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  1. Murder investigation launched after woman dies in hospital
  2. Girl suffers 'life-threatening burns' in Tiverton crash
  3. Police called to reports of person injured by bladed item
  4. Ambulance service receive prank calls from children
  5. Police hunt painted seagull culprits
  6. Updates on Thursday 9 August 2018

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All times stated are UK

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Severe disruption: A381 Devon both ways

BBC News Travel

A381 Devon both ways severe disruption, between A380 Besigheim Way and Church Road.

A381 Devon - A381 Teignmouth Road in Kingsteignton closed in both directions between the A380 Besigheim Way junction and the Church Road junction, because of sheep on the road. Approach with care.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe disruption: A38 Devon eastbound

BBC News Travel

A38 Devon eastbound severe disruption, before B3416.

A38 Devon - A38 in Plympton blocked and stationary traffic eastbound before Deep Lane Junction, because of a car fire.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Weather: Showers around tomorrow

BBC Weather

Tonight will be dry and clear in many areas with any showers dying away. Winds will remain moderate westerly.

Minimum: 9C

Weather map

Tomorrow will be a more cloudy day with occasional glimpses of sunshine but also the chance of some showers which may be heavy at times. Winds will be moderate or fresh south westerly.

Maximum: 19C

Large barn fire at Inwardleigh

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

Multiple fire crews are dealing with a large barn fire at Inwardleigh in west Devon.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service says they sent crews from Hatherliegh and Okehampton, along with the water bowser from Danes Castle and specialist officers at about 14:30.

Additional support was then called in from Holsworthy and North Tawton.

The barn measures 20m x 40m and houses vehicles and machinery that are being removed using a telehandler.

View more on twitter

Council leader critical of police merger

Ben Woolvin

BBC South West Home Affairs correspondent

The leader of Plymouth City Council has attacked plans for the merger of Devon, Cornwall and Dorset police.

Tudor Evans says the move is being discussed behind closed doors without proper public consultation.

He wants to know how the merger will be funded and how it'll affect local tax payers.

In a strongly worded statement issued today he said "every fibre of my being believes the merger is a bad thing for Plymouth in its current form".

In a statement the Police & Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez responded to the comments, saying: "Tomorrow I will attend the Police and Crime Panel in Plymouth where elected members nominated by each local authority in Devon and Cornwall will have the opportunity to scrutinise the process so far.

"I will be joined by Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer who will explain the operational case currently being made as part of our considerations into the proposed merger. As PCC I have not yet made a decision as to whether or not we merge with Dorset, and we are still in the formal engagement period.

A public survey is available online.


South Western Railway strike suspended

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

A planned 24-hour strike on Saturday by guards on South Western Railway (SWR) has been called off.

This is to allow further talks on a dispute about the role of guards, the RMT union has announced.

The union said further strikes on SWR, on August 18 and a 48-hour stoppage from August 31, remained on.

Strike sign

Fastest man on a mower breaks John O'Groats to Land's End record

Andy Maxfield is officially the fastest person to travel from John O'Groats to Land's End on a lawnmower.

The Lancashire man completed the trip in five days, eight hours and 36 minutes.

He's raised more than £9,000 for charity.

Severe disruption: M5 Devon both ways

BBC News Travel

M5 Devon both ways severe disruption, between J27 for and J26 for .

M5 Devon - One lane closed on M5 between J27, Tiverton and J26, Wellington, because of a lorry having a tyre changed. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe disruption: A389 Cornwall both ways

BBC News Travel

A389 Cornwall both ways severe disruption, between B3274 and Ring o'Bells Inn.

A389 Cornwall - A389 in High Lanes blocked and very slow traffic in both directions between the B3274 junction and the Ring o'Bells Inn junction, because of a broken down vehicle.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Children taught to sew after grant given

BBC Radio Cornwall

People in a village in north Cornwall are using their expert knowledge of quilting to inspire the next generation.

St Wenn, near Wadebridge, received a grant of £979 from a local windfarm to buy state of the art sewing machines.

During every school holiday teenagers and primary school children meet to make cushions and quilts.

Tutor, Lesley Coles, has taught all over the world - including Mongolia...

Parasite from tap water began eating Camborne teen's eye

The Sun

Skye Wheeler, 19, from Camborne, Cornwall, lives in constant fear that the bug - which is still "sleeping" in her eye - could cause her to go blind, or even kill her.

Perranporth beach-goer complains sand 'too damp'

Johanna Carr

BBC News Online

Perranporth beach

A beach-goer has complained that the sand on Perranporth beach was too damp for building sandcastles.

The Tripadvisor review has been shared hundreds of times after being posted on Facebook by local surf shop Piran Surf.

