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  1. Updates on Wednesday 17 December 2014

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Good evening

    Lloyd Watson

    BBC News

    That's all from BBC Local Live for today. We'll be back from 08:00 on Thursday. Francis Thompson sent us this picture of the sun breaking through on the calm North Sea in Tynemouth.


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

  2. Tottenham v Newcastle in stats

    Match facts ahead of the League Cup game tonight: Newcastle have won their last two games at White Hart Lane, including 2-1 in the Premier League in October.

    Tottenham won 2-1 at St James' Park when the clubs last met in the League Cup, in the third round in 2008-09. Roman Pavlyuchenko and Jamie O'Hara scored for Spurs.

    Pardew and Pochettinio

    This is Newcastle's first appearance in the quarter-finals of the League Cup since 2006-07, when they were eliminated by Chelsea.

  3. Cloudy but mild night

    Continuing cloudy and breezy overnight with outbreaks of rain continuing to affect the North Pennines, occasionally affecting other areas also. It will be a fairly mild night with temperatures just dipping into single figures.

    Weather forecast

    Minimum temperature: 8C (46F). Check the forecast near you.

  4. Pools 'run very well'

    Paul Addison

    BBC Tees Sport

    The new owners of Hartlepool United have been speaking for the first time about their plans for the club.

    The club's new chairman is Peter Harris who says off the pitch, things are in good order.

    He told BBC Tees: "It's a good model, it's professional, it's run very well. So all we needed to concentrate on was the football and that's the side I'm very keen on and that's where all of our efforts will be put."

  5. Durham to host World Cup games

    Martin Emmerson

    BBC Newcastle

    The England and Wales Cricket Board has announced its international home fixtures for 2017 to 2019. Durham's Emirates Stadium will host seven games, including three World Cup matches in 2019, but no Test cricket.

    England will meet the West Indies there in a T20 international in 2017, followed by a one-day international against South Africa the same summer. Only one match will be held in 2018, which is a one-day international between England and Australia. And Pakistan will play a one-day game against England, in Chester-le-Street in 2019.

    In order to host the World Cup the same summer, the club must have permanent floodlighting in place, which is something they are already looking into.

  6. Spreading cheer for youngsters

    Firefighters from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service visited children in hospital to spread some Christmas cheer.

    Young patients at Sunderland Royal Hospital who won't be able to make it home for December 25 received presents from Santa.

    Child receiving present

    Gary Teasdale from the service said: "We've had orders from Santa to bring presents. We want to give presents to the kids that can't go home for Christmas. My daughter was in this ward with a broken back 10 years ago. The fire service came in that Christmas and it's brought a lot of memories back for me."

  7. More on Newcastle council cuts

    Fergus Hewison

    BBC Newcastle political reporter

    A large amount is being cut from Newcastle City Council's budget - £40m in the coming year and another £50m in the two years after that.

    We'll see the budgets of things like Sure Start Children's Centre's cut, and other services for children in the city, some economic development projects will take a hit, the transport budget will reduce in some places, environmental protection services - so teams that deal with noisy neighbours - will be cut, special educational needs provision, all of these things and many more will see reductions in budgets and in some cases staffing.

    Now those cuts are of course controversial and raise the question, for instance when it comes to children's services, of what the long term impact will be?

  8. Newcastle council cutting more jobs

    BBC Newcastle

    Newcastle City Council has set out its budget for the year, and years ahead.

    It says it must make £90m of savings over the next three years, with £40m this year. This will lead to another 260 job losses between now and 2016.

  9. Movie pirate told to repay £73,000

    The Chronicle

    A movie pirate traced to his Tyneside home in a sting which read like a Hollywood script made £1.25m from the scam - but must pay back just £73,000.

    Anton Vickerman
  10. Man dies after being hit by car

    A 40-year-old pedestrian has died in hospital after being hit by a car on the Redheugh Bridge.

    The man was hit on the slip road by a car travelling from the bridge to the A184 at about 19:45 on Saturday.

    He was taken to hospital with serious injuries. He was in a critical condition and later died. Northumbria Police is appealing for witnesses.

  11. 'Two steps away from failure'

    Mark Denten

    Political Correspondent, BBC North East & Cumbria

    The North East Ambulance service says it's just two steps away from possible service failure.

    It's operating at level four on a scale which measures the pressure it's working under. Reaching level six could see it go into meltdown.

    People taking emergency calls

    And that's without having to deal with any major illness outbreaks, or severe winter weather. It's led to renewed calls for people to only dial 999 in emergencies. I'll have more on this story on BBC Look North at 18:30 on BBC One.

