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Summary

  1. Updates from Friday 9 September

Live Reporting

By Allen Cook

All times stated are UK

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  1. Joe Clarke ready to challenge after 'building from zero'

    BBC Sport

    British Olympic canoe slalom champion Joe Clarke said he "lost all confidence" in his ability after a lacklustre return to competition.

    Clarke, 25, who is from Stone, Staffordshire, took six months out from the sport after Rio 2016 but struggled to make an impact when he returned.

    Joe Clarke

    He is back at the Rio course this month as part of a 10-strong team for the Canoe Slalom World Championships - and says he has now overcome self-doubt.

    "I had to build again from zero," Clarke told BBC Sport.

    The Englishman said he had started to wonder whether Rio 2016 had been a "one-off performance", but added that he was not training enough when he first got back on the water.

  2. Meet The Apprentice candidate who's his own 'biggest fan'

    Professional speaker Kayode Damali from Crewe is part of this year's crop of The Apprentice candidates.

    The 26-year-old delivers talks designed to inspire young people.

    Kayode Damali

    The new series starts on 3 October.

  3. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire southbound

    BBC News Travel

    M6 Staffordshire southbound severe disruption, between J15 for A500 and J14 for A5013.

    M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M6 southbound between J15, A500 (Stoke-On-Trent) and J14, A5013 (Stafford North), because of a broken down vehicle.

    To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

  4. Man who drove at 90mph in a 30-zone jailed

    A man who drove at speeds of more than 90mph in a 30-zone, hitting cars and going through red lights, has been jailed.

    Chad Stevens

    The Staffordshire force said a stinger device was used to thwart Chad Stevens when he failed to stop for police in Hednesford in January this year, but he continued to drive until his tyres fell away.

    The 24-year-old admitted dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle-taking, driving while disqualified, driving over the prescribed limit for cocaine and another drug, and driving without insurance.

    At a Stafford Crown Court hearing on Monday, he was jailed for a total of 18 months, and disqualified from driving for 33 months.

    He was already serving an eight-month sentence, suspended for two years, for an incident of dangerous driving in 2017, police said.

  5. Envelope update

    Severe accident: M6 Staffordshire northbound

    BBC News Travel

    M6 Staffordshire northbound severe accident, from J15 for A500 to J16 for A500 Stoke-On-Trent.

    M6 Staffordshire - Lane closed on M6 northbound from J15, A500 (Stoke-On-Trent) to J16, A500 (Stoke-On-Trent), because of an accident. Traffic is coping well.

    To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

  6. Chihuahua is 'punched' and 'thrown'

    The RSPCA is investigating reports a chihuahua was thrown into a van and punched several times.

    It is said to have happened on Friday at about 10:30 in the Hayle area of Tamworth.

    Officers were told a man was seen carrying a tan-coloured chihuahua by the throat before throwing it into a vehicle, after which it was reportedly punched.

    RSPCA Inspector Beth Boyd said: "We are working with Staffordshire Police and are appealing for any information about this incident."

  7. Council aims to buy and demolish 'eyesore' shopping centre

    An old shopping centre looks set to be demolished after a developer pulled out of plans to replace it with a new one.

    Stoke-on-Trent City Council says it's planning to buy the East-West precinct in Hanley, which it's described as an eyesore.

    Hanley

    The authority says it's disappointing that Realis Estates has decided not to pursue plans for its Unity Walk development on the site, which would have included a cinema and shops.

    Instead, the council is set to discuss plans to knock down the old centre and initially use the site for car parking.

    In the longer term, it says it'll look at community, leisure and residential developments, including the idea of a facility for children and teenagers.

  8. Man in court over police officer's broken kneecap

    A 25-year-old man has appeared in court charged with wounding after a police officer was struck by a car in Stafford.

    Gurajdeep Malhi appeared at North Staffordshire Magistrates' Court accused of wounding PC Claire Bond with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

    He is further charged with driving dangerously, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.

    The officer sustained extensive leg injuries, including multiple fractures and a broken kneecap, in the crash on Sunday morning.

    Lucy Maria Bullmore, 30, also appeared, accused of driving a Range Rover Evoque dangerously in Stafford on the same day and failing to provide a specimen for breath analysis.

