Halesowen

England, United Kingdom

Latest Stories

Dozens arrested and drugs and weapons seized in sting

More than 80 people have been arrested and weapons and drugs seized during a crackdown on county lines operations and youth violence.

West Midlands Police said more than £60,000 was also seized as part of its week-long sting between 2 and 8 of December.

Drugs
West Midlands Police

A total of 81 people were arrested for offences ranging from drug dealing, gun possession, assault and violent offences.

Supt Rich Agar, from the force, said: "We are relentless in our pursuit of those responsible for these drug networks.

"They are not only behind putting illegal, and potentially lethal, drugs onto the street but often exploiting vulnerable teenage boys and girls to do their dirty work."

Scan reveals oldest known record of amphibian tracks in UK

The oldest known record of amphibian tracks in the UK has been discovered in a sandstone fossil.

A block of sandstone from the base of Hardraw Force Waterfall in Wensleydale
PA Media

New research has revealed an ancient trackway, found imprinted on a block of sandstone from the base of Hardraw Force Waterfall, in Wensleydale, North Yorkshire.

Dating back 340 million years, it is the oldest record of amphibian tracks in the UK.

The tracks belong to the earliest relatives of modern amphibians, called temnospondyls, specifically the edopoids, or "glutton-faced animals".

In order to see it in further detail, the trace fossil, currently on display at the Natural History Museum, was 3D scanned.

This was done as part of a research project by a previous undergraduate student from the University of Birmingham, Hannah Bird, who said: "We used scanning and photography to make a 3D digital model, allowing us to better visualise and identify the footprints and invertebrate traces."

Hitachi wins £350m Avanti West Coast Trains contract

A £350m contract to build new trains for Avanti West Coast, which replaces Virgin Trains on the west coast route from Sunday, has been awarded to Hitachi.

Avanti West Coast train
PA Media

Twenty-three new intercity trains are expected to enter service from 2022.

The trains will be a mix of 10-carriage electric trains and 13 five-carriage bi-mode trains, which will switch from electric to diesel power where the railway is not electrified, such as in North Wales.

The electric trains will run between London, the West Midlands and Liverpool, while the bi-modes will serve the London to North Wales route.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

After a wet start it will be a mainly dry morning with a few bright spells and highs of 12C (54F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Showers ahead tonight

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

The weather's continuing to be unsettled tonight as it's set to be cloudy and windy with blustery showers:

Rebecca Wood

You can get a latest forecast for your area at any other time by going to the BBC Weather website.

Warning issued over foggy roads

BBC News Travel

There's some thick fog around this morning, with motorists being advised to take care.

View more on twitter

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

After a chilly start it will be a cloudy day with the odd shower and highs of 9C (48F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Staying dry into tonight

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

There could be some patches of fog around tonight but it'll be mainly dry:

Rebecca Wood

You can stay up-to-date with the weather in your area by going to the BBC Weather website at any other time.

'Overwhelming response' to new budget food club

BBC WM

A volunteer food club where people pay £4 a week to fill their cupboards has had an "overwhelming response" since it launched, organisers say.

The pantry
Manna House Pantry

Bethel Church set up the Manna House Pantry on Vicarage Road, Halesowen.

The "social supermarket" gets food donated by local churches and supermarkets and members can then buy it at a fraction of the price in shops.

The pantry launched on 2 December and organisers said they'd reached membership capacity just a day later, forcing them to stop accepting new applications for the time being.

Food at the pantry
Manna House Pantry

A wrap up warm day

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

Cold, dry and cloudy to start today and but sunny spells later.

Rich Davis

You can get a latest update for the forecast for your area at any other time by heading to the BBC Weather website.

Mayor to 'continue to lobby' over gigafactory plans

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Tom Dare

West Midlands mayor Andy Street says he is pleased the Conservative Party has included a pledge to build a gigafactory in its manifesto – despite the fact the project has not been costed.

Andy Street
Getty Images

During a speech at the Conservative party conference in October, Prime Minister Boris Johnson appeared to back the mayor’s calls for the country’s first gigafactory to be built in the West Midlands.

