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Lightning strike knocks out power to hundreds of homes

Around 500 homes in Houghton near Carlisle were left without power when lightning struck a transformer on an overhead power line. It happened between 5 and 6 am as storms passed through Cumbria. Electricity North West says engineers have managed to reconnect power to around 400 properties and are bringing in generators for the remaining houses.

Houghton near Carlisle was worst affected by the storms Credit: ITV News Border

In total, around 800 properties across Cumbria were left without power after storms swept across the county. Engineers are also working on issues in Kirklinton and Hawkshead. It's believed many will be reconnected in the next few hours and Electricity North West says it's not had any reports of further issues developing.

Woman dies after Cockermouth fall

Credit: GNAAS

A 24-year-old woman has died after falling from Haystacks in the Lake District.

Cumbria Police and Cockermouth Mountain Rescue Team were called to reports that a woman had fallen at 4pm on Wednesday 1st July.

An RAF Seaking helicopter and an air ambulance attended to assist in the rescue.

The woman was flown to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle where she was pronounced dead after she sustained fatal head injuries.

She has been named as as Victoria Harris, aged 24, from the Manchester area.

During the same incident another woman was also winched to safety by the RAF Seaking but was uninjured.

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Broadband boost for Coldstream

Fibre Broadband Boost for Coldstream Credit: PA

Thanks to the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme more than 1,000 homes and businesses in the Scottish Borders are now able to connect to fibre broadband.

It's part of the £410 million project to introduce fibre broadband to Scotland.

£8.4 million has been put towards the project by the Scottish Borders Council in addition to block funding from all the Scottish local authorities.

It’s really exciting to hear that so many premises in and around Coldstream are already able to connect to fibre broadband. It’s good to see this project reaching more communities in our area, contributing towards the aim of connecting most of our homes and businesses to fibre broadband.

Access to high-speed internet technology is vital to both residents and businesses – which is why Scottish Borders Council chose to invest £8.4 million into the programme’s rollout.”

– Councillor Stuart Bell, Scottish Borders Council

A further £126 million is to be contributed to the Digital Scotland programme by BT

Hundreds of people in Coldstream now have access to their best ever broadband speeds, and more will follow. As the fibre network extends across the Scottish Borders, making the most of it is vital. I hope local people and businesses will soon be taking advantage of all the opportunities on offer.”

– Brendan Dick, BT Scotland Director

Fibre broadband lets users to access the internet, download and share large files at the same time more quickly.

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Lockerbie families fail in Megrahi appeal

Megrahi Credit: PA

Judges have ruled that relatives of the victims of the Lockerbie bombing should not be allowed to pursue an appeal on behalf of the man convicted of the atrocity - Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi.

Delivering the court's judgment, Lord Carloway said: "The Scottish criminal justice system does not at present allow victims or relatives of victims to be direct participants in criminal proceedings."

Since June last year, the SCCRC has been considering a fresh, joint application from members of Megrahi's family and the Justice for Megrahi campaign group, which includes relatives of British victims of the bombing, to review the conviction.

It was believed to be an unprecedented move - the first time in UK legal history that relatives of murdered victims have united with the relatives of a convicted deceased in such a way.

Police granted more time to interview Windermere murder suspects

Cumbria Police Credit: PA

Cumbria Police have been granted a further 36 hours to interview two men, who were arrested in connection with the murder of a man in Windermere.

The body of Gordon James Smith was found in the Lake Road area, on 1 July.

A 48-year-old woman remains in custody and is still being questioned in connection with the case, but no further extension has been applied to her.

Police are asking anyone with information to contact them.

From Australia to Copeland... to see a statue

William and Aileen Mellor, from Australia, with the statue. Credit: Copeland Borough Council

An Australian couple, who are visiting to watch the Ashes, are taking a detour to Whitehaven to see a special statue.

It's of Ron Looney, the former Cleator cricketer and gurning legend.

William and Aileen Mellor, from Gayndah in Queensland, Australia, met his son by chance in Brisbane, whilst watching England play Austria.

They kept in touch with Ron Looney Jr, and decided to make the trip to the Copeland Centre in Whitehaven to see the statue.

The concept of gurning took them by surprise:

One letter we received a few months ago told us to look up ‘gurning’ on the internet. We were surprised to read all about his dad being turned into a statue.

We had never seen or heard of such a competition before. We looked it up and there was all of these people pulling funny faces.”

– William and Aileen Mellor
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