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Summary

  1. Updates for Monday, 25 July 2016
  2. Man charged with Milton Keynes rape
  3. Police dog "remains stable" after 12ft fall in line of duty
  4. Girl kicked down stairs of bus
  5. Greg Rutherford blasts IOC as "spineless"
  6. News, sport, travel and weather updates resume at 08:00 on Tuesday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

That's all from us for today but we'll be back with you tomorrow from 08:00 with all the latest for Beds, Herts and Bucks.

Here's a round-up of some of today's top stories:

And some good news. Police have just tweeted that eight-year-old Zack Churchill has been found safe and well.

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Sport team try golf trick shots...

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

It's nearly time for use to go, but before tonight's closing summary... the boys from BBC Three Counties Sport went out last week to try and learn from the Golf Trick Shot Boys in Bedford.

They tried their best - that's all I'll say... but if you fancy a giggle, watch the video here.

Geoff Doyle, from BBC Three Counties Sport team, playing golf
BBC

Missing Stotfold boy appeal

Nic Rigby

BBC News

Police are appealing for help in finding an eight-year-old boy who has been missing since this morning. 

Zach Churchill
Bedfordshire Police

Zach Churchill was last seen leaving his home address in Dickens Boulevard, Stotfold, at approximately 11:00.

He is described as slim with blonde hair and was last seen wearing a navy blue football shirt with ‘Ivanovic’ on the back, shorts, and orange football boots. He is believed to have a black and red BMX bike with him.

Anyone who has seen him should contact Bedfordshire Police.

Weather: Light showers this evening will clear

Julie Reinger

BBC Look East weather

This evening there’ll be some sunny spells and a few isolated, light showers. 

It should be a little easier to sleep tonight with skies clearing at time and lows of around 13C (55F).

Weather graphic shows temperatures of 14C Tuesday morning
BBC

Tuesday is looking a similar day to today with sunny spells and a few light showers, although many of us are likely to stay dry. Temperatures in the sunshine around 23C (73F).

Check the latest forecast where you live with BBC Weather.

Parked cars block fire service route to answer 999 call

Parking is an issue for lots of people across the three counties, but it's even more of a problem for emergency services when they can't answer a 999 call due to vehicles blocking their route:

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The fire service went on to tweet that fire engines need "10ft (3m) clearance to pass safely".

"Please think about your parking as you could be putting the lives of your families, friends and neighbours at risk," Herts Fire Control said.

'Too soon' for Bedfordshire CCG to comment on IVF proposals

Sophie Sulehria

BBC Three Counties Radio

We've contacted Bedfordshire CCG about proposals to stop IVF treatment on the NHS. They say it's "too soon" to comment after the consultation closed yesterday which had more than 1,000 people express their views on the plans.

They say the group has not proposed a blanket ban on services; some will still be available for patients undergoing cancer treatment, or who have a condition that is likely to make them infertile. 

Bedfordshire couple undergoing IVF walk in garden
BBC

Terri and Richard Clothier, from Dunstable, believe that IVF should be funded by Bedfordshire CCG and speaking about the proposals to withdraw funding Mr Clothier said the couple think it's "a foregone conclusion".

He added: "We really, really hope that the public opinion card won't be played if they do take the decision to withdraw the last allocation."

Where in the three counties meets NICE guidelines for IVF?

Sophie Sulehria

BBC Three Counties Radio

Despite NICE guidelines saying the NHS should provide three fresh and three frozen cycles of IVF - in reality, very few authorities do.

Figures obtained by BBC Three Counties Radio's health show found that only two of our local 12 authorities provide all three cycles, the others provide less. 

The CCGs that meet the guidelines are Luton and East and North Hertfordshire.

In vitro fertilization (IVF). Light micrograph of a human egg (centre) about to be pierced by a micro-needle (left) that contains a single sperm. This type of IVF is known as intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)
Science Photo Library

The consultation by Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group is proposing to stop providing any NHS funded cycles in most cases - except in Luton.

They're not the only one doing this, there are others in the East of England  including Mid Essex, North East Essex and South Norfolk. 

Plans may see NHS IVF treatment stopped in Bedfordshire

Sophie Sulehria

BBC Three Counties Radio

Couples in Bedfordshire, except those in Luton, are waiting for a final decision on plans to stop routine NHS fertility services in the county.

Bedfordshire is the fourth Clinical Commissioning Group in the East region to make the proposal, but say they have not planned a blanket ban. 

Luton and Dunstable Hospital
Geograph/Andy Parrett

At present residents can have one fresh cycle and one frozen cycle. 

NICE guidelines state that the NHS should provide three fresh cycles and three frozen cycles of IVF treatment.

Travel: Bin lorry crash shuts lane on A10

BBC Travel

A lane is shut on the A10 in Hertfordshire due to a collision involving a car and a bin lorry.

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'Road hog': Cyclist hospitalised after hitting pig

A cyclist has been taken to hospital after colliding with a pig on a road in Houghton Conquest.

