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  1. Updates for Thursday 4 December 2014
  2. News, sport, weather and travel updates from 08:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

By Stephanie Barnard

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good Evening

Our Local Live updates for Thursday have now finished. Join us at 08:00 on Friday for more news, sport, travel and weather.

Largely cloudy

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today Weather

A few clearer spells for a time early in the night may well allow a local frost and patches of fog. Otherwise, largely cloudy with patchy rain or drizzle.

Shefali Oza reads tonight's forecast

Lows of 2C (36F) overnight. Hear more about the outlook for tonight and the weekend on

Midlands Today on BBC One at 18:30.

Smethwick road closure

Wattville Road in Smethwick remains closed in both directions between Downing Street and Junction Road. It's down to the

fire on the Middlemore Industrial Estate yesterday.

Read the latest information from

BBC Travel.

Wolves team news

Mike Taylor

BBC WM Sport

I'm told Nouha Dicko, Ethan Ebanks-Landell and Scott Golbourne will all miss the Bournemouth game at Molineux on Saturday, but all other players are fit.

Jack Price

Jack Price (pictured) is available after returning from loan.

Centro announces reorganisation of bus routes

Halesowen News

Bus services in Halesowen, Cradley and Old Hill are set to change with

the introduction of four amended routes.

The Number 12, 13, 14 and 17 services will begin running from January 25, serving Merry Hill shopping centre, Halesowen town centre and Blackheath.

News on the hour

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

Inspector Beth Bridges tells us at 17:00 she believes the 79-year-old victim of two thieves at the Poundland at Walsall's Saddlers Centre was targeted because of her vulnerability.

Listen live to our BBC WM bulletin for more details.

West Bromwich Albion team news

Rob Gurney

BBC WM Sport

It was a busier than usual media conference today at Albion. Head coach Alan Irvine has seen the chairman and says "he continues to be very supportive".

West Brom's Chris Brunt

Chris Brunt (pictured) hasn't trained today because of a hamstring injury ahead of Saturday's trip to Hull. Sebastien Pocognoli and James Morrison were involved again, and Brunt may be available for the derby clash with Aston Villa which is on 13 December.

M42 Services: 'Permission won't be easy'

Peter Plisner

BBC Midlands Transport Correspondent

Extra MSA has chosen exactly the same site as the last proposal near Birmingham Airport. It's a location that's expected to provide rich pickings if it gets built.

The M42 through the area is now one of the busiest parts of the motorway network and considering the location of other service areas at Warwick and Tamworth it's seen as an ideal place to take a break.

Getting planning permission won't be easy, though, local residents are used to campaigning against controversial plans including airport expansion and more recently HS2.

'Purse dippers' strike in Walsall

An unsuspecting pensioner's been targeted by "purse dippers" as she browsed shelves in Poundland in the Saddlers Centre in Walsall.

CCTV footage released today shows one thief cover the actions of the other as she reaches inside the 79-year-old victim's trolley before the duo depart in opposite directions.

The purse dippers strike
West Midlands Police

West Midlands Police is

appealing for witnesses to the theft on 4 November.

Mander Centre deal sealed

Express and Star

The Mander Centre has

changed hands for £59 million and it was also confirmed today that the iconic Barbara Hepworth sculpture, Rock Form, will return.

Nechells murder probe

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

West Midlands Police say "they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the woman's death" in Nechells.

The Nechells Park Road address where the 23-year-old was found has been sealed off so the scene can be forensically examined.

News on the hour

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

Police have

launched a murder inquiry after the body of a woman was found in part of Birmingham this morning.

Listen live to this and other stories in

our 16:00 bulletin.

BreakingBreaking News


murder probe has been launched after a woman's body was found at a Nechells address today.

The 23-year-old was found at a property in Nechells Park Road just before 10:15. She was pronounced dead at the scene, said West Midlands Police.

A 30-year-old local man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and is in custody.

Police search

The area where missing woman Lidia Pascale was last seen is being searched in a suspected murder inquiry.

Lidia Pascale

Matthew Cherrington, 32, of High Street, West Bromwich, and Thomas Ricketts, 37, of Alderton Drive, Wolverhampton, have been remanded in custody and are due at Birmingham Crown Court on 18 February.

Blues fans react to Zigic return

Blues fans are taking to social media to react to

Birmingham City re-signing striker Nikola Zigic on a deal until the end of the season.

Birmingham City's Nikola Zigic
Getty Images

One fan, Louise Hopson

tweets: "The big man is BACK! Welcome home Nikola Zigic!"

Men due in court

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

I've just spoken to the police about two men who have been charged for dangerous driving after they were caught "swapping seats" while driving a lorry.

I'm told the incident happened on the M5 between junctions 7-8 at about 16:20 on Wednesday.

Goran Zaric, 42 and Milos Ravic, 36 are due to appear before Kidderminster Magistrates' Court later today.

News on the hour

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

At 15:00 we hear from Det Ch Insp Caroline Marsh as officers and police dogs continue their search across open land and gardens for a suspected murder victim.

Listen live to our bulletin


'Formal offer made to Blues'

Richard Wilford

BBC WM Sport

Former Swindon owner Jeremy Wray confirmed to BBC WM yesterday that he has tabled a formal offer for the football club but he has so far been denied the chance to carry out due diligence.

Wray is eager for 100% ownership and not to deal in smaller tranches that were notionally on offer before.

So although Blues' fans will have fresh hope that Birmingham International Holdings Limited may be ready to consider a new offer for the sale of the club, it is reasonable to suggest they will believe it when they see it.

