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  1. Nic Cruwys attack: Five change plea in Watford football fan trial
  2. Teenagers force train into emergency stop after standing on level crossing
  3. V Festival organiser confident of putting on a show
  4. Updates from Friday 19 August

Live Reporting

By Allen Cook

All times stated are UK

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Owen Coyle

Tom Naylor's header earns Burton their first away Championship point and denies Owen Coyle his first win as Blackburn boss.

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Mark Randall

Sean Rigg scores a late equaliser as Newport come from behind to earn a point against Crewe Alexandra.

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Sergio Aguero

Patrick Jennings

BBC Sport

Sergio Aguero scores twice as Manchester City resist Stoke's second-half comeback to continue their winning start under new boss Pep Guardiola.

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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 on Monday, but keep an eye out here for more updates this evening.

Football: Stoke manager looking at defensive signings

Matt Sandoz

Stoke City commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes says the club may consider signing a centre-back.

The Potters are down a little on defensive cover after Marc Wilson left this week for Bournemouth - although they did sign teenage defender Ryan Sweeney earlier this month.

Marc Wilson
Getty Images

"We will look at it," Hughes adds. "There are a couple of areas of the team that we feel we need to bring players in to help the rest of the guys. 

"It is nobody specific at the moment because we have a number of targets in mind, who we are hopeful of getting over the line. It is something that may well go to the last throws of the window."   

Watch: Stoke and Staffordshire's weekend weather

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

Have a look at how the weekend's weather is shaping up and keep updated through the BBC Weather website.

Rebecca Wood has your weekend forecast

Man attacked in back garden by gang

BBC Radio Stoke

A man's been attacked by a masked gang in the back garden of his home in Burton.

Clarence Street, Burton

A group of men turned up to the Clarence Street property, say Staffordshire Police, in the early hours of this morning. 

Officers say they then assaulted the victim who ran off to raise the alarm - the gang then left with two mobile phones and a rucksack.

Closing hospital beds 'makes little sense' says MP

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

The MP for Cheadle, Staffordshire says closing all 47 beds at the town's hospital ahead of winter "makes little sense". 

Cheadle Hospital

Conservative Sir Bill Cash says he wants local health bosses to come up with a different plan for the two wards, which are often used by people recovering from operations. 

NHS bosses propose to close them this autumn, saying people prefer to be treated at home and it can improve their recovery.

On Midlands Today from 18:30: Ice baby survives and soggy start to V Festival

Mary Rhodes

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

On Midlands Today this evening - we've got a great story of a baby girl whose heart stopped beating for eight minutes, who has made a full recovery after being "frozen" for three days.  

Baby girl whose heart stopped saved by 'fridge suit'

We'll also be at what's proved to be a soggy start to V Festival in Staffordshire as thousands of people turned up in wet and windy conditions. 

Both those stories and much more from 18:30 on BBC One.

Drugs stolen from police van as officer loaded it after raid, police reveal

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

After it was revealed items including a cannabis plant, cigars and handcuffs have been stolen from Staffordshire Police, the force has moved to say its very mindful about security.

All the forces in the West Midlands had been asked by the BBC which items had been stolen from 2011-12 to 2015-16. 


Staffordshire Police did admit to "rare occasions when opportunist thieves strike" - including an offender who stole cannabis from a police van while an officer was loading it after a drugs raid.

They added that a suspect was arrested in this case and the officer involved "was later given management advice".

V Festival: Rhianna and Justin Bieber headlining

BBC Newsbeat

This weekend's V Festival at Weston Park will be headlined by Rhianna on Saturday and Justin Bieber on Sunday.

Bieber has already said he's planning the "biggest stage production" in V's 21-year history - one part will see 800 gallons of purified, 40C water soak the star at the front of the stage.

The mind boggles.

Justin Bieber

Other performers this weekend who will perform at both the festival's Weston Park site and Hylands Park, Chelmsford include Jess Glynne, Little Mix, David Guetta, Kaiser Chiefs, Travis, Rita Ora and Faithless.

Travel: Severe delay after lorry and car crash on A50 in Stoke-on-Trent

BBC Travel

The A50 in Stoke-on-Trent is blocked westbound at the Sideaway roundabout because of a crash between a lorry and a car.

Travel time is around 60 minutes - congestion is back to the Meir Tunnel Interchange.

