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Summary

  1. Under-threat Telford factory workers thrown potential lifeline
  2. Police investigate possible link with Shropshire incidents after girl "followed by man" in van in Chirk
  3. Rescued Shropshire otters given new home at secret location
  4. Updates on Friday 4 November 2016

Live Reporting

By Andy Giddings

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

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

Whatever you have planned this weekend have a good one.

Coming up on TV: West Midlands pays tribute on Armistice Day; preparations for Children in Need

On Midlands Today this evening we'll have powerful scenes from Armistice Day services across the West Midlands, as well as an update on Children in Need.

That and more on Midlands Today from 18:30 on BBC One.

Join Nick Owen on BBC One at 1830

Police plan to deport thieves

Police have revealed they will work to deport two Romanian nationals jailed for a string of distraction thefts.

Bogdan Vranceanu, 31, and Atena Calin, 20, both of no fixed abode, were sentenced to six months and three months respectively after admitting five counts of theft each.

Between 13 September and 26 September this year, 10 people had purses stolen while shopping in supermarkets in Shrewsbury, Malvern, Droitwich, Leominster, Kidderminster, Evesham and Hereford.  

West Mercia Police Det Seg Julie Shephard called the pair "skilled fraudsters". 

Bogdan Vranceanu and Atena Calin
West Mercia Police

#BigThankYou

Get Inspired

Some of the sports stars who got involved in last year's event at BBC Sports Personality of the Year
BBC Sport

Do you know someone who does that little bit extra to make sport happen? 

Why not give them a chance to get a call from their sporting hero from the BBC Sports Personality of the Year red carpet?

The #BigThankYou is Britain's biggest celebration of sports volunteers and recognises the thousands of unsung heroes who give up their time to work tirelessly so others can enjoy many sport and fitness activities.  

Find out more here

Questions

All week you have been using Your Questions to ask about the West Midlands. Here are some of our answers.

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Questions

All week you have been using Your Questions to ask about the West Midlands. Here are some of our answers.

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Bomb damage on Old Stoke Road, in January 1941.

All week you have been using Your Questions to ask about the West Midlands. Here are some of our answers.

Read more

AKA George - 'Make it Rain' live in session

Shropshire's AKA George performs 'Make it Rain' on BBC Introducing in Shropshire.

Severe disruption: A458 Shropshire both ways

BBC Travel

A458 Shropshire both ways severe disruption, at B4393 Alberbury Road.

A458 Shropshire - A458 in Ford blocked in both directions at the B4393 Alberbury Road junction, because of an incident.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Panto Farmers

He's behind you! Anna Jones meets the pantomime farmers.
He's behind you! Anna Jones meets a talented troupe of farmers who tread the boards...oh yes they do! Now in its 35th year, the Rhydycroesau Village Pantomime is a much-loved tradition on the Welsh-Shropshire border near Oswestry. 

Ever since their first production of Robinson Crusoe in 1979, a cast of local farmers and residents have rehearsed throughout the winter months, to put on a real show for sell-out audiences. Some members of the cast are now local celebrities, including Trev Jones the hedge-layer who always forgets his lines and panto stalwart Bryan Evans who practises in front of his cattle.

Anna explores the stories behind the pantomime and finds out how theatre brings a remote rural community closer together. So pull up a seat and put your hands together for the 2014 performance of 'Puss in Boots'!

Presented and produced by Anna Jones.

Severe disruption: M54 Shropshire westbound

BBC Travel

M54 Shropshire westbound severe disruption, between J5 for A5 and J6 for A518.

M54 Shropshire - One lane closed on M54 westbound between J5, A5 (Telford Central) and J6, A518 (Telford West), because of roadworks.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Trump 'could be good for region's exporters'

Kathryn Stanczyszyn

Political Reporter, BBC WM

Business leaders in the West Midlands are at a post USA election breakfast this morning and there's been a mixed reaction to the overnight result.

Paul Forrest from West Midlands Economic Forum said a Trump presidency could be good for exporters in the region.

During the EU Referendum, President Obama warned that Britain would "go to the back of the queue" if people voted for Brexit. 

However, speaking at the beginning of this month, Donald Trump's trade adviser said Britain would be first for a trade deal under a Trump presidency.

Meeting
BBC

Severe accident: A456 Herefordshire both ways

BBC Travel

A456 Herefordshire both ways severe accident, between Lynch Lane and A49.

