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Summary

  1. Updates on Friday 14 July
  2. News, sport, weather and travel updates resume at 08:00 on Monday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Severe accident: M6 Cheshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Cheshire southbound severe accident, between J21A for M62 and J21 for A57.

M6 Cheshire - Two lanes closed and very slow traffic on M6 southbound between J21a, M62 (Croft Interchange) and J21, A57 (Woolston), because of an accident involving a lorry and car.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Football: Crewe prepare for loss of 'great servant'

Graham McGarry

Crewe Alexandra commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Crewe Alexandra manager David Artell says there's going to be a big hole in their scouting network from next month.

Neil Baker
crewealex.net

After more then 20 years' service, head of recruitment Neil Baker (pictured) is leaving to take charge as manager of non-league side Leek Town for the third time.

I'd love Neil Baker to be here for the next five years, but Neil explained that he's been offered the manager's job and he wants a crack at management. He's been a great servant to this football club and he's going to be missed that's for sure."

David ArtellCrewe Alexandra manager

Blackpool sign goalkeeper Mafoumbi

BBC Sport

Blackpool have signed Congo international goalkeeper Christoffer Mafoumbi on a two-year deal with the option of a further 12 months.

Christoffer Mafoumbi
Getty Images

The 23-year-old joins the Tangerines after leaving South African Premiership side Free State Stars in June.

"I'm very happy and feeling good. It's my first time in England and I'm happy to sign for Blackpool," said Mafoumbi.

The deal to sign Mafoumbi, who has 12 caps for Congo, remains subject to international clearance.

Severe disruption: M60 Greater Manchester clockwise

BBC News Travel

M60 Greater Manchester clockwise severe disruption, at J18 for M62 affecting J8 for A6144.

M60 Greater Manchester - M60 lane closed on exit slip road, delays and slow traffic clockwise at J18, M62 (Simister Island), because of a broken down car. Travel time is around 60 minute. Congestion to J8, A6144 (Carrington).

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Latest headlines for the North West

  • Liverpool woman, Gayle Newland, 27, who wore a prosthetic penis and tricked her blindfolded friend into sex has been jailed for six-and-a-half years
  • The mother of missing Blackpool teenager Charlene Downes said she is going to sue police over mishandling her case
  • A man has been arrested in connection with the attempted abduction of a 13-year-old in Bury

Swan 'overcomes the odds' of being shot and attacked to return to wild

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

A swan has been released back into the wild in Cheshire despite suffering so many injuries that vets thought the "odds were against her" surviving.

Mabel the swan with her mate and cygnets
RSPCA

The RSPCA says the bird, nicknamed Mabel, is well known to people on the River Weaver, but they were called earlier this month after concerns about her behaviour.

Staff at their Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre in Nantwich said it turned out she'd been shot as well as being attacked by a dog.

But, after six weeks care, they say she's now recovered enough to be released back on to the river where she was reunited with her mate and cygnets.

She was very poorly and the odds were against her. We put her on antibiotics and very slowly she started eating more and putting on weight."

Lee StewartManager at Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre

BreakingMother of missing Blackpool teenager Charlene Downes to sue police

The mother of a teenage girl from Blackpool who has been missing since 2003 said she is going to sue police over mishandling her case.

Charlene Downes
Lancashire Police

The body of 14-year-old Charlene Downes who was last seen in Blackpool town centre has never been found.

Her mother Karen Downes said she is taking legal action after police released the previously unseen footage of her daughter 13 years after her disappearance.

Christoffer Mafoumbi

Blackpool sign Congo international goalkeeper Christoffer Mafoumbi on a two-year deal with the option of a further year.

Read more
Greg Richards

Team news as Leigh Centurions host Salford Red Devils in Friday's Super League match at Leigh Sports Village (20:00 BST).

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Famous telescope and owl-spotting in today's audience photos

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

We range from the famous Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank to an owl in Endon and much in between in today's selection of pictures of the area, sent in by you, our audience.

