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  1. News, sport, weather and travel updates will resume at 07:00 on Thursday
  2. Live updates on Wednesday 25 May 2016

Live Reporting

By Andrew Barton

All times stated are UK

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Goodbye: Our live coverage across the day

Andrew Barton

BBC Local Live, York

That's the end of our live service for today.

I'll be back from 07:00 on Thursday with more news, sport, travel and weather updates from around the county. 

I can't resist leaving you today with the giraffes arriving at York Minster to take part in the Mystery Plays.

Giraffes costumes at York Minster

The production begins tomorrow, so you can be sure of some more interesting pics and information about them here then.

The great balancing act: Wanted - Dry stone wallers to enter unique competition

Andrew Barton

BBC Local Live, York

It's difficult not to be impressed whenever you're in the Dales by the seemingly endless criss-crossing stretches of dry stone walls, weaving a stone patchwork across the sweeping hills.

Dry Stone wall

"How do they stay up?" you might ask, as you take in the sight of these rural boundary sculptures.

The ancient craft uses only stone and no mortar, and in England there are thought to be about 70,000 miles of them.

Today the Country Landowners Association, which represents thousands of farmers and rural businesses, is issuing a final call to Yorkshire wallers telling them they've only got a few weeks left to enter its 2016 Dry Stone Wall Competition - the cut-off date is 30 June.

I urge any dry stone wallers who have been involved in a local project in the last two years to enter now before it's too late... The competition's aimed at preserving the county's ancient craft of dry stone walling and recognises the people behind the miles of distinctive walls that define Yorkshire's famous landscapes."

Dorothy FairburnCLA North Regional Director

MP Helps Harrogate school to prepare for EU referendum

Harrogate Informer

MP Andrew Jones helped Rossett students launch their very own EU referendum campaign during a visit to the school.

Students tapped into the Harrogate and Knaresborough MP’s expert knowledge ahead of a mock vote to be held at the school on 15 June.

MP Andrew Jones
Harrogate Informer

University of York staff join national two-day strike

Academic staff at the University of York are taking part in a two-day national strike in a row over pay

It's part of action by members of the University and College Union who say their latest 1.1% pay offer is "an insult" to the dedication of higher education staff. 

The University of York says it hopes both sides can reach a settlement avoiding industrial action - and says it's making sure the impact on students is kept to a minimum. 

Fracking: Yorkshire 'has chance to be centre of European industry'

David Rhodes

BBC Yorkshire

The first fracking operation in England since a ban was lifted in 2012 was approved earlier this week for a site near Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire.

Fracking site

When any fracking application is discussed attention focuses on the environmental arguments, but what could fracking in North Yorkshire mean for the regional economy?

"Our region has the chance to be at the centre of Europe's new fracking industry," according to Paul Glover, the chair of Petrophysics at the University of Leeds.

"Its all about first mover advantage. Look at what happened in Scotland. When they found oil under the North Sea they had a choice to base the new industry in either Aberdeen and Dundee. Aberdeen was chosen and history shows us that it's done very well." Read more here.

Four players leave Harrogate Town

BBC Sport

Four players from last year's squad have been released by Harrogate Town.

Harry Coates, Paul Clayton and Luke Foster will no longer be at the CNG Stadium, along with David McGurk.

Meanwhile, Jordan Thewlis has joined Gainsborough.

Manager, Simon Weaver is still in negotiations with a further four players, including striker Brendon Daniels, according to the club.

BBC Weather Watchers: A turbulent tapestry of gloomy grey

Andrew Barton

BBC Local Live, York

When we got going first thing today I promised I'd post some pics of the slightly threatening skies across North Yorkshire our BBC Weather Watchers have been sending in.

Thanks for these slightly eerie pics go to Bayboy for the mist over the bay at Ravenscar and underneath on the left, to Bellxp for the sun dispersing the cumulonimbus over Brompton.

Weather Watchers collage

I've tried to relieve the gloom with the pic in the middle of Haxby, sent in by Gary Gimmick, though the clouds are doing a good job of hiding the sun!

Finally, on the right, we have a murky Scarborough, sent in by the ominous sounding Ghostly Recluse.

Weather: Threat of rain for North Yorkshire this afternoon

Owain Wyn Evans

Weather presenter, BBC Look North

A band of rain will slowly track towards the north west throughout this afternoon. This rain will be light and patchy for most, although we will see a few heavy downpours.

Feeling cooler than yesterday with light to moderate northerly winds, highs of 11C (52F).

Weather graphic

Headlines: Christmas floods insurance cost 'tops £1bn', help for transgender children and Vikings' Lancashire clash sells out

Sarah Wakefield

BBC Radio York News

The top stories from our York newsroom this lunchtime include:

Listen: York City Supporters' Trust to decide on offer to buy stake in club

Georgey Spanswick

Presenter, BBC Radio York

Ian Hey, chairman of York City Supporters' Trust, says he's been approached by a representative of a group of Yorkshire businessmen looking to buy the club.

