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  1. Updates on Thursday 13 July 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

That's all for today - thank you for joining us.

To keep up with what's happening overnight, head to BBC Tees, BBC Newcastle, Look North, and online.

You can tweet your photos to @BBCNewsNE, email them, or contact us via our Facebook page.

We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00. Have a great evening.

Three arrested following discovery of a cannabis farm

Three men have been arrested and are in custody following the discovery of a cannabis farm containing nearly 3,000 plants in Blaydon.

"This was a significant find and is the work of organised criminals who would have had to spend tens of thousands of pounds to set it up.

Chief Inspector Paul KnoxNorthumbria Police
Cannabis farm discovered in Blaydon

It's thought to have a street value of more than 750,000 pounds.

Neighbourhood officers found the cannabis farm in an industrial unit on Chainbridge Road in Blaydon after intelligence suggested it could be being used for drug cultivation.

Fears over three-firefighter crews

Mark Denten

BBC Look North

Campaigners in North Northumberland say a scheme to reduce the number of firefighters called out to incidents will put lives at risk.

Northumberland Fire And Rescue Service is piloting a scheme where Wooler and Seahouses fire stations send only three firefighters to incidents.

The scheme is designed to maximise fire cover across the county.

Fire engine

But Mark Mather, chair of Wooler Parish Council, said the move was "a gamble" with lives.

Northumberland Fire And Rescue Service said three-crew appliances would only be sent to "low risk incidents."

'Ambitious' plan for Hartlepool unveiled

What's described as "an ambitious three-year plan" for Hartlepool has been unveiled today.

It aims to enhance the town's reputation as a place to invest, work, play and also to live, for existing and new residents.

The plan is to access new government money under devolution for Tees Valley and to bring in outside investment.

The plan was revealed by Hartlepool Council this morning.

People urged to think about Sunderland Airshow travel plans

Police are advising people to think about how they are getting to and from the Sunderland Airshow.

The annual event is held on the city's seafront at Roker and Seaburn and starts on 21 July.

View more on twitter

Supt Sarah Pitt from Northumbria Police said: "Sunderland City Council has some great travel information to assist those who are going along to the airshow and we would urge people to take a look at this as it will really help them plan their journey."

Tickets go on sale for Newcastle 'Grenfell Aid' concert

Musicians and artists are taking part in a charity fundraiser at Newcastle's O2 Academy to raise money to support the Grenfell tower families.

An organisation called Inspired Support and Inspiring Events CIC contacted people to help and Grenfell Aid was born.

Tickets cost £5 + BF + voluntary donation and are now on sale for tomorrow's gig at the O2 Acadamy and through Ticketmaster

Grenfell Aid bill
Grenfell Aid
Line up for the Grenfell Aid fundraiser being held in Newcastle
Martin Braithwaite

Middlesbrough sign Denmark international forward Martin Braithwaite from Toulouse on a four-year contract.

Read more

Man arrested after man found seriously injured in Cresswell

BBC Newcastle

Another man has been arrested in connection with a serious assault in Cresswell in Northumberland.

A man was found seriously injured on Monday.

Today's arrest follows three arrests - two men and a woman - made yesterday.

Gary the star man is honoured with top University award

The man who put Kielder Observatory on the international map for astronomy has been honoured by the University of Sunderland.

Gary Fildes is director of the Kielder Observatory in Northumberland. He was given an Honorary Fellowship in recognition of his outstanding contribution to making astronomy and space sciency accessible to a wider audience.

Gary Fides, Director of the Kielder Observatory
Sunderland University
Gary Fildes, Director of the Kielder Observatory

Mr Fildes caught the astronomy bug when he was nine. He used to play with his older brother's telescope in the back garden of their home in Grindon in Sunderland.

He started his career working as a bricklayer before joining the Sunderland Astronomy Society in 2002. They built a small observatory in the Washington Wetlands Centre which fired his dream to build the Kielder Observatory. This became a reality in 2008 and now it welcomes thousands of visitors every year.

“It’s an honour to be recognised by my hometown university, and to be in the Stadium of Light makes the occasion even more special for me. I’m not religious, but this is my church where I come to worship every other Saturday!

Gary FildesDirector of the Kielder Observatory

Second man arrested in connection with robbery in North Shields

A second man has been arrested in connection with a robbery at a North Shields shop this morning.

No-one was hurt during the armed raid at the One Stop on Kirton Park Terrace in North Shields at about 06:20, but the shop's till was taken.

A man aged 39 has now been arrested.

A 34-year- old man arrested earlier by officers following the incident remains in police custody.

Three top athletes announced for Great North Run

World record holder Mary Keitany, five time Olympian Jo Pavey (pictured) and Dathan Ritzenhein will be competing in this year's Great North Run.

