CHRONICLE BARNSLEY Yorkshire’s leading weekly newspaper • www.barnsley-chronicle.co.uk Friday, May 9, 2008 Susan joins soap stars CORONATION STREET ROLE BRIEFLY Parents worried about ‘rift’ at Darton High FOUR teachers are to leave Darton High in August as part of a settlement reached following industrial action by NUT members. Teacher and NUT representative at the school, Chris Page, told the Chronicle the decision was made after a series of strikes by NUT members over pay. “Four NUT members have now been offered a settlement which is the type you cannot refuse.” The news comes after worried parents contacted the Chronicle saying they believed up to nine teachers could be leaving the school because of a growing rift between staff and school management. But headteacher Simon Hill said: “This year a few more staff are leaving than normal. The school has already recruited excellent replacements.” Thieves plunder railway line THIEVES have stolen thousands of pounds of metal from the Elsecar heritage railway line. About 40 ‘seats’, which attach the sleeper to the track, were taken last week. Police have warned scrap metal dealers they could be prosecuted if they are found to be in possession of stolen goods. PC Paul Davies said: “These are unusual items and should be identifiable. I would warn people not to accept scrap of this nature.” Lights burn out GENERATORS powering traffic lights in Carlton were set on fire early yesterday. The mobile equipment on either side of the lights on Chapel Lane near the BP garage was destroyed, as were several traffic cones and a plastic barrier. Workmen were called out at about 3am to get the lights working again. PAGE 3 TOWN Last bark for your hounds Les Dawson’s feat of clay DANDY DOGS CONTEST GRAHAM SCULPTS STATUE PAGE 9 A RETIRED council worker had half a lung removed after developing a disease caused by fungal spores which are released by rotting vegetation. Robert Stendall still gets tired easily and struggles to do physical tasks which previously were easy. Now he is supporting a campaign to block the creation of an industrial-scale compost heap near Hood Green — fearing the development would leave more people vulnerable to the same disease. Robert, 59, needed emergency surgery after a fist-sized ball was discovered in his left lung. It was feared to be cancer but it was only after surgeons removed half the organ they discovered the growth was aspergilloma — a fungal ‘ball’ caused when spores germinate inside the lung and grow. Until last year former social services officer Robert, of Cumberland Drive, Ardsley, was in good health. He said: “In February or March last year I started to cough up a bit of blood, which, being asthmatic, had happened before when I had coughing spells. What was strange was I hadn’t had a cough so the GP sent me for an x-ray.” Within two weeks he was told he had malignant lung cancer. “That was a dreadful shock. I have never smoked and could not under- stand it but three weeks after I was having the upper-left lobe of my lung removed.” The growth was in fact aspergilloma caused by aspergillus fumigatus spores, produced by decaying organic material. The spores do not harm most people but anyone who has suffered lung damage is vulnerable to aspergilloma — which is treatable if identified early. A consultant from Barnsley hospital said aspergilloma is so rare that he had only seen one or two cases. Robert, who lives with wife Denise, was susceptible because of his asthma and believes the spores may have come from the Grange Lane depot. Compostable waste from green bins is dumped there before being moved to compost sites. He said: “I don’t know but it does make you wonder. Generally the wind direction comes in this direction from Grange Lane.” Now a year after his surgery Robert fears scores of people, including retired miners, would be at risk if a large compost heap is created near Hood Green. Spores from such a site could be blown across the village or into the nearby former mining communities of Dodworth and Gilroyd. He said: “There are a lot of people in Barnsley who have lung damage. If they start breathing the spores who knows what will happen. We need to dispose of our waste economically but not at the cost of our health.” A campaign opposing the Hood Green site is underway and backed by MP Michael Clapham. He said: “We know we have a high incidence of asthma and lung disease in Barnsley. The aspergillus spores are a threat to people in that vulnerable position. It is a great concern.” Coun William Newman, development spokesman, was aware of concerns but said there was no reported evidence of significant increases in ill health near composting sites. He said a new site for organic waste was needed or the council would face hefty fines. He added: “Wherever decaying organic matter is present certain microbes occur naturally, including aspergillus fumigatus.” Coun Newman said people are routinely exposed to low levels and occasionally high levels of the spores without consequence. He said no composting takes place at Grange Lane but garden waste is stored indoors there and transferred within 72 hours. “At facilities where composting does occur, there are safe systems of work, and environmental monitoring.” By Emma Spencer THE funeral of a pensioner, who died following a gas explosion at her home, will take place today. Margaret Wilson died on Sunday April 27, eight weeks after a gas explosion at the home she shared with husband Leonard on Cote Lane, Thurgoland. Plans had been made for a cremation service last Friday but they had to be postponed because