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  1. Animal charity concerned by number of unwanted pets

    BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester

    An animal rescue charity in Kidderminster has taken in more than 400 animals in the last six months and is concerned about people getting pets during the pandemic they can't really cope with.

    Greatfield Small Animal Rescue is also worried about another spike before Christmas, with people worried about their jobs or being made redundant.

    Lyndsey Hill, who runs the centre, said it had to shut its doors at one point.

    "When it was announced that lockdown was happening, we had a surge of animals coming for rehoming," she said.

  2. Weather: Dull and wet before turning clearer

    BBC Weather

    A dull and wet start for most with outbreaks of rain which should clear by this afternoon leaving clear skies with some sunny spells. High: 11C/52F.

    This morning in Penkridge, Staffordshire
    Image caption: This morning in Penkridge, Staffordshire

    The evening and night should stay dry with clear skies. Turning chilly with a low of 0C/32F.

    You can keep up-to-date on the weather for your area by going to the BBC Weather website.

  3. Envelope update

    Severe accident: M42 Worcestershire northbound

    BBC News Travel

    M42 Worcestershire northbound severe accident, from J1 for A38 Birmingham Road to J2 for A441 Hopwood Park Services.

    M42 Worcestershire - One lane closed and queues on M42 northbound from J1, A38 (Bromsgrove) to J2, A441 (Hopwood Park Services), because of an accident.

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

  4. Envelope update

    Severe accident: M42 Worcestershire northbound

    BBC News Travel

    M42 Worcestershire northbound severe accident, from J2 for A441 Hopwood Park Services to J3 for A435 Alcester Road.

    M42 Worcestershire - The road is temporarily closed on M42 northbound from J2, A441 (Hopwood Park Services) to J3, A435 (Redditch), because of an accident involving a car.

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

  5. Envelope update

    Severe accident: M42 Worcestershire southbound

    BBC News Travel

    M42 Worcestershire southbound severe accident, from J3 for A435 Alcester Road to J2 for A441 Hopwood Park Services.

    M42 Worcestershire - The road is temporarily closed on M42 southbound from J3, A435 (Redditch) to J2, A441 (Hopwood Park Services), because of an accident involving a car.

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

  6. Man attempts to rob store with knife

    Police are searching for a man who attempted to rob a shop in Bromyard with a knife last night.

    This CCTV image has been released by West Mercia Police, who said the man walked into the Premier store on High Street at 19:40 and demanded cash from the till.

    CCTV

    No-one was hurt and the man left without any money.

  7. Curious robins drop in for lessons

    BBC Midlands Today

    Pupils at a primary school in Worcestershire are being joined by two new classmates.

    A pair of curious robins have made the most of open windows at Astley Primary School, near Stourport, and regularly drop in on lessons.

    Robin

    Headteacher Alison Reakes-Williams said they fly in when the children are out playing and first made an appearance in September.

    The birds have been gradually getting braver and now appear to know their way around all the classrooms. They have been so friendly one allowed itself to be picked up.

    She is planning to introduce some robin-themed crafts for Christmas and said the children "were really surprised at first, but they've really appreciated seeing these beautiful little birds up close."

    Robin

    Have you been visited by curious birds during lockdown? Post your pictures on Twitter or email:newsonline.westmidlands@bbc.co.uk

  8. Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

    Shefali Oza

    BBC Midlands Today

    It will by a dull and cloudy day with the possibility of brighter spots later and highs of 12°C (54°F).

    Video content

    Video caption: Latest weather for the West Midlands
  9. Redevelopment for former music hall 'grossly out of scale'

    Plans to redevelop an area of Worcester have been described as "grossly out of scale with the surrounding area" by a group objecting to the plans.

    Vesta Tilley House

    The Lowesmoor Wharf project aims to create a "vibrant new waterside" destination, say developers, and will include the demolition of several buildings including Vesta Tilley House.

    A former music hall, it has strong links to Worcester-born Ms Tilley, who was known for being a male impersonator.

