HERE’S your evening news round-up for the Black Country and north Worcestershire.

A gala awards ceremony is set to mark the climax of launch events for major new initiative in Dudley borough.

Forging a Future for All is an ambitious project between Dudley Council and partners to set out aspirations for the kind of place Dudley borough wants to be in 2030.

The News has joined in by promoting a series of awards, each representing the different aspirations of the vision, to reward people and organisations who are leading the way in forging a future for all in the Dudley borough.

Nominations are now closed and the winners will be announced at an awards bash at The Copthorne Hotel, Brierley Hill, on Tuesday November 27.

To find out more click here.

A senior Wyre Forest District councillor has slammed the Tory-run authority for having their “heads in the sand” for years over tackling the issue of unpaid business rates.

Labour group leader Nigel Knowles said he has been calling for the council to lobby Government for a change in law on business rates for the past few years and raised the issue again a council meeting in July.

Last week, the council announced it had written to Whitehall in the face of having to write off around £98,000 owed by Worldmile Services following an unsuccessful attempt to recover the money through the courts.

But Councillor Knowles said: “Our rate payers have lost hundreds of thousands of pounds because of two things. Firstly Government does nothing to stop this deliberate avoidance by some companies."

To read more click here.

A Brierley Hill thug who viciously punched and kicked a young man leaving him with a fractured eye socket, cheekbone and hand after an argument over a girl has been locked up for six-and-a-half years.

Victim Aiden Bridges continued to suffer from nightmares and flashbacks from the brutal attack, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told, and he now rarely left home because he feared he could be targeted for another attack.

To read the full story click here.

A disqualified driver who hit 100mph in a police pursuit in Halesowen has been locked up by a judge for 16 months.

Paul Spalding, aged 48, who had been warned by doctors he should not drive accelerated away after initially slowing down for police officers in St John's Road.

Spalding, who had 16 previous convictions on his criminal record for driving while banned, then went through a traffic light on red in his "borrowed" Audi which bore false registration plates.

He then shot across a junction without making any attempt to slow down before driving at high speed along narrow streets that had cars parked on both sides.

To read the full court report click here.

Stourbridge MP Margot James has added her to support to a campaign to save Saltwells Local Nature Reserve from development.

The Tory MP said she has been contacted by hundreds of residents concerned about a controversial plan to build nine plush detached homes in the middle of the Black Country beauty spot in Netherton.

To read more click here.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has launched an investigation after a man was shot by armed police in Bromsgrove on Sunday (November 4).

West Mercia Police received separate reports from the public on Saturday evening that a man had been seen in possession of a handgun at different locations in Bromsgrove.

Then at 1.44 am on Sunday, a police patrol identified a man in bushes acting suspiciously and as a result firearms officers were deployed. Moments later shots were fired by two armed officers.

To read the full story click here.

A motorbike rider has died after a road crash at Cookley near Kidderminster this afternoon (Monday).

The incident, which also involved a car, happened at about 2.15pm at the junction of Castle Road and the A449.

To read more click here.

Rail users are being advised to allow more time for their journeys as work begins on a £1.7m refurbishment to Longbridge Train Station.

Passengers will benefit from upgraded facilities, including a larger concourse area complete with new flooring, facade automatic doors and ventilation system, an accessible toilet, ticket counter and a new-look station frontage.

The existing station rooms will be demolished, with the roof covering and glass replaced to allow a new over sailing canopy to be installed.

To read more click here.