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Summary

  1. 07:33 Why barn owls in North Yorkshire sit on the road
  2. 07:20 New owner for York City Knights
  3. Updates on Friday 2 December 2016

Live reporting

By Andrew Barton

All times stated are UK

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Five things we've learned about North Yorkshire so far today

Andrew Barton

BBC Local Live, York

That's it for me today, but updates will continue throughout the afternoon and evening.  

Meanwhile, here are five things we've learned about our county so far today: 

  1. The exact route of the next year's Tour de Yorkshire has been revealed - riders will race through North Yorkshire on each of the three days
  2. A decision has been made to close part of the city walls in York for the next few days because of the possibility of subsidence
  3. Huge flocks of pied wagtails have begun assembling above York’s annual Christmas market   
  4. We've found out the answer to why barn owls are being spotted sitting on roads in North Yorkshire 
  5. And a York woman has paid tribute to celebrities who died in 2016 in the form of angel decorations to hang on her Christmas tree

As the weather forecast for the weekend mentions plenty of bright and sunny spells, I thought I'd finish with this blue skied BBC Weather Watcher pic.

It was sent in by PjsYorky looking across to the Vale of York from the edge of the Yorkshire Wolds above Norton this morning.

Norton
BBC

Edam well made it! North Yorkshire cheese firm triumphs at World Cheese Awards

Andrew Barton

BBC Local Live, York

A cheese made by a North Yorkshire dairy has been named among the best in the world.

Thirsk-based Shepherds Purse Cheeses won a Super Gold at the World Cheese Awards

The firm beat off competition from several French and Swiss varieties. 

Cheese
Shepherds Purse

Forgive the pun, but the firm actually did start out as a 'cottage cheese' industry!

'Mule-tide' greetings at Harrogate hospital Christmas lights switch on

Joanita Musisi

Reporter, BBC Radio York

This year's guest of honour at the Harrogate hospital Christmas light switch on was less talkative than guests of honour in previous years.

But he didn't make an ass of himself and was full of 'mule-tide' greetings.

Listen: 'It's been a difficult two years': York City Knights' future secured

Jeremy Buxton

BBC Radio York

York City Knights finally has a new owner. 

The rugby league club's future has been uncertain since earlier this year.

A statement from the club confirms sports management consultant Jon Flatman has taken over ownership from John Guildford. 

The club's been up for sale, after Mr Guildford initially said in July it would close, he then agreed to keep it going until the end of the season.

I've been talking to coach James Ford and he gave me his reaction to Jon Flatman taking control:

'Ovens floating in the water': Flooded York restaurant opens

Andrew Barton

BBC Local Live, York

A York restaurant destroyed by the Christmas floods last year is preparing to re-open.

It's taken 11 months for the Loch Fyne to be done up. 

Liz Williams is the chain's director. She says the place was "like a bomb hit it and ovens were floating around the building".

York woman's Christmas 'celebri-tree'

Andrew Barton

BBC Local Live, York

A York woman has paid tribute to celebrities who died in 2016 in the form of angel decorations to hang on her Christmas tree.

As well as adding angel wings to stars including David Bowie, Prince and Victoria Wood, she also added them to the EU and a Toblerone.

The 36-year-old from York, who wishes to remain anonymous, said, "I wanted to pay tribute and I wanted to cheer everybody up - 2016 has been a difficult year.

Here it is, what do you think?

Christmas tree
PA/@L3GSV/Twitter

'We didn’t want to get too close': Bomb disposal team called to Malton vets

Nathan Turvey

BBC Radio York News

Police have confirmed an empty mortar shell was removed from a garden in Malton yesterday. 

The Army bomb disposal team was called out last night after workman came across it in York Road.

Residents were told at the time to stay inside their homes. 

Munitions found in Malton
Brian Abbott

Brian Abbott, who runs the veterinary practice, Baker, McVeigh and Abbott Equine Vets, said: “We’re doing some digging in the garden and we found what looked like two mortar bombs.    

“One was obviously empty, just a casing. The other it was difficult to tell. We didn’t want to get too close.”

Experts at Eden Camp history museum have told Mr Abbott they believe the area was used for training by the Home Guard and think the bullets and casings found, were old practice rounds.

York city walls closure amid fears of subsidence

BBC Radio York

A decision has been made to close part of the city walls in York for the next few days because of safety concerns. 

Engineers at the City of York Council are concerned about the possibility of subsidence on the section between Fishergate Postern Tower and Fishergate Bar which dates from 1315.

Postern Tower
Google

York's city walls were first built in Roman times and have been added to ever since, though there were moves to have them demolished in the 19th Century.

They extend for 2.5 miles, enclosing a total area of 263 acres.    

