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  1. Updates for Wednesday 28 January 2015
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates return from 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

By Alex Homer

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Good evening

    That's all from the Local Live team, keep warm, and join us for all your news, sport, travel and weather again from 08:00 on Thursday.

  2. Turning very cold overnight

    Shefali Oza

    BBC Midlands Today Weather

    A cold and blustery night with rain, sleet and snow showers.

    These will be most frequent in the northwest of the region with some snow possible, mainly over the hills.

    Overnight widespread frost will develop, with the risk of ice.

    Lows 0C (32F)

  3. Coming up on TV

    Mary Rhodes

    Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

    It's taken them 127 years, but finally Walsall Football Club can look forward to their first trip to Wembley.

    The Saddlers booked their place in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final in March - with an aggregate victory over Preston last night. Laura May McMullan has been out and about in Walsall today capturing the mood.

    Join us for the Midlands Today on BBC One at 18:30.

  4. Talk of the market

    Caroline Gall

    BBC News

    I've been in Walsall today asking people about the Saddlers' securing their first appearance at Wembley in their 127-year history.

    John Fisher, who runs a market stall in Walsall with his wife, is a lifelong Everton fan but did watch the Saddlers in the 1970s.

    John Fisher

    "The last time I went it cost £1.50. I'm very pleased for them though.

    "I watched Walsall once when they played Watford. Elton john was due to show up and I'm a massive Elton fan. Anyway, he never turned up and Walsall lost 3-2!"

  5. Hospital ordered to improve finances

    Dudley News

    Watchdog Monitor has taken action to improve the financial woes faced by Dudley's hospital trust which is forecasting a deficit of nearly £8million in 2014/15.

  6. Care cost calculator

    The BBC has launched an online guide to the care system for the over-65s.

    Older person's hand

    The "care calculator" covers both residential care and the support provided in people's own homes, for tasks such as washing and dressing.

    Users can submit their postcode and find out how much each service costs wherever they live in the UK.

  7. Delays on the M6

    BBC Travel

    There is slow traffic on the M6 southbound at J12 for the A5 at Gailey because of an earlier accident, even though all lanes have been re-opened.

    Travel time is 30 minutes, drivers are being warned.

  8. News on the hour

    Chris Blakemore

    News editor, BBC WM

    Police in Digbeth are looking for a group of people who were in a suspected stolen Audi which rammed into a police car on Monday night.

    More stories are in our headlines at 17:00.

  9. Walsall fans toasted 'dream come true'

    Caroline Gall

    BBC News

    Jubilant Walsall fans were in the town centre the morning after the night before, toasting their "dream come true" - as the club booked its place at the home of football for the first time in 127 years.

    Walsall fans

    Dave O'Shea, Stephen Hanson and Paul Davis, said watching their team at Wembley was a once in a life-time experience.

  10. M6 brush with death

    Terrifying footage captures the moment an RAC recovery worker brushes with death.

    A lorry swerves off the inside lane, across the hard shoulder and ploughs into him, breaking his back in two places, before driving off.

    The crash taking place

    The lorry driver admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving on 28 April last year on the northbound carriageway of the M6 between junctions six and seven in the video released by West Midlands Police.

  11. Ferry's son walking after crash

    Bryan Ferry's son Merlin has taken his first steps at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, after being critically injured in a car crash, his brother Otis has tweeted.

  12. Celeb Walsall fans' views

    Paul Franks

    Presenter, BBC WM

    Legendary music producers and Walsall fans Pete Waterman and Steve Jenkins are talking to me on BBC WM just after 16:00 after the Saddlers secured the club's first Wembley appearance.

  13. News on the hour

    Chris Blakemore

    News editor, BBC WM

    A total of 2,000 Tesco workers have been told their jobs are at risk.

    The firm's been giving details of which unprofitable stores it plans to close across the country.

    Four West Midlands stores are among the 43 closing.

    Join us for the 16:00 bulletin.

