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Summary

  1. Updates on Wednesday 18 May
  2. More news, sport, weather and travel updates from 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Live updates from Merseyside and west Cheshire have finished for the day, but we'll be back from 08:00 on Thursday with the latest news, sport, weather and travel updates from across the region.

Weather: Turning dry overnight with further rain arriving tomorrow

BBC Weather

Scattered showers will soon ease this evening to leave a dry night. 

Cloud will tend to break and clear spells may allow some mist or fog patches to form, especially around the Wirral.

View more on twitter

More from BBC Weather

Europa League final: Liverpool fans fill Basel square

With just hours to go until kick off Liverpool fans are taking over the main square in Basel ahead of the Europa League final. 

Liverpool fans in Basel
AP
Liverpool fans gather at Barfuesser square in Basel
EPA

Many fans flew out from Liverpool John Lennon Airport early this morning and have been steadily filling up Barfuesser Square in the Swiss city throughout the day.

You can listen to live commentary of the final on BBC Radio Merseyside from 19:45.    

Football: Liverpool v Sevilla - all you need to know

BBC Sport

Europa League final: Liverpool v Sevilla - all you need to know

Nearly 6,000 hospital 'bed days' lost through discharge delays

Runcorn and Widnes World

Nearly 6,000 "bed days" at Halton and Warrington Hospitals have been lost and 150 operations cancelled last year due to delays in discharging patients. 

Halton Hospital
Google

Hillsborough: David Duckenfield found at US airport

The former match commander in charge on the day of the Hillsborough disaster has declined to comment on the inquests which concluded fans were unlawful killed. 

Retired South Yorkshire Ch Supt David Duckenfield was tracked down to San Francisco airport in the United States.

Former South Yorkshire Police chief on the Hillsborough inquests

Latest headlines in Merseyside and west Cheshire

Today's top stories in Merseyside and west Cheshire:

  • A Hillsborough survivor finds the "hero" who pulled him from the crush as an eight-year-old boy
  • An investigation is under way after 20 firefighters battled a blaze at a derelict pub in Widnes
  • Two men appear before Liverpool and Knowlsey magistrates over the discovery of £16m worth of drugs

Family's shock after car ploughs into Liverpool home

Liverpool Echo

A shocked family whose home was severely damaged when a car ploughed into their front room say they feel no anger towards the driver.

Europa League final: Party atmosphere in Basel

The countdown to kick off is on as thousand of Liverpool fans arrive in Basel ahead of tonight's Europa League final.

Liverpool fans
PA

Fans are gathering in St Jakob-Park in Basel ahead of the match against Spanish side Sevilla which kicks off at 20:00.

Liverpool fans in Basel
PA

New Mayor of St Helens named

Earlestown councillor David Banks has been named as the new Mayor of St Helens.

David Banks
St Helens Council

Looking forward to his year in office, Mr Banks, 64, said it would be a "tremendous honour to represent the people of this borough".

Europa League final: Swiss police chief's warning to Liverpool fans

BBC Newsbeat

Police in Basel say they're ready to welcome up to 100,000 Liverpool fans but those without tickets "won't get close" to the St Jakob-Park stadium.

The Reds play Sevilla in the Europa League final tonight.

Liverpool fan
BBC Newsbeat

Travel: Congestion in Runcorn

BBC Travel

There is slow traffic on the Weston Point Expressway southbound in Runcorn between the Weston Link junction and Runcorn in the roadworks area.

More from BBC Travel

Latest headlines in Merseyside and west Cheshire

Today's top stories in Merseyside and west Cheshire:

  • A Hillsborough survivor finds the "hero" who pulled him from the crush as an eight-year-old boy  
  • Fire crews are damping down after a major blaze at a derelict pub in Widnes
  • Liverpool fans are arriving in Basel ahead of the Europa League final against Sevilla

Former Southport school to be demolished for 40 new homes

Southport Visiter

Work is due to begin to demolish a former Southport primary school, with a developer keen to build 40 new homes on the land.

Weather: Sunshine and thundery showers

Football: Liverpool fans in Basel for Europa League final

Merseytravel seek public views on St Helens bus network

Hillsborough survivor finds 'hero' rescuer after appeal goes viral

A Hillsborough survivor has found the "hero" who pulled him from the crush as an eight-year-old boy.

Joe Smith was rescued by a stranger at Hillsborough
BBC

Joe Smith, 35, launched a Facebook appeal after seeing himself on the shoulders of his rescuer while watching a BBC Two documentary.

The pair have since been in contact and are now arranging to meet.

Your pictures: Cloudy morning on Wirral beach

BBC Weather Watchers

Thanks to BBC Weather Watcher spenner for uploading this picture of Thurstaston beach in Wirral this morning.

Thurstaston
BBC

Have you got a photo or a weather report you would like to share? Why not join the BBC Weather Watchers website.

