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Summary

  1. Two Bedfordshire police officers found guilty of gross misconduct over their handling of autistic man Faruk Ali's case have been sacked
  2. An extra £2m is being given to councils across the three counties to fill potholes
  3. Three rail firms have been shortlisted to run the West Midlands franchise
  4. Updates for Thursday, 7 April 2016
  5. News, sport, travel and weather updates resume on Friday at 08:00

Live Reporting

By Dani Bailey and Nic Rigby

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage across the day

    Live updates for BBC Beds, Bucks and Herts have finished for the day - thanks for your company.

    We'll be back with more news, sport, travel and weather updates for Beds, Herts and Bucks from 08:00 tomorrow.

    Have a good evening.

  2. Weather: Showers dying out, with tomorrow mostly dry

    Alex Dolan

    BBC Look East weather

    Any showers will largely die out during the evening, but a few will persist through the night with some clear spells developing. A low of 6C (43F).

    Weather graphic

    Tomorrow will be mostly dry, but a few showers will develop through the morning and into the afternoon, with a high temperature of 10C (50F).

  3. Contenders for West Midlands rail franchise revealed

    Jane Killick

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    Three firms have been shortlisted to run the West Midlands rail franchise, which runs trains from Milton Keynes and Bedford into Euston.

    London Midland

    Current operator Govia, which runs the service under the London Midland name, is one of the companies bidding.

    The other two are West Midlands Trains Limited, which is a part of a Dutch-owned group; and the MTR Corporation which is based in Hong Kong.  

  4. Clubber killed by single punch 'pursued' barworker

    Dani Bailey

    BBC Local Live

    A clubber killed by a single punch outside a nightclub in Dunstable had pursued a woman working behind the bar, a court has heard.

    Luton Crown Court heard Tomas Juska, 24, who died from a lethal brain injury after being punched outside Club Cookies, had called Sarah Haynes "beautiful" and said he would take her home.

    Club Cookies in Dunstable

    Ms Haynes' boyfriend Cortney Batchelor, 22, of Paisley Close, Luton, "saw [Mr Juska] give [her] the bit of paper" with his telephone number. The situation escalated and once the men had left the club, a punch was thrown, which "poleaxed" the 24-year-old, who died in hospital the following day.

    "He is not aggressive. He is... certainly not what the papers are making him out to be," Ms Haynes said of her partner. The case continues.

  5. Waterpark 'scam' removed from Facebook

    BBC News England

    It's a story we've touched on a couple of times this week already - a waterpark event which prompted fears of a data mining 'scam' has been removed from Facebook for 'violating standards'.

    Screengrab of waterpark event

    Thousands expressed their interest in the Summer Safari Waterpark 2016 events advertised for 30 UK cities.

    Councils where the events had been advertised said they had not received any applications to host the activity.

  6. The Big Picture: Stockgrove Country Park

    The main image at the top of our live page today shows the river in Stockgrove Country Park.

    Thanks to Chelsea Dymock from Central Bedfordshire College for sharing this photograph with us.

    Stockgrove river
  7. Homophobic attack in Bedford

    Police are investigating a homophobic attack on a woman in Bedford.

    Cardington Road in Bedford

    The woman was punched and kicked by a group of four young men as she left a shop in Cardington Road last Friday evening.

    Police say the offenders made homophobic remarks and have no doubt she was targeted because of her sexuality.

  8. Latest headlines: Police officers sacked for misconduct... Homophobic attack in Bedford

    Jane Killick

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    The headlines:

    • Two Bedfordshire police officers have been sacked over their treatment of a severely autistic man in Luton
    • Police are investigating a homophobic attack on a woman in Bedford 
    • A Facebook group promoting a visiting water park in Milton Keynes this summer has been removed
  9. Hertfordshire man wins £1m on scratch card

    Jane Killick

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    A man from Rickmansworth has won a £1m on a lottery scratch card given to him for his birthday by his daughter.

    Roger Towndrow, who's 69, says he plans to use his winnings to travel.

    Quote Message: My family have been joking with me that I should play poker because my expression didn’t change, but I can assure you that I felt a huge jolt in my stomach when I realised." from Roger Towndrow
    Roger Towndrow
  10. Herts charity 'learns politics and patronage don't mix'

    Dani Bailey

    BBC Local Live

    A Hertfordshire charity say it has learnt "politics and patronage is not a good mix" after an MP resigned as their patron over his support of benefit cuts.

