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  1. Updates on Wednesday 31 December 2014

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Happy new year

Today's Local Live updates have now finished. We will be back with more from 08:00 tomorrow. Have a good evening.

Year in review: Malala

Schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen in 2012 after she spoke up for the right of girls to be educated.

The world reacted in horror, but after weeks in intensive care Malala survived.

This year the child education activist and Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian child rights campaigner,

jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize.

An image grab taken from handout video footage released by the Malala Fund on April 5, 2013

At the age of just 17, Malala was the youngest ever recipient. She was taken out of a chemistry lesson at her school in Birmingham to be told the news.

Mild end to 2014

A cloudy and mild night with a few spots of rain and lows of 7C (45F).

You can enjoy a more detailed forecast


Supporter dies after match

Birmingham Mail

A lifelong Aston Villa fan

collapsed and died in front of his teenage daughter minutes after the final whistle of Sunday's match against Sunderland.

Pulis 'to control transfers'

David Ornstein

BBC Sport

Under Pulis, West Brom will retain their continental structure - in which the head coach works to technical director Terry Burton and sporting director Richard Garlick, who in turn report to chairman Jeremy Peace.

Tony Pulis
Getty Images

But Pulis has been assured he will have full control of all first-team matters, including the buying and selling of players. Pulis worked in a similar set-up at Stoke where John Rudge was sporting director.

City Link rescue talks fail

The administrators of collapsed delivery firm City Link

have announced 2,356 job losses after a bid to buy the company failed.

The total includes 400 in the West Midlands.

Year in review: Trojan Horse


alleged Trojan Horse plot dominated the news throughout the year. The allegations that hard-line Muslims conspired to take over schools by installing governors and ousting head teachers were revealed in an anonymous letter to Birmingham City Council.

The claims sparked four separate investigations by the Department for Education, Ofsted, the Education Funding Agency and the council itself.

Park View School, which was implicated in the allegations
Getty Images

Each found evidence that staff had

come under pressure from parents and governors with strongly-held religious beliefs.


Gavin Bevis

BBC Local Live

What do you think of BBC Local Live? We'd like

your feedback about this service.

Wolves star dies

Former Wolves inside forward Jimmy Dunn, who helped his club to win the FA Cup in 1949,

has died at the age of 91.

Jimmy Dunn

His death means Sammy Smyth is now the sole survivor from Stan Cullis's winning side 65 years on.

Cultural highlights

Theatre-goers in Birmingham will soon get the chance to watch Maureen Lipman in a play about a man's friendship with a large invisible rabbit.

The new production of Harvey is mentioned in BBC News's

preview of 2015 theatre highlights.

Syal 'hugely honoured'

Wolverhampton-born comedy actress Meera Syal

has been appointed CBE in the Queen's New Year Honours.

Meera Syal in Beautiful People

She said: "I'm obviously hugely honoured to be acknowledged amongst so many extraordinary people.

"I feel I'm accepting this on behalf of my parents and many others of their generation who grew up under the Empire and a generation later, how strange and wonderful to be here."

Lantern ban


Staffordshire County Council is reminding people ringing in the new year that it has banned Chinese lanterns from being released from its land.

The authority has warned people the lanterns can pose a fire risk and harm livestock.

Passengers 'spilled into driver's cab'

An investigation has been started over reports passengers on a train travelling from Wales to Birmingham

were forced to travel in the driver's cab for part of their journey because of overcrowding.

Arriva Trains Wales said it was looking into the claims, made by passengers using the 09:23 Holyhead to Birmingham service on Saturday.

Car thief 'used stun gun'

A suspected thief has been arrested after allegedly

shocking a man with a stun gun disguised as a torch in Birmingham.

The victim told officers he had been attacked after confronting a man tampering with his car on Bromford Road at about 22:30 on Tuesday, police said.

M42 breakdown

A lane is closed on the M42 southbound between J7 and J6 because of a broken down vehicle,

says BBC Travel.

Farewell 2014

Midlands Today

We've published

a bumper gallery of viewers' photographs to see out the year.

Photo grid

The quality of photos we receive every day is superb and we hope you will continue to impress us in 2015.

Buyer for City Link?


The RMT union says it's been made aware of what it believes to be a credible takeover bid for the failed courier firm City Link.

It comes on the day 2,700 people, including 400 in the West Midlands, are expected to be made redundant after the firm went into administration.

Missing man

Police have asked the public to look out for a 50-year-old Birmingham man

who has been missing for more than a week.

Baljit Singh
West Midlands Police

Baljit Singh has not been seen since leaving his home on Meadow Road in Harborne on 23 December to collect a birthday cake.

Twins-death mum 'angry and bitter'

A woman who lost her twin babies and spent nine days in a coma after paramedics struggled to access her flat has

spoken of the tragedy.

Jocelyn Bennett
Birmingham mail

Jocelyn Bennett was 32 weeks pregnant when she called an ambulance to her home in Pleck House, Druids Heath, because she was suffering severe pain.

Ms Bennett, 27, who collapsed shortly after calling the emergency services, said she was "angry and bitter".

Busker given £250

Express and Star

Busker Bradleigh Aston is used to shoppers giving him their spare change - but he received quite a surprise when a woman handed him a donation

to the tune of £250.