One person commented it was the funniest thing they had ever read while others said damp sand was preferable for sandcastles anyway.

The reviewer who scored the two-mile long beach three out of five, and said it was "far too busy for my liking" said: "The beach itself looked really good for surfers, however I found the sand to be much too damp - not great for building sandcastles."

On Facebook, those commenting suggested the writer ought to have moved up the beach, away from the sea.

One person joked: "Also went to Perranporth once and the sea was wet. If you could sort that out to it would be very much appreciated."

Tripadvisor review

Mark Thorn, from Piran Surf, said: "Isn't it funny?"

He said they often had people coming into his shop asking questions such as "does the tide only come in when it rains?" and "what time does the surfing start?"

But he added that people who did not live near a beach had no reason to know how the tides and waves worked, saying: "Why would they know?"

He added: "It is just a bit of fun."

Pink seagull

Pinky the seagull has been causing startled onlookers to question how much they believe their eyes.

Read more

Woman with dementia, 82, missing from Paignton

Hayley Westcott

BBC News Online

An 82-year-old woman with dementia has gone missing from Paignton, police say.

Melva Fields was last seen at about 10:30 in Hennock Road and officers are "increasingly concerned".

She is described as 5ft 2ins (1.5m) tall with short grey hair. She wears glasses and was last seen wearing a white and black woolly, stripy top with a nautical badge on it.

She was also wearing a necklace with a small heart pendant and black leggings with stripes on the sides.

Anyone who has seen Melva or has any information is asked to call 999.

Melva Fields

BreakingMurder probe after street assault woman dies

Police have launched a murder investigation after an elderly woman who was seriously assaulted in Cornwall died in hospital.

Lesley Davies, 81, from Par, had life-threatening head injuries after she was assaulted in the street on Thursday 19 July.

She died as a result of her injuries at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth in the early hours of Saturday 4 August, police said.

A 69-year-old man was arrested on 19 July on suspicion of attempted murder and has been bailed until 17 August.

There were a number of people in the area at the time of this incident. I would ask anyone who witnessed the incident, or the events before and after, to contact the police if they haven’t spoken to us yet. The police are continuing to work closely with the victim’s family to provide support at this difficult time."

Det Insp Ian Ringrose
Lesley Davies
Devon and Cornwall Police

Council leader believes police merger is 'a bad thing'

Lauren Haly

BBC News Online

A council leader believes a potential police force merger is a "bad thing for Plymouth".

Devon and Cornwall Police and Dorset Police could merge to make it the biggest geographical force in England.

Plymouth City Council Leader, Tudor Evans, has attacked the plans saying "the merger is being decided behind closed doors without properly consulting residents or knowing what the implications might be for cities such as Plymouth."

A report to be considered by the council’s cabinet on 14 August says there are “significant concerns” about the police plans.

Police and crime commissioners from both regions launched a public survey on the plans in June.

Plymouth is the biggest city in Dorset, Devon and Cornwall and as such has specific policing needs that we require assurances will be met. We need to know how this merger will be funded and how it will affect our taxpayers.

Tudor Evans

Under the merger, council tax payers in Plymouth would see a substantial hike in their bill with no guarantee of additional police resources spent in their area. This could see the residents of St Budeaux facing a tax rise to pay for more police in affluent Sandbanks in Poole. Not on.

We want reassurances, scrutiny and answers before any decision on the merger is made. But most of all, we want to ensure whatever happens is best for Plymouth.”

Tudor Evans

Devon and Cornwall Police has been contacted for comment.

A Lancashire man breaks the world record for travelling the country on a lawnmower
Andy Maxfield is the fastest person to travel from John O'Groats to Land's End on a lawnmower.

Campaigners fight to keep bat barn

BBC Spotlight

A colony of bats in East Devon is being offered a purpose-built new home to replace their ramshackle old barn.

Clinton Devon Estates say they've carefully researched what needs to be done to protect the bats so they can sensitively redevelop an area known as The Pound in East Budleigh.

The company wants to pull the barn down and redevelop the land.

Bosses said the proposed design included measures to accommodate the bats and added detailed surveys had been carried out at the site.

But, residents said the area was special and the development would threaten the colony. They have banded together to fight the proposals.

Environmental campaigner Kathy Moyle said the area had a lot of wildlife

Broken-down vehicle causing delays in Sidmouth


A broken-down vehicle in Sidmouth is causing long delays.

Police are at the scene on the A3052 heading towards Newton Poppleford.

Long delays have been reported. A recovery truck is on its way.

View more on twitter

Home Park development plans given go-ahead

BBC Radio Devon

An agreement has been signed between Plymouth Argyle Football Club and developers for work to begin on redesigning the main grandstand at Home Park.

