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Essex Chronicle stories feed from registered users of the site and Northcliffe Media editorial

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    A pensioner has been transferred to Cambridgeshire's Addenbrooke's Hospital suffering from serious head and shoulder injuries after he crashed off his bicycle yesterday.

    The man, in his 70s, was in collision with a red Fiat Panda at the junction of Chelmer Road and Sandford Road in Chelmsford at about 4.30pm yesterday (Wednesday, September 3).

    The Chelmsford man, who was cycling a Giant red bike, was first taken to Broomfield Hospital.

    He has now however been taken to Addenbrooke's which boasts a specialist neuroscience ward.

    The driver of the Fiat, whose car sustained a broken windscreen, was uninjured.

    Essex Police closed the junction after the crash, and was still closed at 6.30pm, leaving traffic at a standstill along the entire stretch of Sandford Road.

    Anyone who witnessed the collision is urged to contact PC Natacha Hasler at Serious Collision Investigation Unit on 101.

    They can also email and quote incident number 0759 of September 3, 2014.

    Pensioner taken to specialist Addenbrookes Hospital after Chelmsford bicycle crash

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    The veteran UKIP county councillor who was standing for the parliamentary Clacton seat before Douglas Carswell's dramatic defection has "cut the rope" and resigned.

    Roger Lord, Essex county councillor for Brightlinsea, was going to contest the seat in May for UKIP.

    However he says he will now quit his seat and the party after Tory MP Mr Carswell joined the UKIP side to contest the same seat at the Clacton by-election looming in October.

    Mr Lord said it was time to draw a line under the matter and said he will instead lend support to Liberal Democrat Gary Scott at the election next year.

    He admitted this was not something he was considering before as he was enjoying his role "it was intellectually challenging and we were achieving some good things" he added.

    He said: "But I have had debates closed down by my party and it explains several other things that have been happening to me of the past six months or so, and in political circles within UKIP."

    Conservative county council leader David Finch said: "This just proves UKIP are in complete disarray in Essex and their one trick pony policies are starting to unravel as they fall out amongst themselves."

    Essex UKIP councillor Roger Lord quits party after  defected Douglas Carswell pushes him out

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    It might be a busy roundabout on the way to Chelmsford, but that didn't stop the full force of nature taking place in full view of motorists.

    This picture shows a battle between a sparrowhawk and what appears to be a pigeon yesterday (September 3) at the junction of Chelmer Valley Road and Lawn Lane - and it seems the latter came off worse.

    Stunned onlookers stopped and looked on while the fight ensued.

    Sparrowhawk's are birds of prey, adept at hunting in small spaces like woodland and gardens. This one is most likely a female, as they are equipped to hunt down slightly larger birds. 35,000 pairs currently live in the UK.

    Nature calls in Chelmsford: Disturbing picture shows bird's death on busy roundabout

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    A multi-agency search was carried out after a person is believed to have tombstoned into the River Chelmer.

    On Tuesday (September 2) a witness called the police after someone was seen "tombstoning" from a bridge in Maldon into the river below.

    Police officers attended the scene at around 11pm, along with the ambulance service, police helicopter, South Woodham Coastguard Rescue Team, West Mersea RNLI Inshore Lifeboat and the Essex Fire Boat.

    An Essex Police spokesman added: "Police were called by a man who reported he had been tombstoning in the river with a friend."

    The person is now believed to be safe and well by Essex police.

    Major operation launched after

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    Owners of cars parked up and left for sale on grass verges in Chelmsford face fines of up to £1,000 under council proposals to safeguard the character of parts of the city.

    Chelmsford City Council has designated all streets within its district as "consent streets", in order to control street trading and to "preserve the character, ambience and safety of local environments".

    The cars can often be seen parked at the Miami roundabout and by the Asda store in Chelmer Village but new street trading legislation would see these vehicles face heavy fines.

    From September 15, the council is proposing to work with Essex Police and will prosecute the owners of any of these nuisance vehicles being sold illegally, which could result in a fines.

    Cabinet member for safer communities, Councillor Ian Grundy said: "This new policy will help reduce illegal street trading significantly.

    "It ensures a fair and transparent decision making process for the determination of applications for street trading consents whist maintaining the council's strong stance against nuisance trading."

    "We want to ensure that community events continue thrive and this new policy helps to encourage that."

