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  1. Updates on Friday, 21 July 2017
  2. Kidnap being investigated in Hemel Hempstead
  3. Cyclist, 91, was doing time trial when killed in crash
  4. Concerns hillside chalk lion losing its roar
  5. Poulter in action on day two of The Open

Live Reporting

By Alex Pope

All times stated are UK

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Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

That is it from all of us for this week on Local Live for Beds, Herts and Bucks.

We'll be back with yet more news, sport, weather and travel from 08:00 on Monday morning.

Woburn's Ian Poulter seems to be having a good second day in The Open, where he's one shot behind the leaders who are on -4, so let's hope he can keep this form up over the next two days.

Ian Poulter
Getty Images

The latest regional weather forecast

Julie Reinger

BBC Look East weather

Outbreaks of rain will move eastwards this evening and overnight, heavy at times and accompanied by gusty winds.

It may stay dry in the extreme east until the early hours of tomorrow.

Temperatures falling to 12C (54F).

Weather graphic for 05:00 tomorrow, showing rain across parts of East Anglia

A wet start to tomorrow for many eastern areas, but drier and brighter in the west for a time.

Eventually widespread showers will develop, and some of these could be heavy and thundery. Onshore winds could prevent these showers towards the coast, and there will be spells of sunshine.

Temperatures reaching 22C (72F).

Sunday will see sunny spells and scattered showers, which could be heavy and thundery.

Take a look at BBC Weather for a more detailed forecast for where you are.

MK Lightning get ready to strike

Geoff Doyle

BBC Three Counties Radio sport

The fixtures have been released for the new ice hockey Elite League season which starts in five weeks.

MK Lightning will be playing in it for the first time.

On the opening weekend Lightning are away to the reigning league and play-off champions, the Cardiff Devils on 9 September.

The next day MK will play their first home match at the MK Arena against four-times league champions, the Belfast Giants.

Visit the Elite League website for the full fixture list.

Ice rink
MK Lightning

Bedford river death: Man named

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Police have released the name of a man, who died after being pulled from the River Great Ouse in Bedford on Tuesday morning.

He was Zbigien Lasocki, 39, of no fixed address, known as "Zibby".

Det Insp Lucy Thomson said: "We are keen to speak to anyone who was in the area of the Embankment on Monday evening or Tuesday morning.

"The details we have of Zibby’s life are also quite limited and we need to build up a much clearer picture of who he associated with and where he stayed."

Zbigien Lasocki
Bedfordshire Police

A man arrested on suspicion of murder, has been released on police bail.

Two new leads for paw-lice

Meet pup 1.....

Police dog Pup 1
BCH Police Dogs

and pup 2.....

The new recruits for BCH Police Dogs, who have yet to be named.

Police dog Pup 2
BCH Police Dogs

The 15-week-old German Shepherd brothers are now living with police staff and are being exposed to different environments in preparation for their new jobs.

That won't be for some time, as they only start their formal training when they're one year old.

They're due to be named by the public, and some of the names already being suggested on social media are, Doggy McDogface, Bodie and Doyle and Batdog and Robin.

Poulter (-4 after 14)

Another hole, another par for Ian Poulter.

The Englishman has made just one birdie today, but is playing himself into contention.

He sends a tee shot sailing through the drizzle at 15 and it skips on up to the slightly longer grass at the edge of the fairway.

M1: All lanes now open

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Hopefully Friday night's rush hour traffic will be a little easier, since all lanes have now reopened on the M1 northbound, between junctions 12 and 13, between Ampthill and Bedford.

Congestion does go back to Junction 10 at Luton though.

View more on twitter

Birdie for Poulter!

Poulter (-4 after 12)

It's seriously bleak looking down the 12th as Ian Poulter strolls up to the tee.

But he sends one soaring through the grey sky and on to the green, another birdie chance for the Englishman.

Can he take this one? There's a decent crowd following Poulter now and they share a collective hold of breath as he rolls it towards the hole from around 15 feet... and down it goes!

Nothing bleak about that. The Poulter support club cheers. The man himself salutes. He's in the mix. Tied third, one off the lead.

Severe disruption: M1 Bedfordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Bedfordshire northbound severe disruption, between J12 for A5120 and J13 for A421 affecting J10 for M1.

