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Summary

  1. Updates for Thursday 31 March 2016
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our coverage across the day

That's the end of our live updates for now, but we'll be back with our usual mix of news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 tomorrow. Have a great evening.

McManaman hopes to make Baggies bench

BBC WM Sport

Albion's Callum McManaman (pictured) is hoping to make the bench against Sunderland this weekend after coming through a private friendly this week.

The winger played 45 minutes in the draw with Burnley - his first action since damaging ankle ligaments in January.

Albion's Callum McManaman
Getty Images

'Exciting' step towards 'personalised cancer treatment' for children

BBC WM

Patients with cancer at Birmingham Children's Hospital are to be offered genetic testing for their tumours. 

Scientists have hailed the move as an "exciting" step towards offering personalised treatment for youngsters with cancer. 

They hope the research will allow them to develop targeted treatments as an alternative to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. 

M6 South collision latest

West Midlands Fire Service says 11 people are involved in the collision on the M6 South we told you about earlier.

Two adults and a child are injured and emergency services are advising motorists to avoid the area between J5 and 6.

Dog owner 'shocked and disgusted' after food laced with drugs left in garden

Lindsay Doyle

BBC Midlands Today reporter

A dog owner says she's frightened for the safety of her dogs after a piece of corned beef with two pills wedged inside was thrown into her back garden. 

The tablets were discovered when a dog retrieved the meat and brought it into her owner's house. 

A dog warden has been informed and owners are being advised to check their gardens before letting out their dogs. Police are investigating, although the type of pills is still unknown.

Dog owner, Claire Smith
BBC

I was shocked and disgusted. I was angry at first - it's just not the kind of thing that happens in Penkridge.

Claire Smith (pictured)Dog owner

Motorway delays following collision

A car and lorry have collided on the M6 South, J6 to J5.

Delays are expected and motorists are advised to avoid the stretch where three of four lanes are closed. 

Government 'doing everything it can' over Tata Steel crisis

PM David Cameron says the government is "doing everything it can" to save thousands of steel jobs - but warned there were "no guarantees of success".

David Cameron has held talks with key ministers to discuss the steel crisis

Tata Steel's UK business directly employs 15,000 workers and supports thousands of others, including plants in the West Midlands.

Overnight forecast for the West Midlands

Any showers will quickly fade away this evening, leaving a dry and clear start to the night. 

Under the clear skies it will turn chilly with a widespread frost developing, and also a few mist patches forming with lows of -1C (30F).

Sara Thornton with the afternoon weather forecast for the West Midlands

Masked robbers armed with chisels target convenience store

Three men are being questioned by detectives today after masked robbers armed with chisels struck at a convenience store in Wolverhampton, police say.

Officers were alerted to the raid at the One Stop on Wood End Road in Wednesfield at around 21:40 last night.

The robbers took cash and cigarettes, making their escape in a stolen car.

There was then a police pursuit through the city before the vehicle was intercepted.

Restaurant fined thousands of pounds after mice droppings found

A Birmingham restaurant has today pleaded guilty to breaching food safety and hygiene regulations after environmental health officers found mouse droppings throughout the premises last year.

The council says the inspection at Edmunds Fine Dining in Brindley Place also uncovered "dirty conditions in the bar area and kitchen which posed an imminent risk of injury to health".

Casamou Limited, which operates the restaurant, was fined £5,300 and ordered to pay £1,830 in costs.  

Coffee shop lift shaft fall: Latest

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Solihull Council has confirmed it has an officer on site following the lift shaft fall in a Solihull branch of Starbucks coffee shop this afternoon.

A woman in her 20s was "seriously injured", suffering suspected breaks to her pelvis and legs.

"A public protection officer is on the scene," a spokesperson for Solihull Council told me.

The Health and Safety Executive earlier said it was an issue for the local authority to pursue.

Tata Steel crisis: 'Manufacturing backbone of the West Midlands'

The MP for Wolverhampton North East has accused the government of being "asleep at the wheel" when it comes to the British steel industry. 

Labour's Emma Reynolds spoke as a group of ministers held an emergency meeting to discuss the options for the future of Tata Steel.

The Indian group plans to sell its loss-making UK operations, which include several here in the West Midlands including Wednesfield and Brierley Hill.

The stakes are really high, not only in terms of the jobs that would be lost. It's the back bone of our economy.

