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  1. Updates for Friday 11 December 2015
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates to resume at 08:00 on Monday

Live Reporting

By Stephanie Barnard

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Our live coverage across the day

    Live updates for Birmingham and the Black Country have now finished for the day.

    We'll be back on Monday from 08:00 with the usual mix of news, sport, travel and weather.

  2. Watch: Weekend weather forecast

    Rebecca Wood

    BBC Midlands Today Weather

    Many places will remain dry with clear spells tonight. It will be cold with a localised frost likely in sheltered areas - lows of 2C (36F).

    Video content

    Video caption: The weather forecast for the West Midlands.
  3. Former Wolves player jailed on drugs charge

    A former Wolves player, 28-year-old Chris Cornes, from Worcester, has been jailed for four years and four months by Gloucester Crown Court after admitting possessing cocaine with intent to supply.

    The striker, who also played for Port Vale and Milton Keynes Dons, had also admitted possessing criminal property - a quantity of cash.

    He was shown the door at Molineux in 2006 after testing positive for cocaine.

  4. Coming up on BBC One from 18:30

    Nick Owen

    Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

    We’re getting reaction to the news that hundreds of jobs will be saved after a buyer for Caparo has been found. 

    Administrators say the majority of remaining businesses and assets of the Black Country based company have now been sold.

    Video content

    Video caption: Here's Nick Owen with Midlands Today headlines

    We’re finding out what pressures our A&E units are under at hospitals across the Midlands and why Dudley always seems to be among the best in the country.

    And if you’re a Star Wars fan we’ll have more on lightsaber classes.

  5. New Smethwick hospital will cost £588m to build

    Alex Homer

    BBC Local Live

    A new hospital for the West Midlands will cost at least £588m in a 30-year deal, the BBC can reveal.

    A contract was signed on Friday to build the 670-bed Midland Metropolitan Hospital on land in Smethwick.

    The capital costs for the building will be £340m, but it is being built under a PF2 private finance deal with an annual charge of £19.6m.

    The trust said that was cheaper than an outline business case dating back to 2014, which anticipated a £27m annual payment.

  6. Wolves skipper backs homeless charity

    Ged Scott

    BBC Sport

    Wolves skipper Danny Batth is doing his bit to highlight the issue of homelessness at Christmas by selling copies of the Big Issue outside the club shop on Saturday.

    Danny Batth

    Instead of spending the day Christmas shopping, he will be outside the Wolves club shop for a couple of hours on Saturday afternoon trying to sell the Big Issue, in an attempt to highlight the escalating problem of homelessness in this country - especially in the run-up to the festive season.

    Video content

    Video caption: 'I've walked past Big Issue sellers'
  7. Fake ambulances transported 'truly colossal' amounts of heroin and cocaine

    Olof Schoon pleaded guilty in November to conspiracy to supply drugs. 

    Birmingham Crown Court heard a fleet of specially adapted ambulances, purporting to be transporting patients, were actually ferrying "truly colossal" amounts of heroin and cocaine.

    The married father-of-three showed no emotion as a judge also jailed two other men involved in the conspiracy to deliver drugs to dealers in Yorkshire, Merseyside, London and the West Midlands. 

    Olof Schoon

    Leonardus Bijlsma, who acted as Schoon's right-hand man and used a rivet gun to conceal drugs inside ambulances, was jailed for 28 years.

    Richard Engelsbel was given an 18-year jail term after admitting that he acted as a driver or driver's mate on 25 smuggling trips.

  8. Man who used fake ambulances to traffic drugs is jailed

    BBC WM

    A Dutch man who ran a drug-smuggling operation using a fleet of fake ambulances until being caught in the Black Country has been jailed for 24 years. 

    Olof Schoon, 38, oversaw an operation which saw drugs worth more than £1bn brought over the Channel and into the UK. 

    One of their ambulances was stopped by West Midlands Police in Smethwick last year following a tip off - and they found heroin, cocaine and ecstasy with a street value of more than £40m.

    Fake ambulance
  9. Villa cling on to the memories of Arsenal win 17 years on

    Ged Scott

    BBC Sport

    Judging by the way the last 16 home contests against Arsene Wenger's side have gone (nine home defeats, seven draws), most Villa fans will be clinging only to memories.    

