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Summary

  1. Crewe's university campus to close
  2. No arrests yet over giant bunny sculpture arson
  3. Driver 'stopped by police 17 times in 12 months'
  4. Repeat of Stafford Hospital scandal across the NHS 'inevitable'
  5. Snow warning for Staffordshire and Cheshire
  6. Updates from Friday 10 February 2017

Live Reporting

By Allen Cook

All times stated are UK

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Severe accident: M6 Staffordshire southbound

BBC Travel

M6 Staffordshire southbound severe accident, between J10A for M54 and J10 for A454 affecting J11 for A460.

M6 Staffordshire - Two lanes closed and queuing traffic on M6 southbound between J10a M54 and J10, A454 (Wolverhampton), because of an accident. Congestion to J11, A460 (Cannock).

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Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire northbound

BBC Travel

M6 Staffordshire northbound severe disruption, between J15 for A500 and J16 for A500 Crewe.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M6 northbound between J15, A500 (Stoke-On-Trent) and J16, A500 (Crewe), because of a broken down vehicle.

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Jamie Proctor

Carlisle United sign strikers George Waring from Stoke and Jamie Proctor from Bolton on loan until the end of the season.

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Severe disruption: M6 Cheshire northbound

BBC Travel

M6 Cheshire northbound severe disruption, between J16 for A500 Crewe and J17 for A534 Sandbach.

M6 Cheshire - One lane closed and very slow traffic on M6 northbound between J16, A500 (Crewe) and J17, A534 (Sandbach), because of a broken down car.

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Adam Fleming meets the Stoke by-election candidates.
Sunday Politics reporter Adam Fleming meets the candidates for the Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election.

Severe accident: A4101 West Midlands both ways

BBC Travel

A4101 West Midlands both ways severe accident, between Dreadnought Road and Pensnett Road.

A4101 West Midlands - A4101 High Street in Dudley closed in both directions between the Dreadnought Road junction and the Pensnett Road junction, because of an accident.

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West Brom boss Tony Pulis

West Brom boss Tony Pulis describes Stoke's claim that he called Potters defender Ryan Shawcross a "loser" as "disgraceful".

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Severe accident: M6 Toll Staffordshire northbound

BBC Travel

M6 Toll Staffordshire northbound severe accident, at J6T for A5195 Brownhills.

M6 Toll Staffordshire - M6 Toll entry slip road closed and slow traffic northbound at J6t, A5195 (Brownhills), because of an accident.

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Plymouth mascot

Phil Shepka

BBC Sport

A red card after celebrating, a manager struggling to sum up his emotions after a thrilling draw and plenty of goals in the EFL.

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Tomer Hemed

Tomer Hemed scores twice as Brighton beat lowly Burton Albion to earn a sixth successive home league victory.

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Football

Crewe were ruthless in front of goal as they won for the first time in 12 games with a League Two demolition of Grimsby.

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Hughes pleased with 'ugly' win
Stoke City boss Mark Hughes says his side had to "win ugly" as Joe Allen's second-half winner lifted them into the top half of the Premier League.
Paul Nuttall

Police said they were aware of incidents, mainly based around "alternative views" being exchanged.

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Football

Debutant Josh Parker scores an injury-time equaliser as Gillingham rescue a point against Port Vale in League One.

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Palace need to keep believing - Allardyce
Crystal Palace boss Sam Allardyce says his players need to "keep believing" in themselves after Stoke City's second-half winner left his side rooted in the Premier League relegation zone.
Sam Allardyce

Jonathan Jurejko

BBC Sport

Crystal Palace remain rooted in the Premier League relegation zone after Joe Allen lifts Stoke City into the top half.

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'A hard-fought win'

Stoke 1-0 Crystal Palace

Stoke City

Stoke manager Mark Hughes: "It was a hard-fought win I have to say. We needed that breakthrough and it was a great goal when it came.

"We always felt that we would see the game through to a conclusion once we went ahead, and we restricted Palace to very few opportunities.

