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  1. Updates on Wednesday 6 April 2016
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates to resume at 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

By Allen Cook

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

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

Dozens of cannabis plants found in police raid

Sarah Robertson

Producer, BBC Radio Stoke

More than 75 cannabis plants have been found in a police raid at a house in Cannock. 

Staffordshire Police say they were discovered at Hallcourt Close yesterday morning in "varying stages of growth". 

Hallcourt Close

The force says it's investigating after getting information from the local community. 

According to the officers the electricity at the site had been bypassed and "posed a significant risk of causing an electrical fire".

This evening on BBC Midlands Today: House destroyed by explosion and stopping bee decline

Nick Owen

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

An explosion which destroyed a house in Birmingham, the impact of the latest junior doctors strike and what's being done to stop the decline of bees. 

The house in Birmingham, destroyed by an explosion
West Midlands Fire Service

Those are all stories we'll be covering on BBC Midlands Today this evening from 18:30 on BBC One.

Football: Crewe 'going down with a whimper' says Fox

Graham McGarry

Crewe Alexandra commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Crewe Alexandra's David Fox has told BBC Radio Stoke the players were hurt by their manager's comments after the game at Peterborough. 

David Fox

Steve Davis questioned their attitude and commitment following a 3-0 defeat. 

Fox says they're determined to bounce back against Port Vale on Saturday.  

You've got to take it on the chin, you've got to move on, you've got to try and put it right. I think one thing at the minute is we're going down with a whimper and that hurts the most."

David FoxCrewe Alexandra manager

Your pictures: Stunning Stoke sunset and a frosty Biddulph Grange

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

More great pictures now of Staffordshire.

This amazing sunset was taken by Paul Middlaton in Stoke-on-Trent.

Stroke-on-Trent sunset
Paul Middlaton

While this one of the recent frosty weather hitting Biddulph Grange Country Park has come from Mark Sandbach.

Have you got a picture to share? You can send it in on email, tweet @BBCRadioStoke or put it on Instagram and tag it #bbcstoke.

Biddulph Grange Country Park
Mark Sandbach

Man rescued from Staffordshire fire

Phil Bowers

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

A man's been rescued from fire at a flat in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Ford Street

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service says its crews were called to Ford Street, Silverdale, in the early hours of yesterday morning.

They forced their way in and rescued the man from his kitchen which was full of smoke.

He was taken to the Royal Stoke University Hospital for treatment after breathing in the smoke.

Rugeley staff offered permanent positions by Amazon

Emma Thomas

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

Amazon says more than 200 people who had seasonal roles at their base in Staffordshire over Christmas are going to be offered full-time positions. 

Amazon's Rugeley distribution centre

It'll mean that the online retailer will have a total of 1,200 staff working at its processing base in Rugeley. 

Amazon says the jobs are part of its plans to create 2,500 permanent jobs in the UK this year.

Warning after youngster dies in blinds 'tragedy'

BBC Radio Stoke

The parents of a 16-month-old girl who was strangled by a window blind cord in Stoke-on-Trent say they are speaking out to try to stop another tragedy. 

Royal Stoke University Hospital

Bronwyn Taylor was playing at her grandparents' house when she became tangled in the metal cords and stopped breathing. 

She was pronounced dead at the Royal Stoke University Hospital on Saturday afternoon.

You hear about stuff happening like that but you think in the house you're safe."

Matthew TaylorBronwyn's father

M6 tanker fire: One lane still shut northbound

Rebecca Bradshaw

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

A transport firm says it's going to hold a detailed investigation to find out why one of its tankers burst into flames on the M6 near Crewe. 

The Hoyer tanker on fire
North West Motorway Police

The Hoyer tanker was carrying diesel when it broke down on the northbound side at junction 16 this afternoon - the company says it subsequently suffered damage to the back of the vehicle but "no other third party was involved".

The fire caused the whole of the M6 to be shut at one time while emergency services put the blaze out - no-one was hurt and Highways England say most of the lanes have now been reopened. 

News: Tanker fire shuts motorway for hours; 200 permanent jobs at Amazon base; animal remains found 'dumped' in bags

Jack Dowling

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

These are among the top stories for Staffordshire and Cheshire this evening:

- A transport firm says it's going to hold a detailed investigation to find out why one of its tankers burst into flames on the M6 near Crewe

Amazon says more than 200 people who had seasonal roles at their base in Staffordshire over Christmas are going to be offered full-time positions  

- The remains of five foxes and a badger have been found dumped in plastic bags in Staffordshire say police

Foxes and badger found 'dumped' in bags in Staffordshire

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

The remains of five foxes and a badger have been found dumped in plastic bags in Staffordshire say police. 

Police man collecting bags
Staffordshire Rural Watch

Staffordshire Police say they were called this morning to reports of several dead wild animals being found on Hilton Lane, Essington. 

The badger's being sent for a post-mortem examination to try to find out how it died.

