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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Live updates for the West Midlands

Andy Giddings

BBC News

Good morning, we'll bring you all the latest news, sport, weather and travel updates between now and 18:00.

And we'll be covering Birmingham and the Black Country, Coventry and Warwickshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire and south Cheshire.

If you'd like to get in touch to comment or share your photos, visit our BBC Midlands Facebook page, email us, or tweet @BBCMTD.

Football

League One's top two sides cancel themselves out as leaders Wigan are held to a 0-0 draw by Shrewsbury.

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One of the vandalised carriages

An investigation is under way after two Severn Valley Railway train carriages were vandalised.

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The Iron Bridge

Engineers working to conserve the Iron Bridge said previous repair attempts had not always been successful.

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Severe disruption: M54 Shropshire westbound

BBC News Travel

M54 Shropshire westbound severe disruption, at J3 for A41.

M54 Shropshire - M54 lane closed on exit slip road westbound at J3, A41 (Albrighton). Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

The girl who only wants toilet roll for Christmas
Why Maggie asked her mum for toilet paper for Christmas.
The girl who only wants toilet roll for Christmas
Why has eight-year-old Maggie asked her mum for toilet roll for Christmas?
Football

Stefan Payne scores his 10th goal of the season as Shrewsbury Town beat Portsmouth to stay second in League One.

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Severe disruption: M54 Shropshire eastbound

BBC News Travel

M54 Shropshire eastbound severe disruption, between J3 for A41 and J2 for A449.

M54 Shropshire - Slow traffic and one lane closed on M54 eastbound between J3, A41 (Albrighton) and J2, A449 (Wolverhampton), because of a vehicle fire.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe accident: A4169 Shropshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A4169 Shropshire both ways severe accident, between A458 Victoria Road and B4380 Buildwas Road.

A4169 Shropshire - A4169 Smithfield Road closed in both directions between Gaskell Arms junction in Much Wenlock and the B4380 Buildwas Road junction in Buildwas, because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

'Postive chat' for Shrewsbury Town over midfielder's loan

Mark Elliott

BBC News

Shrewsbury Town's manager says they've held positive talks with Norwich City about the possibility of extending Ben Godfrey's loan.

Ben Godfrey on signing
Shrewsbury Town FC

The midfielder's current deal expires next month and boss Paul Hurst has been keen to keep Godfrey beyond January.

We've had dialogue and I think that's something we might be able to do. We've had a positive chat so hopefully that'll be one that we can get done."

Paul HurstShrewsbury Town manager

Court shake-up plans criticised over impact on police finances

Faith Page

Reporter, BBC Shropshire

The government's being asked to stop plans for police suspects in Shropshire to be taken to court in Kidderminster instead of Telford.

Under current proposals from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), five remand courts in the West Mercia Police area would be closed and replaced with just one in Kidderminster.

Kidderminster Magistrates' Court
Google

The MoJ says its proposals, which affect other courts in the country, are about modernising the justice system along with £700m in investment over four years.

But the plans have been criticised in Shropshire for the impact on police finances.

With the size and scope of West Mercia, to be taking everybody from both Hereford and Shropshire as well as Worcestershire to Kidderminster is going to increase those journeys and their costs to the police."

Tracey OnslowDeputy police and crime commissioner for West Mercia

Tributes for toddler hit by car

Genevieve Tudor

Journalist, BBC Shropshire

Tributes in Minsterley
BBC

Flowers and other tributes have been laid at the scene where a young boy died after being hit by a car.

More of the tributes
BBC

The 19-month-old victim died, police said, after he was hit on the forecourt of Minsterley Garage.

Plans for £100m relief road sent to government

Faith Page

Reporter, BBC Shropshire

A document outlining why Shropshire Council wants to go ahead with Shrewsbury's North West Relief Road should be arriving at the Department for Transport today.

Artist's impression of part of the planned route
Shropshire Council

The road, which would cost more than £100m, is one of a dozen projects competing for government approval.

The council says it won't find out until March whether it's been successful in its bid for funding.

Community 'distressed' by boy's death

Police have released more details about a young boy who died after being hit by a car in Shropshire yesterday.

West Mercia Police says a 19-month-old boy died after he was hit by a silver Hyundai Santa De on the forecourt of Minsterley Garage.

Officers said the boy died from his injuries at the scene.

Petrol station where the death happened
Google

We are appealing for anyone who witnessed the collision or who may have any information to please come forward. This has been an understandably distressing incident within the community."

