The largest earthquake to hit the UK since 1990 struck across the UK at 1am on the morning of 27th February 2008.
St Helens residents were disturbed from their sleep as buildings shook and car and house alarms were activated, though early reports suggested that there was only minor damage caused.
The epicentre of the quake, which measured 5.3 on the Richter Scale was in Grimsby
For more news see this BBC story
This story was first reported by The Daily Express. We all wish Nick a speedy recovery
St Helens' worst fears were realised when prop forward Nick Fozzard was told he needs a knee reconstruction which will virtually wreck his season.
The 30-year-old was carried off just three minutes into Friday's Super League match at Bradford and scans on Monday confirmed that he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament. "He requires a reconstruction which means he will be out for five to six months, probably closer to six," said coach Daniel Anderson.
"It's disappointing but that's what happens in rugby league. You get major injuries. It's one of the variables that you can't control."
He added: "It's not good for Foz and it's not good for us but we've got to get him repaired as quickly as possible and hopefully get him back playing this year."
Fozzard joins a mounting injury list which has decimated Saints' pack. They were already without Fozzard's fellow front rowers, Jason Cayless (knee) and Maurie Fa'asavalu (broken thumb), back-row pair Jon Wilkin (knee) and Chris Flannery (leg), and they also lost young prop Gareth Frodsham with concussion in the 22-16 win at Bradford. Fa'asavalu will be out until Easter and Cayless is not expected back until the end of April, but Anderson is unlikely to look into the transfer market for a short-term replacement.
"I don't envisage going anywhere," he said. "We'll just have to hold the line and wait for the cavalry to come."
Frodsham, who made his Super League debut just two months after celebrating his 18th birthday, will be fit to face Wakefield at Knowsley Road on Sunday and captain Paul Sculthorpe reported no ill-effects from his comeback against the Bulls.
"He pulled up well on Saturday morning and trained this morning," said Anderson. "I'm expecting him to be available for Sunday."
An enterprise centre in St Helens designed to create a hub of entrepreneurial activity will be officially launched today.
A key feature of the £6m development will be a 30-unit Enterprise Greenhouse which will offer affordable space for start-up businesses, including computers, telephone, receptionist and on-site business advice.
The three-storey centre is being funded by the Local Enterprise Growth Initiative, through St Helens Council, St Helens Chamber and Objective 1 funding.
St Helens Chamber, which was last month named as Chamber of the Year, will move into purpose-built offices at the centre, which will also offer conference facilities and meeting rooms.
Steve Gange, chairman of St Helens Chamber, said: “We are continually striving to find more ways to help develop and support businesses in the borough.
“The Enterprise Centre is giving us the opportunity to create some fantastic facilities, which will help us to encourage new ventures to grow and will provide an excellent resource for our established businesses and for local schools, who are nurturing the business talent that the borough will need in the future.”
The centre, which is being built in the town centre next to the tourist attraction, The World of Glass, is scheduled to open in December 2008. The town’s council leader, Brian Spencer, says it will help to develop businesses of the future.
He said: “Not only will this centre showcase the new headquarters for St Helens Chamber, but it will house one of the most exciting and ambitious enterprise development projects in the region – the Enterprise Greenhouse.
“This provides entrepreneurs with the opportunity to start their businesses in high quality premises with business support on site, and it will give young entrepreneurs a platform to develop their talents and create high-growth, modern businesses.”
Tony Singh, 34, was arrested after he fought back when career criminal Liam Kilroe, from Billinge, St Helens - on the run after being charged with two other robberies - ambushed him at knifepoint as he was about to go home........
The friends of a 15-year-old boy who drowned in a Merseyside lake have been paying their respects to him.
John Simmons was with friends when he fell off a polystyrene raft into the icy water of the Clegg in Thatto Heath, St Helens, early on 13 February.
Pupils at his school, Cowley Language College in St Helens, paid tribute to him in their first assembly after the half-term break.
A poem written by his girlfriend, Jamie, was read out in the assembly.
In it, she said: "I never knew you was going to leave, I didn't think you'd go.
"Just wanted to say, just one last time, how much I loved you so."
Assistant head teacher, Paul Livesey, said he was shocked to be dealing with the death of one of his pupils.
He said: "He was a fun-loving lad. He was known by everyone in the school, you always knew when he was coming down the corridor, he was full of life."
Head boy, Patrick Hannon, said students were trying to think of the good times.
"You just have to think of all the good memories really, you can't think of all the sad ones, that just gets the mood down," he said.
John's funeral is due to take place later this week
With thanks to BBC
Tributes have been paid to the teenager who drowned in a lake after falling from a makeshift raft.
John Simmons, of Parliament Street, had been playing with four friends just before midnight on Tuesday night when they all fell into the water off Senator Road in Thatto Heath. The 15-year-old's companions managed to escape to raise the alarm but he could not be saved. His body was recovered by Merseyside Police's underwater search team at around 2am.
Distraught youngsters and their families gathered round the lake - locally known as the Clegg - to lay flowers by the now still and silent water. The Cowley Language pupil, known as Simmo to his many friends, was described as a 'funny caring lad, who was very protective of his loved ones and would do anything for anybody'. John's teenage girlfriend left a dozen roses and a card which read 'my baby'.
Paul Livesey, assistant head at the Broadway site of the college, said: "His death has had a devastating effect on the school and he will be sadly missed. We have 250 pupils at our site and he must have known them all.
"He was a typical year 10 lad who was very popular amongst his peers. I have known him since he first came to us in year seven and had such a love of life.
"John loved his sport and he was taking a GCSE in PE. He loved football and played rugby for the school."
He added: "As soon as the children get back we will be holding a special assembly and of course we want to do as much as we can to pay tribute to John." If possible, the funeral cortege could come past the school and we will line the streets to say our farewells."
Only three weeks before John's death council bosses ordered part of a safety fence surrounding the lake be torn down.Officials say the area is public highway and forced developers David Wilson Homes to create a gap in the fence.
Residents are currently preparing to launch a legal bid to have the fence reinstated. The lake is a popular haunt for local youngsters and they often camp by the waters edge.
Lillian Norcross, who lives opposite the scene, said the isolated spot makes it popular with older youths. She said: "I heard the noise of the lads last night but I'm used to it now.
"I was worried because it was below freezing and it was very late." A few minutes later there was an ambulance outside my house. I assumed somebody had tried to jump into the water - you get a lot of horseplay there."
A firefighter who attended the incident said: "We were first on site and we are trained at water rescue. We got under the water with special thermal image cameras but it was pitch black and visibility was poor."
After two hours we vacated the area for the police diving teams who found the young lad."
St Helens Reporter
A 15-year-old boy drowned in a pond in St Helens while playing with friends.
John Simmons was with four other boys on a makeshift raft on the pond near Senator Road in Thatto Heath at about midnight on Tuesday, police said.
All five of them fell into the freezing water. Four of them managed to make it to safety and raised the alarm.
The body of the teenager, who lived locally, was recovered by the police underwater search unit. The incident is being treated as a fatal accident.
The large pond, known as the Clegg, is on open ground surrounded by a new housing estate.
Flowers are being left at the scene. A teenage girl who said she was John's girlfriend left a dozen roses and a card which read "my baby".
There was a few of them, they were shouting 'He's drowning, he's drowning'
It is reported to be a popular spot with local youngsters both for fishing and as a meeting place.
It is bordered by "no swimming" signs which also warn of the deep water.
Temperatures dipped below freezing on Tuesday night although the water was not frozen over.
A woman who lives close to the scene of the tragedy said: "I was in bed and I had heard the boys splashing about, then there was a knock on the door.
"There was a few of them, they were shouting 'He's drowning, he's drowning'.
"My partner called the police. The helicopter and the divers came out but it was too late for him."
She said it was very unusual for children to be playing there at night and at this time of year.
"You do get kids down there, obviously, it's a place for them to play.
"But there's not been anybody down there for months," she added.
But Lillian Norcross, who lives opposite the scene, said the isolated spot made it popular with older youths who gather at night to drink alcohol.
She said: "I heard the noise of the lads last night but I'm used to it now.
"I was worried because it was below freezing and it was very late.
"A few minutes later there was an ambulance outside my house. I assumed somebody had tried to jump into the water, you get a lot of horseplay there."
For more details on this tragedy and the thoughts of John's schoolteacher click here
With thanks to BBC Merseyside
St Helens coach Daniel Anderson has expressed concern over the well-being of captain Paul Sculthorpe.
The former Great Britain skipper has suffered a nightmare two years with knee and Achilles injuries, with Anderson claiming he is no nearer to a comeback than he was a month ago.
Sculthorpe underwent surgery on his Achilles in the autumn and has yet to resume contact training.
"It is a worry," he said. "He's hit a bit of a plateau in his rehabilitation, it's not going as rapidly as it was a month ago.
"He is still running but he's been stuck at 75 to 80% for a couple of weeks now. He can't do anything dynamic and he can't come into the team until he's 100%. That's the frustration.
"Until they give me the number that's very close to 100, I don't think about it, I just think about what we've got available."
And the answer to that is 'not a lot'. Anderson has five regulars sidelined through injury including Great Britain forwards Jon Wilkin and Maurie Fa'asavalu.
The pair have been ruled out for six weeks with torn knee ligaments and a broken thumb respectively, while Willie Talau will miss Friday's clash with Warrington with a calf strain.
"We've had a few setbacks," added Anderson. "We were healthy two weeks ago and crowing about it. But that's the way it goes.
"Someone who hasn't played or has a single digit number of first-grade games will be playing on Friday night. I'll decide which one it is later in the week.
"I have a lot of senior players who have been in this situation before. You just get on with it. We're playing our first home match and we're confident that we'll still make it very difficult for Warrington."
Three-quarter Chris Dean, 19, prop Gareth Frodsham, 18, and half-back Kyle Eastmond, 18, who have three Super League appearances between them, have all been called into St Helens' initial 20-man squad.
David Keith, premises license owner, said: "St Helens has not got a lap dancing bar."Every major town has one and I feel St Helens is a modern and forward looking town. A lot of people have to travel to Manchester or Liverpool at the moment."Everything is in order. If anybody's got any complaints we are going to listen to everything."There is always going to be for and against. It's not sleazy, or dirty - it's a bit of fun. St Helens may like lap dancing, they may not."
He has worked closely with St Helens Council's head of licensing David Breeze and the police to ensure all guidelines have been met. He added: "We have got a code of practice. That involves strictly no admission to under 18s, absolutely no touching of the girls and all the performers must be over the age of 18. "None of the performers are allowed to dress or use any props which would indicate there were under the age of 18 - they can't use a school uniform."
However, church leaders are far from happy, branding the bar 'exploitative'.Tim Hyde, minister of St Helens Baptist Church, said: "It's not something I would be in favour of. "There is enough pressure on people's relationships as there is in the town and such venues probably don't help in many ways. "I don't think it's fun - to me it's a form of exploitation of male, female relationships."
Parts of this story were originally published in The St Helens Reporter
A man who died in an accident involving three cars on the M58 in west Lancashire has been named.
David Smith, 60, from St Helens, Merseyside, was involved in the crash near junction one of the motorway, near Bickerstaff, on Thursday night.
Two people suffered minor injuries and were taken to hospital but Mr Smith was fatally injured.
He leaves behind his wife of 15 years, three daughters and one five-year-old granddaughter.
His wife, Dora Martlew-Smith said: "I am totally devastated, I have not only lost my husband but my best friend as well."
Mr Smith was driving a Ford Fiesta, which collided with a Fiat Punto and a Vauxhall Corsa at about 2030 GMT.
The ‘Ormskirk Napper’ suspect was captured on camera with a dog on an Ormskirk-Liverpool train on Friday, January 25, at around 10am – just minutes after a dog was snatched from outside Boots.
The images were recorded by hidden cameras on board the train as it headed to Liverpool.
The black and white border cross collie was later found dead in St Helens
Police believe he took Ellie, from outside Boots on Moor Street and dragged her to the train station then boarded the train.
Ellie was found dead beside a road in St Helens in the early hours of Sunday (January 27). She had been hit by a car. She belonged to Karen Jennings and Dennis Moffat of Burscough Street, Ormskirk.
PC Ewan Wells thanked the Advertiser for its coverage and hopes that someone will recognise the man in the CCTV images and tip-off the police.
He said: “We must found the person who took Ellie. He is a white male, about 5ft 10ins, in his late teens to early 20s and average build.
“He was wearing a woolly hat and dark parka type jacket with a fur lined hood. Underneath this he was wearing a hooded sweat top with dark navy jeans and brilliant white trainers."
Anyone who has seen him or knows where he is can ring police on 0845-1253545 or the free and anonymous Crimestoppers on 0800-555111.
Saints have emerged as a possible destination for Wayne Bennett, the former Australia coach who is standing down at Brisbane Broncos at the end of 2008 after 21 seasons with the NRL club.
“My intention is to continue to coach, either in the northern or southern hemisphere,” Bennett said.
The only engage Super League vacancy on the horizon is at St Helens, where Daniel Anderson is in his last season.
“It's very early days,” Tony Colquitt, the club's chief executive, said. “As for Wayne, we haven't had any discussions with him or plans to contact him.”
To find out more about Bennett click here
A man who pleaded guilty to selling pornographic films at Chalon Way Car Boot Sale, St Helens was fined and ordered to pay costs totalling £1,480.Charles Edward Cooper, aged 41, from Oldham appeared before St Helens Magistrates on Tuesday (February 5th).
The offences happened in November last year.Cooper was arrested in a joint car boot sale operation between St Helens Council’s Trading Standards section and Merseyside Police.He was caught in possession for the purpose of supplying 17 Restricted 18 DVD films. Restricted 18 films can only be legally sold through officially licensed sex shops.
Councillor Carole Kavanagh, Executive Member for Environmental Protection, said: “Trading Standards and the Police are continuing to work together to stamp out any illegal activity at local markets and car boots sales.“Joint inspections will be undertaken and I would urge anyone who suspects somebody is breaking the law at these events to contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
All information will be treated confidentially.”
St Helens Head Coach Daniel Anderson won the Rugby League Special Award following the most successful two years in the club’s long history.
The Australian, who is returning home at the end of this season, added the personal honour to a fantastic trophy haul which saw St Helens do the treble in season 2006/6 and fall just short of repeating the feat last season.
Receiving the award, Anderson paid tribute to his players and said the achievements of the squad since he arrived had been outstanding.
"They have given full commitment and as a coach I could not have wished for anything more," he said. "I have received full support from the chairman downwards – the team spirit is fantastic.
"We had a good warm up against Wakefield at the weekend ahead of the new season and we are looking for more success in 2008."
He said it had been a family decision to return home to Australia at the end of his contract: "We have decided that after a few years in different places that now is finally the time to settle down as a family. It has been a great experience and we have thoroughly enjoyed our time in St Helens."
Saints’ loss in the Grand Final to Leeds Rhinos last season was offset by the club taking the title of World Club Champions against the much- fancied Brisbane Broncos, along with the Challenge Cup at the new Wembley stadium, and the League leaders’ plate.
Anderson has created a fantastic team spirit at Knowsley Road and in the process given his charges another string to their bow, creating a superb defensive machine.
Always known for their attacking flair, Saints now had another weapon in their armoury. Some of the defensive stints and tackling on show last season was outstanding as Saints became the team to beat yet again.
Anderson, a big Liverpool fan, was spotted on the Kop a few times last season and also hosted Liverpool FC manager Rafa Benitez to a match at Knowsley Road. His award was presented by Liverpool FC hero Phil Thompson, watched by Daniel’s wife Natalie, Saints’ chief executive Tony Colquitt, players Matt Gidley, Paul Sculthorpe, Ade Gardner, James Graham and James Roby and a former winner of the trophy, ex-Saints’ great Chris Joynt.
In the midst of all the action there was plenty more going on at Knowsley Road with the announcement of the plans for the much-heralded new stadium finally unveiled and a shake-up of boardroom and management personnel.
Meanwhile, the Saints team of 08 are hungry to kick on for more success, hoping to send Anderson back home with some more trophy wins under his belt.
But Saints, working to the edge of the salary cap, will have to do it with the same faces as last term. The club has not recruited during the close season, hoping that their youth policy, which in the past has produced Great Britain stars James Roby and James Graham, will again pay dividends.
But an ‘extra’ player will be a fit-again Paul Sculthorpe who is determined to bounce back after a woeful two years of injuries.
The bookies make Saints joint favourites for Grand Final success, but much will depend on the fitness of core players such as Long, Cunningham, Sculthorpe and Wellens.
St Helens and Great Britain Rugby League Legend had his Testimonial Match at Knowsley Road today in front of his loyal fans against Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
In pretty testing conditions Coach Daniel Anderson managed to give his whole squad a run out and, after a closely contested first half, Saints ran out eventual 48-22 winners.
Unfortunately, Paul was unable to play due to injury but is confident of making his long-awaited comeback in Saints opening home match of the season against Warrington on February 15th (match sponsored by Domino's Pizza St Helens, of course).
Tickets are still on sale but if you cannot make it to the match why not watch it live on Sky Sports - with a Domino's delivery
You can read all about Paul Sculthorpe's Testimonial here and his chosen good cause - Tommy's the Baby Charity
Paul kindly autographed a ball and souvenir brochure for us and we will be giving that away as a competition prize later in the season (Paul apologises for his pen running out half way through btw!)
Thanks and good luck this season!