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  1. Updates on Thursday 5 February 2015

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

Lloyd Watson

BBC News

That's all from BBC Local Live today. We'll be back from 08:00 on Friday. Schumi was taken for a walk by David Gerrard on Warkworth beach in Northumberland.

Schumi the dog
David Gerrard

You can send your pictures by email: or tweet
@BBCNewsNE and we may feature them on BBC Local Live tomorrow.

Llambias rebuts team pick claim

Rangers chief executive Derek Llambias insist there is no way the board are picking the team.

He was responding to claims by caretaker manager Kenny McDowall that he was being ordered to field the five players who have arrived on loan from Newcastle United in the Rangers starting eleven.

In a statement Llambias said: "There's no way the board is picking the team.

"The basis of any loan deal is that the players who arrive bolster the side and give the squad more depth. That's exactly what is happening here."

Cloudy and cold

Paul Mooney

BBC Weather presenter

Remaining generally cloudy and cold this evening and overnight with a little light rain or drizzle at times, perhaps falling as sleet over the Pennines. Most places becoming dry later.

Weather forecast

Minimum Temperature: 0C (32F).

Check the forecast near you.

Middlesbrough Walkabout to close

The Gazette


Middlesbrough bar Walkabout is to close. The well-loved bar on Corporation Road will shut its doors for the final time in mid-March it's been confirmed.

The Gazette

Karanka happy to keep Friend

Aitor Karanka says he's very happy with the make up of Middlesbrough's squad.

Boro's head coach was able to sit back and relax on transfer deadline day having done his business earlier in the month.

George Friend
Getty Images

Karanka is happy to see full back George Friend still at the club, despite being linked with moves to West Brom and Crystal Palace.

Race under the stars

Runners are being given the chance

to race under the stars and the darkest night skies in England.

The inaugural Dark Skies Run at Kielder will take place on 18 April. The 26.5 mile run will start at Hawkhirst Acitivity Centre and follow the Lakeside Way trail around the lake.

Bridge under stars
Ian Glendinning

There's only space for 300 people and entries will open at midday on Sunday.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 17:00 include:

Third of police helicopter bases could close

One third of police helicopter bases in England and Wales,

which include bases at Newcastle Airport and Durham Tees Valley airport, could be closed because of government funding cuts, the BBC has learned.

The National Police Air Service (NPAS) is considering plans to reduce the number of its bases from 20 to 15.

Police helicopter

There are currently plans for three more to be made available by September 2016, taking the total to 23. But the accountable manager for the NPAS said "difficult decisions" had to be made because of funding cuts.

Beer brands 'familiar to children'

North East primary school children are more familiar with beer brands than those of popular biscuits, crisps and ice cream, according to research by North East Alcohol Office Balance.

The survey of 200, 10 and 11 year olds, also found children associated football teams and events with their alcohol sponsors.

Brand recognition by the children of Foster's lager was particularly high (98%), ranking above McVitie's (85%), McCoy's (91%) and Ben & Jerry's (84%).

'Multi-agency approach' needed

Durham's chief constable has

ruled out providing more officers to patrol the banks of the River Wear in the wake of three Durham University students drownings in 14 months.

Professor Ray Hudson, the university's acting vice-chancellor, said issues should be addressed through a "multi-agency approach" and the students' union is working with partners in the City Safety Group.

Euan Coulthard, Luke Pearce and Sope Peters

He added that the union was "about to launch a £50,000 campaign, funded by Durham County Council, focused on promoting positive behaviours when drinking alcohol".

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 16:00 include:

  • BBC Tees: Hartlepool United has announced the proposed takeover of the club has fallen through.
  • BBC Newcastle: Anne Leuchars and Martin Emmerson will have a round-up of the day's top stories.

Grenade found in elderly couple's car

The car park outside Washington police station was cordoned off after a grenade was found in the boot of an elderly couple's car.

The couple went to the police station to hand in a number of items recovered from an address. As a precaution the car park and the road was cordoned off.

A bomb disposal team took the grenade away and carried out a controlled explosion. All cordons have now been lifted.

Hartlepool takeover scrapped

The takeover of Hartlepool United has been called off.

Victoria Park

Increased Oil Recovery Limited are to remain owners of the club after calling off the sale of their majority stake in the League Two club.