    ​Fines of up to £1000 for “for sale” vehicles parked on grass in Chelmsford

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    TWO puppies stolen from a Chelmsford family were found dumped by a roadside yesterday (September 3).

    Three-month-old Chihuahuas Cherry and Peaches were discovered in a pet carrier by the side of Woodham Road in Rettendon.

    They had been stolen from the Corps family's back garden in Burghley Way, Chelmsford on Thursday, August 14 at around 8.30pm.

    But Mocha, who is described as chocolate in colour all over with a chocolate-covered nose, is still missing.

    Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Pete Carter at Chelmsford Police Station on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555111.

    Two of three Chihuahua puppies stolen from Chelmsford family found dumped in Rettendon

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    BOMB disposal experts carried out a controlled explosion on WWII weapons found at a house in Braintree.

    Police found the ancient devices after being contacted by contractors clearing a reposed house in Bailey Bridge Road on August 28, at around 10am.

    The items included three 2K incendiary bombs, a 9 inch mortar, an empty grenade case and munitions' pistol fuses.

    A spokesman for Essex Police said: "Police were called to an address in Braintree after contractors involved in house clearing discovered a number of wartime explosive devices.

    "Explosive Ordnance Disposal army units were called to assess the items and they were removed from the premises.

    "The items were believed to be inherited by a man from his father who had been a munitions expert in the war."

    A controlled explosion was carried out after the weapons were assessed by army experts.

    A 74-year-old man who was the previous owner of the property was arrested on suspicion of possession of explosive devices and questioned at Braintree Police Station before being released on police bail until September 30.

    Bomb disposal experts carry out controlled explosion in Braintree house

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    BRAINTREE MP Brooks Newmark has told charities to stay out of politics and "stick to their knitting" over fears too many are campaigning on political grounds.

    His remarks were made to delegates at a conference on social action yesterday morning as he responded to a question about charities campaigning.

    "The important thing charities should be doing is sticking to their knitting and doing the best they can to promote their agenda, which should be about helping others," he said.

    It was his after his first speech after David Cameron made Mr Newmark his minister for civil society during the summer reshuffle, giving him responsibility for public sector efficiency and reform, transparency, fraud, error and debt.

    Some charities have become increasingly concerned that the Coalition's new Lobbying Act will limit their ability to campaign on behalf of their members.

    But the Conservative MP clarified his remarks, later adding that they should keep out of party politics, not campaigning altogether.

    "We really want to try and keep charities and voluntary groups out of the realms of politics, 99.9 per cent do exactly that," he added.

    "But when they stray into the realm of politics that is not what they are about and that is not why people give them money."

    The former investment banker told the meeting about setting up his own education charity in Rwanda and added he said he saw his role as, "helping you to do yours, or the government helping people to help people".

    "The British public are the most generous in the world, they never fail to reach into their pockets to give or give their valuable time to help others," he added.

    Newmark said he thought the concept of the big society meant, "making it easier for people to help their families, their communities and those around them; contributing to making this country a better place.

    "We should be shouting this from the roof. This is one of the most successful and powerful forces around."

    Adding he thought social action was "at the heart of what it meant to be a father, an active citizen and a politician".

    Braintree MP tells charities to stay out of politics and “stick to their knitting”

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    HAVE you got what it takes to become the next face of Essex?

    Our annual beauty contest, sponsored by The Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf & Spa, is back, and the Essex Chronicle is once again on the hunt for the man or woman with the most striking looks in the county.

    All you need to do is nominate yourself, or get your friends or family to do so, supplying your name, age, and where you are from – together with that all-important picture – by Sunday, September 14.

    Once the entries come flooding in, we will put them up on our website for our readers to pick their favourite.


    Last year's male winner, steeplejack Tom Cebreiro, from Hutton, overcame competition from 66 other male entrants.

    He was surprised but happy to have been nominated.

    The 21-year-old former Shenfield High School pupil said: "It was something that was quite different for me. My family nominated me and I was quite surprised when I found out."

    Essex Chronicle editor Paul Dent-Jones said: "We all know there are lots of glamorous girls and good-looking guys in Essex and Essex Faces aims to showcase this.

    "You can enter yourself or your friends and then you will get the chance to vote for your favourite and help them become an Essex Face."

    The male and female winners will secure a one night bed and breakfast stay at the four-star hotel in Stoke by Nayland near Colchester.

    Plus, they will receive a photoshoot including a 10x8 framed print and three 8x6 mounted prints all put on a disc to keep.

