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December 2009

Blue Moon Tonight

In case you don't know it, there will be a blue moon - the first in 20 years - at 7.15pm tonight which should, cloud cover permitting, be viewable here in the Lancaster area. Not only that, there will be a partial lunar eclipse with the deepest eclipse at 7.22pm. This eclipse of the Moon is partial, so only eight per cent of the Moon will actually be covered by Earth's shadow.

"Help us find our missing puppy" £200 reward.

The James family in Skerton are having a sad Christmas as the children's 13 month old puppy, Jazz (see picture) went missing on 11 December. Jazz is a Lhasa Apso / Shitz cross and she has a chip implant and was wearing a name tag when she disappeared. She has had a hair cut since this picture was taken.

Council set to cut funding for volunteer groups?

Next month, the City Council will be asking the public about its 2010/11 budget where cuts of £1.053 million are planned (see news story) - and funds for the area's many voluntary organisations will be under close scrutiny to se if savings can be made.

Greens welcome Centros plan rejection

North Lancashire Green Party has welcomed the rejection all the Centros planning applications for Lancaster's Canal Corridor, describing it as "a very fine Christmas present." As we reported yesterday, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government John Denham has accepted the report of the Inspector at last summer's planning inquiry into the Centros scheme and rejected all the...

Bank Aid - Do They Loan This Christmas

A bunch of Wiltshire celebs turn up at the Frog Lane Studios expecting a free drink. There's not such thing as a free drink! Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year to all our readers!

Council, Centros Statement on Canal Corridor

Following the announcement that the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has announced that he has refused planning permission for a major new retail development in Lancaster (see earlier news story), Lancaster City Council has issued the following statement, which indicates Centros will continue to present its development plans for the Canal Corridor: "The refusal...

Centros Development Plans for Lancaster Rejected

Plans for a massive shopping development in Lancaster have been thrown out by the Government.

Road Round Up: County Still Pursues White Elephant

Despite the opposition of local people and both Lancaster and Morecambe Councils, Lancashire County Council - already set to make swingeing cuts to vital services in the New Year - is pressing on with its plans to build the unwanted, expensive Link Road between the motorway and Heysham.

Lancaster Pubs Fail Teenage Sales Test

Three Lancaster pubs and bars face licence interventions after selling alcohol to 15-year-old girls during a test purchase operation. The teenagers were able to buy alcohol in three of the 17 establishments visited across Lancaster on Friday night.

WAG Launches Exhibition Appeal for Gregson

As part of 2010 International Women’s Day celebrations, Women at the Gregson (WAG) are hosting three art exhibitions to showcase the work of female artists and photographers.

CCTV released following £27,0000 arson

Police have released a CCTV image after a Mercedes van was destroyed in an arson attack. The green Sprinter vehicle, worth £27,000, was parked at Udale Speciality Foods, Schola Green Lane, Morecambe, at 7.00am on 1st November when a fire broke out in its front cab. Police would now like to speak to the man pictured in the CCTV image in order to eliminate him from their inquiries.

BBC's Nigel Jay Headlines Spotlight Club Tonight

Spotlight at the Storey - Lancaster's ace monthly writing and music night - is back this evening (Friday 18th December) with another top line-up of performers, including North West TV's Nigel Jay and musical comedy from Reginald Winters.

Justice at last for Carnforth road death victim?

Some five years after his death, a road maintenance company has been fined £65,000 after a motorist was killed on the M6 near Carnforth a victim of various safety failures. Graham Campbell, who was travelling north at about 11.30pm on 8th May 2004, died after hitting an unlit contractor’s vehicle parked on the hard shoulder of the M6, just past junction 35 near Carnforth.

Have your say on council spending

Lancaster City Council is inviting people to get involved and have their say on how it spends its money for the next few years. The council has already set its priorities for the next three years, focusing on the social, economic and environmental issues of our district.

Lancaster Vigil Message to World Leaders: Make a 'Real Deal' for the World on Climate Change

A group of over 30 people held a vigil on the steps of Lancaster's old Town Hall on Saturday evening. Nearly 100 passers-by added their candles to send thoughts and hopes for a Real Deal on climate action in Copenhagen.

Astrophysicist and world-leading economist awarded Honorary Degrees

Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, one of Britain's most distinguished female scientists and a high-profile economist have been awarded honorary degrees by Lancaster University.

Greens Condemn New Nuke Plans for Heysham

It should come as no surprise to learn that Lancaster's Greens have condemned plans for a third nuclear power station at Heysham - and indeed, any new nuclear build in the UK.

Flood Charity Pop Video Has a Local Bite!

University of Cumbria film maker Russell Cherrington has joined forces with eighties chart-toppers It Bites to try and help victims of the recent devastating floods in Cumbria. The band, who are from Egremont, have recruited stars from the rock and pop world to record a new version of their classic hit Calling All The Heroes.

The Really Heavy Greatcoat Review of the Year 2009

Yes - a new Really Heavy Greatcoat! Longtime virtual-lancaster readers will know the Greatcoat strip was the joint creation of VL contributor John Freeman and top local cartoonist Nick Miller back in 1987 (more info here), and has featured in several print publications, local and international down the years.

Changes to Christmas Refuse Collections

Lancaster City Council is suspending collections of green garden waste for the week of 21 - 26 December and will be collecting non-recyclable waste instead. The change is being made to help cope with the extra non-recyclable waste that households produce at Christmas. Your collection dates may change to fit around the holiday (read on for new dates).