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  1. Lorry crash and fire closes M42 at M5 junction
  2. Rescue service to launch boat named after crew member killed in crash
  3. Fly-tipper fined after being caught on camera dumping waste
  4. London Midland conductors in strike vote
  5. Top judge to open mock courtroom for students
  6. Updates on Friday 20 January 2017

Live Reporting

By Jerry Chester

All times stated are UK

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Severe accident: M5 Worcestershire southbound

BBC Travel

M5 Worcestershire southbound severe accident, between J5 for A38 Droitwich and J6 for A449.

M5 Worcestershire - Two lanes blocked on M5 southbound between J5, A38 (Droitwich) and J6, A449 (Worcester), because of an accident.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Paul James

Ged Scott

BBC Sport

Coach Paul James says he is "super proud" of Worcester Wolves after they shock British Basketball League leaders Newcastle Eagles.

Read more

Severe disruption: M5 Worcestershire southbound

BBC Travel

M5 Worcestershire southbound severe disruption, between J5 for A38 Droitwich and J6 for A449.

M5 Worcestershire - Lane closed on M5 southbound between J5, A38 (Droitwich) and J6, A449 (Worcester), because of a broken down vehicle.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Our live coverage across the day

Live updates for Herefordshire and Worcestershire have finished for the day but we'll be back from 08:00 on Monday with more live news, sport, travel and weather.

Top judge to open university's new 'courtroom' and law school

A leading judge is to officially open the University of Worcester's new law school next week, and will cast his eyes over its courtroom, where student will practice their advocacy skills.

Sir Andrew McFarlane, Lord Justice of Appeal, will perform the formal opening on Thursday, 26 January.    

Mock courtroom
University of Worcester

The purpose-built mock courtroom, or "moot room", has benches for judges, barristers, defendants, witnesses and public including members of the press, plus a separate jury room to simulate the real court experience.

Rescue service to launch boat named after crew member who died

A new boat will be launched at the weekend by a rescue service, and it will be named after a crew member who died.

Stuart Frost, who was one of the volunteers who help run Severn Area Rescue Association (SARA), lost his life in a road accident last year.

Severn Area Rescue Association boat

SARA is an inshore rescue boat and land search organisation covering the Severn Estuary and the surrounding area.

A driver who fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into Mr Frost's car, killing him and injuring his fiancee, was jailed for two years and nine months and banned from driving for five years in November.

Severn Area Rescue Association boat

Watch: Weather for this evening and the weekend

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

By the evening the cloud will have cleared most places, causing temperatures to drop quickly. It'll be a cold night with a widespread frost and some patchy fog possible. Lows of -2C  (28F).

You can read a full forecast on the the BBC Weather page.   

BBC Midlands Today's Rebecca Wood has your forecast

Your pictures: Penguin on a footplate

Did you know it was penguin awareness day? The Severn Valley Railway does.

View more on twitter

Fly-tipper fined after being caught on camera

A 40-year-old man has been fined £400 after being caught dumping waste by a CCTV camera installed at a fly-tipping hot-spot.

Edward Power, of Far Wood Road, Northfield pleaded guilty yesterday at Redditch Magistrates' Court to two offences. 

Fly Tipping
Bromsgrove District Council

He was caught on two occasions dumping wood, furniture and general waste at Icknield Street, near Kings Norton, on a camera installed by Bromsgrove District Council.

Magistrates also ordered him to pay £120 in compensation for each case.

We live in a beautiful part of Worcestershire and fly-tipping will not be tolerated. We will continue to invest in deterrents and to use evidence to aid successful prosecutions which could end in custodial sentences."

Bromsgrove District Council statement

Latest: Driver dies in motoway crash; fly-tipper caught by hidden camera; Wolves game live

BBC Hereford and Worcester

Here are some of the stories we are looking at today:

- HGV driver in crash that closes the M42 dies at the scene of the accident, the ambulance service says

- Fly-tipper fined by court after being caught on a hidden camera dumping waste

- Worcester Wolves BBL against the Newcastle Eagles is featured live on the BBC Sport website

Helping conserve Wyre Forest's butterflies

You can help to preserve the rare butterfly species in Wyre Forest, in north Worcestershire.

View more on twitter

BreakingM42 crash: Lorry driver dies

A driver has died after an HGV overturned and caught fire on the M42 motorway this morning, the ambulance service says.  

West Midlands Ambulance Service says its crews were called to the M42, near to the link with the M5, shortly before 11:50.  

M42 fire
Lynne George

Paramedics had to wait until fire crews has brought the blaze under control before they could get to the driver.

Unfortunately, it immediately became apparent that nothing could be done to save [the driver] and [the patient] was confirmed dead at the scene."

West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman

Work under way to return King's favourite fish to the River Severn

Shad and King Henry III

Last year we reported on plans to boost the low numbers of shad, King Henry III's favourite fish, in the River Severn.