    The redevelopment plans have prompted a number of objections including from the Victorian Society which is in the process of submitting listing applications "to help ensure their survival".

    The group's director, Joe O’Donnell, said: "The sensitive redevelopment of Lowesmoor canal basin could preserve and enhance the conservation area’s character. However, the current proposals are as far away from sensitive as it is possible to get."

  10. Mistletoe auction cancelled for first time in 160 years

    Britain's biggest traditional auction of mistletoe, held every Christmas at Tenbury Wells, has been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Mistletoe

    The town sits alongside the River Teme where Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire meet - and experts say it provides some of the best growing conditions for mistletoe.

    It's the first time in 160 years that the event hasn't gone ahead.

    Auctioneer Nick Champion says there will be a lot of "disappointed customers".

    "I am sad, I've been doing it since 1977 so it's a long time, and there's a lot of characters come to the auction and it is missed."

  11. What's the weather got in store?

    Rich Davis

    BBC Weather presenter

    It will be a dry day with some bright spells and highs of 10C (50F).

    Video content

    Video caption: Latest weather for the West Midlands
  12. Envelope update

    Severe accident: A448 Worcestershire both ways

    BBC News Travel

    A448 Worcestershire both ways severe accident, from A450 Worcester Road to Dunclent Lane.

    A448 Worcestershire - A448 Stone Hill in Mustow Green closed in both directions from the A450 Worcester Road junction to the Dunclent Lane junction, because of a serious accident.

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

  13. Councillor leaves Tory party over Rolf Harris comments

    BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester

    A Conservative councillor and former mayor has voluntarily left the party after being criticised for comments he made about Rolf Harris.

    During a poll about Christmas songs online, the former Evesham mayor Mark Goodge defended the inclusion of the Australian's song Two Little Boys and argued the singer wasn't a convicted paedophile.

    When contacted by BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester, Mr Goodge said he should not have made the comments and he did not mean to defend Mr Harris's actions.

    He has voluntarily stepped down from the party while an investigation takes place.

    The Conservative leader of Wychavon District Council Bradley Thomas said Mr Goodge's comments were poorly judged and would be considered offensive and inappropriate.

    Harris was jailed for five years in 2014 for several counts of indecent assault, relating to four girls between 1968 and 1986, but released on licence in 2017.

  14. Rape arrest after woman attacked

    BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester

    A man has been arrested on suspicion of rape after a woman was attacked in Hereford.

    The victim, in her 20s, had been approached by a man in the St James' Road area on Thursday afternoon, West Mercia Police said.

    She was attacked and sexually assaulted.

    Officers said a 32-year-old man, from Hereford, has been arrested and remains in custody.

  15. Sports Covid rescue package 'really important' for netball

    BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester

    Emergency funding for sports in England will be "really, really wanted" according to a netball coach in Worcester.

    Netball in net

    The government has announced the rescue package of £300m in England for sports impacted by the absence of spectators because of coronavirus.

    Netball is being given £4m from the total split between England Netball and the Superleague.

    Severn Stars Netball team, based in Worcester, are part of the Superleague and head coach Melissa Bessell said the funding was very welcome.

    "For us it is going to be really important to get that money back into the clubs and the real grassroots for netball," she said.

  16. School left with £187k legal bill after sixth form fight

    BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester

    A school has been told to pay £187,000 in legal costs after unsuccessfully trying to stop another school opening a rival sixth form.

    John Kyrle High School

    John Kyrle High School and Sixth Form Centre in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, had challenged a Department of Education decision to allow the move by Dene Magna in Mitcheldean, Gloucestershire.

    But a High Court judge ruled in the government's favour and left John Kyrle with the legal bill.

    The school said the legal challenge was worthwhile to protect the school and jobs for the future.

    But Paul Deneen, from the National Education Union, said the school had let down parents and pupils.

    "I think it is unacceptable that funding which was supposed to be available for the teaching of children should have been used for legal fees. It is absolutely ridiculous," he said.