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Summary

  1. News, sport, travel and weather updates to resume at 08:00 on Thursday
  2. Updates on Wednesday 25 May 2016

Live Reporting

By Jack Dowling

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

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

Watch: Latest weather forecast for the West Midlands

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today

Rain to sweep in overnight from the north, but should be largely gone by the morning.

Minimum temperature of 8C (46F)

EU referendum: How to register to vote

BBC Politics

The referendum to decide on the UK's membership of the European Union is on Thursday 23 June.  

BBC politics have produced this handy guide on who is eligible to vote and how to register.

Polling station sign
Getty Images

Coming up on TV: Jake Shakeshaft reflects on Eurovision

Laura Mcmullan

Reporter, BBC Midlands Today

Jake Shakeshaft, one half of Britain's Eurovision entry, visited his former primary school today - and I caught up with him.

The 20-year-old, from Newcastle-under-Lyme, talked about the experience in Stockholm earlier this month and the knowledge he's built up so far in his music career.

You can watch the full report on Midlands Today from 1830 on BBC One tonight.

Fleetwood Town sign former Vale striker Holloway

Fleetwood sign former Port Vale striker Aaron Holloway for an undisclosed fee and goalkeeper Chris Neal on a free transfer.

Aaron Holloway
Getty Images

Crews tackle lorry fire

The fire on Mount Road industrial estate is thought to involve a large camper van, a lorry and a pile of rubbish.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue says four crews from Longton, Stone and Newcastle-under-Lyme are at the scene.

Latest: Fire on industrial estate; lottery win for Crewe bus driver; 900 respond to market consultation

Phil Bowers

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

Here are some of the main stories we are looking at in Staffordshire and Cheshire:

- Fire crews are tackling a burning caravan and lorry at an industrial unit in Stone

- A bus driver from Crewe has called his £6.1m lottery win 'unreal'

- Over 900 people have responded to an official consultation over the future of Sandbach's historic Market Hall

Lottery win for Crewe grandad 'unreal'

Stuart George

Presenter, BBC Radio Stoke

Winning the £6.1m lottery jackpot felt "unreal", Kevin Jones from Crewe told me.

The 57-year-old checked his numbers on the computer before starting work as a bus driver at 05:30 the following morning.

Bus driver and wife celebrate in front of bus
The National Lottery

Mr Jones said he felt obliged to work, despite suddenly becoming a millionaire, as his passengers depended on him to get to work.

He told me: "I have a philosophy of speculate a little and consolidate a lot. We're certainly going to buy a home which we will hopefully be extremely happy in. From then we're going to draw a tight belt and live reasonably securely I hope."

Fire on industrial estate in Stone

Jack Dowling

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

Fire crews are tackling a blaze at an industrial unit in Stone.

The fire, on Mount Road Industrial Estate, is believed to have started in the last half hour.

Firefighters from Newcastle, Stone and Longton are at the scene.

Fire in industrial unit behind metal fence
@copeypj13

More than 900 respond to market consultation

Over 900 people have responded to an official consultation over the future of Sandbach's historic Market Hall

Traders are concerned that the future of the market could be under threat because of plans to install glass offices, or remove the stalls altogether. 

The town council insists the venue is losing money and needs revitalising. The results of the consultation haven't yet been revealed.

Sandbach market
BBC

Travel: Long M6 delays

BBC Travel

There's congestion on the M6 northbound at junction 16, due to an accident between junctions 17 and 18.

All lanes have reopened, but congestion remains. 

More on BBC Travel.

Preparations continue for 'record-breaking' county show

Emma Thomas

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

There's just a week to go until the 216th Staffordshire County Show at the county showground.

Livestock entries have reached record-breaking levels this year. 

Montage of county show attractions
BBC

Richard Williams, chief executive of the Staffordshire and Birmingham Agricultural Society, said: "Sheep and pigs continue to increase to such a level that we are having to use every available space."

The show will take place 1-2 June.

'No Vale contact with Accrington Stanley boss'

Lee Blakeman

Port Vale commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Port Vale owner Norman Smuthwaite has confirmed today that he has had no contact with the Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman or his representatives regarding the vacant manager's job.

Coleman's odds have been dramatically reduced from 66-1 to 8-1, making him the third favourite.

John Coleman applauding fans
Jan Kruger / Stringer

Latest: Fugitive child rapist found abroad; Crewe grandad wins jackpot; scarecrows stolen from village festival

Phil Bowers

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

Here are some of the main stories we are looking at in Staffordshire and Cheshire:

- A child rapist who fled the UK has been arrested in Brazil after three years on the run

- A grandad from Crewe has been revealed as the winner of a multimillion-pound lottery jackpot

- Stars of the stage, cinema and small screen have been spotted in one Staffordshire village this week

Illegal tobacco raids in Stoke-on-Trent

Chris King

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

Raids across Stoke-on-Trent targeting illegal tobacco have uncovered more than 38,000 cigarettes and £18,000 worth of hand rolling tobacco. 

