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  1. Updates on Friday 8 April March 2016
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates to resume at 08:00 on Monday

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 Monday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

New gates 'will stop thefts from New Road'

New gates installed at the main entrance to New Road will help stop thefts from the ground, the club has said.

The iron gates were unveiled today, and mark the club's 150th anniversary.

New Road gates

The original gates that stood at the main entrance on New Road were not put back on when they "came off after a flood a number of years ago", the club said.

Not only will it be a fitting tribute to the 150th Year and have a lasting memory to it, it will also mean the security of the ground will be improved."

Jon GrahamWorcestershire commercial director

Watch: Midlands Today visit The Cube in Malvern

BBC Midlands Today

The BBC Midlands Out and About tour has been at Malvern Cube community centre today.   

Fish rescue in Ross-on-Wye

That's a lot of fish put back into the water.

View more on twitter

Watch: Weather forecast for Herefordshire and Worcestershire

Sara Thornton

BBC Weather

Dry at first with rain pushing eastwards overnight. It will gradually become drier through the early hours to give some clear spells around dawn. Lows of 6C (43F).

Six candidates confirmed for police chief elections

Matthew Bone

Political reporter

Six candidates are standing in the forthcoming election to become West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner:

- Jon Campion (Conservative)

- Peter Jewell (UKIP)

- John Raine (Green)  

- Margaret Rowley (Liberal Democrat)

- Barrie Sheldon (Independent) 

- Daniel Walton (Labour) 

The election will be held on 5 May.

Latest: Six candidates bid to become police chief; two wards closed to visitors; new gates for New Road

Michael Perkins

BBC Hereford & Worcester

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

- Six candidates will be standing for election to the post of West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner next month

- Norovirus outbreak closes two wards in Ross-on-Wye community hospital

- New gates celebrate 150 years of Worcestershire cricket

Free CPR training in Worcester

Free resuscitation and defibrillator training in Worcester next month.

View more on twitter

County challenges 'relished' by new signing Henry

Trevor Owens

Sports Editor, BBC Hereford & Worcester

Worcestershire County Cricket Club’s new overseas signing Matt Henry says he’s relishing the challenges involved in playing county cricket.

The 24-year-old New Zealand international bowler has joined the New Road club for the first half of the 2016 season.

It will be his first taste of the English domestic game, and he says he’s determined to try to help Worcestershire get off to a flying start in their quest for an immediate return to the first division after relegation last season.

Your pictures: Morning sky in Lyonshall

The picture was taken in Lyonshall, Herefordshire, by BBC Weather Watcher Johnqa.

I'd love to feature you photos - you can emailtweet us on @bbchw or message via Facebook.

Sky in Lyonshall

Watch: On the prowl for the phantom Pershore panther

James Pearson

Journalist, BBC Hereford & Worcester

It's been dubbed the Pershore panther, but is there really a big cat on the loose in South Worcestershire?  

Despite no credible evidence being brought forward, stories of sightings just don't seem to be going away.

I've been on the hunt for the elusive beast. 

Warning: This video includes some graphic images.

Travel: Long delays on the M5 northbound

BBC Travel

There is stop-start traffic on the M5 northbound between J7 (Worcester north) and J4a (M42) in the roadworks area - travel time is about 45 minutes. More from BBC Travel.

Norovirus closes two wards in Ross-on-Wye

Two wards at Ross Community Hospital have been closed to visitors due to an outbreak of Norovirus.

Ross Community Hospital

The trust running the hospital says visiting at Merlin Ward and Peregrin Ward has been stopped as "a preventative measure" to stop the outbreak spreading.

Please only come to the hospital if you really need to, particularly vulnerable people such as young children and the elderly should not attend, where possible."

Alison JohnsonConsultant microbiologist

Travel: Rainbow HIll in Worcester to close on Sunday

This is for resurfacing work, which should be finished by mid-afternoon, the council says.

View more on twitter

Latest: Drug driving tests catch 257 drivers; paramedic back from Nepal; 'UFO' photo sent to NASA

Michael Perkins

BBC Hereford & Worcester

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

- Since testing was brought in last year, 257 drivers have been caught drug driving

- A paramedic from Worcester has returned from his latest expedition to help with the aid effort in Nepal

- A Worcestershire man has sent NASA a photo he believes shows a UFO near the international space station

Family tribute to cyclist who died in collision

The family of a Bromsgrove cyclist who died in a crash involving a lorry have described him as "a popular man, loved by all and [who] touched the lives of everyone who met him".

