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Summary

  1. Updates from across the West of England on Thursday, 6 October 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Goodnight from Local Live in the West

Watch: Ian Fergusson with the West weather forecast

Live updates from the West of England have finished for the day but we'll be back from 7am tomorrow with the latest news, sport, weather and travel from across the region.  

We'll leave you with Ian Fergusson's forecast for Friday. It's going to be cool and mostly dry. 

Bristol artists return from 'fake Mars'

Ella Good and Nicki Kent
Ella Good and Nicki Kent

Two Bristol artists have taken the phrase "Life on Mars" to the next level.

Ella Good and Nicki Kent started the art installation project A Decade With Mars in 2015 and have just returned from a research trip to a fake Mars in the desert in Utah. It's used for training by astronauts planning to travel to the red planet.

Ella and Nicki say they hope their work will help people think about sustainability and community here on Earth as well.

Watch: Ella and Nicki say space travel helps us to think how we live on our own planet

Bristol golfer Chris Wood back from Ryder Cup

Watch: Chris Wood back at this home course after the Ryder Cup

Bristol golfer Chris Wood is back home after making his debut in the Ryder Cup.

He's been playing eight holes with budding youngsters at Long Ashton Golf Club in Bristol, where he himself trained as a teenager.

Chris told BBC Points West's Alastair Durden that 2016 has "been a great year".     

Expert explains Mike Brandon's groundbreaking leukaemia treatment

Watch: Dr Noelle Frey explains Mike Brandon's treatment

A doctor from the University of Pennsylvania where Mike Brandon was treated has been explaining the groundbreaking medical treatment he received.  

Mike Brandon was diagnosed with leukaemia and told to prepare for the worst. But his wife Kate started an online campaign to raise £400,000 for the experimental treatment in America.  

The campaign was a success, as Mike's treatment also seems to be with his latest biopsy results coming back clear for a second time.

Dr Noelle Frey says the therapy represents a "tremendous advancement for patients" but it is only currently available in limited clinical trials for patients with certain types of cancer.

Former Gloucester prop Wood retires

Nick Wood
Getty Images

Former Gloucester prop Nick Wood has announced his retirement from rugby, four months after leaving the club where he played for 15 years.

Wood, 33, left the Cherry and Whites in June, having joined their academy in 2001.

He said in a statement on Twitter: "I've been offered several fantastic opportunities, one of which allows me to stay involved in the game I love.

"While this was not how I saw my career ending, I am happy to have finished while still able to play at the top level, to have finished on a high."

National Poetry Day: An ode to Portland Square

Watch: Malaika Kegode's poem

Our third poem of the day to mark National Poetry Day was written just for BBC Radio Bristol.

Written by Malaika Kegode about an area of St Pauls, Bristol, it's called Portland Square.

Matt Taylor signs new Glos contract

Matt Taylor played in all but one of Gloucestershire's T20 Blast games in 2016
Getty Images

Gloucestershire seamer Matt Taylor has signed a two-year contract extension with the county.

The 22-year-old left-armer is now tied to the Division Two side until the end of the 2019 season.

Taylor took 13 wickets in five Championship matches for Gloucestershire this year, as well as playing eight games in the One-Day Cup and 13 in the T20 Blast.

All-rounder Benny Howell also signed a new deal until 2019 on Wednesday.

Giant 3D woolly version of Bristol back on display

Briswool
Bristol Energy

Briswool has returned to Bristol! The giant 3-D knitted version of the city has taken up residence at the Bristol Energy Hub on the Harbourside, and will be there till next weekend.More than 20,000 people packed into the Mshed earlier this year to view the creation.

Now Bristol Energy is offering people a second chance to view the woollen spectacle, which was three years in the making by more than 250 volunteers.

The project is estimated to have taken hundreds of balls of wool and thousands of hours to complete! 

What's the difference between an Asian hornet and a European one?

Watch: Beekeeper Stephen Brain explains the difference between European and Asian hornets

Beekeepers are still on alert after the discovery of a second Asian hornet in the West. 

