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Summary

  1. Updates on Wednesday 18 February
  2. News, sport, travel and weather returns from 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Good evening

That's it for Local Live for today. We're back from 08:00 on Thursday with news, sport, travel and weather updates.

Tonight's forecast

BBC Weather

Latest

It will be generally cloudy overnight, with rain already across Cumbria and parts of Lancashire slowly moving south across the region. Some heavy and persistent rain is possible and it will be windy.

Lows of 8°C (46°F). More information about the next few days is

here.

Coming up

Annabel Tiffin

Presenter, North West Tonight

On tonight's show, Birkenhead MP Frank Field says "all is not rosy" with the Government's welfare reform programme with rent collection rates falling and debt rising.

Liverpool nightclub Garlands is closed for three months by magistrates following a drugs raid.

And we're in Seaforth, where an 88-year-old war veteran has finally been united with his campaign medals.

Join me for more on BBC One at 18:30.

Building Bionic Barbara

A surgeon at The Royal Liverpool University Hospital has used new titanium technology to rebuild the ribcage of a Northwich woman who broke nine ribs and punctured a lung when she was trampled by her horse.

X-ray showing the system
Other

Titanium plates and screws were used to help mend cracked bones, which has earned Barbara Schofield the nickname "Bionic Barbara".

Surgeon Sanjay Kalra used a series of curved plates about 20cm long and 10mm wide, which were sculpted in a factory and fine-tuned to fit the contours of Ms Schofield's ribs - as the X-ray above shows.

Suspended sentence for charity thief

Emma Stanley

BBC News

A man who stole from a charity set up in memory of a 14-year-old who took his own life

has been given a suspended sentence.

Mark Faulkner, of Dykin Road in Widnes, was found guilty of taking almost £1,200 from the 'Lewis Edge − The Brightest Star' fund at Warrington Crown Court.

The 26-year-old was given a six month sentence suspended for two years, ordered to carry out 200 hours of community service, and told he must pay back all of the money to the memorial fund.

BreakingGarlands closed for three months

A Liverpool club where it was claimed drugs were sold like sweets has been closed for three months by a judge.

Garlands
Google

Liverpool Magistrates Court made the order after hearing staff at Garlands sold drugs and the toilets were "essentially a sweet shop... where punters could take their pick".

Police told the court Garlands nightclub staff were "complicit" in illegal drug use and claimed there was a link between drugs and violence at the venue.

Scrambler crash victim 'not the same'

The wife of a 71-year-old man seriously injured in a scrambler bike crash has told Merseyside Police he "has not been the same man since the accident".

She said: "He used to be a very proud man about his appearance but now, some days, he won't get washed or shaved. He refuses to get in the bath because it's a struggle for him.

"He used to have a big appetite but just lately he finds fault with everything I cook. I know as you get older you don't have the same appetite but my husband has not been the same man since the accident."

Michael Byrne, 25, of Kipling Avenue, Huyton, was jailed for 16 months over the crash.

Dave's future ramifications

Zutons fans, get excited - former frontman Dave McCabe is back with a new band, The Ramifications, and a new tune,

Time & Place.

Dave McCabe
1965 Records

The song is taken from the Scouse musician's upcoming as-yet-untitled album, which will be out later this year.

Talking about the album, McCabe said it was "about a fella who falls in love with a robot, but after a while he realizes that he actually needs some real human contact".

Take Me Out triumph

Southport Visiter

A Southport fashion entrepreneur jetted off to the Isle of Fernandos

after landing a date on popular Saturday night show Take me Out.

News on the hour

Mairead Smyth

Reporter, BBC Radio Merseyside

A 93-year-old woman has suffered serious injuries after her mobility scooter collided with a car in Thatto Heath earlier today.

Police say the woman suffered a broken hip and fractured ribs in the crash on Thatto Heath Road.

Scrambler rider jailed over crash

A Huyton man has been jailed for 16 months for causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Michael Byrne, 25, of Kipling Avenue was also disqualified from driving for three years and ordered to retake an extended test at Liverpool Crown Court.

He admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving, driving without a licence, driving without insurance and driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence and failing to stop at the scene of a collision.

Merseyside Police said Byrne crashed a scrambler bike into a 71-year-old man, leaving him with a serious head injury and a leg broken in two places.

