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  1. Updates on Monday 27 June 2016

Live Reporting

By Allen Cook

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Carl Dickinson

Notts County clinch the signing of Carl Dickinson on a two-year contract after he rejects a new deal at Port Vale.

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Eight arrested over cash machine thefts across UK

Tom Mullen

Reporter, BBC News Online

Eight men have been arrested in an investigation into a series of high-value cash machine thefts in the UK including one in Alsager, Cheshire.  

The men, aged between 27 and 41, are held on suspicion of carrying out raids from Wiltshire in the south to Aberdeenshire in the north.  

Police officer knocking down door

Explosives were used to sabotage some ATMS, while others were dragged away using stolen vehicles.  

Group wants post office move stopped

A Stoke-on-Trent community group is against the relocation of a post office.
Concerns have been raised over plans to relocate a post office in Stoke-on-Trent.

Under proposals, the Fenton branch would move in to an empty unit across the road.

But Glenn Parkes, from the Fenton Community Association, says he has concerns the move will make access difficult for pensioners and disabled people.

The Post Office says it welcomes customers' feedback ahead of a final decision.

Travel: Crash on A513 in Armitage, Staffordshire

BBC Travel

There's been an accident on the A513 Rugeley Road in Armitage near the Upper Lodge Road junction.

BreakingFootball: Notts County sign Port Vale skipper

Lee Blakeman

Port Vale commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

After announcing on Twitter last week that he was rejecting staying at Port Vale, it's been confirmed this afternoon that the former Vale captain Carl Dickinson's joined Notts County.

View more on twitter

Football: Crewe boss 'prepared to wait' for transfers

Graham McGarry

Crewe Alexandra commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Crewe Alexandra manager Steve Davis says he's prepared to wait as long as it takes to get his transfer targets this summer. 

Steve Davis
Getty Images

Davis has met with a striker and a midfield player over the last week. 

But he told BBC Radio Stoke he'll give them all the time they need to make a decision.

Once you put deadlines on things sometimes that puts them off, it gives them pressure that they don't need because they've got other offers so in certain cases deadlines aren't good, you want to be patient.

Steve DavisCrewe Alexandra manager

Weather update

Alex Hamilton has your forecast
ATM arrests

Eight men are arrested in an investigation into a series of cash machine thefts in England and Scotland.

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Residents 'cut off' by level-crossing 'twice an hour'

Emma Thomas

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

People living on a housing estate in Stone have told BBC Radio Stoke they want action to prevent them being "cut off" twice an hour when a rail line is in use. 

Access to and from Coppice Road stops for 10 minutes each hour when level crossing barriers are lowered to allow trains to pass.

The level crossing in Stone

Those complaining say they want to see another route built for cars and pedestrians. 

Network Rail says the frequency of trains has recently returned to twice an hour, due to improvement works on alternative routes. 

Steelite International takeover: Background on Stoke-on-Trent firm

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

Steelite International, which has announced today that it's been bought by American investors, was formed in 1983 after founding chairman David Johnson bought the whole hotel ware division from Royal Doulton.

The firm says it focused on making tableware for the hospitality industry with clients including Hilton Hotels and Four Seasons Hotels. 

Steelite in Stoke-on-Trent

By 2006 it had a turnover of £48.2m and exported to 120 countries - that would rise to sales of £89.6m in 2013, following the acquisition of Royal Crown Derby in 2012. 

Hundreds of people are employed at the Middleport site and three years ago Steelite was given a Queen's Award for Enterprise.

Your pictures: Canal ducks in Stone and Rugeley rainbow

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

These ducks and their babies bobbing along the canal in Stone were photographed by Kath Dawson who kindly shared the picture with me.  

Stone canal ducks
Kath Dawson

Then this rainbow was seen by Matt Thomas in Rugeley.

Have you got a picture of Staffordshire or Cheshire to share? You can send it in on emailtweet @BBCRadioStoke or use Instagram (with the tag #bbcstoke).

Rainbow in Rugeley
Matt Thomas

Charity on watch for hate crime following Leave vote

Sarah Robertson

News Editor, BBC Radio Stoke

Stoke-on-Trent Citizens' Advice Bureau says it is meeting today to discuss any local reports of hate crime following the EU referendum result last week.

