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  1. News, sport, travel and weather updates resume at 08:00 on Thursday
  2. Updates on Wednesday 11 May 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our Live coverage across the day

Our updates here have now finished for the day - thank you for joining us. You can up to date overnight with BBC Tees, BBC Newcastle, Look North and online.

We'll have more news, sport, weather and travel updates from 08:00 on Thursday and hope you can join us then. 

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

Weather: Largely dry with a few isolated showers

There may be a few isolated showers during the evening, however it will be largely dry with clear spells overnight. 

Some low cloud and perhaps fog patches will develop by the early hours, especially over the North Pennines and along the coast. 

Minimum Temperature: 9C (48F).

weather graphic

Football: The calm before the storm at the Stadium of Light

Nick Barnes

BBC Newcastle's Sunderland commentator

It's the calm before the storm.

Here's how the tunnel looks at the Stadium of Light ahead of tonight's crucial match between Sunderland and Everton.

If Sunderland win they will secure their place in the Premier League next season, so relegating Newcastle and Norwich.

We'll have all the build-up to the match and commentary on BBC Newcastle from 19:00.

And there will also be live text updates from 18:30 on the BBC Sport website.

Sunderland Tunnel

Travel: A19 reopened but still delays

The A19 northbound in County Durham has now been fully reopened but there are still delays.

View more on twitter

Watch out fly-tippers, the council has new laws on its side

There is new legislation designed to deal with fly-tippers and Northumberland County Council is one of the first councils in the country to use it, it says.

Fixed Penalty Notices are offering local authorities a way of tackling offenders that is cheaper and quicker than having to take them to court, the council says.

It has already issued a £200 notice to a Lynemouth man for tipping four bags of garden waste on to a grass verge  - just 25 yards from his house.

Newcastle Falcons sign Scotland Under-20 lock Andrew Davidson

Newcastle Falcons have signed Scotland Under-20 lock Andrew Davidson from the Scottish Rugby Academy set-up.

The 19-year-old becomes the 10th player to join Falcons for the 2016-17 season and along with fellow new signings Nick Civetta, Evan Ormstead and Harrison Orr offers depth to the second-row options.

"He is a major talent," Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards said of the Glasgow Hawks player.

France U20's lock Florian Verhaegue and France U20's Matthieu Voisin tackle Scotland's flanker Andrew Davidson
Neil Hanna/AFP/Getty Images

How to win a referendum: How the North East started a new way of getting ahead

Brian Wheeler

Remember the 2004 referendum on regional assemblies and that big white elephant?

It was one of the first political campaigns in the UK to tap into the "anti-politics" mood that was beginning to sweep the country.

Have a look at how EU referendum campaigners have learned from being "anti-establishment". 

Regional Assembly referendum Vote No elephant
Graham Robb

Hundreds of speeding drivers caught by police

In just a week Cleveland and Durham police have caught 404 drivers breaking the speed limit.

Officers have new cameras which can operate in darkness, meaning they can now catch people going too fast at night.

Acting Ch Insp Mark Pitt said: "Too many motorists are continuing to drive in an unacceptable, unsafe manner and putting lives at risk."

Speeding is considered one of the "fatal four" offences, along with drink or drug driving, not wearing a seatbelt and using a mobile phone.

Kevin Keegan criticises Newcastle owner Mike Ashley

BBC Sport

Former Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan has criticised current owner Mike Ashley with the club on the brink of relegation from the Premier League.

Newcastle, who have one game left, against Tottenham on Sunday, could be relegated tonight if Sunderland win their game in hand against Everton.

"The owner has had quite a lot of years of making a lot of mistakes," Keegan, 65, told BBC Sport.

"They are going to have to go down and regroup. That's not going to be easy."

Kevin Keegan
Getty Images

Riveting rivets and other striking Middlesbrough images

Francesca Williams

BBC News

Maybe it's something in my northern blood or maybe its just a fascination with rivets, but I like a nice industrial photo.