Little Budworth cannabis discovery

Police found cannabis plants in "varying stages of growth" in the loft area of a house in Little Budworth earlier. Read the full story

here.

Cannabis plants found in Mill Lane, Little Budworth
Cheshire Police

Saints retain winger

BBC Sport

Winger Tommy Makinson has

signed a new four-year contract with Super League champions St. Helens.

Tommy Makinson
SWpix.com

Charity fund thief sentenced

A man has been given a suspended sentence after stealing from a charity set up in memory of a 14-year-old who took his own life.

Mark Faulkner, 26, of Dykin Road in Widnes, was found guilty of stealing almost £1,200 from the 'Lewis Edge − The Brightest Star fund′ following a trial at Warrington Crown Court.

Faulkner was given a six month sentence suspended for two years.

Nightspot 'drug shop'

BBC Radio Merseyside

Liverpool Magistrates Court has heard staff at Garlands were selling drugs and the toilets were "essentially a sweet shop... where punters could take their pick".

Police have told the court Garlands nightclub staff were "complicit" in illegal drug use and claimed there was a link between drugs and violence at the venue.

The Garlands lawyer rebutted police, saying: "All crimes you cite as dealing with violence are at the very lowest end of the imaginary spectrum."

News on the hour

Mairead Smyth

Reporter, BBC Radio Merseyside

The Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson has told us he is "burning the midnight oil" to retain as many of the city's children's centres as possible.

It comes after parents marched around Granby Sure Start centre in Toxteth yesterday.

It is one of seven centres that would be retained but parents there are worried about the impact on services if plans to close 10 centres go ahead.

Police call for club closure

Tom Mullen

BBC News Online

Officers

raided Garlands last Thursday night while up to 200 people were inside the nightclub.

Police raid
BBC

Merseyside Police are making an application to Liverpool magistrates this afternoon for an order

requiring the Eberle Street venue to remain closed for longer.

Chester unemployment halves

Unemployment has nearly halved in Chester during the past year, falling from 1,329 in January 2014 to 679 last month,

according to figures released today by the Office for National Statistics.

people in front of job centre
PA

Unemployment among

18-24-year-olds in the city has also dropped by 73% from 330 to 90 over the same period.

Nationally, unemployment has reduced by 486,000 in the past year.

Talking transport

Merseytravel

tweets: Our Engagement team our out at Brunswick youth club in Sefton until 4pm today talking about all things transport.

Information stall
Merseytravel

Advice for firefighter strike

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service believes it has sufficient contingency plans in place to support

next Wednesday's planned national industrial action, although it is calling on the public to be extra vigilant during the 24-hour action from 07:00.

The service is reminding people to:

• make sure they have a working smoke alarm installed at home

• know exactly how to get out of their home if a fire breaks out

• be especially careful when cooking

• make sure not to overload plug sockets

• ensure to take extra care while driving

Sapper gets campaign medals

A World War Two sapper has been presented with his military medals almost 70 years after leaving the Army.

Henry Whetnall
BBC

Henry Edward Whetnall, from Kirkdale, served with the Royal Engineers in the war and in a bomb disposal team in Palestine until 1948.

Sefton Veterans' Project applied on his behalf for two King George VI campaign medals which he never received.

News on the hour

Simon Moffatt

Reporter, BBC Radio Merseyside

The Attorney General has been visiting Liverpool to see first-hand a pilot scheme designed to make it easier for vulnerable witnesses to give evidence.

Under the project being tested here, they are cross-examined away from open court on camera as soon as possible after the alleged offence has occurred.

The tape can then be shown at a trial.

The theory is the setting is less intimidating than a crown court and helps children remember more about what may have happened.

Reds open Asia online stores

Liverpool have launched five online stores to cater for supporters in Asia.

Thai website screengrab
Liverpool FC

Reds fans in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand and Vietnam can now buy official merchandise on websites written in local languages.

Liverpool have had an online store for Chinese fans since 2012, which the club say helped triple e-commerce sales in the country.

Crunch case for nightspot

BBC Radio Merseyside

The case is under way at Liverpool Magistrates Court to decide if Garlands nightclub should be closed down.

Fall in Wirral unemployment

Wirral Globe

The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in Wirral has

fallen for a 20th successive month, according to new figures.

