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Summary

  1. Updates on Thursday 17 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

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

  2. Football: AFC Wimbledon sign Burton's Charles

    Rob Stevens

    BBC Sport

    AFC Wimbledon have signed Burton Albion centre-back Darius Charles on loan until the end of the season.  

    Darius Charles

    The 28-year-old has not featured for the Brewers this season, having moved to the Pirelli Stadium last summer following five years at Stevenage.  

    Quote Message: We've been looking for a long time for a centre-back, one with experience, one with knowledge. from Neal Ardley AFC Wimbledon manager
    Neal ArdleyAFC Wimbledon manager
  3. Origins of bin row 'fluff' a 'mystery'

    Stuart George

    Presenter, BBC Radio Stoke

    More now on Pearl from Cheddleton, who's been warned by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council after putting "fluff" in her recycling bin.

    Pearl's bins

    She told me that "I really don't know what it was, no idea" and in their letter to her, the authority only said "the incorrect items we saw were fluff".

    I've since then spoken to Rebecca Dodd from the district council and she told me "the fluff may well have been dog hair or something like that which would be acceptable in either of the other two bins but unfortunately in this instance just not in the grey bin."

    She also said: "When we do an assessment on the top of the bin, if we see something that is incorrect, we can only assume that the whole bin may contain incorrect items".

  4. Your pictures: Spring brings flowering plants and lambs to the area

    Allen Cook

    BBC Local Live

    Some nice pictures have been sent in to me showing spring coming to Staffordshire and Cheshire.

    Lynn Wilkinson says it has arrived in her garden in the village of Little Haywood in this photo.

    Spring has arrived in our garden in Little Haywood

    And these newly born lambs were photographed in the Peak District by Villager Jim.

    If you've got a picture showing the impact of spring in Staffordshire or Cheshire you can share it with me on email, tweet @BBCRadioStoke or use Instagram.

    Lambs
  5. Picture: Entertaining with TV magician Paul Daniels

    Perry Spiller

    Presenter, BBC Radio Stoke

    I've been speaking today to the Newcastle-under-Lyme magician Andrew Van Buren about his memories of working with Paul Daniels, who's died aged 77.

    Andrew Van Buren with Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee

    Andrew has kindly shared with me a picture of him with Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee when he was the entertainer at the couple's wedding vow renewal.

  6. Football: Crewe boss Steve Davis backing striker to come good after injury

    Graham McGarry

    Crewe Alexandra commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

    Striker Lauri Dalla Valle can still have a major impact in Crewe Alexandra's attempt to avoid relegation from League One, says boss Steve Davis.

    Lauri Dalla Valle

    The Finn, 24, is set to return to action after four months out through injury, having successfully come through an under-21 game this week.

    Quote Message: As a kid, he's been prolific wherever he's been and I think he can score at any level. He perseveres and keeps getting into positions, it's good to have him back." from Steve Davis Crewe Alexandra manager
    Steve DavisCrewe Alexandra manager
  7. Travel: A500 lane blocked by break down in Stoke-on-Trent

    BBC Travel

    A lane is blocked on the A500 D Road westbound in Hanchurch between the Hanford Interchange and Stoke-on-Trent, because of a broken down lorry.

  8. Couple threatened with firearm in Staffordshire burglary

    Jack Dowling

    Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

    An elderly couple have been threatened with a gun in a burglary in Newcastle-under-Lyme. 

    Cemetery Road, Silverdale

    It happened last Thursday night at a caravan site on Cemetery Road, Silverdale when the pair were woken by four people in balaclavas.

    Officers say the elderly woman's hand was stamped on before the burglars stole cash.

  9. News: Toddler murder trial hears social care concerns; burglars attack homeowners; woman puzzled by 'fluff' bin warning

    Lee Thomas

    Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

    The main headlines for Staffordshire and Cheshire this evening:

    - Social workers discussed taking a toddler into care when it emerged the stepfather had reportedly threatened to set fire to the family flat, a murder trial hears

    - Homeowners have been threatened and attacked with blunt instruments during burglaries in Stoke-on-Trent and the Moorlands  

    - A woman from the Staffordshire Moorlands has been warned by her local council because it says there was "fluff" in her recycling bin

  10. Councillor says sorry for e-cigarette use and 'lefty idiot' outburst

    James Bovill

    Political reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

    A former Stoke-on-Trent UKIP councillor has been forced to apologise for smoking an e-cigarette in the council chamber, which caused a social media outburst.  

