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Summary

  1. Updates for Monday, 25 January 2016
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates resume at 08:00 on Tuesday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage across the day

    Jane Killick

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    Thanks for joining us for a full day of news for Beds, Herts and Bucks.

    See you again at 08:00 tomorrow.

  2. Watford park's £300,000 refurbishment goes with a swing

    A new play area, an adult gym and a games court have opened at the Riverside Recreation Ground in Watford.

    The cost of £300,000, which also includes landscaping the park, came from a fund into which developers pay when they are granted permission to build houses in the area.

    A family enjoy the new play equipment
  3. The Big Picture: Totternhoe Knolls

    Thanks to Amy Hake for the picture at the top of today's Local Live page.

    It shows Totternhoe Knolls in Bedfordshire.

    Totternhoe Knolls
  4. Snowdrops appear in Hertfordshire

    The milder weather at the weekend has encouraged snowdrops to appear.

    These were snapped in Hertfordshire yesterday.

    Snowdrops
  5. Weather: a chilly night with clear spells

    Dan Holley

    BBC Look East weather

    Thicker cloud and a few spots of rain clearing this evening, to leave a mainly dry night with long clear spells. Becoming chillier than last night as temperatures dip down to 4C (39F).

    Mainly dry through Tuesday morning with some bright spells, but increasing cloud will bring outbreaks of rain for the afternoon. Becoming windy with gusts of 40-50mph, temperatures peaking at 11C (52F).

    Temperatures at 5 celcius at 05:00 Tuesday
  6. The unclaimed dead: The woman in the Afghan coat

    Laurence Cawley

    BBC News

    Hertfordshire Police are continuing to investigate the case of a young woman who suffered horrific injuries on the A1 in February 1975.

    Afghan coat

    Wearing no shoes, the woman, aged between 23 and 25 and about 5ft 4in tall (1.62m), wearing an Afghan-style coat and speaking with a "foreign accent" was hitch-hiking to London when she was run over by a number of vehicles.

    In 2010, the University of Dundee created a depiction of how she probably looked. A family in Stotfold, Bedfordshire, thought she could be a young woman who had stayed with them for a few months during the mid 1970s to study English but the trail went cold.

  7. Attic letters reveal soldier's 'crush' on older woman

    Katy Lewis

    BBC Local Live

    A stash of letters, written 100 years ago, found in a hotel attic have revealed an intriguing bond between two estate workers.

    Extracts from Waddesdon Manor letters

    About 100 letters were found by an electrician working on the Five Arrows Hotel which stands near the Buckinghamshire estate Waddesdon Manor.

    They were sent by a teenage World War One soldier to the landlord's daughter, 13 years his senior. An estate spokeswoman said: "I think he had a crush on her."

  8. Evening headlines: Council employees disciplined for improper use of the internet ... More details emerge over possible Bowie tributes in Aylesbury

    Jessica Cooper

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    The top stories:

    • Council staff have been disciplined for improper use of the internet at least 15 times in Beds, Herts, and Bucks in the last five years
    • A court has been hearing details of how a family, including an elderly couple, set up a number of cannabis factories at homes in Hertfordshire. 
    • More details have emerged about plans for a David Bowie tribute in Aylesbury, where he first performed as Ziggy Stardust
  9. Hertfordshire prisoner 'nearly bled to death'

    Carol Abercrombie

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    A prisoner at a Hertfordshire jail nearly bled to death when he was stabbed by another inmate, St Albans Crown Court has heard. 

    It heard Marlon Roban attacked Mohsine Koura with a shard of glass taken from the glass plate of a microwave at HMP The Mount in Hemel Hempstead, causing an artery in his neck to be severed.

    St Albans Crown Court

    The prosecution says it will not be calling any prisoners to give evidence in the case, but will be using CCTV footage and testimony from a prison guard. Roban, 38, denies wounding with intent.

  10. Buckinghamshire body remains unidentified after 42 years

    Laurence Cawley

    BBC News

    Eight bodies in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire remain unidentifed, according to the National Crime Agency (NCA). The oldest concerns a man found in Iver in 1973.

    Unidentified body graphic

    Joe Apps from the NCA's Missing Persons Bureau said it was much harder to identify people in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, saying: “We didn’t have such good communication methods in those years.

    “[Plus] DNA only really came in in the 1990s – by 2010 we had very successful methods for getting DNA profiles and comparing them with family members and that just wasn’t available then.”

