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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Crews battle as grass fire spreads

A large wildfire in the Staffordshire Moorlands has now engulfed more than 200 acres.

Fire
Staffordshire Fire Service

Crews were first called to the blaze at the Roaches, in Upper Hulme, Staffordshire, on Thursday afternoon, and they remain at the scene.

Fire
Staffordshire Fire Service

It was intensified by high winds which spread the flames across the north of the moor.

Smoke from the fire was reported as far away as South Yorkshire.

Staffordshire Fire Service said Roach Road and the surrounding lanes are likely to remain closed for the next few days.

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Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

It will be a mixed day with sunny spells and scattered showers, some of which could be heavy, and top temperatures of 22C (72F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire southbound severe disruption, from J13 for A449 to J12 for A5.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed on M6 southbound from J13, A449 (Stafford South) to J12, A5 (Gailey), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire northbound severe disruption, from J14 for A5013 to J15 for A500.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed on M6 northbound from J14, A5013 (Stafford North) to J15, A500 (Stoke-On-Trent), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe disruption: M6 Cheshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Cheshire northbound severe disruption, from J16 for A500 Stoke-On-Trent to J17 for A534 Old Mill Road Sandbach.

M6 Cheshire - One lane closed on M6 northbound from J16, A500 (Stoke-On-Trent) to J17, A534 (Sandbach), because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire northbound severe disruption, from J14 for A5013 to J15 for A500.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed on M6 northbound from J14, A5013 (Stafford North) to J15, A500 (Stoke-On-Trent), because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

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

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed on M6 northbound between J12, A5 (Gailey) and J13, A449 (Stafford South), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire southbound severe disruption, between J15 for A500 and J14 for A5013.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed on M6 southbound between J15, A500 (Stoke-On-Trent) and J14, A5013 (Stafford North), because of debris on the road. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe disruption: M6 Cheshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Cheshire southbound severe disruption, from J17 for Sandbach to J16 for Stoke-On-Trent.

M6 Cheshire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M6 southbound from J17, Sandbach to J16, Stoke-On-Trent, because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Severe accident: A34 Staffordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

A34 Staffordshire southbound severe accident, from A5035 Longton Road to A51.

A34 Staffordshire - A34 closed and slow traffic southbound from the A5035 Longton Road junction to Darlaston Island, because of an accident involving 2 vehicles.

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

Severe accident: A5121 Staffordshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A5121 Staffordshire both ways severe accident, from A5189 Shobnall Road to Nicholson Way.

A5121 Staffordshire - A5121 Wellington Road in Burton upon Trent closed and slow traffic in both directions from the A5189 Shobnall Road junction to the Nicholson Way junction, because of an accident involving a car and debris on the road.

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

Severe accident: M54 Staffordshire westbound

BBC News Travel

M54 Staffordshire westbound severe accident, at J1 for A460 Cannock Road Wolverhampton.

M54 Staffordshire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M54 westbound at J1, A460 (Wolverhampton), because of an accident.

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

Football

Courtney Senior and Ryan Jackson score as Colchester United beat Port Vale.

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Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire northbound severe disruption, from J15 for A500 to J16 for A500 Stoke-On-Trent.

M6 Staffordshire - Lane closed on M6 northbound from J15, A500 (Stoke-On-Trent) to J16, A500 (Stoke-On-Trent). Traffic is coping well.

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

Samantha Eastwood

Stoke City fans clapped during their home game in tribute to Samantha Eastwood, who was found dead.

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Football

Substitute Tom Eaves scores a brace to continue Gillingham's perfect start to the season with victory over Burton.

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Joe Allen and Lewis MacLeod challenge

Stoke remain without a win on their Championship return as Brentford make them sweat for a point at home.

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Newport celebrate

Padraig Amond's goal and Joe Day's penalty save earn Newport County their first win of the campaign at home to Crewe Alexandra.

Read more

Severe accident: M6 West Midlands northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands northbound severe accident, from J10 for A454 Wolverhampton to J10A for M54.

M6 West Midlands - Very slow traffic on M6 northbound from J10, A454 (Wolverhampton) to J10a M54, because of people slowing to look at an accident.

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

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire southbound severe disruption, from J14 for to J13 for .

M6 Staffordshire - Slow traffic on M6 southbound from J14, Stafford North to J13, Stafford South, because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire southbound severe disruption, from J10A for M54 to J10 for A454 Wolverhampton.

M6 Staffordshire - An overturned vehicle and all traffic being temporarily held on M6 southbound from J10a M54 to J10, A454 (Wolverhampton).

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

Severe disruption: M6 Cheshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Cheshire southbound severe disruption, from J18 for A54 Middlewich Road Middlewich to J17 for A534 Old Mill Road Sandbach.