Michael Thompson, who was 65, died after the crash on the Hartlebury Road near Stoke Prior on 31 March.

Michael Thompson
West Mercia Police

New gates for New Road

- The new gates are 6m (20ft) and 3m (10ft) wide and nearly 2m (7ft) high

- They feature the three pears shield and significant dates in the club's history

 - They were made by Dudley-based firm DJH Ironcraft 

New Road gates

I've never been to a cricket match in my life but everyone has heard of Worcestershire County Cricket Club and it was an honour to make the gates for them."

Dave HalfordDJH Ironcraft owner

Queen's birthday beacon in Redditch

A beacon will be lit in honour of the Queen's 90th birthday on Thursday, 21 April at Church Green in Redditch, the council has announced. 

Church Green, Redditch

The Salvation Army Band and Bel Canto Choir will be performing before the lighting of the official HM Queen Elizabeth II 90th Birthday Beacon at 19:30.

Watch: Wolves prepare for trip to the Lions

Trevor Owens

Sports Editor, BBC Hereford & Worcester

Worcester Wolves' head coach Paul James looks ahead to the BBL Championship trip to London Lions today.  

This lunchtime on BBC Midlands Today: Buses, the Grand National and a falcon

BBC Midlands Today

We're looking at issues on a school run, opposition to academy plans, a regional favourite for the Grand National and a new flight for a peregrine falcon. 

Peregrine falcon before its flight

All those stories are set to be featured this lunchtime in BBC Midlands Today from 13:30.

New gates mark 150th anniversary of cricket club

New gates have been installed at Worcestershire County Cricket Club's New Road ground, marking the 150th anniversary of the club.

Gates at New Road cricket ground, Worcester

The gates were officially unveiled by John Graham, managing director of Crown Domestic Appliances, who sponsored them, and club captain Daryl Mitchell.

Watch: Weather forecast for Herefordshire and Worcestershire

Charlie Slater

BBC Weather presenter

A drier and brighter day for many today, with sunny spells and isolated showers developing through the day.  Highs of 13C (55F).

Latest: Drug drive tests catch 260 motorists; 140 mile charity walk; Herefordshire trainer has two horses in tomorrow's Grand National

Michael Perkins

BBC Hereford & Worcester

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

- About 260 motorists have tested positive for drugs while driving in Herefordshire and Worcestershire in the last year

- A dad from Malvern is walking 140 miles (225km) to raise money for two charities that helped save his daughter's life

- Two Herefordshire horses are making their debut in the Grand National tomorrow

Watch: Volunteers leave on an aid trip to Dunkirk camp

Nicola Goodwin

Reporter, BBC Hereford & Worcester

I've spent the morning with Dan Johnson from Herefordshire Veteran's Support, Luke Conod from Hereford Rotary Club and councillor and landlord Jimmy Kenyon, who are leaving Hereford to take aid to the refugees camped in Dunkirk.

Junior doctors' strike: Fresh talks 'ruled out'

Nick Triggle

Health Correspondent

The latest junior doctors strike has ended and they've returned to work.

The long-running dispute is over new contracts and the government has ruled out fresh talks.


Sources told the BBC that the British Medical Association had blown its chance to negotiate and that there would be no deviation from imposing the new contracts.

It means the first-ever all-out strike by junior doctors looks likely to go ahead in three weeks, with the BMA also maintaining it will not climb down.

This week's walkout, which ended at 08:00, saw hundreds of hospital appointments postponed in Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

Grand National 2016: BBC Sport's coverage

BBC Sport

We are close to one of the biggest days in the UK sporting calender - the Grand National, which takes place tomorrow.

As ever, it is likely for many people to be the only horse race they follow this year and there's plenty of coverage to look out for on the BBC Sport website including:

- The BBC's horse racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght assesses the Aintree Festival stories to look out for

- How Many Clouds could be the first horse since Red Rum to win two back-to-back Grand Nationals

- A Pinstickers' guide to the Aintree runners & riders in the Grand National

Find out how you can follow the race on BBC radio, online, mobile app and the BBC Sport app.