David Cameron has condemned "despicable" incidents of hate crime reported in the wake of the UK's vote.

Cheshire Police said yesterday there had been "no upsurge in reported hate crimes" in the county in the past few days - but the Stoke-on-Trent charity says it's worried there could be cases in the city.

We have always found whenever there's been some kind of big national thing like a big demonstration or some kind of bombing, there's always been suddenly a bit of a backlash and people have suddenly got victimised and then it does hopefully fade off."

Jude HawesEqualities Team Manager at Stoke-on-Trent Citizens' Advice Bureau

American investor buys Stoke-on-Trent pottery company

Jodie Looker

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

The Stoke on Trent pottery firm Steelite International has announced it's been bought by the company's American president and an investment group.  

Steelite International

The tableware company in Middleport is a major supplier to the hospitality industry. 

As part of the takeover, former Steelite Chief Executive Officer Kevin Oakes is leaving the firm - the new owners say they're looking to bring in new ideas.  

Steelite International is known as the leader in the hospitality tableware industry and our goal is to continue that leadership through the introduction of new, creative and innovative products."

John MilesNew CEO of Steelite International

Football: Trio of Port Vale signings expected

Lee Blakeman

Port Vale commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Port Vale are expected to complete the signing of up to three new players later this afternoon.

Port Vale ground
Getty Images

Confirmation was expected yesterday, but chairman Norman Smurthwaite tweeted that there had been a delay with their medicals. 

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Latest weather for the West Midlands
Nikki Sinclaire

A former MEP for the West Midlands fraudulently claimed "significantly higher sums" for travel "not undertaken at all", a court hears.

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Our live coverage across the day

We'll be back with our usual mix of news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 tomorrow, but keep an eye out here for more updates this evening and into the morning. 

On Midlands Today this evening: Remembering terror victims and heading to the Rio Olympics

Nick Owen

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

A Midlands family has set up a charity to help the loved ones of terror victims - after three members of their family were killed in the Tunisia beach attacks. 

Joel Richards

We'll be hearing from them - and also seeing the six West Midlands athletes who have booked their places in the British team for the Rio Olympic Games. 

Both those stories and others plus your latest weather will be on Midlands Today from the later time of 19:30 on BBC One.

Woman threatened with knife in Stoke-on-Trent robbery

Chris King

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

A man armed with a knife has threatened a shop assistant during a robbery at a Stoke-on-Trent shop. 

High Lane News, Burslem

Staffordshire Police say a woman, who was on her own, wasn't hurt, but the attacker got away with cash from High Lane News on High Lane, Burslem.

Officers say they believe the man also had a lookout during the robbery on Saturday evening.

In pictures: Archive tennis in Cheshire

Wimbledon is under way for 2016 with day one being covered comprehensively across BBC TV, radio, online and social media.

Which is probably an appropriate reason for Cheshire Archives to dig into their documents and find this picture from 99 years ago.

View more on twitter

Stoke-on-Trent City of Culture bid 'on schedule'

Pete Morgan

Presenter, BBC Radio Stoke

Stoke-on-Trent's bid to become the next UK City of Culture is on schedule, according to organisers of the project. 

The government chooses a new destination every four years, with the aim of helping tourism and the economy - Hull was named for 2017.

Stoke-on-Trent from up high

Earlier this year Stoke-on-Trent joined other Midlands cities such as Coventry in saying it would bid for the 2021 title.

Those behind the bid in the city have told BBC Radio Stoke that professional bid-writers have now been appointed.

Richard Duffy

Defender Richard Duffy signs for Notts County - just a month after agreeing a move to Eastleigh.

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Five hurt in pub fight in Rugeley

Alice Bentley

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

Five people needed medical treatment after a fight inside a pub in Rugeley

Staffordshire Police say it happened in the early hours of Saturday morning in the Grapevine Pub. 

Several people were assaulted say officers with two men and two women treated by paramedics at the scene - a third man had to be taken to hospital.

Labour parliamentary candidates call on Corbyn to go

BBC Politics

Fifty-seven of Labour's parliamentary candidates have backed a letter telling Jeremy Corbyn to go.  

Jeremy Corbyn in media "scrum"

They include Jon Wheale who stood in the Burton and Uttoxeter election in 2015 - losing to Andrew Griffiths.

