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  1. Please join us from 08:00 on Friday for more news, sport, travel and weather from across Merseyside
  2. Updates for Thursday 09 April 2015

Live Reporting

By Jenny Coleman and Rachael Connors

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

Rachael Connors

BBC News Online

That's all from the Merseyside Local Live team for another day.

We'll be back tomorrow with day two - the all important Ladies Day - at Aintree, along with all your news, sport, travel and weather.

Join us from 08:00 - and don't forget your fascinator!

Evening forecast

BBC Weather

The dry weather will continue overnight with largely clear skies. There may be a bit of isolated mist or fog patches in places.

It will turn chilly in rural areas, and the southerly breeze will increase a little.


Travel update

BBC Travel

The region's roads are looking good tonight, and all appears to be running smoothly on the railways too.

Horses? What horses?

A racegoer poses for a photograph with models wearing stilts during the festival-style atmosphere of opening day at Aintree.

Aintree 2015
AFP/Getty Images

Aintree X-Factor?

Liverpool Echo

Liverpool singer Rebecca Ferguson will judge the Aintree Ladies Day Style Contest on Friday.

The 2010 X-Factor runner-up, from Anfield, will also sing some tracks from her new album.

Rebecca Ferguson
Rebecca Ferguson

Bootle constituency guide

The election campaign is in full swing and with less than a month to go until polling day, the parties are fighting for our support. But what's it like to live in a supposedly "safe seat"?

BBC Radio Merseyside's political reporter Mairead Smyth

focuses on Bootle, Labour's third safest seat.

Pedestrian hit in Liverpool dies

A man who was hurt in a crash

on St Anne Street in Liverpool this morning has died.

He was 49-year-old John McShane from Liverpool.

A man, 33, arrested on suspicion of drug-driving has been bailed pending further enquiries.

Police want to hear from the driver of a vehicle who may have seen the pedestrian shortly before the collision with a black Hackney taxi.

Election guide

In little more than four weeks' time we will (probably) know who has won the keys to Number 10.

How is the campaign looking here in Merseyside? Where are the key constituencies in which you won't be able to move without bumping into a politician?

Here's BBC Radio Merseyside political reporter Mairead Smyth's guide.

News on the hour

Megan Key

BBC Radio Merseyside

Merseyside Police are investigating another Facebook group mocking the Hillsborough disaster.

Facebook says it has removed two groups, but a third is still accessible online.

Feathers and fizz

Fascinators at the ready - just add champers and strawberries.

Aintree opening day 2015
AFP/Getty Images

Aintree opening day is as much about dresses and headpieces as it is about selecting winners.

Hats off to Aintree

Audrey Hepburn-style glamour is captured at the Aintree racecourse.

Wondering whether this lady will be back on Friday to take part in the "best dressed" contest?

Aintree opening day 2015
AFP/Getty Images

Jobs boost

An employment and training service has expanded across Merseyside, Wirral, Halton and St Helens in a bid to help more people into work.

The housing association service, funded by the Riverside Foundation, has been active in Liverpool since 2010 and has helped more than 400 people into jobs.

The service has now expanded and job clubs have been set up across the region offering residents advice on drafting CVs, job searching and applications, and one-to-one support.

Concentration required

There is a vintage twist to some of the fashion on this opening day at Aintree.

Forget funny names, this racegoer wants to pick up some tips before parting with any cash.

Aintree opening day 2015
AFP/Getty Images

Digital pinsticker

Form? Going? Jersey colour? Why get bogged down with the details when it comes to choosing your Grand National horse?

Just use the

GB Racing horse selector to pick your horse for the big race on Saturday.

Horses at Aintree

Lights out

BBC Travel

There's congestion in Liverpool city centre at the moment following a traffic light failure on Leeds Street. It's at the Pall Mall junction, and motorists are being advised to approach the area with care.

Appeal after Tarporley crash

Police are appealing for witnesses following a road traffic collision on Royal Lane in Tarporley.

Royal Lane in Tarporley

The crash involving a Ford Fiesta and a Volvo V40 happened at about 16:20 on Thursday, 2 April.

The 63-year-old driver of the Fiesta suffered serious injuries and is in hospital. The 45-year-old driver of the Volvo received minor injuries.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Cheshire Police.

News on the hour

Megan Key

BBC Radio Merseyside

Merseyside Police are investigating three Facebook groups after receiving complaints they're mocking the Hillsborough disaster.

Facebook say they've removed two of the groups, but a third is still accessible online.

Detectives are looking into whether any crimes have been committed.

A coat of many colours

Even the bookies have got dressed up for their day out at Aintree.

Bookmaker at Aintree

Silviniaco Conti wins Betfred Bowl

BBC Sport

Silviniaco Conti - the 7-4 favourite -

won the Betfred Bowl Chase, the feature race on the opening day of the Grand National Festival.

Silviniaco Conti

The two-time King George winner made it back-to-back victories in the Grade 1 Aintree race after holding off the spirited late challenge of second-placed Ballynagour (18-1).

Ridden by Noel Fehily, Silviniaco Conti was the second winner of the three-day meeting for trainer Paul Nicholls.

AP McCoy's Holywell finished third.

His name sounds good

Can't decide which horse to go with? Why not just pick one with a funny name?

