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  1. Updates on Tuesday 16 December 2014
  2. The latest news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 Wednesday

Live Reporting

By Stephanie Barnard

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Good evening

    BBC Local Live will be back from 08:00 on Wednesday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather for Birmingham and the Black Country.

  2. Rain overnight

    Shefali Oza

    BBC Midlands Today Weather

    Turning increasingly cloudy this evening with rain and strengthening winds spreading from the west before midnight, turning heavy at times.

    Shefali with the weather

    The rain should ease and become patchier by dawn but it will stay windy. A mild night. Low of 4C (39F).

  3. Christmas park closure

    Nick Owen

    Presenter, Midlands Today

    A lot of families are feeling bitterly disappointed this evening after hearing that their so-called Magical Journey Christmas experience at the Belfry near Sutton Coldfield has been forced to close down a week early.

    The children must be shattered after looking forward to it for weeks - all part of their big Christmas build-up.

    We'll be talking to some of the families on Midlands Today at 18:30 on BBC One tonight and trying to find out the best way they can get their money back.

  4. New Street to boost tourism

    A new list has put Birmingham among the world's top 10 cities to visit in 2015, thanks in part to the nearly completed New Street station.

    Artist's impression of redeveloped New Street Station

    The Rough Guide states that with Birmingham's New Street station reopening next year after a much-needed renovation, 2015 will be the ideal time to make a trip.

  5. Have your say

    Stephanie Barnard

    BBC Local Live

    We've introduced Local Live to provide updates on news, sport, travel and weather. What do you think of it? Give us your feedback.

  6. News on the hour

    Rebecca Hume

    Journalist, BBC WM

    At 17:00 we hear about the inquest into the death of a Black Country man who tried to slit the throat of a police officer has confirmed he was shot in the head in the US by officers

    Listen live for more on this.

  7. From sceptic to gaming joy

    David Gregory-Kumar

    Environment correspondent, BBC News

    I have to say I was sceptical but actually it was really good fun using a video gaming headset.

    David gregory Kumar playing a computer game using a headset

    I just lost myself in this brightly coloured racing game. It was a real shock to pull off the headset and find myself in a boring office!

    Twenty years after I first saw virtual reality on Tomorrow's World I think it's finally arrived. You can see my report on BBC Midlands Today's Facebook page and on BBC One from 18:30.

  8. Shot after trying to slit officer's throat

    Jennifer Scott

    BBC Local Live

    An inquest into the death of a Black Country man in America has found he was shot in the head after trying to slit a police officer's throat.

    Sharrinder Singh Garcha, 19, from Wednesbury was going to be deported after he flew out there to meet a teenage girl in Wisconsin.

    He was in a police car waiting to be picked up by immigration officials when he was shot after trying to slit the officers throat.

  9. Ex-paramedic pleads guilty

    A former paramedic has admitted failing in his duty after the death of a man who collapsed outside a hospital.

    Carl Cope

    47-year-old Carl Cope (pictured) died from a heart attack after suffering chest pains near the A&E department at Walsall's Manor Hospital in June 2012.

  10. News on the hour

    Rebecca Hume

    Journalist, BBC WM

    Coming up in the news bulletin at 16:00 on BBC WM: People who booked tickets to the Magical Journey Christmas Experience at the Belfry say they're worried about getting their money back.

    Nicole Penney

    Sutton Coldfield mum, Nicole Penney, (pictured) says she can't tell her kids "Santa's cancelled the event" and is now looking for an alternative idea.

  11. The future of video games?

    David Gregory-Kumar

    Environment correspondent, BBC News

    I've been at the Birmingham offices of videogame company Codemasters testing out their latest racing game which now comes with a virtual reality option.

    Virtual reality headset

    Most people will play the game as normal, but those who've got special video reality headsets can immerse themselves in the videogame world. Find out more on Midlands Today at 18:30 on BBC One.

  12. Free parking in Walsall

    Fourteen days of free parking starts in Walsall town centre this weekend, the council announces.

  13. Drink driving

    Traffic WMP tweets: This was from the very first vehicle stopped! A delivery driver who'd been working all night! #Unbelievable

    Breath test by West Midlands Police

    According to drivers need to have 35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath - making this driver with a reading of 81, significantly over the legal limit.

  14. Blues to sign Morrison permanently

    BBC Sport

    Birmingham City will sign defender Michael Morrison on a permanent deal for an undisclosed fee on 1 January.

    michael morrison

    The 26-year-old, who has been on loan from Charlton since October, will sign a three-and-a-half-year deal when the transfer window opens.

