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Majority shareholder agrees to sell stake in Crewe Alex

Graham McGarry

Crewe Alexandra commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Crewe Alexandra football club's majority shareholder has agreed to sell his stake in the club.

Crewe Alexandra's stadium
Reuters

Norman Hassall has held 51% of the shares since 2006, but will now sell them to a group of local business owners and investors.

The Alex have issued a statement saying the move will mean no single shareholder will own more than 12.5% of shares.

Stables murder trial jury retires to consider verdict

A jury has retired to consider its verdict over a husband accused of murdering his wife in a "frenzied" attack with a crowbar.

Ann Marie Pomphret
Police handout

Ann Marie Pomphret, 49, was found dead at stables she owned with her husband David in Warrington, Cheshire, on 2 November.

She had been struck 30 times over the head with a crowbar.

Mr Pomphret, 51, of Winwick, Warrington has pleaded guilty to manslaughter at Liverpool Crown Court but denies murder on the grounds of a temporary loss of control.

However, prosecutors told the court: "It may be loss of temper, but not loss of control."

Mr Pomphret told the jury he "snapped" after his "ranting" wife called him "limp and useless" over his erectile dysfunction and slapped him during a row.

He said he has no recollection of the attack.

BreakingTwo women trapped in car after crash with lorry

Firefighters are working to free two elderly women who are trapped in their car after a collision with a lorry near Nantwich just after 15:00.

The crash happened on Wrexham Road in Burland and North West Ambulance Service is preparing to take them to hospital.

Attempted murder arrests after home attack

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

A teenage girl is being questioned on suspicion of attempted murder after a man was attacked at a house in Nantwich.

The 40-year-old victim suffered serious head injuries at the Blagg Avenue property on Monday evening.

Cheshire Police says a 16-year-old girl from Merseyside has been arrested in relation to the investigation.

A 39-year-old man from Nantwich was earlier also arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and has since been released on conditional bail.

Council faces £7.5m budget black hole

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Stephen Topping

Increasing demands on children's services and adult social care has left Cheshire East Council having to find £7.5m in savings to balance its books this year.

Cheshire East Council HQ
BBC

The local authority has been reviewing its budget for 2018-19 and currently has a £5.5m overspend in its People department.

That includes coping with a rise in the number of cared-for children from 484 in March, to 510 in August.

There's also a £2.1m overspend in adult social care, £1.1m in the Corporate department and £1m related to employer pension contributions.

However, the council says it believes it'll take enough "mitigating actions" to balance the budget by the end of March.

'Awful' bus station set for makeover

Jodie Looker

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

A councillor responsible for regenerating east Cheshire has admitted Crewe's bus station "looks awful".

Crewe bus  station
Google

Last month, BBC Radio Stoke heard from bus users who described it as "dilapidated and dangerous".

It's due to be replaced as part of major regeneration plans for the town centre.

At a meeting yesterday, Nick Mannion from Cheshire East Council said there'll be a further update on those proposals next week.

Man left with serious head injuries after attack

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

A man's been left with serious injuries after an incident in Nantwich.

Blagg Avenue, Nantwich
Google

The 40-year-old was assaulted in Blagg Avenue on Monday evening, Cheshire Police said.

Three people, two men and a female, were seen leaving the house shortly after the incident.

The victim is in hospital with serious head injuries and his condition is said to be stable.

Officers said a 39-year-old man from Nantwich has been arrested over the attack and remains in custody but police are appealing for witnesses to get in touch.

Staffless library opening hours considered

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

Libraries could open for longer without staff having to be present, under plans being considered by Cheshire East Council.

Nantwich's library
Google

Customers could be let into the buildings at 07:30 until 20:00 by using their library cards, with CCTV being used for security checksm the council said.

The idea is included in a survey about the local authority's library service which is running on its website until 8 November.

Warrington murder: Crimestoppers offer £10,000 reward

A £10,000 reward has been offered in connection with the murder of a father-of-one from Warrington.

Mark Bradbury
Family handout

Mark Bradbury was found dead with head injuries at his home in Station Road South, Padgate, Cheshire, on 4 August.

The 58-year-old had last been seen near his house at 17:00 BST on 1 August.

The Crimestoppers reward is for information leading to a conviction in the case.

The last sighting of Mr Bradbury was on 1 August at about17:00 as he returned with his brother from walking his golden retriever dog.

Gary Murray from Crimestoppers, said: “This murder has devastated Mark’s family who are still waiting to see justice.

“Whilst his murder is still a mystery, it’s believed that people in the local community and beyond may hold clues as to what happened.

“If you have any information, however insignificant it may appear, please contact us."

