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  1. Updates on Monday 16 March 2015

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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That's all from Local Live today - thank you for joining us. We'll be back from 08:00 on Tuesday with news, sport, weather and travel from across the North East.

We'll leave you with this photo of the beach huts at Blyth which was sent into us by Carolyn Farthing.

Blyth beach huts
Carolyn Farthing

On tonight's Look North

Jeff Brown

BBC Look North

Last season, he was a miracle worker, tonight, he's gone. Sunderland sack Gus Poyet, as the football club sits one point above the relegation zone. Mark Tulip will be live from the Stadium of Light for us.

Twelve teenagers treated in hospital after taking a substance police warn is "incredibly harmful" and the first of its kind - it has hospital beds and sheltered accommodation. A new way forward for the NHS.

Join me at 18:30 on BBC One for these and all our other stories.

Cloudy with a few showers

A few clear intervals but generally cloudy, still a few showers, perhaps the odd sharp one, but a good deal of dry weather, too. A slight frost possible under any lengthy clear spells.

weather graphic

Minimum Temperature: 2C (36F)

Make the most of maps

Durham County Council is starting a new course to help people tracing their family trees make more complicated searches.

Map of Europe from 1606
Science Photo Library

The Record Office in Durham is running the sessions focussing on trickier areas of historical research, such as records dating before 1800, maps and trade directories.

Sessions cost £8 and must be booked by calling 03000 267626.

Gruesome Thatcher cartoons on show

Kristie Kinghorn

BBC News Online

Margaret Thatcher was a gift to political cartoonists and perhaps no-one portrayed her as memorably - or as negatively - as Gerald Scarfe.

Gerald Scarfe
Gerald Scarfe

Now, on the eve of the general election, an exhibition exploring their relationship has opened at The Bowes Museum, in Barnard Castle, where her legacy remains deeply controversial.

£30m Stockton housing scheme completed

A £30m regeneration scheme which has seen a Stockton Town Centre site transformed and 110 homes built is now complete.

The Nursery Gardens development off Spring Street saw 185 homes and a social club demolished.

Men outside one of the homes
Stockton Council

The scheme, which started in 2007, is a partnership between Stockton Council, Dunelm Homes, the Homes and Communities Agency and Tees Valley Housing Group.

Dunelm Homes has also funded a piece of artwork created by four primary schools and sculptor, Andrew McKeown.

Lifeboat museum set to open doors


Zetland Lifeboat Museum in Redcar will reopen following its usual winter break on Good Friday, as an independent visitor attraction.

The Museum, located on the town's Esplanade, was previously managed by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

Zetland Lifeboat Museum
Zetland Lifeboat Museum

However, following a recent detailed RNLI review, the museum's volunteers have been given the opportunity to run the historic attraction independently.

One teenager still in hospital after taking 'Mephedrone'

Gerry Jackson

BBC Look North

All but one of the 12 youths who were taken to hospital after taking what are believed to be illegal drugs have now been discharged.

Police were called to the MetroCentre in Gateshead on Friday evening after five youths became unwell. Later, a male, 15, was found unconscious at an address in Low Fell, and six others at addresses in Blaydon and Whickham were also hospitalised. The 15-year-old is in a stable condition in hospital.

It is thought they had taken Mephedrone and the cases could linked, Northumbria Police said.

Six people were arrested and two remain in custody with the others released on bail.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 17:00 include:

  • BBC Newcastle: Martin Emmerson and Stephanie Finnon will have a round-up of the day's top headlines.
  • BBC Tees: Two hundred new customer service and telecommunication jobs are being created in the North East - 100 of them will be based in Middlesbrough.

What happened to the WW2

Duncan Leatherdale

BBC News Online

More than 500,000 Italian and German fighters were brought to Britain as prisoners of war during World War Two.

They spent the remainder of the war in commandeered stately homes, old Army barracks or hastily thrown together huddles of huts, often built by the prisoners themselves.


But what happened to the 1,500 POW camps - including one in County Durham - they called home?

Shearer celebrations 'a minimalist classic'

BBC Sport

Following Wayne Rooney's 'knock-out' celebration after scoring during Manchester United's win over Tottenham at the weekend, we asked what are your favourite celebrations of all time.

Among the contributions we received were from Accidental janner: Alan Shearer arm in the air no need for backflips and theatrics a minimalist classic.

Small rise in airport passenger numbers

Phil Mawson

BBC Newcastle

Durham Tees Valley Airport has reported a 3% rise in passenger numbers.

