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  1. Updates for Wednesday 10 June 2015
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates resume at 08:00 Thursday

Live Reporting

By Stephanie Barnard

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Good evening

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

  2. Cloudy overnight

    Shefali Oza

    BBC Midlands Today Weather

    It will stay dry overnight with clear skies at first, although cloud may increase in places during the early hours.

    Shefali Oza

    Winds will be light and temperatures will fall to single figures again with a low of 6C (43F).

    Tomorrow will be another dry day with plenty of sunny spells.

  3. BBC One from 18:30

    Nick Owen

    Presenter, Midlands Today

    As a motorist who shudders at the judders when my car hits a pothole - and it seems to be happening more and more - I am intrigued by the pioneering work coming out of Jaguar Land Rover.

    They're involved in pothole alert technology, which can help drivers avoid potholes and help councils detect and repair them. There'll be more on it during Midlands Today this evening.

  4. Police front desk closures 'will help keep frontline officers'

    Alex Homer

    BBC Local Live

    West Midlands Police says the cost of closing of 27 front desks was "justified" as it would save £15m over five years towards savings targets and help keep officers on the frontline.

    A spokesman says: "The public have demonstrated a clear move away from face-to-face contact at police front offices in favour of contact by telephone and increasingly other means. A one-off spend of £500,000 to facilitate a year-on-year saving of around £3m is justified.

  5. Union concerns over police front desk closures

    Alex Homer

    BBC Local Live

    A BBC investigation's found closing 27 West Midlands Police front desks will cost more than £500,000.

    Carl White, Unite branch secretary at the force, says the union had objected to the loss of "so many iconic front desks" from communities, but "had to concede their use was down".

    He says: "I'm worried the only way people will be able to talk to police in future is by using technology."

  6. Man charged with murder after Handsworth double stabbing

    A man has been charged with murder after a double stabbing in Birmingham.

    Lukasz Furmanek, from the Handsworth area of Birmingham

    Lukasz Furmanek, 24, (pictured) was found unconscious and bleeding in the Handsworth area in the early hours of 31 May and was pronounced dead at the scene.

    A 31-year-old man was also stabbed and received treatment in hospital.

    Abdullah Atiqzoy, 18, from Elizabeth Crescent, Oldbury, will appear at Birmingham Crown Court tomorrow.

  7. Owl sculptures: What a hoot

    Joanne Writtle

    Midlands Today reporter

    A parliament of human sized owls is waiting to fly into Birmingham to form an outdoor art display all around the city.

    Big hoot exhibition

    They're sculptures which are being decorated by artists, school children and community groups, all with the aim of raising money for the city's children's hospital.

    Find out what the Big Hoot exhibition is on Facebook.

  8. M6 delays

    Highways England tweets: There's an overturned HGV closing #A460 in both directions nr #M6 J11 #M6Toll near #Cannock. Slight delays. Specialist recovery on scene.

    Drivers are asked to avoid the area if possible due to severe delays

  9. Birmingham artist showcases the history of migrants

    New billboard-sized photographs by the artist Vanley Burke (pictured) are being exhibited along a busy Birmingham road as part of a month-long exhibition of art.

    photographer Vanley Burke

    The 11 images will be blown up to three metres in height and placed outside the Stratford Road Baptist Church and the former Hubb Community Arts Centre, in Sparkbrook.

    Sound pods designed by artist Brian Duffy play audio telling the stories of the people featured in the images.

  10. Police front desks closures will cost £500k

    Alex Homer

    BBC Local Live

    The closure of 27 out of 41 West Midlands Police front desks will cost more than £500,000, the BBC has learnt.

    Staff numbers will be cut from 175 to 102, according to a BBC Freedom of Information request.

    List of stations to close

    Redundancies will cost at least £378,980, while private firm BMG Research was paid £100,000 to explore public demand for front desks before the decision was taken to close some.

    The force has said it would save £3m a year and front desks were "underused".

  11. Right to die

    Chris Blakemore

    News editor, BBC WM

    David Cameron is making clear he won't support proposals being brought forward by a West Midlands MP to allow some terminally-ill people "the right to die".

    Rob Marris

    The bill would allow doctors to prescribe a lethal dose to those patients judged to have six months or less to live.

    It's being piloted by the Labour MP for Wolverhampton South West MP Rob Marris. (pictured).

  12. Benteke: Aston Villa to offer Belgian striker new deal

    BBC Sport

    Aston Villa "will offer striker Christian Benteke a new deal" this summer, says chief executive Tom Fox.

    Christian Benteke

    Benteke has two years remaining on his current contract, which includes a buyout clause, reportedly worth £32.5m.

