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  1. Updates for Thursday 30 April 2015
  2. News, sport, and weather updates return at 08:00 Friday

Live Reporting

By Stephanie Barnard

All times stated are UK

Get involved

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

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today Weather

It will be a dry night with clear periods and light winds.

Temperatures will dip low enough for a touch of frost to form, mainly in rural areas with a low of 1C (34F).

Shefali Oza

Friday promises to be a dry day with plenty of sunshine and light winds.

BBC One from 18:30

Nick Owen

Presenter, Midlands Today

On Midlands Today this evening, we are reporting on the

conwoman from the Black Country who took thousands-of-pounds in advance orders from would-be brides to dress their wedding reception venues.

Sarah Cawthorne

Sarah Cawthorne (pictured right) made tens-of-thousands of pounds but duped around 100 brides. With the proceeds, she had a foreign holiday and spent £70,000 on gambling. She's

now been jailed.

Carcraft closure

Read more on BBC News about the second-hand car company Carcraft which is to close, with the loss of about 500 jobs.

Carcraft in Wednesbury

A spokesman warned customers with Carcraft policies, including break-down cover, will no longer be covered.

The showroom in Wednesbury (pictured) is among those to be affected by the closure.

Organised crime gangs forcing vulnerable victims into prostitution in Birmingham

Birmingham Mail

Organised crime gangs have been officially linked to

child sexual exploitation in a bombshell problem profile - and are forcing some young victims into prostitution.

The West Midlands Police report also reveals how Child Sexual Exploitation cases rocketed after the launch of the force's new Public Protection Unit, with numbers 'breaching the upper warning limit'.'

Birmingham man jailed over child porn and pepper spray imports

A man has been

jailed for two years for downloading indecent images of children and importing pepper spray for resale.

Ikram Shah
National Crime Agency

Ikram Shah, 27, from Cherrywood Road in Bordsley Green, Birmingham, sold the weapons disguised as cigarette lighters and lipsticks.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) said around 40 images of girls aged between four and nine-years-old were also found on his phone.

West Midlands Ambulance: Reaction

Michele Paduano

BBC Midlands health correspondent

Although West Midlands Ambulance Service appears the best performer, it too missed its target for Red 2 or the second highest category of emergency as did all ambulance trusts across England.

Ambulance services are still struggling and there is talk of further diluting ambulance targets in future.

Latest headlines

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The top stories in the newsroom here at BBC WM at 17:00:

Walsall winger signs new two-year contract

BBC Sport

Walsall winger

Kieron Morris has signed a new two-year deal with the Saddlers.

keiron morris
Getty Images

The 20-year-old's been a regular for the League One side over the past month, since coming back from loan at Conference club Wrexham.

Wedding fraudster

Trystan Jones

BBC News

More on Sarah Cawthorne (pictured right) the woman who has been jailed for one year after admitting a fraudulent scam on brides to be.

Sarah Cawthorne

Jade Caddick from Birmingham, lost more than £1,000, discovering Cawthorne's firm had ceased trading on the day of her wedding, in September 2013.

"I got to the hotel the day before and she'd not turned up. Even on the day itself I was getting ready, sitting in my wedding dress and trying to get hold of Sarah," she said.

Oldbury fire update

Bob Hockenhull

Reporter, Midlands Today

Firemen are still at scene of massive

blaze at Teknor Apex factory in Oldbury.

Firemen remain at the scene of Teknor Apex factory in Oldbury

Operations manager Roger Davies at fire ravaged Teknor Apex says he hopes to get factory up and running again.

Carcraft goes into administration

The second hand car giant Carcraft has gone bust, with the loss of around 500 jobs across the UK.

Carcraft was established in 1951 and has 10 showrooms across the country, including Wednesbury.

The administrators Grant Thornton say the firm's suffered from poor market reputation, lack of investment and a high cost base.

Blues arrests over trouble

Four people have been arrested after disorder following a Birmingham City match against Wolves.

CCTV images have been released of another 11 people police wanted to trace in connection with trouble following Wolves Birmingham city game

West Midlands Police said those arrested were aged between 19 and 43, and lived in Wolverhampton, Dudley and Kingswinford.