Mark CranfieldInvestigating officer, West Mercia Police
Crowdfunding campaign to save Catherine of Aragon's former home
The former home of King Henry VIII's first wife could be closed to the public.

Three Shropshire maternity units to re-open

Allen Cook

BBC News

Three maternity units in Shropshire will re-open in the new year after closing in 2017 due to staffing challenges, health chiefs say.

The sites in Ludlow, Oswestry and Bridgnorth were shut in July because of staff sickness and a drop in the number of midwives prepared to work overtime.

NHS sign
Getty Images

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust says full services will resume from 11:00 on New Year's Day.

However, the long-term future of the three rural units is still uncertain as the Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin clinical commissioning groups are planning to revamp them under a major review.

Judge sends message to post box thief

A thief stole £11,000 worth of post boxes from villages and sold them on eBay.

Mark Crowther stole post boxes from Wrexham, Flintshire and Shropshire, causing a total of £26,000 in damage.

Thief Mark Crowther
Andrew Price

Crowther, 37, of Chirk, Wrexham, admitted 33 counts of theft and five attempted thefts and got a 12-month sentence, suspended for 16 months.

Sitting in Mold Crown Court, Judge Niclas Parry called it "an attack on the way of life in rural communities".

Supt Tom Harding

Supt Tom Harding says it is "really disturbing" to think of thieves trying to invade his home.

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Masked men empty ATM after supermarket break-in

Faith Page

Reporter, BBC Shropshire

Four masked men have forced their way into a supermarket in Shropshire and stolen a "large sum" from the cash machine inside.

Spar in Much Wenlock
Google

It happened yesterday morning at Spar on High Street, Much Wenlock.

When police arrived, they found the shop's back door had been forced open and the ATM emptied.

Farm fire under investigation

Allen Cook

BBC News

An investigation is under way to find the cause of a fire which engulfed two barns on a farm near Newport.

The fire at the farm
Shropshire Fire Service

Shropshire Fire Service says it was called at 02:30 to the site at Tibberton and found the two buildings full of farm machinery.

Crews say it took just over two hours to get under control and the cause may take a few days to work out.

Prayers for family after boy's death

Tim Page

News Editor, BBC Shropshire

A church in a Shropshire village will open its doors today to allow people to remember a little boy who died on Thursday.

The A488 outside the Co-op in Minsterley
Google

The youngster died after being hit by a car on the A488 outside the Co-op in Minsterley.

The Methodist chapel in the village says it'll be open this afternoon from 14:00 for candle-lighting and prayer.

We did have prayers for the family and lit some candles but I think everyone I've spoken to this morning has certainly been impacted by this because we are such a small, caring community that the death of anyone but especially a child will impact this community quite profoundly I believe."

Revd. Shalome MacNeil-CooperMinister at Minsterley's Methodist chapel

Severe accident: A529 Shropshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A529 Shropshire both ways severe accident, between Tyrley Road and Chester Road.

A529 Shropshire - A529 Newport Road closed in both directions between the Tyrley Road junction in Woodseaves and the Chester Road junction in Hinstock, because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Man awarded damages after microlight crash

A 55-year-old man who suffered serious back injuries in a microlight crash two years ago has been awarded nearly £100,000 damages after suing the pilot.

Michael Foreman was dragged to safety after the aircraft piloted by friend Graham Williams plummeted from about 200ft near Shifnal, Shropshire in July 2015.

A High Court judge concluded Mr Foreman should get £99,400 to cover care costs and loss of earnings.

River safety patrols to take place

Safety patrols are to operate along the River Severn in Shrewsbury for the first time this Christmas.

River Severn
BBC

Teams of West Mercia Search and Rescue volunteers will patrol the river to ensure the safety of people celebrating the festive season nearby.

They advise people to plan journeys home which do not pass close to the water.

Video: What's the weather doing today?

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

After a misty start, it should be a dry and mild day with highs of 12C (54F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Homeless veteran 'helped to get a house'

Faith Page

Reporter, BBC Shropshire

A former soldier from Telford, who was found sleeping rough in Cardiff, has returned to Shropshire and been helped to get a roof over his head.

Alan on finding his tent slashed in the night as he slept in Cardiff

Alan, who served in the French Foreign Legion, took to the streets after returning from Iraq with post-traumatic stress disorder.

His story was followed by BBC documentary makers who he says then helped him return home.

I contacted the Salvation Army and they got me a place with a private landlord in Telford and they gave me a train ticket back."

