YEP 2010 Review of the Year: MAY TO AUGUST

The YEP looks back at what was making the headlines in May to August 2010.

MAY

A FAMILY'S pet dog was hailed a hero when her barking alerted a mum to the fact that her baby had stopped breathing.

Five-month-old James Forrester was lying in his cot at home in Wetherby when he stopped breathing. The family's King Charles spaniel Millie was by the side of the cot and immediately started barking. James's mum Bev rushed to the baby and was able to revive him.

"If it wasn't for Millie we wouldn't have James now," said Bev. "I owe her everything."

LUCKLESS Marcus Morris reported his car stolen only to find that the culprits were the police.

West Yorkshire Police told him a window that had been left open leaving the vehicle at risk of theft. They towed it away and landed Mr Morris, 25, of Chapel Allerton, with a 150 bill for recovery. He was not pleased.

VETERAN musician Martin Binks celebrated serving 40 years as conductor of Leeds Symphony Orchestra. The former Aireborough Grammar School head of music, 70, led the orchestra through 250 concerts.

ANGLERS were invited to descend on a restored pond to clear it of fish which were affecting wildlife. Friends of Springfield Mill Park in Morley had restored the pond, but someone introduced koi carp and rainbow trout which were gobbling up its native population of tadpoles, newts and frogs.

SUPER-slimmer Mark Asiedu-Ofei shed more than 12 stone in a year making him half the man he was.

The 38-year old courier from Wortley, Leeds, dropped from 27st 4lbs to 14st 13lbs after swapping junk food and a sedentary lifestyle for a healthy diet and sessions at the gym. His waist shrank from 58 inches to 36.

THOUSANDS of slippery customers were dropped into the River Calder.

Local staff with the Government's Environment Agency introduced 54,000 baby eels, known as elvers, to the river at Dewsbury and Wakefield in a restocking programme designed to help stem a huge decline in the population of the European eel.

JUNE

PLANS for a wind farm near Pontefract were defeated.

The Government's Environment Department rejected plans for five turbines on land off Westfield Lane following a 10-day inquiry.

Residents said the towering turbines would be too close to their homes, and formed the Pontefract Wind Farm Action Group and West Park ActionGroup to oppose the plan.

FEARS of an "explosion" of homelessness in Leeds were voiced after the new coalition Government announced 40 per cent cuts in housing benefit.

The Labour leader of Leeds Council said thousands could be made homeless. "We are turning the clock back to the 19th century," said Councillor Keith Wakefield.

JANE Tomlinson's widower Mike backed an appeal in aid of the Leeds hospice where she died.

On an emotional first visit to St Gemma's, Mike Tomlinson handed over a cheque for 37,500. The donation kick-started a 339,000 campaign to refurbish the 20 patient bedrooms, one of which is where Jane spent her last days with her husband and three children.

A CATALOGUE of neglect in the home of kidnap plot mum Karen Matthews was laid bare in a report by Kirklees Council.

It referred to a "squalid home life."

CELEBRITY chef Jamie Oliver caused a stir at Leeds Kirkgate Market as he dropped in to his newest Ministry of Food.

The centre was the latest outpost in the chef's quest to teach the nation how to cook and eat more healthily.

The scheme provides low-cost cookery courses teaching everything from boiling an egg to roasting a chicken.

YOUNG football fans in South Africa got their kit on for the World Cup – with the help of pubs in Leeds.

Around 1,500 children living in poverty-stricken areas around Cape Town and Johannesburg were given shirts collected by regulars in Leeds.

Seven pubs across the city staged a shirt amnesty, encouraging customers to hand over unwanted replica kits.

Altogether they collected 1,500 shirts.

The pubs also raised money throughout the World Cup to fund sports projects for disadvantaged kids.

AN ARTISTIC trail following in the footsteps of one of Britain's greatest painters was unveiled.

In the early 1800s Joseph Mallord William Turner was a frequent visitor to Yorkshire, admiring its countryside, coast and buildings.

Two hundred years later more than 70 Yorkshire views which inspired him were identified and incoporated into a 'Turner Trail.'

JULY

A 300m plan to rebuild or refit 22 schools in Leeds was scrapped.

Education Secretary Michael Gove axed vast swathes of the previous government's 55bn drive to rebuild or refurbish all secondary schools.

The 250m programme for 20 inner-city high schools in Leeds survived the cuts but a second wave of 15 secondaries, mainly in the outer suburbs, was abandoned.

In Kirklees, 22 school plans were dumped, along with more than 500m of planned investment.

A FIRE at a recycling and processing plant outside Leeds caused a major chemical alert.

Around 150 firefighters from across the North tackled the fire at the WasteCare plant in Garforth east of Leeds.

Homes were evacuated, roads were closed and a school shut amid fears smoke from the blaze could contain harmful chemicals.

THE FIGHT to save a landmark Leeds church with links to the Battle of Waterloo ended in victory after a grant of 171,000 was offered by EnglishHeritage to repair it.

St Mark's Church in Woodhouse was one of 600 churches built across the country to mark the Duke of Wellington's victory over Napoleon in 1815. It closed in 2001 and fell into disrepair.

LEEDS faced a jobs bombshell with an estimated 8,800 public sector posts due to be axed in the next six years, according to independent research.

A study found that the city would be among the hardest hit by the coalition government's deep spending cuts because of its dependence on state employment.

The newly established Office for Budget Responsibility forecast over 610,000 job losses in the public sector nationally.

BBC world affairs editor John Simpson, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Marks & Spencer chairman Sir Stuart Rose, and BBC creative director Alan Yentob received honorary degrees from the University of Leeds. They were presented by University Chancellor Melvyn Bragg, the writer and broadcaster.

AUGUST

SIGNS that the green shoots of economic recovery were taking root in Leeds emerged with developers submitting new plans for major city centre schemes.

Property company MEPC put forward proposals for the next phase of its Wellington Place scheme off Wellington Street and Whitehall Road, and Hammerson announced it would bring forward revised plans for the flagship Eastgate-Harewood Quarter development that will include a John Lewis department store and Marks and Spencer.

MUSIC fans in Leeds were given their first glimpse of the design that will help make the city's new concert arena among the finest in Europe.

Images of the proposed arena exterior were revealed by the 80m project's bosses at Leeds City Council.

PLANS to transform a West Yorkshire riverside eyesore into a new "urban quarter" were given the go-ahead.

Developer Gladedale announced plans to spend tens of millions of pounds at the former Yorkshire Chemicals site in Kirkstall Road on the western fringe of Leeds city centre.

The scheme involved between 1,000 and 1,400 flats, 20 houses and 31,000 sq m of offices along with local shops, restaurants pubs and health centre.

CULT hero The Fonz dropped in on West Yorkshire school pupils.

Hollywood star Henry Winkler, who found fame as Arthur Fonzarelli in hit 70s show Happy Days, visited Dane Royd School in Hall Green, Wakefield, to promote his My Way! campaign, highlighting the fact that one in five children experience learning challenges growing up.

SCHOOLCHILDREN in Leeds stepped back in time by stepping into their very own air raid shelter.

The full-size Anderson shelter was built at Armley's Christ Church Primary School to enable children to experience a sense of living in wartime. The shelter was built by local firm Civiltech Engineering for the school's project on the Second World War and the Blitz.