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Severe accident: A189 Northumberland both ways

BBC News Travel

A189 Northumberland both ways severe accident, from A197 to A1068.

A189 Northumberland - A189 in Woodhorn closed in both directions from the A197 junction to the A1068 junction, because of an accident involving two cars.

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

Severe accident: A1 Northumberland northbound

BBC News Travel

A1 Northumberland northbound severe accident, near Felton Turn-Off.

A1 Northumberland - A1 in Felton blocked and queues northbound near the Felton Turn-Off junction, because of an accident involving two vehicles.

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

Severe disruption: A1 Tyne And Wear northbound

BBC News Travel

A1 Tyne And Wear northbound severe disruption, from J80 A19 to A197.

A1 Tyne And Wear - One lane closed on A1 northbound from J80, A19 (Seaton Burn) in Seaton Burn to Morpeth North Turn Off in Fairmoor, because of flooding. Traffic is coping well.

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

Raid gang linked to thefts worth £100,000

Police are hunting a gang of travelling thieves suspected of stealing £100,000 worth of goods in burglaries across the North East.

Seven raids have taken place over the last month in Ashington, Gosforth and Birtley.

The gang has forced its way into houses while people have been out and made off with valuables and cash.

It is believed the group responsible travelled into the region to commit the offences before leaving.

Region to pay respects to war dead

Events around the region will mark Armistice Day this morning.

In Morpeth, striking life-size wire art sculptures depicting World War One soldiers will be "standing guard" at County Hall.

Sunderland celebrated its biggest Remembrance Day Parade to date yesterday as hundreds of forces personnel joined the families of those who had fallen to pay their respects.

Soldiers parade before the start of Sunderland"s Remembrance Service at the Sunderland War Memorial
PA Media

Empty homes council tax charges set to soar

Local Democracy Reporting Service

The owners of empty houses in Northumberland will find council tax costs going through the roof.

County councillors have backed a hike in the empty homes premium in addition to standard council tax charges.

Currently, owners of long-term empty homes pay a 50% premium on top of their full council tax bill.

From April 2020, the premium will be 100% for properties left empty for between two and five years and 200% for those longer than five years. An additional 300% premium for homes left empty for more than 10 years will come into force from April 2021.

The current average band D charge across Northumberland is £1,915.43. A 100% rise would increase this to £3,830.86.

A 300% premium would result in an overall bill of £7,661.72.

Severe accident: A68 Northumberland northbound

BBC News Travel

A68 Northumberland northbound severe accident, from Elishaw Farm Holiday Cottages to Whitelee Moor National Nature Reserve.

A68 Northumberland - A68 blocked and it's very slow northbound from the Elishaw Farm Holiday Cottages junction to the Whitelee Moor National Nature Reserve junction, because of an accident involving two vehicles.

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

Severe accident: A189 Northumberland northbound

BBC News Travel

A189 Northumberland northbound severe accident, after A193 Cowpen Road.

A189 Northumberland - A189 in Bebside closed and it's heavy northbound after the A193 Cowpen Road junction, because of an accident involving three vehicles.

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

Pictures champion county's profile

Northumberland residents have been invited to pick the best of the county's pictures as part of a campaign championing the area's profile.

Discover our Land is asking the public cast their vote in its autumn photo competition, following the success of an inaugural competition earlier this year.

The judging panel has whittled down more than 200 entries to a shortlist of just four under-16s and 14 adult ones.

Councillor Cath Homer, cabinet member for culture, arts, leisure and tourism, said: "Discover our Land is all about telling the stories of our county, and what better way to do that than through the lens of those who know it best, our people.”

Winner of the Spring photo competition
Alan Forrest

An image of bleak but beautiful Bamburgh gained Alan Forrest first place in the spring photo competition

Discover our Land is all about telling the stories of our county, and what better way to do that than through the lens of those who know it best, our people.”

Councillor Cath HomerCabinet member for culture, arts, leisure and tourism at Northumberland County Council

A1 northbound slip roads reopened

The A1 northbound entry slip road at the A1290, Downhill Lane junction is now open after flooding was cleared.

The A1 northbound exit to A197, Clifton, Morpeth has also been cleared and reopened.

Northumberland flood defences to be highlighted

Sam Thomson

BBC Newcastle Journalist

Work to prevent a repeat of the devastating floods of 2008 in Northumberland will be highlighted today.

The Duchess of Northumberland will visit the Mitford Dam flood alleviation scheme, built after Morpeth was hit by unprecedented flooding.

It is part of a £27m programme funded by the Environment Agency and Northumberland County Council.

It reduces the risk of flooding to more than 1,000 homes and businesses.

A1 reopens following collision

The A1 between Belford and Alnwick is now open.

It was closed for more than six hours earlier following a serious crash between a car and a van.

Collision closes A1 at Belford closed

A major road in Northumberland could be closed throughout rush hour following a serious crash.

A van and a car crashed on the A1 at Belford at about 03.15.

The A1 in that area is closed in both directions and we haven't heard yet when it will reopen.

There are diversions in place.

Severe accident: A1 Northumberland both ways

BBC News Travel

A1 Northumberland both ways severe accident, from Preston Turn-off to B6347.

A1 Northumberland - A1 in Brownieside closed in both directions from the Preston Turn-off junction to the B6347 junction, because of a serious accident involving a van and a car. Diversion in operation - Northbound to follow the solid triangle and southbound the solid square: via B6347, B1340 and B1342 via South Charlton, Bamburgh and Belford.

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

Woman driver 'followed home' in road rage incident

Police in Northumberland are investigating a road rage incident where a woman was followed home and threatened.

It happened in Morpeth back on 27 September, but details have only just been released.

