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  1. Updates for Friday 27 March 2015
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates are back 08:00 Monday

Live Reporting

By Alex Homer

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Have a good weekend

    Local Live has finished for the day. Join us for more news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Monday.

  2. Cool and dry overnight

    Rebecca Wood

    BBC Weather

    A dry evening, although cloud will thicken from the southwest.


    Low cloud and hill fog is then likely during the early hours. However this should gradually clear, as winds strengthen around dawn.

    Lows of 7C (45F).

  3. Coming up on TV

    Mary Rhodes

    Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

    The new cricket season is just around the corner. So this weekend, thousands of volunteers will be making sure their local grounds are in tip-top condition.

    Warwickshire bowler Oliver Hannon-Dalby paints some gates

    But it's not just the amateurs who've got their work cut out. The same applies to the professionals at Warwickshire, as Ian Winter reports.

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

  4. 'Such a cheeky chappie'

    The parents of Harry-James Kirkham, who was killed after being hit by a police car have released a joint tribute to him: "Harry-James was such a cheeky chappie, into all the things that all 15-year-olds do. He loved his Star Wars, James Bond and was extremely sporty.

    Harry-James Kirkham

    The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating the death of the Kingstanding teenager who was struck outside a police station in Erdington on 18 March.

    He died in hospital the following day.

  5. M6 tailbacks

    BBC Travel

    BBC Travel

    There is slow traffic on the M6 northbound between J7 for Great Barr and J8 for the M5 because of an earlier crash involving a car and a van.

    All lanes have been re-opened but congestion is back to J6 and the A38(M) Aston Expressway.

  6. News on the hour

    Chris Blakemore

    News editor, BBC WM

    Police have released dramatic CCTV footage of an armed robbery at a bingo hall in Birmingham.

    You can watch it on the BBC WM Facebook page.

    More stories with us in the 17:00 news.

  7. Chilling footage of armed robbery

    An armed robber has been captured in crystal clear CCTV footage shouting and swearing at staff as he demands they hand over cash at BJs Bingo on Mackadown Lane, Kitts Green.

    A still image from the CCTV footage

    Officers have released the footage of the hold-up, on 13 February, hoping someone recognises the culprit.

  8. Election countdown

    Patrick Burns

    Political editor, Midlands

    I've been catching up with some of our MPs with marginal majorities shortly before they packed their bags and left Westminster ahead of the election on 7 May.


    Even before the Tories reselection emergency, Dudley North had star billing. But Labour incumbent Ian Austin told me he's not worried about UKIP, which some polls suggest could overturn his 649 majority.

  9. Swingers raid: Motive 'unknown'

    Alex Homer

    BBC Local Live

    An investigation is underway after three raiders with ski masked burst into a private event at a Birmingham swingers club..

    A spokeswoman's rubbished reports semi-naked people were seen fleeing into the road after the raid at Tudor Lounge in Highgate.

    She added: "We've got security cameras but the guard did not look at them before they burst in."

    Nothing was reported stolen, said police.

  10. Walsall man hopes to be Wembley winner

    BBC Sport

    Midfielder Kieron Morris is keen to make up for Walsall's Wembley disappointment in the FA Trophy final with Wrexham on Sunday.

    Kieron Morris

    Walsall's Morris, 20, is on loan at the Racecourse until the end of the season, but travelled with the Saddlers for the Football League Trophy final.

  11. News on the hour

    Chris Blakemore

    News editor, BBC WM

    There's growing evidence that the German co-pilot at the controls of an airliner which crashed into the Alps, killing all 150 people on board including Wolverhampton father-of-two Martyn Matthews, had mental health problems.

    We will hear from a clinical psychologist, in our 16:00 news.

  12. Will all our MPs be back in May?

    Patrick Burns

    Political editor, Midlands

    Time's up for our MPs as Parliament is dissolved on Monday ahead of the election. So who'll be back in May?


    Lib Dem MP for Solihull Lorely Burt had a majority of just 175 last time. Now she's number one target for the Conservatives she's worked with in Government.

    She told me: "It's quite easy to fight them tooth and nail on the ground in our constituency."

  13. Concern for missing teen

    Concern is growing for a teenager suffering from depression who left her Kitts Green home this morning, according to police.

    Jamie Glynn

    Jamie Glynn, aged 16 is from The Fensway, and her family are very worried for her safety. Call 101 if you have information.

  14. Honouring the Spitfire

    Cath Mackie

    BBC Midlands Today

    A new gallery which honours the legendary Spitfire has been officially opened at the Thinktank in Birmingham. It will celebrate the design of the plane, as well as the men and women who helped build Spitfires in Castle Bromwich and those who flew them.

    Old spitfire footage
    Cath Mackie reports from the new exhibition

    There are dressing up clothes for when the children come along, a pilot's uniform from the time and a replica cockpit.

