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  1. Updates for Thursday 30 April 2015
  2. News, sport, and weather updates return at 08:00 Friday

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 Friday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather for Birmingham and the Black Country.

  2. Overnight forecast

    Shefali Oza

    BBC Midlands Today Weather

    It will be a dry night with clear periods and light winds.

    Temperatures will dip low enough for a touch of frost to form, mainly in rural areas with a low of 1C (34F).

    Shefali Oza

    Friday promises to be a dry day with plenty of sunshine and light winds.

  3. Carcraft closure

    Read more on BBC News about the second-hand car company Carcraft which is to close, with the loss of about 500 jobs.

    Carcraft in Wednesbury

    A spokesman warned customers with Carcraft policies, including break-down cover, will no longer be covered.

    The showroom in Wednesbury (pictured) is among those to be affected by the closure.

  4. Birmingham man jailed over child porn and pepper spray imports

    A man has been jailed for two years for downloading indecent images of children and importing pepper spray for resale.

    Ikram Shah

    Ikram Shah, 27, from Cherrywood Road in Bordsley Green, Birmingham, sold the weapons disguised as cigarette lighters and lipsticks.

    The National Crime Agency (NCA) said around 40 images of girls aged between four and nine-years-old were also found on his phone.

  5. West Midlands Ambulance: Reaction

    Michele Paduano

    BBC Midlands health correspondent

    Although West Midlands Ambulance Service appears the best performer, it too missed its target for Red 2 or the second highest category of emergency as did all ambulance trusts across England.

    Ambulance services are still struggling and there is talk of further diluting ambulance targets in future.

  6. Wedding fraudster

    Trystan Jones

    BBC News

    More on Sarah Cawthorne (pictured right) the woman who has been jailed for one year after admitting a fraudulent scam on brides to be.

    Sarah Cawthorne

    Jade Caddick from Birmingham, lost more than £1,000, discovering Cawthorne's firm had ceased trading on the day of her wedding, in September 2013.

    "I got to the hotel the day before and she'd not turned up. Even on the day itself I was getting ready, sitting in my wedding dress and trying to get hold of Sarah," she said.

  7. Oldbury fire update

    Bob Hockenhull

    Reporter, Midlands Today

    Firemen are still at scene of massive blaze at Teknor Apex factory in Oldbury.

    Firemen remain at the scene of Teknor Apex factory in Oldbury

    Operations manager Roger Davies at fire ravaged Teknor Apex says he hopes to get factory up and running again.

  8. Carcraft goes into administration

    The second hand car giant Carcraft has gone bust, with the loss of around 500 jobs across the UK.

    Carcraft was established in 1951 and has 10 showrooms across the country, including Wednesbury.

    The administrators Grant Thornton say the firm's suffered from poor market reputation, lack of investment and a high cost base.

  9. Blues arrests over trouble

    Four people have been arrested after disorder following a Birmingham City match against Wolves.

    CCTV images have been released of another 11 people police wanted to trace in connection with trouble following Wolves Birmingham city game

    West Midlands Police said those arrested were aged between 19 and 43, and lived in Wolverhampton, Dudley and Kingswinford.

    CCTV images have been released of another 11 people police wanted to trace in connection with trouble following the derby game on 11 April.

  10. Politicians and percentages

    David Gregory-Kumar

    Reality Check, BBC News

    People are not very good at mathematics, and in this country we're worse than most.

    It's not just simple stuff like adding up, it's the way we grapple with some very fundamental mathematical ideas. Concepts like percentages. Now percentages are very useful.

    If there's one thing I've learned on BBC Reality Check during the election, it's politicians and also journalists who are the worst offenders. Read my blog in full on BBC News.

  11. Endangered lemurs come to Brum

    Two baby ring-tailed Lemurs have become the latest addition to the Wildlife Conservation Park in Birmingham.

    Lemurs at Wildlife Conservation Park in Birmingham

    The species are on the endangered list and were brought to the park as part of an international breeding programme.

    The baby lemurs haven't been named yet and visitors are being encouraged to leave their suggestions.

  12. 'Highest performing' ambulance trust

    West Midlands Ambulance Service is the highest performing ambulance trust in the country, according to the trust which run the service.

    Out of 10 trusts new figures rated the area's local Ambulance Service top

    The trust had the highest performance in the country for the most serious calls, which include cases such as cardiac arrests achieving more than 77% against a target of 75%.

  13. Train with the BBC

    BBC Sport

    The BBC Kick Off Trainee Sports Reporter Scheme gives talented people from a diverse range of backgrounds the opportunity to learn and develop sports reporting skills at the BBC.

    BBC Sport Kick Off

    The placements are all over the country - including here in Birmingham - so if you want to apply, you've got until 5 May.

  14. BBC One from 13:30

    Jo Tidman

    Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

    Eloise Parry's best friend talks to Midlands Today about what could have been done to stop her the taking toxic diet pills that killed her.

    And 10 years after the final match at Coventry City's Highfield Road ground - we meet one fan who's keeping it alive.

    Plus the latest forecast with Charlie Slater. Those stories and more from 13:30 this lunchtime.

  15. Fraudster jailed for 12 months

    Ben Godfrey

    BBC Midlands Today

    A fraudster has been jailed after the company she ran folded leaving more than 100 brides in the lurch.

    Sarah Cawthorne, who ran a Dudley-based firm called "A Bit of Bling", was sentenced to 12 months at Wolverhampton Crown Court

    The 32-year-old, from Dudley, admitted fraudulent trading last month.

  16. Wedding scammer sentencing

    Ben Godfrey

    BBC Midlands Today

    Sarah Cawthorne from Dudley conned more than 100 brides after failing to supply their wedding receptions.

