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  1. Updates for Thursday 19 February 2015

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Good evening

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

Overnight forecast

Rebecca Wood

BBC Weather

The evening rain will continue to ease away southeastwards, with clear spells following. It will then stay dry, and with winds easing, very localised patches of mist or fog could develop.

Rebecca Wood

Perhaps turning cloudy across southern areas by dawn. Low of 3C (37F).

BBC One from 18:30

Nick Owen

Presenter, Midlands Today

We're trying to keep up with what's going on down by the riverside tonight in Midlands Today.

Gas Street basin, Birmingham

Well, down by the canal near Gas Street Basin (pictured) in Birmingham to be accurate. There's a leak which is getting into an old disused railway tunnel underneath, but, if things get worse, the water could pour into the tunnel that's in use and seriously affect train services.

At the moment, engineers are draining the canal to try to find and repair the leak. They'll have to remove all the fish in there too! We're live on the tow path with David Gregory-Kumar to find out how things are going, as experts fight the time and the weather.

Giant Oscar in Birmingham

James Bovill

Journalist, BBC WM

A giant Oscar statue is being placed outside the Odeon cinema on New Street to celebrate Birmingham-born actress Felicity Jones's Best Actress nomination.

The statue, which is over two metres tall, has been created in honour of the four British hopefuls at Sunday's Academy Awards.

Eddie Redmayne, Felicity's co-star in The Theory of Everything, Benedict Cumberbatch and Rosamund Pike are the others.

Sex assault man jailed

A man from Stourbridge has been jailed for sexually assaulting two vulnerable teenage girls.

Saham Amin, 21
West midlands police

Saham Amin, 21, (pictured) admitted raping a 14-year-old and sexually assaulting a 13-year-old after plying them with vodka and cigarettes.

West Midlands Police said the former factory worker initially denied the allegations but admitted the offences in light of medical evidence.

He was jailed for six years and eight months at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

Wids Mids house prices hit record levels

Birmingham Post

The cost of an average home in the region

rose by £2,000 in December as experts foresee even more activity in the housing marking this year.

Rowett's hopes for Blues

BBC Sport

Birmingham City manager

Gary Rowett says he hopes the club will not have points deducted after its parent company went into receivership.

Gary Rowett
Getty Images

Parent company Birmingham International Holdings Limited blamed "fractious and inharmonious relations within the management" for Tuesday's decision.

The Championship side could lose 10 points if the Football League decides it was an "insolvency event".

News on the hour


A mother from Birmingham is still being questioned after being arrested at Heathrow Airport on suspicion of Syria-related terror offences.

We'll bring you the latest

at 17:00.

'I'm back on Twitter'

Councillor Darren Cooper

tweets: I'm back on Twitter. Thanks to Twitter Support for reinstating my account so quickly following the troll attack #imback

Robson joins Villa's coaching team

BBC WM Sport

The new Aston Villa manager Tom Sherwood has appointed Mark Robson as his first-team coach.

Former Norwich coach Robson becomes the first addition to Sherwood's backroom staff, following the departure of Scott Marshall on Tuesday.

Jobs boost at New Street shopping centre

Birmingham Mail

A total of

1,000 jobs in retail, customer service and hospitality are up for grabs at Grand Central shopping centre to open above New Street train station in September.

News on the hour

Charlotte Harriman

Broadcast Journalist, BBC WM

In the news at 16:00 on

A man from Stourbridge has been jailed for sexually assaulting two vulnerable teenage girls.

'Not entitled to anything'

Poonam Taneja

BBC Asian Network

"I was heartbroken, I was homeless. I tried to commit suicide."

One Birmingham woman I spoke to who wanted to remain anonymous says she was left devastated after she separated from her husband whom she married under Sharia law.

Anonymous Birmingham woman

She adds: " I went to see my solicitors and they said they couldn't do anything because I wasn't registered with him so I wasn't entitled to anything."

You can see more on this story on BBC Midlands Today from 13:30 and 18:30.

