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Summary

  1. Updates for Friday, 7 October, 2016
  2. Police believe there is 'no third-party involvement' in missing serviceman case
  3. Mum of missing RAF serviceman's 'what ifs'
  4. BBC Radio Suffolk finally available on digital radio
  5. Witches preparing for play-off meeting in Somerset

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

BBC Suffolk Live has concluded for the week, but we'll return at 08:00 on Monday.

Here are the headlines from Friday's coverage:

  • RAF Honington serviceman's mum thinks 'absolutely anything' could have happened to her missing son
  • BBC Radio Suffolk's long-awaited appearance on digital radio is marked at a primary school
  • Ipswich Town's Christophe Berra is hoping to get his 34th Scottish cap against Lithuania

Security guards baby-sit giant pumpkin

Ipswich-based seed firm Thompson & Morgan has hired security guards to keep an eye on a giant pumpkin overnight.

It is hoped the vegetable, which has been grown by Hyde Hall at South Woodham Ferrers in Essex from a seed bought for over £1,200 by Thompson & Morgan, will set a new size record.

It's due to be weighed in Southampton on Saturday...

Weather: Rather cloudy, but staying mostly dry

Dan Holley

BBC Look East weather

There'll be little change from earlier through this evening and overnight, with often cloudy skies and the odd shower possible. 

Whilst the moderate easterly breeze will gradually ease, it will remain chilly with a minimum temperature of 11C (52F).

Map of the east
BBC

The cloudy skies could potentially bring a few further showers through tomorrow. Some brighter or sunny spells are likely as it peaks at 16C (61F).

Get your local forecast from BBC Weather.

Review of hospital treatment could see more patients dealt with at home

Tim Addicott

BBC Radio Norfolk

A review has started into how three hospitals treat patients in Norfolk and Waveney.

NHS logo
PA

Managers from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and the James Paget Hospital at Gorleston are proposing fewer hospital treatments with more people treated at home. 

The review guide also suggests these three main hospitals in the county set up specialist units for particular types of operation.

The review is expected to take several months and its aim is to save money for NHS services in Norfolk and Waveney.

World Cup qualifiers: Berra's Scotland aiming to stay in pole position

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Ipswich Town defender Christophe Berra (pictured) will be hoping to add to his 33 Scotland caps when his country hosts Lithuania tomorrow.

Christophe Berra
Getty Images

The Scots currently top Group F, which also includes England, after beating Malta 5-1 in their opening match.

Town's on-loan forward Tom Lawrence is part of the Wales squad which will host Georgia on Sunday.

Ryman League: Leaders Leiston looking to extend unbeaten run

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Leiston could go seven points clear at the top of the Ryman Premier Division if they win at Staines on Saturday.

Glenn Driver
Leiston FC

Glenn Driver's (pictured) team has taken something from all 11 league games so far this season.

They're one of four Suffolk clubs on the road with Needham Market heading to Wingate & Finchley, AFC Sudbury at Kingstonian and Bury Town travelling to Sittingbourne in the FA Trophy. 

Lowestoft Town are the only one of our Ryman League side who're at home - Ady Gallagher's men entertain Hendon.

Rugby union: Bury aiming to break their away duck

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Unbeaten at home but without a win on the road - that's been the story of Bury St Edmunds season to date.

Bury Rugby Club
BBC

Tomorrow afternoon Gavin Hogg's men head to Henley Hawks in National League Two.

Victory could lift The Wolf Pack up to fourth place in the table.

Ipswich MP backs slippers campaign

Age UK is holding a Slip Into Slippers fundraising day on 21 October, and Ipswich MP Ben Gummer is backing it with a rather snazzy pair:

View more on twitter

Mum: 'Absolutely anything' could have happened to missing Corrie

Kate Williams

BBC Local Live

Corrie Mckeague's mum agrees she's racked her brains trying to work out what has happened to her son, missing since 24 September

She told BBC Suffolk: "If you think about what could happen, obviously what makes sense is he's been out for a drink, he's tried to walk home, that is the most sensible thing. 

CCTV of Corrie Mckeague on his night out
Suffolk Constabularly

"Clearly that doesn't appear to be what's happened this time, so then the 'what ifs'?

"The 'what ifs' with most people might not be that great. 

"With Corrie, 'what if' could be absolutely anything could have happened, there's probably nothing that you couldn't imagine."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Suffolk Police's incident room on 01473 782019.

