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Showing posts from January, 2021

Update on Covid-19 cases in the South Hams on the anniversary of first case in the UK

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Today, January 31st, marked a year since the first two cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in the UK and in the South Hams, there are nearly 100 people currently confirmed to have the virus.  Coronavirus - stock image Devon County Councillor Roger Croad released the latest data, showing 99 confirmed cases in the South Hams, 546 in Plymouth and 937 in the whole of Devon.  This means that the number of confirmed cases per 100,000 in the South Hams is 113.8, compared with Devon - 116.8, Plymouth - 208.3 and England - 354.2.  Sadly, four people died in the South Hams within 28 days of receiving a positive Covid test  between 18-24 January, and our thoughts are with their family and friends. Across the UK, just yesterday, there were 1,200 deaths. That's almost as many people as died on the Titanic. In one day.  Cllr Croad said that across the South West, 98 per cent of care home staff and residents and 85 per cent of the 80+ age group have had at least the first dose of the vaccine.  He ad

Respected scientist is on the front lines in the war against fake news and misinformation

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In the world of fake news, misinformation and confusion between opinion and fact, it is always difficult to know who to trust.  Dr Emily Grossman Dr Emily Grossman, a science communicator who has spent years taking difficult to understand science and transforming it into language that normal people can understand, is making it her duty to cut through the pseudoscience and misunderstanding and fighting for the one thing that we can know to be true - observable facts. Emily recently moved from London to Totnes and has a background to rival anyone in her field. She has a Double First Class Degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and PhD in molecular biology and genetics. She has worked to translate 'science talk' into plain English, and this has led her to work with BBC News, Sky News, The Guardian, The Science Museum and The Royal Institution, as well as being the resident science expert on various mainstream TV shows.  She has a Double First Class Degree in Natural

Dartmouth shellfish businessman organises London demonstration over Brexit delays

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Sales manager of Dartmouth Crab Company , Mark Moore, organised a demonstration in London this week to "raise awareness" of the delays and bureaucracy faced by seafood exporters.  Dartmouth Crab Company lorries in London - credit Lee Elliot Mark said that the demonstration was "triggered" by Prime Minister Boris Johnson implying delays at the border faced by seafood exporters were their own fault, saying they had "filled out the wrong forms".  "That is what really triggered it", Mark explained, "We're not stupid people, we were ready, we were prepared, but we were still getting updates at twenty to midnight on New Years Eve." We're not stupid people, we were ready, we were prepared, but we were still getting updates at twenty to midnight on New Years Eve Mark said that the demonstration was not a "protest" but about "raising awareness" that his industry faces due to the "bureaucracy" faced in light

School building on fire, cause still unknown

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A temporary building at KEVICC caught fire last night.  The scene - credit photojournalist Román Alonso Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service and Devon and Cornwall Police were called to the scene just before 7pm on Friday, January 22, at King Edward VI Community College, known locally as KEVICC, and fought the flames for hours.  A spokesperson for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said: "A timber building used as a classroom was well alight on our arrival. We extinguished the fire last night but the building was severely damaged and showing signs of potential structural collapse.  "Officers returned this morning and we are assisting the police with the investigation into the cause of the fire." There were no injuries.  Photojournalist Román Alonso was on scene last night and recorded this impressive video of the firefighters battling the blaze:  The scene - credit photojournalist Román Alonso The scene - credit photojournalist Román Alonso The scene - cred

Multiple underground explosions in Kingsbridge

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Emergency services are currently on scene in Kingsbridge after "multiple explosions underground". Emergency services on Church Street - credit Dan  Coleman, Image Three Sixty FINAL UPDATE: A spokesperson for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue service said: "It was a low voltage cable fault. It was interesting and we needed to be cautious, but thankfully the risk turned out to be low. The concern was the gas main, but that was checked and was absolutely fine." The road was still closed this afternoon, Friday January 23.  Exclusive pictures from the scene:  Update from Kingsbridge Police at 16.45: "Although Church Street remains closed, all residents can now return to their homes. Thank you to everyone for their patience, and massive thanks to all the staff at the Food Bank for their help." Update from Kingsbridge Police at 16.35: "Early indications suggest that today's incident was caused by a low voltage power cable. Western Power are working har

Storm Christophe uncovers landmines at Slapton

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Royal Navy bomb experts have blown up three land mines at Slapton Sands after Storm Christophe uncovered them.  One of the devices next to a Coastguard radio for scale - credit Prawle Point Coastguard Prawle Point Coastguard were called to a landmine at Slapton Sands this afternoon, Wednesday 20 January, after someone spotted the device and called 999.  While the cordon was being set up around the device, another two landmines were located in close proximity.  While the cordon was being set up around the device, another two landmines were located in close proximity The mines were found by Faye Luscombe and her two sons George and Edward Tucker when they were beachcombing for their hour's exercise.   George and Edward Tucker who found the mines with their mum Faye Luscombe Faye said: "It certainly made for interesting home learning this week as we went back to see the holes and pick up some of the shrapnel." They filmed the mines being blown up by the Royal Navy:  The Roya