Bicycles on a rack, left, pigs in a sty, right
BBC

Emergency services were called just before 09:00 yesterday to London Road.

The cyclist, a man in his 40s, was taken to Bedford Hospital with a facial injury. It isn't believed to be serious.

Laptop fire prompts warning

Remains of laptop after fire
Bucks Fire and Rescue Service

Firefighters in Buckinghamshire are warning people not to leave laptops charging unattended after a fire in Stone on Saturday.

Crews were called to a bedroom fire at a property in Oxford Road at 21:25 after a fire started in a laptop which had been left on charge on a pile of books.

The occupants of the house escaped safely, but the room was completely damaged by smoke.

Hospital 'absolutely committed' to Dr Kate Granger's message

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

You may have heard the sad news over the weekend that Kate Granger, a terminally-ill doctor from Yorkshire, has died.  She launched a national campaign called "hello, my name is…" to remind medical staff to introduce themselves to patients.

Opening of the Granger Suite
West Herts Hospitals Trust

As a friend of West Herts Hospitals Trust she opened an elderly care unit named after her at Watford Hospital in 2014 after it launched its #hellomynameis campaign.

Today a trust spokesman said it was "deeply saddened" to hear of the death of a "truly remarkable individual".

A statement said: "When Kate officially opened our Granger unit we found that she had great humility, honesty and humour, as well as her powerful unavoidable message of 'it's the little things' that make the difference to our patients.

"We remain absolutely committed to this simple, very effective message."

Injured police dog was chasing suspected thieves

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

More now on the story of police dog called Nero who has broken his neck after falling 12ft (3.5m) while chasing suspected thieves in Watford.

Police dog Nero
@BCHPoliceDogs

The six-year-old German Shepherd jumped over railings in pursuit of the suspects on Thursday and unbeknown to his handler, there was a significant drop the other side.

Police say Nero "landed badly" and broke his neck in two places but is currently receiving treatment and "remains stable".

Dead fox found covered in oil in Luton

In case you missed this story over the weekend...

A dead fox that had been covered in oil and wrapped in a jumper has been discovered in Luton.

It was found by a member of the public on a grassed area of Oakley Road on 11 July, but the RSPCA has only now sought the public's help to find out more.

The dead fox found wrapped in a grey jumper
RSPCA

Insp Lauren Bailey described the incident as "strange" saying that there was "no blood, open wounds or marks" on the fox's body.

Ms Bailey said it's "important to find out how he ended up this way".

What's happening with BHS stores in Beds, Herts & Bucks?

Gail Sanderson

BBC Three Counties Radio

BHS store closes - with clearance signs in the shop window
Getty Images

Nine stores across the three counties are closing, including Luton, Stevenage, Watford, Bedford, St Albans, Aylesbury and Milton Keynes.

The store in High Wycombe's Eden Centre closed on Saturday and the shop on the MK1 retail park in Milton Keynes closes this Sunday. 

Remaining stores in our area haven't been given a date on when they will close, but all BHS shops across the UK will be closed by 20 August.

Sir Philip Green left BHS on 'life support', MPs find

BBC Business News

MPs have called on the government to take action against the former owner of BHS, Sir Philip Green, who's been accused of "plundering" the company. 

There are nine BHS stores across the three counties.

Sir Philip Green
Getty Images

damning MPs' report found Sir Philip extracted large sums and left the business on "life support".  

His failure to resolve BHS's £571m pension deficit was a major factor in the firm's demise, the report added and last month Sir Philip vowed to MPs that he would sort out the "mess".

MP Frank Field, co-chair of the BHS inquiry carried out by the committees, said Sir Philip should write a cheque for "at least" £571m for the BHS pensioners.

There has been no response to the report from Sir Philip, whose retail empire includes Topshop and Dorothy Perkins.

Police dog 'remains stable' after 12ft fall

Weather Watchers: Blue skies, rainbows and sunrise

BBC Weather Watchers

We've had a weekend of rather fine weather across Beds, Herts and Bucks, which our BBC Weather Watchers have been keeping tabs on.

Here are some of our favourite photographs that were sent into our inbox...

Fog over farmers field in Milton Keynes, with blue skies overhead
BBC
Dawn through the trees in Stevenage
BBC
Large rainbow over field covered with bales of hay
BBC

Police dog injured in 12ft fall while giving chase

Girl kicked down stairs of bus

A 12-year-old girl was kicked down the stairs of a bus in St Paul's Walden by a man thought to be in his 40s, police say.

Bus stop in St Paul's Walden by Strathmore Arms pub
Google

The girl was on the 304 bus for St Albans between 16:30 and 17:05 on 18 July. 

As she went to get off bus at the Strathmore Arms pub stop on Whitwell Road a man, described as black and thin, wearing a black zip-up fleece, with his long hair up in a hat, kicked her from the back. She fell down the stairs, but was not injured.

Police are appealing for anyone who may know the man, who got on the bus outside Claire's Accessories in Hitchin.