Corrie Mckeague's brother on their relationship: 'Two peas in a pod'

Kate Williams

BBC Local Live

Darroch Mckeague, brother of missing serviceman Corrie Mckeague says they're a very close-knit family and had even spoken to him four times on the day before his night out in Bury St Edmunds. 

Speaking at an interview with BBC Suffolk, 21-year-old Darroch said: "We are two peas in a pod. We're best friends. 

Corrie Mckeague
Nicola Urquhart

"Obviously with him living here, it's stopped our contact with each other as much, but we've still been able to be on the phone to each other - on the Friday before we went out, he was on the phone to me four times before he went out. 

He said there was no explanation as to why Corrie had disappeared, and described it as out of completely out of character. 

He said he had planned to meet up with Corrie and go out with his friends from 2 Squadron, and was devastated that he was meeting Corrie's friends for the first time under such circumstances.

Corrie Mckeague's mum: Son 'always bounces back, every single time'

Kate Williams

BBC Local Live

Corrie Mckeague's police officer mother Nicola Urquhart says that of her three sons, Corrie is the one to whom "fantastic" things happen. 

Nicola Urquhart told BBC Suffolk his disappearance was uncharacteristic and that they are an "incredibly close" family.

She said: "This is really out of character. People say they're close all the time - we are an incredibly, incredibly close family. 

Nicola Urquhart and Darroch Mckeague
BBC

"I'm a police officer so I can take things and rationalise quite well. If it had been Darroch [another of her three sons] who had gone missing, or Makeyan [her other son] that had gone missing, I think I would be able to pinpoint where they were and what they might have done very easily.

"However, if anything absolutely fantastic could happen, it would happen to Corrie - the things that have happened to him in his life, silly little things, being hit by cars, falling out of windows, never a scratch on him, never had an injury, never had any problems like that, but amazing things like that, and he always bounces back every single time." 

Missing Corrie Mckeague
Nicola Urquhart

BBC Radio Suffolk loud and clear in Ipswich, Australia

While we're celebrating BBC Radio Suffolk's arrival on digital radio, one listener in Australia is reminding us he's an avid listener down under.

Allan Roebuck works in the mayor's office in Ipswich, Queensland and picks up the radio station via the internet in his car.

View more on twitter

Speedway: 'A different Ipswich side' heading to Somerset - Louis

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Revenge will be in the minds of Ipswich Witches riders when they head to Somerset tonight for the first leg of their play-off semi-final.

Speedway bikes
BBC

It finished 61-31 to the Rebels when the two sides last met at the Oak Tree Arena, back in April.

Since then the Witches have improved almost beyond recognition.

"It's a different Ipswich side," said director Chris Louis. "It's three riders different and a massive difference in confidence. They've really turned it around and come a long way and really want to finish it off."

Speedway: Witches will be aiming for a win at Somerset

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Ipswich Witches director Chris Louis believes his side can cause an upset in the first leg of their play-off semi-final at Somerset tonight.

Chris Louis
Stephen Waller

The Rebels were the outstanding side in the regular Premier League season, winning all of their home meetings to finish top.

"We'll go there to win, but I'll think it's very much game on if we lose by less than 12 points," said Louis. 

"We won't be going there with any real targets, but it would be nice to win the meeting and that would take a little bit of the pressure off for the home leg."

Speedway: Witches change riding order for Somerset test

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Ipswich Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins has shuffled his pack ahead of tonight's Premier League play-off semi-final first leg at Somerset Rebels.

Ben Barker
Ipswich Witches

Ben Barker (pictured) moves up to number three, with Nico Covatti switching to the number five berth.

"It was really to combat their own riding order, particularly away at Somerset," said director Chris Louis. 

"They have a strong trio with Rohan Tungate moving to number one and he's very good in their opening heats at the Oak Tree Arena."

Coastal flood protection: 'There's no defences', resident says

Kelly McCormack

BBC Radio Suffolk

As future plans for flood protection for Suffolk are discussed, one Lowestoft resident whose home was badly affected, has said not enough's been done to protect the town and she still doesn't feel safe. 

Surge in Lowestoft 2013
David Spalding

Experts are due to examine what progress has been made since the tidal surge in December 2013 (seafront waves pictured above).

