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Summary

  1. Updates on Tuesday 29 March 2016
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Wednesday

Live Reporting

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

  2. Watch: Baby meerkats explore outside for first time

    Sarah Robertson

    Producer, BBC Radio Stoke

    Three meerkat pups, which were born at Chester Zoo nine weeks ago, have just emerged from their burrow for the first time, the zoo says. 

    A spokesperson says at the moment it's unclear whether the pups are male or female, but they'll have a health check-up next month - after which they'll be named.

  3. Football: Crewe Alexandra boss refuses to accept relegation is inevitable

    Dan Wheeler

    BBC Sport

    Crewe Alexandra boss Steve Davis says he will never give up hope that they can still avoid relegation from League One despite their precarious position.  

    Steve Davis

    The Railwaymen are 11 points adrift of safety at the bottom of the table with seven games remaining.  

    Quote Message: I'll always be an optimist who believes you can always achieve things. If I said 'that's it, we're down', you'd question my mentality. from Steve Davis Crewe Alexandra manager
    Steve DavisCrewe Alexandra manager
  4. Police step up investigation into Burton hit and run

    Burton Mail

    Attempts to find a hit and run driver are being ramped up by police as the investigation into the incident moves into its third day.

    The site of the collision
  5. Libraries: The decline of a profession?

    Peter Sherlock

    Data unit

    Librarians are custodians to a world of information and ideas, performing an important democratic role, their supporters argue.

    But with 8,000 jobs in UK libraries disappearing in six years, is that status under threat?  

    Librarian with child

    In 2010 the Chancellor George Osborne unveiled the biggest UK spending cuts for decades. Since then, libraries have seen an influx of volunteer staff in areas including Staffordshire and Cheshire - with a quarter of paid jobs disappearing in the same time.

    I've been looking at whether the role of a librarian is now under threat and you can read the full story on the BBC website here.

  6. BBC Midlands Today this evening: £250m to ease a railway bottleneck

    Peter Plisner

    BBC Midlands Today

    This evening - it's been one of the biggest railway engineering projects in the country, costing £250m.   

    Norton Bridge

    The new Norton Bridge near Stafford will ease a major bottleneck on the West Coast Main Line. 

    I'll be looking at how big a job this was for Network Rail and what the benefits should be for passengers - all on BBC Midlands Today from 18:30 on BBC One.

  7. Police name man after fatal Staffordshire A51 crash

    Lucy King

    News Editor, BBC Radio Stoke

    A man who died in a crash in Staffordshire at the weekend has today been named by police. 

    Site of the crash on A51, Stableford

    Staffordshire Police say Frank Woodcock, 62, of Pipe Gate, Woore, was driving a green Ford Transit when it collided with a Ford Focus on the A51 in Stableford.

    Officers said he died at the scene - a man and a woman in the car were shaken but unhurt.

  8. Watch: Many high street pharmacies in Staffordshire 'face closure'

    James Bovill

    Political reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

    Pharmacists in north Staffordshire say nearly a third of high street dispensaries could close as part of government proposals.

    Video content

    Video caption: Many high street pharmacies in Staffordshire 'face closure' it's being claimed.

    The Department of Health says there are more pharmacies than necessary and is looking at moving some of them into GP practices, care homes and online to give patients more choice.

    Raj Morjaria, who runs six pharmacies in Stoke-on-Trent, is one of the local pharmacists who says he is concerned about the future for patients.  

  9. Heritage group wins vote for Staffordshire flag

    Jack Walker

    Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

    Staffordshire has a new flag, designed by the Staffordshire Heritage group, after their entry won a public vote. 

    The New County Flag of Staffordshire

    The County Council withdrew its design, which has a lion on it, from the poll on the Flag Institute's website.

    The charity says overall there were 777 valid votes - the heritage group's flag got 566 to 211 for the council's.

  10. Watch: Stoke and Staffordshire's weather for tonight and tomorrow

    Charlie Slater

    BBC Weather presenter

    Staffordshire and Cheshire's latest weather can also be found on the BBC website.

    Video content

    Video caption: The weather for the West Midlands.
  11. News: Murder accused denies hurting toddler; first Syrian refugees resettled in Staffordshire; Butland out for season

    Chris King

    Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

    - A man accused of the murder of a 21-month-old child in Burton has told a court today: "I would never hurt her"   

    - Ten refugees from Syria, the first to be resettled in Staffordshire, have arrived in the area, the county council says

    - Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland has confirmed he will miss Euro 2016 after fracturing his ankle in Saturday's 3-2 victory over Germany in Berlin  

  12. Ayeeshia Jane Smith murder trial: Ex-partner carried out CPR 'while mother got cannabis'

    BBC Radio Stoke

    A man accused of murdering toddler Ayeeshia Jane Smith in Burton in May 2014 has told a court he carried out CPR on the child in February of the same year while her mother was out getting cannabis. 