Over the next two years, £6.5m will be spent on a new seating area which will be named Mayflower - linking to the city's history and tying in with the Mayflower 400 celebrations.

The development will also see a new ticket office, bar, club shop and conference facilities.

It's expected to be ready for the 2019/20 season and the extra seating will take total capacity to 17,904.

'Very rude' van driver on phone to expect police call

Cash machine user has money stolen

Children make 'marine litter masterpieces' in Marazion

BBC Radio Cornwall

Marine litter collected from Cornish beaches has been transformed into artwork in a bid to showcase the scale of pollution.

Children have been taking part in the scheme on Marazion, near Penzance.

It's one project being run by the Cornwall Wildlife Trust as part of National Marine Week.

The trust says an alarming amount of microplastic is being discovered.

beach litter project

Along the strand line there are huge numbers of small fragments. There are lots of bits of fishing line, pieces of rope and fragments of plastic which are probably the most dangerous to marine wildlife.

Matt SlaterMarine Awareness Officer

Reports of prowlers in the South Hams

Hayley Westcott

BBC News Online

Police are asking people in the South Hams to keep their eyes peeled after reports of prowlers in the area.

Officers say people have been "acting suspiciously" in Aveton Gifford.

Anyone with information or any suspicions is being asked to call police via 101 or 999 in an emergency.

Devon travel: Delays on A38 after car fire

BBC Radio Devon

On the A38 Exeter-bound around Ashburton Rock Park Cross, there is slow traffic due to a car fire.

Delays are expected.

Police called to reports of person injured by bladed item

BBC Radio Devon

Armed police officers were called to an address in Plymouth after reports someone had been hurt with a bladed item.

However, when officers arrived at Ladysmith Road just after 23:00 on Wednesday no-one was found to have been injured.

A 28-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the incident.

BreakingGirl suffers 'life-threatening burns' in Tiverton crash

Lauren Haly

BBC News Online

A 17-year-old girl has suffered life-threatening burns after a single-vehicle crash in Tiverton.

Emergency services were called to the crash on Rackenford Road, Tiverton, at 00:10 on Wednesday.

The blue Seat Leon left the road and crashed into a hedge before coming to a stop in a field, it then caught fire.

The girl, who was a passenger, was taken to hospital in Bristol for treatment.

A 21-year-old man from Tiverton was arrested on suspicion of being unfit through drink and criminal damage.

He was arrested and then released under investigation pending further inquires.

Police are appealing for witnesses.

Ambulance service receive prank calls from children

The South Western Ambulance Service said it has received a surge in 999 prank calls from children over the school holidays.

Bosses said it has meant they've dispatched ambulances out to people's houses only to find no-one there when they arrive, and have even phoned back the caller to be met with laughing children.

Last year, more than 750 hoax calls were made to the service.

Bosses suggested youngsters were doing it while playing, without realising they're wasting paramedics time.

Have a listen to this little girl who pretended she was 18 and her friend had fallen down a hole...

Power cut in Sidmouth


Police hunt painted seagull culprits

Millicent Cooke

BBC News Online

The RSPCA is appealing for information after a seagull was spray painted florescent pink.

The bird has been seen across Barnstaple, North Devon.

The charity says it is "concerned" by the reports and will be working with police to investigate.

Pink seagull
Karl Emmitt

A spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall Police said the force is hunting the culprits. It is an offence to injure or kill a wild bird under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Pink seagull
Karl Emmitt

Dog walker Kate King said she couldn't believe her eyes when she saw the "luminous pink" gull on Friday.

Hotel manager Karl Emmitt said he first saw the bird, nicknamed Pinky, a couple of weeks ago.

“It’s the talk of the town,” he said.

Pink seagull
Kate King

We are concerned to hear reports of gulls in Barnstaple being spray painted and would urge anyone with further information to ring the RSPCA."

RSPCA spokesperson

Lane on A30 closed after lorry hits bridge

BBC Radio Cornwall

One lane of the A30 in Cornwall remains closed after a lorry hit a bridge.

The lane of the westbound section of road between Chiverton Cross and Tolvaddon is expected to remain closed for several hours.

Reports have suggested the lorry hit the bridge, and the digger the lorry was carrying then fell on to the road.

Highways England says a structural engineer is at the scene assessing the damage.

Firework championships 'to bring 100,000 people to city'

BBC Spotlight


The second day of the British Firework Championships in Plymouth is set to attract thousands of people to the city later.

On Wednesday night people travelled to Plymouth Hoe and other vantage points around Plymouth Sound to watch the three displays.

Later the final three teams will perform hoping to be crowned champion.

The city council says the two-day event is expected to bring 100,000 people to the city and is estimated to be worth £4m to the local economy.