Wycombe sign midfielder Freeman

BBC Sport

Wycombe Wanderers have signed midfielder Nick Freeman on a one-year deal following a successful trial spell.

The 20-year-old former Histon player has featured for the Chairboys in pre-season games against Le Havre, Brentford and Queens Park Rangers.

"Nick has taken his chance with both hands," boss Gareth Ainsworth told the club website.

Pre-season football round-up

Simon Oxley

BBC Three Counties Radio

Watford FC rounded off their pre-season trip to Austria with a 0-0 draw with Russian side Anzhi and MK Dons striker Nicky Maynard was on target in the 2-2 draw at Aldershot.

Nicky Maynard
Getty Images

Luton manager Nathan Jones has said the importance of giving striker Jack Marriott a new contract was shown by his two goals in the 2-1 win over Brighton.

Stevenage manager Darren Sarll has played down injury concerns over striker Rowan Liburd who came off minutes after scoring in their 1-0 win over Brighton.

Luton Town pledge to help those affected by Venue 360 move

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Last week we told you how Luton Town's forthcoming move to a new training ground at Venue 360 in the town had caused concern as various sports clubs claimed they were being forced out because the Hatters had signed a lease for exclusive use of the land.   

Venue 360
Google

Luton Town have now said that while it's not the club's place to deal with other parties whose tenancy agreements may result in them having to relocate, it would do "all it can to help those affected find alternative venues and potentially offer time-specific access to the facilities".

A spokesman said: "Luton Town Football Club hope to help provide solutions that will see certain affected groups, associations and individuals who may find replacement facilities difficult to find, continue to exist and flourish at a hugely exciting time for the area."

Milton Keynes seagulls: Council 'don't have legal duty to deal with them'

Justin Dealey

BBC Three Counties Radio

Last week I went to a part of Milton Keynes to investigate seagulls that were causing mayhem. 

The birds had taken up residence on an industrial estate near Dawson Road and were leaving their droppings on people and cars.

Seagulls car
BBC

We asked for a response from Milton Keynes Council. A spokesman told me "technically... local authorities don't have a statutory duty to deal with seagulls".

He said: "We are monitoring the situation but there's not much we can do because as a wild bird seagulls are largely protected.

"The best method is bird-proofing to deter them from nesting on the flat roof."

Greg Rutherford: Woburn Sands champion blasts 'spineless' IOC

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Britain's world and Olympic long jump champion, Greg Rutherford, has labelled the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) decision not to impose a blanket ban on Russian competitors at the Rio Games as "spineless".

Rutherford, from Woburn Sands, believes the IOC has tried to satisfy everyone but ended up creating a "messy, grey area that doesn't help anyone".

He told the Guardian: "I would almost have been happier if the decision had been a bullish refusal to act in any way... This is a spineless attempt to appear as the nice guy to both sides."

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IOC president Thomas Bach said: "We have set the bar to the limit by establishing a number of very strict criteria which every Russian athlete will have to fulfil if he or she wants to participate in the Olympic Games Rio 2016."

Hungarian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton takes lead in drivers' championship

BBC Sport

Hertfordshire's Lewis Hamilton leads the Formula One drivers' championship for the first time this season after victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The world champion, from Stevenage, controlled the race from the moment he passed Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg at the start. He's now six points ahead of the German.  

Lewis Hamiton
Getty Images

Man critical after Welwyn Garden City crash

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

A man in his 30s is in a critical condition in hospital after a crash in Welwyn Garden City on Saturday afternoon.

He was driving a Ford people carrier which collided with a car in Broadwater Crescent at about 14:00.

Hertfordshire Police is appealing for witnesses.

Broadwater Crescent
Google

Tributes to woman killed in Great Ouse

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Tributes have been paid to the mother-of-three who died in the river in Bedford last week.

It's thought Leanne Gordon, who was at the river with her three children on Thursday evening, got into difficulties while trying to rescue another child in the Great Ouse off Honey Hill Road.

Dorian Alexis, from Samsons Gym in the town where Ms Gordon worked, said she was "really engaging" and "much loved".

Man charged with Milton Keynes rape

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

A man will appear in court in Milton Keynes this morning, charged with raping a 14-year-old girl last Monday night in the Bleak Hall area.

The 26-year-old was arrested on Friday and is due before magistrates.

Today's weather: Feeling fresher

Georgina Burnett

BBC Weather

Today is due to be mostly dry with sunny spells, but with showers possible this afternoon and feeling much fresher.

Maximum temperature: 21C (69F).

East of England weather on Monday

There are more details on the BBC Weather website.

Welcome to Local Live for Beds, Herts and Bucks

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Thanks for joining us again for live news, sport, weather and travel for the three counties - we'll be here until 18:00.

If you've been melting in the humidity, this week we're being promised fresher weather - a full forecast is coming up soon.

Remember, if you'd like to get in touch, you can email us or send us a tweet.