A surveillance zone has been set up in North Somerset after the discovery of the insects earlier this week. Last month the first confirmed sighting was made in Tetbury. 

They pose a major threat to native English honey bees.

Rugby preview: Bath v Sale Sharks

Bath and England centre Jonathan Joseph
Getty Images

Bath have England centre Jonathan Joseph back as they make seven changes for the visit of Sale to The Rec.

Among them, Dave Attwood and Zach Mercer return to start, while club captain Guy Mercer and Adam Hastings are on the bench.

Centre Sam James returns from his injury and Eifion Lewis-Roberts comes into the front row for Ross Harrison.

The Black, Blue and Whites have won three of the past four meetings, while the Sharks have won two of their past five visits to The Rec.

Mayor sets out his vision for Bristol

Marvin Rees
BBC

Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees is five months into the job and says "I love it". 

In his first major speech - since winning a landslide victory for Labour in May - he says his actions so far include creating a cross-party cabinet, a review of Residents' Parking Zones and a commission on the gender and race pay gap. 

And now he's "inviting the city to stand together" to tackle inequality, to build homes, to improve transport and to give children a better start in life.   

Leukaemia treatment man talks of fundraising 'miracle'

Watch: Mike Brandon and wife Kate talk about the campaign to fund his treatment

Mike Brandon was diagnosed with leukaemia three years ago.

But after being told to prepare for the worst his wife Kate started an online campaign to raise £400,000 for an experimental treatment in America.  

The campaign was a success, as Mike's treatment also seems to be with his latest biopsy results coming back clear for a second time.

A relieved and grateful Mike said "it felt like a miracle".

British 'sea dragon' fossils are 'new to science'

Palaeontologists Dean Lomax (centre) and Judy Massare (right) with one the fossils
BBC

Scientific detective work on fossils collected in Victorian times has identified two new species of Ichthyosaurs - the giant reptiles that swam at the time of the dinosaurs.

It brings to six the known species of Ichthyosaurus - ''sea dragons'' that ruled the oceans in Jurassic times.

Both fossils were unearthed in Somerset in the 1800s.

One specimen has been on display at Bristol University for decades, under the gaze of countless students.

Family release photo of Cheltenham stabbing victim

Camran Green
Gloucestershire Police

Seventeen-year-old Camran Green was stabbed to death in Cheltenham earlier this week.

The teenage was attacked at a property on Shakespeare Road on Sunday and died in hospital the following day.

Earlier detectives were given more time to question a 31-year-old man, who was arrested on Wednesday.

A 31-year-old woman from the town was also arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender. 

Gloucester City gains new fan club thanks to a computer game!

Thanks to a popular computer game, Gloucester City FC has a new fan club in ... Norway!

On Football Manager gamers can manage the virtual Gloucester City team and lead them up the divisions.

Geir Runar Omli, one of the nine fans in the Gloucester City AFC Norwegian Supporters branch, explains how he and his friends came to support the Tigers.

“We decided to choose the lowest playable league in England and take the team with the lowest wage budget to the Premier League, so we chose Gloucester as our team.”

Geir said they then researched the club, learnt the names of players and catch up with club news on the website. Not only that, as the photo below shows, they now own a replica Gloucester City home kit which they "wear with pride".

Norwegian fans of Gloucester City FC
Gloucester City FC

Traffic warning as temporary bridge removed in Somerset

Engineers creating a flood alleviation channel beneath the road
Environment Agency

A temporary bridge that has kept traffic flowing along the A39 in Somerset while flood defences have been constructed is to be removed this weekend.

The bridge in Cannington allowed engineers to create a flood alleviation channel beneath the road to improve defences for around 200 homes.

To remove the bridge the A39 will be closed for 24 hours in that location. 

The closure takes effect at 7pm on Saturday and a diversion route will be in place.

New suspension bridge toll booth design to go on display

Artist's impression of new booths
The Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust

People are being asked for their feedback on the design for new toll booths on the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol.

The Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust intends to replace the booths on the Clifton and the Leigh Woods sides of the bridge.

A public exhibition of the latest design will go on display at the bridge visitor centre from next Thursday until the end of the month.

