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Luck isn't on a plate for pounds 1.8m lottery winner.

Lottery winner Phil Kitchen, who sold two plates for pounds 20 to buy food, has been told he will have to pay pounds 1,000 to get them back.

Unemployed Mr Kitchen, aged 55, from Smallwood, Redditch, Worcestershire sold the two treasured limited edition plates only days before he scooped pounds 1.8 million.

Now Mr Trevor Stroud, who helps to manage the nearby Bargain Box second-hand shop, believes Mr Kitchen should pay about pounds 1,000 to get back the Franklin Mint plates as he claims they are set to rise in price during the next few years.

"I don't feel that I am being greedy. I am just saying make me an offer," said Mr Stroud, who said his business was "struggling".

Mr Kitchen could not be contacted for comment.

Pupils on Internet charge

Two schoolboys are facing prosecution for allegedly using their school computers to go on an Internet shopping spree.

Police in Cheltenham have reported the pupils, aged 14 and 15, for attempted deception and a file of evidence is now being considered by the Crown Prosecution Service.

The inquiry was launched at Cleeve School, a comprehensive at Bishop's Cleeve, near Cheltenham, in April when pupils allegedly attempted to obtain goods via the Internet using fictitious credit cards.

pounds 10,000 phones stolen

Thieves stole mobile phones worth pounds 10,000 when they swooped on a lorry in Warwickshire while the driver was in the cab.

The curtain side to the vehicle was slashed and pallets containing the phones taken on Monday evening at Banbury Spur, Little Warwick, near Leamington Spa.

The driver did not discover the theft until yesterday when another lorry flashed him after spotting the ripped curtain as he continued his journey on the M5.

Early-bird binmen

Birmingham councillors are bracing themselves for a deluge of complaints after ordering a 6am start for the city's binmen.

They already receive 400 complaints a year from angry families who are woken up by the noise of early-morning bin collections. And they fear the worst when an even earlier regime is introduced from the beginning of next month.

The new times follow the introduction of a shorter working week.

Opening date for bypass

Dudley's long awaited southern bypass is to be opened on October 15, five months ahead of schedule.

Contractors are putting the finishing touches to the pounds 57 million dual carriageway.

The opening will mean an end to one of the West Midlands' worst bottlenecks. Currently traffic between Tipton or West Bromwich and Brierley Hill or Kingswinford has to use congested King Street and Trindle Road.

Mr Nick Ford, contract manager for Dudley Council, said: "We had a good winter last year and pretty good weather this summer, which has enabled the contractors to really crack on."

Choir centre stage

One of the region's renowned male voice choirs will be taking centre stage at a prestigious concert in Worcestershire next month.

The Cotswold Male Voice Choir will be performing a host of songs at the Annual English Male Choir charity concert at Pershore Abbey on October 9.

The concert will feature more than 200 male voice singers from an amalgamation of seven choirs from Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and the West Midlands, together with solo soprano Sue Dyson.

Post Script

Elvis Presley fans escaped from their Heartbreak Hotel yesterday as a dating agency offered them hope of finding romantic partners to share their passion for The King.

Within hours of its launch, the Burntwood-based Always Elvis agency had about 40 people interested in using its services.

Their plea for like-minded partners will be flashed on to the Internet through the agency's website.

Mr Mark Shone and Mr Michael Allen, who have set up the agency, believe it could develop into a full-time business.

Mr Shone said: "A lot of people say it is difficult for fans to meet a partner because they are classed as freaks. We can help them to meet someone."

The agency can be contacted on 01543 670370 and its website address is www.always-elvis.co.uk
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Sep 22, 1999
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