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Live Reporting

By Adam Whitty, John Hudson and Sarah Lee

All times stated are UK

That's all for today!

Thank you for joining us today - we'll back with all the latest news, travel and weather from 08.00 tomorrow.

See you then!

Man jailed for Heathrow heroin smuggle

Sarah Lee

BBC South

A Berkshire man has been jailed following the seizure of heroin with an estimated street value of more than £600,000 by Border Force officers at Heathrow Airport. Adam Wimana admitted importing 6.74 kilos of the Class A drug, worth £630,000, and was sentenced to five years and fourth months imprisonment at Isleworth Crown Court on Tuesday. 

Wimana, 46, of Peel Court, Slough, was intercepted at Terminal 4 on 11 January having arrived on a flight from Nairobi, where he had travelled from Zanzibar.

Officers searched one of his suitcases and noticed it remained heavy once the contents had been removed. 

Adam Wimana
Home Office

On examining it they discovered drugs concealed in the top and base of the suitcase. A field test provided a positive reaction for heroin.

A detailed examination of a second suitcase revealed a similar concealment in the top and base.

Wimana was arrested on suspicion of the importation of a controlled drug and the case was passed to officers from the National Crime Agency (NCA) for investigation. 

Why are Reading FC fans not excited?

Tim Dellor

BBC Berkshire sport editor

There are two things peculiar with Reading FC this season. The first is their league position, which most wouldn't have expected at the start of the season. The second? The fact that attendances are not matching that success.

Attendances at the Madejski Stadium this season have averaged around 16,800, whereas every other top eight side in the league regularly pulls in more than 20,000 fans for each game on their home turf.

Jaap Stam has said it is a 'pity' that more Royals fans don't turn up to watch their side at home, but that, ultimately, it is not up to him whether the stands are full or not.

The Royals boss says he can't control how many fans turn up to the Madejski Stadium.

Mysterious shapes land in Bracknell ...

Sarah Lee

BBC South

A book on one body

It is World Book Day today, and BBC Radio Berkshire presenter Bridgitte Tetteh has been getting in the spirit.

She has of course dressed up as a lion, a witch, and a wardrobe all in one!

View more on twitter

Once upon a time...

Adam Whitty

BBC South

There was a school in Lower Earley, who took their appreciation for the fairytale Billy Goats Gruff to the next level.

They now own and look after their own trip of goats.

And it seems both sets of kids are living happily ever after...

View more on facebook

Severe disruption: M4 Berkshire westbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Berkshire westbound severe disruption, between J13 for A34 Chieveley and J14 for A338.

M4 Berkshire - One lane closed on M4 westbound between J13, A34 (Chieveley) and J14, A338 (Hungerford), because of a broken down lorry and recovery work. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe disruption: M4 Wiltshire eastbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Wiltshire eastbound severe disruption, between J15 for A346 Marlborough Road and J14 for A338.

M4 Wiltshire - One lane closed on M4 eastbound between J15, A346 (Swindon East) and J14, A338 (Hungerford), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Appeal after arson attack

Sam Clayton

BBC Radio Berkshire newsreader

Police are appealing for witnesses to an arson attack in Maidenhead. 

A car was deliberately set on fire inside Pinkney's Drive Car Park - near the Pinkney's Arms pub. 

Nobody was injured, police said.

Barbershop offers free haircuts for jobseekers

A barbershop in Maidenhead is offering free haircuts for jobseekers. 

Hairdressers Matthew Martin and Ryan Wood from Avanti have got together with the job centre. 

It's after offering free services for the homeless. 

Matthew says anyone who's got a job interview can call in and see them beforehand

The main idea was to help other people. I got the idea from a guy in America. It's just about giving someone the best start possible. They're going to go into that interview feeling fresh, clean and good about themselves."

Matthew MartinHairdresser

Fighting talk at University of Reading

Frank Bruno talks to media
University of Reading

Frank Bruno MBE has been speaking to students at the University of Reading about his fight against mental health, in an event to mark today's University Mental Health Day.

The former boxer visited the University to share his personal experiences of having bipolar disorder, fighting Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson, and his current campaign for more sporting facilities to help battle mental health.

Bruno said: “Having been diagnosed with bipolar is the biggest fight of my life.

“After I came back, I didn’t have the confidence to go out  …. going down the supermarket or to a restaurant when everyone is talking about you. You have to fight your way through and you’ve got to get on with what you’ve got to do.”

Frank Bruno boxing with sports coach at Reading University
University of Reading
Bruno also visited the University sports park to launch a mass participation circuit training event

Student Wellbeing has organised a wide range of events based around the mental health day - including a range of walks, talks, charity events and competitions.  

Frank Bruno in discussion
University of Reading

Lottery funding for Newbury arts

The Corn Exchange in Newbury has received £747,250 of National Lottery funding for 101, its outdoor arts centre, based on the former USAF Greenham Common site.

Grant Brisland, Co-Director, Corn Exchange, said the money “will help us foster, support and challenge artists to make a step-change in their creative practice and enable them to produce new, dynamic, brave and ambitious work for audiences in outdoor and festival contexts.” 