The trust is welcoming comments from the public and other interested parties before working up planning and listed building applications for submission later this year.

Rare hornbill chicks hatch at Bristol Zoo

Hornbill chicks
Bristol Zoo

Bristol Zoo is celebrating another successful breeding season with the arrival of a trio of endangered hornbill chicks.

It’s the second time the zoo’s pair of Visayan tarictic hornbills have raised young.

The birds come from islands in the Visayas Archipelago, which runs through the middle of the Philippines.

Richard Switzer, curator of birds at Bristol Zoo, said: “We are thrilled to have welcomed three youngsters to our flock of hornbills. 

"To raise three chicks is a tremendous achievement, not only for the parents but for us at the zoo."

Visayan tarictic hornbill
Bristol Zoo

Corsham crowned winner of South West in Bloom

Listen: Sharon Thomas from Corsham Town Council on the win

Corsham has been announced as the winner of the South West in Bloom competition.

The event celebrated the achievements of over 520 volunteers from Bloom groups to community groups and school gardening clubs from towns and villages across the South West region.Sharon Thomas from Corsham Town Council says that winning the competition is "the icing on the cake".  

'Singing Children of Africa' on tour in Somerset

Watch: The children singing 'This little light of mine'

The 'Singing Children of Africa' are travelling around Somerset this week, raising money and awareness for a charity called Educate the Kids.

The organisation set up a school in Mombasa in Kenya where - everyday - 700 children are taught and fed.

Severe roadworks: A4 Wiltshire both ways

BBC Travel

A4 Wiltshire both ways severe roadworks, between A345 Pewsey Road and A346 Barn Street.

A4 Wiltshire - A4 High Street And New Road in Marlborough Town Centre closed between St Peter's Church and St Peter's School, because of Marlborough Mop Fair - Big Mop. Diversion in operation - signed. Various buses will have alterations with several starting and terminating from London Road. Expect delays. From 12:00 on the 14th to 8:00 on 16th October

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

The afternoon headlines from your local newspapers

What an Asian hornet actually looks like

With a second UK sighting of an Asian hornet in the west earlier this week, and a giant nest destroyed near Tetbury, here's what you need to know to tell a European Hornet from an Asian Hornet.

Watch: Asian hornets have been seen in the region

Outhouse wins BBC new buildings vote

Outhouse
Charles Hosea

A modernist concrete house built into a hill in the Forest of Dean has won the BBC News vote as readers' favourite new British building.

Outhouse, designed by architects Loyn & Co, was built as a home for two retired artists.

We'll find out this evening whether it's also won the prestigious Riba Stirling Prize - the Oscars of the architecture world.

Fingers crossed the prize will be coming to Gloucestershire.

'Threatened' speedwatch volunteers ready to pack it in

Community Speedwatch
Other

A speedwatch group in Wells, Somerset, claims it has been physically and verbally threatened by drivers and wants to pack the scheme in altogether.

The group in East Horrington has been running for the past five years - but volunteers say they’ve been sworn at and even driven at by unhappy drivers.

They claim they're not getting enough support from the authorities.

Somerset County Council says it's happy to be contacted by any speedwatch group that has concerns.

Suicide risk 'higher in community' than among hospital inpatients

Joy Hibbins
BBC

Suicides of people being cared for in the community are higher than among hospital inpatients, a report has said.

There are around 200 suicides a year of people cared for by crisis teams - three times the number in hospitals.  

As part of BBC News coverage nationally, a Gloucestershire woman has shared her story of finding it "impossible to engage" with local support when she was feeling suicidal in 2012.

Joy Hibbins set up a charity following the experience which she described as "horrifying, shocking, terrifying and profoundly distressing". 

"A different person was coming out to see me every day. There was no sense of continuity of care from my perspective," she said.

Cancer man launches campaign to help fellow sufferers

A Bristol man who travelled to America to have specialist cancer treatment not available on the NHS has started a campaign to help others get the same procedure.

Mike Brandon, from Westbury on Tyrm, was diagnosed with an acute form of Leukaemia. 