Emma ReynoldsLabour MP

Coffee shop lift shaft fall: Latest details

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Here's what we know:

A woman said to be in her late 20s fell down a lift shaft in Starbucks, Solihull, at about 12:00

- The woman, who has not been named, was seriously injured, suffering a suspected broken pelvis and legs

- Ambulance crews say the woman fell 25 ft after "she stepped into the lift shaft and there was nothing there"

- The shop will remain closed while an investigation is carried out

Latest headlines: Woman 'seriously injured' after falling down a lift shaft in Solihull coffee shop; New dental hospital opens in Birmingham

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The top stories in the newsroom this afternoon include:

- A woman in her 20s has been seriously injured after falling down a lift shaft in a Solihull coffee shop

- Birmingham's new £50m dental hospital and school of dentistry has opened its doors to patients for the first time

- A police investigation is under way after a piece of corned beef with two pills wedged inside was thrown into a dog owner's back garden

Walsall Advertiser front page: 'Two in court accused of terrorism offences'

Walsall Advertiser

The top story on the front of this week's edition: "Two in court accused of terrorism offences".

Walsall Advertiser front page
Walsall Advertiser

Watch: 'Gary Neville second favourite' for Villa job

BBC Radio 5 Live

Journalist Henry Winter says Gary Neville could make a swift return to management.

Neville has been sacked by Spanish club Valencia, and Winter believes England's first team coach is among the front runners to succeed Remi Garde at Aston Villa.

The chief football writer for The Times says Neville is "second favourite" for the job after former Manchester United manager David Moyes.

Journalist Henry Winter says Gary Neville could make a swift return to management.

Coffee shop lift shaft fall: Starbucks 'shocked and distressed by this terrible incident'

The Starbucks cafe in Solihull will remain closed until the company discovers how a woman fell 25ft down a lift shaft in its store.

The woman, in her 20s, is being treated for "serious injuries".

We are shocked and distressed by this terrible incident and we’re working closely with the authorities as they investigate how this could have happened. Our store will remain closed until the investigation is finished.

SpokeswomanStarbucks
Starbucks in Solihull
Google

Coffee shop lift shaft fall: 'Doors opened but nothing was there', ambulance service says

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Here's the latest on the fall at Starbucks, according to West Midlands Ambulance Service:

Ambulance staff were told that the woman in her 20s had tried to use the lift but when she stepped into the lift shaft there was nothing there and she fell approximately 25 feet to the bottom of the shaft.

SpokesmanWest Midlands Ambulance Service

Coffee shop lift shaft fall: Woman treated for broken pelvis and legs after falling down coffee shop lift shaft

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Here's the latest:

A woman in her 20s has broken her pelvis and legs after falling down what West Midlands Ambulance Service estimates to be a 25ft lift shaft in a branch of Starbucks in Solihull.

She has been taken to the Trauma Centre at the QE Hospital. Her injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

BreakingWoman falls down a 15ft lift shaft - in Starbucks

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

A woman has fallen about 5 metres (15ft) down a lift shaft in a coffee shop in Solihull.

West Midlands Fire Service says a rescue operation is under way at Starbucks on Solihull high street, calling it a "difficult extrication". 

Paramedics are treating the woman with pain relief for "potential broken bones".

Scene in Solihull
West Midlands Fire Service

Latest headlines: PM says 'no guarantees' on steel crisis; Ex Villa chairman has no regrets over club sale

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The top stories in the newsroom this lunchtime include:

David Cameron has rejected the suggestion that Britain's steel industry should be nationalised - saying it wasn't the right answer. Tata Steel announced it was selling off its UK businesses, putting West Midlands jobs at risk

Three man have been arrested after a bus was stolen in Coseley last night

- Former Villa charman Sir Doug Ellis says he doesn't regret selling the club to Randy Lerner

Search continues for 'vulnerable' man missing from secure unit

West Midlands Police has released new images of a man missing from a secure unit in Birmingham.

James Pinsent, 43, has been missing since Monday 21 March when he was seen entering a bank in Lichfield. 

Police, who say they are worried about his safety, believe Mr Pinsent may be trying to leave the country and is believed to have links to Wolverhampton, Northamptonshire, Staffordshire and Uttoxeter.

James Pinsent
West Midlands Police

He is described as white, 6ft 2ins, clean shaven and wearing an olive jacket, beige jumper and jeans. He is carrying two large black duffle bags and is likely to be using trains and taxis as a mode of transport.

This week's Tamworth Herald front page

Tamworth Herald

The top story on the front page of the newspaper today: "The Peel saved my son's life".

Tamworth Herald front page
Tamworth Herald

Academy to pay back more than £100k funding

A Birmingham academy chain must pay back more than £100,000 in government funding.

Perry Beeches Academy Trust claimed about £2.8m from the Education Funding Agency for free school meals but only kept limited records of its entitlements.

Gove and Cameron at Perry Beeches
BBC

An EFA report said this was a breach of government guidelines.

The trust said it was a genuine administrative error.

Stourbridge News front page

The top story on the front page of the Stourbridge News this week: "Greatest gift on Earth".