The group owns a 25% stake in York City. 

I spoke to Ian this morning and he told me the Supporters' Trust now has a decision to make:

Venice Vogalonga veterans' North Yorkshire homecoming

Jonathan Cowap

Presenter, BBC Radio York

Just over a week ago I told you about Sweet Charity, the fishing Cobble taken to Venice by the Pickering Rotarians to race against 1,800 other boats in an event known as the Vogalonga, to raise money for charity.

The team finished the race in just over five hours in their Cobble, which weighs in at 600kgs - making her one of the heaviest boats to take part in the race.

Their endeavours raised £16,000 for the Marie Curie and Rotary charities and the crew promised to bring the boat to the BBC Radio York studios to show it to me when they got back.

Today, to my delight, they did just that  - and I resisted the urge to say "Sweet Charity, what a Vogalonga boat you've got there!" 

GMB union welcomes Kirby Misperton fracking vote

The decision by North Yorkshire councillors earlier this week to give the go-ahead to fracking at a site in Ryedale has been welcomed by the GMB union.

Fracking graphic

Third Energy's bid to start fracking near Kirby Misperton was approved by North Yorkshire County Council on Monday.

More than 4,300 objections and 36 representations in support of the application were received, and about 100 people gave evidence during the two-day hearing. 

In a statement just issued, Stuart Fegan, GMB National Officer, says: "Shale gas extraction presents a significant opportunity to maintain energy security and promote skilled job creation in the UK, but all relevant safeguards, consultation and regulation of the industry must be scrutinised to the highest standard by public officials."

Traffic and travel: York traffic light problems resolved

Earlier I mentioned problems on the roads in and around Leeman Road due to traffic light problems. It seems they're now resolved:

View more on twitter

Watch: Arrivals for York Mystery Plays come in two by two!

Jules Bellerby

Presenter, BBC Radio York

There are just over 24 hours now until the first performance of the 2016 York Mystery Plays.

The plays, which bring to life the story of the Bible from the creation of Heaven and Earth to the last judgement, are being staged in York Minster, which has been transformed into a 1,000-seat auditorium.

It's a huge production with more than 100 amateur actors and only one paid professional in the cast.

Recently I took a stroll around York Minster and, to my surprise, saw two long necks looming into view hoping to land parts in the play:

As I'm sure you guessed, animals are involved in the Mystery Plays too. In fact, hundreds of animal costumes have been created, including flamingos, sheep - and, of course, giraffes!

Child gender identity referrals on the rise in Yorkshire

The number of children and young people in Yorkshire and Humber who are being referred to a gender identity clinic has risen from eight to 133.

The Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) said the rise in referrals for under-18s was partly due to greater awareness and acceptance.

It comes after figures showed referrals to the service rose nationally.

Dr Sally Phillott, consultant clinical psychologist for the Gender Identity Clinic in Leeds, has told BBC Yorkshire that dozens of those seen have been aged under 11.

Traffic and travel: Delays near Sutton Bank

BBC Travel

The A170 Sutton Bank is currently partially blocked eastbound between the Moor Lane junction in Sutton-under-Whitestonecliffe and the High Town Bank Road junction in Cold Kirby, because of a broken down lorry.

Headlines: Help for county's children seeking gender change, MP's 'disgust' over doctor joining Islamic State and York City supporters chair says approach made to buy club

Nathan Turvey

BBC Radio York News

The latest headlines from our newsroom in York include:

  • It's emerged at least one pupil at the majority of secondary schools in North Yorkshire is being given help to change gender
  • A North Yorkshire MP says he's "disgusted" to learn a doctor at Scarborough Hospital has gone to Syria to join the so-called Islamic State
  • The York City supporters Trust chairman says he's been approached by a representative of a group of Yorkshire businessmen looking to buy the club

Watch: Traffic-stopping Wesley the Wallaby wonders who's the daddy?

Joanita Musisi

Reporter, BBC Radio York

Do you remember Wesley the Wallaby? He brought traffic to a halt on the outskirts of York about 18 months ago when he got onto the Ring Road.

Since then he's been living at Askham Bryan college with lots of new friends - and there are some little ones now too. The only problem is, we don't know who's the daddy...

Caroline Howard, the college's Wildlife Park Manager, has been telling me all the latest gossip on traffic-stopping Wesley.