Pied Wagtails think York's Christmas market is 'tree-mendous'

Andrew Barton

BBC Local Live, York

I've got an update on the news that hundreds of Pied Wagtails are roosting in trees on York's Parliament Street at the moment.

Huge flocks of them are assembling at dusk each day above York’s annual Christmas market.  

Pied Wagtails
Robert Fuller Gallery

Wildlife artist Robert Fuller who lives in Thixendale, sent this pic in and said: "The wagtails are drawn to the city centre by the warmth of the busy market and lights in Parliament Street." 

Robert will be at the Christmas market exhibiting some of his paintings on Monday and says if you approach him, he'll happily point out the pied wagtail roost to you.

Watch: Tour de Yorkshire full route announced - Full three day route

Andrew Barton

BBC Local Live, York

Details of the exact route of next year's Tour de Yorkshire have been announced - Stage One ends in Scarborough and Stage Two starts in Tadcaster.

Stage Three is 194.5km long and moves into West Yorkshire, but flits in and out of North Yorkshire.

Riders start at Bradford City Park before heading into Saltaire. The action then moves to Burley-in-Wharfedale, passes Bolton Abbey and on to Skipton.

After that it's up Haworth’s main street and a climb at Leeming, before they face the Côte de Shibden Wall. 

Riders then ride into Penistone in South Yorkshire, before embarking on a 22km finishing circuit that features four climbs at Deepcar, Wigtwizzle, Ewden Height and Midhopestones, before the race reaches its climax at Fox Valley in Sheffield.

Here's the full route for the three days:

Watch: Tour de Yorkshire full route announced: Tadcaster start for stage 2

Andrew Barton

BBC Local Live, York

The exact route of the next year's Tour de Yorkshire has been revealed and North Yorkshire plays host to the riders for each of the three days of the race.

Stage One ends in Scarborough and on day two, Saturday 29 April, riders cycle 122.5km from Tadcaster to Harrogate.

The race starts on Tadcaster Bridge - which will be newly reopened following flood damage last Boxing Day - then takes the riders through Knaresborough.

The first big climb comes on the Côte de Lofthouse, before a descent into Masham and on to Ripon skirting Fountains Abbey, before a fast approach to Harrogate, finishing on Parliament Street, just as it did on the opening stage of the 2014 Tour de France.

Here's the full route of day two:

Tour de Yorkshire route announced: Scarborough finish for stage 1

The exact route of the next year's Tour de Yorkshire has been revealed - riders will race through North Yorkshire on each of the three days.

Stage One on Friday 28 April covers 173km from Bridlington to Scarborough.

The race takes the peloton from the coast through the Yorkshire Wolds, starting outside the Bridlington Spa and heading into Pocklington for the first sprint.

The climb up the Côtes de Garrowby Hill and Goathland will get the legs pumping before the race hits the coastline again at Whitby.

The route continues on to Robin Hood’s Bay for the third and final climb and then it’s full steam into Scarborough for the finish along North Bay.

Here's the full route of Stage One:

Two million people lined the route this year, and 11 million watched it on TV.    

Watch: Excitement builds in Tadcaster ahead of Tour de Yorkshire 'cycling royalty' visit

Joanita Musisi

Reporter, BBC Radio York

Later this morning we find out the full route of the Tour de Yorkshire.

Tadcaster is one of the town's hosting the race which is where I've been this morning.

I've just chatted to a very excited Tadcaster business owner, John Stainthorpe. He's meeting the men he calls "cycling royalty" later today.

Traffic and travel latest: York Tadcaster road - accident involving lorry and cyclist

The A1036 Tadcaster Road in York is blocked and there's stationary traffic in both directions near the Grove junction because of an accident involving a lorry and a cyclist. 

There's congestion southbound to the Cherry Lane junction and northbound to the A64 York Bypass junction.  

Tadcaster rd
Google

On the first day of Christmas - wagtails in a York tree!

Andrew Barton

BBC Local Live, York

If you've been in York's Parliament Street at dusk recently you might have noticed an abundance of tweeting in the trees.

Huge flocks of pied wagtails have begun assembling above York’s annual Christmas market. The black and white birds arrive at this time every year and roost overnight in the branches of the London plane trees.

Look at this great pic below, they look like Christmas decorations hanging in the trees.

Pied Wagtails
Robert Fuller Gallery

Wildlife artist Robert Fuller who lives in Thixendale, sent this pic in and said the wagtails are drawn to the city centre by the warmth of the busy market and lights in Parliament Street.

Robert says: "Pied Wagtails weigh an average of just 21g and can lose up to 20% of their body weight overnight.

"These communal roosts mean they can huddle together to keep warm."

