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  1. Updates for Wednesday, 17 February 2016
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather updates from 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

By Anna Bartlett

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage across the day

    That's it from our live feed today, thanks for joining us. Local Live will be back from 08:00 tomorrow. See you then...

  2. Reminder: Yellow weather warning in place for Northants overnight

    BBC Weather

    A reminder that the Met Office has issued a Yellow weather warning for snow and ice in parts of the county this evening.

    Snow and ice forecast in some parts of the county this evening

    BBC Weather reports some places will see rain or sleet rather than snow, but at least for some of the higher ground, and more locally at lower elevations, accumulations of 2-5 cm of snow are possible, which could fall within 2-3 hours.

  3. Rushden clean-up organised as East Northants Council shows support for Clean for the Queen

    Northamptonshire Telegraph

    East Northamptonshire Council is supporting Clean for The Queen, a campaign launched by Country Life magazine in partnership with Keep Britain Tidy to clear up the country in time for the Queen’s 90th birthday.

  4. Older people in Daventry asked for views on improving quality of life

    Anna Bartlett

    BBC Radio Northampton

    People over 50 in Daventry are being asked for their views on the issues they face as they get older, as part of a project to improve quality of life in the town.

    Older people around a garden table

    They're being asked to take part in a survey and answer questions about what it's like to live in their part of the district, as well as the impact getting older has on their housing, health, transport use, and social lives.

    The Ageing Well survey will be open for comments until Friday, 4 March.

  5. Seven million pound junction improvements for A43 at Abthorpe

    Anna Bartlett

    BBC Radio Northampton

    Work to improve the junction of the A43 at Abthorpe has begun.

    The £7m project, being carried out by Highways England, will add extra lanes to the roundabout approaches, install new traffic lights and upgrade pedestrian crossings.

    The A43 Abthorpe roundabout

    There will be lane closures in place during the day between 09:30 and 15:30, avoiding the busiest times of day, and there will be no lane closures on Fridays.

  6. Headlines: Northants police officer charged with rape... Sheep stolen from farm

    Sarah Foster

    BBC Radio Northampton

    The headlines in Northamptonshire this evening:

  7. Healthy heart bake off in Daventry

  8. British athlete takes on cycling challenge to raise money for air ambulance

    Anna Bartlett

    BBC Radio Northampton

    World champion duathlete and triathlete Helen Russell has signed up to one of the toughest challenges in cycling – climbing Mont Ventoux in France three times in one day.

    She's taking on the feat to raise money for to raise money for Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance and its sister charity, the Children’s Air Ambulance.

    Helen Russell and the WNAA helicopter

    The Ultimate Challenge Ventoux takes place between June 24-26.

  9. Travel: Disruption to roads around Billing Aquadrome are on the way

  10. Next of kin appeal for Roger Giles

    Sarah Foster

    BBC Radio Northampton

    An appeal has been launched to help trace the next of kin of a man from Norwich - who is thought to have had links to the Northamptonshire area.

    Roger Giles, 85, was serving a sentence at HMP Norwich when he died of natural causes on Sunday, 31 January 2016.

    HMP Norwich

    Officers in Norfolk would like to trace anyone who may have known Mr Giles - and are asking if anyone has any details of his family or friends.

    Anyone who does should get in touch with the Coroner’s Office in Norwich.

  11. Northamptonshire County Council cuts: An overview

    Sam Read

    BBC Radio Northampton politics reporter

    For several weeks, people in Northamptonshire have been giving their views on £84m worth of proposed cuts to county council services.

    Cuts have been proposed for adult social care, children's services and the fire service - as well as a saving of £1m on the road maintenance budget and a further £200,000 cut in bus subsidies.

    NCC predicts traffic volumes on the county’s roads will grow by another 23% in the next ten years

    The authority has predicted traffic volumes on the county’s roads will grow by 23% in the next ten years, meaning "public services are now facing unprecedented challenges".

    Tomorrow, the council's Cabinet will consider the draft budget proposals.

  12. Could new engineering accreditation help with skills shortage?

    Anna Bartlett

    BBC Radio Northampton

    High tech engineering is big business here in Northamptonshire, generating £2billion a year for the local economy and employing thousands of people.

    But previously, teams and firms based in the county have spoken of a skills shortage, and remarked that the county needs to focus on improving education if it is to remain at the forefront of this multi-billion pound industry.

