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  1. Updates on Wednesday 4 May 2016
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates to resume at 08:00 on Thursday

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

  2. Elderly woman victim of 'distraction theft'

    Sarah Robertson

    Producer, BBC Radio Stoke

    A 90-year-old woman was a victim of an alleged distraction theft involving four men who took her bank card at a cashpoint in Cannock.

    The victim entered the Natwest Bank, at Market Place, last Friday at 10:15 and was followed by four men (pictured), Staffordshire Police said.

    The four suspects

    Officers said two men acted as lookouts, while another of the men tapped the female on the arm to distract her, while a fourth man, having seen the woman enter her PIN, swapped her card for a second card.

  3. Tonight on BBC Midlands Today: Disabled boy takes funding bid to Downing Street

    Michele Paduano

    Health correspondent, BBC Midlands Today

    Tonight we'll feature a Staffordshire boy whose operation was cancelled because of government funding cuts who has today delivered a letter to Downing Street. 

    Ben delivering his letter

    Ben Baddeley, who has cerebral palsy, had been due to have surgery through the NHS but ended up having it done privately after funding was pulled. 

    The 11-year-old is hoping the letter will help his family get more financial support and we'll be featuring his journey to London, this evening on Midlands Today from 18:30 on BBC One.

  4. Cheshire PCC Elections 2016: From badger baiting to drugs crime

    Phil McCann

    Cheshire Political Reporter, BBC News

    The geography of Cheshire might make it seem like a hard place to win an election.

    Those trying to become the next police and crime commissioner (PCC) must discuss badger baiting and speeding on country lanes alongside drugs and anti-social behaviour.

    Cheshire Police car

    The county is large physically and socially diverse.

    It means votes are needed from corners of the county that might not appear to have much in common with each other.

    I've been looking on the BBC website at the challenges facing all the candidates battling to be Cheshire's next PCC after this week's election.

  5. Teenager hit by coach near Tamworth

    Alex Homer

    BBC Local Live

    A teenager has been airlifted to hospital after suffering serious leg injuries after a coach ran over his leg outside Kingsbury School in Tamworth Road, in Kingsbury, the ambulance service say.

    Entrance to Kingsbury School

    West Midlands Ambulance Service said the boy had just arrived at school by coach before he "suffered serious traumatic injuries to his right foot and leg".

    The driver was "very shaken but uninjured", said a spokesman.

  6. Watch: 'Invisible fencing' for wildlife site

    Ros Chimes

    Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

    An "invisible fencing system" has been installed across common land in Staffordshire to help contain cattle and keep footpaths clear. 

    Video content

    Video caption: 'Invisible fencing system' used to contain cows at important wildlife site.

    Staffordshire Moorlands District Council says cattle have been re-introduced onto Wetley Moor to help graze the land. 

    They say the fencing system, which has been funded by Natural England, involves buried antenna wires and the cattle have been trained to recognise "cues" from it.  

  7. Boy charged after knife threat in Staffordshire

    Phil Bowers

    Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

    A 12-year-old boy has been charged with threatening someone with a knife in Newcastle-under-Lyme, police say. 

    Staffordshire Police say it relates to an incident on Ironmarket last month. The boy has been bailed to appear in court at a later date.   

  8. Digger maker JCB lands £16.5m deal

    Jack Dowling

    Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

    Staffordshire digger maker JCB says it has had an order worth £16.5m from a UK plant hire company. 

    JCB UK & Ireland Sales Director Dan Thompstone (left) seals the deal with Plant Hire UK (PHUK) MD Graham Jones. Looking on (centre) is Gunn JCB Sales Director John Dolphin.

    The company says the order is for 300 telescopic handlers which will be made in Rocester, as well as dumper trucks.

    Last year JCB announced several hundred job cuts due to a "dramatic" slowdown in world markets.

