC.

Titanic exhibition busks lifeboat replica build

BBC Radio Cornwall

Titanic lifeboat replica
BBC

A new exhibition at the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth due to open next year will explore the myths surrounding the sinking of the Titanic.

It will feature a replica lifeboat currently under construction at the museum.

The 30ft (9m) vessel will be the centrepiece of the display which aims to debunk some of the myths surrounding the sinking in 1912, as well as telling the story of Cornish people on board the liner.

Boatbuilders said they had a slightly difficult task because they could find no original plans for the lifeboats.

Lead boatbuilder Andrew Nancarrow said: "We dug around quite a lot and could not find any drawings of the actual lifeboats that were built in Harland and Wolff [shipyard in Belfast].

"But we've found pictures of the lifeboat shed in Harland and Wolff, and there were some lifeboats being built on stocks in those."

The project is also making use of other photographs and plans for similar lifeboats of the time.

Titanic lifeboat plans
BBC

Police urge check before you call in non-emergencies

Friday's Plymouth to Roscoff sailing cancelled

Hunt for missing man from Cranbrook

James Miles
Via Devon and Cornwall Police

Police in east Devon are searching for a man who has gone missing in Cranbrook.

Officers said they were concerned for the welfare of 32-year-old James Miles.

He is described as white, 6ft 1in tall, of slim build, with short dark brown hair.

He was last seen wearing a grey thigh-length Craghoppers waterproof coat, dark green sweatshirt with DC logo, grey skinny jeans, and a pair of navy blue Etnies deck shoes.

Devon travel: A35 Honiton partially blocked

BBC Radio Devon

At Honiton, the A35 is partially blocked near the A30 due to a broken-down vehicle.

Weather: Rain overnight, brighter spells on Friday

David Braine

Weather Forecaster

Cloud and outbreaks of rain spreading from the west through the evening.

This will turn persistent and perhaps heavy at times, perhaps a little lighter in the west by dawn.

Winds will strengthen from the south west. Minimum temperature: 0C (32F).

Weather
BBC

Rain will clear through Friday morning, giving way to intermittent heavy showers. Windy throughout with gales, perhaps severe along the coast.

Some drier and brighter spells are likely into the afternoon as the showers ease.

Maximum temperature: 11C (52F).

'Use 111 instead of 999' plea from NHS bosses

View more on twitter

NHS Kernow is the organisation that commissions health services in Cornwall.

Un-gritted roads 'getting very icy'

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

Roads off the gritting network in Devon are getting very icy as evening temperatures drop, county highways bosses say.

Devon Highways' warning on Twitter comes after it said emergency services were dealing with a accident near Northcote Hill, Honiton.

Officials said: "Avoid or take extreme care on roads off the A and B network."

South Western Railway to run 75% of trains during New Year's Eve RMT strikes

Paul Clifton

Transport correspondent, BBC South Today

South Western Railway will run 75% of its trains during New Year's Eve RMT strikes

During the previous strike it managed 60%, so this will be an increase.

It will include services from Salisbury to Exeter, which did not run last time.

There will be no trains between Southampton and Salisbury, nor on the line through Camberley, or on the Isle of Wight.

Continuing Network Rail engineering work means there were already no trains between Southampton Central and Eastleigh or between Southampton Central and Fareham.

Shuttle services will run between Southampton and Poole, with buses replacing trains from Poole to Weymouth.

Devon travel: Accident In Barnstaple

BBC Radio Devon

In Barnstaple, on Belle Meadow Road, at Summerland Street, there's slow traffic due to an accident.

North Devon Police search for missing teenager

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

Police in north Devon are searching for a missing teenager.

Officers said 15-year-old Zennon Faulder, from Bideford, was last seen at 06:30 and they had "concerns for his welfare".

He was described as white, about 5ft 11in tall, of slim build, with brown hair in an uneven cut, and possibly wearing a blue Manchester City coat.

Cornwall travel: A38 Glynn Valley partially blocked

BBC Radio Cornwall

The A38 in the Glynn Valley is partially blocked and there's heavy traffic due to a broken-down vehicle before Drift Lane.

GPs deal with 1,350 Christmas repeat prescriptions

BBC Radio Devon

It's emerged that out-of-hours GPs were called out to about 1,350 Devon patients who had run out of their medicines over the Christmas weekend and bank holidays.

Doctors are urging people to think ahead and to pick up their repeat prescriptions before the new year bank holiday.

They said out-of-hours doctors were already working flat out to see patients with urgent health issues and they didn't want to waste precious time writing repeat prescriptions.

Doctor writing prescriptions
BBC

Titanic exhibition 'looks at story's commercialisation'

BBC Radio Cornwall

Titanic in newspaper. Pic: Getty Images
Getty Images

A new exhibition at the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth next year will explore the myths surrounding the sinking of the Titanic.

It'll look at questions such as did the band play on to the very end, and were third class passengers denied places on lifeboats.

