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Summary

  1. Updates on Monday 23 February 2015
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Tuesday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

Lloyd Watson

BBC News

That's all from BBC Local Live today. We'll be back from 08:00 on Tuesday. Gary Fildes, founding director of the Kielder Observatory, sent us this picture of the Northern Lights seen from Northumberland.

Northern Lights
Gary Fildes

You can send your pictures by email:

northeast.locallive@bbc.co.uk or tweet
@BBCNewsNE and we may feature them on BBC Local Live tomorrow.

Scattered wintry showers

Paul Mooney

BBC Weather presenter

Remaining windy with clear periods and scattered heavy wintry showers, with rain, sleet and hail down to low levels and snow over the hills.

Weather forecast
BBC

Minimum temperature: 1C (34F).

Check the forecast near you.

Life-saving button test

County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service

tweets: Push the button on your smoke alarm today or tomorrow ahead of FBU 24 hour strike from 7am on Wednesday this test could save your life

Cyclist racially abused by dog walker

The Shields Gazette

A

cyclist has been racially abused as he rode along a path in South Tyneside.

Cadet beheading threat man revealed

This is the man who threatened to "chop the heads off" two female cadets on Tyneside.

Two men in a car
Northumbria Police

Gateshead magistrates heard driver Marius Dura lent across his passenger and said: "Are yous in the Army because we will chop your heads off."

Dura, 26, admitted threatening behaviour and received a six-week jail term suspended for a year.

How cabbie rescued three-year-old

Russell Ward

BBC Newcastle

Taxi driver Mary Cartwright has been telling me how she came across a three-year-old wandering the streets of Sunderland at 03:00.

It turns out the boy had left his home about a quarter-of-a-mile away while his mum was sleeping.

Mary Cartwright
BBC

She told me: "I had to look, then look again. I was so shocked. I could see he was crying and very upset. Being a mother, I knew he was lost. He was a lucky little boy that we went past at that time. He's back home with his mam now, which is a good end to the story."

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 17:00 include:

Moore staying at Hartlepool

BBC Sport

Hartlepool United manager Ronnie Moore

is not considering his future, despite Saturday's defeat by Bury leaving them eight points adrift in League Two.

The 62-year-old took charge in December on the same day that TMH 2014 Limited announced their takeover of the club.

Ronnie Moore
Getty Images

That has since collapsed, and Pools are now two points further from 22nd place than when Moore was appointed boss.

"I've no intention of leaving Hartlepool, I love every minute of my job, it's a big job," he tweeted.

Cyclist 'racially abused'

Stephanie Finnon

BBC Newcastle

Police are investigating after a

cyclist was racially abused in South Tyneside as he pulled to one side to allow a family to pass by.

It happened at 18:00 on Saturday on the path which crosses the field at the rear of Imeary Street and Dean Road.

A 26-year-old man was cycling near the park when he was approached by a young couple with two dogs and a buggy with a small child. He stopped to allow them to pass and was racially abused by a man who threatened to set his dogs on him.

NUFC defender Lascelles cleared

A Newcastle United footballer charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm has had the case against him dropped.

Defender Jamaal Lascelles, currently on loan at Nottingham Forest and living in Derby, appeared before a Crown Court judge in December charged with causing actual bodily harm at a bar.

Jamaal Lascelles (l)
Getty Images

A Crown Prosecution Service spokesman said: "Once we had received and viewed CCTV evidence first-hand, it became apparent that this did not show that the defendant had been responsible for the injuries sustained by the victim. It was therefore deemed that there was no longer a realistic prospect of a conviction."

Afterwards,

he tweeted: After being wrongly accused and charged with assault, I can now happily say all charges have been dropped and my name has been cleared

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 16:00 include:

Taxi driver hailed for saving boy

Russell Ward

BBC Newcastle

A three-year-old boy is safe and well after being found wandering the streets of Sunderland in the early hours of yesterday.

The boy, who had no shoes on, was spotted by taxi driver Mary Cartwright. He was in tears and freezing cold in just a T-shirt, shorts and socks.

Mary Cartwright
BBC

Mary kept him warm in her car until the police arrived. He'd managed to walk about a quarter-of-a-mile after waking up and sneaking out of the house while his mother slept. We'll hear from her at

16:05 on BBC Newcastle.