    Herts Aid base in Watford

    Peter Lilley, the conservative MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, had supported Herts Aid since the death of his nephew from AIDS. However, he also voted to support cuts to the employment support allowance (ESA), which would affect service users.

    Chief executive, Suzanne Bannister, says the cuts are in direct conflict with their work. She said although "Peter Lilley has been a fantastic support" to the charity, they "just need to stand firm" on their "values as a charity."

  11. Sports village with ‘iconic’ velodrome included in Aylesbury Woodlands scheme

    Bucks Herald

    Details of a ‘sports village’ which would be built as part of a development near Aylesbury have been revealed.

  12. Burglars dismantle Amersham jewellers wall

    Lee Agnew

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    Burglars have tried to break into a jewellery shop in Amersham by dismantling one of it's walls.

    Jewellers in Amersham

    Police were called when the thieves were heard trying to get in to DJ Warner Jewellers in Woodside Road at  01:30 yesterday.

    Officers were deployed and the area was searched, but no arrests have been made so far. Detectives say that because of the method used to try and gain access, they believe it was an organised crime. They say they're liaising with other police forces to see if similar crimes have been committed.

  13. Throwback Thursday: Polices cars of the 1960s

    Dani Bailey

    BBC Local Live

    Well I haven't got a clue, but have you?

    Bedfordshire Police want to know if you can guess the make and model of these police cars from the 1960s.

    View more on twitter
  14. Hertfordshire MP resigns as patron of Herts Aid over employment support allowance vote

    Carol Abercrombie

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    The MP for Hitchin and Harpenden says he's reluctantly resigned as patron of a charity he supported following the death of his nephew from AIDS.

    The chief executive of Herts Aid challenged Conservative Peter Lilley's support of cuts to employment support allowance. Suzanne Bannister felt that was incompatible with their ethos and values, as such cuts will adversely affect service users.

    When she wrote to the MP to voice her concerns he resigned. He says he had been happy to support the charity particularly because of his nephew.

  15. Central Beds local plan open to traveller site submissions

    Central Bedfordshire Council say its Local Plan is open to submissions for gypsy and traveller sites, following calls from a group in Dunstable for more permanent sites.

    Travellers in Dunstable

    The plan is open for "interested parties to submit a site" until 11 April, the council said.

    There are currently 37 permanent sites and pitches throughout Central Bedfordshire.

  16. Traveller sites an issue which is 'brushed aside'

    Justin Dealey

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    Travellers in Bedfordshire say they're in urgent need of more permanent sites, an issue which is continually swept under the carpet according to a spokesman.

    Travellers camp in Dunstable

    "We've got part of the community that probably is a bit unruly sometimes, which tarnishes everyone else and they're just not wanted as a next door neighbour," Cliff Codona from the National Travellers Action Group told me.

    "Sites have to built, whether it's by the community or by the local authority," he said. This comes as Central Bedfordshire Council prepares an eviction order for 20 caravans in Dunstable.

  17. Inquest into deaths in Roxton caravan fire

    Jane Killick

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    An inquest is taking place today into the deaths of a man and a woman in a caravan fire in Bedfordshire.

    Caravan fire

    Daniel Breen, 77, and Elsie Walker, 69, from Hatfield were killed in the blaze at the marina at Roxton last December.

  18. Faruk Ali: Bedfordshire Police apologise to family

    Dani Bailey

    BBC Local Live

    The deputy chief constable of Bedfordshire Police has apologised to autistic man Faruk Ali and his family for the way he was treated by two officers in Luton in 2014, who have today been sacked for misconduct.

    Faruk Ali

    "I would like to apologise... for the distress this incident has caused," Dep Ch Con Mark Collins of Bedfordshire Police said.

    Collins said the fact two officers had lost their jobs "should send a very clear message that this type of behaviour is not acceptable and will not be tolerated".

  19. Faruk Ali: Two police officers sacked

    Dani Bailey

    BBC Local Live

    Two officers have been sacked by Bedfordshire Police after it was found they committed gross misconduct in their treatment of autistic man Faruk Ali in Luton two years ago.

    Bedfordshire Police officers Christopher Thomas and Christopher Pitts breached professional conduct standards, a hearing found

    PC Christopher Thomas was found to have breached four professional standards and PC Christopher Pitts three.

    The officers had been suspended since the incident and cleared of misconduct in public office following a trial.