You can share your photos of Staffordshire and Cheshire on an email or, if you use Instagram, pop them there with the tag #bbcstoke to show you agree to share them.

Audience photos of Staffordshire and Cheshire.

Violent crime up 34% in Cheshire

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

Violent crime in Cheshire's risen by more than a third in percentage terms, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

A knife being produced from a pocket
Getty Images

The number of offences in the county went up by 34% between April 2016 and March 2017 to 18,289 offences.

Staffordshire saw an increase in violent crime too across the same period, up by 17% to 26,516 offences.

Across England and Wales the ONS recorded a rise of 18% for violent crime.

John Flatley from the organisation said some of the big increases in its figures could be explained by changes in how the police recorded crime, but this was only in some categories.

The North Yorkshire river was awash with water on the evening of 19 July 2017.
A council worker waited an hour to capture Long Gill in Yorkshire coming back to life.

Liverpool mayors dismiss 'playground' rift claim

Claims of a rift in the relationship between Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson and metropolitan mayor Steve Rotheram have been dismissed by the two men.

Joe Anderson and Steve Rotheram
BBC

Opposition councillors claimed the pair were "not co-operating" after Mr Anderson decided to stop attending Combined Authority cabinet meetings.

Liberal Democrat leader Richard Kemp accused them of "behaving like seven-year-olds in the school playground".

Mr Anderson said he had a "fantastic" relationship with Mr Rotheram.

Mr Rotheram said there was "a very strong determination" on all sides to "grasp the devolution opportunity for the benefit of all our communities".

Lancaster MP 'furious' over more floods

Tim Padfield

Assistant editor, BBC Radio Lancashire

The MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood, Cat Smith, says she is "furious" homes and businesses in Lancaster city centre have been flooded.

View more on twitter

Heavy rain last night left some people who had only just recovered from Storm Desmond in 2015 facing a clean up again.

Several roads were also underwater in parts of Carnforth and Blackpool.

The biggest emotion I'm feeling is anger at the fact it has happened again, happened so quickly and has flooded several businesses again.

Today I'm going to focus on contacting the relevant agencies demanding an investigation into how this has happened again and what is being done to prevent it.

Cat SmithMP for Lancaster

Strawberry Studios given new exhibits

A former recording studio in Stockport has been given new pieces from artists and members of the public for its exhibition.

Strawberry Studios
Strawberry Studios

The I am in love exhibition opened in January.

The Smiths, 10cc and Joy Division created their iconic Manchester sound there.

One of the new additions includes drums used by Mike Joyce from The Smiths.

Set up 50 years ago, Strawberry Studios was one of the few UK recording spaces outside London. It closed its doors as a recording studio in 1993.

Divers recover World War Two Highball bomb from loch

BBC News Scotland

A team of divers, including ones from Cheshire and Cannock, have recovered a historic Highball bouncing bomb from a loch in Scotland.

More than 200 of the spherical bombs were tested at Loch Striven in Argyll during World War Two but were never used.

Bomb being winched aboard ship
British Sub Aqua Club

Members of the British Sub-Aqua Club and the Royal Navy have successfully lifted one of them, and hope to recover at least one more of the devices.

The prototype bombs, which were never used operationally, do not contain any explosives.

Conservative councillor resigns from post on Lancashire County Council

Mike Stevens

BBC Radio Lancashire political reporter

Conservative Councillor Paul Greenall of the West Lancashire East ward on Lancashire County Council has resigned.

View more on twitter

The member has now crossed the floor to sit as an independent.

View more on twitter

Rita, Sue and Bob Too coming to Bolton Octagon

The cast has been announced for the touring production of Rita, Sue and Bob Too which will begin at Bolton's Octagon Theatre and includes the former BBC Radio Lancashire presenter Sally Bankes.

View more on twitter

The 1982 play about two teenage friends who embark on an affair with a married man is a co-production with the Octagon Theatre, Out of Joint and The Royal Court Theatre.

The production will open in Bolton in September and then tour the UK until February 2018.

