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  1. Updates on Friday 27 May 2016
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates to resume at 08:00 on Tuesday

Live Reporting

By Stephanie Barnard

All times stated are UK

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End of live updates

That's it for live updates today. We'll be back after the bank holiday break on Tuesday 31 May with the latest news, sport, travel and weather updates for Stoke and Staffordshire.

We hope whatever you get up to this weekend - you have a good one and it stays sunny.

Bank holiday: Weekend weather forecast

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

This evening and overnight may see the odd heavy and thundery shower develop across the far south and west of the region. 

Remaining dry elsewhere overnight, with clear spells. However, some low cloud may move in from the east later with lows of 7C (45F).

The afternoon weather forecast for the West Midlands

As a whole, the bank holiday weekend will be mostly fine and warm.

Man denies murder of Chesterton woman

A man has denied murdering a woman found stabbed at a house in Staffordshire.

Fay Daniels, 30, was found at a property on Victoria Street, in Chesterton, in April last year. She had suffered multiple stab wounds.

Staffordshire Police say 36-year-old Phillip Barlow, is due in court for a pre-trial hearing on 8 July, charged with her murder.

Alley victim tests ongoing

Toxicoloy tests are still being carried out on Arturas Eidikis, who died in an alley in Burslem yesterday.

The 52-year-old was discovered by officers on Louise Street and died at the scene.

Twenty-eight-year-old Aleksas Malachovskis has been charged with the production of cannabis and is due to appear before amgistrates tomorrow.

Staffordshire Police said Mr Eidikis's family in Lithuania had been informed of his death and said extra tests to determine exactly how he died could take several weeks. 

Kidsgrove care home to close

Bosses at a care home in Kidsgrove say it's closing because it can't recruit enough staff.

The Acres Nook Care Home, run by HC One, provides accommodation for up to 72 people. 

The firm said the move was in the "best long-term interests" of its residents and blamed a national shortage of trained staff.

In a statement, HC One said it would be working with the local authority to find new noes for residents and it hoped staff at Acres Nook could be found jobs at it other homes run by the firm.

A report released by the Care Quality Commission in March found the home "required improvement".

Acres Nook Care Home

EU Referendum debate: Should I stay or should I go?

James Bovill

Staffordshire Political Reporter, BBC News

BBC Radio Stoke is holding a live EU Referendum radio debate at 19:00 on Wednesday 15 June at our studios in Hanley.  

There will be an expert panel putting both sides of the argument - and you can be part of the audience, too. 

To register an interest, call 01782 208 008 or email.  

Union Jack and EU flag
Getty Images

Latest headlines: Man pleads not guilty to woman's murder; Burslem alleyway death 'not suspicious'

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The top stories in the BBC Radio Stoke newsroom at 17:00 include:

- General Electric in Kidsgrove announces 243 jobs are at risk as it looks to close its plant in the town

- A 36-year-old man has pleaded not guilty to the murder of a woman from Chesterton

- Police say they're no longer treating the death of a man in Burslem alleyway yesterday as suspicious

Filming with Professor Pigment

Laura Mcmullan

Reporter, BBC Midlands Today

I've been out filming with Professor Pigment ahead of his Trail and Error exhibition which opens tomorrow at the Potteries Museum.

It's part of a new art project he's be working on for the past six months which is scattered across Stoke-on-Trent.

The street art features in several locations across the city including Piccadilly and Staffordshire University.

Laura May meets Professor Pigment

My report will be on BBC Midlands Today on Tuesday - the project is running in Stoke until 18 June so you've plenty of time to catch it.

Alley behind Louise Street in Burslem

A man is charged with the production of cannabis following an investigation into the sudden death of a 52-year-old.

Read more

Bank holiday: Rail delays warning

Train services between Liverpool and Birmingham are affected over the bank holiday weekend.

If you're travelling from Stoke-on-Trent, Stone or Stafford be aware that your train may be delayed or replaced with a coach.

Train operator London Midland says it is the final phase of works to be completed.

View more on twitter
Richard Duffy

Eastleigh sign ex-Wales defender Richard Duffy, who had been offered a new deal by Port Vale, on a two-year contract.

Read more

Recovery centre helps more than 90 people over four months

A new drinks and drug recovery centre in Hanley says it's helped more than 90 people since it opened earlier this year. 

The Stoke Recovery Service has helped people overcome alcohol and drug addictions over the past four months.

They run mentoring sessions, and offer jobs and training.

We’re empowering our service users to grow stronger mentally and feel valued through a mix of activities. We’re giving them a safe place to be, where they can talk in confidence, take part in workshops or in clubs like fishing, cycling or art."

Vicky LomasStoke Recovery Service Manager

M6 northbound delays

BBC Travel

Drivers on the M6 northbound near Stoke-on-Trent are being advised that the northbound exit slip road at junction 15 is currently closed for essential carriageway repairs.

