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  1. Updates for Friday 5 June 2015
  2. More updates on news, travel, sport and weather from 08:00 on Monday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Have a good weekend

    Local Live has finished for the day. Join us from 08:00 on Monday for more news, travel, weather and sport updates.

  2. Bear in the air

    Lichfield Mercury

    Inventor Jack Sheldon is counting the days until the first aircraft makes a perfect landing on his brand new flight deck, at the Teddy Bear Rides at Barton under Needwood.

    Jack Sheldon next to the new flight deck
  3. Tonight's forecast

    BBC Weather

    Fine and dry with a good deal of sunshine this evening, albeit feeling rather cool. It will then remain dry with well-broken cloud throughout the night. Lows of 8C (46F).

  4. Sandwell's children's services partner defended

    Alex Homer

    BBC Local Live

    Sandwell Council's children's services have been rated 'inadequate ' in the latest report by Ofsted.

    This is despite the authority taking on a private partner at a cost of £1.15m over two-and-a-half years to help the department improve from 2012.

    Councillor Simon Hackett defended the performance of the council's private partner, iMPOWER, saying: "We have put long-lasting changes in place and iMPOWER has been central to that. We have not just tried to tick boxes."

  5. Coming up on TV

    Mary Rhodes

    Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

    Sandwell Council's children's services has once again been given the worst rating by the government watchdog Ofsted - the council insists they have made improvements.

    We will also bring you news of two arrests after a fatal stabbing in Handsworth.

    And the biggest competition in women's football starts tomorrow - the World Cup in Canada and England's squad includes three players from Birmingham City Ladies.

    Join us for the Midlands Today on BBC One at 18:30.

  6. Vandalised fountain to be removed

    Birmingham Mail

    Work has begun to remove the broken fountain on Erdington High Street after it became a target for thieves and thugs.

  7. 'Substantial hole' in Halesowen

    Alex Homer

    BBC Local Live

    A "substantial hole" has opened up on a Halesowen road, says a Dudley Council spokesperson.

    Victoria Avenue is currently closed whilst highway investigations are carried out.

    It is not currently known when the road will be re-opened. Drivers are being diverted via Spies Lane and Hagley Road West and vice versa.

  8. Work to reopen M6

    The Highways Agency tweets that its officers have been working to remove the lorry's load which slipped earlier, blocking all three lanes of the M6 between J6 and J7 earlier.

    Work to move the slipped road

    The lanes have since reopened.

  9. Latest headlines

    Alex Homer

    BBC Local Live

    Here are some of the top stories in the newsroom this afternoon:

    • Sandwell Council's children services are rated "inadequate" by Ofsted again
    • The company which manages Alton Towers has closed three other rides in the wake of Tuesday's Smiler rollercoaster crash
    • A man's been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a man was stabbed in Dudley early this morning.
  10. Alton Towers' boss 'shocked' at crash

    Merlin Entertainments, which manages Alton Towers, has confirmed it has temporarily closed three other theme park rides after Tuesday's rollercoaster crash, as the company reassesses safety procedures.

    Nick Varney

    The Saw, a similar rollercoaster at Thorpe Park - made by the same manufacturer as Smiler, according to Mr Varney - is also closed.

    A further two rides at Chessington - Dragon's Fury and Rattlesnake - are also being taken out of service as it will take longer for extra ride safety protocols to be introduced, said Mr Varney.

  11. Leona plays the kazoo

    Pete Morgan

    Presenter, BBC WM

    Leona Lewis has been chatting to me. Listen to her learning to play the kazoo!

    Leona Lewis and Pete Morgan

    Leona won X-Factor in 2006 and has signed to a new record label after her split from Simon Cowell.

  12. Animal bites: The creatures who got into our food

    David Lumb

    BBC News, West Midlands

    A food company is investigating after a dead lizard was found in one of its tins of tomatoes in Birmingham. But it is not the first time living creatures have been found in food.

