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Appeal for people to attend ex-serviceman's funeral

BBC Shropshire

An appeal is being made for people to attend the funeral of an ex-serviceman and member of British Intelligence who has died at the age of 93.

Harold Tracey (pictured below, in 1999) served in the RAF during the war.

Harold Tracey
The Spying Game/Uden Associates/Channel Four

He joined MI6 after leaving the RAF and an article written by Paul Reuvers for the Crypto Museum in The Netherlands credits him with the invention in 1962 of a scanner which could sweep a room for electronic bugging devices.

Later, in the 1980s and 90s, he worked for West Midlands Police as a civilian at police headquarters, the National Association of Retired Police Officers said.

He had been living at a care home in Oswestry and the service will be held at Emstrey Crematorium in Shrewsbury next Tuesday at 11:30.

Speed limit petition after deer is injured

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Hundreds of Solihull residents have backed a call to slow down traffic on a number of borough roads, amid fears for the safety of local wildlife.

The deer injured on Solihull's Damson Parkway last week
Tina Clarke

Almost 700 have signed an online petition, after a Muntjac deer was struck by a car.

Tina Clarke, 32, who launched the petition, said she had heard “an almighty bang” on Damson Parkway last week and discovered the injured animal, which had suffered bad bruising to its face. The deer was taken to the vets and released later that day.

Ms Clarke said there was mounting concern locally that cut-throughs were being used as "racetracks" and hopes Solihull Council will consider traffic-calming measures such as speed bumps or warning signs.

Her petition is set to be submitted to the authority and once it has been received it will be passed to the highways team for consideration.

Factory fire 'under control' but operation continues

The fire in a derelict factory in Smethwick is now well under control, West Midlands Fire Service has said.

It started on Rolfe Street at around 13:00 and the fire service also said it expected to remain at the scene for several hours to make sure it doesn't reignite.

Fire
West Midlands Fire Service

Road closures in the area are set to remain for the rest of the day and Smethwick Rolfe Street station is shut.

Rush hour rail disruption

BBC News Travel

A trespasser on the railway in the Stone area is resulting in disruption to trains running between Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford, the National Rail website reports.

CrossCountry, London Northwestern and Virgin Trains may be delayed by up to 40 minutes, cancelled or revised. Disruption is expected until 17:30.

And a broken down train in the Nuneaton area has led to trains being cancelled or delayed by up to 60 minutes. The line between Nuneaton and Birmingham New Street has reopened but disruption is expected until 18:00.

Smethwick Rolfe Street station is also closed due to a nearby fire.

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire southbound severe disruption, between J10A for M54 and J10 for A454 Wolverhampton Road Wolverhampton.

M6 Staffordshire - Two lanes closed and queues on M6 southbound between J10a M54 and J10, A454 (Wolverhampton), because of emergency repairs. Travel time is 20 minutes.

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

Four arrested over fatal shooting

Four men have been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of Dante Mullings in Birmingham in May.

West Midlands Police said the four were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder and remain in custody.

Dante
West Midlands Police

The force said the arrests were "a significant step forward as we try to establish exactly what happened to Dante."

Riding club releases name of killed rider

A rider who died as a result of falling from her horse during a competition in Solihull was 31-year-old Clare Bedford from Rugby.

The British Riding Clubs said she came off her horse during the cross country phase of the event at the Solihull Riding Club on 13 July.

Riding club
Google

The BRC is carrying out an investigation into her death.

Van driver in hospital after canisters explode

A van driver is being treated in hospital after gas canisters in his vehicle exploded in Herefordshire.

West Midlands Ambulance Service said the man in his 40s was able to get out before it burst into flames and that he'd had "an astonishing escape".

Exploded van
WMAS

The explosion happened on the A44 between Kington and Leominster at 07:40 this morning and the van was completely burnt out.

Policeman charged with custody block assault

A police custody sergeant has been charged with assaulting a man who was detained by officers last December.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said Sgt Nathan Legend will appear at Birmingham Magistrates' Court on Thursday charged with two counts of assault by beating.

The 31-year-old was charged by the CPS following an IOPC investigation which looked at the officer's use of force against a man detained at Birmingham's Perry Barr custody unit.

Severe disruption: M42 Warwickshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M42 Warwickshire southbound severe disruption, at J3A for M40.

M42 Warwickshire - Queues on M42 southbound at J3a M40, because of a break down earlier. All lanes have been re-opened.

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 J10A for M54 and J10 for A454 Wolverhampton Road Wolverhampton.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed and queues on M6 southbound between J10a M54 and J10, A454 (Wolverhampton), because of two break downs.

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

'Severe fire' at derelict factory

About 45 firefighters are tackling a "severe fire" at a disused factory in Smethwick.

Ten appliances are at the scene in Rolfe Street, after the fire service was called at about 13:00, it said.

The blaze has affected the ground and first floor of the building.

