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  1. Updates on Wednesday 11 October 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage throughout the day

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

You can catch up with the latest news throughout the night on BBC Tees, BBC Newcastle, Look North and online.

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

We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00. Have a good evening.

Weather: Scattered showers to start with dry later

This evening and tonight there will be clear periods with a scattering of showers at first, perhaps locally on the sharp side over the hills.The showers will ease overnight to leave most places dry and rather chilly, with a moderate westerly breeze persisting.

Minimum Temperature: 8C (46F).

Tomorrow will be dry, bright and breezy with sunny spells, although cloud tending to increase later in the west. This may bring outbreaks of light rain to the far west of the region later in the evening.

Maximum Temperature: 14C (57F).

How can the North East not be on this list?

Francesca Williams

BBC News

A survey suggests spa towns are the happiest places to live in this country.

We think property website Rightmove - who compiled it - should spend more time in the North East. We can think of lots of lovely places where you couldn't fail to be happy.

Spa towns have natural springs with waters thought to have health benefits. But, if it's water you want, nothing can beat our coast. Don't you agree?

Composite picture of Bath and Bamburgh Castle
Getty Images
What's it to be? Bath or Bamburgh?

Nissan among car makers checking materials amid steel scandal

Theo Leggett

BBC Business News Reporter

Some of the world's biggest car makers, as well as aircraft manufacturers and train companies, are investigating whether they may have inadvertently used substandard materials, including on products sold in the UK.

Their concerns follow an admission from Japan's metal manufacturer Kobe Steel that it falsified quality control data for up to 10 years.

Nissan and Honda said they had used Kobe Steel products to manufacture doors and bonnets on their cars.

Hitachi, which is making new trains for the UK rail network, said the steel it was using was of the required strength and had been rigorously tested.

Fewer Metros running this evening due to faults

Perception, promises and parmos

David MacMillan

BBC Tees

There's a new edition of the BBC Tees politics podcast out.

We are asking how politicians are going to sell the Tees Valley and deliver on their promise to create 20,000 jobs on the old Redcar steelworks site. So we talk about perception, promises and parmos.

You can listen here.

Teesside museum offers course in dead animals

Damian O'Neil

BBC Look North

If you have an interest in preserving the earthly remains of nature's wonders after they've shuffled off their mortal coils, or think you might, a demonstration of taxidermy is on offer at the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum in Middlesbrough.

Local expert Adrian Johnstone will be teaching the necessary skills at his class "Get Stuffed" (baddum-cha) on 20 October, between 12:30 and 15:00. Tickets are £10, or a fiver with an Explorer Pass.

You don't need to bring your own roadkill.

Newcastle MP calls for Weinstein to be stripped of honour

Damian O'Neil

BBC Look North

Shadow Minister Chi Onwurah (pictured), who's the MP for Newcastle Central, has added her name to a list of Labour MPs who are demanding that Harvey Weinstein be stripped of his honorary CBE.

Four Labour colleagues have joined her in signing a letter to the Prime Minister, in which they set out their reasons why the disgraced Hollywood mogul should be considered unworthy of the title.

It comes as Bafta, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, has suspended Weinstein's membership from the organisation in light of allegations against the film producer which include sexual assault and harassment.

The letter says Mr Weinstein has fallen far short of the standards expected of the recipient of a CBE, and calls upon the government to urgently strip him of the award.

Chi Onwurah
Labour party
Chi Onwurah MP

Campaigners call for u-turn on hospital ward closure

Damian O'Neil

BBC Look North

Protesters say a decision to close 12 beds at a cottage hospital in Northumberland is "cruel and arrogant", and want the county council to reconsider the decision at a meeting next week.

The Save Rothbury Community Hospital Campaign Group says it has provided Northumberland Council with a list of reasons why the beds should remain open. They say there were a number of failings in the processes that led to the decision.

But Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said the beds had been used "less and less" over the past few years.

The CCG said it now planned to "reshape" existing services around a health and wellbeing centre on the hospital site, which would save about £500,000 a year. No job cuts are proposed.

