Review of the year: August

IN August, Lister Hospital was given the green light for the final phase of a �150 million redevelopment plan and a lottery syndicate celebrated scooping �100,000.

• A YEAR after she was murdered by the Taliban, the mission of Dr Karen Woo to send much-needed medical supplies to Afghanistan was accomplished.

Dr Woo, from Stevenage, was shot by insurgents while bringing medical aid to remote villages in the war-torn country in August 2010.

The 36-year-old former St Nicholas and Barclay School pupil, who grew up in Brixham Close where her family still live, had collected unwanted medical supplies from various hospitals in the UK, but was killed before they could be airlifted to Afghanistan.

Her family and friends spent a year trying to achieve her aim, eventually succeeding.

• AN ARMED robber terrorised staff and shoppers in Tesco Express on Stevenage High Street.

The High Street was closed and armed police surrounded the shop before a 40-year-old woman was arrested at the scene. Police confirmed that a handgun had been found.

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• A PUB syndicate celebrated after scooping more than �100,000 on a lottery win.

The lucky group, made up of 13 regulars at The Bull Inn, Whitwell, plus landlady Claire Smerdon, won �127,298, or just over �9,000 each.

They matched five numbers with the bonus ball in a Saturday night draw to clinch the prize. “It was overwhelming,” said Claire.

• VEHICLES were set on fire in Stevenage, with residents fearing the spread of the London riots to the town.

Three vehicles were set on fire in Bedwell one morning, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage and forcing residents to flee their homes.

Herts Police stepped up patrols in the town as a result of the events.

• IMPROVEMENT works to The Wynd in Letchworth GC were completed, with new signs installed, a pirate ship playground and sensory garden built, and the conversion of The Gallery into a covered market and auction house called The Greenhouse.

The �300,000 refurbishment was funded by Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation to maintain the area while long-term regeneration plans are formed.

• LISTER Hospital was finally given the green light by the Government for the last phase of a �150 million redevelopment plan.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley was at the Stevenage site to announce the Government’s backing for the �71.5 million final phase of the plan, which paves the way for Lister to become a major acute services hospital for the 500,000 residents in east and north Herts.

The final phase of redevelopment will create a new A&E, a new ward block, chemotherapy, ultrasound, endoscopy and day surgery units and theatres, as well as the refurbishment of the main tower wards and critical care unit.

• NORTH Herts District Council’s Cabinet turned down a proposal to consider introducing plastic kerbside recycling on financial and environmental grounds.

“This is a slap in the face for all those residents who told us they have to trundle their plastics to banks which are often overflowing so that the area is a disgraceful mess,” said Cllr David Billing, who proposed the motion initially.

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