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Summary

  1. Updates on Monday 18 April 2016
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates to resume at 08:00 on Tuesday

Live Reporting

By Julia Leonard

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

Watch: Latest weather forecast for West Midlands

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

It will remain largely cloudy through this evening with the westerly breeze easing. 

Tomorrow should be a dry and bright day.

Highs of 14C (57F).

iWonder: Where did my local pub get its name from?

BBC iWonder

The Red Lion, the Royal Oak, the Bull’s Head. These names are found on the signs of pubs all over Britain. But where did these colourful names come from that we take for granted today?  

The BBC iWonder website's been pondering the question and has answers, history and videos to try and find out "What's in a name".

Deadline for registering to vote

There are elections taking place on 5 May but you will only be able to vote if you’ve registered to do so - and the deadline is tonight.

Polling station
Getty Images

If you are not already registered, you can do so by visiting the following website: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

And, if you want to find out more about the elections then you can visit the voter information website or the BBC News elections homepage.

Protest over post office closure

Redditch Advertiser

Members of the Communications Workers Union, who represent staff at Bromsgrove's High Street post office, took to the streets at the weekend to protest against its closure.

Hereford FC sell thousands of tickets for Wembley finals

Staff at Hereford FC say fans have bought more than 16,600 tickets for the Non League Finals Day at Wembley on 22 May. The total ticket sales for the day now stand at 31,031.

Pete Beadle
Getty Images

Latest: Evesham murder victim named; future 'bleak' for dairy farmers; West Mercia phone issues resolved

Gavin Kermack

Reporter, BBC Hereford & Worcester

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

- A woman believed to be murdered in Evesham on Friday has been named as Julie Karen Hitch

- A former dairy farmer says the future of the industry looks very bleak and it's on the verge of collapse

- West Mercia Police says problems with its phone lines have now been resolved - earlier 999 and 101 calls were being redirected to neighbouring forces

Your photos: Bromyard in sunshine

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today

Today's weather photo for Midlands Today comes from Les Carr in Bromyard, who sent in this beautiful, sunny scene.

Bromyard weather pic
Les Carr

Changes to Worcestershire health care considered

NHS bosses in Worcestershire have submitted their plans for the future of the county's hospitals to the West Midlands Clinical Senate. 

The main changes to services include an adult only A&E unit at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch and centralising inpatient care for children at the Worcestershire Royal.

Worcestershire Royal Hospital
BBC

The model has been drawn up by clinicians from across the county including GPs, hospital doctors and nurses.

Hospice fundraising football ground trip

David Pearson is raising money for St Richard's Hospice where is late wife Judy was cared for when she developed early onset Alzheimer's. 

He's aiming to visit every Premier League football ground by the weekend and so far has stopped off at West Bromwich Albion, Aston Villa and Leicester City.

David Pearson at West Brom
David Pearson

West Mercia phone problems fixed

West Mercia Police says problems with its phone lines have now been resolved. 

 Earlier they were redirecting 999 calls to neighbouring forces because of issues with both the 999 and 101 numbers.

View more on twitter

Queen's 90th birthday celebrations

People from Worcestershire who turn 90 this year are being invited to help celebrate the Queen's birthday with the Mayor of Worcester and Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire on 11 June.

View more on twitter

Harriers fans 'stay loyal to club'

Kidderminster Harriers fans say they will remain loyal to the club after being relegated on Saturday from the National League following a goalless draw against Barrow. It brought an end to 11 years in the top tier of non-league football.

Aggborough stadium
Getty Images

It was coming - we had got used to the idea that we were going to be going down. It's very similar to when we fell out of the league in 2005. Hopefully we can come back and come back stronger."

Ed DursleyFan

Evesham murder victim named

It's been confirmed that the woman who died at a house in Evesham on Friday was 53-year-old Julie Karen Hitch. 

Mark Pearce, 51, of Bewdley Street appeared before magistrates this morning, charged with murder, and has been remanded in custody until his crown court appearance tomorrow.  

