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  1. England to appoint Sam Allardyce as new manager
  2. North East 'has highest rate of children on school meals'
  3. Burns victim released from hospital
  4. Updates Thursday 21 July 2016

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Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

That's all for today - thank you for joining us.

We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00 with more news, sport, weather and travel updates.

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Weather: Still warm, but cloudy

BBC Weather

Showers this evening should die away for a time leaving clear spells.

Cloud amounts will increase later though, meaning temperatures should remain on the warm side, with some showery rain spreading in from the west after midnight.  

Check the forecast where you are.

weather graph

England Coastal Path: Teesside to Yorkshire stretch opens

A further stretch of a 2,700-mile (4,345km) chain of footpaths around the English coast has opened.

Connecting Teesside with Yorkshire, the 68 miles (109km) of signposted trail will give walkers access to the coast from Filey Brigg to Middlesbrough, through Scarborough and Whitby.

Natural England said it showcased stunning views.

The government agency is aiming to have England's Coastal Path fully open by 2020.

Work is under way on approximately 60% of the scheme.

The coastline between Filey Brigg and Newport Bridge at Whitby North Beach is now linked by the path
Natural England

Pensioner fulfils lifelong dream

BBC Tees

It's been the lifelong dream of Middlesbrough pensioner and motor racing fan Vera Sparks to one day get up close to some of the world's best cars.

That dream has now been fulfilled after she spent the morning in the pit lane at the circuit, being shown around Ferraris, Porsches and Lamborginis.

Andy Bell grabbed a word with her in between engine tune ups:

View more on twitter

You can listen to the full story on BBC Tees.

Newcastle player set for Liverpool move

Newcastle's Georginio Wijnaldum is expected to have a medical at Liverpool on Friday after the two clubs agreed a fee for the midfielder, Press Association Sport understands. 

The Reds will pay a maximum of £25m for the Holland international, taking into account various add-ons.

It is believed Wijnaldum's former club PSV Eindhoven are due a sell-on fee for a player who moved to St James' Park a year ago for #£14.5million.

Georginio Wijnaldum
Getty Images

Woman jailed after selling fake designer products

A woman from Gateshead has been sentenced to four weeks in prison and 150 hours of unpaid work after pleading guilty to selling counterfeit goods.

Faye McCann from Edendale, Ryton, was also sentenced to four weeks in jail suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay costs of £500 and a victim surcharge of £80 at Gateshead Magistrates' Court.

McCann first came to the attention of Trading Standards in November 2015, when officers received a tip-off that suspected fake goods were to be sold at an event at the Half Moon Inn public house in Ryton.

Officers visited the sale and found a large quantity of designer goods being offered for sale by McCann, including handbags and perfume by brands such as Vivienne Westwood, Michael Kors and Chanel.

All the products totalling more than 260 items were seized.

A number of these items were then sent away to their respective trademark holders for close examination, and all were confirmed to be fake. 

Dogs to be kept on leads in North Tyneside park

Dog owners will be asked to keep their pets on leads in a busy section of a North Tyneside park from Monday. 

The trial scheme at Northumberland Park, North Shields, will run throughout the school summer holidays until 1 October. 

During this time, dogs are to be kept on a lead in the central area of the park near the Bowling Green, the Visitor Centre, the outdoor cafe area, medieval garden and the children’s sculpture trail.  

North Tyneside Council says they should be on leads that are no longer than two metres.  

Northumberland Park

Water main purposely damaged, causing flooding

A water main was damaged in Newcastle yesterday.

Police received a report that a water main had burst in Tweed Street, Elswick, at about 17:50.

The water began to cause flooding in the area, disruption to traffic and left a number of properties without water.

Northumbrian Water engineers attended and found that the main hadn't burst but had in fact been tampered with and turned on.

Officers believe a group of local youths were responsible.

Newcastle United sign defender Grant Hanley

Newcastle United have signed defender Grant Hanley from Blackburn Rovers. 