  13. Latest headlines

    Stephanie Barnard

    BBC Local Live

    The top stories we're looking at in the newsroom at the moment:

    • David Cameron is making clear he won't support proposals being brought forward by a West Midlands MP supporting some terminally-ill people "the right to die"
    • Listen: The brother of Leah Washington who had her leg amputated following a crash at Alton Towers says she's recovering well
    • Travel: Gravelly Hill is blocked northbound between Kingsbury Road and Wood End Road due to an accident
  14. Alton Towers victim 'over the moon' about 1D VIP tickets

    Stephanie Barnard

    BBC Local Live

    Leah Washington was "over the moon" when her brother told her One Direction have offered her VIP tickets to one of their shows when she's feeling better.

    Luke Washington

    Luke Washington (pictured) told BBC WM: "There was a smile on her face and that's all we wanted."

    It's one week since two rollercoaster carriages collided on the ride Smiler. On her recovery Luke says, "Each day has gone by and she's improved and improved. Read more on BBC News.

  15. Extra Edgbaston seating

    Rob Mayor

    Journalist, BBC WM

    It's been confirmed that extra seats will be installed at Edgbaston for the 3rd Ashes Test between England and Australia.


    Stadium officials say the additional tickets could generate a record attendance.

    Cricket fans are still getting over witnessing a record breaking England performance at the ground yesterday where the One Day side posted their best ever score of 408 for 9 in a record 210 run win over New Zealand.

  16. Speedway

    Steve Hermon

    BBC WM Sport

    Cradley Heathens face Kent tonight at Perry Barr in the National League looking to stay in the title picture and stay unbeaten.

    Tapes are up at 19:30.

  17. West Bromwich delays

    BBC Travel

    Slow traffic remains this lunchtime on the A41 in West Bromwich at the M5 J1 roundabout junction, because of an accident earlier on.

    On the roundabout there's congestion to Handsworth.

    Keep up to date on the BBC Travel page.

  18. BBC One from 13:30

    Qasa Alom

    Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

    Coming up on Midlands Today this lunchtime - police investigate allegations of historical child abuse at two boys boarding schools in Gloucestershire - Sarah Falkland brings you up to date.

    And the last surviving Dornier-17 - a Second World War German bomber is being restored to its former glory at a Shropshire airbase. We're live as it happens on BBC One this lunch time.

  19. Suspected cash machine fraud

    Stephanie Barnard

    BBC Local Live

    Five people have been arrested in Cannock on suspicion of fraud after a woman reported issues at a cash machine.

    Staffordshire Police says a woman reported an issue at the ATM at the One Stop Shop in Rose Hill yesterday.

    The suspects, four men and a 33-year-old woman from Birmingham have been released on bail pending further inquiries.

  20. Birmingham should 'set out to be fastest growing city'

    Birmingham Post

    Birmingham should set out to be the UK's fastest growing core city, the council leader has said.

    Labour leader Sir Albert Bore outlined his ambition as he told colleagues the city was in line for "a level of economic success we have not seen for 50 years".

  21. Question mark over food recycling

    BBC WM

    Birmingham City Council say it can't guarantee the introduction of food recycling collections when their current waste contract runs out.

    Campaigners want the council to shut down the Tysley incinerator in four years when their deal with private company Veolia runs out

    Councillor Lisa Trickett says they wont rule out any ideas.

  22. Alton Towers victim: 'Recovering well'

    Stephanie Barnard

    BBC Local Live

    Read more on BBC News about Leah Washington, the 17-year-old whose had her leg amputated after a crash on the Smiler rollercoaster at Alton Towers last week.

    Alton Towers amputee Leah Washington 'recovering well'

    He said the effects of the crash had "not been easy on the family".

  23. Schools warning over 'stranger danger'

    Chris Blakemore

    News editor, BBC WM

    Parents of children at schools in Aldridge have been sent letters after a man called out to a 13-year old-girl who was on her way to school.

    The man who was in a green and white van was in Berry Drive on her way to Aldridge School.

    The man made no effort to get out of the van and the girl continued to school where she told staff about the incident.

  24. Victims sue council over 'sadistic' teacher

    Six victims of a teacher convicted of physically and sexually assaulting them have started legal action against Birmingham City Council.

    Marcus Marcussen

    Marcus Marcussen, 91, was sentenced in February to nine years in jail for abusing boys at the council-run Ilmington Road Comprehensive School in Weoley Castle between 1957 and 1978.

    In sentencing, the judge described the offences as "tinged with sadism".

    The council said three claims had been received and were being looked into.

  25. Argument over Great Barr field

    BBC WM

    Two Black Country councils are promising to sort out a problem which sees two halves of a playing field maintained, but not at the same time.

    The field in Great Barr is the dividing line between Walsall Council and Sandwell Councils, which each has responsibility for half of the field.

  26. Scare for O'Neill and Keane

    BBC Sport

    The former Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill and ex-Villa assistant manager Roy Keane, have been involved in a car crash in Dublin.