  9. Latest: Women deny businesswoman murder; man slashed in park attack; JCB lands £16.5m deal

    Lee Thomas

    Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

    These are among this evening's top stories:

    - Two Cheshire women have denied the murder of a businesswoman who was found stabbed at her Lancashire home  

    - A man has been racially abused and slashed across the face while his children played in a Stoke-on-Trent park, police say  

    - Staffordshire digger maker JCB says it has had an order worth £16.5m from a UK plant hire company

  10. Football: Crewe manager looking to add experience to squad

    Graham McGarry

    Crewe Alexandra commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

    Crewe Alexandra's manager, Steve Davis, says pulling off the signing of Ryan Lowe would add valuable experience to his squad.

    Ryan Lowe

    The 37-year-old could leave Bury in the summer, although he has been offered a one-year deal by the Shakers. 

    Davis says players like Lowe can influence others around him.

    Quote Message: They set the right examples and they're great to have around because they are always positive about everything that they do and they have the experiences of playing at different levels." from Steve Davis Crewe Alexandra manager
    Steve DavisCrewe Alexandra manager
  11. Cheshire women deny businesswoman's murder

    Emma Stanley

    Reporter, BBC News Online

    Two Cheshire women have denied the murder of a businesswoman who was found fatally stabbed at her Lancashire home.  

    Sadie Hartley, who was 60, was discovered with multiple stab wounds at her house on Sunny Bank Road in Helmshore, Rossendale, on 14 January.  

    Sadie Hartley

    She was the director of her own medical communications business Hartley Taylor, based in Knutsford.

    The two women, both from Chester, were remanded ahead of the next court hearing on 10 June. A trial date of 4 July was set by Judge Mark Brown.

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

    Shefali Oza

    BBC Midlands Today

    If you want to find out a weather forecast for your part of Staffordshire or Cheshire at any other time, head to the BBC website.

    Video content

    Video caption: Shefali Oza with the weather forecast for the West Midlands
  13. Watch: Woman with replacement liver preparing for British Transplant Games

    Emma Thomas

    Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

    A Staffordshire woman is training to compete in the British Transplant Games, less than a year after a life-saving operation.   

    Video content

    Video caption: Woman with replacement liver preparing for British Transplant Games.

    Sue Bennett, who's 42 and from Ranton, had only weeks to live when she had a transplant operation, after a liver was donated from a young woman who'd died suddenly. 

    The mother-of-three now hopes to win a medal in the 3km (1.86 mile) run to give to her donor's family in tribute.  

  14. Allotment groups facing legal action in Crewe

    Lamont Howie

    Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

    Legal action is going to be taken against groups who run three allotment sites in Crewe, the council says. 

    Allotment holders who attended last night's council meeting

    Crewe Town Council wanted to have 11 allotments in the area run by one federation, but three have refused to sign the lease which was offered by the authority, saying they wanted to manage things their own way. 

    After a meeting held by the authority last night, the council is taking legal action to take control of the sites.

    James Cunningham, who's chairman of the group running two of the allotments refusing to sign, says they'll continue their fight to get a "fair lease" and told me they want the town's MP, Edward Timpson, to investigate the behaviour of the council.  

  15. BBC Weather Watcher pictures: Walking ducks and a Cheshire rainbow

    Monica Rimmer

    Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

    BBC Weather Watchers are volunteers who've signed up on our website to send updates from where they live about the weather in that area.

    They also upload photos like these taken in Staffordshire and Cheshire.

    Ducks on a park footpath in Stoke-on-Trent
    Rainbow over Winsford
  16. Latest: Father slashed in Hanley park; Stafford death case going to trial; Tamworth arrest over assault

    Lee Thomas

    Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

    The main stories this afternoon include

    - A man has been racially abused and slashed across the face while his children played in a Stoke-on-Trent park, police say

    - A judge has told a man accused of manslaughter after a death in Stafford that he will face trial

    - A Tamworth woman has been arrested after a man suffered a serious head injury in an assault, police say