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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

NHS sign

Overnight closures of Ludlow and Oswestry maternity units follows a six-month closure last year.

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Police tape

A shotgun was recovered during the arrest of a 45-year-old man on suspicion of murder, police said.

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Video: What's the weekend weather going to be like?

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

Staying dry overnight but cloudy with lows of 3C (37F).

Tomorrow will be wet and windy but remaining mild with highs of 10C (50F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

More maternity unit closures due to sickness

Services at two of Shropshire's maternity units are being suspended again because of staff sickness.

The unit in Ludlow will close for 12 hours from tonight and the one in Oswestry will be closed all weekend.

Ludlow community hospital
BBC

It hasn't been possible to give birth at Shrewsbury's maternity unit since 11 December because of damage to the roof and the hospital can't say when it will reopen.

During the closures, women giving birth will have to travel to Telford or Bridgnorth, unless they want to give birth at home, or go outside the county.

Councillor says non-payment of tax caused by mix-up

Tim Page

News Editor, BBC Shropshire

A Shropshire councillor who was taken to court over non-payment of council tax says it was down to a mix-up.

Steve Davenport, who's now a cabinet member on the council, was sent six reminders and a summons over arrears of more than £600 in the last financial year.

Steve Davenport
Shropshire Council

Details emerged in a Freedom of Information request by Private Eye magazine. The legal process was cancelled when the money was paid and it emerged the summons had been sent to the wrong address.

Councillor Davenport told BBC Radio Shropshire the situation arose when a tenant left his house suddenly.

He initially disputed the demand for payment, and had to stand down from voting on financial matters for a while, but says he eventually decided to pay up.

River levels continue to fall

River levels in Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire are continuing to fall, but a number of Environment Agency flood alerts remain in force across the three counties.

They cover stretches of the rivers Avon, Lugg, Severn, Tern and Perry.

Stourport flooding
Helens View

Most of the rivers reached their peak last night.

Flood barriers in Shrewsbury town centre have been removed.

Postal service praise after Christmas cards returned

A Shrewsbury man whose wife accidentally posted some incorrectly addressed Christmas cards has praised Royal Mail for returning them 22 days later.

David Bevan-Jones says the cards were marked with the first names of his son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter - and nothing else - when they went into the postbox.

Postbox
BBC

They were found among 30,000 items at the main sorting office in Chester and returned with £200 still inside.

I think we take things for granted, that people do the same job every day. People we never see very often. And we take the whole thing for granted. And I think they deserve absolute credit."

David Bevan-Jones

In the papers: Woman arrested over migrant worker allegations

Shropshire Star

Three of the headlines from the Shropshire Star today:

Swimming pool to close for three weeks

The swimming pool in Bishop's Castle will close for refurbishment for three weeks from mid-February.

It's to allow the ladies changing rooms at the Sparc centre to be improved, at a cost of £100,000.

Sparc centre
BBC

The pool will reopen on 12 March.

Flood alerts in place

There are still flood alerts in place for the Severn and Avon in Worcestershire and River Lugg south of Leominster, says the Environment Agency.

Flood barriers being removed
Environment Agency

Temporary flood barriers put up in Shrewsbury are being removed this morning.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

After a cold start, it’ll be a dry and bright day with sunny spells expected throughout the morning with highs of 6C (43F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands
Chelsea Under-21s

Chelsea Under-21s will travel to Lincoln in the Checkatrade Trophy semi-finals, while Shrewsbury host Yeovil or Fleetwood.

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Market voted 'Britain's favourite'

Shrewsbury Market has been voted "Britain's favourite" after an online campaign.

Judges for a competition run by the National Association of British Market Authorities also visited the indoor site and tested customer service with a mystery shopper.

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Pupils

Hannah Richardson

BBC News education reporter

Secondary school tables just published show one in eight in England is below government standards.

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Video: What's the weather got in store?

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

Any rain this evening should fizzle out to leave a cloudy night with lows of 3C (37F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

House fire body that of man who 'lived at property'

A body found at the scene of a house fire in Shropshire is believed to be that of a man who lived there, police say.

West Mercia Police says next of kin has been informed, although formal identification is due to take place.

The fire service was called to the blaze in the Cramer Gutter Lane area of Oreton, Cleobury Mortimer, on Monday night and a search for a missing man was launched at the site. It announced the discovery of a body on Wednesday.

The West Mercia force says the fire is not being treated as suspicious, but enquiries are under way as to the cause.

Snowboarder gets second chance to impress

BBC Sport

Alsager snowboarder Rowan Cheshire has been called up to the GB squad for the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

She had been seen as a medal prospect for Sochi, but missed out after suffering a head injury in training.

It was the first of three head injuries which almost forced her to quit the sport.

Rowan Cheshire
Getty Images

There's also a place in the GB squad for Shropshire's Ben Simons, who won silver in the four-man event at the Bobsleigh World Cup in Canada last month.

Ben Simons
BBC

NHS sculpture to be made out of medical scrap

A sculpture to celebrate 70 years of the NHS will be made in Shropshire using out-of-use medical equipment, including beds, microscopes and blood pressure monitors.

It will be constructed at the British Ironworks Centre, which is home to a giant gorilla made out spoons and an 8m (27ft) angel made out of knives surrendered to the police (pictured below).

Knife Angel
BBC

Artist Luke Kite is behind the project which is due to go on display at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital on 7 July.

He is asking the public to decide what form the sculpture should take, with a deadline of 16 February for sharing ideas.

Flood alerts as river levels rise

Flood alerts remain in place across the West Midlands.

Heavy rainfall has led to a rise in river levels and the weather is expected to remain unsettled over the next 48 hours.

The River Severn is running particularly high and other areas affected include Shropshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire and Herefordshire.

The Environment Agency says it's closely monitoring all rivers in the region.

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Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Charlie Slater

BBC Weather presenter

Sunny spells on and off throughout the morning with a couple of showers before a cloudier afternoon and more rain - highs of 8C (46F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Fly tippers fined for dumping rubbish in town

A £400 fixed penalty notice has been handed out to the person who dumped this rubbish in the Brookside area of Telford.

Fly tipping
Telford and Wrekin Council

On Tuesday a couple from Priorslee were issued a £300 fine by Telford and Wrekin Council for dumping this rubbish in the Red Lake area of the town.

Fly tipping
Telford and Wrekin Council

Concern over safety of crossing outside school

Parents of children at a Shropshire primary school say they're worried about the safety of a nearby road.

Pupils at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Primary School, in Newport, have to cross Chetwynd Road to get to an outdoor learning centre, which they say has become busier since two new housing estates have been built.

The parents say traffic coming around the bend might not see children crossing until it is too late and want warning signs and traffic calming measures.

Chetwynd Road
BBC

Telford and Wrekin Council says it has worked with the school to put safety measures in place, including giving children yellow fluorescent jackets and road safety education, but it will look again at road signs, to see if they can be improved.

The school said it was satisfied with the safety measures in place, but said "we fully support plans for improvement at the location".

The road safety officer has inspected and approved our procedures and risk assessments so that the children will be able to cross safely, and our wonderful forest school provision can be protected

Stacey BealeSaints Peter and Paul Primary School

Severe accident: M54 Staffordshire westbound

BBC News Travel

M54 Staffordshire westbound severe accident, between J2 for A449 and J3 for A41.

M54 Staffordshire - One lane closed and queuing traffic on M54 westbound between J2, A449 (Wolverhampton) and J3, A41 (Albrighton), because of an accident.

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

Work to make footbridge secure is under way

Workmen have been attempting to secure the end of a footbridge which connects Bridgnorth to the Severn Valley Railway.

Last week Shropshire Council discovered eight bolts which are designed to hold down the walkway "appeared to be hanging dangerously in mid-air" and that support cables had lost some of their tension.

Workmen on bridge
Severn Valley Railway

These photos were taken today and show the council workmen using weights to hold down the bridge while new bolts are fixed in place.

This work is being described as a temporary solution by the authority, with a permanent repair job due to take place later in the year.

Workmen on bridge
Severn Valley Railway

Flooding expected to get worse this evening

River levels are expected to peak this evening or overnight on a number of rivers across the West Midlands.

Three Environment Agency flood warnings remain in place for stretches of the River Wye in Herefordshire and there are several flood alerts for rivers in Shropshire and Worcestershire.

Flooded field
Martin N
The Darwin Shopping centre

Shropshire Council agreed to buy the Darwin, Pride Hill and Riverside centres in December.

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Here's why you'll still need an umbrella tomorrow

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

We've had a windy and, at times, wet day for much of us in the West Midlands today.

Here's tonight and tomorrow's forecast - you can get latest updates at any other time from the BBC Weather website.

