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  1. Updates on Friday 20 March 2015

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

That's all from BBC Local Live in the North East for today. We will return at 08:00 on Monday. Have a good weekend.

On Topping of the Moon

Martin Forster

Look North

Worth it for the pun alone. This was the view of the eclipse over Roseberry Topping on Teesside.

Eclipse viewed over Roseberry Topping

I didn't climb up it because I was supposed to be in the Newcastle newsroom on a planning shift and I didn't want to be late. Honest.

Teenager missing in Middlesbrough

A teenager has gone missing in Middlesbrough. Charlie Ellis, 15, has vanished from her home in Devonshire Road.

Charlie Ellis
Cleveland Police

She was last seen at 13:30 yesterday. She is 5ft 5in, slim, with brown hair and brown eyes. She was wearing blue jeans, a blue top and white ankle boots with a fur trim.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Cleveland Police on 101.

'Great stadium and fans'

BBC Sport

New Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat has been discussing his side's chances of warding off relegation.

"In Holland, we can see all the games in England - everything is on television, so I knew the squad, I knew the players, plus the fact that we have a great stadium and great fans.

Dick Advocaat

"With the support of them, we must do it. I have a good feeling about the squad after the last three days, so why not?"

That's rough

A cycle route resurfaced at a cost of £200,000 has been left covered in gravel and unusable, cyclists say.

Cycling between Warkworth and Alnmouth in Northumberland is now "like riding on marbles", cycle shop owner Mark Breeze says.

Route 1 cycle path between Alnmouth and Warkworth in Northumberland

Northumberland County Council denies the wrong material had been laid.

In the news today

Hartlepool Mail

Here's today's front page

and a link to the top story:

Hartlepool Mail
Hartlepool Mail

'Group of officers complained about chief'

Chief Constable Sue Sim says a group of officers have complained about her behaviour after it emerged PCC Vera Baird has appointed a judge to investigate allegations of misconduct.

Ms Sim said: "I will cooperate fully with the investigation and I am keen to do so at the earliest opportunity in the interests of Northumbria Police and the public we serve.

"It would not be appropriate for me to make any further comment at this time."

News on the hour

The top stories at 17:00 include:

  • BBC Newcastle: There's been an incident involving a microlight aircraft at Durham Tees Valley Airport.
  • BBC Tees: Ministers have unveiled multi-billion-pound plans to improve transport across the North of England.

'Grinning like a Cheshire cat'

Malcolm Bannister snapped this photo of the eclipse earlier in Thorpe Thewles near Wynyard on Teesside.

Eclipse in Teesside
Malcolm Bannister

Probe over 'respect and courtesy'

It adds: "The nature of the complaints to be investigated is that the Chief Constable may have fallen short of her duty as a police officer to treat colleagues with respect and courtesy.

"I have appointed Mr Joel Bennathan, QC of Doughty Street Chambers, London, a Recorder of the Crown Court, to carry out that investigation.

"Chief Constable Sim will not be suspended and this is not currently an investigation into gross misconduct."

'Assess severity of complaints'

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Bird says in a statement: "I am now in a position to respond to recent rumours about the Chief Constable of Northumbria Police.

"Over the past few days, I have sought clarification about the issues raised by some officers. I am now clear that they wish to make complaints against the Chief Constable of Northumbria Police which merit investigation.

"The first step in the statutory process in such a situation is for me to assess the severity of any such complaint and I have done so.

"I have told the Chief Constable that there is a prima facie case to be investigated as to whether she is guilty of misconduct."

BreakingPolice chief probed over misconduct

BBC Newcastle

The Chief Constable of Northumbria Police, Sue Sim, is to be investigated over allegations of misconduct.

Nanoo nanoo...

Martin Forster

Look North

You could never say the life of a BBC reporter wasn't varied.

Out filming the eclipse on Teesside for BBC Look North today I bumped into Simon Andrews and Martin Hardy, about to climb up Roseberry Topping wearing tin hats.

Simon Andrews and Martin Hardy

People might think they are eccentric, as Martin admitted, but "you can never be too careful". Apparently aliens are apt to land around the eclipse and the hats protect against mind control. Obviously.

