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  1. Updates from Friday 15 July 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

We'll be back with our usual mix of news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Monday, but keep an eye out here for more updates this evening.  

Watch: West Midlands weather

Rebecca Wood

BBC Weather

Here's the latest forecast for our region.

Potters target Eygptian teenager

Matt Sandoz

Stoke City commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Stoke City have confirmed they're close to signing the highly rated Eygptian teenager Ramadan Sobhi. 

The 19-year-old is due to become the clubs first summer arrival after as soon a work permit has been rubber stamped. 

Ramadan Sobhi
Getty Images

Earlier this week, chairman Peter Coates said negotiations over potential targets had been because of the Euro 2016 tournament in France, but was expecting some clarity soon.

Church hope 'Pokeparty' will entice new worshippers

A north Staffordshire church is holding a so-called "Pokeparty" for players of the new Pokemon game.

Pokemon Go, which is attracting millions of new players around the world, involves finding virtual Pokemon characters in different real locations.

Getty Images
Pokemon Go

One of those locations is Christ Church in Stone, which says it wants to attract new worshippers through the craze.

The Church of England's guidance said the game was "a good way to start a conversation that may lead on to other things".

Your pictures: Green Leek

BBC Weather Watchers

Here's a lovely picture of Leek at lunchtime today, thanks to BBC Weather Watcher Videoman.

Please send in images of where you live via the Weather Watchers website.


Queen replies to brother of boy with cerebral palsy

The brother of a young boy with cerebral palsy has written to the Queen to tell her about the family's appeal over his medical treatment.

Nine-year-old Ben Baddeley, from Silverdale, had life-changing surgery in 2014 to help him walk, which was paid for an anonymous donor after NHS funding was cut.

Ben and his mother

His family have since campaigned to raise money to fund his physiotherapy and further treatment.

After sending in his letter, Joshua Baddeley got a reply from the Queen who thanked him for contacting her and wished him her best.

Latest: Bosley victim's brother coping with 'massive loss'; Queen replies to young cerebral palsy campaigner's letter; new retail plan revealed

Here's the latest from the newsroom:

- The brother of a man killed in the Bosley explosion last July describes how his death has left a massive hole

- The younger brother of Ben Baddeley, who has cerebral palsy, writes to the Queen about his campaign to fund continuing treatment

- Plans for a new shopping development in Hanley are revealed

Brother of Bosley victim says his death 'has left a massive hole'

Kelvin Barks tell BBC Midlands Today how the death of his brother, William, in the Bosley explosion last July has affected him.

City prepares for weekend Pride event

Stoke-on-Trent is staging its Pride event this weekend. 

View more on twitter

Your pictures: Sunny Gnosall

BBC Weather Watchers

BBC Weather Watcher JR sent in this image of sunny Gnosall yesterday.

I'm not sure we'll see blue skies like that today, but that doesn't mean you can't send in your photos.

You can emailtweet us on @bbcradiostoke or send via Facebook.  

And if you want to join the growing team of Weather Watchers, find out how you can take part.


Pair arrested over bridge fire

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of arson after a large chunk of a wooden boardwalk at a Stafford beauty spot was destroyed in fire.

It happened in the early hours of Wednesday morning at The Acres in Gnosall. 

Police say a 19 and 20-year-old from Gnosall and Stafford are currently in custody.

West Midlands MEP announces he is running for leadership of UKIP

West Midlands MEP Bill Etheridge announces he is running for UKIP party leadership

Latest: Two arrested over bridge fire; Supreme Court bid over planning powers; travellers must move off car park

Here's the latest: 

- Two men from Stafford and Gnosall are being held on suspicion of arson after a wooden boardwalk fire

- Cheshire East Council is heading to the Supreme Court to try and get legal protection for its local planning powers

- Travellers on a car park in Stoke-on-Trent have been told to move on by the end of the day

Travel: Congestion on the A34

BBC Travel

There's slow traffic on the A34 Radford Bank in Stafford at the Meadow Ridge junction, in the roadworks.

Congestion carries on to the Lichfield Road junction.  

Robert Rock leads Troon fashion

Gerald Scott

BBC Sport Online

Rugeley golfer Rob Rock has always been a leader of fashion on the European Tour, but in the past has been renowned for being professional golf's only hatless player - even to the point that it once cost him a sponsorship deal. 

But yesterday he rolled up at Royal Troon looking as if he had stepped out of the 1930s for a round with Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen. 

Robert Rock

An old-fashioned flat hat, complemented by an eye-catching shirt, which bore the black and white imprint of a famous old picture of the first Open champion, Willie Park. 

Rock tees off in his second round quite late on this afternoon, at 15:32.

McDonald's plans to redevelop Premier Garage in Broad Street in Leek refused

Leek Post and Times

Plans to redevelop a car garage into a fast food "drive-through"' restaurant have been unanimously refused.

Two held after cars collide

Two men have been arrested after a crash in Hanley which has left two people in hospital. 

The collision involved a BMW and a Golf and happened just after midnight on Chell Road at the junction with Birches Head Road. 

Police say a 27 and 30 year-old were detained at the scene and have been bailed as investigations continue.

Watch: Weather forecast for the West Midlands

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

It should remain a mostly dry, breezy and cloudy afternoon, with a few brighter spells developing. Feeling muggy. 

Maximum Temperature: 21C (70F).

Peaty moved to tears by Rio send-off
World, European and Commonwealth champion Adam Peaty gets all emotional at a surprise send-off for the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Crewe Alexandra unveil new kit

Ahead of the Wolves friendly tonight, Crewe Alexandra have unveiled their new home and away kits for the 2016-17 season. 

The home kit (top) will be worn at tonight's match.