Stories we're working on

Hilary McConnell, Producer, BBC Midlands Today

We're speaking to the West Midlands Police and Crime commissioner, David Jamieson about the

handling of the student protest at Warwick University yesterday.

Police were called after reports that a university staff member was assaulted but students allege police officers were heavy handed in their response.

And if you ever wondered how the parcels you order online get from A-to-B, they've been through the West Midlands. We're finding out distribution centres here are gearing up for their busiest period.

Jobs boost as building on Bournville nursing home starts

Birmingham Post

Dozens of posts will be created at the development which is part of a wider

£60m care village in south Birmingham on the site of the old Bournville College.

Work to build the home, which will boast its own cinema room, will start from this month as part of wider plans for Bournville Care Village.

News on the hour


Police are searching an area of West Bromwich for the body of a woman who's been missing since the 19th of November.

We'll have more from our news editor Chris Blakemore in the news at 14:00 on


Your New Street experience

James Bovill

Journalist, BBC WM

Were you caught up in crowds at New Street Station last weekend?

We've heard about lots of people visiting the city centre for Birmingham's Frankfurt Christmas Market.

Let me know about your experience for a piece I'm doing on tomorrow morning's breakfast show on BBC WM -

email or tweet

Midlands prepare for Christmas

Elizabeth Glinka

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

As shoppers gear up for Christmas - the West Midlands is playing a vital role in packing and delivering goods across the country.

John Lewis boxes

At this centre in Redditch 24,000 parcels leave every day during December.

Many companies including - John Lewis - are choosing to base their warehouses here in the Midlands.

More with me on Midlands Today at 13:30

News on the hour


Our top story on

BBC WM at 13:00:
The Conservative MP Mark Pritchard has been arrested and bailed on suspicion of rape.

He's the member of parliament for Wrekin in Shropshire.

Police search West Bromwich

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

Land and gardens in West Bromwich are being searched by police as part of the continuing investigation into the murder of missing woman Lidia Pascale.

Lidia Pascale

The 26-year-old had been staying in Smethwick and Foleshill in Coventry and was last seen on 19 November.

Two men have been charged with her murder.

Service station: 'Only a matter of time'

Peter Plisner

BBC Midlands Transport Correspondent

Putting a motorway service area between Hampton in Arden and Catherine-de-Barnes was never going to be anything other than highly controversial.

It certainly proved that way 15 years ago, when a similar plan was lodged. In the end it didn't go ahead.

But it was only a matter of time before someone else had a go.

Service station map

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

I've just pulled together a map showing the plans for the new M42 service station (left) and what it currently looks like on the proposed site (right) near Solihull between junctions 5 and 6.

Plan of M42 service station and what it looks like now
Pegasus / google

Extra MSA, the company behind the plans, says there will be no access to Solihull Road from the service station.

Read more about the plans to build a new service station on BBC News.

News on the hour


In the news at 12:00: A never seen before letter by a world war general describing the Christmas Day Truce of 1914 has been found by the Staffordshire County Council Archives Service.

Murder probe police search land for body of missing Lidia Pascale

Express and Star

Police were today searching an area of West Bromwich in the hunt for the

body of missing Lidia Pascale.

Open land and gardens in and around the High Street were being scoured in the search for clues following the disappearance of the 26-year-old.

Blues announcement expected

Richard Wilford

BBC WM Sport

This morning's news that Birmingham City's owners have suspended trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange should be handled with care.

St Andrew's

An announcement will follow, most likely within the next 24 hours, from Birmingham International Holdings Limited - but to suggest what the announcement might contain would be mere speculation.

'Too much noise'

Richie Anderson

BBC WM reporter

I've been to Catherine-de-Barnes where locals are against proposals to build a

service station on the M42 near Solihull.

Gareth Summers, who owns a shop in the area, says he's "absolutely alarmed and dismayed" by the idea.

Despite the company behind the plans saying it could create 300 new jobs, local resident Martin Huntley says he's considering selling his house because this new service station combined with the airport "would create too much noise".

'Benefits' for locals


Campaigners say they're disappointed at fresh plans to

build a motorway service station on the M42 near Solihull.

Plans for services near Catherine-De-Barnes and Hampton in Arden were first brought forward 15 years ago but were turned down.

Andrew Long, chief executive of Extra Motorway Service Group which is behind the plans says: "It will address benefits to the local area and create 300 permanent full time equivalent jobs."

Fire crews at the scene

Smethwick and Oldbury fire crews remain at scene of

yesterday's fire in Smethwick.

Fire at an industrial estate in Smethwick yesterday
Mike bailey

The fire service says "there are pockets of fire we can't access because of structural collapse".

Two aerial platforms and a high volume pumping unit remain at Middlemore Industrial Estate,

while surrounding roads remain closed.

Victimised for meningitis


A Black Country mother has told of how she and her daughter were victimised because the girl developed meningitis.

Christine Carter made sure Eloise had all the usual jabs but the three-year-old was struck by a form of meningitis not covered by the vaccinations.

Listen back to

Breakfast on BBC WM.

Birmingham City's parent company's trading halt

Birmingham Mail

Birmingham City Football Club's parent company Birmingham International Holdings Limited

has announced a halt in trading in a statement released to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The statement was made by Peter Pannu, Executive Director of Birmingham International Holdings, on behalf of the board.

Alternative Christmas gift

An appeal for Christmas presents for a women's refuge in Sandwell has been made by the town's mayor.

Councillor Derek Rowley is asking people to donate presents to Sandwell Women's Aid which supports victims of domestic violence and abuse.

The charity is asking for gifts of food, toiletries, toys and books. Anyone interested is

asked to email their details.