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  1. Updates for Wednesday, 27 January 2016
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates resume at 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

By Jane Killick

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage across the day

    Jane Killick

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    Thanks for your company on Local Live for Beds, Herts and Bucks throughout the day.

    We'll return with more of the same tomorrow from 08:00.

  2. Weather: A dry night with clear spells

    Alex Dolan

    BBC Look East weather

    It will be rather cloudy at first trhis evening, with the chance of some showers but they will clear away to the east, leaving a dry night. Lows: 1-3C (34-37F).

    Thursday will be chilly to start with, remaining cool but dry. There will be long spells of unbroken sunshine during the morning.

    Overnight temperature around Milton Keynes
  3. Dunstable's bald squirrel has died

    A bald squirrel spotted living in Dunstable has died, Bedfordshire Wildlife Rescue has posted on Facebook.

    The animal had been taken in and cared for by St Tiggywinkles wildlife hospital near Aylesbury after being captured in Grove Park in November.

    Video content

    Video caption: Bald squirrel runs around Grove Park in Dunstable

    Bedfordshire Wildlife Rescue said: "[St Tiggywinkles] carried out tests to see if her baldness could be cured, but very sadly the tests showed skin cancer. I have today been advised that the little Squirrel has passed away."

  4. 'Idiots' cut down trees in Ampthill

    A notice has gone up in Ampthill Park in Bedfordshire accusing contractors of cutting down a clump of trees that should have been left alone.

    Trees and scrubland are being cleared as part of a £600,000 Heritage Lottery scheme to restore the landscape to the way it looked when it was designed by famous architect Lancelot "Capability" Brown in the 18th Century.

    Notice posted in park complaining about tree felling

    Ampthill Town Council is yet to comment.

  5. Evening headlines: Meeting after Luton's Britain First march... Dunstable's bald squirrel has died

    Jessica Cooper

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    The top stories this evening:

    • A community meeting is being held at Bury Park in Luton this evening, following an unannounced march by Britain First through the area
    • Latest figures show more drivers were arrested in Milton Keynes for drink or drug driving over Christmas than anywhere else in the Thames Valley region
    • A bald squirrel rescued from the cold after being spotted in Grove Park in Dunstable has died
  6. More MK Dons vs Chelsea FA Cup tickets to go on sale

    BBC Sport

    Another 1,000 seats have been made available for Milton Keynes Dons' FA Cup fourth-round tie with Chelsea on Sunday.

    They can only be bought in person from the Box Office at stadium:mk from 9am tomorrow, Thursday 27 January.

  7. Police re-appeal three weeks after Luton murder

    Bedfordshire Police have issued a fresh appeal for information regarding the death of 47-year-old Atul Shah in Crescent Road, Luton on Wednesday, 6 January.

    Detective Inspector Justine Jenkins said: "There may be people who haven’t yet contacted the police because they have assumed that others will have given us the information we need, or that we already know all there is, but this isn’t the case."

    Atul Shah

    Six people have been arrested on suspicion of murder and been released on police bail as inquiries continue.

  8. Ping pong has 'darts potential'

    Phil Shepka

    BBC Sport

    Milton Keynes-based Andrew Baggaley says ping pong has the potential to be the new darts after defending his world title at the weekend. 

    Andrew Baggaley

    Chairman of promotions company Matchroom Sport, Barry Hearn, credited with turning darts from a 'pub game' into a big-money spectator sport, is trying to transform ping pong.

     "I think it's got the potential because it's such a fantastic spectacle," Baggaley said. "Barry is getting behind it and is enthusiastic about it, which is what we need.  

  9. Youngsters to offer 'healthy' fruit alternative

    Young people from Wendover in Buckinghamshire have raised money to turn unsold supermarket fruit into dried fruit pieces to be sold at youth clubs and schools.

    The town's Youth Forum campaigned to raise £1,230, and The Clare Foundation added another £1000, to buy equipment and packaging.

    members of Wendover Youth Centre accept £1000 cheque

    Budgens will be supplying the scheme with any unsold fruit from its branch in Wendover High Street.

  10. Stevenage defender Mark Hughes leaves club

    BBC Sport

    Stevenage defender Mark Hughes has left the football club "by mutual consent". 