  14. McManaman deal done: West Brom sign winger for £4.75m

    BBC Sport

    West Bromwich Albion have signed Wigan winger Callum McManaman for a fee of about £4.75m.

    Callum McManaman

    The 23-year-old has signed a three-and-a-half year contract at The Hawthorns and is new manager Tony Pulis's first signing.

  15. New regeneration fund announced

    Birmingham Post

    A new regeneration fund potentially worth £15 billion has been announced with Birmingham and the surrounding areas a target for investors.

  16. Nicola Payne death: Two in court

    Giles Latcham

    Presenter, Midlands Today

    Two men have appeared in court accused of murdering 18-year-old Nicola Payne, who disappeared 23 years ago.

    Nigel Barwell, 50, and Thomas O'Reilly, 50, both of Coventry, are charged with killing the mother of one between 13 and 16 December 1991.

    Left to right: Nicola Payne's father John and mother Marilyn and aunt Melanie Eales along with Det Insp Martin Slevin

    Ms Payne's parents John and Marilyn and her aunt Melanie Eales were present at the hearing.

  17. King Street move 'has failed'

    Express and Star

    Business owners say a £650,000 project to boost trade in Dudley town centre by opening up a major route has failed.

  18. Bearwood Tesco blow 'depressing'

    Alex Homer

    BBC Local Live

    The announcement Tesco is to close its Bearwood shop has been described as "depressing" by a councillor.

    Richard Marshall, chairman of Bearwood Traders and himself a Smethwick councillor, said: "This is depressing news really. Just as the £5m transformation of Lightwoods Park and House is about to get under way, we suffer another body blow on Bearwood Road.

    "Our thoughts at this time are with the people who are likely to lose their jobs."

  19. News on the hour

    Chris Blakemore

    News editor, BBC WM

    A second school implicated in the so-called Trojan Horse allegations is to be taken over by an academy trust.

    Hear more in our news at 14:00.

  20. Lane closed on M5 southbound

    One lane is closed on the M5 southbound between J3, A456 (Halesowen) and J4, A38 (Lydiate Ash) because of a broken down vehicle, BBC Travel reports.

  21. 'Boost for the whole town'

    Caroline Gall

    BBC News

    More on Walsall's win which takes them to Wembley.

    Anthony Easthayes, from Walsall, told me: "I wasn't watching but I followed it on the internet. I was obviously hoping they would win and go through, and they've done it.

    "I wont be going to the final but I used to go to a lot of games and I've been watching them since a kid. I used to jump in for free over the wall. Really pleased they've done it, just for the whole town."

  22. Ancient solar system discovered

    Trystan Jones

    BBC News

    An ancient solar system similar to our own - formed 11.2 billion years ago - has been discovered by scientists.

    Kepler-444 and associated planets

    Studying data from the Kepler telescope, the team, led by the University of Birmingham, found a star orbited by five planets similar in size to Earth.

    Dr Tiago Campante said it could provide a clue to "the existence of ancient life in the galaxy".

  23. Lambert has Villa backing

    Pat Murphy

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Aston Villa chief executive Tom Fox says manager Paul Lambert has the full support of the club and remains important to owner Randy Lerner.

    Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert
  24. Outcry over Yardley playing fields plan

    Birmingham Mail

    Birmingham residents are gearing up for a fight over plans to build more than 80 homes on disused playing fields.

    The Central England Co-operative wants to construct 82 homes off Barrows Lane, in Yardley, despite concerns over increased congestion, noise and the possible cost to health.

  25. Recruitment problems for 'Trojan Horse' schools

    Judith Burns

    Education reporter, BBC News

    Schools at the centre of the Trojan Horse allegations in Birmingham are struggling to recruit staff, the chief inspector of schools has told MPs.

    Sir Michael Wilshaw

    Claims that hard-line Muslims tried to gain control of the schools have led to "big problems about leadership and staffing", Sir Michael Wilshaw (pictured) said.

    The government should help the schools recruit good staff, Sir Michael said and he warned that without better staffing, the problems could re-emerge.