  15. End of term for our MPs

    Patrick Burns

    Political editor, Midlands

    I've been catching up with some of our MPs with marginal majorities shortly before they packed their bags and left Westminster ahead of the election.


    Wolverhampton South West MP Paul Uppal defends a Conservative majority of just 691 over Labour.

    He says "Ultimately your boss is the good people of Wolverhampton, and they'll make a choice come May 7th".

  16. Three loanees join Harriers

    BBC Sport

    Kidderminster Harriers have signed three players on youth-loan deals until the end of the season.

    19-year-old Birmingham City defender Nat Kelly (pictured) returns, having originally joined Harriers in January, alongside fellow Blues utility man James Fry, 20.

    Nat Kelly (Birmingham City)

    And they have signed left-side player William Boyle, 19, from another Championship side Huddersfield Town.

  17. Interest 'never greater'

    Nick Clitheroe

    Sports editor, BBC Midlands Today

    Birmingham City Ladies get their Women's Super League season under way on Sunday against Manchester City Women.

    Nick Clitheroe reports from a training session

    There's a real desire to increase the profile of the game.

    BT Sport will show live matches, there will be a regular highlights programme on BBC Two on Monday nights as well as radio commentaries.

  18. News on the hour

    Chris Blakemore

    News editor, BBC WM

    There are warnings that a fake fundraising account has been set up in memory of a Birmingham teenager who died after being hit by a police car earlier this month.

    We will have more on this story and others in our 14:00 news.

  19. Raid during swinger's party

    Alex Homer

    BBC Local Live

    An investigation is underway after three raiders in ski masks burst into a private event at a Birmingham swingers club.

    West Midlands Police confirmed it's investigating the raid at the Tudor Lounge, in Highgate, on 18 March. The force says a 53-year-old man was punched and was treated for a cut to his nose and a bump to his head.

    Tudor House

    A spokeswoman for the venue says the security guard had mistakenly not checked CCTV cameras before opening the door and being struck by the intruders.

  20. Delays on our roads

    BBC Travel

    BBC Travel

    There is very slow traffic on the M54 westbound between J2 for Wolverhampton and J3 for Albrighton in the roadworks area.

    There is a similar problem on the M6 southbound between J10a for the M54 and J8 on the M5, drivers are warned.

  21. Why West Midlands is key

    The Birmingham Eastside blog has been looking into 50 key marginal seats in the 2015 general election.

    Adam Ward, co-founder of 50 for 15, tells Eastside: "The West Midlands is extremely important for this election. Looking at the results of previous elections, a national swing is always amplified in the West Midlands.

    Screengrab from the website

    "If a party wants to win the most seats or at least a majority, it needs to win key seats in the West Midlands."

  22. News on the hour

    Steve Hermon

    Journalist, BBC WM

    A Birmingham councillor has told us traffic signalling in the city centre needs to change to avoid repeated gridlock.

    More on this in our 13:00 bulletin.

  23. Refurbishment for Central Baths

    Wolverhampton's Central Baths are in line for a £300,000 refurbishment.

    Left to right: duty officer Emma Merrick, lifeguard Daryl Humpage, cabinet member for leisure and communities Cllr Elias Mattu and head of leisure services Chris Huddart.

    The revamp will include the changing rooms and the creation of a fitness studio so it will offer exercise classes for the first time.

  24. Bishop of Dudley does the dishes at community café

    Dudley News

    The Bishop of Dudley rolled up his sleeves and got stuck in at a Dudley community café as part of the Church of England's Lent campaign.

    He donned rubber gloves and an apron and washed up after lunch at the Retreat Community Café at St. Francis' Church yesterday (Thursday) to mark #Washday15.

  25. 'Fake' Facebook tribute page

    The family of Harry-James Kirkham, the boy killed in a collision with a police car in Erdington, is warning people to stay away from a Facebook tribute page set up by a stranger, who they say had never met him.

    His parents said: "We would like to add that there has been a 'RIP Harry Kirkham page' on Facebook opened by a boy who he didn't know and had never met him. Unfortunately he has also set up a 'fund me' page.

    "We, his parents, have now opened a page called 'Remember Harry-James Kirkham'. This is for people who knew him to leave stories and memories they have shared together and post any photos they have of him."

  26. News on the hour

    Rob Mayor

    Journalist, BBC WM

    Prosecutors in Germany say the co-pilot who is said to have deliberately crashed the Germanwings passenger plane hid his mental illness from his employer.

    More on this in the 12:00 news.

  27. Via Twitter

    Wolverhampton City Council tweets: "Great atmosphere @MolineuxStadium for #wolvesjobsfair Over 50 exhibitors here with 100s of jobs on offer so pop down before 2.30pm"

  28. Watchdog investigates fatal police car crash

    The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has launched an investigation after a 15-year-old boy was killed following a collision with a police car.