Keep up to date with the latest on BBC Travel.

Hughes 'needs to toughen Stoke squad'

Former Stoke winger Terry Conroy thinks manager Mark Hughes needs to toughen the squad up in the transfer window if they are to push-on next season. 

Stoke have finished ninth in the last three Premier League seasons.

Mark Hughes
Getty Images

The skill factor is not questionable. You need a balance, you need people who can dig a little bit. We have to find that blend of being able to roll up our sleeves and scrap and then the skills show through."

Terry ConroyFormer Stoke winger

Burslem alleyway death 'no longer suspicious,' says police

Chris King

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

The death of a man in Burslem yesterday is no longer being treated as suspicious. 

Arturas Eidikis, 52, was found on Louise Street yesterday morning but died at the scene.

A 28-year-old man has been charged with the production of cannabis after a number of plants were found in a house on Wilson Street.

Travel: M6 southbound delays

BBC Travel

Two lanes are blocked on the M6 southbound between J13, A449 (Stafford South) and J12, A5 (Gailey), because of an accident. 

Reports of queues tailing back to to J14, A34 (Stafford North).  

Toddler death review: 'People want to know how this could have happened'

David Cameron has pledged to examine concerns over the independence of a serious case review after a Burton woman stamped her toddler to death.

MP Andrew Griffiths raised the matter in Prime Minister's Questions and called on Mr Cameron to make such reviews more independent.

Ayeeshia Jane Smith

[Social services] knew about the violent boyfriends, they knew about the domestic violence, they saw the doors kicked in, they smelt the cannabis, they saw the bruises, they saw the cuts, they saw the fingerprints on her little thighs - and they did nothing. People in Burton want to know how this could have happened."

Kathryn Smith, 23, was jailed for 24 years after murdering Ayeeshia Jane Smith, aged 21 months, in Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, in May 2014. 

Dodd leaves Port Vale: 'You've support me through the good times and the bad'

Vale striker Louis Dodds has tweeted a "a special thank you" to the fans after a move to League One rivals Shrewsbury Town was confirmed by the club.

Dodds has signed a two-year deal with the Shrews, having been at Vale Park since 2008. 

In his message to fans, he thanked them for their support "through the good times and the bad, from administration to promotion".

Louis Dodds
Getty Images

I have some of the greatest memories at Port Vale , which made the decision to leave the hardest one I've ever had to make. It has been an honour and a privilege to represent the club for eight years of my career."

Louis Dodds

Friday forecast: Dry and bright day

Charlie Slater

BBC Weather presenter

A largely dry and bright day ahead for all of us. 

Some warm spells of sunshine will develop during the day. However, an isolated heavy shower is possible - highs of 19C (66F).

Charlie Slater with the Friday forecast

General Electric holds 90-day consultation with staff over plant closure

General Electric has announced it is looking to close its Kidsgrove factory due to a fall in manufacturing demand.

A spokesman for the company which produces electricity drives and converters says a 90-day consultation with its 243 staff has started.

We are working closely with employees and their representatives as well as local politicians to see how we can minimize the impact any proposed adjustment to our operations in Kidsgrove might have."

SpokesmanGeneral Electric

Watch: Businesses in Stafford warned to be vigilant after roof break in

A Stafford businessman is calling on people in the local area to help find thieves who broke into his company through a skylight.

Independent tyre company, County Tyres on Astonfields Industrial Estate was broken into at about 01:45 on Thursday after thieves gained access to the building via the roof. 

Police are warning business to be on their guard and review any security measures.

Alton Towers crash survivor returns to the Smiler ride

The Daily Mail

Alton Towers crash victim Vicky Balch has returned to the theme park to visit the £18m rollercoaster which dramatically crashed last year, causing her to lose her right leg.In September last year she described what happened to BBC presenter Victoria Derbyshire.

Latest headlines: More than 200 jobs under threat in Kidsgrove; man questioned on suspicion of child abduction

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The top stories in the BBC Radio Stoke newsroom this lunchtime include:

- More than 200 jobs are at risk at General Electric in Kidsgrove after the firm confirmed it's consulting on plans to close the factory

- A 22-year-old man is still being questioned on suspicion of child abduction after an attempt was made to take a child from a church in Stoke-on-Trent  

- Stoke's Jon Walters and Glen Whelan are both expected to feature for the Republic of Ireland tonight in their friendly against Holland but goalkeeper Shay Given is unlikely to play

BreakingMore than 200 jobs under threat at General Electric

James Bovill

Staffordshire Political Reporter, BBC News

More than 200 jobs are at risk at General Electric in Kidsgrove after the firm confirmed it's consulting on plans to close the factory. 

The Kidsgrove facility makes energy drives and converters to produce electricity but General Electric says current market conditions means its capacity for making them outweighs demand. 