Latest: Man in court on murder charge; thousands sign SAS soldier petition; Herefordshire dairy farmers sell up

Gavin Kermack

Reporter, BBC Hereford & Worcester

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

- A man from Evesham has appeared in court charged with the murder of a 53-year-old woman 

- More than 40,000 people have signed a petition to free former SAS solider, Albert Patterson, from prison

- After 27 years in the industry, a Herefordshire couple are selling up their dairy herd this week as it's costing them more to produce milk than they're being paid for it

Police working to fix phone fault

West Mercia Police says it is working to fix its phone lines as quickly as possible, so it can receive 999 and 101 calls again.

In the meantime it is urging people to report crimes via its website and if it's not urgent then wait.

Emergency 999 calls are currently being diverted to call centres belonging to neighbouring forces.

Phone
BBC

BreakingPolice having problems with 999 calls

West Mercia Police are reporting problems receiving 999 calls.

View more on twitter

Paramedic on dealing with effects of legal highs

Worcester News

A paramedic has described how a young man who had overdosed on a mix of drugs and legal highs screamed, spat, kicked, bit and even tried to eat his own vomit in a scene that reminded her of the classic horror film The Exorcist.

Front page
Worcester News

Living with Peter who dresses as Penny

BBC News Magazine

Sometimes Penny is dressed in a bright jacket and skirt. On others she is Peter Ellis, 63, a retired teacher and former local councillor.  

Penny, from Leominster, kept her second identity hidden from wife Lou for 12 years. 

Penny dresses depends on her mood that day, and she usually feels like being Penny a couple of days a week.

Penny with wife Lou Ellis
BBC

Sometimes I dress, sometimes I partly dress. I used to wear a wig and I've given that up - partly through not needing so much disguise anymore. As far as I'm concerned, I'm the same person, I have the same likes, whether I've got a pair of trousers on or a skirt."

Peter Ellis, also known as Penny

Almost 100 farmers leave dairy industry in 10 years

Sally and Kevin Whistance are not the first farming family to leave the industry over falling milk prices.

Over the last decade, almost 100 dairy farmers in Herefordshire and Worcestershire have sold up.

At the beginning of this month there were 171 registered in the two counties, according to the Food Standards Agency, down from 266 in April 2006.

Herefordshire dairy farmers sell up

Nicola Goodwin

Reporter, BBC Hereford & Worcester

Sally and Kevin Whistance from Much Dewchurch are putting their 500 dairy cattle and milking equipment up for auction this week because they say they now get paid less for their milk than it costs them to produce it. 

Sally and Kevin Whistance
BBC

We are losing money and there just doesn't seem to be enthusiasm to invest in the industry and continue to grow. Most people we've spoken to would be prepared to pay more for milk but the supermarkets, the processors - they all need to step up to it too."

Sally and Kevin Whistance

A422 in Kidderminster shut

The Franche Road is closed today for five days for highway maintenance  

View more on twitter

Oliver returns turns down Worcestershire deal

Richard Oliver has rejected a deal with Worcestershire and will play Minor Counties cricket again this season for Shropshire.

The 26-year-old opening batsman left New Road at the end of last season.

Richard Oliver
Stuart Dunn (Shropshire CCC/Shrewsbury Chronicle)

Oliver, who made two first-class centuries for Worcestershire in 2014 after making an exciting breakthrough in T20 cricket while still with Shropshire, has received interest over the winter from other first-class counties.

Hundreds sign up for charity runs

Worcester Observer

Hundreds of people are due to compete in the Worcester full and half-marathons on 22 May in aid of St Richard's Hospice.

Murder accused appears in court

A man has appeared at Worcester Magistrates' Court charged with murdering a woman found in Evesham.

The 53-year-old victim, who has not been formally identified, was pronounced dead at the address in Bewdley Street on Friday  

Mark Pearce, 51, also of Bewdley Street, is due to appear at Worcester Crown Court tomorrow. 

Murder scene in Evesham
BBC

Weather: Latest forecast for Herefordshire and Worcestershire

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

One or two light showers are possible this afternoon, though many places will remain dry.

Highs of 12C (54F).

Latest: Evesham man on murder charge; Herefordshire dairy farmers sell up; PCC debate held at Worcester pub

Kate West

Journalist, BBC Hereford & Worcester

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

- A man from Evesham is charged with the murder of a woman found dead at a house on Friday

- A Herefordshire farming family are selling up their dairy herd this week after three generations in the industry

- Police and Crime Commissioner debate held at Worcester pub 

Charity fundraiser in football ground challenge

David Pearson from Worcester is hoping to raise more than £4,000 in aid of St Richard's Hospice by visiting every Premier League football ground between today and Friday. 