Gutierrez on NUFC return and tattoo

BBC Sport

Newcastle United midfielder Jonas Gutierrez has told Football Focus about his emotional return to the club following treatment for testicular cancer.

Gutierrez was on the bench against Aston Villa in February and came on as a substitute at home to Manchester United.

Newcastle United midfielder Jonas Gutierrez

The Argentine also explains his new tattoo, which features the lyrics to Eminem's No Love.

Football Focus is on BBC One at 11.30 tomorrow,

but you can watch a clip of the interview here.

News on the hour

The top stories at 16:00 include:

  • BBC Newcastle: There's been an incident involving a microlight aircraft at Durham Tees Valley Airport.
  • BBC Tees: Ministers have unveiled multi-billion-pound plans to improve transport across the North of England.

Advocaat on first SAFC game

Nick Barnes

BBC Newcastle commentator

New Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat is on BBC Newcastle's Total Sport from 17:30 with his thoughts ahead of his first match.

Listen live here.

Nick's notes

Arsonists target nature reserve

The Shields Gazette

"Moron" arsonists are destroying a nature reserve in South Tyneside.

Scene of Boldon Nature Reserve grass fires
Shields Gazette

Boldon Nature Reserve, which runs from Brockley Whins and Biddick Hall to Boldon Colliery and is known locally as The Burn, has been repeatedly targeted by vandals.

Ex-Sunderland player held over assault

Former Sunderland footballer Calum Davenport

has been arrested on suspicion of assault after playing in a local league match.

Calum Davenport
South Beds News Agency

The defender, who now plays for Elstow Abbey FC, was detained after a man in his 30s received a head injury at Cranfield United's ground on Saturday.

The victim is believed to also play for Elstow Abbey.

Beamish wins cash for apprenticeships

Chantalle Edmunds

BBC Tees

Beamish Museum has won a £120,000 grant for a three-year project getting young people into engineering, technology, science and maths through heritage work.


It is hoped the scheme, funded by the

Reece Foundation, will also help develop engineering apprenticeships.

News on the hour

The top stories at 15:00 include:

  • BBC Newcastle: There's been an incident involving a microlight aircraft at Durham Tees Valley Airport.
  • BBC Tees: A BBC investigation has revealed that more dogs are stolen in County Durham than anywhere else in the North East and Cumbria.

Two in microlite crash

Two people were on board a Flexwing Microlite aircraft which crashed shortly after noon, Durham Tees Valley Airport says.

Emergency services and the air ambulance attended but neither occupant was seriously injured. Commercial flights were not affected.

The incident has been reported to the Air Accident Investigation Bureau, an airport spokesman said.

Can religion and science coexist?

Caroline Wyatt

Religious affairs correspondent

A new project bringing together science and religion is unlikely to end the long and sometimes bitter debate over the relationship between the two.

Religion graphic


the Church of England-backed project at Durham University will offer trainee priests and Christians, who are scientists, the chance to engage with contemporary science.

The three-year scheme will see trainee priests and others offered access to resources on contemporary science, and it will also research attitudes towards science among Church leaders.

Hartlepool bombardment coverage hailed

Colin George

North East Local Live

The work the BBC News Online, BBC Tees and Look North teams did in covering the centenary of the Hartlepool Bombardment in December has been recognised at an awards ceremony this afternoon.

A few moments ago it was named Best Digital/Social Media at the BBC's Ruby Awards.

You can see some of the work by clicking here.

Ruby Award

News on the hour

The top stories at 14:00 include:

  • BBC Newcastle: There's been an incident involving a microlight aircraft at Durham Tees Valley Airport.
  • BBC Tees: A BBC investigation has revealed that more dogs are stolen in County Durham than anywhere else in the North East and Cumbria.

'Proud of all of our achievements'

The statement by Gus Poyet continues: "I will always remember fondly that miracle unbeaten run, a vein of form for which I was honoured to be shortlisted for the Barclays Premier League Manager of the Year Award.

"I leave Sunderland feeling proud of all of our achievements during my tenure, not least reaching the club's first cup final in 22 years when we took more than 30,000 fans to the Capital One Cup Final at Wembley.

"Of the three Tyne-Wear derby matches since I joined the club as manager, I am very proud that we were able to win all three, two of which were away from home."

"I will never forget winning at Old Trafford last May, Sunderland's first league victory there since 1968, which came shortly after beating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Youths sought over arson attack

Two youths are being sought after an

arson attack on a house in Washington in the early hours.

No-one was in the property in Stridingedge, at the time of the attack, but it was badly damaged.

Poyet speaks of 'special club'

Axed former Sunderland boss Gus Poyet has released a statement saying: "Certainly I am very disappointed to have left Sunderland but I am extremely honoured to have served this special club as their manager.

"When I arrived in October 2013, Sunderland had played seven matches and lost six, gaining only one point and they were bottom of the Barclays Premier League.

"31 matches later, at the end of the season, we had won 10 and drawn 8, taking us to the complete safety of 14th position."

Police at airport crash scene

Durham Police

tweet that they are at the scene of the crash involving a microlight at Durham Tees Valley Airport.

Microlight crash at Durham Tees Valley Airport
Durham Police

Microlight crashes at Durham Airport

A microlight aircraft has crashed at Durham Tees Valley Airport. There are no injuries but the runway is closed. There's more on Look North at 13:30 and on BBC Tees.

Photo of murder victim released

Phil Mawson

BBC Newcastle

Police have issued a photograph of South Shields murder victim Melissa Liddle.

Melissa Liddle
Northumbria Police

The body of the 23-year-old mother-of-two was found at the house she shared with Anthony Edward Ross at Oak Avenue in the town on Sunday.

Mr Ross, 24, has been remanded in custody

charged with her murder and is due at Newcastle Crown Court later this month.

Advocaat leaves door open for Johnson

Adam Johnson has not been ruled out of a return against West Ham this weekend, according to new Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat.

The Dutchman, 67, said that "every player who trains has an opportunity to start against West Ham".

Johnson was suspended by the club after he was arrested on suspicion of sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl.

But that suspension was lifted on Thursday and the England international, 27, returned to training.

Police officers get body cameras

Colin Briggs

BBC Look North

Up to 800 cameras are being given to Durham's frontline police officers.

Police bodycam

Durham Police says it's the first force in the country to issue all its frontline officers and staff with body worn video cameras to capture evidence as they go about their duties.

You can see it demonstrated on

Look North at 13:30.

Wilton site hit by protest

Hannah McMahon

BBC Tees

About 400 protestors gathered at the gates at the Wilton site as part of an ongoing dispute over rates of pay and access to contractors.

The action has caused some disruption to traffic on the A1053.

There'll be updates throughout the day on

BBC Tees.

One lane of A69 closed near Throckley

One lane of the A69 between Throckley brickworks and Lemington has been closed because of a three-vehicle accident,

Northumbria Police says.

Motorists have been warned of potentially lengthy delays. Keep up to date with traffic problems with

BBC Travel.

News on the hour

The top stories at 12:00 include:

  • BBC Tees: A BBC investigation reveals hundreds of dogs have been reported stolen across the region over the past five years
  • BBC Newcastle: People across the North East have been watching a partial eclipse of the sun

Dick Advocaat news conference

BBC Sport

We're just getting odd snippets from Dick Advocaat so far. He's not coming across as massively demonstrative as yet. Still, it's early days.

"In my opinion, it's a good side, a great club - why not?" he said when asked why he had taken on the challenge of replacing the sacked Gus Poyet.

On relegation, he says: "We are now in a situation where we are playing more or less at the bottom of the league, so something has to change."

On injuries and team selection: "We still have some injuries, we don't know exactly who will join us. I pick the squad after the final session."

Pair arrested over rape of girl

Two 29-year-old men have been arrested in connection with the

rape of a 17-year-old girl in Gateshead.

The incident happened in Watergate Park at about 03:15 yesterday.

Police believe the girl had earlier been in Collingwood Street.