    Creatures found in food by customers include mice, spiders, a frog and a bird
  13. M6 slipped load cleared

    Highways Agency tweets: #M6 J6-J7. Recovery of the slipped load is complete. All lanes are now open. Long delays in the area should now start ease.

  14. Sandwell children's chief 'struggles with rating'

    Alex Homer

    BBC Local Live

    Children's services councillor Simon Hackett has ruled out resigning after Ofsted said "serious failings remain" in Sandwell.

    Councillor Simon Hackett

    The watchdog found there are "widespread and serious failures that create or leave children being harmed or at risk of harm" in their report released this afternoon.

    "We're deeply disappointed," said Mr Hackett. "We've worked on recommendations from the last report and struggle to see how Ofsted can come to this conclusion."

  15. Arrests after fatal stabbing

    Two teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of murder after the fatal stabbing of a man in Birmingham, police say.

    Lukasz Furmanek was stabbed to death in the early hours of Sunday morning.

    Police say both teenagers will be questioned today on suspicion of murdering the 24-year-old, and of trying to kill a 31-year-old man who remains critically ill in hospital.

  16. Sandwell child services inadequate again

    Alex Homer

    BBC Local Live

    "Serious failings remain" in children's services in Sandwell, said Ofsted, branding them inadequate again.

    The authority also "does not fully understand the scale and prevalence of child sexual exploitation in Sandwell", the watchdog said after an inspection.

    The rating echoes a report in April 2013, which prompted a boss and a council cabinet member to quit.

  17. Amplifier ban 'a great idea'

    Adrian Holt writes: "A ban on amplified noise in Birmingham City Centre is a great idea.

    "Round it off by encouraging the fabulous musicians and artists of the Birmingham Conservatoire to fill the void. Their panoply of talent needs no amplification.

    "It would be wonderful for the City and it would give budding artists a performance platform."

  18. Tamworth fund boosted by rotary event

    Tamworth Herald

    More than £600 has been raised for the Tamworth Forever Community Fund thanks to generous donations at a recent charity event.

    Special guests and representatives of the Tamworth Forever Fund at Saturday's event
  19. Smiler accident 'devastating'

    Merlin chief executive Nick Varney described this week's events at Alton Towers as "a devastating experience".

    Smiler rescue

    Four people are still in hospital with serious leg injuries after two carriages on the Smiler collided on Tuesday.

  20. Attack after kickboxing event

    A man who sought to split up a disturbance between two groups outside a kickboxing event at Burntwood Rugby Club was assaulted and suffered "serious facial injuries", according to police.

    Staffordshire officers today appealed for information about the attack on a 47-year-old Rugeley man at around 23:00 on Saturday, 23 May.

  21. BreakingSmiler crash carriages to be analysed

    Phil Mackie

    News Correspondent

    Health and Safety Executive inspectors have served a prohibition notice on the Smiler rollercoaster at Alton Towers stopping its use until action is taken to deal with the cause of the accident.

    Smiler rescue

    It will remove the two carriages involved in the crash to a laboratory in Buxton for investigation.

  22. Inmate's temporary jailbreak

    BBC WM

    An inmate escaped from a West Midlands prison, which houses some category A prisoners, last night.

    The prisoner at HMP Hewell managed to break free as he was being escorted to the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch.

    A Prison Service spokesperson has confirmed he has since been recaptured.

  23. Comedienne on mental health mission

    Sutton Coldfield Local

    Working as a counsellor by day and a stand-up comedian at night, you'd never guess from Sheila McMahon's professional, confident demeanour that she has suffered from depression so severe that she wanted to commit suicide when she was only seven years old.

  24. Smiler accident 'should not have happened'

    Merlin Entertainments says the rollercoaster accident at Alton Towers "should not have happened, and we are determined that it will never happen again".

    It is closing four of its rollercoasters and introducing new safety measures in the wake of Tuesday's crash.