  12. News on the hour

    The top local headlines at 17:00 include:

    • BBC Tees: The North East has seen a bigger quarterly fall in its unemployment rate than any other part of the UK.
    • BBC Newcastle: Jon Harle and Anne Leuchars have a round-up of the day's news.
  13. Tributes paid to crash death driver

    The parents of a County Durham driver who died in a car crash have paid tribute to their 23-year-old son.

    Kieran Arkless, from Willington, died on Sunday when his car was in collision with a taxi on the outskirts of Bishop Auckland.

    Kieran Arkless

    His parents, Shaun and Gillian Arkless, said he had just moved into his first home after landing a "dream job" at a pharmaceutical company. They said the keen Sunderland fan would be remembered with a smile.

  14. Cloudy and breezy

    Lisa Gallagher

    Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

    Cloudy and rather breezy, with a few bright spells possible in eastern areas such as towards Sunderland. Staying mainly dry, though a few outbreaks of light rain are possible over the Pennines. Much milder than yesterday.

    Weather forecast

    Maximum temperature: 11C (52F). Check the forecast near you.

  15. News on the hour

    The top local headlines at 16:00 include:

    • BBC Tees: We've been told how more and more children are turning up at accident and emergency because they've been poisoned by an e-cigarette refill.
    • BBC Newcastle: Jon Harle and Anne Leuchars have a round-up of the day's news.
  16. North East murder cases in focus

    There have been a number of murders in the North East where the case has rested on the joint enterprise law which MPs now say needs to be reviewed.

    Joseph Tingle, 23, and 28-year-old Mark Pearson were ordered to spend a minimum of 18 years in jail for the murder of Richard Petty, aged 35.

    Thomas Petch, 26, and George Romero Coleman, 45, were found guilty of the August 2001 murder of Kalvant Singh and jailed for life in March 2002.

    And two teenage girls were jailed for life for the murder of Christopher Chapman in Blyth during a drunken row in 2011, when one just stood and watched.

  17. NUFC player in court over assault

    A former Newcastle United player has appeared in court charged with an assault at a bar.

    Jamaal Lascelles, 21, is alleged to have been involved in an incident with another man at Lola Lo bar in Victoria Street, Derby, earlier in April. The defender was bought by Newcastle in August for an undisclosed fee and loaned back to Nottingham Forest until June.

    Jamaal Lascelles

    Mr Lascelles, of Oakwood, Derby, was bailed to appear back at Derby Crown Court in March.

  18. Your pictures: Tommy in Seaham

    Donald Thynne from Seaham sent us this picture of the sun rising in Seaham with the silhouette of a sculpture called 1101, but known locally as Tommy, in the foreground.

    Tommy 1101

    You can send your pictures by email to or tweet @BBCNewsNE.

  19. Review after 'new medical opinion'

    A review is set to take place into the death of a Middlesbrough man who had been out celebrating his son's birth.

    Benji Bolsenbroek, 23, died in hospital after a disturbance at the Park Hotel pub in October 2013. Following forensic examinations, police said his death was not linked to the trouble.

    Benji Bolsenbroek

    An inquest has now been adjourned after "new medical opinion" was put to the coroner, and a file has been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service.

  20. News on the hour

    The top local headlines at 15:00 include:

    • BBC Newcastle: The Newcastle United defender Jamaal Lascelles has appeared in court in connection with an alleged fight in a bar.
    • BBC Tees: The children of a County Durham woman found dead in a US hospital 17 days after going missing are set to receive a payout of almost £2m.
  21. Woman missing for a year

    Hundreds of lines of inquiry and several potential sightings have been investigated by police, but Janis Hall from Hexham in Northumberland still remains missing one year on.

    She was reported missing from her home in Catton at about 22:40 on 19 December 2013.

    Janis Hall

    She had spoken to a relative that afternoon but no-one has heard from or seen the 65-year-old since. Anyone with information should call police on 101.

  22. Breaking'Three-parent IVF' rules announced

    The rules for creating babies from the DNA of three people in the UK have just been announced by the Department of Health.

    The fertility technique uses material from the mother, father and a donor woman to prevent deadly diseases. MPs will now go on to vote on whether to make the UK the first country in the world to legalise the procedure.

    ivf graphic

    Opponents say it is unethical to make babies with DNA from three people and that it represents a "slippery slope" to designer babies.

    Newcastle University has pioneered research in mitochondrial donation and backed the move earlier this year.

  23. News on the hour

    The top local headlines at 14:00 include:

    • BBC Newcastle: A man's body has been found in a back lane in South Shields.
    • BBC Tees: The North East has seen the biggest quarterly fall in its unemployment rate of anywhere in the UK.
  24. Give us your feedback

    We've introduced BBC Local Live, which is written by reporters across the North East, to bring you the latest news, sport, travel and weather all in one place. Tell us what you think.