Durham Tees Valley Airport

The airport said total passenger numbers on core services, including those to Amsterdam, Jersey and Edinburgh, rose from 136,397 in 2013 to 140,022 last year.

Arrests after hotel fire

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of arson by police investigating a fire at a hotel in Northumberland.

People were evacuated from the Thorton Hotel, in Blyth, early on Sunday. The fire was put out and no one was hurt.

Northumbria Police said inquiries into the cause of the fire were ongoing. The two men were released on bail.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 16:00 include:

  • BBC Newcastle: Martin Emmerson and Stephanie Finnon will have a round-up of the day's top headlines.
  • BBC Tees: Up to 200 call centre jobs are being created in Middlesbrough and Sunderland.

Nine games to save Sunderland from drop

BBC Sport

Whoever takes over at Sunderland has nine games to save them from relegation. They have some tricky looking away games, including at West Ham, Chelsea and Arsenal.

BBC Sport graphic

The new manager's first home game is the derby match against Newcastle. Time for someone to become an instant hero.

What should be our national bird?

Neil Green

BBC Tees

America has the bald eagle and India has the peacock, in fact most other countries have national birds - but not us.

A bald eagle
Getty Images

That's going to change soon though, because a vote's begun online to find which bird we want to represent Britain.

I'll be speaking to ornithologist David Lindon on

BBC Tees after 16:00 and asking him why we don't have one already?

More on who might replace Poyet

BBC Sport

A few more of those being talked about early on as replacements for Gus Poyet:

Glenn Hoddle: The former England boss has not managed since 2006 after he left his job at Wolves.

Paul Lambert: Sacked by Aston Villa last month. During his playing career he played for Celtic and Borussia Dortmund.

Michael Laudrup: Won the League Cup at Swansea before being sacked in February 2014. Currently managing Qatari side Lekhwiya.

Give your views on Total Sport

Simon Pryde

BBC Newcastle

So, the Gus Bus is back in the depot. Another one of those Total Sport nights. Call early if you want to come on!

We'll look back on Poyet's time at SAFC and speculate as to his replacement. Gary Bennett and Marco Gabbiadini will share their views.

We'll be on air from 17:30.

Who could replace Poyet?

BBC Sport

So who could replace Gus Poyet? Well, here are some of the people already being linked with the job:

Kevin Ball: He could take caretaker charge. A popular figure with the fans after a distinguished nine-year playing spell on Wearside.

Sam Allardyce: Another former Sunderland player, but currently West Ham's manager. Has also managed Sunderland's rivals Newcastle.

Dick Advocaat: The ex-Rangers boss, 67, is out of work after leaving his post as Serbia manager last year.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 15:00 include:

  • BBC Newcastle: Gus Poyet has been sacked as head coach of Sunderland
  • BBC Tees: Up to 200 call centre jobs are being created in Middlesbrough and Sunderland

Poyet's mixed fortunes

BBC Sport

We've produced this graphic showing Gus Poyet's win ratio at Sunderland based on Premier League games.

BBC Sport graphic

Could Advocaat be next for Sunderland?

Vicki Sparks

BBC Newcastle

Following Sunderland's 4-0 defeat by Aston Villa on Saturday, Gus Poyet's has now left the club. Former Rangers and Netherlands boss Dick Advocaat is the early favourite to replace him.

Here are factboxes about the two men:

Gus Poyet

  • Was appointed Sunderland head coach in October 2013, after Paolo Di Canio was sacked
  • Took Sunderland to the League Cup final last season. They avoided Premier League relegation with one game remaining after a dramatic late turnaround in form.

Dick Advocaat

  • Has managed a multitude of clubs / national sides, including Rangers, the Netherlands, Belgium, Russia and most recently Serbia.
  • Took the Netherlands to the World Cup quarter finals in 1994, and the semi-finals at Euro 2004.
  • Has been out of work since resigning as Serbia manager in November 2014

Early reaction to Poyet departure

BBC Sport

Some early reaction to the news Sunderland have sacked manager Gus Poyet. #bbcsportsday

Marcus: Awful decision from Sunderland. Guided them to survival and a cup final, ended Mourinho's home record and beat United.

Del: Not at all surprised, to be honest. Football management has become a joke with this constant hiring and firing.

Peter Collins: That was a mistake from Sunderland. Given how they expected to go down last year, no surprise now. They are going down.

Poyet's time at Sunderland

BBC Sport

As Sunderland part company with Gus Poyet, here's a graphic showing his time in charge of the Black Cats.

