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  1. Updates for Friday 23 January 2015
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Monday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Good evening

Local Live has finished for the day. We're back on Monday from 08:00 with more news, sport, travel and weather updates. Join us then.

In the meantime, have a good weekend.

Tonight's and tomorrow's forecast

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today Weather

Outbreaks of rain will continue during the first part of the night, before clearing to the south east. Highs of 6C (43F) tonight.

Shefali Oza reads the forecast

It will be a cold and crisp start to tomorrow, perhaps with a slight frost in western parts of the region, with some sunshine around.

'Awful and unforgettable' tragedy

A memorial to the 17 people who died in a train crash 60 years ago should be installed at the station where it happened, campaigners have said.

An express train travelling from York to Bristol derailed and overturned at Sutton Coldfield station in the West Midlands on 23 January 1955.

The wreckage
Getty Images

John Moore, who was then an 18-year-old locomotive fireman, described the scene as "

awful and unforgettable".

'All-out' elections for Birmingham

Birmingham Post

Birmingham is to move to a controversial new system of

"all-out" council elections in 2017, ministers have ruled.

Coming up on TV

Mary Rhodes

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

"Not in our name" - that is the cry from religious groups in Birmingham, who are holding an inter-faith rally this Sunday to stand together in the aftermath of terrorist attacks in Paris.

Inter-faith leaders hold hands together

With heightened tensions in various communities, hundreds of people are expected to gather in unity to show respect for each other's religions.

We will also be trying to find out more about a manhole cover which blew off, narrowly missing a two-year-old girl in Tyseley. Join us for

Midlands Today on BBC One at 18:30.

Defender proud of his own chant

Ged Scott

BBC Sport

Teenage Wolves defender Dominic Iorfa says hearing

his own fans' terrace chant has been the highlight of his first-team breakthrough at Molineux over the past two months.

Wolves 3-3 Fulham. FA Cup third round replay
Getty Images

Exclusive with Kenny Jackett

Paul Franks

Presenter, BBC WM

Any Wolves supporters that missed out on tickets for the fans forum on Tuesday can hear it tonight from 19:00 as we had exclusive access to it. Tune into


BBC WM presenter Paul Franks with Kenny Jackett

M6 delays warning

BBC Travel

There is slow traffic on the M6 southbound between J10 for Wolverhampton and Walsall and J9 for Wednesbury because of an earlier crash involving a car and a lorry.

All lanes have reopened but congestion is back to J10a for the M54,

drivers are warned.

Albion chief sorry on Blues tickets

West Bromwich Albion's chief executive Mark Jenkins has apologised to fans who were left frustrated and ultimately empty-handed as more than 18,000 season ticket holders

scrambled for 5,500 tickets for the FA Cup tie at Birmingham City.

He said the demand exposed glitches in the ticket booking system at the club.


Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

What do you think of BBC Local Live?

Have your say by clicking here.

Swearing yob walks into lamppost

Birmingham Mail


the moment a hooded yob gets his comeuppance when he walks into a lamppost while arrogantly flipping the finger at a street CCTV camera in the Black Country.

West Midlands Police re-released the 24-second clip from November 2012 to highlight its drive against anti-social behaviour in the region.

News on the hour

Michelle Dawes

Journalist, BBC WM

A Birmingham mother

says it is a miracle her two-year-old daughter was not seriously injured when a manhole cover exploded within yards of her.

It happened in Tyseley yesterday as Karen Mhlanga was walking just behind her mum and dad along the Warwick Road.

Listen live to

BBC WM for more on this, as Paul Franks will be talking to Karen's mum Sanele straight after the 17:00 bulletin.

Thief jailed for 'purse dips'

A thief has been jailed for stealing from a string of pensioners' handbags in Birmingham city centre.

Unemployed Tracie Slater, 37, has been jailed for 18 months for six thefts and a further offence of attempted theft.

