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This is East Midlands Today with Geeta Pendse and me, Maurice Flynn.
Tonight: The routine eye check`up that saved a man's life.
How this simple scan spotted a potentially deadly form of cancer
developing. If I had not had the eye test, who knows what would have
happened. Also tonight, the reserve is enough can tee `` the reservists
navigating some of Afghanistan's most dangerous roads. We are pretty
much protected from everything. And I will be finding out why Derby has
become the real ale capital of the country.
Cheers! Behind the scenes at Nottingham Forest against Leicester
City. The fans may not like each other but the two kit men get on.
Find out more later. Good evening. Welcome to Wednesday's
programme. First tonight, a regular eye test that became a life saver.
A Derby man was diagnosed with a rare form of bone marrow cancer
after his optometrist spotted a minuscule haemorrhage at the back of
his eye. Steve Trower believes that without
this early diagnosis, he may not have survived.
Today I joined Steve as he revisited the optician to say thank you.
Keep your eye on the green square. It is two years since Steve had his
last I scan at this distance. At the time, he thought it was a regular
checkup, but the optometrist picked up on a tiny town which led to an
important discovery `` a tiny tear. If you look closely, it you can see
the tiny haemorrhage the optometrist spotted. It was because of the spot
that a GP recommended a blood test leading to a diagnosis. If I had not
come for the eye test, who knows what would have happened. I was
getting more lethargic, but I put it down to advancing years, working
hard and things like that. You would not instantly think cancer. He was
diagnosed with a rare form of bone marrow cancer. The severity of the
illness was a surprise for the optometrist too. Most commonly, when
you see something like that, you would be thinking more along the
lines of diabetes or high blood pressure. He came and told us that
happened and we were surprise. Back at work as a local plumber after
intense treatment, Steve says he is now on the road to recovery. It is a
great feeling that I am alive and happy and well and getting on with
my life. Thanks to the vino. In the past, he left more than a decade
before going to the optician `` thanks to the optometrist.
So lucky it was spotted. Absolutely. It was all about regular
checkups. As the optometrist said, it was a very rare form of cancer,
but a checkup can help pick up things like high blood pressure and
diabetes. Have a checkup, they are telling us.
Sound advice. Next tonight, the East Midlands
soldiers who run the gauntlet of deadly roadside bombs in
Afghanistan. They're drivers and it's their job
to carry supplies through Helmand province in convoys which are
regularly attacked. One of them is Corporal Andy Betts
from Wigston in Leicestershire. He's among a group of army reservists
from Loughborough and Grantham who've been deployed on what the
military calls combat logistics patrols. Our social affairs
correspondent Jeremy Ball reports. Imagine getting stuck behind this
lot when you are trying to get to work. More than 50 armoured trucks
travelling in convoy. On this patrol, they reservist `` a reserve
list from Leicestershire. A chance to get away from the traffic jams of
his normal job and face challenges. It is small arms fire and IEDs.
Because of the arm on the vehicles, we're pretty much protected from
everything. There has been a lot of change. They are closing down now.
The bases have shrunk. It is fascinating to see. They are
collecting millions of pounds worth of sensitive equipment. It makes
these patrols a prime target. That is why the huge force protection
vehicles are pushing rollers in front of them. They will take the
force of the blast if they hit an improvised bomb. The latest threat
they are facing is known as a pillow IED, a sack full of explosives
thrown underneath the vehicle. An occupational hazard for this man
whose family is back in rodding ten. I was not expecting the bank. Some
people will wave at you, some people will wave `` throw stones at you. It
is crazy. The way they live. The way they drive. It is quite mad. As this
mission comes to an end, the Army is becoming increasingly reliant on its
reservist. For this man going back to delivering clothes might just
seem a bit tame after his stint out here.
A teenager has been jailed for three years for the manslaughter of his
best friend who was found dead in his burnt`out car. Ryan Morrell had
fallen asleep in the car after attending the Fristock festival near
Melton Mowbray last July. 18`year`old Jack Buckley
accidentally dropped his lighter while searching for his possessions
in the dark. He didn't know anyone was in the car, but failed to raise
the alarm after the fire started. The number of unemployed people in
the East Midlands has fallen by 4,000. The total number of people
out of work in the region now stands at 162,000. The rate of unemployment
in the East Midlands is at 6.9%. That's below the national average of
7.2%. It's Wednesday and it's Geeta and
Maurice with you tonight. Still plenty ahead between now and 7pm,
including what shopkeepers make of the town threatening to remove any
A`boards or signs it feels are dangerously blocking its streets.
