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  1. Two die in crash and large part of A49 closed for the rest of the day
  2. Woman jailed for baby kidnap
  3. Services mark Battle of the Somme centenary
  4. Updates on Friday 1 July 2016

Live Reporting

By Andy Giddings

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

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

Watch: Weather forecast for West Midlands

A few showers will continue to feed in from the west this evening, before they gradually die away after midnight to a largely dry night with clear spells

It will be a cool and fairly windy night. 

Minimum Temperature: 8C (46F). 

Somme centenary: Thousands pay tribute

Cath Mackie

BBC News Online

Thousands of people across the Midlands have marked the 100th anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Somme.  

The campaign in France lasted five months with the British suffering almost 60,000 casualties on the first day alone.

Somme centenary: Thousands of people in the Midlands pay tribute

There's more on Midlands Today from 18:30 on BBC One.

Enterprise partnership wants to hear Brexit stories

The Marches Growth Hub, is asking businesses to share their experiences, following the vote to leave the EU.

It says it wants to hear from companies experiencing difficulties, but also from those which stand to benefit.

Growth Hub

Watch: People in Shropshire urged to back Wales tonight

Nigel Dolman

Reporter, BBC Shropshire

Wales play their biggest football match in decades tonight, when they face Belgium in the European Championship quarter finals.

And with England out of the tournament, fans here in Shropshire are being encouraged to support Wales for a change.

Cricket: Big crowd expected for fundraiser

More than 700 spectators are expected at an exhibition match at Wrekin College next Thursday.

Former test match cricketers Wasim Jaffer and Corey Collymore will be the biggest stars playing for an Invitational XI playing against a Shropshire side.

Wrekin College cricket
Stuart Dunn

Cash raised from the match will go to Shropshire CCC and the charities it supports.

Telford road maintenance jobs face cuts

Telford Journal

Road maintenance jobs in Telford & Wrekin are set to be axed. Roadworks and utility services contractor Amey Highways said funding cutbacks were to blame for seven posts being put at risk.


Watch: Children in Oswestry learn from Wallace and Gromit creators

Sam Fleet

Journalist, BBC Shropshire

The Marches Academy in Oswestry held its first ever Festival of Education today. 

And Aardman Animations were one of the organisations there, running a workshop for the children.

Headlines: Two die in crash; two year sentence for baby kidnapper; Shropshire remembers the Somme

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

These are our top stories this afternoon:

- Man and woman die in crash which closes large part of the A49

- Telford woman gets two years in jail for kidnapping baby

- Shropshire commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme

American football: Revolution face tough task against Falcons

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

The Shropshire Revolution play their final home game of the season this weekend, against the unbeaten Leicester Falcons.

Their opponents lead the NFC II South and have scored 320 points so far, conceding just 21.

Revolution helmet

A win for the Revolution would be a shock, so their game away to Staffordshire Surge on 17 July could be crucial, if they are to make the end-of-season playoffs.

Hospitals explain how A&E might work in the future

The hospitals in Shrewsbury and Telford have put together this simple table, to explain where people will be treated if accident and emergency departments are reorganised.

NHS plan

The NHS Trust running the hospitals in Shrewsbury and Telford says it would be better to have one main emergency centre in the county, but that will only affect people who are seriously injured.

Those who currently walk into A&E with minor injuries will still be able to go to their nearest hospital and use what will be known as an "urgent care centre".

The hospitals say there is "misunderstanding" about what the changes mean.

Telford woman tracks down grandfather's resting place under the Somme

Nick Southall

Journalist, BBC Shropshire

Events have been taking place across the UK and further afield today to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.

Three years ago, a woman from Telford managed to track down the exact place her grandfather died on the same battlefield - believed to be a first.

Normally, due to artillery fire and the chaotic nature of war, such a feat is impossible.

However, miners such as William Arthur Lloyd often fought a clandestine war in cramped spaces.

With the help of a team of archaeologists studying the La Boisselle tunnels below the Somme, Lesley Woodbridge retraced his steps to stand just feet from where he died - and where his body still lies.  

WW1 soldier's tunnel grave found

BreakingTwo people die after crash on A49

Two people have died following a crash on the A49 near Condover this morning, the ambulance service has just confirmed.

Both were travelling in a car that was involved in a collision with a lorry.

The ambulance service said the car had suffered "significant damage" and the man and woman were in cardiac arrest.

Bystanders had already started CPR before crews arrived to take over, but despite everyone's efforts, the pair were confirmed dead at the scene, a spokesperson said.

No lorry ban likely for Ludford Bridge

Andrew Hewkin

Newsreader, BBC Shropshire

It's looking unlikely that HGVs will be banned from Ludford Bridge in Ludlow. 

