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  1. Updates on Thursday 31 March 2016
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates to resume at 08:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

By Jerry Chester

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

Live updates for Herefordshire and Worcestershire have finished for the day but we'll be back from 08:00 on Friday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

City announce stadium share for the next two years

Worcester City have announced they'll be playing their home games at the Victoria Ground in Bromsgrove for two years from the start of the 2016-17 season.

The club also have an option to play there for a third year and have thanked Bromsgrove for their support for the "temporary arrangement". The deal has been approved by the National League.

The club recently announced it was ending its ground-share with Kidderminster Harriers. 

Clearly the club sees any ground share option as a temporary arrangement and it will continue to work tirelessly to return to the City of Worcester, as a matter of urgency."

Anthony HampsonWorcester City chairman

Fire service tackle 'out of control' burning on Malvern Hills

The fire service were called to Hangman's Hill on the Malvern Hills when what was meant to be a controlled burn got out of hand.

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Dog owners warned to take care over lambs on the Malvern Hills

Dog owners are being asked to keep their pets under control by the charity looking after the Malvern Hills, as the lambing season gets under way.

Malvern Hills Conservators say lambs are already being born in flocks grazing on the hills and common land they look after.


Every year there are reports from the graziers on the hills and commons of dog attacks on sheep. These incidents can be prevented by keeping your dog on a lead when you’re near sheep and cattle."

Beck BakerConservation Officer, Malvern Hills Conservators

Warriors: Dean Ryan says good crowd support is reward for 'effort'

BBC Sport

Worcester boss Dean Ryan says the return of the old crowd roar to Sixways is due reward for his players' effort.

Warriors' timely run of four straight victories, for their first time since becoming a Premiership club, has all but guaranteed their safety from relegation with four matches left.

Crowd at Sixways
Getty Images

I've always said that crowd support is in direct relationship with effort on the field. It makes a huge difference when you've got a big collective at home and massive support."

Dean RyanDirector of rugby

New trees planted in the centre of Pershore

The decision to cut down the old trees in Broad Street, Pershore, because they were damaging the pavements was controversial - here's how the area looks now the new trees have been planted.

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White rhino baby: Threatened species

 - The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimates there are about 17,500 individual white rhinos living in Africa

-  All rhinos are under threat of extinction and all but one species is on the verge of extinction, the IUCN says.

White rhino

- West Midlands Safari Park has four females and one male, plus the new arrival.

- Their breeding programme is carried out under the supervision of the European Association of Zoo and Aquaria.

Latest: FBI investigate Worcestershire businessman; baby rhino born at safari park; City announce ground-share deal

Michael Perkins

BBC Hereford & Worcester

Here are some of the main stories we are looking at in Herefordshire and Worcestershire:

- A Worcestershire businessman has been charged with fixing the prices of goods on Amazon- after an investigation by the FBI

- Baby rhino born at safari park, the first for a decade

- Worcester City announce a new ground-share

Travel: Badgers close road

Not your usual cause for a road being closed - badger-induced subsidence.

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Appeal for witnesses after fatal road crash

Witnesses are being asked to come forward after a fatal crash in Stoke Prior, near Droitwich, this morning.

West Mercia Police say at approximately 08:45 a white DAF lorry and a cyclist collided. 

Police tape

Both were travelling in the same direction on Hanbury Road towards Stoke Prior. 

The cyclist died at the scene.

River levels up after weekend's heavy rain

Herefordshire and Worcestershire have escaped the worst of the weather, though river levels are high and the flood gates at Upton-upon-Severn have been closed.

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Police drop probe into ex-BNP man who made smear campaign Labour 'paedo' stickers

Worcester News

Police have dropped their probe into an ex-BNP organiser who produced smear campaign stickers linking the Labour Party to paedophiles - saying they have no evidence of an offence.

Travel: Road reopens after fatal crash

The Hanbury Road at Stoke Prior, near Droitwich, was closed after the accident at 08:45.

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Fire chief saw service through 'its most difficult time' says union

The Fire Brigades Union says the retiring chief fire officer for Herefordshire and Worcestershire Mark Yates saw the service through "its most difficult time". 

He's giving up the role after six years, having been a firefighter for 32 years.

