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  1. Updates on Thursday 25 August 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Our live updates are now over - thank you for joining us.

There will be further updates online, on BBC Newcastle, BBC Tees and on Look North during the evening and tonight.

We'll be back from 08:00 tomorrow to bring you all the news, sport, weather and travel updates from across the North East.

If you would like to get in touch you can on TwitterFacebook, or via email at        

Weather: Cloudy this evening with mist in places.

Owain Wyn Evans

Weather presenter, BBC Look North

Cool and cloudy this evening with mist in places. 

Heavy, showery rain will then spread north, perhaps briefly thundery in places, before largely clearing after midnight. 

Feeling fresher during the early hours with clear spells developing.  

Check the forecast where you are here.

Weather graphic

Travel: Fog affecting visibility on the A19

BBC Travel

Fog and visibility is reduced on the A19 between the B1320 Burnhope Way junction in Peterlee and the A183 junction in Penshaw.

And in Northumberland there's queuing traffic on the A1 southbound between Chevington Moor Turn Off in Causey Park and Longhorsley Turn Off in Morpeth. In the roadworks area.

Check the latest travel updates here.

Olympic runner thanks public after being reunited with her phone

A North East Olympic athlete has thanked the public after being reunited with her phone which holds pictures of her trip to Rio. 

Marathon runner Alyson Dixon made an appeal on social media after losing her phone near the Saucy Burger restaurant in her home city of Sunderland on Tuesday night. 

 After her pleas were shared on Twitter, she sent a follow-up message to say: "Thank you for all the retweets, extremely happy to say my phone has been found. 

 "Now off to back up all my photos!!"

Alyson Dixo

Motorcyclist in critical condition after crash with another biker in Northumberland

A motorcyclist is in a critical condition after a crash with another biker in Northumberland.

A red Honda bike and a green Kawasaki collided on the A1068 near Alnwick at 19:45 on Tuesday.

The rider of the Kawasaki sustained serious injuries and was taken to the Royal Victoria infirmary. 

The driver of the Honda was taken to Northumbrian Hospital in Cramlington with serious but non-life threatening injuries and he is described as stable.

Health boss says recruitment 'benefits from children's hospital links'

The chief executive of the trust that runs hospitals in North Cumbria says links with a specialist children's unit in North East England is already bringing benefits in recruitment.

Great North Children's Hospital

Stephen Eames, the chief executive of the North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, says links have been forged with the Great North Children's Hospital.

Before we did that we couldn’t get anyone to come for jobs here. Now we've done that we find we've got candidates."

Stephen EamesChief executive, North Cumbria Hospitals University Trust

North East athletes selected for national sport event

A number of young athletes from the North East have been selected to compete in the 2016 School Games.

The games are a national event at Loughborough University and Sheffield from September.

Some 15 athletes from Newcastle, Newton Aycliffe and Whitley Bay, as well as other North East locations, will take part in the four-day event.

Caitlin Barber
CSM Sport & Entertainment

Paralysed fundraiser trains for Great North Run

Claire Lomas is taking part in the Great North Run next month using a special suit to help her walk.

The fundraiser was paralysed from the chest down in a riding accident in 2007.

It looks like her training is going well:

View more on twitter

'One person representing Berwick to Barnard Castle can't be good for democracy'

Implementation of the North East elected mayor would see the region receive £30m government funding for the next 30 years, as well as new powers on transport, skills and training. 

Nick Forbes, Newcastle City Council leader, said: "Other parts of England like Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool will press ahead and if we don't get alongside my fear is the North East will be overlooked and left out. 

"There's a very real chance our region's economy will suffer." 

But Unison is among opponents of the plan. Regional secretary Clare Williams said: "To have one person representing Berwick down to Barnard Castle can't be good for democracy. 

"We have local councils who are elected by their communities, so we're against being told by this government we have to have an elected mayor."

George Osborne signed the devolution deal earlier this year

Analysis: How the government is pushing the North East to elect a mayor

Luke Walton

BBC Look North

It was a devolution deal that, briefly at least, appeared to bridge the political divide. 

The North East would accept the then Chancellor George Osborne's insistence on a directly-elected mayor, in return new powers and investment would come up the track from Whitheall. 

But after the photo opportunities of last October, things haven't gone smoothly.

In May, a meeting of Labour-led Durham County Council, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland supported the plan, but Gateshead opted out and many Labour MPs and activists have never been enthusiastic.

Since then the arrival of a new Prime Minister brought suggestions ministers too were getting cold feet.

But that has now been rejected in this new correspondence from Communities Secretary Sajid Javid.

Devolution graphic

BreakingNorth East 'risks losing £900m if mayor is not elected'

BBC Look North

North East and Cumbria

The North East risks losing £900m of investment because of delays approving plans for a directly-elected mayor, the government has warned.

A letter from Communities Secretary Sajid Javid to seven of the region's council leaders tells them that time to implement a devolution deal is running out.

