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Summary

  1. Riverside Leisure Centre fire: Probe into cause of blaze under way
  2. SW councils condemn government's final funding settlement
  3. PCSO 'hijacked' gritter lorry in search for missing boy
  4. Police commissioner investigation nearing end
  5. Falmouth Rugby Club's been forced to close its clubhouse after a suspected outbreak of norovirus
  6. Spaniel eats Thomas the Tank Engine train
  7. Updates on Wednesday 22 February 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage across the day

    Live updates for Devon and Cornwall have finished for the day, but we'll be back at 08:00 on Thursday 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.

  2. Exeter blaze: Leisure centre freezes fees after fire

    Stephen Bardwell

    Local Live

    The owners of Exeter’s fire-hit Riverside Leisure Centre have thanked staff and the emergency services for their "fast action in dealing with the incident".

    Riverside Leisure Centre

    Two people were injured and 50 people evacuated from the blaze at the centre on Tuesday, which was fought by about 120 firefighters.

    Legacy Leisure said the complex would remain closed for the foreseeable future and that swimmers' membership fees would be "frozen until the end of March when a further review will take place".

    Managers added that customers would still be able to use facilities at the other Legacy Leisure sites in the city and that staff "will be relocated to these centres".

    Legacy said: "Where possible, block bookings and exercise classes will transfer to Clifton Hill and Wonford; swimming classes to the Pyramids pool."

  3. Teignmouth-Shaldon bridge to be raised every year

    BBC Radio Devon

    A Devon bridge is to be raised once a year to ensure the recently refurbished structure "remains operational and to allow essential maintenance", a council says.

    Shaldon Bridge

    The Teignmouth to Shaldon bridge was raised last week for first time in 14 years.

    The work on the bridge, completed in 1931, was carried out to ensure the safe passage of vessels beneath it.

    This is despite the 324m-long structure bridge not having to operate its lifting span for commercial shipping purposes "for many years", Devon County Council said.

    However, it added that a government act required that the bridge remained operational.

  4. Slaughterman 'butchered animals in filthy abattoir caked in blood'

    Andrew Segal

    Local Live

    Illegal slaughterhouse. Pic: Mid Devon District Council

    A rogue slaughterman illegally butchered animals in a filthy abattoir caked in blood and rotting meat, a court heard.

    Forty-year-old Matthew Broom, of Cowley Moor Road, Tiverton, admitted 16 food hygiene offences at Exeter Crown Court for illegally butchering about 4,000 animals between 2008-2013.

    The court heard more than one tonne of unfit meat was seized when his premises was raided by Mid Devon District Council.

    He was jailed for eight months, suspended for two years, ordered to do 180 hours unpaid community work, and ordered to repay an estimated £40,000 in profit under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

    Sentencing, the judge said it was a breach of "basic hygiene practices known to any household".

    Mid Devon Council said the sentence was a "major deterrent" to those who jeopardised food safety.

  5. Exeter fire: Leisure centre 'closed for the foreseeable future'

    Andrew Segal

    Local Live

    A leisure centre in Exeter which had 120 firefighters battling a blaze in it will be "closed for the foreseeable future", bosses say.

    Leisure centre roof

    Legacy Leisure said the Riverside Centre was "evacuated successfully and in line with our emergency action plan".

    It added: "The fire started in the sauna which has been extensively damaged. We are working with the authorities to establish the cause and to fully assess the damage elsewhere in the building."

  6. Latest headlines in Devon and Cornwall

    Andrew Segal

    Local Live

    • A road rage motorist is jailed for 11 months after being caught on a helmet camera driving dangerously
    • A second man charged in connection with the death of a former charity fundraiser whose body was found in a wheelie bin in Exeter denies murder 
    • A leisure centre in Exeter badly damaged in a fire will be closed for the foreseeable future
    • A police community support officer in Tiverton has a "follow that car" moment, commandeering a gritter lorry to help successfully track down a missing boy
    • Public health officials investigate a suspected virus outbreak at a Cornish rugby club which has affected as many as 40 people
    • A Torpoint dog is back on track to health after surgery to remove a toy train he swallowed... which he must have mistaken for a "chew-chew" toy 
  7. Exeter fire: Guinea pigs reunited with owners

    View more on twitter

    The pets had to be evacuated from a nearby building when emergency crews were dealing with the Riverside Leisure Centre blaze.

  8. Latest weather: Getting windier before Thursday gales

    Bee Tucker

    BBC Weather

    It'll remain cloudy overnight, with patchy rain continuing for some.

    However, it'll become increasingly windy for all, especially towards dawn, with more persistent rain arriving from the west by sunrise. Minimum temperature: 8C (46F).

    Weather

    Thursday will be very windy, with gales expected, and severe gales over coastlines and the moors in the morning as Storm Doris moves east across the UK.

    A band of heavy rain will spread from the west through the morning, with brighter spells developing through the afternoon, but it will feel much cooler, especially in the wind. Maximum temperature: 11C (52F).

  9. Road rage driver 'involved in similar incidents before'

    John Henderson

    BBC Spotlight

    A man jailed after being caught on a moped rider's helmet camera driving dangerously was involved in similar incidents before, a court heard.

    At Exeter Crown Court, 23-year-old Jake Warren was imprisoned for 11 months after he admitted dangerous driving and assault by battery in an incident involving the moped rider last October.  

    The court heard he'd previously punched a cyclist on the thigh whilst a passenger in a car and had also assaulted a police officer. He was also in breach of two other suspended sentences: one for concealing criminal property, the other for possession of cannabis with intent to supply.