A456 Herefordshire - A456 in Little Hereford closed in both directions between the Lynch Lane junction and the A49 junction, because of an accident.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Severe accident: A5 Shropshire eastbound

BBC Travel

A5 Shropshire eastbound severe accident, between A49 and M54 J7.

A5 Shropshire - A5 closed eastbound between Preston Island in Shrewsbury and Wellington in Wrockwardine, because of an accident.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Paramedics: Rise in attacks on staff fuelled by substances formerly called 'legal highs'

BBC Midlands Today

There's been an "explosion" in parts of the Midlands in the number of people who've taken substances which used to be called legal highs.

Police forces are saying there's increasing use, and that, according to West Midlands Ambulance Service, is leading to more attacks on paramedics trying to help those under the influence.

But many of the traditional methods to treat users don't work because crews don't always know what's in the substances. 

Legal highs
BBC

Brrrrrrrr - Met Office warns of snow overnight

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

It looks like it's going to be chilly overnight and there's even a chance of snow, according to The Met Office which has issued a yellow alert.

View more on twitter
Ludlow Community Hospital

Midwife-led maternity services in Ludlow which closed over concerns about the condition of a building reopen.

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Kaiser Wilhelm II

Jennifer Meierhans

BBC News Online

All across England people have their own ways of describing subjects ranging from the weather to the way we are feeling. What do these sayings mean and where did they come from?

Read more
FA Cup: Shrewsbury 3-0 Barnet highlights
Shrewsbury ease past Barnet into the second round of the FA Cup, with goals from Mat Sadler, AJ Leitch-Smith and Jack Grimmer.
A-J Leitch-Smith

Shrewsbury scored all three goals before half-time as they comfortably defeat Barnet in the FA Cup first round.

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Andy Mangan

National League side Tranmere Rovers re-sign Shrewsbury Town striker Andy Mangan for an undisclosed fee.

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Sir Lenny goes back to school

Sir Lenny Henry's been back to school in the West Midlands as he brings Shakespeare to the classroom.

The number of children going on school trips to the theatre has fallen in recent years - so the National Theatre has begun screening plays in secondary schools instead.

Lenny Henry with school pupils
BBC

With this you can watch live shows done by the National Theatre - arguably the best theatre group in the world and you can have it at your finger tips. There are work packages, you can dissect the text - it's really exciting and kids deserve access to the arts and this is it in spades

Lenny HenryActor and comedian

Our live coverage across the day

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

Weather: A clear night and some sunshine tomorrow

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

It's going to remain chilly, but it should be a clear night and we could have some sunshine in Shropshire tomorrow.

BBC weather forecast for the West Midlands

Watch: RSPCA explains plans for rescued otters

Nick Southall

Journalist, BBC Shropshire

So, what next for the rescued Shropshire otters, after their release into a pen this afternoon?

The RSPCA has set up a large enclosure at a secret location in Shropshire and set Mary and Joseph loose in it earlier.

We spoke to RSPCA officer Rob Scriven.

RSPCA officer Rob Scrivens explains how they plan to return two rescued otters to the wild

Football: Hurst says Shrewsbury stadium not intimidating

BBC Sport

The new Shrewsbury manager Paul Hurst says the atmosphere at the Greenhous meadow isn't that intimidating for opposing players.

He says he wants the home fans to get behind their players when they face Barnet tomorrow.

Paul Hurst
BBC

This will be Hurst's first game in front of the home fans and he was quick to add he doesn't mean to offend the Shrewsbury supporters.

I don't think it's anywhere near an intimidating place to come. The fans here are not the most hostile and that's not a criticism because everywhere's different. But (at) certain grounds fans are known for giving the opposition a very hard time."

Paul HurstShrewsbury Town

Your photos: A chilly autumn day around Shropshire

BBC Weather Watchers

We've had more blue skies to end to the day and the BBC Weather Watchers have been sending in some beautiful autumnal photos from around the county.

These ones were taken near Llanymynech (top) and Norton (bottom).

Field near Llanymynech
Mr V
Field near Norton
Ice Queen

Watch: Horse box is converted into mobile photo booth

Adam & Vicki Show

A 19-year-old Shropshire woman has come up with a novel use for an old horse-box - she's turned it into a mobile photo-booth.

Gemima Brettell from Marchamley, near Shrewsbury, is taking it to weddings, festivals and other events and has decorated the inside to look like a country house.

We asked her to show us around.