    That day in 1998 created off-field headlines when a half-time publicity stunt involving parachuting Santas went awfully wrong as one of them suffered a dreadful accident (pictured), which led to him losing a leg.

    Santa skydive man being stretchered off the pitch
  10. Latest headlines: Review into Cannock toddler death and Wolves take on Nottingham Forest

    Steve Hermon

    Journalist, BBC WM

    The top stories on BBC WM at 17:00:

     - A review into the death of a Cannock toddler says he probably died from an allergic reaction to milk

    The schools watchdog is setting up a task force to search for unregistered schools operating outside the law in England after three were uncovered in Birmingham

    - Wolves v Nottingham Forest: On-loan keeper Emi Martinez's thigh injury may keep him out for the remainder of the month so Carl Ikeme will continue in goal for Wolves

  11. Remembering Villa v Arsenal in 1998

    Ged Scott

    BBC Sport

    When Aston Villa host Arsenal this Sunday, it will be 17 years to the day since they last enjoyed a home win over Arsene Wenger's Gunners.

    It was on 13 December 1998 when, on a memorable afternoon at Villa Park, a 3-2 comeback win over the then champions took John Gregory's side to the top of the Premiership, as it was then known.

    Dion Dublin of Aston Villa beats David Seaman of Arsenal to score the winner in the FA Carling Premiership match at Villa Park in Birmingham

    This Sunday, Villa will start the day at the other end of the table, six points adrift at the bottom, hoping that an ex-Arsenal player, new manager Remi Garde, can inspire them to an unlikely victory over second-placed Arsenal.  

  12. Work starts to help first wave of redundancies at Goodyear

    Work has started to help those in the first round of redundancies at the tyre manufacturer Goodyear.

    A taskforce set-up to help Goodyear workers find new work is about to start helping those who have taken voluntary redundancy.

    Goodyear plant, Wolverhampton

    Wolverhampton City Council says workers will be offered recruitment and retraining support, as well as careers guidance and interview skills.

  13. Jonnie Meek death: Health bosses move to quash first inquest verdict

    Health bosses say they will now take steps to have the first inquest verdict into Jonnie Meek's death quashed and a second inquest held. 

    Cannock Chase Clinical Commissioning group said the complaints procedure had "failed" the family. 

    The death happened when Stafford Hospital was run the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, which has since been dissolved.

    Video content

    Video caption: Mother 'tried to 'get help for son'
    Quote Message: We are pleased that Dr Farrier concluded that medical staff did everything in their power to keep Jonnie alive – there is no suggestion that anyone did anything wrong in the medical care provided. from Andrew Donald Chief Officer of Cannock Chase, Stafford and Surrounds, and South East Staffordshire and Seisdon Peninsula CCGs
    Andrew DonaldChief Officer of Cannock Chase, Stafford and Surrounds, and South East Staffordshire and Seisdon Peninsula CCGs
  14. Weekend match previews: Villa v Arsenal and Liverpool v West Brom

    Adam Bridge

    BBC WM

    On Sunday, Aston Villa take on Arsenal at Villa Park. It was on the 13 December 1998 that Villa beat the Gunners 3-2 to go top of the Premier League. 

    Oh how times have changed! Villa v Arsenal is part one of a Premier League double-header which kicks off at 13:00 on Sunday.

    After the game at Villa Park we'll bring you West Brom's trip to Anfield as the Baggies look to extend their unbeaten run to four games. 

  15. Residents warned not to grow vegetables in garden

    Rob Mayor

    Black Country Political Reporter, BBC WM

    A hearing is taking place at Walsall Council as a woman living on the site of a former gas works says the land is contaminated.

    At one point residents were warned against eating vegetables grown in their gardens and it’s thought the cost of decontaminating the land could be around £4m.

    The inquiry is due to last till the end of next week, with a decision sometime next year.

  16. Call for new inquest into death of toddler

    A review into the death of a toddler at Stafford Hospital last year has called for a new inquest into how he died.  

    Jonnie Meek

    Three-year-old Jonnie Meek, from Cannock, had a rare genetic condition which meant he had to be fed through a tube into his stomach. 

    He died in August 2014 after nurses attempted to change his feed. 

    An independent doctor has now called for the conclusion that he died of "natural causes" to be quashed.