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Four charged after £260,000 drugs haul

Four men have been charged after drugs with a street value of more than a quarter of a million pounds were recovered in Stockton yesterday.

Officers conducted a warrant at two properties on Hartington Road.

Cannabis was recovered from the properties and four men were arrested.

A hole was also discovered inside which officers believe was being used for people to travel unnoticed between the two properties.

Repairs due for Shildon secondary school

Your questions answered
BBC

As part of our election coverage we've been asking people what questions they want answered about their area.

One person contacted us with concerns about Sunnydale Secondary School in Shildon, which became part of Greeenfield Community College in 2015.

She said: "I am concerned for the school as it's in disrepair. Years 10 and 11 are being sent out of town to another secondary school... which the majority of the students don't like.

"Being shipped from one town to the other surely affects the GCSE results. I am sure this school will close unless something is done about it. If we lose this school we have nothing left in this town."

We contacted Durham County Council which said there were 758 pupils based at Newton Aycliffe, 99 Year seven and eight pupils at Shildon and 55 Year nine pupils whose education was split across both sites

However, it was aware there were ongoing building condition issues at the Shildon site.

Richard Crane, head of education and skills at the authority, said: "In recent weeks, problems with the drainage system have escalated and require us to undertake remedial works which cannot be completed with the young people onsite.

"As a result, at the start of the spring term in January, all pupils will be temporarily moved to the Newton Aycliffe site to allow this work to be carried out, along with further investigations and repairs.

"We do not have a time scale for the completion of the work but during this time, free pupil transport will be provided from the Shildon site to Newton Aycliffe.

“The move will not have an impact on the education of the pupils and will draw upon the positive experiences of children in Year 10 and 11 who have already made a switch to a single-site education in Newton Aycliffe."

Man arrested after woman killed in tree smash

A 20-year-old woman has died after the car she was travelling in hit a tree in the early hours of this morning in North Yorkshire.

B6265 at Risplith
Google

It happened on the B6265 between Ripon and Risplith at about 02:15 when a white Audi crashed into a tree near Grantley Hall, according to North Yorkshire Police.

The woman died at the scene and the driver and other passengers were taken to hospital.

A 21-year-old man who was driving the car has been arrested and is currently in police custody.

Anyone who saw the white Audi RS3 at any time between 23:00 and 02:15, travelling from Catterick towards Risplith, is being urged to contact police.

General Election 2019: The politics of power in Yorkshire

Stuart Harratt

BBC Local Live

Yorkshire is a place that sees itself as separate, unique, in a way not dissimilar to how Texans feel about their own huge corner of the United States. But in this sprawling chunk of England - one that declares itself God's Own Country - a party has grown that wants devolved power for its people.

Besides comparing its rolling dales and breathtaking vistas to a slice of heaven on earth, Yorkshire's fiercely independent streak is perhaps best exemplified by the actions of those who call it home.

In sport, the county has its own "international" football team. At the 2012 Olympics, a Yorkshire medal table was drawn up showing how it would have fared had it been a country. Its sports stars raked in 10 medals between them, putting them 13th in this fictional ranking - a feat bettered at Rio in 2016 when Yorkshire would have come 12th.

Read more here.

Yorkshire flag
Getty Images

Spate of Norovirus school closures in North Yorkshire

At least seven schools in North Yorkshire have been forced to close so far this term for a deep clean because of the Norovirus winter vomiting bug, it's emerged.

Child washing hands
BBC

Schools are being encouraged to maintain good hygiene to prevent further illness.

The illness affected several schools in Catterick Garrison last week and one in Richmondshire and another in the Selby district this week.

The main symptoms of norovirus are typically:

  • Suddenly feeling sick
  • Projectile vomiting
  • Watery diarrhoea

Health bosses say anyone who's been infected should stay clear of places like care homes and hospitals.

Check your Yorkshire train journey

BBC News Travel

If you're making a journey on the rails in Yorkshire this Friday morning, most services appear to be generally running on time.

However, a points failure at Castleford means a reduced service is running at the station. Trains may be cancelled or may not call at the station, according to National Rail Enquiries.

Disruption between Leeds and Sheffield/Knottingley and between Huddersfield/Leeds/Castleford is expected to continue until 09:00.

Otherwise:

  • The 08:21 Leeds to Scarborough service has been cancelled
  • The 08:40 Hull to Manchester Piccadilly service has been cancelled
  • The 08:47 York to Scarborough service has been cancelled
  • The 09:40 Leeds to Manchester Piccadilly service has been cancelled
  • The 10:07 York to Sunderland service has been cancelled

For all the latest live updates from the county's main railway stations, click on the links below:

General Election 2019: Pie and politics with young women on Teesside
We talked politics over pie with these young women who are part of a "girl squad" in Middlesbrough.

