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  1. Updates for Wednesday 6 January 2016
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates to resume on Thursday

Live Reporting

By Stephanie Barnard

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Good evening

    That's it for live updates. 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. Watch: Overnight forecast for the West Midlands

    Shefali Oza

    BBC Midlands Today

    After a dry but rather cloudy evening, a band of rain, heavy at times, will move northeastwards affecting all parts by midnight. 

    Winds strengthening as rain approaches with lows of 3C (37F).

    Video content

    Video caption: Watch the latest weather forecast for the West Midlands
  3. Travel: Lane blocked on M6 southbound

    BBC Travel

    One lane's blocked on the M6 southbound at J10 for Wolverhampton and Walsall due to a broken down vehicle. 

    Traffic is slow in the area.

  4. 'Think twice before visiting A&E' warns trust

    Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley is calling for people only to go to Accident and Emergency if it's a real emergency as it's facing extreme pressure after the festive period. 

    The trust which runs it says yesterday there was a 50% increase in the number of patients being admitted.

  5. Killer traced by stolen mobile phone

    A 24-year-old man, jailed for 10 years for admitting killing a father-of-six, was traced by a stolen mobile phone, found hidden in a slow cooker, police said.

    Stephen Phillips's body was discovered in his flat on Dudley Road in Blakenhall in March 2014.  

    Officers realised the 54-year-old's mobile phones were missing and were able to trace one of them to an address in All Saints Road where Lewis Thornton (pictured) had been staying.

    Lewis Thornton
    Quote Message: Once we had determined the movements of the phone we were then able to track both men on CCTV on the night of the robbery. The exact location of the attack remains unclear to this day but we were able to build a strong case against Thornton regardless. from Detective Inspector Justin Spanner West Midlands Police CID
    Detective Inspector Justin SpannerWest Midlands Police CID
  6. Watch: How to make an animation film

    Satnam Rana

    BBC Midlands Today

    Drew Roper of Yamination studios in Birmingham has spent the last three years bringing a puppet called Bartholomew to life. 

    Now his short film of the wannabe Hollywood star will be premiered on SkyArts tonight with repeats over the next two years. 

    I went went along to meet him and to find out how it all works.

    Video content

    Video caption: A Birmingham animator is to have his short film premiered on TV
  7. IVF clinic wins licence renewal appeal

    A fertility clinic twice refused a new licence has won the right to continue operating, following a successful appeal.

    St Jude's sign

    Dr Jude Adeghe, who runs the St Jude's Women's Hospital, said: "The decision in the report more or less is validation for what we do, so we just wish to look forward.

    "We're not bitter as difficult as it has been... and look forward and do what we do best, helping couples out there to make more babies."

  8. Gun crime spike 'concerning'

    Jennifer Meierhans

    BBC News Online

    A recent spike in gun crime in Birmingham is "very concerning", the police commissioner has said.

    Firearms offences had dropped over the past 10 years but the problem was back, said David Jamieson.

    Gun crime stats

    Dave Thompson, Deputy Chief Constable for West Midlands Police, said he had never known shootings to be as regular.

    Official statistics show overall gun crime figures dropped from 524 in 2014 to 357 in 2015.

    But a recent spate of attacks in areas such as Handsworth, Lozells and Hockley were causing concern, said police.

  9. Bogus fire extinguisher sales in Solihull, warns fire service

    West Midlands Fire Service is warning residents in Solihull not to buy fire extinguishers door-to-door.

    Solihull Fire says it's received reports that a woman claiming to be from the fire service is selling them on people's doorsteps.

    View more on twitter
  10. Man jailed after killing dad-of-six

    A man has been jailed for 10 years after admitting killing a father-of-six by punching him in the head, causing him to fall and fracture his skull.

    Stephen Phillips

    The death of Stephen Phillips, 54, at his Wolverhampton flat was at first not thought to be suspicious, but tests proved he was struck before he fell.

    Lewis Thornton, 24, went on trial for manslaughter and robbery but changed his pleas to guilty.

  11. GP surgeries choose to stop taking new patients, says Birmingham medical committee

    Birmingham's local medical committee has been "particularly proactive" in telling GP surgeries they can choose to stop taking new patients, its chairman says.

    Dr Robert Morley, chairman of the Birmingham Local Medical Committee, which represents the area's GPs, said practices could decide to stop taking on new patients, without the approval of NHS England.

    Doctors' records

    He said in Birmingham, the local medical committee had been "particularly proactive" in pointing this out to practices, making them "feel empowered to take appropriate measures".  

  12. Wolves: Bids for Benik Afobe denied

    BBC WM Sport

    Wolves have denied receiving any bids for top scorer Benik Afobe (pictured), despite reported interest from Crystal Palace and Derby.

    Benik Afobe

    Meanwhile, Kenny Jackett has confirmed he wants to take a look at returning loanees Lee Evans, Tommy Rowe and George Saville before deciding if they'll be allowed out again. 

    The future of Rajiv van la Parra is still unclear; he spent the last month with Brighton but there's been no interest yet in extending the deal.

  13. Generous care service donate selection boxes to Tamworth Foodbank

    Tamworth Herald

    A care service made a kind gesture over the festive period – donating selection boxes to Tamworth's Foodbank.

    Cathy Mailins is pictured with some of the chocolate boxes
  14. Animator's short film premieres on TV tonight

    A Birmingham animator is to have his short film premiered on TV. 

    Drew Roper, of Yamination Studios, has been in the business since 2009. 

    The film At-Issue is based on a character called Bartholomew (pictured) who dreams of Hollywood and makes a last-ditch attempt to become a star. 


    It will be aired on Sky Arts this evening at 16:50.

  15. Avtar Dhensa named locally as fatality in Penn house fire

    The man killed in an explosion and fire at a house in Wolverhampton has been named locally as Avtar Dhensa (pictured).

    The fire, which the emergency services say was started by petrol vapours, broke out shortly before 15:15 on Tuesday.

    Avtar Dhensa
  16. Wolverhampton house explosion 'caused by petrol vapours'

    An explosion at a house in Wolverhampton, which killed a man, is believed to have been caused by a build up of petrol vapours the fire service says.

    The fire started shortly before 15:15 and the victim has been named locally as Avtar Dhensa.  

    Fire scene

    West Midlands Fire Service said it wasn't being treated as suspicious. A report is being prepared for the coroner.