Share your views

We've introduced BBC Local Live, which is written by reporters across the North East, to bring you the latest news, sport, travel and weather all in one place.

Tell us what you think.

Giaccherini is to see specialist

Sunderland's Emanuele Giaccherini is to see a specialist about a recurrence of an ankle injury that could keep him out for the rest of the season.

The midfielder, 29, missed two months with the injury earlier in the season and aggravated it an a fourth-round FA Cup replay win at Fulham.

Emanuele Giaccherini
Getty Images

Head coach Gus Poyet told the Sunderland Echo: "It is the same injury he had before. It's not good."

Giaccherini has made only four starts in 10 appearances this season.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 15:00 include:

  • BBC Newcastle: A taxi driver has been telling BBC Newcastle how she came across a three-year-old wandering the streets of Sunderland at 03:00.
  • BBC Tees: A man injured in a crash in East Cleveland a week ago has died. Brian Metherell, 78, was hit by a Vauxhall Zafira as he crossed Brotton Road in Carlin How.

Boro season ticket to go up with side

Middlesbrough's season ticket prices for 2015-16 are going up.

The early bird renewals are on sale now until 2 April - then prices will go up in May if the Boro are promoted.

Alex Mowatt (top) challenges with Emilio Nsue
PA

Renewal prices start at £397 for adults, £257 for over-65s, and tickets for under 18s will be £125.

Boro lost 1-0 to Leeds on Saturday despite dominating the game.

Sleater Kinney are back

American rockers Sleater Kinney made a colossal return to the UK stage on Tyneside during the BBC 6 Music festival.

The all-female punk trio are back after a hiatus stretching back to 2006.

Sleater Kinney
BBC

Watch them perform

A New Wave by clicking here.

Another fine mess...

Russell Ward

BBC Newcastle

The comic genius of Stan Laurel is being celebrated on Tyneside today exactly 50 years after his death.

The Grand Hotel in Tynemouth, where the duo stayed three times, is hosting an evening of celebration with a talk, excerpts from a play and screenings of two classic films.

Zoe Hakin, Tom Hadaway's daughter Pauline, who is completing his unfinished play about the comedy duo, Harry Gallagher who plays Ollie and Paul Dunn who is Stan Laurel
BBC

Rehearsals of the play have been taking place this morning and here's Zoe Hakin, Tom Hadaway's daughter Pauline, who is completing his unfinished play about the comedy duo, Harry Gallagher who plays Ollie and Paul Dunn who is Stan Laurel.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 14:00 include:

  • BBC Newcastle: A man who threatened to "chop the heads off" two teenage Army cadets in Gateshead has been handed a six-week suspended jail sentence.
  • BBC Tees: A man injured in a crash in East Cleveland a week ago has died. Brian Metherell, 78, was hit by a Vauxhall Zafira as he crossed Brotton Road in Carlin How.

Your photos: Sun in Sunderland

Via @BBCNewsNE

Dean Matthews

tweeted us this picture of the sun peeking over the North Sea at Sunderland this morning.

Sun peeking over the North Sea
Dean Matthews

You can send your pictures by email to

northeast.locallive@bbc.co.uk or tweet
@BBCNewsNE.

'Crass, insensitive comment'

Dura's family contacted him in Germany, where he had returned, and he decided to come back to the UK to face justice.

He was arrested in Folkestone, Kent, and was brought to a police station in Newcastle where he was charged on Friday.

His solicitor Shaun McFaul said there was "nothing sinister" in the comment. "It was a crass, insensitive and not in the least bit funny comment that he made," the solicitor added.

'Cannot stop crying'

In victim impact statements, the girls, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, spoke of their distress.

One said: "I cannot stop crying as I am aware of what is happening in the world and the impact of these threats."

The other said: "This incident has made me very scared."

Man admits cadet beheading threat

BBC Newcastle

A man has admitted threatening to behead two teenage cadets outside their Territorial Army Centre in Gateshead.

Marius Dura, 26, leaned from the window of a car outside the TA Centre in Alexandra Road last month, and shouted at the two 14-year-old girls.

At Gateshead Magistrates' Court, Dura, of no fixed address, admitted threatening behaviour and was sentenced to six weeks in jail suspended for a year and was ordered to pay £100 compensation to each.