    The competition is open to anyone over the age of 16 living in Essex.

    The winners will be decided by a public vote when voting lines open on Wednesday, October 1. 

    Competition: Your chance to be the next face of Essex

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    A woman was punched in the head in a Chelmsford street as a man tried to take the keys of her car.

    Police are trying to trace this man after the incident in Rainsford Road around 3.30am on Sunday, August 24.

    A man stood in the middle of the road causing a woman motorist, a Special Constable in her 50s from the Chelmsford area, to stop her car.

    He then asked for a lift to High Street, which she declined.

    The man then tried to take the car keys and punched her in the head, before she was able to drive off. 

    She suffered minor bruising and swelling.

    He was described as white, aged 20 to 40 with straight short brown hair and he was wearing a dark suit, smart shoes and a light coloured shirt with a burgundy red tie. It is thought be may be from the Suffolk/Norfolk area.

    Later than morning around 6am, another woman motorist reported a very drunk man started banging on her car window and shouting at her in Chignal Road, Chelmsford, again asking for a lift. 

    She drove away from the man without further incident and did not wish to make a complaint.

    Investigating Officer DC Louise Wilson said: "This was a frightening experience for the first woman and totally unacceptable behaviour from the man. I want to identify the man captured on CCTV and speak to him about his potential involvement in this incident." 

    It is believed the man may be from Ipswich as he told the victim he was trying to get back there.

    Anyone who can help is asked to contact DC Wilson on Chelmsford CID on 101.

    Man punches woman in Rainsford Road, Chelmsford, and tries to rob her in 'frightening' attack

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    Times are certainly changing. Youngsters heading to English state schools for the first time this week will be taught complex-sounding new subjects such as computer coding and data storage.

    Schoolchildren aged five to seven will need to know the ins and outs of how to keep audio files and pictures.

    If it sounds a tough ask for children, what about for their parents? Could you do it?

    Why not put yourself to the test and try the quiz below?

    Know your technology? Test your knowledge with this computer quiz

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    A TAXI driver's first reaction after stabbing a Tesco worker three times with a car tool was to drive to the police station, a court heard.

    Mehdi Masoudi, 31, formerly of Taylor Avenue, Chelmsford, reported Isaac Carter for kicking his taxi and then punching him around the face.

    Police officers however arrested Masoudi instead of assisting him after colleagues radioed information that Masoudi responded by chasing Mr Carter into his home and stabbing him in the back with a car towing eye during the incident in Viaduct Road on June 12 last year.

    Giving evidence via an interpreter at Chelmsford Crown Court yesterday (September 3), Iranian expat Masoudi said: "I wasn't happy with the police because someone was attacking me, punching me.

    "I said I have come here to complain about someone punching me but they didn't care about what I was saying.

    "They put me in a cell for a few hours and after that they did some first aid and said I had to go to the hospital."

    Masoudi was returned to Chelmsford police station in New Street and locked up for the night after the precautionary hospital visit.

    The cabbie reappeared at court today (September 4) for the third day of his trial.

    Mr Carter is alleged to have sustained three puncture wounds following the incident.

    'They were entangled to each other'

    Also giving evidence for the defence yesterday was fellow taxi driver and witness Mehdi Khashi who followed Masoudi as the taxi driver chased Mr Carter to the doorway of his flat in Wells Crescent.

    He said: "I noticed that both of them were on the floor, Masoudi was over him, the guy was holding Masoudi's leg and Masoudi was holding his hips.

    "They were entangled to each other, and holding onto each other.

    "I pulled Masoudi from the back and helped him to get up. The guy calmed down and let Masoudi go as well."

    Masoudi also claimed he only chased after Mr Carter following the punch to find out his address so he could report him to police.

    He also argued that he grabbed the car towing eye from his car after being punched simply to deter Mr Carter from approaching him again.

    Summing up today, judge Christopher Ball QC said: "He says he only went in there to find out where he lived so he could report it to the police and that he brought the weapon just to deter Mr Carter."

    However describing Masoudi's actions, prosecutor Lynne Shirley said: "It's a vigilante revenge attack on Mr Carter with a weapon.

    "There can be no argument of self-defence. That argument would fail.

    "There is no reasonable excuse for him having that weapon."

    The jury was sent out of the court by the judge this afternoon to deliberate and could return a verdict tomorrow (September 5).