  15. News on the hour

    Rebecca Hume

    Journalist, BBC WM

    At 15:00 we hear from a mother who is not sure if she will receive a refund now The Magical Journey Christmas attraction has closed early.

    Listen live for more on this.

  16. Aston Villa loan player Tonev loses appeal

    BBC Sport

    Celtic's Aleksandar Tonev has lost his appeal against a seven-match ban for racially abusing Aberdeen's Shay Logan.


    A Scottish Football Association appeal tribunal has upheld October's original guilty verdict against the Bulgarian who is on loan from Aston Villa.

    The winger was found guilty of using "offensive, insulting and abusive language of a racist nature" towards the Aberdeen defender.

  17. Why's Birmingham on the list?

    Stephanie Barnard

    BBC Local Live

    You maybe asking yourself why on earth Birmingham has been named one of the world's must see cities in 2015.

    Photos of Birmingham

    Well, we asked Rough Guide, who published the list this question.

    They told us: "From the vibrant Bullring Markets, to the fashionable Creative Quarter, Digbeth, Birmingham makes a worthy entry into the Rough Guide to 2015 for its cultural variety, excellent shopping and a buzzing live music scene that's among the best in the UK."

  18. News on the hour

    Rebecca Hume

    Journalist, BBC WM

    Reports from Hong Kong say the former Birmingham City chairman Carson Yeung has been refused bail ahead of his appeal against money laundering charges next year.

    More on this and other stories with us at 14:00.

  19. Reaction to Christmas venue closing

    via Facebook

    Birmingham Mail posts: Our reporter is at The Magical Journey where workers have been arriving after receiving the bad news. Updates here

  20. BBC One at 13:30

    Amy Cole

    Presenter, Midlands Today

    Coming up this lunchtime: We'll have the latest on the closure of the Magical Journey, including a mum who was due to take her family today.

    As West Midlands Police educate front-line officers about female genital mutilation, we hear the powerful testimony of a woman subjected to the practice and her daughter who's campaigning to stamp it out.

  21. News on the hour

    Rebecca Hume

    Journalist, BBC WM

    In the news at 13:00: Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen is donating his fee for designing the Magical Journey Experience at The Belfry to charity.

  22. Family avoid dementia sufferers

    BBC WM

    Nearly two thirds of people with dementia in the West Midlands think people avoid seeing them at Christmas.

    Half feel that people don't have time for them once they're diagnosed and many will spend Christmas without their families.

  23. Digbeth's creativity praised

    The creativity of Digbeth has been hailed as one reason why Birmingham is one of the world's best cities to visit in 2015.

    Rough Guide has named Birmingham as ninth in a top 10 list which also features Johannesburg and Belgrade among others.

    Custard Factory

    Digbeth's vintage shops and street food stalls are singled out. As is the old Bird's Custard Factory for vintage kilo sales and live music performances.

  24. 'Must visit' for globetrotters

    Tom Richardson

    BBC News Online

    I've been speaking to the people behind the travel books who have dubbed Birmingham one of the top ten cities in the world to visit in 2015.

    It's appeared alongside Johannesburg, New Orleans and Wellington as a must-visit destination for globetrotters.

    Lottie Gross, from the publisher's editorial team, said attractions like the "vibrant" Bullring Market and "fashionable" Digbeth had marked Birmingham out as an exciting place to visit.

    She also praised the city's "buzzing live music scene" and "excellent shopping".

  25. Girls 'at risk' of genital mutilation

    Midlands Today

    Growing numbers of girls in the West Midlands are thought to be at risk of female genital mutilation.

    Backs of police officers

    As a result, all frontline West Midlands Police officers are now undergoing training in how to deal with the issue.

    It's thought 180,000 girls are at risk nationwide. So far, there have been no successful prosecutions in the UK, but police say referrals to the region's child protection unit are increasing. Read more about FGM on BBC Health.

  26. City 'creative hotspot'

    Stephanie Barnard

    BBC Local Live

    Rough Guide 2015 has published its list of its top 10 cities to visit across the world and Birmingham features in its top 10 list.

    Top 10 cities to visit according to Rough Guide

    Birmingham is the only city in England to feature. The publisher says its "midway between two of England's big cultural powerhouses - London and Liverpool" and is considered as an emerging "creative hotspot".

  27. Birmingham 'top city'

    Birmingham's been named as one of the top 10 cities in the world to visit.

