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Summary

  1. Updates for Friday 1 April 2016
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates to resume at 08:00 on Monday

Live Reporting

By Alex Homer

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Our live coverage across the day

    That's it from us for today. Please join us again from 08:00 on Monday for more news, sport, travel and weather updates.

  2. Watch: Latest weather forecast for the West Midlands

    Sara Thornton

    BBC Weather

    We've got a weather front pushing in, meaning we've got some cloud and the potential for some light and patchy rain this afternoon.

    Lows of 7C (45F). Find out more about the weekend ahead.

    Video content

    Video caption: The weather for the West Midlands
  3. Football: No new injury concerns for Albion ahead of Sunderland trip

    BBC Sport

    Callum McManaman has returned to training but lacks fitness, while James Morrison and Chris Brunt remain out ahead of West Brom's trip to Sunderland on Saturday.

    There was bad blood between the sides at the end of the return fixture earlier this season, when James McClean celebrated in front of the travelling fans.

    Sunderland players confront West Brom's James McClean after the Baggies' 1-0 win in October
  4. Watch: "Cow me poor Yorick"- Shakespeare in Black Country dialect

    The works of Shakespeare have been translated into Black Country dialect for a project dubbed Yamlet.

    Video content

    Video caption: Shakespeare in Black Country dialect for a project called Yamlet.
  5. Football: Agbonlahor suspension 'designed to reduce the hostility towards the players' - analysis

    Pat Murphy

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Gabriel Agbonlahor will not play for relegation-threatened Aston Villa while the Premier League club carries out an internal investigation into his conduct.

    The forward was pictured appearing to hold a shisha pipe while on holiday in Dubai during the international break.

    Gabby Agbonlahor holding a shisha pipe in Dubai

    The disconnect between Villa fans and players is now tangible, with the supporters ranging from resigned to angry.

    Agbonlahor's suspension is designed to reduce the hostility towards the players that may surface at some stage during Saturday's home game against Chelsea.

  6. Latest: Efforts to stop ASB in Birmingham; Agbonlahor investigated by Villa; green light for pub to re-open

    Alex Homer

    BBC Local Live

    If you are just catching up on Friday's news, here are our top stories:

    - New powers to crackdown on anti-social behaviour in parts of Birmingham have been introduced

    - Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor is under an internal investigation by the club into his conduct, after being pictured with a shisha pipe in Dubai during the international break

    - A Wolverhampton pub where drugs were found in a police raid has been allowed to re-open by licensing chiefs

  7. April Fools' 2016: The 'best' local paper pranks

    April Fool's Day is here again and local newspapers have taken the opportunity to play pranks, hoaxes and practical jokes on their readers.

    King Kong

    Birmingham was once home to a much-lamented statue of King Kong, but the Birmingham Mail writes there could soon be a 100ft-tall replacement directly outside the city's new library.

  8. Football: Aston Villa suspend striker Gabriel Agbonlahor amid investigation

    Aston Villa caretaker manager, Eric Black, explains his decision to leave Gabriel Agbonlahor out of the squad ahead of their game with Chelsea this weekend.

    Video content

    Video caption: Gabriel Agbonlahor: Aston Villa suspend striker amid investigation
  9. New powers to stop nuisances in parts of Birmingham

    New powers to crackdown on anti-social behaviour in parts of the city centre have been introduced by Birmingham City Council. 

    Tonight marks the start of the first weekend of the the public space protection order being in place - meaning it will be an offence for groups of three or more to "engage in activities which are likely to cause nuisance, annoyance, harassment, alarm or distress".

    Street drinker

    This includes skateboarding, graffiti, street drinking and using fireworks in parts of Eastside and Dale End. 

    Police can move people "loitering" in shop doorways but Insp Will O'Connor, from Birmingham Police, said those who responded to the questionnaire supporting these new orders said they wanted the council to do more to help homeless people, and not use these orders for that purpose.

  10. Tamworth MP misses important HS2 high speed rail vote

    Tamworth Herald

    Tamworth MP Christopher Pincher did not attend an important vote that saw HS2 take a major step forward – and believes Phase One of the controversial project is "going to happen".