PC Dave Phillips to be granted posthumous civic honour this week

Wirral Globe

Police Officer Dave Phillips who was killed on duty in Wirral last year is to be granted Freedom of the Borough and the Wirral Award this week in tribute to his public service.

PC Dave Phillips
Merseyside Police

Europa League final: Anticipation building in Basel

Latest headlines in Merseyside and west Cheshire

Today's top stories in Merseyside and west Cheshire:

  • An investigation is under way after fire at a derelict pub in Widnes this morning
  • Forty-one live shotgun cartridges have been found in Everton Cemetery  
  • Liverpool fans are arriving in Basel ahead of the Europa League final against Sevilla

Electrical pioneer honoured in Liverpool

Bay TV

Bay TV Liverpool

Electrical pioneer Dr Sebastian Ziani De Ferranti has been honoured in Liverpool with a blue plaque now marking the place of his birth in Liverpool City Centre. Watch: De Ferranti plaque - Bay TV Liverpool

De Ferranti plaque
Bay TV

Travel: Knowsley Expressway partically blocked after crash

BBC Travel

The Knowsley Expressway is partially blocked and there is heavy traffic in both directions at Tarbock island because of a crash on the roundabout.

More from BBC Travel

Football: Liverpool fans make front page of Basel newspaper

Basel newspaper
Bz Basel

Football: Liverpool fans on the way to Basel for Europa League Final

Liverpool fans are flying out of John Lennon Airport ahead of the Europa League final.

Fans queue for flights to Basel
BBC
Liverpool fan
BBC
Liverpool fans board plane
PA

Some of the thousands have already arrived in Switzerland for tonight's game when Liverpool take on Sevilla. 

You can listen to live commentary of the final on BBC Radio Merseyside from 19:45.  

Live shotgun cartridges found in Everton Cemetery

Forty-one live shotgun cartridges have been found in Everton Cemetery. 

Everton cemetary
Google

Police were searching an area of the graveyard near Long Lane yesterday afternoon when they made the discovery. 

The cartridges will now undergo forensic analysis.

Widnes fire: Firefighters dampen down site

Firefighters are dampening down after a major blaze at the derelict Albert Hotel pub in Widnes which remains cordoned off.

Albert Hotel fire
BBC

Widnes fire: Road closures remain in place

Widnes fire: Blaze out and firefighters begin building check

A fire at a disused pub in Widnes is out and firefighters are carrying out an assessment of the building.

Albert Hotel fire
Cheshire Fire

Firefighters were called the Albert Hotel in Albert Road at 05:30.

The majority of residents who were evacuated from their homes have now returned. The cause of the fire is unknown.

Latest headlines in Merseyside and west Cheshire

Today's top stories in Merseyside and west Cheshire:

  • Several roads are closed as emergency services tackle a large fire at a derelict pub in Widnes
  • Two men are due to appear in court charged with conspiracy to supply cocaine after £16m of drugs were found in Liverpool
  • Thousands of Liverpool fans are arriving in Basel, Switzerland ahead of tonight's Europa League final

Travel: Widnes road closures due to building fire

BBC Travel

Albert Road in Widnes is closed in both directions between the Peel House Lane junction and the Edwin Street junction because of a building fire.

More from BBC Travel

Widnes fire: Police at scene

Europa League final: Liverpool fans warned about fake tickets

Liverpool fans have been warned about counterfeit tickets ahead of tonight's Europa League final.

FC Basel
Getty Images

One Reds supporter paid £700 for tickets for the game against Sevilla in Basel, Switzerland.

The forgeries are almost identical to genuine tickets, with only the genuine Uefa hologram missing from the fakes.

Police are also warning supporters not to buy any tickets on the black market in Basel once they arrive.

Football: All aboard for Basel

Football: Klopp has made all the difference - Henderson

BBC Sport

Thousands of Liverpool fans are travelling to Switzerland -  as Liverpool try to win their first major piece of European silverware for 11 years. 

They play Sevilla in the Europa League final in Basel tonight.

Captain Jordan Henderson says having Jurgen Klopp behind the team has made all the difference.

Players on Europa final

Homes evacuated as firefighters tackle blaze in Widnes

Homes have been evacuated and several roads are closed as emergency services tackle a large fire at the former Albert Hotel in Widnes.

Albert Hotel on fire
Cheshire Fire

There is smoke billowing from the building at the junction of Albert Road and Halton View Road and 20 nearby homes have been evacuated. 

Residents in the area are advised to keep windows and doors closed and stay inside where possible.

Two due in court of over £16m drugs find

Two men are due before Liverpool and Knowsley Magistrates' Court later charged with conspiracy to supply cocaine over a £16m drugs find.

The drugs were found in a house, van and an apartment
Merseyside Police

The drugs are believed to be cocaine, heroin and cannabis and were hidden in a house in Stradbroke Road in Wavertree and at an apartment in Duke Street in the city centre.  

They were found by the North West's Titan unit, which tackles organised crime, in what could be their biggest seizure ever.