    Emily Pitts, defending, said Warren - who is autistic, dyslexic and has ADHD - was working well with probation.

  10. Exeter leisure centre fire: Blaze 'not thought suspicious at this stage'

    BBC Radio Devon

    The cause of a fire at a leisure centre in Exeter is not thought to be suspicious at this stage, senior fire officers say.

    Leisure centre interior

    A detailed forensic search of the fire-damaged Riverside Leisure Centre in Exeter is under way. 

    About 120 firefighters were called to the incident on Tuesday afternoon. Two people were injured and about 50 people evacuated from the centre.

  11. Man denies murder of charity fundraiser

    BBC Radio Devon

    A second man has pleaded not guilty to the murder of a former charity fundraiser whose body was found in a wheelie bin in Exeter.

    James Woodhouse

    Thomas Killen, of North Lawn Court, denied killing James Woodhouse (pictured) last year when he appeared at the city's Crown Court. The 32-year-old was remanded in custody until a trial due in July.

    Brett Edwards, 37, of Okehampton Road in Exeter denied murder when he appeared in court last December.

    Thirty-year-old Mr Woodhouse's body was found at a bedsit in Okehampton Road on 21 November.

  12. Exeter leisure centre fire: 'Three lines of attack to stop blaze'

    BBC Radio Devon

    Firefighters used "three lines of attack" to put out a fire at a leisure centre in Exeter, emergency services say.

    Leisure centre interior

    Investigators are tying to determine how the blaze started in the sauna of the Riverside Centre yesterday afternoon and spread, damaging much of the building. Fifteen fire appliances from across Devon tackled the incident.

    Matt Johnson, from Devon and Somerset Fire Service, said: "The first [line of attack] was to put the fire out in sauna and health suite areas. Next was putting it out in the air conditioning system. Then we cut holes in the roof to get water mist into the roof space and put the fire out in there."

  13. Relief after Cyril's 'carriage' proves not too disastrous

    Stephen Bardwell

    Local Live

    Cyril the spaniel. Pic: PDSA

    Having swallowed a toy Thomas the Tank Engine train carriage, Cyril the Spaniel was rushed to Plymouth PDSA Pet Hospital to have it removed.

    Imagine his owner’s relief, when the nine-year-old Cavalier King Charles made a swift recovery and was back home, in Torpoint, the next day.

    "We were really worried about Cyril because he was so poorly, and needed a big operation. We were relieved when we received the call to say it had gone well," said owner Lesley Mellor.

    We think it’s great to see Cyril back on track again after his emergency shunt to the vets. Lesley and her son, Cameron, must be wondering what train of thought led to Cyril’s loco snack. Perhaps Cyril thought his choice of diet might be a "fat controller"?

  14. Intensive care unit has large beds for patients up to 31 stone

    BBC Radio Devon

    A new £15m intensive care unit at Torbay Hospital will have two extra large beds to accommodate patients weighing up to 31 stone, managers say.

    Torbay Hospital

    The unit, which has taken 18 months to build, is being unveiled today, with the first patients due to be admitted on Friday.

    It also has special bays for treating people with severe infections.

  15. Club virus outbreak: 30-40 people thought to be ill

    Andrew Segal

    Local Live

    Between 30-40 people are believed to be suffering from a virus in a suspected outbreak at Falmouth Rugby Club, public health officials say.

    People have reported feeling ill since two events at the venue over the weekend. On Saturday there was a drum and bass night. On Sunday there was a christening.

    The club said it was not holding any events until public health officials were satisfied a deep clean had tackled the suspected norovirus.  

    Public Health England and Cornwall Council are investigating.

  16. Cornish Pirates hooker Elloway retires

    BBC Sport

    Rob Elloway

    Cornish Pirates' former Germany international Rob Elloway has retired with immediate effect at the age of 33.

    Hooker Elloway joined the Pirates from Gloucester in 2007 and played 229 times for the Penzance-based club. He made two appearances for the German national team, and spent time out on loan at London Welsh when they were in the Premiership in 2015.

    "With a two-year-old and another on the way in July, I want to spend more time with my wife and children," he said.

    "I feel excited to start the next chapter in my life and keen to find a role where my positive nature and enthusiasm will make a difference. "

  17. 'Follow that boy': Boy 'shocked' after gritter pursuit'

    Andrew Segal

    Local Live

    A runaway boy was apparently left "shocked" after being caught by a police community support officer who flagged down a gritter lorry in Devon to track him, police say. 

    PCSO Paul Goodier jumped aboard the vehicle in a "follow that car" moment after the lorry driver said he had spotted the boy who had run away from his parents in Tiverton. 

    They tracked the boy down close to where the driver had last seen him.

    Tiverton Police said: "The boy's shocked face as our officer of the week climbed down from the cab was apparently a picture. He didn't even think to run off."

  18. 'Road rage' driver jailed for dangerous driving

    John Henderson

    BBC Spotlight

    A motorist has been jailed for 11 months after he was caught on a helmet camera driving dangerously.

    Twenty-three-year-old Jake Warren cried as he was sentenced at Exeter Crown Court.

    The court was shown footage from a head cam of a teenage moped rider which showed Warren's BMW car driving dangerously in the city last October, almost forcing the moped into a traffic island, and then ending in an assault on the rider.

    Warren, of Bennet Square, Exeter, admitted dangerous driving and assault by battery. Sentencing, Recorder James Watson QC said his actions amounted to "road rage".