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Scientist: 'Stevenage forest mission is fantastic news'

A leading scientist behind a new satellite which is to be built in Stevenage has described the project as 'fantastic'.

The 'Biomass' probe will be built by the town's Airbus Defence team and will help monitor the earth's forests from space.

It is due to be launched in 2021.

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Stevenage satellite to monitor the world's forests from space

A rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia. Credit: PA

Scientists will soon be able to monitor the earth's forests from space thanks to a new satellite to be built at Stevenage's Airbus Defence team.

The project called 'Biomass' follows on from last week's test of its Mars Rover by astronaut Tim Peake.

The Biomass probe will provide information to climate researchers all over the world when it is launched in 2021.

It will make 3D maps of forests across the globe and measure the amount of carbon present.

It will also pick up any annual changes.

Collecting accurate data on the world's biomass is key to our understanding of the world's climate.

We are very pleased to help ESA with this mission that will provide key data for scientists and climate scientists around the world.

– François Auque, Head of Space Systems

Ambulance service receives more than 9 thousand calls over Bank Holiday

Ambulance staff and volunteers have been thanked for their hard work during another busy bank holiday weekend. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The East of England Ambulance Service received more than 9 thousand emergency calls over the bank holiday weekend.

That's an increase of 8 per cent compared to the same time last year.

Suffolk and Bedfordshire experienced the highest surge in demand.

County breakdown of calls during the May Day bank holiday compared to last year:

  • Bedfordshire: 938 (803) – 16%
  • Cambridgeshire: 1,185 (1,129) – 5%
  • Essex: 2,772 (2,658) – 4%
  • Herts: 1,559 (1,447) – 7%
  • Norfolk: 1,400 (1,330) – 5%
  • Suffolk: 1,182 (1,006) – 17%

"We continue to experience high levels of demand and the bank holiday weekend was another busy one for the Trust. However, we were prepared and coped well, despite the demands being placed on the service.

This is testament to the hard work and commitment of all our staff and volunteers across the East of England.”

– Sandy Brown, EEAST Deputy Chief Executive

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Family store trying to trace its first customers from 1936

A family run business celebrating eighty years of trade this year is trying to trace two of its original customers.

The furniture store Martins of Letchworth has uncovered two invoices dating back to its first year of trade in 1936.

Now the search is on to solve the mystery of who they were.

Click below to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Natalie Gray.

The furniture store trying to trace two of its first customers from 80 years ago

Martins of Letchworth is still going strong in the town. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A family run business celebrating 80 years of trade this year is trying to trace two of its original customers.

The furniture store Martins of Letchworth has uncovered two invoices dating back to its first year of trade in 1936.

Now the search is on to solve the mystery of who they were.

This invoice dates back to 1936 Credit: ITV News Anglia
Credit: ITV News Anglia

Eighty years on and the furniture shop is still a familiar face in Letchworth and the firm have expanded to run ten stores.

They're keen to trace the relatives as part of their anniversary celebrations.

"We've got two invoices both from 1936, two separate customer. I think one was in June, the other September time, both local, and we're looking to find the relatives of those purchases. We've got a Jackson at Soubry Avenue in Letchworth and we think the name is not so clear, but a Wearmere or Termere in Council cottages in Willingham.

– Stephen White, Manager

Man jailed for 16-years after caught with £5 million of drugs

61-year old Malcolm O'Halloran Credit: Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU)

A man caught driving along the M1 with drugs in his van worth five million pounds as been jailed for sixteen years.

Malcolm O'Halloran who is 61, was stopped by police as he drove through Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire in January.

Police found cocaine in his van and later searched O'Halloran's house, finding guns and ammunition along with just under sixty thousand pounds in cash.

O'Halloran pleaded guilty to one count of possessing a class A drug with intent to supply, one count of possessing criminal property, three counts of possessing a prohibited firearm, and one count of possessing illegal ammunition.

Cocaine found in the back of O'Halloran's van Credit: Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU)

"Fifty kilograms of cocaine equates to an untold amount of misery and degradation on the streets of the eastern region, and the guns and cash found at his house demonstrate both the money involved with the drugs trade and the dangerous undercurrent of violence that comes with it."

– Detective Chief Inspector Chris Balmer
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