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Summary

  1. Tunstall imam found guilty of terror offences
  2. Arrests after alleged axe threats
  3. Ceramics Biennial starts in Stoke-on-Trent
  4. Mental health staff off work more than doubles
  5. More time to consider putting down stray dogs if owners don't pay
  6. Updates from Friday 22 September 2017

Live Reporting

By Monica Rimmer

All times stated are UK

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Bike riders

The route sees 15,000 riders travelling through Worcestershire, Staffordshire and Birmingham.

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Thousands compete in first Velo Birmingham cycle race
Some 15,000 riders travelled through Worcestershire, Staffordshire and Birmingham.
Alvaro Morata

Kal Sajad

BBC Sport

A brilliant hat-trick from Alvaro Morata helps Premier League champions Chelsea to a dominant win at Stoke City.

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Football

Port Vale draw at Yeovil to climb off the bottom of League Two but their winless run is extended to eight games.

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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.

Emma Bridgewater gives backing to Stoke-on-Trent city of culture bid

Liz Copper

Staffordshire reporter, BBC Midlands Today

Leading pottery manufacturer Emma Bridgewater has given her backing to Stoke-on-Trent's bid to be named UK City of Culture in 2021.

She's been back in the city ahead of a major international ceramics festival which opens tonight.

Emma Bridgewater
BBC

For this city it's [Stoke-on-Trent culture bid] bound to be flavoured about the tradition of making and ceramics are part of that."

Emma Bridgewater

The Ceramics Biennial runs until the start of November.

The City of Culture judges will be coming here during that time, and everyone hopes they'll be impressed by what the Potteries has to offer.

Stoke's Regent Theatre celebrates 18th anniversary

Stoke-on-Trent's Regent Theatre celebrated its 18th birthday last night.

The first show there was Annie, starring Leslley Joseph, back in 1999 and now the theatre welcomes a quarter of a million visitors every year.

Panto regular Jonathan Wilkes attended the birthday bash.

View more on twitter

Watch: Your evening and weekend weather forecast

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

It will remain largely cloudy overnight with a few outbreaks of rain and drizzle likely. There will also be areas of hill fog.

Tomorrow there will be lots of cloud around throughout the day with some brighter spells developing at times. Dry for most of the day with the risk of just a shower or two in the morning. Highs of 18C (64F).

Weather for the West Midlands.

Mow Cop Killer Mile winners

Lamont Howie

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

The delayed 2017 Mow Cop Killer Mile race went ahead last night in glorious sunshine.

There were four races - the under 11s was won by Isaac Laydon and Patience Lamb (pictured).

Winners
BBC

The under 18s was won by Will Kesteven and 12-year-old Clarissa Rigby.

Simon Myatt from Trentham Running Club took the honours in the main race.

Mow Cop castle
BBC

The 2018 race will be reinstated in spring next year, likely to be in May.

Kamran Hussain

Kamran Hussain told children that martyrdom was better than anything they could achieve at school.

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Tunstall imam 'made no reaction' when sentenced

Kamran Hussain, 40, made no reaction as he was found guilty of eight counts - half of the verdicts were by a majority decision.

He was remanded in custody to be sentenced on 28 September, and faces a maximum sentence of seven years in jail for encouragement of terrorism and 10 years for support for a proscribed organisation.

Kamran Hussain
Julia Quenzler/BBC

The Old Bailey was told Hussain had one previous conviction in 2008 for perverting the course of justice at Stafford Crown Court for which he was handed 14 months in jail.

As he was led down from the dock, a supporter called down from the public gallery "see you soon".

Hussain smiled and replied "inshallah" - God willing.

Tunstall imam preached support for IS at mosque

A British imam who told children that martyrdom was better than anything they would achieve at school has been found guilty of supporting the so-called Islamic State terror group.

Kamran Hussain, 40, from Tunstall, was recorded by an undercover officer making a series of radical sermons at a charity-funded mosque, over four months last year, encouraging terrorism and supporting the terror group in Syria.