TMH 2014 Limited appeared set to take over the club in December, but the deal has now been scrapped.

NUFC memorabilia up for auction

A gold medal from the 1924 FA Cup Final and other rare Newcastle United memorabilia is to go under the hammer.

Pictures that were displayed in the St James' Park boardroom plus Newcastle United programmes, tickets, shirts and photographs are among the lots.

People watching match on pylon
Anderson and Garland

Anderson and Garland auctioneer Fred Wyrley-Birch said: "There are some really rare items included in the auction and we're expecting a lot of interest from people who collect Newcastle United memorabilia.

"For me the press release photographs are the best showing some great action shots from games at St James's and Roker, including Rangers fans marching through St. Nicholas' street before a Fairs Cup Match and another of them climbing the flood light towers to watch - iconic."

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 15:00 include:

  • BBC Newcastle: Twelve men have appeared in court in Northumberland as part of a long running police inquiry into sex abuse and grooming.
  • BBC Tees: An investigation is under way after a woman was robbed at knife point in Middlesbrough in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Share your views

We've introduced BBC Local Live, which is written by reporters across the North East, to bring you the latest news, sport, travel and weather all in one place.

Tell us what you think.

Your photos: Reflections in the Tyne

Michael Reynard sent us this picture of reflections of the Gateshead Quayside on a calm River Tyne.

River Tyne
Michael Reynard

You can send your pictures by email: or tweet

Car flipped onto roof

The Gazette

A car

flipped onto its roof after careering into a lamppost. Emergency services were called to Marton Burn Road, in Grove Hill, at 11.16am today following the single-vehicle crash.

Flipped car
The Gazette

Twenty men charged in sex inquiry

A total of 20 men have been charged today as part of a police investigation into crimes of a sexual nature against vulnerable women and girls.

Northumbria Police said the men had been charged as part of Operation Sanctuary.

They are appearing at Mid and South East Northumberland Magistrates' Court on a range of charges.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 14:00 include:

  • BBC Newcastle: A Durham University student says alcohol awareness campaigns are all well and good but more lives will be at risk if action isn't taken to improve safety around the riverside first.
  • BBC Tees: An investigation's under way after a woman was robbed at knife-point in Middlesbrough in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Musician mercy plea for Redcar gran

The lead singer of heavy metal band Napalm Death has written an open letter to the president of Indonesia, appealing to him to

spare the life of a woman, originally from Redcar, facing the death penalty for drug-smuggling.

The letter calls on President Joko Widodo, a fan of the band and the heavy metal genre, to show mercy and restraint.

President Joko Widodo wearing Napalm Death t-shirt

Grandmother Lindsay Sandiford was sentenced to death by firing squad following her conviction but claims she was forced to carry the illegal cargo by dealers who threatened the lives of her children. Speaking to the BBC, Napalm Death lead singer Mark "Barney" Greenway explained why he had written the letter.

No extra River Wear patrols

Durham's Chief Constable has

ruled out providing more officers to patrol the banks of the River Wear in the wake of three student drownings in 14 months.

Mike Barton said it was "ludicrous" for officers to be put on riverbanks to stop "bright young things falling in."

Mike Barton

Euan Coulthard, 19, became the latest student to die in the river when his body was recovered last month.

A riverside safety review was promised by Durham County Council after the latest tragedy.

Woman robbed at knife-point

A woman was robbed at knife point in Middlesbrough.

The 50-year-old was walking along Pearl Street in the early hours yesterday when a man tried to sexually assault her and stole her phone.

The woman managed to escape with cuts to her hand and has since been treated in hospital. Police say investigations are continuing.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 13:00 include:

  • BBC Newcastle: A Durham University student says alcohol awareness campaigns are all well and good but more lives will be at risk if action isn't taken to improve safety around the riverside first.
  • BBC Tees: A woman is recovering after being robbed at knife point in Middlesbrough.

Cold and generally cloudy

Kay Crewdson

Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

It will be another cold and generally cloudy day with a few wintry showers. These will fall as rain near the coast, perhaps sleet inland with snow especially over hills.

Weather forecast

Maximum temperature: 5C (41F).

Check the forecast near you.

Injury after bookmakers robbery

Armed robbers left a

staff member injured after smashing a counter screen and then stealing cash from a bookmakers in Sunderland.

