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  1. Updates for Tuesday 30 December 2014
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Wednesday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Today's updates have finished. We'll be back with more news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Wednesday.

Tonight's forecast

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today Weather

Temperatures will fall quickly in places after dark, but with increasing cloud and strengthening winds through the early hours, frost will be patchier by morning. It will stay dry too.

Lows of 1C (34F). More information about the next few days is


Coming up on TV

Joanne Malin

Presenter, Midlands Today

West Bromwich Albion are

searching for a new boss to keep them in the Premier League after sacking head coach Alan Irvine. Staying in the top flight is worth more than £150m to the club.

West Midlands Ambulance Service meanwhile says callouts across the festive weekend showed a significant rise over last year, with demand on Saturday recorded as the sixth busiest day ever.

Join us for more on these stories on

Midlands Today at 17:50 on BBC One.

Soaring Saddlers

BBC WM Sport

Walsall's James O'Connor insists that League One is too "mad" to call at the halfway stage of the season - and that the

Saddlers have a chance of going up.

Keeping vulnerable people warm

Councillors have been handing out so-called winter warmer bags to vulnerable residents around Wednesbury this afternoon.

Councillors Elaine Costigan, Bob Lloyd and Olwen Jones with the winter warmer bags
Ian Jones

Elaine Costigan, Bob Loyd and Olwen Jones were handing out the bags - which include a hat, scarf, gloves, blanket, thermal cup, soup and hand warmer - to residents on Cherry Lane, on the Golf Links estate.

Year in news: Tributes to inspirational father

Express and Star


how we reported the death of Steve Evans, whose description of his cancer battle won the hearts of tens of thousands of people on Twitter.

The paper's front page
Express & Star

Mr Evans had several

conversations with Richard Bacon about his treatment as well.

Looking back: Thumbs Up

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

The simple thumbs up from Stephen Sutton in his hospital bed, as he temporarily removed his oxygen mask, captured the hearts of people around the world and helped

the fundraiser's appeal towards raising £5m.

Stephen Sutton

Tens of thousands of people joined a "thunderclap" on Facebook and Twitter on the day of

the vigil at which people paid tribute to him at Lichfield Cathedral.

BBC WM's 2014 highlight

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

My highlight of the year was BBC WM being named best local radio station in the BBC Gillard awards.

I was delighted for everyone at BBC WM and it recognised our excellent journalism - in particular our coverage of the big stories in the West Midlands, like the

alleged Trojan Horse plot.

Boldmere shopping traffic

Traffic from shoppers means it's quite slow going in Boldmere, on the A452 Chester Road North in both directions between the Monmouth Drive junction and the A453 College Road junction,

warns BBC Travel.

News on the hour

Nicole Pullman

BBC WM newsreader

About 1,000 Sikhs from across the country have been staging a peaceful protest outside the Indian Consulate in Birmingham.

They want India to release Sikh political prisoners.

Join us at 17:00 for more on this and other stories.


Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

What do you think of BBC Local Live? We'd like

your feedback about this service.

Concern for missing man

Police are

asking for information about a Harborne man missing since before Christmas.

Baljit Singh, a 50-year-old from Meadow Road in Harborne, was last seen on 23 December when he left his home to collect a birthday cake.

Baljit Singh
West Midlands Police

Mr Singh didn't collect the cake and was last spoken to by his wife at about 14:30 that day.

Year in news: 'Council crisis'

Birmingham Mail

The radicalisation of pupils remained a "key concern" in Birmingham, said an Ofsted report on the state of West Midlands schools.

Sir Bob Kerslake delivered a damning verdict of the council, painting a picture of an organisation which was failing the city. Meanwhile, Ofsted revealed that a quarter of West Midlands' children's homes were not yet "good".


how we reported the situation facing the city.

Birmingham Mail frontpage
Birmingham Mail

News on the hour

Nicole Pullman

BBC WM newsreader

More than 200 people due to fly from Birmingham Airport to Gambia today have been left stranded after reports of an attempted coup in the African country.

Travel company Thomas Cook says it is providing accommodation for passengers while they await more information from the Foreign and Commonwealth office.

More on this and other stories in

our 16:00 bulletin.

Mulumbu picked for internationals

BBC Sport

West Bromwich Albion midfielder Youssuf Mulumbu is one of three England-based players

in Democratic Republic of Congo's provisional squad for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

Youssuf Mulumbu
Steve Bardens

Year in news: Voices in the classroom

Express and Star

Have a look back at

our exclusive investigation into the challenges facing teachers as they look after pupils with so many different native languages.

Express & Star

Appeal for unwanted gifts

Sutton Coldfield Observer

St Giles Hospice is

appealing for "unwanted" Christmas presents to help pay for the care of people living with life-limiting illnesses.

Looking back: Wolves pool party

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

After back-to-back relegations, woe was Wolves as the club began its 2013/14 campaign.

But Kenny Jackett's men fully deserved the civic pride they were shown when they bounced back to the Championship as

League One Champions at their first attempt.

The pool dyed gold
Wolverhampton City Council

The city council decided to throw a pool party with a twist at Wolverhampton Central Baths and

dyed the water "old gold" - the shade of Wolverhampton Wanderers' football shirts - for the day.

News on the hour

Nicole Pullman

BBC WM newsreader

A Birmingham MP says government changes to planning laws will turn parts of the city into ghettos of bedsits.

Hear more from Labour MP for Selly Oak Steve McCabe in

our 15:00 headlines.

Crime message strikes a chord

"Should garden doors be left unlocked if we're to beat house crime?" Sang to the tune of Auld Lang Syne. That's the message from the West Midlands Police force choir Vivat.

