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Summary

  1. Man jailed for life for housemate murder
  2. Council apologises for 'lackadaisical' mistakes over vulnerable girl's care
  3. Heroin and cocaine found in Stoke-on-Trent raid
  4. Harry Potter wannabes contest British Quidditch Cup
  5. Updates on Friday 10 March 2017

Live Reporting

By Allen Cook

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Severe disruption: M6 Cheshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Cheshire southbound severe disruption, between J17 for A534 Sandbach and J16 for A500 Crewe.

M6 Cheshire - One lane closed on M6 southbound between J17, A534 (Sandbach) and J16, A500 (Crewe), because of a broken down vehicle.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe accident: A519 Staffordshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A519 Staffordshire both ways severe accident, between Lodge Lane and Fernhill Road.

A519 Staffordshire - A519 in Woodseaves closed and heavy traffic in both directions between the Lodge Lane junction and the Fernhill Road junction, because of an accident involving 2 vehicles.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire northbound severe disruption, at J12 for A5.

M6 Staffordshire - M6 entry slip road partially blocked northbound at J12, A5 (Gailey), because of a broken down van. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Burton's Cauley Woodrow celebrates his goal against Nottingham Forest

Cauley Woodrow scores the only goal of the game as Burton move above Nottingham Forest in the Championship table.

Read more
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

Brent Pilnick

BBC Sport

Strange red cards, a penalty hero and Burton breaking new ground - BBC Sport rounds up Saturday's Football League action.

Read more

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire northbound severe disruption, between J13 for A449 and J14 for A34.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed on M6 northbound between J13, A449 (Stafford South) and J14, A34 (Stafford North), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Football

Port Vale win for the first time in nine league games, with JJ Hooper scoring twice as they beat Swindon at Vale Park.

Read more

Severe accident: M6 Staffordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire northbound severe accident, between J12 for A5 and J13 for A449.

M6 Staffordshire - Queuing traffic on M6 northbound between J12, A5 (Gailey) and J13, A449 (Stafford South), because of a rolling road-block and an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire southbound severe disruption, between J13 for A449 and J12 for A5.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed and heavy traffic on M6 southbound between J13, A449 (Stafford South) and J12, A5 (Gailey), because of a broken down vehicle.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

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: Kightly could return for Burton's first-time hosting Nottingham Forest

BBC Sport

Burton Albion could have  on-loan Burnley winger Michael Kightly  back for this weekend's game with Nottingham Forest.

He's missed three of the past four games with a hamstring injury.  

Michael Kightly
Rex Features

Fellow Brewers attacker Lucas Akins is also in with a chance of featuring.  

This will be the first ever meeting between Burton and Nottingham Forest at the Pirelli Stadium in any competition. 

We have got three brilliant draws against Derby, Bristol City and Sheffield Wednesday. We are are hard to beat and hard to create chances against."

Nigel CloughBurton Albion manager

Tamworth raid finds 8,000 fake cigarettes

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

Trading standards officers have seized 8,000 illegal cigarettes and 2kg of tobacco in a raid on a Tamworth shop. 

Staffordshire County Council say they were found yesterday and included fake Richmond and Mayfair branded cigarettes 

The seized tobacco
Staffordshire County Council

On Midlands Today from 18:30: West Midlands blight costing millions

BBC Midlands Today

We look at the blight on our landscape of fly-tipping this evening on Midlands Today.

Fly-tipping
BBC

It's costing councils in the West Midlands millions of pounds to clean up and looks to be getting worse. 

On BBC One from 18:30 we'll be trying to find out how the local authorities are trying to fight back.

New bells prepare to toll at village church

John Acres

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

A Staffordshire Moorlands church has had six new bells fitted today, after five years of fundraising. 

People in Ipstones have been raising several thousand pounds with St Leonard's Church.

One of the bells
BBC

The church has traditionally had just the one bell but had a tower built with the capacity for more. 

Those involved say they want the bells to be heard for the first time on Easter Sunday.

