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Summary

  1. Updates on Thursday 21 April 2016
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates to resume at 08:00 on Friday

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 Friday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

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

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today

The BBC website also has the latest weather forecast for any part of Staffordshire or Cheshire. 

Football: No Shaqiri for Stoke for their Manchester City match

Matt Sandoz

Stoke City commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Stoke City will be without Xherdan Shaqiri for the lunchtime kick-off at Manchester City on Saturday according to manager Mark Hughes, who's spoken at his regular press conference.  

Xherdan Shaqiri
Getty Images

The winger was replaced at half-time with an slight hamstring injury against Tottenham who went on to win 4-0 at the Britannia Stadium on Monday night.

Shay Given is set to retain his place in goal against his former club but Glen Johnson, Jon Walters and Marc Wilson also miss out.

Ten things no-one tells you before running the London Marathon

BBC Newsbeat

Many people from the region will be among the 38,000 people running the 36th London Marathon this Sunday.

Marathon runners
Getty Images

For many, it will be their first time so, to get you prepared, BBC Newsbeat's drawn up the 10 things which every London Marathon virgin will want to know.

On Midlands Today this evening: Spiritual leader jailed for fraud

Elizabeth Glinka

BBC Midlands Today

Tonight on BBC Midlands Today - a spiritual leader from Stoke-on-Trent has been jailed for 14 years for money laundering and mortgage and tax fraud.

Birmingham Crown Court
Google

There were dramatic scenes in court as others involved were also given prison terms today and I'll have the full story on BBC One from 18:30.

Tamworth backpack campaign will help world's poorest children

Tamworth Herald

Tamworth schools, churches and community groups are being urged to throw their weight behind a project which will help provide a brighter future for some of the world's poorest children.

Peter Gee
Tamworth Herald

Your pictures: Stunning Tamworth wildlife photo

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

This gorgeous bird was photographed in Tamworth by Clive Fisher who shared it with us.

Bird of prey in Tamworth
Clive Fisher

It's great to get your pictures so keep sending them by email, tweet them to @BBCRadioStoke or use Instagram.

CS gas confirmed as substance in Stafford canister incident

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

Police have confirmed it was CS gas that was released at a McDonald's in Stafford on Monday night, leading to two teenagers needing hospital treatment. 

The emergency services at the McDonald's
West Midlands Ambulance Service

Two men have been charged by Staffordshire Police in connection with the Eccleshall Road incident.

Police move to cut tensions after 'holy man' sentencing

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

We're heard from Staffordshire Police this afternoon following the sentencing of self-styled holy man and healer Mehboob Akhtar from Stoke-on-Trent and 9 of his inner circle for their involvement in fraud.

In a statement, Ch Supt Martin Evans said they welcomed the sentences and added that they were aware of "some tension at Birmingham Crown Court".

He added that their officers were working with communities and other agencies to cut any tensions following the sentencing.

News: Self-styled holy man jailed for fraud; boy named after car hit; Stoke City rename and expand stadium

Chris King

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

The main headlines for Staffordshire and Cheshire this evening include:

- A self-styled holy man and healer from Stoke-on-Trent has been sentenced to 14 years in prison 

- A seven-year-old boy who died in hospital five days after he was hit by a car in Stoke-on-Trent has been named by police

- Stoke City Football Club have announced they are to rename and expand the Britannia Stadium

Football: Crewe's Saunders has burden to carry - Collins

Dan Wheeler

BBC Sport

Striker Callum Saunders has a big burden to carry being the son of a famous father but has the talent to forge a successful career, says Crewe Alexandra assistant boss James Collins.

Callum Saunders
Empics

Saunders, 20, is the son of former Liverpool, Aston Villa and Wales striker Dean and signed his first professional deal at Crewe last summer.

He's a late developer. But he threatens the back four and gives us a threat - he's a goalscorer.

James CollinsCrewe Alexandra assistant boss

Police name 'much loved' boy who died after being hit by car

Rebecca Woods

BBC News Online, Journalist

A seven-year-old boy who died in hospital five days after he was hit by a car in Stoke-on-Trent has been named by police. 

Staffordshire Police say Kayden Dunn was from Fitzherbert Road in Sneyd Green

Kayden Dunn
Staffordshire Police

In a statement, his mother Tonie and the rest of his family said he was "much loved". 

The collision took place on Repington Road, near its junction with Bagot Grove, in the Sneyd Green area of the city at about 17:00  on 14 April.

Family of self-styled holy man also jailed for their part in fraud

Elizabeth Glinka

BBC Midlands Today

More now on the sentencing that's been going on at Birmingham Crown Court this afternoon. 

Already self-styled holy man Mehboob Akhtar aka Saint Pandariman, 60, of Farman Close has been jailed for 14 years after being convicted of 11 counts.  

