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  1. Updates for Friday, 22 April 2016
  2. More news, sport, weather and travel updates from 08:00 on Monday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Weather: Cloud and rain clearing overnight, sunny spells on Saturday

    Dan Holley

    BBC Look East weather

    Cloud and rain will gradually clear southwards this evening with clearer and colder conditions becoming established overnight, this allowing a slight frost to form in places, chiefly in rural spots. 

    Weather map

     Minimum Temperature: 2C (36F).   

  2. Teatime headlines: Police release the name of man killed in Stevenage yesterday... Photos of Helen Bailey’s dog released as part of continued search

    Jane Killick

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    Here are the main stories making the news this Friday evening:

  3. More parents choosing to home school their children

    Alex Pope

    BBC Local Live

    Figures obtained by the BBC show that more parents are deciding to home school their children. 

    Child on a computer

    The numbers have risen across the three counties with an 81% increase in Buckinghamshire and a 61% increase in Hertfordshire over the past five years. 

    Some of the reasons being given include class sizes, bullying and schools not catering for children with disabilities. 

  4. Florist set to leave MK shopping centre after rent increases

    Jane Killick

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    A florist who's been trading in Milton Keynes shopping centre for the past 26 years says he's leaving because of rent increases and demands over the appearance of his stall. 

    Flower Kube stall in MK

    Flower Kube owner Simon Savin says paying the £4,000 a month rent is too much. 

    Helen Powell from the Centre MK says they value the independent businesses and offer reasonable terms. 

  5. Man's skull fractured after being hit by an object in Waltham Cross

    A man's skull has been fractured after being hit with an unknown object in Waltham Cross on Wednesday afternoon. 

    Theobold Grove Railway Station

    The 25-year-old was on his bike and was chased from Theobalds Grove Railway Station to High Street by three men between 16:15 and 16:45. 

    He was taken to North Middlesex University Hospital but was released last night. 

  6. Flores says 'common' sense will decide which goalkeeper he uses

    Geoff Doyle

    BBC Three Counties Radio sport

    Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores wouldn’t be drawn on who will be in goal for the Hornets in the cup tie at Wembley. 

    Second choice Costel Pantilimon has been the cup goalkeeper this season and not first choice Heurelho Gomes. 

    Quique Sanchez Flores

    Flores says: "The goalkeeper situation is like the right back situation, the centre back situation, the winger, striker. I would like to choose 24 but have to choose 11. They (both) play well. 

    "The feeling we have with Pantilimon is he is a very good professional. We will use common sense to take decisions."

  7. Obese patients denied surgery in a third of areas in England

    Carol Abercrombie

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    Surgeons are worried overweight patients and smokers in England and Wales are being denied surgery - to save money.

    Measuring wasitline

    A report by the Royal College of Surgeons found a third of local NHS health bosses in England put restrictions on access to surgery. 

    It found that the Luton CCG has a BMI cut-off of 30 for any planned surgical procedure and the East and North Hertfordshire CCG requires a patient's BMI to be under 30 or for them to lose 10% of their bodyweight before surgery. 

  8. Tribute paid to Stevenage murder victim

    Alex Pope

    BBC Local Live

    The 47-year-old who was killed in Stevenage on Thursday morning has been named as Mark Altabas. 

    Mark Altabas

    His family have paid tribute to him saying "Mark was a loving son, father, brother and partner, who was loved dearly by family and friends for his caring and outgoing nature. He will be sadly missed by all."

  9. Man threatened with knife in Hertford

    Simon Oxley

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    A man has been robbed at knifepoint in Hertford. 

    It happened just before midnight on Tuesday when the man left Hertford North Train station and was walking past the hospital on Riversmeet. 

    Riversmeet by the corner of A414

    He was approached from behind, threatened with a knife and asked for money. He handed some over and the offender then walked off towards Gascoyne Way. 

  10. Special good luck message for oldest London marathon participant

    Shaun Peel

    BBC Look East

    Best of luck wishes are flooding in for Bedford's Iva Barr. 

    The 88-year-old is the oldest participant to take part in this Sunday's London Marathon. 

    To find out who's sent her a special message, watch the video below...