    Engineering teams prepare for action at the British Grand Prix

    So could the new IMechE accreditation of the University of Northampton's engineering courses - which it says could give graduates advantage in the jobs market, and open up routes to employment with some of the very best companies - help narrow this gap?

  13. New accreditation could boost career prospects of engineering graduates

    Anna Bartlett

    BBC Radio Northampton

    The University of Northampton says a leading professional body’s accreditation of its engineering degrees will boost the employment credentials of future graduates.

    The accreditation by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) will allow students to pursue careers with companies who only accept graduates from accredited degree programmes.

    engineering student at the University of Northampton

    The University's Head of Engineering, Jon Adams, said: "It will give our Engineering students an advantage in the jobs market, and opens up a route to employment with some of the very best companies.”

  14. Northampton Borough Council: 'No objection' to planned Rushden Lakes changes.

    Sam Read

    BBC Radio Northampton politics reporter

    Northampton Borough Council says it won't raise any objections to plans to make changes to the Rushden Lakes development.

    Rushden Lakes

    The council says it registered its unhappiness about the original application for a retail park at Rushden, but doesn't think a cinema and restaurants there will make any further difference to Northampton's leisure market.

    The decision was made at a meeting last night.

  15. Students assist with £6m Delapre Abbey restoration

    Anna Bartlett

    BBC Radio Northampton

    Two Northampton College students have been assisting with the rewiring of one of Northampton's most historic buildings.

    Delapre Abbey is undergoing a £6.3m Heritage Lottery-funded restoration, meaning it'll be open to the public for the first time in 900 years.

    (l-r) Geordie Butler, Kishan Patel and Cllr Mary Markham

    Geordie Butler and Kishan Patel, both 17, have been studying Level 2 Electrical Installation at Northampton College since September.

  16. Pupils' success in computer coding competition

    Tom Percival

    BBC Radio Northampton

    Park Junior School in Wellingborough and the Buccleuch Academy in Kettering are celebrating after winning a computer programming contest.

    The Race to the Top Coding Competition asked teams of pupils from primary and secondary schools in the county to design and write a mobile phone app or game with an energy saving theme.

    The winning students from Park Junior School and Kettering Buccleuch Academy with representatives from Northamptonshire County Council, the University of Northampton, Code Club and The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists.

    Park Juniors' "Team Sparky" created a game where players try to fix solar panels on roofs, while Buccleuch's app to track household energy consumption won them the second prize.

    The contest was part of Northamptonshire County Council's effort to improve performance in maths, science, technology and engineering.  

  17. Headlines: Northants PC charged with rape... Unemployment increases

    Sarah Foster

    BBC Radio Northampton

    The headlines in Northamptonshire this lunchtime:

    • A Northamptonshire Police officer has been charged with the rape of a 17-year-old girl
    • The number of people out of work in the East Midlands - which includes Northamptonshire - went up by 2,000 in the three months to December
    • Northampton Borough Council says it won't raise any objections to plans to make changes to the Rushden Lakes development
  18. Sheep stolen from farm in Little Houghton

    Two ewes and two lambs have been stolen from a farm in the county.

    Police say they were taken from a barn off Church Road in Little Houghton, between midnight and 04:00 on 16 February.

    Little Houghton, Northants

    It's believed the animals were dragged across the field and onto Bedford Road, where there may have been a vehicle waiting.

  19. BreakingCourt date set for police officer charged with rape of girl, 17

    Anna Bartlett

    BBC Radio Northampton

    PC Declan Gabriel, a Northamptonshire Police officer who earlier today was charged with the rape of a 17-year-old girl, will appear at Kettering Magistrates' Court on 30 March.

    He will remain suspended from duty until the conclusion of any court proceedings.

  20. Arming more officers with Tasers needs to be 'balanced against cost'

    Elinor Cross

    BBC Radio Northampton

    Northamptonshire Police says any decision on arming more of its officers with Tasers would need to be carefully considered.

    police office armed with taser

    Figures show half of officers in the county have been injured while on duty in the past 12 months, and 178 assaults have been carried out on officers during the past three years.  

    Insp Vaughan Clarke said: "There has to be balance, and whilst [Tasers] work very effectively, the training and equipment itself costs a lot of money."