  25. Tottenham v Newcastle

    Newcastle United travel to Tottenham in the League Cup quarter-final which kicks off tonight at 19:45.

    Steven Taylor and Moussa Sissoko are available after suspension but Daryl Janmaat will serve a ban.

    Rival managers Alan Pardew and Mauricio Pochettino

    Manager Alan Pardew remains without the injured Tim Krul, Rob Elliot, Mehdi Abeid, Rolando Aarons, Ryan Taylor, Siem de Jong and Gabriel Obertan.

  26. Are private drives the new car park?

    Francesca Williams

    BBC News

    When homeowners renting their driveways for parking were threatened with huge fines for not having planning permission, it looked like the end of a trend.

    Guide rental prices

    But, a year after communities secretary Eric Pickles told councils to back off, the industry has grown so much demand for spaces is outstripping supply. I've been speaking to people who rent out car parking spaces.

  27. Sunderland murder: CCTV released

    Police have released CCTV of people they need to speak to in connection with a murder in Sunderland.

    David Wilson, 51, was found dead at an address in Southwick Road on Sunday and a man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and bailed. Officers are now appealing for any witnesses to another alleged incident that they think could be linked.

    CCTV of people in Sunderland

    A man reported being mugged in the area around the Post Office ATM in the Southwick Green area between 03:30 and 04:15 on Sunday.

  28. Postcard arrives 30 years later

    A postcard sent from a young girl on holiday headed for County Durham to her gran has finally arrived - 30 years later.

    The card, dated 1984, was sent from Gwynedd in north Wales to Chester-le-Street but it only arrived this month. The lady it was sent to, Mrs Selby, has since died, but the owner of her old house, Joanne Wilkinson, is keen to return the card to the sender.

    Picture of a postcard

    Ms Wilkinson, 43, said: "It was posted in 1984. It is in perfect condition. I don't know where it has been. She must have been young when she has written it because it is all spelt wrong. She would be mid-40s now I imagine."

  29. News on the hour

    The top local headlines at 13:00 include:

    • BBC Newcastle: A man's body has been found in a back lane in South Shields.
    • BBC Tees: The North East has seen the biggest quarterly fall in its unemployment rate of anywhere in the UK.
  30. $3m offer over US stairwell death

    The children of a British woman found dead in a US hospital 17 days after going missing are set to receive a payout of almost $3m (£1.9m).

    Lynne Spalding, from County Durham, disappeared while in San Francisco General Hospital on 21 September 2013. She was eventually found in a stairwell on 8 October.

    Lynne Spalding

    Her twin brother Bill dismissed the proposed settlement as "blood money" and said there were still questions surrounding his sister's death. Ms Spalding, 57, was from Haswell but moved several years ago to San Francisco, where she worked in the city's tourism industry.

  31. News on the hour

    The top local headlines at 12:00 include:

    • BBC Newcastle: A man's body has been found in a back lane in South Shields.
    • BBC Tees: The North East has seen the biggest quarterly fall in its unemployment rate of anywhere in the UK.
  32. Man's death 'unexplained'

    The death of a man in South Shields is being treated as "unexplained", Northumbria Police says.

    A man's body was found at about 07:30 in a rear lane in Dacre Street. He was pronounced dead at the scene and a cordon is in place.

    Police are carrying out inquiries to find out what happened and are appealing for witnesses.

  33. Missing man found

    Lloyd Watson

    BBC News

    Cleveland Police has confirmed that Stanislav Mielko has been found safe and well in the London area.

  34. Relegation battle big job

    Paul Addison

    BBC Tees Sport

    The new manager of Hartlepool United has been speaking for the first time about his plans for the club.

    Pools sit bottom of the Football League, six points from safety, and new boss Ronnie Moore admits he's got a big job to save the club from relegation.

    He said: "There's no magic wand. It's a great opportunity for me. I watched the side play at Burton. Every time you can see the goal, they just go like a bottle of pop and fizz out."

    You can hear more from Ronnie Moore on BBC Tees Sport tonight from 18:00.

  35. Thousands admitted for poisoning

    Stephanie Finnon

    BBC Newcastle

    About 12,000 people are admitted to hospital in the North East and Cumbria every year because they've been poisoned.

    That's according to figures obtained by BBC Newcastle through Freedom of Information Act requests, and health experts tell us it's putting a big strain on the NHS.

    Simon Thomas

    Simon Thomas is the director of the National Poisons Information Service in Newcastle. He says: "It's as common as things like pneumonia and heart attacks and it adds an extra strain to the system. I think some of them can be prevented and we're very keen to do that."

  36. Law on gang murders 'must be reviewed'

    A law which allows several people to be prosecuted for murder even though they may have played different roles needs to be reviewed urgently, MPs have said.

