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  1. Updates for Tuesday 31 March 2015
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates return from 08:00 Wednesday

Live Reporting

By Stephanie Barnard

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Good evening

    Local Live updates have finished. We'll have more news, sport, travel and weather updates from 08:00 Wednesday

  2. Windy night ahead

    BBC Weather


    Gusts of over 60mph have been recorded in parts of the West Midlands today.

    Looking ahead to tonight it will be rather windy and with the odd blustery shower at first, but these will soon die out.

    Charlie Slater

    Forecaster Charlie Slater says, "Winds will gradually ease through the night, although it will still be fairly breezy. It will be largely dry with clear spells developing."

  3. Coming up on BBC One at 18:30

    Mary Rhodes

    Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

    Dramatic pictures from Bournville where a driver was cut free from his car after being hit by a falling tree - we speak to eye witnesses who say it was like a can being crushed.

    The Black Country GP who is saving lives, time and money by travelling with ambulance paramedics, keeping patients out of hospital.

    Dave Heeley

    And charity "Blind Dave" Heeley (pictured) - could his latest challenge be a step too far, even for this marathon man?

  4. More on Blues sale offers

    BBC Sport

    Five offers have been received for Birmingham City, the club's parent company Birmingham International Holdings Limited (BIHL) has confirmed.

    St. Andrew's stadium

    The receivers Ernst & Young, who have been running BIHL since February, made the announcement in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

    The Football League has already said it is happy that enough funds are available to allow the Blues to complete the current Championship season. Read the full story on BBC Sport.

  5. Watford fan Nic Cruwys moved to specialist care unit

    A Watford FC fan who was attacked after a match in Wolverhampton has been moved to a specialist care unit.

    Nick Cruwys

    Nic Cruwys suffered head injuries in the attack on 7 March.

    The 44-year-old, from Hemel Hempstead, is in a serious but stable condition, West Midlands Police said.

    Seven teenagers, aged between 13 and 18, have been bailed after being arrested on suspicion of wounding the father-of-two.

  6. Tree falls on house

    Birmingham South Police Response team tweets: A 2nd fallen tree, this time into a house on Quarry Road, Weoley Castle. Pls take extra care on your journeys home.

    Tree falls on house in Weoley Castle
  7. Tree crushes car: Technical rescue team assistance

    Jerry Chester

    BBC News Online

    I've just spoken to West Midlands Fire Service who say they had to use air bags to lift the tree from the car, after it was blown down in string winds at about 13:40 between Bournville and Weoly Castle.

    Tree crushes car

    Crews from Woodgate Valley and Northfield attended the scene with extra assistance provided by their Technical Rescue unit.

    I'm told the rescue took roughly an hour to cut the man free, thought to be in his 30s.

  8. Walsall will 'stick together', says Saddlers defender

    BBC Sport

    Walsall defender James O'Connor insists that the Saddlers can "stick together" to beat off the growing threat of relegation to League Two.

    James O'Connor

    A run of just one win in nine League One games has left Walsall in jeopardy, just three points clear of trouble.

    "We've eight big games coming up," said O'Connor. "We need to move on and get ourselves safe as quick as possible.

  9. News on the hour

    Gareth Ford-Lloyd

    BBC WM

    Our top story in the news at 17:00 on BBC WM: A man's been taken to hospital after a tree fell on his car during strong winds in Birmingham this afternoon.

  10. 'Gust of wind' fells trees

    Chris Blakemore

    News editor, BBC WM

    Eye-witness Lucy Miller saw the moment the 60ft tree fell on a car in Birmingham.

    She told BBC WM: "There was a massive a gust of wind and a 60ft tree hit a smaller tree and both have landed on top of the car and crushed it outright".

    Ms Miller who lives opposite says lots of people tried to help and lift the tree from the car but had to wait for the emergency services to arrive because they couldn't lift it.

  11. Tree crushes car: 'Like a can being crushed'

    Ben Godfrey

    BBC Midlands Today

    It's an extraordinary scene on Witherford Way. There are some tree surgeons at the scene now trying to take off what is a 18 metres (60ft) high tree which collapsed this afternoon.

    A silvery blue Nissan car was directly under it when it came down in strong winds and has been completely flattened.

