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  1. Updates from Friday 15 July 2016

Live Reporting

By Raj Kaur Bilkhu

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day...

We're back at 08:00 on Monday with our usual mix of news, sport, travel and weather, but keep an eye out here for updates throughout the evening.

Midlanders caught up in Nice lorry attack

Nick Owen

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

Join me on Midlands Today as I report on people from Birmingham and Leamington Spa who have been caught up in the Nice lorry attack.

Tune in to BBC One at 6.30pm.

Last memorial walk for Rosie Ross

The parents of Rosie Ross, a teenager who was stabbed to death in Birmingham, are holding a final walk in her memory this weekend. 

Since Rosie's death at the age of 16 in 2001 more than £350,000 has been raised for local projects which help young people. 

Karen and Sean Ross will close their charity, Rosie's Helping Hands, following Sunday's event at Aldridge Airfield in Walsall.

Rosie Ross

Speed cameras switch-on delayed

Speed cameras in Birmingham are now not being switched on this Monday as planned.

The city council said "the terrible weather this summer" has "prevented our contractors fitting and testing all of the equipment needed".

The switch on has been postponed to 8 August.

Yellow speed camera

Licence suspended at nightclub over violence

Corinne Wheatley

BBC WM, Journalist

A nightclub in Dudley has had its licence suspended after a spate of violence. 

Police say they've been called to Rock Zombie 32 times so far this year and 13 crimes have been recorded there, with a sharp spike in the last few weeks. 

The licence is suspended until next month, when a full hearing will take place.

Rush hour motorway delays

BBC Travel

There's a lane blocked and slow traffic on the M42 northbound between J3, A435 (Portway) and J3a M40, because of a broken down vehicle, BBC Travel reports.

There's also slow traffic on the M42 southbound between J5, A41 (Solihull) and J4, A34 (Shirley), because of an earlier broken down vehicle. All lanes have been re-opened. 

Dumped bearded dragon found in shopping bag outside QE

Birmingham Mail

A bearded dragon is being nursed back to health after spending a knight on the rep-tiles.

The lizard was discovered, cold and stressed, inside a shopping bag on a bench opposite Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Bearded dragon lizard

Birmingham tourist sees Nice attack aftermath

Raj Kaur Bilkhu

Broadcast Journalist

A Birmingham man has spoken about the horror unfolding outside his hotel in Nice where 84 people were killed in an attack yesterday.

Kevin Harris filmed what was happening on his phone in the aftermath of the attack.

View from window of people standing near bodies on the road
Kevin Harris

After a few minutes they started bringing white towels from the nearby beach club and placing them on top of these poor souls on the ground, which obviously let us know they were not alive."

Kevin Harris

No organisation has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

Aston Villa fan nets £1m over Eder's Euro 2016 winner

Andrew Dawkins

BBC News Online

A man has netted £1m after placing a bet on Portugal striker Eder to score the first goal in the Euro 2016 final.

Kitchen fitter Daman Chick, 32, from Birmingham, had predicted a goal in the 84th minute, but Eder scored in the 109th minute as France lost 1-0.

BetVictor said as the closest bet he won the Million Pound Goal prize.

Damina Chick

West Midlands MEP announces he is running for leadership of UKIP

West Midlands MEP Bill Etheridge announces he is running for UKIP party leadership

Road bridge strike in Walsall

Trains are running slowly....

Please note due to a vehicle striking a road bridge in the Walsall/Bescot area, trains are running at reduced speed at present.

Brexit: A regional insurrection one month after EU referendum

Patrick Burns

Political editor, Midlands

Nearly one month on from that epic referendum result, I've been sounding out opinions in the part of Britain which voted more enthusiastically than anywhere else for the UK to leave the EU.

Almost 60% voted leave in the Midlands as a whole. In Stoke-on-Trent the figure was 10% higher even than that. So I wanted to know if Midlanders had stumbled into something they now regret.