A number of charities and agencies, including the Severn Rivers Trust and the Environment Agency, are working on a £20m project to build fish passes and help boost the local economy.

Since October, design work has got under way for fish passes which are being placed along the river.

Mike Morris from the Severn Rivers Trust said: "Every pass is different, they vary in cost from £300,000 to £400,000.

"The most expensive wil be £2m to £3m and the largest is about 80-90m long and about 20m wide so they are quite large and take a long time to construct."

He added that the design work would be completed by the summer and building work for the first fish passes would begin next March, with the last one completed by 2020.

bbc-coverageFriday night's BBL action

Newcastle Eagles v Worcester Wolves

BBL action returns to the BBC this evening as Newcastle Eagles welcome Worcester Wolves to Sport Central.

The Newcastle Eagles go in to the game top of the table and as clear favourites whilst Worcester have lost their last three matches. 

You can watch all the action live on the BBC Sport website, app and selected connected TV's from 19:30 GMT by clicking here and if you want to learn more about the BBC's coverage from the BBL and WBBL in 2016/2017 click here.

BBC Sport

Slideshow: Worcester's at risk buildings

The good news - the number of historic buildings on the Historic England "at risk" register in Worcester has fallen - from 28 in 2012 to 22 last year.

The bad news - that's still a lot of Worcester landmarks under threat due to "deterioration, neglect, decay and unsympathetic development".

Here's a slideshow of some of them: The Edgar Tower at one of the entrances to Worcester cathedral; The Scala Theatre, a former cinema; The remains of Worcester's city walls; St Helen's church, near the Guildhall; The Litchfield Avenue war memorial, Ronkswood.

Pictures from Google

Slideshow: Worcester's 'at risk' buildings

You can find the full list of at risk buildings on the Worcester City Council website.

Severe accident: A443 Worcestershire both ways

BBC Travel

A443 Worcestershire both ways severe accident, at B4206 Henwick Road.

A443 Worcestershire - A443 Hylton Road in Worcester closed and slow traffic in both directions at the B4206 Henwick Road junction, because of an accident. Diversion in operation - via B4206 Henwick Road.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Watch: Squad's energy 'outstanding' says Warriors' head coach

Trevor Owens

Sports Editor, BBC Hereford & Worcester

Worcester Warriors' head coach Carl Hogg has praised his players' work ethic during their narrow defeat at Brive. 

He's also looking forward the arrival of new signing Ethan Waller.  

Squad's energy 'outstanding' says Warriors' head coach

Latest: Lorry fire closes motorway; call handler helps toddler who dialed 999; memorial bench returned to family

BBC Hereford and Worcester

Here are some of the stories we are looking at this afternoon:

- Lorry fire closes the link between the M42 and M5 in Worcestershire "for the rest of the day" says Highways England

- A 999 call handler from Worcestershire has helped to trace the home of a four-year-old boy who phoned after his mum collapsed

- The family of a teenage boy from Worcester will pick up his memorial bench that was washed up on a beach

Prolific burglar Alan Dale targeted Huntingdon Hall and other city businesses "out of desperation", court hears

Worcester News

A serial burglar who targeted commercial properties in Worcester "out of desperation" on his release from prison has been sent back to jail.  

M42 link to remain shut for rest of day

The link between the M42 and M5 is expected to stay closed southbound for the rest of the day, Highways England says.

An HGV caught fire after overturning near J1.

Diversions are in place, but there are reports of long queues in the area. The carriageway is expected to reopen at about 05:30 on Saturday, Highways England says.

Traffic cam
Highways England

Peru coma man arrives at British hospital

The friend of a Hereford man who's been flown back to the UK from Peru after suffering a serious accident has praised British Airways staff for the way they looked after him during his flight. 

Will Welch was left in a coma after falling from a roof while volunteering in the South American country.

Will Welch

He's now being treated at the East Surrey Hospital. 

He's non verbal at the moment - he can't talk. There are some responses though they are still limited. If you talk to him he will look towards you, but at the moment we are still very much in the woods."

Mya MarchingtonFriend

Severe disruption: A448 Worcestershire westbound

BBC Travel

A448 Worcestershire westbound severe disruption, between B4096 and A38.

A448 Worcestershire - A448 Bromsgrove Highway closed and queuing traffic westbound between the B4096 junction in Tardebigge and the A38 junction in Bromsgrove. Diversion in operation - local.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Slideshow: Cold day brings striking skylines

BBC Weather Watchers

The BBC's Weather Watchers have been braving the chill air to snap some great photos.

Here's a selection from Mikesnapper, Postman Les, J9 Happysnapper71 and Lickey Steve.

Slideshow: Cold day's brings striking skylines.

Watch: Clear but cold afternoon

Lucy Martin

BBC Weather

Blue skies are likely in the afternoon, but it will feel chilly in the sunshine - highs of 5C (41F).

