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Cannock gas leak: emergency teams update from the scene

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Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) paramedics on standby at gas leak Orbital Retail Park #Cannock with… http://t.co/VHU6AAHb7z

Emergency teams, including West Midlands Ambulance Service, are tweeting updates from the scene of a gas leak in Cannock. Locals have been told to avoid the area, after a car crashed into a sub-station, causing gas to leak.

Cannock gas leak: latest road closures

Roads closed so far because of the gas leak exclusion zone in Cannock include:

  • A460 Eastern Way from the Orbital Way island to the Voyager Drive island

  • Orbital Way from the Eastern Way island to The Cley Road island

  • Voyager Drive from the Eastern Way island to Orbital Way

The A5, M6 and M6 Toll are unaffected, but local officers are urging people to stay away from the area until the incident is resolved.

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Staffordshire student to 'jump' marathon on pogo stick

A Masters student from Staffordshire is today completing a marathon on a pogo stick for Alzheimer's Research UK.

Adrenaline junky Jack Sexty, 24, will 'pogo stick' around the route of the Greater Manchester Marathon.

If he goes the distance he will go into the history books as the first man to complete a marathon on a pogo stick.

Jack is hoping to raise £2,000 for the UK's leading dementia research charity.

A close relative of mine is unfortunately battling Alzheimer's disease so Alzheimer's Research UK is a charity which resonates with me and my family.

– Jack Sexty, Staffordshire

Special needs nursery asks for donations of Easter eggs

The Peter Pan Nursery is asking for Easter eggs to be donated
The Peter Pan Nursery is asking for Easter eggs to be donated Credit: Fiona Hanson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Peter Pan Nursery in Newcastle-Under-Lyme is appealing for Easter eggs to be donated to children in time for the Easter holidays.

The nursery provides care and education for children with special needs from birth to five years old.

Sophia Baker, head of fundraising at the charity, said:

This is the second year we have launched the Easter Egg appeal, which was a fantastic success last year in which all of our children received a delicious treat.

Soldier's mother: Arboretum closure would break hearts

A woman who lost her son in Basra says the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire is too important a place to get rid of, and it would break her heart if it closed.

Carol Jones was instrumental in getting the Basra Memorial moved from Iraq to the Arboretum. She says she prefers to go to the memorial in Staffordshire than to her son John's grave.

MP: Memorial Arboretum cuts an 'embarrassment'

A Staffordshire MP has criticised a decision by the Ministry of Defence to cut funding to the National Memorial Arboretum, calling it an "embarrassment".

While the MoD says it extended funding which was due to be cut altogether last year, Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant argues that it's still not enough. He says the Arboretum gets a fraction of the funding given to other memorials - despite attracting much higher visitor numbers.

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MP slams cuts to National Memorial Arboretum

General view of the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire Credit: ITV News Central

There are calls for the government to re-think its decision to cut funding for the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

The MP for Lichfield, Michael Fabricant, has called the removal of the grant a national disgrace, saying:

> "This is an embarrassment and a national disgrace. I shall work with the NMA to pile the pressure on the Ministry of Defence into supplying adequate funding... The National Memorial Arboretum and the Armed Forces Memorial are an iconic centre for national remembrance."

The arboretum contains the National Armed Forces Memorial dedicated to the 16,000 servicemen and women who have died since the Second World War.

'Sense of grief' at loss of PC who was keen boxer

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@staffspolice Rest in Peace mate, #5735 PC Dave BEECH. Former special and good all round officer!

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Real sense of grief in @staffspolice following tragic death of PC Dave Beech after fire at his home. Thinking of his family and friends

Fatal house fire started in the kitchen of PC's home

A house fire which killed a Staffordshire police officer and his two pet dogs started in the kitchen, investigators have revealed.

Neighbours called the fire service shortly before 11.30am on Sunday after noticing the external extractor fan on PC David Beech's home in Tunstall had melted.

When firefighters broke in to the property, they found PC Beech along with the two animals.

Fire investigators said while the fire had not spread beyond the kitchen, the house was heavily smoke-logged.

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