    Masoudi denies causing actual bodily harm and one count of possessing an offensive weapon in public. The trial continues.

    Cabbie Mehdi Masoudi 'complained to police after stabbing Chelmsford Tesco worker'

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    A MAN has been charged with the production of drugs after cannabis plants were discovered at a property in Writtle. 

    Officers from the Chelmsford Neighbourhood Policing Team executed a drugs warrant at the address at Hunts Drive on Wednesday (September 3) where they discovered 30 cannabis plants in the loft. 

    Equipment for hydroponic cultivation, a method of growing plants, was also discovered. 

    Brian Neal, 31, of Hunts Drive, was later arrested and charged with production of class B drugs and has been bailed to appear at Chelmsford Magistrates Court on September 18. 

    Cannabis factory discovered at address in Writtle

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    A Chelmsford teenager has been arrested in connection with the possession and supply of a hallucinogenic class A drug. Harry Williams, 19, was exposed in The Sun yesterday (September 3) after the newspaper mounted an undercover investigation into the alleged sale of dimethyltryptamine, otherwise known as DMT. A man was shown appearing to supply the psychotropic drug to an undercover reporter. Williams is reported to make about two grams of DMT per week, "cooking" the drug in a portable lab, and uses a mixture of chemicals to extract it from the bark of trees originating from the Amazon. The drug is not widely available in the UK, being largely used by indigenous groups from South America in food and drinks, but is thought to be similar to LSD, with effects including hallucinations. An Essex Police spokesman confirmed that an arrest had been made following information received after the newspaper's investigation. He added: "An investigation has begun, and on Wednesday September 3, detectives executed a search warrant at an address in Chelmsford.

    "A 19 year old from Chelmsford handed himself into police at Chelmsford on September 4 and has been released on police bail until October 20 for further inquiries to be undertaken."

    Chelmsford man hands himself in after undercover drugs exposé

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    DEVELOPERS have reignited plans for Chelmsford's much-delayed £120 million shopping hub by reeling off six new brands that have signed up and confirming a new 2016 completion date.

    Aquila Holdings Ltd this week revealed that a five-screen Cineworld, Monsoon, Hugo Boss clothing, L'Occitane skincare, burger joint Bill's and Latino restaurant Las Iguanas will all grace the Bond Street development.

    John Lewis, Ask Italian restaurant, burger chain Byron, American bar Coast to Coast and Goldsmiths jewellery have already agreed to jump on board.

    Contractors will also restart work by shifting an entire sewer under the car park behind Debenhams on Monday.

    "We're delighted that we're able to get on with this next essential piece of work," said Aquila managing director Paul Hirst.

    "Having worked on the project for over 12 years putting together the site and obtaining the various approvals, investing a great deal of money, we are very confident that we will move towards starting the proper works by early next year."

    The project was scheduled to be completed by autumn this year when councillors first granted it permission two years ago.

    The scheme, estimated to bring £67 million to the local economy and create 450 jobs, will also include a 275-space underground car park.

    Yet preparation work only started when contractors demolished the dilapidated NatWest building and the back of the old Barclays block last summer.

    With that under way, the hopeful developers forecasted a summer 2015 completion date, which quickly evaporated.

    Now, however, with the scheme more than 50 per cent "filled up" with prospective shops and restaurants, the new autumn 2016 forecast looks more realistic.

    "We appreciate and we're very pleased that there is so much interest in this important scheme," said Mr Hirst.

    "But projects of this scale that are highly complex in reality – with its many facets of getting approvals for lettings – take longer than we hope.

    "We are working solidly on all sorts of matters and we are hopeful the scheme will be better as a result. We look forward to being able to demonstrate very shortly that we will fulfil our development promise."

    Hertfordshire-based contractors AD Bly, aided by a digger, will move an entire main sewer to meet requirements set by Anglian Water. They will start by closing off an area behind Phones 4u, and make a series of excavations around the circumference of the entire car park over the course of the next 10 weeks.

    Access to the popular shortcut leading into the High Street beside Gap will be closed off for two weeks.

    Mr Hirst said only electricity diversion works need to be completed before building begins.

    Date set for John Lewis and Cineworld arrival at Bond Street complex in Chelmsford

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    A BUCCANEERING pirate-themed adventure golf course and café could be built in the heart of Maldon's Promenade Park by next year.

    The £600,000 complex will have "exploding" cannons, talking pirates and 18-holes weaving around lakes and sand traps.