High Street, Tunstall
Google

Following a trial at the Old Bailey, Hussain, was found guilty by a jury which deliberated for 10 hours on eight charges, two of supporting IS and six of encouraging terrorism on dates between June and September last year.

BreakingTunstall imam guilty of terror offences

Imam Kamran Hussain, 40, has been found guilty of eight offences relating to terrorism by a jury at the Old Bailey.

Rubbish dumped in Stafford... by council

A 12-foot wide pile of rubbish appeared in Stafford's Market Square overnight.

It was unclear at first what had happened, but the council says it was to show the equivalent to a day's worth of rubbish collected from the streets.

The council says it costs £1m to keep the town clean.

Bin bags
Stafford Borough Council

Among the 12-foot-wide, five-foot-high rubbish heap was cigarette butts, dog poo, crisp packets, fast food boxes and cartons, newspapers, drink cans and bottles and bits of food.

The litter is cordoned off and is part of an anti-litter scheme.

Emma Bridgewater backs Stoke-on-Trent's City of Culture bid
Leading pottery owner, Emma Bridgewater, returned to the Potteries ahead of major international festival, the British Ceramics Biennial.

Football: Crewe Alex full-back out for season

Crewe Alexandra youngster Ross Woodcock has suffered a cruciate knee injury that will rule him out for the season.

Ross Woodcock
Crewe Alexandra FC

The Alex said Woodcock was withdrawn at half-time of an under-23 match on Monday and their "worst fears were confirmed".

In a statement on the club's website they said: "Everyone at Crewe Alexandra wishes Ross a speedy recovery from his injury."

Arrests after alleged axe threats

Three men have been arrested following "disorder" in Stoke-on-Trent last night.

Staffordshire Police said officers were called to Penkhull New Road at around 17:00 on Thursday evening to reports of two men making threats with an axe.

A man was then hit by a vehicle on All Saints Road, the force said he received minor injuries.

Police have arrested a 21-year-old man on suspicion of affray, assault with intent, and possession of controlled drugs with intent to supply.

A second man, aged 19, has been arrested on suspicion of assault, possession of an offensive weapon, possession of controlled drugs with intent to supply and dangerous driving.

A 16-year-old boy, also from Stoke-on-Trent, who was arrested on suspicion of affray has been released under investigation.

Your comments: Pottery firm makes limited edition Jeremy Corbyn jug

Facebook

We shared with you yesterday that a Stoke-on-Trent pottery firm has produced a toby jug resembling Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Labour supporter Alexander Kirk, 19, from Lincoln, commissioned Hanley's Bairstow Manor pottery to make 500 jugs.

Some of you shared your thoughts on this on BBC Radio Stoke's Facebook page, it seems some of you may be receiving this as a present!

Jeremy Corbyn
PA

Bobbie Mcguinness isn't a fan, saying: "You can put that one straight in the bin."

Wendy Foxall commented she'd rather have a Thomas Shelby from Peaky Blinders jug.

Kate Nicholson simply said: "YESSSS."

Football: Vale caretaker managers 'believe' in current squad

BBC Radio Stoke Sport

Port Vale coaches David Kelly and Chris Morgan who have been placed in temporary charge of the team say they still have "belief" in the current squad.

The duo have remained at the club following the sacking of manager Michael Brown on Saturday.

David Kelly and Chris Morgan
Port Vale

It's a difficult position to be in, the league table doesn't lie, but we do still believe and have the belief in the players that they can get themselves on to a decent run."

David KellyCaretake manager

Have your say on Leek post office move

BBC Radio Stoke

People in Leek are being invited to have their say on where to move the town's post office.

The current one, based in Waitrose, closes today, and the plan is to relocate it to The Old Court House on High Street, 800 metres away.

If given the go-ahead, bosses say that they'll be ready to open the new one in November.