Severe disruption: A66 North Yorkshire westbound

BBC News Travel

A66 North Yorkshire westbound severe disruption, between A1 and A67.

A66 North Yorkshire - A66 closed westbound between the A1(M) J53 Scotch Corner junction in Scotch Corner and the A67 junction in Bowes, because of an overturned lorry and recovery work. Traffic is coping well.

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

Fourth arrest after stabbing

A fourth person has been arrested in connection with a stabbing in Eston on Teesside.

It happened at 19:30 on Saturday night in Fabian Road.

Two 17-year-old boys were arrested on suspicion of assault and a 22-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.

Today, a 27-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assault.

All four have been released while investigations continue.

Swords, cash and drugs found on Teesside

These weapons were found by police in Thornaby today.

Officers also seized a quantity of suspected class A and C drugs together with hundreds of pounds in cash from the address on Petch Street.

Two men aged 22 and 35 were arrested in connection with drugs offences.

The seized weapons
Cleveland Police

Cleveland Police Sgt John Sproson said: “Anyone who tells us of drugs activity in their local community can be assured that the information will be acted upon.

"Today is one example of that and we have seized suspected drugs, weapons and hundreds of pounds in cash.

“We will not tolerate people causing misery for others in our local communities through drugs and associated crime."

Anyone with information regarding drugs activity in their local area can call Cleveland Police on 101.”

“We will not tolerate people causing misery for others in our local communities through drugs and associated crime."

Sgt John Sproson

More magical dawn skies

Weather Watchers across the North East have been flooding us with colourful pictures of this morning's dawn skies.

This was in Acklam, Middlesbrough and it was caught by Paul Slater.

The dawn sky over Acklam, Middlesbrough
Paul Slater

Here's the BBC weather forecast for the rest of the day in Middlesbrough and for your area click here.

The weather forecast for Middlesbrough today and early tomorrow
BBC

Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Trust chief executive to retire

Local Democracy Reporting Service

James Cain

The chief executive of a NHS Trust which ran a mental health unit ordered to close after the deaths of two teenagers has announced he is retiring.

Middlesbrough's West Lane Hospital closed in August, following the deaths of two 17-year-olds Christie Harnett and Nadia Sharif, and a CQC inspection which rated the hospital as inadequate.

Colin Martin has been the chief executive of the Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust since 2016 and will leave the £205,000 a year job next spring.

Colin Martin
Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust

It's Shirley... oh yes it is!

Panto season is upon us.

This weekend sees the opening of Darlington Hippodrome's performance of Jack & the Beanstalk, starring Strictly judge Shirley Ballas.

The first show is tonight and Shirley is fitting it in around her Strictly schedule.

The Strictly judge
Getty Images
Shirley Ballas

And meanwhile, up the road in South Shields it's a case of mirror mirror on the wall which panto is the fairest of them all?

The team at the Customs House in South Shields says its Snow White could be a contender.

Paul Shriek and Matt Fox are behind the set and costume designs, which received extra inspiration from South Tyneside school pupils.

Paul won a Great British Panto Award for best costume for his work two years ago and Fox and Shriek were nominated last year for best staging and set.

Paul says that Snow White is a visual journey into the world of vanity and 1950s retro glamour.

Year 3 and 4 pupils from Dunn Street Primary School in Jarrow helped with costume ideas for Snow White earlier in the year.

One of the panto costumes gets a final fitting
Leviathan Media

Airshow set for Teesside skies again

A "much-loved airshow" which last took to the skies in 2017 is set to return in 2020.

The Tees Valley Airshow will take place at Teesside International Airport on 24 May.

Previous shows in 2016 and 2017, which attracted crowds of 18,000 people, included the Red Arrows, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and a Eurofighter Typhoon.

The programme next year will feature a classic car show, a fun fair, as well as live music.

Airshow in 2017
BBC

The previous airshows were much loved and not only attracted people from across the region, but from further afield as well. Now we have our airshow back I’m sure it will become a firm and much-loved fixture for years to come."

Ben HouchenTees Valley Mayor

Bright skies and milder temperatures

Here's are a couple of wow-factor Weather Watcher pictures of sunrise over the North East today.

The first was captured by Geoff Boston in Stockton.

