The latest news, sport and weather for the Midlands.
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Korean ferry capsized. That's all
Good evening. A retired musician is recovering in hospital after being
carjacked. Michael Green has a fractured hip as well as head
injuries. Thugs targeted him for his 15`year`old car which they later
crashed. The 84`year`old told his family that he thought he was going
to die. Sian Grzeszczyk reports. Michael Green lived for his music
entertaining audiences as a drummer across the Black Country and the
world for decades. And this is him today. His injuries so severe, he
needed surgery. Last Friday the pensioner was at this pub in
Bilston. Known for its live music and part of the reason he was a
regular. As he was leaving, up to six thugs attacked him to take his
15`year`old Toyota car. His daughter Giselle is still coming to terms
with what happened to her father. It was very upsetting to see. My dad
had been an absolute gentleman, he didn't want to make any fuss at all
in the hospital but he was covered in blood, he had a nasty head wound,
he was obviously in a lot of pain. They had seen the victim just get
into the car, he had literally just sat in the vehicle when he was
forcibly dragged out of the car and dragged across the floor will stop
to take the car is one issue but to cause the injuries that they caused
a fractured hip, which has resulted in him still being hospitalised,
causes me immense concern and I'm keen to catch those responsible.
Michael's been drumming since he was a teenager and loves playing gigs
for locals. Today people in Bilston said they were disgusted by news of
his attack. It's awful, really. But they don't realise is they will be
that old someday. But they think it's never going to happen to them.
I think they need locking up, they want educating, for starters. No two
ways about it. West Midlands Police arrested a16`year`old on suspicion
of robbery who has now been bailed. Giselle had this message for the
people responsible. I would think that they have got dads and grandads
to, and I would like them to have a think about how they would feel if
it was their grandad. How is the rest of the family feeling? Very
shaken and upset. Detectives here say the violent attack on Mr Green
was out of all proportion to any gain.. His aging car had little
resale value. They want anyone who saw the Blue Toyota Avensis in the
moments after it was stolen to get in touch. Michael is expected to
remain in hospital for the rest of the week and is described as making
good progress. His family are worried about the long term impact
his attack will have on him but say despite his ordeal, he's a fighter
and together they will get through this.
And Michael Green's daughter Giselle visited him in hospital late this
afternoon. She says he wants people to know how grateful he is for all
the kind messages he's received since the attack.
You're watching Midlands Today, good to have you with us. Coming up later
in the programme: Looking into the future, Jaguar Landrover show off
new technology which could be fitted to its four by fours.
Doctors in Birmingham have carried out pioneering treatment on a
diabetes patient who had problems injecting himself with insulin. It's
a type of procedure that's almost routine in Germany but is new here.
This region has the UK's highest rate of diabetes, affecting almost
one in 12 people. Here's Giles Latcham.
Good times for Kraig McLeod ` he's got his strength back ` he's got his
life back. It's a far cry from two years ago ` when he was at rock
bottom. It made me tired, it made my head spin constantly, constantly
down in the dumps. When things are so bad, it just adds to it, it was
horrendous, one of the worst moments of my life. He has type one diabetes
induced to ride on entering injections four times a day, using a
device a bit like a pen. `` rely on insulin injections. But he developed
an analogy to the injection, which led to confessions which could have
killed them. So the challenge for doctors at the Queen Elizabeth
hospital in Birmingham was to find a way of delivering the insulin into
Kraig's bloodstream but without needles. This is what they came up
with ` a device made in Germany but used on only one other patient in
the UK. The approach we took was to bypass the scheme completely, to put
a port into his abdominal cavity so the insulin could be delivered
straight into his abdomen rather than by the skin. Plenty of diabetic
patients use pumps which deliver insulin under the skin. But Kraig's,
surgically fitted, pumps it through a hole in his abdomen. I've got
routine back again, you have control of your health, control your blood
sugar is, which before anything like that was taken away. The simple
things mean a lot, definitely. It's still new, we are learning but early
signs are learning but early signs I suspend the right thing for him.
Kraig's going back to work and making plans. Rare though it is
here, it's a procedure much used on the continent and he hopes to spread
the word so others like him will see their lives transformed.