  26. Tesco shutting four stores in West Midlands

    Rebecca Marston

    Business reporter, BBC News

    Supermarket giant Tesco has named the 43 stores it is closing across the country, a move that will see 2,000 staff lose their jobs.


    Tesco's Bearwood, Northfield, and Walsall Wood Express stores are closing and the Metro store in Smethwick is also shutting.

  27. Trojan Horse schools struggle to recruit staff

    The Chief Inspector of Schools has told MPs schools at the centre of the Trojan Horse allegations in Birmingham are struggling to recruit staff.

    Sir Michael Wilshaw

    Sir Michael Wilshaw says the government should help the schools recruit good staff and warned that without better staffing, the problems could re-emerge.

  28. Feedback

    Alex Homer

    BBC Local Live

    BBC Local Live brings you the latest news, sport, travel and weather all in one place. Tell us what you think.

  29. News on the hour

    Michelle Dawes

    Journalist, BBC WM

    Schools at the centre of the Trojan Horse allegations in Birmingham are struggling to recruit teachers.

    The Chief Inspector of Schools, Sir Michael Wilshaw told MPs claims that hard-line Muslims tried to gain control of the schools have led to "big problems about leadership and staffing".

    He told the Commons Education Committee the government should now step in to help. More on this in our bulletin at 12:00.

  30. Prosecution over 'sex-selection abortions'

    Clare Lissaman

    BBC News Online

    Two doctors accused of offering abortions based on the sex of the foetus are facing private prosecution.

    Pro-life campaigner Aisling Hubert (pictured), backed by the Christian Legal Centre, launched the action after an undercover investigation by the Daily Telegraph.

    Aisling Hubert outside Birmingham Magistrates' Court

    Birmingham magistrates granted a summons allowing the case against Dr Palaniappan Rajmohan, 48, on Monday.

    He and Dr Prabhan Sivaraman are accused of conspiracy to procure poison to be used with intent to procure abortion.

  31. Saddle up for Wembley

    Caroline Gall

    BBC News

    Lisa Davis owns Tobias Barbers in Walsall town centre.

    Lisa Davis

    She said: "I'm extremely pleased for them. It's great for the town and will put us on the map - for a while.

    "They will make their mark. I might even go to the final. I know my neighbours who are season ticket holders will be really pleased. It's great."

  32. Council 'cleared of twins death blame'

    Chris Blakemore

    News editor, BBC WM

    Emergency vehicles across the West Midlands will be given keys to a Druids Heath tower block where a pregnant mum fell into a coma and lost her twin babies because paramedics couldn't gain access.

    Jocelyn Bennett

    Jocelyn Bennett was 32 weeks pregnant and fell unconscious after calling 999 meaning she couldn't buzz an ambulance crew into her flat in Pleck House - her baby girls died six days later.

    Birmingham City Council says an independent investigation has cleared them of any blame, but they've now decided to ensure every paramedic and police officer can get in during an emergency.

  33. Listed home 'used by swingers'

    Birmingham Mail

    One of Birmingham's oldest and most historic houses has been transformed into a swingers club, sparking outrage from locals.

  34. Trojan schools 'need help'

    Judith Burns

    Education reporter, BBC News

    Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw has called on the Department for Education to do more to help schools involved in the Trojan horse events in Birmingham to recruit more good staff.

    He said more funding should be allocated to raise standards, adding that pupils had been badly let down by governing bodies at the schools.

  35. News on the hour

    Michelle Dawes

    Journalist, BBC WM

    New guidelines governing when ''major incidents" can be declared have been issued to hospitals in the West Midlands.

    NHS England says the aim is to help hospitals cope; not to stop them calling in extra staff to cope with high demand for beds.

    More on this story and others in our 11:00 headlines.

  36. Alpha Tower listed

    Andrew Dawkins

    BBC News

    English Heritage has announced that the secretary of state for culture, media and sport has added 14 post-World War Two office buildings to the National Heritage List for England.

    Alpha Tower

    One of those is the 28-storey Alpha Tower, in Birmingham, was designed by George Marsh, who also designed Centre Point in London.