"Joe Allen times his runs well, he has an aptitude for it and it was a great finish.

"We are not in bad shape overall, we are doing OK but now we have to navigate our way through some very difficult games." 

Mark Hughes
Getty Images

'Really good football'

Stoke 1-0 Crystal Palace

Martin Keown

Former Arsenal defender on Final Score

What a cultured finish from Joe Allen. He's slotted that right in the corner - really good football. 

That's a disaster for Palace, who need to be matching Middlesbrough's result as a minimum.

Joe Allen scores
Getty Images

Severe disruption: M6 Cheshire northbound

BBC Travel

M6 Cheshire northbound severe disruption, at J16 for A500 Crewe.

M6 Cheshire - M6 lane blocked on entry slip road northbound at J16, A500 (Crewe).

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'Disillusioned and concerned'

Stoke v Crystal Palace (15:00 GMT)

Garth Crooks

Former Spurs striker on Final Score

Palace fans are quite rightly disillusioned and concerned. But the Eagles are capable of getting a result today, and a win would really catapult them up the table.

Team news

Stoke v Crystal Palace (15:00 GMT)

Last week Ramadan Sobhi was playing in the Africa Cup of Nations final, this weekend he's back on the field in Stoke. The young Egyptian winger is the only change made by Mark Hughes from the defeat at West Brom, Ibrahim Afellay is the man who makes way.

Stoke
#bbcfootball

Two changes for Palace boss Sam Allardyce from that shambolic 4-0 home defeat by fellow strugglers Sunderland last weekend.

Serbia midfielder Luka Milivojevic makes his Eagles debut, with Andros Townsend also recalled. Out go centre-back Scott Dann and midfielder Yohan Cabaye as Big Sam ditches the 3-4-3 formation and goes back to more-familiar back four.

Crystal Palace
#bbcfootball

'Palace have won 7 of 45 games'

Stoke v Crystal Palace (15:00 GMT)

John Motson

Match of the Day commentator

Only goal difference is keeping Crystal Palace off the foot of the table. Their league position can't get much worse but you have to wonder when, or if, it will improve.

Under Alan Pardew and now Sam Allardyce, Palace have only won seven of their last 45 league fixtures - losing 27.

One of those wins was a 4-1 thumping of Stoke in September but the current bad run started after another victory against the Potters, at the bet365 Stadium in December 2015.

Can they emulate that win? Well, mid-table Stoke have only won twice in 10 games but a point might be viewed as a step in the right direction for Palace.

Crystal Palace's Andros Townsend, Jason Puncheon and Patrick van Aanholt take to the pitch ahead of today's game at Stoke
Getty Images
Crystal Palace's Andros Townsend, Jason Puncheon and Patrick van Aanholt take to the pitch ahead of today's game at Stoke

Wrap up warm...

Stoke v Crystal Palace (15:00 GMT)

Brr...

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Tony Pulis

West Brom boss Tony Pulis angers Stoke manager Mark Hughes by calling his captain Ryan Shawcross a "loser".

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Severe accident: M6 Staffordshire southbound

BBC Travel

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

M6 Staffordshire - Two lanes closed and slow traffic on M6 southbound between J12, A5 (Gailey) and J11a M6 Toll, because of an accident.

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Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire northbound

BBC Travel

M6 Staffordshire northbound severe disruption, between J15 for A500 and J16 for A500 Crewe.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M6 northbound between J15, A500 (Stoke-On-Trent) and J16, A500 (Crewe), because of a broken down vehicle.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Reunited dad and daughter drink at same pub
A woman who finally tracked down her father after 30 years discovered they drink at the same local pub.

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire northbound

BBC Travel

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

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

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Our live coverage across the day

We'll be back with our usual mix of news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 tomorrow, but keep an eye out here for more updates this evening. 

On Midlands Today from 18:30: Father meets daughter 'he never knew he had'

Ben Godfrey

BBC Midlands Today

On Midlands Today this evening, we'll have the story of a Staffordshire father who has met the daughter he never knew he had. 

