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Summary

  1. Ex-NHS boss faces jail after admitting £11,000 fraud
  2. Couple married for 50 years found dead by son, inquest told
  3. Four hospitals to close in Devon
  4. Second driver dies after A3052 crash
  5. Trains cancelled due to waves risk at Dawlish
  6. Police to spend £24m on 100 new constables, 50 investigators and 30 online staff, but PCSOs will be cut by about 200, bosses say
  7. Hallsands still under siege from the sea
  8. Veteran 'paper boy' doing the rounds for the RNLI
  9. Updates on Thursday 26 January 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Our live coverage across the day

    Victoria Gould

    BBC News Online

    That's all from BBC Local Live in Devon and Cornwall for today, we'll be back tomorrow from 08:00 to bring you all the day's news, sport, travel and weather updates.

    Don't forget Spotlight on BBC One later. There will also be news through the night on your BBC Local Radio station.

  2. Plans for new theatre for Exeter

    Neil Gallacher, Business & Industry Correspondent

    BBC Spotlight

    A new, much bigger theatre could be on the cards for Exeter.

    The city council is going ahead with moves which could lead to the creation of a new theatre in the town with space for 1,000 people.

    Exeter currently has much smaller venues than other big towns and cities in the south west.

    Interior of a theatre
  3. Kidderminster's Hodgkiss joins Torquay

    BBC Sport

    National League side Torquay United have signed Kidderminster Harriers right-back Jared Hodgkiss on a 28-day loan deal.

    The 30-year-old former West Brom trainee played with Gulls player-manager Kevin Nicholson at Harriers.  

  4. Another cold night ahead

    BBC Weather

    It will be another cold night, with clear periods at first.

    However, it will start to turn cloudier from the west and the winds will gradually ease. Minimum Temperature: 3C (37F).

    Weather map

    After a cold start, Friday looks to become mostly cloudy, with some hill fog.

    Outbreaks of rain will erratically push in from the west and it will slowly become milder. Maximum Temperature: 10C (50F).

  5. Rise and fall of Paula Vasco-Knight

    Jonathan Morris

    BBC News Online

    Investigators said NHS fraudster Paula Vasco-Knight's meteoric career path had been "an inspiration to so many".

    But they said her fraud while CEO of South Devon NHS Trust and NHS England's National Lead for Equality was a "huge disappointment and shock to many".

    Paula Vasco-Knight

    Here are the key moments in her rise and fall: 

  6. Hospital closures: Patients will have the 'best possible care for the future'

    Victoria Gould

    BBC News Online

    NHS managers in south Devon say today's controversial decision to close four community hospitals will improve health services and meet increasing demand.

    At a packed meeting of the Clinical Commsioning Group (CCG) meeting members agreed that by strengthening services in the community, more people will be looked after at home, so fewer people will need to be admitted to hospital.

    The decision means hospitals in Ashburton and Buckfastleigh, Bovey Tracey, Dartmouth and Paignton will close.

    Clinical Commissioning Group meeting

    The CCG also agreed to look at three additional proposals:

    • Ashburton and Buckfastleigh Hospital will be evaluated as a base for the area’s local health and wellbeing centre, which would include GPs
    • A proposal to establish an urgent care centre on the Torbay Hospital site to provide an MIU service should be pursued
    • Specialist outpatient clinics will continue in Paignton

    Dr Nick Roberts, CCG chief clinical officer, said: “We believe that these changes will meet the demands of our modern society – but I want to stress that high-quality hospital care will still be available when needed for patients. That’s essential.”

    The aim is for the changes to be implemented as soon as managers can be assured the new services can operate safely.

  7. Exeter City fight to keep young stars

    Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale has played down growing transfer interest in two of his young stars.

    Ollie Watkins and Ethan Ampadu

    Twenty-one-year-old striker Ollie Watkins and midfielder Ethan Ampadu, 16, have been linked with bigger clubs.  

  8. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: A3072 Cornwall both ways

    BBC Travel

    A3072 Cornwall both ways severe disruption, between B3254 and Spicers Lane.

    A3072 Cornwall - A3072 in Launcells blocked and queuing traffic in both directions between Red Post Crossroads and the Spicers Lane junction, because of an overturned car.

    Check local traffic and travel reports for:

  9. Mental health charity warns of funding cut

    BBC Radio Devon

    A mental health charity based in Exeter says it is facing a 35% cut in funding for the services it provides in the local community.

    The charity Mind offers a safe space for people in Exeter and East Devon to work on their own wellbeing, but claims it will lose £300,000 because of a reduction in local government funding. 