  11. Aston arts venue announces it is going into liquidation

    Steve Hermon

    Journalist, BBC WM

    An arts venue in Birmingham is closing its doors after going into liquidation. 

    The Drum in Aston, which hosts international and local music and arts events and is funded mainly by the Arts Council, has run into financial difficulties.

    The board of the Newtown Cultural Project Limited - which runs it - says all events until June will go ahead as planned but it will then close.

    The Drum
  12. What licensing bosses heard about Bushbury pub The Talisman before deciding it could re-open

    Rob Mayor

    Black Country Political Reporter, BBC WM

    Punch Taverns' solicitor John Cohen argued that problems had only started at the pub after the designated premises supervisor, Peter Thacker, had fallen ill, and"undesirable individuals" had taken advantage.

    In respect of the police raid which uncovered drugs last month, he also suggested a search in any pub on a Friday night was "likely to find illegal substances"and that a "new supervisor, better CCTV and training would all be put in place".

    The Talisman

    Chair of the licensing sub-committee, Councillor Alan Bolshaw, acknowledged the Talisman was "a well-loved community pub", but said that does not give it the right to become an "unruly drugs den" and instead urged right-minded residents to get behind it.

    A 23-year-old Bushbury man has been charged with possession of Class A drugs and has been bailed to appear before magistrates on the 14 April in connection with the raid.

  13. Latest: Charges after bus theft; cause of Saltley fire; once-troubled pub can re-open

    Alex Homer

    BBC Local Live

    Here is a recap of top stories so far on Friday:

    - Three Black Country men have been charged with stealing a bus from a depot which led to a police chase

    - The cause of a major fire in Saltley has been revealed as a spark from a vehicle battery or metal

    - A Wolverhampton pub where drugs were found in a police raid has been allowed to re-open by licensing chiefs

  14. National Living Wage comes into force

    About 210,000 workers across the West Midlands are receiving a pay rise today, with the introduction of the National Living Wage

    Employers will be expected to pay staff at least £7.20 an hour. But the wage applies only to workers aged 25 and over. 

    The Office for Budget Responsibility has forecast that 60,000 jobs could be lost by 2020 as companies struggle to pay the higher rate.

    Cafe worker
  15. Football: Traore and Grealish could feature for Villa

    BBC Sport

    Adama Traore and Jack Grealish are available for the first time since January for Aston Villa's trip to Chelsea after recovering from foot and ankle injuries.    

    Jack Grealish
  16. Edmunds Fine Dining fined £5k over mouse droppings

    A Birmingham restaurant has been fined £5,300 and ordered to pay £1,830 after inspectors found mouse droppings and a "dirty" kitchen.

    Environmental health officers visited Edmunds Fine Dining in Brindleyplace in January 2015.

    Edmunds Fine Dining Birmingham

    They said the kitchen conditions posed "an imminent risk of injury to health" and closed the restaurant. It has since reopened with a top hygiene score.

    Owners Casamou Limited admitted nine food safety and hygiene breaches at Birmingham Magistrates' Court earlier.

  17. Football: Pulis determined Albion first pass the 40-point mark

    Mike Taylor

    BBC WM

    You might think West Bromwich Albion are as good as safe with 39 points, but Tony Pulis is determined they should break through 40 before feeling at all satisfied. 

    Pulis says his international players appear to have all returned in good order, but made a point of expressing his irritation that Stephane Sessegnon had only reported to the training ground this morning.

    Tony Pulis

    "Sess has turned up this morning, apparently, for the first time, which us a disappointment for us because you want all your players back. 

    "Salomon Rondon played one game - he was back in and training on Tuesday, and he's come from the other side of the planet. So it's disappointing that Sess hasn't turned up, but I haven't spoken to him yet, so let me speak to him and then we'll go from there."

  18. Sutton Coldfield Carnival cancelled due to 'technical problems'

    Here's today's frontpage - plans to bring back Sutton Coldfield Carnival this summer have been axed due to "technical problems", it has been confirmed.

    Frontpage
  19. Eleven people hurt in M6 pile-up in Birmingham

    BBC News England

    Eleven people were hurt when a lorry and several cars collided on the M6.

    The accident happened on the southbound carriageway between junction six for Birmingham and five for Castle Bromwich just before 17:00 yesterday.

    Cars crashed on motorway