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"Write something worth reading or do something worth writing" A blog by Amy Willis, a multimedia journalist based in London

Customers delighted as shop reopens

Mar 30 2009 By Amy Willis, South Wales Echo

A FASHION tycoon has reopened one of Cardiff’s designer dress stores, raising hopes the city’s arcades can survive the recession.

Robert de Keyser has rehired most of the original staff who worked at the Emma Somerset shop in Morgan Arcade, which closed four months ago. The new store will trade under the name of De Keyser after its owner, who worked with Victoria Beckham on her Rock and Republic jeans range.

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Filed under: Portfolio

Grass arsonists strike Cardiff

By Amy Willis, Cardiff Evening News

FIRE engines were sent to 10 deliberate grass fires in Cardiff and more than 200 across South Wales over the weekend despite South Wales Fire and Rescue Service’s crackdown on grass arsonists.

The Cardiff blazes were in wildlife areas in Ely, St Mellons, Pentwyn, Llanrumney Penylan and Trowbridge. St Mellons was worst affected – three separate fires had to be extinguished in Hendre Lane, Matthysens Way and Pontprennau.

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Filed under: Cardiff News, Portfolio, , ,

Welsh Water warns against bogus callers

By Amy Willis, Cardiff Evening News

WELSH Water issued a warning today to its Cardiff customers after a number of incidents where thieves have posed as water metre inspectors.

Welsh Water’s Suzanne Evans said: “There have been several bogus caller incidents in the area recently so it’s important to remind customers of the dangers.

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Filed under: Cardiff News, Portfolio

Bedbugs in Cardiff hotels

By Amy Willis, Cardiff Evening News

A CARDIFF hotel has an infestation of blood-sucking bedbugs, it emerged today.

Cardiff council have refused to name the hotel but a record of complaints in 2008 has confirmed one of Cardiff’s hotels has been hit been this irritating little pest.

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Filed under: Cardiff News, Portfolio

Deal or no deal

By Amy Willis, Cardiff Evening News

A SOUTH Wales student has become the second person to win the top prize in quiz show Deal Or No Deal presented by Noel Edmonds.

Alice Munday, a 21-year-old from Monmouth, won £250,000 after rejecting a £17,500 offer from the banker.

Alice is the second winner of the programme after another South Wales woman from Monmouth, Laura Pearce, scooped the prize in 2007.

Filed under: Cardiff News, Portfolio

Drop in Bridgend house prices

By Amy Willis, Cardiff Evening News

A 22 per cent drop in house prices in Bridgend has been linked with the recent string of suicides in the area.

Peter Bolton King, chief executive of the National Association of Estate Agents, said Bridgend was one of the few places in the UK where a drop in house prices was not due to the credit crunch.

House prices in Bridgend have dropped from an average of £160,150 in September 2008 to £124,950 in February 2009.

Filed under: Cardiff News, Portfolio

Teenager punched man so hard it made his teeth chatter

A TEENAGER was jailed at Cardiff Crown Court today for 54 weeks after punching a man so hard it made his teeth chatter and repeatedly thumping another man until his jaw broke.

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Filed under: Cardiff News, Portfolio, , ,

Fear of dying lecture

THE FEAR of dying will be discussed by at a special public lecture in Cardiff this week as part of Cardiff’s Science in Health Public Lecture series.

Professor Ilora Finlay, a consultant in Palliative Medicine & Chronic Pain, will talk at Cardiff University on March 12.

She will also discuss possible links between diet and cancer and her views on the assisted suicide debate.

Filed under: Cardiff News, Portfolio

What does aristocracy mean?

By Amy Willis, Cardiff Evening News

A LEADING French archaeologist will visit Cardiff tomorrow to give a lecture about the definition of an aristocrat from an ancient Greek perspective.

Dr Alain Duplouy, will be discussing the use of the term aristocracy at Cardiff University having travelled all the way from the Sorbonne in Paris.

The lecture begins at 5.10pm and is free to members of the public. For more information, telephone Professor Nick Fisher on 029 208 74258.

