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  1. Jarrow schoolgirl escapes driver grab attempt
  2. Middlesbrough battle for a Premier League spot
  3. Teesside and Northumberland bands take home Radio 2 Folk Awards
  4. Updates on Thursday 28 April 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Rebecca Turner

BBC North East

Updates for the North East have now finished for today. 

We'll be back with more news, sport, weather and travel from 08:00 tomorrow. We hope you can join us then.

If you'd like to get in touch you can tweet us, email, or contact us through our Facebook page.  

Weather: A damp end to the day

BBC Weather

A damp end to the day, with outbreaks of rain for most, heavy at times.

This will fall as snow over high ground, settling over the Pennines.

Outbreaks of rain and snow overnight, falling to low levels in heavy outbreaks.  

Check the weather where you are.

Collision on the B1296 Old Durham Road

A collision on the B1296 Old Durham Road in Wrekenton, Gateshead, outside the Lidl is blocking the road in both directions.

Traffic collision
NE Traffic News

This Durham student wrote her dissertation on the Kardashians...

And explored whether Kim Kardashian is a post-feminism heroine: 

View more on twitter

Northumbria police commissioner candidates in the hot seat

Luke Walton

BBC Look North

They control budgets running into hundreds of millions of pounds and can hire and fire police chief constables.

Next week, police and crime commissioners will be elected in the Northumbria, Durham, Cleveland and Cumbria force areas.

BBC political correspondent Luke Walton has taken Northumbria's candidates to Sunderland to answer questions from the public:

Man chased with knife through library

A man threatened another man with a knife and then chased him through a library, police say.

An argument broke out between two groups of men in the North Shields Library, with one man threatening another before pursuing him through the building.

Police say the incident, which happened in Northumberland Square "caused distress to other people who were in the library".

Travel: A66 closed because of accident involving lorry

BBC Travel

The A66 is closed with stationary traffic westbound between the A135 Yarm Road junction in Stockton and Great Burdon Roundabout in Great Burdon because of an overturned vehicle and an accident involving a lorry and a van.

There's a diversion in operation - Exit A66 westbound at Long Newton and head south on Mill Lane towards Durham Tees Valley Airport.

At the roundabout turn right on to the A67 westbound towards Darlington and continue to rejoin A66 at Morton Palms roundabout.

Keep up to date with the latest travel for Tyne & Wear and Tees.

Bottles smashed and threats made in Kenton disturbance

Police have released CCTV images after a "disturbance" in a block of flats in Hillsview Avenue, Kenton.

CCTV image
Northumbria Police

They say group of people were involved, a number of threats were made and bottles were smashed in the communal areas of the property.

They want to speak to the girl in these pictures in connection with it. 

Man left with mystery head injuries after night out

A 51-year-old man has been left with head injuries after a night out in Ashington in Northumberland, but police say he doesn't know how.

He was at the Bubbles bar on Friday a couple of weeks ago, and ended up in hospital where he received treatment. 

Police are trying to figure out how the man got injured.

Newcastle University recognised for tackling gender inequality

Newcastle University has been given an award for addressing gender inequality in higher education.

Only nine universities hold the Athena SWAN Silver award.

The Athena SWAN Charter was established by the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) in 2005 to advance the careers of women working in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine.

It was recently expanded to include arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law.

Cleveland Police look ahead to Tour de Yorkshire

Cleveland Police has wished Sir Bradley Wiggins a happy birthday, and says it is looking forward to keeping the crowds safe when he rides through Middlesbrough:

View more on twitter

Middlesbrough top for average broadband speed

Middlesbrough has the best average broadband speeds in the country but Newcastle has some of the worst, a survey shows.

Tests on 42 towns and cities across the UK suggest almost half have average broadband speeds below 24Mbps.

Middlesbrough had 34.4Mbps, with Newcastle on 21.1Mbps. Hull, with an average of 12.4Mbps, is the UK's slowest city, according to comparison site uSwitch, which conducted the tests.

These speeds are likely to be low not because of lack of availability but because people have chosen not to take up faster services.

Government figures suggest superfast broadband - 24Mbps or higher - is now available to more than 90% of homes and businesses, with funding pledged to bring that total to 95% by 2017.