The Corn Exchange is one of four organisations across England to receive National Lottery funding in the latest round of the Arts Council’s Ambition for Excellence Programme.

A total of £2.3 million has been awarded in this round of funding.

Rope trapese artists
Farrows Creative

Doors opened to Reading Abbey work

Adam Whitty

BBC South

If you ever wanted a sign that the restoration work at Reading Abbey was getting serious, then this is it.

After setting up the site last month, the £3 million pound restoration project got under way in earnest today.

Long view of work
BBC
The Abbey celebrates its 900 year anniversary in 2022

Paul Gittings, Lead Councillor for Culture, Sport and Consumer Services, described it as a "momentous day".

The site was closed to the public in 2009 due to the "poor and rapidly deteriorating condition of the walls".

Matthew Williams, the Director of Reading Museum, who is leading the project, said "people have been saying to us, it's taking so long

"Well, not in its 900 year history, it hasn't."

Construction sign
BBC
Work is expected to be completed by 2018
Workmen looking at ruins
BBC
Work has now begun in earnest on the site
People behind the restoration
BBC
The project was awarded £1.77m of Heritage Lottery funding.

Morgan Lake deciding whether to stick or twist

Tim Dellor

BBC Berkshire sport editor

Reading's Morgan Lake is currently considering whether to specialise in the high jump, or continue with the heptathlon.

She failed to qualify for the heptathlon at the Rio 2016 Olympics, but did become the first British woman to make an Olympic high-jump final since 1992.

She is seen as a big prospect in the multi-discipline events. When her record in the heptathlon events at 19 is compared to that of Jessica Ennis-Hill at the same age, she beats the 2012 gold medallist in every single discipline.

Morgan Lake
Rex Features

Lake will be competing in Belgrade tomorrow, in the high jump at the European Indoor Championships.

It's cool to be a bookworm

Adam Whitty

BBC South

Schools across Berkshire will be dressing up in costume and celebrating the joys of the literary world today on World Book Day.

We'll try and bring you some the best outfits that Berkshire has to offer.

I doubt anyone will beat my World Book Day offering in 2001, when I dressed up as Professor Quirrell (from Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone), headscarf and all...

View more on twitter

Thursday's sport headlines

Tim Dellor

BBC Berkshire sport editor

  • Reading will still be without Joey Van Den Berg when they play Wolves this coming Saturday at the Madejski Stadium. The Dutch defender has been out with a hamstring injury since the Cardiff game in January.
  • A survey of London Irish fans has shown a mixed reception to the club's proposed move away from the Madejski Stadium, according to the London Irish Supporters Club. They trust has tried to gauge fan reaction to the move to Brentford.
  • The heptathlete Morgan Lake, from Reading, says she's considering whether to specialise in just the high jump in future.
  • Noel Fehily looks likely to replace Barry Geraghty on some of Lambourn's best horses, with the Cheltenham Festival a fortnight away. Geraghty suffered a fall which will keep him out the festival, so Fehily has been riding work for local trainer Nicky Henderson earlier this week. He's likely to take the ride on Buveur D'Air in the Champion Hurdle. 

The issues on the M4 are getting worse...

Mandy O'Neale

BBC Berkshire travel presenter

  • The whole section from J8/9 (Maidenhead) to J4b (M25) is completely solid Westbound, due to accident still under recovery.
  • Meanwhile, London-bound there are queues from J7 ( to J4b after an earlier accident and stranded lorry.
  • It is very slow southbound on the A33, passing the Madejski Stadium to the junction 11 roundabout. traffic clears after the roundabout though.

M4 delays due to accident

Berkshire's weather: Sunny spells

Bee Tucker with the weather for the south on Thursday 2 March

Thames Valley Police gets 'good' rating

Phil Mercer

BBC Radio Oxford

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary has graded Thames Valley Police "good". 

The watchdog has been measuring how good forces are at investigating crime, protecting vulnerable people and tackling serious and organised crime. 

Only one force - Durham - was labelled outstanding. 

Thursday's local headlines

Sam Clayton

BBC Radio Berkshire newsreader

  •  A £3m restoration project at the ruins of 900-year-old Reading Abbey has begun.
  • The Crowthorne-based Transport Research Laboratory says almost three quarters of children are not being properly strapped into their car-seats. They say 71% of people have incorrectly fitted them.
  • 17-year-old Jessica Horton from Burghfield Common, who was reported missing on Tuesday evening, has now been safely located.

Avoid the M4 if you can this morning...

Mandy O'Neale

BBC Berkshire travel presenter

There are a few incidents on the M4 this morning.

  • Just before J4B London-bound (M25). An earlier accident has been cleared, but delays still remain.
  • It is also slow London-bound approaching J13 (Newbury) due to accident which has now been recovered.
  • There is also congestion heading into the capital around J11 (Reading).
Swan on road
Getty Images
There are delays this morning on the M4, although a stray Swan is not the cause

How do you like your news in the morning?

Adam Whitty

BBC South

I like mine with informative live updates from around the county.

Thank you for joining us on what will be a clear and slightly windy day across Berkshire.

We'll be bringing you all the latest news, weather, travel and sport throughout the day.

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Newspaper and breakfast
Getty Images