The unemployment rate in the West Midlands has increased slightly `
despite falling nationally. 224,000 people are now out of work here ` an
increase of 2,000 on the previous quarter. The latest figures mean
around 8.2% of the population in the West Midlands is unemployed. It
remains higher than the national average, a five year low of 6.9%.
Police who were searching for a man reported to be in difficulty in a
lake in the Black Country have recovered a body. The man was seen
in the water at Walsall Arboretum at around half past seven last night.
His death's being treated as unexplained.
A 15`year`old boy's been questioned after he was arrested following the
stabbing of a man in Birmingham on Monday night. Emergency services
were called to Slade Road in Erdington after reports of a fight.
They found a 24`year`old with knife wounds. He remains in a critical
condition in hospital. If you've been on the M6 over the
past few months, you've probably been stuck in slow traffic. Journey
times on one of the busiest sections of the motorway are expected to
improve from today. It follows the completion of the latest section of
what's called the 'Smart Motorway'. The system, first trialled on the
M42, allows drivers to use the hard shoulder at peak times. Here's our
Transport Correspondent, Peter Plisner.
The M6 this morning ` flowing freely. Reduced traffic because of
the Easter holidays helped ` but so did the Smart Motorway system
designed to ease congestion by slowing down traffic and using the
hard shoulder as an extra lane. We breezed in to Birmingham and so did
Steve Poole ` a regular commuter on a route which he says used to be
more like a car park. Historically this has been one of the worst
bottleneck areas in the country. Is cutting journey time down, from my
perspective, 60%. The Smart Motorway concept was first trialled on the
M42 east of Birmingham eight years ago. There it improved journey times
and as a result was soon adopted elsewhere. After the M42 it was then
installed on the M6 between junctions four and five and between
10a and junction eight. The latest section that opened today will mean
that Smart Motorway now covers more than 20 miles of the midlands
motorway network. The completion of this game comes at a time when Smart
Motorways rally is being introduced across the country. Another scheme
near London becomes operational this the only solution was motorway
widening. And here's where it's all controlled ` with hundreds of
cameras, operators here have a bird's eye view of the traffic.
First thing we have two look for is a high flow rate. Then we will check
the flow on camera, if that looks heavy and congested on camera, we
will open the hard shoulder. So is smart motorway replacing expensive
motorway widening? Can build these schemes for a fifth of the cost of
widening, less intrusive, less disruptive to residents, so a huge
map of benefits. And freeflowing motorways aren't just good for
commuters, they also help lorries get there quicker and that's good
for the economy. Staying with motoring and Jaguar
Landrover has been showing off technology that could be fitted to
some of its four by fours in the future. The company's invested
heavily to make its vehicles Galactic spaceship. Partnership
means they want people to think about JL are in high terms, they
spent billions on new engineers, trying to cement the idea that it is
high`tech, cutting`edge technology. They also unveiled invisible
technology? threatened with closure because of
financial problems. Blackbrook near Leek's suffered from falling visitor
numbers, and was put up for sale with an asking price of ?350,000.
The administrators say they've received a good offer which
guarantees the zoo's future and the jobs of staff.
Our top story tonight: The 84`year`old dragged from his car and
brutally attacked outside a pub, all for his 15`year`old Toyota. Your
detailed weather forecast to come shortly from Shefali ` also in
tonight's programme: Africa's first footballing superstar. With less
than two months to go the World Cup in Brazil, we find out what he
thinks of England's chances. This stunning regression of the Battle of
the Somme was due to be destroyed but it has been saved. Join me later
to find out how it is now going to go on public display.
Almost 60 years ago, Hungarians took on the might of the Russian Army to
attempt to overthrow Soviet occupation. Many ended up fleeing
their country. Now the story of one refugee who came to live in Stoke on
Trent is to be made into a feature film, as Lindsay Doyle has been
finding out. The Last Train to Budapest, a short
film by Staffordshire University students adapted from the novel by a
Stoke`on Trent author based on the life of his Father, Nandor Pekar a
young freedom fighter in the Hungarian revolution in 1956. The
Russians came back with terrifying forces, air planes, tanks, you name
it, they were going to destroy the freedom fighters. Once that had
completed, there was no alternative, you either stayed and risked arrest
or death, those kind of consequences, or you try to escape.
It was one of the darkest chapters in 20th century Hungarian history.