Football: Shawcross and Shaqiri could play for Stoke against Liverpool

Lee Blakeman

BBC Radio Stoke Sport

The Stoke City captain Ryan Shawcross may return from injury in the club's game at Liverpool this Sunday

Ryan Shawcross leaving the pitch in a game
Getty Images

That's what the Potters assistant manager Mark Bowen told BBC Radio Stoke this afternoon - he also said Xherdan Shaqiri could be back in the squad for this weekend's match. 

However, he said midfielder Glenn Whelan is a "major doubt".

Vandal attack on charity which supports sex abuse victims

Alice Bentley

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

A Stoke-on-Trent charity's appealing for donations after they say vandals threw a brick through a window of their building.

Savana are based in Wood House in Stoke-on-Trent

A spokesperson for Savana, which is based on Etruria Road, says it resulted in damage to furniture in their children's therapy room, which is used to helps the victims of sexual abuse.

Staffordshire Police say they're investigating after the incident, which they say happened at some time on Friday night.

Good Samaritan leaves elderly couple in tears with extraordinary gesture

Middlewich Guardian

An elderly couple were taken by surprise by an extraordinary gesture of kindness by a stranger in Middlewich in their hour of need.   

Watch: Stoke and Staffordshire's weather for tonight and tomorrow

Sara Thornton

BBC Weather

You can also get the latest weather forecast at any time for Staffordshire and Cheshire from the BBC website.

First day of new state pension system

Kevin Peachey

Online personal finance reporter

An overhauled state pension - being paid to new, rather than existing pensioners - has begun, with some set to gain while others lose out.  

Couple on a bench in front of a lake

The government's long-term aim is simplification, stripping away extras such as the second state pension.

It will also become cheaper, in time, for the government with many of those in their 20s and 30s receiving less than they would under the old system.

Read more, including whether you are a winner or a loser under the new system.

M6 tanker fire: Transport firm say driver unhurt

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

We've heard from transport firm Hoyer who own the tanker involved in today's fire on the M6 north at junction 16 and they say their driver is not hurt. 

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service have also released this picture showing the blaze appears to be out although the motorway remains shut, as they tackle a diesel leak from it

Football: Burton winger nominated for monthly award

Owen Bradley

BBC Radio Derby Sport

Burton Albion winger Mark Duffy has been nominated for the League One player of the month award for March.

Duffy scored both goals as the Brewers beat Fleetwood Town and grabbed another in the 4-0 win at Port Vale.

Mark Duffy

The other contenders are Bradford defender Nathan Clarke, Wigan striker Will Grigg and Shrewsbury midfielder Sullay Kaikai, with the winner to be announced on Friday. 

M6 tanker fire: Diesel leaked on to carriageway

Tim Wedgwood

BBC Local LIve

A large amount of diesel's leaked on to the northbound carriageway of the M6, says the fire service, which is tackling a tanker fire. 

Fire crews tackling blaze on M6
North West Motorway Police

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service say the leak is from one of the vehicle's six compartments so they've covered the area in a "foam blanket" and are blocking drains. 

Highways England says the northbound side of the M6 remains closed at junction 16.

Two hundred jobs created at Rugeley Amazon

Cannock Mercury

Retail giant Amazon have announced that more than 200 people who worked in seasonal roles at Rugeley Fulfilment Centre during the Christmas period will be offered permanent positions.

Amazon distribution centre
Cannock Mercury/PA

News: M6 tanker fire; junior doctors strike; soldiers get memorial garden

Jack Dowling

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

The main headlines this afternoon include:

- A tanker fire has caused the closure of the M6 northbound at junction 16 in Staffordshire this afternoon as emergency services tackle the blaze

- Hundreds of hospital appointments have been cancelled in Staffordshire as junior doctors stage their latest 48-hour walkout

 - A memorial garden's set to be officially opened by the Duke of Gloucester tomorrow at the Staffordshire Regiment Museum in Lichfield

M6 tanker fire: Southbound carriageway reopens

Lucy King

News Editor, BBC Radio Stoke

We've got more information now on the tanker fire on the M6 at junction 16 this afternoon, as emergency services tackle the blaze. 

View more on twitter

Cheshire Police tell us the tanker broke down just after midday and it caught light just after 14:00. The driver escaped unharmed.

Fire crews are on the scene.

The northbound side remains closed but North West Motorway Police say the southbound side has reopened - it was shut because of drifting smoke.

In photos: Tanker fire - no-one in vehicle say police

In photos: Fire crews tackle tanker fire on M6

Jack Dowling

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

This picture of the tanker on fire at junction 16 of the M6 northbound has been tweeted by @M6_Patrol, an officer working with North West Motorway Police.

The tanker on fire at junction 16 of the M6
North West Motorway Police

In photos: Tanker fire near Crewe sees traffic build up on M6

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

This is the scene on the M6, following the tanker fire on the northbound carriageway at junction 16.

North West Motorway Police say they are putting a full closure on both carriageways as a results - get the latest from the BBC Travel website.  

