29/07/2011 Midlands Today


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Hello and welcome to Midlands Today, with Suzanne Virdee and Michael


Collie. The headlines tonight:


It costs very little and it could save babies' lives. The pain-free


heart test that should be available for all newborns. We pick up so


many problems. Not just heart problems, but others problems, such


as breathing problems, infections and all sorts of things.


Boomtime for Poundland. As the economy dips, the Black Country-


based firm announces it's moving into Europe. People are proud to be


price-conscious and to get a great deal.


Three years on, police appeal for help to catch the killer of a


teenager gunned down in a drive-by shooting.


And tipped for athletic stardom from the age of 15. How Nathan is


on track for 2012 glory. Hopefully within a few years, I will be


categorised as one of the best four Good evening and welcome to


Friday's Midlands Today, from the BBC. Tonight, a call for all


newborn babies to be given a simple test which could highlight heart


problems. Research carried out on 20,000 infants by the University of


Birmingham has proved that it will save lives. Ellis Hobbs, from


Coventry, nearly died from a rare heart condition that would have


been picked up by the test if it had been available when he was born.


Today, his parents have backed researchers who are calling for it


to be used on all maternity wards, as our health correspondent,


Michele Paduano, reports. At eight months old, Ellis is a


normal baby boy. But he was sent home from hospital in Coventry at


six hours old. Eight days later, the left side of his heart


collapsed and only an emergency operation saved his life. We are


very fortunate. We know only too well how close things were. By the


time they uncovered his condition from various factors, it was very


close, but if he had been treated somewhat earlier, then he would


never have been so critically ill. Two years before he was born, a


baby with the same heart condition was picked up in the trial of


20,000 babies across Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Warwickshire and


Shropshire. Since the study finished in 2009, we are now over


two years on and I would have liked to see something in place now. If


it was, our story would have been different. We're very fortunate we


still have Ellis, but only just. And this is the test. This is


ignore it throws out infra-red rays and works out how much oxygen is in


the baby's blood. If it is too low, something can be done. It is


definitely something you want to know about, so it was very


reassuring. If used in combination with other assessments like


ultrasound and pays natal examination, then we can identify


92% to of babies with critical heart defect. -- post-natal


The equipment is cheap and easy to use. So why has not been done


before? Well, doctors need evidence. And this equipment gives them the


evidence they need. If hospitals can start testing, fewer babies


like Ellis will die. And with us now, Dr Andrew Ewer,


who led this study. We saw you working at the hospital in


Birmingham. They are still used in this Test, aren't they? How easy is


this test? It is very simple and takes a few minutes to do. The


machinery that we use costs just a few hundred pounds and our staff


have taken it on as part of their routine. So for us now, it is a


normal thing. So that yellow device, each of those costs a few hundred


pounds? �400. We have five at our hospital and that is what we need.


Why haven't other hospitals taken this on and others have stopped


doing it, too, why is that? needed to do the study and


assimilate the evidence and make sure that test was as accurate as


we thought. I think as the reporter rightly said, doctors often need


evidence, and I do hope this study will give the evidence that is the


push two finally adopt this nationally. They have asked for the


evidence, so where are you now? Obviously, the paper in The Lancet


came out today. Our data is there to be seen and I think it is


working out if it is feasible within the current financial


constraints of the NHS. If it is, how we roll it out. And I look


forward to those discussions. they say yes to this, obviously it


will take a while for hospitals to bring it on, but you said you found


26 babies with heart abnormalities? So this is like saying? Yes.


all hope is for the meeting in two months' time? Yes. Thank you for


joining us. Lovely to have your company this


Friday evening. Still ahead, kicking off the new football season,


but the bookies have already put the boot into Coventry City's


championship campaign. And I am at The Big Chill in


Herefordshire, where the focus is As fears of a double-dip recession


loom, more of us are worried about the pound in our pocket. And


retailers are finding it harder to lure us into parting with it. Some


are even closing down. Discount department store TJ Hughes is the


latest victim, announcing closures across the region. But Black


Country-based firm Poundland has found an upside to the downturn.


They've announced a big expansion plan which will see them open


stores in Europe. Joanne Writtle reports.


250 jobs are being axed with the closure of five TJ Hughes stores in


Nuneaton, Shrewsbury, Wolverhampton, Kidderminster and Walsall. The


discount department store had moved into the former Woolworths premises


in Nuneaton, renovated by the council only a year ago for �1.5


million. The DIY store Focus has also disappeared from beleagured


high streets across the West Midlands, along with HMV.


