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  1. Updates on Thursday 3 March 2016
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates to resume at 08:00 on Friday

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 Wednesday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

  2. Watch: Stoke and Staffordshire's weather tonight and tomorrow

    Shefali Oza

    BBC Midlands Today

    You can also get the latest Staffordshire and Cheshire weather forecast from the BBC website.

    Video content

    Video caption: Weather forecast for the West Midlands
  3. Watch: Port Vale boss says team "came away disappointed'

    Graham McGarry

    BBC Radio Stoke Sports Editor

    At today's press conference, the Port Vale manager Rob Page has been telling me he feels his side were close to beating Oldham.

    The club had taken the lead in the game but were pegged back just eight minutes later - the match ended in a draw.

    Video content

    Video caption: Rob Page says Port Vale were close to beating Oldham
  4. Arctic expedition delayed

    Andy Giddings

    BBC Local Live

    An expedition to the North Pole, which is being sponsored by a Lichfield businessman, is having to drastically change its route at the 11th hour because of dangerous Arctic conditions.

    Arctic walker

    Mark Tweddle, the managing director of Jupiter Marketing told us his friend Mark Wood and his team were due to leave on Saturday on their 600-mile journey from the Russian Arctic Coast, but have decided to put it off for a month.

    Mr Wood has previously said it could be the last expedition of its kind, because of the effect climate change is having on the Arctic.

  5. Football: Stoke boss confirms Bardsley out for Chelsea game

    Matt Sandoz

    Stoke City commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

    The Stoke City boss Mark Hughes has confirmed today that defender Phil Bardsley will be sidelined through injury for their game at Chelsea and that Geoff Cameron's fitness will be assessed.  

    Phil Bardsley

    Speaking at his press conference today, he's also given an injury update on another Potters defender, Ryan Shawcross.

    Quote Message: He's in Germany seeing somebody about his injury. Whether he is available for Saturday remains to be seen. We have five fit defenders in the building at the moment and a couple of them aren't fully fit." from Mark Hughes Stoke City manager
    Mark HughesStoke City manager
  6. Snow and ice alert for Staffordshire and Cheshire tomorrow

    Allen Cook

    BBC Local Live

    Drivers are being warned to be prepared tomorrow morning in Staffordshire and Cheshire as snow and ice is being forecast for tonight and tomorrow.

    Snow at Hollingsclough earlier this year

    Rain, sleet and hill snow is being forecast for Friday and the Met Office has issued yellow weather warnings for much of the day.

    You'll be able to get the latest news, weather and travel updates on our Stoke and Staffordshire Live page tomorrow.

  7. Stafford Fire: Pictures show devastation at centre of blaze

    Emma Thomas

    Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

    These pictures were taken for BBC Radio Stoke at the scene of the huge fire in Stafford this afternoon. 

    Thirty hours on, the emergency services are still working to finally extinguish the blaze.

    Stafford Fire
    Stafford Fire
  8. Watch: 'Wall of plants' cutting pollution in West Midlands

    David Gregory-Kumar

    Science correspondent, BBC Midlands Today

    Research at Staffordshire University suggests a "wall of plants", planted in Birmingham, is helping to cut traffic pollution.   

    Video content

    Video caption: Research from Staffordshire suggests a "wall of plants" is helping cut pollution

    Scientists say it's especially helping to reduce tiny particles produced by the exhausts of cars with diesel engines.

    The ivy-covered screens along Bristol Road were designed to be a cost effective way to put more plants in the city centre.

  9. Staffordshire bereavement site sex abuser avoids jail

    BBC Radio Stoke

    A young woman has warned of the dangers of meeting people online after a Staffordshire man she said groomed her on a bereavement website avoided a jail term.  

    A woman's hands on the keys of a laptop computer

    The 21-year old was speaking after Jonathan Fawcett, 26, who travelled from his home on Manley Road in Lichfield to Northern Ireland to meet and have sex with her when she was 15, was placed on probation for three years.

    Fawcett, who has autism, admitted 18 counts of sexual assaulting the teenager.  

    They met on a suicide support website as they had both lost a loved one. She said she hoped what happened to her would act as a warning to others.

  10. News: Oil pumped from river after fire; dead toddler was 'stamped on or crushed'; Fatal fire caused by 'smoking materials'

    John Collins

    Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

    The main stories for Staffordshire and Cheshire this evening:

    - Tankers are being used by the Environment Agency to pump oil from the River Sow in Stafford after yesterday's huge warehouse blaze

    - A murder trial has heard a 21-month-old toddler died after injuries consistent with being "stamped on or crushed" - both defendants deny murder

    - A man has died in a Tamworth flat fire caused by "carelessly discarded smoking materials", the fire service says  

  11. Historic factory site coming back into use in Stoke-on-Trent

    BBC Midlands Today

    Multimillion-pound plans to bring one of Stoke-on-Trent's most important pottery sites back to life are finally coming to fruition.