Julie Fox, who lives in Marine Parade  (pictured below), said: "You can see that everything is just crumbling into the [harbour], there's no defences in there.

"I've done everything I can, I've got brick wall all the way round [my house], I've got flood barriers at the back gate, at the back door, front door [and] down the drains."    

Marine Parade, Lowestoft
BBC

Flood protection conference due to get under way

Cleah Hetherington

BBC Radio Suffolk

A conference held today is discussing how much progress has been made in flood protection, nearly three years after the tidal surge along the Suffolk coast.

Flooding in Lowestoft
BBC

The surge in December 2013 was the worst since 1953 with those affected taking months to get their lives back to normal.  

Today's meeting at Snape Maltings is bringing together experts to decide what can be learnt and what needs to be done to plan for the future.

People at the conference include the former chief executive of Friends of the Earth Mark Farrah; the regional director of Balfour Beatty, Daniel Johns; and the floods minister and Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey.

Corrie Mckeague's puppy anxiously awaiting his return

Kate Williams

BBC Local Live

While the search for missing serviceman Corrie Mckeague continues, his mother has told how his puppy is being cared for by his squadron at RAF Honington. 

Writing in a Facebook post, Nicola Urquart said: "This little puppy also needs Corrie back. Corrie adores him. 

Corrie Mckeague and his puppy
Nicola Urquhart

"Little Louell was left alone in Corrie's room on the Friday night he disappeared. He is being cared for by 2 Sqdn until Corrie comes home. 

"Someone has information, please get in touch with the Major Investigation Team at Suffolk Police," she said.

View more on facebook

Fatal crash pilot shows signs of recovery in hospital

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

A Suffolk pilot severely injured in an aircraft crash in which a passenger died is showing signs of recovery at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. 

Maurice Hammond, the pilot of a vintage aircraft which crashed at Hardwick near Long Stratton at the weekend, has been moved to a less critical area of the intensive care unit.

Maurice Hammond
Family picture

Family spokesman Nik Coleman said in a Facebook post that this was "in line with his recovery, freeing his previous room for more critical cases". 

"Staff have once again moderated his sedation - for an extended period - and I am told he's been able to open his eyes as a reaction to some sensory input like touching his hand," he said.

"The hospital is officially 'pleased with his progress'. The team have also had the opportunity to wash his face as the visible effects of the incident and surgery reduce a little, and that's proven a real encouragement for the family."

Ipswich Buses strike called off: Emergency timetable had been put in place

Kate Williams

BBC Local Live

The Unite union has announced Monday's 24-hour strike by drivers at Ipswich Buses, over a pay deal, has been called off. 

A statement from Ipswich Buses confirmed the action had been dropped after an agreement had been reached.

Ipswich bus station
BBC

Managers had put an emergency timetable in place, which included using double decker buses to move as many passengers as possible.

Services on 10 routes around the town had been dropped completely, but school day buses would have run as normal, and the Park and Ride services would have run every half an hour. 

DAB switch-on: 20-year wait was down to a 'lack of appetite'

Kate Scotter

BBC News

BBC Radio Suffolk is now being heard "loud and clear" on digital radio.

It was officially launched on DAB at 09:20 this morning.

The switchover came 20 years after digital radio first hit the UK.

MP Matt Hancock and school children at the switch on
BBC

David Butcher, BBC Radio Suffolk's engineer, said the county had to wait for a local multiplex network to be built.

He said local commercial stations, that drive local multiplexes, had " lost their appetite" until now.

The multiplex is owned by MuxCo.

A warning - there are still spots in the county where the digital signal does not reach.

BreakingMonday's strike called off

Kate Williams

BBC Local Live

The Unite union says the planned strike by drivers of Ipswich Buses on Monday has been called off.

More to follow...

Heartfelt tribute to Andrew Keep after Bromeswell crash

Kate Williams

BBC Local Live

Andrew Keep's family issued a tribute to the 22-year-old shortly after his death on 29 January. 

Mr Keep, from Great Bealings, died after the Honda Prelude he was driving was in collision with a Ford C-Max on the B1084 road, a short distance from the junction of the A1152 road. 

In a statement issued a few days later, his family described the vehicle technician as "hugely missed" and a loyal and trusted friend as well as loving son and brother. 

They said: "His pride and joy was his Honda Prelude, which he lovingly rebuilt. Sadly, going too fast for the road conditions may have cost him his life.

