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  1. Updates for Friday 20 March 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 today. Join us for more news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Monday.

Tonight's forecast

BBC Weather


It will become cloudy this evening with some patchy rain moving south overnight.

Clear spells will develop behind the rain but temperatures should stay above freezing tonight. Lows of 5C (41F).

Coming up on TV

Ben Godfrey

BBC Midlands Today

I'll have more on the sentencing of Antonio Boparan Singh. Join us for

Midlands Today at 18:30 on BBC One.

Car fire traffic warning

BBC Travel

The A38 Suffolk Street Queensway in Birmingham is blocked and there is stationary traffic southbound at Holloway Circus because of a car fire.

Congestion is back to the A38 Queensway Tunnel junction,

drivers are warned.

Crash left girl needing life-long care

Ben Godfrey

BBC Midlands Today

When aged 19, Antonio Boparan Singh left a girl needing life-long care through his dangerous driving.

He drove at 70mph in a 30mph zone in Sutton Coldfield in November 2006 when the crash happened, which left Cerys Edwards (pictured)

needing 24-hour care for the rest of her life.

Cerys Edwards

Boparan's family own the 2 Sisters Food Group, based in West Bromwich.

Man jailed for bar brawl

Ben Godfrey

BBC Midlands Today

An heir to a food empire has been jailed for a year for his part in a bar brawl that partially blinded a man.

Antonio Boparan Singh, 28, was jailed for his part in a fight in Nuvo Bar in April 2014, off Broad Street in Birmingham city centre. Three other men were also jailed for their involvement.

Landslip line closed again

Jennifer Harby

Journalist, BBC News Online

The Chiltern rail line between the Midlands and London, which closed for five weeks because of a landslip, is to close again for engineering works over the weekend.

Chiltern Railways apologised for more disruption so soon

after the landslip.

Network rail

Walsall Football Club, which has 30,000 fans

travelling to Wembley on Sunday for the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final, said it had not been notified of the work and advised supporters to allow extra time for their journeys.

Remember these?

Today is a good day for hoarders it would seem.

Anyone struggling to see the eclipse might have wished they put their free glasses from the last one, in 1999, in a safe place which they could easily remember.

Glasses given out for the 1999 eclipse

Your eclipse pictures

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

We have made a gallery of some of your best pictures of the social eclipse

on our Facebook page. Thanks to everyone who sent us photos.

I wonder what it will be like reporting on the next one?

Tributes to teen hit by police car

Andrew Dawkins

BBC News

More than 1,600 students and staff have

held a minute's silence after a 15-year-old boy hit by a police car died.

Harry Kirkham, from Kingstanding, Birmingham, was struck outside a police station in Sutton New Road, Erdington, just after 21:00 on Wednesday.

Erdington police station - generic image

The Streetly Academy in Sutton Coldfield said the silence in memory of the former Year 11 student was held just before the solar eclipse.

News on the hour

Gareth Ford-Lloyd


Police in Sandwell have released a CCTV image of a man who viciously head-butted another man, after he tried to intervene in a row between a couple near a shop.

More on this and other stories in

our 17:00 headlines.

Your eclipse pictures


David Wickham says he used a polarising lens to capture today's eclipse, which darkened the cloud but allowed a clear image of the event as he snapped away in Tettenhall, looking across to Wolverhampton.

The eclipse over Wolverhampton
David Wickham

Wembley place 'can ease pain'

Ged Scott

BBC Sport

Walsall's Sam Mantom has a chance to line up in the first Saddlers team ever to play at Wembley when they take part in Sunday's Johnstone's Paint Trophy final against Bristol City.

But the 23-year-old midfielder

admits there were times when he wondered if he would return from the knee injury that has sidelined him for most of the season.

Walsall midfielder Sam Mantom

"It's been very tough. A real slog. The toughest time of my life," he said.

Man denies false Clarke accusation

A man has denied falsely accusing former Conservative justice secretary Ken Clarke of indecently assaulting him in 1994.