Mike Brandon and wife Kate
Brandon Family

His family and friends raised £400,000 for him to go to the states for pioneering treatment. 

He says he now wants to start a fund for patients who may end up having the same therapy in the UK.

The great wall of Great Bedwyn

Watch: See the Great Bedwyn flood defence

A £250,000 protective fence has been put up in Great Bedwyn to protect the village from potential flooding this winter.

It's one of 20 flood protection schemes currently under way in the county - which are expected to come into effect by 2021.

National Poetry Day: An ode to Somerset's apples

The second poem of the day to mark National Poetry Day was commissioned especially for BBC Somerset.

Written by Chris Redmond, it's called The Fruit, Not The Phone...

Watch: Chris Redmond's poem

First Glastonbury 2017 tickets up for grabs later

The first batch of tickets for Glastonbury 2017 go on sale at 6pm.

Today's bidders will have to travel to the festival by coach, as this first allocation is a package which includes coach travel as well as main entry.

For everyone else, general tickets go on sale on Sunday morning. Last year all 15,000 were sold within minutes.

Watch: Tickets go on sale at 6pm

Master cheese-grader retires his £5m nose

Master Cheese Grader, Nigel Pooley
Wyke Farms

A master cheese-grader who has been sniffing cheese for two decades has announced he is to retire

Nigel Pooley, nicknamed “the Nose”, has graded about 520 million packs of cheese and butter over his career and in 2009 his nose was estimated to be worth £5m to his Somerset employer, Wyke Farms.

For the last 10 years, Mr Pooley has been training up his successor - Diane Cox.

The company said it was in talks with insurance companies to protect Diane’s nose and sense of smell with a £5m policy to cover her assets.

Severe disruption: M5 Somerset southbound

BBC Travel

M5 Somerset southbound severe disruption, at J21 for A370.

M5 Somerset - M5 exit slip road partially blocked southbound at J21, A370 (Weston-Super-Mare), because of a broken down car.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Anthony Watson

Bath winger Anthony Watson is likely to miss the autumn Tests after breaking his jaw while on England duty.

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Bristol City manager Lee Johnson

Bristol City boss Lee Johnson is focused on his own club, following reports linking him to Aston Villa's managerial vacancy.

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Veteran uses flight simulator during PTSD recovery

Watch: Robert Frapwell said it wasn't as bumpy as being in the back of a Hercules

A Stroud veteran, who's suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, has flown in a flight simulator at Heathrow Airport.Robert Frapwell, who was in the 7th Parachute Regiment, served in Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq.His experience was part of a scheme called Band of Brothers, run by the Wiltshire-based veteran charity Help for Heroes, and was set up by a British Airways captain who wanted to help injured veterans in their recovery.

Third arrest over fatal stabbing in Cheltenham

Shakespeare Road in Cheltenham
BBC

A third person has been arrested following the fatal stabbing of Camran Green, 17, in Cheltenham on Sunday.

Gloucestershire Police said a 31-year-old Cheltenham woman was arrested yesterday afternoon on suspicion of assisting an offender.

A 31-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder is still in police custody while a 44-year-old woman arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender has been bailed.

Bristol City boss to Aston Villa? No.

Who'd live in a house like this?

Watch: A tongue-in-cheek tour of the terraced house

Lessons need to be learned from the saga of 44 Richmond Terrace in Bristol, according to the city's cabinet member for housing. 

The City Council has broken its silence on the property in Avonmouth, which earlier this year was occupied by protesters against the authority's attempts to sell it.

Several unsuccessful attempts were made by bailiffs to remove them, before the deal to sell the house fell through at the wish of the buyer.

National Poetry Day ...Wiltshire style

Today is National Poetry Day and across the BBC our local radio stations are marking the occasion with a special poem commissioned about a famous local building, landmark or place. 

BBC Wiltshire has had a poem written about the old GWR mechanics Institute in Swindon. 

It was once one of the most important buildings in the town but is now dilapidated. 

For the Treetops of the Mechanics' *Institute a poem by Wiltshire writer Michael Scott

From the Treetops of the Mechanics' Institute - Written and performed by Michael Scott