Devastating news, both for the employees here, who were only found


out last night, I understand. And for the town itself. Nuneaton also


lost Marks & Spencer a year ago. think the loss of any store these


days is regrettable. The loss of economy for the town as well.


seems being cheap is not enough to be successful. Why did they fail?


You can have somebody who is the cheapest but you might have people


stuck in the middle. They are not the cheapest or not doing it as


well as Poundland does it, and therefore they do not succeed.


while fortunes are falling for some, Poundland is seeing its prospects


rise. It's branching into the euro by opening six stores in Ireland,


and another 44 here. It'll create 2,000 jobs. The headquarters here


at Willenhall in the Black Country is packed with discount products.


But with financial markets in turmoil and the Irish banks


meltdown, it is perhaps unsurprising that the new stores in


Ireland will be called Dealz, rather than Euroland. We did a lot


of market research on trading names, and, on surprisingly, the name


euroland, which has a connotation with the euro, was not popular, and


I think everybody will understand why, particularly at the moment,


people are upset by the euro and the eurozone. She... Here in


Birmingham city centre is one of 347 stores in the UK. -- Poundland.


Customers snapping up bargains at the store where you never need to


ask how much anything is were quick to react to the expansion plans.


think it is a very good idea. After all, they would not be doing it if


they didn't think they could prosper and make money out of it.


Everything is cheaper and there isn't much anywhere else. Poundland


won't reveal if the new Dealz stores will sell everything for a


euro, currently worth 87p. Competition in the discount market


is fierce. It could be several months before a


trial date is set in Florida for a teenager accused of murdering a


tennis coach from Warwickshire. 25- year-old James Cooper, from Warwick,


and his university friend James Kouzaris were shot dead while on


holiday in Sarasota in April. 16- year-old Shawn Tyson remains in


custody but he's not due back in court until October for a case


management review. The price of a ticket is the most


important factor in persuading drivers to switch to High Speed


Rail, according to a new survey. The proposed controversial line


could see journey times between the Midlands and London cut to 50


minutes. A survey of 16,000 AA members found more than 60%t said


the cost of using it was more important than speed. The greatest


concern for the drivers was that you cannot always rely on the


railways were getting to your destination on time. So I think


greater reliability, more comfort, more capacity would suit a lot of


motorists, rather than perhaps an extremely expensive new railway


line which will cost a fortune. Detectives have marked the third


anniversary of a drive-by shooting by appealing for new information


about the killing. Officers investigating the murder of 19-


year-old Stephon Davidson are also offering to protect witnesses.


Let's get more details from our reporter Giles Latcham, who's in


Lozells, in Birmingham, for us. Giles, what's happening there?


billed as a "community fun day" and it's been organised by the families


of victims of gun and knife crime, and in a minute we'll speak to


Stephon Davidson's mum. "A fun day", they call it, but for the Davidson


family, 5th August remains a very dark date in their calendar.


"Brazen and reckless" - how one police officer described the


killing of Stephon Davidson. It happened three years ago today,


close to this busy junction in Birmingham, just a couple of


hundred metres from a police station. Stephon was in the car


with three friends heading in that direction towards was then a


roundabout. The road layout was different Another car, a Toyota


Avensis, pulled alongside and a passenger brandished a gun.


Stephon's car took off, the Avensis gave chase, shots were fired and


Stephon was hit in the neck. He died a month later in hospital.


is a busy road, with a lot of traffic using it. This is still an


isolated incident with a man hanging out of the car chasing


another in the rush-hour. It is almost miraculous that Stephon was


the only person injured. The killer is glimpsed on CCTV at the moment


he fired the shots. But despite widespread publicity, three years


on, he's not been identified. For Stephon Davidson and his family,


there is no justice. Stephon had a nickname. He was


known as "silk". I am now joined by his mother, vaccine Sharp. It is a


strange day for you? It will just remember him for the person he was.


He was full of life and fun and loving. So he was a family person


and this is a family fun day. We have set up a foundation in his


name to provide support to parents. The Silk Foundation. It is for


parents of teenage children. And it has proved very popular. Vincent,


that picture of that man leaning out of the window, there is


somebody out there who knows who that is. If they are watching


tonight, what would you say to that potential witness? I would


literally begged them to come forward. I would get on my hands


and knees. So my family and I can get justice. It is three years and


we have nobody for it. It is a shame. It is a big community and we


are losing our children like this. He is on the shirts of everybody


and he is close to your heart tonight. It is back to the studio.


You're watching Midlands Today from the BBC. Coming up, dreaming of


Olympic gold, but can Nathan make it a reality?


