22/03/2014 Midlands Today


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Good afternoon. Cider makers in the Midlands fear production cotld be


hit by a shortage of apples following one of the wettest winters


on record. It comes as the Chancellor this week moved to help


the industry by announcing ` freeze on cider duty in the Budget. Lindsay


Doyle reports. Cider apple trees and floodwater


don't mix. At Evesbatch Court Farm in Herefordshire the meticulously


planted Orchard could be hiding a sorry secret. With the wet winter,


the young trees, we are worried about the rainfall and we are


concerned we will not see the damage until the summer.


Amongst the tiny emerging btds some of the trees are showing a greenish


tinge, a possible sign of d`mage, if trees stand in waterlogged soil for


more than fourteen days the roots can be killed off. The trees take 15


years to grow but there is ` fear they will be lost to saturated


soil. Bacteria thrives in standing water. This year's budget s`w the


Chancellor George Osborne freeze the duty on ordinary cider, a dhrect


response to flooding in the West Country, for cider makers, lanner


from heaven. It is a positive step for the government to do th`t. We


are price sensitive and it hs stopping consumers buying products.


If we invest in the future, planting orchards costs a lot of mondy.


Just four months ago the National Association of Cider Makers


predicted a bumper crop for this year, the best for ten years in


fact, a little ironic but the farmers are not writing off their


saplings just yet, they shotld know by May how and if the trees fought


the deluge. A woman from Birmingham who suffered


a seizure in the street had her purse stolen by a bogus Good


Samaritan while she lay unconscious. Police say two women seemed to go to


the aid of the 25`year`old `fter she collapsed in Summer Row last month.


They've now released CCTV ilages of two women they want to speak to


about the incident. A spokesman said it wasn't clear if the two were


together and that one of thdm may have been genuinely trying to help.


A public meeting to mark thd 30th anniversary of the murder of


Shropshire peace campaigner Hilda Murrell is being held later. Miss


Murrell, who was 78, was abducted from her Shrewsbury home and killed


in 1984. Building labourer @ndrew George was eventually convicted in


2005, but there are some who still claim the security services may have


been involved in her death. Tonight's meeting is being held at


the Morris Hall in Shrewsbury. The family and friends of a baby


girl born 15 weeks prematurdly are holding a fundraising event for the


hospitals that saved her life. Daisy`Mae Little was born at


Russells Hall Hospital in Dtdley last December weighing less than two


pounds. She also received specialist care at New Cross Hospital hn


Wolverhampton. Parents Jennx and Wayne were finally allowed to take


her home this week and todax a range of fundraising activities is taking


place at Mary Stevens Park hn Stourbridge.


Time for a look at the weather now, here's Kaye Forster with thd


forecast. Good afternoon. A cold start to the


weekend, if you snow showers as well the morning. It will be a mhxture of


sunshine and showers for thd rest of the day. Most of the showers falling


as rain but there could be hail and sleet. Some gusty winds as well


Feeling quite chilly, seven or eight degrees. The showers become fewer


and further between tomorrow so more sunshine or those staying on the


cold side. Midlands Today is back with the main


local football and rugby results at 5:20pm here on BBC One. Unthl then


have a good afternoon. Bye`bye. Hello. The weekend started with


snowcapped hills and blue sky. Since then, more clout has built and the


showers have broken out widely. Some heavy downpours and hell stones --


he'll stones. This is all part and parcel of the colder weather


weekend. There is a wintry flavour to the showers. It is snow we and


there are frosty and icy nights Over recent hours, you can see the


cloud has built up as the showers have developed. There are organised


showers moving east across England over the next two hours, and there


will be thunder with this and maybe snow over the Northern Pennines The


higher up you go, the more sleet and snow. But even at lower levels, you


could see sleet mixed in. Heavy downpours around and gusty winds,


and maybe thunder. You will also notice the drier and brighter spells




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