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  1. Hereford incident 'no longer abduction investigation'
  2. Ram raiders hit two premises in Worcester
  3. Call for more action on rural burglaries
  4. Cathedral given national award as a place of learning
  5. Updates from Friday 2 September

Live Reporting

By Jerry Chester

All times stated are UK

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Stories we're working on: BBC Midlands Today

BBC Midlands Today

Have you been gripped by The Archers this week? Millions have and even if you’re not one of them we’ve been behind the scenes to bring you the latest on the long running Radio 4 soap’s darkest plot – carefully scripted by writers and producers of the programme.

The trial of Helen Titchener, accused of attempted murder after a long running storyline about domestic violence, is attracting big audiences and headlines around the world and raising tens of thousands of pounds for the charity Women’s Aid. 

Helen finally makes public the extent of Rob’s abuse.

Watch Midlands Today on BBC One at 18.30.

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 automatically added this evening and into the morning. 

On Midlands Today from 18:30: The rise of city bees

David Gregory-Kumar

Science correspondent, BBC Midlands Today

On Midlands Today this evening, beekeepers are starting their harvest at the moment and overall it looks like this year will be pretty good. 

Bees being revealed in hive

However one owner of hives in the West Midlands has noticed a startling difference in the amount of honey his bees are producing. 

I've been investigating why and you'll see more from 18:30 on BBC One in Midlands Today.

Giraffe arrivals are already taller than their keepers
Two rare Rothschild's giraffes have given birth within days of each other at West Midlands Safari Park.

Stories we're working on: BBC Midlands Today

BBC Midlands Today

Hilary McConnell, Producer

Midlands Today will be looking at the issue of organ donation today - we meet a man from Worcestershire who needs a new kidney but faces up to 15 years on the waiting list. He’s hoping to find a living donor match. And we’re meeting a young girl from Warwickshire who’s just returned to school after a liver transplant.

David Gregory-Kumar will be finding out more about this year’s honey harvest. It turns out urban bees are producing more honey than rural hives because there's more diversity of plants and flowers in the town as opposed to the monoculture of the agricultural landscape.

And Jaguar goes back to motor racing, but will Formula E - which is electric car racing - have all the glamour of Formula 1? Dan Pallet finds out. 

Formula E racing

We'll also have an update on how our local Paralympics athletes are doing in the Games which start today.

Join us on BBC One from 13:30, 18:30 and 22:30.

West Mercia police looking for new Deputy Chief Constable

West Mercia Police is advertising for a new Deputy Chief Constable.

The post comes with an annual salary of £119,430, but before you think of applying, it is only available to people who are already Assistant Chief Constables.

Job advert
West Mercia Police

The post was held by Anthony Bangham until recently, but he was promoted to Chief Constable last month.

Almost 80,000 on zero-hours contracts

Daniel Wainwright

Data unit - English regions

Almost 80,000 people in the West Midlands are on zero-hours contracts, according to the latest official figures.

That number, covering April to June, has stayed roughly the same as the previous year.

Across the UK, the number of those whose main job did not guarantee a minimum number of hours increased to 903,000, a rise of 21% on last year, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

Zero hours figures

In the West Midlands there were 79,000 people on zero hours contracts between April and June, representing 3.0% of people in employment.

For the same period in 2015, there were also 79,000 but they made up 3.1% of people in employment.

Alexandra Hospital, Redditch

An ambulance service is told not to take children to a hospital's A&E department - prompting one paramedic to speak out about his fears.

Read more

Watch: Learning to drive at the age of five

BBC Midlands Today

Children as young as five have been testing out an electric two-seater car which has been designed for primary school age children. 

The 11-year-old daughter of motoring journalist Quentin Willson was among those driving the car, called Firefly.

Mr Willson has campaigned for children to be taught driving safety as part of the school curriculum, to help reduce the number of accidents and fatalities.  

Learning to drive at the age of five in an electric car

Metro mayor: Lib Dems confirm candidate

The Liberal Democrats have selected their candidate to fight next year's West Midlands Mayoral election. 

Beverley Nielsen is a director at Birmingham City University and has served as a Worcestershire county councillor. 

Beverley Nielsen

Last month Labour announced its candidate - former Birmingham MP and current West Midlands MEP Sion Simon.

Andy Street, the MD of highstreet retailer John Lewis is expected to be confirmed as the Conservative nomination.

The election is due to be held in May next year.  

West Midlands parks 'at risk of decline'

BBC Midlands Today

Public parks in the Midlands are at risk of decline and some of the facilities in them could close, according to a new report by the Heritage Lottery Fund. 

Findings showed that 78% of councils across the region anticipate budget reductions of 10% or more over the next three years with nearly half their parks expected to deteriorate. 

Fallen gates at a park
London Midland Trains

Peter Plisner

BBC Midlands Transport Correspondent

Bidders for the West Midlands rail franchise are being given permission to remove seats and create more standing room to fit more passengers in.

Read more

Coming up on Midlands Today: Standing room only

Peter Plisner

BBC Midlands Today

More commuters could have to stand under plans for rail services across the West Midlands.

