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  1. Devon County Council loses court appeal over controversial traffic system in Totnes
  2. Bus driver has close encounter with eagle owl on loose in Exeter
  3. Complaints over different treatments for parents taking children out of school in term-time
  4. Updates on Tuesday 19 April 2016

Live Reporting

By Elisabeth Mahy

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Tuesday's live coverage

Live updates for Devon and Cornwall have finished for the day, but we'll be back from 08:00 on Wednesday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

Boxer dog sparks raisin warning after eating contents of cupboard

A boisterous boxer dog from Plymouth sparked a warning about raisins after guzzling the contents of a baking cupboard.

His owner, Jasmine Quick said: "Ray was absolutely covered in flour and sugar, and was guzzling his way through the raisins."

Ray the boxer

He was rushed to the local pet hospital where he was given medicine to make him sick. Ray is now home with his family after making a full recovery.

Message in a bottle found after 108 years adrift

John Danks, BBC Spotlight

A postcard returned to a marine biologist in Plymouth has been recognised as the oldest message in a bottle ever found. 

Message in a Bottle

Bottles containing postcards were released in the North Sea as part of research into ocean currents during the early 1900s. 

This one was found last year in Germany after more than 108 years adrift.

Success for Devon player in World Snooker Championships

BBC Spotlight

Uffculme's Sam Baird has won his first-ever game at the World Snooker Championships.

Sam Baird
BBC Sport

The world number 59 made a break of 103 in the penultimate frame as he beat 15th seed Michael White 10-7 at the Crucible. 

He's the first Devon player to win a game at the event since Andy Hicks won in the first round in 2004.

Weather latest: The chance of frost overnight, dry and mainly sunny tomorrow

David Braine, Weather Forecaster

This evening will be dry with some sunny spells before dusk. Staying dry overnight but clear spells will allow temperatures to fall quite quickly allowing a frost to form in rural areas. Minimum Temperature: 2 Deg C (36 deg F).

Weather graphic

After a cool start, Wednesday will be a dry day with some good sunny spells. However it will be windy around southern coasts and over hills, making it feel a little cooler despite the sunshine. Maximum Temperature: 16 Deg C (61 Deg F).

Exeter City Council staff and councillors receive 150 tickets for Radio 1's Big Weekend

Exeter Express & Echo

More than 100 Exeter City Councillors and council workers have been handed free tickets to Radio 1's Big Weekend in Exeter – after thousands of locals were left disappointed in the scramble to get tickets.

Drivers pulled over in police operation include one 'stupidly facetiming a friend'

Claire Hawke

BBC Local Live

Devon and Cornwall Police have been cracking down on drivers who break the law in its annual Operation Vortex to reduce crashes, deaths and injuries on local roads.

The offences spotted today and highlighted on Twitter include:  

- A Bulgarian lorry driver on the M5 who was watching a film on a laptop 

-  An Audi TT clocked at 101mph, police say the 'late for work' driver can now look forward to receiving a ban 

- The motorist pulled over on the A30 for speeding, telling officers he was late for a funeral 

- A woman pulled over and fined on the A30 for mobile phone use who was "stupidly facetiming a friend whilst driving"

Jury out in Dave Curnow murder trial

West Briton

Jurors have retired to decide whether one of the men that attacked Illogan soldier Dave Curnow during a night out will be convicted of his murder.

Latest headlines for Devon and Cornwall

Claire Hawke

BBC Local Live

- Campaigners in Totnes have won their David and Goliath battle against Devon County Council over a traffic system they claim is killing trade

- Two people have been arrested in Barnstaple for suspected modern slavery offences

- A bus driver has a close encounter with an eagle owl which is on the loose in Exeter

Latest travel for Devon and Cornwall

BBC Travel

- In Holsworthy there are reports of a collision involving a car and a tractor on the A3072 between Anvil Corner and Bovacott Lane.

- At Chudleigh Knighton on the A38 Plymouth-bound between the Chudleigh turn off and Drum Bridges there is a lane blocked by a broken down vehicle 

- The B3302 Trelissick Road in Hayle is blocked by an accident involving two vehicles

- Watch out for slow traffic on the A390 at Holmbush near St Austell because of roadworks

Hospice has new Chief Executive

BBC Radio Devon

St Luke's Hospice in Plymouth has a new Chief Executive - the second in its 30 year history.

Steve Statham will oversee the hospice's work with more than 3,000 terminally ill people each year.

£100,000 legal bill over controversial traffic system may have to be paid by taxpayer

John Ayres

BBC Spotlight

A legal bill for a hearing on which way traffic should flow through Totnes already stands at more than £100,000, it has emerged.

A campaign group called STAG had a controversial road order by Devon County Council overturned in the High Court, but the council took the issue to the Court of Appeal. Today they lost. Campaigners are celebrating.

