King crowned at Dudley Castle

A king has been crowned today at Dudley castle after hospital staff made a schoolboy's dream come true

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Bus diversions in Dudley amid £6.7m revamp

Buses running through Dudley town centre are being diverted as part of a £6.7million revamp of its markets.

The market place is being redeveloped from the junction with High Street, through Castle Street to the junction of Castle Hill.

Buses are being diverted in Dudley
Buses are being diverted in Dudley Credit: David Jones/PA

The work is expected to be completed in the summer, and in the meantime buses will not be allowed into Castle Street.

The full list of temporary bus stops can be found on the Network West Midlands website.

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Trust asks for ambulances to be diverted away from hospital

The trust which runs Russells Hall Hospital has asked for ambulances to be diverted to other hospitals Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust says it has declared a major internal incident in A&E. It says it is the first time in almost four years it has happened.

In a statement the Chief Executive, Paula Clark, said:

'We do not have staffing issues at the hospital. We have been experiencing high levels of emergency admissions since the middle of December 2013 and the capacity issues have come to a head today.

As well as asking patients to only come to A&E if they are facing life threatening conditions, to help us manage the situation, we have asked West Midlands Ambulance Service to divert ambulances away from Russells Hall Hospital.

We have asked the local authority to help us discharge additional patients to nursing homes and care homes, more than they would ordinarily do.

We have cancelled outpatient clinics and postponed planned operating lists to get as many medical staff as possible to wards to manage the safe discharge of patients.

Emergency patients may have to wait many hours to be admitted to hospital. We are managing the situation from minute to minute and will keep patients informed.'

Dudley hospital declares major incident in A&E

Patients are being asked to go to A&E only if they think they have something life threatening Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Patients are being asked to only visit A&E at Russells Hall Hospital unless they are facing a life threatening condition.

The hospital says that it is experiencing unprecedented pressure on its emergency services. It says unless patients have a genuine emergency they are asked to go to their walk in centre, GP or visit their local pharmacist.

“We are at level four capacity which means we have extreme pressure on our services, and so patients who come to our A&E department will have a very long wait,” said chief executive Paula Clark. “We would urge patients to think twice before using the emergency services at Russells Hall Hospital.”

Bride-to-be tells of delight at giraffe-themed proposal

A newly-betrothed bride-to-be has spoken of her surprise and delight when what she thought was a normal trip to Dudley Zoo turned into a proposal themed around her favourite animal.

Katherine Spooner went with childhood sweetheart Dean Wood, from Walsall, to celebrate his 24th birthday, and was thrilled when they were chosen to go up on stage to feed the rare Rothschild giraffes.

Dean dropped to one knee as Katherine fed her favourite animal
Dean dropped to one knee as Katherine fed her favourite animal Credit: Dudley Zoo

Little did she know it had all been carefully planned by her besotted boyfriend to set the scene for the ultimate romantic gesture.

Katherine, who is also 24, said she was taken totally by surprise.

I didn’t expect a proposal at all. I had no idea any of this was happening, I just thought we were having a day at the zoo with Dean’s parents, as it was his birthday.

I love giraffes and didn’t think I’d ever get the chance to feed them, so that was a huge surprise in itself.

It is the closest I’ve ever been to them and I couldn’t believe how strong they are.

Then I turned around and Dean was on his knee with a ring. I was totally shocked.

Katherine said she was taken totally by surprise
Katherine said she was taken totally by surprise Credit: Dudley Zoo

Loved-up man enlists giraffes to help pop the question

It was pure animal magic for one loved-up couple today, as a beaming groom-to-be popped the question to his childhood sweetheart as she fed her favourite animal.

Dean Wood, from Walsall, arranged a visit to Dudley Zoo with his long-term girlfriend Katherine Spooner to celebrate his 24th birthday today - and enlisted the help of staff to get up close and personal with the zoo's three rare Rothschild giraffes.

Getting hitched: Dean Wood and Katherine Spooner, with one of the giraffes who played a role in the proposal
Getting hitched: Dean Wood and Katherine Spooner, with one of the giraffes who played a role in the proposal Credit: Dudley Zoo

And while she was feeding the exotic beasts, he dropped to one knee and whipped out a sparkling diamond.

After she said yes, the school friends - who have been together for eight years - were presented with a bouquet of flowers and a bottle of bubbly by staff at the zoo.

They are now looking forward to planning their big day.

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Extra patrols in town centre to protect festive revellers

Extra police officers and Street Pastors will be out and about in Stourbridge tonight as part of a project to keep festive revellers safe.

The Safer Stourbridge Project also includes dedicated first aid services thanks to West Midlands Ambulance Service and St John's Ambulance.

One of the clubs in Stourbridge High Street
One of the clubs in Stourbridge High Street, where extra patrols will take place Credit: Google Maps

West Midlands Fire Service has donated the community room of the town's fire station to be used as a first aid centre, and taxi marshals will be sent out to try to ensure any party-goers get home safely.

The Safer Stourbridge Project is a joint venture between Dudley Council, West Midlands Police, West Midlands Fire Service, West Midlands Ambulance Service, St John’s Ambulance and Stourbridge Street Pastors.

It is being stepped up over the Christmas holidays to help with the festive increase in nightlife.

Structural damage after car crashes into Dudley house

Brierley Hill Fire Service has tweeted images of a car which was driven into a house in Dudley.

The fire service said the resident of the home was not in the house when the car crashed, but that structural propping was needed for the home.

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Car into house lower gornal with @wmfsdudley nobody home! Driver ok. Structural propping required to make safe http://t.co/VznfxGSzdo

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Love-struck tigers to go on public show next week

A tiger couple involved in a major international breeding programme will go on display at Dudley Zoo next week.

Daseep and Joao are Sumatran tigers - one of the most critically-endangered breeds of tiger in the world.

They have now been introduced face-to-face for the first time - and, once they have settled in to their new environment, visitors to the zoo will be able to view them in their enclosure.

Daseep and Joao the Sumatran tigers in their new enclosure after meeting face-to-face for the first time
Daseep and Joao the Sumatran tigers in their new enclosure after meeting face-to-face for the first time Credit: Dudley Zoo

It is hoped that Joao and Daseep, who has been labelled the world's second most important female in the genetic pool for the species, will begin to reproduce.

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