There was an encounter at the Chevington Moor junction and then one of the drivers followed the other home and threatened her before leaving.

Severe accident: A698 Scottish Borders both ways

BBC News Travel

A698 Scottish Borders both ways severe accident, from Jedburgh Road to B6401.

A698 Scottish Borders - A698 closed in both directions from the Jedburgh Road junction in Kelso to the B6401 junction in Eckford, because of an accident. Traffic is coping well.

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

Blocked sewers prompt 'wipes' flush warning

BBC Look North

North East and Cumbria

Damage caused by blocked sewers is being highlighted by a utility company, as it urges people to be careful about what they flush down the toilet.

Northumbrian Water says it has cleared almost 10,000 blockages across its sewer network so far this year.

One of the main causes is wet wipes and plastic, which can also end up in rivers or the sea, leading to pollution.

Richard Warneford, from Northumbrian Water, said: "Despite wet wipes being promoted as ‘flushable' they rarely are, as they may leave your toilet bowl when flushed but can clog up householders' plumbing and can also cause blockages in our network of sewer pipes.

"Blockages can have devastating consequences to people's homes being flooded and the environment being polluted, which is so saddening to see."

Waste
BBC

New playpark will make 'massive difference'

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Ben O'Connell

A new play park will make a "massive difference" to children in a Northumberland town, councillors have been told.

West Bedlington Town Council has been given the green light to build the facility on land known as 20 Acre Field, off Church Lane.

A meeting of the Cramlington, Bedlington and Seaton Valley Local Area Council was told it would provide a small football pitch along with a number of items of play equipment of varying height, all enclosed by a 1.2-metre, round-top metal fence.

The plan was in response to a number of requests from families in the Millfield estate, as the two other play areas in the parish were on the west side of town.

Councillor Mark Swinburn said it was "essential to provide these facilities", but "a shame" it fell to local councils rather than being provided by housing developers.

Site of play area
Google

Fire crew rescues ditch-stranded horse

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service pulled of an "amazing rescue", after a horse fell down a ditch.

Its rider used the What3Words app to give an exact location, and if you've not heard about it before, here's an explanation.

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Severe accident: A697 Northumberland both ways

BBC News Travel

A697 Northumberland both ways severe accident, from Embleton Close to Rothbury Road.

A697 Northumberland - A697 Front Street in Longframlington closed in both directions from the Embleton Close junction to the Rothbury Road junction, because of an accident. Traffic is coping well.

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

North East areas added to 'at risk register'

Mark Denten

BBC Look North

Two Northumberland sites have been placed on Historic England's "at risk" register, which is out today.

Conservation areas in Hexham and Blyth are among the 247 new sites considered to be at risk by the organisation. You can see the Heritage at Risk map here.

Meanwhile, 310 sites - including St Andrew's Church in Sunderland - have been removed from the register as they are regarded as saved.

Northumbria Healthcare Trust rated outstanding

Anna Snowdon

BBC Local Live

The services provided by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust have been rated as outstanding for a second time by the Care Quality Commission

Inspectors assessed urgent and emergency services, medical care and maternity at Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital, medical care at North Tyneside General Hospital and maternity at both Alnwick Infirmary and Berwick Infirmary.

The trust also maintained its previous ratings of outstanding for being effective, caring and responsive and good for being safe.

In the emergency department, there had been no patients who had waited longer than 12 hours without being admitted. The department also met the national four-hour target for eight months between March 2018 to February 2019.

We found many of our previous concerns had been addressed well and the trust was working hard to advance its services overall. Our findings have been made clear to the trust and where we have found concerns we will follow these up through our ongoing engagement with them. We will continue to monitor the trust and return to reinspect when appropriate.”

Sarah DronsfieldHead of Hospital Inspection

Plastic bag found in stomach of dead sperm whale

Anna Snowdon

BBC Local Live

A plastic bag has been found in the stomach of a sperm whale which died on the Northumberland coast.

The whale became stranded and died last week and a safety cordon was put in place due to harmful bacteria and to stop trophy hunters from taking the whale's teeth.

The whale has now been removed from the beach between Cambois and Sandy Bay and an autopsy was performed on the carcass, during which a large plastic bag was found in its stomach.

It is not believed the bag was the cause of the whale's death.

Whale
OWEN HUMPHREY/PA

Woman unable to lift head gets surgery lifeline

A woman from Northumberland who has a rare condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome has undergone a life saving operation in Spain.

Liv Woodburn, 35, from Embleton, has the condition which prevents her from walking and supporting the weight of her head.

Earlier this month she was flown by air ambulance from Newcastle to Barcelona and underwent specialist surgery.

Meanwhile, family and friends and her husband Gary are still trying to hit a fundraising target of £100,000 to cover medical bills.

BBC
Liv Woodburn

Tests to be carried out on sperm whale

Tests are due to be carried out on a sperm whale which died after being washed up in Northumberland.

The 43ft (13m) mammal was first sighted off Newbiggin-by-the-Sea and then in the Wansbeck estuary, between Cambois and Sandy Bay, on Friday.

It had been struggling off shore before the tide went out, leaving it stranded.

Members of British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) said the young male's prognosis had been "incredibly poor", even if refloating it had been possible.

People are now being urged not to touch it because of the risk of infection.

Sperm whale
Owen Himphreys/PA

Sperm whale struggling off Nothumberland coast

A sperm whale has been seen struggling in the water off the Northumberland coast.

The 15ft mammal has been spotted not far off the coast and people who gathered on the shore described it as a sad sight.

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Northumberland man saved by pet dog after collapse
Ilah the labradoodle comes to the rescue after her owner collapses during the night.