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Summary

  1. Updates for Wednesday 23 December 2015
  2. The latest News, Sport, Travel and Weather from 08:00 Thursday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage across the day

    Live updates for Devon and Cornwall have finished for the day, but we'll be back at 08:00 on Thursday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

  2. 'Don't Christmas come around quick?' The Devon Maids are back

    Dan Downs, Weather Forecaster

    I've been catching up with them 'Deb'n Maids' on Dartmoor to find out how they're getting ready for Christmas. 

    Deb'n maids

    June Smith, 86 and her 87-year-old sister, April Scott, delighted us earlier in the year with yarns told in their fine Devonshire dialect. 

    I grew up round the corner from them. Find out how we got on on the BBC Spotlight Facebook page.

  3. Weather latest: Heavy rain and near gale force winds dying out tomorrow

    David Braine, Weather Forecaster

    Cloud will thicken this evening and winds will become increasingly strong through the night. Patchy rain will push in from the west. Minimum Temperature: 7C (45F).

    Weather graphic

    On Thursday, heavy and widespread rain with winds touching gale force will clear before lunchtime. Sunny spells will then develop along with isolated showers. Maximum Temperature: 9C (48F).

  4. Latest headlines in Devon and Cornwall

    Andrew Segal

    Local Live

    - Cornwall MP Scott Mann says slow internet speeds are a problem for many businesses that want to relocate to the county after broadband adverts are criticised by Citizens Advice as "misleading"

    - A Royal Navy officer from Plymouth who died in a car crash had been carrying on a family tradition of nursing, her family says

    - The Devon Wildlife Trust says the mild winter has resulted in sightings of hedgehogs, which normally hibernate from October or November

    - Highways England is to carry out more than £1m of maintenance and safety works on the A38 between Liskeard and Saltash in January

    - The South Western Ambulance Service is giving a bravery award to a three-year-old girl who called 999 after her heavily-pregnant mother fell down the stairs

  5. Killed nurse Anna Bolam 'carried on family tradition'

    BBC News England

    A Royal Navy officer who died in a car crash in Dorset had been carrying on a family tradition of nursing, her family said

    Sub Lt Anna Bolam, 28, from Plymouth, died at the scene of the two-car crash on the A35 near Dorchester on Sunday evening.

    Anna Bolam. Pic Via Dorset Police

    In a statement, her family said she had followed her grandmothers and mother into working in healthcare and they were "devastated at her loss".  

  6. Joss Stone reggae title angers fans after her album is biggest selling of 2015

    BBC Newsbeat

    British soul singer Joss Stone has come top of two of Billboard Magazine's end of year reggae chart rundowns.

    Joss Stone

    The Devon star, who released Water for Your Soul this year, was reggae artist of the year and had the biggest selling reggae album of 2015 in the US. 

    She beat a live album from Bob Marley, Easy Skanking in Boston 78, into second place but news hasn't gone down well with hardcore reggae fans.

  7. Stolen turkey donated to food bank by the police

    BBC Spotlight

    A foodbank in Brixham has received a special Christmas present from the town's police officers - a turkey confiscated from a shoplifter who'd pinched it from a nearby supermarket. 

    Stolen turkey donated to foodbank

    The shop wrote the bird off, but instead of being thrown away, it was stored in the police fridge and it's now going to be feeding a family on Christmas Day.   

  8. Rape centre to gather assault forensic evidence

    BBC Spotlight

    People in Devon and Cornwall can now access specialist help following rape or sexual assault without involving the police. 

    Many victims don't feel strong enough in the hours and days following an attack to officially report the crime, but that means crucial forensic evidence can be lost. 

    Evidence collection

    Now the Sexual Assault Referral Centre in Plymouth will gather that evidence without victims having to be referred by police.  

  9. NHS bosses promise to keep close eye on Mitie performance

    Tamsin Melville

    Political Reporter, BBC Radio Cornwall

    Cornwall's hospital managers say they will continue with a "detailed level of scrutiny" after further problems were revealed with the private firm that runs its cleaning and catering services.

    The latest figures show Mitie was fined up to 60% of its monthly profit in the past three months because it's failing to meet required standards.

    RCHT

    Mitie says the scores don't accurately reflect the service it delivers - in a statement the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust said: "We are pleased to note that recent audits do show improvement in performance, particularly in standards of cleaning, but nevertheless the scores reflect the detailed level of scrutiny with which we continue to monitor technical aspects of the contract."   