CCTV images have been released of another 11 people police wanted to trace in connection with trouble following the derby game on 11 April.

Politicians and percentages

David Gregory-Kumar

Reality Check, BBC News

People are not very good at mathematics, and in this country we're worse than most.

It's not just simple stuff like adding up, it's the way we grapple with some very fundamental mathematical ideas. Concepts like percentages. Now percentages are very useful.

If there's one thing I've learned on BBC Reality Check during the election, it's politicians and also journalists who are the worst offenders.

Read my blog in full on BBC News.

Latest headlines

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The main stories on Local Live this afternoon:

John Lewis recruitment

Peter Wilson

Correspondent, BBC Midlands Today

Today I'm filming at the site of the new John Lewis store in Birmingham which is being finished at the moment.

The department store is starting the

recruitment process for its new store in Birmingham which opens this September.

It's looking for 500 people for a variety of roles.

Endangered lemurs come to Brum

Two baby ring-tailed Lemurs have become the

latest addition to the Wildlife Conservation Park in Birmingham.

Lemurs at Wildlife Conservation Park in Birmingham

The species are on the endangered list and were brought to the park as part of an international breeding programme.

The baby lemurs haven't been named yet and visitors are being encouraged to leave their suggestions.

Where's my polling station?

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Birmingham City Council is keeping people up to date with

general election election coverage on the mobile app - WhatsApp.

The council has just posted a link to let people know where they can

find their nearest polling station in Birmingham.

For the latest general election stories across England visit BBC News.

'Highest performing' ambulance trust

West Midlands Ambulance Service is the highest performing ambulance trust in the country,

according to the trust which run the service.

Out of 10 trusts new figures rated the area's local Ambulance Service top

The trust had the highest performance in the country for the most serious calls, which include cases such as cardiac arrests achieving more than 77% against a target of 75%.

Train with the BBC

BBC Sport

The BBC Kick Off Trainee Sports Reporter Scheme gives talented people from a diverse range of backgrounds the opportunity to learn and develop sports reporting skills at the BBC.

BBC Sport Kick Off

The placements are all over the country - including here in Birmingham - so if you want to apply, you've got until 5 May.

BBC One from 13:30

Jo Tidman

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

Eloise Parry's best friend talks to Midlands Today about what could have been done to

stop her the taking toxic diet pills that killed her.

And 10 years after the final match at Coventry City's Highfield Road ground - we meet one fan who's keeping it alive.

Plus the latest forecast with Charlie Slater. Those stories and more from 13:30 this lunchtime.

Fraudster jailed for 12 months

Ben Godfrey

BBC Midlands Today

A fraudster has been jailed after the company she ran folded leaving more than 100 brides in the lurch.

Sarah Cawthorne, who ran a Dudley-based firm called "A Bit of Bling", was sentenced to 12 months at Wolverhampton Crown Court

The 32-year-old, from Dudley, admitted fraudulent trading last month.

Latest headlines

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The lead stories in the newsroom at 13:00:

Wedding scammer sentencing

Ben Godfrey

BBC Midlands Today

Sarah Cawthorne from Dudley conned more than 100 brides after failing to supply their wedding receptions.

I'm at Wolverhampton Crown Court where she's being sentenced after admitting fraud worth more than £30,000.

Watch Midlands Today tonight for the full story.

Oldbury fire damage

West Midlands Fire Service tweets a video of the fire damage caused at a factory in Oldbury.

Fire damage in Oldbury
West Midlands Fire Service

John Lewis to create 500 jobs in Birmingham

Managers of John Lewis's "flagship" department store say

more than 500 jobs will be created at its new Birmingham city centre premises.

Grand Central shopping centre

John Lewis said a store above the redeveloped Birmingham New Street station would offer roles on the shop floor, stock-room and kitchen.

The £35m store which is due to open in September anchors the Grand Central shopping centre.

Nepal update: Wolverhampton man's photos

Adrian Goldberg

Presenter, BBC WM

More than 100 British people caught up in the

Nepal earthquake returned to the UK overnight.