M1 Bedfordshire - M1 partially blocked and very slow traffic northbound between J12, A5120 (Flitwick) and J13, A421 (Bedford), because of a car fire. Travel time is at least 60 minutes. Congestion to J10, M1 (Luton Airport Spur Road).

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

Car on fire on M1

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

There are more problems on the M1 this afternoon.

After an earlier accident caused the northbound road to be closed between J12 and J13, a car on fire has now closed a lane on the same stretch.

Again, delays are expected.

Emergency services are on the scene.

Car on fire
Highways England

Poulter (-3 after 11)

Twenty-footer for Ian Poulter to make his first birdie of the day... the Woburn pro stands over it, sends it on its way, but he knows that's never dropping.

It's not the simplest of par putts, either. He leans on his putter waiting for Alex Noren to play.

Now it's the Englishman's turn. He's in confident mood and that is confidently dispatched for another par.

Golf: Watch the birdie

BBC Sport

At The Open, Woburn's Ian Poulter wrenches his sandwedge up behind his head and swallows the expletives he was tempted to let slip...

A moment of frustration, but that's only because he's gone oh-so-close to chipping in from the sand at eight and watched it stay up.

Almost his first birdie of the day.

View more on twitter

Travel: Severe delays on M1

BBC News Travel

There are currently severe delays on the M1, northbound between junctions 12 and 13, after an earlier accident between a lorry and a car.

Traffic has now been released, but one lane is still closed while the clean-up takes place.

View more on twitter

Two former Doctors clash over Jodie Whittaker casting

BBC Entertainment and Arts

Two ex-Time Lords have had a war of words over Jodie Whittaker being cast as TV's first female Doctor.

Peter Davison, who played the Doctor from 1981 to 1984, said he "liked the idea" of a male Doctor and that he felt "a bit sad" the character might no longer be "a role model for boys".

His comments were promptly dubbed "rubbish" by his successor Colin Baker, from High Wycombe.

Peter Davison, Jodie Whittaker and Colin Baker
Getty Images/BBC

"You don't have to be of a gender to be a role model," said the actor, who portrayed the Doctor from 1984 to 1986.

"Can't you be a role model as people?"

The actors were speaking on Thursday at Comic-Con, the world's largest celebration of film, TV and pop culture.

Severe accident: M1 Bedfordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Bedfordshire northbound severe accident, between J12 for A5120 and J13 for A421 affecting J10 for M1.

M1 Bedfordshire - One lane closed and very slow traffic on M1 northbound between J12, A5120 (Flitwick) and J13, A421 (Bedford), because of an accident earlier on and collision clear up work. Travel time is at least 60 minutes. Congestion to J10, M1 (Luton Airport Spur Road).

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

Travel: Crash closes lanes on M1

BBC News Travel

A crash between a lorry and a car means two lanes are closed northbound on the M1, between J12 for Ampthill and J13 for Bedford.

It means there are now long delays in the area.

View more on twitter

Kidnap being investigated in Hemel Hempstead

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A man has been arrested on suspicion of kidnap after reports a woman fell from a moving vehicle in Hemel Hempstead.

Police were called to Redbourn Road by Aldi at 19:37 last night.

A vehicle, thought to be a silver Vauxhall Astra, was seen leaving the scene and travelled towards Queensway.

Redbourn Road
South Beds News Agency

The woman, in her 30s, remains in hospital with a knee injury.

The man, in his 30s, remains in police custody.

Northampton sign ex-Wycombe defender Pierre

Phil Shepka

BBC Sport

Northampton Town have signed former Wycombe Wanderers centre-back Aaron Pierre on a three-year deal.

The 24-year-old Grenada international was out of contract at Wycombe, where he made 149 appearances after joining from Brentford in 2014.

He was offered a new deal at Adams Park and had recently been on trial with Championship side Bristol City.

"He is a strong and powerful centre-back and is improving all the time," said Cobblers boss Justin Edinburgh.

Aaron Pierre
Getty Images

Poulter looking after business

Poulter (-3 after 5)

Des Smyth

Former Ryder Cup vice captain on BBC Radio 5 live

Ian Poulter is in a nice rich vein of form.