Birmingham Crown Court
BBC

Since then, his co-accused, including his wife, daughter and niece, were imprisoned for between one and 11 years for their part in the mortgage fraud, money laundering and tax fraud that took place between 2003 and 2012. 

There were shouts and screams from the public gallery as the defendants were taken down following sentencing, including shouts of "no justice".

Watch: Cheshire campaigners want to change village addresses

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

People living in a Cheshire village could soon have a change of address.  

Campaigners want Royal Mail to recognise Wistaston as not being part of Crewe in their postal address system - at the moment the town's name appears on much of the village's post, especially official mail, such as bills.

Now postal bosses are launching a consultation on the idea.  

Watch: The Staffordshire hole that cost £2m

Kevin Reide

Midlands Today

A large sink hole that appeared in a B&B car park in north Staffordshire has been repaired at a cost of more than £2m.

The 40m-deep (130ft) sinkhole appeared next to The Laurels, in Oakamoor, in April 2014.

The repair work, the cost of which was mainly met by insurers, has been extensive.

Watch: Uttoxeter's Adam Peaty 'relieved' to have made Rio squad

John Bray

BBC Midlands Today

Uttoxeter's world champion Adam Peaty says he's "relieved" to have made the GB swimming squad for the Rio 2016 Games and a gold medal is his motivation.  

Call for smoking ban at Stoke-on-Trent hospital

Sarah Robertson

Producer, BBC Radio Stoke

A mother who says she suffered from second-hand smoke at Stoke-on-Trent's main hospital for 10 days says she wants it banned from the grounds completely.

Royal Stoke University Hospital
BBC

Victoria Bentham told BBC Radio Stoke she had to keep the windows closed as smoke drifted in from people that gathered by the ward's entrance. 

The head of midwifery at the Royal Stoke University Hospital says they're trying to get smoking banned on site.

Self-styled holy man and healer jailed for 14 years for fraud

Elizabeth Glinka

BBC Midlands Today

A self-styled holy man and healer from Stoke-on-Trent has been sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Mehboob Akhtar aka Saint Pandariman, 60, of Farman Close, was convicted of 11 counts including five of conspiracy to commit fraud.

Birmingham Crown Court
Google

Nine of his inner circle, including his wife and daughter, are still to be sentenced for their part in the mortgage fraud, money laundering and tax fraud that took place between 2003 and 2012. 

Summing up at Birmingham Crown Court, the judge said Pandariman had "let down his followers", adding "your role as a spiritual guide provided cover and you financed your activities through donations obtained in part because of your spiritual role".

News: Stoke City to rename stadium; mother calls for hospital smoking ban; pottery firm marks Queen birthday

Chris King

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

These are among the top stories this afternoon:

- Stoke City Football Club have announced they are to rename and expand the Britannia Stadium

- A mother who says she suffered from second-hand smoke at Stoke-on-Trent's main hospital for 10 days says she wants it banned from the grounds completely   

- A Stoke-on-Trent pottery firm has made a special collection to mark the Queen's 90th birthday

Celebrations mark Queen's 90th birthday

BBC News UK

Celebrations are continuing to take place around the country on the day the Queen turns 90.  

Crowds lined the streets in Windsor as the monarch took part in a walkabout, and royal gun salutes have been fired from each of the UK's capital cities.  

The Queen seeing well wishers today
Getty Images

You can follow the day's live events here as the Queen turns 90.

BBC Weather Watcher photos: Gardening in Lichfield and Hanbury farm

Monica Rimmer

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

Time for some of the great photos that our team of BBC Weather Watchers regularly upload to our website.

This is from the Lichfield area and was taken by Johnnie.

Lichfield
Johnnie

And this is from Scotty in Hanbury, Staffordshire.

Farm in Hanbury
Scotty

Watch: Stoke-on-Trent pottery firm marks Queen's 90th birthday

Tim Wedgwood

BBC Local LIve

A Stoke-on-Trent pottery firm has made a special collection to mark the Queen's 90th birthday.  

Burleigh says they're based on a design the company first created for her coronation in 1953. 

Many of the limited editions have been sent overseas to places such as Japan. Steven Moore from Burleigh says each piece is handmade at the factory in Middleport.  

Watch: New cancer centre at Birmingham Children's Hospital

BBC Midlands Today

Work starts today on a new cancer centre at Birmingham Children's Hospital

The £37m building also includes the UK's first centre for rare diseases.

The unit will provide care for about 250 cancer patients a year, from across the Midlands. It's expected to open by the end of next year.  

Account switch scam nets 5,000 victims

BBC News UK

More than 5,000 people were conned into sending planned payments to fraudsters' bank accounts last year.  

Shredded document
BBC

Victims were fooled by emails asking them to divert payments into criminals' accounts, leaving the genuine recipient unpaid.

The number of cases of the scam - also known as "mandate" or "invoice" fraud - is up 71% on the previous year.

Losses in the UK totalled £126m, according to police figures compiled for Radio 4's You & Yours.

