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Summary

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

Live Reporting

By Allen Cook

All times stated are UK

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Norma Francis

Norma Francis was driven home in a taxi from a Scottish hotel after contracting norovirus there.

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Severe accident: B5066 Staffordshire both ways

BBC News Travel

B5066 Staffordshire both ways severe accident, between Salt Banks and Sandon Road.

B5066 Staffordshire - B5066 Sandon Road in Hopton closed in both directions between the Salt Banks junction and the Sandon Road junction, because of an accident involving two vehicles.

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

Shop worker named 'face of Stoke-on-Trent'

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

A competition to be the new face of Stoke-on-Trent has been won by a 23-year-old from Hanley.

Jozef Clark with photo mosaic
Stoke-on-Trent City Council

Shop worker Jozef Clark was selected from more than 3,500 photo submissions to be the face of a photo mosaic which will sit next to the town hall in Hanley.

The city council says the artwork is one of the main projects to come from its UK City of Culture 2021 bid, with the winner of the award set to be announced next month.

Father's grave repaired after 'badger attack'

Lee Blakeman

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

A family who said they were "devastated" after finding their father's grave apparently attacked by badgers says it's now been repaired.

The damaged grave
Karen Rushton

Karen Rushton, from Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, said her family found turf had been pulled off her father John's grave, in Fenton Cemetery, on Tuesday.

She said cemetery staff told her there was a badger sett at the site and the animals - a protected species - were looking for food.

The city council, which owns the cemetery, said it was investigating.

This morning, Karen tweeted BBC Radio Stoke to say she was pleased to see her father's grave had been re-turfed.

The re-turfed grave
Karen Rushton

Severe disruption: M6 West Midlands northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands northbound severe disruption, between J10 for A454 and J10A for M54.

M6 West Midlands - One lane closed and heavy traffic on M6 northbound between J10, A454 (Wolverhampton) and J10a M54, because of a broken down vehicle.

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

BreakingHolidaymaker died 'after picking up norovirus at hotel'

Jennie Aitken

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

An inquest has heard the death of a Stafford woman was caused by norovirus she picked up at a Scottish hotel and worsened by a 350-mile journey home.

Norma Francis, 78, died in hospital in April 2016 after becoming unwell during a stay with her husband John at the Loch Achray hotel in The Trossachs.

Norma Francis
Family Picture

Staff at the hotel in Callander arranged for them to be taken back to their home in Stafford by taxi, but on their arrival Mrs Francis could not be roused and later died.

The coroner in Stafford recorded a narrative verdict today.

The hotel has been approached for a response to today's verdict but has yet to respond.

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire northbound severe disruption, between J14 for A34 and J15 for A500.

M6 Staffordshire - Stationary traffic on M6 northbound between J14, A34 (Stafford North) and J15, A500 (Stoke-On-Trent), because of all traffic being temporarily held.

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

Award given in memory of PC killed on duty

Allen Cook

BBC News

The death of a police officer in Staffordshire on this day 31 years ago has been marked today with an award in his memory.

Staffordshire Police says PC John Taylor died while trying to arrest a man in Stoke-on-Trent on 23 November 1986.

The police unit getting their award
Staffordshire Police

The force says he fell from the seventh floor of a block of flats and died from his injuries.

Since then, they award the annual John Taylor Memorial Award - this year it's gone to the force's Armed Response Team Shift One.

'Faulty hand dryer' blamed for school fire

Allen Cook

BBC News

The remains of the hand dryer
Staffordshire Fire Service

A faulty hand dryer's thought to be the cause of a fire in a school toilets in Burton upon Trent today.

Staffordshire Fire Service says it happened at Rykneld school but all staff and pupils are safe, no one was hurt.

Christmas lights set for switch-on

Allen Cook

BBC News

There are more Christmas lights being switched on today.

In Worcester, the city's event will start at 16:00 and is being hosted by BBC Hereford & Worcester presenters Elliott Webb and Malcolm Boyden, building up to 18:00.

Last year's Christmas lights switch on event
Worcester City Council

While in Nantwich, the town council says its event is starting from 17:00 with the switch on due to happen with fireworks at 19:00.

In the papers: Man jailed after abducting girl

The Sentinel

Teenage boy seriously injured after hit by van

Allen Cook

BBC News

A teenage boy has been seriously hurt after being hit by a van in Burton upon Trent.

Ashby Road, Burton
Google

The 13-year-old was on Ashby Road yesterday afternoon when it happened, according to West Midlands Ambulance Service.

