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  1. New Cheshire MP was elected after school funding campaign

    Allen Cook

    BBC Local Live

    Laura Smith, the new Labour MP for Crewe and Nantwich, who this week was sworn in at the House of Commons, led a campaign over school funding cuts before standing for the seat.

    The 32-year-old was born in Leighton Hospital, grew up in Nantwich and went to local schools and then Manchester Metropolitan University in Crewe.

    Laura Smith in school campaign

    She says she set up a local tutoring business while a single parent and organised a campaign earlier this year against what she claimed were "unfair" school funding plans.

    The local Labour party then nominated her as a candidate in May to fight the seat - she defeated the sitting MP, Conservative Edward Timpson, in this month's general election by just 48 votes.

  2. Cladding in £5.5m tower block revamp 'not the same' as London fire

    Allen Cook

    BBC Local Live

    Cladding used to refurbish five tower blocks in Stoke-on-Trent is not the same as cladding used on the Grenfell Tower in London, the city council says.

    Concerns have been raised over what role the external cladding could have played in the blaze in London although fire investigators have not yet identified the cause of the fire or how it spread.

    Flats on Bucknall New Road

    Stoke-on-Trent City Council has issued a statement today to say cladding being installed on five high-rise buildings off Bucknall New Road has the highest fire rated system, has a four-hour fire resistance rating and is fixed directly to the wall, without a cavity between the insulation and the wall.

    A £5.5m revamp of the blocks of flats started early in 2016.

  3. Results of death probe after Stoke hospital fire 'could take three months'

    Lee Thomas

    Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

    Police say they are waiting for confirmation of how an elderly woman died to decide if her death is linked to an alleged arson attack carried out in a hospital's main building.

    A fire broke out in Royal Stoke University Hospital on 7 June and patients had to be taken outside in their beds.

    Royal Stoke University Hospital

    Staffordshire Police says, working with the coroner, they've identified an 89-year-old woman that may have died as a result of the fire and evacuation.

    The force says a post-mortem examination's been carried out but it could take up to three months to get the cause of death confirmed.

  4. Football: Character the key for Crewe boss over new signings

    Graham McGarry

    Crewe Alexandra commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

    The Crewe Alexandra manager David Artell says he will only continue to sign players with the right "character".

    Chris Porter

    The club's former captain has already captured Jordan Bowery, Chris Porter and Michael Raynes.

    Artell told BBC Radio Stoke he is hopeful the trio will make a big impact at the club.

    Quote Message: With Michael and Chris, I met both of them before they signed. It was quite clear what kind of characters they were, we'd only had good reports up to that point and hopefully they'll be great additions." from David Artell Crewe Alexandra manager
    David ArtellCrewe Alexandra manager
  5. Your say: City centre market loses thousands of customers

    Allen Cook

    BBC Local Live

    You've been having your say on news that market stalls in the middle of Stoke-on-Trent are struggling to attract customers.

    The manager of Hanley market says there's been a drop of 10,000 visitors a week over the past few years.

    Hanley Market entrance

    On BBC Radio Stoke's Facebook page, asked if you still used markets, Vanessa Boden posted: "I use Stoke or Longton markets every week. The freshest meat, vegetables and fruit."

    Patricia Cartlidge added: "I walk round it occasionally but there's nothing in there to really attract customers in."

    While Lynn Marie Woodcock wrote: "Markets used to be cheap but now you can get stuff cheaper from Poundland. I don't bother with them now."

  6. Weather: Scorchio

    Rebecca Wood

    BBC Midlands Today

    We're forecast a hot weekend and a muggy night tonight.

    Temperatures could reach as high as 27C (81F).

    Video content

    Video caption: Rebecca Wood has your forecast
  7. Hospital trust suffers 'cyber incident'

    Allen Cook

    BBC Local Live

    A hospital trust in Staffordshire has confirmed it's suffered a "cyber incident", just months after being affected by a large-scale ransomware program that hit much of the NHS.

    The University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) said the latest incident was not specifically a cyber-attack, but refused to elaborate.

    Ambulances at Royal Stoke University Hospital

    The BBC understands it's affected the critical care computer system at the Royal Stoke University Hospital and some staff have had to use paper and pens instead.

    The trust says it has taken precautionary measures "to ensure minimum disruption".

    Last month, NHS services across England and Scotland - including UHNM - were hit by a large-scale cyber-attack which disrupted hospital and GP appointments.

  8. Man who 'drove at traffic marshal to avoid queue' avoids jail

    Allen Cook

    BBC Local Live

    A man who drove his car into a marshal at a car boot sale in Staffordshire has been given a suspended sentence and a driving ban.

