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  1. Updates for Friday, 17 February 2017
  2. Corrie Mckeague: Further preparatory work needed at Milton site
  3. Possibility of cannabis in fire property
  4. Report slams services for children with special educational needs
  5. Bail for 14-year-olds arrested in connection with 'gunpoint' robberies'
  6. Tributes are paid to man who died after incident at Pontins
  7. 'Snakebite' causes a shock in Leeds

Live Reporting

By Philippa Taylor

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Stuart Dallas

Championship promotion hopefuls Leeds United are held to only their fourth league draw of the season at Ipswich Town.

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So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye

Philippa Taylor

BBC Local Live

OK, so now it's out there, I'm a big Sound of Music fan - I'm just surprised that it's taken me so long to reveal this.

We're signing off for the day, and the week, but we'll be back ready to Climb Every Mountain from 08:00 on Monday.

Scroll down to check out what's been happening across the county during the day.

Have a great weekend.

Corrie Mckeague's mother: 'We'll find Corrie in landfill search'
The mother of missing serviceman Corrie Mckeague says she thinks his body will be found when a landfill site is searched.

Overnight weather: Generally dry and cloudy

Julie Reinger

BBC Look East weather

A few spots of drizzle around this evening and overnight but generally it will be dry and cloudy across the BBC East region.

Where we get any breaks in the cloud we could see some mist and fog developing. 

Light south to south-westerly winds and temperatures down to about 5C (41F).

Overnight weather map

A mild and cloudy start to Saturday and it could take a little while for any mist and fog to clear, although we're likely to see some sunny intervals developing eventually.

Highs of 12C (54F) and a light southerly breeze.

Get a full forecast where you live, from BBC Weather.

Fire service 'can't be certain' there's no-one in Reading Road premises

We've just taken a call from the police, to say the fire service are still checking the "integrity" of the semi-detached house on Reading Road in Ipswich, where a blaze broke out in the roof earlier today.

As they've been unable to access the entire building, they say they can't be certain there is no-one in the premises.

View more on twitter

Teenagers help the older generation stay connected

Young people have been teaching the older generation new tricks as they help keep them up to speed in a digital age.

Diss Digital Buddies
Norfolk County Council

The Diss Digital Buddies project, led by Saffron Housing Trust, encourages teenagers to help older people use the internet and gain confidence with technology. 

Volunteers, aged between 13 and 19, have taught pensioners how to use laptops, tablets and smart phones.

They have shown them how to create an email account, shop online, join Facebook and make a video call.

One of the participants, aged 97, who did not want to be named, said: "I’ve loved it.

"It's great as it’s a two-way thing and they can learn from us too."

Diss Digital Buddies
Norfolk County Council

Man left hanging on 101 police phone line for 25 minutes

A Stowmarket man says he was left hanging on the 101 non-emergency police phone line for 25 minutes earlier this week, when he tried to report suspected rogue fish sellers in Ipswich.

Fish in a crate

John James said: "There was a white transit van, two guys walking down the road, knocking on houses... So I phoned 101. 

"I spoke to the operator, she said 'I'll put you through to the control room' - 25 minutes later they [the men] got back in their van and drove off and I just gave up."

Ch Supt Jenny Eve has apologised to John for the service he received saying they do "strive" to answer 101 calls as soon as they can.

She added: "I think it's important to recognise when we're dealing with these incidents there are other ways you can report this information.

"Trading Standards, via their website, have a process that people can follow in terms of providing information to us."

Sir James Galway and John Williams among line-up for Bury Festival

Sir James Galway, John Williams (pictured), Rick Wakeman and Tim Brooke-Taylor are among the performers who'll be gracing this year's Bury Festival, which runs 19-28 May.

John Williams
Jeff Overs/BBC

The Festival is in its 32nd year, and director Nick Wells (pictured below) says: "What began in the early 1980s as a series of concerts over three weekends, has grown into a wonderful annual celebration of music and the arts, which always creates a wonderful buzz and joyous feeling in the town, during those special 10 days in May."

Nick Wells
Mark Bullimore

Reading Road property 'too unstable to enter' following fire

Fire crews still can't get into a house that's on fire in east Ipswich.

Reading Road
James Hazell

The structure, on Reading Road, between Rushmere Road and Woodbridge Road, is too unstable to enter. There was concern that someone may have been in the house, but it's now thought the person has been accounted for.

Station commander John Southgate says they got initial calls to a well-developed roof fire: "On arrival crews found heavy smoke issuing from the roof area, so our primary concern was to initially mitigate the effects of the fire but also make sure that nobody was in either of the semi-detached properties."

Don't let Gary down!


Gary Lineker invites you to take part in the People's Cup

It’s not too late to enter this year’s FA People’s Cup – the deadline to sign up is midnight on Sunday. 