    I'm at Wolverhampton Crown Court where she's being sentenced after admitting fraud worth more than £30,000.

    Watch Midlands Today tonight for the full story.

  17. John Lewis to create 500 jobs in Birmingham

    Managers of John Lewis's "flagship" department store say more than 500 jobs will be created at its new Birmingham city centre premises.

    Grand Central shopping centre

    John Lewis said a store above the redeveloped Birmingham New Street station would offer roles on the shop floor, stock-room and kitchen.

    The £35m store which is due to open in September anchors the Grand Central shopping centre.

  18. Nepal update: Wolverhampton man's photos

    Adrian Goldberg

    Presenter, BBC WM

    More than 100 British people caught up in the Nepal earthquake returned to the UK overnight.

    Mark Williams and photo taken in Nepal following the earthquake

    Mark Williams (pictured) from Wolverhampton was missing for a couple of days before he managed to get in touch with his family to say that he was OK.

    He's currently living in a tent - here's a selection of photos he's taken of the area around him, he says "it just looks like it's been smashed up".

  19. Dudley nightclub allowed to open until 6am

    Express and Star

    A nightclub in Stourbridge has been allowed to extend its opening hours to 6am despite objections from police, neighbours and councillors.

    The Stourbridge Academy, in Hagley Road, will now be able to stay open later on certain nights.

  20. Bride scammer due to be sentenced

    Michelle Dawes

    Journalist, BBC WM

    A woman from Dudley who pleaded guilty to conning brides out of more than £30,000 is due to be sentenced today.

    Sarah Cawthorne took bookings for services including flowers and chair and table decorations through her company A Little Bit of Bling but never had the goods and failed to deliver.

    Emma Chaplin was one of the brides caught out says thankfully she was insured so was able to et her money back.

  21. Stories we're working on

    Kester Dremmar

    Producer, BBC Midlands Today

    A Little Bit of Bling Wedding company fraudster Sarah Cawthorne from Dudley is expected to be sentenced today.

    She conned brides out of more than £30,000, and our reporter Ben Godrey is following the story for us.

    Local artist, Doug O'Brien, has written a song for Villa called "Loving it at Wembley". We'll be looking back on that plus other previous songs celebrating the FA Cup.

    Join us for the latest on BBC One at 13:30 and 18:30.

  22. Oldbury road closures

    Tat Bank Road remains closed between Popes Lane & Western Road due to yesterday's factory fire in Oldbury, Sandwell Highways warns.

    Drivers are told to expect delays in the local area.

  23. Latest headlines

    Stephanie Barnard

    BBC Local Live

    Here's the latest headlines for Birmingham and the Black Country at 10:00:

    • A man wanted over the murder of a father-of-one who was found stabbed to death in Wolverhampton has been arrested
    • Unions warn lives could be put at risk by Staffordshire Fire Service's proposals to save £5m
    • Travel: Tat Bank Road in Oldbury closed following yesterday's fire
  24. Wolves: Afobe up for award

    Steve Hermon

    Journalist, BBC WM

    Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Benik Afobe (pictured) has been nominated for the Championship player of the month award for April.

    benik afobe

    The 22-year-old, who is English football's leading scorer this season, is up against Tom Ince of Derby, Adlene Guedioura of Watford, and Cole Skuse of Ipswich.

  25. Fire station consultation

    Staffordshire Fire tweets: Just a reminder that we're holding a drop-in session about our Community Safety Options at Tamworth Community Fire Station until 8pm today.

  26. Murder arrest: Police appeal for more information

    Dylan Dwight Jackson (pictured), 19, is now in the West Midlands being questioned by police after being arrested in Somerset last night.

    Police say he's been on the run since 13 April when Herman "Louis" Simpson was found stabbed at this home in Wolverhampton.

    Dylan Dwight Jackson

    Detective Inspector Warren Hines who's leading the investigation. says: "This is still very much a live enquiry and we're still appealing for information. I'd urge anyone with information about Mr Simpson's murder to call me immediately."

    Anyone with information is asked to call DI Hines on the 101 number.

  27. Man arrested over murder


    A man wanted over the murder of a father-of-one who was found stabbed to death in Wolverhampton has been arrested.

    West Midlands Police says Dylan Jackson was arrested in Bath in Somerset last night.

    Herman "Louis" Simpson, 47, was found dead at his home in Compton Road on 13 April.

  28. Recycling centre closed after body found

    Jo Tidman

    Journalist, BBC Midlands Today

    A waste recycling centre in Birmingham remains shut today after a man's body was discovered by workmen sorting through rubbish.

    Police cordon off Veolia Environmental Services in Small Heath

    West Midlands Police have cordoned off Veolia Environmental Services in Small Heath to allow forensic examinations to take place.

    The man's body has yet to be identified. It's not yet known if the death is suspicious.

  29. Oldbury factory fire update

    An investigation's begun into what caused a major fire at a plastics factory in the Black Country yesterday.

    Oldbury factory fire

    At it's height more than 70 firefighters were needed to tackle the blaze which broke out at Teknor Apex in Oldbury on Wednesday afternoon.

    West Midlands Fire Service spent the night damping down.

  30. Sunshine and showers

    BBC Weather

    A mix of sunshine and showers is expected this morning.

    Weather forecast for the Midlands 30 April 2015

    The showers will become increasingly isolated this afternoon, allowing more prolonged spells of sunshine to develop.

    The northwesterly wind will ease, although it will remain cool with a high of 12C (54F).

  31. Good morning

    Stephanie Barnard

    BBC Local Live

    A damp start but lots of blues skies and sunshine around though temperatures are still quite chilly.

    I'll be bringing you the very latest news, sport, travel and weather for Birmingham and the Black Country today from the newsroom here at BBC WM.