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  1. Updates on Wednesday 25 March 2015

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Good evening

    That's all from BBC Local Live today. We'll be back from 08:00 on Thursday. Tracey Laing sent us this picture of the sun rising this morning at North Sunderland harbour at Seahouses, Northumberland.

    Sunrise in North Sunderland harbour

    You can send your pictures by email to or tweet @BBCNewsNE and we may feature them on BBC Local Live tomorrow.

  2. Cloud thickening later

    Paul Mooney

    BBC Weather presenter

    It'll be dry at first with some clear spells, but cloud increasing and thickening, with outbreaks of rain spreading in later in the night. Some snow is possible over the North Pennines. Becoming breezy and feeling cold.

    Weather forecast

    Minimum temperature: 1C (34F). Check the forecast near you.

  3. Police seek contact with men

    Police investigating a rape of a young woman in Newcastle have now released CCTV images of two witnesses they want to trace.

    The victim had been out in Newcastle city centre on the evening of Thursday 20 September, when she chatted with two men she met in the City Vaults bar.

    Two men on CCTV

    Police want to speak to them. It is believed they know each other and they are being sought as witnesses.

    Det Insp Grant Dawson said: "Again we want to stress they are not suspects in this case, they chatted to the victim in the bar before the rape took place. The rape occurred later and at another location, in the Heaton area of Newcastle."

  4. North East projects get funding boost

    More than £385,000 of Big Lottery funding has been earmarked for projects in the North East.

    Tyneside Outdoors will use its £9,720 funding to deliver weekly outdoor activities to youth groups.

    Real Lives Real Choices in Newton Aycliffe has received £9,606 to run furniture recycling courses for adults with learning disabilities. Beneficiaries will learn about furniture restoration and craft skills whilst improving their confidence.

  5. Funding boost for Teesside projects

    A new voluntary organisation on Teesside is among 607 projects across England receiving a share of more than £5m in Big Lottery funding.

    Matrix Neurological, based in Middlesbrough, will use its £10,000 to purchase computer and office equipment and decorate its new premises.

    St Bernadette's RC Primary School has been awarded £10,000 to develop an outdoor nature investigation resource centre in an unused woodland area of the school grounds. St Mary's Roman Catholic Primary School in Barnard Castle has also received £9,949 to create a nature area in its grounds.

  6. Geordie Symphony School

    Chris Jackson

    Presenter, Inside Out North East & Cumbria

    Coming up on Friday on BBC One, we'll have the amazing story of how music is transforming children's lives in one of Newcastle's poorest areas as part of a project called 'In Harmony' in conjunction with The Sage music centre in Gateshead.

    Geordie Symphony School

    You can see a preview of the show here.

  7. BreakingOffice evacuated over bomb scare

    Some more details now on the Teesside office block which has been evacuated. Police say it is due to a bomb scare.

    St Mark's Court in Thornaby has been sealed off and the Army Bomb Disposal Unit has been called.

    Police say the security alert comes after they received a call. They say there will be an update shortly.

  8. Scene of evacuation

    Here's a view of Westminster House in Thornaby which has been evacuated by police. It houses a number of companies including IT firm Atos, architects Lister Associates and a firm of solicitors.

    Westminster House, Thornaby
  9. BreakingBuilding evacuated in Thornaby

    Cleveland Police says it evacuated Westminster House in Thornaby, Stockton, at about 15:40 today for what it says is "a precautionary measure".

    We'll have more on this as soon as we get it.

  10. In the news today

    Hartlepool Mail

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

    Front page
  11. News on the hour

    The top local headlines at 16:00 include:

    • BBC Tees: The outgoing Middlesbrough mayor Ray Mallon will take a leading role at the Middlesbrough FC Foundation.
    • BBC Newcastle: Jon Harle and Stephanie Finnon have a round-up of the day's news.
  12. 'Heavier than 30 years ago'

    Russell Ward

    BBC Newcastle

    New offshore safety rules come into force next month because of the increasing size of workers.

    New research revealed that the average offshore worker is now 20% heavier than they were 30 years ago.

    Man being measured

    The North Sea oil industry supports an estimated 50,000 jobs in our region and the new rules have meant a busy time for North East training provider AIS. I'll have more on this story at 16:45 on BBC Newcastle.

  13. 'Congrats to Sir Bobby foundation'

    West Bromwich Albion, which was one of Sir Bobby Robson's former clubs, tweets: Huge congrats to @SBRFoundation as they celebrate their seventh anniversary with news they have raised total of £8m!

    Sir Bobby scoring
  14. Skrtel will not play against Newcastle

    BBC Sport

    Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel will miss his side's match with Newcastle during a three-match ban after an independent FA disciplinary panel rejected his appeal against a violent conduct charge.

    The Slovakian stood on David De Gea in the last seconds of Liverpool's 2-1 home defeat by Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday. The incident was missed at the time by referee Martin Atkinson.

