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  1. Updates on Tuesday 16 December 2014
  2. The latest news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 Wednesday

Live Reporting

By Stephanie Barnard

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

BBC Local Live will be back from 08:00 on Wednesday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather for Birmingham and the Black Country.

Rain overnight

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today Weather

Turning increasingly cloudy this evening with rain and strengthening winds spreading from the west before midnight, turning heavy at times.

Shefali with the weather

The rain should ease and become patchier by dawn but it will stay windy. A mild night. Low of 4C (39F).

Walsall striker Bradshaw thrilled to reach double figures

BBC Sport

Walsall top scorer Tom Bradshaw insists that the

praise needs to be shared by his team-mates for helping him reach double figures for the first time.

Tom Bradshaw slots his 10th goal of the season for Walsall against Barnsley
Dave Linney (Walsall FC)

Saturday's goal against Barnsley was the 22-year-old's 10th of the campaign.

Christmas park closure

Nick Owen

Presenter, Midlands Today

A lot of families are feeling bitterly disappointed this evening after hearing that their

so-called Magical Journey Christmas experience at the Belfry near Sutton Coldfield has been forced to close down a week early.

The children must be shattered after looking forward to it for weeks - all part of their big Christmas build-up.

We'll be talking to some of the families on

Midlands Today at 18:30 on BBC One tonight and trying to find out the best way they can get their money back.

Speedway signing

BBC WM Sport

Wolves have confirmed they have agreed a deal which will see

Polish star Tobiasz Musielak join the club for the 2015 Elite League season.

Musielak joins Freddie Lindgren, Jacob Thorssell, Lewis Blackbird and Josh Bates in the Wolves line-up for 2015 who now have just two team places left to fill.

New Street to boost tourism

A new list has put

Birmingham among the world's top 10 cities to visit in 2015, thanks in part to the nearly completed New Street station.

Artist's impression of redeveloped New Street Station
Network Rail

The Rough Guide states that with Birmingham's New Street station reopening next year after a much-needed renovation, 2015 will be the ideal time to make a trip.

Have your say

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

We've introduced Local Live to provide updates on news, sport, travel and weather. What do you think of it?

Give us your feedback.

News on the hour

Rebecca Hume

Journalist, BBC WM

At 17:00 we hear about the inquest into the death of a Black Country man who tried to slit the throat of a police officer has confirmed he was shot in the head in the US by officers

Listen live for

more on this.

Council 'has to change radically'

The Guardian

Bob Kerslake writes: "

Birmingham council needs to get the basics right."

"My honest report was always likely to provoke a strong reaction, but the way the council works has to change radically."

From sceptic to gaming joy

David Gregory-Kumar

Environment correspondent, BBC News

I have to say I was sceptical but actually it was really good fun using a video gaming headset.

David gregory Kumar playing a computer game using a headset

I just lost myself in this brightly coloured racing game. It was a real shock to pull off the headset and find myself in a boring office!

Twenty years after I first saw virtual reality on Tomorrow's World I think it's finally arrived. You can see my report on

BBC Midlands Today's Facebook page and on BBC One from 18:30.

Shot after trying to slit officer's throat

Jennifer Scott

BBC Local Live

An inquest into the death of a Black Country man in America has found he was shot in the head after trying to slit a police officer's throat.

Sharrinder Singh Garcha, 19, from Wednesbury was going to be deported after he flew out there to meet a teenage girl in Wisconsin.

He was in a police car waiting to be picked up by immigration officials when he was shot after trying to slit the officers throat.

Ex-paramedic pleads guilty

A former paramedic has admitted failing in his duty after the death of a man who collapsed outside a hospital.

Carl Cope

47-year-old Carl Cope (pictured) died from a heart attack after suffering chest pains near the A&E department at Walsall's Manor Hospital in June 2012.

News on the hour

Rebecca Hume

Journalist, BBC WM

Coming up in the news bulletin at 16:00 on

BBC WM: People who booked tickets to the Magical Journey Christmas Experience at the Belfry say they're worried about getting their money back.

Nicole Penney

Sutton Coldfield mum, Nicole Penney, (pictured) says she can't tell her kids "Santa's cancelled the event" and is now looking for an alternative idea.

The future of video games?

David Gregory-Kumar

Environment correspondent, BBC News

I've been at the Birmingham offices of videogame company

Codemasters testing out their latest racing game which now comes with a virtual reality option.

Virtual reality headset

Most people will play the game as normal, but those who've got special video reality headsets can immerse themselves in the videogame world. Find out more on

Midlands Today at 18:30 on BBC One.

Free parking in Walsall

Fourteen days of free parking starts in Walsall town centre this weekend,

the council announces.

Drink driving

Traffic WMP

tweets: This was from the very first vehicle stopped! A delivery driver who'd been working all night! #Unbelievable

Breath test by West Midlands Police
West midlands police

According to drivers need to have 35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath - making this driver with a reading of 81, significantly over the legal limit.

Blues to sign Morrison permanently

BBC Sport

Birmingham City will sign defender Michael Morrison

on a permanent deal for an undisclosed fee on 1 January.

michael morrison

The 26-year-old, who has been on loan from Charlton since October, will sign a three-and-a-half-year deal when the transfer window opens.

News on the hour

Rebecca Hume

Journalist, BBC WM

At 15:00 we hear from a mother who is not sure if she will receive a refund now The Magical Journey Christmas attraction has closed early.

Listen live for

more on this.

Aston Villa loan player Tonev loses appeal

BBC Sport

Celtic's Aleksandar Tonev has

lost his appeal against a seven-match ban for racially abusing Aberdeen's Shay Logan.


