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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. No births at Oswestry maternity unit for next fortnight

    Women won't be able to go to Oswestry's maternity unit to give birth for the next fortnight.

    The unit had been closed for births and inpatients since Wednesday night, with "staff sickness" blamed.

    The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust said it was making the move to "remove the uncertainty" after a series of similar closures at Shropshire's three rural maternity units since the start of the year.

    Maternity bed

    Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust said the Oswestry unit would still be open for antenatal and postnatal services.

    It also stressed that only 2% of births in Shropshire took place at the rural maternity units in January.

    Quote Message: By taking this step, we aim to remove the uncertainty that short notice suspension of services causes. Women will still have the choice of giving birth at four other MLUs as well as our consultant-led unit. Home births will also be maintained during this period.” from Sarah Jamieson Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust head of midwifery
    Sarah JamiesonShrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust head of midwifery
  2. Darwin festival faces counter-campaign by Christian group

    The two-week Darwin Shrewsbury Festival is under way, with lectures, a themed park-run, a guided tour of his childhood home and exhibitions among the attractions.

    But there will also be a counter-campaign this year by a Christian group which argues theories of evolution inspired by Charles Darwin's writings were wrong.

    Darwin protest

    The campaigners are also accusing the festival, which marks Darwin's birth in the town 209 years ago, of being "over the top" and say his theories have been "harmful" and have "delayed scientific progress".

  3. Heat-up handlebars and disease-monitoring microchips

    Would you wear a wristband which vibrated when you were stressed and prompted you to laugh or jump around?

    That was one of the winning ideas at the Shropshire Young Thinkers Competition last night, dreamt up by 11-year-old Rose Farquharson (below, left) - her "eye-smile" app for smartwatches won in the ages 7-11 age group.

    Winners with Darwin

    Ideas which won runners-up awards included MPs to represent children, compulsory compostable carrier bags, microchips in your blood which alert you if you develop a disease and bicycles with handlebars which heat up when you pedal - to keep your hands warm.

    The winner in the 12-17 age group was 13-year-old Katie McPartland (above, right), who suggested that social media should be banned, to improve people's mental health.

  4. Car parking charges could 'damage town's economy'

    Changes to car parking charges in Ludlow have been criticised by the town council, which said they could irreparably damage the local economy.

    The new system of charges will see some fees rise to become as high as those in Shrewsbury and town councillors argued they should be on a lower scale - closer to towns like Market Drayton.

    Car parking machine

    Shropshire Council introduced the changes after a period of consultation, saying it amended its plans after listening to feedback.

  5. Video: What's the weekend weather got in store?

    Shefali Oza

    BBC Midlands Today

    It should be dry and cold tonight before rain moves in tomorrow.

    There's a yellow weather warning for snow and ice from 00:05 on Sunday morning.

    Video content

    Video caption: Latest weather for the West Midlands
  6. Jobs go as housing developer goes into administration

    A Shropshire developer that specialises in affordable homes has gone into administration today and 41 people have been made redundant.

    Saxonby Affordable Housing is based in Shrewsbury and has been trading since 2008 as part of the Saxonby group of companies, administrators FRP Advisory said.

    All other companies in the group are unaffected and continue to trade as normal.

    House building

    The administrators said "cash flow pressures" had forced the move.

  7. Let the Games begin - athletes ready for Winter Olympics

    Let the games begin... The Winter Olympics are now under way after the opening ceremony took place this morning.

    Seven athletes from the West Midlands will take part in the South Korea games over the next fortnight.

    Here's who to keep an eye out for:

    • Charlotte Gilmartin from Redditch - Short track speed skating
    • Farrell Treacy from Henley in Arden - Short track speed skating
    • Izzy Atkin, American but has family from Birmingham - freestyle skiing
    • Rowan Cheshire from Stoke-on-Trent - Freestyle skiing
    • Joel Fearon Coventry - Bobsleigh
    • Ben Simons, Shropshire - Bobsleigh
    • Amanda Lightfootfrom, Coventry - Biathlon
    View more on twitter
  8. Motorist in hospital after lorry crash

    A man in his 60s is in hospital with "serious facial injuries" after his car was involved in a crash with a lorry near Telford last night.