  37. Walsall reaction: Saddlers took their chance

    Caroline Gall

    BBC News

    I'm getting reaction to Walsall booking their historic trip to Wembley.

    Steven Spragg works at Walsall Market and has supported the Saddlers for more than 40 years.

    Steven Spragg

    "They had a good chance of winning with the 2-0 lead so I was hoping they'd win. I didn't see the game but was hopeful.

    I might go to the final but fingers crossed they can win it. It's a first for them at Wembley after all."

  38. Wolverhampton students taken to hospital after lab test tube drama

    Express and Star

    Students were taken to hospital complaining of headaches after a test tube cracked during a science experiment.

    The incident took place at North East Wolverhampton Academy, Marsh Lane, Fordhouses.

  39. News on the hour

    Michelle Dawes

    Journalist, BBC WM

    Every emergency vehicle across the West Midlands will be given keys to access a block of flats in Druids Heath after a woman lost her twin babies and spent nine days in a coma after paramedics struggled to gain access to help her.

    More on this in our 10:00 news.

  40. Saddlers fans celebrate Wembley tie

    Rob Gurney

    BBC WM Sport

    This was the jubilant scene at the Banks' Stadium at the final whistle last night, when it was confirmed the Saddlers had booked their place at Wembley.


    Already 2-0 up from the first leg of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy northern area final at Deepdale, Dean Smith's men needed only to avoid defeat.

    Walsall have never reached a Wembley final in their 127-year history.

  41. Balti Curry Seeks a Place in British Culinary Lore

    New York Times

    At a time when tensions over immigration, assimilation and religious and ethnic differences seem to be growing ever sharper, Adil's adaptation of Pakistani cooking to British tastes is a symbol of culinary cross-fertilization in one of Britain's most multicultural cities.

    Most customers at Balti restaurants in Birmingham are non-Asian — a tasty retort to the much-mocked reports that areas of Birmingham, and of a number of other European cities, had become "no-go zones" for anyone but strict Muslims.

  42. Construction company in administration

    Jennifer Harby

    BBC News Onlne

    A Birmingham construction company has gone into administration with the loss of 150 jobs.

    Parkstone's offices

    The Parkstone Group said it had been struggling financially, in part because of late bill payments by clients.

    About 74 staff at the firm's headquarters, near Coleshill (pictured), will be made redundant, along with a number of contractors.

  43. Local reaction to Saddlers' success

    Caroline Gall

    BBC News

    I'm off to Walsall to find out what fans - and non-fans - think of the football team's upcoming trip to Wembley.

    Their goalless draw with Preston last night booked their place at "the home of football" for the first time in their 127-year history.

    Walsall fans celebrate

    Walsall have never previously reached a Wembley final - since 1984 they've been within one step of reaching the national stadium four times - but now they've done it.

  44. News on the hour

    Michelle Dawes

    Journalist, BBC WM

    On the morning after Walsall Football Club made history - manager Dean Smith tells us the game which secured them their first trip to Wembley has made a hero out of every player.

    More on this in the 09:00 bulletin.

  45. Golden Hillock joins national academies chain

    Andrew Dawkins

    BBC News

    A school at the centre of the so-called "Trojan Horse" allegations of a takeover by Muslim hardliners is to join a different group of academies.

    Golden Hillock School

    Golden Hillock School will join the Ark network in September, following a resolution by current management at Park View Educational Trust.

    In December, Ofsted said the school was "making reasonable progress" - it was previously rated inadequate in all categories.

  46. Tipton road closure

    BBC Travel

    The A457 Sedgley Road East in Tipton is closed westbound between the A4033 Dudley Road West junction and the A461 Dudley Port junction, because of emergency repairs and a collapsed manhole.

    A diversion is in operation. More details are here.

  47. Good morning

    Alex Homer

    BBC Local Live

    I am back in the BBC WM newsroom bringing you today's news, sport, travel and weather.

    Get in touch with us during the day over email, Twitter or Facebook.