Benjamin Fellows, 40, is charged with perverting the course of justice between 14 November 2012 and 1 December 2012 by making a complaint to the police and signing a witness statement making the allegations against the MP (pictured).

Ken Clarke

Mr Fellows, 40, of Redstone Farm Road, Olton, Solihull, Birmingham, was released on conditional bail, ahead of a trial set for 20 July this year at the Old Bailey.

News on the hour

Gareth Ford-Lloyd


A teenager who died after being hit by a police car after leaving church in Erdington was a "kind and loving young man", according to the pastor.

We will hear more from him in

the bulletin at 16:00.

Civic flag for Birmingham


Birmingham's Deputy Lord Mayor today issued a reminder that if you want to design a Flag for Birmingham you have until 31 March to submit your entry.

Councillor Mike Leddy, chair of the Birmingham Flag Project Team, said: "This is an amazing opportunity for somebody to create a people's flag for Birmingham and help instil civic pride in this wonderful city."

Design developed on BBC WM

This is the flag designed on BBC WM earlier this year after we heard suggestions from listeners. More information about the project is


Video: Eclipse in 90 seconds

Kath Stanczyszyn

Reporter, BBC WM

Parts of northern Europe have been experiencing a rare solar eclipse today.

Here, BBC News

explains in 90 seconds why this celestial event happens and how to observe it safely.

News on the hour

Gareth Ford-Lloyd


At 15:00 we will hear from Det Insp Paul Joyce who is leading the inquiry into the pitch invasions and pre-match disorder when Aston Villa played West Bromwich Albion in the FA Cup.

Listen live


Your eclipse pictures


Nilesh Mistry, from Couch Perry Wilkes in Solihull, said he borrowed some welding goggles from a colleague in the office and put his camera behind them to get a sharper image of the eclipse.

The eclipse pictured from behind welding goggles
Nilesh Mistry

Wolves frontman's success 'no surprise'

BBC Sport

Wolves striker Benik Afobe's emergence as the country's leading scorer is

no surprise to head coach Kenny Jackett.

Afobe, 22, has netted eight goals since signing for £2m from Arsenal in January, adding to the 19 he scored on loan at MK Dons earlier this season.

Benik Afobe
Getty Images

His total of 27 is one more than Tottenham Hotspur forward Harry Kane.

Your eclipse pictures


Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Thanks to everyone for so many eclipse pictures we have been sent.

The eclipse in Acocks Green
Roger Neal

This was captured by Roger Neal in Acocks Green.

News on the hour


In the

14:00 news bulletin: Police have
launched an investigation into the trouble that happened on the day of the FA Cup clash between Villa and West Brom at Villa Park.

Accident on M42

BBC Travel

One lane's closed and there's slow traffic on the M42 northbound between J5, the A41 (Solihull) and J6, the A45 (Birmingham Airport),

because of an accident

Last to summon help with whistle

West Midlands Police

tweets: Did you know? The last @brumpolice officer to summon help with a whistle did so after being stabbed in January 1966.

Composite image showing Gordon Law on the left and a police whistle on the right
West Midlands Police

PC Gordon Law was stabbed in the back when he discovered young people stealing lead from the roof of a school in Balsall Heath in 1966.

Dry afternoon forecast

It's forecast to stay dry in Birmingham and the Black Country this afternoon with top temperatures of 11C (52F).

Weather graphic

Get your local forecast.

Crash in Harborne

BBC Travel

The A4040 Harborne Park Road in Harborne, Birmingham, is

blocked near the B4124 High Street junction because of a two-vehicle accident.

A diversion's in operation and National Express bus service 11A is being sent along War Lane.

News on the hour

Michelle Dawes

Journalist, BBC WM

Walsall Football Club will be on its way down to London this weekend for the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Final.

The Saddlers will be playing in Wembley Stadium for the first time in 120 years. We will hear from manager Dean Smith in

the 13:00 headlines.

Major inquiry into derby clashes

A picture gallery of 11 suspects has been

released by West Midlands Police as it begins a major inquiry into the double pitch invasion and disorder before the FA Cup clash between Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion at Villa Park.