police were still making enquiries. Mrs Wilson’s body was finally released to her family earlier this week and the funeral will be held today at 11am at Holy Trinity Church, Thurgoland, followed by cremation at Grenoside at 11.45am. Her daughter, Mandy Hawkins of Delph Edge, Green Moor, said it had been a rush to rearrange but wanted it to be held this week because some of the family are going away. She said: “Although it is a sunny day outside, it is not sunny in our little world.” Margaret suffered 30 per cent burns in the explosion hours after a stolen car was dumped and caught fire on the pavement outside the stone cottage. The 69-year-old had skin grafts but developed septicaemia and a post mortem revealed she died of multiple organ failure due to severe burning. An inquest will be held at a later date and Mandy says she has plenty of questions for the fire service who told the couple it was safe to go back in the house after they had dealt with the car fire. She added: “Being 99 per cent certain is not enough because that one per cent cost my mother her life.” Terrible ordeal: Robert Stendall at his home in Ardsley. Picture: Scott Bairstow Shock at three killings Speed teen on track for glory TWO Barnsley communities are in shock after two unrelated murders just days apart. In the first, on Friday, Tracey Grinhaff, 42, was found dead at her home at Aldham Crescent, Wombwell. The body of her husband Gary, 44, was found in Wombwell Woods soon after. Relatives of Gary cannot understand what made him apparently murder his wife and then kill himself. On her Facebook webpage Tracey wrote: “Been married for 16 years but together for 26! God, that makes me sound old. Currently splitting from my husband.” The couple had two daughters, aged 13 and three. On Sunday night Ian Stewart, 26, died from a single stab wound to the chest after an alleged incident near his home in New Street, Darfield. John Doran, 31, also of New Street, was remanded in custody at Barnsley Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday charged with his murder. Mr Stewart, a gardener, had a ten-month-old daughter and his wife is expecting another baby. SPEED teen Jac Ellis and her bashed up mini are on track for success. The 15-year-old Darton High pupil won the Yorkshire Shield ministox event on Monday, a victory which also made her the regional points champion. She has only been racing for a year and was given a handicap for the three heat competition but she still won more points on the day than anyone else. Jac, who will soon move up to Formula 2 class, works on the car herself and hopes to take mechanical engineering alongside law when she starts college later this year. Proud dad Chris says racing is a family love. The only problem is finding sponsorship. Jac, of Uplands Avenue, Kexborough, attends events around Britain and fuel costs are spiralling. ■ Full story: Page 5 By Steph Johnson In the driving seat: Bringing a bit of glamour to stock car racing — Kexborough’s Jacklyn Ellis. Picture: Wes Hobson Bail hostel could be built in town centre By Steph Johnson A PRIVATE contractor is looking for somewhere in Barnsley to put the the town’s first bail hostel. The search is on because the government has decided the borough needs a place to put defendants while they await trial. The hostel will also be used by people who are tagged while on home release from prison. The Chronicle understands the most likely location will be around the town centre. Essex-based ClearSprings is running the project but noone at the company would discuss the matter with the Chronicle this week. A spokesman said staff were not allowed to speak to the press because all queries had to be directed to the Ministry of Justice. ClearSpring’s website says its Bail Accommodation Letters 6 District news 12/13 Sport 16-20 Meeting Place 14 Memories 14 What’s On 13 Support Service buildings will house only occupants who would have been released into the community if they had a suitable address. ClearSprings has to consult with the council, police and probation service about where the hostel will be built — it is understood this process has not yet begun. A Ministry Of Justice spokesman said a site had not been identified and added: “We are providing this service because prison should be reserved for those who need to be held in custody in order to protect the public or to ensure justice is delivered. Defendants are innocent until proven guilty. “The scheme will support the efficient use of public resources by saving prison places and costs of court escorts and of visits to prisons.” Weather Inside TV starts on C30 Don’t miss our tabloid motoring, property and classified supplements Established 1858 No. 8094 Picture: Ebony Jowitt, aged 8 Tel 01226 734734 PAGE 7 Funeral of blast victim today ‘Compost cost me my health’ By Adam Civico 55p Friday: A mostly dry and bright day with just the small risk of a shower later. Light easterly winds. Max temp 21C (70F). Saturday: It will remain warm with a good deal of sunshine. An afternoon shower is possible. Light south-easterly winds. Max temp 22C (72F). Sunday: It looks set to be another fine and dry day. Warm again. Gentle easterly winds. Max temp 22C (72F). Monday: Settled weather continuing, with plenty of warm sunshine. Moderate easterly winds. Max temp 20C (68F). Tuesday: It is going to be bright and mainly dry with plenty of pleasant sunny periods. Light easterly winds. Max temp 19C (66F). Fax 01226 734455 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Next week: Look out for launch of the Spirit of Barnsley awards.