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  1. Five killed on M6 in Staffordshire named
  2. Undercover officer accused of 'planting bomb' described as 'absolutely professional'
  3. 'High demand' for bee tattoos after Manchester attack
  4. Olympic winner sparks surge in interest in canoeing
  5. Updates from Friday 26 May 2017

Live Reporting

By Allen Cook

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Our live coverage across the day

    We'll be back with our usual mix of news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Tuesday.

    Enjoy the bank holiday.

  2. 'High demand' for bee tattoos after Manchester attack

    John Acres

    Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

    A tattoo artist in Kidsgrove says she's been fully booked up by people wanting to get bee inkings in a show of solidarity after Monday's attack in Manchester.

    The Manchester Tattoo Appeal was launched by Stalybridge-based tattoo artist Sam Barber, with those taking part donating £50 to help the families of those killed or injured.

    Tattoo parlours across the UK are now taking part.

    Among them is Jodie Bear Eardley in Kidsgrove, who says interest has been "absolutely massive" and she's fully booked this weekend with dozens of people.

  3. More armed police patrols for Cheshire

    Lee Thomas

    Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

    Cheshire Police say they're increasing the number of patrols of armed officers at different places and events across the county this weekend.

    The force says it's in response to the increase in the UK terror threat level following Monday's attack in Manchester and is aimed at reassuring people.

    Elaine McIver

    It adds that it has also opened books of condolence for people to reflect as one of the victims of the attack was off-duty Cheshire Police officer Elaine McIver.

  4. Dog found abandoned 'sitting in own urine'

    Jack Dowling

    Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

    A dog's been found abandoned and sitting in her own urine at a petrol station in Stafford.

    Susie the lurcher

    The RSPCA says Susie the female lurcher was discovered at the site on Lammascote Road early on 20 May after a man heard her barking.

    They say she was tied to a traffic cone and is now getting care from their staff.

  5. Olympic winner sparks surge in interest in canoeing

    Nick Clitheroe

    BBC Midlands Today

    A Staffordshire canoe club's seen a rise in the number of people wanting to take up the sport since Joe Clarke's gold medal at the Rio Olympics.

    He learnt to paddle at the Stafford and Stone club at Westbridge Park.

    The club says it's been inundated with interest, especially from youngsters, and are now looking for more coaches to help train them.

    You can see more on this story on BBC Midlands Today this evening from 18:30 on BBC One.

  6. Washing-up liquid appeal for oil-covered swans

    John Acres

    Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

    A Cheshire animal rescue centre says it needs donations of washing-up liquid so it can keep cleaning oil off swans.

    The RSPCA at Stapeley Grange says it sees between 20 and 50 a year from places like the docks at Liverpool and canals.

    The charity says it needs the washing-up liquid to safely clean them as, without that, they can die because their waterproofing is damaged.

  7. BBC Weather Watcher pictures: Sunshine over Staffordshire

    BBC Weather Watchers

    A gorgeous day for much of Staffordshire and Cheshire in the sunshine today and our BBC Weather Watchers have been making the most of it.

    Here's two of their local snaps today, from users Videoman in Leek and Sue Snaps in Codsall.

  8. Travel: One lane shut on M6 near Stoke-on-Trent after overturned lorry

    Just one lane is now closed on the M6 near Stoke-on-Trent after a lorry overturned on to the embankment between junctions 16 and 15.

    View more on twitter
  9. BBC Election Panel: Your thoughts on housing

    The BBC is running an election panel, asking voters for their thoughts ahead of 8 June.

    We wanted to know: What should we be doing to address the need for more low cost housing? Does any party have policies you think would help?


    Tarz, Birmingham: "Use up all avaliable brownfield sites. If landowners do no build within three years of purchase, then the councils should buy them back at the price that was paid. The council then gets houses built on the sites. This stops land-hoarding. Trouble is, each individual is responsible for his/hers situation, and should not rely on others to house them. All parties talk the talk then do sod all when in power."

    Beatrice, Shrewsbury: "Use greenbelt areas to build more houses, decrease demand."

    Carol, Stoke: "I think derelict buildings could be used. They could be renovated and either rented or sold at a reduced rate to people who would benefit from low cost houses. There are some old derelict factory buildings near where I live, they have been unused for years now, but could be put to good used if turned into flats."

  10. 'We rely on migrants for your food' - farmer on net migration fall

    BBC Newsbeat

    A Staffordshire farmer says he couldn't run his business without the help of migrant workers.

    Richard Bower's view comes as, for the first time in three years, net migration has fallen below 250,000.

    Richard Bower (left) with migrant worker Fifi from Bulgaria

    In partnership with another farm, the 31-year-old employs hundreds of seasonal workers on his Lower Drayton Farm, Penkridge.

    Around 90% of them are migrants who help with the strawberry harvest, cereal crops and cattle.

    He says that British people could do these jobs but from his experience, migrant employees want the work more.

    Quote Message: We find they're very hard working and do a very good job. Without them we probably wouldn't be able to do what we do. When the strawberries have to be harvested on a Sunday at four o'clock in the morning, we need a reliable workforce that's going to be able to do that for us." from Richard Bower Staffordshire farmer
    Richard BowerStaffordshire farmer
  11. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M6 Cheshire southbound

    BBC News Travel

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

    M6 Cheshire - M6 closed southbound between J16, A500 (Crewe) and J15, A500 (Stoke-On-Trent), because of recovery work.