Crewe Alexandra home kit
Crewe away kit

Police preparing for Crewe game

Crewe Alexandra take on Wolverhampton Wanderers in a pre-season friendly at Gresty Road tonight.

Kick-off is at 19:30.

View more on twitter

Village 'coming to terms with tragedy'

Family, friends and neighbours of the four people killed in an explosion at a mill in Bosley in Cheshire are coming to terms with the tragedy, residents say.

Dorothy Bailey, William Barks, Derek Moore and Jason Shingler died in a huge explosion at the Wood Treatment Ltd plant in Bosley, near Macclesfield, last July.

The victims

Special events and services will take place in the villa this weekend.

More than £237,000 has been raised following the disaster.

Latest: Events to remember Bosley deaths; new shopping development revealed; Stoke City swoop for Egyptian teen

Here's the latest from the newsroom:

- Events take place in Bosley this weekend to remember the four people who lost their lives in an explosion at a wood flour mill in the village

- Plans are unveiled for a new retail development in the centre of Hanley

- Stoke City say they're close to signing Egyptian teenager Ramadan Sobhi

Jigsaw with UK flag piece removed

Patrick Burns

Political editor, Midlands

Nearly one month on from that epic referendum result, I've been sounding out opinions in the part of Britain which voted more enthusiastically than anywhere else for the UK to leave the EU.

Read more

BreakingWest Midlands UKIP MEP launches party leadership bid

Rob Mayor

Political Reporter, WM

MEP Bill Etheridge announces he is to stand as leader of UKIP.

The leadership race was sparked by the resignation of Nigel Farage, who quit following the EU referendum vote.  

Many of UKIP's best-known faces have been blocked from contesting the leadership after the Eurosceptic party's ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) said all candidates must have been a member for at least five years.  

Bill Etheridge

'Prayers and support have helped family'

It's a year since a huge explosion killed four people at a wood flour mill in Bosley, near Congleton. 

This weekend events will take place in the village to remember those who died and for the community to show their support. 

One of the victims of the explosion has never been found. 

The scene

Rev Dr John Harries,vicar of St Mary's Church in Bosley, says: "There's one family I've been talking with. They've have done remarkably well. 

"They've been very resilient but I think they've been very aware of the support and the prayers that have been going around for them and taking great strength from that." 

No injury fears for Vale's new signing

Lee Blakeman

Port Vale commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

New Port Vale winger Jerome Thomas says he has no injury concerns ahead of the new season. 

The 33-year-old signed a one-year deal at Vale Park earlier this week. 

Jerome Thomas
Getty Images

First details of retail revamp for Hanley revealed

James Bovill

Staffordshire Political Reporter, BBC News

Plans have been unveiled for a new retail development in the centre of Hanley. 

It will replace the old bus station and much of Parliament Row, say developers Realis, who were behind the proposals for the failed City Sentral shopping centre.

Parliment Row

There would be one as yet unidentified "anchor store" surrounded by 15 smaller units. Realis says it's already had some interest from potential tenants. 

Plans, which have yet to be submitted,will go on display to the public in September. Locals will also be given the opportunity to name it.

Police left shocked after car stop reveals more than they expected

A car stopped by police for no insurance leads to a rather sssssscary discovery.

View more on twitter

Petition over extra school parking

It's claimed that children are being put at risk because of the traffic outside a Stoke-on-Trent school.

An 800-signature petition's been handed to the city council calling for the authority to do something about the situation outside Sneyd Green Primary School.

Campaigners want a new car park to be built on a piece of waste land next door. 

The school
Ramadan Sobhi

Stoke City's deal to sign teenage Egypt winger Ramadan Sobhi is "99%" agreed, says chief executive Tony Scholes.

Read more

Two men arrested after crash which closed Hanley road for five hours

The Stoke Sentinel

Two men have been bailed after a car crash which closed off a road in the city centre for five hours this morning.

Rise in knife crime

It's the force's first knife amnesty in 10 years and was prompted by a 26% rise in knife crime, year-on-year.

Last time an amnesty was held, more than 1,500 weapons were handed in over five weeks. The latest haul is thought to be more modest.

Once it ends, all the knives collected will go to the British Ironworks Centre where they will be used to help create a giant sculpture featuring tens of thousands of weapons.

Once completed, it will be dedicated to the victims of knife crime.

Week left on knife amnesty

There's still a week to go on Staffordshire Police's knife amnesty. 

Dozens of blades have so far been handed in, including samurai swords, machetes and meat cleavers.

View more on twitter

Commemorations mark Bosley wood mill blast anniversary

Events will take place in Bosley, near Congleton, this weekend to remember the people who lost their lives in the explosion at a wood flour mill in the village. 

Four people died in the blast on 17 July 2015, and one has never been found.

Local resident Sam Alston says the event caused some "deep scars".

Bosley mill site

Everybody in the village knew somebody that's been affected and inevitably there will be many tears."

Sam AlstonBosley resident

Latest: Mill blast victims remembered; parents back calls for school car park

Here's what we're looking at in the newsroom this morning:

- Events take place in Bosley, Cheshire, this weekend to remember the people who lost their lives in an explosion at a mill

- Hundreds of parents are backing calls for a new car park to be built next to a Stoke-on-Trent primary school

- Steelite is donating 33,000 pieces of tableware to charity

Watch: Latest weather for the West Midlands

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

It will be a cloudy morning with outbreaks of rain. The rain will clear to leave a mostly dry, breezy and cloudy afternoon.

Maximum Temperature: 21C (70F).

Travel: Lane closed on M6 southbound

BBC Travel

One lane is closed on the M6 southbound between J15 for the A500 (Stoke-on-Trent) and J14 for the A34 (Stafford North). 

It's due to a broken down vehicle.