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Summary

  1. Vigils in Kidderminster and Redditch for victims of Manchester attack
  2. Van driver jailed for killing Malvern teenager
  3. Hundreds of council staff could be underpaid by new IT system, union says
  4. Preparations for Grimley Raceway meet
  5. Updates on Friday 26 May 2017

Live Reporting

By Jerry Chester

All times stated are UK

Our live coverage across the day

We'll be back with our usual mix of news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Tuesday.

Enjoy the bank holiday.

Ice lollies for giraffes

Safari park staff have been feeding ice lollies to giraffes as temperatures soar across the UK.

Food is put inside the blocks of ice at West Midlands Safari Park, at Bewdley in Worcestershire.

Giraffes handed lollies at West Midlands Safari Park

Racing set for Monday comeback at controversial track

Phil Maiden

Reporter, BBC Hereford & Worcester

Motor racing at Grimley Raceway will get under way on Monday for the first time in about eight months.

Grimley Raceway
Google

Complaints from some local residents about the noise meant that racing at the track was suspended following a court injunction.

But Malvern Hills District Council agreed earlier this month that racing can now resume, after a hearing to discuss its future was postponed.

Reminder that armed officers may be on the streets

The police are reminding us that with the heightened state of security at the moment, there may be armed officers out on the streets this bank holiday weekend.

Armed officer
BBC

The force says it always has armed officers based around the West Mercia area, ready to react where needed, but since the terror attack in Manchester it deployed additional firearms teams.

There will also be more regular police out on the streets.

Rugby: Worcester Warriors hooker prepares for England start

BBC Hereford and Worcester

The Worcester Warriors' young hooker Jack Singleton is preparing for his first start for England this weekend.

Jack Singleton in action for Worcester Warriors
Tony Marshall/Getty Images

He's among eight uncapped players in the side to face the Barbarians at Twickenham on Sunday.

He won't, however, win an England cap for the game as it has been designated a "non-cap" fixture.

Eastham bridge: Latest photo

The bridge is open, but work to incorporate bricks from the original 18th Century structure, which collapsed last year, continues.

View more on twitter

Football: Bromsgrove excited about Worcester City fixtures

BBC Sport

Bromsgrove Sporting are relishing the prospect of facing Worcester City in the Midland Football League Premier Division next season.

City, who share the Victoria Ground with Sporting, have been forced to step down two divisions for financial reasons.

Foot and ball
Getty Images

Bromsgrove's manager Paul Smith described the matches as "two huge local derbies" and said they would be "mouthwatering clash home and away for the fans to get involved in".

Trade union criticises payroll system

Some of the lowest paid council staff have been particularly badly affected by failures in a new payroll system, trade union Unison says.

Last month 16,000 workers in Worcestershire were moved on to a new system, but about 150 of them were underpaid by as much as £500.

"This is tending to affect the lower paid members of the council workforce, so home care assistants... teaching assistants are another example," Jim Price, Unison branch secretary in Worcestershire, said.

"It's people without large regular salaries they rely on the sessional work that they do and they're just not getting pad for that."

Worcestershire County Council
BBC

Worcestershire County Council says it has a large support team in place to provide technical support and advice.

The firm behind the new system has apologised.

Severe accident: M5 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire northbound severe accident, between J8 for M50 and J7 for A44 Worcester.

M5 Worcestershire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M5 northbound between J8 M50 and J7, A44 (Worcester), because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Cricket: Worcestershire batting after bowling out Northants

Play has resumed after tea at the County Ground and Worcestershire are batting in their County Championship match.

Norhamptonshire were all out for 238 in their first innings after adding 77 for the final two wickets and in reply Worcestershire are 20 without loss.

Jack Shantry and captain Joe Leach helped themselves to three wickets each in Northants first innings.

Bank holiday getaways: Busiest roads for four years

Highways England have suspended 150 miles of roadworks across the West Midlands in anticipation of today's Bank Holiday getaway.

