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  1. Updates on Tuesday 17 February
  2. News, sport, travel and weather returns from 08:00 on Wednesday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

That's it for Local Live for today. We're back from 08:00 on Wednesday with more news, sport, travel and weather. Join us then.

Tonight's forecast

BBC Weather

After a largely dry evening with some clear spells, a mostly cloudy night will follow. It should stay dry elsewhere, and temperatures should stay above freezing.

There will be lows of 6°C (43°F).

Coming up

Roger Johnson

Presenter, North West Tonight

On North West Tonight, a new £25m mental health hospital opens in Liverpool, which those who will run it say will cut patient recovery time, enabling them to treat more people.

And we look forward to a big weekend for our region's boxers with Liverpool's Paul Smith and St. Helens' Martin Murray fighting for separate world titles.

Watch more on BBC One at 18:30.

Probe over wait for ambulance

Wirral Globe

A Wirral mum battling an incurable and aggressive form of brain cancer was

left waiting for an ambulance for more than two hours after suffering two severe seizures on Valentine's Day.

Counting down to Crufts

Border collie Chief and his proud owner Christine Hughes are counting down to an appearance at the world's biggest dog show, Crufts.

Christine Hughes and Chief
Mike Poloway

Nine-year-old Chief, of St. Helens, is a Pets As Therapy (PAT) dog and has been named as one of six finalists in the HiLife PAT Dog of the Year 2014/15 competition.

The duo are part of a team of dogs and owners that regularly volunteer their time providing therapeutic visits to hospitals, hospices, nursing and care homes and schools. They will find out if they have won on 6 March.

Markovic's four-match ban

BBC Sport

Liverpool's Lazar Markovic will miss both games Champions League legs against Besiktas, the first of which is on Thursday, and both games in the next round if the Reds progress.

Lazar Markovic (centre) was shown the red card against Basel
Getty Images

It comes after the midfielder was given an

unusual four-match ban for a red card against Basel at Anfield in the competition in December.

Jobs at parcel depot

Liverpool Echo

Up to 250 jobs will be created as part of

a £12m investment in Gillmoss by express delivery service DPD (UK).

Hospital trust board meeting

Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust will hold its next board meeting at 09:00 on Wednesday 25 February.

It will be held at Southport and Formby District General Hospital and members of the public are welcome to attend and observe.

Anyone with a special requirement should call the trust in advance on 01704 704783. The meeting agenda will be available

here in advance.

Southport to lose out on Lewis

James Mountford

BBC Radio Merseyside Sport

Southport say they won't receive any money should a bigger club sign teenage striker Drew Lewis.

Haig Avenue
David Dixon/Geograph

The 19 year-old has scored nearly 40 goals for the under-21 side this season and has been offered trials at Everton, Manchester United and Blackburn.

But Lewis is not under contract at Haig Avenue so could therefore leave for free.

News on the hour

Megan Key

BBC Radio Merseyside

A gang of robbers who targeted a petrol station in Billinge, a Co-op in Rainhill and a Bargain Booze store in Lydiate and terrorised staff have been jailed.

Ear bite witness appeal

Detectives investigating an assault in Liverpool where a man had part of his ear bitten off are

trying to track down a woman who may have seen the attack.

The woman police want to speak to
Merseyside Police

A 26-year-old old man was attacked on Bold Street in the early hours of Saturday 7 February.

The police have released images of a woman - in her 20s, around 5ft 5in (1.65m) tall with long black or purple hair - as they believe she may be a key witness.

Children's centre closures opposed

Mairead Smyth

Reporter, BBC Radio Merseyside

The council say plans to close 10 children's centres were sparked by a £330m funding cut from central government.

A further protest will be held outside the Cunard building on 28 February.

New mental health hospital opens

The £25m Clock View mental health hospital has taken 22 months to complete and opened today.

Clock View

Read the full story


Family 'betrayed' by thief

Warrington's Mark Faulkner has been found guilty of stealing money from a fund set up in memory of Widnes teenager Lewis Edge, who died after jumping from the Silver Jubilee Bridge in 2012.

Lewis's mother Lisa Millward said her family felt "totally betrayed by someone who was meant to be a friend".

