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Summary

  1. M6 closed in Staffordshire due to 'unsafe' bridge
  2. Man took wedding ring off the fingers of 98-year-old bedridden woman
  3. Former Bishop of Lichfield, Keith Sutton, dies
  4. D-Day veteran awarded French honour
  5. Updates on Friday 24 March

Live Reporting

By Allen Cook

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Majority of Staffordshire set for council tax rises, investigation finds

    Allen Cook

    BBC Local Live

    East Staffordshire District Council is one of just 22 local authorities in England to freeze council tax.   

    Council tax bill

    The Press Association's analysed all 353 local authorities in England and found nine out of 10 local authorities are raising their tax from April.

    East Staffordshire is among 22 that are freezing tax in 2017-18, with just one authority, East Hampshire, planning to cut the amount. 

    The Local Government Association said the increases nationally didn't mean they'd prevent further cutbacks. 

    The Department for Communities and Local Government said councils had had almost £200bn over four years and should be keeping bills down.

  2. Football: Avoiding relegation would be 'massive achievement' - Port Vale boss

    Lee Blakeman

    Port Vale commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

    The Port Vale manager Michael Brown says he thinks it would be an unbelievable achievement by his players if they stay in League One.

    Michael Brown quote

    The Vale are one point from safety with eight games to play after Saturday's 0-0 draw with MK Dons. 

  3. Books of condolence open in Cheshire after London attack

    Jodie Looker

    Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

    Books of condolence have been opened in three places in Cheshire for the people who lost their lives in the terrorist attack in Westminster last week .

    Floral tributes outside Parliament

    Cheshire East Council says the books are available for members of the public to sign during office hours. 

    The authority says they are at its receptions at the Municipal Offices in Crewe, the council's headquarters in Sandbach and at Macclesfield Town Hall.

  4. Watch: Monday's selection of your pictures of Staffordshire and Cheshire

    Allen Cook

    BBC Local Live

    You keep sending in great pictures of the area and here are four more that you've shared.

    If you've got one to send in, do it via email or, if you are an Instagram user, put it there with the tag #bbcstoke.

    Video content

    Video caption: Your pictures
  5. Your Questions: Tracking down families in Stoke-on-Trent

    Allen Cook

    BBC Local Live

    Paul Hand asked, on Your Questions : "How do I locate a family in Stoke-on-Trent?"

    Well, outside of the phone directory for current names, the other way would be via the local archive services.

    Sign for Staffordshire Record Office

    In Stoke-on-Trent they suggest using online services such as The Staffordshire Collection on Findmypast which contains parish registers, marriage bonds and more.

    The Staffordshire archive service also suggest, apart from their online services, planning a visit to the record office to track down more details.

    If you've got a question about Stoke-on-Trent or Staffordshire to pose, ask us here .

  6. Watch: Kidney-donation pals celebrate transplant op success

    BBC North West Tonight

    A man who was given a kidney by his best friend says he feels "100% better" and is considering a charity skydive.  

    Video content

    Video caption: Helen Crowther and Andy Clewes

    Andy Clewes from Crewe had the transplant in Manchester after his friend Helen Crowther from Runcorn agreed to become a donor. 

    The 46-year-old suffered chronic kidney disease since birth and was on the verge of needing dialysis treatment. 

    Mr Clewes and Ms Crowther, 45, are now planning "a curry and a few beers" to celebrate the successful procedure, which was carried out in January.  

  7. Pupils excluded from school after 'refusing to listen to staff'

    Lucy King

    News Editor, BBC Radio Stoke

    A Stoke-on-Trent school says it's excluded 12 pupils after they refused to do as they were told by staff, following an argument between two pupils. 

    In a statement, Birches Head Academy says it happened on Thursday after they'd decided to cut lunch short after the "altercation".

    Entrance to Birches Head Academy

    The school says that, while staff had dealt with that incident, it started to "create sides" between a few students who then refused to listen to staff when the end of lunch bell was rung 20 minutes early. 