Entry is completely FREE, there are categories for everyone AND you can enter either as a team or an individual player. 

Find out all the details here.

McCarthy wary of Wood threat

Graeme Mac

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Former Ipswich loan player Chris Wood has already inflicted misery on the Blues this season, scoring the winner for Leeds when the teams met at Elland Road in September.

Chris Wood
Getty Images

Town boss Mick McCarthy says he always knew the 25-year-old would be a success in the Championship, despite his brief spell in Suffolk not amounting to much. 

"He'd been injured before he came here and there's no doubt that he wasn't as fit as he should have been," McCarthy told us. 

"We didn't see the best of him, but I look at him now and see a lean, mean, tough centre forward. He is a top player at this level."

Leeds due to bring 25 coachloads of fans to Ipswich

A large part of the Old Cattle Market car park in Ipswich will be closed to other vehicles tomorrow, to accommodate what's expected to be as many as 25 coaches carrying Leeds United supporters to Portman Road.

Police say they're expecting about 2,000 Leeds fans in total.

Portman Road

Portman Road will also be closed for approximately 15 to 30 minutes following the final whistle, to allow Leeds fans to return to the coaches and the fleet to depart. 

Ipswich Town supporters leaving the Sir Alf Ramsey Stand will be able to leave the stadium towards Princes Street, and those leaving the Sir Bobby Robson Stand will need to walk around the Old Cattle Market car park to reach Princes Street. 

Police are encouraging both sets of fans to arrive at the ground early in order to enjoy the fixture safely.

Acting Supt Paul Bradford, who will oversee policing of the match, said: "We hope that people enjoy the match sensibly and in the right spirit, as we will not tolerate anti-social behaviour, violence, racial chanting, mindless vandalism or any alcohol-fuelled disorder."

And if there are concerns about hooliganism, it's unlikely to be as organised as in Russia, as this BBC This World documentary showed last night:

Ipswich Town: Bishop doing extra work to regain first team place

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Ipswich Town midfielder Teddy Bishop has reacted positively to a gee-up, says his manager.

Teddy Bishop
Getty Images

After Tuesday's draw at Brighton, when the 20-year-old didn't even make the bench, Mick McCarthy told us he needed to do more in training to regain a place in his matchday squad. 

"He didn't have his day off on Wednesday, fair play to him," said McCarthy. "The message is there and he came in and did extra work and was doing it today and that's the only way he's going to get back in. 

"He's a wonderful talent and I want him back in the team, and I'm sure he does himself."

Rugby union: Bury suffering 'second season syndrome'

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Bury St Edmunds head to Redingensians tomorrow aiming to end a run of five straight defeats in National League Two South.

Gavin Hogg

After a campaign of consolidation, following their 2015 promotion, this season the Wolfpack have struggled.

"We've certainly found the level of rugby this year is considerably higher than it was last year," said Bury's director of rugby Gavin Hogg. 

"We've got 16 very competitive sides in the league. From sixth place down I think all of those teams are capable of taking points off each other on any given day."

Ipswich Town: McCarthy bemoans 'daft' Lawrence ban

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy has spoken to suspended forward Tom Lawrence about his self-discipline.

Mick McCarthy

The 23-year-old misses tomorrow's match against Leeds and next Sunday's trip to Norwich after picking up his 10th yellow card of the season, for dissent, at Brighton on Tuesday.

"I've had a word before and I'll be having a word again," said McCarthy. "It's just daft and it's to our loss of course.

"But let's hope it's not such a big loss. There's a challenge for somebody else to come in and score goals and play as well as Tom has, because he's been outstanding."

Smith putting no pressure on top-of-the-table clash

Diss Express

Here's the back page of today's Diss Express:

Diss Express on 17 February
Diss Express

Ryman League: Needham looking to bounce back

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Promotion-chasing Needham Market get the chance to make amends for Wednesday's 6-0 hammering at Billericay when they go to Dulwich Hamlet tomorrow.

Ryman League ball
Ryman League

Despite that loss the Market Men are still just three points off the top of the Ryman Premier Division

Leiston are at Harrow Borough, AFC Sudbury travel to Staines Town while Lowestoft Town welcome Leatherhead to Crown Meadow. 

Bury Town, who have lost their last five matches, head to Thurrock in the North Division.

Corrie Mckeague: Just two potential witnesses still to be identified

Police have identified one of the three remaining potential witnesses whose images were captured on CCTV the night Corrie Mckeague disappeared after a night out in Bury St Edmunds in September.

They say it means there are just two people - shown below - whose identities have yet to be discovered.

Composite photo of potential witness
Suffolk Police
Potential witness
Suffolk Police

Corrie Mckeague: Further preparatory work needed at Milton landfill site

Police searching for missing RAF Honington serviceman Corrie Mckeague say the preparatory work at the landfill site at Milton in Cambridgeshire is going to take longer than previously expected.