A lorry damaged a section in February, but a meeting last night was told that banning them might cause problems elsewhere in the town. 

Ludford Bridge

But councils and the local chamber of commerce have agreed to work together to draw up emergency plans, in case something similar happens in the future.

They will also look for supplies of suitable stone, for future repairs to masonry in the town.

Headlines: Telford baby kidnapper jailed; main road closed by crash; Somme remembered

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

These are our top stories this afternoon:

- Telford woman jailed for two years for kidnapping baby

- Large part of A49 south of Shrewsbury closed because of crash

- Shropshire commemorates 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme

Nathaniel Knight-Percival

Bradford sign centre-back Nat Knight-Percival on a two-year deal after he rejected a new contract at Shrewsbury.

Read more

BBC Weather Watchers: Stormy clouds over Shropshire

BBC Weather Watchers

We're not forecast a lot of rain today, but there are some dark clouds covering the county.

Here you can see photos taken by BBC Weather Watchers in Newport (top) and Ludlow (bottom).

Shropshire Lass

North Shropshire MP backs Leadsom

The North Shropshire MP, Owen Paterson, has thrown his support behind Andrea Leadsom in the Conservative leadership election.

We now know which way all of our MPs are leaning.

The MPs for Telford and the Wrekin, Lucy Allan and Mark Pritchard support Theresa May, the Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski backs Michael Gove and Philip Dunne announced on BBC Radio Shropshire this morning that he is behind Stephen Crabb.

View more on twitter

Your photos: A poppy for Somme anniversary

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

Every day we ask the BBC Weather Watchers to share their photos of the weather around the county and nothing could be more appropriate today than this picture taken near Norton.

Poppy in field
Ice Queen

Parents of kidnapped baby describe 'worst nightmare'

The parents of the baby kidnapped in Telford in February have released a statement this afternoon, thanking the police and people who came forward with information which led to his return.

They said: "What happened is every parent's worst nightmare and the reality is worse than you can ever imagine.

"While he was missing, we cannot explain how we felt. The thought that our practically newborn son was alone, frightened and in a strange place with someone he did not know is indescribable."

They went on to say that they are glad the case was now resolved and that they wanted to put it all behind them and watch their son grow up.

Travel: A49 to stay shut most of the day

BBC Travel

The A49 near Dorrington is expected to remain closed for much of the day, police say, following the earlier crash involving a tanker and a car.

A man has been airlifted to hospital, but the extent of his injuries are currently unclear.

Diversions are in place, but there's heavy traffic in the area, which is also causing delays of about 30 minutes on the A5 around the southern edge of Shrewsbury, Highways England reports.

Watch: Ludlow MP explains why he is backing Crabb for PM

Jim Hawkins Show

Ludlow MP Philip Dunne was in the studio this morning, talking about a range of issues and while he was here he announced he would be backing Stephen Crabb in the Conservative leadership election.

Court hears how Telford woman kidnapped baby

Shrewsbury Crown Court heard Kelly Mahon had called at the family's home and told the mother her husband had been involved in a car accident.

She offered to babysit while the mother went to check on her husband but then disappeared with the child. 

The court heard Mahon had told her boyfriend Dwight Dennis she was pregnant with his child in the hope of cementing their unstable relationship, but it emerged that Mahon had been sterilised nearly 20 years ago.

Kelly Mahon
West Mercia Police

BreakingBaby kidnapper jailed for two years

Giles Latcham

BBC Midlands Today

A woman who kidnapped a nine-week-old baby from his family's home in Shropshire has been jailed for two years. 

Kelly Mahon, 41, from Arleston in Telford admitted abducting the infant from a house in the town last February as part of a "naive" attempt to stage a fake pregnancy. 

The child, who can't be named for legal reasons, was missing for three hours before information from residents led the police to Mahon's door.

The judge told her she would also be disqualified for life from working with children.

What was only a pipe dream suddenly grew into something real. I cannot begin to imagine the terror you caused the child's parents."

Judge Jim Tindal

Crunch meeting for campaign to save Bishop’s Castle leisure centre

South Shropshire Journal

A crunch meeting is being held to drum up support for Bishop’s Castle's under-threat SpArC leisure centre.

Sparc centre
Shropshire Star

BBC Travel: Disruption on A49 now affecting traffic on A5

BBC Travel

The closure of the A49 between Bayston Hill and Church Stretton is now having a knock-on effect on traffic on the A5 around the southern edge of Shrewsbury.

Weather: Dry for most of the day with some rain late on

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

It's going to be a mostly dry day, but there could be some showers this evening.

Man and woman hurt in A49 crash

A man and a woman are being treated by paramedics after a crash between a car and a tanker near Condover in the last hour.