Sunrise over Stockton
Geoff Boston

And here's the rest of the day's forecast for Stockton.

Stockton-on-Tees weather forecast for today
BBC

Check the forecast where you are here

This second sunrise was over Consett in County Durham and was caught by Tricia Scorer.

Consett sunrise
Tricia Scorer

Urgent meeting after lead stripped from listed church roof

An emergency meeting is to be held in a North Yorkshire community this evening to discuss how to tackle lead being stolen from church roofs.

Church of St Peter at Brafferton and Helperby
Martin Shepphard

The roof of the Grade-II listed 16th Century Parish Church of St Peter at Brafferton and Helperby was stripped overnight on 21 November, say police.

It's the latest in a series of similar crimes, with 24 churches across the county being targeted this year.

Residents say they will have to raise £100,000 to repair the church.

The Reverend Deborah Coyne said: "This has been a heartbreaking blow for Helperby and Brafferton.

"St Peter's is a much-loved building in the village and the surrounding area, whether people are regular worshippers or not, and the theft of the roof covering is a devastating blow to all of us."

Tonight's meeting is due to take place at 18:00 in Brafferton's Village Hall.

Little Lyla is a shining light

A little girl who has brightened up the lives of poorly children across the world, despite battling a brain tumour herself, has been helping to spread festive cheer in her home city.

Lyla O’Donovan joined Katie Corrigan, chairman of Durham County Council, to switch on the Christmas tree lights at County Hall in Durham.

The seven-year-old, from Ushaw Moor, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2016 and has undergone nine operations and suffered multiple complications since then.

Lyla is set to undergo a further operation after Christmas but stays positive.

With the help of her big sister Lilley, Lyla set up Lyla and Lilley’s Stars to send certificates to other brave children all over the world.

The O’Donovan family has also been working with the charity Brain Tumour Research to raise awareness of the disease.

Lyla’s work has not gone unnoticed.

Last month, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan, presented her with a Wellchild Award in recognition of her strength, bravery and generosity.

Lyla and her dad Paul at the switch on
Durham County Council

Hartlepool taxi yellow status confirmed

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Nic Marko

Hackney cabs in Hartlepool are to retain their yellow colouring after the council's licensing committee approved the recommendation of councillors.

It follows a consultation launched earlier this year, which included exploring the potential of moving to white, black or silver hackney carriages.

This found that the majority of both hackney carriage owners and residents in the town wanted the yellow taxis to remain.

Councillors therefore made the recommendation it did not change, and the licencing committee has now confirmed this.

Hartlepool taxis
Google

Having considered all matters, the Licensing Committee believe that to retain the yellow is not an unnecessary burden on business but is instead a balanced approach to promote the protection of the public.”

Councillor Tony Richardson,Chair of the Licensing Committee

In pictures: Today's spectacular Yorkshire sunrise

BBC Weather Watchers

Today's sunrise was pretty amazing - and clearly our BBC Weather Watchers thought so too, with lots of them submitting photos.

Lee Ward took this brilliant photo at Newmillerdam, near Wakefield:

Newmillerdam
Lee Ward
Hull sunrise
Bob Carter

In Hull, the Marina was bathed in a warm glow as seen above from Bob's picture.

Working our way up the east coast, Bridlington looked crisp this morning:

Bridlkington
Octopock

The sky above Wakefield looked like it was on fire as the sun rose:

Wakefield
Michiko Sunshine

And finally these sheep in Ampleforth, North Yorkshire, weren't as bothered as we are about the bright purple sky:

Ampleforth
High Lions

Bob Willis: 'Headingley hero' and ex-England captain dies

Former England cricket captain Bob Willis, who took 325 wickets in 90 Test matches, has died at the age of 70.

Australia's Geoff Lawson is bowled by England's Bob Willis at Headingley in 1981
Central Press/Getty Images

He is perhaps best known for claiming a career-best 8-43 to help secure a famous win over Australia at Headingley in the 1981 Ashes.

The fast bowler played for England between 1971 and 1984, and is behind only James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Ian Botham on the list of England's highest Test wicket-takers.

View more on twitter

Willis captained England in 18 Tests and 29 one-day internationals before retiring in 1984.

He has since become a successful broadcaster, and worked for Sky Sports as part of their coverage of this summer's Ashes series.

Farm buildings survey in Westmorland Dales

Ewan Murrie

Reporter

A survey of farm buildings in an area of the Yorkshire Dales National Park is to begin next year.

Farm buildings across the National Park were surveyed and recorded from 2011 - but the park boundary was extended in 2016 to include the Westmorland Dales.

A farm building
Westmorland Dales Partnership

Officials want to know the quantity, type and condition of farm buildings across this area so that the information can be added to the Park Authority's Historic Environment Record.

Volunteers are being sought to carry out the survey, which is being organised by the Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership.

Middlesbrough tops council art collections league

Local Democracy Reporting Service

James Cain

The extent of Teesside’s publicly-owned art collections has been revealed.

Middlesbrough has the largest fine art collection in the region with over 1,000 works, including ones by David Hockney and Bridgit Riley, and a total value of £8.5m.

A council spokesman said that while only a small number of pieces were on display at any given time, the policy was to display the artworks on a rotation basis.

Stockton Council has 440 items in its collection with an estimated value of £5.8m, and with 43 items on display, the public can see just under 10% of the council’s collection at any time.

Meanwhile, with 412 artworks, Redcar and Cleveland Council has the smallest collection, valued at £21,350.

A spokesman for Redcar and Cleveland Council said:“The majority of items are local or have a specific value to our area, e.g. works connected to our award-winning exhibition about the steel and iron industry."

MIMA
Google

Man charged after woman raped in Hartlepool

A 24-year-old man has been charged with rape after a woman was attacked in Hartlepool in the early hours of Sunday.

She was assaulted at the junctions of Lucan Street and Middleton Grange Lane.

The man, of no fixed abode, appeared at Teesside Magistrates' Court yesterday.

He will next appear at court on 2 January.

Information appeal over missing teenagers

Police are re-appealing to trace two teenage girls who are believed to have gone missing together.

Crystal Lang, 15, and Amber Morley, 16, were last seen near KFC at Wellington Square, Stockton, at 21:00 on Monday.

Crystal is described as 5ft 6in, of medium build, with long, black hair and wearing a cream fleece over a pink top and ripped blue jeans.

Amber is 5ft 6in, of slim build, with black-rimmed glasses and wearing a grey hooded jacket, black jeans and black boots.

Crystal Lang (left) and Amber Morley (left) and Crystal Lang
Cleveland Police

Yorkshire's Wednesday weather forecast

BBC Weather

It'll be partly cloudy at first, with the occasional light shower and some bright spells.

This afternoon, cloud will thicken and it'll become breezy with some patchy rain.

Skies will clear for a time through the middle of the night, but will build again towards dawn:

Weather graphic
BBC

Check your Yorkshire train journey

BBC News Travel

If you're making a journey on the rails in Yorkshire this Wednesday morning, the vast majority of services appear to be generally running on time.

However, overrunning engineering work between Chesterfield and Sheffield means the line from Chesterfield towards Sheffield is currently blocked.

Where possible, trains will be diverted, not calling at Dronfield and disruption is expected to continue until approximately 15:00, according to National Rail Enquiries.

Otherwise:

  • The 08:23 York to Manchester Airport service has been cancelled
  • The 08:26 Sheffield to London St Pancras service has been cancelled
  • The 08:45 Leeds to Horsforth service has been cancelled
  • The 08:47 York to Scarborough service has been cancelled
  • The 08:53 Sheffield to Gainsborough Central service has been cancelled
  • The 09:29 Sheffield to London St Pancras service has been cancelled
  • The 09:54 Sheffield to Gainsborough Central service has been cancelled

For all the latest live updates from the county's main railway stations, click on the links below:

Woman suffers 'life-changing injuries' in crash

A driver suffered what police say will be life-changing injuries in a crash on the road next to the M6 at Blackford, north of Carlisle, this morning.

The crash, just after 08:00, involved a Renault Clio, a Volkswagen Golf and a Ford van.

The 59-year old woman, from Durham, was cut free by firefighters and taken to the Cumberland Infirmary at Carlisle, where she is said to be in a stable condition.

The van driver, from Annan, suffered an arm injury.

The driver of the Volkswagen, who is 42 and from Carlisle, was arrested on suspicion of driving dangerously and while disqualified.

Severe disruption: A172 North Yorkshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A172 North Yorkshire both ways severe disruption, from Marton Burn Road to Clairville Road.

A172 North Yorkshire - A172 Marton Road in North Ormesby closed and it's very slow from the Marton Burn Road junction to the Clairville Road junction, because of to allow a helicopter to land at the hospital.

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

First Pacers leave Northern rail network

The first of Northern's fleet of 102 Pacer trains have been taken off the rail network, the operator has said.

A Pacer train
Northern

The outdated trains, many of which have been running for 35 years, were due to be taken out of use by 2020.