Post office sign
PA

Football: Crewe 'on right track' despite run of losses

Graham McGarry

Crewe Alexandra commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Crewe defender Michael Raynes says there's no panic in the dressing room despite the side’s recent results.

The Alex have lost four of their last five in all competitions, and failed to score in three of the last four.

Michael Raynes
Rex Features

Raynes told BBC Radio Stoke the team are still on the right track.

They face Carlisle United at home tomorrow, with Raynes facing his former club since singing for the club in May.

Family's farming affair comes to an end over HS2

Bob Hockenhull

BBC Midlands Today

Split in two by HS2 - a farm near Lichfield closes to the public this weekend after more than 90 years in business.

Packington Moor Farm
BBC

John and Rosemary Barnes will close the gates of Packington Moor Farm as the high speed rail line gets set to cut right through their site.

Three generations of farming will then come to an end for a family that labels HS2 "a vanity project" despite the compensation it's received.

Today the farm closes its doors to the public, although weddings held at the site will continue until the end of the year as it fulfills commitments.

John and Rosemary Barnes
BBC

Power cut in Stoke-on-Trent

Western Power say there is a power cut in the ST11 area of Stoke-on-Trent.

They hope to have power back on by 13:30.

View more on twitter

Football: Crouch tells Berahino to stay patient

Lee Blakeman

BBC Radio Stoke Sport

Stoke City's Peter Crouch has told fellow striker Saido Berahino to stay patient after failing to appear in the starting line up since the opening game of the season.

The forward hasn't scored in 30 Premier League appearances - his last goal was for West Brom against Crystal Palace 17 months ago.

Crouch says his team mate just needs to stay positive.

Saido Berahino
BBC

I know it can be frustrating at times, there are players that can throw their toys out the pram and make it harder for themselves, what I've always down is keep my head down and work hard and try and get back in the side... that's what I've said to Saido is not to get too frustrated with it... his time will come."

Peter CrouchFootballer

Family escape flat fire

A family have escaped a fire at a flat in Tamworth.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service said crews were called to a second floor flat on Arden Close, Amington, at 00:17 on Friday to reports of a bedroom fire.

The service said the fire was caused by a modified lighter which had been left on flammable materials in the bedroom.

Arden Close
Google

Thankfully no one was seriously harmed by this fire and we were able to attend before serious damage was caused to the property. Fortunately the parents smelled the smoke before the fire spread throughout the property and were able to evacuate and call us."

As they did not have working smoking alarms this incident could easily have had a more tragic outcome."

Gary FoxStation Manager

Your pictures: Beautiful sunrise

BBC Weather Watchers

There was a definite autumn chill in the air this morning, but it's worth it if you can capture these kinds of stunning pictures.

How incredible is this shot taken in Burton-upon-Trent by Poeticverse?

Burton-upon-Trent
poeticverse

Dawn Treader took this gorgeous picture in Congleton, what a peaceful-looking place.

Send in your weather pictures here and we'll feature some of our favourites.

Congleton
Dawn Treader

Wide load moving through county

A wide load is making its way through Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent this morning.

Police said on Twitter, it will make move north to Stone and Newcastle-under-Lyme.

View more on twitter

Velo 100-mile cycling event: Your comments

A massive cycling event takes place this weekend in Staffordshire, the Black Country and Worcestershire.

On Sunday, 15,000 cyclists will follow the 100-mile route of Velo Birmingham through the Midlands, much of it on closed roads.

Here are some of the comments you've been making on Facebook:

Cyclists
Getty Images

How will it effect me? Should one of my family ever need to be cared for by McMillan nurses, money raised from the Velo may help with their care. My husband is diabetic and money raised from the Velo may one day find a cure for the disease."

Lynsey Pledger

All taking part on the public highway. A definition of highway is an area of land which the public at large have an absolute right to use to pass and repass without let or hindrance. I appreciate the need to close roads to carry out road repairs, or install or repair utilities but for a sporting event?"

David Denning

Yes okay, the money will be raised for Macmillan nurses etc, but what about district nurses or carers that may already be visiting a member of your family, but can’t get through because the roads are closed?"

David Austin

Velo Birmingham? Hardly any of it is in Birmingham."

Dale Harper

Lawro's prediction: Stoke v Chelsea

BBC Sport

Stoke and Chelsea logo
BBC Sport

Stoke boss Mark Hughes was absolutely fuming after Tuesday's Carabao Cup defeat by Championship side Bristol City and he will get a reaction from his side.

The Potters will set it out to make it difficult for Chelsea, and they showed against Manchester United earlier in the month what they are capable of against the top teams.

Chelsea are no pushovers, though, and will be ready for a battle.

Lawro's prediction: 1-1

Mental health staff off work more than doubles

Jennie Aitken

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

The number of mental health staff off work with anxiety or depression has doubled since 2012 in north Staffordshire.

There's been a rise nationally with the number of workers taking leave for their own mental health issues going up by a quarter.

Hospital stuff
PA

Figures for the West Midlands region show the increase for north Staffordshire is by far the highest.

Five years ago, 44 workers were off sick for at least four weeks because of mental health issues, by 2016 that went up to 91.

The North Staffs Combined Healthcare NHS Trust says it's seen an increase in reported stress, but they've invested more in staff counselling and support, including talking therapies.

The trust has also brought in a project to better support staff who have been subject to violence or aggression in the workplace.

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 - Slow traffic and one lane blocked on M6 southbound between J17, A534 (Sandbach) and J16, A500 (Crewe), because of a broken down vehicle and debris on the road.

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

More time to consider changes to stray dogs policy

BBC Radio Stoke

Councillors in Newcastle-under-Lyme say more time is needed to consider changing a policy about how the authority deals with stray dogs.

Dogs are rehomed or put down when they are not returned to their owners.

Dog in kennel
Dogs Trust

Current rules allow owners to retrieve their dogs even if they can't afford a £70 fine, as long as they pay within four weeks.

The council says more and more people aren't paying up and it is considering stopping the offer of a deferred payment option.

Ceramics Biennial starts in Stoke-on-Trent

BBC Midlands Today

A major international ceramics festival begins in the Potteries later today.

Ceramics
BBC

The British Ceramics Biennial is taking place as Stoke-on-Trent finalises its bid to become UK City of Culture in 2021.

The event includes exhibitions and interactive workshops.

Get ready for 15k cyclists on the roads

BBC Midlands Today

Fifteen thousand cyclists will take to the region's roads on Sunday for the first Velo Birmingham.

Cyclists
BBC

The race is proving controversial as some businesses along the 100-mile route are concerned that road closures in Staffordshire, the Black Country and Worcestershire will damage trade.

Many roads will be closed throughout the area - check whether you'll be affected on the website.

Velo birmingham 2017 map
Velo Birmingham

Severe disruption: A500 Staffordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

A500 Staffordshire northbound severe disruption, between M6 J15 and A34 Stone Road.

A500 Staffordshire - A500 in Hanchurch closed and queuing traffic northbound between Stoke-On-Trent and Hanford Interchange, because of emergency repairs.

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

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Charlie Slater

BBC Weather presenter

After a foggy start for some, there'll be some decent sunshine around this morning, but cloud will increase later bringing some rain with highs of 17C (63F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Welcome to our live updates for the day

Monica Rimmer

Journalist, BBC Online

Welcome to Stoke and Staffordshire Live on Friday morning.

We'll be bringing you all the news, sport, travel and weather as it happens.

If you'd like to get in touch you can email, tweet us on @bbcradiostoke or message via Facebook.

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire northbound severe disruption, between J14 for A34 and J15 for A500.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed on M6 northbound between J14, A34 (Stafford North) and J15, A500 (Stoke-On-Trent), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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