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Summary

  1. News, sport, travel and weather updates from across the West of England on Thursday, 9 March 2017.

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Staying mild, but much cloudier tomorrow with some light rain

    Video content

    Video caption: West weather for 9 March

    That's it from BBC Local Live for the West Country for tonight.

    We're back in the morning from 7am with all the latest news, sport, travel and weather news.

    Cloud will once again push in from the south-west overnight across all parts bringing some light, patchy rain and drizzle along with hill fog over higher ground.

    However, it will be another mild night for all. Minimum Temperature: 7C.

  2. Skippy the bald lamb tribute

    Video content

    Video caption: The famous lamb died on Tuesday

    Skippy the lamb made international news when he was born without a fleece at a Wiltshire farm last April.

    Sadly, he became ill this week and died. Vets think he had picked up an infection.

  3. Friends stars looks to trace West country roots

    Courteney Cox

    Courteney Cox has been to visit Berkeley Castle near Thornbury, to trace her roots in the West. 

    It's emerged she's a distant relative of the Berkeley family. She was filming there for the American version of Who Do You Think You Are? 

    She was given access to manuscripts dating back to the 14th Century, related to the death of Edward ll at the castle. 

  4. Commuters' frustration at rail link decision

    Video content

    Video caption: Commuters' frustration at rail link decision

    The dream of a fast rail link between Bristol and Portishead has gone up in smoke. 

    The plan was to upgrade the old freight line for frequent passengers trains, but the costs have got out of control and now there's a slower, compromise option. 

    Instead they'll settle for the cheaper option, meaning slower, hourly train services. 

    Not such good news for Portishead residents frustrated by the congested roads into Bristol:  

  5. Bristol bedblocking review calls for 'tighter controls'

    Infographic

    Patients fit for discharge who block hospital beds for more than a month are to be assigned a worker to deal with their case, a draft report reveals.

    It comes after a dementia patient spent five months at Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI) despite being fit to leave.

    Iris Sibley, 89, had to stay because a community healthcare provider failed to find her a place in a nursing home.

    The report on her case also calls for better communication between hospitals, care homes and other agencies.

    Read more on this story

  6. Helen Bleazard: Yeovil Town Ladies midfielder extends contract with WSL 1 club

    Helen Bleazard

    Yeovil Town Ladies midfielder Helen Bleazard has extended her contract with the Women's Super League One club ahead of the 2017 WSL 1 Spring Series.

    The 26-year-old Wales international has been with the Lady Glovers since returning in 2014.

    The former Bristol Academy and Chelsea player also represented Bristol Rovers after starting her career with Yeovil.

    "I never thought I would be in WSL 1 with my hometown club, so it is fantastic," she told the  club website.

    More on this story.

  7. Investigation under way after security guard trapped in van

    Security van

    A security guard found himself trapped in his own van earlier today in the Forest of Dean. 

    An engineer eventually came to the rescue and the police were called to Lloyds Bank in Cinderford as a precaution. 

    A spokesperson for G4S Cash Solution said that at no point was the security of the staff member, the cash or the van compromised. 

    The vehicle has now returned to the depot to be examined. 

    Security van
  8. Police 'exhaust all lines of inquiry' in search for junior doctor Lauren Phillips

    Jonathan Morris

    BBC News Online

    "We have exhausted all lines of inquiry down there," said a spokesman for Avon and Somerset Constabulary as the search was called off in Devon for missing junior doctor Lauren Phillips.

    Lauren Phillips

    "Police will respond to any sightings and any new investigations," said the spokesman.

    Dr Lauren Phillips, who works for North Bristol NHS Trust and lived in Bristol, was last seen on 23 February. The 26-year-old's car was found in Woolacombe, Devon, five days later. 

    Coastguards, the RNLI and a police helicopter had been searching for her in the area.

  9. King George VI's jacket sells for £7,100

    Jacket

    A dress jacket which was given as a token of appreciation has sold for more than £7,000.

    In 1951 King George VI had his portrait painted by the artist Maurice Codner. 

    He was so delighted with Maurice's work that he gave him his Field Marshal military jacket as a reward.  

    The jacket was made by Saville Row tailors Johns & Pegg in February 1940 and was found by Codner's grandson when he was clearing out his Clevedon home. 

  10. Lee Johnson v Elvis: A little less conversation

    Bristol City might be struggling in the Championship, but manager Lee Johnson still had a little time to break out the Elvis.

    What do you reckon? Going to get in the charts, Lee?

    Video content

    Video caption: Bristol City manager Lee Johnson likens his side's struggles to that of an Elvis song.
  11. Family of canal death man 'pleased' with inquest verdict

    Police divers searching Amsterdam canal

    The family of a man from Gloucestershire, who died after rolling into a canal in Amsterdam in 2016, say they are "pleased" an inquest into his death has recorded an open verdict.

    The body of Richard Cole, 30, from Dursley was found in a canal in the city a week after he went missing.

    CCTV footage discovered by his family while they were searching for him showed him rolling into the water.  It also appeared to show him being accosted by three men.

    They say they believe that if they had not "personally found" the footage "Richard would not have been found until his body resurfaced". 