Tracie Slater
West Midlands Police

Birmingham Crown Court heard how Slater stole purses and a tablet from women's handbags as they ate and drank in the Old Joint Stock and Briar Rose pubs as well as two further offences in Birmingham Art Museum,

said West Midlands Police.

Blues Gray 'not for sale'

BBC Sport

Birmingham City have rejected a bid for teenage winger Demarai Gray from Bournemouth.

Demarai Gray

The offer, thought to be the third made by the Championship leaders, involved a fee close to £3m plus add-ons.

Blues say the Birmingham-born academy product, 18,

is not for sale.

Buses still replacing trains

Buses will continue to replace trains between Wolverhampton and Stafford until 17.15 GMT,

Network Rail reports.

There's an overhead wire problem at Penkridge. Journey times are extended by about 30 minutes and there are delays to various services.

New Albion coach recruited

Birmingham Mail

Mark O'Connor has joined as West Brom's first team coach.

The 51-year-old has been with Bristol City's Academy, head-coach Tony Pulis explained why

he has linked up with him again.

News on the hour

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

People working near the scene of a manhole cover which blew off say it is the second time it has happened.

We will hear more about the investigation in

our 16:00 bulletin.

MP tries to find blast cause

Liberal Democrat MP for Yardley John Hemming

tweets a link to his blog saying he has written to OpenReach (BT), Western Power (the MEB) and National Grid to
"pin down what is going on" to cause the manhole cover being blown off on Warwick Road, Tyseley, yesterday.

Bookshop chain announces Birmingham branch

Bookshop chain Foyles has announced it will open a branch at Grand Central Birmingham, when the £150m development above New Street Station opens in September.

Artist's impression of redeveloped New Street Station
Network Rail

More than 50 million people are expected to pass through the station and shopping centre each year.

Network Rail previously said it would feature about 40 shops, including the flagship John Lewis store, and 20 restaurants.

'Miracle' escape from manhole blast

Jerry Chester

BBC News Online

"She didn't have a scratch. I'm feeling very blessed - she's my precious girl,"

The mother of a two-year-old girl said it was

"a miracle" she escaped injury when a manhole on a Birmingham street blew off.

Sanele Mhlanga and her daughter Karen

The blast happened at 12:21 GMT on Thursday at Warwick Road, Tyseley, as Sanele Mhlanga and her daughter, Karen, were passing.

Why no memorial to disaster?

Elizabeth Glinka

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

I spent this morning at Sutton Coldfield station filming with John Moore who in 1955 was an 18-year-old railway engineer, called to help clear the debris from the tracks after the rail disaster.

John has vivid memories of the day and you can see what he had to say in my report on Midlands Today on BBC One at 18:30. I'll be back at the station later to speak to a councillor about why a memorial has never been erected.

Buses replace trains

Buses are replacing trains between Wolverhampton and Stafford until 4pm,

Network Rail says.

Services between Birmingham New Street and Chester, Manchester, Liverpool Lime Street and Crewe are amongst those affected. There's a problem with overhead wires at Penkridge.

News headlines


The top stories coming up on BBC WM at 3pm are:

  • A Birmingham
    mother says it's a miracle her two year old daughter wasn't seriously injured after a manhole cover exploded within yards of her
  • The chef and manager of a pub have
    been sent to prison after a customer died from food poisoning and dozens of others became ill
  • The four broadcasters behind plans for televised general election debates have
    published new proposals...

Train cancelled

London Midland

tweets: NEW: Owing to a train failure the 1549 Birmingham New Street - Hereford service has been cancelled. Apologies.

Pulis 'relishing Blues tie'

Football Focus BBC Sport

Football Focus

West Bromwich Albion head coach Tony Pulis says he is

relishing being part of the "greatest cup competition in the world".

West Brom manager Tony Pulis
BBC Sport

'Not in our name'

Peter Wilson

West Midlands Home Affairs Correspondent, BBC News

Today I'm meeting the organisers of an inter-faith rally planned in Birmingham city centre on Sunday, in the wake of the

Paris terror attacks.