M6 Cheshire - One lane closed on M6 southbound from J18, A54 (Middlewich) to J17, A534 (Sandbach), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe disruption: A53 Staffordshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A53 Staffordshire both ways severe disruption, from Dunwood Lane to B5051 Clay Lake.

A53 Staffordshire - A53 Leek Road in Dunwood closed and slow traffic in both directions from the Dunwood Lane junction to the B5051 Clay Lake junction. Congestion to Dunwood Farm.

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

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire northbound severe disruption, from J13 for A449 to J14 for A5013.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M6 northbound from J13, A449 (Stafford South) to J14, A5013 (Stafford North), because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Severe accident: M6 Staffordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire northbound severe accident, from J14 for A5013 to J15 for A500.

M6 Staffordshire - Two lanes closed and slow traffic on M6 northbound from J14, A5013 (Stafford North) to J15, A500 (Stoke-On-Trent), because of an accident.

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

'Major disruption' expected during hospital works

Allen Cook

BBC News

"Major disruption" is being forecast by NHS bosses as a main entrance to a hospital's going to be closed off from Monday.

Diagram of where the works will take place
University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust

The University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) says works will take place on the road directly off the A34 at the Royal Stoke University Hospital, next to the Cancer Centre.

Bus stops will be relocated, some routes will have their access reduced and some parking will be temporarily suspended during the work, which could last up to five weeks.

The UHNM says it's carrying the work out during the school holidays as that's when the hospital is usually quieter but admits "we still anticipate major disruption and congestion".

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire southbound severe disruption, between J15 for A500 and J14 for A5013.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed on M6 southbound between J15, A500 (Stoke-On-Trent) and J14, A5013 (Stafford North), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

Video: What's the weekend weather got in store?

John Hammond

Weather forecaster

Any remaining showers should clear to leave some late evening sunshine, before a clear and cool night with lows of 6C (43F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Work to start 'this month' on old police HQ homes

Sophie Calvert

Political Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

Work is set to begin this month on 140 homes on the site of the former Staffordshire Police headquarters, eight years after it shut.

For sale sign at the old HQ
Staffordshire Police

The 15 acres of land on Cannock Road in Stafford was officially sold this week.

Staffordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis says it's raised £15m although a third of that is associated costs, so £10m will go to the police force.

Developers Bellway says it'll start work in the next couple of weeks and will also make contributions to affordable housing and community infrastructure for the site.

City 'like a scene from the Night of the Living Dead'

Sophie Madden

BBC News

Stoke-on-Trent resembled a scene from a zombie film this week thanks to the drug Monkey Dust, a paramedic's told the BBC.

Centre of Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent
BBC

It comes as emergency workers are warning use of the drug in the city is at epidemic levels.

The "highly unpredictable" substance has caused people to jump off buildings and run into traffic, police said.

Staffordshire Police said it was working on ways to tackle supply.

There was a comment from a colleague who said he drove through Stoke-on-Trent a couple of nights ago and it was like a scene from the Night of the Living Dead. It is not a problem, it is already an epidemic."

Steven RustParamedic, West Midlands Ambulance Service

Graves vandalised and family mementos stolen

Allen Cook

BBC News

Several graves have been vandalised and tributes stolen from a cemetery, police say.

Meadowbrook Cemetery
Google

Three cases at Meadowbrook Cemetery on Minshull New Road, Crewe, are being investigated.

Officers say they happened between Sunday and Wednesday and saw graves damaged and items, including flowers and dolls, stolen.

The force has labelled the actions "despicable", adding that "you cannot stoop much lower than that" and families are "extremely upset".

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 and slow traffic on M6 southbound between J13, A449 (Stafford South) and J12, A5 (Gailey), because of Medical Incident.

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

Thousands of pounds stolen in leisure centre raid

Allen Cook

BBC News

Thieves have forced their way into a leisure centre and stolen thousands of pounds in cash and goods.

Smashed front of leisure centre
Staffordshire Police

Police say they got into Wombourne Leisure Centre early on Thursday morning and then smashed their way through internal doors and into vending machines.

The force says the damage to windows and doors is estimated to be more than £2,000.

They then made off with a large safe, containing over £2,000 in cash, a stereo worth about £1,000 and assorted swimming goggles.

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 and heavy traffic on M6 southbound between J13, A449 (Stafford South) and J12, A5 (Gailey), because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Monkey Dust cases 'almost doubled' since December

Stuart Ellis

Presenter, BBC Radio Stoke

The number of cases of people needing medical treatment after taking the drug known as Monkey Dust, or MDPHP, have almost doubled in the last seven months in the West Midlands.

West Midlands Ambulance Service ambulance
BBC

The ambulance service says, across the region, it was called to 22 cases related to the drug in December and that figure was up to 42 in July.

However, it's admitted the numbers could be even higher as some emergencies might not be recorded as being due to Monkey Dust.

As Staffordshire Police are today warning of a potential public health crisis due to the drug, the ambulance service says it can leave users with long-term illnesses.