Trading Standards officers said the operation has been run over the last four months - and seven out of the eight premises raided in Hanley, Longton and Stoke were selling illegal products.

Smoked cigarettes in an ashtray
Paul J Richards / Stringer

Travel: Delays on M6

BBC Travel

 There are delays northbound on the M6 in Cheshire after an earlier accident near J18 for the A454 (Middlewich).

All lanes have now reopened, but traffic is backing up as far as J17 for Crewe.

Scarecrows stolen from Staffordshire village festival

Ros Chimes

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

Stars of the stage, cinema and small screen have been spotted in one Staffordshire village this week.

Endon is having a best of British scarecrow competition, with the winner announced just before the annual well dressing during the bank holiday weekend.

Unfortunately, two scarecrows were stolen earlier this week and have not yet been found.

James Bond styled scare crow in front garden
BBC

Mary Berry, the Queen and James Bond are just some of the famous personalities to be recreated as scarecrows in the village.

Manhunt as convict escapes prison

Burton Mail

Police have sparked an area-wide manhunt after a convicted crack-cocaine dealer escaped from prison.

Crewe grandad scoops Lotto millions

Lamont Howie

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

A grandad from Crewe has been revealed as the winner of a multimillion-pound lottery jackpot.

Kevin Jones, 57, discovered he'd won the £6.1m jackpot while doing his early shift as a bus driver.

Man holding giant cheque out bus window
The National Lottery

"There was no way I couldn’t go into work the following day - I know how much people rely on me for their morning commute," he said.

Mr Jones now plans to hand in his notice and buy his dream home.

Fugitive child rapist found in Brazil

A child rapist who fled the UK has been arrested in Brazil after three years on the run.

Portuguese national Antonio Pedro De Olivera Alves was convicted in his absence at Stafford Crown Court of raping the 12-year-old girl.

Antonio Pedro De Olivera Alves
Staffordshire Police

The 44-year-old, who was living in Rugeley at the time, was sentenced to an 11-year jail term in 2013, and a warrant for his arrest was issued.

Alves, who was arrested in South America earlier this month, will face extradition proceedings, police said.

Coming up on TV: Hundreds of lecturers on strike

Sarah Falkland

BBC Midlands Today

Hundreds of college and university lecturers across the region have walked out as part of a national two-day strike. 

Join me for the Midlands Today on BBC One at 13:30.

Watch: Weather forecast for the West Midlands

Feeling noticeably cooler than yesterday. A band of patchy light rain is expected to spread across the region in the afternoon.

Max Temp: 12C (54F).

Travel: A34 'clear'

Traffic has eased on the A34 after the earlier accident. One person was taken to hospital after a crash involving a Ferrari and a Fiord Fiesta this morning.

View more on twitter

Latest: 'A shame' if Stoke woman sent home; transport boost for east Cheshire; Premier League star to wed near Nantwich

Phil Bowers

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

Here are some of the main stories we are looking at in Staffordshire and Cheshire:

- A widowed mother-of-five from Stoke-on-Trent facing deportation to the UK from Australia says it "would be a shame" if she was kicked out

- Environmentally friendly forms transport such as cycling and walking will be give an extra push by Cheshire East Council over the next few years - after being awarded money by the government

- Leicester City star Jamie Vardy is getting married at Peckforton Castle near Nantwich today

Stoke woman only two when she left for Australia

Despite being only two when she left the UK, Kelly Webb never became an Australian citizen or naturalised - a move she now regrets.

Webb has an extensive criminal history, including a conviction for killing her stepfather. 

She was sentenced to a good-behaviour bond after the court heard he had been abusive over an extended period.

Razor wire and flag
Getty

Her eldest child, nine, currently lives with his father in Perth. While in prison, her six-year-old twins and five-year-old son are being cared for by their paternal grandmother, and her one-year-old baby girl is with Webb's mother.

Her late husband, father to her four youngest, was killed in a motorcycling accident last year.

Stoke woman says it would be 'a shame' if she's deported from Australia

Pete Morgan

Presenter, BBC Radio Stoke

A widowed mother-of-five from Stoke-on-Trent facing deportation to the UK from Australia told me it "would be a shame" if she was kicked out

Kelly Webb, 30, is a recovering drug addict, and has been in and out of prison. Last April she was given an 18-month sentence for aggravated burglary.

Under Australian law, visas are automatically cancelled if someone spends a year or more in jail. She told me she must now wait to hear if ministers will let her stay.