    Video content

    Video caption: Bedford runner Iva Barr, 88, is oldest London marathon participant
  11. New photos of missing author and dog released to try to help search

    Alex Pope

    BBC Local Live

    Two more images of missing Royston author Helen Bailey and her dog Boris have been released by police.

    Helen Bailey and Boris

    Ms Bailey, 51, was reported missing last Friday and was last seen at her home on 11 April.


    North Herts Ch Insp Julie Wheatley, said: "We do not know if Helen and Boris are still together so we are asking anyone who thinks they may have come across him to please contact police."

  12. Rediscovered steam locomotive in 'incredible condition'

    Johnny Dee

    BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

    A 1929 steam locomotive found hidden away in a Hertfordshire shed is in "incredible condition", according to Jerry Thurston, from Nene Valley Railway in Peterborough, where it has gone on display.

    "It took two days to move it and we had to cut down trees to get it out of the shed but it has been preserved in this incredible condition," he said.

    Steam train
  13. Timelapse video: Queen's Buckinghamshire beacon

    More than 900 beacons were set alight across the UK and overseas as part of the Queen's 90th birthday celebrations yesterday.

    One beacons was lit in front of a large gathering on Quainton Hill in Buckinghamshire.

    A BBC camera captured the beacon over the course of an hour before it crumbled, as can be seen in this timelapse footage.

    Video content

    Video caption: Watch Queen's beacon in timelapse
  14. Watford Boss 'focussed' ahead of Sunday's FA Cup semi-final

    Geoff Doyle

    BBC Three Counties Radio sport

    Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores cut an uncomfortable figure as he spoke to the media ahead of his team's FA Cup semi-final against Crystal Palace on Sunday.

    Normally calm and relaxed, he appeared on edge and didn't want to discuss speculation about his future and whether he still had the support of his board. 

    Watford press conference
    Quote Message: Sorry but I'm not going to talk about me. This is time to talk about Watford. What is important is to see Watford play well at Wembley." from Quique Sanchez-Flores Watford manager
    Quique Sanchez-FloresWatford manager
  15. Watford v Crystal Palace: What's happened before?

    Katy Lewis

    BBC Local Live

    As Watford play Crystal Palace in an FA Cup semi-final on Sunday, we've had a quick look at how previous meetings between the two have turned out:

    Watford v Crystal Palace FA Cup meetings
    Watford v Crystal Palace FA Cup meetings
  16. Weather: Becoming cloudier and cooler with some rain

    BBC Weather

    It will be a cloudier and cooler afternoon than on Thursday, with a continuing easterly wind. 

    Great Linford

    There is an increasing chance of seeing intermittent light rain from the south, perhaps eventually becoming more persistent by the evening. 

    Maximum temperature: 11C (52F). 

  17. Headlines: Stevenage man died of stab wounds... Watford prepare for Sunday's FA Cup tie

    Jane Killick

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    Here are the main stories making the news this Friday afternoon: 

  18. Recently discovered industrial steam locomotive goes on display

    Johnny Dee

    BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

    After delays in moving it, a 1929 steam locomotive found hidden away in a shed at a convent has finally gone on display at the Nene Valley Railway near Peterborough.


    It was thought the industrial steam engine, called "Newstead", had been scrapped. But the train - which was last used to haul coal in the 1970s - had been saved by an enthusiast who restored it and then built a small track and shed at a convent near his Hertfordshire home, where it remained for almost 30 years.  

    Specialists at the Nene Valley Railway described it as "one of the biggest preservation stories of the 21st Century so far".

  19. Concern over firearms licence renewals in Buckinghamshire

    Howard Shannon

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    The process of how a firearms licence is renewed in Buckinghamshire is causing concern, after figures in new report were revealed.

    Gun and bullets

    If the police do not have enough time to process an application in full - something that should be done every five years - they are instead able to issue a temporary section 7 permit. In 2014, Thames Valley Police issued 270 temporary permits - last year this figure had jumped to 2,516.    

    The Countryside Alliance, which commissioned the report, says temporary permits are only supposed to be used as a stop gap measure as the checks are not as thorough as for a full licence. 

    The force says delays have been caused by a peak in renewal requests, a flood in the department and changes in procedure.