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  1. Updates for Bristol, Bath and Weston-super-Mare on Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Live Reporting

By Chris Sandys

All times stated are UK

Weather conditions 'going downhill'

That's it from Local Live for another day. Back tomorrow from 7am.

Until then, expect "thickening cloud and some rain"...thanks Holly!

The weather is going downhill with thickening cloud and some rain, says Holly Green.

Happy birthday Old Vic - 250 today!

An animation is to be projected onto Bristol's Old Vic to mark its 250th birthday.

Today is officially the day that Bristol's Old Vic theatre turns 250 years old. 

The birthday celebrations have been going on all weekend and continue today with a street party.

Celebrations will culminate this evening with an animation being projected onto the front of the building depicting how the venue will look after a major redevelopment.

Threatened wolf spider 'a beautiful and impressive creature'

A Desertas wolf spider
Bristol Zoo

Mark Bushell, curator of invertebrates, said "one single catastrophic event could wipe out the species entirely" which was why Bristol Zoo was working to protect the Desertas wolf spider. 

"Establishing the world’s first captive breeding programme for this species is a fantastic step towards protecting it for the future," he said.

"It is a beautiful and impressive creature but its natural habitat is being altered by invasive plants."

Woman jailed over Bristol businessman's murder

A Slovakian woman who shot and killed her millionaire ex-boyfriend at his home in Spain has been jailed.

Mayka Kukucova
Mayka Kukucova was sentenced to more than 15 years in jail

Bristol businessman Andrew Bush, 48, died at the mansion near Marbella in April 2014.

Mayka Kukucova, 26, a swimwear model, was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment plus a further six months for breaking into Mr Bush's home. 

Mr Bush, who ran a jewellery business in Bristol, met Kukucova when she worked in his shop.

Rare wolf spiders move into Bristol

A Desertas wolf spider
Bristol Zoo

Twenty-five of these rare wolf spiders have been brought into the West to save the breed from extinction.

Described as one of the world’s rarest spiders, Bristol Zoo said it was believed to be the first time the Desertas wolf spider had been held in a UK zoo.

The species is only found on the Desertas islands near Madeira, Portugal.

Tweeting bees - now I've heard it all!

At-Bristol Science Centre says it has created "the world’s first live tweeting honeybees".

Two accounts are being used to tweet about the bees' daily activity, triggered by live data from scientific research.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Founder and director of BeeBristol, Tim Barsby, said: "Live from the Hive is an important, unique and visionary experiment pioneering an interactive and engaging experience that connects people with nature. 

"Thanks to attentive beekeeping we have nurtured a healthy colony of urban bees on the roof of At-Bristol, so we are very excited to see the results and start tweeting!"

In the papers...

Mike Ford: 'It affects [George] that I got sacked'

Former Bath Rugby head coach Mike Ford has spoken of how his recent sacking may have affected his son's kicking form for England on Sunday.

George Ford missed six of his seven kicks at goal during England's 27-13 victory over Wales at Twickenham.

George Ford playing for England

"We are unbelievably tight and close and it affects him that I got sacked," Mike Ford told The Telegraph newspaper.

"He doesn't want that, he is like every child whose dad loses his job but, with George, he has then got to go out and play for England.

"It affects your life and he took it badly, like we all did. We talked about it and I told him he would be all right, just go out and train well."

Avonmouth eviction: House blockaded

Protesters resist eviction from Avonmouth house

A group of protesters who have occupied a former council house have resisted eviction after bailiffs failed to gain access to the property this morning.

The campaigners moved into the Avonmouth home last month - protesting against a number of issues including the council's decision to sell-off the property to a private bidder. 

A judge has ordered the group to leave but they have moved onto the roof and blockaded the doors and windows.

Barlow in Bristol: Could it be magic?

View more on twitter

Yes Jo, we're jealous. 

Twitter is awash with people sharing their grief (or delight, for others!) at missing the singer's impromptu performance at Cabot Circus in Bristol yesterday.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Winterbourne View: The NHS's response

In response to the families' repeated plea for change, NHS England said "progress up to now hasn't been quick enough and we sympathise with the frustrations expressed".

An NHS logo

A spokeswoman for the health service said: "We have seen significant increases in the numbers of people both being discharged from hospital and having their care and treatment reviewed in the last year.

"The real difference will be made over the coming months and years as local areas implement their response to the far-reaching plans set out by NHS England and its national partners, ensuring that the housing, care and advocacy services become available in each community to provide the high-quality alternatives to hospital people and their families want and need."

Why bumble bees need their hairy legs

Apparently it's the hairy legs of bumble bees that help them find flowers and therefore pollen.

A bumble bee

Tiny vibrating hairs on the bee's legs sense the static electricity - transmitted by flowers - with messages then sent to the nervous system, a study at the University of Bristol has shown.

Lead researcher Dr Gregory Sutton, said: "We were excited to discover that bees' tiny hairs dance in response to electric fields, like when humans hold a balloon to their hair.

"A lot of insects have similar body hairs, which leads to the possibility that many members of the insect world may be equally sensitive to small electric fields."

Winterbourne View: Who wrote the letter

The derelict Winterbourne View building

Members of four families who had loved ones at Winterbourne View have signed the letter to the prime minister. They are:

  • Steve Sollars
  • Ann Earley
  • Wendy Fiander
  • Claire and Emma Garrod

Their plea has been supported by Dr Margaret Flynn, the author of the Winterbourne View serious case review, Jan Tregelles, chief executive of Mencap, and Vivien Cooper, chief executive of The Challenging Behaviour Foundation.

Some 3,500 vulnerable people are still resident at inpatient units across the UK and the families say the lack of change is "painfully slow".

NHS England admits it is still taking too long to review their care.  

Weather: Bright start, but for how long?

Here's Holly Green with today's forecast...

It should be a dry and bright morning but rain is on its way, warns Holly Green.

Winterbourne View: "Dear Prime Minister..."

"We the families of people abused at Winterbourne View hospital write to express our anger at the lack of change five years on from the day that Panorama exposed what happened to our loved ones."

The former Winterbourne View residential hospital in Bristol

That's the start of a letter written to David Cameron from some of the families of victims of the Winterbourne View scandal.

They have written demanding he shuts outdated care home institutions.

Take that, Bristol shoppers!

Gary Barlow, in Bristol, singing?

View more on twitter

Yes, in case you missed it, the Take That singer stunned shoppers at Cabot Circus yesterday with an impromptu concert.

Watch and read more about it here.

It's Tuesday - welcome to Local Live

Hello and good morning. 

It's back to routine this morning following what has been a pretty eventful weekend.

We've had the Old Vic (pictured) celebrating its 250th birthday, Gary Barlow shocking shoppers in Bristol and a local golfer winning an impressive championship.

The OId Vic theatre in Bristol
Getty Images

We're here until 3pm with the latest news, sport, weather and travel from across the area.