What a great sight!

North Yorkshire's weather: Chilly and dry with showers in the afternoon

BBC Weather

It'll be a mostly dry day across North Yorkshire, with variable cloud and some sunny intervals through the morning. 

For the afternoon things will get a bit cloudier and some showery rain is expected to spread to coastal areas from the North Sea. Feeling a little chilly too.  

Weather graphic
BBC

‘Gentle giant’ Big Issue seller dies – friends launch crowdfunding campaign to pay for proper funeral

YorkMix

Not everyone knew his name, but he was one of York’s most familiar faces.

Pete Toulson sold Big Issue North outside Marks & Spencer on Parliament Street, and had a smile and a kind word for everyone. 

Sadly Pete died on Monday and now York is rallying round a crowdfunding campaign to ensure he's given the funeral he deserves.

Pete Toulson
YorkMix

The story of Robin Hood's Bay told in 300,000 tiles

Andrew Barton

BBC Local Live, York

A vast piece of art, ‘The Story of Bay – Footprints through Time’, believed to be one of the longest public mosaic artworks in the UK, has been installed on the sea wall at Robin Hood’s Bay. 

The artwork, made up of 50 mosaic panels, covers a 125m stretch of wall next to a path visitors follow to reach the village. 

Mosaic
North York Moors National Park Authority.

This is the largest commission undertaken by Ruth Wilkinson (pictured) who spent 15 months designing and creating the panels using 300,000 tiles known as "tesserae." 

Ideas for the mosaic's themes came from villagers, local artists and historians. They include notable points in the history of the village, such as the shipwrecks, the heyday of smuggling and the development of the railway.

Ruth Wilkinson
North York Moors National Park Authority.

One panel includes plastic Minions donated by pupils at nearby Fylingdales Primary School, an old nappy pin provided by a lady who visited Robin Hood’s Bay as a toddler and a heart-shaped stone, collected on the beach and etched on one surface with a couple’s initials.  

Listen: Tour de Yorkshire excitement

Andrew Barton

BBC Local Live, York

Plant your feet on your pedals and lace up your lycra, because the route of next year's Tour de Yorkshire will be revealed this morning. 

We already know Scarborough, Harrogate and Tadcaster will be playing a big part in the cycle race, but we'll find out if they're hosting a start or finish today. We'll also find out which roads, towns and villages the race will head along and which hills it'll go up and down.

Two million people lined the route this year, and 11 million watched it on TV.

Janet Deacon from Scarborough's tourism team says there's a real buzz about bringing the race back to the town in 2017. She says even the local donkeys are dressed up to welcome the racers:

Your headlines this morning

Nathan Turvey

BBC Radio York News

The top stories from the York newsroom so far this morning include:    

Why barn owls in North Yorkshire sit on the road

Andrew Barton

BBC Local Live, York

Yesterday I told you about a North Yorkshire Police officer giving a gentle, late night helping hand to a barn owl sitting in the road on the A170 near Helmsley.

I mentioned I'd come across several barn owls just sitting in the middle of the road myself over the last few months and wondered what's going on.

I promised I'd endeavour to find out. The answer's coming up, but first here's a reminder:

I've been in touch with BBC Winterwatch and team member Laurence Whitaker, who knows all there is to know when it comes to anything ornithological, kindly gave this explanation:

York City Knights' future secured

BBC Radio York

York City Knights finally has a new owner. 

The rugby league club's future has been uncertain since earlier this year.

Knights
BBC

A statement from the club confirms the sports management consultant, Jon Flatman, has taken over ownership from John Guildford. 

Mr Flatman has previously worked with Hull FC, Wakefield and the Rugby Football League. 

He says he's now "looking forward to the 2017 season and beyond" and is "committed to deliver a club to be proud of."

The club's been up for sale, after Mr Guildford initially said in July it would close, he then agreed to keep it going until the end of the season.

Good Morning: Latest updates from North Yorkshire

Andrew Barton

BBC Local Live, York

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

Let's start with a nice chilly pic, as we enter the festive season. 

This frosty sunrise over Glusburn, near Craven, was sent in by Julian Poynton.

Craven
BBC

You can send in your pictures - chilly or not - via TwitterFacebook or email.    

Severe accident: A629 West Yorkshire eastbound

BBC Travel

A629 West Yorkshire eastbound severe accident, between A6034 Keighley Road and A650 Hard Ings Road.

A629 West Yorkshire - A629 in Keighley blocked and stationary traffic eastbound between the A6034 Keighley Road junction and the A650 Hard Ings Road junction, because of an accident.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Severe accident: A170 North Yorkshire both ways

BBC Travel

A170 North Yorkshire both ways severe accident, between Wykeham Lane and Hudgin Lane.