Northumberland County Council's Health & Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee will consider the decision at a meeting on 17 October.

Protestors in Morpeth
Over 200 people protested the closure of the beds

Severe accident: A1 Tyne And Wear northbound

BBC News Travel

A1 Tyne And Wear northbound severe accident, at A6127 Newcastle Bank.

A1 Tyne And Wear - A1 Western Bypass in Birtley partially blocked and queuing traffic northbound at the A6127 Newcastle Bank junction, because of an accident earlier on. Congestion to the A1(M) J65 junction.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Proposals for region to become international centre of green economy

Hartlepool Mail


The Tees Valley could become a major centre for high-tech green industries and renewable energy according to a new report.

Severe accident: A697 Northumberland both ways

BBC News Travel

A697 Northumberland both ways severe accident, between A698 Main Street and B6354.

A697 Northumberland - A697 closed in both directions between the A698 Main Street junction in Cornhill-on-Tweed and the B6354 junction in Flodden, because of a serious accident. Diversion in operation - Lorries are to divert Northbound via the B6354 onto the A1 and then onto the A698 to rejoin the A697. Southbound visa versa.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

'Significant activity' in school vandal probe

Police have said "significant activity" is ongoing to trace those responsible for vandalising a school in Gateshead.

Heworth Grange Comprehensive School remains closed for a second day following the break in just after midnight on Monday.

Offenders smashed a number of windows and vandalised the internal building with marker pens.

They also damaged the school's electricity generators, leaving it without power, heating or lighting.

Damage at school
Northumbria Police

We understand the closure of the school will have been very disruptive for teachers, parents and the pupils themselves. We want to reassure the local community that we have a number of lines of investigation and will update you on the progress of our investigation.

Neighbourhood Inspector Alan Pitchfordfrom Northumbria Police

Where the needles are in County Durham

A BBC investigation into heroin use in County Durham has explored options for change and highlighted where it is particularly prevalent.

Meanwhile the campaigning drugs charity Transform has been creating maps showing where syringes have been discarded around the country.

Its map for Durham shows distinct hotspots - though it cautions these are just where needles reported to the local authority were found.

Most people and businesses pick them up themselves rather than wait for them to be collected and so the map represents only a "fraction of the problem", the charity says.

Drugs needles found map
Transform Drug Policy Foundation
Hole at Ridley Park

Collectors dig an eight-foot long tunnel in a Blyth park prompting the council to issue a warning.

Read more

More than 250 Owen Pugh employees to be made redundant

Rebecca O'Neill

BBC Newcastle

More than 250 employees are to be made redundant after the North Tyneside construction company Owen Pugh went into administration on Monday.

Administrators have announced that four parts of the group will now cease trading. One part of the company, which operates Marsden Quarry near Sunderland, will continue while a buyer is found - securing 30 jobs there.

A further nine employees have been retained at the Group's head office in the short term to assist the administrators.

Local man who did quite well celebrates birthday

Damian O'Neil

BBC Look North

Sir Bobby Charlton, one of England's greatest footballers and a national icon, is celebrating his 80th birthday today.

Born in Ashington on this day in 1937, he was a key member of the England team that beat Germany in the World Cup in 1966, a fixture that is wistfully looked back on by countless fans who've seen their hopes dashed at every international tournament since.

He was also a talisman for Manchester United - he survived the Munich air crash in 1958 that killed a number of his friends and colleagues, and went on to win two league titles and the European Cup with the team.

Today, he works for the Find a Better Way charity, which researches ways of detecting and clearing landmines.

Sir Bobby Charlton
Getty Images
Sir Bobby Charlton

'Heroin dominates my life'

The North East has the highest rate of death from drug misuse in England and Wales, but radical change could be on the way.

County Durham’s police and crime commissioner has made tackling heroin addiction one of his priorities.

Ron Hogg wants to bring in a form of heroin-assisted treatment - centres to give long-term addicts medical-grade heroin on prescription.