    Video content

    Video caption: Multimillion-pound plans to revive the Spode site in Stoke-on-Trent are getting under way.

    Since it fell into administration in 2008, the Spode Works site has been empty and abandoned. 

    Now more than 40 artists' workshops are about to be completed there and planning consent has just been granted for student accommodation.

  12. Fatal fire caused by 'smoking materials'

    Jack Dowling

    Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

    A man has died in a Tamworth flat fire caused by "carelessly discarded smoking materials", the fire service says.

    Fire appliance

    Crews from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue were called to an address in the town at 19:50 on Wednesday.

    They rescued a man from the first-floor flat in Stonydelph and he was taken to hospital but later died.

    The fire service said the cause of the blaze was believed to have been accidental.

  13. Dead toddler was 'stamped on or crushed'

    Peter Wilson

    BBC Midlands Today Special Correspondent

    A murder trial has heard a 21-month-old toddler died after injuries consistent with being "stamped on or crushed".

    Ayeeshia Jane Smith died from a tear to her heart at her home in Burton-upon-Trent, in May 2014.

    Home office pathologist Dr Alexander Kolar told the jury at Birmingham Crown Court that almost all of her internal organs had suffered some injury.

    Ayeeshia Jane Smith

    Her mother Kathryn Smith, 23, and her partner Matthew Rigby, 22, deny murder, causing the death of a child and causing unnecessary suffering to a child.

    The trial continues.

  14. Your pictures: Ruined cottage in Staffordshire from BBC Weather Watcher

    Monica Rimmer

    Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

    There's blue sky over the Staffordshire Moorlands, according to this photo from BBC Weather Watcher Videoman in Leek, who uploaded it this morning.

    Blue sky over Staffordshire Moorlands

    You too can be a BBC Weather Watcher and I may feature your photo on the page too - just go to the website and sign up.

  15. Football: Crewe's Cooper wants to make relegation impact

    Graham McGarry

    Crewe Alexandra commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

    Crewe Alexandra's George Cooper says he's feeling happy and looking to contribute more to the Alex as they look to claw back eight points in 12 games to avoid relegation.

    George Cooper

    Cooper told BBC Radio Stoke he also enjoyed finding the net from a free-kick in the 1-1 draw with Southend on Tuesday.

    Quote Message: I'm feeling more confident recently, gaffer's shown a lot of belief in me. I've still not been playing to my capabilities when I've been in the team, last six, seven games now started, but I feel like it is coming together a bit more now. from George Cooper Crewe Alexandra player
    George CooperCrewe Alexandra player
  16. Stafford Fire: Oil pumped from river after blaze

    Sarah Robertson

    News Editor, BBC Radio Stoke

    Tankers are being used by the Environment Agency to pump oil from the River Sow in Stafford after yesterday's huge warehouse blaze.

    The organisation says they've had no reports of dead fish or fish in distress since the fire. 

    Fire fighter pouring more water on to the building

    In other developments:

    - Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service says it is now working to find out what caused the fire 

    - Public Health England says air quality levels are back to normal levels and there's no risk for residents wanting to open windows and doors 

    - Stafford Borough Council says it's going to be checking on people returning home after they were evacuated yesterday and overnight  

  17. Council cuts: Who gets the help to cushion the blow?

    Daniel Wainwright

    Data unit - English regions

    Cheshire East is among the English councils getting the largest share of extra government funding to help them cope with impending cuts.

    Cheshire East Council flag

    Overall, councils are sharing an extra £300m of the cash and BBC News has been looking at why some are getting far more per person than others.

    Labour has accused the government of dishing out the grants for political reasons, which the government denies.  

    BBC News has compared the figures and the reasons for this are more complex than first appears - read the full story on the website.

  18. Your pictures: Reflected trees at Rode Hall

    Allen Cook

    BBC Local Live

    This photograph was taken at Rode Hall, Scholar Green by Sally Blagg but emailed in by her friend Ann Ferrington who says she thinks "it's fabulous".

    Rode Hall, Scholar Green

    If you've got a great picture to share of Staffordshire and Cheshire I would love to see it.

    I'll feature as many as I can - you can send them in on emailTwitter and Instagram.