Women reading up on horses at Grand National
Getty Images

The smiles on these faces suggest that's exactly what these ladies checking the runners and riders at Aintree have done.

Lifeboat crew save golden retriever

Paul Burnell

BBC News

A golden retriever in danger of being swept out to sea has been rescued by the New Brighton Lifeboat.

Golden retriever lifeboat rescue

The 10-year-old retriever Martha was plucked from the sea in a team effort between the lifeboat crew and an RNLI lifeguard on a jet-powered water bike.

Martha was rescued at Leasowe Shore on Wednesday and is now safe and well, an RNLI spokesman said.

Watch the video of the rescue


Celebrating in style

Someone's had a winner - and that deserves a fist in the air, as this lady pictured celebrating at the rail on the first day on the Grand National Festival at Aintree shows.

Women celebrating a win a Aintree

Time for the Grand National sweepstake

Scissors? Check! 40 family or friends or colleagues? Paper? Check! Bowler hat? Er...

Bowler hat
Getty Images

Well, maybe you don't need the hat, but if you have the rest, you have all you need to run your very own Grand National sweepstake - all you need to do is

download BBC Sport's printable list here to start.

Let's face it, the big race on Saturday just wouldn't be the same without one.

News on the hour

Megan Key

BBC Radio Merseyside

Two men from Birkenhead have been charged with conspiracy to steal over the theft of three miles of metal pipeline worth around £450,000.

Michael Mulkearns and William Aspenall from Prenton appeared at Flintshire Magistrates Court in Mold today.

They are accused of conspiring with others to steal disused pipeline from the cooling towers at Shotton Steelworks in Flintshire. They will appear at Mold Crown Court next week.

Spring brights at Aintree

As the sun is out, bright outfits are the order of the day down at Aintree for the first day of the Grand National Festival.

Women arrive for the first day

Restaurant boss created secret room for workers

Liverpool Echo

Workers at a popular Liverpool curry house were found

living in secret rooms accessible only by crawling through a six-foot tunnel, according to the fire service.

Cafe Sekander, Allerton

Firefighters said that up to four people were discovered to have been living and sleeping in grimy conditions behind a boarded-up staircase at Allerton restaurant, Cafe Sekander.

Firefighters discovered the tiny hatch - navigable only by being on hands and knees - after kicking loose a panel.

Right back to the paddock

It's definitely shirt weather... as Liverpool footballer Glen Johnson shows while he enjoys the warm weather at Aintree.

Glen Johnson
Getty Images

Ruby's first past the post

Ruby Walsh riding Clarcam wins the first race at Aintree in The One Magnificent City Manifesto Novices Steeple Chase on day one of the three-day Grand National meeting.

Grand National
Getty Images

So long and thanks for all the rides

Racegoers at Aintree have been given the chance to leave messages for top jockey AP McCoy, who will be retiring from horse racing after this season.

Racegoer writes message for AP McCoy

News on the hour

Megan Key

BBC Radio Merseyside

Doctors in Liverpool are backing new research from the British Medical Association which suggests two-thirds of GPs want to scrap the 10-minute time limit on consultations.

The BMA survey of 15,000 doctors found the majority would prefer to give longer consultations - even if it means longer queues in waiting rooms.

Swanning around on the water

Speaking of swanning about in the springtime sunshine...

Liverpool Watersport

tweets: These swans need a lunch break been busy last few days with all this Sunshine

Swan pedalos
Local Solutions

Aintree Festival

What no selfie-sticks?

BBC Radio Merseyside are broadcasting live from the course throughout the day.

Listen live on 95.8FM, DAB and online.

Racegoers take a selfie

Fancy a flutter?

Punters at Aintree place a last-minute bet before the festival's opening race.

Racegoers place their bets

Horses on show

And they're (nearly) off!

Horses in the parade ring ahead of the first race at this year's Grand National meeting.

Aintree parade ring

Cash boost for Bunbury play area

Chester Chronicle

A village project to create a £200,000 play area accessible for all ages and abilities

has received an £80,000 cash boost.

Bunbury Jubilee Playing Fields Committee has been awarded £79,680 from The Veolia Environmental Trust towards the creation of a new recreational area and natural playground at the Hurst Close facility.

Maximum field for Saturday's Grand National

BBC Sport

A maximum field of 40 runners has been named for Saturday's Grand National at Aintree with no withdrawals among the leading contenders.

The Grand National
Getty Images

AP McCoy will ride 7-1 favourite Shutthefrontdoor as the 19-time champion jockey competes for a 20th and final time before retirement.

Douglas to Liverpool ferry damage 'worst ever seen'

Mark Edwards

BBC Isle of Man

The damage caused to an Isle of Man Steam Packet ferry, which has left it unable to operate since Good Friday, is

the "worst" the company has ever seen.

Damage to ferry reversing flap
Steam Packet Company

The firm said damage to the Mannanan's trim tab and water jet steering gear was caused by sea debris and will cost more than £100,000 to repair.

All sailings to Liverpool have been cancelled until Friday.

News on the hour

Graham Whyte

BBC Radio Merseyside

Doctors in Liverpool are backing new research from the British Medical Association which shows two thirds of GPs want to scrap the 10 minute time limit on consultations.

The BMA survey of 15,000 doctors found the majority would prefer to give longer consultations even if it means longer queues in the waiting room.