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Summary

  1. Shopping centre evacuation
  2. Toddler's tower block fall: Post mortem results
  3. Toddler's tower block fall: Community prayers
  4. Spaghetti Junction to close for weekend
  5. End of line for greyhound track
  6. Updates from Friday 22 July 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Kevin McDonald

Fulham sign midfielder Kevin McDonald from Championship rivals Wolves for an undisclosed fee.

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Our coverage across the day

We're back from 08:00 on Monday with more live news, sport, travel and weather.  

Street racer filmed doing 100mph

A new video highlights the dangers of street racing amid a police crackdown. 

More than 50 vehicles have been seized at illegal ‘car cruising’ events in the last few months and 200-plus prosecutions secured, West Midlands Police says.

This footage was filmed on Birmingham streets in April this year. The video has no sound.

‘Dangerous’ racer on Birmingham streets filmed doing 100mph

Piles of rubbish on Alum Rock streets is fly-tipping, council says

Raj Kaur Bilkhu

Broadcast Journalist

Residents and businesses have been complaining about mounting rubbish in Alum Rock, Birmingham.

Yesterday, we reported residents' complaints that smelly bags had been hanging around “for weeks”. They were picked up this morning.

Wajid Hussain from the Alum Rock Community Forum told me it's been an ongoing issue "for years", claiming refuse collectors did not always "pick up all the rubbish during bin collections”.

But a city council spokesperson says people are misunderstanding the “difference between missed collections and fly-tipping or dumping of trade waste.” Fly-tipping is illegal and is only removed when reported to the council.

rubbish in black bin liners on a pavement
Wajid Hussain

Looking up - the farmers with a towering idea

Farmers across the Midlands are experimenting with a new way to grow fruit and veg.Instead of growing strawberries and lettuce in the ground, they are growing them in towers.It's called hydroponic farming and has been developed over six years by a team at the University of Birmingham.One farm at Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire is growing pak choi, while a farm near Tamworth is growing strawberries  .

Farmers experiment with a new way to grow fruit and veg

Brexit one month on: Have your say

BBC Midlands Today

If you’re still feeling a little lost and confused about what Britain’s decision to Brexit means for you, you aren’t alone. 

A month on from the EU Referendum we’re calling in an expert to sort the facts from fiction, looking at what people said would happen and what actually happened and then make a best guess at what is likely to happen as we prepare to leave. 

We’ve also been interested in hearing from a range of voices from across the West Midlands to find out how Brexit has affected their daily lives – if at all. 

Today on the programme we meet the Sorge family - a French mum and German dad who weren't allowed to vote but were shocked by Brexit - and Sutton Coldfield window cleaner Roger Needle who wants to leave the EU.

Sorge family and Roger Needle
BBC

We’d love to hear your thoughts too, so share them with us here on Facebook or Twitter and we’ll try to read as many as we can on the programme tonight.  

Mourners

People gather to say prayers for an 18-month-old girl who died after falling from the window of a tower block.

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Allardyce confirmed as new England manager

BBC Sport

Sam Allardyce is confirmed as the new manager of England - on a two-year deal.

The 61-year-old, born in Dudley, replaces Roy Hodgson who left after England's Euro 2016 exit to Iceland.

Sam Allardyce
Reuters

For me, it is absolutely the best job in English football. I will do everything I can to help England do well and give our nation the success our fans deserve. Above all, we have to make the people and the whole country proud.

Sam AllardyceManger of England

Watch: Latest weather forecast for the West Midlands

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

Any lingering showers will die out this evening to leave a dry night with plenty of clear spells and light winds.

Some isolated mist and fog patches developing by dawn with lows of 14C (57F).

Rebecca Wood has the weekend forecast

Watch: German children help tend war graves

Emma Thomas

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

School children from Germany have been in Staffordshire to visit the graves of German soldiers killed in World War Two.   

German children help tend Staffordshire war graves.

There are 5,000 men buried at the military cemetery on Cannock Chase.

Pupils from local schools helped the visitors to clean, paint and weed the site as part of a peace project dating back to the 1960s.  

Tunisia shooting victim charity launch marked with a special day

Birmingham County FA have announced a day of celebration to launch the Joel Richard's Legacy Fund, in memory of the Worcester sportsman who was killed last year in the terror attack in Sousse, Tunisia.

Adrian Evans, Patrick Evans and Joel Richard
Evans family

The 19-year-old was a Walsall supporter, chairman of the Birmingham County FA youth council and involved in grassroots football across Worcestershire. 

He was shot alongside his uncle and grandfather (pictured above). 

The Joel Richards Legacy Fund will provide a bursary fund for local young coaches, referees and volunteers. 

The celebration will take place on the 31 July. 

