02/04/2012 Midlands Today


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Hello and welcome to Midlands Today with Nick Owen and Mary Rhodes. The


headlines tonight: A community in shock after a 92-year-old great


grandfather is found murdered in his home in the Black Country.


scared to let the kids or old, scared to go out myself. It's is a


close community with a school just down the road. A simple act of


remembrance to mark the start of the Falklands conflict, 30 years


ago today. Did the white elephant turn into a


cash cow? The ICC celebrates 21 years at the heart of Birmingham.


It is probably the most important building built in Birmingham in the


20th century. And a nice problem to have, the


wildlife charity that suddenly Good evening and welcome to


Monday's Midlands Today from the BBC. Tonight, a murder


investigation has been launched after a 92 year old man was found


dead in his Black Country home. Police officers have spent the day


at the home of William Davis, carrying out forensic


investigations after his body was discovered yesterday evening. Liz


Copper reports. William Davis was 92 and a great grandfather. His


death is being treated as a murder investigation. Officers were called


to his home on Hobley Street at Willenhall in the Black Country


yesterday evening. As police teams arrived to begin their


investigations, families living nearby expressed their horror.


is disgraceful. I have got two young babies here, it is ridiculous.


I am scared to let the kids out. is a close community with a school


just down the road, it is horrifying. Police have said it is


understandable this death has caused shock and upset. They say


they are doing all they can to reassure the public. And to quell


anxieties, police are putting extra officers on the beat. We drafted


out a letter specifically for the local residents, just to give them


an outline as to what happened, and what we are doing about it. We have


got the local beat bobbies who know a lot of the local community and


they are knocking on doors, reassuring people where they can.


Detectives say their investigation will be painstaking. Forensics


teams have worked throughout the day and are likely to remain here


for some considerable time. Officers have also been carrying


out house to house inquires and have been scouring gardens and


nearby properties for evidence. Police are urging anyone with


information about this investigation to come forward and


help the inquiry team. And with us now is our special


correspondent, Peter Wilson. The death of a very vulnerable


pensioner is always distressing. We've seen a number of similar


incidents over the past 12 months - is this something we should be


concerned about? A lot of people in the West Midlands will be


scratching their head saying haven't we heard this before? This


time last year an elderly couple from Wolverhampton the Massaros


were murdered in their own home. Earlier this year in Handsworth


Wood, the Kolars, another married couple again were killed by a man


attempting to steal from their home. Now, none of these murders are


linked. Today's incident involving Mr Davis is still ongoing and an


exact cause of death is still to be announced. But it's extremely rare


to be attacked in your home. What else are the police saying? They


want to remind people that figures released last week showed that


crime was falling across the West Midlands with 20,000 fewer victims


than the previous year. And that included 3,000 fewer victims of


burglary and more than 200 fewer victims of the most serious types


of violence. Thanks for joining us this evening. Later in the


programme: From Solihull to Sudan, find out how a Midlands invention


could help thousands get switched A candle's been lit at the National


Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire to mark the thirtieth anniversary


of the start of the Falklands conflict. Veterans and relatives


gathered at Alrewas today for a brief service of remembrance and to


see how work's progressing on a new memorial to those killed, which is


due to be completed in May. Our Defence Correspondent Caroline


Wyatt is at Alrewas now. It must have been a poignant occasion this


morning, Caroline. It was indeed. We saw veterans but also of the


families of those who died gathered here in the chapel at the memorial


to light a candle in the memory of the dead that will burnt until June


14th, the day the Argentinians surrendered. I have here the events


officer - what was the thinking behind the ceremony today? This was


an opportunity for people from all walks of life, the veterans, their


families, general visitors, to pay their respects and show they


remember. You are also building a new memorial that will be open some


time in May? This has been instigated by the Atlantic Medal


Association and it will be dedicated on Sunday 20th May with


500-600 veterans in attendance. will include things like stones


from the Falklands itself. It is built along the same lines as one


built in Falklands Bay, yes. important you think it is for


veterans to come to remember on this day? I think they will be


warmed by the feeling and the turnout of people supporting them


in their events, and that goes a long way to helping them,


encouraging them, and helping them get over what they have been


through. A poignant ceremony indeed, and many more of those services


over the next few days and weeks. A jury's heard claims that a father


credited with helping end last summer's riots punched a man to the


ground after accusing him of staring at his wife. Tariq Jahan


allegedly assaulted Sajjad Ali last July after an argument on a street


in Handsworth in Birmingham. He denies causing grievous bodily harm


with intent and the trial is continuing. Mr Jahan appealed for


calm following the death of his son and two other men outside a petrol


station in Winson Green last August. Workers at a steel manufacturing


company in north Warwickshire say they're uncertain of their future


after they were turned away from work this morning. The staff at


Condek near Coleshill were asked to come in at 7am, but were then sent


home amid rumours the firm had gone into administration. Some workers


claim they haven't been paid and they've not been offered redundancy.