Seats could be removed to fit more people onto services on trains currently run by London Midland.

Two groups are bidding to take on the franchise from October next year.

London Midland

The services include the cross city lines, and trains out of Birmingham to Hereford, Shrewsbury, Stoke-on-Trent, Liverpool, Stratford, Leamington, and down to London.

I'll have more on the Midlands Today on BBC One at 18:30.

More standing room on trains to Birmingham

Peter Plisner

BBC Midlands Today

Rail passengers are being warned to expect to stand for longer on trains running around the region. 

The companies bidding to run local trains in West Midlands are being given permission to remove seats and create more standing room in an effort to cope with massive growth in rail travel.

London Midland train

The franchise is currently run by London Midland.


The only helpline for paedophiles worried they are at risk of offending calls for more volunteers and funding as it deals with rising demand.

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.

The incident happened at Red Indigo Indian restaurant on September 1

A man is charged with several offences after an alleged racially-motivated incident at an Indian restaurant in Powys.

Read more
Thomas Hadley

A Herefordshire farmer has spoken of his shock and devastation after two dogs killed more than 30 of his 56 sheep in an ferocious attack.

Read more

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 more live news, sport, travel and weather.

On the hunt for a local unsung hero

BBC Sport

Do you know a local sports volunteer who deserves some much-needed recognition? It's time to let us know.

Now in its 14th year, the BBC Get Inspired Unsung Hero award celebrates people from around the UK who volunteer their time and efforts to help people participate in sport.

You can nominate until 23 October and the winner will be announced at BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Last year, 92-year-old Alec Davies from Worcester St John's cycling club was named the West Midlands unsung hero.

BBC Midlands Sport Unsung Hero 2015

Wildlife trust calls badger cull 'ineffective and ill-judged'

The proposed extension of the badger cull into south Herefordshire has been condemned as an "ineffective and ill-judged approach2 to the problem of bovine TGB, by a wildlife trust.

Worcestershire Wildlife Trust says it will be "re-doubling its efforts" to get the cull stopped. 


The trust says it recognises that bovine TB is a "very difficult issue to deal with" and that the consequences "can be disastrous to the lives and businesses of farmers".

Instead of a cull the trust says the government should:

- Reduce cattle-to-cattle transmission by tightening movement controls - these, not badgers, are the major cause of infection, it says

- Accelerate research into cattle vaccination and testing to detect outbreaks  as a long term solution

- Improve standards of biosecurity on farms

Chemical spill in Leominster

Firefighters in Leominster are dealing with a chemical leak on the A44 between the A49 roundabout and Steen's Bridge. 

View more on twitter
Essex celebrate

Essex maintain their Division Two promotion push with a big win over Worcestershire inside three days at Chelmsford.

Read more

Watch: Weather for the evening and weekend

Rebecca Wood

BBC Weather

Dry overnight with clear spells and light winds leading to a fresher night for many. Lows of 13C (55F).

You can read a full forecast on the the BBC Weather page.

The weather for the West Midlands.

Watch: Concrete spraying at new swimming pool

Waterproof walls are being created at Worcester's new £10m swimming pool by spaying concrete using a giant hose.

The eight-lane 25-metre pool, being built at Perdiswell leisure centre, is due to open in the new year.

The video comes from Worcester City Council.

Spraying concrete lining at Worcester's new swimming pool

Your pictures: Windy day on the Malvern Hills

Jerry Chester

BBC News Online

These view from the Malvern Hills were taken by regular contributor Paul Wilde.

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

Malvern Hills
Paul Wilde
Malvern Hills
Paul Wilde

Latest: Police call off abduction investigation; new Green Party leader; Worcester

Carson Wishart

Journalist, BBC Hereford and Worcester

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

- Hereford incident is "no longer an abduction investigation" say police

- The Green Party's only MP, Worcestershire-born Caroline Lucas, has been elected one of its co-leaders

- Two businesses in Worcester are ram-raided in the early hours of this morning

Travel: Delays on the M5 southbound

BBC Travel

There's slow traffic on the M5 southbound between J5 (Droitwich) and J6 (Worcester north) because of an earlier accident. 

All lanes are now open but delays remain. More from BBC Travel.

Flying the flag for Merchant Navy day

Merchant Navy Day has been held every September since 2000.

View more on twitter

Hereford incident 'no longer abduction' investigation

Reports that two men attempted to snatch a nine-year-old girl in Hereford are "no longer being investigated as an attempted abduction", police say.

Staddlestone Circle in Saxon Gate (pictured) was cordoned off by police yesterday.

Staddlestone Circle

Although the incident is no longer being investigated as an attempted abduction, our inquiries continue in order to ascertain whether an offence has taken place and if so, of what nature."

Det Insp Martin Taylor

Olympic finalist Alexandra Hospital doctor Sara Treacy returns to Redditch

Redditch Advertiser

Olympic finalist Sara Treacy, a doctor from the Alexandra Hospital, has returned to Redditch.