A further round of big budget cuts and job losses have been approved by
one of the region's county councils. The Conservative leadership at
Leicestershire's County Hall says it has to find savings of ?110 million
over the next few years. But voluntary groups and opposition
parties have been pressing for a rethink. For the details, let's join
our political editor John Hess. We are now into the fourth year of
council austerity budgets. And the political decisions being taken here
at County Hall, Glenfield, aren't getting any easier. A council
meeting today where the only item on the agenda was money. And the
continuing squeeze on budgets. Leicestershire County Council is
having to find budget cuts of ?18.2 million next year. That is part of
?110 million worth of cuts over the next four years. It will reduce its
overall spending by a third. It could mean 700 additional job losses
on top of the 750 that have already gone. Is there an alternative? That
is the challenge I put to the Labour Party opposition. It is proposing to
chop the support staff to the political parties. That is something
we can do immediately. An enormous number of redundancies are taking
place in the county council that front line services. We cannot
justify three political assistants. What is the alternative budget at
the Lib Dems? They want to freeze council tax. We are still delivering
three additions. It costs 100 thousand pounds on the brochures and
publicity. The impact of the cuts will be felt at this museum and
visitor centre. It is facing a funding cut of a third of its
funding. Joining me now is the county council Leader, Nick Rushton.
These are big cuts. Was there any alternative? No, not in our view. We
have done the best we can and we have sought to protect the front
line servant `` services. Incredibly tough decisions. We have tried to
get some alternative budget proposals from the opposition. The
Labour Party suggested scrapping the political assistants. Is that a
runner? They also suggested a 1.5% council tax rise, that is the
principal difference between us and the Labour Party. We want to keep
the tax levels at 0%. At a national level, coalition partners, the Lib
Dems, they suggested perhaps changing the street lighting policy,
introducing LED lights which are cheaper. Also chopping
communications budget saving ?100,000. Big numbers. We will look
at all those things. ?100,000 does not save 110 million. Next year,
even tougher decisions. It is 110 million over four years. I am
assured by the Chancellor that no matter who wins the next general
election, the recession may be over, but the structural deficit is not
and we need to deal with it. And you. Next week, it is County Hall
West Bridgford and the turn of Nottingham county council to fix its
budget next Thursday. For details to emerge, I am sure.
Now to a high`street row that's got shopkeepers standing firm against
threats to confiscate their advertising boards if they're put on
the street outside their businesses. The town council at Stamford in
Lincolnshire says such signs obstruct pavements, are dangerous
and they say they're illegal. But traders say they're vital in
attracting shoppers in tough times. Paul Murphy has more.
High streets are competitive places and for many businesses putting out
the board as part of the morning routine. Here their proliferation is
dividing the town. The council wants them to go and businesses are
furious. It is ridiculous. We put something on our Facebook page and
we had so much response saying how ridiculous it is. Seems very
aggressive from them. We would like to have a conversation about it
rather than a nasty letter. The town council's letter says it has had
complaints about the increasing number of boards and advertising
clutter. It says the boards or illegally placed items in hazardous
locations and says there could be legal action if they cause an
accident. The council says enforcement action could involve
removal of the obstruction. Kathleen is partially sighted and among those
who have complained. A trip to town she says is like going on an
obstacle course. You are frightened you are going to run into them.
Sometimes you might go down the high street and someone has put one out
that you do not know about. Retailers now have about two weeks
to get rid of their boards. We are going to look into our insurance and
make sure we are covered. We are going to stick together. If they
want to take them away, we are not going to let them. No one from the
council was available for comment or to give a statement. Their letter to
retailers makes it clear that in their view, the boards are a
potential breach of the highways that and they want them cleared from
the street. Alfreton Town Football Club want the
team's fans to buy tickets early for upcoming games to avert a cash`flow
crisis caused by seven weeks without a home match. The Reds are doing
well this season and are currently in third place in the Conference
Premier League. But poor weather has stopped them playing at home for
weeks and the club says it's now struggling to pay its bills.
