A year in the life of Milton Keynes

Here's a quick lookback at some of the stories that made the headlines in 2006....

JANUARY....

It was revealed that solid gold 3000-year-old jewellery discovered in Monkston would return to the city for a special viewing at thecentre:mk. The find was being stored at the British Museum in London.

A city student had a mice surprise when she found a dead mouse in a cucumber she was cutting up for a sandwich.

Hanslope First School Headmaster Russell Fancourt drove to another village to pick up the schoolchildren when the bus didn't turn up.

Two homeless people were given jobs at thecentre:mk as part of the waste management team. The move was hailed as a second chance for both former employees.

FEBRUARY....

Details emerged of a petrol bomber who hit the wrong property killing a 77-year-old disabled man instead of his intended victim.

The Citizen revealed that a young baby faced a six-week delay for crucial surgery after picking up an infection. The boy and his mother were moved from their council house into a hostel after an electrical fault.

Milton Keynes Theatre was condemned by Christians for enticing audiences to see the controversial Jerry Springer opera with cut-price tickets.

MARCH....

A young girl from Milton Keynes got a right royal surprise when she received a letter from the Queen. The seven-year-old had drawn a picture of the Queen outside Buckhingham Palace.

Vets pointed out the possibility that a cat poisoner may be operating in Great Holm. Thirteen cats were found fighting for life in and around their homes.

A woman who fled to Milton Keynes from an abusive partner revealed exclusively in the Citizen how she got her life back on track. She rose to own the city company she started work at as a cleaner.

Strikes hit public services across the city this week as a workers took to the streets in protest. Schools, nurseries, the police and libraries were some of the organisations affected by the action.

APRIL....

The eyes of the nation descended upon Milton Keynes when tons of scaffolding collapsed at the Jury's Inn hotel site on Midsummer Boulevard. Scores of readers sent in their pictures from a day which has been permanently etched into the city's consciousness.

A city couple revealed their wedding plans were in tatters after a planned Robbie Williams concert bumped up hotel prices in some city hotels.

A heroic mum swam out into the middle of Furzton Lake to rescue a drowning man. The 38-year-old woman, who is a trained lifeguard, dragged the man to safety from 100 yards out.

MAY....

The city's Fear of Crime Survey placed anti-social behaviour at the top of residents' concerns. Three-quarters of people asked said it was their biggest concern.

A power vacuum emerged at Milton Keynes Council after opposition parties rejected an invitation to form a coalition with the Liberal Democrats.

A thief posing as a policeman tricked an elderly lady into handing over her pension money. The pensioner planned to use the 2000 for a much-needed holiday.

JUNE....

Plans to bulldoze homes on city centre estates to make way for planned expansion were revealed in the Citizen. The move was detailed in the Milton Keynes Urban Potential Study.

Wayne Rooney lookalike Bradley King made his TV debut ahead of the World Cup kick-off. He starred in the Channel 4 show Sven: The Coach, the Cash and the Lovers.

Callous thieves stole an elderly man's mobility scooter while he was tending his daughter's grave. It was found dumped in a canal.

Police praised football fans for being well-behaved during Englands first few world cup games. Just one crime was recorded during the city 1-0 win against Ecuador.

JULY...

A pair of exotic cats, that resembled a character in Austin Powers called Mr Bigglesworth, were stolen from Giffard Park.

The Citizen revealed that parking wardens were being offered the chance to be 'Top Dog of the Week' and win prizes for the most tickets issued. The initiative came as the Government was encouraging councils to be more motorist friendly.

Pupils at a city school abandoned lessons in protest after not being allowed home during the heatwave.

A city mum had a far from happy landing when she fell through the roof of her home.

She became stuck between the second and first floors of her home with her children trying to tug her free.

AUGUST....

A PAIR of tarantulas were roaming free in an office at Woburn Safari park after a break-in there.

