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  1. Updates on Tuesday 9 December 2014

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

Lloyd Watson

BBC News

That's all from BBC Local Live today. We'll be back from 08:00 on Wednesday. Michael Matthison sent us this picture of a quiet Grainger Street in Newcastle sparkling with Christmas lights.

Grainger Street Newcastle
Michael Matthison

You can send your pictures by email to or tweet
@BBCNewsNE and we may feature them on BBC Local Live tomorrow.

Showers to make it feel like winter

Paul Mooney

BBC Weather presenter

Rain will clear from the northwest this evening, followed by clear spells and scattered showers. Showers will be increasingly wintry by morning, especially across the North Pennines. Very windy with gusts to 50mph in places.

Weather forecast

Minimum temperature: 0C (32F).

Check the forecast near you.

Pigs attacked with axe

BBC Tees

A three-week-old piglet has been killed and its mother has been attacked with an axe in what police say was a "heartless act of cruelty" in Brotton, Teesside.

Your questions for Ben Gibson

After 18:00, Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson chats Mark Drury on .

What would you like to ask him?

Tweet us here.

Ben Gibson

A66 section closed to high-sided vehicles

For those travelling around the area of the A66, from Penrith to Scotch Corner - the road has been closed in both directions to high sided vehicles.

There have been no incidents at this time, but the road is being closed to high sided vehicles as a precaution due to excessive winds, Cumbria Police says.

Sunderland park rape: Man charged

A man has been charged in connection with a rape in a Sunderland city centre park back in September.

A woman, aged in her 40s, was

attacked on 22 September while she was walking in Mowbray Park. A 26-year-old man was charged with rape and is due before Sunderland Magistrates' Court on 23 December.

Two arrests after 'suspicious' death

Lee Johnson

BBC Tees

Two teenage girls have been arrested after a body was found in Hartlepool, Cleveland Police says.

Police say the death is being treated as suspicious and a post-mortem examination is due to take place later.

Police in Hartlepool

Police and scenes of crimes officers attended an address on Stephen Street this morning where the body was discovered.

Indecent assault: Man arrested

A 19-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a report of an indecent assault on an elderly lady in Guisborough,

Cleveland Police says.

He remains in police custody awaiting questioning.

Misleading sign of the day?

Jon Harle and Anne Leuchars

BBC Newcastle

A London road sign for Northumberland Park has been fastened to a fence in the Hepden Valley at Barrowburn in the Northumberland National Park.

The sign was previously found at a largely residential area in Tottenham in Haringey - very different to its new home between the green hills of Northumberland.

Northumberland Park sign
Gavin Duthie

A spokesman for Haringey Council told the BBC: "While of course we don't condone the removal of street signs, it's great to see pride in Tottenham extending as far as Northumberland."

Major Trauma Week

Sharon Barbour

BBC Look North

As part of our special Major Trauma Week - today I report form James Cook University Hospital on how they are using life-saving lessons from the frontline.

Professionals giving advice

We see how an Army doctor - used to treating troops with extremely serious injuries in Afghanistan - has brought his experience and new techniques to transform major trauma care back home. I'll have more on this story on BBC Look North at 18:30 on BBC One.

Band hat costs donated to charity

Newcastle band Lindisfarne say the money that would be spent on paper hats at their Christmas concerts at the City Hall will be donated to charity.

Ray Jackson, who is a patron of the campaign, will donate £1,000 to the

Future Fund for children with cancer.

Lindisfarne with hats

Ray said: "The Future Fund for Children with Cancer is a cause the band passionately supports and we are sure our fans will approve of our decision to donate £1,000 in lieu of party hats this Christmas."

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 16:00 include:

Richards expects 'fiery atmosphere'

Matt Newsum

BBC Sport

I've been down to Kingston Park to speak to director of rugby Dean Richards before Newcastle Falcons' European Challenge Cup trip to Stade Francais on Thursday night - it's a trip the squad and staff are looking forward to.

They've good mind to as well, having won 30-23 at home last Friday, but the 20,000-seater Stade Jean Bouin will be a different experience altogether in front of a passionate and partisan French crowd.

Dean Richards
Getty Images

"It's a great to spot to play in, I've been over and played at Stade Francais in front of 80,000," Richards told BBC Newcastle. "There won't be as many as that there but it's still a pretty fiery atmosphere. In that respect it's a great environment to play in."

Armed robbers target security van

Armed robbers have targeted a security van at Greggs in Binswood Avenue, Blakelaw, Newcastle.

They threatened the driver before fleeing with cash at 11:30 this morning.

It's thought the offenders were armed with weapons, although the type has not been confirmed by police. The driver was unhurt.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 15:00 include:

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What do you think of BBC Local Live? It's written by reporters across the North East and brings you the latest news, sport, travel and weather all in one place.

We'd like your feedback about this service.

Teenager raped and friend attacked

BBC Newcastle

A 16-year-old girl has been raped and her 15-year-old friend indecently assaulted in a park.