Jigsaw pieces with EU symbol and Union Jack

Heavy traffic on M6 northbound

BBC Travel

There's a lane closed and heavy traffic on the M6 northbound between J2, M69 (Coventry) and J3, A444 (Nuneaton), because of debris on the road, BBC Travel reports. 

Pokémon Go players encouraged to worship

The Church of England is encouraging players of the new app game, Pokémon Go, to use it as part of their worship. 

Gamers have been flocking to St Stephen's in Rednal, Birmingham, which been registered on the game as a "pokéstop" - places players visit to get certain items they need to play the game.

Church communities have been encouraged to place welcome signs outside and hold so-called "Poképarties" for players.

Pokemon Go app game on a mobile phone

Latest: Man wanted in halal butchers arson probe; Midlands MEP wants to head UKIP; Jazz and Blues Festival kicks off

Raj Kaur Bilkhu

Broadcast Journalist

Some of the stories this hour:

- Police have released a CCTV image of a man they want to speak to in connection with the arson attack on a halal butchers in Walsall last month

- West Midlands MEP Bill Etheridge has announced interest to be the next leader of UKIP

- Birmingham and Solihull Jazz and Blues Festival kicks off today with 200 performances over 10 days

South Staffs MP new government Chief Whip

Louise Hancock

Newsreader, BBC WM

The MP for South Staffordshire is starting his new role as chief whip of the Conservative Party. 

The new Prime Minister, Theresa May, promoted Gavin Williamson to the position yesterday in her Cabinet shuffle

He told us what his job will involve.

Gavin Williamson MP

It's not just trying to persuade members of Parliament to do things, its actually sometimes trying to persuade the government to do things and quite often, not to do things.

Gavin Williamson
Teenager chooses ambulance for his prom ride
A teenager with a rare life-limiting condition has been taken to his prom in Birmingham in an ambulance.

Teen charged after gun seized in Nando's

A teenager has been charged with firearms offences after seven teenagers were arrested and a gun seized at a Nando's restaurant.

Police were called to Bishopsgate Street in Birmingham on Wednesday evening where it's thought a fight broke out.

A 17-year-old is due before Birmingham Magistrates this morning.

Six other teenagers who were arrested have been bailed while investigations continue, said West Midlands Police,

Nando's restaurant
Police were called to this Nando's restaurant near Broad Street on Wednesday

Jazz and Blues Festival begins in Birmingham

Raj Kaur Bilkhu

Broadcast Journalist

You can't count on the weather but you can count on the Birmingham and Solihull Jazz and Blues Festival entertaining you this weekend.

More than 200 performances are taking place across the region over the next ten days, most of which will be free.

Artists from as far as Lithuania and Argentina will be playing at around 40 venues.

So time to dust off those dancing shoes!

Saxophonists taking a selfie with three spectators
Birmingham and Solihull Jazz and Blues Festival

Image released of man wanted in halal butchers arson attack

Police have released an image of a man they're looking for following a petrol bomb attack at a halal butchers shop in Walsall.

Previously, West Midlands Police released CCTV footage of a man igniting two bottles of liquid on 27 June, which were hurled at the shop.

The man in the image was pictured carrying a jerry can about 40 minutes before the attack which took place at about 17:20.

Blurred CCTV image of man carrying a jerry can
West Midlands Police

BreakingWest Midlands UKIP MEP launches party leadership bid

Rob Mayor

Political Reporter, WM

MEP Bill Etheridge announces he is to stand as leader of UKIP.

The leadership race was sparked by the resignation of Nigel Farage, who quit following the EU referendum vote.  

Many of UKIP's best-known faces have been blocked from contesting the leadership after the Eurosceptic party's ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) said all candidates must have been a member for at least five years.  

Bill Etheridge
Villa move a 'no-brainer' - Tshibola
New Aston Villa signing Aaron Tshibola tells BBC WM moving to the Midlands club was a "no-brainer."

Tower blocks to be demolished


Four tower blocks in Dudley could be demolished because the council says it isn't cost effective to maintain them.