BBC Sport graphic

'Air of inevitability' about departure

Nick Barnes

BBC Newcastle commentator

BBC Newcastle's Sunderland commentator Nick Barnes says: "This had an air of inevitability after this weekend's 4-0 defeat, with fans leaving in their thousands at half time."

Gus Poyet

Announcement on new head coach ' in due course'

Sunderland said an announcement will be made "in due course" regarding the head coach position.

Sunderland 'at wrong end of table'

Announcing Gus Poyet's departure from Sunderland, club chairman Ellis Short said in a statement said: "I would like to thank Gus for his endeavours during his time at the club, in particular last season's 'great escape' and cup final appearance, which will live long in the memory of every Sunderland fan.

"Sadly, we have not made the progress that any of us had hoped for this season and we find ourselves battling, once again, at the wrong end of the table. We have therefore made the difficult decision that a change is needed."

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 14:00 include:

  • BBC Newcastle: Gus Poyet has been sacked as head coach of Sunderland.
  • BBC Tees: Police are investigating an armed robbery at a shop in Normanby.

BreakingPoyet sacked as Sunderland manager

BBC Newcastle

Gus Poyet has been sacked as Sunderland manager. More to come

Armed robbery in Normanby

Police are appealing for information after an armed robbery at McColls on High Street in Normanby.

Cleveland Police

said the robbery occurred at about 18:30 on Friday with an amount of cash reported to have been taken.

A 23-year-old local man has been arrested on suspicion of armed robbery and has been bailed pending further enquiries.

Cloudy afternoon

Clare Nasir

Weather presenter, BBC Look North

It will be a generally cloudy afternoon, with only limited bright or sunny intervals. The large amounts of cloud will bring scattered showers, most of which will be light but a few will be heavier. It will feel cool everywhere.

Clare Nasir

Maximum Temperature: 7C (45F)

On Look North at lunchtime

Colin Briggs

BBC Look North

Police are warning of the dangers of the drug Mephedrone after 12 teenagers were taken to hospital over the weekend in Gateshead.

A new building was officially opened by the Duchess of Northumberland today bringing together hospital wards and flats for the elderly under one roof

Changes to housing benefit - which critics call the 'bedroom tax' - have left tenants in Newcastle struggling to buy food and heat their homes, according to the first academic study into its impact.

Join me for these and all our other stories at 13:30 on BBC One.

Call centre jobs boost

Phil Mawson

BBC Newcastle

Up to 200 call centre jobs are being created in Middlesbrough and Sunderland.

Firstsource logo

Firstsource Solution said the full and part-time posts would be split between the two existing sites.

The jobs are the result of new contracts being secured with a major telecoms giant and UK-based bank.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 13:00 include:

  • BBC Newcastle: There are signs Gus Poyet is unlikely to still be in charge of Sunderland when they travel to West Ham this weekend.
  • BBC Tees: Electrifying the rail route between Middlesbrough and York is a top priority, according to the local enterprise partnership Tees Valley Unlimited.

Update on Ebola monitoring

Sharon Barbour

BBC Look North

There are three cases still being monitored at the RVI. None of them is in the isolation unit.

The first two came in after contact with a patient at the Royal Free Hospital.

The third, who came in this morning, had had contact with a different source, but doctors have checked them over and say they have no current concerns.

All three will continue to be monitored for a 21 day incubation period and are in "nearby private accommodation."

Seventh British health worker sent home after suspected contact with Ebola

A seventh UK healthcare worker has been flown back to the UK after suspected contact with Ebola.

The individual worked in the same facility in Sierra Leone as a US volunteer medic who recently caught the virus.

Coloured transmission electron micro graph of a single Ebola virus, the cause of Ebola fever
Science Photo Library

The UK patient, who was assessed and discharged from Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary, currently has no symptoms. They will be kept under close observation, officials say.

Public Health England stressed that the risk to the general public from Ebola remained "very low".

'Position has become untenable'

Nick Barnes

BBC Newcastle commentator

It would seem that the result at the weekend and the fact that so many fans left the Stadium of Light at half time and many of the supporters of Gus Poyet hitherto seem to have turned against him as well.

Sunderland"s Darren Fletcher during the match against Aston Villa

I think the club understands there is probably a point of no return and that was reached at the weekend with them now sitting perilously just a point above the relegation zone.

It is common sense - to use a phrase that Gus Poyet himself used before the weekend - that one win in 12, no goal at home in the last three home games and losing to teams around them in the table that his position has become untenable.