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Summary

  1. Skipper of £80m drugs boat convicted
  2. Fatal Looe landslide: Councillors approve reforms
  3. Family pay tribute to 'beloved sister and daughter' killed in farm accident
  4. Health bosses refuse to overturn a decision to temporarily close beds at a Devon hospital
  5. Local authorities in the South West are to share more than £90m from the government to help pay for adult social care over the next three years
  6. Cornwall Council has approved the preferred route for the £84m A30 to St Austell link road
  7. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

By Victoria Gould

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage

    Victoria Gould

    BBC News Online

    That's all from BBC Local Live in Devon & Cornwall for today, we'll be back at 08:00 to bring you all the day's news, sport, travel and weather updates.

    Don't miss BBC Spotlight at 18:30 and the late bulletin at 22:30 tonight.

  2. Two days to remove £80m of cocaine from boat in Falmouth

    BBC News UK

    The National Crime Agency (NCA) said it took around two days to remove cocaine worth £80m from a boat seized off Cornwall in August 2016.

    The skipper of the Bianca, Michael McDermott, 68, from Waterford, Ireland, was convicted of drug smuggling today at Bristol Crown Court.

    During a search in Falmouth, Border Force teams located bales of cocaine hidden under bags of sand and gravel in the boat's fish hold. There were 38 bales in total, each weighing between 25 and 30kg.

    Cocaine
  3. 'Huge quantity of cocaine' - skipper convicted

    BBC News UK

    Following the conviction of Michael McDermott for his part in an £80m cocaine smuggling operation, Mark Harding, senior investigating officer from the National Crime Agency's border investigation team, said: "This was a huge quantity of cocaine, the biggest single seizure made in the UK in 2016.

    "His was a crucial link in a chain that leads from cocaine manufacturers in South America to drug dealers in the UK. In stopping this consignment we have prevented further criminality by the gangs who bring violence and exploitation to our streets."

    Michael McDermott
  4. Devon sailor to skipper team in round the world yacht race

    Victoria Gould

    BBC News Online

    Rick Powell

    Skipper Rick Powell, 52, from Chillington, Devon has been appointed to lead a team of amateur sailors in the extreme adventure challenge, the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race.

    Mr Powell, who began his sailing career 18 years ago on the River Exe, had to go through a series of tough interviews and trials before being selected as one of 12 professional skippers for the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race. 

    He said: “I really enjoy passing my knowledge on to others and I am a big advocate for continual training and improvement. I will be encouraging safe sailing with a high level of attention to detail throughout the Clipper Race.”

    Aerial shot of yacht race
  5. May, Pope & Moyle sign new Pirates deals

    James Law

    BBC Sport Online

    Scrum-half Mike Pope, fly-half Laurence May and back Kyle Moyle have all signed new one-year deals at Cornish Pirates.

    It means the Championship side now have 15 players signed on for the 2017-18 Championship season.

    Laurence May

    "All three individuals have developed as players, and Laurence is now one of the standout 10s in the Championship," said coach Gavin Cattle.  

    May, Pope & Moyle sign new Pirates deals

    Laurence May

    Scrum-half Mike Pope, fly-half Laurence May and back Kyle Moyle all sign new one-year deals at Cornish Pirates.

    Read more
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  6. Cocaine skipper bought boat for £17,000

    BBC News UK

    Cocaine smuggling skipper Michael McDermott initially claimed he knew there were drugs on board but had been forced into shipping them.

    McDermott, 68, from Waterford in Ireland, was convicted of drug smuggling today at Bristol Crown Court. Shipmates David Pleasants, 57, and Gerald Van de Kooij, 27, previously admitted drug importation offences.

    National Crime Agency investigators were also able to establish that he had purchased the Bianca in Whitstable, Kent, paying £17,000 in cash just weeks before his arrest, telling the seller that he planned to sail to Spain and use it for diving and chartered angling trips.

    Gerald Van de Kooij, Michael McDermott, David Pleasants
  7. Cleaner air for Cornwall

    Victoria Gould

    BBC News Online

    Car exhaust

    A new strategy to cut air pollution in Cornwall has been given the go ahead by senior councillors. 

    It focuses on reducing vehicle emissions in the county by encouraging the uptake of alternative fuels, providing brand new buses, improving the walking and cycling environment, and a publicity campaign to reduce vehicle engine idling. 

  8. UK's biggest cocaine seizure of 2016 off coast of Cornwall

    BBC News UK

    In total the haul of cocaine seized on the Bianca off the coast of Cornwall in August 2016 weighed 939 kilos.

    The boat's skipper, Michael McDermott, 68, from Waterford in Ireland, was found guilty of smuggling the drugs at Bristol Crown Court today. Two other men previously pleaded guilty.

    National Crime Agency forensic experts found that the cocaine was between 60 and 70 per cent pure.

    It was the biggest single seizure of cocaine in the UK in 2016 and experts estimated that if cut to street purity and sold in the UK it would have had a potential value of nearly £84m.