News: Five admit football fan attack; teens force emergency level crossing stop; V Festival gets off to damp start

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

Here's a look at the latest headlines for Staffordshire and Cheshire:

- Five teenagers, including one from Staffordshire, have admitted their part in an attack that left a football fan seriously ill

- A train had to make an emergency stop at a level crossing in Nantwich after teenagers stood in the middle of the tracks, it has emerged  

- Organisers of this year's V Festival at Weston Park say they are in a confident mood despite a damp start to the event with rain and muddy fields

Football: Defender Smith not getting carried away with Port Vale plaudits

Lee Blakeman

Port Vale commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Port Vale defender Nathan Smith says he's paying no attention to comments saying he can go on to play at a higher level.

Nathan Smith
Getty Images

The 20-year-old has started all four of Vale's games so far this season, helping the team to clean sheets in three of them. 

Smith told BBC Radio Stoke that while the compliments are good to hear, he's not getting carried away.

It's a confidence booster to hear people say good things about you all the time and hopefully I can do well and help the team progress. I've got to take it one step at a time and that's to stay in the team and do well."

Nathan SmithPort Vale defender

Your pictures: Hay bales in Barlaston and Oakamoor pool

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

These hay bales in a field in Barlaston, Staffordshire were photographed by Jon Kelso.

Jon Kelso

While Andrew Vickerman posted this photo he took in Oakamoor, Staffordshire on the BBC Radio Stoke Facebook page.

You can also send your pictures of the area in on email, tweet @BBCRadioStoke or use Instagram (adding the tag #bbcstoke so we can find them).

Andrew Vickerman

Teenagers force train into emergency stop after standing on level crossing

Lucy King

News Editor, BBC Radio Stoke

A train had to make an emergency stop at a level crossing in Nantwich after teenagers stood in the middle of the tracks, it has emerged.

Network Rail says it happened last Friday, 12 August, at the Shrewbridge Road site as the Crewe to Cardiff train approached just before 18:00.

Shrewbridge Road level crossing
Network Rail

The organisation says the driver sounded the horn and applied the emergency brakes but the teenagers failed to move before the train came to a stop - they then walked away. 

Two days before, Network Rail says youngsters ran across the same level crossing as another train was approaching.

Travel: Delays on trains through Tamworth

There's a fault on a train between Tamworth and Polesworth which could delay services through both stations, London Midland says.

View more on twitter

Nic Cruwys attack: Five change plea in Watford football fan trial

Rebecca Woods

BBC News Online, Journalist

Five teenagers, including one from Staffordshire, have admitted their part in an attack which left a football fan seriously ill.  

Four 19-year-olds and a youth changed their pleas during a trial at Wolverhampton Crown Court.  

Nic Cruwys
West Midlands Police

The attack left Watford fan Nic Cruwys in a coma following a match at Wolverhampton Wanderers on 7 March 2015.

The five, and another teenager who previously admitted grievous bodily harm, will be sentenced on 9 September.

Watch: V Festival organiser confident of putting on a show

Nicola Beckford

Reporter, BBC Midlands Today

It's been a damp start to the V Festival weekend and more rain is forecast for tomorrow, but the organisers are in a confident mood.

The V Festival organisers are confident of putting on a show despite the wet weather

Team GB's Rio success 'great for Britain's profile abroad'

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

The success of Team GB at Rio 2016 has been "great for Britain's profile abroad", the culture secretary Karen Bradley says. 

Bradley, who is also MP for the Staffordshire Moorlands, has written a government blog saying she's been out at the Olympics for several days.

Karen Bradley at hockey semi-final
Department for Culture, Media and Sport

She says she's seen Laura Trott win gold for Team GB and the women's hockey team make their final as well as spent time promoting Britain in Rio. 

In her blog post, the culture secretary says she's now got to build on the British Olympic success.

V Festival weather forecast from Met Office

For everyone heading to or already at V Festival at Weston Park this weekend, the Met Office have come up with a local forecast for the site.

(Whisper - it's not going to rain all the time).

View more on twitter

Travel: Crash on M6

BBC Travel

Two lanes are closed on the M6 northbound between J10 and J10a after a crash near the M54 turn-off.

Not great news, particularly with V Festival traffic on the road.

V Festival: People not being put off by wet weather

John Acres

BBC Radio Stoke

People arriving at Stafford Railway Station who are heading to Weston Park for this weekend's V Festival say the wet weather's not put them off.   

V Festival goers

The forecast for the weekend at the site includes rain and showers. 

Thousands are expected for the event which will be headlined by Rihanna and Justin Bieber. 

