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North Devon School closes amidst abuse inquiry

A North Devon school at the centre of an inquiry into physical abuse has given up its licence to operate.

Chelfham Mill near Barnstaple was a boarding and day school for around forty boys with emotional and behavioural problems. It's licence was suspended for six weeks in July while the abuse claims were investigated. Now it's chosen not to reopen.

The County Council says it's working to find alternative places for the school's 14 day pupils. A police investigation is still ongoing.

Farmers hold emergency summit to try and solve milk crisis

More than a hundred people protested at ASDA in Bideford. Credit: ITV News

Farming unions are desperately trying to find a solution to the milk crisis at an emergency summit today, following widespread protests across the West in the last week.

Farmers say they are losing money on every pint they produce. In the latest action, more than a hundred people cleared supermarket shelves at an ASDA in Bideford, North Devon, in protest at the amount they now pay farmers for milk. You can find out more about what happened here.

Union bosses are at the summit trying to find a way forward, ahead of a meeting tomorrow with supermarket chain Morrison's. The supermarket's distribution depot in Bridgwater was targeted for a protest by hundreds of farmers last week.

On tonight's ITV News West Country we'll talking to a dairy farmer who has decided to the leave the industry for good. Tune in from 6pm.

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North Devon Show opens its gates to the public

Best in show? Credit: ITV West Country

The gates have just opened for this year's North Devon Show.

With 25,000 people expected at the ground in Umberleigh near Barnstaple.

It's the largest one day agricultural show in the South West and includes a host of livestock classes as well as show jumping, a dog show and other attractions.

Fun and games for all the show ground. Credit: ITV West Country

Police statement on Devon school investigation

Chelfham Mill School in Barnstable has been closed for six weeks while police investigate claims of physical abuse

Police are investigating claims of current and historic physical abuse at Chelfham Mill School in North Devon. The school caters for children with behavioural and emotional difficulties between 7 and 18 years.

Devon and Cornwall police are currently involved in an investigation into claims of physical abuse at Chelfham Mill School, Barnstaple.

We are working closely with partner organisations including social services as this investigation takes place.

– Devon and Cornwall Police statement

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Police investigate abuse claims at North Devon school

Chelfham Mill School in Barnstable has been closed for six weeks while police investigate claims of physical abuse Credit: School website

Police are investigating claims of physical abuse at a school in Barnstaple.

Chelfham Mill School caters for more than 50 children with emotional and behavioural difficulties between the ages of 7 and 18.

It is closed for six weeks while the investigation takes place. The school has issued a brief statement:

Chelfham Mill school is closed for an initial period of six weeks pending an investigation by external agencies. We are committed to supporting the investigation process.

– Katy Roberts, principal

Young school teacher killed in crash was "a star"

Shebbear College paid a warm tribute to Charlotte Simpson. Credit: Shebbear College

Tributes are being paid to a young school teacher from Devon who died yesterday after a car accident.

24-year-old Charlotte Simpson was an English teacher at Shebbear College. The school said Charlotte was incredibly popular, and worked closely with boarding students.

She was a keen sports coach and was also very committed to the Territorial Army. Charlotte died at Derriford Hospital yesterday, following Friday's accident on the A3079 at Cookworthy Buddle, Halwill, near Beaworthy.

She was a star, respected and loved by everyone at Shebbear for her wisdom, professionalism and warm-heartedness. We are absolutely bereft by her loss and our thoughts are very much with her parents and sister at this terrible time.

– Shebbear College

Puppy love: how a teenager was cured of depression

Looking after his puppy Charlie made a huge difference to Liam Landymore. Credit: ITV News

A teenager who suffered PTSD and depression after a traumatic experience has shown a remarkable change after helping train a puppy.

Liam Landymore from North Devon even tried to take his own life. His family felt unable to help him, until they bought him a vulnerable little puppy called Charlie.

Though the family already owned three other dogs, Charlie relied entirely on Liam - and it was looking after him that helped Liam gain confidence and self-esteem.

Devon charity Dogs Helping Kids have helped Liam train Charlie to help other younger children, and the two have formed a real bond.

Charlie has made a huge difference from when I was really low to how I am now and I can't wait for the next day and to spend time with all our dogs, Charlie and Sprout, Fly and Menace.

To think back then - when I didn't want to be on this planet anymore, didn't want to go out, didn't want to leave my room - and now I just want to go everywhere, explore, yeah it's just amazing.

– Liam Landymore, Dogs Helping Kids volunteer

The pair have worked together to help children in schools, where dogs can help calm boisterous pupils, boost concentration and confidence, and even help with reading - as our reporter John Andrews discovered.

Liam has spoken at university conferences about his experiences, and he and Charlie will soon be tackling the Three Peaks Challenge to raise money for the charity which has helped them so much.

Find out more about Dogs Helping Kids here.

Lynton & Lynmouth's iconic funicular turns 125

Princess Anne first visited the attraction in 2006 after a recommendation by her father Credit: ITV West Country

The Princess Royal will visit Lynton and Lynmouth's iconic cliff railway today to begin its 125th anniversary celebrations.

Princess Anne will meet descendants of the Marks family and the Jones brothers - the funicular's original design engineer and builder. The counter-balanced railway has become a popular attraction - and will carry tourists up the cliff for free tomorrow as part of the celebrations.

The Princess Royal first visited in 2006 after hearing about it from her father, Prince Phillip.

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