Mark Williams and photo taken in Nepal following the earthquake
Mark Williams

Mark Williams (pictured) from Wolverhampton was missing for a couple of days before he managed to get in touch with his family to say that he was OK.

He's currently living in a tent - here's a selection of photos he's taken of the area around him, he says "it just looks like it's been smashed up".

Dudley nightclub allowed to open until 6am

Express and Star

A nightclub in Stourbridge has been

allowed to extend its opening hours to 6am despite objections from police, neighbours and councillors.

The Stourbridge Academy, in Hagley Road, will now be able to stay open later on certain nights.

Bride scammer due to be sentenced

Michelle Dawes

Journalist, BBC WM

A woman from Dudley who pleaded guilty to conning brides out of more than £30,000 is due to be sentenced today.

Sarah Cawthorne took bookings for services including flowers and chair and table decorations through her company A Little Bit of Bling but never had the goods and failed to deliver.

Emma Chaplin was one of the brides caught out says thankfully she was insured so was able to et her money back.

Stories we're working on

Kester Dremmar

Producer, BBC Midlands Today

A Little Bit of Bling Wedding company fraudster Sarah Cawthorne from Dudley is expected to be sentenced today.

She conned brides out of more than £30,000, and our reporter Ben Godrey is following the story for us.

Local artist, Doug O'Brien, has written a song for Villa called "Loving it at Wembley". We'll be looking back on that plus other previous songs celebrating the FA Cup.

Join us for the latest on BBC One at 13:30 and 18:30.

Oldbury road closures

Tat Bank Road remains closed between Popes Lane & Western Road due to yesterday's factory fire in Oldbury,

Sandwell Highways warns.

Drivers are told to expect delays in the local area.

Pakistan jails 10 for Malala attack

BBC News

A Pakistan court's

jailed 10 men for life for 2012 attack on education activist and Birmingham schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai.

Malala Yousafzai

Ms Yousafzai, who was 15 at the time, was shot in the head on board her school bus in the Swat valley.

She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for her campaign for children's rights.

John Lewis recruits for 500 roles

Birmingham Post

Birmingham is set for a major jobs boost with

recruitment for more than 500 roles at the new flagship John Lewis opening.

Applications for the roles begin tomorrow with a variety of positions from sales assistants to stock and catering roles on offer to people from the city.

Latest headlines

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Here's the latest headlines for Birmingham and the Black Country at 10:00:

  • A man wanted over the murder of a father-of-one who was found stabbed to death in Wolverhampton has been arrested
  • Unions warn lives could be put at risk by Staffordshire Fire Service's proposals to save £5m
  • Travel: Tat Bank Road in Oldbury closed following yesterday's fire

Wolves: Afobe up for award

Steve Hermon

Journalist, BBC WM

Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Benik Afobe (pictured) has been nominated for the

Championship player of the month award for April.

benik afobe
Getty Images

The 22-year-old, who is English football's leading scorer this season, is up against Tom Ince of Derby, Adlene Guedioura of Watford, and Cole Skuse of Ipswich.

Fire station consultation

Staffordshire Fire

tweets: Just a reminder that we're holding a drop-in session about our Community Safety Options at Tamworth Community Fire Station until 8pm today.

Tamworth fire station consultation

People living in Tamworth can

have their say on the future of their local fire station today.

It looks set to have one of its fire engines removed and replaced by a smaller vehicle.

The proposals are part of Staffordshire Fire Service's plans to save £5m by 2020.

Murder arrest: Police appeal for more information

Dylan Dwight Jackson (pictured), 19, is now in the West Midlands being questioned by police after being arrested in Somerset last night.

Police say he's been on the run since 13 April when Herman "Louis" Simpson was found stabbed at this home in Wolverhampton.

Dylan Dwight Jackson

Detective Inspector Warren Hines who's leading the investigation. says: "This is still very much a live enquiry and we're still appealing for information. I'd urge anyone with information about Mr Simpson's murder to call me immediately."

Anyone with information is asked to call DI Hines on the 101 number.