Watch: Cheshire post office to close due to lack of business

Lamont Howie

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

The owner of a Cheshire post office says he deeply regrets having to close it.  

Andrew Smith said it was because of financial pressures at the Audlem branch, caused by the decline of business in recent years.  

Mr Smith told the Audlem Online website it had been a privilege to serve the village. He called his customers "good friends" and thanked them for their support. 

Post Office Limited is understood to be working on alternative postal arrangements.  

Watch: Your photos of the West Midlands in the sun

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

Many people take pictures of Staffordshire or Cheshire on their smartphones and cameras - and that may well include you.

But have you ever thought about sharing them with your local BBC website team?

There are so many ways to send them in to us - email, tweet @BBCRadioStoke or put them on Instagram, adding #bbcstoke to the description.

Thanks to Shropshire Lass, PJs, Hugo Snugg, Mikesnapper, Vickie Whittaker, Ice Queen, Shelly Nutting and all who sent in photos yesterday.  

NHS in £2.4bn funding boost for GP services in England

Nick Triggle

Health Correspondent

NHS chiefs in England have announced a five-year plan to help GP surgeries "get back on their feet" and to improve access for patients.

The rescue package will see an extra £2.4bn a year ploughed into services by 2020 - a rise of 14% once inflation is taken into account.

Stethoscope
TEK Image / Science Photo Library

It will pay for 5,000 more GPs and extra staff to boost practices.

It comes after warnings from the profession that the future of general practice was at real risk.

News: Stoke City rename and expand stadium; men charged over canister incident; pottery firm marks Queen's 90th birthday

Chris King

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

This afternoon's main headlines include:

- Stoke City Football Club are to rename and expand their stadium to raise capacity above 30,000

Two men have been charged by police after a gas canister was set off at a fast food outlet in Stafford earlier this week

 - A Stoke-on-Trent pottery firm has made a special collection to mark the Queen's 90th birthday

Watch: Oakamoor B&B shut for months by sinkhole to reopen

Emma Thomas

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

A bed and breakfast in Staffordshire that has been closed for two years because of a landslide is due to reopen today.

BBC Midlands Today's Liz Copper filmed this last year.

The giant sink hole appeared overnight outside The Laurels B&B in Oakamoor in April 2014. It was thought to be 40m (131ft) deep and 10ft (3m) wide. 

The driveway was crushed and twisted out of shape and fences shifted. Plugging it has formed part of a £2m scheme to stabilise the whole area. 

Football: Stoke City to expand stadium capacity

Matt Sandoz

Stoke City commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

As well as renaming the stadium, Stoke City have also said today that they are going to add 1,800 extra seats, which they say will raise capacity above 30,000.

Britannia Stadium
Getty Images

It's the corner between the DPD and Marston's Pedigree Stands.The club say that work will be done in time for the start of the 2017-18 season.

The Potters also say bet365 have extended their shirt sponsorship for three more years.

Watch: Stoke and Staffordshire's afternoon weather

Charlie Slater

BBC Weather presenter

The BBC website also has the latest forecast at any time for Staffordshire or Cheshire.

Travel: Congestion on M6 southbound in Staffordshire

BBC Travel

There's very slow traffic on the M6 southbound between junctions 10a and 10 because of an earlier police incident.

All lanes have been reopened.

Swimming: Peaty leads GB team

Nick Hope

BBC Sport, Olympic Sport reporter

Staffordshire's world champion Adam Peaty headlines a 26-strong Team GB Olympic swimming squad for the Rio 2016 Games.   

Adam Peaty
Getty Images

Uttoxeter's Peaty will make his Olympic debut in Brazil.

The 21-year-old, who won three world titles in Kazan, is aiming to be the first British man since Adrian Moorhouse in 1988 to win an Olympic swimming gold medal.  

It's Olympic year so you never know who's going to appear, but I'm definitely the strongest I've ever been.

Adam PeatyWorld champion swimmer

Football: Stoke City to rename ground to bet365 Stadium

Matt Sandoz

Stoke City commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Stoke City have confirmed their home ground, the Britannia Stadium, is to be renamed the bet365 Stadium from August. 

Stoke City FC Chief Executive Tony Scholes with bet365 joint Chief Executive John Coates Read more at http://www.stokecityfc.com/news/article/stoke-city-bet365-stadium-naming-rights-3072250.aspx#zPcqbXZr8sibvEL8.99
Stoke City

The Potters have entered into an initial six-year stadium naming rights agreement with the club's owners bet365.

Quality Hotel blames Hanley's noisy nightlife as it is forced to refund guests

The Sentinel

Dozens of guests are receiving refunds from one of Stoke-on-Trent's biggest hotels every week - because their sleep is being disturbed by noisy revellers and cabbies.

General manager Patrick Fitzgerald outside the Quality Hotel
The Sentinel