On the face of it, it sounds like a small town issue. But the cost of the court battle surrounding the row over the road system may have to be picked up by the taxpayer.

Plymouth passengers stranded as ferry breaks down in France

Plymouth Herald

Plymouth passengers had to spend the night on board a stationary ferry after the 3pm sailing from Roscoff to Plymouth and 10pm Plymouth to Roscoff ferries were cancelled.

Local MPs to be consulted on housing fund

The government says it will consult local MPs on how to spend a £19m fund for housing in the South West, after Conservative MP Scott Mann raised the issue in the Commons.

The money was announced in the budget and will be spent in areas impacted by people buying up second homes. 

Treasury minister Greg Hands said: "We will be releasing £19m for community-led housing in the South West, and I look forward to discussing with him how we might best do that."

North Devon lifeguards to get £5,000 to increase patrols at Croyde Beach

Elisabeth Mahy

BBC News Online

The RNLI has been given a donation of £5,000 to improve its services at Croyde Beach.  


Lifeguards patrol the beach from Easter until the end of October, but the donation, from a local Nisa supermarket, will go towards extending patrol hours during busy school holiday periods, as well as new equipment.

Police appeal for witness in fatal Paignton crash

McGlone ready to retire from rugby

Brent Pilnick, BBC Sport

Cornish Pirates forward Laurie McGlone says the time is right to retire.

Laurie McGlone
Brian Tempest

The 37-year-old will return to his native New Zealand after a seven-year association with the Penzance-based club, where he played 161 games and helped Pirates win the 2010 British and Irish Cup and reach two play-off finals.

"It's time for me to concentrate on things outside of rugby, like my family," he told BBC Radio Cornwall.

Tributes pour in for Newquay rugby legend Reg Roberts who died last week

Cornish Guardian

People across Newquay have been paying their respects to a dedicated member of Newquay Hornets Rugby Club and a much-loved former teacher at Tretherras school.

Totnes traffic campaigner says "there'll be a big party" in the town after court ruling

BBC Radio Devon

Campaigners in Totnes, who have won their fight to get the traffic flow reversed through the town centre, plan to celebrate with "a big party", according to one of those who opposed the Devon County Council traffic scheme.

Last year, the High Court decided the council had been unlawful in changing the direction of the traffic - but the council appealed that decision. Today, Court of Appeal judges ruled against the council.


Peter Richardson said: "It will be a proper market town again". 

Latest travel for Devon and Cornwall

BBC Travel

- A361 is partially blocked and there is heavy traffic between South Molton and Aller Cross, following an incident

- In Symondsbury there is very slow traffic on the A35 Devon-bound between West Road and Duck Street in Chideock

- In Penryn the A393 is blocked in both directinos due to a traffic collision between the Treluswell Roundabout and Ponsanooth  

Boxer dog survives raisin binge

Miles Davis

BBC News Online

A binge-eating boxer dog created his own Great British Bark-Off after wolfing down the entire contents of a baking cupboard. 

Ray, the lovable eight-year-old pet, from Plymouth, gobbled up a bag of flour, an entire kilo of sugar - including the bag - and a packet of raisins, which can be deadly to dogs.

As soon as the kitchen crime scene was discovered, greedy Ray was rushed to Plymouth's PDSA Pet Hospital by his worried owner, Jasmine Quick, where he was admitted for emergency treatment.    

Totnes traffic to be restored

Court of Appeal judges have ruled that the reverse traffic flow scheme in Totnes must end. 

Devon County Council reversed traffic flow through the town centre in 2013 to make the area safer.  

Spotlight tweet

Seal 1-0 Cuttlefish

Mother 'really angry' over school holiday penalties

BBC Radio Devon

A Devon mother says she feels "really angry" that her family was penalised for going on holiday during school term time, while her friend wasn't.

Sharon Griffiths ended up in court with costs of more than £400.

Sharon Griffiths

"I was adamant that I was not going to pay that 60 pound fine, and that's why I got taken to court," she said.

Larkins wants quick Launceston return

Brent Pilnick, BBC Sport

Redruth head coach Steve Larkins hopes that Cornish rivals Launceston can return to form next season.

Redruth v launceston
Dan Barbary/Redruth RFC

The Cornish All Blacks are yet to win a game this term, have been relegated from National Two South and host Redruth on Saturday, in what will be the final Cornish derby for at least a season.

"Fingers crossed they can turn the corner next season and see if they can push for that promotion spot and get back into this league," Larkins said.

Weather latest: A sunny afternoon, more cloud coming in later

BBC Weather

A sunny afternoon with patchy cloud invading northern and eastern parts. Maximum Temperature: 14 Deg C (57 Deg F). 

weather grapic

Tonight there will be just patchy cloud and lengthy clear spells, but during the night more cloud will develop. Minimum Temperature: 5 Deg C (41 Deg F).

How does £2 a day sound to park?