Farmer Henry Shedden was counting the cost of a stray spark which saw his 100,000 combine harvester and a four-wheel drive Daihatsu destroyed ina field fire.

A city peace activist says he would go to prison after being arrested in Scotland in the cockpit of a plane he claimed was carrying weapons to Israel - then invading Lebanon.

Bridie the 'wonder dog' staged a remarkable recovery after being run over by a train breaking her back undergoing 4,500 worth of treatment.

Disabled Johann Schnur was back on two wheels when the Citizen reunited him with his stolen electric bicycle . The 42 year old used the bike to look for work.

SEPTEMBER....

MP Mark Lancaster escaped uninjured when Taliban rockets slammed into his camp in Afghanistan where he was stationed during the summer Parliamentary recess.The TA Major was in country overseeing reconstrucion projects.

Volunteers completed years of painstaking work reconstructing one of Bletchley Park's famous 'Bombe' codebreaking machines.

MK Hospital unveiled plans for a multi-storey car park aimed at easing chronic parking problems on the site.

Residents angry at suggestions a traffic reducing gate across their busy street could be scuppered staged a noisy protest. Householders in Tavistock Street, Bletchley, say constant traffic from nearby motor traders is making their lives a misery.

Robbie Williams' concerts at The Bowl broke all records with a total of 325,000 fans seeing him over five nights - and just a handful of arrests.

A three-year-old girl was the victim of a nasty attack by a seven-stone Bull Mastiff dog. The tot suffered appalling head wounds as she teased it with a biscuit. The dog was later destroyed.

A replica of Wolverton's famous Bloomer railway engine is moved back to the town for restoration from its plinth outside MK Central Station.

OCTOBER....

War veterans Fred Petts, aged 71 and 86-year-old Ernie Staines were devastated when thieves stole their mobility scooters.

A Priest sparked an unholy row after blockading his church car park at Shenley Church End to stop parents from a nearby school using it.

Sir Terry Wogan popped in to sign copies of his new book at Waterstones.

Eighty one year old Joan Jordan, of Wolverton was saved after badly cutting herself by her pendant safety alarm. Triggering it saw Community Alarm warden send her daughter rushing to her home.

A City schoolgirl and budding actress had viewers foxed - was Lakechia Jeanne, of Furzton, who played a young girl in the crime drama Prime Suspect: The Final Act the nemesis of star Dame Helen Mirren?

Experts continued to look at the ceiling of Giles Brook School, closed amid fears building defects threatened children's safety.

Billie Piper wowed fans at Tesco Kingston.

A mother's campaign to have plastic bottles and glasses in busy pubs and clubs was given a boost by MP Mark Lancaster when he raised it in the Commons under the Ten Minute Rule Bill.

NOVEMBER....

Plans for a half-billion pound waste processing plant serving Milton Keynes and Northants were announced. Anglian Water customer Alan Norman boiled over when he got a bill for almost 19,000 - by mistake.

A LANDSCAPE contractor found the body of a man just yards from Milton Keynes Central Police Station. It emerged the man had been detained by police two weeks before his body was found in undergrowth wearing an orange police custody suit. The Independent Police Complaints Commission was investigating.

Abbie Carr of Wavendon gate had sold several of her 'nappy cakes' to Harrods. The maternity gifts contained unused disposable nappies, dummies, soothers and other items.

Milton Keynes Council and waste contractors Cory ordered an investigation after the Citizen exposed what appeared to be dustmen failing to collect recyclable materials.

Our front page expose and video 'evidence' prompted a flood of calls, emails and letters from council tax payers who claimed to have seen similar incidents. The story resulted in four dustmen losing their jobs.

And the Citizen revealed that the beleagured head teacher of Lord Grey School Despina Pavlou had been dismissed after a long-running disagreement with governors.

DECEMBER....

WATER baillifs stepped up patrols to nab possible fish-napping by some Poles eager to taste their traditional carp dish at Christmas.