The centre piece of the new 2018 display will be a replica lifeboat currently under construction at the museum.

However, museum director Richard Doughty added that they were also trying to take a fresh look at the story.

He said: "A lot of the stories are about about the ship or the actual tragedy. We're also picking that story up and looking at how the Titanic has been commercialised over time."

BreakingWoman, 72, dies after South Molton house fire

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

A 72-year-old woman has died after a house fire in north Devon, police say.

Firefighters were called to the two-storey property in Queens Nympton, in the South Molton area, at about 08:05 after several emergency calls.

The blaze broke out in the upstairs area of the property and firefighters found the body of a woman inside the premises a short time later.

Her next of kin had been informed and the cause of the fire was being investigated, but it was not believed to be suspicious, officers said.

Driver 'safe' after A38 car fire

View more on twitter

Fire crews said the vehicle was "totally destroyed" after it caught alight on the Westover to Wrangaton section of the A38, near Ivybridge, at about 12:40.

A frosty and icy morning over Dartmoor

Cornish MPs join campaign to build new £120m royal yacht

Cornwall Live

Three Cornish MPs are helping lead the campaign to build a £120m new royal yacht.

Sheryll Murray, Steve Double and Scott Mann have signed up to MP Craig Mackinlay's plans for a new ship.

Car 'totally destroyed' in A38 fire

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

A car has been destroyed by fire after it caught alight on the A38 in Devon, emergency services say.

Firefighters said were called to the scene on the Westover to Wrangaton section of the dual carriageway, near Ivybridge, at about 12:40 after "numerous calls".

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said the car was "extinguished but was totally destroyed".

Police were also called to the scene.

Number of emergency department cases up 4% over Christmas

BBC Radio Cornwall

The number of people going to a hospital emergency department (ED) in Cornwall has risen by 4% over the three days of Christmas compared to last year, staff say.

Waiting times at the Royal Cornwall Hospital ED near Truro have decreased since first thing this morning: down from about four hours to three as of 13:40.

But the hospital is currently on its highest level of alert - level four, formerly known as black.

West Cornwall Urgent Care Centre
BBC

Overnight ambulances were reported to be queuing outside the ED but this morning, the situation has improved. All of Cornwall's minor injuries units are also open today, from Penzance to Liskeard.

On a lighter note, the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust said 19 babies were born over the three days of Christmas at hospitals across the county.

Newquay man's 'Christmas saved' after train cancellation

Hayley Westcott

BBC News Online

A man says his "Christmas was saved" when he was driven 426 km (265 miles) by a stranger to see his family after his train was cancelled.

Mike Kerr, 25, from Newquay, Cornwall, was due to travel to Tamworth in Staffordshire to visit his sister and five-year-old niece - a trip he makes every year.

However, strikes meant his train was cancelled and he was given a refund for his ticket and was faced with spending Christmas alone.

The part-time musician posted in a public Facebook group appealing for help and was "amazed" that someone got in touch to say they would give him a lift.

"I didn't know what to say. I hoped someone would come to my rescue but never thought they would," Mike said.

Mike was offered a lift for free and was told by the driver to give what he could afford to charity rather than paying for fuel.

Mike Kerr with niece
Mike Kerr
Mike was able to spend Christmas with his sister and his niece

Cornwall hospitals trust makes £280k in parking charges

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

People in Cornwall paid more than £250,000 in the last year to the county's main NHS hospital trust for car parking, an investigation has found.

The Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, which has a profit-share agreement with a private firm, gained £278,063 in charges 2016-17, up from £244,346 the year before.

Hospital parking sign
BBC

It was among hospital trusts across England taking £174.5m in parking charges in 2016-17, up 6% on the year before, according to data collected by the Press Association.

Some 120 NHS trusts across England were asked to give figures on parking charges and fines under the Freedom of Information Act, of which 111 responded.

Row over use of Torbay youth centre

BBC Radio Devon

Community groups in Torbay have accused the local unitary council of dragging its feet over the future of a multimillion-pound building which has been described as a "white elephant".

The MySpace Youth Centre was built in Paignton in 2010 and heralded as a new way forward for the youth of Torbay. However, seven years on, the building is closed most of the time.

The Paignton Town Community Partnership and other local groups want to take it over, but claim the council is not being very co-operative.

Conservative-run Torbay Council said the building was being used, with numerous activities including the Youth Parliament, cheerleading, rugby and youth work.

It said the priority was to find a viable future for the building and all expressions of interest will be considered.

Severe accident: A386 Devon both ways

BBC News Travel

A386 Devon both ways severe accident, between B3212 Dousland Road and New Road.

A386 Devon - A386 blocked and slow traffic in both directions between the B3212 Dousland Road junction in Yelverton and the New Road junction in Roborough, because of an accident involving two vehicles. Diversion in operation - Golf Links Road.