Mark Yates

We've seen unprecedented cuts in our budgets, we've had to lose firefighters from their posts but at the end of the day no-one has been made redundant and the fire service looks roughly the way it was when [Mr Yates] started."

Julian JenkinsFire Brigades Union

Latest: Cyclist killed in collision; fire chief retires; white rhino born at safari park

Michael Perkins

BBC Hereford & Worcester

Here are some of the main stories we are looking at in Herefordshire and Worcestershire:

- Cyclist killed after collision with a lorry near Droitwich

- Tribute from union to retiring fire chief

- White rhino born at safari park

Man admits estate stabbing

Droitwich Spa Advertiser

A teenager has pleaded guilty to stabbing a man on a Worcestershire estate.

Heathcote praises Warriors' progress

Worcester Warriors player Tom Heathcote tells the club's website that their four-game winning streak shows just how far the team have come. 

Tom Heathcote
Getty Images

It's been an awesome few weeks and to be part of that success has been an honour for me. Every week our confidence has grown and we've worked out how to win games and get results."

Tom Heathcote

Watch: White rhino calf born at safari park

A white rhino calf has been born at West Midlands Safari Park, near Bewdley, Worcestershire - the first to be born there for a decade.  

Here are the first pictures, courtesy of the safari park.

White rhino baby: Why isn't he white?

The name white rhino has nothing to do with the animal's colour, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

White rhinoceros is taken from the Afrikaans word describing its mouth - “weit”, meaning wide. 

Early English settlers in South Africa misinterpreted the weit for white.  

White rhino

Watch: Afternoon weather for Herefordshire and Worcestershire

Charlie Slater

BBC Weather presenter

Most places will stay dry but there will be a few showers around which will be slow moving and heavy at times, with a risk of hail and thunder.  Highs of 12C (54F).

White rhino baby born: facts and figures

The new arrival is the first to be born at West Midlands Safari Park, near Bewdley, Worcestershire for more than 10 years.

- He is a male southern white rhino calf (Ceratotherium simum simum)

- His mother was pregnant for 16 months

- When born he weighed 67.5kg (150lbs)

- Fully grown he will weigh about 2,500kg (5,500lbs)

- He has no horn yet, but when fully grown it will be up to 1m (3ft) long

Baby white rhino
West Midlands Safari Park

Baby rhino born at safari park

A baby white rhino has been born at a Worcestershire safari park - the first for a decade.

West Midlands Safari Park says the male calf was born after a 16-month pregnancy.

White rhino
West Midlands Safari Park

The baby, who is yet to be named, is the first to be born at the park since his father, Barney, was born in 2005.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists them as ‘near threatened’ and with rhinos being poached every day for the trade in illegal rhino horn, we hope that our adorable newcomer will help highlight the very real danger the species still faces.”

Lisa WatkinsDeputy Head Keeper

New pitches at revamped stadium will be used by academies

Trevor Owens

Sports Editor, BBC Hereford & Worcester

A new 3G pitch, part of an £800,000 revamp of the Valley Stadium in Redditch, will be used by other clubs' academy players, according to the chairman of Redditch United.

Chris Swan is putting £200,000 of his own money into the facelift, with the rest of the money coming from grants, including £550,000 from the FA Premier League fund.

Valley Stadium, Redditch

Academies using the new pitch:

- West Bromwich Albion

- Birmingham City Ladies

- Bournville College

The pitch is going to get well used."

Chris SwanRedditch United chairman

Latest: Cyclist dies in collision; FBI investigate businessman; baby rhino born

Michael Perkins

BBC Hereford & Worcester

Here are some of the main stories we are looking at in Herefordshire and Worcestershire:

- Cyclist killed in collision with lorry

- Worcestershire businessman charged after FBI investigation

- Baby rhino born at safari park

Cyclist dies in collision invoving a lorry

A cyclist has died after a collision involving "a light good vehicle" in Stoke Prior, near Droitwich, police say.

West Mercia Police say they were called to the Hanbury Road (pictured) just after 08:50 this morning.

Hanbury Road, Stoke Prior

The cyclist, a man in his 60s, died at the scene and his next of kin have been informed, a spokesman said.  

Road closures are expected to be in place for several hours between Stoke Pound Lane and Moorgate Road.  

Your pictures: Clouds over the river

This picture, taken in Worcester, comes form BBC Weather Watcher 42shades.