Sports hall re-fit

A sports hall in Aldersley has re-opened after a £100,000 facelift.

WV Active Aldersley, which is said to be one of the biggest in the area, had been closed for three weeks while new flooring was laid and a new pole vault facility installed.

Dealer ordered to pay back £50,000

Birmingham Mail

A cocaine dealer caught by West Midlands Police has been

ordered to pay back £50,000 in drugs cash or spend an extra 12 months behind bars.

News on the hour


In our

15:00 bulletin, a man from Stourbridge is jailed for sexually assaulting two vulnerable teenage girls.

Weather this afternoon

Kaye Forster

Weather Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

It won't rain all day but we could see a rash of showers throughout the afternoon which might be heavy at times.

Kaye Forster

It'll be breezy but should ease later this evening and overnight.

You can keep up to date with the latest forecast on

BBC Weather.

Canal emptied '35 years ago'

B'ham News Photos

tweets: Last time Gas St Basin was drained was around 35 years ago, it is estimated over a thousand fish are in the canal which need to be removed.

Draining of canal delayed

More on BBC News about the delayed draining of a leaking canal in Birmingham city centre.

Gas Street Basin

The Canal and River Trust said it had made "every effort" to contact people trying to use the route during half-term.

News on the hour

Charlotte Harriman

Broadcast Journalist, BBC WM

The leader of Sandwell Council says he's been the victim of an orchestrated campaign to get his twitter account suspended.

In the news at 14:00 on

BBC WM we'll hear from the Labour leader Darren Cooper.

'Stan the cat' rescued

A cat may have used one of its nine lives saved this morning after it was rescued by firefighters in Erdington from the roof of a terraced house.

Stan the cat being rescued
West midlands fire service

The team tweets: "blue watch have rescued Stan the cat this morning, cold and wet but relieved to be down."

BBC One this lunch time

Elizabeth Glinka

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

Coming up after 13:30 on BBC One: A campaign group in Birmingham is warning that thousands of Muslim women will have no rights if they divorce, because their marriages are not recognised by law.

And we'll hear from Dr David Gregory-Kumar who is following the progress at Gas Street Basin, which is being emptied so repairs can be carried out.

Community rehabilitation


Victims of anti-social behaviour in Sandwell will soon be able to have their say about what punishment should be dished out to perpetrators.

The council is calling this the

Community Remedy - as part of new powers to protect victims.

Gary Bowman from the council says it's about "rehabilitation and putting things right".

News on the hour

Charlotte Harriman

Broadcast Journalist, BBC WM

In the news at 13:00 on

BBC WM: The Bishop of Birmingham David Urqhart has told BBC WM that a letter from the church urging parishioners to vote was "challenging" and not "left-leaning".

Birmingham 1-1 Middlesbrough

Richard Wilford

BBC WM Sport

There was an air of frustration at St Andrews last night, despite

Birmingham City earning a point against the side that now sit top of the Championship.

Birmingham player Paul Caddis scores from the penalty spot during the Sky Bet Championship match between Birmingham City and Middlesbrough at St Andrews
Getty Images

Blues boss Gary Rowett admitted to being disappointed with the 1-all score line, after Boro went down to ten men just before half-time.

Their goal-keeper Dimi Konstantopoulos was dismissed for bringing down Clayton Donaldson in the area, and Paul Caddis (pictured) scored from the resultant spot-kick.

Season ticket scam warning

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Wolves are warning season ticket holders to be aware of any phone calls they receive from people claiming to be from Mastercard.

The club tweets: Fans receiving any call of that nature should be aware that it is not legitimate.

Library is for 'learning'

The Bishop of Birmingham says cuts to opening hours and staff the city's library are "deeply regrettable".

The Bishop of Birmingham

David Urquhart says: "Our own beloved city of Birmingham and its local authority is in a very stressful situation and has been for two or three years. As the leader of the council says, it'll probably get worse.

"One of the causalities is this great iconic building and also a building which has been widely used by citizens of all kinds is getting its hours cut."

