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  1. Updates for Wednesday, 3 February 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 updates across the day

    Our live updates have finished for today - thanks for joining us.

    We'll be back in the morning from 08:00 with the latest news for the county.

    Have a great evening.

  2. Weather: Cold tonight, early light rain tomorrow

    Alex Dolan

    BBC Look East weather

    It will be mainly dry with some clear spells at first tonight, allowing temperatures to drop close to freezing. Lows: 1-3C (34-37F).

    Thursday will see a rather cloudy start with early light rain and drizzle clearing eastwards. High: 11C (52F).

    Weather graphic shows clear skies with occasional showers overnight
  3. Evening headlines: Manslaughter charge over hotel assault... Hertford builder wins £300,000 from lottery scratchcard

    Jon Kaye

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    The top stories this evening:

    • A Hertfordshire man has been charged with the manslaughter of William Wareham, who died after an assault at the Park Inn Hotel in Harlow
    • A man has been arrested on suspicion of illegal money-lending during a raid in Luton
    • A builder from Hertfordshire has won a £300,000 jackpot on a National Lottery scratchcard
  4. Robbery victim wants to thank the woman who paid for her shopping

    A woman came to the aid of an elderly woman when she got to a supermarket checkout in St Albans and realised someone had stolen her purse. 

    The elderly woman, Maureen, says despite her protestations, the woman paid for her shopping without any fuss, and she would like to trace her so she can thank her properly and pay her back.

    gloved hand takes a purse from a woman's handbag

    The purse contained £5, Christmas vouchers worth about £30 and credit cards, and was stolen while Maureen was in Morrisons on Hatfield Road between 11:45 and 12:45 on Saturday, 23 January.

  5. Suspected loan shark arrested in Luton

    Jane Killick

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    A 54-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending in Luton.

    Documents and mobile phones were seized when officers served a warrant an a property this morning.

    The suspect was questioned by a branch of National Trading Standards and released on bail.

  6. Bedford bypass closed overnight for roadworks

    BBC Travel

    The A421 Bedford bypass is being closed overnight for roadworks on the bridge.

    Renovations to the road surface are expected to take four nights, closing both the eastbound and westbound carriageways from 20:00 to 06:00 and finishing on Tuesday, 9 February.

    bridge over the A421

    Drivers will be diverted via the A6 Ampthill Road, through smaller streets and onto the A4280 Goldington Road to re-join the A421 at the Renhold interchange.

  7. New signing set to play for Watford against Chelsea

    BBC Sport

    Watford host reigning champions Chelsea in the Premier League this evening and could give a debut to new midfielder Mario Saurez.

    Mario Suarez heads a ball
    Quote Message: He translates the ball really well from the sides - good passes - he's very under control within this position." from Quique Sanchez Flores Watford head coach
    Quique Sanchez FloresWatford head coach
  8. Manslaughter charge over hotel death

    Jane Killick

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    A man from Hertfordshire has been charged with manslaughter over the death of William Wareham, 52, at the Park Inn Hotel in Harlow, Essex. 

    Bradley Casey, 20, of Palmers Way in Cheshunt has been charged with manslaughter and will appear before magistrates in Chelmsford on February 24.

    Park Inn Hotel entrance

    Mr Wareham, from Harlow, was taken to hospital with serious injury on Saturday, 12 December 2015, but died the following day.

  9. Afternoon headlines: Manslaughter charge over hotel death... Anglian Water invests millions in Beds, Herts and Bucks

    Jon Kaye

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    The tops stories today:

    • A man from Hertfordshire has been charged with the manslaughter of a man at a hotel in Essex
    • Anglian Water has unveiled a £444m investment programme for the year ahead, including several projects in Beds, Herts and Bucks
    • The MP for North East Bedfordshire, Alistair Burt, has told Parliament it's "wrong" young people are waiting for long periods of time to access mental health services
  10. Legal high warning in Hertfordshire

    Hertfordshire Police are warning a batch of a drug called Spice which has caused people to collapse unconscious in Essex could cross over the border.

    Police are telling people who take the so-called "legal high" they are "gambling with your life" because there's no way to tell what's in the brightly-coloured sachets.

    graphic showing the spice drug

    It comes two months after a man in Bedford died in December 2015 after taking what's believed to have been the spice drug.

  11. Sheep baaa-ck at Campbell Park for three week stay

    Katy Lewis

    BBC Local Live

    A flock of sheep will return to Campbell Park in Milton Keynes next week for a three week stay, to continue their conservation work.

