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Summary

  1. Updates on Friday 15 April 2016
  2. More news, sport, weather and travel from 08:00 on Monday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Have a good weekend from Local Live for Birmingham and the Black Country

That's all from us on Friday. Join us from 08:00 on Monday for more news, sport, travel and weather.

North-south divide 'stark' in Solihull over university take-up

BBC WM

The difference between the proportion of young people going to university from the north of Solihull compared to the south has been described as "stark". 

About 70% of young people from areas such as Dorridge are taking up places, compared to just 10% in Smiths' Wood and Chelmsley Wood, despite figures showing educational results at age 14 in the two areas are broadly the same.

Ion Anghel jailed for £23,000 Grantham NatWest distraction theft

A man who stole £23,000 from a 93-year-old after taking his card at a Lincolnshire cash machine has been jailed for three years.

Ion Anghel, 48, of Sherwood Street, Wolverhampton, admitted the theft at an earlier hearing at Lincoln Crown Court.

Ion Anghel
police issue

The victim had his card stolen after being distracted by three men while withdrawing cash from a NatWest bank in Grantham on 14 December.

Coming up on TV

Nick Owen

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

Our lead story tonight: Police are questioning five people from Birmingham on suspicion of terrorism as part of an investigation that was launched after the recent attacks in Paris and Brussels.

We will also report how scientists in Birmingham have created a more accurate blood test for prostate cancer. 

And West Bromwich Albion have agreed a deal to send coaching staff into more than 1,000 schools in Delhi in a partnership with one of India's top clubs.

More on these stories with us on BBC One from 18:30.

Watch: Latest weather forecast for the West Midlands

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today

The rain gets worse tonight with some sleet possible. Lows of 2C (36F).

Find out what else is in store for us tonight and the weekend.

Shefali Oza with the afternoon weather forecast for the West Midlands

Baggies boing all the way to India

Louise Brierley

Reporter, BBC Midlands Today

West Bromwich Albion is taking its coaching programme to more than 1,000 schools in Delhi.

It is hoped to build links between the Baggies and the growing football fan base in India.

West Bromwich Albion are to coach children at more than 1,000 schools in India.

Latest: Father to face murder trial over newborn son's death; Syrian refugees helped; motorway drivers caught texting and steering with elbows

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Here is a recap of our top stories this afternoon:

- A Wolverhampton father charged with murdering his newborn son will face trial in October, a court hears

- Birmingham will re-home 500 more Syrian refugees, the city council leader has pledged

- Drivers have been filmed watching TV, texting and eating at the wheel during an undercover operation on our motorways

Plan for Birmingham to take more refugees from Syria

Kathryn Stanczyszyn

Political Reporter, BBC WM

After telling BBC WM back in January he would like to to see Birmingham take in 500 Syrian refugees, the leader of Birmingham City Council has pledged to do it. 

John Clancy made the promise at a rally last night and it was backed by the Conservative opposition leader, Robert Alden. 

The plan is to bring 100 refugees a year for the next five years to the city; 50 have already been homed from UN-designated camps.

Football: Saddlers' Lalkovic happy to be out of 'the cage'

BBC Sport

Winger Milan Lalkovic says there is plenty more to come from him now he has been let out of "the cage" at Walsall.  

Milan Lalkovic
Rex Features

State of Chasetown High Street dubbed 'despicable and dangerous'

Lichfield Mercury

Staffordshire County Council has been slammed for failing to make repairs to Chasetown's "deteriorating" High Street.

Composite of high street damage
Lichfield Mercury

Cricket: Bears trio signs new Warwickshire contracts

England all-rounder Chris Woakes, wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose and fast bowler Chris Wright sign new contracts at Warwickshire.

Chris Woakes
Rex Features

Dead 3ft long lizard found dumped in park

A dead 3ft long lizard has been found dumped next to a park in Small Heath.

Enforcement officers working in the area were alerted to the dead animal by a member of the public, who spotted it on the edge of Hay Barn Recreation Ground, off Hob Moor Road, at about 14:30 on Thursday.

