22/03/2014 Midlands Today


22/03/2014

The latest news, sport and weather for the Midlands.


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

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

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

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

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Doyle reports. Cider apple trees and floodwater

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

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

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

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concerned we will not see the damage until the summer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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are price sensitive and it hs stopping consumers buying products.

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

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Just four months ago the National Association of Cider Makers

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

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

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

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the deluge. A woman from Birmingham who suffered

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Shropshire peace campaigner Hilda Murrell is being held later. Miss

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Russells Hall Hospital in Dtdley last December weighing less than two

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

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Wolverhampton. Parents Jennx and Wayne were finally allowed to take

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

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place at Mary Stevens Park hn Stourbridge.

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

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forecast. Good afternoon. A cold start to the

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

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

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

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

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

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cold side. Midlands Today is back with the main

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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in

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