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Summary

  1. Updates for Tuesday, 12 July 2016
  2. Man released on bail in missing children's author inquiry
  3. Triple car deaths resulted from 'avoidable road collision'
  4. Hopes public bike hire service can survive vandalism
  5. News, sport, travel and weather updates resume at 08:00 on Wednesday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our local coverage across the day

    That's all for today. 

    Our main stories included:

    • Protests against Labour MP Angela Eagle
    • A man arrested in connection with the death of Royston author Helen Bailey has been released on bail pending further inquiries
    • And Europe is to get it's first reusable spacecraft called Space Rider

    We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00. Have a good evening. 

  2. Football: Dons take on Drogeda in second friendly and Wycombe in France

    Jane Killick

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    MK Dons play their second pre-season match in Ireland tonight as they come up against Drogeda. 

    They won yesterday's friendly against St James's Gate 9-1 in Dublin. 

     Also tonight, Wycombe play their first pre-season friendly as they take on Le Havre in France.

  3. Max Whitlock leads men's GB Olympic gymnastic team

    Jane Killick

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    Hemel Hempstead's World champion, Max Whitlock will lead Great Britain's quest for an historic first Olympic gold medal as part of a 13-strong squad in Rio next month. 

    Gymnast, Max Whitlock

    Whitlock will start favourite on the pommel having clinched the world crown in Glasgow last year. 

    He claimed two bronze medals at London 2012 in the pommel and team events. 

  4. Pupils give knife disposal bins a makeover

    Mariam Issimdar

    BBC Local Live

    Knife disposal bins in Bedfordshire will soon receive a makeover, thanks to the creativity of pupils from two schools. 

    School pupils

    It follows a visit by police officers to Arnold Academy in Barton and Biggleswade Academy where they delivered an educational session to pupils on the dangers and consequences of knife crime, with the young people then being asked to create a piece of artwork around knife crime, gangs and violence. 

    The winning designs will be placed on to the knife bins which are located across the county. Sergeant Ben Dimmock says: “Some young people might want to carry a knife or be part of a gang because they feel it will make them safer, but it’s important that they know that just by carrying a knife they are putting themselves at higher risk of becoming a victim themselves."

  5. Organisers of cycle scheme vow to continue despite vandalism

    Sophie Sulehria

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    Organisers of a new shared cycle scheme in Milton Keynes are vowing to carry on despite a spate of vandalism in the first week since it was launched, which has seen bikes stolen, dumped and destroyed.

    Vandalised rental bike lies on ground in Milton Keynes

    Milton Keynes Centre manager Melanie Beck says CCTV footage has been passed on to police: "There's always going to a be a minority of people, and not necessarily kids, this is all sorts of people," she said.

    Ms Beck told me that in the first project meeting after the launch, just 30 seconds was spent "discussing the vandalism because the scheme has [already] got 10,000 riders". 

    She described it as "a huge success".

  6. Bedfordshire 'tornadoes' (or funnel clouds)

    Dani Bailey

    BBC Local Live

    Adam has emailed us this afternoon to say it looks as though there's been a tornado over the Sandy area in Bedfordshire.

    I've been caught out by this one before, and am fairly certain in saying it's more likely to be a funnel cloud (please correct me if I'm wrong though!)

    Funnel cloud over road in Sandy, Bedfordshire

    One of our BBC Weather Watchers has spotted something rather similar in Potton too!

    Funnel cloud in Potton
  7. Space Rider: Reusable spacecraft parts to be developed in Bedfordshire

    The Bedfordshire business Lockheed Martin will start work on Europe's first reusable spacecraft after winning the contract for the Space Rider project.  

    Artists impression of what the Space Rider will look like

    Engineers based at the company's Ampthill site will work on the craft's actuator system, which operates flaps to steady the flight during re-entry, and the landing system to bring the craft back to earth.

    The multi-million euro project is being led by the European Space Agency (ESA). Lockheed Martin have been contracted by the Italian Aerospace Research Centre (CIRA).

    The unmanned craft will be used to gather scientific data, carry out exploration missions and deliver cargo to and from the International Space Station.

  8. Regional forecast: Further torrential downpours with drier conditions later

    Julie Reinger

    BBC Look East weather

    The risk of heavy and possibly thundery showers continues this evening and there is a yellow warning in place until 22:00 for further torrential downpours and the risk of localised flooding.

    Later, the wet weather will be confined to the eastern half of the region, as drier conditions spread from the west. Lows of 9C (48F).    

    Overnight weather map

    Tomorrow the last of the overnight showery rain should clear to the North Sea, and then it's a mixture of sunshine and showers, which should be lighter and more scattered than today, although an occasional heavier downpour can't be ruled out. Top temperature: 19C (66F).

    Get the full forecast where you live from BBC Weather.

  9. Space Rider: The facts about Europe's first reusable spacecraft

    Artists impression of the ESA Space Rider
    • Space Rider will "help us understand things such as how plants grow or how technology functions in space," says Lockheed Martin's space business lead Stephen Gibson
    • It will fly a couple of times a year
    • Its flights will last from two weeks to six months
    • Each craft will be designed to carry out at least six flights
    • It will re-enter our atmosphere at 7.5km a second
    • The first launch is expected about 2020
  10. Space Rider: Major focus is to ensure safe landing

    In a separate development from the rocket project in Buckinghamshire....

    A major part of the Space Rider project for Ampthill's Lockheed Martin site is to ensure the spacecraft can land back on Earth safely.

    It's because of this that the company's technical lead, Alex Godfrey, says they're looking at two solutions.