The Bosc monitor lizard, which is believed to have been kept as an exotic pet, bore no signs of injury and was not micro-chipped. Officers took the animal away and its body was incinerated, as required by law.

the lizard
Birmingham City Council

Young boy, 6, dies after falling into Tamworth canal

Tamworth Herald

 A six-year-old boy who fell into a canal in Glascote has died.

Canal basin
Tamworth Herald

Watch: Drivers filmed texting at the wheel snared by undercover police

PC Tony McKenzie from the Central Motorway Policing Group says he has also seen a lorry driver steering with his elbows while eating a packet of crisps.

Drivers filmed eating and using mobiles by undercover police

Crackdown on dangerous bikers continues in Solihull

Police in Solihull have raided three homes in a crackdown on dangerous bikers.

They seized four off-road bikes and made four arrests yesterday. 

It comes after dozens of reports of people using motorbikes, scramblers and quad bikes in an anti-social manner in various parts of the borough. Inspector Alan Green says it is a serious issue.

BBC sitcom Citizen Khan 'Islamophobic', says MP

A BBC sitcom set in Birmingham has been criticised as "Islamophobic" during a Commons debate about whether the BBC's programmes and staff reflect UK diversity.

Labour's Rupa Huq criticised Citizen Khan's depiction of a "quite backward" family of Muslims.

Citizen Khan
BBC

The show was accused of stereotyping Muslims when it started in 2012 and its creator, Adil Ray, has told the Radio Times he had received death threats.

The BBC said the award-winning show had received much positive feedback.

Watch: Rangers hope a safety experiment will save lives of hundreds of deer

Emma Thomas

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

Rangers say they hope a safety experiment borrowed from the United States could save the lives of hundreds of deer in Staffordshire each year.   

On average three a week are killed in crashes on Cannock Chase, with county council staff having to shoot any seriously injured ones for their welfare.   

Father charged with murdering his baby son to face trial with the mother in October

A father charged with murdering his baby son will face trial in October, a court has heard. 

Daniel Sanzone, aged 22, and the infant's mother Zoe Howell, 18, both of Whitburn Close, Wolverhampton, were not required to enter pleas during a brief appearance at Wolverhampton Crown Court. 

Howell, who faces charges of child cruelty and causing or allowing death, held a small teddy bear throughout the hearing and was allowed to sit in the well of the court. Sanzone is also accused of causing or allowing death and a cruelty offence alleged to have been committed on October 24 last year. 

His son Joshua, then aged two weeks old, was taken to hospital with serious injuries on October 24 but died in November after spending almost a month in intensive care.

Coming up on TV

Sarah Falkland

BBC Midlands Today

Five people from Birmingham have been arrested in connection with the attacks on Paris and Brussels. We will have all the latest.

Watching television, eating a meal, and using a phone - three things drivers have been caught doing on the Midlands motorway network in the past week.

Join us for more on these stories and others in the Midlands Today on BBC One at 13:30.

Dudley GP practice put in special measures

A GP practice has been put into special measures after inspectors found it to be inadequate.

Dudley Partnerships for Health LLP did not provide a safe and well-led service and "must improve how responsive, caring and effective it is".

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said inspectors found "significant areas of concern" at the Quarry Road surgery and will monitor the practice.

GP at work
BBC

Football: Veteran defenders sign contract extensions

Steve Hermon

Journalist, BBC WM

West Bromwich Albion defenders Jonas Olsson and Gareth McAuley have both signed one-year contract extensions. 

Their previous deals were due to run out this summer but the veteran pair have extended their stay until 2017.

Gareth McAuley and Jonas Olsson
Getty Images

Lorry driver steered with elbows as he ate crisps and checked emails

Ben Godfrey

BBC Midlands Today

A 10-day undercover police operation on the West Midlands' motorways has found drivers texting, eating and even watching TV while at the wheel.

More than 120 motorists are now facing prosecution for a range of offences.

That's double the number pulled over in a similar blitz last year.

Police crackdown on TV and texts at the wheel

'Terror' arrests: Links to Paris and Brussels attacks

Frank Gardner

BBC Security Correspondent

Whitehall officials say the arrest of five people on suspicion of terrorism, all of whom are from Birmingham, is "significant". 

They say it is the result of an extensive investigation following the Paris and Brussels attacks.