    Martin Skrtel

    Skrtel, 30, said the alleged stamp had been unintentional. However, the panel disagreed meaning Skrtel will miss the Premier League games at Arsenal (4 April) and against Newcastle (13 April), plus the FA Cup quarter-final replay at Blackburn (8 April).

  15. Mallon will be 'power-house'

    Middlesbrough FC chairman Steve Gibson says the outgoing mayor Ray Mallon will be a "power-house" behind the foundation.

    Steve Gibson with Ray Mallon

    Mr Mallon says he will work for 25-30 hours a week for free at the foundation after he retires in May.

  16. Mayor to work for MFC foundation

    Luke Walton

    Political Reporter

    The outgoing mayor of Middlesbrough Ray Mallon will take leading role at Middlesbrough FC Foundation when he retires as the town's elected mayor in May, it has been announced.

    Ray Mallon

    Mr Mallon says he will do the job at the foundation for free and work 25-30 hours a week. The charity aims to improve health and education.

  17. Attempted rape in Newcastle

    A man tried to rape a teenager in Newcastle last night.

    The 17-year-old girl was attacked while crossing a footbridge over the A1 near West Denton at 20:37. The man tried to touch her but she struggled and he ran off towards West Denton.

    A 27-year-old man has been arrested over the incident and is in custody.

  18. Take our 'personality test'

    Lloyd Watson

    BBC News

    Here's a bit of fun for a Wednesday. Where in Britain would you be happiest? It's the Shetland Islands for me, although it might be a bit nippy for my liking.

    Research suggests different districts of Britain have distinct personality traits. And how well our personality fits with the people around us can contribute to our happiness.

    Three areas of Britain

    Take the simple test – and find out how your personality and the place where you live affect your happiness.

  19. In the news today

    The Shields Gazette

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

    Front page
  20. Dry with sunshine

    Kay Crewdson

    Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

    Perhaps the odd isolated shower this afternoon, but on the whole it'll stay dry and fine with plenty of sunshine.

    Weather forecast

    Maximum temperature: 8C (46F). Check the forecast near you.

  21. A step closer...

    Colin Briggs

    BBC Look North

    It's only a short stretch of railway line, but the connection between the Hitachi train building factory in County Durham and the rest of the network completed today is a landmark in bringing a once major industry back to the North East.

    People in his visibility jackets

    I'll have more on this story on BBC Look North at 13:30 on BBC One.

  22. Pensioner hit by bus

    Hannah McMahon

    BBC Tees

    A pensioner has been hit by a bus in Stockton High Street.

    Police believe the 79-year-old woman suffered an injury to her ankle as she tried to cross the road this morning.

    It's the fifth time someone has been hit by a bus on Stockton High Street in the last six months.

  23. Head teacher denies charges

    A head teacher has appeared in court accused of indecently assaulting a boy more than 20 years ago.

    Anne Lakey, 55, from Stanley, County Durham, briefly faced Teesside Crown Court to enter not guilty pleas to seven counts of indecent assault on a boy under 16.

    Anne Lakey

    The case was then adjourned for trial, starting on 8 June and Lakey was released on bail.

  24. Man guilty of murder

    A man has been found guilty of murdering a man who was stabbed to death in North Tyneside.

    Uriel Moskwa, 43, of North King Street, North Shields, died in hospital after being found with a single stab wound in Aldwych Drive, on 27 September.

    Scene of North Shields stab murder

    Scott Jefferson, 22, of Stanley Street, Wallsend, denied murder but was found guilty following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court on Tuesday. He will be sentenced on Thursday.

  25. More on body found

    A body has been found by rescue teams searching for a Durham University software developer who has been missing since Saturday.

    No identification has yet been made, but the family of 43-year-old Daniel Bennett is being kept informed of developments.

  26. Church appoints second woman bishop

    A second women Bishop has been appointed - the Rev Canon Alison White, who is currently a priest in Northumberland, is to become the new Bishop of Hull.

    Rev White is also married to The Assistant Bishop of Newcastle, the Right Reverend Frank White. She will be ordained at York Minster on 3 July.

    Alison White

    She said: "In 2010, I was privileged to be invited to take part in the York Diocesan Clergy Conference where I got a profound sense of a diocese with faith and hope. I can't wait to be part of loving God and growing the church in this great part of Yorkshire".

  27. Your photos: Sycamore Gap

    Pete Savin tweeted us this picture of Sycamore Gap while walking near Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland.

    Sycamore Gap

    You can send your pictures by email to or tweet @BBCNewsNE.

  28. Car crashes in Peterlee

    The Chronicle

    This dramatic picture shows the aftermath of a crash which saw a car leave the road and plough into an underpass in Peterlee.

    Car crash
  29. BreakingMissing man: Body found

    Phil Mawson

    BBC News

    Rescue teams searching for a Durham University software developer who went missing while walking in the Stirlingshire hills have found a body.

    Police and mountain rescue teams were leading a search for Bishopbriggs man Daniel Bennett, 43, who was last seen in Tyndrum on Saturday.

    Officers found the body of a man in the area of Ben Oss yesterday afternoon.