Community offers prayers to family of toddler who died in tower block fall

Ben Godfrey

BBC Midlands Today

I'm at a community centre in Hockley where prayers have been said for a toddler who died after falling seven floors from a tower block apartment window.

Workshippers from the Muslim community gathered to pay their respects to the Sudanese family of the 18-month-old girl who died on Monday.

Ryland House, where she fell, is close by. 

Prayers at a community centre in Hockley
BBC
Prayers at a community centre in Hockley
BBC

Travel: Rail lines blocked between Tamworth and Birmingham

BBC Travel

Trains are being delayed between Tamworth and Birmingham because the lines are blocked both ways due to a points failure.

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Spaghetti plan leaves drivers with a lot on their plate

It's time for motorists across Birmingham to work out alternative routes - Spaghetti Junction will be shut all weekend from 20:00 tonight.

M6 Junction 6 and the Aston Expressway will not reopen until 06:00 on Monday.

The work is part of a "vital maintenance programme to keep major roads into and out of Birmingham safe and flowing," says Highways England, which has listed details.

Spaghetti Junction
BBC

Birmingham City Council said: "Diversions will be in place, but we strongly recommend drivers consider switching to public transport where possible."    

BreakingShopping centre evacuation: 'No danger'

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

A police corden in Smethwick has been lifted after "suspicious items" discovered at a nearby property were declared safe.

West Cross Shopping Centre in Oldbury Road was evacuated and surrounding streets closed when police were called around 11:20. It followed a discovery by an ambulance crew that was treating a patient in a flat.

The roads have been reopened following a search of the property and "no further police action will be taken".

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

'Impact' of shopping centre's evacuation

West Midlands Police's incident manager, Ch Insp Sean Phillips, has apologised for the "impact" caused by the evacuation of a Smethwick shopping centre.

"I recognise the impact the evacuation will have on local people and I would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused."  

Ambulance crew discovered 'suspicious items'

The "suspicious items" that led to this morning's evacuation of West Cross Shopping Centre in Smethwick and the closure of surrounding roads were discovered, police say, when an ambulance crew treated a patient at a property near the site.

Police officers were called to the site at around 11.20.

Roads surrounding evacuated shopping centre closed

Surrounding roads within 100 metres of evacuated West Cross Shopping Centre in Smethwick have been cordoned off, including Marriott Road, Malin Street, West End Avenue, part of Oldbury Road and Narel Sharpe Close.  

BreakingShopping centre evacuated

The West Cross Shopping Centre on Oldbury Road, Smethwick, has been evacuated as a precaution following the discovery of "suspicious items" at a flat this morning, police say.  

M6 closures this weekend

Roadworks this weekend - you need to be aware if you're planning on using the Aston Expressway and M6.

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Hagley Road closed eastbound

BBC Travel

The A456 Hagley Road in Halesowen is closed eastbound at Hayley Green Island because of an overturned lorry. 

Congestion to the Lutley Lane junction has been reported.  

Carles Gil

Aston Villa attacking midfielder Carles Gil signs a year-old loan deal with Spanish top-slight side Deportivo La Coruna

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Prayers at community centre after toddler fell to her death

Ben Godfrey

BBC Midlands Today

I'm at a community centre in Hockley where people are expected to offer prayers to the family of an 18-month-old girl who fell to her death from a tower block. 

People we speak to seem fragile, unable to grasp what happened.

Community centre in Hockley
BBC

Today police confirmed that the girl died from a head injury. They are continuing to appeal for people who may have seen what happened in the lead-up to the fall shortly before midday on Monday.

Summer getaway: Top tips for motorway driving

If, like a lot of Midlanders, you're thinking about heading down to the South West, it might be worth checking out these top tips for motorway driving.

The big seasonal getaway is moving up a gear and today is one of the busiest days of the year for the motorway network. 

Highways England traffic officer Sandy Osborough gives his top driving tips for summer.

On Midlands Today: Tracking the impact of Brexit in the West Midlands

Nicola Beckford

BBC Midlands Today

It's a month since the UK voted to leave the European Union.   

Stop sign in front of EU flags
AP

To mark that we're planning to follow more than 25 families, individuals and business owners over the next two years as the country grapples with the momentous decision.

This lunchtime we're going to introduce you to a few of the people we'll be following - join us from 13:30 on BBC One for Midlands Today.

Toddler who fell from tower block died from head injuries, post mortem finds

A toddler who died after falling from the seventh floor of a Birmingham tower block died from head injuries, police say following a post mortem exam.

The 18-month-old girl fell from a window on Ryland House in Great Hampton Row, Hockley, on Monday.  

Child fell from seventh floor window at Birmingham tower block

Police are urging anyone who saw what happened at about 11:55 on Monday to make contact.

Eyewitnesses say people were trying to catch the toddler after they saw her "fly out of the window", which was "wide open". 

BBC Weather Watcher pictures: Packwood and Warwick

BBC Weather Watchers

Our BBC Weather Watchers keep us updated with the local weather forecast where they are and upload pictures.

Here are a couple from the last few hours from users Warwick railwayside in Warwick and Songster from Packwood.

Warwick
Warwick railwayside
Packwood
Songster

End of line for Greyhound track amid new homes plan

Plans to demolish Hall Green greyhound track and build 200 new homes have been approved. 

Last month the council rejected the application saying it would mean a community facility was lost but now that's been overturned. 

Hall Green Stadium
BBC

More than 2,000 people had signed an online petition by Hall Green MP Roger Godsiff wanting to retain the track.  

Great Barr Observer front page

Great Barr Observer

The front page of this week's newspaper includes the story "gang hunted after brutal assault on decorator, 27."

Great Barr Observer front page
Great Barr Observer

Watch: Weather forecast for the West Midlands

It’ll be cloudy with isolated showers possible throughout the day which may be heavy at times. 

Highs of 24C (75F).    

The weather for the West Midlands.

Perry Beeches Academy Trust: 'Special' treatment when critical EFA report delayed

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

A flagship academy trust praised by David Cameron received "special" treatment when a watchdog delayed a critical report, the BBC has learnt.

The Education Funding Agency (EFA) gave Perry Beeches The Academy Trust 24 hours' notice of its report on "weakness in financial management".

But the trust asked for and got a "brief grace period", during which time it took on a PR firm to push out a press release to "deal with the inevitable press interest".

Former Prime Minister David Cameron and then Education Secretary Michael Gove were at the opening of Perry Beeches III free school in 2013
BBC

The Campaign for Real Education, said this would "damage public confidence in the academy programme".

The EFA said it "always" gave notice of publication while the trust, which runs five schools and looks after 2,400 pupils in Birmingham, said its request was to give it chance to talk to "all interested parties".

Plans submitted for 7,000-job enterprise

Nicola Beckford

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

Final plans have been submitted for an enterprise zone in Brierley Hill that could create 7,000 new jobs. 

It's hoped the project will rejuvenate the Waterfront complex at Merry Hill and bring £600m into the regional economy each year.

It will consist of new office, industrial and technology space.  

Brierley Hill, Merry Hill area
BBC

Cannock slurry spillage

BBC Travel

BBC Travel warns of hazardous driving conditions on A5 westbound in Brownhills between Turf Island and Churchbridge, because of a spillage of slurry on the road. Drivers are warned to approach with care.

School teaching assistant retires after 45 years' service

Royal Sutton Coldfield Observer

A much-loved teaching assistant at a nursery in Erdington left the school gates for the final time this week as she retired after 45 years' dedicated service.

Children at Marsh Hill Nursery School in Erdington say goodbye to teaching assistant Margaret O'Hara
Sutton Coldfield Observer

Cricket: Bears' T20 qualification bid

The Bears will try again to qualify for the T20 Blast quarter finals tonight against Notts Outlaws. 

Captain Ian Bell thinks they have the quality to beat anyone despite Tuesday's heavy defeat at Northants.

There are no bad teams in this T20, that's why it's a good competition. I honestly believe that we have the ability in our dressing room to beat anyone but again you can't be friendly - out in the field you have to work hard and fight for it

Ian BellBears captain
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Wolves investment could be around £20m-£30m

BBC WM Sport

It's thought the Chinese conglomerate which now owns Wolverhampton Wanderers will invest £20m to £30m in the club.

Fosun Group - thought to have paid £45m for the club - will put in the cash over the next two years. 

The deal was announced yesterday and lead to the departure of chief executive Jez Moxey, along with owner Steve Morgan.

Wolves corner flag
Getty Images

They are definitely taking a long term interest. They will also take an objective look at management so I'm not surprised that the CO is leaving. They will make sure they have the right club manager and the right footballing people involved.

Steve TappinExperience of working with Fosun Group

Sports Direct staff 'not treated as humans', says MPs' report

Caroline Lowbridge

BBC News Online

MPs have accused one of Europe's biggest retailers of not treating its workers like humans.

A report by the Business, Innovation and Skills committee states Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley must be held accountable for company failings.

The Conservative MP for Cannock Chase, Amanda Milling, who is part of the commitee, has tweeted this morning to say they heard "shocking evidence".

Sports Direct shop
PA

Evidence suggested Sports Direct's working practices were similar to those of a Victorian workhouse, one MP said.

In response, Sports Direct said in a statement that its policy is to treat all people "with dignity and respect".