    Devon County Council says it plans to invest an extra £1m in services that support vulnerable adults with mental health issues this year, but wants to do it in a more targeted and focused way.

  10. Objections to distillery in Devon because of Scottish design

    Sian Davies

    BBC News Online

    Villagers in Princetown, Dartmoor hare concerned that a planned whisky distillery will look too different to the rest of the village because of its 'Scottish design'.

    They are concerned that it is to be rendered brown when the village is mainly white and pastel with slate.

    Princetown

    One villager, who gave their name as D Spence, wrote that they would be more supportive of the idea if it made "less of an impact to the area".

    Princetown Distillery

    "Even the architect for the distillery said the design of the high tower and general appearance of the property is purely cosmetic and in keeping to a traditional Scottish distillery," they said. 

    "Well Princetown is not Scotland and the looks are not in keeping to the local area."

  11. Home care service rated outstanding

    A South Devon home care service has been rated outstanding by the health watchdog. 

    The Care Quality Commission says Robert Owen Communities provides exceptional care.

    Inspectors said staff find innovative ways to support those with physical challenges or learning disabilities and make sure their needs and views are listened to and acted upon.

    The head inspector said the team should be extremely proud of the work they do.

  12. Improvements due to start on busy commuter work

    Victoria Gould

    BBC News Online

    Building work is due to begin on Monday to improve a notorious traffic bottleneck in Cornwall.

    The council says 31,000 vehicles use the Treluswell Roundabout junction near Penryn every day.

    The roundabout see routes from Penryn, Falmouth, Truro and Redruth converge and a recent survey revealed queues of more than 85 cars at busy times.

    Treluswell roundabout

    The £2.9m scheme aims to cut congestion and improve visibility for motorists. 

    It will see the existing two roundabouts replaced with one, which the council predicts it could improve journey times by as much as 37%.

  13. Princetown distillery 'great idea' for village

    Sian Davies

    BBC News Online

    Residents objecting to plans for a whisky distillery say the design is too different to the look of other buildings in their Dartmoor village.

    About 120 members of the public raised a number of points both for and against the Princetown distillery at a Dartmoor Forest Parish Council meeting on Friday, including that the plan "looks Scottish not typical of Dartmoor".

    Princetown

    However, some residents support the plans, recognising the potential new jobs, investment and visitors to the area.

    Stuart Ross wrote that it is a "great idea" for the village.

  14. Ex-NHS boss breaks down in tears after admitting £11,000 fraud

    Victoria Gould

    BBC News Online

    A former hospital chief executive broke down in tears after pleading guilty to swindling the NHS out of more than £11,000.

    Paula Vasco-Knight was told she faces jail after changing her plea to guilty on the second day of her trial at Exeter Crown Court.

    Vasco-Knight was working one day a week as the NHS's lead on equality and diversity when she used £11,072 of NHS cash to pay her husband Stephen for work on an equality and diversity publication called Transform which never existed, the court heard.

    He ran a one-man graphic design business out of his garden shed. He also admitted fraud today.

    Sentencing was adjourned until March, pending a pre-sentence report. The pair were released on bail.

    Vasco-Knight's former assistant at the NHS equality unit Habib Naqvi, 28, of Wells Road, Bristol, was cleared of two counts of aiding and abetting.

    Paula Vasco-Knight
  15. Envelope update

    Severe accident: A3058 Cornwall both ways

    BBC Travel

    A3058 Cornwall both ways severe accident, between B3276 Porth Way and Porth Bean Road.

    A3058 Cornwall - A3058 Henver Road in Newquay closed in both directions between Porth Way Roundabout and The Post Office, because of an accident involving car and pedestrian.

    Check local traffic and travel reports for:

  16. Historic Cornish pottery offering support to people with dementia

    People in Cornwall who suffer from dementia can now take part in a creative project organised by a pottery in St Ives.

    Walking Impressions takes locals on walks once a week in West Cornwall to find natural things to turn into clay.

    Leach Pottery and the Sensory Trust have received funding for the sessions known as the creative walking, nature and ceramics project.

  17. Why are trains being cancelled this afternoon?

    David Braine

    Weather Forecaster

    CrossCountry is set to cancel trains west of Exeter from 16:00 until 19:00 because of the high tide.

    Wind this afternoon is expected to be between 30 and 40 mph along the south Devon coast.

    Trains

    The wind direction will be southeasterly, and this combined with high tides between 17:30 and 18:00 could lead to waves breaking over the sea defence walls and affecting rail services on the line between Exeter and the rest of the South West.