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UWTSD graduate wins ​prestigious award

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A UNIVERSITY OF WALES TRINITY SAINT DAVID (UWTSD) has been awarded the Morriston Orpheus Choir Supporters Association (MOCSA) Young Welsh Singer of the Year Award.

Chloe Morgan ​graduated from the university’s Wales International Academy of Voice earlier this year with an MA Advanced Vocal Studies, where she studied under the tutelage of Welsh tenor Dennis O’Neill.

Previously to this​,​ she studied Classical and Jazz voice at Trinity College of Music and went on to win a place on the prestigious Monteverdi Choir Apprentice Programme.

Chloe said: “To have been selected for the final of this prestigious competition was a huge honour for me. With previous winners including the likes of Rebecca Evans and Sir Bryn Terfel, I was more than content knowing I’d made it that far. But to come away with the trophy is a dream come true.”

Dennis O’Neill said: “We at the Wales International Academy of Voice are delighted to hear of Chloe Morgan’s success. It is so heartening for us all to see her talent being recognised and I predict a truly important career for her.”

The MOCSA Young Welsh Singer of the Year Award is now in its 41st year. The competition is open to young artists who are studying classical voice and meet the competition’s criteria for their connection to Wales. The four finalists were invited to perform in St Mary’s Church, Swansea as part of a concert performed by the choir under the direction of Musical Director Joy Amman Davies.

The competition was judged by Julian Smith, former advisor to Cardiff Singer of the World competition and former Head of Music at Welsh National Opera, Huw Tregelles Williams, former Head of BBC Wales music and former Director of BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and Mezzo-Soprano Eirian James.

Piano accompaniment was provided by renowned accompanist Jeffrey Howard, who also provided coaching to each of the Finalists. Competition Organiser, Alan Lewis was delighted with how the concert went and the performance of all four of the finalists.

He said: “The judges commented on the very high standard of the competition.  All connected with MOCSA and the Morriston Orpheus Choir send Chloe our very best wishes for the future.”

Chloe said: “It was a very special evening and I would like to thank Joy Amman Davies and the choir for a wonderful evening. I would also like to say a big thank you to the other finalists for their support and for making the evening so enjoyable.” Chloe will also be invited to perform with the choir as a guest artist during the next year

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Man denies £7,000 burglary

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A MAN from West Sussex has today denied carrying out a £7,000 burglary in Lampeter.

Kurtis Poat, aged 23, appeared at Swansea Crown Court for a plea and trial preparation hearing before Judge Paul Thomas.

Poat, of Osborne Crescent, Chichester, denied breaking into a house in Nantyglyn, Cwmann, in May, 2017, and stealing a tin containing £7,000 in cash.

Poat faces a two day trial scheduled to begin on April 11 and was granted bail until then.

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Campaigners urge air gun licensing following cat shootings

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CATS PROTECTION is urging the UK’s cat lovers to join a call on the Westminster government to introduce air gun licensing in Wales and England, following in the footsteps of Scotland and Northern Ireland where it is illegal to own air weapons without licence.

The government is currently holding a public consultation into air weapon regulation, including licensing, which closes on February 6, making this the ideal time for cat lovers to make their voices heard by sending an e-mail to the Home Office.

To take part people should visit www.cats.org.uk/airgunsconsultation where they can adapt and send the e-mail. People can also watch a video showing some of the feline victims of air gun shootings, which some may find upsetting.

Victims of air gun shootings include Jalapeno, a black-and-white cat from Bridgend who was shot in the eye, and Chaos, a black-and-white cat from South Wales who was shot between her eyes, shattering the bones in her nose.

Luckily both Jalapeno and Chaos survived their injuries after receiving emergency veterinary care.

However, in March 2017, a cat from Barry was fatally shot, as was a cat from Llanell in August 2017.

“Shocking air gun attacks like the ones on Jalapeno and Chaos are by no means rare,” explains Jacqui Cuff, Cats Protection’s Head of Advocacy & Government Relations.

“Our monitoring of UK press reports shows that three cats are killed or injured by an air gun each week and this is likely to be an underestimate because most attacks are never witnessed or reported. Worse still, over 90% of these shootings take place in Wales and England where it is legal for anyone over 18 to purchase an air gun and ammunition without the need for a licence.

“These attacks cause immense pain and suffering to cats as well as anguish for their owners and fear in their local communities for the safety of people and pets.”

Cats Protection believes that if licensing were introduced, it would be easier to track down culprits who use these weapons to inflict harm on cats.

The charity wants to ensure that cats in Wales and England are fully protected. Those who have a legitimate reason to purchase, possess and use an air gun will be able to retain ownership and would simply need to apply for a licence.

Jacqui added: “Last year over 90,000 people signed an online and paper Cats Protection petition calling for the licensing of air guns in Wales and England, showing the depth of public feeling on the issue. Our hope is that as many people as possible email the government in support of air gun licensing so that we can make the whole of the UK a safer place for cats, animals and human beings.”

Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity and helps around 190,000 cats each year through a national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 34 centres.

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Police crack down on drink and drug driving

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NEARLY 100 people were arrested by Dyfed-Powys Police for drink and drug driving in December, as a result of the All Wales Christmas Anti Drink and Drug Drive Campaign.

The month-long operation against driving under the influence ran from Friday, December 1, and police forces across the country used intelligence-led tactics and local knowledge of hotspots to detect people driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol over the festive period.

98 people were arrested by Dyfed-Powys Police.

Supt. Huw Meredith, Specialist Operations, said: “We adopt a proactive, targeted and intelligence-led approach to drink and drug driving, using specialist Roads Policing resources and response officers.

“The number of arrests indicates that sadly some are prepared to risk the lives of others and themselves by driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

“Our message is the same all year round – don’t drink/take drugs and drive.”

In 2017 Dyfed-Powys Police arrested 452 people for drink and drug driving.

Operation Snap also launched in December, allowing members of the public throughout Wales to submit footage and images showing traffic offences being committed – from driving dangerously or carelessly to contravening solid white lines, using a mobile phone while driving or ignoring traffic lights.

To submit footage to any of the four Welsh Police Forces, visit https://gosafesnap.wales/ or https://gosafesnap.cymru.

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