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  1. Updates for Wednesday 18 March 2015
  2. Please join us again from 08:00 on Thursday for more news, sport, travel and weather from around Merseyside

Live Reporting

By Alex Homer

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

That's it from the Local Live team for another day - thanks for your company.

We will be back with the usual mix of news, sport, travel and weather from around Merseyside at 08:00 on Thursday.

Until then, have a lovely evening.

A chilly but dry night to come

BBC Weather


Whatever you're up to, you'll be wanting to know what the weather's going to be like - here's Merseyside's latest forecast:

A dry evening and night is in store, with clear spells and light winds allowing some mist and fog patches to form.

weather chart

It will also be a cold nigh,t with a patchy frost developing.

Cheshire's 'most adulterous towns'

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News

Runcorn and Widnes can boast, if that's the right word, being

two of the most adulterous towns in the UK.

According to the Official Infidelity Index 2015, compiled by an adult website, 1.74% of Runcorn's population have had been unfaithful, making it the fifth most adulterous town in the UK out of 140.

Widnes, meanwhile, came 14th in the index with 1.39% of its population cheating on their partners.

What's wrong with a nice cup of tea and a night in front of Stargazing on the telly?

BBC Stargazing returns tonight

You wait for one astronomical spectacle... and then you get this:

tweet grab with clangers in eclipse specs

Less than 24 hours after the Northern Lights danced over the UK, BBC Stargazing returns - and has

tweeted this ahead of the partial solar eclipse on Friday.

Professor Brian Cox, Dara O Briain and - it seems - the Clangers will be ready to guide you through the galaxy (and beyond)

from 20:00 on BBC Two at Jodrell Bank, Cheshire.

Paws for thought?

Southport Visiter

A Southport animal lover

has been reunited with her cat - five years after he went missing, thanks to social media.

Jane Linley had given up hope of ever seeing the ginger cat Diego again after he escaped in 2010 when sofa delivery men let him out accidentally.

She recognised his "unusual markings" on a picture posted on Rescue Me Animal Sanctuary's Facebook page.

Coming up on North West Tonight

Roger Johnson

Presenter, North West Tonight

On tonight's programme, we examine Chancellor George Osborne's Budget claim that a job is being created in the North West "every 10 minutes".

We'll also have the latest from the Hillsborough inquests, where a bereaved father who lost his son in the disaster received a personal apology from police match commander David Duckenfield.

And why always him? Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli is back on social media - what has he been saying this time?

All that and more from 6.30pm on BBC One.

Northern Lights in Liverpool?

Have the Northern Lights been spotted in Liverpool?

View taken from Kemp Avenue, Anfield
Robert Ward

Robert Ward

captured this picture at about 11.30 last night in Kemp Avenue, Anfield.

Will they be back again tonight? We'll bring you the latest weather forecast just before we finish for the evening at six.

Loan talks

BBC Sport

The Football Association will talk to Fifa this week about

extending the emergency loan system which many lower league clubs believe is vital to their existence.

Tranmere Rovers have used the most emergency loans in League Two this season.

Support available

Merseyside Police and its partners, including Knowsley, Liverpool, Wirral, Sefton and St Helens councils, have launched "Listen to My Story", a campaign to raise awareness of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) among young people, parents and grandparents and members of the public.

The campaign poster
Merseyside Police

The campaign, which has been funded by Merseyside's Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy, aims to help victims find support and advice. More information can be found

can be found here.

Cash for voluntary groups

A total of £1m is set to be awarded to voluntary and community groups in Liverpool to run youth and play projects over the next year.

A report to the city council's cabinet is recommending 26 projects be granted funding to run schemes including youth clubs, play schemes and educational activities and workshops.

Funding has also been given to run a number of city-wide targeted play projects for groups working with young people with disabilities and facing discrimination. They include Calder Kids, the Young Persons Advisory Service and Merseyside Play Action Council.

News on the hour

Megan Key

BBC Radio Merseyside

A father who lost his son in the Hillsborough disaster has confronted the former match commander outside the new inquests.

Barry Devonside - whose 18-year-old son Christopher died in the 1989 tragedy - demanded David Duckenfield explain why it had taken almost 26 years for him to apologise to the 96 families.

Robber uses spade in attempted robbery

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News

A man armed with a spade fled empty-handed after a

botched robbery attempt at a Runcorn petrol station.

Police have released CCTV images of two men they would like to speak to about the incident, which happened at about 4.50am on Saturday, 7 March at the Bridge Retail Park on Thomas Jones Way.

Delays continue

BBC Travel

Severe disruption continues on Cambridge Road around its junction with Preston New Road because of the sewer collapse we reported earlier.

Emergency repairs are being made, and drivers can keep up to date with the latest from the scene


Super League team news

St Helens v Warrington (Thursday)

St Helens centre Mark Percival will be out for six weeks with his knee injury, while Luke Walsh is still not ready to return from his long-term lay off.