Watch: Latest weather forecast for the West Midlands

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

Overnight it is going to remain mostly cloudy with some hill fog. However, there will also be a few cloud breaks around at times. Lows of 8C (46F).

Find out more about the weekend ahead .

Rebecca Wood has your forecast
Shrewsbury streets

You have been using Your Questions to ask about the West Midlands. Here are some of our answers.

Read more

Watch: Burton praised for 'passion' for beer brewing

Ben Sidwell

BBC Midlands Today

Organisers of an international beer event in Burton have praised the "passion" in the town for brewing.   

Ruth Evans

The International Festival of Beer 2017 is taking place on Horninglow Street at the National Brewing Centre. 

Organiser Ruth Evans says the "one thing" that they see in Burton is a passion for the history and future of brewing.  

Heroin and cocaine found in Stoke-on-Trent raid

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

Heroin and crack cocaine have been found by police in a raid in Stoke-on-Trent. 

Staffordshire Police say it started when a 19-year-old man from London was stopped in his car on Fletcher Road on Wednesday. 

Officers say he fled the scene but was caught shortly afterwards. 

They say from this, they searched a house in Hanley and found the drugs, along with mobile phones and scales, and arrested three more men.

Watch: Harry Potter game gets its fourth British Quidditch Cup

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

It was invented by author JK Rowling for her Harry Potter books but the sport of Quidditch is heading for its fourth British Quidditch Cup.

Quidditch players

Hosted at Rugeley Leisure Centre in Staffordshire, teams from across the country will be competing. 

The first cup took place in 2013 and 32 teams are set to take part this year .  

BBC Weather Watcher pictures: Congleton and Eccleshall

BBC Weather Watchers

Here are two of the many reasons we love our BBC Weather Watchers - it's the great photos so many of them upload from where they live.

These two are from Staffordshire user chris1200 in Eccleshall and Dawn Treader in Congleton, Cheshire.

Congleton
Dawn Treader
Eccleshall
chris1200

Your say: Government gives £8.5m to planned Stoke-on-Trent link road

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

You've had plenty to say about the news that the government's given £8.5m towards a £51m plan to link up two parts of Stoke-on-Trent. 

The chancellor revealed the cash yesterday towards the proposed Hanley-Bentilee Link Road.

Traffic on Dividy Road
Google

On the BBC Radio Stoke Facebook page, John Cartlidge said : "The road was proposed years ago, it should have been built back then and would have saved thousands of hours of people sitting in traffic on Dividy and Werrington roads." 

While on the same theme, Carole Ware added : "That road plan has been taken off the shelf, dusted and put back more times than it should have been."

Meanwhile, thinking ahead, Steve Ball posted : "Just hope they don't let it get full of potholes same as all the rest."

Cheshire PCC's relocation criticised

Phil McCann

Cheshire Political Reporter, BBC News

There's been criticism of Cheshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) after it was revealed he's moving his offices out of Cheshire Police's headquarters and into his home town of Warrington. 

David Keane
BBC

David Keane remains a Labour councillor in the town and insists the move will save £50,000 a year. 

But the chair of the county's police and crime panel says people may think he's just moving closer to home.

Leek 'among best places to live in the West Midlands'

Lee Blakeman

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

Leek has been named as one of the best places to live in the West Midlands in a list published by the Sunday Times. 

General picture of Leek
BBC

The survey looks at things like quality of life, community spirit, good local shops and attractive outdoor spaces. 

Crime rates, house prices and school performance are also taken into account in the rankings.

International beer festival in Burton

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

A celebration of international beer's taking place in Burton this weekend.

The National Brewery Centre on Horninglow Street is holding The International Festival of Beer 2017. 

National Brewery Centre on Horninglow Street
Google

Organisers say they have some of the 1,000 beers and ciders entered for international brewing awards from the UK and over 50 countries. 

They also say there'll be live music from 17:00 this evening with the event carrying on until Sunday.

Council apologises for 'lackadaisical' mistakes over vulnerable girl's care

Phil McCann

Cheshire Political Reporter, BBC News

Cheshire East Council has apologised "unreservedly" for a series of mistakes in the way it assessed who should care for a vulnerable 11-month-old girl.