Sport headlines: Knights in-team competition 'best it's been', promotion-winning Tadcaster on track for bigger things and Yorkshire T20 ready for Harrogate

BBC Sport

The latest sport headlines from our York newsroom so far today include:

  • York City Knights hooker Pat Smith says competition for places at the club is the best it's been for years. He's battling with Harry Carter and Kris Brining for a place in the team this season and says it's the ideal position to be in
  • Tadcaster Albion manager Billy Miller believes he's got the makings of a squad that can win at the higher level as he builds towards their first season in the Evo Stick League, after winning promotion from the Northern Counties East League
  • Yorkshire's T20 Blast warm-up continues tonight. After taking on a Yorkshire Premier League North Select Eleven at York last night, the Vikings play Harrogate at St George's Road

Scarborough's MP 'disgusted' by doctor who worked in the town joining Islamic State group

BBC Radio York

A North Yorkshire MP says he's disgusted to learn a doctor who'd worked at Scarborough Hospital has gone to Syria to join the so-called Islamic State. 

The BBC has learned Issam Abuanza left Yorkshire in 2014. 

Issam Abuanza

In a photo on social media, he's seen dressed in doctors' scrubs and with a gun. 

Conservative MP Robert Goodwill says he can't understand it:

It's shocking this particular individual who came to Scarborough to help save life is now engaged in an enterprise which is taking life in the most brutal, disgusting way."

Robert GoodwillConservative MP

Selby landscaper scoops up Gold at Chelsea Flower Show

Adam Tomlinson

BBC Radio York, Afternoon Show

I was at the Chelsea Flower Show yesterday where a North Yorkshire landscaper picked up four awards for his gardens at the show. 

Mark Gregory, who comes from Selby, won a Gold, two Silver Gilt and Silver. 

This is my snap of his Gold-winning Chelsea Barracks Garden. It's fabulous isn't it? Well done Mark!

Chelsea flower show

Parish Council chairman quits role over Kirby Misperton fracking approval

Andrew Barton

BBC Local Live, York

The chairman of the parish council in Kirby Misperton, where fracking is due to take place following a County Council vote earlier this week, has resigned from his role over the decision.

Paul Wicks says he feels "unable to represent the interests of people in the village" and feels he had to stand down. 

He says Third Energy's application was clearly "not in the interests of the village", but was granted by the County Council anyway.

protest sign

Better minds than mine can probably analyse what's wrong with a system that prevents councils from making decisions based purely on the best interests of the public by creating a bureaucratic process that only allows 'material considerations' to be taken into account when making decisions that affect so many."

Paul WicksFormer chairman, Kirby Misperton Parish Council

Watch: All change with the weather - a very different feel today with grey skies and downpours

BBC Weather

It's grey and cloudy with rain on the way today. Brollies at the ready...

Here's my full forecast:

Traffic and travel: Lights out on Leeman Road

BBC Travel

Drivers in the centre of York are being warned that the traffic lights are currently out on Leeman Road in York at the Water End junction. Approach with care.

Islamic State group recruited Scarborough doctor

BBC Radio York

An NHS doctor who worked in Scarborough left his family in the UK and joined the so-called Islamic State group in Syria, the BBC has learned from leaked IS recruitment papers.

Issam Abuanza, 37 - who gained a licence to practise medicine in the UK in 2009 - left Yorkshire in 2014. 

In a photo on social media, he's seen dressed wearing doctors' scrubs and holding a gun.

On social media, Dr Abuanza has said he wished that a Jordanian pilot burnt alive by IS had taken longer to die.

Issam Abuanza

Headlines: Help given to county's children wanting to change gender, MP's 'disgust' over Scarborough doctor joining Islamic State and councillor's resignation over fracking approval

Nathan Turvey

BBC Radio York News

The latest headlines from our York newsroom so far this morning include:

Weather: A cloudy, rainy, breezy and cold day ahead for North Yorkshire

BBC Weather

It's a dull and cloudy start. Rain will develop through the morning, which is then expected to persist for much of the day.

weather graphic

Traffic and travel: Everything looking good on roads and rail at the moment

BBC Travel

Other than some temporary traffic lights on the A684 Northallerton Road, between Leases Road and Mill Lane, there's nothing much to tell you about just yet on North Yorkshire's roads - everything seems to be running fine.

The trains arriving at and leaving York Railway Station are also all looking OK at the moment.

If anything changes, we'll let you know.

Good Morning: Join us for today's live coverage

Andrew Barton

BBC Local Live, York

I'll be with you until 14:30 with all the latest news, sport, travel and weather from across North Yorkshire. 

As the weather today is forecast to include lots of grey sky, let's begin by reminding ourselves what a beautiful blue one looks like with this pic of New Earswick, sent in by BBC Weather Watcher Gary Gimmick.

New Earswick pond

You can send in your pics via Twitter or Facebook or you can send them straight to the BBC Local Live York and North Yorkshire email account - and it doesn't matter whether they show grey skies or blue (I'll be putting up some very dramatic thundery sky pics later!).