His wife was treated at St Richard's before she died in January 2014. 

David is starting with West Bromwich Albion, Aston Villa and Leicester City.

David Pearson
BBC

Worcester Warriors 'not at the races'

Worcester Warriors' director of rugby Dean Ryan says the team's lack of work rate was to blame for a poor first half that saw West Midlands rivals Wasps race into a 33-15 lead at the break.

Wasps winger Christian Wade scored four tries inside 21 minutes.

Ryan said his side were "easily picked off".

Dean Ryan
Getty Images

We made it easy for them as we haven't been at the races for the past two games and I'm not prepared to let the season drift to an end."

Dean RyanWorcester director of rugby Dean Ryan

Pub debate for PCC candidates

A debate is being held at a Worcester pub tonight between the six West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner candidates. 

Landlord Ted Marshall says he hopes the event will encourage people to vote in the election on 5 May.

Cap 'N' Gown pub
BBC

It's about choosing the right person to work with the chief constable and make decisions - it is a vital role."

Ted MarshallPub landlord

Weather: Cloudy morning

Plenty of cloud cover this morning

View more on twitter

Temporary traffic lights in Bromsgrove

The work on the Birmingham Road for the Barratt Homes development at Norton Farm will last for 12 weeks.

View more on twitter

Thousands sign petition against SAS man's prison sentence

More than 38,000 people have signed a petition started by The Sun newspaper to try and have the prison sentence of a former SAS solider from Hereford suspended. 

Albert Patterson, 65, was jailed for 15 months for possessing weapons and ammunition.

David Willetts
Handout

Society doesn't need to be protected from this man, he's not going to benefit from hanging out with actual crooks. The gun laws in this country were designed to deter people who kept firearms for malicious intent - to burgle shops; to burgle homes; and deal drugs."

David WillettsDefence Editor at The Sun

Latest: Evesham man charged with murder; thousands back SAS man petition; dairy farmers sell up

Kate West

Journalist, BBC Hereford & Worcester

Here are some of the news stories we are looking at across Herefordshire and Worcestershire:

- Evesham man due in court charged with the murder of a woman

- A petition to have a former SAS solider from Hereford freed from prison has been signed by nearly 40,000 people since Friday

- A Herefordshire farming family is selling up their 500-strong dairy herd as they now get paid less for their milk than it costs them to produce it

Worcester 35 - 54 Wasps

Christian Wade equalled the Premiership record for most tries in a game as he scored six against Worcester to lift Wasps to second in the table, thanks to a 35-54 win.

Worcester scored six tries of their own in a game which totalled 14 at Sixways.

Christian Wade
Getty Images

Wade was the star of the West Midlands derby, with four of his tries coming inside 21 minutes.

Wrench used as weapon in nightclub attack

Hereford Times

An arm-wrestling match in a Leominster nightclub led to one of the combatants later swinging an 18-inch long adjustable wrench at his opponent in the street outside, a court heard.

Man charged with Evesham murder

An Evesham man has been charged with murder after a woman died in the town on Friday.

Emergency services were called to the house on Bewdley street early on Friday morning where they found an injured women who was in cardiac arrest. 

The identity of the victim, who's 53, is known, but formal identification is yet to take place.

Mark Pearce, 51, of Bewdley Street, Evesham, has been charged with murder and is due to appear at Worcester Magistrates' court later this morning.

Cycle race returns to the streets of Redditch

The event takes place on Thursday, 26 May.

View more on twitter

News: Man charged with murder; farmers selling up; thousands oppose ex-SAS man's jailing

BBC Hereford and Worcester

The main headlines this morning include:

- An Evesham man has been charged with murder after a woman was found dead in the town on Friday 

- A Herefordshire farming family are selling their dairy herd this week due to milk price falls

- More than 38,000 people have signed a petition to try and have the prison sentence of a former SAS solider from Hereford suspended

Travel: Lanes reopened on M5

BBC Travel

Traffic should be returning to normal on the M5 after earlier accidents both northbound and southbound near junctions four and five.

All lanes have now reopened.