Ben Godfrey with the father and daughter
BBC

It's been a moment 30 years in the making and, incredibly, they've spent years going to the same pub. 

We'll have that amazing story from 18:30 on BBC One.

BBC Weather Watcher pictures: Leek and Bednall

BBC Weather Watchers

Leek
Videoman

It's been a mixed day on the weather front across the Staffordshire and Cheshire area, looking at the photos uploaded by our BBC Weather Watchers.

The skies have ranged from cloudy over Leek, as user Videoman photographed, to blue skies over Bednall, Staffordshire from user Ezzo. 

Bednall, Staffordshire
Ezzo

Free-range relief for farmers over bird flu relaxations

David Gregory-Kumar

Science correspondent, BBC Midlands Today

A farmer says he's relieved he'll be able to sell his chicken eggs as free-range after the government announced relaxations to bird flu restrictions.   

Report on Midlands Today

The H5N8 strain has been found in about 40 wild birds in England, Scotland and Wales after circulating in Europe for several months, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Since early December poultry farmers have been forced to keep all their chickens inside

Now, the government's chief vet Prof Nigel Gibbens says they've put together an interactive map showing which parts of the country are at low or high risk. 

Alan Warrington, who is a free range chicken farmer in the Eccleshall area, in Staffordshire,  says he's in a low risk area so will be able to keep his free-range status.  

Football: 'We've got better players' - Crewe boss on Grimsby game

Graham McGarry

Crewe Alexandra commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

The Crewe Alexandra manager David Artell says his players are better than those of their opponents Grimsby who they face tomorrow.

David Artell
crewealex.net

Despite Crewe being 21st and Grimsby 11th in League Two, Artell told BBC Radio Stoke he is confident his players can beat their visitors.

We've got better players but we're not 11th. They've had a bit of quality up-front in Bogle [striker] who's gone. It's going to be a tester for them in the remaining games of the season whether they can get the goals. The challenge for us is to make sure they don't start."

David ArtellCrewe Alexandra manager

Watch: Teenagers 'suffered PTSD' after refugee journey from Aghanistan

BBC Breakfast

Sold from one person to another, spending 48 hours in a refrigerated lorry - three teenagers have told the BBC of their "horrendous" journey from Afghanistan to get to the UK.   

The foster family speaking to BBC Breakfast

Brothers Fawad and Jawad and their cousin Ahmad were fostered seven years ago by Jackie and Bob Meredith in Tixall, Staffordshire and now have permission to stay in the country. 

The men told BBC Breakfast today that their journey to the UK had lasted six months and was perilous and "unreal". 

Jackie Meredith also said they were frightened and terrified when they arrived and that they'd had to cope with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder with each of the cousins since then but they'd now "flourished".  

Woman, 80, has £3,000 stolen by 'fake fence repairers'

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

Two men tricked an 80-year-old woman and stolen more than £3,000 from her house by posing as fence repairers, police say.

Officers say they knocked at the victim's door on Oakdene Avenue, Burntwood on Wednesday morning.

E-fit of suspects
Staffordshire Police

One of them looked at the fence and made her an offer to repair it, watching her go to a cupboard to collect cash. 

They say he then asked her to open a door and stole £3,100 before the pair left.

Union promises strike action if compulsory redundancies at university site

Phil McCann

Cheshire Political Reporter, BBC News

Strike action has been threatened by a union if the closure of the university campus in Crewe leads to compulsory redundancies. 

This afternoon the board of governors for Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) confirmed they will close the site in summer 2019, blaming falling student numbers and declining finances.

MMU Crewe
Google

Ahead of the meeting, the University and College Union said around 400 staff would face an uncertain future if that happened and it was keen to work with the university to avoid compulsory redundancies. 

It said that, following a vote by its members, it would ballot for strike action if staff were threatened with compulsory redundancy as a result of the plans. 

In a statement, MMU said its aim was to "minimise job losses."