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Bishop of Taunton to retire

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Bishop Peter Maurice with his wife Liz Credit: Diocese of Bath & Wells

The Bishop of Taunton has announced he's to retire next spring after more than 40 years as a clergyman. The Right Rev Peter Maurice has been Bishop for the past eight years and was previously Archdeacon of Wells. He said he and his wife Liz were looking forward to spending more time together after he turns 64 next April. More details here.

Stalker will appeal his life sentence

Joe Willis stalked Helen Pearson for five years before stabbing her
Joe Willis stalked Helen Pearson for five years before stabbing her

A stalker who subjected a neighbour to a five-year campaign of intimidation before stabbing her is trying to overturn his life sentence for attempted murder.

Joe Willis was convicted in April of attacking Helen Pearson from Exeter with a pair of scissors. He stalked her for five years before the attempted murder in St Bartholomew's Cemetery last October.

Badger vaccination scheme won't cover the South West

The Government's announced a new scheme to vaccinate badgers - but it won't cover the West Country, or mean an end to the controversial culls.

Instead ministers say they'll fund vaccination schemes in central England, in an effort to stop the spread of bovine TB outside the South West. This is in addition to the culls in parts of Somerset, which are due to restart soon.

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Investigation into mysterious death of Alan Jeal to wind down

Alan Jeal's body was found on Perranporth Beach
Alan Jeal's body was found on Perranporth Beach

Police investigating the death of a man whose naked body was found on Perranporth beach say they're now winding down their inquiries.

The body of 64-year-old Alan Jeal from Wadebridge was found with a sock and headphones stuffed into his mouth. He also had multiple injuries which police couldn't explain. He was last seen around Wadebridge, Truro, Newquay and Perranporth. Police say they're not ruling out a crime, but neither have they found anything to explain what happened to him.

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Vaccination scheme announced to prevent spread of bovine TB

Vaccination scheme announced to prevent spread of bovine TB
Vaccination scheme announced to prevent spread of bovine TB Credit: Ben Birchall/PA

A new vaccination scheme has been announced to contain the spread on TB in cattle.

The Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme (BEVS) will largely target areas surrounding South West to stop the disease spreading.

Culling will continue in high-risk areas. Environment Secretary Liz Truss has released a statement announcing the plans as part of the Government's aim to make England bovine TB free by 2038.

Bovine TB continues to be a huge threat to our beef and dairy farmers, our economy and our food security, which is why we are pursuing a comprehensive strategy to beat it. As part of this, I want to see vaccination groups come together, building on prior experience to deliver badger vaccination in the edge area. This could be an important part of our collective efforts, to prevent the spread of this terrible disease in cattle to new areas of the country.

– Farming Minister George Eustice

The map below shows the areas (in orange) that will be targeted by the Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme.

Area that will be targeted by BEVS
Area that will be targeted by BEVS Credit: DEFRA

Concern grows for missing Plymouth teenager

Missing Plymouth teenager Joshua Hawker
Missing Plymouth teenager Joshua Hawker

Police are looking for a teenage boy who has gone missing from his home in Plymouth.

16-year-old Joshua Hawker, who also goes by the name of Joshua Byrne, was last seen by his family on August 13th, although he has made intermittent contact through social media.

Joshua is described as white, of slim build, around 5’ 5” with short dark hair and blue eyes. He has a pierced left ear. Joshua has links to Liverpool and Exeter.

Police are growing increasingly concerned about his safety, and are asking anyone with information to call police on 101.

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