Actors urge next PM to save over-75s' free TV licences

Dame Helen Mirren and Dudley-born comedian and actor Sir Lenny Henry have signed an open letter calling on the next prime minister to reinstate free TV licences for all over-75s.

Dame Helen Mirren and Sir Lenny Henry
Getty Images

The stars said they were "deeply worried about the poorest older people who are set to lose out".

Their message comes as MPs prepare to question BBC executives about the subject at the House of Commons later.

Second man charged in connection with Droitwich murder

A second man has been charged in connection with the death of 80-year-old Desmond Wooding from Droitwich.

Mark Mason, 55, from Plough Lane in Tibberton has been charged with assisting an offender and is due before Worcester magistrates on 1 August.

Desmond Wooding
West Mercia Police

Adam Leslie Mason, who is 32 and also from Plough Lane in Tibberton, has previously been charged with murder and is due before Worcester Crown Court on 12 August.

One giant treat for mankind: Moon landing recreated in chocolate

Chocolatiers at Cadbury World have celebrated the 50th anniversary of the 1969 lunar landing by creating a space scene depicting Neil Armstrong's first steps on the moon.

Chocolate recreation of the Apollo 11 moon landing
PA Media

The model was fashioned at Bournville, Birmingham, using the equivalent of 400 standard bars of Dairy Milk, and is set to go on display at the city's Thinktank science museum.

Produced by chocolatiers Dawn Jenks and Donna Oluban over five days, the tribute - dubbed Choc-ollo 11 by staff - weighs about 18kg.

The Apollo 11 mission lifted off on 16 July 1969 and landed on the moon four days later.

Chocolate recreation of the Apollo 11 moon landing
PA Media

Severe disruption: M54 Shropshire eastbound

BBC News Travel

M54 Shropshire eastbound severe disruption, from J4 for A464 to J3 for A41 Newport Road.

M54 Shropshire - One lane closed and it's very slow on M54 eastbound from J4, A464 (Shifnal) to J3, A41 (Albrighton), because of a lorry that's broken down. In the roadworks area.

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

BreakingMan who drove at cyclists and police outside Parliament convicted

Birmingham student Salih Khater, who drove at cyclists and police officers outside the Houses of Parliament, has been found guilty at the Old Bailey of two charges of attempted murder.

Salih Khater depicted at a magistrates' court hearing last year
Julia Quenzler

Peace park to remember victims of bombing raid

A 'park of peace' is going to be created in Worcester, to remember those killed in a German bombing raid in 1940.

Seven died and 50 were injured when bombs fell on the city's Meco works in October that year - the site later became Joy Mining.

German bomber
Getty Images

The nearby Sanctuary Park will now become the home of a public memorial.

Warwickshire 'pushing good teams'

BBC WM Sport

Warwickshire captain,Jeetan Patel (pictured) says his young team's performance against Essex this week gave him more encouragement that they're making progress, despite the final result.

Jeetan Patel
Getty Images

Essex moved to the top of the County Championship when they completed a 187-run win over the Bears yesterday afternoon.

Warwickshire remain seventh, but still well clear of Nottinghamshire, who are in the only relegation place with four matches to go.

They've had a hard run of five successive away games while Edgbaston has been in use for the World Cup.

A change of pace now awaits them as the T20 Blast competition fills the next few weeks, starting at Worcester on Friday. Patel says they'll go into it feeling good after the way they've competed recently.

It just shows that we are pushing teams and good teams at that.There's still a lot of learning to do, we know that, and I always keep going on about the growth and the ability to learn on the hop and that's the tough part."

Jeetan PatelWarwickshire captain

Light aircraft comes down in field

Two men have been taken to hospital after the light aircraft they were in came down in a wheat field shortly after take-off.

Scene
@WMASHART

The small aeroplane "had remained the right way up though had suffered considerable damage", an ambulance spokesman said.

One of those inside was trapped and had to be helped out by ambulance staff and firefighters.

The two men, who were both in their 60s, were taken by land ambulance to New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton with injuries not thought to be life-threatening.

Scene
@WMASHART

The incident happened near to Otherton Airfield, Penkridge, at about 15:45 on Tuesday.

Remains not thought to be those of Suzy Lamplugh

Human remains found in a Worcestershire village are not thought to be those of Suzy Lamplugh, West Mercia Police have said.

Field where bones discovered
BBC

The remains found last Friday were in Kempsey and the force said while they don't believe they belong to the missing estate agent, they will wait on the results of post mortem examinations to be sure.

Ms Lamplugh disappeared from Fulham in 1986. Police recently searched an area near Pershore (ten miles from Kempsey) for her body.

Suzy Lamplugh
Handout

The Pershore search was sparked by new information following publicity about a search last year of a property in Sutton Coldfield which once belonged to the mother of prime suspect John Cannan.