You can read a full forecast on the the BBC Weather page.   

Latest weather for the West Midlands

BreakingTravel: HGV on fire closes motorway

James Pearson

Journalist, BBC Hereford & Worcester

A serious fire involving a HGV has closed the M42 southbound at junction 1, as it joins the M5, the fire service says.

Six fire crews are currently tackling a blaze caused by a heavy goods vehicle turning on to its side. 

Plume of smoke
Lynne George

Firefighters are using breathing apparatus, but the lorry is not containing hazardous substances, Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service says. 

West Mercia Police says motorists are unable to join the M5 from the M42 and there is considerable congestion in the area.

The southbound carriageway will be closed for some time and drivers are advised to avoid the area if possible. More from BBC Travel.

Latest: Train conductors balloted over strike; 'at risk' building numbers drop; Warrior's european squad announced

BBC Hereford and Worcester

Here are some of the stories we are looking at this afternoon:

- Train conductors who work on London Midland are to vote on whether to take strike action

- The number of buildings on Worcester's "heritage at risk" register has been reduced in the past four years

- Warriors make five changes to their squad for Saturday's European game at Sixays

Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid calls on Britons to 'make a scene' when they see racism

Bromsgrove Advertiser

Speaking ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid MP called for communities to be "strong enough" to stand up to bigotry in all forms.  

Rugby: Warriors squad for European game

Worcester Warriors make five changes to the squad to face Enisei-STM at Sixways in the European Challenge Cup on Saturday.

You can hear full commentary on the game on BBC Hereford & Worcester - kick off is at the earlier time of 14:00.

View more on twitter

Power lines checked while the weather is clear

If you see a helicopter flying low over Worcester today, it's checking overhead electricity lines for Western Power Distribution, taking advantage of the clear weather.

View more on twitter

Number of 'at risk' buildings in Worcester falls

The number of buildings on Worcester's "heritage at risk" register has been reduced in the past four years. 

There are currently 21 historic buildings, including factories, phone boxes, monuments and houses, identified as at risk of neglect - that's down from 28 in 2012. 

Scala cinema, Worcester

The waiting rooms at Shrub Hill train station and the bridge at Worcester Foregate Street have now been removed from the register.

The Scala cinema in Angel Place (pictured) and The Edgar Tower in the city are among those which remain on the list.

Harriers prepare to stage first 'dementia friendly' game

Kidderminster Harriers' have created a special "dementia friendly" area in their Aggborough stadium for fans who have the condition.

Dementia patients and their carers will be able to sit in a specially designated area of the ground for the first time at their game against AFC Telford United tomorrow. 

Aggborough stadium
Getty Images

Staff have been trained by the Alzheimer's Society to support the fans.

Anita Fenton, who cares for her husband who has dementia says it's important that people with it aren't isolated.

A lot of people think that people with dementia are just going to sit at home and not do much [but] it does them good to get out. People don't understand because it's not a visible illness."

Anita FentonDementia carer

Army's top musicians give masterclasses at school

A world-famous band will be making a special appearance in Worcester today to help inspire the next generation of musicians.

The Guards Brass Band will performing for primary school pupils at Bishop Perowne Church of England College, before running some workshops for budding brass musicians in the city. 

Grenadier Guards

These are obviously the Queen's musicians, they've come from London especially to visit out school. They are the ones who stand outside Buckingham palace with the big bearskins on. They are a group of musicians from the five Foot Guards bands who have been chosen for their excellence on their instruments to represent the household division."

Ashley DixonHead of Music - Bishop Perowne college

Worcester News front page: JCB raiders rip out cashpoint

Worcester News

Today's Worcester News has more on the raid on the village store in Kempsey that saw a cash machine ripped out with a stolen JCB.

Worcester News front page
Worcester News

Rugby: Te'o in Six Nations squad

BBC Sport

Worcester Warriors' Ben Te'o has been named in England's 34-man squad for the forthcoming Six Nations tournament.

Ben Te'o
Getty Images

England have named three uncapped players in their squad - back rower Mike Williams, prop Nathan Catt and versatile back Alex Lozowski.

Latest: Restrained pupil legal action threat; Trump protest banner; Warriors player makes England squad

Phil Maiden

Reporter, BBC Hereford & Worcester

Here are some of the stories we are looking at this morning:

- School faces legal action over pupil who was restrained in the playground

- Anti-Trump banner displayed on Worcester footbridge

- Warriors player included in England's Six Nations squad

Trump protest banner on Worcester footbridge

A protest banner against the policies of the new USA president Donald Trump has been put on the Sabrina footbridge in Worcester.

The banner, part of a wider campaign, says "Bridges not walls" - a reference to President Trump's campaign promise to build a wall between the USA and Mexico.

Protest banner
Phillip Stoneman