Summer music festivals are in full swing, but while thousands of


people may enjoy them, they don't always go down too well with those


who live nearby. Complaints about noise and traffic are common. But


organisers of The Big Chill, which runs through this weekend in


Herefordshire, are working hard on building community relations. Ben


Sidwell is there for us now. Ben, how've they managed to get people


there on side, if indeed they have? They seem to be doing so around


here. This is a massive festival, by far and away Herefordshire's


biggest festival. Tens of thousands of people down here over the


weekend. One where they are doing this is by offering cheaper tickets


and that money goes back into the community. That is one way they are


trying to work with the community to keep everybody happy. As I said,


The Big Chill is underway and another that has been going on and


another way they seem to be attracting more people in his with


the youngsters, as I have been finding out.


Set amongst the Herefordshire countryside, The Big Chill attracts


tens of thousands of people from around the country. But it is not


just adults who are catered for here. For the first time in the


Festival's history, there is a festival called The Little Chill,


especially for young festival-goers. I have been to lots of festivals in


the past but this is the only one I would bring my children to. It is


very civilised. Among the attractions inside this part of the


festival is the chill-out corner, organised and staffed by the


friends of a local primary school. People are quite protective of


their local area and they want to be involved, so seeing a school


involved helps people feel a bit more secure and less upset by a big


festival come into their area, and actually seeing it can be of


benefit rather than concerning themselves that it is going to be


negative. And the local community is something that the organisers


are taking very seriously. People living near the site are offered a


very cheap tickets. The money is given back to the area. That is how


the involvement of the local primary school at came about. They


use money to buy equipment for their forest project. People array


bit anxious about the festival and it is an enormous event. -- are a


bit anxious. But the school has benefited and we do appreciate it.


Most of those at the Festival come to The Big Chill for the four days


of music. Among those playing this year are Robert Plant and Kanye


West. I don't think it is fair to go on and do a set that nobody has


heard, because festivals are about singing along. These might be the


festival-goers of today, but the organisers of The Big Chill are


hoping that those organising The Little -- that those enjoying The


Little Chill this weekend will be here in the future. Let's talk


about this and the youngsters. Why are you doing it? To reflect the


fact that The Big Chill has been going for a long time. The older


festival-goers have now got children and a one to make it


attractive for them and their kids to come, and it does exactly that


for them, The Little Chill. seem to be working more with the


communities now? Does it help to have those onside? Whatever


location I am in, I want to be there for a long time, so working


with the community is very important. The school locally was


very fundamental in offering residents tickets to raise money.


It is very important for the future of the festival. Let's talk about


the festival itself. It is a big weekend and the biggest in


Herefordshire. You have some big names? Well, a huge names,


especially with Kanye West, who was once talked about the possible


President of the United States! I do not think he would want that job


at the moment. But he fantastic line-up - Robert Plant on Sunday,


at Chemical Brothers, among others. Well, everybody here is chilling


out. So it will ewe his The Big Chill was -- The Big Chill.


And you can hear more from The Big Chill on BBC Hereford and


Worcester's introducing show, with Andrew Marston from 7pm this


evening. You'll probably remember blind Dave


Heeley. He's the man who ran seven marathons in seven days on seven


continents back in 2008, raising �375,000 for guide dogs. Now he's


off and raising money again, by attempting to run and cycle 1,000


miles in ten days, from John O'Groats to Land's End.


Does he ever give up? Dave sets off this Sunday and hopes to raise a


�100,000 for MacMillan Cancer Relief. The 53-year-old from West


Bromwich, in the Black Country, aims to complete a marathon and


tandem bike ride on each day of the journey. It is a case of, I am


looking forward to it and I know there will be a lot of pain and a


lot of tears. But I think with the team, and I have got a fantastic


team around me, and I won't say just me, we have a fantastic team


altogether. But we will have some pain and some laughs. Pain and


pleasure! Best of luck to Dave and the team.


