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  1. Thursday 4 May 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

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

You can still catch up with the latest news throughout the night on BBC TeesBBC NewcastleLook North, and online.

If you'd like to get in touch or share your North East pictures with us, you can do so on TwitterFacebook, or via email

We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00 when we'll be bringing you the results of all today's elections.

Hope you have a good evening.

Weather: Dry but cool

BBC Weather

It will remain dry overnight, with clear spells likely throughout.

Whilst the east to northeasterly breeze will ease slightly, it will remain rather breezy and cool.

Weather graph

Check the weather where you are.

South Shields look forward to FA Vase final

BBC Look North

North East and Cumbria

South Shields take on Cleethorpes Town in the FA Vase semi-final at Wembley on 21 May.

The Mariners won their place in the final with a 6-1 aggregate semi-final victory over Coleshill Town.

Players took part in a photo shoot today.

There will be more on this on Look North at 18:30. 

South Shields players at photo shoot

Watch: The unique ways of a Newcastle running group

The Hash House Harriers leave trails of flour to guide the runners.

View more on facebook

The Hartlepool teenagers who got to be Royalty for a day

Hartlepool Mail


A group of Hartlepool people had a special reason to remember the Queen and Prince Philip’s visit to town in 1977, as they played the parts of the Royal couple just days earlier.

The Royal rehearsal in 1977, with Susan Abram and George Stewart stepping in to play the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh

Newcastle City Hall audiences rise under new management

Newcastle's City Hall has had 115,000 visitors since it was taken over by new management.

The venue, which had been threatened with closure, has been run by the Newcastle Theatre Royal Trust since April 2016.

During that time it has hosted 72 public performances and a number of private events.    

By September, the trust will have invested more than £1m, which is being used to improve its facilities.

Newcastle City Hall
Newcastle Theatre Royal and City Hall

We are already making significant improvements, and there is considerably more to come."

Philip BernaysChief executive of Newcastle Theatre Royal Trust

Elderly woman and dog attacked attacked in park

A 65-year-old woman and her dog were attacked by another dog in Middlesbrough.

The victim was walking her Staffordshire Bull Terrier near to the tennis courts in Pallister Park on 30 April when another dog broke free from its lead and attacked them.

The woman suffered a serious injury to her knee and her dog suffered puncture wounds, but is making good progress, Cleveland Police said.

It is believed the dog which attacked them is a white American Bulldog and its owner is described as a white female in her 30s.

Rafa Benitez charged following referee comments

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has been charged with misconduct by the FA.

The charges come after Benitez commented on the appointed referee for Newcastle's match against Preston on 24 April.

View more on twitter

Dogs at polling stations for local council elections

It's the British rite becoming synonymous with elections, taking your dog to the polling booth.

The hashtag #dogsatpollingstations has reappeared on social media today as people across England, Scotland and Wales vote in local and mayoral elections.

Alan Patrickson took this photo of Rusty in Durham.

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Gas leak in North Shields

A gas leak in North Shields was reported to police this afternoon.

Emergency services wne to the scene near Park Avenue and Park Crescent at about 12:45 and evacuated a small number of nearby residents.

The gas leak is currently being repaired and there are no concerns for the safety of the public.

Nyal Bell

Chester sign Gateshead striker Nyal Bell on loan until 7 January and confirm new deals for Wade Joyce and Evan Horwood.

Read more

Teenager bit and headbutted fan at 50 Cent concert

A Sunderland teenager who bit and headbutted two fans at a 50 Cent concert has been handed a suspended sentence.

Alexander McHugh, 19, lashed out at a Newcastle gig in 2015, causing the rapper to appeal for calm while on stage.

Newcastle Crown Court was told that the first victim, a student, stepped in when he saw McHugh pushing a woman in the audience.

He need eight stitches after being headbutted by McHugh, who then attacked a 16-year-old by biting his cheek.

McHugh was handed a 20 month term, which was suspened for two years, and ordered to carry out community work, take an anger management course and pay £300 compensation to each victim. 

Watch: Swan recovering following brutal attack

This female swan is doing well after a brutal attack in Middlesbrough last week.

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Windows smashed in would-be house burglary

A property has been damaged during an attempted burglary in Westerhope.

Two windows were smashed in a house on Stamfordham Road while the occupants were inside.

The offender then fled the scene and nothing was stolen.

A white male was seen "acting suspiciously" in the area at the time officers are currently trying to identify him.

He is described as white, very thin, pale, bald and with a large birth mark.

May the (Durham) force be with you

The force is out and about in Chester-le-Street.  

View more on twitter

How does the BBC report polling day?

People across the North East are voting in elections for county councillors in Durham and Northumberland, the first Tees Valley elected mayor, and North Tyneside's mayor.

Until polls close at 22:00 BST, the BBC - in common with other broadcasters - is restricted as to what it can and cannot say.

In case, you're wondering, this is how the organisation reports polling day.

BBC newsroom

Parents turn fundraisers to thank hospital unit

BBC Tees

A mother who was mentally planning her baby's funeral is now fundraising to thank the unit that saved his life.

Xavier Pereira was cared for on the neonatal unit at the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, following an elective caesarean section last August.

His parents, Germaine and Shaun, are hoping to collect £500 during a fundraising event at the Malleable Club in Norton on 21 July so the unit can buy specialised equipment.

Durham Cathedral closure mystery

Russ Ward

BBC Newcastle

Is Durham Cathedral set to feature in the next Avengers film?

View more on twitter

Road closures expected in Consett and Durham

Road surfacing work will lead to closures in Consett and Durham in the coming weeks.

Locations affected are Front Street and Knitsley Lane in Consett, and Providence Row in Durham.

Work begins in Consett on Sunday and will last five days.

In Durham, the work will take place over the weekends of 13 and 20 June.

Renewable energy company comes to Teesside

A new biomass plant will generate power for 600,000 homes and create up to 1,000 jobs.

View more on facebook

Accelerant thrown at Stockton property

Cleveland Police has appealed for information after an accelerant was thrown at a property in Stockton on two separate occasions.

The first happened on 21 April at about 02:10 and the second on Wednesday at 03:15. 

No one was injured during the incidents on Grove Street, which are believed to be linked.

A1(M) reopens after collision closure

Sex assault victim of teaching assistant speaks out

Sunderland Echo


A man who was sexually assaulted as a schoolboy by a teaching assistant from Wearside says he has endured "years of hell".

Philip Watson
Sunderland Echo

Watch: Newcastle University develop artificial intelligence arm

Collision closes stretch of A1(M) at Durham

A stretch of the A1(M) has been closed near Durham following a collision between two vehicles on the northbound carriageway.

Nobody is injured and police are at the scene:

View more on twitter

Critically injured swan making recovery

Colin Briggs

Look North

A female swan injured during an attack in a Middlesbrough park is making a good recovery.

Thugs killed a male swan at Albert Park last week, and critically injured the female and smashed their eggs.

Video: Middlesbrough fire damage

A fire broke in a building on Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough, in the early hours.

Our reporter Andy Bell visited the scene:

View more on twitter

Pair rescued after wave capsizes kayak

BBC Newcastle

Two men were rescued after their kayak overturned in Cullercoats last night.

A lifeboat arrived on the scene within minutes and rescuers helped the pair out of the water.

They had been paddling near the bay when the craft was capsized by a large wave.

Eating disorders among men 'rise by one third'

BBC Newcastle

The number of men being treated on the NHS for eating disorders has risen by almost a third over the past three years, according to BBC research.

During the same time, the number of female patients also rose by 13%.

In the North East, the BBC obtained figures from the Tees, Esk & Wear Valley NHS Trust which showed the number of male outpatients had almost doubled - from 24 to 45.

Weather: Cloud will clear with sunshine to follow

Any early cloud will soon clear to leave a dry and largely sunny afternoon with just a little fair-weather cloud around.

Despite the sunshine, it will feel cool in the brisk north-easterly wind.  

Weather forecast, Thursday 4 May

Firefighters battle shop and pub blazes

Firefighters are battling a blaze at a shop in the heart of Middlesbrough town centre.

Five appliances and a hydraulic platform are tackling the fire in a building on Linthorpe Road behind McDonald's and Grange Road, after being called to the scene at 02:50 BST.

Crews have told BBC Tees they expect to be there for the next few hours to bring things under control.

Meanwhile in Seaham, fire crews were called to The Avenue pub. Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service said it was well alight.

Polls open for local elections in County Durham and Northumberland

Voting is taking place for the first elected mayor for the Tees Valley with voters in Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton and Redcar and Cleveland casting their ballots.

Polls are also taking place for local council elections in County Durham and Northumberland, as well as North Tyneside's mayor.

The polls close at 22:00.

Polling box vote

Welcome to our live coverage

We'll be with you throughout the day to bring you the latest news, weather, sport and travel updates from across the North East.

Have you got any photos you'd like to share with us? In that case you can tweet them to @BBCNewsNEemail them, or contact us via our Facebook page.