But, with just a few weeks of the year left, only three trains have been retired.

The much-maligned trains will continue to be retired and then scrapped over the coming months, with "a handful" remaining.

Northern, which covers the North West, North East, Midlands and Yorkshire, has said 101 brand new trains will join their fleet as part of a £600m investment.

New trains will 'transform' Harrogate to London journey

Five new rail services using brand new Azuma trains between Harrogate and London are being unveiled by York-based LNER today.

New Azuma train
BBC

The extra services will start on 15 December, increasing the number of direct trains between Harrogate and King's Cross from one to six each day.

LNER is currently replacing its existing trains with the new Azuma, with the full fleet expected to be replaced by June.

The increased service from Harrogate is being launched with a special VIP trip between the North Yorkshire town and Leeds this afternoon.

LNER managing director David Horne said Harrogate was "an incredibly important destination" for the company.

"We're delighted to be creating significantly more opportunities for business travellers, tourists and international visitors to make Harrogate an even more attractive and accessible destination...The new Azuma fleet will transform the journey experience," he added.

Five people now being held over double shooting attacks

Four men and a woman have been arrested in Port Clarence as police continue to probe reports of shots being fired at addresses in Stockton and Thornaby last night.

Several addresses are being searched and armed police are in attendance and cordons in place in Port Clarence.

Cleveland Police said "we currently believe the people involved to be known to each other and as such, there to be no risk to the wider public at this time".

Chief Supt Ciaron Irvine said: “I appreciate people will be concerned after hearing of the incidents reported to have taken place last night and by seeing large numbers of police - some armed - in their neighbourhoods.

“I would reassure residents that their safety is paramount and I have arranged extra patrols in the areas affected.

“We will not tolerate activity like that reported last night and we will use all available resources, tactics and expertise from teams across the force to identify and arrest all those involved."

View more on twitter

Two shootings proved by police

Police are investigating reports of shootings at two addresses on Teesside.

Officers were called to Tarring Street in Stockton and Victor Way in Thornaby last night.

Cleveland Police say they are reassuring residents that they've stepped up patrols.

A number of armed police were reportedly seen in Port Clarence, and police said this was connected to the incident.

Hospitals improve standards to 'good'

Two hospitals in county Durham have shown improvements in standards, according to inspectors from the Care Quality Commission.

The University Hospital North Durham and Darlington Memorial Hospital have both improved to a rating of "good".

The Trust which runs them has also improved, from a rating of "requires improvement" to "good".

University Hospital of North Durham
BBC

Off-road bike search after crash teen left 'critical'

Anna Murray

BBC Tees

Cleveland Police is trying to find an off-road bike involved in a crash which has left a 17-year-old boy in a critical condition.

The boy suffered serious head injuries in the incident near Skinningrove pier on Friday afternoon.

The bike was taken from the crash site before police arrived.

Man arrested after live ferrets thrown at car in Harrogate

A man's been arrested after reports of live ferrets being thrown at a car and vehicles being damaged in a street in Harrogate.

Police jacket
BBC

Officers were called to Woodfield Road at about 19:30 on Monday evening after receiving reports a man had damaged at least a dozen vehicles using a ferret box to smash windows and cause dents and scratches.

It was also reported that a pair of ferrets had been thrown at one vehicle.

A 25-year-old man was detained by members of the public and arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

The two ferrets are now in the care of the RSPCA, police say.

A spokesperson for North Yorkshire Police said: "This would have been a very disturbing and alarming incident to those who witnessed it and we are keen to speak to anyone who has information which could assist the investigation."

Arrests after elderly 'targeted in own homes'

A man has been charged with seven offences including kidnap after a range of incidents involving elderly people in the Marton area of Middlesbrough.

The 25-year-old has also been charged with with three counts of burglary and fraud.

A 19-year-old man has also been arrested on suspicion of burglary and theft and has been released while investigations continue.

The charges and arrest were made in connection with incidents where elderly people were targeted in their homes, Cleveland Police said.

Badge
Cleveland Police

Check your Yorkshire train journey

BBC News Travel

There are major problems on train services to, from and through Calderdale in West Yorkshire this morning. Click here for all the latest details.

Otherwise:

  • The 08:44 York to Plymouth service has been cancelled
  • The 08:47 York to Scarborough service has been cancelled
  • The 09:31 Bradford Interchange to Leeds service has been cancelled
  • The 10:07 York to Sunderland service has been cancelled

For all the latest live updates from the county's main railway stations, click on the links below: