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Black Country to benefit from £12m broadband project

It is hoped the project will help businesses across the region to become more competitive Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

The Black Country will benefit from a £12m project to extend the reach of high-speed broadband to 98% of homes and businesses in the region within the next three years.

The scheme has been launched by the government, the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), BT and the government's Broadband Delivery UK.

It is hoped the project will help businesses across the region become more competitive and grow in the UK and abroad.

Small businesses across the Black Country identified slow broadband speeds as a barrier to growth so this partnership is great news for businesses in our area.

– Ninder Johal, Chair Black Country Broadband Group

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Family of stab death teen Rosie Ross honoured by police

The family of a teenager who was stabbed to death in Birmingham has been honoured by police for their "tireless" charity work.

Rosie Ross, aged 16, was attacked at random in Centenary Square in 2001 by a man with schizophrenia. Since then, her family has raised around £300,000 through their charity Rosie’s Helping Hands, which helps raise awareness of knife crime in Rosie's home town of Walsall.

Karen Ross with Ch Cons Chris Sims at the ceremony on Wednesday Credit: West Midlands Police

Rosie's mother Karen received the award from officers on Wednesday.

Sgt Richard Jacques said she had also helped run a training session for young people on the issue.

Karen truly inspired all of our officers with her heartfelt and very personal story.

The training ran from November to February 2014 and during that time Karen came to every session. She gave up a lot of her own time over several months to attend the sessions.

She has given and continues to give a great deal of time and effort to benefit the police service and wider community of Walsall.

The award was given to Karen and her family in recognition of her courage and determination. She was determined to turn her grief into something positive and through the Rosie’s Helping Hands charity she continues to do so.

– Sgt Richard Jacques, West Midlands Police

30-stone man lifted through window of flat by fire crews

Specialist fire crews have had to remove a window from a flat in Oldbury so a 30 stone man could be taken to hospital.

A window had to be removed so the 30 stone man could be taken to hospital Credit: West Midlands Ambulance Service

A hydraulic lift platform was used to lift the man down from his bedroom to an ambulance and firefighters, from the apartment in Rowley Regis, so he could be taken to hospital for an operation.

He was stable with a medical condition but needed to go to hospital. It was impossible to carry him downstairs from the first floor flat. We put him on a specialist stretcher and he was brought down on the hydraulic platform before being taken to hospital in a specially-equipped bariatrics ambulance.”

– Spokeswoman for West Midlands Ambulance Service

Work underway on £1.9 million bus and rail interchange

Work is underway on a £1.9 million new bus and rail interchange.

It's being paid for through the £10 million Better Bus Area Fund Credit: Centro

The scheme to transform Cradley Heath bus and rail interchange will include improved waiting facilities and passenger information.

It's being paid for through the Better Bus Area Fund which is a £10 million pot to improve public transport in Brierley Hill, Merry Hill and Cradley Heath.

The work is due to be completed in the New Year.

The new project will include improved waiting facilities Credit: Centro
It's set to be completed in the New Year Credit: Centro

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Police hunt 'Good Samaritans' who helped victim of attack

A group of 'Good Samaritans' who stepped in to help a man who was left unconscious after a vicious attack in a Dudley park are being urged to come forward.

Three people, who were with a child, found the man badly injured in George VI Park in Green Lane, Kingswinford, on August 6.

The attack happened in George VI Park in Green Lane, Kingswinford, on August 6. Credit: Google Maps

They stopped to help the man but left before police could speak to them. Officers are now hoping to track them down as they may have vital information about the attack.

Det Cons Craig Whittaker said the man suffered deep cuts to his forehead, a black eye, bruising to his jaw and injuries to his ribs and arm.

This was a particularly nasty attack which has resulted in numerous injuries being suffered by the man who was left unconscious on the footpath.

The assault was completely unprovoked and we want to find the person responsible as soon as possible.

The male attacker was Asian, aged between 23 and 25 years old, and was around 5ft 11ins tall and stocky. His eyes were described as being "close together" and he had short black wispy hair and a beard. He was with a white woman, aged around 22, who had long dark hair.

– DC Craig Whittaker, West Midlands Police

Hunt for man who groped 16-year-old girl in park

A manhunt has been launched after a teenage girl was sexually assaulted on her way to school in Dudley.

The 16-year-old was walking through Woodside Park in Brierley Hill when a man in his 20s approached her and tried to talk to her.

She ignored him, but then he touched her inappropriately before running away.

The girl was walking through Woodside Park when she was attacked Credit: Google Maps

The man was white, around 5ft 4ins and had dark, messy brown hair. He was wearing grey tracksuit bottoms and a black top.

Det Cons Thomas Cunningham-Smith urged witnesses or anyone with information about the attack, which happened at around 8.20am on September 8 near the Highgate Road entrance to the park, to contact police.

We would like to reassure people that this is an isolated matter and we are doing all we can to find the man responsible.

The girl was not hurt in the assault but was understandably left extremely shaken.

We have been carrying out patrols in the area and would ask anyone who was in the park that morning - or in the days leading up to the offence - and saw a man matching the description given to call us.

– DC Thomas Cunningham-Smith

He urged any young people walking to and from school to walk with others if possible, and to stick to populated and well-lit areas.

Mum's cervical cancer campaign after daughter death

A mother from Oldbury is stepping up her campaign to get the age for cervical cancer screening lowered, after her daughter died from the disease.

A mother from Oldbury is stepping up her campaign to get the age for cervical cancer screening lowered. Credit: ITV News Central

22-year-old Jess Evans died earlier this year.

Routine screenings aren't currently given to women under 25.

22-year-old Jess Evans died earlier this year. Credit: ITV News Central

Dirty dancing Black Country 'grannies' video reaches a million Facebook shares

A video of four 'grannies' from the Black country dirty dancing, which became a world-wide internet hit, has now had a million Facebook shares.

It was filmed at Stourbridge Carnival and the 'elderly' dance troupe left visitors in stitches by defying their apparent age to bust some raunchy moves to music hits, including ‘twerking’ to Beyonce’s Single Ladies and Gangnam Style by Psy.

The friends in action after their now infamous Stourbridge carnival performance Credit: BPM Media

But they are actually friend Sue Hawkins, Jackie Fellows, Deb Nicholls and Emma Rollason who perform together for the Dudley-based Fizzog Productions.

The professional group have been together for 14 years after meeting at Dudley College where they studied Community Theatre.

Twerking Black Country 'grannies' become world-wide internet hit

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