YEP 2010 Review of the Year: JANUARY TO APRIL

Peter Lazenby looks back at what was making the headlines in the first four months of 2010.

JANUARY

The brother of a Leeds soldier brain damaged by a bomb in Iraq signed up for his old regiment.

Nathan Edwards, 19, of Bramley, joined The Rifles three years after his brother Lance Corporal Martin Edwards was hit by a roadside bomb in Basra. The 27-year-old suffered brain damage and his left arm and leg were disabled.

Reformed alcoholic Tom Fitzsimons went into training for the toughest foot race on earth, the Marathon des Sables, which covers 150 miles of Saharan desert.

Tom, 35, of Newton Hill, Wakefield, planned to raise money for the Rugby Football League Benevolent Fund, and Addiction, a drugs and alcohol charity.

Caring Leeds youngster staged a hula-hooping session to raise funds for victims of the Haitian earthquake.

The youngsters, aged between nine and 11, pupils at Cross Gates Primary School in east Leeds, gave up part of their lunch break to hula for Haiti.

A LEEDS man plummeted to his death at his holiday apartment after celebrating New Year's Eve in a popular island resort.

Gary Martin, 33, a painter and decorator, fell from outside his sixth floor apartment after the night out with friends and family in Gran Canaria in the Canary Isles.

Severe weather cost West Yorkshire ratepayers millions of pounds in road repairs.

The county's paths and highways received a battering following weeks of sub-zero temperatures.

Councils in West Yorkshire estimated the road repair bill at 3m.

A surge in compensation claims from injured pedestrians and motorists with damaged vehicles was expected.

* Click here to sign up to free news and sport email alerts from your YEP.

FEBRUARY

CAMPAIGNERS claimed a victory after controversial plans for a waste transfer facility in Leeds were shelved following months of protests.

Schoolchildren from Kirkstall Valley Primary School in Burley were among hundreds of people objecting to the plans for the new expanded plant at Evanston Avenue in Kirkstall.

The proposals were abandoned by Leeds City Council after independent assessors said the scheme was "not good value for money."

FANS of popular Yorkshire TV soap Emmerdale came from as far away as Finland to pay homage at a gala weekend marking the 20th anniversary of the series' fan club.

Members met the cast, toured the studios, visited the set near Harewood, enjoyed a quiz in The Woolpack and attended a charity dinner and auction attended by 21 cast members, including Kelvin Fletcher (Andy Sugden), Chris Chittell (Eric Pollard), Mark Charnock (Marlon Dingle) and Charlotte Bellamy (Laurel Thomas).

HEALTH experts said takeaways were taking over Leeds's most deprived areas.

NHS workers said residents living in the worst-off areas often could not buy fruit and vegetables locally – but their streets were full of shops selling cheap, unhealthy takeaway food.

A LEADING Tory youth activist in West Yorkshire was suspended from the party after using Nazi language in a newsletter to members.

David Bolt likened his organisation's campaigning to the Sonderkommando – units of Jewish prisoners forced to dispose of the dead in Second World War Nazi death camps.

The West Yorkshire area chairman of Conservative Future – the youth wing of the party – was suspended immediately after making the highly offensive comments in a monthly bulletin emailed to activists.

FIFTY dog walkers and their pets braved snow and ice to help raise 10,000 for a Leeds hospice.

They gathered at Golden Acre Park at Bramhope for a sponsored walk in aid of St Gemma's hospice.

THE number of people on the dole in Leeds hit a 13-year high with more than 25,000 claiming jobless benefits.

A TOURIST attraction rescued by a 1.2m bail-out from the taxpayer just two years ago was shut down.

The Yorkshire Planetarium opened at Harewood House – the 18th century stately home of the Queen's cousin, the Earl of Harewood – in summer, 2007, but ran into trouble a few months later due to lack of visitors.

Government regional development agency Yorkshire Forward rescued the project with a grant of 1.2m.

Despite the hand-out it shut and was replace by a 100,000 children's play area.

* Click here to follow the YEP on Twitter.

MARCH

Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe launched a High Court bid for freedom, at London's High Court.

His barrister, Nicholas Bowen QC, said fresh medical evidence indicated that Sutcliffe's responsibility for his crimes was "diminished" by his paranoid schizophrenia.

A STATUE to the memory of comic Ernie Wise was unveiled in his home town of Morley by his widow Doreen.

The stone sculpture was sited just yards from Morley Pavilion Theatre where Ernie made some of his earliest stage appearances aged just six.

LEEDS's Irish community took to the streets for the annual celebration of St Patrick's Day.

Thousands flocked to Millennium Square to welcome the arrival of a parade of floats, bands and marchers, followed by a performance of traditional music and dance.

FRIENDS and family were among hundreds of guests to honour Yorkshire cricket legend Fred Trueman OBE at the unveiling of a new statue.

His widow Veronica and ex-teammate Dickie Bird attended the ceremony at the canal basin in Skipton – one of his favourite places.

The bronze statue was created by artist Graham Ibbeson.

Fred, who died in 2006 at the age of 75, was regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers to ever play Test cricket for England.

MASSAGES and bouncy castle hire awere among the services being offered by 363 West Yorkshire Police officers who had second jobs.

The number of officers with a second job more than doubled in four years.

TV and film extra work was the sideline for 28 of the West Yorkshire force's 5,854 officers.

* Click here to Like Us on Facebook.

APRIL

A NEW group named Friends of Leeds Kirkgate Market was launched over fears that the historic market could face closure.

Long regarded as one of the city's key attractions, the market was battling against recession and with 15 per cent of stalls empty, traders and councillors said urgent action was needed to breathe new life into the Victorian market.

A STATUE to famed Leeds United captain Billy Bremner was given a facelift by its creator, renowned sculptor Frances Segelman.

The Leeds-born artist used gilding paste to give the statue outside United's Elland Road ground a fresh splash of colour, then applied varnish and wax for a smart, shiny finish.

FORMER Kent and England spin-bowler "Deadly" Derek Underwood visited Horsforth Cricket Club to officially open its new 53,000 practice wickets.

The story of Ashley Thomas,  played by actor John Middleton, won a British Soap award.

Emmerdale’s dementia storyline inspires fundraising walk for fans