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  1. Updates on Friday 12 August
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates to resume at 08:00 on Monday

Live Reporting

By Andy Giddings

All times stated are UK

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  1. Stories we're working on: BBC Midlands Today

    BBC Midlands Today

    Have you been gripped by The Archers this week? Millions have and even if you’re not one of them we’ve been behind the scenes to bring you the latest on the long running Radio 4 soap’s darkest plot – carefully scripted by writers and producers of the programme.

    The trial of Helen Titchener, accused of attempted murder after a long running storyline about domestic violence, is attracting big audiences and headlines around the world and raising tens of thousands of pounds for the charity Women’s Aid. 

    Video content

    Video caption: Helen finally makes public the extent of Rob’s abuse.

    Watch Midlands Today on BBC One at 18.30.

  2. On Midlands Today from 13:30: Cutting knife crime and a gripping radio trial

    BBC Midlands Today

    This lunchtime on BBC Midlands Today, we'll cover how police in one part of the region are trying to cut knife crime by employing prisoners and ex-offenders. 

    Recording of The Archers

    And how a fictional radio trial, recorded in the Midlands, has gripped listeners across the country. 

    Those and more stories plus your weekend weather, on BBC One from 13:30.

  3. Big drop in the number of people with mental health issues who end up in police cells

    There's been a big drop in the number of people going into police custody as a result of mental health issues, according to West Mercia's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).

    Although the number of people detained as a result of mental health issues has risen between 2015 and 2016, the number who ended up in police cells fell by 59%.

    The figures show out of a total of 911 people detained, only 15 were taken into police custody - the rest were taken to "a more appropriate designated place of safety, run by health professionals", the PCC said.  

    Cell door
    Quote Message: It is a better result for people suffering from mental health crises, who now have better access to proper, specialist help in an appropriate setting." from John Campion Police and Crime Commissioner
    John CampionPolice and Crime Commissioner
  4. On Midlands Today from 18:30: The rise of city bees

    David Gregory-Kumar

    Science correspondent, BBC Midlands Today

    On Midlands Today this evening, beekeepers are starting their harvest at the moment and overall it looks like this year will be pretty good. 

    Bees being revealed in hive

    However one owner of hives in the West Midlands has noticed a startling difference in the amount of honey his bees are producing. 

    I've been investigating why and you'll see more from 18:30 on BBC One in Midlands Today.

  5. New £5.5m communication centre to be built

    Work is due to start next month on a new £5,5m operations communications centre to be shared by West Mercia and Warwickshire Police. 

    The hub will be built at the West Mercia Police HQ, just outside Worcester. 

    Call handlers at the hub will deal with all emergency and non-emergency calls to both forces. 

    The hub will be shared with the local fire service.

  6. Video content

    Video caption: Anuko the dog makes a fortune by being grumpy

    A dog who looks like he's unimpressed has earned thousands of pounds for his owner after becoming famous on the internet.

  7. Stories we're working on: BBC Midlands Today

    BBC Midlands Today

    Hilary McConnell, Producer

    Midlands Today will be looking at the issue of organ donation today - we meet a man from Worcestershire who needs a new kidney but faces up to 15 years on the waiting list. He’s hoping to find a living donor match. And we’re meeting a young girl from Warwickshire who’s just returned to school after a liver transplant.

    David Gregory-Kumar will be finding out more about this year’s honey harvest. It turns out urban bees are producing more honey than rural hives because there's more diversity of plants and flowers in the town as opposed to the monoculture of the agricultural landscape.

    And Jaguar goes back to motor racing, but will Formula E - which is electric car racing - have all the glamour of Formula 1? Dan Pallet finds out. 

    Formula E racing

    We'll also have an update on how our local Paralympics athletes are doing in the Games which start today.

    Join us on BBC One from 13:30, 18:30 and 22:30.

  8. Almost 80,000 on zero-hours contracts

    Daniel Wainwright

    Data unit - English regions

    Almost 80,000 people in the West Midlands are on zero-hours contracts, according to the latest official figures.

    That number, covering April to June, has stayed roughly the same as the previous year.

    Across the UK, the number of those whose main job did not guarantee a minimum number of hours increased to 903,000, a rise of 21% on last year, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

    Zero hours figures

    In the West Midlands there were 79,000 people on zero hours contracts between April and June, representing 3.0% of people in employment.

    For the same period in 2015, there were also 79,000 but they made up 3.1% of people in employment.

  9. On Midlands Today from 13:30: Children's wards closure

    Michele Paduano

    Health correspondent, BBC Midlands Today

    We hear this lunchtime how a health trust is defending a decision to stop children being brought to a West Midlands A&E department by ambulance. 


    They say it's better for paramedics to treat youngsters while taking them to specialist care - unions say that longer journey could take 40 minutes. 

    I'll have more from 13:30 on BBC One in Midlands Today.

  10. West Midlands parks 'at risk of decline'

    BBC Midlands Today

    Public parks in the Midlands are at risk of decline and some of the facilities in them could close, according to a new report by the Heritage Lottery Fund. 

    Findings showed that 78% of councils across the region anticipate budget reductions of 10% or more over the next three years with nearly half their parks expected to deteriorate. 

    Fallen gates at a park
  11. Peter Plisner

    BBC Midlands Transport Correspondent

    London Midland Trains

    Peter Plisner

    BBC Midlands Transport Correspondent

    Bidders for the West Midlands rail franchise are being given permission to remove seats and create more standing room to fit more passengers in.

    Read more
  12. Coming up on Midlands Today: Standing room only

    Peter Plisner

    BBC Midlands Today

    More commuters could have to stand under plans for rail services across the West Midlands.

    Seats could be removed to fit more people onto services on trains currently run by London Midland.

    Two groups are bidding to take on the franchise from October next year.

    London Midland

    The services include the cross city lines, and trains out of Birmingham to Hereford, Shrewsbury, Stoke-on-Trent, Liverpool, Stratford, Leamington, and down to London.

    I'll have more on the Midlands Today on BBC One at 18:30.