View more on twitter

Travel: Tanker on fire on M6 near Crewe

BBC Travel

A tanker is on fire on the hard shoulder of the M6 at junction 16, police say.

Get the latest from the BBC Travel website.

View more on twitter

Beacon to be lit in Stone for Queen’s 90th birthday

A Little Bit Of Stone

A beacon will be lit in Stone on Thursday 21 April to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday.

Rev Ian Cardinal lights Stone’s beacon for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012
A Little Bit of Stone

Travel: Vehicle fire shuts M6 lane near Cannock

BBC Travel

A lane is shut on the M6 southbound between junctions 10a and 10 because of a vehicle fire and recovery work.

Congestion is back to junction 11a.

BBC Weather Watcher photos: Cheshire canal boat and Peak District hills

Monica Rimmer

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

Here's some of the great pictures from our local BBC Weather Watchers, who let us know the weather where they are.

This photo was uploaded by user Ticketyboo in Baddiley, Cheshire.


And this next one was taken by Southdene Lass in Meerbrook, Staffordshire.

You can be a BBC Weather Watcher by heading to the website and signing up - and maybe I'll feature your photo in the future.

Southdene Lass

Picture: Museum prepares for army memorial opening

A memorial garden's set to be officially opened by the Duke of Gloucester tomorrow at the Staffordshire Regiment Museum in Lichfield.

The Mercian Regiment says it is dedicated to Staffordshire and Mercian soldiers.

View more on twitter

Eurovision Song Contest: Staffordshire singer has 'huge responsibility'

Max Mallen

Presenter, BBC Radio Stoke

Newcastle-under-Lyme's Jake Shakeshaft has told BBC Radio Stoke it's a huge responsibility to represent the UK at this year's Eurovision Song Contest.

The 20-year-old, from Clayton, will duet with 21-year-old Joe Woolford from Wales in Sweden next month.

Jake told BBC Radio Stoke he's going to try not to think about how many people are watching.

It's very hard to say you can just put 200 million viewers out of your head but, at the same time, you can't see those 200 million - you can see the 20,000 in the stadium, I think that's what gives you that buzz and that feeling."

Jake Shakeshaft

Dog microchipping becomes compulsory across UK


Dog owners who have not had their pets microchipped could face fines of up to £500, as a new law comes into force.

All dogs in England, Scotland and Wales are now legally required to be chipped by the time they are eight weeks old.

Dog microchip

News: Appointments cancelled by junior doctor strike; charity hit by vandal attack; Shawcross 'big miss' for Stoke

Jack Dowling

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

The main headlines for Staffordshire and Cheshire this afternoon include:

- Hundreds of hospital appointments have been cancelled in Staffordshire as junior doctors stage their latest 48-hour walkout

- A Stoke-on-Trent charity's appealing for donations after they say vandals threw a brick through a window of their building  

- Former Stoke City manager Lou Macari says he thinks they're a different side when Ryan Shawcross is not in the team

This lunchtime in BBC Midlands Today: Trying to save our bees

BBC Midlands Today

What can be done to save our bees? That's a question we'll be asking in this lunchtime's BBC Midlands Today. 

Bees in a hive

Experts are meeting at the University of Warwick for a conference on protecting them, after a dramatic fall in the bee population in recent years.

We'll have more from 13:30 on BBC One.

Pay £400 or walk! Village fury over school bus cuts

Tamworth Herald

Angry parents in a village near Tamworth have vowed to fight council plans to make their children walk a five-mile round trip to school - or pay almost £400 bus fare.

Children and parents in Warton
Tamworth Herald

Watch: Hundreds of appointments cancelled by junior doctors strike

John Acres

BBC Radio Stoke

I've been down to the Royal Stoke University Hospital this morning where junior doctors have joined a national walkout for 48 hours.

So far today the University Hospitals of North Midland says 321 outpatient appointments have been cancelled because of the strike.

The BMA said it had been left with "no choice" in its fight against the government's plan to impose a new contract in which, it said, the profession had "no confidence"  

But a spokeswoman for the Department of Health said: "This strike is irresponsible and disproportionate."

Watch: Stoke and Staffordshire's weather this afternoon

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

The BBC website also has the latest weather at any time for Staffordshire and Cheshire.

Football: Bodin confident on next season's squad

Lee Blakeman

Port Vale commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Port Vale's assistant manager Paul Bodin says plans are already in place to build on the squad for next season.

Paul Bodin
Port Vale FC

Vale currently have just nine players contracted past this summer. 

Bodin told BBC Radio Stoke that they know what they want the squad to look like.

We're slowly putting things into place and there's lots of work going on behind the scenes in terms of looking at players for next season."

Paul BodinPort Vale assistant manager

Junior doctors' row: The dispute explained

Nick Triggle

Health Correspondent

Ministers and junior doctors are locked in an increasingly fraught dispute in England. 

Today has seen the start of the latest strike - but what exactly is this row about?  

Doctor's coat
Science Photo Library

I've been examining the causes, who it involves and the wider context to this and you can read more here.