A railway tunnel in Derbyshire has been named as the oldest in the
world by the Guinness World Book of Records. The tunnel at Fritchley
near Crich was built on a short mineral railway dating from 1793.
The line carried limestone from quarries at Crich to the Cromford
Canal at Bull Bridge until 1933. The tunnel was blocked up in the 1980s,
but was reopened last year to allow an archaeological investigation to
take place. How wonderful. A subject close to
many of our hearts, beer and lots of it! It seems Derby has become the
real ale capital of the country. For the first time ever, the
Campaign for Real Ale or CAMRA is holding its national winter beer
festival in the city's Roundhouse. 12,000 people are expected over the
next three days. Today, Jo Healey was one of them.
These beers are excellent. We are having a great time. I like a bear.
It sparkles on your tongue `` bear. The judges have come to find the
supreme Champion beer. I hate this stuff! But these guys love it. The
judges but winter ales. This is a blind tasting of the best. A nice
coffee smell coming out of that. It has obviously got plenty of nice
roasted malts in there. Quite a dark beer. You need a torch. We can make
sure it is nice and clear and has not got yeast particles floating in
it. The carbonation is a little low. Not a great deal of sparkle on my
tongue. The taste is quite pleasant. I would drink a lot more of this.
What is it like to be a former supreme champion? It had a huge
impact on our business. People nationally acclaimed aware of the
beers we brew in the East Midlands. Now Derby is on the map. Sadly the
supreme winner was not local this year but the festival most
definitely is. It is like Nirvana, beer Nirvana.
I want to see if I can make my glass do that thing with the lights!
I am sure there will be plenty of beer at the football match tonight.
Let us check out the weather. My advice is to take your waterproof.
You might need it as you head home. On the plus side, it will be mild.
More details later. Time for sport and there's a big
game tonight for two of our teams, so the sports team are out and
about. Here's Natalie. Yes, a big night for two our cities
football teams as Nottingham Forest take on Leicester City here at the
City Ground. The shirts are out inside the dressing rooms, the teams
are ready. Why is it so important? Well, both teams want promotion.
They want to go to the Premier League. This is Lester's dressing
room, the away dressing room, at the city ground. A win for Leicester
will put them ten points clear at the top of the table. If Nottingham
Forest when, they will go within one win of the top two. We got the
bragging rights in the first game. This is another challenge for both
clubs. Leicester City are going very well. It should be a very exciting
game. We have got an awful lot to play for the season and Nottingham
Forest are in good form themselves and they have got themselves into a
really good position. Of course, it being a local derby, it gives an
added spice. We are all looking forward to it. We want to try and
get our performance right and continue with our good form. Outside
the picture is looking good. Leicester City and Nottingham Forest
are both in top form at the moment. So too are Derby County. We are the
best in the East Midlands at the moment. All teams in the top six and
what a victory last night at Sheffield Wednesday. They are now
third. The players that Derby are having a
well earned day off today. Another huge win for them last night. All
courtesy of a moment of magic. It was a goal worthy of winning any
game. Patrick Bamford has been in fine form but this was his finest
goal yet. Derby had arrived at Sheffield Wednesday in confident
mood and why not? They were unbeaten in their last five and flying high
in the league. At times, they were having to dig deep. Twice they had
to clear chances off the line. With the game seemingly headed for a
draw, up stepped Patrick Bamford. I knew I would shoot as soon as I got
it. It was my only chance. People were talking about pushing for
automatic promotion, I would not know out of experience, but picking
up the three points, that is what you have got to do. Derby are up to
third in the table, just two points off an automatic promotion place.
There is a very real possibility we could be seeing Premier League
football here next season. Now it is time for the latest in our
series in life after sport. Tonight, Helen is with Loughborough athlete
Steve Backley. Steve Backley is one of our finest
sportsmen. It is a new Olympic record! Here is the only British
athlete to have one medals in three consecutive Olympic Games. `` to
have won medals. Nowadays, you are more likely to find him here at the
golf club. I love it. Golf grabs you and it fills a void of not being an
athlete anymore in a lot of ways. He retired from sport in 2004. It was a
couple of days before he knew what he wanted to do next `` it was a
couple of years. I started out in retirement going, what now? You go
damage of centre and say, retired javelin thrower. What are your
skills? I can throw the javelin a long way. That is not an option.