A170 North Yorkshire - A170 in Wykeham closed and slow traffic between the Wykeham Lane junction and the Hudgin Lane junction, because of an accident.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Five things we've learned about North Yorkshire so far today

Andrew Barton

BBC Local Live, York

That's it for me today, but updates will continue throughout the afternoon and evening.    

Meanwhile, here are five things we've learned about our county so far today:  

  1. A woman from North Yorkshire says she was conned out of £300,000 by someone she met on a dating website
  2. Richmondshire has the highest rate of homelessness in Yorkshire compared to its population, a new report suggests
  3. Campaigners fighting to save Scarborough's Futurist Theatre from demolition ask people to lobby those in power ahead of a decision on the future of the historic building
  4. York is counting down to Christmas with a city-wide "living Advent calendar"
  5. And owl's well that ends well as a North Yorkshire Police officer gently nudges one of our feathered friends out of harm's way

I'll leave you with this sweeping North Yorkshire vista sent in by BBC Weather Watcher Elle Nin, of Levisham, near Pickering:

Levisham
BBC

Work restarts on £2m restoration of York's Mansion House

Andrew Barton

BBC Local Live, York

A York company has been appointed to continue a £2m refurbishment project on the city's landmark Mansion House, after a previous firm went into administration while working on the building.

The Mansion House is the official home of the city's Lord Mayor and was built in 1732.  

York Mansion House
BBC

The project is being funded by a £1.2m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund as well as funding from City of York Council and donations.    

External works have taken place over the autumn including repairing the chimney stacks and removing old paint from the stonework      

The job has now gone to restoration contractor William Birch and Sons Ltd.

The company started life in the city, building and restoring many of its high profile properties, including the York Minster Library, Fairfax House, and York Theatre Royal.

Listen: 'It's not the people you'd expect' - Hundreds seek help over online abuse images

Andrew Barton

BBC Local Live, York

A child protection charity says it's been contacted by over 1,400 people from the Yorkshire and Humber region in the space of 12 months asking for help to stop viewing abusive images of youngsters.  

The figures have been released as part of the Stop It Now campaign which is run by the Lucy Faithfull Foundation.

The foundation offers anonymous support for people who are worried about their online sexual behaviour, or that of others. 

Lisa Thornhill, from the Stop It Now campaign, says it's "not the people you'd expect" looking at such images:

Nestle says it can cut sugar in chocolate by 40%

BBC Business News

York food producer Nestle says it has made a scientific breakthrough that can sharply cut the sugar in its chocolate.

Melting chocolate
Science Photo Library

The Swiss-based company, which makes Kitkat and Aero, says its researchers have found a way to structure sugar differently, so that it uses 40% less.

It claims this can be done without affecting the taste.

Nestle says it is patenting the findings, and it would start using the new sugar across its range from 2018.

Its scientists altered the structure of sugar so that it dissolves more quickly.

Watch: York counts down to Christmas with 'living Advent calendar'

Joanita Musisi

Reporter, BBC Radio York

If you've been in York city centre recently, you might have noticed some of the shop windows have been covered over and replaced by a number.

I was walking past Browns the other day and there's a big number four in one of its windows.

This set my detective senses soaring, so I decided to investigate and find out what's going on.

I've now discovered that its all part of the city's first "living Advent calendar":

Your headlines this lunchtime

BBC Radio York

The top stories from our York newsroom this lunchtime include:

Traffic and travel: Delays continue on York-Newcastle rail services

BBC Travel

We've had an update from National Rail Enquiries about the situation on rail services heading northwards from York.

Delays are now expected on rail services between York and Newcastle until at least 16:00 this afternoon after a gas leak on the line near Durham.

Trains are currently unable to run between Newcastle and Darlington and are being delayed by up to 80 minutes while they wait for engineers to assess the issue. 

Buses are running between Newcastle and Darlington. More details as we get them, in the meantime keep up-to-date with York Railway Station's live departure board.

Dating fraud: Police warning after woman loses £300k in online scam

Georgey Spanswick

Presenter, BBC Radio York

People using dating websites should exercise caution and look out for warning signs to avoid becoming victims of a scam, police say.

It comes after a North Yorkshire woman told BBC Radio York her story of being conned out of £300,000 by a man she met online. 

Nancy, not her real name, says she ended up selling her home and taking out loans to send money abroad to a man she believed was in love with her, and it left her in a "desperate state".

I've been talking to Det Insp Jon Hodgeon, from North Yorkshire Police, who has been working with Nancy. 

He says there are warning signs to look out for such as a profile with limited information and being asked to communicate outside the dating site: