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  1. Updates for Wednesday 14 January 2015
  2. News, sport, weather and travel updates resume from 08:00 Thursday

Live Reporting

By Alex Homer

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

Wednesday's Local Live updates have now finished. We will be back at 08:00 on Thursday.

Heavy rain tonight

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today Weather

It'll be very wet this evening with some strong winds and a low of 4C (39F).

SHefali weather

Rain clearing to the east by dawn with clear spells and isolated wintry showers following.

Police taking Alum Rock damage seriously

Peter Wilson

West Midlands Home Affairs Correspondent, BBC News

Police are investigating after eight Muslim-owned shops and businesses in Alum Rock were attacked.

Detective Inspector Jenny Richards from West Midlands Police says "the intent seems to be purely to damage rather than to injure anybody. "


She adds "I'd like to reassure the community that we are taking this seriously and doing everything we can to try and identify those responsible."

More on

Midlands Today at 18:30 on BBC One.

Child protection measures

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

Birmingham City Council's agreed a series of child protection measures with a hotel after 10 men were stopped from making contact with vulnerable girls under 18.

The High Court has already granted injunctions against the men. More details on


Moped rider died in crash

Birmingham Mail

A moped rider

died following a rush-hour collision in Solihull this morning.

It is believed the motorcyclist collided with a 4x4 vehicle near a railway bridge in Four Ashes Road, Bentley Heath, Dorridge, shortly after 6.50am.

'Garden tax' claims denied

Halesowen News

Tory claims that Labour-run Dudley Council is considering charging for green waste collection has been

strenuously denied.

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

A hotel has agreed to train staff to recognise the signs of child sexual exploitation - after it was threatened with an injunction by Birmingham City Council.

More on this story and others in

our 17:00 bulletin.

BreakingBreaking News

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Steps to protect children have been agreed between Birmingham City Council and a hotel after civil action to tackle claims of the sexual exploitation of a 17-year-old girl.

The High Court has approved the

agreement reached between the authority and the Birmingham Hotel in Golden Hillock Road - believed to be the first such case involving a venue, after the council dropped an application for an injunction against it.

The same court dealt with the council's civil so-called

stay-away orders against 10 individuals which banned them from contacting under-18s.

Alum Rock damage

Peter Wilson

West Midlands Home Affairs Correspondent, BBC News

Police have begun a full investigation after eight Muslim-owned shops and businesses were attacked in Birmingham. Witnesses claim men armed with guns and hammers have targeted the businesses, smashing windows.


Detectives have reassured the community that they are taking the incidents seriously, but cannot yet be sure if the attacks are linked.

I went to Alum Rock to see the damage for

Midlands Today on BBC One at 18:30.

Murderer dies in jail

Birmingham Mail

A sadistic killer from Birmingham who murdered a man in Perry Barr before chopping him up and putting his remains through a food blender has

died in jail in Derbyshire.

Transport savings plan

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Dudley Council proposes to

stop offering transport for children with additional needs to specialist nurseries, to save more than £200,000 a year.

The cash-strapped authority says it is not legally-obliged to provide the service and believes families affected would receive benefits including a "mobility component" which could fund travel costs in its place.


consultation launched today on the proposal and will run for 28 school days until 2 March.

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

A Small Heath man's accused police of doing nothing to reassure the community, where some shopkeepers believe they've been targeted by vandals lashing out after the French terror attacks.

Listen live to

BBC WM for more on this story and others.

Taxi tactics row

Express and Star

A row has broken out between taxi firms in a Black Country borough

over tactics used to pick up customers, which may lead to councillors enforcing a ban.

Book of condolence

Wolverhampton City Council

tweets it has opened a book of condolence for the public to pay tribute to Sir Jack Hayward in the foyer of the Civic Centre.

Wolverhampton Mayor Councillor Michael Heap signs the book of condolence

Armed robbers hit McDonalds

Armed raiders wearing ski masks held up a Birmingham McDonalds, brandishing a knife and threatening staff before forcing them to open tills.

The raiders
West Midlands Police

Police today released this CCTV still picture

in a bid for information about the robbers, who fled with £1,000 in an unknown direction, after the raid on the Hagley Road West branch in Birmingham in the early hours of 7 December.

Bell and Ali on form

Stephan Shemilt

BBC Sport

Warwickshire's Ian Bell

smashed 187 from 145 balls in an opener's berth as England beat the Prime Minister's XI by 60 runs in Canberra.

Ian Bell
Getty Images

Birmingham-born Moeen Ali also contributed 71 to the tourists' 391-6.

England now move on to a tri-series with Australia and India, which begins on Friday, before they start their World Cup campaign against Australia on 14 February.

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

A Walsall MP has called on voting to be made a part of every adult's civic duty in the UK.

David Winnick says anyone who wants to abstain, should still have to tell the authorities.

More on this story in

our 15:00 bulletin.

Council hits back after criticism

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Birmingham City Council has rebutted

an article in The Times claiming axed council staff are being rehired as consultancy and agency workers after being recently made redundant.

The Times presented figures showing Birmingham spent the most nationally on agency staff, but the council claimed the newspaper should not have linked these figures to recent redundancies.

The authority says

it has rules in place preventing workers who have been made redundant returning to work for the council until at least 12 months has lapsed.

Black Country mourns Sir Jack Hayward

Express and Star

Tributes poured in from around the world for the man who saved Wolves, with chairman Steve Morgan summing things up by saying:

"Thank you Sir Jack, you will never be forgotten."

Sir Jack died in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, yesterday.

Sir Jack and the ss Great Britain

Philanthropist Sir Jack Hayward, who has died at the age of 91, has been remembered for

his role in rescuing the ss Great Britain.


former owner of football club Wolves paid for the ship to be towed to Bristol from the Falklands in 1970 and fund its restoration.

Sir Jack Hayward
PA - Nick Potts

Matthew Tanner, from the ss Great Britain Trust, said it was his "vision and his money that made it happen". Sir Jack was known as Union Jack Hayward for his patriotism.

ss Great Britain in Bristol

Snow in Dudley


Thanks to Maria Turley for sending in her snow photos taken in Dudley.

snow scene
Maria Turley

Keep sending them in.

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

A helpline for Muslim women suffering from sexual abuse and domestic violence has been launched in Birmingham today.

We will hear from the chair of the charity in

our 14:00 headlines.

Lorry lodged

Birmingham Updates

tweets: Travel Update - Dale End in the City Centre is blocked, due to a lorry stuck under the Queensway bridge. AVOID!

Lorry stuck under bridge

Barnt Green gas leak

BBC Travel

Twatling Road in Barnt Green is closed in both directions at the Shepley Road junction, because of a gas leak,

drivers are being warned.

Coming up on Midlands Today

Satnam Rana

Arts reporter, BBC Midlands Today

The extraordinary work of

artist Willard Wigan has gone on display in his home city of Birmingham. His sculptures are so tiny, he's learnt to slow his heartbeat to work in-between breaths.

As a schoolboy, he was branded a failure, but now his work is shown around the world and he's hoping to inspire children to follow their dreams.


I caught up with him for

Midlands Today on BBC One at 13:30.

Jewell: West Brom exit 'not by mutual consent'

BBC Sport

Paul Jewell has

contacted his lawyers following his sudden departure from West Brom after just a week.

Paul Jewell
Getty Images

Jewell left the Premier League club yesterday after being appointed assistant head coach by new manager Tony Pulis.

West Brom said the former Bradford, Wigan and Derby boss, 50, had decided not to continue "his recent assistance on a more formal basis" - a claim Jewell disputes.

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

Muslim shopkeepers in Birmingham say they're worried a spate of pellet gun attacks on their businesses are in response to the terror attacks in France.