Car crashes into gate after Bolton police chase
CCTV footage shows the crash outside a home in Bolton which resulted in a garden gatepost flying through the living room window.

University's first woman librarian: Pioneering lecturer - and wartime police officer

Katy Prickett

BBC News

This was the task facing Cambridge University's first woman librarian in 1903...

Lord Acton's book collection in 1903
Cambridge University

About 60,000 books were left to the University Library by the historian Lord Acton, who was regius professor of modern history at Cambridge from 1895 until 1902.

Between 1903 and 1907, Alice Cooke (below) led the team whose job is was to catalogue the bequest, while also teaching history at Newnham College.

She'd already got a few other firsts under the belt before then - she was the first woman to receive the Jones Fellowship in History at Owens College in Manchester (now part of Manchester University) and the first to receive a history masters from Owens.

Alice Cooke
Owens College Manchester

She went on to establish the medieval history department at Leeds University - and during World War One patrolled the streets of the Yorkshire city as a police officer.

Severe disruption: M6 Cheshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Cheshire southbound severe disruption, between J19 for A556 and J18 for A54 Middlewich affecting J20 for M56.

M6 Cheshire - Very slow traffic on M6 southbound between J19, A556 (Knutsford) and J18, A54 (Middlewich), because of an earlier broken down vehicle. All lanes have been re-opened. Congestion to J20, M56 (Lymm Interchange).

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Consultation on future of Norwich to Liverpool rail service

Andrew Sinclair

BBC Look East political correspondent

The government has launched a consultation into the future of the Norwich to Liverpool rail service.

It's asking passengers for their views on how it could be improved as it works on the plans for a new franchise.

The service, which is operated by East Midlands Trains, runs 11 times a day and makes between 15 and 17 stops during the almost six-hour long journey between the two cities.

East Midlands train
BBC

One of the options under consideration would see fewer stops to speed up journey times. Another option could see an end to direct services altogether, with passengers having to change somewhere in the midlands.

The new franchise is expected to start in August 2019.

Alvaro Morata, Lacazette, Lukaku

Chelsea are set to sign Alvaro Morata, Manchester United signed Romelu Lukaku and Arsenal have Alexandre Lacazette. Which is the best deal?

Read more
Resident in Lancashire clean up after heavy rain hit the north of the county.
Some homes were left swamped in up to six inches of water following torrential downpours.

Funeral of Wigan teenager takes place

The funeral is being held for an 18-year-old student whose body was found at a beauty spot in Wigan.

Ellen Higginbottom
GMP

Concern was raised when Ellen Higginbottom, 18, did not return from college on Friday 16 June.

Orrell Water Park
Ian Greig/Geograph

Her body was found the next day at Orrell Water Park.

A man from Preston has been charged with her murder.

Severe disruption: M6 Cheshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Cheshire southbound severe disruption, between J19 for A556 and J18 for A54 Middlewich.

M6 Cheshire - One lane blocked and heavy traffic on M6 southbound between J19, A556 (Knutsford) and J18, A54 (Middlewich), because of a broken down car. In the roadworks area.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe disruption: M60 Greater Manchester clockwise

BBC News Travel

M60 Greater Manchester clockwise severe disruption, between J16 for A666 and J17 for A56 Prestwich.

M60 Greater Manchester - One lane blocked and heavy traffic on M60 clockwise between J16, A666 (Pendlebury) and J17, A56 (Prestwich), because of a broken down van.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Storm brings blackouts and flash floods

A thunderstorm swept across parts of the county last night, causing power cuts and flashflooding on some roads.

Car surrounded by water
BBC

The downpour hit the south and east of the county, including Sedbergh (pictured) and Kirkby Lonsdale, hardest.

People in Kirkby reported part of the town's Royal Hotel inundated, and nearby Jingling Lane underwater for a time.

Electricity North West said almost 3,000 customers went off in the Shap area for about half an hour, and the rail operator Northern said its trains between Windermere and Oxenholme Lake District were replaced by buses because of flooding.