The Soviet Union had seized power at the end of the Second World War. Not
only did Nandor Pekar's story inspire the Staffordshire students,
now an independent film producer wants to make it into a feature
film. These kids were 17, 18, going out, grabbing their dad's hunting
rifle and walking down the street to try and stop the convoys of Russian
tanks. It's just an amazing story, and a universal story. The film will
be shot on location in Hungary and Stoke, capturing a moment in time
still so vivid for another Hungarian Refugee. It was terrible, because
some of them got hit. I was only 18 myself, I have seen some blokes
there, some limbs knocked off, it was terrible. Nandor Pekar died in
1987, he was just 48 years old. But now through the written word and
film, his story is captured forever. Birmingham born director and writer
Steven Knight is the man who brought Peaky Blinders to our screens last
year ` the award winning BBC Drama about a gang in his home City in the
1920s. Well tonight he's getting the red carpet treatment in Birmingham
for his latest film release Locke, which gets its World Premiere here.
Our arts reporter Satnam Rana is there ` this is quite a coup isn't
it? It is a huge coup, Mary ` London and Leicester Square are what many
of us associate with film premieres but tonight it's the turn of
Birmingham. Locke is a drama thriller centered around the car
journey of Ivan Locke played by Tom Hardy. A lot happens along the way.
The man who has filmed it within the city is Stephen Knight, the director
and writer of Locke. Brummie through and through. Why is it important for
you to profile the city in this way? Why wouldn't you? It's a great city,
a big`city, and I think the swagger of Birmingham should be returned.
This was the manufacturing heart of the world at one point and here we
are in the city where loads of creative people live, there is no
reason you can't premiere film in Birmingham like you could in London.
You deliberately chose to the opening scenes here. We were on a
very cold roof, and we shot spaghetti Junction. I said to be
director and photographer, there is spaghetti Junction, make it look
like a beautiful painting, and he does. In a way, it is a Birmingham
monument, it's beautiful but practical. You have been recording
series number two of Peaky Blinders around the region. Important links
to the whole area? Absolutely. We have to do more stuff, other people
have to, just celebrated and don't be embarrassed or ashamed to write
stuff that is set here. Thanks very much. I'm joined now by Tom Hardy,
the star of the film. For you, you are the only character that appears
in the film. It must've been a challenge to be in a car filming
over five days. It was a bit of fun. I wasn't alone because I had
everybody talking to me in my ear. You have an filming in the region
for progress macro as well. What is your impression of Birmingham? Were
filmed at end of full and magister, actually. But I've only just been
here today. `` filmed it in Liverpool and Manchester. It's ready
exciting having you here in the city and good luck with the premiere
tonight. Tom Hardy, starring in Locke. Lots of Birmingham
celebrities as well. A dazzling end to a sunny day here in the city. In
just 57 days the World Cup kicks off in Brazil.
32 nations will compete for football's ultimate prize, including
five from Africa. It was back in 1990 that an African country first
made its mark in the tournament. And today the undoubted star of that
team was in Walsall ` our reporter Ian Winter caught up with him. From
Cameroon to Walsall. Roger Milla is in town to roll back the years and
jog a few memories of Italia 90. He has made a chance and scored! Roger
Milla was the veteran who only agreed to play in the World Cup
because he got a call from the President of Cameroon. TRANSLATION:
Nowhere in the annals of football, has an old grandad of 38 come on and
created history by scoring for his country. And neither had this, a hip
wiggling goal celebration around the corner flag. Sadly for millions of
fans around the world, that was the last days of his delightful dancing
at Italia 90 because in the quarterfinals, Cameroon lost to
England 3`2. Roger Milla is in the Midlands to say thank you to the
University of Wolverhampton. Ten years ago he set up a charity to
improve the lives of underprivileged children in Cameroon and the
University has divided the new IT facility supporters work. But is it
mean to have Roger Milla here? It's fantastic. A wonderful sportsman,
Ambassador, here at our Institute of sport. Also, somebody who cares so
much about developing education for young people. Roger Milla played in
three World Cup finals and this was the goal everyone remembers. 24
years later, seemed double double Lions of Africa are back in the
world stage in the same group as the host nation `` indomitable Lions.
Will Samuel Eto'o be celebrating like this? Why not a final, England
versus Cameroon? That way we would get our revenge! Today the kids were
out celebrating, but Roger Milla, 62 next month, will always be the
undisputed king of the corner flag dance.
Back in February a story we brought you about a unique tribute to the
soldiers of World War One, provoked quite a reaction. Many of you were
shocked that a recreation a day at the Battle of the Somme would be
destroyed. Well we're happy to tell you it's been saved ` for now at
least. Bob Hockenhull is at Dudmaston Hall in Shropshire ` tell
us more. Would you believe it, all of this was made out of brown
paper. It was made by students at Birmingham City University, who were
given four weeks to created as part of the project, and they had ?450.
They have made an excellent job of getting the detail here, it was due
to be destroyed but that isn't going to happen any more. It's an art
project that captured the imagination of the public. The
regression of the Battle of the Somme was only meant to be
temporary. It was due to be torn down and destroyed. Doug Marston
Hall has come to the rescue. Some of the scenes have been gingerly moved
and re`erected in the old kitchen. Enthralling visitors of all ages.
It's really impressive, very emotive, surprisingly it's made by
paper. It showed what it was like when they were in World War I.
Considering how flimsy the display is, it's survived the move
surprisingly well but in this plenary year will prove a timely
reminder of what soldiers had to injure or in the dark days of the
Somme `` centenary year. The public have until the end of Tiber to see
this regression. `` October. It must've been a difficult job
bringing it here. We had a team of staff who had to delicately wrapped
soldiers in bubble wrap, then the students came to see us last week
you had made all these pieces, they reinstated everything. As he said,
it is very fragile, with his wonderful French walls just made out
of paper. What has been the reaction? Amazing. Everybody
remembers you covering it when it was made so many people are saying,
this was on the television! They can get up close and personal and the
children especially are in all. Of course, it's appropriate it as come
here because you here have your own World War I history. Just like
people around the country, we have been researching our family links
with World War I. Captain Geoffrey served in Egypt, he was hard of
hearing, he was behind the lines filling topography. He writes home
poignantly, he lost first his `` both his first Commons, one of them
re`enlisted as a private soldier and was killed in France. The think
there is any chance that beyond October, these paper trenches will
be saved? From the students when they came, they said they think this
is the last time they think it could be moved and they have asked us to
dispose of it in a fit and respectful way. For now, the public
can come and see what it's all about and the detail really is struggling.
There are rats in the sewers, people on stretchers with really detailed
expressions of pain, so it is worth coming along and having a recruit.
`` having a look at it. She enjoyed the evening sunshine so
much last night, Shefali is out there again this evening. With
Easter weekend edging nearer, is the weather about to change?
Already the winds are blowing, it is breezy out here and if you were out
in the sun trying, out of the sunshine, it did feel a bit nippy.
It is looking cloudier, looking cooler and could even get the odd
spot of rain. But things will recover by Good Friday and Saturday.
Tomorrow's weather is indicative of what could be happening during the
second half of the Easter weekend. There is an area of low pressure
moving up from the South`East, never bodes well, that will bring with it
some rain so more than just a spot, I think they could be a fair amount
of rain into Easter Monday. The cloud is beginning to increase and
filter through from the North West. We were lucky it held off until now.
This will start to sink southwards through the night, the South`East
will of clear but nevertheless, overall temperatures will be a
couple of degrees higher so Frost is not going to be as much of an issue.
Not as chilly tomorrow, and for tomorrow, will continue to see the
crowd streaming in from the North West, spilling South`East through
the day but by the afternoon, some brighter breaks developing.
Temperatures will be pegged back, particularly for the North. The
southern counties, highs of around 15 to 16, a cloudier day and perhaps
some patchy light rain as well. For tomorrow night, the cloud lingering
during the first half then clearing, and temperatures low enough for a
touch of Frost as we head into Good Friday, but Good Friday, Saturday,
looking fine and dry, just a bit cooler.
Tonight's headlines from the BBC: Hundreds of school children are
feared dead as a ferry capsizes off the coast of South Korea. That was
the Midlands Today. I'll be back at ten o'clock when we'll be checking
on just how smart the new smart motorway is turning out to be. We'll
leave you with the scene from Dudmaston in Shropshire.