    Mark Durham, chairman of Maldon council's community Services committee, said the project would serve as a "major springboard" for further developments in an area he describes as the district's "crown jewel".

    "I see this as being another huge step to making Promenade Park a really attractive tourist destination," said Conservative councillor Mr Durham.

    "Along with plans for the beach huts and deck chairs, on top of the splash park, which has been a huge success for the district, this is all going to enhance the appeal of Promenade Park, not just for Maldon, but for the tens of thousands of visitors we get each year.

    "It's something that's going to put Maldon on the map. I'm really excited and I can't wait for it to happen."

    South West Adventure Golf Ltd submitted a planning application for the 3,550sq-metre site, which would sit just south of the football pitches, earlier this summer.

    It would include a café with an outdoor seating area for 50 people and a car park, while the planning application also asks to use floodlights in the darker months.

    The carpeted course will cost approximately £6.50 for adults, £4.50 for under 13s and £2 for the under sevens.

    Once on the course, golfers will encounter cannons releasing smoke, water "blasting" out of the lakes and pirate mannequins dotted around the ship. The site will also serve as the park's new ticketing hub for the splash park and tennis courts, and as a hire service for deck chairs and eight new beach huts.

    Richard Holmes, head of leisure and liveability at the council, said he was initially worried the developer, which owns two similar courses in Devon, would turn down the opportunity in Maldon.

    Mr Holmes said: "But in fact they were very anxious to get going because they can see the potential Promenade Park has.

    "I can't over-emphasise how important this is, and we are incredibly lucky they chose Maldon."

    Martin Devine, director of South West Adventure Golf Ltd, said: "It's very exciting for us.

    "We know the area and the history of Maldon and we know it's a wonderful family destination, attracting 500,000 visitors per annum, and they're the sort of people we believe will fit well with our product."

    Mr Devine's project, which if given the green light at a planning meeting in October could be built by summer 2015, could also bring about further catering facilities in the park.

    Cllr Durham, also a manager at the Warren Golf and Country Club in Woodham Walter, said it was important development continues at the park but that it is also kept as a green space.

    Cllr Durham added: "This is a major springboard for other things and I'm hopeful that in 10 years' time we will see huge potential for Maldon."

    While the district council will continue running Promenade Park, Places for People Leisure won the £2 million contract to manage the Blackwater and Dengie Hundred sport centres earlier this year.

    The company will take over from Leisure Connection when its 10-year tenure at the centres begins on Wednesday, October 1.

    Arr! 600k pirate mini golf course set for Maldon's Promenade Park

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    THE devastated wife of a Chelmsford expat who died after suffering a severe reaction to a bee sting has paid tribute to her "soulmate".

    Natasha Calcraft's husband, Luke, was stung at their family home in Pennsylvania in the United States as he cut down trees in the garden.

    The 46-year-old president of the Medical Systems Group at Olympus Corporation in America was rushed to hospital, but died four days later.

    It has now emerged Natasha, 29, injected the father-of-four with an EpiPen to try to reduce the impact of the sting before carrying out CPR as she waited for the ambulance to arrive.

    Speaking publicly for the first time since his death last month, the mum-of-two said: "We were cutting down trees, trying to clear about an acre of land for a garden, and at the very end of the day Luke lit a fire to burn all the branches we had chopped down and that is when he was stung.

    "He ran over to me and said: 'I've been stung in the arm, can you see anything'?

    "There was no immediate reaction – but then he got woozy and said 'run and grab my EpiPens', so I grabbed all three of them and administered the first one and he went unconscious, I administered the second one but he was foaming at the mouth and was struggling to breathe.

    "I ran to my neighbour, who is a nurse, and she gave him the third one but he went into anaphylactic shock which caused a cardiac arrest and he started turning purple.

    "We tried doing CPR but his throat was so swollen that the air could not get through ."

    Natasha revealed Luke's extreme allergy to bees and wasps only affected him while in America, but not Britain.

    A previous wasp sting in the United States left him unconscious for 12 hours on the floor of his bathroom and Luke had been taking a series of venom injections to try to improve his immunity.

    He suffered a severe lack of oxygen for 30 minutes and by the time he had arrived at hospital he was brain-dead.

    Doctors hoped for signs of recovery but as the days passed his condition deteriorated.

    Natasha, who has two children, Rhonin, four, and Arija, two, from her ex-husband, added: "I knew from Luke's will that he would not want to remain on life support so we took him off and within a minute he was gone."

