BBC Local Live has finished for the day. We'll be back with more news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Friday.
- Updates on Thursday 12 March 2015
- News, sport, travel and weather updates return from 08:00 on Friday
BBC Look North presenter
The Redheugh Bridge will be closed to traffic this Sunday to allow essential annual maintenance work to be carried out.Gateshead Council said diversion signs will direct motorists onto the Tyne Bridge during the 24-hour closure from 06:00.
A mum has described school place allocation as "completely random" after her son wasdenied a place at all three of his choices.
Mackenzie Kirwan, 11, will have to leave most of his classmates from Easterside Primary School behind to attend Outwood Academy in Acklam.
Twelve vehicles were targeted on Sunday night, and a further five on Wednesday into Thursday, all in the Hazelmere Estate area.
Residents have been advised to remove all of their valuables from their cars overnight and make sure parked cars are locked.
There have been more deaths at aRiver Wear swan colony in Chester-le-Street which has already lost 50 birds in two months.
Two more have been found sick and two dead, one after flying to Herrington Country Park about six miles away.
The group of about 130 has been reduced to fewer than 80, the RSPCA has said.
Almost half of all reports of child rape in the Northumbria Police force area result in suspects being charged or summonsed, according tonew figures.
The force comestop of the table with 47% of cases resulting in criminal proceedings.
Essex, Kent and Suffolk forces came bottom, each with 21% of cases resulting in action.
The top local headlines at 16:00 are:
The Shields Gazette
Nigel Dunn, 45, from Gateshead, absconded from HMP Kirkham open prison on 6 March. He was serving a four-year sentence for burglary.
Detectives believe he may have returned to the Gateshead area.
OnBBC Tees Drive we'll have more on the milestone achieved today by Hitachi, with the arrival of the first prototype high speed trains to be built in Newton Aycliffe.The first batch of trains will be going to ScotRail, with production getting under way in January 2016.
Police are investigating anaggravated burglary in Newcastle last night.
Four men went into a house in Lewis Drive just after 19:00 and threatened the people inside.
They stole jewellery and left in a dark coloured car.
Oscar-winner William Hurt has been signed up for ITV's new dark ages drama Beowulf, whichbegins filming in County Durham and Northumberland later this month.
The Old English poem, which documents the eponymous hero's battles with monsters, is being made into a 13-part drama.
Hurt joins Joanne Whalley in the cast with Kieran Bew, whose previous appearances include shows such as The Bletchley Circle, in the title role.
The top local headlines at 15:00 are:
- BBC Tees: Police are appealing for witnesses after a man was assaulted in Hartlepool and left with a broken jaw.
- BBC Newcastle: A Newcastle hospital has been put on stand-by after a British military worker was diagnosed with Ebola in Sierra Leone.
Two men have been rescued by alifeboat crew from Tynemouth this afternoon after getting into difficulties while riding a jet ski off King Edward's Bay.
They were about a mile offshore when they fired a distress flare.
The RNLI said the pair were not seriously hurt and did not require hospital treatment.
The Shields Gazette
A key decision is expected tomorrow which should enable therevamp of South Shields town centre to finally become a reality.
Members of South Tyneside Council's cabinet will be asked to give consent for its development partner, Muse, to appoint a building contractor for the first phase of the hugely-ambitious £100m project.
The Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle has been put on standby to take intwo British military health workers who it is feared may develop Ebola after working in Sierra Leone.
It comes as three of their colleagues are being flown to London.
One of them has been diagnosed with the virus.
This week onBBC Tees we're looking at how we can bring new life back to empty buildings in our area.
Today, we see how it's hoped transforming the former Swallow Hotel in Stockton will help boost the high street's economy and how a former Darlington office building is being turned into flats.
BBC Look North
A massive clean-up is under way at the site of the former quarry after high winds blew rubbish from the tip into trees and a nearby nature reserve.
The site, run by Octagon Green Solutions, deals with waste from across the North of England and is blamed for causing noxious smells and traffic problems in the local area.
Judge Paul Sloan QC asked the prosecution to produce evidence to back up their hate crime claims within a week.
He told Gatiss at the end of the 10 minute hearing he would continue to be remanded in custody and "an immediate sentence of imprisonment is pretty well inevitable".
Gatiss will be sentenced on 2 April.
In today's brief hearing Nick Dry, prosecuting, said the mugger struck in an area of sheltered accommodation for disabled and elderly people and made a partial admission to police that he knew of Mr Barnes prior to the attack, and that, in Mr Barnes's opinion, he was attacked due to his disability.
Mr Dry said if it was agreed that Gatiss specifically targeted Mr Barnes "it can be inferred there is a general hostility towards people of disability".
He said that could mean Gatiss was guilty of a disability hate crime, which would aggravate the assault with intent to rob charge that he admitted last month.
In February, Richard Gatiss, from Gateshead, pleaded guilty to assault with intent to rob at Newcastle Crown Court.
A drug addict who mugged frail Tyneside pensioner Alan Barnes (pictured) wept in court as he heard lawyers will argue his attack was a hate crime.
Newcastle Crown Court heard prosecutors will say Richard Gatiss deliberately targeted his 4ft 6in, visually-impaired 67-year-old victim out of hostility towards the disabled.
Gatiss, 25, from Split Crow Road, Gateshead, appeared briefly at Newcastle Crown Court via a videolink from Durham Prison where he is being kept in segregation for his own safety. He will be sentenced on 2 April.
Dognappers armed with a machetesnatched a Tyneside family's prized Pug puppy in a terrifying night-time home invasion raid, a court hears.
Danny Allan was one of two crooks who hatched a plot to target the £900 pet dog at a family home in the west end of Newcastle.
County Durham will be one of seven areas in England to pilota new scheme aimed at cutting rates of Type 2 Diabetes.
The project involves drives on weight loss, physical activity, cooking and nutrition.
It is based on studies in the United States, Japan, China and India which have shown intensive lifestyle changes can help adults at high risk of developing the condition.
The only surviving 1216 copy of the Magna Carta is to go on show at Durham University's Palace Green Library in June to mark the 800th anniversary of the document.
The Magna Carta is considered to have laid the foundations of British justice and laws and Durham Cathedral holds a number of priceless copies.Magna Carta and the Changing Face of Revolt runs from 1 June to 31 August.
Sunderland's Split Festivalis to end because of spiralling costs.
Co-organiser Ross Millard said: "In the past 10 years the music industry has changed and with the rise of the internet, record sales have fallen. To cover this loss of revenue artist's agents are asking for significantly higher fees for live performances and many festivals are finding this unsustainable.
"We have spent as much as £140k per year on booking the bands, but we haven't been able to recoup those artist's fees in ticket sales and other revenue."