If you're the same, you might want to pop down to the Transporter Visitor Centre where, from Saturday, they'll be holding an exhibition of pictures of the Tees Transporter Bridge and the area's "industrial heartland".

They were taken by Stephen Gill, who is originally from Middlesbrough. Clearly he likes a nice rivet too.

Transporter Bridge
Stephen Gill

Recovery operation for vehicles involved in A19 collision

Shields Ferry gets its first female skipper

Nicola Peach has become the first female skipper of the ferry that runs between North and South Shields.

Having passed the maritime equivalent of a driving test first time she can now take the helm of the passenger service on trips and daily crossings.

The 37-year-old from Marsden is "just looking forward to getting on with the job and carrying passengers across the Tyne every day."

Nicola Peach

When she joined the ferry's crew last autumn she was its first female crew member ever.  

Shane Tunney trial: Jury sent home for second night

Peter Harris

BBC Look North

The jury in the trial of seven defendants charged with the murder of Shane Tunney in Norton, Teesside, has been sent home for a second night. 

It retired to consider its verdicts on Monday.

The seven all deny murder and attempted grievous bodily harm. 

Uncovered cannabis farm gardening kit put to new use

A gardening group in Gateshead has discovered there's an added advantage to the police cracking down on drugs - free compost.

Officers who discovered a cannabis farm in Bensham have donated four unopened bags of compost found in the raid.

Insp Michael Robson said: "We are always looking for ways to help our local residents and community groups anyway we can and, if we can do it while stopping drug dealers, then it's all the better."

PC Sultan Miah and PCSO Lindsey Yare with residents from the Bensham Court garden group
Northumbria Police

Rest assured the 200 cannabis plants weren't donated.  

A19 closure could affect people travelling to Sunderland for the match

Fans travelling to Sunderland for tonight's match with Everton are being warned the continued closure of the A19 could cause delays.

The northbound carriageway between the A182 (Murton) and the A1018/B1404 (Seaton) is likely to stay shut during rush hour after a crash earlier today.

Drivers can check travel conditions on the Highways England website.

Liam Fee murder trial: Mother cried during murder charge

A jury has been shown a film of a woman crying as she was charged with murdering her son.

Rachel Fee wept as a police officer read the allegation in relation to the death of two-year-old Liam Fee.

Nyomi Fee and her partner Rachel Fee, who are originally from Ryton, deny murdering Liam and blame his death on another child.

Liam Fee
Family photo

Olivia Fairclough 'on the road to recovery'

The surgeon supervising the care of Olivia Fairclough from Eaglescliffe, who was seriously injured by a horse in Egypt, says she's making good progress now she's finally back in the UK.

More than £30,000 was raised to help pay for an operation out there and bring her back to the UK because her insurance policy had lapsed.

Professor Stephen Bonner, who works at James Cook Hospital, she has "fairly severe injuries but she's well on the road to recovery"

Olivia Fairclough
Fairclough family photo

Home Office admits mistake over man who ran amok with a sword in Stockton

The Home Office has admitted no background checks were carried out to assess the risk posed by a convicted criminal who went out into Stockton with a sword, making threats in the name of so-called Islamic State.

Noureden Mallakee-Soodmand had already been convicted of carrying weapons in the UK and was supposed to have been deported but, because the Iranian Embassy was closed, he was re-housed in the town.

He was jailed for four years for making threats to kill and carrying an offensive weapon.

Good news - it's OK to be a bit overweight (this week at least)

Francesca Williams

BBC News

If you've been panicking ever since this report suggesting the North East had far more overweight people than was strictly good for it, you can loosen your belt buckle and breathe a cautious sigh of relief.

Apparently being fat might not be as unhealthy as it used to be.

Danish researchers have concluded "moderately" overweight people don't die early as often as people who are normal weight, underweight or obese.

Science Photo Library

So - one bar of chocolate instead of two then.

BBC Sport poll: Sunderland favourites to stay in Premier League

BBC Sport

We ran a vote this morning asking which team will still be in the Premier League next season.

You all think it is just a formality that Sunderland will get the points they need to secure another season in the Premier League.

Remember, they will be safe if they beat Everton tonight, a result that would send Norwich and Newcastle down to the Championship.

Norwich will be there anyway if they fail to beat Watford. Thanks to everyone who voted.

BBC Sport poll

Paul Gascoigne carries nephew's coffin

Former Newcastle and England footballer Paul Gascoigne helped carry his nephew's coffin at the 22-year-old's funeral today.

Jay Kerrigan-Gascoigne was found dead at his girlfriend's home after years of mental health problems. His mother believed he had accidentally taken too many painkillers.

His funeral at St Nicholas with Christ Church in Dunston was attended by scores of friends and family.

Paul Gascoigne at the funeral of his nephew Jay Kerrigan-Gascoigne
Owen Humphreys/PA

His funeral at St Nicholas with Christ Church in Dunston was attended by many friends and family.

A19 southbound is now open again

Travel: A19 closed in County Durham after collision

A stretch of the A19 in County Durham is closed in both directions after a collision.

Durham Police say they are waiting for the air ambulance to arrive.

BBC Travel says the A19 in Seaham is closed and there is queuing traffic and long delays southbound between the A1018 junction and the B1285 junction, because of the accident. Congestion to the A182 junction. More details here.

Missing author Helen Bailey's partner appeals for information

One month after a Northumberland-born children's author was last seen, her partner has said her disappearance has 'shattered' the family.

Helen Bailey, who wrote the Electra Brown series, was last seen walking her dog near her home in Hertfordshire on 11 April and was reported missing 4 days later.

Helen Bailey
Hertfordshire Police handout

Her partner Ian Stewart said: "Whatever has happened, wherever you are I will come and get you."  

On Look North this lunchtime: 50 never events in the North East & Cumbria

Colin Briggs

Look North

On the programme this lunchtime, the medical mishaps that should never happen - we've counted nearly 50 in the last three years.

And, in football, the Premier League relegation battle will be over tonight if Sunderland beat Everton at the Stadium of Light.

Join me at 13:30 on BBC One.

Weather: Some bright or sunny spells with the odd shower

There will be some bright or sunny spells through this afternoon with just the odd shower here and there. 

It will feel warm in shelter but cooler around coastal areas such as South Shields with an onshore breeze. 

weather graphic

Maximum Temperature: 16C (61F).

Hundreds of cons on the loose after failing to turn up at court

More than 200 suspected and convicted criminals are on the run in the North East after skipping court or bail while facing charges.

Figures obtained by BBC Tees show there are currently 72 outstanding arrest warrants in Durham - one person has been at large for almost 20 years.

Former Cleveland Police officer Tony Green says it's easier to "just go to court, get the pain out of the way, take the punishment.

"Otherwise you're just opening a can of worms and all you're doing is prolonging the pain when it could be done and dusted in one day," he says.

Middlesbrough players felt certain of winning promotion

Middlesbrough's togetherness as a squad meant promotion to the Premier League this season was never in doubt, says goalkeeper Dimi Konstantopoulos.

Boro ensured their top-flight place with Saturday's 1-1 draw with Brighton.

Celebrating Middlesbrough players
Getty Images

Two arrests following Byker Viaduct protest

Travel: Metro trains running again after earlier disruption

Metro trains are now running - although there are still some delays - following disruption to services after tresspassers on the tracks on the Byker Viaduct.

Services between Chillingham Road and St James were halted for a time.

View more on twitter

Officers ask for help finding ear biter

A man was punched and bitten on Shields Road in Newcastle on Monday, police say.

They are appealing for information after the assault in Byker, which happened at about 14:00.

The 39-year-old man had to have treatment for an injured ear.

Police say there might have been two other men with the attacker at the time.