Keitany's last appearance on Tyneside saw the 35-year-old Kenyan defend her title winning in 67.32

Jo Pavey has won the Great Manchester Run twice and the Great South Run but has so far failed to cross the line first in South Shields.

And in the men's field, Dathan Ritzenhein will be battling to improve upon the second place he achieved in the 2016 GNR event.

Jo Pavey

Severe accident: A1 Northumberland both ways

BBC News Travel

A1 Northumberland both ways severe accident, between B6525 and B6353.

A1 Northumberland - A1 closed and stationary traffic in both directions between the B6525 junction in Scremerston and the B6353 junction in Fenwick, because of an accident involving three vehicles.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Man's body found at a property in Newcastle

A man's body has been found at an address in the Heaton area of Newcastle.

Officers were called to the property on Heaton Hall Road shortly after 10:00 and the man was pronounced dead.

Northumbria Police said inquiries are going on to establish the cause of death and its officer are in the area.

Police car outside Heaton Hall Road in Heaton
Northumbria police
Police car outside Heaton Hall Road in Heaton

Jermain Defoe heads back to the North East for Bradley Lowery's funeral

Jermain Defoe has confirmed he will be among the mourners at Bradley Lowery's funeral tomorrow.

The ex-Sunderland player and England striker struck up a close friendship with Bradley who died last week after a fight against neuroblastoma.

He now plays for Bournemouth which posted a message on its official Twitter feed.

View more on twitter

The six-year-old's funeral will take place at St Joseph's Church in Blackhall Colliery, County Durham

Bradley Lowery and Jermain Defoe
Bradley Lowery and Jermain Defoe

Watch: Comedian Sarah Millican loves South Shields beach

The One Show has been running films on British beaches.

As you might expect South Shields comedian Sarah Millican's favourite is in her home town.

View more on facebook
Conor Newton

Hartlepool United sign midfielder Conor Newton on an undisclosed contract following his release by Cambridge United.

Read more

Durham University student selected for the women's football Team GB

​Durham Women FC defender Annabel Johnson has been selected to represent Team GB at the World University Games.

Annabel will go to Chinese Taipei this summer to compete. The full back combines playing for the Wildcats with studying for a Masters Degree in Management at Durham University.

Annabel Johnson seen here on the right
Susan Gutteridge
Annabel Johnson seen here on the right

"I couldn't be happier about being called up to Team GB. I feel it's a once in a life time opportunity I've got to go and participate in the second biggest sporting competition in the world, whilst representing Great Britain. "

Annabel JohnsonTeam GB

Sunrise at Whitley Bay

What an absolutely stunning shot - taken this morning at St Mary's Lighthouse, Whitley Bay by Press Association photographer Owen Humphreys.

Sun rise at St Mary's Lighthouse

Have you got any photos you'd like to share with us? In that case you can tweet them to @BBCNewsNE, email them, or contact us via our Facebook page.

Coroner to write to council after Sunderland teenager dies in beach tragedy

Sunderland Echo


A heartbroken mum believes her son’s life might have been saved if lifeguards had been patrolling a popular Sunderland beach.

Liam Hall
Sunderland Echo

Experts call for a ban on children rugby tackling

BBC Newcastle

Experts at Newcastle University are calling for a ban on children tackling each other when they play rugby.

The study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, examined evidence on the rates and risks of injuries in sport.

The authors highlight that concussion, and head injury more generally, has also been found to be associated with an increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease in later life.

Rugby tackle
Newcastle University

Lead author Prof Allyson Pollock, director of the Institute of Health and Society at the university, said: "We need to act now to protect our children from injuries from collision sports. Our evidence shows the high injury rate in rugby for children across all age groups.

“There is also a consensus that collision sports including rugby have higher rates of injury than non-collision contact sports such as football. Rugby has the highest rate of concussion out of any youth sport.

“We know other countries are taking this issue seriously and leading the way. Rule changes have been introduced in youth ice-hockey in Canada as this is the only proven method of quickly reducing the high rates of injury."

Pupils remember teacher with balloon release

The Shields Gazette

Here's the front page of today's paper and a link to the top story

Shields Gazette front page
Shields Gazette
Simon Grayson

Sunderland are making progress in the transfer market in their season's preparations, says manager Simon Grayson.

Read more

Construction firm admits breach following builder's death

The Northern Echo


A construction company has admitted breaching health and safety standards following the death of a builder who was crushed by a wall at a popular farm attraction.

Fears over future of Richardson Hospital in Barnard Castle

BBC Tees

BBC Tees Sport

Campaigners claim a County Durham hospital is being "run down."

The Richardson Hospital in Barnard Castle was opened in 2007 at a cost of £10m, but plans to temporarily close a ward are now being made permanent.