    Martin Wiggin from Stourbridge had pleaded guilty to dangerous driving.

    Stafford Crown Court

    The Crown Prosecution Service says he hit the traffic marshal's legs as he tried to avoid the long queue leaving the car boot sale in Wombourne in May 2015.

    The 48-year-old was given a two month suspended prison sentence at Stafford Crown Court, banned from driving for 18 months and told he would have to pass an extended driving test.

  9. School investigated 'inappropriate' actions by teacher

    Newport's Burton Borough School says it held an investigation when reports of inappropriate behaviour by an IT teacher came to light.

    Jennifer Cann has been given an indefinite suspension from teaching after admitting she failed to "maintain professional boundaries" and that she engaged in an "inappropriate relationship" with a pupil.

    Burton Borough School

    Christine Carter, the head teacher at Burton Borough School, said the 30-year-old resigned before a disciplinary process could be completed, but that the investigation by school governors into her conduct was completed.

  10. Road closures warning for Staffordshire triathlon

    Allen Cook

    BBC Local Live

    People in Lichfield, Burton, Cannock Chase and the surrounding areas are being warned of road closures and diversions this Sunday.

    Last year's Staffordshire Ironman

    Lichfield Police says it's because of the Staffordshire Ironman race which will see more than 2,000 people take on the course.

    They'll be running, swimming and biking through the area and the county council's released a list of the roads affected on their website here.

  11. BBC Weather Watcher photos: Cloud returns

    BBC Weather Watchers

    It's turned more cloudy today across Staffordshire and Cheshire and here are two photos uploaded by our local BBC Weather Watchers.

    They're from users Mustnt in Alsager and Dave-Stoke in Mow Cop.

    Mow Cop
  12. Boxing: Burton's Frazer Clarke inspired by Anthony Joshua sparring

    BBC Sport

    Burton boxer Frazer Clarke believes sparring with Anthony Joshua can propel him to a gold medal in the European Boxing Championships.

    Frazer Clarke (left)

    The 25-year-old super-heavyweight is among 13 British men in Ukraine for the championships, which will be held 16-24 June.

    The tournament in Kharkiv is also an opportunity to qualify for August's World Championships in Hamburg.

    Quote Message: I've been sparring with Anthony for a long time; it gives you real confidence. If I can compete with Joshua, the best heavyweight in the world, I can compete with anyone else on the planet." from Frazer Clarke Burton boxer
    Frazer ClarkeBurton boxer
  13. Death 'might be linked' to hospital fire

    Sarah Robertson

    Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

    Meanwhile, separately, a coroner's confirmed today that one death at the Royal Stoke University Hospital is being looked at that might be linked to the fire.

    Royal Stoke University Hospital

    Six fire engines were sent to the scene on 7 June and a major incident was declared by the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust.

    The North Staffordshire coroner Ian Smith says more investigations are being carried out into the death that could be linked to the blaze, as a post-mortem examination's proved inconclusive.

  14. Union concerns over 'smoke in corridors' during hospital fire

    Lucy King

    News Editor, BBC Radio Stoke

    Questions are being raised by a union about why a system, designed to contain smoke at Royal Stoke University Hospital, didn't appear to work during a fire last week.

    Hundreds of people had to be evacuated and smoke got into corridors and wards during the blaze on 7 June.

    Patients outside the hospital after being evacuated

    Staffordshire Fire Service has confirmed to BBC Radio Stoke that, although the fire was contained, smoke wasn't.

    The hospital says a review is taking place into all aspects of the major incident.

    The Royal College of Nursing union has told BBC Radio Stoke they're concerned at the reports of smoke in corridors and want to see a full and thorough debrief following the blaze.

    A 39-year-old man has been charged with arson with intent to endanger life following the fire.

  15. Baby freed after accidentally locked inside car

    Lee Thomas

    Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

    A baby's been freed by firefighters after getting locked inside a car in Stoke-on-Trent.

    Staffordshire Fire Service says they were called to Norris Road in Burslem last night.

    They say it was a rental car and the 11-month-old's mum accidentally left the keys inside and it locked.

    Firefighters say they quickly reunited mother and baby.

  16. East Midlands teams learn EFL Cup fate

    Gavin Bevis

    BBC Local Live

    The draw has been made for the first round of the EFL Cup - now rebranded as the Carabao Cup. Here's who our East Midlands teams will be playing:

    • Nottingham Forest v Shrewsbury Town
    • Mansfield v Rochdale
    • Grimsby v Derby
    • Oldham v Burton
    • Sheffield Wednesday v Chesterfield
    • Scunthorpe v Notts County

    Leicester City will enter the competition in the second round, along with other Premier League sides not involved in Europe.