Where do you begin? I came away from the Olympics... He announced rules
`` he now draws from his Olympic experience. I hope my work helps
people. You are very selfish as an athlete. You have to be
single`minded. I genuinely love the fact that the workshops we do, the
presentations we do, they help people fulfil their dreams and
overcome challenges and we help people enjoy the journey as well.
Which is better, life now or life as an athlete? That is a tough
question. Let me put it into context. Waking up in the middle of
winter in the southern hemisphere summer and training, that is tough
to beat. Really tough. I love what I do now, but you can't beat living as
an athlete. My advice would be, don't try and beat it and don't try
and compare it. That is just about it from the city ground. The work of
the kit men is just about over as kick`off is fast approaching. Just
time to say congratulations to the Nottingham Panthers. They beat the
Sheffield Steelers last night. It means they are in the final for the
first time in a row and they will play the Belfast Giants. Good night
from the city ground. You can see all of the goals, Nottingham Forest
against Leicester City, in the late bulletin at 10:25pm. We hope there
will be calls. We are sure there will be. `` we hope there will be
goals. One of the region's principal
tourist sites has enlisted a local schoolgirl to help develop
child`friendly attractions. Maddie Ball from Bingham is already the
youngest volunteer at Southwell Workhouse and now she's been
recruited as a junior consultant. The workhouse reopened for its new
season today and Paul Bradshaw went along to find out more.
Welcome to the workhouse. Meet Maddie Ball greeting youngsters at
the workhouse. She has helped come up with a new visitor guide to
encourage more young people to visit. We made a character who leads
the children around the workhouse. We made her a mouse because she can
go everywhere and she understands the segregation which makes the
children understand segregation from families as well. She is the third
generation to work here. Her mum and grandmother also volunteer. A
fascination with the past, it seems, is in the blood. We have an interest
as a family in history. I am not surprised she came up with the idea
and it worked. She worked with the design team on the Trail. It is good
to work with children. They are so inspiring. Their ideas about what
workhouse life was like. I took the opportunity to invite Heron and to
get a child's point of view `` I took the opportunity to invite her
in. It is not just children learning more. Lily Brown was born here when
it was known as a public assistance institution. Today was her first
visit back. I think it is an eye`opener to think how people lived
in my generation. I did not realise just how they did live. How these
workhouses were. That was the biggest eye`opener. As helps guide
more visitors around, this could be the start of a memorable career in
history for one young girl `` as Maddie Ball helps guide more
visitors around. I think I spotted a bit of blue sky
in that piece. Have we got any more in store?
It is looking more unsettled. If you were lucky to get out in the
sunshine today, there was a little hint of spring. Thank you very much
to Julie for sending this in. The perfect rainbow yesterday. If you
have any pictures to send in, e`mail them to us. A few of your photos
will be put onto our Facebook page in the coming days. Overnight, it is
turning unsettled. Rain heading our way. Winds strengthening and quite
mild. This is the weather front pushing in overnight. Bringing us an
early spell of rain, quite patchy in nature. Heavier in the early hours.
The isobars are squeezing together. Gusts up to 40 miles an hour. Not as
extreme as anything over the last few weeks. This evening, fairly
decent so far. The cloud has been increasing. One or two light patchy
showers around. Then the rain starts to push in. Quite patchy but it will
be quite heavy at times. It is remaining mild overnight.
Temperatures will drop to seven degrees only. More like a daytime
temperature at this time of year. Remaining very windy with strong
winds through Thursday morning. The rain will slowly clear away to the
East. But I did, decent dry spells in the afternoon `` behind it. Also
sharp showers around. Remaining breezy. Still quite windy on Friday.
The good news is it will be largely dry with a few showers. A lot of dry
weather to be had. But watch out, it will be fairly windy at times.
We will be back at 10:25pm. Have a good evening.