Rebecca Wood

In the papers: Couple fined for dumping Christmas cards

Shropshire Star

Here are three of the headlines from the Shropshire Star website:

Council completes purchase of shopping centres

Andy Giddings

BBC News

Shropshire Council has completed the purchase of Shrewsbury’s three main shopping centres for about £51m.

The authority said it wanted to have greater control over the town centre and that buying them will "support economic growth and regeneration" as well as generating £2.7m by the time of next year's budget.

Shopping centre entrance
BBC

The council said it would bring in a specialist property management company to run the centres.

And it confirmed the purchase had been made via an offshore trust in Jersey.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to enhance and improve the town centre and change Shrewsbury for the better

Councillor Steve CharmleyShropshire Council deputy leader

Fears of further hospital review delays

Critics of planned changes to Shropshire's hospitals say they fear there has been another delay.

The plans, known as Future Fit, aren't on the agenda for a meeting of the NHS Improvement body today, leading the anti-cuts group Shropshire Defend Our NHS to suggests the long-awaited public consultation won't start any time soon.

The plans have to get the approval of a number of NHS bodies, including NHS Improvement, to go ahead.

Hospital ward
SATH

Publicly, local health officials aren't moving beyond their position of "waiting to hear", and aren't getting drawn in to whether they expected progress today.

They remain convinced that making the changes, which would include making Shrewsbury the county's main centre for emergency care, is the way to make Shropshire's health service stronger.

'Growing problem' of addiction to prescription drugs probed

BBC News Health

Public Health England is starting a review into the "growing problem" of prescription drug addiction.

Hands with pills in
Xesai

NHS data suggests one in every 11 patients in England is being prescribed medication that could be addictive, or difficult to come off.

Judy (not her real name), who is 43 and from Shropshire, was prescribed diazepam at the age of 30 to treat anxiety. She still takes it now.

My whole life has been torn apart. It's an absolute medical disaster. My aim is to get off it, of course, but with each tiny drop in dose, the symptoms hit - and so hard - it's horrific

JudyPerson who is addicted to diazepam

In photos: Rising river levels after heavy rain

BBC Weather Watchers

The heavy rain overnight's just added to the water levels in our local rivers and waterways.

These photos are from BBC Weather Watchers Eskimodens lens in Bidford-on-Avon, Warwickshire, and Shropshire Lass, in Ludlow:

Bidford-on-Avon, Warwickshire
Eskimodens lens
Ludlow
Shropshire Lass

BreakingBody found at scene of house fire

A body has been found at the scene of a house fire in Shropshire.

The house at Oreton, near Cleobury Mortimer, was badly damaged by the fire on Monday night and search teams had been going through the wreckage, looking for a man believed to live there.

West Midlands unemployment rises to 155,000

Allen Cook

BBC News

The number of unemployed people in the West Midlands region rose by 6,000 to 155,000 in the three months to November, official figures show.

Job Centre sign
Getty Images

The Office for National Statistics said the region's unemployment rate for the period is 5.5%, compared to 4.3% for the whole of the UK.

But, compared to the same period in 2016, the number of jobless in the West Midlands fell by 6,000.

Search for missing man continues after fire

Andy Giddings

BBC News

The search is resuming this morning for a man who has been missing since a serious house fire in Shropshire on Monday night.

The house at Oreton, near Cleobury Mortimer, was seriously damaged and Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service says it fears the shell of the building could collapse - it may call in a structural engineer later.

Fire engine
BBC

West Mercia Police says the cause of the fire is currently unknown, but is not being treated as suspicious at this time.

Gledrid roundabout in Oswestry

The A5 southbound was closed at Chirk, near Wrexham, for about eight hours but has now reopened.

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Travel: Shed load of cheese causes problems on A5 near Oswestry

BBC News Travel

Part of the A5 on the Shropshire/Wales border is still closed this morning after a lorry load of cheese overturned, police say.

It's happened on the southbound side which is closed between the A483 and the Gledrid roundabout.

Police say the load of cheese was shed by the lorry at about 01:00 but it's now been removed - however the road may need to be repaired.

Shrewsbury Town reach EFL Trophy semi-finals

James Bond

Sports Producer, BBC Shropshire

Shrewsbury Town are within 90 minutes of a Wembley final after beating Oldham last night in the quarter-finals of the EFL Trophy.

Stefan Payne
Getty Images

Stefan Payne (pictured) fired Shrewsbury ahead after just 16 seconds with his 11th goal of the season.

Oldham equalized midway through the second-half but Alex Rodman won the game with a curling effort in the dying minutes.