The individuals police want to identify
West Midlands Police

Officers are reviewing hundreds of hours of footage obtained from officers who were at the match, the BBC, Aston Villa and the council.

CCTV appeal over street attack

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

A man who intervened in a row between a couple was punched to the floor and then head-butted, kicked and left unconscious,

Sandwell police have revealed.

The man police want to speak to
West Midlands Police

Officers today released these CCTV stills of the man they wish to speak to to after the assault outside Kwik Save, in Stone Cross, West Bromwich, at about 01:00 on 8 February.

Video: Teen shot by Taliban relocates

Shabnam Mahmood

BBC Asian Network

A Pakistani teenager injured in a Taliban school massacre says he plans to start attending school in the UK.

Ahmad Nawaz was seriously injured in the attack in Peshawar in December, in which the 14-year-old's brother and 130 other pupils died.

Ahmad Nawaz

He was later flown to Birmingham for surgery and now hopes to study in the city. Watch

my report here.

Business rates pledge

BBC Business

George Osborne has promised small business owners that he is "deadly serious" about a review of business rates.


The chancellor told

the Federation of Small Businesses conference in Birmingham today that "things have changed" since the last overhaul: "We will make a major change to business rates and have it in place by 2017."

News on the hour

Michelle Dawes

Journalist, BBC WM


our news at 12:00: An inquest has found a toddler died in a house fire in Birmingham because the rented property had not been fitted with smoke alarms.

Simona Chiciu, known as Rosa, had been upstairs at her grandmother's home when her bedding accidentally caught fire in November last year.

Baroness Boothroyd reflects on career

Jo Coburn

BBC political correspondent

A former Speaker

looking back on her political career said the sexism she initially endured was from other women, mainly at selection hearings.

Betty Boothroyd, who went on to become Labour MP for West Bromwich West and Speaker, admitted she would not have made a good minister.

Betty Boothroyd being elected in West Bromwich West
Alex Homer

She recalled a happy childhood where she was "somewhat indulged" in the family home, as she spoke to me for the Daily Politics' A Life in Politics series.

The eclipse - how the physicists do it

Thanks to Milly McDowell for her photo of the eclipse taken in Birmingham - she used a colander to take a look.

The eclipse through a colander
Milly McDowell

Marston's revamp begins

Express and Star

Work is under way

to tear down Wolverhampton's landmark Marston's building in preparation for a multi-million pound rebuild.

The firm's Chapel Ash home, which has served as its Black Country headquarters since the 1960s, is being bulldozed as the first stage of a revamp that is set to last 11 months.

News on the hour

Michelle Dawes

Journalist, BBC WM

A Birmingham MP has told us there are safety concerns about a road in Erdington after a teenager died after being struck by a police car.

Harry Kirkham, aged 16, was crossing Sutton New Road on Wednesday night after leaving church when it happened.

We will hear from Jack Dromey, the Labour MP for Erdington, in

our 11:00 news.

Eclipse as it happens

Millions of people in the UK and northern Europe have glimpsed

the best solar eclipse in years.

Solar eclipse

In all parts of the UK the eclipse reached at least 83% and the darkness peaked at about 09:35 GMT.

Check out the

eclipse as it happens this morning.

PM condemns library cuts

Birmingham Mail

David Cameron has

condemned Birmingham City Council's plans to slash opening hours at Birmingham's new state-of-the-art library - and accused Labour of using it for political ends.

View of Library of Birmingham from the amphitheatre

His comments came after the city's Conservative councillors condemned the decision and said they would bring back seven-day opening.

Arrest after bus fire appeal

A teenager has been

arrested after a police appeal to find a suspected arsonist went viral on social media.

A 15-year-old boy handed himself in to police last night, the West Midlands force said. He was questioned by officers about the fire and released on bail pending further investigation.

The bus fire

The blaze was started and took hold on the rear seat of the upper deck of the number 904 bus in Erdington at about 16:00 on Tuesday, as fire crews raced to the High Street.