"Faulkner had everyone fooled. He was even one of the coffin bearers at Lewis′ funeral."

Pancake Day

BBC North West Tonight

Now here's a pancake stack for Pancake Day - it's called "The Beast" - we will have more on this later today.

The Beast

News on the hour

Megan Key

BBC Radio Merseyside

A man has been found guilty of stealing £1,200 from a fund set up in memory of a 14-year-old boy who died after jumping from the Runcorn Widnes Bridge.

Mark Faulkner, 26, from Salisbury Street in Warrington, offered to help the family of Lewis Edge with fundraising, but police were called after an account had less cash than anticipated.

Birkenhead MP blasts welfare reform

Birkenhead MP Frank Field claims "all is not rosy" with welfare reform and his constituents are struggling to cope with Universal Credit.

Frank Field

The MP said a social housing provider told him that since the payment was trialled in the town, it needed to double the number of welfare rights staff to help struggling tenants.

He said: "Universal Credit has been presented today as Iain Duncan Smith's swan sailing calmly on the welfare reform waters, but underneath the feet are pedalling like mad".

Wrongly-convicted taxi driver's ordeal

Chester Chronicle

A taxi driver who faced up to 18 months in jail after being

wrongly convicted as a sex offender has had his badge returned but is apprehensive about going back on the road.

What is ricin?

A man from Liverpool has appeared in court

charged with attempting to obtain the chemical weapon ricin.

BBC News has a guide to what ricin is and how potent it is.

It is a naturally occurring protein, found in the castor oil plant, which is highly toxic and is most dangerous when it is injected.

'Closer to home' treatment for patients

Jessica Robbins

BBC Radio Merseyside

Thousands of patients in Halton will be able to be treated closer to home from today, thanks to the brand new endoscopy unit at the Halton General.

The new unit, which has cost £500,000, means patients can now be diagnosed and treated in Runcorn, instead of having to travel to Warrington.

And today's opening also means the Halton General can take part in a new national screening programme to help prevent diseases such as bowel cancer.

News on the hour

Megan Key

BBC Radio Merseyside

A march has taken place around Granby Children's Centre in Liverpool.

The centre is one of seven that will remain open under council plans to close 10 Sure Start centres.

The council says the move is necessary because of a £330m cut in funding from central government.

Cornelius Lysaght

BBC horse racing correspondent

tweets: AP McCoy's expected mount in his final Grand National before retirement, Shutthefrontdoor, the fav, allotted weight of 11 stone 2

He also

#GN2015: weights for April 11 race headed by Carlingford Lough, Lord Windermere (11-10); 2014 winner Pineau De Re up 8 pounds (11-0)

New hospital to 'tackle stigma'

A new £25m mental health hospital in Liverpool "will help tackle the stigma" associated with illnesses including depression, anxiety and dementia, its chief executive says.

Clock View
Mersey Care NHS

Clock View, which has been built on the former Walton Hospital site, will provide patients with private rooms including en-suite bathrooms and high standards of care "to promote recovery".

Mersey Care NHS Trust Chief Executive Joe Rafferty said: "Clock View is a beacon that will help tackle the stigma associated with mental ill-health."

Mairead Smyth

Reporter, BBC Radio Merseyside

tweets: Campaigners at Granby Children's Centre gather to make a banner against plans to shut ten children's centres.

Campaigners in Granby

News on the hour

Megan Key

BBC Radio Merseyside

Three members of a gang that carried out a string of robberies on Merseyside were described as "ruthless career criminals" by a judge today.

Liverpool Crown Court heard they targeted a petrol station in Billinge, a Co-op in Rainhill and a Bargain Booze store in Lydiate, terrorising staff and stealing cigarettes.

How fit do you need to be?

Cheshire Constabulary

tweets that it is holding an awareness seminar on 21 February ahead of a recruitment campaign for Special Constables,
including a practice fitness test so people can test if they are physically ready to apply.

Horse rider was 'rebuilt'

Wirral Globe

"Bionic" Barbara is back in the saddle after being accidentally trampled on by a horse, following

her ribcage being rebuilt with titanium technology.