    The IPCC is looking into the crash at around 21:10 on Wednesday 18 March when an officer on a routine patrol, collided with Harry-James Kirkham on Sutton New Road outside Erdington police station.

    Erdington police station - generic image

    The teenager was on foot and crossing the road in front of the Potters House Christian Fellowship Church on the other side of the road from the police station.

    He died from his injuries in hospital the following day.

  29. Raiders stormed swingers club

    Birmingham Mail

    Police are hunting a masked gang who raided a Birmingham swingers club - attacking a man and a woman and sending semi-naked customers fleeing into the street.

    Three thugs targeted Tudor Lounge, based at the 400-year-old Stratford House in Highgate.

  30. News on the hour

    Rob Mayor

    Journalist, BBC WM

    A Birmingham councillor says traffic signalling in the city centre needs to change after last night's gridlock.

    It follows an accident on the A38(M) Aston Expressway and Councillor Victoria Quinn, who sits on the authority's transport and scrutiny committee, was one of those caught up in the traffic afterwards.

    We will hear more from her at 11:00.

  31. Death by dangerous driving suspect

    Jerry Chester

    BBC News, North West

    West Midlands Police has confirmed a 24-year-old has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving after a cyclist died in a collision with a car in Wednesbury last night.

  32. Albion's Dorrans remains at Norwich

    BBC Sport

    Norwich City have extended the loan of West Bromwich Albion midfielder Graham Dorrans until the end of the season.

    Graham Dorrans

    The 27-year-old's stay with the fourth-placed Canaries will include any potential Championship play-off games.

    Dorrans has played eight times since joining the Canaries on an initial one-month deal in February.

  33. Traffic lights down

    BBC Travel

    BBC Travel

    There is a traffic light failure between the Sedgley Road East junction and Burnt Tree in Dudley, which is causing disruption.

    More details here.

  34. News on the hour

    Rob Mayor

    Journalist, BBC WM

    Research has found in Birmingham alone more than 3,500 children are not meeting the desired levels in listening and attention when they start school.

    At 10:00 we hear from a headteacher from a Sparkhill school explaining why he believes it's happening. Listen live here.

  35. Cyclist dies after crash

    A cyclist has died after being in collision with a car in Wednesbury last night.

    The man was confirmed dead at the scene by ambulance crews, after the crash on Walsall Road, Friars Park, just after 19:30, said West Midlands Ambulance Service.

  36. Iconic tennis girls dress displayed

    Alex Homer

    BBC Local Live

    The white dress worn in the iconic 1976 Tennis Girl poster will go on display at Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum.

    The All-England Club has been revealed as the buyer of the dress, which sold at auction last July for £15,000.

    Tennis dress

    Fiona Butler, who was then 18, asked if she could borrow it for a photo shoot at the University of Birmingham's tennis courts with her boyfriend at the time, Martin Elliott, who sold the rights to poster company Athena. He died in 2010.

  37. Birmingham Cathedral's £500k boost

    Birmingham Cathedral has been awarded a £500,000 slice of a £20m fund to cover "vital repairs"

    The 300-year-old Anglican cathedral will use the funding to help replace "obsolete lighting and wiring systems".

    Birmingham Cathedral
  38. News on the hour

    Rob Mayor

    Journalist, BBC WM

    A quarter of children are starting school without the language and communication skills they need - and those in the West Midlands rank bottom in the country.

    We will have more on this story in the 09:00 bulletin.

  39. Hospital knifeman jailed

    Express and Star

    A 23-year-old man who entered the grounds of New Cross Hospital armed with a kitchen knife and brawled with security guards has been jailed for eight months.

  40. Expressway crash man named

    A man who died in a head-on crash on the A38(M) Aston Expressway on Monday has been named by police as Andi Patrascu.

    Romanian national Mr Patrascu, from Preston Road, Hockley, was killed when the silver Rover MG he was driving into Birmingham at 12:30 veered towards out-of-city traffic and collided with two cars.

    The crash scene

    The 43-year-old, who's been living in the UK for more than 30 years, was taken to hospital where he died as a result of his injuries.

  41. Severe Stechford delays

    BBC Travel

    BBC Travel

    Station Road in Stechford is closed and there is slow traffic in both directions between the Yardley Fields Road junction and the Station Road junction. Police are directing traffic.

    Stay up to date on the BBC Travel page.

  42. Today's forecast

    Sara Blizzard

    Weather Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

    It will turn increasingly cloudy from the west today but there should be a few bright or sunny spells at times, the best of these across eastern counties. Winds will be light and westerly.


    Highs of 9C (48F).

  43. Good morning

    Alex Homer

    BBC Local Live

    I'll be writing the latest news, sport, travel and weather for Birmingham and the Black Country today.

    Get in touch and send us your pictures over email, Facebook and Twitter.