    It happened on the M50 motorway between the Blanchardstown and Finglas junctions and involved the Republic of Ireland's national team management team.

    In a tweet, the Football Association of Ireland said: "The ROI mgmt team were involved in collision on M50 earlier. Vehicle was rear ended in traffic."

    It said they had returned to their hotel and were seen by the team doctor.

  27. Fleetwood Mac cancelled gig

    Stephanie Barnard

    BBC Local Live

    Fans were left disappointed last night when Fleetwood Mac cancelled their gig at the Genting Arena in Birmingham.

    Fleetwood Mac

    Many fans will left in the lurch as it was announced just a couple of hours before the show - as one of the band members was ill.

    The date has been rescheduled for 7 July, all original tickets are valid for this concert - if you can't make the new date, you can get a refund at the point of purchase.

  28. Motorcyclist seriously hurt as crash closes M5 slip roads

    Birmingham Mail

    A rush-hour collision between a motorcycle and a lorry at one of the busiest motorway junctions in the West Midlands has caused major travel disruption.

    Slip roads on both sides of the M5 at West Bromwich have been shut following the crash, which seriously injured the motorcyclist, just before 7.20am this morning at the A41 island above the M5.

  29. A field of two halves

    Richie Anderson

    BBC WM reporter

    This playing field in Great Barr falls on the dividing line between Walsall Council and Sandwell Council; each has responsibility for half of the field.

    great barr playing field

    The two halves are regularly maintained - but not always at the same time.

    Have your say about this on our Facebook page.

  30. Dry and sunny again

    Sara Blizzard

    Weather Presenter, BBC East Midlands Today

    After a chilly start it will be another fine and dry day with plenty of sunshine.

    sara blizzard

    Winds will be light and it will feel warm, especially across the northwest of the region where the best of the sunshine will be.

  31. Latest headlines

    Stephanie Barnard

    BBC Local Live

    Here are the main headlines this morning:

  32. 1D campaign for Leah: 'Something to look forward to'

    Stephanie Barnard

    BBC Local Live

    Leah's brother Luke Washington also spoke about the One Direction campaign for his sister saying: "Last night I was notified by a friend that they'll record a video message for her to see as soon as she's back to normal.

    One Direction

    "She'll have VIP tickets to the shows and meet them.

    "I got to tell our Leah and she was over the moon. She didn't know what to say. It was the smile on her face and that was the main thing. She's got something to look forward to.

    He adds: "She'll be up and mobile before we know it."

  33. Leah Washington: Struggling to remember after Smiler crash

    BBC WM

    Leah Washington has been unable to remember all of her ordeal during the Alton Tower Smiler rollercoaster crash, according to her brother Luke.

    He says: "There's bits that she struggles to remember, but she has dealt with it better than I thought she ever would."

  34. Leah Washington: Standing for first time since crash

    BBC WM

    Luke Washington has revealed that his little sister Leah (pictured) had stood up for the first time since first being admitted to hospital following the Alton Towers rollercoaster crash.

    Leah Washington

    He said: "Compared to last week, it's a world of difference. It's amazing to see.

    "I walked into the room the other day and it was the first time she has stood up since."

  35. Leah Washington: Strength 'opened family's eyes'

    Luke Washington, Leah's older brother said she had shown a strength he never knew she had after suffering her injuries in the Smiler rollercoaster crash.

    He said: "It's not been easy by any means. We're strong and we're a close family.

    "We've got a bond and this is has made us closer and stronger. We've all been there for Leah but she has kept us going.

    "I don't know where she got her strength from but she has opened our eyes."

  36. Leah Washington: 'Machines keeping her going'

    Luke Washington says it's "not been easy on the family" seeing their daughter and sister go through such injuries following the rollercoaster crash at Alton Towers.

    "Me mum told me. I'd not seen anything on the internet. They sorted out some transport to go and see her.

    "[When it happened] She was heavily sedated. She was in intensive care and the machines were keeping her going."

    He adds: "The day after she was breathing on her own the day after. She's had a rapid recovery. Each day she has improved and improved."

  37. Leah is improving

    Luke Washington, the brother of Leah Washington says there is "a world of difference" in his sister Leah's health compared to a week ago when she was admitted to hospital folowing the Alton Towers crash.

    "To see the condition she was in to now. It's just great."

  38. 1D campaign for Leah Washington

    Qasa Alom

    Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

    A campaign has started for one of the victims of the rollercoaster crash at Alton Towers last Tuesday to meet the boyband One Direction .

    Leah Washington

    A Twitter campaign - #Get1DToLeah - called for the pop band to contact her.

    Leah Washington, 17, (pictured) has had her left leg amputated above the knee following the accident on The Smiler ride.

    Alton Towers says it accepts full responsibility for the accident and will be providing compensation to those who were injured.