Hello to surprise baby boy James

In September a stunned grandma from Langley Mill, who had no idea she was pregnant, gave birth in the street to a baby boy.

Jane Eadie, 44, had baby James who was born on Belper’s high street, weighing in at 5lbs.

In October, a police investigation was launched after a Ripley man was killed following a bar fight. James Gaunt, of Loscoe, died after the incident in the Crib Bar.

A bid to build 98 houses between Codnor and Waingroves was rejected by planners, prompting scenes of jubilation among residents opposed to the scheme.

Campaigners said the proposal by Peveril Homes from Belper would have joined the communities of Codnor and Waingroves together.

Concerns were raised by Swanwick people over plans to build a new crematorium in the village. An action group was formed after proposals for a 7.6-acre memorial site were unveiled on land between Sleetmoor Lane and the Thorntons factory. In November, tributes were paid to 25-year-old dad-of-two David Staley who was killed in a road accident in Ripley. News of a high speed rail line that could run through Amber Valley prompted calls for details on which towns and villages might be affected.

Ambitious plans to build a £1 million community centre in Loscoe were unveiled that would replace the Charles Hill sports centre on Flamstead Avenue. A generous £90,000 donation by Ripley Hospital League of Friends paid for new X-ray equipment.

Smalley campaigners vowed to keep fighting despite an opencast mining scheme getting the go-ahead. In October UK Coal was granted permission to extend operations at the Lodge House. Smalley Action Group said it would concentrate on opposing a second bid at George Farm in Denby.

Strike action at Aldercar Community Language College was ended when an agreement was reached over the redundancy of a teacher.

In December, a battle plan to boost Heanor was announced with a meeting in the town attended by 70 people.

Ideas to breathe new life into the town were discussed.

Also this month, the Ripley and Heanor News launched its New Year Honours Awards campaign for 2012.