    Cocaine
  9. There's a bit of a buzz around zoo's new chain of hotels

    Emily Tyack and her bee hotels

    Paignton Zoo has set up 10 "bee hotels" in its 80 acre grounds. 

    A student working at the site is trying to work out the effectiveness of artificial nest sites. 

    The zoo says bees are threatened by habitat loss and it's hoped artificial nesting sites will help protect them. 

    Emily Tyack has chosen three types of bee house in the hope of discovering whether or not each bee species has a particular preference. 

  10. BreakingSkipper of £80m cocaine boat found guilty

    BBC News UK

    The skipper of a fishing boat has been convicted of trying to smuggle more than a ton of cocaine into the UK.

    Michael McDermott, 68, from Waterford in Ireland, was found guilty by a jury at Bristol Crown Court following a one week trial.

    National Crime Agency (NCA) and Border Force officers arrested McDermott on 18 August 2016 alongside shipmates David Pleasants, 57, and Gerald Van de Kooij, 27 off the coast of Cornwall and brought the boat into Falmouth.

    Two Border Force cutters, the HMC Seeker and HMC Searcher had tracked his vessel the MV Bianca via radar for over 24 hours, acting on intelligence from the NCA that it was carrying drugs. 

    Cocaine
  11. Task force brands Devon dementia care 'inconsistent'

    BBC Radio Devon

    Dementia awareness, diagnosis and care for people with the condition has been rated good in Devon, but a new report says it's inconsistent across the county.

    A Devon County Council task force says community support in many areas is excellent, and memory cafes have been a huge success. 

    However, it says Devon has more people in residential care with dementia than comparable areas. 

    The report says there is more to be done to support communities with dementia friendly activities. 

  12. Council approves new route for £84m link road

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    Cornwall Council has approved the preferred route for an £84m road linking St Austell to the A30. 

    The plan is for a four-mile long section of new road west of Roche, a new roundabout, and two new bridges. 

    Several villages, including Bugle, would be bypassed under the plans. 

    The council will now have to bid for funding from the government. 

    St Austell road map
  13. Millions of pounds of EU funding still up for grabs

    Carys Edwards

    Correspondent, BBC Spotlight

    More than £140m worth of EU funding is still on offer across the South West - but not for long. 

    The latest round of cash runs out in 2020 and it's likely to be the last handout from Europe, and Cornwall Council is urging people to apply for the regeneration cash as soon as possible.  

    Of the £300m awarded to the county £100m is still up for grabs, there's still £30m availabe in Devon and Somerset and £10m of funding is still waiting to be claimed in Dorset. 

    EU flag with cash

    Cornwall, in particular, has done extremely well out of its links with the EU. Since 2000 it's been given about £2bn in EU funding. 

    The question now is how the South West region will fare post Brexit, when it'll be the UK government deciding how to slice up the funding pot for regeneration.

  14. Latest travel: Delays in Exeter and Penryn

    BBC News Travel

    • In Exeter, at Heavitree Road there is congestion in both directions between Barrack Road and Western Way
    • There is also heavy traffic on A377 both ways from A30, Alphington Junction to Exe Bridges
    • On Commercial Road in Penryn there are temporary traffic lights for repairs to the road surface near the bridge. Traffic is queuing at Quay Hill and Falmouth Road back to the Ponsharden Roundabout
    • At Buckfastleigh on the A38 one lane is blocked Exeter-bound at the Dartbridge Junction due to a broken-down vehicle
  15. Jockey 'doing it for me, not for all females'

    Video content

    Video caption: Cheltenham 2017: Gold Cup jockey Lizzie Kelly on being accepted in horse racing

    If the Cheltenham Festival is 'the Olympics of horse racing', then the Gold Cup is the equivalent of the 100m finals.

    It is the blue-riband race of the most prestigious meeting in the sport - but only once has a female jockey ridden in it, and that was more than a generation ago.

    Back in 1984, Linda Sheedy did not reach the finish on board 500-1 outsider Foxbury, so Devon-based Lizzie Kelly is determined to smash through another glass ceiling.

    Not that she goes along with the idea that women have it tougher in the saddle than their male counterparts.

    Click here if you would like to read more.

  16. ​Detectorists dig up buried treasure in Devon fields

    Devon Live

    Two silver items found in South Devon using metal detectors have been officially defined as treasure , following inquests. 

  17. Multimillion-pound boost for social care

    Victoria Gould

    BBC News Online

    Carer helping elderly person

    More than £90m of government cash is being handed out to councils in the South West to help pay for adult social care over the next three years.

    Devon will get more than £30m, Cornwall about £24m, Somerset more than £21m and Dorset more than £15m.

    The funding is part of £2bn of extra funding announced in the budget.

    Local authority bosses will now meet with MPs to work out how the money can be spent.

  18. BreakingSt Austell link road: Preferred route approved

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    Cornwall Council has approved the preferred route for the £84m A30 to St Austell link road.

    The plan is for a four-mile long section of new road west of Roche, a new roundabout, and two new bridges. 

    An outline business case highlighting the potential economic benefits to the area will now be submitted to the government.