Vivat singing
West Midlands Police

They've swapped the lyrics to the traditional New Year's Eve ditty for tuneful crime prevention advice. Listen


Year in news: 'Day of shame'

Jack Dromey, Erdington's Labour MP, dubbed it a "day of shame" as

Dunlop Motorsport ended its manufacture of tyres in Birmingham and closed its factory with the loss of 241 jobs.

A Dunlop worker
Clement Martin

It marked the end of 125 years of manufacturing in the city.

Goodyear Dunlop said it would maintain its Wolverhampton factory and its head office in Erdington, which together employ 700 people.

Outgoing City Link workers' anger

Express and Star

Staff at City Link's Black Country depot have spoken of their shock and anger at being told

they will be made redundant after the courier company went into administration.

Multi-storey extension approved

The approval of plans to double the number of spaces and refurbish the multi-storey car park at Wolverhampton railway station has been met with delight by council chiefs.

How the new multi-storey could look
Wolverhampton City Council

The next phase of the wider Wolverhampton Interchange project will see lead developer Neptune Developments and Wolverhampton City Council add an extra 520 parking spaces to take the overall capacity to more than 900.

News on the hour


A Birmingham MP says government changes to planning laws will turn parts of the city into ghettos of bedsits.

Find out more in our

14:00 bulletin.

Photographers' bid to halt library cuts

Birmingham Post

Some of the Midlands' most influential photographers, who gave their finest work to the Library of Birmingham, have

launched a campaign to halt cuts which will see opening times slashed.

Theatre to look forward to

Tim Masters

Entertainment correspondent, BBC News

The coming year is the centenary of American playwright Arthur Miller's birth and there is

no shortage of theatrical events.

The RSC's production of Miller's 1949 Pulitzer prize-winning Death of a Salesman begins previews in March at Stratford-upon-Avon, with Antony Sher and Alex Hassell as father and son, Willy Loman and Biff.

Richard Dreyfus in Harvey
Gregg Stone

Also in February, Maureen Lipman and James Dreyfus star in a new version of Mary Chase's comedy Harvey - about a man's friendship with a six-foot tall, invisible rabbit - which will open at Birmingham Repertory Theatre, prior to a UK Tour and the West End.

Year in news: Lest we forget

Birmingham Mail

A lost generation of Midlands young men who answered their country's call. That's

how we remembered 100 World War heroes.

Birmingham Mail frontpage
Birmingham Mail

Coming up on TV

Qasa Alom

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

Hundreds of people due to fly to Gambia have been left stranded after reports of an attempted coup in the African country.

The travel company Thomas Cook delayed the flight - due to leave Birmingham Airport at 08:00 - as reports came through of armed soldiers storming the Presidential Palace in the Gambian capital city Banjul. There have been reports of several deaths.

Join us for

Midlands Today at 13:15 on BBC One.

News on the hour

Nicole Pullman

BBC WM newsreader

The think tank The Centre for Social Justice believes legal highs will be killing more people than heroin within two years and there are believed to be thousands of regular users in Birmingham now.

More on this and other stories in

our 13:00 bulletin.

Braving the cold

Halesowen News

The big-hearted Cradley councillor who

slept under the stars on Christmas Eve to raise money for the YMCA has branded the event a success.

Looking back: Much Caldmore nowadays

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

It's Christ-maaaaaaaas! Still, sort of. And that's our excuse for remembering how former Slade frontman Noddy Holder received the freedom of Walsall earlier this year.

Holder, who was born in the Caldmore area and made his singing debut aged seven on stage at Walsall Labour Working Men's Club,

received the honour at the town hall in June.

Noddy Holder and Mayor of Walsall Pete Smith

Slade had a string of hits in their 1970s and early 80s heyday, including Merry Xmas Everybody.

Year in news: Queen visits JLR

Express and Star

The opening of the £500m JLR engine factory would have been a momentous day for the region in any case, but it was made all the more special as

it received the royal seal of approval with a visit by The Queen.

Express & Star

Who will be the next Albion boss?

Michael Emons

BBC Sport

West Bromwich Albion are in talks with Tony Pulis and Tim Sherwood about their vacant manager's job, BBC Sport has learned.

Tony Pulis and Tim Sherwood

The news comes after Albion sacked Alan Irvine, 56,

on Monday with the club 16th in the Premier League.

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

It is thought the number of people in Birmingham taking so-called legal highs has doubled over the past five years.

For more on this story and others,

join us on BBC WM.

Call for CPR training

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

People in the West Midlands believe children should be taught CPR in schools, according to new research by the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

The BHF polled more than 2,000 people and found 78% of people in the region thought children should leave secondary school knowing the life-saving skill.

Birmingham's changing face

Tim Stokes

BBC Local Live

2014 has seen another year of massive change across Birmingham's landscape.

Gillian Wearing statue unveiled/tram works outside New Street Station/NIA 'sky needles'/Stafford tower demolished

Among the work undertaken:

Distraction burglary suspect sought

This is the man suspected of conning a 94-year-old out of more than £600 after claiming his car had been clamped outside his Small Heath home.

Distraction burglary suspect
West Midlands Police

The pensioner realised he had been a victim of theft shortly after the man left his home, on Hob Moor Road, at about 15:00 on 29 November.

West Midlands Police released

CCTV footage of the suspect today in a bid to track him down.

Rising from the ashes

Express and Star

Owners of fire-ravaged units at Bilston's Stag Industrial Estate are one step closer to rebuilding their businesses

after demolition work started at the site.

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

At 11:00 we hear from "Blind Dave" Heeley, the West Bromwich marathon runner.

He says the Ring and Ride service, which is faced with a £700,000 funding cut affecting the jobs of 50 drivers, is a lifeline for some people.

Hear more from him

on BBC WM.