Gordon Sparks

Presenter, BBC Radio Devon

A trial could be made permanent in some West Devon car parks where the lower one-rate charge in Okehampton and Tavistock long-stays has been running for a year - but is it good for town centre trade?

Okehampton car park
Google maps

Devon Debates is your programme, so let us know what you think by calling the phone-in on 0345 3011034 today from 13:00.  

Lorry Driver pulled over for using phone while driving

View more on twitter

Officers are carrying out patrols in unmarked vehicles and on motorcycles on various roads across Devon and Cornwall as part of Operation Vortex, targeting "poor, inconsiderate and complacent driving." 

Man blames 'shiny bald head' for eagle owl near miss

Jonathan Morris, BBC News Online

An Exeter man has spoken about how an eagle owl swooped on him because of his bald head.

Richard Clevedon Smith was walking through Southernhay in the city to the bus depot at about 04:00 last week when the bird swooped. 

Richard Clevedon Smith

He said: "I heard the hooting first and just happened to look round and this great big bird came down with massive wings and its talons out.

"It came towards my head so I ducked down and it flew off. I reckon it was the light shining on my bald head that attracted it - it could even have thought my head was an egg. It's something I will never forget."  

Council defends decision to take school holiday family to court

BBC Radio Devon

Devon County Council has said it does its best to fulfill Department for Education requirements, after a woman had to pay £400 in court costs for taking her son, who has special needs, on holiday during term-time. 

The council said Devon has some of the lowest figures in the country for the number of children who are persistently absent from school, after a complaint that two families who took their children out of school at the same time were treated differently.

Devon County Council HQ, Exeter

The school has declined to comment.

Gibson takes temporary charge at Albion

Brent Pilnick, BBC Sport

Exeter Chiefs academy coach Rob Gibson is to take charge of Plymouth Albion for the final two games of the season. 

Rob Gibson
Getty Images

The National One club is looking for a new director of rugby after Graham Dawe was sacked by the club's new owners. 

Gibson was present at a players' meeting at the Brickfields on Monday night, as was Exeter's academy manager Robin Cowling, and his first game in charge will be against Hartpury College on Saturday 24 April.    

Latest headlines for Devon and Cornwall

Elisabeth Mahy

BBC News Online

- Police have arrested two people in Barnstaple following a warrant executed for suspected modern slavery offences

- A battle over a controversial road system in Totnes, which is being heard at the Court of Appeal today, could end up costing taxpayers more than £100,000

- Two Devon families living next door to each other say it's totally unfair how parents who take their children out of school in term time are dealt with

- An eagle owl on the loose in Exeter appears to have attacked a bald-headed man

Parents warned after child picks up syringe

Plymouth Herald

A woman has taken to Facebook to warn parents to be extra vigilant after a syringe was picked up by a child in Dawlish.

Exeter eagle owl swoop puts bald-headed man in fear

Jonathan Morris, BBC News Online

An eagle owl on the loose in Exeter appears to have targeted a bald-headed man.

Eagle Owl
Jack Cartwright

There has been been a number of sightings of the escaped eagle owl over the last few weeks and bus driver Richard Clevedon Smith says he had a close encounter with the owl on his way to work when it swooped on him. 

Experts say the owl would be unlikely to attack humans.  

Have you ever been scammed?

Laurence Reed

BBC Radio Cornwall

Almost 20,000 victims of postal lottery-type scams have been identified across the country in the past three years, according to figures from the National Trading Standards Scams Team.

They claim the people scammed have lot a total of £20m, but an expert who has been researching the problem, believes it could be considerably higher.    

So how are the scammers managing to scam so many people and how do people deal with them? If you've been a victim we would love to hear from you on today's lunchtime phone-in, get involved by calling 01872 222222.

Is it fair for only a proportion of parents to be fined for taking children on holiday in term-time?

View more on twitter

More on Spotlight's lunchtime bulletin at 13:30 on BBC One. 

Next times of high water

If you're heading to the coast today, here are the next high water times.

Tide times graphic

I'll have a full weather forecast in the BBC Spotlight lunchtime bulletin at 13:30 on BBC One.

Latest travel for Devon and Cornwall

BBC Travel

- In Truro there is slow traffic on the A390 Tresawls Road at the Treliske roundabout

- In Newton Abbot the A383 Newton Road is partially blocked near Kingsteignton Road due to an incident

- In Plymouth on Budshead Road near Taunton Avenue we've got reports of an incident

Two arrested over suspected modern slavery offences

Rachael Thorn

BBC News Online

A man and a woman have been arrested over suspected modern slavery offences in north Devon.

The 26-year-old woman from Barnstaple was arrested on Monday on suspicion of human trafficking and money laundering, while the man, 33, was arrested on suspicion of being in the country illegally.

Two illegal immigrants found working at a business premises in the town centre are suspected of being victims of labour exploitation and are being cared for by Devon Social Services.