News: Teen charged with rape and kidnap; police biker collides with car; V Festival starts wet and muddy

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

This afternoon's headlines include:

- An 18-year-old man from Middlewich is charged with two counts of rape and one of kidnap after an incident in Crewe  

- A police officer's been taken to hospital after their marked motorbike collided with a car near the V Festival at Weston Park today

- Meanwhile thousands of festival-goers arriving at the Staffordshire site have been greeted by rain and mud

Watch: Wet and muddy welcome to V Festival

Nicola Beckford

Reporter, BBC Midlands Today

It's August, it's not particularly warm, it's wet and it's muddy - welcome to V Festival at Weston Park.

The three-day event at Weston Park is the biggest in the West Midlands and attracts tens-of-thousands of visitors.

Roads around the site have been getting busy since early this morning.  

V Festival being set up

Concern over fire service cover due to staff shortages

James Bovill

Staffordshire Political Reporter, BBC News

Staffordshire's fire service says it's looking for more retained firefighters after concerns have been raised that a shortage means some fire engines aren't always able to respond to emergencies. 

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service logo on side of fire engine

The deputy mayor of Cheadle Julie Bull says she has written to fire bosses claiming there weren't enough retained staff available for more than half of last weekend. 

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service says cover will always be provided from other areas if there's an emergency. 

Police biker hurt in crash near V Festival

Tim Wedgwood

BBC Local LIve

A police officer's been taken to hospital after their marked motorbike collided with a car near the V Festival at Weston Park today. 

Weston Park entrance

Staffordshire Police say it was around 09:00 on Watling Street and both officer and the woman driving the Fiat 500 were treated by paramedics.

The force says their injuries aren't thought to be serious and an investigation's now under way into what happened.

Danny Hollands

Crewe sign ex-Bournemouth and Portsmouth midfielder Danny Hollands on a short-term deal until January.

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V Festival: Drone ban at site

Don't bring a drone to V Festival say police - they've set up an air exclusion zone at Weston Park.

View more on twitter

Some Items stolen from police recovered, but not all

Tom Turrell

BBC Midlands Today

Some of the items stolen from police forces in the West Midlands have been recovered over the past five years. 

When thieves made off with a blue flashing lamp, officers in Warwickshire managed to get it back. 

But cops in our region haven't always been so lucky. When four horses were pinched from West Mercia Police the thieves got away scot-free. 

Whether items were retrieved or not, some people are already asking whether the boys and girls in blue need to be a little more careful with their own property. 

Items stolen from police forces in the West Midlands

Football: Chris O'Grady praised by Burton Albion manager despite not scoring

Gary Smee

BBC Sport

Burton manager Nigel Clough has insisted that Chris O'Grady's work-rate more than makes up for his lack of goals so far this season.

O'Grady, 30, joined on a season-long loan from Brighton this summer, having struggled for goals there and during a loan spell at Nottingham Forest.

Chris O'Grady
Getty Images

He has yet to score for promoted Burton but has impressed in their three Championship games.

"I've always liked Chris. He's a team player," Clough told BBC Radio Derby.

On Midlands Today from 13:30: Stealing off the police

Tom Turrell

BBC Midlands Today

Handcuffs, emergency vehicles and more than a £100,000 in cash - all items stolen from the police in our region in the last few years. 

Police cars

The figures were released as part of a Freedom of Information request and the items were taken from both individual officers on the beat and police stations. 

We'll have a fuller look at what's been taken, from which force and reaction to the news, on Midlands Today from 13:30 on BBC One.

Weather warning for the Midlands

Alexandra Hamilton

BBC Weather

An early yellow weather warning for wind has been issued for Saturday.

The Met Office says there may be gusts of 40-45mph which have the potential to cause disruption to travel and outdoor activities.

View more on twitter

Festival-goers reminded to pack their boots

With the wet weather expected to remain tomorrow, here's a reminder from the police.

View more on twitter

Football: Berahino set for Baggies stay?

Simon Stone

BBC Sport

This could be bad news for Stoke City's transfer plans - West Brom's England U21 striker Saido Berahino could remain at the club for the rest of the season.

Baggies boss Tony Pulis says the 23-year-old will only leave if there is an "unbelievable offer" and Berahino is wary of going with the season started.  

Getty Images

Stoke and Crystal Palace made bids for Berahino, whose contract expires next summer and who has turned down an extension to the deal.

"Nobody is more keen for Saido to stay than me," said Pulis.