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  1. Updates on Friday 18 December 2015
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates to resume at 08:00 on Monday

Live Reporting

By Allen Cook

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Our live coverage across the day

    Live updates for Staffordshire and Cheshire have finished for the day but we'll be back from 08:00 on Monday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

  2. Video: Dreaming of a white Christmas

    Allen Cook

    BBC Local Live

    It's just a week now until the big day - Christmas Day. But will it be a white Christmas?

    The BBC iWonder website's been looking at the issue, whether it'll arrive this year and a history of snowy winters through the years.

    Video content

    Video caption: BBC weather presenter Sarah Keith-Lucas presents a video snow guide to Christmas.
  3. Hundreds of ambulances readied for 'Mad Friday'

    Jack Dowling

    Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

    Nearly 300 ambulances and paramedic cars will be on the region's road this weekend, according to the ambulance service. 

    West Midlands Ambulance

    Revellers have been warned to drink responsibly on "Mad Friday", usually one of the busiest days of the year for UK pubs and clubs  

    Steve Parry from West Midlands Ambulance Service says they've spent a lot of time planning for the next few days.

    Quote Message: We've got a significant number of vehicles right across the West Midlands over the next 48 hours - some 200 ambulances, some 80 cars. from Steve Parry West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman
    Steve ParryWest Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman
  4. Video: Watch Port Vale's Ben Purkiss on this weekend's Walsall game

    Graham McGarry

    BBC Radio Stoke Sport

    Port Vale's Ben Purkiss says the team are taking positives from their draw against Scunthorpe for their game against Walsall this Sunday.  

    Video content

    Video caption: Port Vale's Ben Purkiss looking ahead to Walsall game.

    BBC Radio Stoke will have full commentary of the match.

  5. Video: Get the latest weather forecast for Stoke and Staffordshire

    Rebecca Wood

    BBC Midlands Today

    The latest weather forecast is always available on the BBC website.

    Video content

    Video caption: Rebecca Wood with the weather forecast for the West Midlands
  6. Your pictures: Christmas in Audley

    Allen Cook

    BBC Local Live

    This picture's been tweeted to us by Duncan Richardson who's described it as "Christmas in Audley".

    Christmas in Audley

    Do keep sharing your pictures with me and I'll keep showcasing as many as I can.

    You can do that by Twitter like Duncan or email, Facebook and Instagram.

  7. Flash Ley Primary School closure 'challenging' for pupils and staff

    Emma Thomas

    Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

    The closure of a school in Staffordshire, after high levels of formaldehyde were found there, has been described as "challenging" for staff, parents and pupils.

    Flash Ley Community Primary School and Nursery

    Flash Ley Primary School, in Stafford, was due to reopen after Christmas but will now stay shut until Easter.

    Children will continue to be educated at the nearby Chetwynd Centre, Tillington Manor Primary and Stafford Manor High.

    Quote Message: The last two months have been challenging for staff, parents and pupils, but we need to make sure all the issues have been addressed effectively before we can put a long-term plan in place. from County Councillor Ben Adams Cabinet Member for Learning and Skills
    County Councillor Ben AdamsCabinet Member for Learning and Skills

    Formaldehyde school shut until Easter

    Flash Ley Community Primary School and Nursery

    A school in Staffordshire will remain closed until Easter after high levels of formaldehyde were found there.

    Read more
  8. Football: Business as usual for Burton boss

    Ed Dawes

    BBC Radio Derby Sport

    Burton Albion midfielder Tom Naylor says continuity in the coaching staff has helped the transition between managers.  

    Tom Naylor

    First team coach Neill Hornby and goalkeeping coach Gavin Ward, remain at the Pirelli Stadium working alongside the new boss Nigel Clough and his assistants Andy Garner and Gary Crosby.

    Naylor admits it's a bonus not everyone left with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, and the manager said at their first meeting that he didn't want to change too much. 

