Review of the Year: August

A GRANDMOTHER with a shotgun, Iron Maiden and stressed students made the news in August.

* A record pass rate, unprecedented demand and a cap on places led to a scramble for university places after A Levels results were released.

Education leaders and business experts in the Comet country called for a rethink of the exam system after a record number of students failed to gain places for a degree.

Records were also smashed at many Comet country schools when their GCSE results hit all-time highs.

* Police were criticised by a grandmother after she was left waiting for an hour with her granddaughter with a dumped double-barrel shotgun while a PCSO was dispatched on a bus.

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The Stevenage woman had found the gun taped up in an open box while walking in Chells Wood.

The officer told the grandmother she had been forced to take a bus because there had been a shortage of police cars. Firearm officers and a dog unit were later called in.

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* Iron Maiden headlined the final day of Knebworth’s Sonisphere festival rocking a 55,000 strong crowd.

The British heavy metal legends wound up three days of rock from the likes of Pendulum, Alice Cooper and Rammstein.

Over 154,000 pints of beer around 27,500 burgers were consumed by revellers over the weekend.

* Stevenage doctor Karen Woo was shot dead in Afghanistan by insurgents while helping the poor.

The 36-year-old was killed returning to Kabul from a remote region of the country where she had been treating villagers. Nine other members of her charity medical team were also murdered.

The Taliban claimed responsibility, saying the group were spies and preachers of Christianity.

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