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  1. Covid-19: 'Nothing prepared hospital staff for the impact'

    Allen Cook

    BBC News

    Nothing had prepared hospital staff for the impact of coronavirus on themselves, the chief executive of a West Midlands hospital said.

    Hospital warning signs

    Professor David Loughton of The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust said several experienced intensive care consultants had reported trouble sleeping.

    "They wake up at four o'clock in the morning and they can remember the faces of the people who they said 'I am going to put you to sleep now and you may never wake up'," he told a meeting of the West Midlands Combined Authority.

    The infection rate in Wolverhampton has increased to 948.1 per 100,000 for the week up to 10 January compared to 932.6 the week before.

  2. Station redevelopment to cost £10m more

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    The redevelopment of Perry Barr railway station is going to cost nearly £10m more than originally planned, the leader of Birmingham City Council has said.

    But Ian Ward told a meeting of the West Midlands Combined Authority it was important the work goes ahead, because it will be used by visitors to the 2022 Commonwealth Games in the city.

    Perry Barr station

    The original budget for the scheme was just over £21m and that has risen to £30.98m.

    Council leaders from across the West Midlands plan to meet to look at how this will be funded.

  3. Two rabbits found near freezing reservoir

    Two rabbits were found in a cardboard box, near Birmingham's Bartley Reservoir, in freezing temperatures.

    They were spotted by a local couple out on their daily walk, but if one of them hadn't found its way out of the box they might not have been noticed at all, the RSPCA said.

    Bunnies

    The two male rabbits were microchipped, but the chips held no information and RSPCA inspector Nichola Geraghty said: "These rabbits are domesticated and would never have survived on their own.”

  4. Art gallery improvement work to resume later

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Improvement work to Wolverhampton Art Gallery, halted last March, is due to resume in June.

    Artists impression of new cafe

    The work, which is phase two of an improvement project, is costing £1,526,000, with an additional cost of £450,000 coming from an Arts Council England.

    The cafe will be moved from the top floor to a larger ground floor location, and the entrance will be made more accessible.

    Wolverhampton Art Gallery
  5. Vaccination for more than half town's care homes

    More than half of Stourbridge's care homes, which responded to questions, have now either received, or are about to receive the coronavirus vaccination, the town's MP has said.

    The Department of Health and Social Care is aiming for all care home residents to have been offered vaccines by the end of January.

    Vaccination

    Conservative MP Suzanne Webb said her team called all 17 homes in her constituency and found nine had either administered the jab or were expecting to in the coming days.

    Four homes didn't respond and only one said it has not received any contact from a surgery or the local clinical commissioning group.

  6. Politicians still want vaccine answers

    The health secretary has again been asked for details of who is getting vaccinated in Birmingham and which organisations are carrying them out.

    The request comes in a letter to Matt Hancock signed by Ian Ward, the leader of the city council, as well as Labour's candidate for the West Midlands Mayor elections Liam Byrne, and Conservative MP for Sutton Coldfield, Andrew Mitchell.

    Letter

    The three complained last week the city was running low on vaccine stocks, and while supply was quickly replenished, they said it was "regrettable" other questions still haven't been answered.

  7. 'Timing right' for BBC Wolverhampton

    BBC Radio Wolverhampton has been on-air since 06:00 and now Letitia George (pictured below) has taken from Elise Evans as presenter.

    The station is available online and on DAB every weekday between 06:00 and 14:00 until March.

    Letitia George

    The BBC has been considering the idea of extra local radio services for over a decade now but, with the pandemic, it was decided now is the time to launch.

    Like Sunderland, which is also about to get a new BBC service, Wolverhampton has seen significant increases in coronavirus case numbers in the last couple of months.

  8. Wolverhampton family remain in Brazil due to travel ban

    A Wolverhampton family are unable to return home due to a ban on people travelling from South America.

    The UK's new travel ban came into force at 04:00 GMT on Friday.

    Jon Dent said he and his wife Carla travelled to the Brazilian city of Goiania in October to introduce their baby daughter to Carla's family.

    Dent family

    Mr Dent said: ""I hope we can get home and not be stranded out here for months. We've got to be patient but at the same time flexible."

  9. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M6 West Midlands both ways

    BBC News Travel

    M6 West Midlands both ways severe disruption, between J7 for A34 Birmingham Road and J6 for A38 Tyburn Road.

    M6 West Midlands - One lane closed on M6 in both directions between J7, A34 (Great Barr) and J6, A38 (Spaghetti Junction), because of technical issues preventing the smart motorway lane opening. Traffic is coping well.

    To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

  10. New local radio service for Wolverhampton

    The BBC's new local radio service for Wolverhampton launches today.

    It's one of two new stations aimed at bringing people local news, sport, travel and weather during the pandemic.

    Elise Evans

    Elise Evans (pictured above) got things going earlier. She'll be familiar to audiences in the West Midlands, having previously presented on BBC Radio WM.

    The BBC's head of Local Radio, Chris Burns, said listeners "will get a better sense of what is happening in their area and will feel more in touch with their community even as they stay at home”.

    The station can be found online or on DAB radio.

  11. Local pair to wake up Wolverhampton

    The BBC's new radio service for Wolverhampton goes on air at 06:00 tomorrow and Elise Evans will be its first presenter.

    She'll be familiar to listeners to BBC WM and said she was "thrilled to be given the opportunity to wake up my home city every morning".

    Elise Evans and Letitia George

    Elise will be followed by Letitia George, who is currently a presenter on BBC CWR.

    She said: "With such a fantastic local community who are passionate about their city, who wouldn't jump at the chance to be involved. I can't wait to take you through your weekday mornings and share your incredible stories.”

  12. Museum and art gallery to close for entire year

    Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery has announced it's going to remain closed for the rest of the year, to allow "essential electrical work" to be carried out.

    The whole of the Council House complex is being upgraded.

    Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

    The museum and art gallery aims to reopen in time for the Commonwealth Games in 2022 and said while the electrical work won't start until June, 2,150 items from the collection will have to be moved to safety first.

    A further 33,000 items will be moved while the work is going on.

    The city council, which owns the building, said the electrical work was "needed to future-proof the building making it safe for staff and visitors".

  13. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M5 West Midlands southbound

    BBC News Travel

    M5 West Midlands southbound severe disruption, at J1 for A41 Birmingham Road West Bromwich.

    M5 West Midlands - M5 lane closed on exit slip road southbound at J1, A41 (West Bromwich), because of a breakdown. Traffic is coping well.

    To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time