'I'm held together like Meccano'

Jennifer Meierhans

BBC News Online

Vanessa Smith says she now has "plates and screws like Meccano to hold me together".

The 50-year-old, from Sandbach, was in Kent for a day out when she was hit by a car.

Vanessa Smith
BBC

"All I remember is being on the floor and this nurse holding my head and trying to keep me awake because I was just trying to go to sleep."

Having been taken at first to a local hospital where she was stabilised, she was then brought here, to the major trauma centre at Royal Stoke for surgery.

“I cry. I have my good days and bad days. The support here has been amazing, the nurses have been great helping me with my physio."

Homes evacuated after timber yard fire

A fire has broken out at a timber yard in Congleton, Cheshire.

Fire
Cheshire Fire Service
Fire
Cheshire Fire Service

Residents have been evacuated from their homes close to the scene on Bark Street, off Mountbatten Way.

Fire
Cheshire Fire Service

Crews were called out shortly after 00:45 and managed to contain the blaze preventing further spread, said the fire service.

Neighbouring properties are being advised to keep their windows and doors closed.

Climate protest: 'You can only learn so much in a classroom'

Hundreds of young people are rallying at St Peter's Square in Manchester as part of today's global climate change strike, sparked by campaigner Greta Thunberg.

school students hold placards
BBC

Philip Stewart, a teacher at Terra Nova Prep School, Cheshire, said: "The students wrote a letter requesting that we bring them to the climate protest.

"They were inspired by some of the speeches by Greta Thunberg that they've been learning in English and what they've learned about climate change in geography.

He said other teachers and parents were "very supportive".

"You can only learn so much about this in a classroom. It's events like this where they find out more."

Iona Biggs, 12, said: "We are trying to cut down on our use of plastics as a school and I want to stop shopping for new clothes because they use a lot of water and energy to manufacture them."

Joint fire and police station plan scrapped

Phil McCann

Cheshire Political Reporter, BBC News

Plans to build a joint police and fire station in Crewe have been dropped after it was discovered the project would have cost taxpayers £18m.

Current Crewe fire station
Google

Members of Cheshire Fire Authority voted unanimously to move forward with plans to build a station just for the fire service instead.

Officers found that a large basement car park would have to be built to provide enough parking spaces for police and the fire service, which would bump up the cost by a "considerable amount".

The fire service now hopes to have designs ready by the end of the year for the new station, which, if approved, will be built on the site of the existing one at the corner of Macon Way and Crewe Road.

Teenager's bike taken at knifepoint

Jodie Looker

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

A teenager's been robbed of his bike at knifepoint.

The 14-year-old was cycling with a friend in Crewe on Thursday evening when Cheshire Police said two men came up to them on Dunwoody Way.

Dunwoody Way, Crewe
Google

They first asked if they wanted to buy drugs and, when the pair said no, demanded the victim's bike and pulled out a large knife.

Officers say the teenager handed the bike over and ran off.

North West Air Ambulance called out to 200 incidents

The North West Air Ambulance Service responded to nearly 200 incidents in Cumbria in the last year.

The service, which has helicopters in Greater Manchester and Preston, covers the south of the county - but has been as far north as Carlisle in the last 12 months.

James, who's a helicopter pilot, says the aircraft make a big difference to patients in need.

If it's an hour-and-a-half or two-hour drive, we can be there in 20 minutes and that can make a real big difference to that patient."

New cancer centre set to be developed

BBC News England

Specialist cancer centre the Christie Hospital is set to build a new £26m treatment base in Cheshire.

Artist's impression of centre
The Christie

Plans for the site in the grounds of Macclesfield District General Hospital have been approved by Cheshire East Council.

The Christie said the centre would care for patients in Cheshire, North Staffordshire and the High Peak area of Derbyshire.

Work on the site is set to begin in early 2020.

Armed police called out over 'chainsaw-wielding teens'

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

Armed police were deployed to streets in Crewe after reports of people being chased by teenagers wielding chainsaws.

Cheshire Police said it was told they were in the West Street and Flag Lane areas of the town on Monday night, although no-one was found.

Police reassure public over oil plant incident

Cheshire Police are seeking to reassure the public after receiving reports of an incident at the Essar plant in Ellesmere Port.

A power cut there resulted in a controlled flare that is expected to continue burning for the next few hours, police said.

Sirens also sounded following the power cut.

Man's body found by dog walkers near golf course

A man's body has been discovered near Liverpool Municipal Golf Club in Fazakerley.

Valley Road
Google Maps

Merseyside Police confirmed an investigation was under way following the discovery on Tuesday evening.

Emergency services were called at about 17:40 BST by people walking their dogs on the field off Valley Road.

The death is being treated as unexplained rather than suspicious, police said.