Mark Clattenburg to take charge at Wembley for FA Cup final

BBC Sport

Mark Clattenburg will referee the FA Cup final between Manchester United and Crystal Palace at Wembley on 21 May.

The 41-year-old from County Durham was in charge of the 2012 League Cup final at Wembley when Liverpool won against Cardiff City on penalties.

Clattenburg also took charge of the 2012 Olympic men's final when Mexico beat favourites Brazil at Wembley.

"It's an honour and a massive achievement," said Clattenburg, who will take charge of games at Euro 2016.

Mark Clattenberg
Getty Images

Tata Steel: Pension fund deficit deters buyers, says Javid

BBC Business Live

Potential buyers of Tata Steel UK have said they will not be willing to take on the company's pensions liabilities, Business Secretary Sajid Javid has told MPs.

The pension fund has more than 130,000 members and a deficit of £485m.

He told the Business select committee: "It's not unreasonable ... to say 'look we're interested in the assets but this would be an issue'."

Pension fund trustees were in talks with the regulator, Mr Javid said.

The firm employs more than 500 people in Hartlepool at its pipe mill.

Steel jobs graphic

Falcons sign Worcester Warriors hooker

Newcastle Falcons have made 24-year-old Worcester Warriors hooker Ben Sowreytheir sixth signing for next season.

"He is a strong scrummager, a good line-out technician, very skilful and our sort of all-round player," says director of rugby Dean Richards.

Ben Sowrey
Rex Features

Award for seven-year-old who cared for diabetic mum

A seven-year-old has been rewarded with a certificate by the North East Ambulance Service after caring for her mum in an emergency.

Amber Rochester

Bethan was out shopping with her mum Amber Rochester in South Gosforth when Amber suddenly suffered from diabetic hypoglycemia and collapsed at the tills.

The seven-year-old raised the alarm with supermarket staff, who called 999.

The ambulance service said that despite being frightened by the experience, Bethan was able to give valuable information about her mum to paramedics, meaning she got the right care quickly.

Her mum, a 38-year-old hairdresser from Holystone, said: “She was super duper brave, I’m so proud of her."

Middlesbrough set to go global thanks to Tour de Yorkshire

Middlesbrough will be showcased around the world when the Tour de Yorkshire comes to town on Sunday:

View more on twitter

A unique way to deal with 'noisy' peacocks causing havoc in County Durham

A petition has been started calling for action against a group of 30 peacocks that roam a County Durham village.

The birds see their reflection in car windows, and during mating season often think it's a rival male and peck at it. They also apparently make a lot of noise.

Audrey has taken to blasting them with a water pistol, and says "it goes right up their bums":

Petition for action on screeching peacocks

Nothern Powergrid helicopter out and about in the North East

The Northern Powergrid Helicopter is flying over Seaham, Washington and Newcastle today to check power lines.  

Northern Powergrid

They took this shot of the Angel of the North while they were up there:

Angel of the North
Northern Powergrid

Cycling in the City are fixing bikes for free in Newcastle

Cycling in the City is Newcastle’s campaign to get more people on their bikes and to get them more active - and they're fixing bikes for free.

View more on youtube

Donors pay for Olivia Fairclough's surgery after crush

More than £30,000 has been raised to pay for urgent surgery for a woman from Teesside left paralysed after being crushed by a horse in Egypt.

Olivia Fairclough
Fairclough family

Olivia Fairclough, 31, from Eaglescliffe, cannot move from the waist down and had been confined to a hospital bed without money to pay for treatment.

More than 1,300 people have donated to an online appeal set up by her family.

Liam Fee murder trial: Accused couple 'panicking' over cage

A court has heard claims that two women from Ryton accused of murdering a toddler were "panicking" as they tried to dismantle a cage in which they allegedly imprisoned another boy.

Liam Fee

The evidence was from a child witness who was in the house when Nyomi Fee and her partner Rachel Fee realised that two-year-old Liam was dead.

The couple deny murdering Liam Fee in Fife in March 2014.

They also deny ill-treating two other boys.

Tata Steel: 'No significant redundancies planned'

Mark Denten

BBC Look North

The new owner of Tata's Long Products Division says there are "no significant redundancies" planned.

Tata Steel

The division includes plants at Redcar and Skinningrove, plus smaller operations at Darlington and Blaydon.