He played the Irish Open well, he played last week well and is looking after his business very well today.

How do you avoid holiday traffic jams?

BBC News England

How do you avoid holiday traffic jams?

Traffic jams are an unavoidable feature of any British holiday - or are they?

These tips might help you reach your destination more quickly.

How do you avoid holiday traffic jams?

Steady steady...

Poulter (-3 after 4) Noren (level after 4)

A very tidy opening four drags for Ian Poulter - all pars. He launches an iron down the fifth hole, playing for position on this dog leg. His start is made to look better by the fact his playing partner Alex Noren is two over through the first four holes today.

Poulter will be elated if he can keep things this tight in these conditions.

Ian Poulter
Getty Images

18/156 in red

Poulter (-3 after 2) Knox (+4) Noren (-1)

Ian Poulter has hit the rough on his first three tee shots but somehow he is yet to drop a shot.

Alongside him, Scotland's Russell Knox is on the same mark as he started the day, four over, while Sweden's Alex Noren has given one back to the scoreboard to drop to one under overall.

As far as I can see, 18 of the 156 in the field are under par.

Ian Poulter

Golf: Shinkwin and Hatton miss the cut

BBC Sport

At The Open Golf Championship at Royal Birkdale, Watford's Calum Shinkwin, who finished second in the Scottish Open, had a disappointing second round 78 to leave him +12 and missing the cut.

Wycombe's Tyrell Hatton is in a similar position finishing on +11 after his second round.

Meanwhile Woburn's Ian Poulter tees off about now, -3 par.

Calum Shinkwin
Getty Images

Passenger numbers on the up at Luton Airport

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Today is the last day of term for most schools, so that means the summer holiday rush has begun.

This weekend more than 83,000 passengers are set to jet off from London Luton Airport, with more than 29,000 travelling today, about 26,000 on Saturday and more than 28,000 on Sunday.

That's an increase of 4.5% compared with the same weekend last year.

New figures from the airport show passengers from Beds, Herts and Bucks have increased steadily over the past few years:

  • From Buckinghamshire, 900,000 passengers used the airport in 2016, compared to 750,000 in 2015.
  • Most travellers in this county are from Milton Keynes.
  • From Bedfordshire, 1.66m passengers used the airport in 2016 compared to 1.21m in 2015.
  • Bedford travellers make the most journeys from the airport in the county, followed by Luton.
  • Meanwhile, from Hertfordshire 1.95m passengers used the airport in 2016, compared to 1.5m in 2015.
  • St Albans residents are the most frequent Hertfordshire users.
Airport passengers
London Luton Airport

Travel: Vehicle fire closes part of M40 by High Wycombe

BBC News Travel

Emergency services are currently dealing with a lorry fire on the M40, by junction 4 for High Wycombe.

The southbound exit slip road is now open again, but the main carriageway is still blocked.

There are long delays in the area.

Lorry on fire on M40
Highways England
Fire on M40
TVP Roads Polciing

White lion: Some facts

Justin Dealey

BBC Three Counties Radio

The view of the white lion has been synonymous with the Dunstable Downs for decades, but did you know...

  • The carving was completed in 1933
  • The outline of the lion is 250m (820ft) long
  • The lion, which is not an outline but a solid shape, was designed by artist R B Brook-Greaves
  • It was manually dug out using picks and shovels

Severe disruption: M40 Buckinghamshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M40 Buckinghamshire southbound severe disruption, at J4 for A404.

M40 Buckinghamshire - The main road is closed, with traffic being routed around the junction and back on again, and queuing traffic on M40 London-bound at J4, A404 (High Wycombe Handy Cross Roundabout), because of a lorry fire. Diversion in operation - Via the slip roads.

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

Concerns hillside chalk lion losing its roar

Justin Dealey

BBC Three Counties Radio

A white lion cut into the Dunstable Downs is a well-known local landmark, but I've been hearing from people that it's been looking a little shabby of late.

I've been told by one resident "it's nowhere near what it was 10 years ago", with another saying "it's almost invisible from Ivinghoe now".

White lion on hill
George Mahoney/Georgraph
The Whipsnade white lion captured 15 years ago...