Several shops in Small Heath had their windows smashed on Saturday within a few minutes of each other.

More on this story and others in

our 13:00 headlines.

New Birmingham Conservatoire comes in for more criticism

Birmingham Post

A city architecture expert has added to

criticisms of plans for the new Conservatoire, saying the plans seem to ignore the importance of external appearance.

Post columnist Joe Holyoak said that while some criticism of the new Eastside building was unnecessary, the case for the giant brick building has not been made.

Afobe signs for Wolves

Mike Taylor

BBC WM Sport

Wolves have

confirmed the signing of striker Benik Afobe from Arsenal.

Benik Afobe
Getty Images

The 21-year-old - who has scored 19 goals on loan at MK Dons this season - has signed a three-and-a-half year deal for an undisclosed fee.


Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

We've introduced BBC Local Live to bring you news, sport, travel and weather updates in one place.

We'd like to hear what you think.

News on the hour

Steve Hermon

Journalist, BBC WM

In the news at 12:00

Muslim shopkeepers in Birmingham say they're worried about being targeted in response to the terror attacks in France.

Game played amid snowstorm

BBC Sport

Wolves fans paid tribute to former owner Sir Jack Hayward last night following his death at the age of 91.

Flowers were laid outside Molineux before their

FA Cup replay against Fulham.

Snow at Wolves v Fulham
Getty Images

The fixture was played out on a freezing cold night, which deteriorated into a fierce snowstorm in extra time.

Interpol seeks robbery suspect

Birmingham Mail

A robbery suspect accused of stealing a woman's purse during a burglary at her West Bromwich home is

wanted by Interpol for armed robbery in Germany.

Discharged after ambulance and car crash

Jerry Chester

BBC News Online

I've been told the woman, who was freed from her car after it was in collision with an ambulance on blue lights, has been discharged from hospital.

Initially, she was described as having been taken to hospital "as a precaution".

Read more here.

News on the hour

Steve Hermon

Journalist, BBC WM

An American woman has written a song for Cadbury after the firm's changed the chocolate in Creme Eggs.

Hear the song in

our 11:00 bulletin.

The Black Panther 40 years on

David Lumb

BBC News, West Midlands

It was a case that rocked the community and attracted the attention of the national media.

Lesley Whittle was just 17 when she was kidnapped by Donald Neilson (pictured) - the

killer known as the Black Panther - 40 years ago.

He was responsible for four murders and more than 400 burglaries.

Donald Neilson was given four life sentences in July 1976

Neilson, originally from Bradford, was given four life sentences in July 1976 and told in 2008 he would spend the rest of his life in jail after a failed appeal.

He died in prison in 2011.

Tributes to Walsall woman

Tom Richardson

BBC News Online

The family of a woman found dead at a school in Shrewsbury have paid tribute to

"a wonderful mother, daughter, sister, niece and granddaughter".

Charlotte Christodoulou
West Mercia Police

Charlotte Christodoulou from Walsall, West Midlands, was discovered in the in the grounds of Harlescott Junior school on 4 January.

Ambulance and car crash

Jerry Chester

BBC News Online

An ambulance responding to a 999 call on blue lights was in collision with a car in Balsall Heath at around 07:40 this morning, at the junction of Lincoln Street and Edward Road.

The crash scene

West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: "The driver of the car, a woman, was fully immobilised at the scene as a precaution and conveyed to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

"The two ambulance staff were shaken but uninjured in the collision.

"A second ambulance and rapid response vehicle were immediately dispatched to the original 999 call."

Trott passes double hundred

BBC Sport

Jonathan Trott has doubled up on his first century in international cricket since

leaving the 2013-2014 Ashes series with a "stress-related illness".

Jonathan Trott
Getty Images

Trott, 33, was unbeaten on 176 at stumps on the third day against South Africa A in Paarl, and has now gone past 200.