  30. Fast food restaurant argument escalates

    Helen Richardson

    BBC Newcastle

    The row over plans for a McDonald's opposite Newcastle's biggest school have gone all the way to Parliament.

    Protesters with signs

    A petition with 800 names on it has been handed to MPs as part of a protest over the fast food outlet's hopes of opening a drive-through near Kenton school. Its application was rejected by city councillors but it's now going to an appeal.

  31. Don't panic!

    If you live near Hexham in Northumberland there's no need to be alarmed as there's currently an emergency training exercise taking place at the Egger Plant until 13:00.

    They happen there every three years.

  32. Tyre-slash man 'needs help'

    Sunderland Echo

    A one-man crime wave caused thousands of pounds of damage as 45 cars had their tyres slashed by a defendant who has admitted he "needs help".

  33. Chief Constable 'not suspended'

    Helen Richardson

    BBC Newcastle

    More details have emerged about misconduct allegations against the Northumbria Police's Chief Constable, Sue Sim.

    We understand that the complaints were collated by the Superintendents Association - which represents senior police officers, those of Superintendent and Chief Superintendent rank.

    More than 20 men and women have come forward with complaints that fall into the category of alleged bullying.

    Chief Constable Sim is still at work as normal - she has not been suspended - and has said in a previous statement that she will fully co-operate with the investigation.

  34. Husky's collection to be sold off

    Stuart Whincup

    BBC Look North

    A Redcar man has been told his lifetime's collection of metal and machinery is to be sold off after he was evicted from a council-owned property.

    John Petch, 67, - known locally as Husky - had wanted to store some of his thousands of items at his home but lost a legal battle with Redcar and Cleveland Council.

    John 'Husky' Petch

    Now, the authority wants to bring the long-running dispute with the pensioner to an end and plans to clear the site and sell off his belongings. Watch my full report here.

  35. Nazi toys could raise thousands

    Duncan Leatherdale

    BBC News Online

    Innocent toys or indoctrination tools? As hundreds of Nazi figures go up for sale, an auctioneer tackles the moral dilemma of selling such controversial play pieces.

    They have all come from the collection of the late Richard Wilkinson, an American who spent his life buying German toys after his father first got him some on a business trip in the 1930s.

    Goering, Franco and Hitler figures

    Military cataloguer Simon Clark spent three months dividing them into 250 lots ahead of their sale at Vectis Auctions in Teesside on Wednesday, with hundreds more sold last year.

  36. 'Colleges against cuts to adult education'

    The Journal

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

    Journal front page
  37. News on the hour

    The top local headlines at 09:00 include:

    • BBC Newcastle: More than 20 men and women have come forward with complaints of alleged bullying against Northumbria Police's Chief Constable Sue Sim.
    • BBC Tees: The new Hitachi factory in Newton Aycliffe will be connected to the rail network later.
  38. Tourist information centre to close

    Helen Richardson

    BBC Newcastle

    As the Rugby World Cup arrives in Newcastle this summer, the council is closing the city's only tourist information centre.

    The office, based in the Central Arcade, will close after the Easter weekend because of budget cuts, the council says.

    It'll save them about £380,000 a year but will also see the loss of seven jobs.

  39. Port Clarence defence work to begin

    Work is due to start on the first phase of a £19m project on Teesside to protect homes and businesses in Port Clarence from flooding.

    In December 2013, about 50 homes and business were affected when the River Tees saw its highest tide for 60 years.

    Man walking in water

    The initial stage of the work includes flood defences made by Teesside firm Wilton Engineering.

  40. Fundraising total tops £8m

    The cancer research charity set up by former Newcastle and England football manager Sir Bobby Robson has raised £8m, organisers have revealed.

    The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation was set up in 2008 while Sir Bobby, who also managed Ipswich and Barcelona, was receiving treatment for the disease.

    Sir Bobby Robson

    He died in 2009 with hopes the foundation would raise £500,000. Lady Robson said her late husband would have been "stunned" at the success of the foundation.

  41. A1 lane blocked southbound

    One lane is blocked on the A1 southbound between the Blaydon and Dunston Interchange because of an accident involving two vehicles.

    There's also very slow traffic on the A689 eastbound in Bradbury in County Durham between the A1(M) J60 Bradbury junction and Sands Hall Roundabout in the roadworks area.

    Keep up with the latest on BBC Travel News for Teesside and Tyne and Wear.

  42. Mainly dry with sunny spells

    Kay Crewdson

    Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

    A sunny but cold start with a risk of icy patches on untreated surfaces at first. Mainly dry with sunny spells during the day, but a risk of the odd isolated shower developing in places.

    Weather forecast

    Maximum temperature: 8C (46F). Check the forecast near you.

  43. Good morning

    Lloyd Watson

    BBC News

    Welcome to BBC Local Live. I'll be bringing you news, sport, weather and travel updates from across the North East.

    If you'd like us to feature your comments or pictures, send them to us by email, tweet us @BBCNewsNE or join our Facebook page.