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  1. Updates on Friday 20 May 2016
  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 Monday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather. 

  2. On Midlands Today this evening: Sex ring convicted of catalogue of abuse

    Giles Latcham

    BBC Midlands Today

    This evening I'll have more on the court case which has seen nine men, including one from Stoke-on-Trent, convicted of committing sexual offences against a teenage boy. 

    Back of teenager - generic

    The trial heard the victim was subjected to a "horrifying" catalogue of abuse while in council care.

    I'll have a full report from 18:30 on BBC One in Midlands Today including how his complaints weren't properly investigated when he first went to police.

  3. Watch: Weather forecast for the weekend

    Rebecca Wood

    BBC Weather

    Tomorrow will see patchy rain to start with, before more persistent rain then pushes in from the west through the day.

    Highs of 15C (59F) .

    Video content

    Video caption: BBC Midlands Today weather
  4. 'Stranger danger' warning to children in Stafford

    Emma Thomas

    Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

    Children in Stafford are being warned to be extra vigilant after reports of a number being approached by strangers.

    Stafford's police station

    Staffordshire Police say recent incidents have taken place in the north of the town, with young children approached in parks and outside shops.

    The force is stressing no children have been taken or hurt, but it's working to identify who the people could be.

  5. Your pictures: Blooming Stoke tree and baby ducks

    Allen Cook

    BBC Local Live

    I asked for more of your pictures on the BBC Radio Stoke Facebook page and plenty of you responded.

    Tina Mendolia sent this gorgeous photo of a tree in bloom in Hanley Park, Stoke-on-Trent.

    Hanley Park

    While this picture of a mother duck with her babies at Westport Lake, Stoke-on-Trent came from Sarah Belliki.

    Westport Lake ducks
  6. Sex ring: Convicted should expect prison sentences, warns judge

    Stephanie Barnard

    BBC Local Live

    Nine men, including one from Stoke-on-Trent, convicted of sex offences against a teenage boy in care have been told to expect prison sentences.

    The victim spoke to police in 2009 but his complaints were not fully investigated by the West Midlands force, the jury heard.

    But during a subsequent inquiry in 2012, he pointed police towards individuals.

    Nick Walton from West Midlands Police
    Quote Message: There is an acknowledgement of the occasions that this individual came into contact with the police and other agencies that potentially more could have been done. It's important now that we work with those agencies to ensure this doesn't happen again in the future." from Nick Walton Det Supt, West Midlands Police
    Nick WaltonDet Supt, West Midlands Police
  7. Man from Stoke-on-Trent among nine convicted of sex abuse against teenage boy

    Giles Latcham

    BBC Midlands Today

    More now on the court case which has seen nine men, including one from Stoke-on-Trent, convicted of committing sexual offences against a teenage boy. 

    The trial heard that the victim, who was in local authority care, was left "traumatised" by the offences against him, which began in his early teens. 

    Ashley Sherrington

    Stoke-on-Trent man, Ashley Sherrington, 25, of Dawlish Drive, (pictured) was convicted of two counts of rape.

    The trial judge remanded Sherrington in custody and warned him: "You have been convicted of very serious offences, the result of which will be a lengthy term of imprisonment." 

  8. Latest: Nine convicted of 'horrifying' sex abuse; prison murderer jailed; Rugeley power station closing in June

    Chris King

    Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

    This evening's main headlines include:

    - Nine men, including one from Stoke-on-Trent, have been convicted of committing sexual offences against a teenage boy who was subjected to a "horrifying" catalogue of abuse while in council care

    - A convicted killer who stabbed an inmate from Stafford to death with a knife he had been given to chop vegetables has been given another life sentence

    - Rugeley B coal-fired power station, which employs 150 people, is tostop operations at the end of June

  9. Father wants school crossing patrols after daughter 'near-miss'

    James Bovill

    Staffordshire Political Reporter, BBC News

    A dad from Newcastle-under-Lyme is calling for better crossing patrols outside his daughter's school. 

    Cars parked outside St Luke's Primary in Silverdale

    Matthew Melvin told BBC Radio Stoke his four-year-old was involved in a "near miss" close to St Luke's Primary school in Silverdale in November.

    Staffordshire County Council says it prioritises crossing patrols on the busiest roads most used by children - adding that, following concerns, a mobile speed camera will be set up from Monday. 

  10. End-of-term students risk missing referendum vote

    Judith Burns

    Education reporter

    UK university students believe the EU referendum is key to their future, but almost two-thirds do not know when it is, suggests research.

    And a third of more than 2,000 students questioned feared being unable to get to their polling station on the day.

    Polling station

    The referendum, on 23 June, is outside term time, so many students will need to re-register at their home address, says the National Union of Students.

    NUS vice-president Richard Brooks urged students "to think ahead".

  11. BBC Weather Watcher pictures: Colwich and Winsford

    Monica Rimmer

    Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

    Two of the pictures uploaded today by our excellent team of BBC Weather Watchers - Glennsoco in Colwich, Staffordshire, and Philip in Winsford, Cheshire.

    If you want to become a Weather Watcher and keep us updated on the latest forecast in your area, head to the website to sign up.

  12. Football: Artificial turf used in Stoke City pitch for first time

    Matt Sandoz

    Stoke City commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

    Stoke City are paying out nearly £5m on state-of-the-art pitch improvements this summer.

    Work on Stoke City's pitch

    Preparations are already under way for the club's ninth campaign in the Premier League.

    For the first time, the Stoke City pitch will have natural grass combined with artificial "turf fibres".

    Quote Message: We're putting artificial turf in here, in addition to the grass, for the first time and we're doing the same at the training ground. We're doing two identical pitches at the training ground so three in total." from Tony Scholes Stoke City chief executive
    Tony ScholesStoke City chief executive
  13. School sickness closure: Site to stay shut on Monday

    Sarah Robertson

    Producer, BBC Radio Stoke

    The principal of a Staffordshire school says it won't now reopen until Tuesday after an outbreak of a "sickness bug". 

    Brian Wilkinson has told BBC Radio Stoke they think it could be the norovirus which had affected almost a third of pupils at the 328-pupil Bursley Academy. 

    Bursley Academy

    He says they closed the school today but, because they couldn't get the right specialist cleaning service, they will also be shut on Monday. 

    In a statement on the school website they say the academy will reopen to children "who are healthy and have been free of any symptoms for 48hrs".

  14. Watch: Tonight and the weekend's weather for Stoke and Staffordshire

    Rebecca Wood

    BBC Midlands Today

    Get a weather forecast at any other time from the BBC Weather website.

    Video content

    Video caption: BBC Midlands Today weather