It means the hospital is losing a third of its beds.

The County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust says there isn't a demand for them and they're not planning any job losses, as there are positions elsewhere in the trust.

Family speaks of 'emotional rollercoaster' following dad's killing

Sunderland Echo


Here's the front page of today's paper and a link to the top story.

Sunderland Echo front page
Sunderland Echo

Happy Birthday Baltic

View more on twitter

Were you one of the thousands waiting in the queue for the Baltic to open its doors for the first time 15 years ago?

Thousands waiting for the Baltic to open its doors for the first time in 2002
Thousands waiting for the Baltic to open its doors for the first time in 2002

Report says more women councillors elected in Durham

Durham County Council is highlighted in a report as one of only two local authorities in England where more than 40% of elected members are women.

The Fawcett Society and Local Government Information Unit said sexism and discrimination was widespread in local government and often went "unchallenged".

The said that while women make up 78% of the local authority workforce, they account for just a third of chief executives.

Of the 35 county, unitary and metropolitan councils in England that had elections in May, only two of them - Durham and Oxfordshire - elected more than 40% women.

The report, which draws on online surveys, feedback from public meetings and interviews with female council leaders, concluded that local government in England and Wales was "stuck in the past".

Centrepoint warns council cutbacks will hit young homeless in Sunderland

BBC Look North

North East and Cumbria

Young homeless people in Sunderland could be pushed back on to the streets because of council cuts.

That's the warning from the charity Centrepoint as its £900,000 contract with Sunderland City Council ends today.

Prince William meets staff at Sunderland's Centrepoint hostel in 2013
Prince William meets staff at Sunderland's Centrepoint hostel in 2013

Over the years the organisation has been praised for its work. Prince William visited four years ago.

Sunderland City Council says it will maintain the service needed to meet the individual housing needs of any young person at risk of becoming homeless.

New baby and wedding joy for parents of tragic Hartlepool toddler Jacob Jenkins

Hartlepool Mail


Here's the front page of today's paper. What a heartwarming story!

Hartlepool Mail front page
Hartlepool Mail

Inquest into sea death teenager

Stephanie Finnon

BBC Newcastle

An inquest is due to take place later into the death of a teenager off the coast of Sunderland last August.

Liam Hall, 17, was in a dinghy when he got into difficulties and disappeared.

Liam Hall
Northumbria Police

He was found two hours later following a search operation, but died in hospital.

He and three others had taken a trip on the boat from Roker Beach on a sunny day in calm seas, but it began drifting further out and started taking in water.

Hundreds of new homes in pipeline for Alnwick

Northumberland Gazette

Proposals for hundreds of new homes in Alnwick are set to be unveiled to the public next week.

Northumberland Gazette front page
Northumberland gazette

Man held after armed raiders target shop

Armed raiders threatened staff with a gun on North Tyneside, police said.

No-one was hurt at the One Stop on Kirton Park Terrace in North Shields at about 06:20, but the shop's till was taken.

Northumbria Police said one man had been arrested and inquiries in the area were continuing.

A spokesman said: "The offenders threatened a member of staff with a gun before taking the shop till and leaving the scene on foot.

"No injuries have been reported, but the member of staff has been left shaken by the incident.

"One man has been arrested."

Sunny spells, but a few showers possible

Owain Wyn Evans

Weather presenter, BBC Look North

It will be a fine and bright start, with sunny spells throughout.

Whilst many areas will remain dry, a few showers are likely to develop, perhaps turning heavy in one or two locations.

Weather map

Maximum temperatures are likely to reach about 22C (72F).

Any remaining showers will soon ease with some clear spells possible later in the afternoon.

However a band of rain is expected to spread east into the evening, perhaps turning heavy across higher ground.

Boy, 16, due in court over woman's rape

Stephanie Finnon

BBC Newcastle

A 16-year-old boy is due in court later charged with raping a woman in her home in Northumberland.

The woman, in her 20s, was attacked at an address in the North Seaton area of Ashington in the early hours of 5 July, police said.

The teenager was arrested on Tuesday and has been charged with rape, Northumbria Police confirmed.

He is due to appear at South East Northumberland Magistrates' Court in Bedlington.

Armed police in Meadow Well

The Chronicle

Armed officers and a helicopter are at the scene of an ongoing police incident in Meadow Well. Follow it live here

Police cars in Meadowell
The Chronocle

Welcome to our live coverage

Morning. Welcome to BBC Local Live. We'll be with you throughout the day to bring you the latest news, weather, sport and travel updates.

Have you got any photos you'd like to share with us? In that case you can tweet them to @BBCNewsNE, email them, or contact us via our Facebook page.

To get us started today, here's a great photo of Amble Pier, taken by Carl Moffat from Swalwell.

Amble Pier
Carl Moffat