Nobody at the firm was available for comment. We have all got


families and kids. With the credit crunch now, we have to take it from


there. There has been no communication, they have kept us in


the dark and we need to know. children's department at Walsall


Manor Hospital was a "basket case two years ago, in danger of


permanently damaging the organisation and in danger of being


taken over," an industrial tribunal has heard today. A senior doctor


who whistleblew over safety is claiming unfair dismissal and


discrimination. Our health correspondent, Michele Paduano


reports. Dr David Drew seen here with his wife was head of the


children's department at Walsall Hospitals NHS Trust for seven years.


He tried to resign from the role and was refused. Four months later,


he was removed after he raised concerns about safety. It followed


a report into the death of Kyle Keen. Dr Drew questioned the


competence of a colleague who sent him home a week before he has


murdered by his step father. Dr Drew also complained about cutting


27 nurses to save money. One safeguarding nurse said there had


been three overdoses on the ward. I first met Dr Drew when he


whistleblew after babies and small children became hypothermic two


winters running after the heating systems failed in the old hospital.


I can't stand by and see patients subjected - and parents - to this


kind of risk, and to this kind of discomfort. An independent review


of the paediatric service in Walsall found largely in Dr Drew's


favour. His suspension was wrong, the department was poorly led and


the environment was toxic. Although his former boss Sue James praised


Dr Drew as a doctor and a leader, she personally characterised him as


the biggest risk to the department going forward. His releasing of the


findings of the independent review was said to have undermined her.


The trust offered Dr Drew money to go, he refused and was then


disciplined. Ms James said that David was "part of the problem and


not a victim of the problem." He had not apologised as the review


intended, and his language was verbose. His sacking on her last


day in the job meant the new chief executive, "would not be weighed


down in the same way that my time in the last two years had been


weighed down by this issue." Dr Drew claims he could not accept the


review findings because it said that he should refrain from using


religious references. The case continues.


21 years ago today, the International Convention Centre in


Birmingham opened its doors. Two decades on and it's generated �1.5


billion for the city's economy. Along with the Symphony Hall, which


was opened at the same time, it's credited with helping to rejuvenate


the centre of Birmingham. Ben Sidwell's been looking back over 21


successful years. In the late 1980s, Birmingham


didn't have a lot going for it. was a city you avoided. There were


very few cultural highlights in Birmingham. Bingley Hall, the


city's exhibition centre, had been destroyed by fire, but from the


ashes came a building that helped change the look and fortunes of


Birmingham. However, at the time not everyone seemed in favour.


not against development, but I must confess I felt terribly de --


demoralised when I saw the plans. I said I thought it was an


unmitigated disaster. 21 years later and the International


Convention Centre has hosted more than 6000 events and brought in


over �1.4 billion to Birmingham's economy. When we opened in 1991, it


was not here but now it is a vibrant atmosphere. We only have


two restaurants within walking distance, we now have over 100. We


also have over 6000 hotel bedrooms. It has been the key to the


regeneration of the city. Symphony Hall also opened in April


1991. In its 21 years, more than ten million people have come


through the doors. I always say it is probably the most important


building built in Birmingham in the 20th century. It galvanised the


people of the city, the pride they have in creating something which is


truly one of the best of its kind in the world. Many of the greatest


musicians have performed here on this stage. But probably the


highlight of the whole 21 years was in May 1998. Right here in the


centre of the ICC, the eight most powerful men in the world gathered


for the G8 summit. Bill Clinton, Boris Yeltsin and Tony Blair


bringing the eyes of the world to the heart of Birmingham. Today


staff gathered to mark the birthday, with planning already underway to


make sure future years are as successful as the the first 21. And


our business correspondent Peter Plisner is at the ICC tonight.


Peter, it really has been a terrific success despite early


When it was first build many dubbed it a White Elephant, but 21 years


on most would say it has been successful and its put Birmingham


on the international map. The ICC stages more than 400 events per


year and that brings in around 300,000 delegates and according the


estimates that means an �85 million boost to the region's economy every


year. With me to chat more about both the ICC and Syphony Hall is


Sir Bernard Zissman, the former Lord Mayor of Birmingham and the


man who led the team which developed this venue. So, has the


ICC been as successful as you imagined, or has it been a White


Elephant? It has been an outstanding success, not just for


the city, but for the people of Birmingham. How has it been a good


use of ratepayers money? A absolutely. For the business


community of Birmingham, the people of Birmingham, it has been


unbelievable. For it has created jobs. In it has also been a


catalyst for a lot of development around the city centre, hasn't it?