This was followed up by a commitment in the official Conservative Party manifesto last month to invest in "electric vehicle infrastructure including a national plug-in network and gigafactory".

Labour have also revealed plans to build three factories across the country.

Speaking after the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) highlighted the proposals had not been fully costed, the mayor said he was pleased both Labour and the Conservative Party had backed plans to build gigafactories in the UK.

I will continue to vehemently lobby the incoming government to make sure the first of these major factories is built in its rightful home here in the West Midlands

Andy StreetWest Midlands mayor

Thousands of children in temporary accommodation

Fourteen children become homeless every day across the region, the charity Shelter says.

Child
BBC

It said 7,370 children in the West Midlands are homeless and living in temporary accommodation.

The report looked at the impact of temporary accommodation like hostels and emergency bed and breakfasts (B&Bs) on families.

The charity's findings also suggest that homelessness is at its highest rate since 2006.

Shelter's findings only represent some of the children in Great Britain who are homeless. In England, there are thought to be a further 4470 homeless families who have found their own temporary accommodation.

Lagging for customers in pipe 'hotspot' areas

Severn Trent Water is to bring in extra resources to help repair leaks and burst pipes this winter.

Severn Trent sign
BBC

The company is providing free pipe lagging in areas of the region that it says are "hotspots" for leaky pipes.

It's also advising people to wrap pipework, fittings and storage tanks that are kept in unheated areas of the home .

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

After a misty start in some areas it will be a dry day with bright spells and highs of 7C (45F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

It will be a dry, cold night with some mist and fog with lows of 0C (32F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Rail disruption: Ticket acceptance in place

BBC News Travel

Bus replacement services are running between Blake Street in Sutton Coldfield and Lichfield City due to signalling problems.

Tickets for affected routes through Birmingham New Street are being accepted on alternative trains.

View more on twitter

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

After a cold start it will be a dry and bright day with highs of 7C (45F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Fog likely to cause travel disruption

Fog is likely to cause some travel disruption overnight and into Saturday morning, the Met Office is warning.

Weather map
Met Office

The yellow warning is in place from 01:00 to 11:00 on Saturday.

Watch out for the frost and ice

Icy roads and pavements are likely to cause travel disruption.

Weather map
Met Office

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for ice for the West Midlands until 10:00.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

It will be a cold dry day with plenty of sunshine and highs of 6C (43F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Warning for ice issued

Icy roads and pavements are likely to cause travel disruption, the Met Office is warning.

Weather map
Met Office

Temperatures are set to drop overnight, with a yellow warning for ice in place for the whole of the West Midlands from 00:15 to 10:00 on Friday.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

It should be a dry day with some sunny spells and highs of 9C (48F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Wet start to Wednesday night

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

There'll showers around as we head into tonight but some areas should turn drier as the night goes on:

Rich Davis

Keep up-to-date with the latest forecast for your area by going to the BBC Weather website.

Masked men raid family's home to steal car

Masked men forced their way into a family's home this morning and stole their car, police have said.

Meadow Road, Halesowen
Google

The burglary happened just after 03:00 on Meadow Road, Halesowen.

The four men confronted a 28-year-old woman inside, demanded her car keys and then drove off in her white BMW, taking other belongings as well.

Officers said two children were also inside the house at the time but no-one was hurt.

Reports of child abuse rising sharply, NSPCC says

BBC Midlands Today

Child cruelty and neglect offences recorded by the police in the West Midlands have more than trebled in the last five years, a charity's said.

Head of child
BBC

The NSPCC's analysed figures from the force and said there were just over 2,000 cases in 2013-14 and more than 7,000 in 2018-19.

It added reports to the police included extreme cases of neglect, assault and abandonment.

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

There will be some dry and clear spells later but feeling mild with lows of 7C (45F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

After a wet start it should be a dry and clear afternoon with highs of 11C (52F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands
Star City fight: Large police presence after fight at cinema
Officers were called to the Star City complex following reports a group with machetes was at the venue.

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

It will be a blustery night with some rain and lows of 6C (43F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands