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  1. Updates for Wednesday 7 January 2015
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates resume from 08:00 Thursday

Live Reporting

By Alex Homer

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

BBC Local Live will be back from 08:00 on Thursday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather for Birmingham and the Black Country.

Tonight's forecast

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today Weather

It's still quite windy tonight,

but for the bulk of the region it will remain dry.


There might be some rain later but temperatures will be well above freezing so we should avoid a frost. Lows of 7C (45F).

Team news: Preston v Walsall

BBC Sport

Walsall go to

Preston tonight in the northern area final of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

The Saddlers, who have never been to Wembley in their 127-year history, are again without striker Jordan Cook (illness).

He was forced to withdraw from Dean Smith's Saddlers squad for

Saturday's 2-0 home defeat by Coventry City.

Walsall are unbeaten away from home in five matches, having not lost since their FA Cup first-round replay defeat at Shrewsbury on 18 November.

Kick off is at 19:45 and there is

full match commentary on BBC WM 95.6.

Coming up on TV

Mary Rhodes

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

"It feels like working in a warzone" - that's how one doctor has described working in a hospital's accident and emergency department - as they deal with unprecedented levels of demand. Major incident status remains in place at four hospitals in our region.

Join us for the

Midlands Today at 18:30 on BBC One.

Sparkbrook: 'Not spontaneous violence'

Caroline Gall

BBC News

A man died during an outbreak of "extreme, planned violence"

between two groups of men in Birmingham, the city's crown court has heard.

Crime scene on Stratford Road

Ikram Ullah Khan, 28, was stabbed in the neck in the Stratford Road area of Sparkbrook on 2 July. Seven men deny murder and conspiring to inflict grievous bodily harm with intent.

A38 delays warning

BBC Travel

There's severe congestion on the A38 St Chad's Queensway northbound in Birmingham at Lancaster Circus because of an earlier accident,

BBC Travel warns, even though all lanes have reopened.

Trott back in runs

Mark Mitchener

BBC Sport

Warwickshire's Jonathan Trott

hit 79 from 127 balls as captain as England Lions drew their opening tour game against a Gauteng Invitation XI in Soweto, South Africa.

Jonathan Trott
Getty Images

It was his first game for an England side since he left the 2013-14 Ashes tour with a "stress-related illness".

Noisy neighbour pensioner fined

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

A pensioner who blasted out bhangra music from her Kings Heath home, breaching orders to keep the noise down, has been

ordered to pay more than £2,000 by a court.

Satinder Kholi, 72, of Kings Terrace, Kings Heath - who did not attend today's trial - was fined £400 and ordered to pay court costs of £1,747 and a £40 victim surcharge.

Birmingham City Council brought a second case against Ms Kholi, who had previously been found guilty and fined by magistrates in September for playing loud music in her house and garden in June 2014.

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

The trial of seven men accused of murdering a father of four in Birmingham has started today.

We will hear more about this case and other stories in

our 17:00 bulletin.


Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

What do you think of BBC Local Live? We'd like

your feedback about this service.

Walsall's road to Wembley

John Platt

BBC WM Sport

Walsall's top-scorer Tom Bradshaw says the Saddlers have already shown this season what dangerous underdogs they can be.

Walsall's Tom Bradshaw celebrates winner
Dan Westwell

Walsall head to Deepdale tonight to take on Preston in the northern area final of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. Kick off is at 19:45 and there is full match commentary on
BBC WM 95.6

Break-in at the Yeltz

Halesowen News

Halesowen Town FC has been

hit by a second major break-in in five months, with thieves escaping with a £1,000 haul of grass cutting equipment.

Coach driver 'did not black out'

A coach driver

banned after he crashed whilst taking a group of children on a trip to the seaside insists he "did not black out."

Coach on its side

The vehicle, driven by 60-year-old Robert Blakemore from Wolverhampton, came off the M5 in Gloucestershire in August. Five adults and one child were injured.

Witnesses said he was driving with his eyes closed and his chin resting on his chest at the time of the crash. He pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention.

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

Katherine Holford, director of nursing at

Walsall Manor Hospital, tells us the current pressures on the hospital are her worst experience in 30 years of nursing.

Listen live to hear more from her in

our 16:00 bulletin.

Tickets for derby cup tie

West Bromwich Albion

tweets the club is set to receive 4,200 tickets for the FA Cup tie against Birmingham City.

The big picture

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

We feature pictures of Birmingham and the Black Country every day at the top of the BBC Local Live page.

birmingham canals

Our image today is of the Birmingham canals. You can find it

by viewing the full live page. If you've taken a picture you think would also work, send in via

IM Properties buys Blythe Valley Park in £125m deal

Birmingham Post

IM Properties has completed

the acquisition of Blythe Valley Park in Solihull in one of the biggest Midland property deals of all time.

The 260 acre park has been bought out of receivership by the Coleshill-based developer for a value close to £125 million.

Libraries' already close partnership

Tom Richardson

BBC News Online

A spokeswoman for the British Library (pictured) said there was already a close partnership between them and the Library of Birmingham on "a range of projects", and the British Library "looked forward" to that continuing.

British Library
Getty Images

In its own statement the Birmingham city council said it was in the early stages of discussions with "several civic leaders, supporters of the library and MPs" to decide whether the plan is workable.

Sparkbrook: 'Both sides were armed'

Caroline Gall

BBC News at Birmingham Crown Court

"Both sides were armed with bats, sticks, knives and swords and the Pakistan group had at least one firearm, a shotgun," said prosecution lawyer Timothy Spencer.

Ikram Ullah Khan, 28, was stabbed in the neck in the Stratford Road area of Sparkbrook on 2 July.

The crime scene at the junction of Farm Road and Grantham Road

The motive for what happened was "frankly unclear" but as a matter of common sense, Mr Spencer said there must have been something behind what went on.

Seven men deny murder and conspiring to inflict grievous bodily harm with intent.

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

In the news at 15:00: The ship carrying 1,200 Jaguar Land Rover Vehicles which was run aground near the Isle of Wight on Saturday has refloated itself.

Town Hall temporarily closed

Maintenance work is being carried out at Redditch Borough Council's Town Hall so its customer service centre, website and online services will be closed on Saturday.

The authority has apologised for the inconvenience.

Warning on car park closure

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

A Black Country railway station car park will be closed for 24 hours on Sunday 11 January so 12 extra parking spaces can be created.

The work, by Centro, will take the number from 42 to 54 at the Gough Lane car park at Coseley.

Drivers are asked not to leave cars there overnight on Saturday 10 January.

Birmingham British Library outpost?

Tom Richardson

BBC News Online

The British Library has told me it hasn't been approached by Birmingham City Council over proposals to turn the city's library into a regional centre for the London-based institution.

Yesterday the council said it was

exploring the idea as a means to counter the impact of
proposed cuts to staffing and opening hours at the £189m Library of Birmingham.

View of Library of Birmingham from the amphitheatre

But the British Library says the proposals to turn it into one of its outposts are "part of internal council discussions at this stage".

Sparkbrook: Disorder was 'extreme, planned violence'

Caroline Gall

BBC News

Opening the case for the prosecution, Timothy Spencer told Birmingham Crown Court there was an outbreak of "extreme, planned violence" in Sparkbrook, in Birmingham, during the evening of 2 July last year, when Ikram Ullah Khan, known locally as Ikram Elahi, died.

"The defendants form part of one group, the group that comes in the main from the Afghan community," said Mr Spencer.

He added that they drove to the scene - Grantham Road and surrounding streets - in four cars.

"The other group - the opposition if you like - come mainly from the Pakistan community."

News on the hour


In the

14:00 news bulletin: A coach driver who crashed while driving a group of children from Wolverhampton to the seaside has been
banned from driving for 15 months.

Prime minister on running

Danny Kelly

Presenter, BBC WM

David Cameron joked to me earlier if he revealed where he went jogging when he's in Birmingham, he would have to kill me.

David Cameron at the annual Great Brook run in Chadlington

You can catch up on the full interview


Crackdown on 'toilet' exam cheats

Birmingham Mail

A Midland college has banned exam students from

going to the toilet alone amid fears over high-tech cheating.

Solihull Sixth Form College said teenagers sitting mock exams later this month would be accompanied to a toilet block by an invigilator.

Crash driver banned

A coach driver who crashed while taking a group of children on a trip to the seaside has been

banned from driving.

Robert Blakemore's coach, carrying 53 people, came off the M5 in Gloucestershire in August. Five adults and one child were injured.

The coach overturned while taking people on a day trip to Weston-super-Mare

Witnesses said Mr Blakemore, 60, and from Wolverhampton, was driving with his eyes closed and his chin resting on his chest at the time of the crash.

Coming up on TV

Qasa Alom

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

Just over a year since Birmingham's new library opened, users are facing cuts to the service. The city council is planning to slash the budget by £1.5m.

Tonight a public meeting is being held to discuss the impact of the proposed changes. Our arts and culture reporter Satnam Rana reports on what the campaign is hoping to achieve.

Join us for

Midlands Today at 13:30 on BBC One.

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

At 13:00 we will hear from Walsall South MP Valerie Vaz, who is on the Health Select Committee, about the

major incident declared at Walsall Manor Hospital because of A&E pressures.

More on this story and others on


Cannock road closure

The A460 Lodge Lane near Cannock is partially closed because of a collision between a Volvo Truck and Peugeot 308.

The driver of the car was taken to hospital as a precaution, says Staffordshire Police. The road is being cleared of debris.

Failed burglary appeal

Two burglars who failed in their bid to raid a post office - fleeing empty-handed are being sought by police.

They struck at the Trent Valley Post Office in Lichfield at 02:30. They had broken into the rear of the premises but it is believed they were disturbed.

Staffordshire Police is urging people to ring 101 with information.

Trial for father's stabbing

Caroline Gall

BBC News

I'm reporting from Birmingham Crown Court, where seven men have gone on trial accused of murdering a father-of-four during disorder in Birmingham last summer.

Ikram Ullah Khan, 28, known locally as Ikram Elahi, died after being stabbed in the neck in the Stratford Road area of Sparkbrook.

Crime scene on Stratford Road

As well as Mr Khan, two other people were injured in the disturbance on 2 July.

The men all deny murder and the trial is scheduled to last two months.

Pest control advice taken

Jerry Chester

BBC News, North West

Leigh Primary School in Washwood Heath has decided to close until the end of the week following the discovery of an "infestation" of mice.

Bosses say they are acting on the advice of a pest control firm. Read

the full story.

News on the hour

Steve Hermon

Journalist, BBC WM

It's thought thousands of young people in the West Midlands have avoided being drawn into gangs and crime because of football.

We will hear from Aston Villa defender Philippe Senderos on the success of the Premier League's Kicks programme

at 12:00.

Murder accused 'not known to social services'

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

A couple caring for a baby boy - charged with his murder - were

not known to social services prior to the criminal case, says Birmingham City Council.

The authority's confirmed it was not previously working with Tereza Lackova nor Marek Holub, who were caring for Santino Balaz, aged 15 months.

Brighton Road, Balsall Heath
Google Maps

The boy died after being taken to hospital on 1 January following a 999 call from his home in Brighton Road, Balsall Heath.

Birmingham builder saved after failing into water-filled hole on roof

Birmingham Mail

A builder who fell into water after suffering

a suspected seizure was rescued by his quick-thinking colleagues.

The victim collapsed while working on the sixth-storey of a Birmingham construction site.

Easier path for whistleblowers

Phil Mackie

News Correspondent

Birmingham is to get a new

council-wide whistleblowing and serious misconduct policy.

It comes after a recommendation by Sir Bob Kerslake, the civil servant who's

recommended improvements in the city's governance in a review, and investigations into the
so-called Trojan Horse allegations.

The aim is to make it easier for people to report concerns, provide them protection and even allow them to report on organisations outside the council's control - including passing on details about non-council schools to the relevant bodies.

The policy comes into force from Monday 12 January.

Mice infestation closes schools

Birmingham Updates

Leigh Primary School on Leigh Road in Washwood Heath will be closed until Monday 12 January

due to an infestation of mice.

The school