  9. Round the clock support team introduced after woman killed children

    Allen Cook

    BBC Local Live

    A new 24-hour support team and better IT systems are two improvements health bosses say they've made since a woman killed her two daughters and herself in Stoke-on-Trent. 

    John Wood, Independent Chair of the Stoke-on-Trent Safeguarding Children Board

    A serious case review has criticised delays and assumptions made by mental health workers who saw 27-year-old Marta Galikowska in October last year - days later she was found dead with Maja, five, and Olga, one. 

    John Wood, Independent Chair of the Stoke-on-Trent Safeguarding Children Board told BBC Radio Stoke they've introduced a 24-hour mental health and social care access team since the deaths.

    He says they've also made improvements such as replacing a paper system with an electronic one.

  10. Travel: Crash on A52 Leek Road in Stoke-on-Trent

    BBC Travel

    The A52 Leek Road in Stoke-on-Trent is blocked both ways around the Lime Kiln Traffic Lights,because of an accident.

  11. News: New support team after woman killed daughters; 'inadequate' GP surgery told to improve; formaldehyde school closure 'challenging'

    Lee Thomas

    Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

    Staffordshire and Cheshire's top stories this evening include:

    - A new 24-hour mental health support team has been introduced following the death of a woman who killed herself and her two daughters in Stoke-on-Trent

     - A Staffordshire GP practice has been put into special measures after being assessed as inadequate or requiring improvement in all but one category

    - The closure of a school in Staffordshire, after high levels of formaldehyde were found there, has been described as "challenging" for parents and pupils

  12. BBC Weather Watcher: Blue skies over Crewe

    Monica Rimmer

    Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

    Ralphster, one of the BBC Weather Watchers, has uploaded this picture this morning of the sky over Crewe.

    Crewe this morning

    If you want to be a BBC Weather Watcher, go to the website to find out how.

  13. Millions to be spent improving Cheshire rail bridges

    Lamont Howie

    Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

    Some of Cheshire's most iconic railway bridgesare going to be improved through a £17m investmentby Network Rail.


    The organisation says the purpose of the work is to make the railway safer and more reliable for passengers, motorists and pedestrians in the area. 

    There'll be an 11-day closure of the Crewe to Manchester and Sandbach to Northwich railway lines in February. 

    That's when Network Rail plans to carry out the work on four bridges and two viaducts as part of its Railway Upgrade Plan.

  14. Football: Stoke holding out on Shaqiri's fitness for Palace game

    Matt Sandoz

    Stoke City commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

    Stoke City's Xherdan Shaqiri faces a late fitness test on the hamstring injury that saw him miss last weekend's goalless draw with West Ham.  

    Marko Arnautovic

    Geoff Cameron is also doubtful for tomorrow's game at home to Crystal Palace, while Shay Given, Peter Odemwingie and Peter Crouch are all still out.  

    Read a full preview of the game, including predictions and MOTD commentator's notes, on the BBC Sport website - with full commentary on the game on BBC Radio Stoke.

    Stoke City 1-2 Crystal Palace

    Lee Chung-yong

    Crystal Palace beat Stoke at the Britannia Stadium thanks to a late winner from substitute Lee Chung-yong.

    Read more
  15. Your pictures: Glorious sunrise over Kidsgrove

    Allen Cook

    BBC Local Live

    The sunrise this morning was certainly a stunner over Staffordshire and Cheshire - this photo was taken by Sharon Chell on her driveway in Kidsgrove.

    Kidsgrove sunrise

    Like Sharon you can share your photos of the area with me on Instagram.

    Or you can send them in on email, tweet @BBCRadioStoke or use Facebook.

  16. Travel: Shopping traffic delays on A5008 in Stoke-on-Trent

    BBC Travel

    There are delays on the A5008 Potteries Way in both directions in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent because of shopping traffic.

    It's between the A5006 Broad Street junction and Town Road.