He adds: "It's deeply regrettable that facility which is for learning and for communication and community should be restricted under this terrible experience of budget cutting which is going on."

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

In the news at 12:00 on

The water is being drained out of the canal in Birmingham city centre because a wall has sprung a leak.

We'll hear from a woman who runs two hospitality businesses with a fleet of canal boats in the news bulletin shortly.

Man arrested over hit-and-run

A man's been arrested after a suspected hit-and-run in Birmingham this morning.

West Midlands Police says a man in his 50s was hit near the Tyburn House pub in Castle Vale at about 06:15. The man was left with a broken leg and taken to hospital.

A 33-year-old man was arrested less than half an hour later in Lichfield after triggering Automatic Number Plate Recognition.

Wolves pre-match interview

Rob Gurney

BBC WM Sport

Kenny Jackett is speaking to journalists this morning prior to Saturday's away game at


Kenny Jackett speaking to journalists

He says there are no new injuries and Doherty has recovered from illness.

He spoke fondly about last season's 6-4 win over Rotherham. He said: "I don't mind if there's 10 goals or 1 as long as we win!"

Canal delays

David Gregory-Kumar

Environment correspondent, BBC News

It looks like there were a couple of problems last night so it took longer than expected to close the gate in Gas Street Basin. The gate at the other end of the stretch had a faulty seal.

Gas Street basin being emptied

All problems are now fixed but it means the level has only dropped a few inches.

At the moment they're looking to get another pump in to get back on track. They need to drop the water level by about three feet before the fish rescue can start.

At the moment it looks like the delays mean the rescue won't now start until tomorrow.

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

The top story in the news at 11:00 on


A 25-year-old mother from Birmingham

is being questioned by counter terror police on suspicion of Syria related offences.

Hear more on this story and others in the bulletin shortly.

Award for BBC documentary

Actor David Harewood

tweets: Great to see our documentary 'Who Murdered Maxine' about the Birmingham Pub bombings won an RTS award last night!!

RTS award
david harewood

The programme aired last year - 40 years since the bombings.

Twenty one people were murdered when terrorists blew up two pubs on the same night.

BBC cameras followed the twists and turns of one family's campaign. The programme was narrated by David Harewood.

'I'll be back' on Twitter

The leader of Sandwell Council says his

Twitter account @SandwellLeader has been temporarily suspended after Twitter trolls reported his account for abuse.

Twitter account suspended

The Labour leader Darren Cooper says: "I've been personally under attack by Twitter and internet trolls. It appears that they've complained about me for some of my tweets. Because it's been done in large number it's being investigated and suspended in the meantime."

He adds: "I'm in contact with Twitter. I'll be back tweeting as soon as possible."

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

In the news at 10:00 on

BBC WM: The leader of Sandwell Council says he's been the victim of an orchestrated campaign to get his Twitter account suspended.

Who Killed Lucy?

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Talk in the office has turned to Eastenders over the past few days.

The question is - Who Killed Lucy?

Eastender sweepstake

I spotted a tweet by BBC One with a sweepstake sheet. Kevin Pashby has prepared the lots.

'No rights' if divorced

Elizabeth Glinka

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

A Birmingham campaign group is warning that thousands of Muslim women will have no rights if they divorce because their marriages are not recognised under English law.

Woman doing Henna art

The Aurat Foundation says the issue affects those who don't back-up their religious or Sharia marriage with a civil ceremony.

A woman from Birmingham who did not want to be identified says she was left penniless after her marriage broke down.

Mercian recruitment march

A British Army regiment is marching through Dudley today as part of a week-long drive to enlist more soldiers.

The Mercian Regiment

The Mercian Regiment recruits from the West Midlands and is one of the most popular regiments in the Army.

They began earlier this week with a

march through Bromsgrove.

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

In the news at 09:00 on

BBC WM: Victims of anti-social behaviour in Sandwell will soon be able to have their say over what punishment should dished out to the perpetrator.