It's called Not in Our Name. All the major faiths will be represented and the rally begins outside the Council House in Victoria Square at 12:30.

Sermon taking place

I also saw a sermon on non-violence in Islam and criticism of extremists for Friday prayers.

Memories of train tragedy


Former firefighter John Moore, who pulled survivors from the wreckage of the Sutton Coldfield rail disaster 60 years ago today, said it was something he would never forget.

Mr Moore, 78, who was based in Aston, said he knew nothing about the crash until he arrived for duty.

He described the scene as "terrible" and "chaotic".

"The coach had tipped over here, there and everywhere. It was unbelievable," he said.

A&E waiting times improve

Waiting times in A&E units in England have improved to their best level since November -

but the target is still being missed, figures show.

Hospital sign

Until this latest week performance had dropped to its lowest level since 2010. That record low is now over.

Villa's attack an embarrassment

Robbie Savage

BBC football pundit

Aston Villa are struggling badly and Sunday's FA Cup tie against Bournemouth is a

massive game for manager Paul Lambert and his side's season overall.

A win for Villa on Sunday, however they get it against the Championship leaders, could be a big boost.

Aston Villa's midfielders - goals, assists and chances created

But defeat would make a bad situation in the Premier League even worse.

Coming up on TV

Ben Sidwell

Reporter, BBC Midlands Today

An investigation is underway after a manhole cover exploded in a Birmingham street, narrowly missing a passing family. It happened in Tyseley - initially thought as a result of a build-up of gases underground - but that is no longer thought to be the reason.

I'll be reporting from the scene for

Midlands Today on BBC One at 13:30.

News on the hour

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

Investigations are under way after a manhole cover blew off in Birmingham.

It was initially thought it was as a result of a build-up of gases underground, but that has now been ruled out.

We hear from a shop owner who has seen it happen before

at 13:00.

Wolverhampton mayor's charity banquet

Mayor of Wolverhampton Councillor Mike Heap is hosting a charity banquet at Midnight Balti, Deans Road, on 10 February.

Tickets are £17.95 per person for the three-course Bangladeshi menu. Proceeds will go to the mayor's three chosen charities, Breast Care Nurses Trust Fund, Wolverhampton Interfaith and Regeneration Network and Mencap's Wolverhampton branch.

Call 01902 554090 to reserve or

send an email.

People's flag of Birmingham


What do you think of our version of the People's Flag of Birmingham?

There is a competition to get an official flag, organised by the city council.

BBC WM's flag of Birmingham

Yesterday we were getting your suggestions to give to Birmingham cartoonist Hunt Emerson so he could put them on paper. Let us know your opinions

on Facebook.

Cousins face Arctic challenge

Solihull News

Two cousins will be

braving the icy winds of Norway to raise money for a charity close to their hearts.

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

A man from south Staffordshire has locked himself into his loft - in a one man protest about the repossession of his house.

Hear more on this story in

the 12:00 news.

Speech therapy unit facing cut

Halesowen News

A specialist education unit for children with speech problems in Halesowen is

set to be axed.

Plaque call after rail tragedy

David Lumb

BBC News, West Midlands

Calls have been made for a plaque to honour victims of a rail disaster 60 years ago.

Seventeen people died and 43 were injured when an express train travelling from York to Bristol derailed and overturned at Sutton Coldfield station on 23 January 1955.

The wreckage
Getty Images

Councillors discussed the possibility of a memorial at a meeting on Thursday.

Sex offences soar

Birmingham Mail

The number of sexual offences in Birmingham has

surged by more than 10.5% in the last year, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics.

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

London Midland has told us it is not practical to check every ticket on its network - but it is working to stop fare dodging.

It's after a new crackdown caught nearly 200 people without tickets in one day at Longbridge and Northfield stations.

Hear more from Francis Thomas, from London Midland, in

our 11:00 bulletin.