The primary cooperation has been between West Midlands Police and MI5, with input from the French and Belgian authorities. These are the first arrests in the UK directly connected to those two terror attacks in Europe.

'Terror' arrests: A 'number' of Birmingham properties are being searched

A "number of properties" in Birmingham are being searched by counter-terror police following the arrests on Thursday night, said the West Midlands force.

A fifth suspect, a 26-year-old man, was arrested at Gatwick Airport in the early hours of today as well.

Officers say all five are currently being held in the West Midlands, where they are being questioned.

'Terror' arrests: Police say 'no information' a UK attack being planned

West Midlands Police say the four people arrested in Birmingham were three men aged 26, 40 and 59 and a 29-year-old woman.

Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale, head of counter terrorism action for the force, said: "This action forms part of an extensive investigation by West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit, together with the wider counter terrorism network, MI5 and international partners including Belgian and French authorities to address any associated threat to the UK following the attacks in Europe.

"The arrests were pre-planned and intelligence-led. There was no risk to the public at any time and there is no information to suggest an attack in the UK was being planned."

BreakingFour held in Birmingham over 'terror offences'

Four people have been arrested in Birmingham on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.

BBC Sunday Politics Midlands: What the future holds for Tata Steel workers in the region

Patrick Burns

Political editor, Midlands

This weekend on BBC Sunday Politics Midlands we'll be examining what the 400 plus Tata Steel workers in the West Midlands make of the government's rescue plan

Steel being produced
Getty Images

It comes as the steel industry struggles on against cheap Chinese imports. We'll have more from 11:00 on BBC One on Sunday.

Investigation into shots fired in Walsall overnight

Gunshots were fired at a house and cars in Walsall last night, sparking a police investigation.

No one was injured by the blasts at Dovedale Avenue at around 22:30, but the front door of a house was damaged, along with two vehicles on the driveway.

Forensic experts are combing over the scene and the house has been cordoned off, says West Midlands Police.

Two 'Trojan Horse' schools 'out of special measures'

Two schools involved in the Trojan Horse affair have been removed from special measures, their trust says.

Birmingham's Nansen Primary and Rockwood Academy, formerly called Park View, were deemed "inadequate" when they had their last full inspection in 2014.

They have now been rated "good" by watchdog Ofsted, CORE Education Trust says.

Nansen Primary School
Press Assocation

Travel: Traffic beginning to ease on Aston Expressway

Here's the latest from Highways England on the breakdown that's been causing delays on the Aston Expressway this morning.

View more on twitter

Petition calls for Wolves U-turn on payday lender for sponsor

Louise Hancock

Newsreader, BBC WM

More than 2,000 people have now signed the petition launched by a life-long Wolves fan asking the club to reconsider its choice of sponsor. 

Payday loan firm The Money Shop has been associated with the club for seven years as sponsors of the 'home end', the Sir Jack Hayward Stand. It has now signed a three-year deal to become the new name on Wolves' shirts next season.

Controversial Penns Lane care home plans approved

Sutton Coldfield Local

Plans for a controversial nursing home in Sutton Coldfield have been given the go-ahead by Birmingham City Council.  

Latest: Petition against Wolves' sponsor choice; Dudley GP practice 'inadequate'; 'Trojan Horse' schools now 'good'

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Here are our top stories this morning:

- Petition calls for U-turn on Wolves' choice of new main sponsor

- A Dudley GP practice is put into special measures

- Two schools investigated after the so-called "Trojan Horse" allegations of a plot by hardline Muslims to take over city schools, have been removed from special measures

Watch: Latest weather forecast for the West Midlands

Charlie Slater

BBC Weather presenter

A cloudy and showery day. Highs of 8C (46F).

Find out what is in store for us later and over the weekend.

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Travel: Aston Expressway delays

BBC Travel

One lane is blocked and there is slow traffic on the A38(M) Aston Expressway outbound because of a broken-down van.

Good morning from Local Live for Birmingham and the Black Country

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

I'm back with Friday's news, sport, travel and weather updates.

Comment on our stories and send us your pictures by email, tweet @bbcwm or visit the BBC WM Facebook page.