    His four teenage children from his first marriage, Joel, Sam, Sarah and Tom, were alongside their dad as life support was removed on Monday, August 1.

    Natasha, who could not face watching him die, said: "That was not the way I wanted to remember Luke. I want to focus on all the good times we had together."

    Natasha paid tribute to the man she had married only last year after a whirlwind romance after meeting at work at the Olympus HQ in North America.

    She continued: "If you were the janitor or if you were the Olympus president in Tokyo, you were the same to Luke.

    "He had such a dynamic personality and everyone at his work warmed to him.

    "But he will be missed by as many children as he will adults – kids just gravitated towards him.

    "He was always serving people, always happy and he really was the perfect guy.

    "I can't think of a single thing he did wrong – which was the only thing that would frustrate you with him."

    Despite the age gap of 17 years between the pair, Natasha described her husband as "young at heart", with the pair enjoying kayaking as he became a "true American".

    A spokesperson for Olympus in America said: "We are deeply saddened by the sudden and unexpected loss of our friend and colleague, Luke Calcraft, president of the Medical Systems Group at Olympus Corporation of the Americas.

    "Our thoughts and prayers are with Luke's family and friends. "

    Wife's grief after her 'soulmate' dies days after fatal bee sting at US home

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    Legendary sharp-tongued comedienne Joan Rivers has died aged 81, one month ahead of a planned performance of her latest stand-up in Essex. 

    The much-loved star died yesterday a week after suffering a heart attack during a routine procedure, and passed away surrounded by family and friends in New York.

    She had been due to bring her unique brand of comedy to Cliff's Pavilion, in Southend-on-Sea on October 9 during a UK tour entitled 'Before They Close The Lid'.

    Writing on the Joan Rivers website daughter Michelle said: "It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers. She passed peacefully at 1:17pm surrounded by family and close friends. 

    "My son and I would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff of Mount Sinai Hospital for the amazing care they provided for my mother.

    "Cooper and I have found ourselves humbled by the outpouring of love, support, and prayers we have received from around the world. They have been heard and appreciated.

    "My mother's greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon."

    US comedienne Joan Rivers dies aged 81

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    Phone buyers are set for a busy month in September as a trio of the latest mobile handsets are set for release.  Much speculation surrounds the Apple iPhone 6 set for launch on Tuesday (September 9) with rumours of two devices, of different sizes, being set to hit the shelves at the same time. They are set to feature enhanced notifications and widgets, support for third-party keyboards and more functions for Siri. Then yesterday (September 4) Nokia launched its latest offering, the Lumia 830, at a conference in Berlin. It is being pitched as a more affordable option at around £260, compared to the current Lumia 930 at £449, although with a lot of the same design albeit slightly less power.  And not to be outdone, the team at Samsung announced the Galaxy Note 4 at the same German conference this week, although it's not expected to hit the markets until early October. The new handset is billed as providing sharper images and colours, an improved camera, and an 'S-Pen' tool which will work a little like a mouse.

    Apple, Samsung and Nokia all set to release latest handsets in September

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    BRAINTREE Town captain Kenny Davis says it is just a matter of time before the strikers at the club start finding the net.

    Of the five recognised strikers at Cressing Road only Michael Bakare has found the net, with Davis the leading goalscorer with three goals from midfield.

    The Iron boosted their attacking options last week by bringing in Simeon Akinola from Harrow Borough, who impressed after coming on as a substitute during Saturday's 2-0 win at Alfreton Town.

    "It's just a matter of time before the strikers start finding the net, we've got nothing to worry about," said Davis.

    "We've got Charlie Strutton to come back from injury, he's been training this week, and that means there are five strikers competing for two places. They all know that they'll have to be firing and playing well or they won't get a shirt. "

    On new signing Akinola, the skipper added: "I've only trained with him once and he came on late in the game on Saturday and he looked decent.

    "To be fair the game was getting a bit stretched at that point, which probably suited him but he's a good threat, he's got pace and his link-up play was good."

    Meanwhile Davis says he hasn't set himself a goals target for this season, despite a fruitful start to the campaign.

    "I like to get double figures," he said. "Last year I got nine and the year before that 11, but anything around ten, for a midfielder, is good for me. Maybe I need to score a few more from open play."

    Davis backs Braintree's strikers to start finding the net

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