28/12/2011 Midlands Today


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Good evening. Trading standards officers have seized thousands of


bottles of illegal alcohol in a crackdown across the Midlands. More


than 1,800 bottles were removed from shops in Staffordshire, while


the value of the alcohol recovered from Sandwell topped �40,000.


Officers are also warning drinkers that the bottles of spirits can


cause serious illness. Shirley Henry reports.


Trading standards officers make an unannounced visit to an independent


off-licence in Wolverhampton. They're looking for fake or bootleg


alcohol. It may well be that this is an entirely innocent purchase,


or it may be that there is something more. Over the last few


weeks there have been hundreds of these inspections across the


Midlands, and they have seized what they believe to be illegal, fake,


or even highly dangerous to alcohol. Kirsty Dunn became ill after


drinking what she thought was vodka. The smell of it was really bad, and


also burning sensation in the back of your throat, I just knew that


was not right. Obviously, it was quite a worry, for people who don't


understand, especially youngsters. Tests showed it contained methanol.


It's found in anti-freeze. It can cause dizziness, vomiting and even


blindness. But lab technicians have made an even more worrying


discovery. The last few bottles we have had had actually got


chloroform in as well. That can be carcinogenic and it can kill.


thought large, organised criminal gangs are behind the operation. It


took five months for customs to track down this illegal vodka


distillery in the East Midlands. Five gang members were jailed and a


sixth was given a suspended sentence. Back in Wolverhampton,


this shop owner was found selling several bottles of non-duty paid


alcohol. He was given a warning. Everything I know that was on there,


the duty paid was on there, that is all I know about it. A So what's


the advice to consumers? Check the labels. If they are misspelled, and


it looked as if they are going to peel off easy, it is cloudy, or if


they're a bit at the bottom of the bottom. This is just a fraction of


the illegal alcohol seized from a street, but it is thought thousands


more bottles could still be openly on stale. -- on sale. Trading


standards plan to continue their inspections. Those caught face up


to two years behind bars. Police in Shropshire have launched


a murder inquiry following the death of a 23-year-old man. He was


taken to hospital last night after a dispute involving up to 20 youths


near a recreation ground in the Monkmoor area of Shrewsbury. The


victim's been named locally as Jason Cook, also known as Scottien.


Three men in their twenties have been arrested. Detectives are


appealing for witnesses. A two-year-old boy is in a serious


condition in hospital after being injured in a road accident in


Stourbridge. It happened in the Wollaston area yesterday afternoon


when the child was hit by a car. The 66-year-old driver was


uninjured. Police are appealing for witnesses.


An off-duty soldier is being hailed as a hero after rescuing a woman


from the River Severn in Bridgnorth. The woman, in her fifties, was


spotted in the river at around nine o'clock last night. A 56-year old


man and a 22-year old soldier, serving with the Mercian Regiment,


came to her aid. All three were eventually brought ashore by


firefighters. The woman was semi- conscious and is being treated for


hypothermia in hospital. Conservationists have attacked


plans by the University of Birmingham to close an


environmental course that offers the only formal qualification in


the UK for people who want to become Wildlife Recorders. The


training enables them to track and identify British wildlife and


identify the impact of everything from building development to


climate change. The University has declined to give its reasons. Our


Environment Correspondent David Gregory reports.


The banks of the river Severn - the Wildlife Recorder in his natural


habitat. But as a species, Wildlife Recorders are in danger of being


swept away. I was amazed, really, I was very shocked and bewildered,


because it is a very successful course, everyone who has done it


goes on to great things, we have got some very good alumni who have


done some good works, and it is the leading course to get recognised


fields Gills. Although run by the University of Birmingham, the


course is based here in Shrewsbury. Birthplace of Charles Darwin - this


is his memorial - a man with more than a passing interest in wildlife,


and it turns out he's not alone. When it became clear the University


of Birmingham wanted to close the course, objectors launched an


online edition which attracted hundreds of signatures within days.


And that has had an effect. In a At the moment, more than 60


students are on the course studying for their MScs. And despite these


late concessions from the University, people are still


concerned. It is a huge worry, really, because we don't know that


at the end of this extended consultation, which is a year till


autumn Quinn did well, we cannot be sure that another institution will


not be ready to take us on in that period, and we will have to worry


about the state of the course. Until at least spring 2012, the


future of the work here remains unclear.


Five wards at Warwick Hospital remain affected by the winter


sickness bug norovirus. They've all been partially closed to restrict


the spread of the bug. Staff say visitors are allowed but they need


to follow strict guidelines being handed out at the hospital's


reception, which are also available on the website.


Phil "The Power" Taylor says he is thinking of retirement after


suffering a shock defeat at the PDC darts World Championship. The 15-


times world champion from Stoke-on- Trent was beaten 4-1 by Dave


Chisnall in the second round last night. Taylor, who'd never failed


to make the quarter-finals and has lost just five matches in the


tournament since 1994, said he'd been handicapped by faltering


eyesight and the heat. A look at the Midlands weather now,


A very good evening to you, yes, a chilly and windy day for many of us


today, setting it up for this evening as well. It will be a cold


night ahead as you see the sky is starting to clear. Elsewhere, dry,


with clear skies, temperatures falling away. It will be frost-free,


as it is a windy night ahead. Tomorrow, a cloudy day, and another


windy day as well, with outbreaks of rain through the morning. Then


we will see showers for tomorrow afternoon, a few glimpses of some


trying to end the day, but temperatures on be chilly side -- a


few glimpses of sunshine. On Friday, this band of rain is waiting in the


winter. We will see this band of rain spilling in through the day,


turning very wet across the region of. We will see temperatures


slightly higher to end the week. As for New year's Eve, things are


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