West Midlands Ambulance Service can't yet say how serious their injuries are, but the air ambulance has been called from Cosford.

The accident has closed the A49 between Bayston Hill and Church Stretton.

Air Ambulance
Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service

Photo: Shrewsbury Town groundsmen find shrew in stadium

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

Look what the groundsmen at the Greenhous Meadow have found today - a little shrew.

Maybe it could be a mascot for the new season?

Shrewsbury Town

BreakingAccident likely to close large section of A49 for rest of day

BBC Travel

Police say a collision involving a car and a tanker near Condover is likely to close the A49 between Bayston Hill and Church Stretton for most of the day.

It was reported to them at 11:10.

Concern over hospital stroke services

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

The patients group Healthwatch Shropshire is worried that the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital could be without stroke consultants for some time.

Two have recently left and specialist stroke services will all be based in Telford until replacements can be found.

Royal Shrewsbury Hospital

But Jane Randall-Smith from Healthwatch Shropshire says that it could be November before new recruits take up their posts.

Somme helps forge legend of Wilfred Owen

For many, Wilfred Owen is the ultimate voice from World War One, his poetry summing up the horrors of trench warfare.

Born in Oswestry and later moving to Shrewsbury, the Somme was to play a big part in his poetry.

Sean Bean reads Anthem For Doomed Youth

A year after the main battle, he became trapped underground during fighting and was sent to Scotland to recuperate, suffering from shellshock.

It was there, at Craiglockhart, that he met fellow poet Siegfried Sassoon, who encouraged him to develop his poetry - helping to express some of his nightmarish visions.

Owen would return to the frontline and remain there until his death in 1918, days before the end of the war. 

In that short time he would pen some of the nation's favourite poems such as Dulce Et Decorum Est, Anthem For Doomed Youth and Strange Meeting. 

Ludlow MP backs Crabb for Conservative leader

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

The MP for Ludlow, Philip Dunne, is backing Stephen Crabb in the Conservative leadership election.

Mr Dunne described him as a "very straight talker, clear thinker, highly principled, capable guy".

Philip Dunne

And Mr Dunne said the 43-year-old, who was born in Scotland and brought up in Wales was also best placed to reunite the party and the nation.

Shrewsbury MP describes Gove as 'credible, honourable and experienced'

The MP for Shrewsbury has described the Conservative leadership candidate Michael Gove as "very very credible, honourable and experienced".

Mr Kawczynski says he doesn't know what went on behind the scenes between Gove and Boris Johnson, but believes we are yet to hear the full story.

Daniel Kawczynski

The Shrewsbury MP had previously said he would like a woman to be the next prime minister, but he ruled out Theresa May, because she supported the Remain campaign and Andrea Leadsom, because of her lack of experience in government.

Commemorations to mark Battle of Somme anniversary

A number of events are taking place around the county today, to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Somme.

The 15 soldiers from the parish of Chetwynd who lost their lives are being remembered at Chetwynd Deer Park.

A new avenue of 15 lime trees has been planted recently at the entrance and later a plaque will be unveiled, recording the names of the soldiers.

And earlier wreaths were laid at St Michael's Church in Shrewsbury.

Warning: There is no commentary on this video

Headlines: Somme commemorations; concern over stroke services; farm celebrates birthday

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

Our top stories this morning:

- Commemorations to mark 100th anniversary of Battle of the Somme

- Concern over hospital stroke services

- Community-owned farm celebrates 10th birthday

Delay in hospital theatre opening

The opening of a £15m operating theatre at the orthopaedic hospital in Gobowen has been put back by five weeks. 

Equipment is now expected to start moving into the new building at the beginning of August with a final completion date in November.

Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt hospital

A board meeting yesterday was told the delay wouldn't have a financial impact.  

Ice Hockey: Former GB forward returns for Telford Tigers

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

The former Great Britain forward Phil Hill has agreed to another season with the Telford Tigers.

He was one of their top scorers last year, with 46 points in just 43 games.

Phil Hill
Steve Brodie

Head coach Tom Watkins has praised Hill's professionalism and believes he has kept himself in good shape.

He’s a great guy and teammate, who will lead by example with his work ethic and commitment, to both games and training through the week. He sets a good standard for others to follow."

Tom WatkinsTelford Tigers head coach

Community owned farm celebrates 10th anniversary

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

On this day, 10 years ago, Charlotte and Ben Hollins from Fordhall farm near Market Drayton reached their target of £800,000 to buy the property.

It was raised through donations and is now a community-owned farm, with thousands of shareholders.

Fordhall farm
Fordhall farm

When they started their campaign they had just six sheep but they say they now have a turnover around the £750,000 mark.