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  1. Updates on Tuesday 12 April 2016
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Wednesday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Tuesday's live coverage

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.

Film studio investigates permanent Minions sign for Minions village

Tamsin Melville

Political Reporter, BBC Radio Cornwall

Universal Pictures - which holds rights to the Minions films - is not ruling out the installation of a permanent sign in the village of Minions on Bodmin Moor.

The village hit the headlines when its road sign was replaced with this version (below) to celebrate the release of the film last year.  

Minions sign

The controversial sign was removed as it was only meant to be temporary, but some businesses complained that its removal would harm the village's status as a movie-related tourist attraction.

Now, a mystery person has covered the sign in stickers, perhaps in a bid to attract the masses back.

Minions sign

Mother appeals for strangers to breastfeed son

Miles Davis

BBC News Online

A mother receiving medical treatment has successfully appealed for strangers to breastfeed her son. Ronja Wiedenbeck said staff at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro advised her not to feed her son while on morphine.

Ronja Wiedenbeck
Ronja Wiedenbeck

She said: "It made me comfortable knowing Rio was fed, nourished and happy. These are breastfeeding mothers. If they had any worries about their health they would have told me." Thousands of women responded to an online appeal and five women fed 11-month-old Rio in hospital. 

Latest headlines for Devon and Cornwall

Claire Hawke

BBC Local Live

- The murder of a soldier outside a nightclub in a Cornish town was "simple bad luck", a trial in Truro has heard. 

- Presenter Richard Madeley has reported two people flying a drone over his garden in Looe to the police 

- A mother receiving medical treatment has successfully appealed for strangers to breastfeed her son

- A paraglider has been taken to hospital with serious injuries after crashing into a cliff near Porthcurno

Tunisia terror attacks: Memorial service for British victims

An engineer from Cornwall who was killed in a terrorist attack has been remembered today at a memorial service at Westminster Abbey. 

Prince Harry

Stephen Mellor from Bodmin was among 38 tourists who died when a gunman opened fire in the Tunisian resort of Sousse in June last year. Mr Mellor died as he shielded his wife Cheryl on the beach.

David Cameron and Prince Harry both read Bible passages at the service, which was conducted by the Dean of Westminster.  

Weather latest: Fog patches and showers overnight

Holly Green

BBC Weather

Through this evening the showers will die out, with all parts becoming dry for a time. Some fog patches may form, and showers look to return to the far west by dawn. Minimum Temperature: 3 Deg C (37 Deg F).

Weather graphic

It will be a chilly start to Wednesday, before we see another day of sunny spells and showers, some of which could be heavy and thundery. Maximum Temperature: 15 Deg C (59 Deg F).

Nicky Reilly terror bombing story to be turned into stage play

Plymouth Herald

The day Plymouth nailbomber Nicky Reilly attempted to blow up the Giraffe Restaurant in Exeter eight years ago, has inspired a new theatre project.

Father claims children 'trapped' by crackdown on fare dodgers

Hamish Marshall

BBC Spotlight

A father has spoken of his frustration about two of children being threatened with fines for refusing to buy train tickets, saying they weren't able to purchase their fares.

Kiah Waller, 18, and five friends face penalties because they couldn't buy tickets at Lympstone station and the train manager disappeared into the drivers cab.

They were caught in an operation at Exmouth to catch fare dodgers. Kiah's dad believes the group was trapped and they will appeal any fines. 

Human rights group raises concern about use of police Tasers

BBC Radio Cornwall

Human rights group Amnesty International has expressed concern about the proliferation of Tasers.

Taser training

It follows Devon and Cornwall Police proposals to almost double the number of officers carrying Tasers from 530 to 1,000 by 2018.

Wailim Wong, from Amnesty, said: "They have to be used properly and they have to be used in the right situations where there's a clear threat to life or a threat of injury... there was a man Tasered while he was having an epileptic fit and another one was a blind man who was Tasered because his white stick was mistaken as a sword, so it has to be in the right circumstances and police also have to have the right training."