The victim suffered head and leg injuries and was taken to hospital.

BreakingMan dies after six-vehicle crash

Allen Cook

BBC News

A man's died after a crash in Cannock involving five cars and a lorry.

It happened at 18:51 last night on the A460 Lodge Lane.

Lodge Lane, Cannock
Google

Ambulance Service staff took over treatment after arriving to find police officers giving the 33-year-old CPR.

The man was initially described as being in a "critical" condition, but West Midlands Ambulance Service says he's now died in hospital.

Police say officers are supporting the man's family and are keen to hear from any witnesses or drivers with any dash cam footage of the incident.

Celeb portraits created from ground vinyl

An artist is immortalising famous musicians in pictures using ground-up vinyl from old records.

Ben Riley, from Audley, Staffordshire, has exhibited his work in the UK and in the US several times.

He said he had gained celebrity collectors of his work, including Pharrell Williams, Olly Murs and some Premier League footballers.

The artist immortalising stars in vinyl

Children's literacy levels 'getting worse'

Literacy levels for children in Stoke-on-Trent are getting worse, not better, according to a local charity.

About 25% of children in Staffordshire and Cheshire did not achieve their expected reading level when they left primary school, and in Stoke-on-Trent it was more than 33%.

The charity Beanstalk, which currently has volunteers in 27 schools, said it's having to expand its service to try and help improve pupils' confidence with reading.

Battle to keep sewage out of school

Chris King

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

More than £2m is to be spent trying to stop a Stoke-on-Trent school suffering more sewer flooding in heavy rain.

Flooded Clarice Cliff Primary in 2016
BBC

Severn Trent Water says the work at Clarice Cliff Primary in Fenton is due to start early next year.

The school shut three times in 2016 because of repeated flooding.

The firm says new pipe and water tank work will cause short-term disruption, so there's a public meeting at the school next week about their plans.

Footballing legend given freedom of borough

Stoke City legend Gordon Banks has been awarded the freedom of the Borough of Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Gordon Banks
Getty Images

The 80-year-old, who won the World Cup with England in 1966, has received the honour for services to national and international football.

The decision was unanimously supported at a council meeting last night.

Huge £21.5m council housing plans to go on show

Allen Cook

BBC News

Plans for the "biggest house building programme" in Tamworth since the 1970s will go on display next week to local people.

The borough council says the £21.5m project would see 141 new council homes on two sites in Tinkers Green and Kerria.

Artist's impression
Tamworth Borough Council

It says it appointed developers earlier this year and the proposals will be shown to residents on Monday and Tuesday evening.

After this stage of the consultation, the council says a detailed planning application will be submitted in the coming months.

The artist immortalising stars in vinyl
Ben Riley creates images of music icons using ground-up records.

Severe accident: A460 Staffordshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A460 Staffordshire both ways severe accident, between A4601 Wolverhampton Road and A5.

A460 Staffordshire - A460 Lodge Lane in Cheslyn Hay blocked and queuing traffic in both directions between the A4601 Wolverhampton Road junction and the A5 junction, because of a serious accident.

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

Severe accident: M6 Cheshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Cheshire northbound severe accident, between J16 for A500 Crewe and Sandbach Services.

M6 Cheshire - Queuing traffic and one lane blocked on M6 northbound between J16, A500 (Crewe) and Sandbach Services, because of an accident involving two cars.

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

Severe accident: A54 Cheshire eastbound

BBC News Travel

A54 Cheshire eastbound severe accident, between Market Street and A527 Mountbatten Way.

A54 Cheshire - A54 Mountbatten Way in Congleton closed and very slow traffic eastbound between the Market Street junction and the A527 Mountbatten Way junction, because of an accident.

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

Severe accident: A51 Cheshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A51 Cheshire both ways severe accident, between Mill Pool Lane and Green Lane.

A51 Cheshire - A51 Chester Road in Barbridge closed and slow traffic in both directions between the Mill Pool Lane junction and the Green Lane junction, because of an accident.

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

Severe disruption: A54 Cheshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A54 Cheshire both ways severe disruption, between Peover Lane and Station Road.

A54 Cheshire - A54 Buxton Road in Congleton closed and slow traffic in both directions between the Peover Lane junction and the Station Road junction, because of a fallen tree.

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

Your photos: Autumn scenes

BBC Weather Watchers

A range of typical autumn scenes for you now, care of our BBC Weather Watchers.

They come from users GrannyAnne in Tibberton, Alvechurchweather in Alvechurch and Savannahuk in Telford.

Tibberton
GrannyAnne
Alvechurch
Alvechurchweather
Telford
Savannahuk

Veterans charity confirms Newport closure

Faith Page

Reporter, BBC Shropshire

A charity that helps former military personnel to overcome problems like post-traumatic stress disorder has confirmed it's ending residential treatment at a centre in Shropshire.

Audley Court
Combat Stress

Combat Stress says it's shutting its residential centre for Specialist Clinical Treatment at Audley Court, Newport but is exploring the possibility of keeping some out-patient services.

The charity says it has seen a 143% increase in referrals for specialist treatment which has made it "more challenging" to provide treatment for former servicemen and women.

Combat Stress, which has been consulting on the plans, says it can't confirm the number of people who'll be made redundant until next month.

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire southbound severe disruption, between J10A for M54 and J10 for A454.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed and heavy traffic on M6 southbound between J10a M54 and J10, A454 (Wolverhampton), because of a broken down vehicle.

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

In the papers: Body thought to be missing man

The Sentinel

Footballer subbed for son's birth after scoring twice

BBC Radio Manchester

A Stoke-on-Trent-born footballer who scored twice before being subbed to see the birth of his son says he got the there "just in the nick of time".

Ryan Colclough's told BBC Radio Manchester he was 'overwhelmed' by his unique hat-trick

Wigan Athletic's Ryan Colclough made a double strike against Doncaster before a nod from his father watching in the stands indicated his partner's waters had broken.

The 22-year-old, who was born in Burslem, said he raced down the tunnel and made it to the birth - in full kit - with 30 minutes to spare.

Both mother and his second son, Harley Thomas, who he said weighed in at 8lbs 6ozs, are "doing very well".

Charity blames universal credit for food parcel rise

Chris King

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

The Salvation Army in Crewe has told BBC Radio Stoke it has seen a spike in the number of people being referred to it for food parcels.

A job centre
Getty Images

The charity's blaming the increase on the time it takes to switch claimants to the new universal credit system, which replaces six benefits and merges them into one payment.

The organisation says, in some cases, it's taking up to six weeks and the people get no money during that time - also a worrying issue for MPs on both sides of the house.

The Department for Work and Pensions says it knows universal credit is a big change for some people and its staff offer help to those who need it.

It says if it knows someone needs an advance, they can get it within five days or on the same day if they are in urgent need.

Watch: The WWI soldier who dodged a bullet

Jack Dowling

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

A chapel in Stoke-on-Trent is hosting a commemoration to fallen World War One soldiers from the city.

The Friends of Bethesda Chapel, in Hanley, is placing a small wooden cross in the building on the 100th anniversary of each soldier's death.

The story of one of 39 soldiers who died in World War One, honoured in Stoke-on-Trent

In total, 39 men from Bethesda died in WW1. The last name will be added in early 2019.

High winds warning as stately home closes

Allen Cook

BBC News

The whole of the West Midlands is expected to be buffeted by high winds through today.

Area covered by yellow weather warning
Met Office

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning running until 07:00 tomorrow saying the winds could cause transport delays.

The National Trust says the Shugborough Estate, Staffordshire will shut from midday because of the forecast.

Russell Brand meets Burton addicts

Maryam Qaiser

BBC Local Live

The comedian Russell Brand met staff and service users at the Burton Addiction Centre where he is a patron.

Brand was in town to sign copies of his book and is donating a percentage of the sales to the running of the centre.

The book is about the comedian's recovery from addiction.

Russell Brand
BBC

He said: "I am signing copies of my book, Recovery and I am meeting with loads of people that are at various stages of addiction."

Body found in park believed to be missing man

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

A body discovered in a park is believed to be a man from Staffordshire who was reported missing more than a month ago.

Concerns were raised about Alan Muir when he was reported missing from his home in Talke Pits on 15 October.

Alan Muir
Staffordshire Police

Yesterday afternoon a body was found in Kidgrove's Bathpool Park, and officers now say they believe it to be the 46-year-old.

The death isn't thought to be suspicious.

Football

Mansfield Town extend their unbeaten run in League Two to six games after beating Port Vale away at Vale Park.

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Football

Perry Ng's superb 85th-minute strike gives Crewe Alexandra victory over fellow League Two strugglers Morecambe.

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Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire southbound severe disruption, between J14 for A34 and J13 for A449.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane blocked on M6 southbound between J14, A34 (Stafford North) and J13, A449 (Stafford South), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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