Football: Crucial day in Premier League relegation battle

BBC Sport

It's a huge day in the Premier League relegation battle as Sunderland take on Everton - a win and they will avoid relegation from the Premier League and send Newcastle and Norwich down.

Black Cats manager Sam Allardycesaid: "Our destiny is in our own hands. Now we must take full advantage of that position and try to finish it off on Wednesday.

"We need a repeat of the performance and support we had against Chelsea, particularly in the second half. Don't come to the Stadium of Light with the expectation that it's job done because it isn't."

Sam Allardyce

Don't worry it wasn't an engine fire, says airline

Passengers on a flight landing at Newcastle Airport had to get off the aircraft on to the tarmac.

Eastern Airways said there had been a problem with a heating element in the Jetstream 41's windscreen and the 11 passengers and three crew left before reaching the terminal building as a precaution.

"The airport fire service was in attendance but was later stood down," a spokesman said.

Durham County Council agrees to press ahead with devolution plan

Fergus Hewison

BBC Newcastle political reporter

Durham County Council's cabinet has agreed to continue with North East devolution and move towards a mayoral authority if conditions are met. 

Those conditions include issues such as mayoral veto, majority voting, highways funding and fair funding.

It comes after Northumberland County Council endorsed proposals for devolution earlier.

The Chancellor George Osborne announced a devolution deal for the region in October.

A bit of celebrity sparkle comes to South Shields

BBC Newcastle has revealed the first acts in a star studded line up for this year's South Tyneside Festival.

X Factor winner and star of the Bodyguard Musical, Alexandra Burke, (pictured) will perform in Bent's Park in July.

Alexandra Burke on Top of the Pops 2009

She said it was a "real privilege and honour" to be able to perform.

Fellow X factor winner Ben Haenow and runners up Reggie 'n' Bollie will be there too.  

Northumberland formally backs north east devolution

After receiving government assurances on support for rural areas, Northumberland County Council has endorsed proposals for north east devolution, it says.

No final decision will be made before 17 May when all the necessary council cabinets and the North East Combined Authority Leadership Board have met.

Council leader Grant Davey said: "While we voted in favour of the agreement we needed the government to understand the issues we face as a rural authority, rather than just focusing on the urban areas."

'What's going on with the Metro?' asks Twitter

Francesca Williams

Francesca Williams, BBC News

Ah, the power of social media as the Tyne and Wear Metro spends the morning answering questions on Twitter from passengers caught up in delays.

It seems the problem is two trespassers with a message on what looks like a bed sheet, standing on the Byker Viaduct.

One Twitter user points out: "Somebody should introduce them to social media - more people have seen my tweet than their pointless sign."

The Metro says trains are suspended between St James and Chillingham Road and tickets are being accepted on Stagecoach buses.

Rallying call to Sunderland fans

Sunderland Echo


Come on lads, you can do it!   

A Sunderland win this evening will be a boost for the whole of Wearside, say business bosses.

The Black Cats can guarantee themselves a bumper pay day by beating Everton at the Stadium of Light this evening.

Sunderland Echo front page
Sunderland Echo

Teenagers trapped by the tide are rescued

Four teenagers trapped by the incoming tide off Saltburn were rescued by a Redcar lifeboat crew.

The 16 and 17-year-olds were at what the RNLI said was a "notorious" cut-off point near the Ship Inn at Huntcliff yesterday evening.

Lifeboat operations manager Dave Cocks said: "If they’d checked the tide times the incident would probably not have happened."

Redcar RNLI

"The police arranged for a CCTV camera on the promenade at Saltburn to monitor the young people until we arrived," Mr Cocks said.  

Two teenagers arrested in connection with teenager's death

The Gazette


Two teenagers have been arrested in connection with the death of Billingham youngster Harry Gray.

A 15-year-old boy and an 18-year-old man were released on bail while investigations into the sudden death of 15-year-old Harry continue.

The Gazette front page
The Gazette