    The male driver thought to be in his 30s has been taken to the QE hospital.

    Car hit by tree

    An eyewitness on Shenley Fields Road which is nearby told me it was like "a can was being crushed".

  12. Owner of Dudley based wedding firm admits fraudulent trading

    Dudley News

    A woman who left Black Country brides in the lurch on their big day has admitted fraudulent trading.

    The owner of A Little Bit of Bling, Sarah Cawthorne, from Sedgley, pocketed thousands of pounds from couples after promising she would provide the décor at their wedding receptions.

    The 31-year-old of Hickmerelands Lane, pleaded guilty to one charge of fraudulent trading between July 2012 and September 2013.

  13. Man's car hit by tree

    BBC WM

    Fire crews have rescued a man in Weoley Castle in Birmingham after a tree fell crushing him inside the car.

    Tree falls on car

    Crews were called out at about 13:45.

    The man had to be cut out of the car before being taken to hospital, his condition is not yet known.

  14. Five offers for Blues

    Ged Scott

    BBC Sport

    Birmingham City's parent company, Birmingham International Holdings Limited (BIHL), has received five offers for the Championship club.

    The receivers of the company, who have been in charge since February, announced in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that they "have received five indicative non-binding offers from independent third parties in relation to possible acquisition of an interest in the Company and/or Birmingham City plc".

  15. Whistleblowing policy change

    via Facebook

    Solihull Council posts: To reflect recent changes to government legislation, Solihull Council has revised its whistleblowing policy.

    Whistleblowing is the practice of raising issues of genuine concern about malpractice or impropriety that you believe to be in the public interest, including but not limited to mismanagement, bribery, fraud, and health and safety failures.

    You can view the revised Whistleblowing Policy here:…/Corpo…/WhistleblowingPolicy.pdf

  16. News on the hour

    Chris Blakemore

    News editor, BBC WM

    An inquest has heard how a woman from the West Midlands, killed in a terrorist attack in Tunisia, died from gunshot wounds to her abdomen and pelvis.

    Sally Adey, aged 57, from Albrighton near Wolverhampton, was among 21 people shot dead at a museum in the capital Tunis earlier this month.

    Listen live to BBC WM for more on this story and others.

  17. Council 'discriminated' against its tenants

    Alex Homer

    BBC Local Live

    Sandwell Council 'discriminated' against an Oldbury couple over its handling of a housing benefits claim, a judicial review has found.

    The authority included disability living allowance (DLA) as income when working out the discretionary housing payments (DHPs), to help them cope with the shortfall following changes to the benefits rules.

    Sandwell Council House

    Lawyers acting for the couple - council tenants Michael and Jayne Hardy - said the decision could go on to have wider consequences for many other local authorities across England and Wales.

  18. Man jailed for sexually exploiting Walsall schoolgirl

    A homeless man has been jailed for seven years after admitting grooming a Walsall schoolgirl and inciting her to begin a sexual relationship.

    bati singh

    Banti Singh was arrested by police in Bloxwich in September last year after the 14-year-old girl's family raised concerns with officers about her behaviour and contact she was having with an older man.

  19. Zoo chief exec investigated

    Stephanie Barnard

    BBC Local Live

    The chief executive of Dudley Zoo has been suspended on full pay pending an investigation into his conduct of certain affairs.


    A spokesperson for Dudley Zoo says the "suspension of Peter Suddock does not constitute disciplinary action by the Zoo.

    Whether or not disciplinary action is taken will depend upon the outcome of the investigation."

  20. Bears sign McCullum for T20 Blast

    BBC Sport

    Champions Birmingham Bears have signed New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum for this summer's T20 Blast.

    Brendon McCullum

    The 33-year-old recently led New Zealand to the World Cup final, which they lost to Australia on Sunday.

    McCullum has signed a seven-game deal, which should make him available for half of the Bears' qualifying group games, as they aim to defend the trophy they won for the first time in August.

  21. News on the hour

    Chris Blakemore

    News editor, BBC WM

    In the news at 14:00:

    The chief executive of Dudley Zoo has been suspended on full pay.

  22. Blind Dave's challenge

    Daz Hale

    Reporter, BBC WM

    Earlier I met Black Country marathon runner Dave Heeley who has started his training for his next big challenge.

    Black Country Marathon runner Dave Heeley

    "Blind Dave" as he's known is the first blind person to attempt to run the Marathon Des Sables, which involves six days of running across the Sahara Desert.

    To prepare he's spent the morning in a humidity chamber at the University of Birmingham (pictured).

    He's hoping to raise £30,000 for the Albion Foundation which encourages disabled people to play football.

  23. Firkins job losses

    Stephanie Barnard

    BBC Local Live

    The loss of jobs at Firkins Bakery isn't the first we've seen.

    In 2008 the bakery shut 21 with the loss of 140 jobs. At the time 30 shops across the area were saved at the company, which is more than 140 years old.

    The bakery, based in West Bromwich, blamed rising supplier prices and the economic downturn seven years ago.

  24. Appeal for stem cell transplant

    Amy Cole

    Presenter, Midlands Today

    The mother of a Birmingham teenager has made a desperate plea for more stem cell donors to come forward as her son is in urgent need of a transplant.

    Omar Al Shaikh

    Omar Al Shaikh, 16, is being treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for acute myeloid leukaemia and has just three months to find a matching donor.

    Now his mother Mirabela has issued an urgent appeal for help through the Anthony Nolan Trust.

  25. News on the hour

    Rob Mayor

    Journalist, BBC WM

    In the news at 13:00 on BBC WM: A Watford football fan attacked after watching a match at Wolves earlier this month has been moved to a specialist care unit.

    Cruwys family

    Nic Cruwys was attacked after he left Molineux on 7 March having watched his team draw 2-2.

  26. Windy afternoon ahead

    BBC Weather


    Windy, with gales in many places, particularly across the hills.


    It will be a chilly day, with some sunny intervals but also scattered blustery showers, perhaps heavy at times and with the risk of hail - high of 9C (48F).

  27. News on the hour

    Rob Mayor

    Journalist, BBC WM

    It's been announced that around 60 B&Q stores across the UK will close over the next two years.

    The only one in the West Midlands that's been announced so far is on the Stechford Road in Birmingham. More details in the news at 12:00.

  28. Family's plea for help

    BBC WM

    The family of a West Midlands man behind bars in a Thai jail say they're desperate to help him.

    Lane Whitemore was arrested in August of last year when he sold 200 ecstacy pills to an undercover police officer.

    His parents don't deny the crime but say he's being kept in inhumane conditions and that the charges changed between arrest and his appearance in court.

  29. Bakery goes into liquidation

    Stephanie Barnard

    BBC Local Live

    The Birmingham bakery Firkins has gone into liquidation due to a "lack in sales", with the loss of more than 100 jobs.

    Firkins Bakery in West Bromwich

    A statement from Business Recovery and Insolvency says: "Following difficult trading periods on the high street, Newbridge Bakery, Newbridge Bakery Ltd have announced that their shops trading as Firkins and Woolaston Bakery have closed and will cease to trade."

    It added it will result in the loss of 104 full and part time jobs.

  30. Wolverhampton line reopens

    via Facebook

    Network West Midlands posts: ‪#‎BacktoBusiness‬

    Midland Metro has now reopened back to Wolverhampton St George's and trams are running normally again.

    Old mine workings in Wolverhampton city centre

    "Midland Metro would like to thank all customers for their patience during these works"

    Work laying new tram tracks was delayed after former mine workings in Wolverhampton were discovered last year.

  31. News on the hour

    Steve Hermon

    Journalist, BBC WM

    In the news at 11:00 on BBC WM we'll have more on an attack on a man in Birmingham believed to be religiously motivated.

    Police are investigating after it was filmed and posted online.

  32. Police look into 'religious attack'

    Police say they're investigating what's believed to have been a "religiously motivated attack" in Birmingham on Sunday.

    A video was posted online which appears to show a man being assaulted on Broad Street on Sunday.

    Man attacked in Birmingham

    A spokesman for West Midlands Police says: "I would encourage the man who appears to be the victim in the video to contact us, along with anyone else who was there at the time and can give us any further details."

  33. Birmingham B&Q branch among 60 to close

    BBC Business

    It has been confirmed that the B&Q branch on Station Road in Stechford is among 60 stores to be closed by the DIY chain's owner Kingfisher.

    Shoppers walking past a B&Q store

    B&Q are still in the process of telling staff in other stores about closure plans in other parts of the country.

  34. News on the hour

    Rob Mayor

    Journalist, BBC WM

    Coming up in the news at 10:00 on BBC WM: West Midlands Police says "something's gone wrong" after a woman being treated for cancer was threatened with three points because she couldn't turn up to a speed awareness course.

    Chief Insp Kerry Blakeman says he's going to review the case.

  35. Man 'slashed across the neck'

    Sally Chidzoy

    Correspondent, BBC News

    It's emerged that staff at Birmingham jail were alerted by the Samaritans after they received a phone call from a prisoner stating he's been slashed across the neck.

    Staff found the inmate in his cell with a 2 inch cut to his neck "which was treated locally".

    The report says "he refused to tell staff who had assaulted him and CCTV was being reviewed as part of a local investigation".

  36. Three-year-old girl injured in taxi collision

    A three-year-old girl's suffered serious head injuries after being hit by a car in Lozells.

    The collision with a Volkswagen Passat taxi happened on Gerrard Street at around 20:30 on Sunday.

    She was taken to Birmingham Children's Hospital with serious internal and head injuries and her condition is described as serious but stable.

    The driver of the car, a 30-year-old man, was not injured.

    Police are appealing for witnesses.

  37. Speeding cancer row

    Adrian Goldberg

    Presenter, BBC WM

    A woman from Halesowen who missed a speed awareness course because she had bowel cancer has been told she'll have to get points on her licence and pay a fine.

    Jean Downs who is in her 70s was caught doing 36 in a 30 mph zone in Walsall last year.

    Jean says the punishment automatically switched to a fine because she missed the course three times, but thinks her circumstances should be taken into account.

  38. Simmonds in Team GB

    Walsall's Ellie Simmonds (pictured) has been named in the Great Britain team for July's IPC World Championships in Glasgow.

    Ellie Simmonds

    The four-time paralympic gold medallist is one of only 18 swimmers selected.

    Last night she tweeted: So happy to have been announced on the GBTeam for this years swimming World Champs & congrats to my fellow team mates

  39. News on the hour

    Rob Mayor

    Journalist, BBC WM

    Coming up in the news at 09:00 on BBC WM: Black Country Marathon runner "Blind Dave" Heeley has begun training in a humidity chamber at the University of Birmingham as he prepares for his next big challenge.

    He's the first blind person to attempt to run the Marathon Des Sables, which involves six days of running across the Sahara Desert.

  40. Jobs axed as bakery chain Firkins closes

    Birmingham Post

    A historic chain of bakeries founded in the West Midlands in 1870 has suddenly closed down resulting in more than 100 jobs being axed.

    Firkins, which was launched in Carter's Green in West Bromwich, is set to go into liquidation after years of struggle which has seen it fall into and out of administration three times in the past decade.

  41. Less than a-goal-a-game

    Steve Hermon

    Journalist, BBC WM

    Walsall left-back Andy Taylor says there'll be no finger-pointing as they try to find a crucial element of football - goals.

    Walsall left-back Andy Taylor

    The Saddlers are three points outside the relegation zone going into Good Friday's vital home game with fellow strugglers Notts County.

    Walsall have scored less than a-goal-a-game this season - 36 in 38 matches.

  42. Horses close M6

    Part of the M6 closed last night after horses were spotted on the motorway.

    Highways Agency webcam

    Officers shut the motorway at about 20:00 in both directions between Junction 4A and Junction 5 while the horses and a foal were removed on the northbound carriageway.

    All were returned to the field uninjured.

  43. Flights delayed

    Bethan Bell

    Journalist, BBC News

    Flights between Amsterdam's Schiphol airport and Birmingham Airport may be subject to delays/cancellations due to the adverse weather conditions.

    Passengers are advised to check with their airline for flight status updates.

    You can check the Birmingham Airport arrivals and departures board online here.

  44. Good morning

    Stephanie Barnard

    BBC Local Live

    I'll be bringing you the very latest news, sport, travel and weather for Birmingham and the Black Country.

    If you'd like to get in touch with the BBC Local Live team today please email or tweet @BBCWM.