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Huge cannabis haul found at Cheshire mansion

The cannabis plants are worth around £750,000. Credit: Cheshire Police

A massive cannabis farm has been found at the former Cheshire county mansion, Daresbury Hall.

Six hundred plants, with an estimated street value for almost £750,000, were discovered in an annex at the estate in Runcorn after Cheshire Police were alerted through 'local intelligence'.

The force said inquiries are continuing as asked anyone with information to contact them on 101.

"This was a significant find and fortunately we have been able to put a stop to it."

– Chief Inspector Paul Beauchamp, Greater Manchester Police

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70 pupils in isolation for refusing to remove Marie Curie daffodils from blazers

Credit: PA

The Liverpool Echo reports that around 70 pupils were put in ‘isolation’ at The Grange School in Runcorn after they refused to remove charity ribbons from their blazers.

One of the pupils reportedly called the Echo from the isolation unit but a member of staff told her to hang up.

She claimed that around 60-70 pupils were excluded from their classes and that one teacher wore a ribbon in solidarity.

Parents and pupils say Marie Curie ribbons are being worn because of the number of students whose parents or grandparents have suffered or died from cancer.

Granada Reports have contacted the school and are waiting for an official response.

  1. Tim Scott, ITV News

Meet Runcorn's leaders of the future

There are 10 weeks to go the General Election but at one school in Runcorn - they've already chosen their leaders.

In fact the Year 6 classes at Pewithall Primary went a bit further than that - they formed their own political parties, had a campaign, and staged their own ballot.

Tim Scott went to find out who topped the pupil poll:

School holds its own elections

The general election may be a few months away, but one school in the region is already getting in the mood.

Year six students at Pewithall primary in Runcorn have been organising their own elections.

Teachers came up with the idea in a bid to try and get children interested in politics.

Pupils have formed their own parties complete with policies and manifestos and have been debating issues important to them.

Sunken cargo ship bound for Runcorn found on seabed

The Cypriot-registered Cemfjord was bound for Runcorn when it capsized and sunk. Credit: RNLI/Wick

A cargo ship bound for Runcorn that sunk with eight crew on board has been located on the seabed.

A major search effort was mounted on Saturday after the upturned hull of the Cypriot-registered Cemfjord was spotted in the waters of the Pentland Firth by a passing ferry. The search was suspended just after 4pm on Saturday after no trace was found of the crew members.

A sonar ship has now travelled to the area to search for the sunken ship and it is believed that the ship is upside down on the seabed.

It was a violent storm and it seems likely that the weather would have been a factor but, until we have some better idea of what happened, I can't say how much of a factor,

It must have played some part in what happened but it will take some time to put the picture together because, sadly, we're not in a position to interview the crew and the vessel is submerged in around 68 metres (223ft) of water.

– Tony Redding, spokesman for German shipping company Brise of Hamburg,

It has emerged that the Cemfjord was involved in an incident last July when it was grounded off Denmark.

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Halton MP calls for waste-incinerator to be shut down

Halton MP Derek Twigg is calling for a waste-incinerator to be shut down, after complaints from the local community. People living near "The Runcorn Energy from Waste" facility claim steam-emissions and noise from the site are making their lives a misery. The Environment Agency say they've found no evidence of a breach of the rules. But Mr Twigg is now calling for all parties to meet and find a solution.

Inquest told of "explosion" before crash

Pte Michael Peers, who was in the Ridgeback when it turned over and fell into the canal, described to the inquest how he managed to escape from the submerged vehicle and make his way to safety as he was on the brink of unconsciousness.

In a statement read to the hearing, he said the vehicle was travelling at speed, leaving the following Ridgeback to trail behind at some distance, as it responded to the call for help from the ANP at CP5. He said that the crew were all wearing their seatbelts and had opened the hatches as they travelled close to the canal.

He said: "I heard a loud bang which was like an explosion, I do not know where it came from or where it impacted if it did impact.

"I felt the vehicle jolt and I thought it might be an IED. I felt the vehicle swerve then flip over on to its right hand side.

"The whole event lasted a couple of seconds or less. The vehicle then fell over on to its left side and submerged in the water, I didn't have time to take a breath.

"I managed to stand up and pushed out on the walls and found an opening, I managed to pull myself through the opening. I cannot expand on any further details because of the shock and confusion."

He said the weight of his body armour caused him to sink below the surface of the water. "I couldn't remove my body armour and in my last moment of consciousness I managed to kick my legs."

He was then helped from the water by members of the ANP. He added: "I started to cough up lots of water."

He said it took about 45 minutes to retrieve the vehicle from the water which involved the other Ridgeback using a tow rope to pull it out.

Pte Peers said that he then saw the bodies of Pte Isaac then L/Cpl Ramsden being brought out of the vehicle. He said: "I was in shock, I smoked about 20 cigarettes to calm down."

And he added: "I do not know what may have caused the accident but I did see extensive damage to the front of the Ridgeback."

The inquest, which is due to last six days, was adjourned until tomorrow.

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