Looking back: Pub bombings remembered

Forty years ago 21 people were killed when bombs were detonated at the Mulberry Bush and Tavern in the Town pubs in Birmingham city centre.

Six men were wrongly convicted for the bombings in 1975 and finally released in 1991.

Birmingham pub bombings facts
Getty Images

BBC News Online remembered the anniversary of the atrocity with a look into

why no-one was brought to justice, BBC WM put together a
special documentary, while Midlands Today was live from Birmingham Cathedral where a memorial service was held.

M42 delays

BBC Travel reports a lane is closed on the M42 northbound between J3a and J4 due to a broken down vehicle.

Ex-Cadbury chief recognised

Andrew Dawkins

BBC News

Those recognised in the New Year Honours include ex-Cadbury chairman Sir Adrian Cadbury, of Solihull, who has become a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour for services to business and the community in the UK, particularly Birmingham.

Sir Adrian Cadbury

Year in News: Wolves bounce back

Express and Star

Here's how we reported on Wolves bouncing back to the Championship with promotion under Kenny Jackett.

The frontpage
Express & Star

Transfer window tactics

Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion should put more effort into keeping their best players than signing new talent in January,

believes BBC football pundit Robbie Savage.

The former midfielder has been sharing his thoughts on how each Premier League club should approach the forthcoming January transfer window.

Looking back: 'Too few sprinkles'

Earlier this year a woman called police complaining that she'd not got enough sprinkles on her ice cream.

An ice cream with sprinkles

The West Midlands force released audio of the call as part of a warning to only call 999 in an emergency.

New Year's Day meeting

David Ornstein

BBC Sport

Tony Pulis will meet with West Bromwich Albion chairman Jeremy Peace for the first time

on Thursday.

He will bring Dave Kemp with him as his assistant, but decisions are still to be made on the rest of the coaching staff.

A Brum Christmas Carol

The city of Birmingham will always have a key place in one of the world's most famous festive tales.

Drawing of Charles Dickens reading

Charles Dickens did his first ever public reading of A Christmas Carol in Birmingham Town Hall in December 1853.

He is said to have read for nearly three hours in front of an audience of 2,000 people, taking only a short break for a cup of beef tea part way through.

Mild New Year's Eve

BBC Weather's

latest map shows how this afternoon looks set to be a few degrees warmer than yesterday in most areas.

Weather map

Pulis for West Brom

David Ornstein

BBC Sport

There are still some details to be decided, but the deal to make Tony Pulis West Bromwich Albion's fourth head coach in a year

is expected to proceed without a problem.

Tony Pulis
Getty Images

It is hoped he will be in the stands at Upton Park for West Brom's New Year's Day visit to West Ham.

BreakingWBA opt for Pulis


Tony Pulis

will be appointed as West Brom head coach to succeed the sacked Alan Irvine, reports BBC Sport.

The former Stoke and Crystal Palace manager is likely to be confirmed in the position on Thursday.

Ex-boyfriend's cancer claim

Birmingham Mail

An estranged Birmingham boyfriend "bombarded" his former partner with threatening messages after she ended their relationship -

and told her he was dying of cancer.

Looking back: 'Supermen' pulled over

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a three-door car with a cape where a window should be.

Men dressed as superman

These two dressed as Supermen were spotted near J4 of the M42 and

pulled over on suspicion of driving without insurance.

NYE road closure

BBC Travel warns Broad Street in Birmingham has been closed to traffic between Paradise Circus and Sheepcote Street to allow for New Year's Eve celebrations.

Football gossip

BBC Sport's football gossip column features the latest speculation about who might be in the frame to become Alan Irvine's successor at West Bromwich Albion.

Looking back: Jennifer Lawrence cake

As we're deep in waistband-challenging days, it's hard to imagine even a Christmas cake the size of

this award-winner from a woman in Walsall.

Lara Clarke with her two cakes
Lara Clarke

Lara Clarke won a gold award at the Cake International contest in November with her 5ft 10in (1.7m) sponge, inspired by Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence.

Ms Clarke also won silver in the large decorative exhibit section at the competition, with a cake based on her favourite Game of Thrones character Tyrion Lannister.

Trio sought after bar attack

Police investigating

an assault on two women at a bar in Birmingham have released photos of three people they want to speak to.

CCTV pictures
West Midlands Police

The two 24-year-olds were attacked at Arca Bar in October following a row over a request for a cigarette.

Year in news: Benefits Street

Birmingham Mail

It was the talked-about TV show that portrayed residents of a Birmingham street as Britain's worst state spongers.

But the unfortunate "stars" of Benefits Street, a five-part Channel 4 documentary,

claimed they were tricked into appearing on the show by the film-makers. Here's how we reported their claims.

Birmingham Mail frontpage
Birmingham Mail

Have your say

Gavin Bevis

BBC Local Live

We've introduced BBC Local Live to bring you news, sport, travel and weather updates in one place.

We'd like to find out what you think.

Stephen Sutton remembered

BBC England

has been revisiting some of 2014's biggest stories - including the incredible contribution of teenage cancer fundraiser Stephen Sutton, from Staffordshire.

Stephen Sutton
Sutton family

Diagnosed with cancer at the age of 15, Stephen drew up a bucket list of things he wanted to achieve and raised millions of pounds for charity in the process.