I think the reasons why I've committed my crimes... it's all been through drugs. I've rehabilitated myself and it would be a shame if finally I've actually worked on myself and done something about it, only to be kicked out of the country."

Kelly Webb

Head teachers say cancel primary test results

Sean Coughlan

BBC News, education correspondent

Head teachers are calling on the education secretary to stop the publication of this year's primary school results in England.

They warn of "serious mistakes" in the introduction of changes to tests and say results are too "unpredictable".

Tests
Thinkstock

This year's primary tests also saw a series of leaks and cancellations.

But the Department for Education said its reforms would "help ensure all children leave primary school having mastered the basics".

Green transport boost for east Cheshire

Lamont Howie

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

Environmentally friendly forms transport such as cycling and walking will be give an extra push by Cheshire East Council over the next few years - after being awarded money by the government.

The £350,000 funding is designed to help the authority to cut congestion and improve air quality in towns like Crewe and Nantwich.

Cyclist in the morning light
Ben Pruchnie / Getty Images

Congestion in Stockton Brook

BBC Travel

There's slow traffic in both directions on the A53 in Stockton Brook this morning.

It's at the junction with Baddeley Green Lane, due to roadworks.

More on BBC Travel.

Leicester City star to be wed near Nantwich

Graham McGarry

Crewe Alexandra commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Leicester City star Jamie Vardy is getting married in South Cheshire today. 

The 29-year-old striker and his fiancee Rebekah Nicholson will tie the knot at Peckforton Castle near Nantwich.

The England striker will miss the friendly against Australia on Friday because of it.

View of castle from the sky
bbc

GPs praised for 'dramatic' cut in antibiotic prescriptions

BBC News Health

GPs in England have "dramatically" reduced the number of antibiotics they give to patients, latest figures show.

NHS Improvement says prescriptions for all types of antibiotic were down by more than 2.6 million on the previous year to about 34 million in 2015-16.

Pills
SCIMAT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

They say it is a "fantastic result" and shows doctors are being careful not to over-prescribe them.

It is part of a wider drive to stop harmful infections developing resistance to antibiotics.

£10m to revamp more of city centre

Jack Dowling

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

Another £10m has been set aside in a bid to improve the appearance and attractiveness of Stoke-on-Trent's city centre.

The city council has already revamped Albion Square, Tontine Street and Piccadilly in Hanley. Now £2.5m is to be spent on Stafford Street and the rear of the Victoria Hall.

Councillor Jack Brereton said the improvements are "all about making sure our city is competitive and attractive" to shoppers and visitors.

View of Stafford Street
BBC

Unused bus shelters will be removed and new seating and trees put in place.

The rest of the £10m pot is expected to be spent by 2021, improving other parts of the city centre.

One taken to hospital after A34 crash

BBC Travel

One person has been taken to hospital, and two others checked at the scene after a red Ferrari and a red Ford Fiesta crashed on the A34 near Hanford roundabout, emergency services say.

Ambulance crews were called to Stone Road about 09:30 - the northbound side is still blocked.

More on BBC Travel.

Mother-of-five fears deportation from Australia

Sarah Robertson

Producer, BBC Radio Stoke

A recovering drug addict from Stoke-on-Trent say it could take months or even years before she knows whether she'll be deported to the UK from Australia.

Kelly Webb
Kelly Webb / Facebook

Kelly Webb has been in and out of prison, and last year was sentenced to 18 months for burglary. 

She's lived in Australia since she was two. The 30-year-old says she fears where her five children will go if she has to return to the UK.

Under Australian law, her visa has been cancelled because of the length of her sentence, and she must now wait to hear if ministers will let her stay.

Latest: Deportation fear for Stoke woman; football star Vardy getting married in Cheshire; cycling and walking gets boost in east Cheshire

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

Here are some of the main stories we are looking at in Staffordshire and Cheshire:

- A mum of five from Stoke-on-Trent says she believes she'll lose her appeal against deportation to the UK from Australia

- Leicester City star Jamie Vardy is getting married in South Cheshire today

- Cycling and walking in Cheshire East is going to be promoted by the council - after it secured a government grant

Bus driving lotto winner to be revealed

Lamont Howie

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

It's not long now till the identity of a multimillion-pound lottery jackpot winner from Cheshire is announced.

All we know so far is that it's a man and he drives a bus in Crewe.

We should know who the lucky winner is before midday.

Lottery balls
BBC

Travel: Lane closed on M6

BBC Travel

More problems on the M6 this morning. This time it's northbound between J12 for the A5 (Gailey) and J13 for the A449 (Stafford South)

A rolling road block has been lifted, but one lane remains closed for recovery work after an accident and traffic is queuing in the area.