Milton landfill site

Some 8,000 tonnes of bulk material need to be removed to allow safe access to where the search needs to take place. 

Det Supt Katie Elliott said: "The work to trace Corrie remains a priority.

"It was initially hoped the search could start next week, but the logistics of building access routes and ensuring the area is safely accessible for those who will be carrying out the work mean further preparatory activity will need to be done first. 

"This is a considerable task and we need to ensure everything is in place before officers begin the process of going through the waste in the landfill. 

"We have been liaising with Corrie's family around the timescales involved and, while we can't confirm a start date, this preliminary work will be completed as quickly as possible, so the full scale search can take place."  

Last day of beach hut consultation

This is the last day of a six-week consultation, giving people the chance to have their say about the cost of beach huts in Felixstowe.

Beach huts

Suffolk Coastal District Council wants to increase beach hut fees by 10% for the next eight years, and begin charging £7,000 for new lease agreements.

The plan prompted an angry reaction from current beach hut owners, which prompted the consultation.

The council says it has to provide value for money for all taxpayers - critics say it'll make the huts unaffordable for most people.

Orfordness Lighthouse to feature in Tales from the Coast

Orfordness Lighthouse will feature in next Tuesday's episode of Robson Green's Tales from the Coast on ITV.

According to the Orfordness Lighthouse Trust, Robson Green and his crew visited the Ness last summer, taking in both the Lighthouse and the National Trust areas.

Orfordness Lighthouse

Don't let Gary down!


Gary Lineker invites you to take part in the People's Cup

Here's one from our friends at BBC Get Inspired. I dedicate it to someone very close to me who, it is fair to say, is something of a fan of Mr Lineker - and has a life-size cardboard cut-out of him that I carried across the piazza at Media City.

Anyway, Gary would endorse the sentiment that it’s not too late to enter this year’s FA People’s Cup - as long as you do it by the deadline anyway - and that is at midnight on Sunday. 

Entry is completely FREE, there are categories for everyone AND you can enter either as a team or an individual player. 

Find out all the details here.

Why not match these mums?


Six months ago, many of these mums were just watching their kids play.

Now they're getting ready to play in the FA People's Cup....

FA People's Cup 2017: Football mums will show daughters how it's done

It’s not too late to enter this year’s FA People’s Cup – the deadline to sign up is midnight on Sunday. 

Entry is completely FREE, there are categories for everyone AND you can enter either as a team or an individual player. 

Find out all the details here.

Possibility of cannabis in fire property

Kate Arkell

BBC Radio Suffolk

Seven fire engines are at the scene of a house fire in Reading Road, near Rushmere Road, in Ipswich.

Police were advised that there appeared to be cannabis inside the premises, but cannot confirm it at this stage because of the extent of the blaze.

Reading Road fire, Ipswich
Sky Cam East

The fire appears to be in the roof of a semi-detached property, which has been badly damaged.

Reading Road has been shut in both directions, and the electricity has been switched off in the area while the fire is put out.

Afternoon weather: Feeling mild with brighter spells developing

BBC Weather

It'll feel mild this afternoon, with some sunshine in places and a top temperature of 11C (52F).

Overnight it will be mainly dry, with a chance of some mist and fog in inland areas.

Lows of 5C (41F).

Get the full forecast where you are from BBC Weather.

Thanks to BBC Weather Watcher "Juniperbeddy" for this unusual cloud formation in Lowestoft:

Cloud formation at Lowestoft

Transforming special educational needs services is 'our priority'

Suffolk County Council and Suffolk’s clinical commissioning groups said: “We fully accept the findings of the report and apologise that the local area’s services and provision have not effectively met the needs of children and young people in our county. 

"Transforming these services is our priority."

Suffolk County Council

The statement, which follows the publication of a joint report by Ofsted and the CQC, which is highly critical of services, continues: "We are investing in training across all partners and providers focusing on improving co-production of Education Health Care Plans.

"Whilst the report recognises the early steps taken to make improvements, it clearly highlights that there is still much more work we need to do and we agree with these findings.

"We are working together [with the Suffolk Parent Carer Network] to improve access to information, improve the SEND [special educational needs and/or disabilities] journey and develop the services and provision available locally."


Ipswich Star

Here's the front page of the Ipswich Star:

Front page of Ipswich Star
Ipswich Star

Councillor 'absolutely clear' that special educational needs services can be turned around

The county councillor responsible for children's services has accepted that it's not right that parents of children with special educational needs have to fight for support for them.

Admitting that there's "more to do and we're doing it", Gordon Jones said: "I want to try to get it where there's a single point of contact - they [parents] know where to go." 

Despite a report from Ofsted and the CQC identifying "significant weaknesses" in the system, Mr Jones says he's "comfortable" in his position, and is "absolutely clear" that things can be turned around.