  11. Electric car grant makes Milton Keynes a 'stand-out place'

    Katy Lewis

    BBC Local Live

    News that Milton Keynes is being given an extra £9m to invest in the infrastructure to support electric cars has been welcomed by the council, which is now set to allow drivers of the vehicles to drive in bus lanes and get free parking. 

    Electric car

    Labour councillor Matt Clifton said: "[This will] make us a real stand-out place for low carbon, efficient, future-looking transport.

    "We are an innovative place, [and] encourage innovative thinking, and people come to Milton Keynes in order to take advantage of that can-do attitude and that willingness to try things that are new."

  12. Watford up to 10th in Premier League

    BBC Sport

    Watford are up to 10th in the Premier League after bouncing back from their last four defeats with a 2-1 victory at home to Newcastle.

    Watford v Newcastle

    Odion Ighalo and Craig Cathcart scored both second-half goals.

    Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores said: "We played very well... It was a crucial match during the season - Newcastle are trying to avoid the same position as us [relegation]. We have got more of a gap to Newcastle now."

  13. Mystery surrounds Luton stabbing

    Jane Killick

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    A taxi dropped off a man with stab wounds at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital early Saturday morning. 

    The victim doesn't remember much about what happened and Bedfordshire Police are appealing to the driver of the taxi, a Vauxhall Zafira, to come forward, as he or she may have vital information.

  14. Luton wrestler jailed over cannabis factories

    A professional wrestler from Luton introduced an elderly Hertfordshire couple to the idea of cultivating cannabis as a way to top up their pension, St Albans Crown Court heard. 

    Police seized cannabis with a street value of about £18,200 being grown in factories in three houses in Potters Bar and Bushey.

    Karel (aka Karlos) Vemola, 30, of Bellerby Rise, admitted conspiracy to produce cannabis and was jailed for 12 months. 

    Terrance Byman, 72, and Linda Sharp, 70, of Elmfield Road, Potters Bar were given nine-month jail sentences suspended for two years after admitting the same offence. Four others were also sentenced for their involvement in the operation.    

  15. Afternoon headlines: Former minister Lord Cecil Parkinson dies... More details emerge of Aylesbury David Bowie tribute plans

    Jessica Cooper

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    The top stories:

    • Former Conservative minister and Hertfordshire MP Lord Cecil Parkinson has died at the age of 84 after a battle with cancer
    • A court has been hearing details of how a family, including an elderly couple, set up a number of cannabis factories at homes in Hertfordshire
    • More details have emerged about plans for a David Bowie tribute in Aylesbury, where he first performed as Ziggy Stardust
  16. Council workers suspended for breaking social media rules

    Jane Killick

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    There was a rise in the number of UK council workers suspended last year after being accused of breaking social media rules, according to a Freedom of Information request made by BBC Radio 5 live.

    Luton Borough Council confirmed that it had dismissed workers following their suspensions, while Milton Keynes Council said a suspended worker had opted to resign.

    No background details were provided for these cases.

    Young person uses a mobile phone
  17. Cecil Parkinson dies, aged 84

    Former Conservative minister Lord Cecil Parkinson has died, aged 84, after a battle with cancer.

    Margaret Thatcher and Cecil Parkinson

    As party chairman under Margaret Thatcher in the early 1980s, he played a key role in the Tories' 1983 general election victory.

    He had been an MP for South Hertfordshire and Hertsmere in the 1970s.

  18. More plans to remember David Bowie in Aylesbury

    More than one plaque could be put up around Aylesbury to commemorate places where David Bowie performed. 

    Aylesbury Vale District Council says it's in discussion with Friars promoter David Stopps about staging "some great events" in the town, including a possible annual Friars music festival.

    David Bowie

    The council is also exploring the idea of a possible David Bowie exhibition, although it says it can't commit to any funding for a statue. 

  19. Work begins to erect wind turbine at RSPB

    Carol Abercrombie

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    Work starts today to install a 100m high wind turbine at the RSPB headquarters in Bedfordshire.

    RSPB HQ

    It's taking eight lorries to transport it to the Lodge in Sandy, and about a fortnight to put it in position. Once operational, it will generate the equivalent of more than half of the power the RSPB uses at its 127 sites across the UK.  

    The charity says it is its duty to lead the way with renewable energy, and despite contrary claims from people fighting wind turbine proposals, turbines pose no significant threat to bird populations.