Review of the year: May

A woman from Comet country was quarantined amid swine flu fears after returning from a trip to Mexico. According to the manager of a local rail station newsagent, the member of his staff was checked for symptoms of swine flu when she landed back in Britai

A woman from Comet country was quarantined amid swine flu fears after returning from a trip to Mexico.

According to the manager of a local rail station newsagent, the member of his staff was checked for symptoms of swine flu when she landed back in Britain and was ordered to stay at home for one week.

NHS East and North Hertfordshire said it had "comprehensive plans" in place to "manage the effects of a widespread flu outbreak, maintain NHS services and make sure all frontline staff are fully prepared".

A concerned mother started a petition after used needles and condoms were found on a footpath which separates primary school buildings.

Emma Dale-Smith had two children who attended Fairlands Primary School and Nursery in Stevenage.

She began the petition asking the borough council to remove trees along the footpath in a bid to deter anti-social behaviour in the area.

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"We have already had children pick up needles so it is a big worry," said Ms Dale-Smith.

A 14-year-old girl was the brains behind a music gig aimed at raising awareness of the dangers young people face by carrying knives.

Beth Gaskell, a pupil at Hitchin Girls' School, said: "I organised Lives Not Knives as I felt young people like myself needed to take a stand against the serious issues of knife crime."

Work began in Eastcheap on the first phase of the �8m street improvement scheme in Letchworth GC town centre which was expected to take 58 weeks with a two-month break so that Christmas shopping was not disrupted.

Two men were arrested on suspicion of murder after the headless corpse of a man was found floating at the Blue Lagoon in Arlesey.

It was revealed that Stevenage MP Barbara Follett had claimed more than �25,000 in expenses between 2005 and 2008 for security patrols around her second home in Soho after she was mugged and followed by a stalker,

Among her other claims was �528.75 for a Chinese needlepoint rug to be repaired and cleaned, but was only given �300 after it was deemed excessive.

Mrs Follett said: "I have put far more into running my constituency advice office and helping the people of Stevenage than I have ever got out of my allowances and salary put together. I'm glad to do so because they deserve it."

Ill health and diabetes mean that pensioner Judy Stanley had to have her left leg amputated and her weight soared to over 20 stones.

She determined to slim down drastically, and as she lost weight over a year she had to return to Lister Hospital to have 11 new prosthetic legs fitted.

Fellow members of the Slimming World Club in Stotfold now called her Legs 11, said 61-year-old Judy.

There was bad news for rock fans when a popular annual music festival in Fairlands Valley Park, Stevenage was cancelled.

Ron Walker, chairman of the Rock In The Park committee, said the main reason for the cancellation "is one of concerns for safety with the sailing lake being empty and the steep drops of the banks".

Olympic sprint cycling gold medallist Victoria Pendleton, who hails from Stotfold, was in the spotlight against when she attended the RHS Chelsea Flower Show for the unveiling of a rose to commemorate her success at the Beijing Games.

Seven ducklings caused a flap when firefighters spent almost two hours rescuing them from a storm water drain.

They were believed to have fallen into the conduit in Fairlands Way, Stevenage as they followed their mother along the busy dual carriageway and may have been trapped there for up to two days.

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