It was bought by Greybull Capital. Boss Marc Meyohas was speaking in front of the Business Select Committee.

Committee chairman, Hartlepool Labour MP Iain Wright, said the government was "blindsided" by Tata's decision to close its UK operations.

Durham Police Chief Constable: 'Justice is about holding the right people to account'

The Chief Constable of Durham Police says "we can all learn from the dignity of the families who've fought for justice for 27 years" following the Hillsborough inquest verdicts.

On 15 April 1989, overcrowding occurred on the terraces of Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium at the start of an FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest football clubs.

The new inquests found that the 96 victims were unlawfully killed.

Mike Barton said: "Justice is about holding the right people to account."

Middlesbrough gearing up for Tour de Yorkshire visit

Canadian journey for Newcastle rugby league side

Newcastle Thunder rugby league side could be facing Canadian opposition next season after the Rugby Football League confirmed that Toronto Wolfpack will join League One.

The Wolfpack will play home games in four-week or five-week blocks before heading over to Europe for a similar length of time for a series of away games.

Teams visiting Toronto's Lamport Stadium home, who will have their expenses covered by the Canadian side, will fly out on Thursday, play on Saturday and return home on Sunday.

SLS2: Toronto in UK rugby league?

Doomed piano in South Shields gets final send-off

In local recycling centre in North Shields, Max Sinclair found a man who normally assists people disposing of their goods, sat on a washing machine playing a piano.

The video of Glen Akenclose clocked thousands of views on social media.

Max and Glen have kept in touch, and Max hopes to open a decorative salvage store soon where Glen has agreed to play.

Teesside band win Radio 2 Folk Award

Teesside trio The Young'uns, who specialise in a capella performances, won best group for the second year in a row at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

The Young'uns
The Young'uns

Search for missing walkers in Northumberland

A search was launched last night for a group of walkers who didn't arrive at their planned destination in Northumberland.

The group of 19 adults from out of the area had been out on a hike in the Cheviot Hills in Northumberland.

When they failed to meet their bus at Langleeford, near Wooler as arranged the alarm was raised.

A police helicopter and partners at Mountain Rescue and Maritime & Coastguard Agency looked for them, and three of the walkers made their way to a farmhouse in Wooler and police were contacted.  

Eventually all the walkers were all confirmed as accounted for, with one suffering a minor leg injury, but all were safe and well and declined medical assistance.

Wheelchair user's 16-hour Metro feat

Yesterday we mentioned the wheelchair user who spent 16 hours getting on and off at 60 Metro stops in a bid to highlight mobility issues for the disabled.

Steve Wilkinson, who calls himself Wheelchair Steve, boarded and alighted at every station on the network.

Here's how he got on:

Middlesbrough's battle for a Premier League spot

Three teams, two games left and only one goal - win promotion to the Premier League.

Middlesbrough, Burnley and Brighton enter the penultimate round of Championship fixtures level on 87 points, with only goal difference narrowly separating the trio.

Middlesbrough infographic
BBC Sport

The season in short: Having lost 2-0 to Norwich in last season's play-off final, Middlesbrough spent big money improving their attacking options to get into the top two places this time round.

Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka said: "We are in an amazing position - I can't understand who could be pessimistic when we are almost at the top of the table."  

Weather: Cold sunny morning, rainy afternoon

BBC Weather

After a cold start the morning should be mainly dry with some sunny spells.

However, thickening cloud will bring outbreaks of rain and some hill snow in the afternoon and during the evening.  

Check the weather where you are.

The Unthanks win best album at Folk Awards

Mark Savage

Music reporter

Northumberland band The Unthanks have won album of the year at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for the ambitious, melancholy Mount The Air.

The Unthanks
Cadiz Music

The record, which received a host of five star reviews, is notable for its 10-minute title track, which marries a traditional Dorset folk song with Miles Davis-inspired trumpet figures.

The band closed the ceremony, at London's Royal Albert Hall, by playing the song, complete with clog dancing.

Joan Armatrading also played and took home a lifetime achievement award.

Good morning. Welcome to our live coverage

Rebecca Turner

BBC North East

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

If you'd like to get in touch you can tweet us, email, or contact us through our Facebook page.