The BBC has spoke to one addict, "Lisa", who described a life dominated by the drug, but says his proposal offers people like her hope.

Read the special report here.

Heroin being prepared for injection

Amble arson-accused appears in court

A man has been remanded in custody after a fire at a property in Amble.

The 23-year-old, from the town, appeared before magistrates, charged with two counts of arson criminal damage, two counts of arson endanger life and going equipped to commit arson.

It relates to a blaze on Philip Drive a week ago.

He will next appear at Newcastle Crown Court on 3 November.

BBC Tees legend to be immortalised at football stadium

The words of Ali Brownlee, the much-loved BBC football commentator who died last year, are to be made into a permanent memorial on the approach to the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough.

He delivered a memorable monologue after the final whistle of the 2006 UEFA Cup semi-final against Steaua Bucharest, and his commentary will form part of a wall mural in the Shepherdson Way underpass.

When the whistle blew, he said:

That is it. It’s Eindhoven. It’s Eindhoven. Boro have made it. One of the most glorious nights in the history of football. We go back to 1876, the Infant Hercules, fathomed out of the foundries of Teesside, mined out of the Eston Hills, we’re roaring all the way to Eindhoven and the UEFA Cup Final. It’s party, party, party! Everybody round my house for a parmo!

Ali BrownleeBBC Tees Commentator
Ali Brownlee
The many faces of Ali Brownlee

The mural is an addition to an ongoing public poetry scheme in the town run by Middlesbrough Council.

Bus-only lane plan sparks controversy

Sunderland Echo


Here's today's front page and a link to our main story.

Sunderland Echo
Sunderland Echo

Ex-Boro player Rochemback arrested in cockfighting bust

BBC Sport

Brazilian footballer Fabio Rochemback - formerly of Barcelona and Middlesbrough - has been arrested after an alleged cockfighting ring was busted in the country's south.

A police operation was conducted at a farm in Rio Grande do Sul state, reported news site Globo.

Getty Images

It said 89 roosters were seized and more than $100,000 (£75,000) in cash.

However, his father said his son was not present at the scene. Cockfighting is banned in Brazil.

South Shields fans get in line for tickets

The FA Cup Fourth qualifying round takes place on Saturday.

View more on twitter
Steve Watson (centre) with Richard and Julie Bennett

Steve Watson hopes becoming Gateshead boss is the "last piece of the jigsaw" in the club's bid to return to the EFL.

Read more

Police arrest suspected loan shark

Hartlepool Mail


Here's today's front page and a link to our main story.

Hartlepool Mail front page
Hartlepool Mail

Motor Neurone Disease suffer in 'death with dignity' call

BBC Tees

A former Redcar councillor has written to the Prime Minister, pleading for the legal right to end his own life.

Mike Findley, who has Motor Neurone Disease, was awarded the MBE in 2010 for his fundraising, having collected more than £200,000 to fight the degenerative condition.

He's now calling for a parliamentary debate on the right to die after a fellow sufferer Noel Conway lost his High Court battle for the right to end his life with dignity.

Mike Findley

Brightening up after a cloudy start

Lisa Gallagher

Weather presenter, BBC Look North

A windy and - in places - wet start to the day, but the band of rain will push away southwards.

Throughout the afternoon it will brighten up from the north, with temperatures up to 16C (60F) as the gusty winds ease.


Traffic accident blocks road

Drivers warned after accident closes road.

View more on twitter

Vandal-hit school remains closed

A Gateshead school remains closed for a second day after it was broken into and vandalised.

Intruders forced entry into Heworth Grange Comprehensive School just before midnight on Monday, smashing windows and writing on walls with marker pens.

The schools's generators were also damaged leaving it without power, heating or lighting.

Northumbria Police said forensic investigations were ongoing and CCTV was being reviewed.

Heworth Grange School

Travel: Delays in Metro after train withdrawn

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We'll be here until 18:00 bringing you news, sport, weather and travel from across the North East.

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