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Bedford welcomes 10,000 students for university convention

The two day convention is the largest of its kind in the East. Credit: ITV Anglia

More than 10,000 students from across the region will be at Bedford University today to learn more about higher education.

The two day UCAS convention - the largest of it's kind in the region - will see 16 & 17 year old from around Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire and Milton Keynes meet with institutions from all over the country.

Council hopes to have come up with a 'sustainable plan' for hospital's future

Bedford Hospital. Credit: Press Association.

A report into the future of Bedford Hospital will be published later today.

It has been put together by the borough council which believes it has come up with a sustainable plan for the site's future.

The report was commissioned following concerns the latest review of healthcare in both Bedford and Milton Keynes hospital could see the hospital lose services like A&E maternity and paediatrics.

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Former Bedford Blues player dies in Congo plane crash

David Francombe. Credit: Bedford Blues

A former Bedford Blues rugby player has died in a plane crash in Africa.

The aircraft came down in the Democratic Republic of Congo on May 16.

David Francombe played for the Blues in the 80s when he was a student at Bedford College.

The plane came down in DR Congo 10 days ago. Credit: ITV News Anglia

When he'd finished his studies, he returned to his home country of Kenya and went on to captain their national side.

Dave will be remembered with great respect and affection by his Bedford teammates, not just a great on field player, but as a friendly, bear of a man, always ready with a smile and a handshake.

The club sends its sincere sympathy to his family on their tragic loss.

– Bedford Blues statement

Taxi driver jailed over plans to abandon family and join ISIS

Naseer Mirza Taj. Credit: Bedfordshire Police

A taxi driver from Bedford who planned to leave his pregnant wife at home while he travelled to fight for the so called Islamic State has been jailed.

26-year-old Naseer Taj planned to go to Syria, marry a jihadi bride and achieve martyrdom.

But he was arrested in December 2014 two days before he was set to leave.

He was found guilty of the preparation of terrorists acts and sentenced to eight years and three months.

The sad reality is that his intentions meant he has now missed out on the birth of his child and will not be there to see them growing up.

We work hard with partner agencies and our communities to identify those who seek to exploit the vulnerable in our society, or who have extreme views in order to intervene and divert them away from that path.

– Detective Inspector Ryan Brammer

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Police watchdog informed of man's death in Bedford

Midland Road in Bedford where a man died earlier today

Bedfordshire Police have confirmed the police watchdog the IPCC have been informed after a man died in Bedford.

It happened at lunchtime today (Wednesday) on the town's Midland Road.

Officers gave first aid at the scene and the ambulance service also attended, but were unable to save the man.

In a brief statement Bedfordshire Police said

The IPCC will be informed of the incident, as is procedure when a person dies who has been in recent contact with the police.

No further details will be released at this time.

– Bedfordshire Police

Bedford lock Flanagan joins Premiership giants Saracens

Mark McCall is happy to have signed Flanagan. Credit: PA

Bedford Blues forward Mark Flanagan has joined Aviva Premiership leaders Saracens on a two-year deal.

The second row has been in fantastic form for the Blues this season, helping them reach The Championship play-offs.

The 26-year-old will complete his move in the summer.

We have been watching Mark for some time and he has proved himself one of the most impressive lock forwards in the Championship.

We're delighted he's chosen to advance his career at Saracens.

– Mark McCall, Saracens Director of Rugby

Meanwhile, Bedford have signed London Irish centre Tom Farrell.

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