A High Court judge said there'd been a failure to comply with professional obligations.

The council's most senior social worker has been ordered to give an explanation for what a High Court judge has labelled "lackadaisical" efforts by the authority's social workers.

They were assessing relatives as potential carers of a toddler whose parents were unable to care for her.   

Cheshire East Council badge
BBC

None of those involved can be named for legal reasons. 

Mr Justice MacDonald said the assessments were "inadequate and fundamentally flawed". 

The council says lessons will be learned and training will be reviewed.

Inmate gets life sentence for 2012 murder

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

A man's been jailed for life for the murder of his housemate, who died four years after the alleyway attack. 

Gareth Rowton, 35, (pictured) was already serving an 11-year sentence after admitting grievous bodily harm with intent over the attack in Cannock in 2012, police said.

Gareth Rowton
Staffordshire Police

David Stanton remained in care after the incident outside their home in Old Fallow Road and died aged 61 on 29 June, 2015. 

A post-mortem examination found he died from "delayed complications of a severe brain injury", police said. 

Last year detectives charged Rowton with murder and he pleaded guilty.

Today he was given a life sentence at Stafford Crown Court and told he would serve a minimum term of 14 years and 58 days, minus the time he'd already served in custody.

Severe disruption: M6 West Midlands northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands northbound severe disruption, between J10 for A454 and J10A for M54.

M6 West Midlands - One lane closed on M6 northbound between J10, A454 (Wolverhampton) and J10a M54, because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Stoke City 1972 'trophy bus' set to ride again

Lucy King

News Editor, BBC Radio Stoke

An old bus which carried a cup-winning football side on its victory tour is to ride again this weekend.

Preparations for the tour

The vehicle took Stoke City's 1972 League Cup winners around the city and has been found and restored. 

The bus, along with players from the team, will be joined by around 40 classic cars on a special trip around the city this Sunday. 

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire northbound severe disruption, between J11A for M6 Toll and J12 for A5.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed on M6 northbound between J11a M6 Toll and J12, A5 (Gailey), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Football: Crewe sign goalkeeper after Richards suffers broken finger

Mike Perkins

BBC Radio Stoke Sport

The Crewe Alexandra manager David Artell's signed former Accrington goalkeeper Andy Dawber on a short-term deal as injury cover. 

Andy Dawber
crewealex.net

It's after second-choice stopper Dave Richards broke a finger in a game on Tuesday night. 

The club say Dawber's been training at the Alex over the past few weeks and has been signed until the end of the season.

Watch: Fantastic pictures of Staffordshire and Cheshire

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

Here are five more of the pictures that you've sent in recently which were taken in Staffordshire and Cheshire.

To share yours, send it on email or, if you use Instagram, put it there and add the tag #bbcstoke if you agree to share it.

Your pictures

On Midlands Today from 13:30: Costs mount for clearing fly-tipping

Nicola Beckford

BBC Midlands Today

This lunchtime on Midlands Today we'll look at the cost to councils in the region of cleaning up fly-tipping.

Fly-tipping being cleared
BBC

The BBC's found it reached £3m last year with cases on the West Midlands' streets increasing by 13% over the past five years. 

We'll be asking what can be done and whether the figures will fall in the future on BBC One from 13:30.

A38: Repair work complete

BBC News Travel

Repair work to the barrier on the A38 is now complete and all lanes northbound between Alrewas and A50 are now open.

The Highways Agency has thanked drivers for their patience.

On BBC TV: Catching up with The Great Pottery Throw Down

BBC Two

If you missed The Great Pottery Throw Down last night, you missed the quarter-final with two of the potters sent home, all filmed at the Middleport Pottery, Stoke-on-Trent. 

Blind throw down

Their challenges included blindfolded pottery, carving a Greek urn and coiling and decorating four Russian nesting dolls. 

You can see the programme on the iPlayer now and the show returns next week on BBC Two at 20:00.