    Head teacher Kerry Dixon says one teacher was taken to hospital after slipping and suffering a shoulder injury while opening the school doors. 

    The 12 students have been excluded from the academy "for varying lengths of time".

  8. Hundreds of tonnes of fly-tipped waste set to be cleared

    BBC Midlands Today

    Over 300 tonnes of commercial waste, illegally dumped in Staffordshire countryside, is set to be cleared.

    Illegally dumped commercial waste

    The county council says the waste was dumped in Gladings Wood, Madeley Heath in January, blocking a car park and a right of way. 

    Staffordshire Police are investigating, while the authority says it will be co-ordinating the clear-up.

  9. Football: Goalkeeper's Leicester warning for Stoke City players

    Matt Sandoz

    Stoke City commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

    The Stoke City goalkeeper Lee Grant says they shouldn't underestimate Leicester City this weekend. 

    Lee Grant

    The Potters are back in action on Saturday after the international break and Grant told BBC Radio Stoke that the players will need to be on top form.

    Quote Message: They were the champions of this country just short of 12 months ago so it will be a tough ask, going away from home in the Premier League is never easy in any circumstances, so we know we'll have to be right on our mettle." from Lee Grant Stoke City goalkeeper
    Lee GrantStoke City goalkeeper
  10. Council Tax freeze for North Warwickshire residents

    BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

    North Warwickshire District Council is one of just 22 local authorities in England to freeze their council tax. 

    Council Tax bill

    Only one of the 353, East Hampshire, is reducing the charge from next month, saying it has taken "balanced risks" with its finances to buck the national trend.

    In Coventry, council tax bills will rise by 4.9% and around 4% across the rest of Warwickshire.

  11. Veterans take over historic pub with £65k raised in fortnight

    Rebecca Woods

    BBC News Online, Journalist

    Army veterans, who have taken over the pub their regiment was formed in, say it took just two weeks to raise £65,000 to buy the lease on it. 

    The crowd at the weekend opening

    It was in 1705 that the Staffordshire Regiment was formed in the King's Head in Lichfield. 

    But, when veterans heard the outgoing landlord was retiring and that there were rumours it was going to be turned into a bed and breakfast, they sprang into action. 

    Having paid the money, at the weekend they held a procession to mark the opening of the Bird Street-based pub.

    Quote Message: It took two weeks for over 350 of the ex-members and the families to pledge £65,000. That's how much it meant to the veterans and the residents." from Geoff Pearce Army veteran
    Geoff PearceArmy veteran
  12. Video: Are the blue skies going to continue?

    Charlie Slater

    BBC Weather presenter

    A lovely day in store, with plenty of blue sky and sunshine around with highs of 14C (57F).

    You can find a detailed forecast for your area here.

    Video content

    Video caption: Latest weather for the West Midlands
  13. Envelope update

    Severe accident: M6 Cheshire southbound

    BBC News Travel

    M6 Cheshire southbound severe accident, between J16 for A500 Crewe and J15 for A500.

    M6 Cheshire - Two lanes closed and slow traffic on M6 southbound between J16, A500 (Crewe) and J15, A500 (Stoke-On-Trent), because of an accident.

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

  14. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire southbound

    BBC News Travel

    M6 Staffordshire southbound severe disruption, between J13 for A449 and J12 for A5.

    M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed on M6 southbound between J13, A449 (Stafford South) and J12, A5 (Gailey), because of vehicle tyre change. Traffic is coping well.

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

  15. Envelope update

    Severe accident: A50 Staffordshire both ways

    BBC News Travel

    A50 Staffordshire both ways severe accident, between Orgreave Street and Stonor Road.

    A50 Staffordshire - A50 Waterloo Road in Burslem closed in both directions between the Orgreave Street junction and the Stonor Road junction, because of an accident.

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