In the letter they say "we cannot win an election unless the country believes that our party leader is a credible prime minister".

Mr Corbyn has pledged to stand in any new leadership election if there is a formal challenge to his position.  

Travel: Crash on Shoobridge Street in Leek

BBC Travel

There's been an accident on Shoobridge Street in Leek at the Southbank Street junction.

Latest: Hate crime reassurance; Knife crime up in Staffordshire; armed police called to air gun reports

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

Our headlines this afternoon include:

- Police in Cheshire have moved to reassure people in the county over hate crime saying there's been no increase in reported cases since the vote to leave the European Union

- Knife crime has risen by more than a quarter in Staffordshire in the last year according to police

- Armed police were called out in Staffordshire at the weekend toreports of children with an airgun in a Newcastle-under-Lyme street

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

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

The BBC Weather website is also where you can find the latest forecasts for Staffordshire or Cheshire at any time.

Football: Peterborough give three-year deal to Crewe midfielder

Gary Smee

BBC Sport

More now on the news we brought you earlier when it broke that Peterborough United have signed Crewe Alexandra midfielder Brad Inman on a three-year contract.

The 24-year-old was called up to the Australia squad for their friendly with England last month, having previously played for Scotland Under-21s.  

Brad Inman

The Adelaide-born player moved to Britain when he was 14 to sign for Newcastle's academy.  

Knife crime up by quarter in Staffordshire say police

Lucy King

News Editor, BBC Radio Stoke

Knife crime has risen by more than a quarter in Staffordshire in the last year according to police.

Man holding knife

Staffordshire Police haven't revealed the actual figures but have announced the start of a four-week "knife surrender" starting today. 

The force says it is a decade since their last such amnesty and says people can hand in knives or bladed weapons at 18 locations across the county.

BBC Weather Watcher Pictures: Gnosall and Stafford

Monica Rimmer

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

If you've not come across our BBC Weather Watchers they are volunteers who keep us up-to-date with the weather in their part of the country.

They also upload pictures and here's a couple from this area - from user JR in Gnosall and Flying Ant in Stafford.

Flying Ant

What is the secret of Burton snatch?

Liam Barnes

BBC News Online

From Beijing to San Francisco, brewers are trying to recreate the unique chemical conditions produced naturally beneath Burton. 

But what is the secret of the Burton snatch?  

Chinese President Xi Jinping and David Cameron drinking in a pub last year

I've been looking into its growing appeal across the world, the history of brewing in the Staffordshire town and its future - all on the BBC website.

Police move to reassure over hate crime in Cheshire

Lamont Howie

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

There's no been no increase in reported hate crimes in Cheshire since the vote to leave the European Union last week, police in the county say. 

Cheshire Police's move to reassure people follows a number of alleged incidents across the UK being shared online where people say they have experienced hostility because of the colour of their skin and their ethnic background.

The signs in Cambridgeshire

In Cambridgeshire, police are investigating after cards were left outside schools and homes bearing the words "No more Polish Vermin".

Latest: Abandoned dog 'tried to eat own fur'; armed police called to air gun reports; long jumper delight at Olympics debut

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

The headlines this afternoon include:

- A Yorkshire terrier, which the RSPCA believe was dumped in Stoke-on-Trent, was so hungry he tried eating his own fur the charity says  

- Armed police were called out in Staffordshire at the weekend to reports of children with an airgun in a Newcastle-under-Lyme street

- Stoke-on-Trent long jumper Jazmin Sawyers says she's dreamt of being at the Olympics after securing qualification at the weekend to appear at the Rio games this year

Armed police called to air gun reports

Jack Dowling

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

Armed police were called out in Staffordshire at the weekend to reports of children with an airgun in a Newcastle-under-Lyme street. 

Talke Pits sign

Staffordshire Police say it happened yesterday afternoon in the Talke Pits area. 

Their officers say three young boys had "no intention to harm anyone" but had been firing at targets - adding that they have been spoken to in front of their parents.

New £3m elderly care ward opens at Stafford's County Hospital

Emma Thomas

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

The first of five new wards at Stafford's County Hospital has opened to patients today. 

Stafford's County Hospital

Ward 15 cost £3m to build and has 28 beds to support elderly care. 

University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust says it is part of a £250m investment following the restructure of the NHS in Staffordshire.