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Hopes for perfect romance: Otto the Rhino brought in to impress the ladies

Otto is on loan from Colchester Zoo Credit: ITV News Anglia

A white Rhinoceros has been brought in to Woburn Safari Park in Bedfordshire to help with a breeding programme.

Otto is on loan from Colchester Zoo. Staff are hoping he will impress the ladies at the Bedfordshire Safari park.

It comes after the resident male Kai failed to make the right impression.

"The girls did quite like him but unfortunately he's never had any calves, ever sired any calves before. He was doing all the right moves but unfortunately we had nothing come back. So hopefully our new bull, Otto, will be able to do the job for us."

– Tom Robson, Woburn Safari Park

Contractor appointed for £40million teaching centre in Luton

An artist's impression of the new STEM building Credit: University of Bedfordshire

The construction of a £40 million teaching and research 'STEM' building for science and engineering at the University of Bedfordshire is a step closer. Construction firm 'RG Carter' has been appointed to build the STEM centre at the Luton Campus which will be dedicated to teaching and research in the 'stem' subjects such of maths, science, engineering and technology.

“This is part of the University’s wider vision for high-level skills growth in Luton and Bedfordshire. Our new STEM building will support the ambitions of regional policymakers to enhance the skills base in Luton, extending opportunity for local residents and attracting investment to the region.”

– The University’s Vice Chancellor Bill Rammell

The building will also be home to a new Science and Engineering Outreach Centre, which will promote the value of science and engineering to local schools.

RG Carter has been involved in construction projects with universities and other education providers, including Norwich University College of Arts, Cambridge University, The University of East Anglia and Anglia Ruskin University.

The STEM building is due for completion in 2018.


Part two of our series on special schools in the region

A video by Kate Prout:

This week we're looking at the role of special schools in our region and why they seem to be out-performing mainstream schools.

In part Two of Kate Prout's series we're investigating how both types of school are starting to work together to share ideas and improve their pupil performance

Greater Anglia publishes its wish-list for next ten years


Train operator Greater Anglia has published ten upgrades which it says will be a priority over the next decade. The company is seeking support from rail user groups, MPs and other bodies for investment to be available for the projects.

The improvements Greater Anglia wants to see include:

Felixstowe – Peterborough (and Nuneaton):

· Haughley Junction upgrade (to enable more frequent and reliable services)

· Ely area upgrades (including Ely North Junction, Queen Adelaide level crossings, re-signalling and bridge strengthening, to enable more frequent and reliable services)

· Ely – Soham double tracking project (to enable more frequent freight and passenger services)

Great Eastern Main Line (Norwich – Ipswich – Colchester – Chelmsford – London)

· Haughley Junction upgrade (to enable more frequent and reliable services)

· Trowse Swing Bridge replacement (with a fixed double track bridge, instead of the current single track swing bridge to enable more frequent and reliable services)

· Long loops between Colchester and Witham (to allow fast trains to overtake slower full length freight or passenger trains, helping to improve reliability and journey times)

· Digital re-signalling Colchester to London (to enable more frequent services)

West Anglia Main Line:

· Capacity upgrades to enable 4 trains an hour between Angel Road and Tottenham/Stratford

· Four-tracking of the West Anglia route from Copper Mill Junction to Broxbourne as the first stage of the Crossrail 2 scheme (to enable more frequent services, quicker journey times and better reliability)

Is that actor a little wooden? No, it's a robot: stage play to feature droid

Theatre goers in Cambridge and Luton will be able to see a love story with a difference.

The play 'Spillikin: a love story' features a robot actor in the cast. It's about an elderly lady with Alzheimer's being looked after by a robot.

The production has already been at Suffolk's Latitude Festival but will be at the Cambridge Junction next week and at Luton's Hat Factory in April.

Antique police chest saved from being destroyed

Pictured left to right is NARPO Secretary Lionel Stewart, Station Officer Rachel Carne who was contacted by PC Taylor's grandson and Joyce Nethersole of the Sports and Social Club. Credit: Bedfordshire Police

An historic piece of furniture has been saved by Bedfordshire Police from being destroyed.

The grandson of former officer PC Herbert Taylor, donated a chest to the force, which had been presented to his granddad when he retired in 1939. PC Taylor was awarded the furniture in honour of his long service to Luton Constabulary - as Bedfordshire Police hadn’t yet been formed.

PC Taylor’s grandson, who also served as a Scenes of Crime Officer in the 1970s, contacted the force to say that he was unable to take the chest with him when he moved house so instead offered it to the force.

The Bedfordshire Police Sports and Social Club liaised with the National Association of Retired Police Officers (NARPO) to arrange for the furniture to be collected and it will now be placed in the force museum.


Kidney cancer: 70% of people didn't feel unwell prior to diagnosis

70 per cent of people with kidney cancer didn't feel unwell before diagnosis according to research from a Cambridge charity.

Kidney Cancer UK is supporting an awareness week to highlight the need for early screenings.

Recent figures show cases are rising with 4,200 people losing their battle to the disease.

Did not feel unwell prior to diagnosis
  • 25% only felt unwell because of an unrelated illness
  • 19% were diagnosed via A & E
  • 46% of people are diagnosed with stage 3 or 4 too late
  • 43% diagnosed through unrelated medical scan

Survival from kidney cancer decreases greatly for the later stages. The charity is calling for a more cost effective national ultrasound programme to be made available at around 50.

Their teams are working on the viability of such a programme and what is the best age have the scan.

New 'Centre for elephant care' to open at Whipsnade Zoo

New 'Centre for elephant care' to open Credit: ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

The elephants at Whipsnade Zoo near Dunstable will be packing their trunks this spring to move into a £2million enclosure.

The 'Centre for Elephant Care' will feature a new barn and viewing platform for visitors, all set in 20 acres of grass paddocks.

The new centre includes the following:

  • Soft sand flooring for comfort
  • Dimming lights to mimic night-time conditions
  • Feeding pods to release food regularly during the night
  • Six giaan oak trees for scratching posts.

The new centre will also have balcony viewing so visitors can watch the her. It's due to open at Easter.

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