"His family have been much consoled by many kind comments both in person and through social media. Andrew was clearly a loyal and trusted friend as well as a loving son and brother.

"We understand that his passing would have probably been instantaneous and painless. His family would particularly like to thank the passers-by that stopped to help, the many emergency services who attended and did everything they could, and the people who lived opposite who were so kind to us. 

"The support we have received from family, friends and the police has touched our hearts at a very difficult time.” 

Bernard Matthews' headquarters at Great Witchingham, Norfolk

Nine hundred former suppliers to the Bernard Matthews turkey business, who were owed millions of pounds before it was sold, are told they will not be paid.

Read more

Verdict for inquest into death of 22-year-old driver

Kate Williams

BBC Local Live

The inquest into the death of 22-year-old Andrew Keep, who died after a crash at Bromeswell, near Woodbridge this year, has been held in Ipswich. 

Andrew Keep
Suffolk Constabulary

Assistant coroner Kevin McCarthy recorded a verdict of road traffic collision at the inquest in Bath Street in Ipswich yesterday. 

Mr Keep, from Great Bealings, died on 29 January after a crash on the B1084

DAB switch-on: Hearing BBC Radio Suffolk 'loud and clear'

Kate Scotter

BBC News

BBC Radio Suffolk is officially available on DAB radio.

The official switch-on at 09:20 today came 20 years after digital radio hit the UK.

Terry Willis, branch manager at Hughes TV and Audio in Felixstowe, said it has been a "long wait" for Suffolk.

"Digital radio has been in this area for some time, but up until now we have had nothing local here," he said.

BBC Suffolk, St Matthew's Street, Ipswich
BBC

"It's now coming through loud and clear."

He said FM is not going to be switched off in the near future but DAB offers "more choice" with "crystal clear" reception.

Corrie Mckeague

Police looking for a missing airman say they do not believe his disappearance is in any way related to his job in the RAF.

Read more

Record-breaking pumpkin ready for weigh in

A gardener is poised to learn whether the pumpkin grown from the world's most expensive pumpkin seed is itself a record-breaker... 

Matthew Oliver from Hyde Hall near South Woodham Ferrers has been growing the seed which came from a 2,323lbs (1,054kg) pumpkin and was bought by Ipswich-based seed company Thompson & Morgan earlier this year for £1,250.

We'll have to wait until tomorrow to find out if Mr Oliver's gourd is a winner, but here's what happened when we met him back in May:

Could this become the world's largest pumpkin?

900 companies are left counting the cost of Bernard Matthews debt

Eastern Daily Press

Here is the front page of today's Eastern Daily Press:

Eastern Daily Press front page
Archant

Missing Corrie Mckeague: Poster is produced in search

Kate Scotter

BBC News

A poster has been produced in a bid to find missing RAF serviceman Corrie Mckeague.

Missing Corrie Mckeague poster
Suffolk Constabulary

It is almost two weeks since the 23-year-old disappeared after a Friday night out in Bury St Edmunds.

Suffolk Police will be distributing the new poster in the town to encourage anyone with information to come forward.

Officers are continuing searches to find anything that may help locate Mr Mckeague.

In school for BBC Radio Suffolk's big digital switch-on

A ceremony has taken place at Ixworth Primary School near Bury St Edmunds to officially mark the arrival of BBC Radio Suffolk on DAB radio.

West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock (pictured centre with his right hand on the button) was there in his capacity as a local MP and the government's minister for digital at the Department of Media, Culture and Sport.

View more on twitter
Result of the largest seed

A gardener is poised to learn whether a pumpkin grown from a £1,250 seed is itself a record-breaker.

Read more

Talbot believes McCarthy can turn around Ipswich Town's fortunes

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Under-fire Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy has received the backing of former Town midfielder Brian Talbot (pictured).

Brian Talbot
Getty Images

A run of two wins in 11 matches, and no goals scored in their last four, has resulted in some fans calling for McCarthy's head. 

Talbot disagrees: "The manager is first class and he'll get the team playing well, playing in an organised fashion and he'll make them strong.

"Whether they're strong enough to make the top six remains to be seen, as it's a difficult league and unfortunately money talks."