Yes, and their initial foundation of the new development of


Birmingham, that is what today's. And what has been your favourite


event? The most famous event was the G8 conference, it brought 3000


press from around the world. It was that particular event which was


everybody's favourite. And to celebrate the 21st birthday of the


ICC and Symphony Hall there will be a special free family event this


Saturday called Curious Sounds in Curious Spaces.


Still to come in tonight's programme: The Staffordshire


charity that dropped lucky thanks to comedian Alan Carr.


With temperatures slipping and snow on the way, we have gone from


summer to winter in a week. What's A firm in Solihull's been given an


award after creating a solar generator which could transform


life for people in developing countries. Aceon Solar is now


planning to take on three more staff with the intension of a very


rapid expansion to more than 40, as worldwide sales increase. Sarah


Falkland reports. 16 million people use mobile phones


in Ghana, but only six million have access to electricity. It is a fact


this Solihull entrepreneur likes to quote, and a reason he finally got


his prototype solar generator off his desk. Law and behold, in


Nairobi have played through a meeting there was a power cut. No


problems, I can run your computer and lighting, which I did. I was


known as Solar man! Solar Man came home, persuaded his dad to come out


of retirement and the bank to give him a hefty loan. And here we have


it. There is a Solar Panel over here, but it is portable, suitcase


style. It creates 12 volt electricity. There is an inverter


in here, which turns it into 240 volts, which means it can power


anything you like. These docking stations are off to Ghana on Friday


with the promise of an order for 500 more every month. Mark's just


won the West Midlands Export for Growth prize. I have always said I


want to be the James Dyson of the solar docking industry. Winning the


award helps to get to that ambition. The potential is huge. In South


Sudan we have an application for Solar mobile stations. Hard docking


station can charge up to 30 phones at a time. He is now concentrating


on solar full time and is off- loading his other entrepreneurial


ventures. The pressure's rising in the


Premier League and it's starting to show.


Dan's here with the sport. Wolves are expecting Manchester United to


do them a favour tonight, by beating one of their relegation


rivals, Blackburn Rovers. But even the most optimistic Wolves fans


believe their Premier League days are numbered. And the pressure


seems to getting to the players, as Ian Winter reports.


As mad as March Hares at Molineux. Goalkeeper Wayne Hennessy and


captain Roger Johnson, going toe to toe, staring relegation in the face.


Wolves are sinking fast, but the sap is rising. So is the tension


between team-mates. And not just at Wolves, but at West Brom too where


Ben Foster and Peter Odemwingie were also at it like a pair of


rutting stags. And both managers were unimpressed. I don't like


seeing this type of incidents. Sometimes you are not in the frame


of mind to accept any form of criticism, even if it is justified.


I don't like a public altercation between anybody, but it shows the


passion. They both want to win. Once the public spat had been


calmed down at half-time, Michael Kightly delivered fresh hope that


this was a must-win game that Wolves might indeed go on to win.


But Bolton had other ideas. First a penalty. 1-1. Then Alonso, 2-1. And,


finally, a Kevin Davies dribble, 3- 1. Many left for home fearing the


worst for their chances of Premier League survival, and not even a


late strike from Matt Jarvis could soften the blow of a 3-2 defeat.


can't even explain to you, to be honest. I feel physically sick. To


concede three goals like that just sums opera season, to be honest.


Wolves are now six points adrift of safety after their relegation


rivals Wigan beat Stoke City 2-0. QPR beat Arsenal, which leaves


Aston Villa still looking anxiously over their shoulder. 2-0 down at


home to Chelsea, before James Collins pulled one back. Then, 10


minutes from time, Eric Li-hi made it 2-2. But Villa couldn't hold out


for a point, as two late goals gave Chelsea a 4-2 victory.


