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Summary

  1. Updates for Friday, 26 February 2016
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates resume at 08:00 on Monday

Live Reporting

By Dani Bailey

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage across the day

    That's all from us today. We'll be back with you from 08:00 on Monday with the latest news, sport, weather and travel for Beds, Herts and Bucks.

    Have a great weekend.

  2. Weather: Cold and dry overnight

    BBC Weather

    It will be dry this evening and overnight with clear spells

    It's turning chilly, meaning some frost is likely. Minimum temperature: -1C (30F).

    Weather graphic
  3. Wedding brawl: 'Atmosphere was volatile', says accused

    Dani Bailey

    BBC Local Live

    Two men accused of affray when two wedding parties clashed in Hertfordshire have told a jury they were just trying to calm the situation.

    Fanhams Hall, Ware

    Lee Doyle, 37, of Halleys Way, Houghton Regis, and Gary Hutson, 46, of Redmire Close, Luton, are alleged to have been involved in a brawl at Fanhams Hall in Ware on 10 August 2014. They deny the charges.

    Mr Doyle said he pushed the groom of the other wedding party as he thought he was going to attack Mr Hutson. Mr Doyle said "the atmosphere was very volatile". The case continues at St Albans Crown Court.

  4. Luton and Dunstable Hospital only trust in East breaking even

    Nic Rigby

    BBC News

    Luton and Dunstable Hospital is the only hospital in the East of England not facing an end of year deficit in 2015-16, a BBC survey has found.

    The Luton and Dunstable Hospital

    The Luton trust is set to break even.

    West Hertfordshire NHS Trust, which runs Hemel Hempstead, St Albans and Watford hospitals, is facing a deficit of £34.5m, while Milton Keynes is facing a shortfall of £21.8m.

  5. Tens of thousands of USB sticks stolen in Luton

    Ten of thousands of USB sticks have been stolen from a business in Luton, police say.

    Offenders forced the door into a property on Dudley Street overnight between 17 to 18 February.

    Twenty thousand black 128GB memory sticks were stolen along with three computers. Police have appealed for witnesses.

  6. Goose shot dead in Hertfordshire 'appalling', says RSPCA

    Dani Bailey

    BBC Local Live

    The RSPCA says it is "appalled" at the suspected shooting of a goose in Hertfordshire.

    Sandon village pond

    It was called by a member of the public on Sunday to the "upsetting incident" at the village pond in Sandon.

    "It is a reckless and senseless act to shoot a goose in the head at point-blank range," Stephen Reeves said. It is illegal to injure or kill any wild bird under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981.

  7. Eurovision 2016: The day for Making Your Mind Up

    Katy Lewis

    BBC Local Live

    For the first time in six years, people in the UK will have the chance to decide who represents them at Eurovision. How exciting is that?

    Have a listen to the songs of the six hopeful acts, which include Darline (pictured), one half of which is Hertfordshire's Cara Beard (on the right).

    Darline

    The winner of the vote will be revealed live on BBC Four in a special programme that begins at 19:30 GMT.  

  8. Latest headline: G4S sells children's services... Herts goose shot

    Jane Killick

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    Latest headlines:

    • The security company G4S is selling its UK children's services business, including the training centre for young offenders at Oakley in Milton Keynes 
    • Residents of a village in Hertfordshire have left flowers in tribute to a goose believed to have been shot dead at the weekend 
    • A Hertfordshire teenager is in the final six competing to be chosen to represent the UK in this year's Eurovision song contest
  9. Hatters head to struggling York City

    Simon Oxley

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    Meanwhile, Luton Town go to struggling York this weekend, with manager Nathan Jones hinting he could bring players from the successful youth team into the first team set-up.

    Nathan Jones

    "If they're ready they will get an opportunity... I'm not just going to hand them something because life's not like that and neither is a football club like that," he said.

    Elsewhere in League Two, Wycombe Wanderers host fellow play-off hopefuls Bristol Rovers and Stevenage are at home to Exeter.

  10. MK Dons keeper still ruled out for Blackburn game

    Simon Oxley

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    Milton Keynes Dons go to Blackburn in the Championship on Saturday, with goalkeeper David Martin still ruled out.  

    Karl Robinson

    Manager Karl Robinson says the team has already been picked for tomorrow's game.

    "We believe it's right, it's worked for us before, it gives the players clear guidance of what we might think is right and wrong," he said.

  11. Hertfordshire villagers 'devastated' after goose shot dead

    Dani Bailey

    BBC Local Live

    Villagers in Hertfordshire have been "left devastated" after a goose was shot dead, the Telegraph reports.

    Sandon village sign and pond

    The gander - a male goose - hatched at a pond in Sandon 11 year ago and was killed just yards from that spot after being shot near the eye by what's thought to be an air rifle.

    "Goose", as he was simply known, features on the village welcome sign and often settled down inside a telephone box where flowers have been left as tributes.  

  12. Herts teenager in Eurovision bid

    Katy Lewis

    BBC Local Live

    A Hertfordshire teenager is in one of the final six acts competing tonight to be chosen to represent the UK in this year's Eurovision Song Contest.

    Cara Beth Beard

    Cara Beth Beard,18, from Stevenage, is one half of country pop duo Darline, whose upbeat track Until Tomorrow is a breezy love song, with a co-writing credit from Martine McCutcheon's husband, Jack McManus.

    All six hopefuls - which you can hear on the BBC Eurovision site - will take to the stage at the O2 Forum in Kentish Town tonight in a bid to reach the final in Stockholm - it will be broadcast on BBC Four at 19:30 and the winner will be chosen by a public vote.

  13. Afternoon headlines: G4S sells children's services... Leighton Buzzard controlled explosion

    Jane Killick

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    The latest headlines:

    •  The security company G4S is selling its contract for running the training centre for young offenders at Oakley in Milton Keynes 
    • A package destroyed in a controlled explosion in Leighton Buzzard this morning has turned out to have posed no threat, according to police
  14. G4S: What are children's services and training centres?

    Dani Bailey

    BBC Local Live

    Security firm G4S has announced it is to sell its children's services business.

    The business comprises of 13 children's homes for youths with behavioural difficulties and two secure training centres, including Oakhill in Milton Keynes, and works with the Youth Justice Board.

    Secure training centres are residential facilities where young people between 12 and 17 years old are remanded for detention under schemes designed to prevent re-offending.

  15. G4S to sell children's services business

    BBC News England

    Security firm G4S is to sell its children's services business, including the contract to a secure unit at the centre of abuse allegations.

    The Medway Secure Training Centre in Rochester

    It said its 13 children's homes and two training centres, including one in Milton Keynes, were being sold as part of a review of its businesses.

    A BBC Panorama investigation uncovered claims relating to the treatment of 10 boys at the Medway unit near Rochester. The director of the facility stepped down at the end of January.

  16. Wycombe Wanderers boss Gareth Ainsworth 'feels for' Bristol Rovers' Darrell Clarke

    BBC Sport

    Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth says he "feels for" Bristol Rovers boss Darrell Clarke before the two meet on Saturday.

    Gareth Ainsworth

    Rovers travel to Adams Park seventh in the table, a week after being taken over by the Jordanian Al-Qadi family.

    "This season they've done us twice convincingly, Darrell Clarke has done a good job," said Ainsworth. "I know he's under pressure because it's a big club, they're expected to be around the top and they've had this big takeover, so I do feel for Darrell."

  17. Former Aylesbury pupil caught up in Fiji hurricane

    Bucks Herald

    A former Aylesbury Grammar School boy has been caught up in the Fijian hurricane.

  18. Weather: Sunny spells but chilly

    BBC Weather

    There will be sunny spells in places this afternoon and for the majority it'll be dry.

    Maximum temperature: 7C (45F).

    Weather graphic shows a bit of rain this afternoon