Local toy shop wins national award alongside household names

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The Trading Post in Kingsbridge has won a Retailer of the Year Award from the Toy and Hobby Association.  Owner Julia Wingate outside The Trading Post The Trading Post, owned by Julia Wingate and located on Fore Street, has won the award for "going above and beyond normal service during 2020". They won the award alongside some very famous names including The Entertainer and Smyths Toys.  Julia said she was "ecstatic and honoured" to have won and plans to open a bottle of bubbles once the trophy arrives and it "feels more real". When it arrives, the trophy will be shown off in pride of place in the shop window.  She said: "I need to thank all my staff because its not just me, and thank you to the community for shopping with us and supporting all the independent businesses in Kingsbridge because without you we wouldn't be here.  thank you to the community for shopping with us and supporting all the independent businesses in Kingsbridge because witho

SHDC announces Covid Heroes

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South Hams District Council has announced the winners of the South Hams Covid Heroes nominations. Last year, South Hams residents voted for their local heroes who had selflessly helped others during the pandemic. After receiving many nominations, South Hams District Council now announce your winners, whose actions are an inspiration.   The South Hams Covid Heroes winners are: Community Leadership  – Winner Nick Hindmarsh "For his exceptional work in leading, co-ordinating and supporting a team of staff and volunteers, to deliver amongst other things a new and hugely successful Meals on Wheels service." Innovative Well Being  – Winner Susan Silsbury "Or her amazing fundraising achievements sewing facemasks whilst also working as a nurse." Keeping Spirits Up  – Winner Lee Morcom "Receiving so many nominations, Lee played a vital role in bringing fun, laughter and happiness and a sense of togetherness to his local community." Key Worker  – Winner Andie Day &q

Kingsbridge Town Council launches lockdown art project

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Kingsbridge Town Council are hoping to create a distraction from the crazy times we are all living through by launching a lockdown art project.  Kingsbridge Town Council - lockdown art project The idea is to show how you are "coping and feeling" during lockdown and using art to do it. A spokesperson for the town council said: "Creativity helps with stress and relaxing and helps us express our ideas and visions but also concerns and fears. This lockdown we are ALL focusing on staying safe from Covid and keeping the people we love safe." Creativity helps with stress and relaxing and helps us express our ideas and visions but also concerns and fears The town council would like to use your art work in "forthcoming projects throughout the town", of which there are some plans being drawn up as we speak, meaning your art could appear "on street banners on in flower beds!" The spokesperson explained: "We would love you to create something! Anything

Restaurant donates 100 curries to food bank and front line workers

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A local restaurant has made and donated 100 curries to Kingsbridge Food Bank and front-line NHS workers.  The donated food from the Maha Bharat in Kingsbridge Mahi, owner of the Maha Bharat Indian restaurant in Kingsbridge, made and donated around 100 curries to staff at South Hams Hospital and Kingsbridge Food Bank.  Mahi, whose father Amirul Islam originally opened up the restaurant in 1993, and his family are involved with different charities, often in Bangladesh, where his parents were born. During the pandemic however, he said he noticed a need closer to home.  "The first lockdown in March really opened our eyes to the fact that even people within our society were struggling due to a lack of work", Mahi said.  The first lockdown in March really opened our eyes to the fact that even people within our society were struggling due to a lack of work "We also saw how hard our front-line staff have been working, especially our NHS workers. Our intention was to bring a smil

Police across the county have issued 36 fixed penalty notices during lockdown

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A statement released by Devon and Cornwall Police today asked people to "follow the spirit of the Government’s COVID-19 guidance, not just the letter of the law".  Devon and Cornwall Police Since the start of the national lockdown on Tuesday, 5 January, through to Sunday, 10 January, Devon and Cornwall Police say they have received 885 Covid-related reports. Of those 885, they decided to deal with 699 of them with "3Es action", meaning "Engage, Explain and Encourage". 36 fixed penalty notices have been issued, this includes nine for outdoor gatherings, four for leaving house without reasonable excuse and for 15 indoor gatherings Community Messaging Officer, Shirley Craft, said: "36 fixed penalty notices have been issued, this includes nine for outdoor gatherings, four for leaving house without reasonable excuse and for 15 indoor gatherings. "We have undertaken high-visibility patrols across the force which has resulted in over 800 stop-checks and

Food bank in plea for old technology to help homeschooled children

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Kingsbridge Food Bank are asking for anyone with old technology gathering dust in the back of cupboards to donate it to them to help children with their virtual school work.  An Acer laptop © Raimond Spekking With the latest lockdown, many children are having to do their schoolwork online, but there are those who do not have the technology needed to access the resources. Laptops, tablets, smart phones, Xbox 360s and PS4s all have the ability to access the online work that children need.  The units will be given to ActionWest Business Systems to be returned to factory settings before being passed to children who need them, to help them with their home learning.  Figures from Ofcom estimate that between 1.14 million and 1.78 million children in the UK (nine per cent) do not have home access to a laptop, desktop or tablet, and that more than 880,000 children live in a household with only a mobile internet connection.  between 1.14 million and 1.78 million children in the UK (nine per cent