I'd love to feature your photos taken in Herefordshire and Worcestershire - you can emailtweet us on @bbchw or message via Facebook.

Clouds over a river

Cricket: Oxford v Worcestershire

BBC Sport

You can see how Worcestershire get on in their three-day game against Oxford University with the scorecard on BBC Sport.

Watch: O'Shea needs move away from Warriors to 'fulfil his potential'

Trevor Owens

Sports Editor, BBC Hereford & Worcester

Worcester Warriors’ director of rugby, Dean Ryan, says he believes Darren O’Shea will become a very good rugby player, but he probably needs to move away from Sixways to develop fulfil his potential.    

The Sixways club has confirmed the 23-year-old lock is to leave Warriors at the end of the season and return to Munster where he began his career.

Dean Ryan says O’Shea has lots of potential but has struggled to bridge the gap between the Championship and the Aviva Premiership meaning his game time this season has been limited.

Police search for absconding prisoner

A prisoner who absconded from a jail in Worcestershire is being sought by the police.

West Mercia Police say Bilal Bashir (pictured), 26, absconded from HMP Hewell, in Redditch, on Monday.

Bilal Bashir
West Mercia Police

He was convicted of burglary at Warwick Crown Court last year and was sentenced to four years in prison, police say.  

'Cash for crash' blackspot in Worcester postcode

An area in Worcester is one of the worst sport in the country for the so-called "cash for crash" scam, according to an insurance group.

Figures from Aviva highlighted the WR5 postcode area as a blackspot for the fraud, where innocent motorists are deliberately hit or where accidents are staged, and two damaged cars are brought together to make it look like an accident.

Crashed cars

Crash for cash does not just push up premiums for genuine customers, it puts innocent motorists at risk."

Tom GardinerHead of fraud at Aviva

Hereford Times front page: Don't let them be forgotten

Hereford Times

This week's Hereford Times covers the campaign to remember children who died in a World War One tragedy.

Hereford Times front page
Hereford Times

Moeen praises Roy for World T20 semi-final win

Worcestershire's Moeen Ali took 1-10 and a vital catch in the win over New Zealand, but heaps praise on his colleague Jason Roy.

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Moeen Ali

Latest: FBI investigate businessman; 'cash for crash' blackspot; £80k stadium revamp

Kate West

Journalist, BBC Hereford & Worcester

Here are some of the main stories we are looking at in Herefordshire and Worcestershire:

- Bromsgrove businessman charged following FBI investigation

- Worcester postcode area is a 'cash for crash' scam blackspot

- Stadium to get £800,000 revamp

Traffic: Serious accident closes road in Stoke Prior

We'll have more details on this accident as soon as they become available. More from BBC Travel.

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Worcester News front page: Developers dramatically ditch battle over 200 homes

Worcester News

Developers have dramatically ditched controversial attempts to build 200 homes on this treasured Worcester beauty spot today - in a major victory for campaigners.  

Worcester News front page
Worcester News

Travel: Traffic lights outside new supermarket site in Worcester

There will be delays on Windemere Drive while work on the footopath is carried out. More from BBC Travel.

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Stadium to get more than £800,000 spent on makeover

Trevor Owens

Sports Editor, BBC Hereford & Worcester

Redditch United Football Club are to invest more than £800,000 on a complete overhaul of their facilities at Valley Stadium.

The money will go towards a new 3G pitch, floodlighting, changing rooms and hospitality suites.

ValleStadium, Redditch

Redditch's chairman, Chris Swan, is putting in more than £200,000 of his own money into the refurbishment, with £550,000 coming from the FA Premier League fund and £88,000 from the stadium improvement fund.

FBI investigate businessman over price fixing allegations

Nicola Goodwin

Reporter, BBC Hereford & Worcester

A Bromsgrove businessman could face jail in America and a fine of $1m after being investigated by the FBI and charged with price fixing by the US Justice Department.

Daniel Aston has been accused of fixing the price of posters which his business sold online from September 2013 to January 2014.

West Midlands Police raided the premises of his company, Trod Ltd, on the Frankley Industrial Park, on behalf of the FBI.

The US Justice Department says Mr Ashton is charged with price fixing in violation of the Sherman Act, which carries a maximum sentence for individuals of 10 years in jail and a fine of $1m.