But residents at the flats in Arley,Compton, Manor and Wells Courts are not happy.

One man, who has lived there for 41 years said: "The problem is they've [the council] spent no money on them over the years and now its showing up."

Wells Court, Dudley

Latest: Family raising £20k to repatriate mum; New chief whip's work cut out; Villa fan bags £1m

Raj Kaur Bilkhu

Broadcast Journalist

Here are some of the stories we're looking at this hour:

- A Birmingham family is trying to raise £20,000 to repatriate the body of Sheila Dumbleton who died on holiday in Cuba.

- South Staffordshire MP Gavin Williamson starts his new job as the government's chief whip

- Villa fan Daman Chick has bagged £1m after betting on Portugese striker Eder in the Euro 2016 final

Family raising £20k to repatriate body of mother who died in Cuba

Raj Kaur Bilkhu

Broadcast Journalist

A family from Birmingham have to raise £20,000 to repatriate the body of a mother of two who died while celebrating her birthday in Cuba. 

Sheila Dumbleton fell critically ill while staying on the Caribbean island with her husband early last month. 

Before she can be brought home, the family need to pay for medical bills that their insurance company won't cover.

Government's chief whip says he has his work cut out

The government's new chief whip says he has his work cut out as he joins Prime Minister Theresa May's new cabinet.

South Staffordshire MP Gavin WIlliamson, 40, was David Cameron's parliamentary private sectary.

Basically what you're trying to do is everything from being a social worker to persuading to cajole people to understand the government's line. It's making sure that all the business the government wants to do in terms of the year ahead, is all properly timetabled.

Gavin WilliamsonChief whip

Boost as Three Snowhill developer commits to scheme despite suspending investment

Birmingham Post

Vital work to create thousands of Birmingham jobs in Birmingham city centre will go ahead despite funders suspending UK investment.  

Eder goal nets Villa fan £1m

A kitchen fitter has netted £1m after placing a last-minute bet on Portuguese striker Eder to open the scoring in the Euro 2016 final. 

Aston Villa fan Daman Chick forecast the striker Eder would score before anyone else as Portugal beat hosts France to lift the trophy at the weekend.

Daman Chick

The 32-year-old from Birmingham had staked on a goal in the 84th minute, but BetVictor revealed he was the closest to the actual time of 109 minutes in its Million Pound Goal competition, which was enough to bag him the cash.

Sunny and cloudy day: Watch the latest forecast

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

After some early rain, a mostly dry, breezy and cloudy day with highs of 21C (70F).  

Latest news: Funds needed to bring body home; and MP promoted to chief whip


These are some of our headlining stories today:

- Family raise funds to repatriate body of mother who died in Cuba

- Midlands MP Gavin Williamson begins new job as chief whip 

- Teenager with life-limiting condition attends school prom in an ambulance

Travel: M6 accident

BBC Travel

An accident has closed one lane of the M6 southbound between J10, A454 (Walsall) and J9, A461 (Wednesbury).

Congestion to J10a, M54.

More details on BBC Travel.

Follow our coverage throughout the day

Good morning. We'll bring you the latest news, sport, travel and weather updates across the day for Birmingham and the Black Country.

Pokemon Go

A church that has been caught up in the craze over an augmented reality game hopes to use its new-found fame to spread the message of Jesus.

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Percy Jeeves

A cricketer who unwittingly inspired author PG Wodehouse to name his unflappable valet Jeeves, has a tree planted in his memory.

Read more

Our live coverage across the day

We'll be back with our usual mix of news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 tomorrow, but keep an eye out here for more updates this evening and into the morning.  

M5 delays likely to last until 22:45

Northbound traffic on the M5 near J3 is not expected to return to normal until 22:45 at the earliest, Highways England says.

Traffic's expected to clear southbound by 19:30, with delays currently running at about 30 minutes.

Some motorists tweeted from the northbound queues, describing the motorway as like "a car park".

View more on twitter