Miki Mitchell, from Berkhamsted, said: "It's one of those things that's just for the area and it really ought to be cleaned up."

Whipsnade white lion
Colin Smith/Geograph
...compared to 11 months ago.

Owen Craft, the general manager of Whipsnade Zoo which is responsible for the lion, stressed it was important to the attraction, adding that every year it gets a deep clean.

"The last month or two we've seen an unprecedented level of weed growth, but our horticulturalists are regularly de-weeding it.

"Over the next few weeks we are looking to continue this so it will spruce up again for the summer."

He explained the zoo was looking to lay fresh chalk on top in the long term to make it look whiter.

"Rest assured we at Whipsnade are committed to improving the visibility of the lion," said Mr Craft.

Travel: Accident on M1 now clear

BBC News Travel

There are currently delays on the M1, northbound between junctions 5 and 6, after a collision between a car and a HGV.

The good news is the debris has been cleared and all lanes have now re-opened.

View more on twitter

Biggleswade residents voice concern over local plan

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

People living in the Biggleswade area have been voicing their objections to plans for more houses, which are being proposed by Central Bedfordshire Council.

The draft local plan, which outlines possible areas for development, is touring the area, gathering local views before it's finalised.

Simon Denchfield from the town has said the houses would be in the wrong place.

He said: "Biggleswade has already taken large scale development over the last five years and now they're proposing to put another 3,000 to 6,000 dwellings in and around [the town]."

Councillor Nigel Young said "no decisions have been made".

"This is the first stage of a consultation, at this point no sites have been allocated," he said.

Severe disruption: M25 Hertfordshire clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Hertfordshire clockwise severe disruption, at J24 for A111.

M25 Hertfordshire - Slow traffic and one lane closed on M25 clockwise at J24, A111 (Potters Bar), because of a broken down car.

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

Severe accident: M1 Hertfordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Hertfordshire northbound severe accident, after J5 for A41.

M1 Hertfordshire - Queuing traffic and two lanes blocked on M1 northbound after J5, A41 (Watford), because of an accident involving a lorry and car.

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

Open Championship: Poulter to start day two at three under par

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Woburn's Ian Poulter has made a good start at the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

Ian Poulter
Getty Images

He will start day two at three under par after shooting a first round of 67 yesterday.

He tees off just after 13:00 - with the big question on everyone's lips - what trousers will he wear today and how did yesterday's bright white pair manage to stay white?

Meanwhile, Watford's Callum Shinkwin and Marlow's Tyrell Hatton are already out on the course for round two.

Shinkwin teed-off at 07:19 and was four over after four holes; Hatton started at 07:52 and was five over after two holes.

You can follow the action on BBC's live reporting page featuring text and video clips.

Weather: Mostly dry with sunny spells

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

Most parts of the BBC East region should see a dry day with sunny spells.

Cloud may thicken later, with the chance of a few showers for some.

Temperatures will reach 23C (73F).

BBC Weather will have more details for where you are.

Cyclist, 91, was doing time trial when killed in crash

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

A 91-year-old cyclist who was killed on the A41 near Aylesbury on Wednesday was riding in a time trial to try to set a new national record for his age, it has emerged.

Ray Dare died when he was in a collision with a van on the Ashton Clinton bypass at about 14:45.

The Kingston Phoenix Road Club, of which he had been a member for more than 60 years, posted a statement on its website expressing "huge sadness and shock".

Welcome back to live updates from Beds, Herts and Bucks

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Hello and welcome to Friday's live updates for Beds, Herts and Bucks. We'll be here until 18:00 with the latest news, sport, weather and travel.

Today is due to be fine for much of the day with spells of sunshine but it looks like rain will arrive by this evening. I hope this beautiful looking cow - in a BBC Weather Watchers picture by Val - gets the memo and lies down to warn us of impending showers.

BBC Weather Watchers picture

You can get in touch by email, Facebook or Twitter.

Severe accident: M1 Buckinghamshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Buckinghamshire southbound severe accident, at J14 for A509.

M1 Buckinghamshire - Slow traffic, one lane blocked and a speed restriction of 50 mph on M1 southbound at J14, A509 (Milton Keynes), because of an accident involving two vans and a car.

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