Police want to hear from anyone who was in the vicinity of Mowbray Park, in Sunderland, at about 19:00 yesterday.

Specialist officers from Northumbria Police are now offering support to the girls, and extra patrols are being carried out in the area.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 13:00 include:

  • BBC Tees: A woman's body has been found in Hartlepool. Police have cordoned off part of Stephen Street and are carrying out house-to-house inquiries.
  • BBC Newcastle: The company which looks after electricity supplies in the region is scrapping all non-essential work this week because of the severe weather forecast.

Power firm ready for severe weather

Martin Emmerson

BBC Newcastle

The company responsible for looking after electricity supplies in the region is scrapping all non-essential work this week

because of the severe weather forecast.

Northern Powergrid looks after 61,000 substations from the North East to Lincolnshire.

With high winds and blizzards forecast, the company is preparing for damage to the network. So extra staff have been put on standby for emergency repairs and non-essential work has been put on hold.

The forecast is poor from tonight until Friday, with gusts of 60 to 70mph forecast in some areas.

Tough task for Gateshead

Matthew Raisbeck

BBC Newcastle

Gateshead have met West Brom twice before, including a fourth round tie in 1952 that was played in front of 39,000 fans at St James' Park.

Manager Gary Mills told BBC Newcastle: "Maybe not the Premiership side we would have liked for obvious reasons but it's a Premiership side that we've got to go and show what we're all about."

Gary Mills

Earlier he said their progress to the

FA Cup third round for the first time since 1954-55 is a source of personal pride.

People 'being buried in back gardens'

Chris Mason

Political correspondent, BBC News

A Labour MP has called for a review of funerals after telling the Commons that some people are burying relatives in their back gardens.

South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck said that the cost of a funeral had doubled in the last decade to more than £3,500.

She said: "As well as rising debts, we are also seeing people turn to alternatives to the traditional funeral. Some are holding do-it-yourself funerals and even having to bury their relatives in their back garden."

Boro fan 'racially abused player'

A Middlesbrough fan racially abused a Blackburn Rovers player after a match at the Riverside, police say.

The incident took place as the players were applauding the away fans on the pitch at the final whistle on Saturday 29 November.

A Boro supporter in the East Stand in block 40-42 was seen to make a gesture towards a Blackburn player which was perceived as racist and a complaint was made to police.

The game finished 1-1 after Rudy Gestede scored a controversial injury-time goal for Rovers.

Boro 1 Rovers 1

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 13:00 include:

  • BBC Tees: A woman's body has been found in Hartlepool. Police have cordoned off part of Stephen Street and are carrying out house-to-house inquiries to try and work out what happened.
  • BBC Newcastle: MPs say they've lost faith in the way the Post Office is handling a row with sub-postmasters. More than 150 men and women running post offices - including some in the North East - claim they were wrongly prosecuted or made to repay money because of computer glitches.

Police in Hartlepool after body find

Lee Johnson

BBC Tees

This is the scene at Stephen Street in Hartlepool following discovery of a woman's body this morning.

Police in Hartlepool

Man jailed for six years

Hannah McMahon

BBC Tees

A Teesside man's been jailed for six years for two knife-point robberies.

Stephen Charlton from Grangetown used a fish gutting knife to threaten staff and steal hundreds of pounds from shops, just days apart.

He pleaded guilty to two robberies, two counts of possessing a bladed article and arson.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 12:00 include:

  • BBC Tees: A woman's body has been found in Hartlepool.
  • BBC Newcastle: It's a year since Kielder in Northumberland was named Europe's biggest Dark Sky Park.

Stolen decorations: CCTV released

Lloyd Watson

BBC News

Yesterday we brought you a story about a couple who had Christmas decorations stolen from their front garden. The couple have released CCTV of the theft to help catch the culprits.

Watch the footage here.

Geoff and Tina Patchett, from Redcar in Teesside, lost ornaments including a Santa, a large gnome and assorted snowmen, worth hundreds of pounds. All were part of a charity display to raise money for RNLI.

Christmas display
Geoff Patchett

Mr Patchett described those responsible as "scum" and said he hoped the footage, from the couple's own cameras, would help police trace them.

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Hospital on track for opening

Helen Richardson

BBC Newcastle News Editor

The North East's new £90m hospital is "on target" for opening in 2015. It's being built in Cramlington, Northumberland, and it'll be the

only hospital in the country that's designed just for emergency cases.

David Evans is the medical director of Northumbria healthcare said: "This is different to any other hospital. This is not where you come for an outpatient appointment or a blood test. This is purely designed for people who are ill and need expert attention quickly."

Hospital in Cramlington being built
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust

The doors are set to open in six months' time and the hospital will mainly serve people in North Tyneside and Northumberland. Once emergency patients have been treated there they'll be moved back to a hospital closer to their home to recuperate.