Live webstream: Midlands Today in Malvern

BBC Midlands Today

BBC Midlands Today is in Malvern today - you can watch a live Q&A session with Andy Knowles and Dan Pallett on their Facebook page.

Andy Knowles and Dan Pallett

Watch: Bulls 'dig in' for vital win in top-of-the-table clash

Trevor Owens

Sports Editor, BBC Hereford & Worcester

Hereford FC's manager talks me through his side's dramatic 2-1 win at Alverchurch, that saw them go to the top of the table.

Volunteers take aid to Dunkirk refugee camp

BBC Hereford and Worcester

A group of volunteers from Hereford are leaving today to take aid to a refugee camp in Dunkirk.

Aid convoy going to Dunkirk

BBC Hereford & Worcester reporter James Pearson is going on the trip - you'll be able to see his photos, video and reports on Local Live on Monday.

Catshill carpenter stumbles across long lost Audi on eBay

Bromsgrove Advertiser

A car enthusiast from Catshill, who sold his classic Audi 30 years ago when he couldn't afford the insurance, has bought it back after stumbling across it on eBay and recognising a dent in the bonnet.  

Watch: Scuffles 'tarnish' Bulls' top-of-the-table win

Trevor Owens

Sports Editor, BBC Hereford & Worcester

Hereford FC's manager, Pete Beale, told me fans involved in scuffles in the crowd at the end of the 2-1 win against Alvechurch are "tarnishing" what the team is achieving on the pitch. 

'Big cat' sightings in Worcestershire investigated

Rumoured sightings of a black panther have confirmed Worcestershire as one of the national "hotspots" for big cats, according to a national society. 

The British Big Cat Society tries to quantify and verify reports from across the country. 

They're now looking into media reports of something on the prowl near Defford and Croome in south Worcestershire. 

The last fortnight has seen people report a fuzzy photo, paw prints, and now carcasses of deer, stripped to the bone.

Deer carcass
Gareth Price

Latest: Drug drive tests catch more than 250 drivers; scuffles mar Bulls in; space station UFO report

Kate West

Journalist, BBC Hereford & Worcester

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

- More than 250 drivers tested positive for drug driving in Herefordshire and Worcestershire since the law was changed last year

- Scuffles in crowd at Hereford FC's win last night are "tarnishing" what the side is achieving, says their manager

- Worcestershire man tells NASA he spotted a UFO near the international space station

Man contacts NASA over 'UFO' seen near space station

A man from Worcestershire has contacted NASA over a possible UFO sighting.

Jadon Beeson, 20, from Stourport, says he spotted the mystery light late on Tuesday while he was watching a live stream from the international space station.

International space station

It was glowing with a blue light underneath, there was like a metallic colour underneath... it was slowly moving side-to-side and then it faded away."

Jadon Beeson

Cricket club mark 150th anniversary with new gates

The gates will be at the main entrance to Worcestershire's ground on New Road.

View more on twitter
New Road, Worcester
Getty Images

Watch: How police test for drug driving

Alice Porter

Reporter, BBC Hereford & Worcester

I've been out on patrol with the police as they test drivers for drug driving.

More than 250 drivers have tested positive for drug driving in the past 12 months in Herefordshire and Worcestershire. 

West Mercia Police say 31 of those that have tested positive were drivers at the scene of an accident.

Debut trainer faces challenge of Grand National fences

Dan Pallett

BBC Midlands Today Sport

After missing out on the cut for the Grand National, Herefordshire trainer Kerry Lee's horse Bishops Road is set to race over the same fences in today's valuable Topham Chase at Aintree.

It's her first season as a trainer after taking over the yard from her father.

Scuffles in crowd as Bulls win top-of-table clash

Hereford FC's manager Pete Beadle says if those involved in scuffles in the crowd at Lye Meadow last night were followers of Hereford, he would prefer they stay away from the Bulls' matches.

Last night's 2-1 win at Alvechurch that took the Bulls back to the top of the Midland Football League was marred by scuffles in the crowds in the closing minutes of the game. 

Pete Beadle says the overwhelming majority of Hereford supporters are terrific, but he and the players can do without those looking to cause trouble.

I'm disappointed because they are tarnishing what we are doing on the pitch, what the club, what the board of directors are doing off the pitch and what the loyal supporters have done every week by following us, home and away, in massive numbers."

Pete BeadleHereford FC's manager