'Sunshine stopped Metro journeys'

Martin Emmerson

BBC Newcastle

When it comes to delays on our rail systems we've heard all of the excuses. Leaves on the line, the wrong type of snow, or even it's too hot. But today we can add the wrong type of sunshine.

Seven Metro trains heading towards Newcastle were unable to stop at Felling this morning because the low sun was shining on a safety mirror at the end of the platform, meaning drivers could not see if it was safe to let people on and off.

So commuters had to get off at Gateshead Stadium instead and head back in the other direction to Felling. The problems ended when a member of staff arrived at the station after 20 minutes to act as a guard.

It's the latest in a long list of problems for the Metro which has been beset by broken down trains and power cuts since the new year.

Pedestrian hit by car dies

A 78-year-old man who was hit by a car in Brotton Road, Carlin How, Teesside, has died.

Brian Metherell
Cleveland Police

Brian Metherell, from Carlin How, was on foot when the Vauxhall Zafira hit him on 13 February at 19:25.

He was taken to James Cook University Hospital but died seven days later on Friday evening.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 13:00 include:

On the lunchtime BBC Look North

Richard Thomas

BBC News

The BBC 6 Music Festival on Tyneside came to a triumphant end last night.

Over three days, audiences of more than 10,000 people enjoyed live music from 50 acts representing the best of alternative music of the moment.

Maximo Park
BBC

Established artists and emerging talent performed at venues across Newcastle and Gateshead. I'll have more on this story on

BBC Look North at 13:30 on BBC One.

Police appeal for missing teenager

Police are appealing to trace

13-year-old Mark Freer from the Middlesbrough area.

He was last seen at about 13:30 on 16 February at an address in Aske Road, Middlesbrough. He has links to the North Ormesby, Pallister Park and Park End areas of the town. Police are appealing for anyone with information to contact them on 101.

Mark Freer
Cleveland Police

He is white, about 5ft 4in with short brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a blue hooded top, grey Adidas tracksuit bottoms, a grey Adidas top and black Nike trainers.

Join the BBC's Audience Council

The BBC Trust is

recruiting for new members to join the Audience Council England's regional panels in the North East and Cumbria.

These are voluntary, unpaid roles. If you have an interest in the BBC, its programmes and services, you could become a panel member. They meet three times a year and membership is open to anyone aged over 16.

Each panel will have up to 16 members, from a range of backgrounds, with varied experiences and connected to different communities.

Apply via the online application form. The closing date for applications is midnight on 20 March 2015.

Cold, bright and windy

Lisa Gallagher

Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

It'll be cold, bright and windy with sunshine this afternoon too, and scattered wintry showers, some heavy. Snow is most likely over the Pennines, with a mixture of rain, sleet and hail at the lower levels, but heavier showers may also bring snow briefly down to lower levels.

Weather forecast
BBC

Maximum temperature: 5C (41F).

Check the forecast near you.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 12:00 include:

  • BBC Tees: The Bishop of Durham is calling on the government to further protect teenagers from falling victim to abuse.
  • BBC Newcastle: Five men have been arrested and bailed after a fight broke out in County Durham in which two men were stabbed.

Maxïmo Park on Tyneside

North East band Maxïmo Park also performed on Tyneside this weekend as part of the BBC 6 Music Festival.

The local lads returned to the region to showcase material from over a decade of making music.

Paul Smith from Maxïmo Park
BBC

See some clips and pictures from their performances here.

Pier refurbishment continues

Work on Seaham's North Pier is due to restart next week.

However, it means from today there are limited parking spaces at the marina, while Slope Beach and Spiles car parks will be closed so that workers can move on to the site.

Pier during July and October
BBC

Work is due to begin on 2 March and end by November. John Reed from Durham County Council said: "This work is absolutely vital because the North Pier has been breached previously and could be at risk in future if left untreated. Not only will it help protect homes and businesses but it will also safeguard the harbour and the ongoing marina development."

Five arrested after brawl

Five men have been arrested after a fight broke out which left two other men with stab wounds in County Durham.

The brawl, which police are calling a "serious incident", started at about 22:00 on Thursday in a house in Pine Street, Chester-le-Street, and later spilled out into the street.

Two men, aged 29 and 24, were treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead. The five men were arrested and bailed. Police are appealing for witnesses.