  10. Latest travel in Devon and Cornwall

    BBC Travel

    - In Cornwall, traffic around Truro is very heavy on inbound routes, and in the city centre, due to late-night shopping 

    - In Devon, the A379 Dawlish Road in Teignmouth is blocked in both directions near the Rowdens due to an overturned car

  11. Crows caught on camera using sticks as tools

    Julie Skentelbery

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    A scientist from the University of Exeter has been involved in filming a type of crow using sticks as hooked tools to hunt for insects

    Caledonian crow

    Dr Jolyon Troscianko, based at the Penryn campus, and Dr Christian Rutz from the University of St Andrews, developed tiny cameras to observe the New Caledonian crow's behaviour - which had never before been recorded in the wild. 

    Dr Troscianko said: "The first time I watched the footage, I didn't see anything particularly interesting. Only when I went through it again frame-by-frame, I discovered this fascinating behaviour. Not once, but twice!"  

  12. Peer says Liberal Democrats have Goon backwards

    Martyn Oates

    BBC South West Political Editor

    Liberal Democrat peer Lord Burnett burst into song as he told me which Christmas song most suited his party at the moment.

    He said: "Our record, or our carol, for this year is probably going to be the great Spike Milligan hit I'm going backwards to Christmas.

    Lord Burnett

    You can see his rendition of the Milligan tune - actually titled I'm Walking Backwards For Christmas, and written for The Goons in the 1950s - here.

  13. Doctors hope Bude boy can recover from tumour treatment without becoming infertile

    BBC News Health

    A nine-year-old Cornish boy with an inoperable brain tumour has become the first person in the UK to have his testicular tissue frozen in case he wants to father children later in life. 

    Before Nathan Crawford underwent treatment, doctors removed tissue with a view to implant it back into Nathan in the future. More than 80% of children now survive cancer, but about 10% are left infertile.

    Crawford

    A consultant at Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital Dr Sheila Lane said: "These tumours can possibly be cured with intensive chemotherapy. Patients can have a long and happy life without any problems."  

  14. Mild winter affecting flora, fauna and insects

    Andrew Segal

    Local Live

    Effects of the mild winter on flora, fauna and insects are part of the "strange goings on" being observed by wildlife experts.

    The Devon Wildlife Trust said higher temperatures, including 14C measured in Exeter at the beginning of the week, had resulted in primroses being out at Meeth Quarry, near Holsworthy, which was "normally a sign that spring is on the way".

    David Wodehouse, who helps manage the Meeth nature reserve, added: "We also have marsh ragwort and wild strawberries in flower, and our bee hives are still active.”

  15. Police seek to trace three men

    Claire Hawke

    BBC Local Live

    Police are trying to trace three men, two wanted for recall to prison, and a third who failed to appear at court.

    Officers said 27-year-old Christopher Shakespeare (left) and Wayne Jennings (centre), 31, had both been recalled to prison for licence breaches. Twenty-nine-year-old Danny Venning (right) is wanted for failing to appear at a magistrates' court this week.

    Christopher Shakespeare, Wayne Jennings and Danny Venning

    Police said the three all had connections to Plymouth but could be anywhere in Devon and Cornwall.

  16. Flood alerts in Cornwall

    Andrew Segal

    Local Live

    The Environment Agency has issued Flood Alerts for Thursday morning.

    Areas where people should be prepared include: The north Cornwall coast, from Lands End to Chapel Porth; including Sennen, St Ives, Carbis Bay, Lelant, Portreath and Porthtowan 

    - The tidal River Camel - excluding Wadebridge and Chapel Amble -  Padstow, Rock, Sladesbridge and the A389 could also be affected.

    Low-lying coastal land and roads in both areas would be affected first.

  17. Nurse's family 'devastated' at her death

    Jonathan Morris, BBC News Online

    The family of a 28-year-old Plymouth nurse say they are "devastated" by her death in a car crash on Sunday.

    Sub Lt Anna Bolam

    Sub Lt Anna Bolam died following a collision between her silver Toyota MR2 and a Renault Megane on the A35 between Dorchester and Bridport.

    Her family said in a statement that Anna, who worked at the Defence Medical Group South West at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, had been travelling from Plymouth to Hampshire for a family Christmas.

  18. Mitie defends its performance on Cornwall's hospital wards

    Tamsin Melville

    Political Reporter, BBC Radio Cornwall

    The private company responsible for cleaning and catering in Cornwall's acute hospitals has said it's 'invested heavily' in its services.

    The latest figures have revealed Mitie was fined up to 60% of its monthly profit in the past three months because it's failing to meet required standards, the latest in a series of problems in the £90m contract.

    Mitie

    In a statement, Mitie said: "The scores themselves do not accurately reflect the service we deliver or the good work our people carry out every day."

  19. Sub-aqua Santa spotted in Plymouth

    Don't worry, the Christmas sleigh has not crashed into the English Channel!

    santa

    Father Christmas and his elves have paid a visit to the Eddystone Reef tank at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth this week.