Watch: Latest from Pontins in Pakefield after death of arrested man

Richard Smith

BBC Essex

I've been to Pontins near Lowestoft, where Paul Gladwell, 38, of Colchester had been on holiday.

He was arrested after police were called to reports of an altercation and was being taken to Great Yamouth.

Officers abandoned that plan and took him to the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston-on-Sea, where he died yesterday morning.

View more on twitter

Rugby: Diss ready for top of the table clash

Chris Goreham

BBC Radio Norfolk sport

It's a big weekend for Diss Rugby Club. 

They are top of London League 2 North East, but only a point clear of South Woodham Ferrers who they play away from home on Saturday afternoon. 

View more on twitter

Diss have lost only one of their 16 league matches so far this season. The winners of this fixture will be firm favourites for promotion with just five further games to play before the end of the season. 

ITFC remind fans Leeds fixture is 'all-ticket'

View more on twitter

So, you'll need to buy your ticket in advance. They won't be available on the gate.

Bail for 14-year-olds arrested in connection with 'gunpoint' robberies

Two teenagers arrested in connection with two robberies in Ipswich on Wednesday night have been released on police bail.

In one of the incidents, two men reported being threatened at gunpoint and ordered to hand over cash.

A 14-year-old from County Durham has been bailed until 17 March, while a boy of the same age from Ipswich has been bailed until 24 March.

Paul Gladwell

Tributes to a dad-of-three with a "heart of gold" who died after being arrested at a holiday camp.

Read more

Bird man helps control pigeons

Laurence Cawley

BBC News

Meet Mark and his hawk, Faith.

He's part of a pest control firm that uses the birds of prey to disperse other birds.

The pair are often hired by councils and other organisations, such as Cambridge University, to control pigeons and gulls.  

What is it like to work as a falconer?

A Freedom of Information request by the BBC revealed the amount spent by councils on pest control across the country rose from £452,000 in 2013-2014 to £830,000 in 2015-2016, with some interesting figures across the East of England.

Falconer Mark White, of Suffolk-based Step Pest Control, said councils were increasingly using non-lethal methods of bird control.

He uses a combination of methods ranging from netting and spikes, special gels which look like fire, hawks and even a high-powered laser beam.

Mr White, who's lives in Norfolk but grew up in Essex, said a lot of people think pest controllers "use hawks for killing".

"It is in fact the complete opposite.

"We use the birds for disruption and discourage killing as much as possible."

The British Pest Control Association said the increase in spending might reflect a growing awareness of public health risks posed by some birds.

Clean Bandit tickets on sale for Thetford Forest gig

Tickets for the Clean Bandit gig at Thetford Forest this summer have gone on sale.

Clean Bandit
Getty Images

The Cambridge band, who appear on 2 July,  join Elbow, Olly Murs and Rick Astley in the line-up for the Forestry Commission's "Forest Live" concert series, which has been running for 16 years.

'Not right' that families have to fight for special educational needs support

The chief nursing officer for the NHS in the county has admitted they've got things wrong, when it comes to providing support for children with special educational needs.

Speaking after the publication of a joint report from Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission, Barbara McLean said: "We've been really concerned by the level of issues they [the two organisations] have raised with us.

"It's absolutely not right that families have to fight or feel that they have to fight and they ought to know exactly what services are available to them and be able to access them."

Parents have to 'fight' for recognition of children's special needs

Parents of children with special educational needs feel they have to "fight" to achieve full recognition of their child's needs, according to a report published jointly by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission.

Suffolk CC HQ

The findings have been backed up by Paula Davies from Bury St Edmunds, whose son William, 17, has to go to school outside the county.

She says as parents it's absolutely heartbreaking: "I do feel like the system spends too much time and energy fighting us, whereas if we all worked together it would actually be beneficial for the children.

"It could well save money because sending a child like William to numerous panels to be refused, and then in the end going 'oh all right then' - that has cost implications as well."

Report criticises services for children with special educational needs

A report published this morning says services in Suffolk for children with special educational needs are weak and require big improvements.

The report follows inspections by two watchdogs, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission.

Suffolk County Council HQ

Among the criticisms raised in the report:

  • The needs of many children and young people are not effectively met
  • Parents who feel they have to fight to achieve recognition of their child's needs, say they feel like a "burden"
  • There's a lack of support for children with autism and mental health problems
  • Provision varies greatly across the county

The report identifies some positives on the services provided by the county council and NHS too:

  • Areas have been identified where improvement is needed
  • Plans are being implemented quicker
  • Early years support is good

Video: June Brown at 90

You've got a month to watch BBC television's tribute to "A Walford Legend" on the iPlayer.

BBC1 celebrated actor June Brown's 90th birthday with a special programme last night.

It charted the former Ipswich High School pupil's three decades in EastEnders.