The 24-year-old signed a five-year deal for an undisclosed fee. 

"I'm over the moon and delighted to be here," he said.

"It is a fantastic opportunity to come and play at such a big club and one that I couldn't turn down. 

"It is an exciting step in my career but it doesn't stop there. This is just the start and I am looking forward to helping Newcastle get back into the Premier League." 

Pokemon Go: MP complains after children 'charged around' cemetery

Redcar's Labour MP has written to Nintendo after constituents told her that youngsters were "charging around"  a cemetery playing Pokemon Go.

She has also written to the Home Secretary Amber Rudd, asking her what discussions she has had with Nintendo about incidences of trespass or disrespecting religious sites caused by players of the game.

Ms Turley said the cemetery also contains a war memorial and she wanted the Japanese company to think about altering certain locations.

Turley added: "People are upset and worried about what message it sends out, as it's a place people go to find solace and peace and I don't think it's appropriate.

"I don't want to be a killjoy but there are some genuine concerns and standards we have to think about."

Pokemon Go app

St William's paedophile Anthony McCallen appeals against jail term

A former chaplain of a Roman Catholic children's care home who sexually abused 11 boys has appealed against his 15-year jail term.

Anthony McCallen, from Ingleby Barwick, Stockton, was jailed in January for abusing the boys at the former St William's Children's Home near Market Weighton between 1970 and 1991.

At the Court of Appeal, his barrister John Dunning claimed his sentence was too harsh and applied for it to be cut.

A decision will be made at a later date.

Anthony McCallen

Police donate compost to local schools after cannabis farm is seized

A cannabis farm seized by police has resulted in a windfall of compost donated to schools.

Police recovered more than 250 cannabis plants from a house in Union Street, Blyth, on 8 June.

They also found around 100 bags of compost left in the premises.

The cannabis plants have now all been removed from the house by police and destroyed.

Officers from Blyth neighbourhood policing team saw the compost bags were unopened and officers decided to donate them to local primary schools for the children to learn to cultivate flowers and vegetables.

police officers with give compost to schoolchildren
Northumbria Police

North East MP on Twitter rant against Corbyn

The MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, Tom Blenkinsop, has voiced his concern about Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on Twitter today.

In a series of tweets, he wrote "Corbyn out", branded him an "idiot", and interacted with users who are concerned about the current head of the party being voted back into leadership.

He also stated: "Does Corbyn remember London MPs, like him, get 5% more on budget (London weighting) to pay staff more than my staff?".

View more on twitter

'Bionic woman' to take part in Great North Run

A woman in a bionic suit is set to take part in this year's Great North Run.

Claire Lomas, from Leicestershire, was paralysed from the chest down in a riding accident in 2007, but in 2012 became the first person to complete a marathon wearing therevolutionary ‘ReWalk’ suit.

She took part in the London Marathon, taking 17 days to complete the course.

Claire Lomas

Claire’s Great North Run journey will begin on 7 September, where it is anticipated she will complete some three miles per day.

She will become the first person to take on a Great North Run using a bionic suit, and she is looking forward to the day.

Earlier this year, however, Claire was been banned from entering a 10k race, due to rules that prohibit the use of motors.

Throwback Thursday: Sunderland Air show

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

It's that time of the week which many people know as Throwback Thursday.

Seeing as Sunderland's annual air show is taking place this weekend, we thought we'd do our own #TBT by sharing some pictures of last year's event with you:

People watching the show
Getty Images
The Royal Air Force Red Arrows fly over the lighthouse at Seaburn
Getty Images
The Royal Air Force Red Arrows entertain crowds
Getty Images

Union warns of industrial action over rail staff cuts

A rail company is planning to cut its travel centre staff by 15%, affecting stations between London and Scotland, a union claims.

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) says that the plans by Virgin Trains East Coast would lead to the loss of 31 travel centre jobs and 15 station staff.

It is now warning of possible industrial action.

The cuts will affect stations between London King's Cross and Edinburgh, probably hitting North East stations such as Newcastle and Darlington, TSSA believes.

Man who boasted of being worth £6m jailed for fraud offences

A "scheming" and "calculated" fraudster who conned people and businesses out of hundreds of thousands of pounds has been jailed for nine-and-a-half years, Northumbria Police says.

Christopher Heayns, from Blyth, was arrested in August 2015 on suspicion of a number of fraud offences.

The arrest came after a call to police in May 2015 from an ex-girlfriend who Heayns owed money to.

He told her that his name was Christopher Smith and that he was a high-flying barrister with a £6m property portfolio and a number of investments. 

Christopher Heayns
Northumbria Police

While living with his then girlfriend, he arranged to have building work done to allow him to set up new business ventures from home, and racked up more than £100,000 in costs.

He persuaded his partner to cover the bill, promising her that a £250,000 investment which was due to mature would allow him to pay her back, but he never did.

Heayns appeared at Newcastle Crown Court on 8 February and pleaded not guilty, but after a two-week trial he was found guilty of four counts of fraud and seven counts of insolvency act offences. 

New flights from Newcastle announced

Three new routes from Newcastle airport have been announced.

Ryanair will now offer flights to Faro, Girona and Palma, increasing its number of services to 50 per week.

The changes to their schedule are set to start in summer 2017.

Announcement of new flights
Newcastle Airport

Labour MP calls out Jeremy Corbyn over 'complete lie'

The Labour MP for Darlington, Jenny Chapman, has accused party leader Jeremy Corbyn of a "complete lie" over how leadership challenger Owen Smith left his shadow cabinet role.

At a media event launching his bid to stay in control, Mr Corbyn said: "Owen Smith was in the shadow cabinet until two weeks ago and he came to see me to say he was very happy in the shadow cabinet and wanted to stay there and then left the meeting and resigned which was a slightly odd thing to do."

But she tweeted:

View more on twitter

Allardyce 'first SAFC manager since 1978 to leave for another job'

Martin Emmerson

BBC Newcastle

Should he get the England job, Sam Allardyce will be the first Sunderland manager to leave the club to go to another job since Jimmy Adamson left in October 1978 when he went to Leeds.

That's 20 Sunderland managers ago...

Girl left critical after collision with car

A young cyclist was put into an induced coma after a collision with a car on a busy Darlington road last night.

The Great North Air Ambulance was called to Yarm Road at 18:45 and landed in nearby Eastbourne Park.

The 13-year-old girl sustained serious head injuries and the team flew her to James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough, where she arrived in a critical condition. 

Burns victim released from hospital.

A 20-year-old man whose legs were burned yesterday in a homophobic attack has now been released from hospital, Cleveland Police has confirmed.

The victim is said to be suffering from severe anxiety.

Our reporter Louise Hobson is at the grounds of Holy Trinity Church in Stockton, where the incident took place:

View more on twitter

Star Wars memorabilia auction totals £350,000

A two-day auction of rare Star Wars figures saw a final total of £350,000 raised.

The figures - amassed over 40 years by a French family - went up for sale at Stockton-based Vectis Auctions.

A near-mint boxed figure of bounty hunter Boba Fett fetched the highest individual price at £26,000, while a prototype version of the same character went for £18,000.

"A lot of the items were European in origin and not readily available over here," said the Louise Harker from Vectis.

"The interest in Star Wars memorabilia is getting stronger and stronger, and the new batch of films is introducing a new audience."

The total of 789 lots had been estimated to sell for between £250,000-£500,000, she added.

Boxed Star Wars figures which formed part of the two-day Vectis auction

Eriksson backing Allardyce for England job

Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has backed Sam Allardyce to succeed if as expected he is named England boss.

The 61-year-old Sunderland manager lost out in the race to replace Eriksson 10 years ago.

Eriksson, who led England to three successive major tournament quarter-finals, does not see the criticism of his record as a problem given the nature of his managerial jobs. 

He said: "If you take a team from the lower part of the table you have to adapt to what you want to do. 

"You have to defend and have to be organised. I think it depends on the situation.

"Many times Sam has had a team struggling for survival and he has done the job." 

Eriksson and Allardyce
Getty Images

County Durham dog seller forced to pay over £5000

A County Durham dog seller who gave fraudulent information about puppies has been ordered to pay more than £5,000.

Jodie Green, 24, from Consett, misled buyers of four animals into thinking they were pedigree and insured.

One of the buyers was a 72-year-old woman in ill health who was promised her money back if she could not cope with the animal.

But she did not get a refund when the dog became unwell.

Two other dogs also became ill, with one buyer unable to get the cost of her veterinary treatment back due to the lack of insurance.

Green pleaded guilty to all charges.

She was fined £100 for each offence, ordered to pay £3,000 towards prosecution costs and £1,739.78 in compensation.

She was also handed a five-year Criminal Behaviour Order.

North East has highest rate of children on school meals

One in five children in the North East are eligible for free school meals, higher than anywhere else in the country. 

Middlesbrough has the highest rate of children on the scheme in the region. 

Schools North East says the government needs to act to tackle poverty, as children on free school meals are less likely to achieve five or more GCSEs.

Mike Parker, the charity's director, says the new Prime Minister Theresa May has raised the issue of children not meeting their potential, but more emphasis needs to be put on children in the North East. 

Teenager in critical condition after taking drugs

A boy was taken to hospital in a critical condition after taking drugs in Sunderland.

At 20:55 last night, officers received a report from the ambulance service that a teenage boy had been taken to hospital after suffering an adverse reaction to a substance that he had taken.

He was picked up from the Woodhurst Grove area of the city and it is believed he had been taking LSD and other chemicals called new psychoactive substances (NSP).

NSPs are often incorrectly referred to as legal highs - they contain one or more substances which produce similar effects to illegal drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy.

The 14-year-old boy is currently in hospital in a critical condition and police are urging anyone who might have taken the same substances to get to a hospital and seek medical attention immediately. 

Durham University confirms fee increase plans

Yesterday we brought you news that Durham University had increased its tuition fees by more than £200, surpassing the current £9,000 limit.

Today, the university has issued a statement which says the universities minister told Parliament in May that a 2.8% rise would be available for bodies achieving a rating of "meets expectations".

According to the statement, Durham attained this and agreed to hike the fees last week.

Weather: A mild and fine day ahead

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

It's looking like it's going to be a pretty nice day again - check out this picture of Stockton taken by one of our Weather Watchers:  

Millennium bridge in Stockton
Darlington Si

Beautiful, right?

Here's the forecast for today:

Morning sunny spells will lead into a largely fine day, perhaps giving way to isolated showers during the afternoon. 

Temperatures should not reach recent highs, but should still reach the low twenties degrees Celsius in places, with light winds throughout.

Weather graph

You too can become a Weather Watcher - click here to find out how.

Sam Allardyce: England to appoint Sunderland boss as new manager

BBC Sport

Sam Allardyce is expected to be named as the new England manager today.

Allardyce will leave Sunderland after nine months at the Premier League club.

The 61-year-old replaces Roy Hodgson, who resigned in June after the surprise defeat by Iceland in the last 16 of Euro 2016 in France.

Allardyce, a former Newcastle, West Ham and Bolton boss, spoke to the Football Association last week and has been chosen ahead of Hull's Steve Bruce.

The only remaining issue to be settled is compensation to Sunderland, with Allardyce having a year left on his contract at the Stadium of Light.

Sam Allardyce

Good morning. Welcome to BBC Local Live

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

Morning. Welcome to our live coverage.

We'll be with you throughout the day bringing you the latest news, sport, weather and travel updates.

If you'd like to send us a message today. you can find us on TwitterFacebook, or send us an email at