BBC Radio Merseyside

tweets: Graham from
@ThistleLiv wins annual pancake race

Liverpool pancake race winner

Coming up

Roger Johnson

Presenter, North West Tonight

On North West Today, Merseyside Police are investigating claims a prison officer was attacked by an inmate at HMP Liverpool on Saturday.

And a new 80-bed mental health unit, built at a cost of £25m, opens on the site of the former Walton Hospital.

Watch more on BBC One at 13:35.

Lazar hit by four game ban

James Mountford

BBC Radio Merseyside Sport

Liverpool's Lazar Markovic has been handed a four match ban from European football.

Lazar Markovic

The 20 year-old was sent off in the Reds' Champions League match against Basel in December. That would normally amount to a three game ban but a red card while playing for Benfica in the Europa League last season has increased the suspension to four matches.

Markovic will now miss Liverpool's match against Besiktas at Anfield on Thursday.

News on the hour

Jessica Robbins

BBC Radio Merseyside

A gang who carried out a string of robberies on Merseyside have been sentenced to a total of 35 years in jail.

Liverpool Crown Court heard they targeted a petrol station, Co-op and Bargain Booze store, terrorising staff and stealing cigarettes.

Protest over closures

BBC Radio Merseyside

Parents and children are demonstrating outside one of Liverpool's Sure Start Centres today against the proposed closures.

Protest at Granby

Families have been making a banner at Granby Children's Centre, which is one of seven that will stay open.

It comes ahead of a protest at the Pier Head on 28 February.

Drunk mum punched off-duty cop

Chester Chronicle

An intoxicated mum who punched a woman in the face outside a Chester pub ran off after realising

she'd assaulted an off-duty police officer out drinking with colleagues.

Costs of anti-fracking protests


Protesters against fracking in the county have said energy firms should foot

the £280,000 bill for policing anti-fracking protests in 2014.

Campaigner Matt Bryan submitted a freedom of information request to Cheshire Police to discover how much it cost the force to police anti-fracking protesters in Farndon, Upton, Ellesmere Port and outside Cheshire West and Chester HQ.

The response points out that the officers were already in normal duty time "therefore those costs would be met in any event regardless of their actual duties".

Arrests after pub assault

BBC Radio Merseyside

Two men have been arrested after a serious assault in Runcorn. The 52-year-old victim needed surgery on his leg after the attack at the Clarendon public house on Church Street.

The Clarendon

The men, who are aged 22 and 23 and are local to the area, have been bailed pending further inquiries.

News on the hour

Jessica Robbins

BBC Radio Merseyside

Merseyside Police is investigating claims a prison officer was reportedly attacked by an inmate at Walton jail on Saturday.

In a separate case earlier this month, an inmate was allegedly targeted by another prisoner.

Try of the week

BBC Sport

Widnes fans, look away now - Tom Briscoe's spectacular score in Leeds' rampaging win over the Vikings has been named

Try of the Week by the Super League Show.

Tom Briscoe scoring against Widnes

The Rhinos' centre broke two Widnes tackles on his way to the line, helping the Yorkshire side to

a 38-6 win on Friday night.

Community and charity champions celebrated

Chester's Conservative MP Stephen Mosley says a reception at 10 Downing Street for two of the city's champions for charity and the community - Matt Baker and Kate Spall - celebrated their "invaluable" efforts.

From left to right: Matt Baker, Kate Spall, Samantha Cameron and Chester's Conservative MP Stephen Mosley
Stephen Mosley MP

Mr Baker is founder and artistic director of

Theatre in the Quarter and many Garden Quarter community events. He is also director of the company's young people's group, Jigsaw Children's Music Theatre.

Ms Spall founded the

Pamela Northcott Fund, a voluntary organisation to provide advocacy and support to cancer patients denied access to new drug therapies yet to be approved by NICE or refused by NICE.

Mr Mosley nominated the pair for the event, which was hosted by Samantha Cameron.

Man remanded after ricin charge

Caroline McClatchey

BBC News

Mohammed Ammer Ali, 31, spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth when he appeared in court accused of attempting to obtain the chemical weapon ricin.

He was remanded into custody. Read the

full story.