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  1. Updates on Friday 8 July 2016

Live Reporting

By Vanessa Pearce

All times stated are UK

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Latest weather for the West Midlands

Latest weather for the West Midlands
Liam Dawson

Kalika Mehta

BBC Sport

Liam Dawson's maiden first-class century of the season puts Hampshire in firm control over Warwickshire on day one.

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Jack O'Connell

Brentford defender Jack O'Connell and Coventry midfielder John Fleck sign for Sheffield United on three-year deals.

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Lydia Lewinson

Donations have been made to help repatriate the body of a holiday rep who died in Cyprus.

Read more
First Wimbledon champion remembered in Solihull
The first woman to win the Wimbledon ladies singles championship, Maud Watson, has been praised for changing women's sport.

Our coverage across the day

We'll be back with you from 08:00 on Monday with our usual mix of news, sport, travel and weather, but keep an eye out here for more updates this evening and into the morning.

Have a great weekend.

Watch: Latest weather for Coventry and Warwickshire

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

Dry through the evening, with some clear intervals before patchy rain moves in from the west.

Feeling muggy with lows of 15C (59F).

Weather for the West Midlands

Warwickshire village remembers first Wimbledon winner

Vanessa Pearce

BBC Local Live

People living in the Warwickshire village of Berkswell are remembering local girl and first ever winner of the Wimbledon women's singles title.

Maud Watson beat her sister Lilian to win when the event was first introduced to the Championships in 1894. 

But the recent closure of the village museum has seen the break up of a collection of Maud Watson memorabilia. 

Patients escape injury after A45 crash - but ambulance not so lucky

An ambulance had to be taken out of service after being involved in a crash while attending a different accident on the A45 in Coventry this morning.

The driver of a car that had crashed into a lamppost was being treated in the back of the ambulance when a second car crashed into it - damaging the rear door.

Two crew members and the two drivers of the cars all escaped injury.

Scene of crash
West Midlands Ambulance Service

BreakingEx-detective cleared of stealing £113,000

 An ex-detective has been found not guilty of stealing £113,000 from the former Warwickshire police headquarters.  

Paul Andrew Greaves, 57, from Carlton, Nottinghamshire, was accused of stealing the sum after it disappeared from a cellar at the site described by his defence as a "shambolic" security measure.

Paul Andrew Greaves

The money was found to be missing two years after it was seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act, with Mr Greaves' barrister Brian Dean saying Warwickshire Police had thrown "the kitchen sink" at its former employee due to its embarrassment over the misplaced money.

Jurors deliberated for seven hours before clearing the 57-year-old of a single count of theft.

Ricketts signs new Sky Blues deal

Coventry City defender Sam Ricketts has signed a new one-year deal with the League One club.The 34-year-old made 46 appearances for the Sky Blues last season, after joining from Wolves in summer 2015.

Sam Ricketts
Rex Features

"League One will be extremely competitive next season and Sam will play a vital role in leading the team," Coventry boss Tony Mowbray said.Ricketts joins Marcus Tudgay in signing a new short-term deal with the club this week.  

Latest headlines: Fundraising site set up for Coventry woman's funeral; and councillor 'had blank cheques signed'

Vanessa Pearce

BBC Local Live

These are some of the headlining stories in Coventry today:

- Crowdfunding campaign raises thousands for funeral of woman killed in Cyprus crash

- Coventry's deputy leader questioned by police over Townshend fraud allegations

- Sky Blues defender Sam Ricketts signs new one-year deal

Andy Sullivan tied fourth at Scottish Open

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire Sport

Nuneaton's Andy Sullivan is just two shots off the lead after nine holes at the Scottish Open.

New Zealand's Danny Lee is currently leading at Castle Stuart.

View more on twitter

Travel: A45 accident

BBC Travel

An accident is blocking one lane of the A45 in Coventry westbound, between the Stonebridge island and Birmingham Airport.

More details on BBC Travel. 

Trott appointed vice captain of the Bears

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire Sport

Jonathan Trott has been named as vice captain for first-class cricket and batsman William Porterfield named vice captain for limited overs cricket at Warwickshire.

Trott made his First Class debut for the Bears in 2003 and has gone on to make 150 appearances to date, scoring 9,784 runs, including 24 centuries.   

William Porter and Jonathan Trott
Warwickshire Cricket Club

DJs back crowdfunding campaign for funeral of woman killed in Cyprus crash

Former Radio 1 DJ Tim Westwood has backed a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the funeral of a Coventry woman who's died in an accident in Cyprus.

The campaign for Lydia Lewinson's funeral has currently raised £8,925 after being launched just 24 hours ago.

Birmingham DJ Russke also tweeted: "R.I.P Lydia who sadly lost her life today in Ayia Napa, was lovely to meet you , rest easy"

View more on twitter

Local MP highlights growth in creative industries

Arts subjects must be promoted in schools to aid creative industries, says local MP Chris White.

In a backbench debate on the subject, the Conservative member for Warwick and Leamington said skilled people were needed to maintain the sector's high levels of growth.

"We must not allow a skills gap to be created in this sector," he said. 

 "Whether it's from the primary school level through to our colleges and universities I urge for a nurturing of creative talent to allow the UK to become renowned internationally as the place to do business in the creative sphere."

View more on twitter

Coventry City show off new players in pre-season clash

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire Sport

The Sky Blues start their pre-season programme tomorrow against Nuneaton Town at Liberty Way. 

It'll be the first chance for Coventry fans to see recent signings Kwame Thomas and Marvin Sordell playing for the Sky Blues. 