Hooker James Roby returns after his knock and forward Kyle Amor is back from suspension.

Warrington head coach Tony Smith has named the same 19-man squad to select from after beating Leeds last week.

Wolves have lost just once in Super League so far this season, while top-of-the-table Saints are unbeaten.

Everton team news

BBC Sport

Defender John Stones and winger Aiden McGeady

return to Everton's squad for the second leg of their last-16 Europa League tie at Dynamo Kiev.

McGeady is back after missing nine games while Stones has missed two but Kevin Mirallas is out with a knock from the first leg which Everton won 2-1.

Tony Hibbert, Bryan Oviedo and Steven Pienaar are still absent as Everton, the last British survivors, bid to reach the quarter-finals.

The cup-tied Aaron Lennon can't play.

St Patrick's Day party ends in six arrests

Liverpool Echo

Police arrested six people for a breach of the peace after a fight followed a

St Patrick's Day party in Liverpool.

Brompton Avenue

Officers were called to a "minor disturbance" on Brompton Avenue near Sefton Park.

Southport mum jailed

Southport Visiter

A mum who burgled a disabled pensioner's home in Southport before running away, pushing her baby in a pram, has been

jailed for nearly three years.

Kelly Tilley, 31, left her child waiting outside her 74-year-old victim's house while she stole his wallet containing £550.

How many mentions?

How often did cities in the North come up in the 2015 Budget compared with London's 50 mentions?

Manchester: 25, Leeds: 15, Sheffield: 9, Hull: 7, Liverpool: 4.

News on the hour

Megan Key

BBC Radio Merseyside

A father who lost his son in the Hillsborough disaster has confronted the former match commander outside court at the new inquests.

Barry Devonside - whose son Christopher died - demanded that David Duckenfield explain why it had taken almost 26 years for him to apologise to the families.

Shipping the news

BBC News School Report

As part of School Report News Day 2015, pupils from The Observatory School in the Wirral are

travelling by boat from their school in Bidston to MediaCityUK in Salford, where they will dock before appearing on BBC Breakfast tomorrow.

Pupils from The Observatory School, Wirral, on board yacht Diva
BBC School Report

A crew of 14, including four School Reporters - Year 11 pupils Daniel, Jerome, Callum and Rocky - are making the 38-mile journey, which includes two miles on the Mersey and 36 on the Manchester Ship Canal.

Inquest resumes tomorrow

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Court evidence has finished for the day. Policing expert Douglas Hopkins will continue in the witness box tomorrow.

'Excessive' police at Hillsborough

Judith Moritz

North of England correspondent, BBC News

Policing expert Douglas Hopkins says that 1,200 officers (38%) of South Yorkshire Police policed the Hillsborough match and says this was excessive.

David Duckenfield would have been better to have sent his deputy out and about than keeping him in the control box, added Mr Hopkins.

Budget 2015 at-a-glance

BBC Politics

Petrol duty has been frozen - September's planned increase has been scrapped.

The tax-free personal allowance is to rise from £10,600 in 2014-5 to £10,800 in 2015-6 and £11,000 in 2016-7.

You can see other key points of the Budget 2015 at-a-glance


Father's apology from Hillsborough chief

Emma Stanley

BBC News

A bereaved father who lost his son in the Hillsborough disaster has

received a personal apology from the police match commander David Duckenfield.

Barry Devonside (left) speaks with David Duckenfield (far right)

Barry Devonside's son Chris was 18 when he was fatally injured along with 95 other fans in the 1989 crush.

Mr Devonside confronted Mr Duckenfield as he left the coroner's court to ask him why it had taken him so long to say sorry for his role in the disaster.

"He apologised to me and said, 'I can't say any more'," Mr Devonshire said.

Everton look to bounce back

Andrew Aloia and Tom Garry

BBC Sport

Double the chances of promotion, add a sprinkling of international talent and you have the recipe for a bigger and better Women's Super League Two season.

Everton, who won the Women's FA Cup as recently as 2010, are leading the charge to promotion as they look to make an immediate return to WSL1.

Gabby George (right)

Gabby George (pictured right) and the Blues were beaten 2-0 by Arsenal in last year's FA Women's Cup final at Stadium:MK before being relegated at the end of the season.

But the Toffees face stiff opposition for a place in the top two who will be promoted. Read why


Hillsborough round-up

Tom Airey

BBC News


the story of today's hearing so far at the Hillsborough inquests, where former chief superintendent David Duckenfield agreed he was "inexperienced" and faced "unimaginably difficult circumstances".

David Duckenfield
Getty Images

Mr Duckenfield, who has now finished giving evidence after seven days, added he was working to a "flawed operational (match) order".