Bee petition calls on pesticide ban

A petition, signed by nearly 4,000 people, has been handed in to Devon County Council by a "giant bee" calling for a ban on the use of pesticides.

Environmental groups say scientific evidence of the harm neonicotinoid pesticides pose to bees is "stronger than ever", so banning their use on council-owned land would "show real leadership".

Bee petition
Friends of the Earth

Mike Birkin, from Friends of the Earth, said: “Devon now has the opportunity to set the standard for other councils on protecting our much loved bees by protecting them from these toxic pesticides on council-owned parks, gardens and countryside.”

Crematorium chapel opens in Barnstaple

Lynne French, BBC News Online

A large new crematorium chapel has opened in Barnstaple.

The £1m chapel at North Devon Crematorium, seats 256 people and has a quiet room for families with small children who want to take part in a funeral service.

North Devon Crematorium

Councillor Simon Inch said: "The existing chapel was no longer adequate for our communities' needs, with larger services spilling out of the room, which could make an already distressing time even more stressful."

Final goodbye for Culdrose Sea Kings

Proud prepared for 'peak performance' at Olympic trials

James Law

BBC Sport Online

Plymouth Leander head coach Jon Rudd is confident British record-holder Ben Proud will produce "a peak performance" at this week's Olympic trials.

The double Commonwealth champion, 21, competes in the 100m trial in Glasgow on Thursday and the 50m on Saturday as he looks to confirm his place in Rio this summer.

Ben Proud
Getty Images

"Physically he'll be the best shape of the season so far when we get to Glasgow," Rudd told BBC Sport. "All things being equal he'll be faster than he's been and I hope that's then good enough to secure his place."

Richard Madeley chases 'peeping toms' who flew drone over Cornish garden

Press Association

Richard Madeley has reported to the police two "peeping Toms" who were allegedly flying a drone over his garden to spy on him. 

The former This Morning host tweeted that he gave chase to the "creeps", locating the suspected owners in a nearby white van, before contacting his local police force in Looe. 

He posted: "So who are the two peeping toms who just flew a drone over my garden near Looe? Chased them down to a white van ... Drove off when challenged." He continued: "Police being informed. What creeps." 

Paraglider taken to hospital after crashing into Cornish cliff

BBC Radio Cornwall

A paraglider has been rescued after crashing into a cliff near Porthcurno in West Cornwall. 

It's believed the 27-year-old man fell to the beach, suffering back injuries and a suspected broken ankle. 

The air ambulance and coastguard helicopter took it in turns to land on the beach and treated the man, before he was airlifted to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro.

Amphibious training for HMS Bulwark crew

South Devon 'danger dog' Stella exercised for the first time in two years

Torquay Herald Express

A dangerous dog locked up in a tiny cage by police in South Devon has been exercised for the first time in two years – following a huge public outcry.

Topsham Gap golf range approved by planners despite objections

Exeter Express & Echo

new golf driving range, which is set to "secure the future" of Exeter's golf and country club, will tee off on the Topsham gap. City council planners gave the project a thumbs up at yesterday's planning committee.

'Giant bee' hands in pesticide petition

Lynne French, BBC News Online

A petition calling on Devon County Council to ban the use of pesticides has been handed in by a "giant bee".


Organised jointly by Friends of the Earth, Devon Wildlife Trust, Devon Women's Institute and Buglife South West, the petition urges the council to ban neonicotinoid pesticides on council-owned land.

Murder of soldier David Curnow, 'simple bad luck', jury told

Chris Ellis

BBC News Online

The murder of a soldier outside a nightclub in a Cornish town was "simple bad luck", a jury has heard. 

David Curnow, 20, was found injured after "a disturbance" outside The Zone nightclub in Redruth on 21 September. 

Dave Curnow

Truro Crown Court heard he "went to the ground three times during the attack" and died as a result of his injuries. Connor Hammond, 21, of Johns Park, Redruth, denies murder. Liam Laing, of Brookside, Chacewater previously admitted killing Mr Curnow. 