    Ayeeshia Jane Smith

    Matthew Rigby claimed he was about to take a shower when he heard a noise from the 21-month-old and found her turning "blue". Brimingham Crown Court heard the little girl made a full recovery after a spell in hospital. 

    Both Mr Rigby, 22, of Sloan Drive, Nottingham and Ayeeshia's mother, Kathryn Smith, 23, of Sandfield Road, Nottingham, deny murder, allowing or causing a child's death and child cruelty. 

    The trial continues.

  13. Football: Play-offs 'tough ask' for Port Vale

    Lee Blakeman

    Port Vale commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

    The Port Vale manager Rob Page has admitted that it will be a tough ask for his side to reach the League One play-offs this season

    Port Vale ground

    The Vale lost 1-0 at home to Barnsley yesterday

    Page told BBC Radio Stoke that while the play-offs may be out of reach, his side will do their best to finish on a high.

    Quote Message: It is a long shot? Yes, of course it is, we're realistic. The attitude of the players is we're professionals, let's get on with preparing for this next game, bring it on, let's get out and let's have a look at what we've got for the rest of the season. from Rob Page Port Vale manager
    Rob PagePort Vale manager
  14. Fire officers rescue man stuck up tree in Burntwood

    Lichfield Mercury

    A man has been rescued in Burntwood this morning after he became stuck in a tree eight metres above the ground.

    Chase Terrace Community Fire Station
  15. BBC Weather Watcher photos: From a Brereton lake to Trentham flowers

    BBC Weather Watchers

    We get some fantastic pictures through from our BBC Weather Watchers every day.

    This one's from Welsh Wizard in Brereton cum Smethwick, Cheshire.

    Lake in Brereton cum Smethwick

    Meanwhile, BBC Weather Watcher Gill uploaded this picture taken in Trentham.

    If you want to see your photos potentially featured here and on the regional news updates, head to the website and sign up.

    Trentham
  16. First Syria refugees resettle in Staffordshire

    James Bovill

    Political reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

    Ten refugees from Syria, the first to be resettled in Staffordshire, have arrived in the area, the county council says. 

    Refugees in a camp

    The announcement comes months after David Cameron told MPs the UK would accept up to 20,000 Syrian refugees over the next five years. 

    Staffordshire County Council says the group, a family of four and a family of six, are settling into new homes. The authority says it's preparing for more arrivals over the coming weeks.

  17. Football: Tough weekend for Burton and Clough

    Nigel Cash

    BBC Radio Derby Sport

    Burton Albion's lead at the top of League One has been cut to just one point after a difficult Easter.  

    Nigel Clough's team took just a single point from a possible six.  

    Burton Albion stadium

    The Brewers lost 2-0 at Millwall last night. The loss follows a goalless draw with Oldham on Saturday.

    Wigan are now hot on their heels at the top of the table.

  18. Football: Stoke goalkeeper to miss Euro 2016

    BBC Sport

    Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland has confirmed he will miss Euro 2016 after fracturing his ankle in Saturday's 3-2 victory over Germany in Berlin.  

    Butland being carried off after the injury

    Butland, 23, will have an operation on Tuesday after hurting himself moments before conceding Germany's opener.

    The player was in tears as he was taken off on a stretcher and England manager Roy Hodgson described the injury as a "devastating blow" for the squad.

    Quote Message: I don't think [the European Championships] are going to be an option for me now to be honest because I won't be able to play again between now and the end of the season. from Jack Butland Stoke City goalkeeper
    Jack ButlandStoke City goalkeeper
  19. Man dies in Staffordshire after being hit by train

    Sarah Robertson

    Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

    A man's died after being hit by a train at Penkridge railway station, police say. 

    Penkridge railway station

    British Transport Police says there don't look to be any suspicious circumstances around his death. 

    The force says the man's identity is yet to be confirmed and it will put together a full report for the Coroner.

  20. News: Murder accused denies hurting toddler; man dies at railway station

    Chris King

    Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

    The main headlines this afternoon include:

    - A man's died after being hit by a train at Penkridge railway station, police say  

    - A man accused of the murder of a 21-month-old child in Burton has told a court today: "I would never hurt her"  

    - Train journeys through part of Staffordshire could be faster in the future and there could be more of them, according to Network Rail