    Birmingham Bullring

    The travel publisher the Rough Guide praises the city for its creative hotspots. Birmingham came ninth in the top ten and is the only British city in the list.

  28. Hundreds of complaints

    Amy Cole

    Reporter, Midlands Today

    Lawrence Lleweyln Bowen says he is donating his fee for designing the Magical Journey Experience at The Belfry to charity.

    The celebrity designer says he'll give it to a Birmingham Children's Hospice after organisers announced last night they're shutting it down.

    The Christmas attraction The Magical Journey near Sutton Coldfield

    A statement was issued on their website last night saying one of their financial backers had dropped out and they couldn't continue.

    They've now closed the attraction leaving customers seeking refunds via a credit/debit card chargeback scheme.

  29. Yeung refused bail

    Chris Blakemore

    News editor, BBC WM

    Reports from Hong Kong say that the ex-Birmingham City chairman Carson Yeung has been refused bail ahead of his trial on money laundering charges in March.

    That's according to the South China Morning Post.

    Yeung is still the majority shareholder in the company that owns Blues, Birmingham International Holdings.

  30. News on the hour

    Steve Hermon

    Journalist, BBC WM

    In the news at 10:00: we'll hear from a mother of two who visited the Magical Journey Experience last night before it closed. Hear more on BBC WM.

  31. Civil action expected

    BBC WM

    Civil action is expected to be taken against Birmingham social services and West Midlands Police after a case review concluded the murder of a mother-of-three could've been prevented.

    Natasha Trevis

    Natasha Trevis , murdered by her "controlling" partner was "not listened to or heard" by the authorities, a report has found.

    The 22-year-old was stabbed 26 times by Junior Saleem Oakes in August 2012 as she tried to escape from a taxi.

  32. Fatal Great Barr crash: motorcyclyst died near Deers Leap Pub last night

    Birmingham Mail

    A motorcyclist has died after a crash in Great Barr.

    The tragic incident happened close to the Deers Leap Pub in Queslett Road East.

  33. 'People are cross with me'

    The much-criticised Christmas attraction Magical Journey, at the Belfry Golf Club near Sutton Coldfield designed by Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen has closed down permanently.

    Lawrence at the park

    Llewelyn-Bowen says his contribution had only been "some design concepts" and he had not backed the project financially.

    "I feel very much I was the designer and I'm a very public face so people are cross with me,"

  34. News on the hour

    Steve Hermon

    Journalist, BBC WM

    In the news at 09:00 on BBC WM: A High Court judge has revealed that a 17-year-old girl sexually exploited by men in Birmingham is pregnant.

    The Press Association successfully challenged a reporting ban despite arguments from the lawyer of the girl, who we can't name and Birmingham City Council.

  35. Wolves loan player sparks replay

    Tom Garry

    BBC Sport

    The FA Cup second-round tie between MK Dons and Chesterfield is to be replayed after the Spireites fielded an ineligible player in the original game.

    On-loan Wolves defender Georg Margreitter did not have written permission to appear in the match.

    Georg Margreitter

    Chesterfield won 1-0 away at Stadium MK and would have travelled to Worcester City or Scunthorpe in the third round.

  36. Magical Journey closes


    Sanjeev Sansoy emails: I've received a email that the magical journey has now been cancelled and there is not much of a chance of receiving a refund.

    It cost us over £80 and after the first closure we contacted the organisers to arrange a refund. We were promised that the experience would be back on track.

    It seems they've robbed us and many other families who are struggling at this stressful time of year to make ends meet.

    Read a statement from the organisers here.

  37. Magical Journey closes

    Organisers of the West Midlands based Christmas attraction The Magical Journey say they're "truly sorry" after announcing it's shutting down immediately.

    The Magical Journey at The Belfry

    The attraction at The Belfry near Sutton Coldfield got off to a troubled start last month when it received hundreds of complaints and was forced to close temporarily to make improvements.

    A statement on the website says they couldn't continue because a key financial backer's dropped out leaving them in the lurch.

  38. Fine & dry day

    Sara Blizzard

    Weather Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

    A chilly start then a mostly dry and fine day although an occasional shower is possible across northern counties.

    Sara Blizzard

    Cloud will increase during the evening but it should stay dry. High of 8C (46F).

  39. Good morning

    Stephanie Barnard

    BBC Local Live

    I'm in the BBC WM newsroom today bringing you the very latest news, sport, travel and weather updates for Birmingham and the Black Country.

    If you'd like to comment on any of the updates we're featuring get in touch via email or tweet @BBCWM.