NFU calls for supermarket supplier scheme to be extended

BBC News England

A Government scheme which protects direct suppliers to supermarkets should be extended to include all growers, the National Farmers Union has said.

Farmers who supply supermarkets indirectly are not currently covered by the Groceries Code Adjudicator scheme and many - including those in Cornwall - have told the NFU about problems with late payments, cancelled orders and changes to payments.  

A spokesperson for the government said a review was due shortly. 

Chances of Taser use 'very small'

Lynne French, BBC News Online

Stun guns were drawn and fired in less than 1% of more than a million incidents attended by police over a period of nearly five years, a senior officer has said.

Supt Ian Drummond-Smith is in charge of a project which could see the number of Taser-trained officers increased from the current level of 530 to 1,000.  


“The chances of officers using a Taser are very small and we don’t believe this would increase with a roll out of more authorised officers," he said.  

Latest headlines for Devon and Cornwall

Claire Hawke

BBC Local Live

- Prince Harry and the Prime Minister have taken part in a memorial service for last year's terror attacks in Tunisia, in which Stephen Mellor from Bodmin was among 38 tourists killed 

- Devon and Cornwall police are planning to almost double the number of officers who carry Tasers

- The family of missing junior doctor Rose Polge have issued a statement in which they say they appreciate the continued love and support that they've been receiving from the public 

- A woman from Penzance has hit the headlines after letting a group of women breastfeed her son after putting out an appeal on Facebook  

Latest travel for Devon and Cornwall

BBC Travel

-  Reports of an incident in Newton Abbot on Queen Street around Quay Road.

-  Also on the A386 between Sourton Cross and Mary Tavy there are reports of an incident.

- There is slow traffic on the A390 in Truro, between Highertown and Treliske roundabout.

- Roadworks are causing queues in St Austell on Holmbush Road between Mount Charles Roundabout and the Pine Lodge traffic lights.

- On the A30 between the Woodleigh Junction and Whiddon Down there are reports of an incident. 

Weather for Devon and Cornwall: Sunny spells and showers

BBC Weather

Sunny spells and one or two scattered showers - some of which could turn heavy, with a risk of hail and thunder this afternoon, feeling pleasantly warm in the sunshine with temperatures up to 15 Deg C (59 Deg F).

Weather map

Through this evening and overnight, any showers will soon clear away, with all parts becoming dry for a time, some fog patches forming by dawn and showers returning to the far west. Minimum temperature 3 Deg C (37 Deg F).

Would you feel safer if more police officers carried Tasers?

Gordon Sparks

Presenter, BBC Radio Devon

Should more Police officers be kitted out with Taser stun guns?

The number of Devon and Cornwall police officers carrying them could rise to almost 1,000 within three years. 

Senior officers say it'll help keep communities safer, and reduce assaults on officers, but the move is controversial. Let me know what you think on today's phone-in by calling 0345 301034.

Mother asks strangers to breastfeed her son

Miles Davis

BBC News Online

A mother from Penzance being treated with morphine in hospital successfully found five other women to breastfeed her 11-month-old son after a making an appeal online.

Ronja Wiedenbeck with her son Rio
Ronja Wiedenbeck

Ronja Wiedenbeck already knew three of the women who came forward, but the two others were strangers.

Tackling flooding in Exeter

Hospital 'deeply saddened' after missing doctor feared dead

Chris Ellis

BBC News Online

Torbay Hospital, where missing doctor Rose Polge used to work, has said staff are "deeply saddened" by the news that a woman's body has been found in the sea.

The 25-year-old has not been seen since 12 February. A body was recovered from the sea east of Portland Bill on 1 April, but has not yet been formally identified.


Dr Rob Dyer, medical director at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: "Our thoughts are with her family and loved ones at this very distressing time. We will continue to do whatever we can to support the authorities, as well as providing support to her colleagues at this difficult time."  

Appeal to catch fishing line vandals

Lynne French, BBC News Online

Members of the public are being asked to help track down "vandals" who strung up fishing lines at the popular Tehidy Country Park near Camborne at the weekend.