And there were some emotional scenes at Villa Park surrounding


Stilian Petrov's appearance at the game. Petrov was diagnosed with


acute leukaemia on Friday but he was at the Chelsea game and had


support from fans, players and officials of both sides. Petrov was


at Villa Park with his wife and children. There were a host of


banners around the ground. Players from both sides wore T-shirts


beforehand to show their support. But the most emotional moment came


after 19 minutes. Petrov's squad number is 19 and the entire crowd


stood to applaud him. He was clearly touched by the affection


shown for him by both sets of fans. He was due to be in London today to


start his treatment. Things are finally looking up for


Coventry City. For the past six months, they've been marooned in


the bottom three of the Championship, but tonight they're


out of the relegation zone. Coventry took a first-half lead at


Hull thanks to an own goal. And they never looked back. Three


minutes from time, Cody McDonald sealed a 2-0 victory. They have now


gone six games without defeat, raising hopes that survival is


possible after all. I am delighted for the boys. There


is a great buzz in the dressing room. I am pleased for the fans as


well because they have been right behind us through the whole season.


Walsall's gradual climb out of the League One relegation zone has


continued with a 3-3 draw at Rochdale on Saturday. And the


Saddlers resurgence coincides with the arrival of a Belgian star who


has arrived via the Potteries. Welcome to the home of a Walsall


cult hero. Florent Cuvelier's two most treasured possession's are


both football related. His scrapbook logs his every progress,


from the age of five to 19. And his Stoke City squad shirt inspires his


future. It appears to be doing the trick. He's rapidly become a fans


favourite at Walsall after signing on loan in January. The fans like


me and I'm glad about that. I just do my best on the pitch. I work


hard because they give me the opportunity in Walsall to start my


career in England. Just one defeat in 11 has seen Walsall inch out of


the relegation zone and Cuvalier has played an important part.


are really thankful to Stoke City that they have allowed him to come


and further develop his career. He has settled in fantastic you well.


He is enthusiastic, has energy, desire. He loves playing football.


According to Dominque, he is completely dedicated to his


football, but his cooking needs some improvement. But Walsall's


fans won't mind that if he helps keep League One football on the


menu next season. And you can see more on Florent


Cuvelier on tonight's Late Kick Off. It will have all the goals from the


football league, including Coventry's excellent win at Hull.


That's on BBC One at 11.05pm. A Staffordshire charity is


celebrating, if a little stunned, after being given nearly �90,000 by


comedian Alan Carr. He was taking part in a celebrity episode of a TV


gameshow and when he won the money he chose to donate it to the


British Wildlife rescue centre. Lindsay Doyle reports.


Content and blissfully unaware of just what a struggle it can be to


fund the running of an animal rescue centre. For 20 years it has


been a battle for survival for The British Wildlife Rescue Centre near


Stafford. Then, suddenly, on Friday a call from a television producer,


and it is comedian Alan Carr to the rescue! He was absolutely brilliant.


He even surprised me. In the end we got �87,500. That is a heck of a


lot of money. �87,5000 means a respite from struggle for at least


three years for the centre which rescues and hand rears abandoned


pets and injured wild animals. Much of the wildlife here is brought in


by members of the public. This little one was brought in by some


who thought she was a puppy, the cheers actually a fox! I really


like the animals. They've run really fast. I like that chicken's


the best. Some of them can run fast and some of them are really


beautiful. Alan Carr told Midlands Today that he decided to pick


British Wildlife as it is a small charity that solely relies on


volunteers and donations and it'll be nice to help them out. I would


love to say thank you, if nothing else. Perhaps we will get the


chance. I hope we will get the chance. The money will go towards


much needed repairs of pathways, the building of a new aviary and


What an incredible windfall for that charity. When you think you


about the places that are closing down at the minute because things


are so tough. �87,500! It is time for the weather.


The temperatures have been all over the shop recently. We've gone


through three seasons in a week, but that's because last week high


pressure dominated with the air flowing up from North Africa,


whereas this week it's mainly high pressure where the air's flowing in


from Norway and Sweden. Because of that, it could mean some snow. Very


much on a knife's edge as to whether it settles, but Tuesday


night is one to make note of for that So right now we're still


looking at mostly cloudy skies across Northern parts. There will


be some clear spells developing in places and those areas will be


colder. All the showers are going to leave the end of the night


mostly dry. So, not too bad compared to the rest of the nights


this week. For tomorrow, it will be a dull start to the day. You may be


seeing a few sunny spells during the day, but generally speaking it


is much cloudier than today. There will be showers rolling in at the


end of the morning and the after noon. You can see the range in


temperatures. Call To Air is digging in from the north. Through


tomorrow night we start to see the rain turning to sleet or snow in


places. Temperatures could potentially get down to one degree


below freezing. It could therefore lie. On Wednesday we are looking at


wintery showers in the morning. A bit of rain on Thursday, but


temperatures back to normal for the I am meant to be going to a cricket


match on Friday! A look at tonight's main headlines:


30 years since the start of the Falklands war - Britain remembers


those who died to defend the islands.


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