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  1. Police in Devon call off a search for missing 26-year-old doctor Lauren Phillips
  2. Women taking legal action for sex discrimination over against Met Office
  3. Dead whale washes up on north Devon beach
  4. Tribute paid to Lauren Scott, who was killed by farm machinery
  5. A Plymouth building project helps homeless veterans turn their lives around
  6. Updates on Thursday 9 March 2017

Live Reporting

By Sian Davies

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 Friday 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. Latest weather: Staying mild

    David Braine

    Weather Forecaster

    Cloud will once again push in from the South West overnight across all parts this evening. This will bring some light, patchy rain and drizzle, along with hill fog over higher ground. However, it will be another mild night for all. Minimum temperature: 9C (48F).


    Friday will be another mild day, though mainly cloudy with a little light rain and drizzle. Patchy hill fog will tend to linger, but brighter spells are possible in the north and east. Maximum temperature: 14C (57F).

  3. UK Government 'discriminating' against Cornwall, council says

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    Cornwall Council has accused the UK Government of "discrimination" after a report on the protection of national minorities was not shared with it before government gave a response. 

    The report said the Cornish identity should be "nurtured" and that the government should "reconsider cutting all funding for the Cornish language".

    "We are disappointed by this further evidence of discrimination, which meant that we were unable to influence the government’s response, or prepare our own response to the findings or recommendations", Cornwall Council said.

    The Cornish flag

    In response, the government said: “We’re supporting the further development of Cornish culture and heritage, including with more than £800,000 funding since 2010. This complements Cornwall’s core spending powers of £1.7bn over the next four years.”

  4. Gulls owners could have sacked me - Nicholson

    James Law

    BBC Sport Online

    Torquay United manager Kevin Nicholson says the club's new owners would have been "well within their rights" to sack him, given the team's poor results.

    The Gulls, recently taken over by Gaming International, are two points from safety with one win in 10 games.

    Kevin Nicholson

    "Every time the phone rang on Sunday I was looking, because I thought that might've been it," Nicholson told  BBC Radio Devon.

    "They [the owners] spelt out exactly what they expect and then they've backed me, they've given me a little bit extra funding-wise to try and get one or two players in."

  5. Aerial rope bridge coming to the Eden Project

    Rob England

    BBC News Online

    A rope bridge allowing visitors to explore the Eden Project's indoor rainforest "from the treetops" will be opening this month. 

    The aerial bridge is the latest addition to its indoor rainforest canopy walkway.

    Staff said construction was nearing completion and it would be officially opened on Saturday 18 March. 

    The Eden Project
    Quote Message: You’ll be able to cross our high-level canopy rope bridge, travel through heat-reflecting clouds, and shelter from tropical rain. We’ll also be showing you how you can get involved and support projects, or take actions to conserve the forest.” from Dr Jo Elworthy Eden Project Director of Interpretation
    Dr Jo Elworthy Eden Project Director of Interpretation
  6. We dig that! Garden makeover to help Curtis

    Emma Thomasson

    BBC Spotlight

    View more on twitter

    WellChild, the national charity for sick children, has given a garden in Cornwall a makeover. 

    Ten-year-old Curtis has  Charge Syndrome , a genetic condition which means he's seriously ill and needs a safe space he can use. The rare condition affects about one in every 10,000 births.

    Thanks to volunteers, his play space has been transformed, and you can see here how much everyone likes it.

  7. Pirates make five changes for quarter-final

    James Law

    BBC Sport Online

    Cornish Pirates have named Jack Andrew at prop in place of his brother Paul for their British & Irish Cup quarter-final in Jersey tomorrow night.

    Centres Bar Bartlett and Nicolas De Battista are recalled, with Will Cargill and Brett Beukeboom also starting.

    Jersey v Cornish Pirates

    "It's not very often you get to play a team two weeks on the trot, so we'll be looking to right our wrongs, as will they," Pirates coach Gavin Cattle told BBC Radio Cornwall.

    "Jersey are a big set-piece team and it's about parity or even the upper hand, so we can put ourselves on them," he added.

  8. Dead whale 'moving further inshore'

    Ryan Morrison

    BBC News Online

    A dead whale that washed up on the rocks at Hartland Quay in Devon last night could be moving further inshore, according to the owners of a nearby hotel.


    It was spotted on Wednesday afternoon and has already moved further inshore due to the tide last night. 

    Sarah Stafford from the Hartland Quay Hotel said: "We're concerned it may happen again tonight."

    She added that she'd already reported it to the government and she hoped something was done "before it starts to smell".

  9. Met Office pay dispute: 'We reward staff achievements'

    Simon Hall, Home Affairs Correspondent

    BBC Spotlight

    More than 70 women have claimed that the Met Office, based in Exeter, has discriminated against them over how much they are paid compared to their male colleagues. 

    The 76 women have claimed sex discrimination, saying they were given lower salaries than men for similar jobs.

    Met Office

    Negotiations have now begun to try to resolve the dispute. The Prospect union said a settlement could run into more than £100,000.

    The Met Office said it could not directly comment on the case but did say it was "committed to attracting, maintaining and developing the very best people". 

    It added: "We always endeavour to act in a positive way in our dealings with our staff and appropriately reward their achievements."

  10. No verdict yet in Thomas Orchard police station killing case

    Hamish Marshall

    BBC Spotlight

    The jury in the trial of three Devon and Cornwall Police staff accused of the manslaughter of a man with mental health problems has been sent home after a third day considering its verdicts.

    Thomas Orchard

    Thirty-two-year-old Thomas Orchard died after losing consciousness at Heavitree Road Police station in 2012.

    Sgt Jan Kingshott, 45, and detention officers Simon Tansley, 39, and Michael Marsden, 56, all deny gross negligence manslaughter. 

    The judge at Bristol Crown Court told the jury to return to continue its deliberations in the morning.

  11. 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.

  12. Plymouth veteran 'turning life around' thanks to building project

    Emma Thomasson

    BBC Spotlight

    A Plymouth building project is helping homeless veterans turn their lives around and get off the streets. 

    The Community Self Build Agency is working with tradespeople to help homeless veterans gain new skills and a place to stay.

    John Manuel

    For three decades, on and off, John Manuel (pictured) has been living on the streets.

    He said: "When this project is finished, I will have somewhere stable to live and I can rebuild my life again. I'm hoping the family down here will recognise I'm turning my life around."

  13. Plymouth hopes for Budget cash while facing 'severe' social care funding problems

    Rob England

    BBC News Online

    Plymouth City Council is hopeful that an extra £2bn for health and social care  across the UK will help with "very severe problems" it is facing in trying to fund the rising cost of care.

    Chancellor Philip Hammond made the announcement as part of the 2017 Budget .  

    The council said demand was rising as the population "gets older".

    The number of people over 65 in Plymouth is expected to rise from about 46,200 in 2015 to 49,500 in 2020, it is estimated.

    Quote Message: We are hopeful that we will receive an adequate allocation of this funding for our work in continuing to support the elderly and most vulnerable residents in Plymouth.” from Ian Bowyer Leader, Plymouth City Council
    Ian BowyerLeader, Plymouth City Council
  14. Council of Europe report criticises government over Cornish language and culture

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    A report from the Council of Europe has criticised the British Government's attitude to protecting the Cornish language and culture. 

    It said the government's decision to cut funding to support the Cornish language should be reconsidered, and the next census should allow people to identify themselves as Cornish. 

    The chairwoman of the Cornish Language Society, Loveday Jenkin, said she felt that Westminster had failed the county. 

    The government said it had given Cornish culture and heritage more than £800,000 since 2010.

  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. Met Office pay dispute: Union 'glad of negotiations'

    Simon Hall, Home Affairs Correspondent

    BBC Spotlight

    A union says it is glad the Met Office is trying to resolve claims of sex discrimination over pay "by negotiation, rather than litigation".

    Met Office

    Some 76 women are taking legal action against the Exeter-based forecaster, claiming they have not been paid as much as male colleagues for similar work.

    The Prospect union said any settlement could run to more than £100,000. Negotiations are under way to resolve the dispute. 

    Union South West regional secretary Tony Bell said: "I'm glad the Met Office have finally decided to deal with this problem by negotiation, rather than litigation. But I believe we would not have reached this point if we had not taken legal action."

  17. New memorial a 'thank you to service personnel and civilians'

    BBC Radio Devon

    Donna Stonelake and her husband Mark, from Crafthole, have been guests of honour as the Queen unveiled a new memorial dedicated to those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan between 1990 and 2015. 

    Donna and Mark

    Donna served in Iraq in the Royal Navy, while Mark lost a leg when he was blown up by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in 2008.

    Donna said of the memorial: "It's that little bit of a thank you - to say 'thank you for your work'." 

    She added: "It's not just a forces thing. Civilians have been out there doing an amazing job as well."

  18. Latest weather: Sunny spells this afternoon

    BBC Weather

    It'll be dry with sunny spells for most this afternoon. 

    In the far South West though, it will remain cloudy with some patchy rain and drizzle likely. 

    Tonight, there will also be some light rain and drizzle along with hill fog.

  19. Landslip hits St Erth-St Ives rail services

    Andrew Segal

    Local Live

    Rail services between St Erth and St Ives have been disrupted by a landslip in Cornwall, National Rail Enquiries says .

    Staff said the landslip meant trains were "unable to run between the stations" and that tickets could be used on First Kernow's number 14 and 17 buses.

    "This disruption is expected to continue until 17:00," it added.