The potentially dangerous line, tied across several bridges, was discovered by a group of early-morning visitors to the park on Sunday.

Tehidy Country Park
Cornwall Council

“It is hard to understand why anyone would do something like this and what their aim was other than to cause harm,” CORMAC Countryside Officer Gavin Henderson said.  

Fishing line
Cornwall Council

Metal gate smashed through windscreen 'inches' from man's head

Plymouth Herald

A metal gate landed "inches from a man's head" after smashing through the windscreen of his van.

Shaun Foale was driving to a job at Plymouth Parkway Football Club in Manadon on Sunday morning when his van was struck by a council-owned metal gate at the entrance to the football club.

Shaun Foale
John Allen/Plymouth Herald

A spokesman for Plymouth City Council told The Herald a team has visited the site to ensure the gates are secure but "we cannot comment on individual cases but we will be in touch with Mr Bickford directly".

Surfer in helicopter rescue

Miles Davis

BBC News Online

A surfer has been rescued by helicopter from a beach on the north coast of Cornwall.

St Agnes Coastguard said on Facebook the man had suffered a "potentially serious injury" at Porthtowan beach on Monday afternoon.

The surfer was treated by paramedics and a passing doctor at the scene and taken to hospital by the Coastguard Rescue 924 helicopter.

Is the use of Tasers by rural forces a step towards arming officers?

Is it right for Devon and Cornwall Police to double the number of officers carrying Tasers?

The force says it would help police in isolated areas where back-up was not nearby and would act as a "deterrent".

But Amnesty International has raised concerns about the use of Tasers, saying there have been several cases where they have been wrongly used. What do you think? Let me know on today's phone-in by calling 01872 222222.

Opening of new 256-seater crematorium chapel

BBC Radio Devon

A new chapel is being officially opened at Barnstaple's North Devon Crematorium today. 

More than £1m has been spent on the chapel, which seats 256 people.

North Devon Crematorium

The chapel has been designed for larger services.

St Ives plan to restrict second homes

Graham Satchell

Journalist, BBC News

Residents in St Ives will soon be able to vote on a new plan which could stop "outsiders" from buying a second home in the Cornish holiday resort.

St Ives

Many locals claim second-home ownership has priced them out the market, so if the vote is passed in the referendum on 5 May, developers will not be allowed to sell the buildings to anyone who has a residence elsewhere.  

Officers support police Taser plan

Lynne French, BBC News Online

Rank and file police officers are supporting plans to almost double the number of personnel trained to use Taser stun guns in Devon and Cornwall.

The force is asking for the public's views on its plan to increase the current number from 530 to 1,000 over the next couple of years, claiming it will help to protect the public and officers in more isolated rural areas.

Taser stun gun

Nigel Rabbits, chairman of the Devon and Cornwall Police Federation, said: “Our stance is that all front-line, public facing operational officers should carry Taser.”  

Rose Polge tributes after body found

Chris Ellis

BBC News Online

The family of a missing junior doctor whose body is thought to have been found in the sea off Dorset, have said they "appreciate the continued love and support" they have received.

Rose Polge, 25, who worked at Torbay Hospital in Devon, has not been seen since her car was found at Anstey's cove12 February.

Rose Polge
Devon and Cornwall Police

A body was recovered from the sea east of Portland Bill on 1 April, but it has not yet been formally identified. 

Test for Exeter emergency flood plan

BBC Spotlight

An emergency flood plan for Exeter St Thomas is to be put to the test later.

It's one of 52 communities in the South West classed by the Environment Agency as being at high risk of flash flooding.

The planning exercise at Danes Castle Fire Station will involve members of the St Thomas Community Emergency Group, as well as the Environment Agency and blue light services. A second exercise next month will involve equipment and personnel.

Sick mum 'overwhelmed' by response to breastfeed plea

The Cornishman

A mum too ill to breastfeed her baby son sent out a desperate plea on Facebook for other mums to help and was completely overwhelmed with the response.