The RAC are warning drivers to expect the busiest spring bank holiday weekend for traffic in four years.

It estimates that 16.5m leisure journeys will be taken between today and Monday because of soaring temperatures.

Data picture
BBC

Netball: Last home game of the season for Severn Stars

Worcester's professional netball team is based at the University Arena.

View more on twitter

Severe disruption: M50 Herefordshire eastbound

BBC News Travel

M50 Herefordshire eastbound severe disruption, between J3 for B4221 and J2 for A417.

M50 Herefordshire - One lane closed on M50 eastbound between J3, B4221 (Newent) and J2, A417 (Ledbury), because of a broken down car with caravan. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Slideshow: Sunshine on Wylde Moor

Jerry Chester

BBC News Online

These great photos of Wylde Moor near Feckenham in Worcestershire basking in the May sunshine were taken by one of our regular contributors, Paul Wilde.

I'd love to feature your photos, especially as the weather is so good - you can email, tweet us on @bbchw or message via Facebook.

Spring sunshine on Wylde Moor

Tributes to former Hereford MP

BBC Politics

The former Hereford MP Paul Keetch, who's died at the age of 56, has been described as a man of "absolute principle".

He was the area's Liberal Democrat MP for 13 years from 1997 and died on Wednesday after a long illness.

Paul Keetch
BBC

Lib Dem president Baroness Sal Brinton said he "cared passionately about the people he represented".

The party's former leader Lord Campbell said Mr Keetch was "an enthusiast in everything he did".

Former Redditch MP says counter-terror strategy needs reviewing

Former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith says the Prevent programme, aimed at stopping people becoming involved in extremism, must be reviewed.

The ex-Redditch MP was involved in strengthening the programme in 2008, but told BBC WM one of its main aims is still not happening.

Jacqui Smith
PA

The government were right to say that they should be reviewing it, but wrong to not have already done it, I think it needs to be looked at in more detail alongside other elements of the counter-terror strategy."

Jacqui SmithPolitician

Royal visit for residential farm

The Duchess of Cornwall is visiting a farm in Herefordshire today, which organises breaks for disadvantaged young people.

Jamie's Farm in Longtown teaches children what is involved in running a livestock farm and skills like horse-care and carpentry.

Duchess of Cornwall
Getty Images

The duchess is the patron of the charity and it'll be her first visit to the Herefordshire farm.

Delays on Redditch to Birmingham trains

BBC News Travel

Train services between Redditch and Birmingham are facing delays and possible cancellations due to a points failure, which has left some lines blocked, operator London Midland says.

Cricket: Worcestershire take four Northants wickets

Dave Bradley

Cricket commentator

Worcestershire have taken four Northamptonshire wickets in the morning session after winning the toss and choosing to bowl in their County Championship game at the County Ground.

There was one apiece for Jack Shantry, Joe Leach, Josh Tongue and Ed Barnard.

Northants will return after the lunch break on 102-4.

You can follow the match on BBC Hereford and Worcester on 738AM and online.

Midlands Today: Extra security for 'Pride' event

Ben Sidwell

BBC Midlands Today

West Midlands Police say a "large number" of officers, specials and staff will be on hand to keep visitors safe at the city's Pride event on Saturday and Sunday.

Security measures have also been stepped up at festivals in Staffordshire, Shrewsbury and Hay-on-Wye.

Catch my report on BBC One at 13:30.

Birmingham Pride 2016
BBC

Hereford sign Bowen

James Bowen is to return to Edgar Street, Hereford FC have announced.

He spent time on-loan at the club in 2015-16 and manager Peter Beadle told the club's website he was "keen" to get him back.

"He’s had a lot of offers so I’m pleased he’s agreed to join us," Beadle said.

Bulls agree new deal with Preece

Hereford FC have agreed a new deal with defender Mark Preece.

The club's website says the 29-year-old made 28 starts for the Bulls last season, since joining from Chippenham.