A horse box has been converted into a mobile photo booth

Headlines: New hope for factory workers; police investigate 'black van' incident; new home for rescued otters

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

Our headlines this evening: 

- Under-threat Telford factory workers thrown potential lifeline

- Police investigate another suspicious "black van" incident involving children

- Rescued Shropshire otters find new home at secret location

Renewed hope for workers at Telford factory

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

There's fresh hope for workers at the Link 51 pallet racking factory in Telford, following talks between management and the Unite union.

The factory's owner, Whittan Storage Systems, says it is considering creating 40 new roles, which might partially offset the loss of 69 jobs, announced on Monday.

Link 51
Google
Questions

All week you have been using Your Questions to ask about the West Midlands. Here are some of our answers.

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Football: TNS travel to third-placed Bangor

BBC Sport

The New Saints of Oswestry have a trip up the Welsh coast tomorrow, to face third-placed Bangor City.

The game is a 17:15 kick off because it's on S4C and it's another chance for TNS to punish a team just below them in the table, after their victory over second-placed Connah's Quay last weekend.

TNS players celebrate
Brian Jones

Of course, when we say "just below them in the table" we are talking a massive 15 points below them, because of the impressive start to the season TNS have made, not dropping a single point.

Environment Agency tidy up Shrewsbury bridge

A team from the Environment Agency have been hard at work, clearing plants from the edge of the River Severn in Shrewsbury, down by the English Bridge.

View more on twitter

Watch: Rescued otters released into new home

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

Two otters, rescued from last winter's floods, have been given a new home this afternoon.

Mary and Joseph have been looked after at a wildlife centre near Nantwich since they were found near the banks of the River Severn in Shrewsbury at Christmas.

We'd been expecting them to be released into the river, but we've now been told they'll wait in this outdoor pen for a fortnight first.

A pair of otters rescued from the floods last Christmas have got a new home

West Midlands NHS millions in the red

James Bovill

Political Reporter, BBC News

NHS trusts in the West Midlands have a deficit of almost £200m between them, a BBC Sunday Politics investigation has found. 

Many are blaming bed blocking, and the lack of investment in social care by local councils.  

Surgeon
BBC

While Telford Clinical Commissioning Group is operating with a £2.6m surplus, it's a different stories elsewhere in the county.

As of March 2016, Shropshire CCG had a £14.5m deficit, while Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust recorded an £8.4m deficit. 

More on Sunday Politics this weekend at 11:00 on BBC One.

Football: Shrewsbury captain wants more happy cup memories

BBC Sport

Shrewsbury Town are at home to League Two Barnet in the FA Cup tomorrow and it's a chance for them to take their minds off the league.

It will also be a chance to lift the mood with another cup run, something the captain Adam El-Abd has experienced before.

Shrewsbury Town's captain looking to create more happy FA Cup memories

Headlines: Investigations after girl 'followed by van'; barracks plans questioned; children's illustrator dies

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

Here's a look at our headlines this afternoon:

- Police investigate possible link with Shropshire incidents after schoolgirl "followed by man" in van in Chirk

- Concerns raised over Shrewsbury barracks housing plans

- Former Ellesmere College pupil who illustrated Peter and Jane books dies

Highways department says barracks plans need more work

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

A proposal to build homes on the site of Shrewsbury's former Copthorne barracks needs more work, according to Shropshire Council's highway's department.

An agency selling the land on behalf of the MoD is looking to get outline planning permission for 174 homes and nine flats there, plus 45 retirement flats, before it finds a buyer.

Copthorne barracks
BBC

The authority's highways department is one of a number of groups invited to comment on the plans, which will go before councillors at a later date.

And while it accepts the site is a suitable one for a development like this, it isn't happy with some of the evidence the agency is using to support its application.

Ice Hockey: Tigers face Milton Keynes twice in two days

Telford Tigers play Milton Keynes Lightning home and away this weekend and will be trying to make sure that old saying about lightning remains true.

With Milton Keynes also pushing for the EPL title, the Tigers head coach knows the games could prove pivotal and says his players know what is at stake.

Doug Clarkson
Steve Brodie

Watkins has been away for part of the week, coaching the Great Britain team and has been keeping in touch with his players while he was away, saying he knows these games have been on their minds.

It’s still just two points each night, but these are the games that are really fun. Guys always come to play and get up for them a little bit more."

Tom WatkinsTelford Tigers head coach