    The Justice Committee highlighted the use of the historic joint enterprise doctrine in recent cases involving gangs in England and Wales.

    It suggests people who play a secondary role and do not encourage an attack should be charged with lesser offences. Committee chairman and Berwick Liberal Democrat MP Sir Alan Beith said there were clearly cases in which joint enterprise was necessary and a review would have to be handled carefully so as not to cause distress to victims and their families.

  37. Police urgently seeking missing man

    Cleveland Police is urgently trying to find 36-year-old Stanislav Mielko.

    Stanislav is a Polish national who was last seen at 17:30 on Tuesday in Thornaby. He has links in the North East but may have travelled to London. He may appear to be in a very agitated state and could pose a danger to the public if challenged, police said

    Stanislav Mielko

    He is 6ft (183cm) and has various tattoos on his body. He was last seen wearing a dark grey hat, a grey hooded top, grey jeans, black trainers and was carrying a red rucksack.

    Anyone who knows his whereabouts is asked not to approach him and to contact police immediately on 999.

  38. Share your views

    We've introduced BBC Local Live, which is written by reporters across the North East, to bring you the latest news, sport, travel and weather all in one place. Tell us what you think.

  39. Accident involving pedestrian

    The A1085 Trunk Road in Coatham is closed and there's slow traffic westbound between the A1042 Kirkleatham Lane junction and the West Coatham Lane junction because of an accident involving a car and pedestrian.

    The A695 in Crawcrook is closed and there's very slow traffic in both directions between the Stargate roundabout and the Beweshill Lane junction because of an accident involving van and motorcycle.

    More on BBC Travel News for Teesside and Tyne and Wear.

  40. BreakingUnemployment falls in North East

    David Rhodes

    Politics Reporter, BBC North East and Cumbria

    UK unemployment fell by 63,000 between August and October, to 1.96 million, official figures showed today.

    In the same period in the North East, the number of unemployed people fell 8,000 to 118,000, the Office for National Statistics says.

    The rate of unemployment in the region was down 0.7 percentage points to 9.1%. This was the biggest quarterly drop of all the regions, but the rate is still the highest in the country.

  41. Banned from every football ground

    If you missed this yesterday, we brought you the story of a football fan who ripped up pages of the Koran during a match being banned from every football ground in England and Wales for three years.

    Julie Phillips, 51, tore pages during Middlesbrough's 2-2 draw away at Birmingham City, last December.

    Julie Phillips

    Police said Phillips, who already has a lifetime ban from Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium, caused or contributed to other acts of disorder. Phillips says she did not know the book was the Koran.

  42. Council jobs 'axed in cuts'

    The Chronicle

    The stark reality of how £40m in cuts will hit the people of Newcastle is revealed today, as 27 family worker jobs are among those known to have been axed.

    People holding banner

    Newcastle City Council is expected to release the details of its Family Services Review which will outline which Sure Start centres and services are to close.

  43. Pools appoint new manager

    Hartlepool have named former Rotherham and Oldham boss Ronnie Moore as manager following Paul Murray's short reign.

    Moore, 61, was sacked by Tranmere in April after admitting to breaking Football Association betting rules and has been out of work since.

    Ronnie Moore

    His appointment comes on the same day as TMH 2014 Limited completed their takeover of Pools from Ken Hodcroft. Moore has appointed Sam Collins as his assistant at Victoria Park.

  44. Ambulance declares 'level four status'

    The North East Ambulance Service has become the eighth service in England to declare a "level four status", which means it's struggling to cope with demand.

    The trust reported severe pressures and is asking people to only call 999 for serious emergencies.


    It says people with non emergencies can call 111 or seek help from their GP, pharmacist or walk-in centre. Earlier this week the North West Ambulance service, which covers Cumbria, and the Yorkshire ambulance service, reported similar pressures.

  45. Breezy and bright spells

    Lisa Gallagher

    Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

    Cloudy and rather breezy through the day, with a few bright spells possible in eastern areas. Staying mainly dry, though a few outbreaks of light rain are possible over the Pennines. Much milder than yesterday.

    Weather forecast

    Maximum temperature: 11C (52F). Check the forecast near you.

  46. Broken down lorry closes lane

    One lane is closed on the A1 northbound in Pigdon at the Longhorsley turn-off because of a broken down lorry.

    There may be some remaining traffic after a broken down vehicle in the northbound Tyne Tunnel. It has now been cleared, however.

    More on BBC Travel News for Teesside and Tyne and Wear.

  47. Good morning

    Lloyd Watson

    BBC News

    Welcome to BBC Local Live. I'll be bringing you news, sport, weather and travel updates from across the North East.

    If you'd like us to feature your comments or pictures, send them to us by email, tweet us @BBCNewsNE or join our Facebook page.