    Sheep at Campbell Park

    The 100 sheep will graze about half the park, as part of The Parks Trust's farming portfolio, to deter scrub and encourage the growth and spread of wild flowers.

    Spokesman Rob Riekie has asked dog owners to keep their pets close, calm and on a short lead, and advises cyclists and walkers to slow down and keep clear of the sheep.

  12. Dog dragged behind a car finds new home

    A dog believed to have been dragged behind a car has found a new home after being cared for at Blackberry Farm Animal Centre in Buckinghamshire.

    Alfie the dog with his ribs showing through his skin in November, compared to enjoying life on the sofa with his new owner

    When Alfie the crossbreed was found in Peterborough in November, he was in a poor condition, with wounds to his back legs.  

    He's now living with Joseph Taple (pictured, right), is said to be responding well to house training and commands, and is "full of energy".

  13. Weather: Sunny spells

    BBC Weather

    Today will be mostly dry, brightening up this afternoon with plenty of sunny intervals developing. 

    Maximum temperature: 8C (46F).

    Sunny spells this afternoon
  14. Searches continue for missing Leonard Scott

    Tony Fisher

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    Bedfordshire Police have carried out searches of the river in Great Barford using sonar following the disappearance of man from Hitchin.

    A car belonging to Leonard Scott, 64, was found in the car park of the Anchor Inn on New Year's Day.

    Leonard Scott

    Police say searches were not conclusive and the investigation continues.

  15. Lunchtime headlines: River searches for missing Hitchin man... Woodland Trust furious with HS2

    Jon Kaye

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    The top stories this afternoon:

    • Bedfordshire Police have carried out searches of the river in Great Barford using sonar following the disappearance of a man from Hitchin
    • A man injured in a road crash in Milton Keynes last month has died in hospital
    • A charity which looks after ancient woodland in Buckinghamshire says it's furious at the way HS2 Ltd is handling the proposed high speed train route through the county
  16. Van crash death: Michael Turner was in 'shock and panic'

    Katy Lewis

    BBC Local Live

    A van driver accused of killing a man bydriving at him and reversing over his head has been giving evidence today.

    St Albans Crown Court

    Michael Turner, 57, of Landau Way, Turnford told St Albans Crown Court he had stopped at a roundabout in the village, when victim Frank Buckley, 51, appeared at his wound down window and squirted something in his face leaving an “instant, stinging pain".

    Telling the jury he was in "shock and panic," he said he felt his van bounce off a kerb before he felt "another hit" at the front. He said he couldn't recall putting the van in reverse and had no idea anything was under the van.

  17. Anglian Water investment for Beds, Herts and Bucks

    Anglian Water said bills will rise by 1.4% as it unveiled a £444 million investment programme for the East of England.

    Graphic showing the disruption of funds from water bills

    The planned investment includes:

    • £7.5m for upgrades and maintenance to water recycling processes at Dunstable and Letchworth
    • £1.4m to replace the rising main sewers serving Newport Pagnell
    • £2m to connect new properties in Bletchley and Leighton Buzzard to the public sewer
    • Almost £1m to better manage water pressure in Milton Keynes and Bedford
    • Hundreds of thousands of pounds in Milton Keynes fitting free water meters, replacing old ones, and offering free water-saving devices
  18. Lottery scratchcard winner to splash out on carpet and mobile

    A new bedroom carpet and an upgrade for his mobile phone - that's the plan for a £300,000 National Lottery Scratchcard winner.

    Builder Jamie Clarke, 29, who lives with his parents and brother in Hertford, says he doesn't plan to splash out, but to invest most of the money for the future of himself and the whole family.

    Jamie Clarke in hard hat with trowel poses by large £300,000 cheque
  19. Trial of new 'cell cars' not linked to Watford custody suite closure

    Katy Lewis

    BBC Local Live

    Hertfordshire police and crime commissioner David Lloyd has said a trial of new cars, which will reduce the amount of officer time spent driving suspects to cells, is not linked to the closure of the custody suite in Watford.

    Hertfordshire Police cell cars

    He was speaking to BBC Three Counties Radio after the Watford Observer reported that four new Vauxhall Astra estate "cell cars" in the Three Rivers and Watford area will allow suspects assessed as low risk to be transported by just one officer instead of two.

    Mr Lloyd said: "This is about making policing more cost effective overall rather than the specific Watford question."