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Summary

  1. Updates from Wednesday 1 April 2015
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

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.

Heavy rain overnight

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today Weather

It will be

cloudy with outbreaks of rain this evening, turning heavy and persistent at times.

Shefali Oza
BBC

It will become drier in the north and east later as rain slowly retreats to the south west, but it's likely to remain fairly cloudy with limited clear spells developing. Lows of 4C (39F).

BBC One this evening

Mary Rhodes

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

Coming up from 18:30: We hear from commuters who are fed up with standing on overcrowded trains, including a

pregnant woman who often struggles to get a seat.

And find out why galloping through the streets of Walsall helped Canon become a British Champion.

Have you ever smoked cannabis?

David Lumb

Brom Votes, BBC

Has UKIP's Keith Rowe ever smoked cannabis? It was one of the

questions asked when he visited a barbers in Great Barr for our brumvotes project, which aims to engage young people in the election.

Keith Rowe
BBC

Visit

brumvotes.co.uk to see the first in our series of videos.

You can also follow us on

Twitter.

Live updates from match

BBC Sport

Liverpool host Birmingham in the Women's Super League tonight, and we're running a

text live page to keep you updated with all the action.

Contract extended

BBC Sport

Read more about Warwickshire and England batsman Ian Bell signing a three-year contract extension with the county until the end of the 2017 season.

Ian Bell
Empics

The 32-year-old won the County Championship in 2004 and 2012 with the Bears, as well as the T20 Blast at Edgbaston last season.

"As a Warwickshire man, I'm absolutely delighted to commit to this fantastic club for another three years," he told the club's website.

'Serious collision'

West Midlands Police

tweets: TRAFFIC: We are on the scene of a serious collision in #Birmingham. Lawley Middleway is closed in both directions. Please avoid the area.

Ali Campbell appeal

A hospice near Wolverhampton is trying to arrange for a 32-year-old with terminal cancer to meet one of her favourite pop stars.

Nicola at Compton Hospice
compton hospice

The mother of two was recently diagnosed with terminal cervical cancer.

On Facebook, Compton Hospice posted: "Nicola recently mentioned that she has a 'bucket list' and that she'd like our help with ticking a few items off that list. One such wish is to meet Ali Campbell - the lead singer of her favourite band UB40."

'Do you need this seat more?'

Peter Plisner

BBC Midlands Transport Correspondent

Today I've been filming with Kerren O'Malley, a rail commuter from Bilbrook in Staffordshire.

Kerren O'Malley
BBC

She's 28 weeks pregnant and has been surprised that many fellow rail passengers don't give up their seats for her when the train is overcrowded.

London Midland says it feels sorry for passengers like Kerren and is asking for "care and courtesy from fellow passengers", urging them to ask themselves - does someone need this seat more than me?

News on the hour

Gareth Ford-Lloyd

BBC WM

In the news at 17:00: After 26 years of waiting, Louise Brookes, the sister of a Bromsgrove football fan, has finally given evidence about her brother's death at the Hillsborough stadium.

Hear more on this story and others in the bulletin on

BBC WM shortly.

Tree-crush man in serious condition

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

I've just put a call in to West Midlands Police to see if there's an update on the condition of the man rescued from a car crushed by a tree. Currently we're told he's in a serious condition.

Tree fallen on car
BBC

Yesterday afternoon the man, aged in his 30s, was rescued by emergency services after a gust of wind brought the tree down.

Roads disruption

BBC Travel

BBC Travel

  • One lane's closed and there's heavy traffic on the M6 northbound between J5, A452 (Castle Bromwich), and J6 A38(M) Aston Expressway
  • On the M54 westbound, one lane is closed between J2, for the A449 Wolverhampton, and J3, for the A41, because of a broken down vehicle

Get the latest information.

Twit-twoo: Where are you?

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

We don't normally cover lost pets on Local Live, but

Staffordshire Police has put out an appeal to find a southern white-faced scops owl.

Southern white-faced scops owl.
Staffordshire Police

The force says the owl was taken from an aviary in Brinsford over the weekend.

News on the hour

Gareth Ford-Lloyd

BBC WM

Coming up in the news at 16:00 on

BBC WM: A man has been jailed for seven years after robbing a cash delivery driver in Birmingham.

Man sentenced for historical sex attacks

Dudley News

A Dudley pensioner who carried out a string of serious sex attacks on young children has

avoided time behind bars.

Liverpool Ladies v Blues Ladies

Rob Gurney

BBC WM Sport

BBC WM has commentary from Women's Super League One this evening as Birmingham City Ladies go to Liverpool.

Blues got a point with 10 players for the whole of the

second half against Manchester City at the weekend and have knocked Liverpool out of the FA Cup already this season.

Boss David Parker says his opposite number Matt Beard will be focused on getting their first win of the season this evening.

News on the hour

Gareth Ford-Lloyd

BBC WM

Cannabis plants with a street value of nearly £3m were seized by West Midlands Police last month.

I'll bring you more on this

in my 15:00 bulletin.

Louisa Ryland House sale confirmed

Birmingham Post

Long-awaited confirmation of the

sale of Louisa Ryland House has been announced.