    Quote Message: It would be easy to assume that Richard died simply because he fell into the canal while intoxicated. We know that it was not as simple as this. We know we will always have unanswered questions regarding how Richard died and the family love and miss him every day from Family statement
    Family statement
  12. 'Hit-and-run' victim 'crawled to the kerb'

    Video content

    Video caption: 'Hit-and-run' victim 'crawled to the kerb'

    The mother of a 14-year-old boy who was knocked off his bike by a driver who failed to stop has appealed for the motorist to go to the police. 

    Mitchell Ogston suffered a broken leg in the incident outside his home on Brompton Road in Weston-super-Mare at approximately 7.25pm on Tuesday. 

    Melanie Ogston said even if the driver was frightened to come forward he or she should "just do so" because "Mitchell's got five or six months to recover and it will affect him afterwards as well".  

    She added Mitchell is undergoing a second day of surgery, including a skin graft to his leg, 

  13. River Tone turns luminous green

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    Video caption: There is a simple explanation for the green colour of the river in Taunton
  14. Man died after rolling into Amsterdam canal while drunk

    Dutch police divers
    Image caption: Mr Cole's body was recovered by police divers

    Earlier we told you about a man from Dursley in Gloucestershire who died after rolling into a canal in Amsterdam.

    Richard Cole, 30, died during a night out in the city in January 2016.

    At an inquest today Gloucestershire Coroner Katy Skerrett said a toxicology report showed Mr Cole had consumed alcohol, as well as amphetamines and a high concentration of MDMA.

    Mr Cole's half-brother Lee Thornhill told the court that while in Amsterdam searching for him after he disappeared, he had viewed CCTV footage which showed Mr Cole being accosted by three men.

    He said footage also showed a taxi pulling up and then driving off, shortly before Mr Cole was seen to roll "quite vigorously" about six feet (2m) into the Herengracht canal.

    An open conclusion was recorded.

  15. Hopes fade for missing junior doctor Lauren Phillips as search called off

    Jonathan Morris

    BBC News Online

    An air, land and sea search for a missing junior doctor in Devon has been called off, police say. 

    Lauren Phillips

    Dr Lauren Phillips - who works for North Bristol NHS Trust and had worked in Cornwall - was last seen on Thursday 23 February.

    The 26-year-old's car was found in Woolacombe, Devon, on 28 February and coastguards, the RNLI and a police helicopter had been searching for her. 

    Devon and Cornwall Police said: "The search has been stood down in our area now."

  16. Making the headlines in the West country newspapers

    Printing press

    Bristol Post:Bristol Greens chose new leader for city council group

    Salisbury Journal:New cell block plan for prisoners faces axe

    Weston Mercury: Driver taken to hospital after head-on collision 

    The Forester:Green light for talks on Forest of Dean Blue Plaques scheme

  17. Inquest: Dutch canal victim 'rolled into water'

    Richard Cole

    A man from Gloucestershire whose body was found in a canal in Amsterdam died after he rolled into the water while drunk, an inquest has heard.

    Richard Cole, 30, from Dursley, went missing during a night out in the city in January 2016.  He had also taken drugs.

    An inquest at Gloucester Coroner's Court today has recorded an open conclusion.  

    The coroner heard CCTV footage showed him lying on the floor and then rolling "vigorously" into the canal. 

    His body was recovered by police divers a week later.

  18. Somerset racehorse sanctuary turning away new arrivals

    Bruton's Racehorse Sanctuary  says it is struggling to cope with demand for its services, and is now turning away several ex-racehorses a week.

    The charity says 4,000 horses leave the industry every year. 

    In many cases, their owners can't afford to keep them any more, or they are of no use after they stop racing. 

    Video content

    Video caption: The organisation near Bruton says it is turning away five or six horses every week
  19. Gary Johnson: Cheltenham Town manager to accept one-match touchline ban

    Gary Johnson

    Cheltenham Town boss Gary Johnson says he will accept a one-match touchline ban and a £500 fine from the Football Association following his conduct in Saturday's  draw at home to Mansfield.

    Johnson, 61, was sent from the dugout after Cheltenham had a player sent off.

    "It is probably best to hold your hands up and say 'ok'," Johnson told BBC Radio Gloucestershire.

    "I've got a one-game (ban) and a £500 fine, a normal sentence for a manager sent to the stands. I accept that."

  20. Family of Lewis Ball pay tribute

    Avon and Somerset Police have released a family tribute to Lewis Ball, who went missing after a night out at the start of February. His body was found last Monday

    Lewis Ball

    In a statement, a family spokesperson said:

    Quote Message: We are all extremely proud of the man Lewis was and hoped he would live a very long and healthy life. Tragically, this wasn’t to be and we are now left with a gaping hole which can never be filled. We couldn’t have asked for a better son and brother and are devastated at what has happened.

    They have also thanked the people who came out to help search for him after he went missing.

    Quote Message: We’d like to thank the people of Bristol for doing everything they could to help us find Lewis. We'd also like to thank Avon and Somerset Police and in particular, the diving team, for their continued professionalism and empathy that they displayed throughout the search for Lewis. Bristol is a city full of caring people who have showed us great kindness and for that we are extremely grateful.