    The 22-year-old made 22 appearances for the League Two side this season.

    Mark Hughes

    He arrived from Morecambe in the summer, but only scored one goal.

  11. Afternoon headlines: Meeting after Luton's Britain First demo... Increase in Milton Keynes drivers arrested for drink and drug driving

    Jessica Cooper

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    The top stories this afternoon:

    • A community meeting is being held at Bury Park in Luton tonight following an unannounced march by Britain First through the area
    • More drivers were arrested in Milton Keynes for drink or drug driving over Christmas than anywhere else in the Thames Valley region
    • Events have been held across the three counties to mark Holocaust Memorial Day
  12. Christmas drink driving 'worst' in Milton Keynes

    Latest figures show more drivers were arrested in Milton Keynes for drink or drug driving over Christmas than anywhere else in the Thames Valley region.

    Officers carried out dedicated patrols between 1 December 2015 and 1 January 2016, and made 325 arrests in total, an increase of more than 50 on the previous year.

    Man taking a police breath test

    Police say the oldest driver arrested was 87 while the youngest was 17. The majority of drivers were aged between 22 and 30.

  13. Holocaust memorial service in Bedford

    BBC Three Counties Radio's Nick Coffer has been broadcasting live from the Holocaust Memorial Service at the Corn Exchange in Bedford this afternoon.

    Heather Bonner, from the University of Bedfordshire, led the service and members of the audience were asked to write a message and peg it to an artificial tree.

    Heather Bonner addresses audience and messages pegged to a cane tree structure
  14. Lister Hospital re-opens minor injuries unit

    Jessica Cooper

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    The minor injuries service at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage has reopened to adults.

    It closed yesterday because of high patient numbers. Adults with non-life threatening injuries had been asked to go to the QEII at Welwyn.

    Sign pointing to the entrance to Lister Hospital
  15. Is this your jewellery?

    Hertfordshire Police have released pictures of suspected stolen property found in a pillowcase by a member of the public in Croft Lane, Letchworth.

    Anyone with information should call police on 101.

    Collection of watches, bangles and beaded necklaces
  16. Weather: Less windy but colder

    BBC Weather

    Winds will ease and most of the rain will clear away this afternoon. Some showery rain will persist and it'll turn colder.

    Today's maximum temperature: 14C (57F).

    A cloudy but largely dry afternoon
  17. Lunchtime headlines: Witness appeal after Luton march... Events commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day

    Jessica Cooper

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    The top stories:

    • Police are appealing for any video footage of Saturday's demonstration in Luton's Bury Park by the far right group Britain First
    • A 22-year-old man has pleaded not guilty to encouraging people to join the so-called Islamic State
    • Events are being held across the Three Counties to mark Holocaust Memorial Day
  18. Not guilty plea over alleged Luton Islamic State speech

    A man accused of addressing a meeting in Luton in July 2015 has pleaded not guilty to encouraging people to join the so-called Islamic State militant group. 

    Mohammed Sufiyan Choudry, a 22-year-old accounts manager from Maidenhead in Berkshire, appeared this morning at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London.

    outside Westminster Magistrates Court

    The charge claims the purpose of the speech was to "encourage support for a proscribed organisation, namely Islamic State, or to further its activities, contrary to the Terrorism Act."  

  19. Events in Beds, Herts and Bucks to mark Holocaust Memorial Day

    Carol Abercrombie

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    In Hatfield, a ceremony at the Links will include a one minute silence and the release of symbolic doves to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

    In Bedford, there's a ceremony at midday at Anne Frank's Tree in Russell Park, followed by a meeting at the Harpur Suite where there will be readings and multi-faith prayers.

    Tonight, a service is being held in St Albans Cathedral, including prayers in Hebrew and English. Six symbolic candles will also be lit.

  20. Stotfold ramraiders target cashpoint

    Ramraiders pulled a cash machine out of a wall in the Bedfordshire village of Stotfold in the early hours of this morning after driving a truck into it.

    Police were called to the scene and the raiders fled in a blue Audi, leaving behind a pick up truck and the cash machine.

    Truck next to a damaged wall where the cash point used to be

    Thanks to Birds Eye Studios for the picture.