Nuneaton Town will also field a number of new signings. 

Kwame Thomas and Marvin Sordell
Getty Images

Man cut free through roof as three injured in Bidford collision

Three people were taken to hospital after a two-car collision on the B439 in Bidford-on-Avon this morning.

One man had to be cut free through the roof of his car and suffered a fractured arm and a back injury, says the ambulance service.

Two women travelling in the second vehicle were treated for minor injures.

Scene of accident
West Midlands Ambulance Service
Sam Ricketts

Coventry City defender Sam Ricketts signs a new one-year deal, keeping him at the club until the summer of 2017.

Read more

New Post Office set for Bulkington

Plans have been revealed to relocate the Post Office in Bulkington after the previous branch at the Co-op was closed in November last year.

More than 1,500 people signed a petition in protest and now a new branch is due to open in a village shop in two weeks.

The plans have been welcomed by local MP Mark Pawsey.

View more on twitter

Judge gives dealer found with drugs in a Kinder egg chance to sort life out

Rugby Advertiser

A young man who was caught with more than £900 worth of crack cocaine in a Kinder egg has escaped being jailed after a judge heard of the voluntary work he does with a mentoring project.

Latest: Deputy leader questions over fraud; friends raise thousands for Coventry woman's funeral

Vanessa Pearce

BBC Local Live

These are some of the main stories in the newsroom today:

- Coventry's deputy leader was questioned by police over Townshend fraud allegations

- Friends raise thousands for funeral of Coventry woman killed in Cyprus

- Three taken to hospital after Bidford-on-Avon collision

Watch: Latest weather for Coventry and Warwickshire

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

Some bright spells, but also some showers this afternoon and it will feel pleasantly warm, with highs of 21C (70F).

Friends pledge thousands to cover Coventry girl's funeral

A crowdfunding website, set up to pay for the funeral of a Coventry woman who's died in Cyprus, has raised more than £8,000 in 24 hours.

A Cyprus newspaper reports a 22-year-old died in a moped accident while working in the resort of Ayia Napa on Wednesday afternoon, and she's been named on social media sites as Lydia Lewinson.

The fundraising page reads "Any donation would be great, but £6,000 is the ultimate goad to bring our beautiful friend back from Ayia Napa and have her buried in Coventry".

A Foreign Office statement says: We are providing support to the family of a British national following their death in Cyprus on 6 July".

State-of-the-art business centre Venture House officially opens in Stratford

Stratford Observer

Stratford District Council secured £450,000 from central government in 2014 to set up the centre, which is designed to help businesses with growth, innovation, and training.

Venture House
Stratford Observer

Coventry deputy leader questioned over Townshend fraud allegtions

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

The current deputy leader of Coventry City Council was questioned by police over an allegation of fraud against former deputy leader Philip Townshend.

Abdul Salam Khan, a lawyer whose company acted for Mr Townshend, was interviewed but not arrested, said police.

Abdul Salam Khan
Coventry City Council

West Midlands Police said there was no suggestion Mr Khan - a former business partner of Mr Townshend - had committed a criminal offence.

"No further action was taken. He was helping with inquiries," the force said.

The director and company secretary at The Law Partnership Solicitors has not commented to the BBC.

Lack of ranks is forcing illegal parking say city cabbies

Richard Williams

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

Taxi drivers in Coventry say a lack of rank spaces in the city is forcing them to park illegally.

There are 850 black cabs in the city, with 144 rank spaces.

Taxi rank

"Every rank we go to it's too busy", said driver Harvinder Gata-Aura, "it's a nightmare".

Andrew Walster, in charge of taxi licencing at the council, says there are no plans to increase provision in the near future but "will consider" further taxi ranks as part of the planning process for the redevelopment of the south of the city centre.

Coventry man to tackle toughest Lake District mountains in epic charity trek

Coventry Observer

A Coventry man will be aiming to raise money for sick children in the UK when he climbs eight of the highest mountains in the Lake District.  

Latest news: Ex-deputy council leader 'had victim sign blank cheques'; cabbies say city lacks ranks

Vanessa Pearce

BBC Local Live

These are some of the headlining stories:

- Fraud-accused Philip Townshend 'had victim sign blank cheques'

- Taxi drivers say lack of ranks in Coventry is forcing them to park illegally

-  Warwickshire village remembers first ever Wimbledon women's singles champion

Watch: Latest weather for Coventry and Warwickshire

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

After a cloudy, damp start, it will become drier and brighter with some sunny spells between the showers.

It will remain breezy with top temperatures of 21C (70F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Councillor 'had blank cheques signed'

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

A deputy council leader accused of mortgage fraud got his elderly victim to sign blank cheques and papers, documents have revealed.

Philip Townshend, a Coventry city councillor who died last year, took out a mortgage on the woman's house without her knowledge, a source claimed.

Philip Townshend
Coventry City Council

Mr Townshend was able to secure the mortgage because he was given power of attorney over the homeowner, aged in her 70s, the BBC understands.

A source said he had applied for equity release on the property, which Land Registry documents show was priced at £325,000.

Travel: Accident blocking B439

BBC Travel

Warwickshire Fire Service says the B439 at Cranhill corner, in Bidford, will remain closed for a time after an earlier collision involving two cars.

View more on twitter

Good morning from Coventry and Warwickshire Live

Vanessa Pearce

BBC Local Live

Welcome to our live service for Friday.

I'm in the Coventry newsroom bringing you all the latest news, sport, travel and weather updates throughout the day.

You can get in touch with us via email or tweet us @BBCCovWarks