    West Mercia Police said it happened on the A442, close to Sytch Lane at Waters Upton at about 23:00.

    Crash location

    The lorry driver, a man in his 30s, was unhurt.

  9. Saxon hall site may date back to Roman times

    Archaeologists say they want to learn more about the remains of Saxon hall in Shropshire - including who might have lived there.

    The site, at a secret location near Attingham, has been untouched since it was first discovered in 1975, but the team from Birmingham University was called in when the landowner raised concerns that rabbits and illegal metal detectorists might be damaging it.

    Angry Saxons

    Dr Roger White from the university said the site appeared to have been occupied from Roman times and possibly longer.

    He also said it would have been a good location for a settlement, because there was, fertile soil and it has a commanding view of its surroundings.

    Dr White added it would have been a headquarters of "large manor" which probably remained into the middle ages and he now wants to know who owned the land back then.

  10. A&E waits show need for change says hospital boss

    The chief executive of the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust says its poor performance in treating accident and emergency patients showed the need for "structural changes" at the two hospitals.

    In January, the Shrewsbury and Telford hospitals officially had the worst waits in England at its A&Es - a third of patients waited more than four hours for treatment.

    Simon Wright

    Simon Wright said: "I dont want to be in this position, none of us do" and blamed increasing patient numbers and ongoing staff shortages.

    A number of other hospitals around the region, including University Hospitals of North Midlands, also blamed a busy January for delays in providing A&E treatment.

    Quote Message: It is for one month, I would stress that. If we look over the year, we're not the bottom. We're not great, our performance isn't great, but it's in the bottom 30 and it has been there for a long time." from Simon Wright Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust chief executive
    Simon WrightShrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust chief executive
  11. Warning for ice and snow issued

    Snow and ice could cause travel disruption on Sunday morning, the Met Office is warning.

    The yellow warning is in place from 00:05 to 11:00 on Sunday.

    Weather map
  12. Your pictures: A dusting of snow

    BBC Weather Watchers

    There's been a smattering of snow across the region, and our BBC Weather Watchers have been busy uploading images of it.

    Les at Large took this in Wolverhampton.


    This is the scene in Ludlow, Shropshire taken by Foggy.


    Peter Steggles took this in Longnor, Shropshire.

  13. Children come up with ideas to change the world

    An app which monitors your mental health and a total ban on social media were the two winning ideas at a Young Thinkers awards in Shrewsbury last night.

    Almost 400 children from around Shropshire entered the competition and asked to come up with an idea which would change the world.


    The finalists presenting their ideas to a panel of judges as part of the town's Darwin Festival.

    Other ideas included edible drones, which could be sent to hard-to-reach disaster areas and 360 degree virtual reality to help people with degenerative mental conditions such as Alzheimer's disease remember their past.

    Paul Kirkbright, from University Centre Shrewsbury, said he had been impressed by the pupils' imagination, selflessness and "unfettered thinking".

  14. Snow and ice warning

    It's snowing in parts of the West Midlands.

    A reminder that a yellow warning for snow and ice came into force shortly after midnight covering most of the region.

    The outlook for the weekend doesn't look good with heavy rain forecast tomorrow and a colder day on Sunday again with the chance of snow.

    Weather graphic
  15. Fire service installs pet oxygen masks on all engines

    BBC Shropshire

    Shropshire's fire service has become one of the first in the UK to install pet oxygen masks on all its fire engines and appliances.

    Grumpy cat

    It says small animals, such as cats and dogs inhale smoke four times faster than humans and can collapse very quickly.

    The service launched a fundraising campaign to buy the masks nearly two years ago, and now have a total of 28 which are on all of its response vehicles.

  16. Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

    Rich Davis

    BBC Weather presenter

    It will be breezy and cloudy today with some sunshine but also wintry showers with top temperatures of 7C (45F).

    Video content

    Video caption: Latest weather for the West Midlands