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

Staff sickness closes Ilfracombe minor injuries unit

Weather: Sunny spells but becoming cloudier

BBC Weather

Sunny spells will become hazy as more cloud invades from the west during the afternoon.

Weather
BBC

Winds will be light and variable.

Maximum Temperature: 6C (43F).

Devon's main hospitals make £6m in parking charges

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

Devon's main NHS hospitals made more than £6m in the last year from charging patients, visitors and staff for car parking, an investigation has found.

They were among hospitals across England taking £174.5m in parking charges in 2016-17, up 6% on the year before, according to data collected by the Press Association.

Some 120 NHS trusts across England were asked to give figures on parking charges and fines under the Freedom of Information Act, of which 111 responded.

Hospital parking
BBC

The breakdown of charges:

  • Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust - £2,055,392
  • Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust - £2,327,316
  • Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust - £1,029,915
  • Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust - £619,434

Community fight to save historic cafe from demolition

Devon Live

The tiny coastal community at Bigbury on Sea are battling to save from demolition an historic house and cafe which has served them for over a century.

They are fighting to stop the bulldozing of their oldest heritage building – the Bay View Cafe building – which has views over Burgh Island.

Detective work pieces together Titanic's lifeboats

Julie Skentelbery

BBC Radio Cornwall

View more on twitter

The National Maritime Museum in Cornwall is looking at the story of the Titanic in a new exhibition due to open next year.

But it will be presented in a new way: focusing on a 30ft (9m) replica of one of the lifeboats which saved the lives of about 700 people on that night in 1912.

Building's roof stripped after fire

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

A building in north Devon has been damaged by a fire.

Firefighters were called to the two-storey property in Queens Nympton, in the South Molton area, at about 08:05 after several emergency calls.

Four fire appliances, a water bowser and an aerial ladder attended after the building was found to be "well alight" when they arrived.

The roof had to be stripped while the blaze was being fought.

The cause was being investigated, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said.

Hospital smoker 'could have affected genuine emergencies'

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

A "callous" smoker who set off an alarm in a hospital toilet could have "unnecessarily taken fire crews away from being available to attend genuine emergencies", firefighters say.

Fire engines were called to the Royal Cornwall Hospital near Truro at about midnight after the alarm was set off in a cubicle in the Trelawny Wing. The engines from the city and Tolvaddon were dispatched but stood down.

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service said smoking was not permitted "on any part of the hospital site" and "numerous signs" informed people of this policy.

Smoke-free warnnig sign
Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service

Emergency patients faced seven-hour wait at hospital

BBC Radio Devon

Emergency Department sign
BBC

Patients have been having to wait as long as seven hours at Derriford Hospital's Emergency Department recently, according to the hospital's own figures.

The waiting time was down to two hours and 14 minutes by 10:45.

Maximum waiting times at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital have been just under three hours at their longest, but down to one hour and 22 minutes by 10:45.

The NHS in Devon said patients could use GP surgeries, the 111 helpline, minor injury units and pharmacies as an alternative to emergency departments.

Public toilets converted into businesses

Sophie Pierce

BBC Radio Devon

Buildings that were previously public loos in Devon, particularly those with great seaside positions, are finding new leases of life as tourism businesses.

In Dawlish Warren, Teignbridge District Council offered a large toilet block for tender, and it has been turned into a cycle hire and repair shop, and an adjoining cafe.

The council still provides two unisex, and one disabled cubicles, and there is another toilet block nearby.

Cafe and cycle hire
Jon Sell

Jon Sell, owns the Exe Trail cycle hire shop, and said: "In the summer there are hundreds, thousands of people here every day so it's a great position for a business.

"A lot of visitors have been coming to the Warren for a long time and are quite surprised to see the loos have been converted into an attractive business, and everybody has been very supportive".

High tide times for the region

Dan Downs

Weather Forecaster

If you're planning a trip to the coast or seaside, here are the next high water times around Devon and Cornwall.

Tides
BBC

We'll have the latest forecast on BBC Spotlight at 13:30.

Frosty and icy start for many

BBC Weather Watchers

Lanivet
Moon_gazer/BBC Weather Watchers
Car this morning in Lanivet, Cornwall
leaf
Mike B/BBC Weather Watchers
Mike B said: "Bright winter sunshine and frost over Lowerdown, Bovey Tracey, South Devon."

Devon travel: Problems on M5, A373 and A396

BBC Radio Devon

  • On the M5, one lane is closed Bristol-bound between Junction 27 (Tiverton) and Junction 26 (Wellington) due to a broken-down vehicle
  • Devon Highways is saying that there are reports of ice on the A373 Honiton to Cullompton, with "a lot of surface water" also reported. People should "drive slower and be aware", it said
  • Ice has also been reported between Langford Bridge and Limers Cross, Honiton
  • On the A396 near Burn, there is flooding across the road. Devon Highways said people should "drive slower and be considerate to other motorists who may have no choice other than travelling in the middle of the road to pass flooding".