There have been searches for Ms Lamplugh - who was officially declared dead in 1994 - in Worcestershire previously, when police excavated a field near the former Norton Army Barracks in 2000 and 2001 and land near the village of Drakes Broughton in 2010.

Severe disruption: A44 Herefordshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A44 Herefordshire both ways severe disruption, between Weston and Shobdon.

A44 Herefordshire - A44 in Marston closed and queues in both directions between the Weston junction and the Shobdon junction, because of a car on fire.

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

Filmmaker to screen short features dealing with Islamophobia

BBC Midlands Today

A filmmaker who's worked on movies such as Star Wars is in Birmingham today to screen short features he's produced dealing with Islamophobia.

Rizwan Wadan
BBC

Rizwan Wadan (pictured) is aiming to show the four films in pubs across the city.

They're part of his new £1.2m project The Error in Terror, which he hopes will help tackle extremism and hostility towards Muslim communities.

I feel that between Muslims and non-Muslims there's a tension growing and there's a growing tension within our communities. And the best way to actually tackle that is by getting people talking at first and then hopefully through the films be able to sort of make people think about things from another perspective and educate through entertainment I suppose.

Rizwan WadanThe Error in Terror Campaign director

Severe disruption: M5 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire northbound severe disruption, from J6 for A4538 Pershore Lane to J5 for A38 Droitwich.

M5 Worcestershire - One lane closed and it's slow on M5 northbound from J6, A4538 (Worcester) to J5, A38 (Droitwich), because of a broken down van.

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

Severe disruption: M6 West Midlands northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands northbound severe disruption, at J7 for A34 Birmingham Road.

M6 West Midlands - M6 lane closed on entry slip road northbound at J7, A34 (Great Barr), because of a break down.

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

Severe disruption: M6 West Midlands southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands southbound severe disruption, at J9 for A461 Wood Green Road.

M6 West Midlands - M6 lane closed on exit slip road southbound at J9, A461 (Wednesbury), because of a break down.

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

Severe disruption: M5 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire northbound severe disruption, from J4 for A38 Halesowen Road Bromsgrove to J3 for A456 Quinton Expressway Halesowen.

M5 Worcestershire - One lane closed and it's slow on M5 northbound from J4, A38 (Bromsgrove) to J3, A456 (Halesowen), because of a police investigation.

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 J11 for A460 to J12 for A5.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed on M6 northbound from J11, A460 (Cannock) to J12, A5 (Gailey), because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.

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

Young sculptor to create statue for town

A 24-year-old sculptor who works out of a tiny workshop at his parents house has been commissioned to make a large bronze statue for Telford.

Jacob Chandler from Wellington, who currently has an exhibition in the shopping centre, hasn't revealed what it will be a sculpture of.

Jacob Chandler
BBC
Jacob Chandler
BBC

He said he originally planned to become an architect but had to end his studies because of ill-health and turned his sculpture-making hobby into a career instead.

Drone footage of illegal car cruise event being examined

Drone footage of an illegal car cruise in Birmingham is being studied after dozens of people gathered there.

Police set up road blocks and carried out spot-checks on Sunday night to disrupt a group of around 100 who gathered on the A38 between Minworth and Bassetts Pole and also Heartlands Parkway in Nechells.

drone footage
West Midlands Police

No arrests were made on the night, but there is a court order which prohibits people taking part in car cruises in Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country and it also applies to spectators and promoters of these events.

West Midlands Police said its drone footage "captures the activity in detail" and it will also be looking at CCTV footage.

Severe disruption: M6 West Midlands southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands southbound severe disruption, between J6 for A38 and J5 for A452.

M6 West Midlands - One lane closed on M6 southbound between J6 A38(M) Aston Expressway Spaghetti Junction and J5, A452 (Castle Bromwich), because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.

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

Human remains found in village

Human remains have been found in Kempsey, near Worcester.

West Mercia Police, who are handling the inquiries, say the bones were found on Friday afternoon and the death is being treated as unexplained at this stage.

Police said they are in the early stages of an investigation and inquiries are still ongoing.

A post-mortem examination will be carried out.

Kempsey
Google

"This could be a lengthy process but we will continue to update the public in due course," Det Ch Insp Carl Moore said.

Dozens of cannabis plants found in police raid

Cannabis plants worth an estimated £73,000 have been found at a house at Wellington in Shropshire.

Police found dozens of plants growing in rooms over two floors after a raid earlier.

Cannabis
Getty Images

A man has been arrested and remains in custody while investigations continue.

Two charged with drug supply

Two men have been charged with drug supply offences after an investigation into the alleged movement of drugs from Wolverhampton into Worcestershire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire.

The two, both 26 and from Wolverhampton, have been charged with three counts of conspiring to supply heroin and three counts of conspiring to supply crack cocaine.

They have also been charged with facilitating the travel of another person with a view to exploitation, said Warwickshire Police.

They're both due to appear at Warwick Magistrates' Court on 31 July.