Two men armed with a hammer and wearing grey clothing demanded that a staff member hand over cash at about 21:50 on Wednesday at the William Hill bookmakers in Front Street at Fencehouses.

The staff member suffered a minor injury from the smashed counter screen and was left shaken by the incident. Anyone with information should contact police on 101.

Fatal crash ambulance delay probed

An investigation has been launched into why an ambulance took more than 25 minutes to reach a fatal crash.

Kyle Lowes' scooter was in collision with a car on North Road in Berwick at about 22:00 on Friday night. The sixteen-year-old, from Eyemouth, was pronounced dead at the scene.

North Road junction with Magdalene Drive in Berwick

Berwick MP Sir Alan Beith raised the matter with the North East Ambulance Service who confirmed they were investigating the circumstances of the delayed response. A 43-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving and released on police bail.

Is the North East playing catch-up?

The capital dominates the Michelin restaurant list in the UK, but today,

BBC News' David Lumb has asked if there is a worthy restaurant scene outside London?

Does the North East have countless hidden gems? Or does Ocean Road in South Shields excite your taste buds? Should we make more of the Teesside culinary classic the parmo?

Michelin-starred cities

What do you think? Does our cuisine come close to the our capital's?

Let us know your thoughts by email.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 12:00 include:

  • BBC Newcastle: Another meeting is being held today to look at what can be done to prevent any more student deaths in the River Wear in Durham.
  • BBC Tees: A woman is recovering after being robbed at knife point in Middlesbrough.

Boro's U21 game postponed

Middlesbrough FC

tweets: Boro's U21 game v Wolves tomorrow has been postponed. Frozen pitch at Hartlepool. Now Monday March 2nd KO 7 p.m. at Hartlepool United FC.

Young to re-join Newcastle Falcons

Bath scrum-half Micky Young will

rejoin Newcastle Falcons for 2015-16 on a two-year deal, three and a half years after leaving to join Leicester Tigers.

The 26-year-old, who moved to The Rec from Tigers in 2013, has scored two tries in 20 Premiership games for Mike Ford's side. Young, who initially joined Falcons from West Hartlepool, has made a total of 87 top-flight appearances.

Micky Young
Getty Images

He said: "It is a massive opportunity for me. From speaking to Dean and a few of the guys who are still at the club from when I was there, the ambition of the club is awesome and I'm excited to be part of a set up out to do big things."

New qualifications offered

Stephanie Finnon

BBC Newcastle

Working at great heights and sea survival are just two of the qualifications being offered at a new training centre on Tyneside.

Advanced Industrial Solutions is launching the campus in North Shields today to help train people in the energy sector.

The idea is to recreate field conditions found on wind turbines so students can learn practical skills.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 11:00 include:

  • BBC Newcastle: A Durham University student says alcohol awareness campaigns are all well and good but more lives will be at risk if action isn't taken to improve safety around the riverside first.
  • BBC Tees: Two NHS Trusts in the BBC Tees area have seen a six-fold increase in agency nurse spending in just the last two years.

Give us your feedback

What do you think of BBC Local Live? It's written by reporters across the North East and brings you the latest news, sport, travel and weather all in one place.

We'd like your feedback about this service.

Wages: Yours v footballers

Lloyd Watson

BBC News

Prepare to weep -

the BBC has put together a calculator so you can see how much you earn compare to top footballers.

We all know that the global stars of the game earn some of the highest wages - but how do they compare to yours? You'll more than likely see some eye-watering results.

footballer illustration graphic

If you want to find out how long you would have to work to reach that level or how much they would have to work to earn your salary, this is the perfect tool for you.

Rangers 'must' play NUFC loan players

Rangers "must" play the five Newcastle loan players added to the squad on transfer deadline day if they're fit, caretaker boss Kenny McDowall has revealed.

Toon quintet Haris Vuckic from Slovenia, English defender Remie Streete, Burundi-born Gael Bigirimana, Swiss defender Kevin Mbabu and Northern Ireland winger Shane Ferguson have joined the Ibrox club until the end of the campaign.

Asked if he was duty-bound to play them, McDowall replied: "Yes." Then asked if he had to play every one of them every week, he again, replied: "Yes. They are obviously good players - they play for Newcastle - but I will carry on and do what I am told to do."