General Electric in Kidsgrove

The firm's put forward a proposal to stop manufacturing in Kidsgrove, and is holding a 90-day consultation with the 243 staff. 

Kathryn Smith

David Cameron pledges to examine concerns over the independence of a serious case review after a woman stamped her toddler to death.

Read more

Menacing clown on Stoke streets dismissed by police

Police say there is no evidence clowns are chasing passers-by along the streets of Stoke-on-Trent. 

A photo was posted on social media of a menacing looking clown stalking a dark street at night. 

A Facebook post has warned users if they see one, not to approach; and claims there have been reported sightings as far afield as Hartlepool and Middlesborough.


Staffordshire Police says it has no intelligence to say there are clowns walking around the city at night.  

Five children hurt after two coach crash on way to Alton Towers

Five children have been injured after two coaches taking Scottish pupils to Alton Towers crashed into each other yesterday morning.

The pupils from Ardrossan Academy were about 15 minutes away from the Staffordshire theme park when the collision took place.

North Ayrshire Council said it was a "minor accident", with five children treated for superficial cuts.

Five hurt as Ardrossan Academy coaches crash on way to Alton Towers

Bank holiday: M6 roadworks to be lifted over the weekend

Roadworks on part of the M6 in Staffordshire are being lifted over the bank holiday weekend. 

Six miles of work near Penkridge will be suspended as part of a national scheme by Highways England to help reduce delays as more people travel over the break. 


Man arrested on suspicion of child abduction

A 22-year-old man is being questioned on suspicion of child abduction after a "man attempted to grab hold of a child" at a church in Stoke-on-Trent yesterday afternoon, police say.

Officers were called to St Matthew's Church in Birches Head after a man was "pushed" from the church and arrested a short distance away.

St Matthew's Church in Birches Head

Council money saving firm lost Cheshire taxpayers £1.6m

Phil McCann

Cheshire Political Reporter, BBC News

A company set up to save money for two of Cheshire's local authorities made a net loss of £1.6m.

CoSocius was wound-up in April by its owners Cheshire East Council and Cheshire West & Chester Council, after two years' trading.

Savings of £1m delivered to the councils by the IT and HR firm were outweighed by a final deficit of £2.6m, met by public budgets.

The councils said the company "was not the success we hoped it would be".

Council building
Louis Dodds

Port Vale midfielder Louis Dodds turns down a new deal to join Shrewsbury Town on a two-year contract.

Read more

Cannock Chase sex abuse files go to CPS

Express and Star

A report into an alleged paedophile ring that operated on Cannock Chase in the 1980s and 90s has been sent to the Crown Prosecution service, the Express & Star can reveal.

Latest headlines: Investigations into 'unexplained' alleyway death continues; Hughes 'needs to toughen Stoke City squad'

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The top stories in the BBC Radio Stoke newsroom this morning include:

- Further tests are to be carried out on a man's body to establish how he died in an alleyway in Burslem

- Two of Cheshire's councils have been left with a £1.6m bill by a company they set up to save them money

- Former Stoke winger Terry Conroy thinks manager Mark Hughes needs to toughen the squad up in the transfer window if they are to push-on next season

Body missing of woman found

Police searching for a Staffordshire woman have found a body. 

Anne Burdett, 46, went missing from her home in Bishop Offley near Stafford yesterday morning. 

Her death isn't being treated as suspicious. 

Anne Burdett
Staffordshire Police

FA Cup quarter-final replays scrapped from next season

BBC Sport

FA Cup quarter-final replays have been scrapped from next season.

The Football Association said the decision was part of its "ongoing review" and would help to "ease English football's congested fixture schedule".

Semi-final replays were phased out after Manchester United beat Arsenal in 1999 on their way to the treble.

Travel: Delays on the roads

BBC Travel

- One lane is blocked on the M6 northbound between J18, A54 (Middlewich) and J19, A556 (Knutsford), because of a broken-down vehicle. Congestion to J17, A534 (Sandbach)

- We're getting reports of severe queues on the A500, southbound, into Stoke on Trent

For the latest delays visit BBC Travel or listen to BBC Radio Stoke for regular travel updates.

Alleyway death: Further tests to be carried out

Further tests are to be carried out on a man's body to determine how he died after he was discovered in an alleyway in Stoke on Trent yesterday.

Staffordshire Police were called to the Louise Street area in Burslem at about 03:00 on Thursday when a 52-year-old man was found by paramedics and pronounced dead at the scene. The man's death is being treated as "unexplained".

A 27-year-old man arrested in connection with the incident remains in custody.  

Police scene at Louise Street, Burslem

Watch: Latest weather forecast for West Midlands

Charlie Slater

BBC Weather presenter

A chilly start in places, although it will be largely dry and bright. 

Some warm spells of sunshine will develop during the day. However, an isolated heavy shower is possible towards the west - highs of 19C (66F).