Hospital ward shut due to norovirus

Phil Maiden

Reporter, BBC Hereford & Worcester

A ward at Hereford County Hospital has been closed after a case of Norovirus was confirmed.

Hereford County Hospital
Google

The Wye Valley NHS Trust says visits to the Gilwern ward are on hold to prevent any further spread.

It says some patients are affected and adds that people should only come to the hospital if they need to.

Cricket: Worcestershire strike early

BBC Sport

Worcestershire have made their first breakthrough in the third over, with Joe Leach removing Northants' Max Holden for a duck.

The score at the County Ground is now 7-1.

Minute's silence observed as Worcestershire's game starts

The victims of the Manchester bombing were remembered at the start of the game between Northants and Worcestershire.

View more on twitter

Cricket: Worcestershire's team for Northants game

You can hear ball-by-ball commentary on BBC Hereford & Worcester's 738AM frequency and online.

View more on twitter

Firm apologises after payroll system underpays council staff

BBC Hereford and Worcester

The firm behind a new payroll system at Worcestershire County Council, which has seen staff and other businesses underpaid, has "sincerely apologised".

Almost 150 staff were affected after the authority brought in the new Mercury payroll system in April, which covers 16,000 employees.

Notes
Getty Images

Some workers saw their pay £500 short, a meeting of the full council heard on Thursday, and the authority said a review would take place.

Liberata, the firm that delivers the service, says it's been working with the council "to ensure that these errors do not re-occur in the next pay run".

Cricket: Preview of Northants v Worcestershire

Dave Bradley

Cricket commentator

You can hear ball-by-ball commentary on BBC Hereford & Worcester's 738AM frequency and online.

View more on twitter

Former Hereford Liberal Democrat MP Paul Keetch dies

BBC News England

Senior politicians have paid tribute to former Hereford MP Paul Keetch who has died at the age of 56.

Paul Keetch
BBC

Mr Keetch, who served as the area's Liberal Democrat MP from 1997 to 2010, was the party's defence spokesperson and played a role in its decision to oppose involvement in the 2003 Iraq War.

Mr Keetch died in London on Wednesday following a long illness.

His family said he had been proud to represent Hereford, where he was born.

Vigils held for Manchester bomb victims

Vigils will be held in Redditch and Kidderminster today, in memory of the victims of Monday's Manchester attack.

Further events will be held over the bank holiday weekend across the two counties, with vigils planned in Bromsgrove and Leominster on Saturday.

Tributes to bomb victims
Getty Images

Naeem Arif, from the Bromsgrove Muslim Community Trust, says all are welcome at this afternoon's vigil at Redditch Mosque.

The horrific attack on Manchester Arena appalled all of us and whilst the extremists and terrorists want to divide communities we must come together for the victims and to send a strong message of unity to all those who wish to divide us."

Naeem ArifBromsgrove Muslim Community Trust

Watch: Your 50-second weather forecast

Mel Coles

BBC Weather

Another dry, sunny and hot day in store with top temperatures of 25C (77F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Good morning from today's Herefordshire and Worcestershire live page

Jerry Chester

BBC News Online

Welcome to the Local Live service for Herefordshire and Worcestershire on Friday morning. It looks like being another scorcher - this BBC Weather Watcher was up early to catch the sun rising in Evesham

Sun rises
Weather Watcher

I'll be bringing you all the news, sport, travel and weather as it happens.

If you'd like to get in touch you can email, tweet us on @bbchw or message via Facebook.

Severe disruption: M50 Gloucestershire westbound

BBC News Travel

M50 Gloucestershire westbound severe disruption, between J2 for A417 and J3 for B4221.

M50 Gloucestershire - One lane closed on M50 westbound between J2, A417 (Ledbury) and J3, B4221 (Newent), because of a broken down lorry. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe disruption: M5 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire northbound severe disruption, at J5 for A38 Droitwich.

M5 Worcestershire - One lane closed on M5 northbound at J5, A38 (Droitwich), because of a broken down vehicle.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

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.