A Scottish Football Association appeal tribunal has upheld October's original guilty verdict against the Bulgarian who is on loan from Aston Villa.

The winger was found guilty of using "offensive, insulting and abusive language of a racist nature" towards the Aberdeen defender.

Why's Birmingham on the list?

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

You maybe asking yourself why on earth Birmingham has been named one of the world's must see cities in 2015.

Photos of Birmingham
BBC / pa / getty

Well, we asked Rough Guide, who published the list this question.

They told us: "From the vibrant Bullring Markets, to the fashionable Creative Quarter, Digbeth, Birmingham makes a worthy entry into the Rough Guide to 2015 for its cultural variety, excellent shopping and a buzzing live music scene that's among the best in the UK."

News on the hour

Rebecca Hume

Journalist, BBC WM

Reports from Hong Kong say the former Birmingham City chairman Carson Yeung has been refused bail ahead of his appeal against money laundering charges next year.

More on this and other stories

with us at 14:00.

Birmingham budget

Birmingham City's Council's Newsroom account

tweets: Webcast archive:
#BrumBudget15 Cabinet Q&A available here: #brum

Reaction to Christmas venue closing

via Facebook

Birmingham Mail posts: Our reporter is at The Magical Journey where workers have been arriving after receiving the bad news.
Updates here

18,000 photos of Birmingham

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

How many photos have you taken while in Birmingham?

Screengrab from Vimeo

Vimeo user Morturn has taken more than 18,000 photos of the city and is

featuring some in a time-lapse video.

Travel publisher Rough Guides has put the video on its site to help "inspire" people to visit Birmingham after featuring it as

one of the top 10 cities to visit in the world.

BBC One at 13:30

Amy Cole

Presenter, Midlands Today

Coming up this lunchtime: We'll have the latest on the

closure of the Magical Journey, including a mum who was due to take her family today.

As West Midlands Police educate front-line officers about female genital mutilation, we hear the powerful testimony of a woman subjected to the practice and her daughter who's campaigning to stamp it out.

News on the hour

Rebecca Hume

Journalist, BBC WM

In the news at 13:00: Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen is donating his fee for designing the Magical Journey Experience at The Belfry to charity.

Asking price slashed

Express and Star

The asking price for the fire-ravaged Strykers

bowling alley has been slashed in half to £1million.

Agents selling the two-acre site have dropped the price with the hope to entice developers.

Family avoid dementia sufferers


Nearly two thirds of people with dementia in the West Midlands think people avoid seeing them at Christmas.

Half feel that people don't have time for them once they're diagnosed and many will spend Christmas without their families.

Digbeth's creativity praised

The creativity of Digbeth has been hailed as one reason why

Birmingham is one of the world's best cities to visit in 2015.

Rough Guide has named Birmingham as ninth in a top 10 list which also features Johannesburg and Belgrade among others.

Custard Factory

Digbeth's vintage shops and street food stalls are singled out. As is the old Bird's Custard Factory for vintage kilo sales and live music performances.

Pakistan shooting reaction


Presenter, Asian Network

A Birmingham former student of

the school in Pakistan where more than a hundred students have been killed by the Taliban has been giving his reaction.

Sajid called my show to say "My family is there, they say more and more they are finding dead bodies like in the school bushes because kids were trying to hide somewhere and this was a big cross firing."

Listen live.

'Must visit' for globetrotters

Tom Richardson

BBC News Online

I've been speaking to the people behind the travel books who have dubbed

Birmingham one of the top ten cities in the world to visit in 2015.

It's appeared alongside Johannesburg, New Orleans and Wellington as a must-visit destination for globetrotters.

Lottie Gross, from the publisher's editorial team, said attractions like the "vibrant" Bullring Market and "fashionable" Digbeth had marked Birmingham out as an exciting place to visit.

She also praised the city's "buzzing live music scene" and "excellent shopping".

Girls 'at risk' of genital mutilation

Midlands Today

Growing numbers of girls in the West Midlands are thought to be at risk of female genital mutilation.

Backs of police officers

As a result, all frontline West Midlands Police officers are now undergoing training in how to deal with the issue.

It's thought 180,000 girls are at risk nationwide. So far, there have been no successful prosecutions in the UK, but police say referrals to the region's child protection unit are increasing.

Read more about FGM on BBC Health.

City 'creative hotspot'

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Rough Guide 2015 has published its list of its top 10 cities to visit across the world and Birmingham features in its top 10 list.

Top 10 cities to visit according to Rough Guide

Birmingham is the only city in England to feature. The publisher says its "midway between two of England's big cultural powerhouses - London and Liverpool" and is considered as an emerging "creative hotspot".

Birmingham 'top city'

Birmingham's been named as one of the top 10 cities in the world to visit.

Birmingham Bullring
Getty Images

The travel publisher the Rough Guide praises the city for its creative hotspots. Birmingham came ninth in the top ten and is the only British city in the list.

Hundreds of complaints

Amy Cole

Reporter, Midlands Today

Lawrence Lleweyln Bowen says he is donating his fee for designing the Magical Journey Experience at The Belfry to charity.

The celebrity designer says he'll give it to a Birmingham Children's Hospice after

organisers announced last night they're shutting it down.

The Christmas attraction The Magical Journey near Sutton Coldfield

A statement was issued on their website last night saying one of their financial backers had dropped out and they couldn't continue.

They've now closed the attraction leaving customers seeking refunds

via a credit/debit card chargeback scheme.

Yeung refused bail

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

Reports from Hong Kong say that the ex-Birmingham City chairman Carson Yeung has been refused bail ahead of his trial on money laundering charges in March.

That's according to the South China Morning Post.

Yeung is still the majority shareholder in the company that owns Blues, Birmingham International Holdings.