News on the hour

Megan Key

BBC Radio Merseyside

A campaign to help victims of historical sexual abuse is being launched on Merseyside.

Police are working with health and education professionals to offer support and to make others more aware of the issue.

Hillsborough allocation explained

Judith Moritz

North of England correspondent, BBC News

The Hillsborough inquests have been told the reason the greater number of Liverpool fans were given the smaller end at the Sheffield stadium rather than Nottingham Forest was so that segregation could be better achieved.

The seat allocation was also made because of the geographical direction from which the Liverpool and Nottingham Forest fans were arriving. Liverpool complained.

Vision for 'northern powerhouse' revealed

Lauren Potts

BBC News Online

George Osborne has outlined his vision for building a

"northern powerhouse" in his final budget ahead of the general election in May.

George Osborne outside 11 Downing Street
Getty Images

Labour leader Ed Miliband said it was a budget that "simply won't be believed".

Man 'flew drones over football matches'

Sandish Shoker

BBC News

A man has been summoned to appear in court over allegations he

flew a drone over London landmarks and at several football grounds during matches - including three involving Liverpool.

Nigel Wilson, 42, from Nottingham, is accused of 17 breaches of the Air Navigation Order, Scotland Yard said.

Drone generic

He will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on 16 April.

'Hooliganism caused police increase'

Ben Schofield

BBC Radio Merseyside reporter

Mr Hopkins says hooliganism caused a "great increase in police" - some took place in stadiums, some happened outside.

'No large hooligan group'

Judith Moritz

North of England correspondent, BBC News

Policing expert Douglas Hopkins tells the Hillsborough inquests hooliganism in the 1980s led to the need to bring in strict segregation. Pitch invasions weren't commonplace.

He says Liverpool supporters in the 1980s were "a boisterous passionate side" who "did not have a large hooligan group".

'Nine cup finals' for Rovers

Nathan Middleton

BBC Sport

Tranmere Rovers

have "nine cup finals left" to maintain their Football League status, says midfielder Max Power.

Max Power
Getty Images

Despite having captain Steve Jennings sent off late on,

Rovers won 2-1 at Cambridge to move out of the League Two relegation places on goal difference.

Football policing expert called

Ben Schofield

BBC Radio Merseyside reporter

The Hillsborough inquests have resumed and the jury will now hear from policing expert Douglas Hopkins, a former football match commander for the Metropolitan Police.

Douglas Hopkins

He was the safety officer in charge of the Olympic Stadium at the London 2012 Games.

News on the hour

Megan Key

BBC Radio Merseyside

A father who lost his son in the Hillsborough disaster has confronted the former match commander outside court at the new inquests.

Fazakerley railway body investigation launched

Liverpool Echo


investigation into the death of a man whose body lay undiscovered by Fazakerley railway station for a decade has been launched.

James Morrell was reported missing in July 2005 when he was last seen walking from a ward at Fazakerley hospital. The dad-of-two from Crosby was aged 43 when he disappeared.

Hillsborough commander confronted

Judith Moritz

North of England correspondent, BBC News

Bereaved Hillsborough father Barry Devonside (left), who lost

his son Christopher in the 1989 disaster, confronted David Duckenfield (right) as he left court this lunchtime.

Bereaved Hillsborough father Barry Devonside (left) confronted David Duckenfield (right) as he left court earlier.

Former Ch Supt Duckenfield, who was the police match commander when 96 Liverpool fans were fatally injured in the tragedy, has just finished giving seven days of evidence at the inquests in Warrington.

Mr Devonside asked Mr Duckenfield why it had taken him so long to apologise for his role in the disaster.

Repeat offender jailed

Wirral Globe

A Wirral man who

downloaded disgusting child porn images despite having been on an intensive course to prevent such behaviour has received a lengthy jail sentence.

Andrew Contento was given a three-year community order and had a Sexual Offences Prevention Order imposed in 2009 for downloading indecent images of children.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that he broke conditions of the order, which was discovered when he was stopped by police while driving in Bromborough in October.

Armed police call-outs

Liverpool Echo

Armed police officers on Merseyside were

called out to more than 700 incidents last year.

Merseyside Police said "in the vast majority" of the 735 cases, officers were able to resolve situations through negotiation and the decision to fire a gun was never taken lightly.

Toys, tots and tries

BBC Sport

The Super League Show meets

the four Widnes Vikings players juggling professional rugby league with the responsibility of fatherhood.

Widnes players

Chris Dean, Lloyd White, Paul Johnson and Ben Kavanagh all welcomed new additions to their families in the off-season and are loving life as the 'Dad's Army' thanks to the support of their partners, family and team-mates.

On the field, Widnes have made a mixed start, with a thumping victory against Wakefield and an impressive draw with Wigan offset by defeats by St Helens, Leeds and Huddersfield.

The quartet are convinced things are moving in a positive direction under head coach Denis Betts.