By Saj Chowdhury
By Saj Chowdhury
Our live updates here have finished for the week.
We'll be back on Monday from 08:00 with more live updates.
Little Mix's Jade Thirlwall can add another honour to her string of awards.
The South Shields-native has been presented with her hometown theatre's top honour.
Jade received an honorary fellowship of the Customs House Academy over the Easter weekend.
She said: “I am so, so happy to have been given this award.
"I’m very proud to come from South Shields and to have learned so much from performing at my local theatre.
“From singing there to seeing the famous panto every year, The Customs House holds a very special place in my heart.
"It’s important to support such an amazing local theatre which provides so many opportunities for young people who love performing arts.
“The Customs House certainly helped me and I will always support them, see shows there whenever I’m home and take great pride in my honorary fellowship award.”
A Sunderland councillor has expressed his relief as Debenhams store in the city was spared closure.
The retailer announced a list of shops closing down in 2020 in an attempt to save the chain.
Debenhams in Stockton in Teeside is one of the 22 stores set to go next year. Around 1,200 members of staff will be affected.
Niall Hodson, Lib Dem councillor for Millfield, said the news of Sunderland not being on the list was a "huge relief".
He said: “Debenhams is the only large department store left in Sunderland and is at the heart of our city centre shopping offer.
“If Debenhams had closed it would have been devastating - leaving a huge retail unit empty in the heart of the city centre."
Mr Hodson also pleaded with the council to step in with an action plan.
He said: “For too long, shops have stood empty, the cleanliness and state of the town has got worse and worse - and parking charges have meant people are opting for Newcastle, the Metro Centre, Dalton Park and the Galleries instead.
“Sunderland desperately needs an action plan to improve shops, services and the night time economy in our city centre”.
Debenhams will close 50 shops in total.
The rain will continue throughout the evening, with winds becoming fresh to strong.
Tomorrow will be windy and wet.
It will feel cooler, as showers persist throughout the day and overnight.
There will be a strong and gusty westerly wind.
Last Friday an unusual commuter made his way on the Metro.
You probably spotted Digby on your journey - the UK's first guide horse has trained on the Tyne and Wear network.
His commute has become viral, getting as far as New Zealand.
Digby is now heading to the London Underground, where he will help his new owner get around.
Local Democracy Reporting Service
A senior councillor has said “mistakes were made” in the deal to buy back Durham Tees Valley Airport.
But Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen ignored the claims and told him to "stop moaning".
Ian Haszeldine, Labour councillor for Darlington, told a combined authority overview and scrutiny committee they had made “several mistakes” when it came to the budget and the investment plan up to 2029.
He said: “Gerrymandering from higher up meant that politically, it was very difficult to call in this investment plan because you either took in all of it or none of it.
“I think that was a deliberate ploy, not by officers, but other areas within this building to make it very difficult to call it in.
“I don’t think we did enough or there was enough information around the airport deal.”
Mr Haszeldine said he “supported the deal”, but believed the financial information about it “was not correctly distributed to the public”.
The combined authority's mayor Ben Houchen dismissed the criticisms, telling councillors to "stop moaning".
He said: “If Labour are still asking basic questions about a deal they voted for, it’s obvious they didn’t read the full 233-page business case.
“Rather than moaning in committee rooms, local councillors should work with Stobart Group and me to make our airport a success.”
The combined authority bought the airport earlier this year for £40.2m.
According to the airport turnaround plan, it will cost £74.6m to cover potential losses in the next decade in a worst case scenario.
Police are appealing for information after a man was found unconscious in Stanhope.
The 56-year-old left the Pack Horse Inn at 02:30 on Monday morning.
He was seen again around Stanhope Town Hall at 04:25, before police located him on Cross Street at 808:00.
The man suffered head injuries and remains in critical, but stable condition.
BBC Newcastle Sport
Rafa Benitez has told BBC Newcastle that his team is currently concentrating on the remaining games as there has been no news on his new contract..
He said: "At the moment we are just concentrating on the games. If we have any news, we will let you know.
"Lee Charnley is coming with us sometimes to the games - we can see him before and after - so, we have the contact, but there is nothing new."
The Newcastle manager has also said the defence will have to be changed ahead of tomorrow's game with Brighton, as Lascelles wasn't able to train in the past week.
Rafa said: "Lascelles has had a stomach illness all week, so he couldn’t train. So, we will need to change (the defence).
"Both Schär and Hayden had little problems but they are fine.
Last weekend was a success for the Magpies. They won 3-1 against Southampton.
Rafa said:“We won and we did well (last weekend) - it was a great feeling. The day after, when we knew we were safe, was even better.
"You can see the players are more relaxed and training well. We will try now to get more points and go as high as possible in the table.”
Newcastle against Brighton kicks off at 17.30 tomorrow.
Leave extra time for your journey if you are travelling on the Metro this weekend.
No trains will run between Wallsend and Monkseaton all day on Saturday and until 18:00 on Sunday.
It is to renew overhead power lines.
Replacement bus service will be running.
Police are looking for a 72-year-old man who went missing yesterday.
George Dodds, pictured, was last seen leaving his home on Woodlands View in Cleadon at about 13:00 yesterday.
His family are getting increasingly concerned for his welfare.
They say that George has problems with his memory and may appear lost or confused.
He is white, of thin build and with short white hair.
He was wearing a dark puffa jacket, blue trousers, dark shoes and a black beanie hat.