Police tweets

West Midlands Police

tweets: Did you know that more than 250
@WMPolice officers and departments are now posting updates on Twitter? See them all:
bit.ly/WMPsocmedia.

News on the hour

BBC WM

In the news at 14:00 on

BBC WM: A Smethwick man who used his own car as a
getaway vehicle has been jailed for seven years.

Ryan Kirk
West midlands police

West Midlands Police used the registration plate to trace Ryan Kirk (pictured) after a cash delivery driver was robbed in Birmingham.

Shortage of vicars

BBC WM

The number of vicars is on the decline and with an increase in retirements expected over the next few years, the Church of England say there will be a shortfall of 25% by 2020.

Currently there are 20 vacancies in the West Midlands' three dioceses and in some rural areas of the wider region, clergy are looking after as many as 10 churches.

BBC One from 13:40

Amy Cole

Presenter, Midlands Today

The collapsing milk prices have caused some farmers in the region to question whether the dairy industry has a future at all.

They want to know what any future Parliament will do to help. And overcrowding on trains in the West Midlands appears to be getting worse, so we find out what's being done about it.

Join me for the latest this lunchtime on BBC One.

Bell extends contract

So that good news from Ian Bell.... The Warwickshire and

England batsman has signed a new three-year deal with the Bears until the end of the 2017 season.

Ian Bell
Getty Images

The 32-year-old says: "As a Warwickshire man through and through, I'm absolutely delighted to commit to this fantastic club for another three years.

"I have many ambitions I'm still desperate to fulfil, both on a domestic and international level."

News on the hour

BBC WM

In the news bulletin at 13:00 on

BBC WM: West Midlands police say they seized more than 5,500 cannabis plants with an estimated street value of £2.8m last month.

Great news?

England and Warwickshire cricketer Ian Bell

tweets: Some great news (hopefully) to share with @CricketingBears fans. Announcement at 1pm...

Man remanded on burglary charges

Stourbridge News

A Dudley man has been remanded in custody,

accused of committing a series of burglaries at homes across the borough.

Talking Cannock

Kevin Pashby

Producer, BBC WM

Hear the discussion on

BBC WM with some of the candidates standing in Cannock in the General Election in May (listen to the last hour of the show).

Candidates standing in Cannock in the 2015 General Election
BBC

The NHS has proved to be a hot topic, with a rowdy debate about what needs to be done. We've also talked about empty shops in Cannock and how the candidates can help local jobless people.

Were you fooled?

April Fool's Day is a hard time for seekers of serious news stories, particularly when there are some stories that seem fanciful but are not.

Cats, Dash button, dancing, greyhounds, and restaurant payment (clockwise from top left)
BBC

BBC Magazine has a round-up of some of this year's bizarre stories that are apparently true.

Metro open again after mine work

Express and Star

It's taken almost four months longer than planned and smashed the budget by £1.7 million - but

trams are finally running into Wolverhampton again.

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

In the news at 12:00: A landlady in West Bromwich says she can't afford to live and might have to sell her own house, if a flat she rents out isn't returned to her by West Midlands Police.

Hear more on this story and others in the news on

BBC WM shortly.

Distraction burglaries charges

A suspected distraction burglar has been charged after allegedly targeting a 94-year-old's home in Small Heath twice in four months,

West Midlands Police says.

Conman caught on camera

Birmingham Mail

A cruel conman was caught on camera

plundering a Birmingham pensioner's bank account shortly after tricking her into handing over her debit cards.

News on the hour

BBC WM

In the news at 11:00 on

BBC WM: The number of vicars is on the decline and with an increase in retirements expected over the next few years, the Church of England say there'll be a shortfall of 25% by 2020.

Morning meeting

Hilary McConnell

Producer, BBC Midlands Today

We're looking at overcrowding on commuter trains in the Midlands. We've been out with pregnant woman Kerren O'Malley, who travels from Bilbrook to Burton every day and often has to stand.

So why won't people give up their seats for those who need them more? Watch Midlands Today later to find out more.

April Fool's Day

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The day which makes us groan and mumble. You'll have to be sharp to catch us out today... It's April Fool's Day.

Des Lynam presents Grandstand
BBC

We've already seen

"plans" for an H6 Hyperway - eight lane of one direction traffic around Birmingham.

But this did make me chuckle -

BBC Grandstand in 1989 mocked up a fake staff fight behind presenter Des Lynam

One-eyed horse is national champion

Amy Cole

Presenter, Midlands Today

A horse from Walsall has become the British Endurance Champion, despite only having one eye.

Canon and his rider Julie Griffiths
BBC

Canon and his rider Julie Griffiths are the national champions after competing in a series of races, some of which are 50 miles long.

Let's talk politics

Danny Kelly

Presenter, BBC WM

For the next few Wednesdays in the run-up to the election, we are going to look at some of the key seats in the West Midlands.

They are places where how local people vote could have a real impact on the total outcome.

Today we're focusing on Cannock. Joining me in the studio after 11:00 on

BBC WM will be five people who are standing including Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat candidates.