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

  12. Plans for 200 homes to be submitted for Stoke City's old ground

    Jennie Aitken

    Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

    Stoke City's old ground looks set to be turned into 200 new homes, a park and school sports fields.

    Old Victoria Ground

    The club left the Victoria Ground in 1997 to move to their current site and it's been vacant since then.

    Stoke-on-Trent City Council says the current owner, developer St Modwen, is now going to formally submit the plans before the end of the month.

  13. Football: Relegation woes for Port Vale boss over signings

    Lee Blakeman

    Port Vale commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

    The Port Vale manager Michael Brown says being relegated to League Two will have a knock-on effect when it comes to signing new players.

    Tom Pope

    Fans' favourite Tom Pope (pictured) is the only new face to have arrived at Vale Park so far this summer and Brown says the players he's targeting may look to try and play at a higher level first.

    Quote Message: There's players who want to play in League One. All we can do as a football club is offer them fantastic offers, you can't actually do any more than that." from Michael Brown Port Vale manager
    Michael BrownPort Vale manager
  14. Bank holiday getaways: Busiest roads for four years

    Highways England have suspended 150 miles of roadworks across the West Midlands in anticipation of today's Bank Holiday getaway.

    The RAC are warning drivers to expect the busiest spring bank holiday weekend for traffic in four years.

    It estimates that 16.5m leisure journeys will be taken between today and Monday because of soaring temperatures.

    Data picture
  15. Road to close for brewery drum delivery

    Amy Woodfield

    BBC Local Live

    A stretch of the A38 will be closed next week as police escort an abnormal load through South Derbyshire and into Staffordshire .

    The load is a number of huge brewery drums destined for the Molson Coors site in Burton.

    At about 20:00 on Thursday evening the delivery will travel along the A50 from Doveridge, then along the A516 towards the A38.

    The northbound carriageway will be closed from Egginton to Clay Mills so the convoy can use it to travel south.

  16. Undercover officer accused of 'planting bomb' described as 'absolutely professional'

    An undercover officer accused of planting a pipe bomb to frame the alleged "Three Musketeers" terror cell has been described in court by his friend and colleague as "absolutely professional, honest and committed".

    The anonymous officer, known only as Vincent, was cross-examined for days over his role in the discovery of an explosive device in the car of convicted terrorist Naweed Ali.

    Naweed Ali, Khobaib Hussain, Mohibur Rahman and Tahir Aziz
    Image caption: Naweed Ali, Khobaib Hussain, Mohibur Rahman and Tahir Aziz (L-R) deny preparing terrorist acts

    Vincent has repeatedly denied the allegation of Mr Ali's defence team that he planted the incriminating evidence in the car before MI5 arrived to bug it.

    The officer, who has around 35 years of experience in law enforcement, told jurors he had never been involved in any impropriety or had any disciplinary findings against him.

    Mr Ali and Mr Hussain, 25, both of Sparkhill in Birmingham, and Mohibur Rahman, 32, and Tahir Aziz, 38, of Stoke-on-Trent, deny preparing terrorist acts. The trial continues.

  17. Stoke-on-Trent statue of writer Arnold Bennett set for unveiling

    Allen Cook

    BBC Local Live

    A statue of the Stoke-on-Trent writer Arnold Bennett is set to be unveiled this weekend outside the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery.

    The monument is currently wrapped up on a new plinth outside the museum before it's revealed at noon on 27 May.

    Boarding surrounding statute in Hanley

    It's been commissioned by the Arnold Bennett Society to mark the 150th anniversary of his birth.

    Bennett's been described as the JK Rowling of his day with his books selling in huge numbers and his novels immortalised the Potteries.

    Wrapped up statue
  18. Surprise arrival of bees for Stoke City

    Matt Sandoz

    Stoke City commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

    On a day of new contracts at Stoke City, one new arrival which Mark Hughes probably wasn't planning on - a swarm of bees looks to have temporarily taken up residency outside the ticket office:

    View more on twitter
  19. Call for internet firms to do more to tackle online extremism

    Lee Blakeman

    Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

    A Muslim woman working on the government's counter-terrorism strategy in Staffordshire says internet companies could do more to help.

    Hifsa Haroon-Iqbal works as the West Midlands Regional Lead for Prevent, which has faced criticism following Monday's attack in Manchester.

    Fingers on keyboard

    Critics have called for it to be strengthened and have questioned its effectiveness after 22 people were killed at the Manchester Arena.

    Hifsa Haroon-Iqbal told BBC Radio Stoke she believes the strategy has stopped radicalisation in some cases but says more needs to be done to tackle extremism online.

    Quote Message: I do believe, on a very personal level, that a lot of the information that people are lapping up is coming from the internet. I don't think it's happening face-to-face, I don't think it's happening on street corners or in mosques, I do believe that it is happening via the internet." from Hifsa Haroon-Iqbal West Midlands Regional Lead for Prevent
    Hifsa Haroon-IqbalWest Midlands Regional Lead for Prevent