    Electronic cigarette

    Councillor Rich Broughan told me he referred to the man who complained about his e-cigarette, which are banned in the chamber, as "some lefty idiot" on social media last September. 

    He insists he didn't know the complainant was trade union officer Steve Jones, who later complained again about his outburst.

    Mr Jones agreed to accept a public apology made in the council chamber. Today Councillor Broughan said sorry for any offence caused and that his comments were simply expressing his frustration. 

  11. Woman gets council warning over 'fluff' in recycling bin

    Stuart George

    Presenter, BBC Radio Stoke

    A woman from the Staffordshire Moorlands has been warned by her local council because it says there was "fluff" in her recycling bin. 

    Pearl's bins with extract from her letter

    Pearl from Cheddleton, who didn't want to give her surname, received the letter from Staffordshire Moorlands District Council earlier this month, telling her she wouldn't have her bin emptied if it happened again. 

    The authority said in its letter that "it is important that only food, drink or cleaning product containers are placed in your grey bin".

    Quote Message: I know they have to do their job but I found it really annoying because I'm really so careful with what we put in the bin, I'm always checking the list and if in doubt I always ring the council to check on it." from Pearl
    Pearl
  12. Watch: Stoke and Staffordshire's weather for tonight and tomorrow

    Rebecca Wood

    BBC Midlands Today

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

    Video content

    Video caption: The weather for the West Midlands
  13. Residents attacked with blunt instruments in two Stoke burglaries

    Alice Bentley

    BBC Local Live

    Homeowners have been threatened and attacked with blunt instruments during burglaries in Stoke-on-Trent.

    Grindley Lane, Blythe Bridge

    Staffordshire Police believe the two break-ins - one in Grindley Lane, Blythe Bridge (pictured), the other on Chesham Grove, Meir Heath - were carried out by the same men.

    Officers say the burglaries happened within the space of two days earlier this month - in both cases jewellery was stolen.

  14. Watch: Safety a key issue for Alton Towers as park prepares to re-open

    Ben Sidwell

    BBC Midlands Today

    Bosses at Alton Towers say they're determined to rebuild their visitors' trust as they prepare to open for the new season.

    Video content

    Video caption: Alton Towers says safety is a key issue in its new season.

    The Staffordshire theme park was temporarily closed last year after its flagship ride, The Smiler, crashed, leaving five people seriously injured

    Visitor numbers plummeted following the crash amid concerns over ride safety. 

    This weekend the park reopens and I have been given exclusive behind-the-scenes access as safety checks are carried out. 

  15. BBC Weather Watcher pictures: Sunset in Brewood and colourful Jodrell Bank

    BBC Weather Watchers

    The great pictures just keep on coming from our BBC Weather Watchers who take photos across Staffordshire and Cheshire.

    This sunset in Brewood was uploaded by Andy-Baz.

    Brewood sunset

    And this from Jodrell Bank was taken by user Annie Jodrell.

    You can be a BBC Weather Watcher by heading to our website and signing up.

    Sunset in Jodrell Bank
  16. Ayeeshia Jane Smith murder trial: Social workers 'discussed taking toddler into care'

    Allen Cook

    BBC Local Live

    Social workers discussed taking a toddler into care when it emerged the stepfather had reportedly threatened to set fire to the family flat, less than a month before the child died in Burton, Staffordshire, a court's heard.

    Ayeeshia Jane Smith

    A jury at Birmingham Crown Court was told that, despite concerns about domestic abuse, it was decided 21-month-old Ayeeshia Jane Smith would stay with her mother Kathryn Smith while they investigated further. 

    Ms Smith, 23, and her partner Matthew Rigby, 22, both from Nottingham, deny murder, allowing or causing a child's death and child cruelty. 

    The trial continues.

  17. News: Homeowners attacked in burglaries; Alton Towers 'determined to rebuild trust'; children want arsonist apology

    Lee Thomas

    Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

    The main headlines for Staffordshire and Cheshire this afternoon include

    - Homeowners have been threatened and attacked with blunt instruments during burglaries in Stoke-on-Trent and the Moorlands  

    - Bosses at Alton Towers say they're determined to rebuild their visitors' trust after the Smiler crash, as they prepare to open for the new season

    - Nursery children in Burton say they want the arsonist who set fire to their playground to apologise