    Mr Malhi, of Charnley Road, Stafford, was remanded in custody to appear before Stafford Crown Court on 26 October while Ms Bullmore, of Morton Road, Stafford, was granted conditional bail to appear before the same court on 29 October.

  9. Care for birds 'blown off course'

    Two gannets are being cared for by the RSPCA in Nantwich after being "blown off course" in the recent heavy winds.

    The charity's Rachel Butler commented on Twitter to say the species was a rare visitor at its centre, adding: "It's not every day you get to see them up close."

    Two gannets
  10. Envelope update

    Severe accident: M6 Cheshire northbound

    BBC News Travel

    M6 Cheshire northbound severe accident, between J16 for A500 Stoke-On-Trent and J17 for A534 Old Mill Road Sandbach.

    M6 Cheshire - Very slow traffic and one lane blocked on M6 northbound between J16, A500 (Stoke-On-Trent) and J17, A534 (Sandbach), because of an accident involving two cars. In the roadworks area.

    To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

  11. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire northbound

    BBC News Travel

    M6 Staffordshire northbound severe disruption, between J12 for A5 and J13 for A449.

    M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed on M6 northbound between J12, A5 (Gailey) and J13, A449 (Stafford South), because of a broken down vehicle.

    To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

  12. Investigation into fatal fire was 'complex'

    An investigation into a flat fire in which council tenants died will not end in prosecution amid difficulties proving there was an offence, the fire service says.

    Fire at flat

    Zainab Adama, 36, and her daughter Tafoual Fadul, six, died following a blaze at the ground floor property on Ringland Close, Hanley, last year.

    Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service said an initial investigation found the blaze started accidentally and involved an electric storage heater that was close to clothing. The BBC reported in February the heater was wall-mounted.

    Since then, the service said it had worked with police to investigate the circumstances and identify whether there was evidence for prosecution under fire safety regulations.

    A spokesperson said "a number of avenues" were explored, but the "complex circumstances of the incident, including the history of the building and flat involved", meant they were unable to identify "to the standard of proof required by law" that an offence had been committed.

    A council statement said it was supporting the family.

    Quote Message: “Nearly one year on, we welcome the report by the fire service that the council had not breached any legislation and no charges will be brought against the organisation. We will also welcome any learning that may help the national position in regard to legislation to help prevent the loss of life in the future." from Stoke-on-Trent City Council
    Stoke-on-Trent City Council
  13. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire southbound

    BBC News Travel

    M6 Staffordshire southbound severe disruption, between J12 for A5 and J11A for M6 Toll.

    M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed on M6 southbound in Calf Heath between J12, A5 (Gailey) and J11a M6 Toll, because of a broken down van. Traffic is coping well.

    To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

  14. Envelope update

    Severe accident: M6 Cheshire northbound

    BBC News Travel

    M6 Cheshire northbound severe accident, between J17 for A534 Old Mill Road Sandbach and J18 for A54 Middlewich Road Middlewich.

    M6 Cheshire - Two lanes blocked and queuing traffic on M6 northbound between J17, A534 (Sandbach) and J18, A54 (Middlewich), because of an accident involving two lorries. In the roadworks area.

    To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

  15. Man charged after police officer hit by car

    A man is due in court later charged with wounding after a police officer was hit by a car in Stafford.

    Gurajdeep Malhi, from the Sandon Road area of the town, is accused of wounding PC Claire Bond with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

    The Staffordshire force said Sunday morning's crash left her with extensive leg injuries, including multiple fractures and a broken kneecap.

    A second officer, also struck by the vehicle in the Coton Fields area, has been discharged from hospital.

    Mr Malhi is also charged with driving dangerously, driving while disqualified, failing to stop and driving without insurance.

    A woman arrested in connection has been charged with dangerous driving, failing to provide a specimen for breath analysis and failing to stop.

    Police said the injured officers were responding to reports of a car crashing into a garage at the back of Corporation Street.

  16. Signal faults delaying rail services

    BBC News Travel

    Signalling faults are delaying rail services in the West Midlands this morning.

    Trains are running at reduced speed between Bromsgrove and Barnt Green towards Birmingham, and also between Rugeley Trent Valley and Aston.