He says "I reaffirm the government's commitment to implementing the North East Devolution Deal in full" but goes on to warn "without an elected mayor the deal cannot progress". 

It adds: "There is a significant risk now that we will run out of time to implement the deal unless you publish your governance review and scheme, and move forward with the consultation immediately."

But critics say the mayor plan is undemocratic and won't deliver the investment promised.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid

The North East Combined Authority represents Labour-led Durham County Council, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland.  

However Gateshead Council has voted against the move.

Teesside has its own plans for an elected mayor.

Traffic: Roads closed in Newcastle due to broken down bus

BBC Travel

The A186 Walker Road in Walker, Newcastle, is closed and there's slow traffic in both directions between the Ford Street junction and the B1312 Cut Bank junction, due to a broken down bus.

Diversions are in operation and police are directing traffic.

For more travel updates click here.

Family pay tribute to motorcycle crash victim

The family of a motorcyclist who died after a road collision in County Durham have paid tribute to him.

Eric Winn, 72, died after his Suzuki GSF 1200 bike collided with a car between Windy Bank Road and the B6282, near the village of Woodland, Bishop Auckland.

Mr Winn, from Holly West Gardens in Stanley, was a great-grandfather who retired 12 years ago from working at a factory on the Tanfield Lea Industrial Estate.

A statement released today by his family said: “Eric was a devoted motorcyclist for over 56 years. Bikes were his sporting interest and offered him the opportunity to explore our region, and beyond."


Tomorrow looks like sunny weather

Sick of the rain already?

Well, our very own Owain Wyn Evans is here to bring you some good news:

View more on twitter

Three charged over Times Square attack

Three people have been charged after a man was left with life-threatening injuries following a late-night street attack in Newcastle city centre.

The 40-year-old victim was assaulted in Times Square at about 01:15 on Sunday. 

Northumbria Police said the attacker left the scene before officers arrived.

Two men aged 22 and a 20-year-old man, all from Newcastle, appeared at Bedlington Magistrates' Court this morning.

Pupil lands A*s despite breaking his arm playing rugby

A County Durham student who broke his arm playing rugby just after starting his exams has landed good grades in his GCSEs.

Tom Harris, who attends Barnard Castle School, dictated his answers to school staff who then wrote them down.

Tom achieved six A*s, two As and two Bs. 

He said: "I'm very happy and really shocked at my results. I didn't know what to expect. 

"I broke my elbow playing rugby after I'd taken just three exams. I had surgery, then had to go straight into a biology exam the next day. 

 "I took the rest of my exams in a separate room on my own and dictated my answers. "It was a bit different but I got used to it after a few exams."

Investors demand review of company practices at Mike Ashley's Sports Direct

The pressure on Mike Ashley to address concerns over working practices at Sports Direct has been ramped up a notch after another shareholder group called for an independent review of how the business is run.

Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley outside the Sports Direct headquarters in Shirebrook, Derbyshire

Manager of Teesside company defends BBC Two show

A Teesside-based company manager has defended a reality show looking at life for low paid workers.

Nifco UK managing director Mike Matthews takes the role of factory manager in Britain's Hardest Workers on BBC Two.

It sees 20 people given low-paid jobs in various industries, with the winner taking home £15,500.

Producers say the aim is to give a picture of everyday life for many working people - but critics claim it's exploiting misfortune.

Mike Matthews says critics don't know the full story.

What do you make of it? Watch the show below:

Cricket: Durham v Warwickshire delayed

BBC Sport

Rain means that day three of Durham v Warwickshire is delayed and there will be no play before lunch.

When the match begins, you can follow live commentary here.

View more on twitter

Teenager assaulted and forced to withdraw money at cash machine

A teenager has been assaulted and robbed in Falconar Street, Newcastle, this morning.

A man and a woman assaulted the 19-year-old before taking him to a nearby cash point and forcing him to withdraw a quantity of money.

The victim only received minor injuries, but the incident has left him very distressed.

Falconar Street

Sunderland student jailed after supplying £20 deadly drug that killed her friend

Sunderland Echo


A college student has been put behind bars for supplying the £20 deadly drug that killed her friend.

Tragic Robert Chisholm, 38, died at his home on February 5 from a lethal combination of alcohol and morphine, or heroin.

Front Page
Sunderland Echo

BreakingSunderland sign Atletic Madrid's Javier Manquillo

Sunderland have completed a deal to sign Atletico Madrid full-back Javier Manquillo.

The 22-year-old Spaniard becomes David Moyes' fifth signing of the summer.

Manquillo is no stranger to the Premier League having spent the 2014-15 season on loan with Liverpool.

He spent last season on loan with French giants Marseille, gaining further European experience.  

Javier Manquillo
Getty Images

Karanka apologises to fans after cup defeat

BBC Sport

Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka has apologised to the fans after his side lost 2-1 to Fulham in the EFL Cup.

He said: "I'm disappointed because I said before the game this trophy is very important for the club.