    "The first is a mid-air retrieval system, or MAR, which will mean the spacecraft is slowed down by a parafoil and then captured in the sky by a helicopter," he said.

    "The second is more traditional wheeled or skidded landing gear, with it coming to rest on a runway."

    The Bedfordshire company will look at the pros and cons for each system and present their findings to the Italian space research organisation CIRA and the European Space Agency.

    A final decision is expected by the middle of next year, which will then see the "full development and manufacturing phase of the programme," Mr Godfrey said.

  11. Man arrested in missing author inquiry is released

    Mariam Issimdar

    BBC Local Live

    A 55-year-old man who was arrested yesterday morning in connection with the disappearance of Royston children's author Helen Bailey, has this evening been released on police bail pending further inquiries.

    Helen Bailey

    Helen went missing with her dog Boris on 11 April and police have been trying to trace her since then.

    In a statement Hertfordshire Police said the man, also from Royston, had been arrested on suspicion of murder, disposing of a body in a manner likely to obstruct the coroner and theft of money belonging to Helen Bailey.

    He is due back to answer his police bail in August. 

    Searches at Helen’s homes in Royston and at Broadstairs in Kent are now complete, the force said.

  12. BreakingPolice release man held in connection with missing author

    A 55-year-old man, who was arrested yesterday in connection with the disappearance of the author Helen Bailey, has been released on police bail pending further enquiries.  

    More details to follow.

  13. Shuker condemns Eagle protestors as 'intimidating' the democratic process

    Luton South MP Gavin Shuker has hit back at protestors picketing at Angela Eagle's visit to the town  saying: "It is not acceptable to try and intimidate the democratic process.

    "I am glad Angela Eagle is stepping up to take leadership when we have such a vacuum of it at Westminster."

    Labour's Angela Eagle MP and Gavin Shuker MP

    The Labour leadership challenger was supposed to be holding a "meet and greet Q and A" sessions with Mr Shuker at a hotel, but the meeting, with around 50 party members, was hastily moved to conference rooms at the town's library after threats were allegedly made to the original venue.

    Sixteen protesters with placards supporting Jeremy Corbyn picketed the entrance, but Ms Eagle was ushered in and out through a back door.

    Mr Corbyn has appealed for "calm" and "dignity" from Labour supporters.

  14. UK Space Agency test facility announced

    Jane Killick

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    The UK Space Agency has announced a test facility for rockets is to be built in Buckinghamshire. 

    The £4.1m Space Propulsion Test Facility will be built at Westcott, which has been the home of the British rocket industry since the end of the second world war.

    Aerial view of Westcott Venture Park
  15. Natalia Doherty death: Background information

    Natalia Doherty, left, and her ex-husband Gerald

    Natalia Doherty was last seen in 2003 and her remains were discovered in December last year.

    They were found in the back garden of Daniel Doherty's house in Icknield Way. The 67-year-old and his brother Joseph Doherty, 72, of Port Glasgow, are accused of obstructing a coroner and perverting the course of justice.  

    Joseph Doherty is also charged with preventing a lawful burial.  

    It's believed Natalia Doherty, 50, also know as Natalia Wilkanowska, travelled to Luton 13 years ago to stay with her ex-husband Gerald Doherty (pictured), who has since passed away. 

  16. Natalia Doherty inquest: Unlawful killing verdict

    Sophie Sulehria

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    I've been at the inquest into the death of Natalia Doherty, whose remains were found in a garden in Luton in December 2015.

    The nearly empty court room at Ampthill Coroners Court heard that dental fillings were used to identify the human remains of the mother-of-three who was last seen in 2003.

    A pathologist report also confirmed a serious injury to the skull.

    Natalia Doherty

    Det Con Jerry Waite gave evidence to say he believed this to be the cause of her death but that the body was so decomposed it was hard to be sure.

    Coroner Tom Osborne concluded that Natalia died as a result of unlawful killing before expressing his own sincere condolences to her two daughters listening in court.

  17. Kyle McFadzean: Burton Albion sign MK Dons defender for club-record fee

    BBC Sport

    Burton Albion have signed defender Kyle McFadzean from MK Dons for a club-record fee on a three-year contract.

    Kyle McFadzean

    The Championship club have not disclosed the amount but have confirmed it is more than the £20,000 paid for midfielder Russell Penn in 2009.

    MK Dons boss Karl Robinson had said that their asking price for McFadzean, 29, was £500,000.

  18. Throwback: A Stevenage nightclub in 1991

    BBC Look East

    In 1991, Look East visited an under 18s night at a Stevenage nightclub. There wasn't any drinking allowed, but there was plenty of dancing. 

    As 1990s fashion is currently seeing a revival, we posted the video on the BBC Look East Facebook page to see if it prompted any memories. The post has been shared hundreds of times, with nearly 200 people sharing their thoughts. 

    Video content

    Video caption: Memories of an under 18s Stevenage nightclub

    Jonathan Lee-Smith wrote: "The fashion sense of Stevenage teenagers hasn't improved since our day that's for sure!"

    Michelle Tham O'Shea commented: "Haha!...I remember that hair & outfit!"  

  19. Corbyn must 'get control' of his activists, says Eagle

    Tom Barton

    BBC Look East political reporter

    Labour leadership challenger Angela Eagle has begun her question and answer session at Luton Central Library.

    Angela Eagle and Jeremy Corbyn

    Supporters of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn have been outside the venue, and Ms Eagle's team said a brick had been thrown at her constituency office on Merseyside yesterday.

    She told the Luton gathering that Mr Corbyn needed to get control of his supporters and the attack on her office was "bullying and it has to stop".