Stourbridge News front page
Stourbridge News

Who will be the next Villa manager? - 'Club has two names'

The ex-chairman of Aston Villa says he will not give any indication as to who he would like to see become the next manager.

Sir Doug Ellis told BBC Sport that he would not disclose his preference "because I would be breaking my promise of not interfering". 

David Moyes and Nigel Pearson
Getty Images
David Moyes and Nigel Pearson

I think they have two names, such as Nigel Pearson and David Moyes, but it's not for me to decide or give you an indication about who I would prefer. The management at the moment is very good and I am sure they will get it right.

Sir Doug EllisEx Aston Villa chairman

Meat packed with pills thrown over dog owner's fence

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Investigations are under way into the type of pills put into corned beef and thrown over a dog owner's fence. 

Claire Smith says the tablets were discovered in her back garden when one of her dogs retrieved the food on Tuesday morning. 

Police in South Staffordshire have launched an investigation and it is not yet known whether the act was malicious.

Dogs who recovered corned beef packed with pills
BBC

Delays near Birmingham Airport

BBC Travel

One lane is closed on the M42 southbound between J6, A45 (Birmingham Airport) and J5, A41 (Solihull) because of an accident. Drivers are warned to expect delays

- An accident has closed one lane on the M5 northbound at J1, A41 (West Bromwich)

Stolen bus brought to a stop by police stinger five hours after taken from yard

A stolen bus was being driven around the West Midlands in the early hours this morning - five hours after being taken in the Black Country.

The single decker was stolen from a yard in The Paddock, Coseley, about 21:40 last night. It was then driven around and, according to Central Motorway Police, spotted some time after 02:00 in Albrighton, Shropshire.

It was stopped by a police stinger in Foundry Street, Coseley, at about 03:00.

CCTV footage of bus
Central Motorway Police

Two men aged 20 and 39 were arrested. A third detained man has refused to give his details to officers.  

Health provider contract 'extortionate'

A health company received more than £165,000 from the NHS in the West Midlands despite carrying out one GP callout in five months, it has emerged.

Primecare, which has been employed by NHS England since July last year, also made 18 phone consultations with patients up to November.

Coventry GP Dr Grant Ingrams, who says he is leaving the West Midlands because of workload and lack of resources, described the figure as "extortionate".  

Generic image of doctor's consulting room
BBC

 An NHS England spokesman said Primecare had been the cheapest available service on offer.   

Latest headlines: MP calls on government to take action over Tata Steel sale; Three arrested after bus stolen overnight

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The top stories for Birmingham and the Black Country this morning include:

- A Black Country MP is calling on the government to help the struggling steel industry as Tata Steel says its planning to sell its entire UK business

Birmingham has been labelled the worst place in the country for people crashing on purpose so they can claim compensation

- Three people have been arrested after a bus was stolen in Birmingham overnight

Three people arrested after bus stolen overnight

Three people have been arrested after a bus was stolen in Birmingham earlier this morning.

Central Motorway Police says a chase with the bus, stolen in the early hours, ended after a "successful stinger deployment".

The bus was spotted on the A41 at Albrighton at about 02:50, with the police pursuit ending on Southall Cresent in Coseley.

View more on twitter

No regrets over Villa sale, says Sir Doug Ellis

BBC Sport

Former Aston Villa chairman Sir Doug Ellis does not regret selling the Premier League club to Randy Lerner and says the American is a "good man".

Villa are bottom of the table, 12 points from safety with seven games left, and without a manager after parting company with Remi Garde.

Randy Lerner
Getty Images

Lerner, who bought the club from Ellis in 2006, has been criticised for not backing Garde in the transfer market.

But Ellis said Lerner put his "money where his mouth is" by buying the club.

Birmingham is 'crash for cash' capital

Birmingham has been ranked as England's "crash for cash" capital.

The second city is the number one location where motorists are most likely to fall victim to the scam, according to an insurance group.

A car crash
BBC

Aviva said 25% of its 3,000 crash for cash claims last year were in Birmingham, in particular the B11 area of Sparkbrook, Sparkhill and Tyseley.

The figures include induced accidents, where innocent motorists are targeted, as well as staged accidents, when two damaged cars are brought together to make it look like an accident.  

Travel: Delays on the M6

BBC Travel

There's slow traffic on M6 southbound between J10, A454 (Wolverhampton) and J9, A461 (Wednesbury), because of a broken-down vehicle

- Landor Street in Saltley remains partially blocked in both directions around the Arden Road junction because of the fire on Tuesday

Good morning: Live updates for Birmingham and the Black Country

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

I'm in the BBC WM newsroom bringing you the latest news, sport, travel and weather updates for Birmingham and the Black Country.

If you'd like to get in touch about any of the updates we're featuring, email, tweet @BBCWM or get in touch via Facebook.