"I have to apologise to our crowd because they came here midweek and it's an important trophy for this club, we respect this trophy a lot. So this has been difficult."

Match stats

GCSE success for North East schools

Pupils from across the country are collecting their GCSE results today.

Here in the North East a number of schools have started to proudly announce their grades.

Yarm School is celebrating a 39% A* pass rate, compared with last year’s national average of 7% for the region.

And some 72% of Year 11 students at Acklam Grange School in Middlesbrough gained five or more A*-C grades - with one pupil achieving a total of 10 A*s. 

Students at Yarm School

Should police officers have tattoos?

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

A debate started last week as to whether police officers should have tattoos.

Cleveland Police has now responded saying that it "follows national guidance at the recruitment stage".

The force was initially quoted as saying that ”tattoos are not acceptable if they are particularly prominent, garish, and offensive”.

However, in a new Facebook post, it defended tattoos as they can be a way for officers to show affinity with the community and reflect modern-day society. 

Police officer with tattoos

Sunderland win 1-0 against Shrewsbury Town

BBC Sport

Adnan Januzaj's first Sunderland goal was enough for Blacks Cats boss David Moyes to collect his first win in charge as they saw off League One side Shrewsbury in the EFL Cup second round.

Sunderland put in a disjointed display in front of a crowd of just 13,979 but won the game when Januzaj blasted in.

Steven Pienaar wasted the best chance of the first half while 17-year-old Joel Asoro went close twice.

Ivan Toney had Shrewsbury's best effort but was denied by Jordan Pickford.

Adnan Januzaj
Getty Images

Rehab centre wins council approval

Hartlepool Mail


Leaders of a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre say they will be able to help more addicts turn their lives around after getting the blessing of Hartlepool council.

Front page
Hartlepool Mail

BreakingYorkshire Ripper moved to Frankland Prison

Danny Shaw

BBC Home Affairs Correspondent

Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe - now known as Peter Coonan - has been moved to Frankland high-security prison in Durham.

A health tribunal found he no longer needs any treatment for any mental disorder.

In 1981 he was convicted of 13 murders and seven attempted murders and given 20 life sentences.

Peter Sutcliffe
Getty Images

Durham University student succeeds at Bake Off

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

Last night the Great British Bake Off returned to our screen.

Durham University student Michael Georgiou baked himself through the first round with a selection of cakes, including 12 Jaffa Cakes which landed him in third place.

Michael also baked a lime, ginger and honey drizzle cake, which somewhat impressed Paul and Mary.

But who are we to give out more spoilers? See for yourself how Michael and the rest of the bakers got on:

Great North Air Ambulance bids for £1.9m funding

The Great North Air Ambulance Service has applied for £1.9m to create a centre of medical excellence in the North East.

Several sites in the Darlington and Tees Valley area are under consideration for the new base, which would bring under one roof the charity's operational crew and its fundraising and admin staff.

Grahame Pickering, a former ambulance service paramedic who launched the charity in his house 15 years ago, said it would boost the charity's research and training.

The charity has applied for funding from fines levied by the Government on banks found guilty during the Libor scandal.

North East restaurateur voted Chef of the Year

A self-taught chef from the North East has been named Chef of the Year 2017 by the Good Food Guide UK.

James Close, from the Raby Hunt restaurant in Darlington, achieved his first Michelin Star in 2012 for his simple ideas, which he combines with European inspired flavours.

Some of the dishes served at James' restaurant include raw scallop and grapefruit, razor clam, almond and celeriac, and black olive, chocolate and sheep’s yoghurt.

James Close

Match report: Fulham 2 Middlesbrough 1

BBC Sport

Bad news for Boro last night as Championship side Fulham came from behind to knock them out in the EFL Cup second-round.

Middlesbrough took the lead in the ninth minute as David Nugent headed in debutant Fabio's back post cross.

Cauley Woodrow was denied by Brad Guzan for the hosts shortly after before Julien de Sart inadvertently deflected Scott Malone's strike into his own net.

With penalties looming, Lasse Vigen Christensen turned in Malone's low cross for a place in round three.

Fulham"s Luca De La Torre, left, and Middlesbrough"s Daniel Ayala battle for the ball

Weather: Rain, clouds and possible thunder

Did you get caught in the rain this morning?

It's absolutely pouring down here in Middlesbrough.

Judging by this picture taken by one of our Weather Watchers, the bad weather is all over the North East:

Tyne Bridge
Tyne Bridges/ Weather Watchers

Here's today's forecast:

Much cooler and cloudier than Wednesday, with further pulses of showery rain spreading northwards, possibly turning heavy, persistent and locally thundery during the afternoon.

Winds mainly light. 

You too can become a Weather Watcher.

Welcome to BBC Local Live

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

Morning - welcome to our live coverage.

We're back with your latest news, sport, weather and travel updates throughout the day.

If you would like to get in touch with us you can on TwitterFacebook, or via email at