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Grandfather dies on 70th birthday after being attacked during van robbery

Mr Ray would have celebrated his 70th birthday today. Credit: Greater Manchester Police

A murder investigation has been launched after a man was killed during an assault as his van was being stolen.

The victim was named by police as James Ray, 69, a father of two and grandfather of four from York.

It happened on the Plantation Industrial Estate in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, just after midday yesterday.

The scene in Tameside this afternoon. Credit: Manchester Evening News.

Emergency services were called to a report of a serious assault and found Mr Ray with serious head injuries.

He was taken to Hope Hospital where he died in the early hours of today - his 70th birthday.

Greater Manchester Police say the offenders left the scene in a car and also drove away in the victim's white transit van.

Map shows the location of the Plantation Industrial Estate in Ashton.

“We have made two arrests but the investigation is continuing and we are still seeking information.

"We believe there is at least one other person outstanding and I would appeal to anyone who may have witnessed the van and Fiesta being driven erratically to contact police.

"I would also appeal to anyone who knows who owns the Fiesta or who has been using it in recent days and weeks to call us.

– Detective Superintendent Jon Chadwick, Greater Manchester

A 23-year-old man and a 44-year-old man have been arrested on suspicion of murder and remain in custody for questioning.

  • Anyone with information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Thousands honour GNR runner at the Yorkshire Marathon

There was a minute's applause for David Colley, the man who died while taking part in the 2015 Great North Run, at the start of the Yorkshire marathon.

The 58-year-old collapsed in the last mile of the half-marathon event in September and passed away from natural causes.

His daughters were among the 7,000 people who took part in the event in York.

Mr Colley's daughters ran the marathon to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation. Credit: ITV News Calendar


  1. Calendar

Yorkshire win County Championship for second year running

Ryan Sidebottom fired Yorkshire's second-successive County Championship title march with a three-wicket maiden in the opening over against Middlesex at Lord's.

Yorkshire win their second consecutive LV CC Championship Credit: YCCC

Yorkshire retained their title as rivals Nottinghamshire collapsed against Durham, with former England seamer Sidebottom's opening salvo proving pivotal.

Sidebottom passed 700 first-class wickets with five for 18 as Yorkshire were confirmed as champions when Nottinghamshire slipped to 204 all-out against Durham at Trent Bridge.

Despite securing the title, Yorkshire must wait until the completion of the match to get their hands on the trophy.

Head coach Gillespie's men still have two more championship fixtures to play following their Lord's fixture, and will now target setting a record points total for the county game's top flight.

Staithes' beach at risk of being de-classified

A seaside village near Whitby, which has the most polluted swimming water in England, may lose its designation as a beach.

Staithes could be de-classified as a bathing spot, because it has persistently failed to reach the European Union standards for water quality.

  • Runoff from farmers fields, slurry, cow-waste, runs down into the beck, which in turn runs into the harbour and onto the beach, polluting the bathing water.

The Government now wants views about whether pollution tests at the beach should be stopped altogether.

After considering evidence on the number of bathers at Staithes, we are consulting on whether or not we continue to monitor water quality at these sites.

We would like to hear from all interested parties and encourage everyone to take part and tell us their views."

– Defra spokesperson

“We applied to Defra to de-designate the bathing water on the basis of low bathing numbers, a lack of infrastructure to support bathing and the fact that the beach is not promoted as a bathing beach. The decision to apply followed a public consultation that we carried out last summer and an independent beach user survey conducted in summer 2013. Defra’s consultation runs until 30 September this year and we encourage people who wish to participate, to do so.

“Unfortunately Staithes has a history of poor water quality and despite the best efforts of ourselves and our partners in the Yorkshire Bathing Water Partnership to mitigate the sources of pollution using a range of measures over the last few years, we have been unable to identify a solution that would offer a significant enough improvement in bathing water quality for it to reliably achieve the minimum standard of ‘Sufficient’ under the revised Bathing Water Directive.

– Scarborough Borough Council

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Yorkshire Cancer Research reveals £5m projects

Projects for diagnosing, treating and caring for cancer patients across Yorkshire are to get a major funding boost.

It's been announced that Yorkshire Cancer Research, based in Harrogate, is to invest £5 million in nine projects to address what the charity describes as a North-South divide in cancer outcomes.

We're extremely proud to be funding such vital research in Yorkshire thanks to the generosity of our supporters.

This is a very substantial investment in projects with a huge regional significance which will take us one step closer to reducing the devastating impact of cancer on people who live in Yorkshire."

– Charles Rowett, Chief Executive Yorkshire Cancer Research

As part of the funding the charity will invest £1.5m in a five-year project aimed at improving the survival of bowel cancer patients through better quality surgery, radiology and pathology.


Yorkshire sword dancers to march on Richmond

Longsword dancing dates back as far as the 11th century Credit: PA

Richmond will play host to an ancient Yorkshire tradition when teams of sword dancers from across England take part in a tournament this weekend.

Around a dozen teams of dancers will perform around the centre when the Sword Dance Union holds its annual longsword dance competition in the town.

Longsword dancing is particularly associated with Yorkshire and teams from Newcastle will be travelling to London to take part in the event.

Organiser Vince Rutland, a member of Sallyport Sword Dancers from Newcastle, said the event visits a different town or city each year:

We'll be performing in various public places around the town before the judged competition takes place in Richmond town hall.

Sword dancing is a tradition which dates back hundreds of years in Yorkshire and many towns and villages in this area once had teams of their own.

Much of it died out in the late 19th century but new teams have taken their place in recent years, while Yorkshire still has four teams which can date their history back centuries. One of these, from Goathland, will be taking part in the tournament.

– Vince Rutland
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