Filed under: Cardiff News, Portfolio

Young Musician of Wales final

By Amy Willis, Cardiff Evening News – Hwyl Arts Supplement

The winner of this year’s Young Musician of Wales final, 17-year-old cellist Steffan Morris, from Neath, displayed the most passionate performance of the evening.

As he played his first piece, Alone by Giovanni Sollima, his almost had his eyes closed throughout the entirety of the performance, clearly trying to feel the music as he played. His fingers whizzed along the strings with faultless speed as his foot tapped the pace. At the end of the piece he opened his eyes and squinted up at the cheering crowd. The bemused rabbit-caught-in-the-headlights look on his face showed just how much he had become caught up in the moment.
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Filed under: blog posts, Portfolio, Reviews,

Royal Welsh Comrades hold parade in honour of St David

Mar 9 2009 by Amy Willis, South Wales Echo

WALES’ proud veterans marched in full uniform through Cardiff city centre yesterday as part of their annual St David’s Day celebrations.

The 150 veteran soldiers of the Royal Welsh Comrades Association came together from all over Wales for the event, held a week after the date so not to clash with the official St David’s parade.

Lord Mayor Kate Lloyd and Colonel Peter Gooderson inspected the men in Cardiff Castle before the march down St Mary Street to Alexander Gardens.

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Filed under: Portfolio

Egypt’s first lady Suzanne Mubarak describes her fight for Arab women’s rights

Mar 9 2009 by Amy Willis, Western Mail

EGYPT’S first lady Suzanne Mubarak – seen as one of the most influential women in the Middle East – has spoken out against human trafficking, sex slavery and female genital mutilation.

Her stark message, given ahead of yesterday’s International Women’s Day to an international conference in Bahrain, received a standing ovation from the room full of male politicians, businessmen and judges.

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Filed under: Portfolio

Bees at risk

By Amy Willis, Cardiff Evening News

Cardiff honeybees are at threat more than ever from bee viruses after this winter’s wet Welsh weather, the bee inspectorate has warned.

Local beekeepers are being told to be extra vigilant. If dead bees are spotted, beekeepers are encouraging to check for the Nosema parasite and Varroa mite using a microscope.

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Filed under: Cardiff News, Portfolio

Flying high with the falconer at Cardiff rubbish tip

Amy Willis looks into how protecting Cardiff’s landfill sites has become a soaring success with a trip to meet the falconer at Lamby Way.

From fireworks to gas canons there are a whole range of ways landfill sites attempt to fend off vermin. But at one rubbish tip in Cardiff a falconer and his birds are proving their worth in the battle against vermin and disease.

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Filed under: Features, Portfolio

Hospital bed closure plan rejected

A PLAN to close 600 hospital beds in two of Cardiff’s largest hospitals has been rejected by health minister Edwina Hart, a government source has confirmed.

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Filed under: Cardiff News, Portfolio

School of music will celebrate 100th concert

CARDIFF School of Music will be celebrating their 100th annual concert in two weeks time.

The concert will be held at St David’s Hall at 7.30pm on Thursday March 19. There will be music from the Cardiff University Symphony Orchestra and Choir plus work from classical musician Grace Williams.

Tickets are available from St David’s Hall, telephone 029 20 87 8444 for more details.

Filed under: Cardiff News, Portfolio

New ward close to completion

WORK for Wales’s first teenage cancer ward at a Cardiff hospital is close to completion, a spokesperson for the NHS trust said today.

The unit, funded with £3 million of public donations, should open any week now ready to admit its first patients in the spring.

The ward will have eight beds plus a day-care centre for children aged 14 to 23.

Filed under: Cardiff News, Portfolio

School bus dispute

TWO school bus companies could lose their contracts with Cardiff council over a five-year dispute with residents who say the situation is an “accident waiting to happen”.

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Filed under: Cardiff News, Portfolio

Comedy club not so glee

A COMEDY club in Cardiff is charging a behaviour bond for single sex groups of more than 15 people.

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Filed under: Cardiff News, Portfolio

Trade unionist’s asylum appeal rejected

A TRADE unionist in Cardiff is facing deportation back to Saudi Arabia despite huge public support after his appeal for asylum was rejected by the UK borders agency.

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Filed under: Cardiff News, Portfolio

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