Bernard Matthews' suppliers facing 'stark' future after 'no payment' letter

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

Suppliers to Norfolk and Suffolk turkey producer Bernard Matthews, who are owed a total of £23m and have been told they will not get paid, include small and medium sized businesses supplying agricultural goods, animal stock, transport and energy.

Great Witchingham Hall
BBC

Clarke Willis of Anglia Farmers, which is owed about £10,000, said it provided satellite broadband monitoring of turkey sheds and this had been turned off. 

He described the letter informing the 900 creditors there would be no payments as "stark". 

He said non-payment of larger amounts was putting the viability of many other businesses at risk. 

Former owner Rutland Partners said it had invested significant amounts into Bernard Matthews during its three years in charge when the firm struggled.

Bernard Matthews creditors told by letter debts would not be paid

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

Suppliers to turkey producer Bernard Matthews, which has farms and factories in Norfolk and Suffolk, who were owed money before it was purchased by food tycoon Ranjit Boparan have been told by letter they will not get paid or receive compensation.

Turkeys
Getty Images

The take-over was done under a pre-pack administration deal to protect the value of the company but this meant that 900 suppliers, some owed more than £1m, would be left out of pocket to the tune of £23m, BBC Radio 4's Farming Today was told. 

The purchase deal was settled before Bernard Matthews went into administration, so a meeting of creditors was not required. 

A lower level of staff pensions would be paid through a government protection scheme.

Mr Boparan said he had offered to buy the firm with its debt and pension liabilities, but this was rejected by former owners Rutland Partners who replied that they had invested significant amounts in the company under their stewardship.

DAB official switch-on for BBC Radio Suffolk

Twenty years after digital radio hit the UK, BBC Radio Suffolk is finally available on DAB radios.

The official switch-on takes place at 09:20 with a ceremony at Ixworth Primary School.

DAB radio
BBC

The radio station remains available on 103.9 FM (Ipswich area), 104.6 FM (Bury St Edmunds), 95.5 FM (Lowestoft) and 95.9 FM (Aldeburgh).

And it's still available online.

No 'significant progress' in missing RAF man case

It's nearly two weeks since 23-year-old RAF Honington serviceman Corrie Mckeague disappeared after a Friday night out in Bury St Edmunds.

Suffolk Police have been viewing hours of CCTV footage and trying to trace people who were in the town centre.

Search for Corrie Mckeague, west Suffolk
BBC

Supt Kim Warner said: "It's certainly true to say we're still unclear or we haven't made any significant progress in terms of identifying where Corrie could be.

"That's not to say there hasn't been a significant amount of officer time and effort invested in this and certainly those lines of inquiry are significant and they continue."

'Nothing to suggest' RAF role is a factor in airman's disappearance

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

Suffolk Police believe there is no connection between the disappearance of Corrie Mckeague and the fact he is an RAF Honington serviceman.

Following the inquiry into a suspected attempted kidnap of a serviceman at RAF Marham in Norfolk, Suffolk Police have been asked whether it could be a result of terrorist activity.

Supt Kim Warner
BBC

Supt Kim Warner said: "There's nothing to suggest at the moment that his status within the RAF is a factor with him going missing. 

"We're treating that as not relevant within this particular inquiry.

"We're treating his missing person status the same way we would treat any other missing person status - of a high risk."

Missing Corrie Mckeague: 'No third-party involvement', police believe

Kelly McCormack

BBC Radio Suffolk

Suffolk Police have said they don't believe there was any third-party involvement in the disappearance of the missing RAF Honington serviceman Corrie Mckeague.

Corrie Mckeague
Suffolk Constabulary

The 23-year-old, who's been missing for 13 days, had been in Bury St Edmunds on a night out on Friday, 23 September and was last seen on CCTV cameras at 04:20 on the Saturday morning.

Search teams have looked at the main roads out of the town, around rail lines, on the A11 and in woodland, but there's been no trace of him.

Supt Kim Warner said: "There's absolutely nothing at the moment to suggest any third party involvement, nothing to suggest any criminality. 

"We're not ruling anything out, but at the moment there's nothing to suggest that is the case - it's a missing person inquiry."

Weather: Cloudier than recent days but mostly dry

Aisling Creevey

BBC Look East weather

Today will be cloudy and some places will remain dry with bright spells, but there are a few showers around.

It will stay rather cool in the easterly breeze with a maximum temperature of 15C (59F).

Watch my full regional forecast:

More details at BBC Weather.