AlanHomeless former soldier

In the papers: Waste warning for Christmas sinks

Oswestry & Border Counties Advertizer

The scene

Members of the public tried to resuscitate the 19-month-old child outside a Co-op store in Shropshire.

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Hundreds of children join Christmas parade

Tim Page

News Editor, BBC Shropshire

Hundreds of children in Ellesmere, in Shropshire, were led by a special visitor as they took part in a "walking bus" to celebrate Christmas at the local primary school this morning.

The parade, led by one of Santa's helpers and a whole gaggle of elves, wound its way around the town finishing up at Ellesmere Primary, picking up children and parents as it went.

Santa's helper leads children on Christmas parade

What's the weather going to do?

BBC Weather

Staying largely dry and cloudy overnight, and feeling mild with lows of 8C (46F).

After another misty start to the day, tomorrow will be largely dry and cloudy with mild temperatures again.

You can find a detailed forecast for where you are on the BBC Weather site.

West Midlands weather forecast

Boy dies after being hit by car

Andrew Hewkin

Newsreader, BBC Shropshire

A young boy's died after being hit by a car in Shropshire this morning.

West Midlands Ambulance Service says it happened outside the Co-operative Food store on Station Road, Minsterley.

Co-operative Food on Station Road
Google

Paramedics found the boy, thought to be just two, in cardiac arrest being given CPR by passers-by, but they couldn't save his life.

Road closures remain in place.

Police are calling for witnesses to come forward.

Medieval fayres and weddings suggested to promote castle

Facebook

We asked you what could be done to get more visitors coming to Shrewsbury's castle and plenty of you had ideas on the BBC Shropshire Facebook page.

It's because the Shropshire Regimental Museum, which is based at the site, is looking to attract more customers after losing government funding.

Shrewsbury Castle
BBC

On Facebook, Catriona Mcallister-Rees posted: "Medieval fayres, crafts and local food events in the grounds. Have an annual summer picnic with music or a play. Have a day of learning early crafts or how to sword fight, with wooden ones of course. I have a huge list in my head!"

Tracy Bennett added: "How about re-enactment events, falconry displays, have-a-go archery, outdoor cinema etc."

Steve Taylor had this to say: "In the summer, they could reintroduce the kind of music events that used to happen once a year in the 1990s on a more regular basis."

And Liam Edwards wrote: "We got married here, they should really advertise the weddings."

MP wants ruling on conduct claims 'as quickly as possible'

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

The MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham Daniel Kawczynski says he hope an investigation into allegations about his behaviour is concluded "as quickly as possible".

He's been referred to the party's internal disciplinary committee following media reports that he tried to set up a date between a visitor and a Commons researcher.

Daniel Kawczynski
UK Parliament

Mr Kawczynski has already said there was no impropriety, saying he asked the woman to have coffee with a friend, she said no and that was the end of it.

A third party has referred this incident, it is being investigated and I'm very much hoping that there will be some sort of adjudication on this as quickly as possible because clearly it's a very, very difficult time for those who've been caught up in this."

Daniel KawczynskiConservative MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham

Winter solstice cyclists chase the sun but find cloud

Allen Cook

BBC News

A group of cyclists headed up to a high spot in Shropshire to try and welcome the winter solstice in.

Paul Rogers and group at top of Bury Ditches
Paul Rogers

They tell us this year's solstice ride saw them head up to the top of Bury Ditches, between Clun and Bishop's Castle, with the hope of being there for when the sun came up.

However, like most of the rest of us, cloud was what awaited them. Despite that, Paul Rogers from the group says it was still "great fun".

Shopping centre sale set to take step forward

Joanne Gallacher

Political reporter, BBC Shropshire

Shropshire Council is expected to exchange contracts with the owners of Shrewsbury's two main shopping centres today.

Darwin Shopping Centre entrance
Flickr

They're buying the Darwin and Pride Hill and will take over the running of the Riverside centre too.

The sale, rumoured to be about £60m, will be completed by the end of January.

The Conservative-run authority says it wants to revamp the centres and bring in more money for essential services which have seen cuts from central government.

Winter solstice: Mist and fog for West Midlands

BBC Weather Watchers

Today is the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, when the north pole is tilted furthest from the sun.

However there is not much sign of the sun in this morning's photos from our BBC Weather Watchers.

These two images are from users Videoman in Leek and Wub in Market Drayton:

Leek
Videoman
Market Drayton
Wub