Inside the £1m cannabis factory

Cheshire Police has released photos of the inside of a cannabis factory in Little Budworth, near Delamere, that officers raided earlier.

cannabis plants
Cheshire Constabulary

The force has also revised the amount of cannabis seized, saying a total of 1,750 plants with a value of over £1m were found.

Veteran receives campaign medals

Leanne Harper

Reporter, BBC Radio Merseyside

Here's 88-year-old Henry Whetnall, who received his campaign medals for service in World War Two and Palestine today at a ceremony in Seaforth.

Henry Whetnall receiving his World War Two campaign medals
BBC

News on the hour

Megan Key

BBC Radio Merseyside

Dozens of people have gathered outside Liverpool Magistrates Court to protest against plans to close one of the best-known nightclubs.

Cannabis farm found in village

Cheshire Police have discovered a cannabis farm in the village of Little Budworth, near Delamere, this morning.

Mill Lane in Little Budworth
Google

Officers found more than 500 cannabis plants at a property on Mill Lane at about 09:00.

A 52-year-old woman and a 48-year-old man have been arrested.

United target Southport striker

Southport Visiter

Reports have linked Southport youth player Drew Lewis to a trial at Premier League giants Manchester United - but

Yellows director Hadyn Preece says that they are just one of a number of clubs in pursuit of the free-scoring youngster.

The 19-year-old striker has netted a remarkable 38 goals for the Yellows' under-21 side so far this season.

Preece, the club's community and commercial director, told the Visiter that Everton and Blackburn Rovers had also expressed an interest in Lewis.

Garlands protest

Phil Cooper

BBC Radio Merseyside

I'm outside Liverpool Magistrates Court where an application is being made to permanently close the Garlands nightclub after a drugs raid last week.

Protestors
BBC

A lot of people have gathered to protest against its closure but seem to be here more in hope than expectation.

One clubber called Bernie has told me he's never seen any trouble at premises. Another clubber Emma said the club is like a home that admits all people, whether they're gay, straight or bisexual and it would be a great loss to the city if it closed down.

Coming up

Annabel Tiffin

Presenter, North West Tonight

On North West Today, the Birkenhead MP Frank Field says Universal Credit is leaving some landlords in serious debt.

And figures show that despite unemployment dropping to a six-year low nationally, the number of people out of work in the North West rose in the last quarter of 2014 for the first time in 12 months.

Join me for more on BBC One at 13:35.

Safari park traffic

It seems that half-term is bringing more visitors than normal to see the animals at Knowsley Safari Park.

Baboon
PA

NW Motorway Police tweets there are reports of heavy traffic on the M57 around junction 2 with people trying to reach the tourist attraction and urges drivers to "please be patient".

News on the hour

Jessica Robbins

BBC Radio Merseyside

Protestors who are trying to save one of Liverpool's best known nightclubs from shutting down will gather outside the city's magistrates court shortly.

Merseyside Police are applying for a closure order for Garlands after drugs raids there last week.

Leisure pool reopens

Wirral Council have emailed to say the leisure pool at Europa Pools in Birkenhead has reopened after a technical fault earlier today.

Europa Pools
Google

Jordan tweets... at last

Liverpool favourite Jordan Henderson has used

his first tweet to say he's "finally on twitter.... Better late than never!"

Jordan Henderson
Getty Images

The 24-year-old midfielder amassed almost 10,000 followers within half an hour of joining the micro-blogging site.

Nuisance scooter seized

Merseyside Police East Sefton

tweet: Nuisance scooter seized in Aintree by PCSO yesterday. 4 males ran off.

scooter
Merseyside Police

Council backs abuse campaign

Warrington Guardian

A campaign which has been launched to put an end to domestic abuse has been

backed by Warrington Borough Council.

News on the hour

Jessica Robbins

BBC Radio Merseyside

Employment Minister Esther McVey has warned there are too many professions where not enough women reach top jobs.

The MP for Wirral West says the UK is still waiting for a number of female "firsts", such as women running the Bank of England or the BBC.

Three stabbed in Widnes attacks

Three men are in hospital with stab wounds after two attacks in Widnes yesterday, Cheshire Police say.

Carey Street
Google

Police went to two injured men in Carey Street at about 15:10, who had been attacked by a group of people near Randall Mews. Officers then went to an injured man on Church Street just before 21:00 who said he had been chased by two other men.

Det Insp Kate Tomlinson said the two attacks were "not believed to be connected, but are believed to be targeted rather than random".