And it's a big weekend for football fans as the new season gets


underway, and Dan Pallett is here with the details. It's now ten


years since Coventry City played top-flight football. Tomorrow, they


start another season in the Championship at home to Leicester


City. And bookmakers have them as favourites to leave via relegation


rather than promotion. This is how the start of Match Of


The Day looked. That's what Gary looked like, and haven't his mates


changed? Yes, the day Coventry City were relegated from the Premier


League is now ten years ago. Gordon Strachan was manager then. He'd


gone by September. The first of many. From Peter Reid to Micky


Adams and Chris Coleman, they've all failed to bring top-flight


football back to the Sky Blues. That leaves Andy Thorn as the tenth


manager in the last ten years at Coventry City. Cheers, thanks for


that. Look, as I said before, we take it game by game and I have got


to a good atmosphere around the place. But what will be will be. It


is no secret. We are working on a tight budget. But for fans such as


Alan Packer, these are worrying times. He's the proud owner of


goalkeeper Kearan Westwood's gloves. But Westwood is among three high-


profile departures this summer. It looks like survival is the main aim


this term. If we can just get mid- table, get the investors in and


start next year, but we always seem to be saying this. It is next year,


next year. And we are slowly but surely going down and down the


ladder. Without the investment, we will continue to do that. From


Strachan onwards, managing Coventry City in the Championship has been a


difficult job, and isn't getting any easier. And it'll be a major


surprise if the fans' promise for a return to the top flight is


fulfilled this season. And you can hear full commentary of


Coventry's match against Leicester on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire


from 3pm, and you can follow your team on your local radio station


throughout the season. The draws been made for the final


qualifying round of the Europa League. Birmingham City will play


Nacional, who are from the Portuguese island of Madeira. Stoke


play the Swiss side FC Tun. Our clubs will both be away for the


first legs and at home for the second. And to get there last night,


Stoke completed their first victory in European football. It was 0-0 at


half-time. Let's see that goal again. It was not a classic but it


was an important one. It doesn't have to be pretty! If that wet


people's appetites, quite a small ground but it should be great. The


Birmingham City trip, there's only 5,000 seats available. It might be


exotic but just check on the availability of tickets before you


book any flight. Thank you for that. We're going to look ahead to 2012


now, and the Olympic hopes of Nathan Woodward. He was just 15


when he was tipped for athletics stardom. Now, at the grand old age


of 21, the 400m hurdler from Coleshill is reaching peak


condition, setting a personal best in the year before London 2012.


He's off to the World Championships soon, but Ben Godfrey managed to


catch him in action to find out more about his Olympic dreams.


Saluting a new talent. Last weekend, in Birmingham, Nathan Woodward


showed why some are calling him a future hurdling "great". A chance,


but Nathan Woodward comes back again! He is going to win! But it


was a more relaxed affair, as we joined Nathan in training at the


Team GB camp at Loughborough University. The 21-year-old from


Tamworth Athletics Club has qualified for the World


Championships in South Korea later this month, and now has London 2012


in his sights. I will be 22 but her think because it is the Olympics,


it almost has to be a gold because it is a great opportunity, so I am


doing everything in my power to make sure I am in competitive shape.


So I am training hard. He's one of dozens of athletes here hoping to


make the Olympic Games, and as a student of human biology, knows how


to look after himself. His talent is coming through. There is still a


lot of developmental work to come and I am hoping he can be a serious


player in these Games. If you recognise Nathan, that's because he


first came to attention in 2006, when, aged 17, he was named BBC


Midlands Young Sportsman of the Year. After having the kind of


breakthrough season I have had, it is a nice way to round it off and


reflect on what I have achieved. I am progressing the way I want to


progress and closing the gap on the world's best all the time.


Hopefully in a few years, I will be categorised as one of the best


hurdlers in the world. Nathan's been compared to the great Ed Moses,


both athletes tall and rangy who need a mere 13 strides between


hurdles. Speak to his fellow athletes and their all say Nathan


is an incredibly grounded individual, but one he is extremely


focused on achieving his ambitions. A gold medal at London 2012.


Wouldn't that be fantastic! Brilliant. Good luck to you, Nathan.


Let's find out what the weather is A pretty mixed bag. The best way we


can something's up is to say there will be some sunny spells and some


showers as well. His day is fine through this evening. Overnight,


most of us should remain dry. -- it is staying fine. A mild but not too


muggy night. Tomorrow, for many of us, things start off dry. The rest


of us will join in with the showers that start off in the north of the


region. Always some drier, brighter spells in between, and highs of 20


degrees Celsius. The first day of the football season, and if you're


off to any of those matches, here is a selection of those matches. A


few spots of rain here and there. Some have showers for Shrewsbury


methods Plymouth and for Torquay Mercer's Burton Albion. If you are


off to The Big Chill, it won't be a complete washout, but do expect


some showers. Not particularly warm. Abu showers continued tomorrow


night and they could even merge together to give longer spells of


rain. -- a few showers. It will be quite windy on Sunday and quite


A look at tonight's main headlines, and more falls on the financial


markets, as fears about the global economic outlook continue.


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