    The rides closed are:

    • The Smiler at Alton Towers
    • Saw at Thorpe Park, Surrey
    • Dragon's Fury and Rattlesnake at Chessington World of Adventures, Surrey
  25. Breakdown on the M6

    BBC Travel

    Three lanes of the M6 northbound are closed between J6 for the Aston Expressway and J7 for Great Barr because of a broken down lorry.

    Travel time is 40 minutes with congestion back to J5 at Castle Bromwich, drivers are warned.

  26. BreakingFour rollercoaster rides closed


    Merlin Entertainments, which runs Alton Towers, says four of its rides are closed in the wake of Tuesday's accident.

    Accident on The Smiler

    The closed rides are:

    • The Smiler - Alton Towers
    • Saw - a similar ride at Thorpe Park
    • Dragon's Fury and Rattlesnake - Chessington World of Adventures
  27. BreakingAlton Towers to reopen

    Alton Towers says it will reopen "in the next few days".

    The theme park has been shut while investigations are carried out into Tuesday's rollercoaster crash.

  28. Latest headlines

    Alex Homer

    BBC Local Live

    Here's a recap of our main stories this afternoon:

  29. Birmingham pub employee assaulted

    The assistant manager of Birmingham pub, the Trocadero in Temple Street, was punched twice by a man after he had asked him to leave.


    The manager suffered swelling and bruising after the attack at around 20:00 BST on Friday 15 May.

    Police today released these CCTV images in a bid to identify the man.

  30. Restaurant complaints kept inspectors busy

    BBC WM

    Food inspectors in Walsall are struggling to cope with demand after closing down 16 restaurants and takeaways last year.

    A report to councillors said the amount of work where they were responding to complaints or concerns about dirty restaurants was unexpectedly high.

    This meant the normal inspection programme of premises was impossible to complete, the report said.

  31. Walsall ram raider jailed

    Walsall Advertiser

    A prolific Walsall thief who snatched £7,500 worth of cosmetics in a ram raid on a Bloxwich chemist has been put behind bars for two and a half years.

    Paul Nightingale
  32. Men 'jailed for Malala shooting' freed

    BBC News Asia

    Eight of the 10 men reportedly jailed for the attempted assassination of Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai were actually set free, it has emerged.

    Malala Yousafzai is pictured before officially opening The Library of Birmingham in Birmingham, central England. (3 Sept 2013)

    In April, officials in Pakistan said that 10 Taliban fighters had been found guilty and received 25-year jail terms.

    But sources have now confirmed to the BBC that only two of the men who stood trial were convicted.

  33. Hobbit first edition sold for £137k

    A first edition of JRR Tolkien's 1937 novel The Hobbit, with an inscription in Elvish written by the author, who grew up in Birmingham, has sold at auction in London for £137,000.

    The Hobbit first edition and JRR Tolkien in 1968

    The sale smashes the previous record for a sale of The Hobbit, set in 2008 when a first edition sold for £60,000.

  34. Arrest over Dudley 'murder bid'

    Steve Hermon

    Journalist, BBC WM

    A man has been arrested for attempted murder after another man was stabbed in Dudley just after midnight this morning.

    A 36-year-old man was taken to hospital with wounds to the back of his head and shoulder, after police were called to Stepping Stones Medical Centre in Stafford Street. The man's injuries are described as "serious but not life threatening" by the West Midlands force.

    A 34-year-old man was arrested in Hockley less than a hour later.

  35. Latest headlines

    Alex Homer

    BBC Local Live

    Here is a quick recap of some of the stories we are working on:

    • A couple making lunch were shocked to find an unwanted addition inside a can of tomatoes - a dead lizard
    • A man has had surgery for injuries suffered in a stabbing in front of shoppers at Wolverhampton's Wulfrun shopping centre
    • Eight of 10 men jailed over the attempted assassination of teenage activist Malala Yousafzai have actually been freed, it has been reported
  36. Lizard discovery 'disgusting'

    BBC WM

    Sanam Hussain made the grisly discovery of the dead lizard among the tinned tomatoes as she was cooking a curry on Thursday at their home in Alum Rock, Birmingham.

    Dead lizard on the lid of a can of tomatoes

    Mrs Hussain, who is seven months pregnant and who has another 15-month-old son, said the sight of the creature had made her feel ill.

  37. Roberts' Saddlers deal extended

    Express and Star

    Promising goalkeeper Liam Roberts has signed a one-year contract extension with Walsall.

    Liam Roberts
  38. Lizard found in tin of tomatoes

    BBC WM

    A woman got a nasty surprise when she opened a tin of tomatoes while cooking at home and found a dead baby lizard inside.

    Dead baby lizard inside tin of tomatoes

    Her husband Muhammed Hussain bought the can from his local shop in Alum Rock, Birmingham.

    The wholesaler, a company called Eurofoods, told us it has contacted its supplier in Italy to find out how it could have happened.

  39. City centre noise ban considered


    BBC WM

    Birmingham City Council is considering banning all amplified noise in the city centre.

    The rules would prohibit buskers, street entertainers and protesters using any microphones or speakers.

    The authority can introduce a ban under a new piece of legislation called a Public Spaces Protection Order. What do you think of the idea? Email us.

  40. Malala's hitmen freed

    The Mirror

    When Pakistani officials ­triumphantly declared 10 Taliban thugs had been jailed over the attempted murder of brave Malala Yousafzai, it appeared justice had been done.

    Pakistani schoolgirl activist Malala Yousafzai poses for pictures during a photo opportunity in

    But the bold announcement has been exposed as a myth after it was revealed eight of the men were not convicted and their secret trial was a pathetic sham.

  41. Man stabbed in front of shoppers

    BBC WM

    A man has been arrested after a stabbing in front of shoppers in a Wolverhampton shopping centre.

    A 24-year-old man was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham where he had surgery for the "serious internal injuries" he suffered in the attack at the Wulfrun Shopping Centre just after 14:00 yesterday, according to a West Midlands Police spokeswoman.

    The 20-year-old Wolverhampton man arrested at the scene remains in police custody.

  42. Flight diverted after 'disturbance'

    Trystan Jones

    BBC News

    A flight from Birmingham to Turkey had to be diverted to Bulgaria after a "disturbance" broke out on board.

    Monarch Airbus A321-231 at Luton Airport

    Monarch said the aircraft was forced to make an unscheduled landing at Sofia Airport at about 17:40, where it was met by police.

    Six people were removed before the plane continued its journey.

  43. Latest headlines

    Alex Homer

    BBC Local Live

    Here are some of the top stories in the newsroom this morning:

    • Birmingham City Council is considering banning all amplified noise - affecting buskers, street entertainers and those promoting religious or political views
    • A man has been arrested after a stabbing in front of shoppers in Wolverhampton's Wulfrun shopping centre
    • Alton Towers will remain closed for a third day as investigators work to find the cause of the worst rollercoaster crash in the park's history
  44. Today's forecast

    BBC Weather

    It will be a dry but cloudy start with patchy rain moving in from the west later. Behind this will be some fine, sunny spells.

    It will feel warm in the sunshine with light winds. Highs of 20C (68F).

    Here's more information about the weekend's forecast.

  45. M6 delays warning

    BBC Travel

    There is heavy traffic on the M6 southbound between J5, for Castle Bromwich, and J4a, for the M42, because of an earlier breakdown. All lanes have been reopened.

  46. Good morning

    Alex Homer

    BBC Local Live

    I'm back in the BBC WM newsroom bringing you today's news, sport, travel and weather updates for Birmingham and the Black Country.

    Comment on our stories and send us your pictures from across the region over email, on the BBC WM Facebook page or tweet @bbcwm.