That's all from the BBC Local Live team for Christmas Eve. We'll be back on Monday from 08:00 to bring you all the latest news, sport, travel and weather updates from across the North East.
- Updates on Wednesday 24 December 2014
Weather Presenter, BBC Look North
An alcoholic who robbed an 18-year-old student at a cash machine after a mammoth drinking session has been jailed for almost two years.
More trouble for former Newcastle striker Nile Ranger - Blackpool manager Lee Clark has asked for help in tracking him down, with the player not turning up for training for two weeks.
Clark, a former NUFC player himself, says the 23-year-old "appears to be back in London".
But he told the Blackpool Gazette: "If anyone can let us know where he is, send me a letter and we will go from there."
A new survey says house prices rose by more than 2.5% in the North East in 2014.Copyright: PA
A caring cabbie is once again offering to give up his Christmas Day by driving people to visit loved ones in hospital for free.
The Scottish Football Association has rejected Mike Ashley's request to raise his shareholding in Rangers International Football Club to 29.9%.
The Newcastle United owner currently holds 8.92% and wanted to increase that in return for providing funding. Rangers need at least £8m of fresh investment to continue trading for the next 12 months.
The SFA board "unanimously" declined Ashley's proposal, a decision which has left Rangers "very disappointed".
The head teacher of a problem-hit free school has resigned just weeks after it was criticised by a government body for irregular financial arrangements.
Peter Cantley has left his role at Durham Free School after the Education Funding Agency issued a financial notice to improve.
Deputy head teacher Julian Eisner has been appointed acting head teacher.
Nearly 40 Middlesbrough hospital staff were told two days before Christmas their jobs are being "outsourced" to Lancashire.
Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka says it is a relief to get a new number two in the building.Copyright: Empics
Steve Agnew left his role as Hull City assistant manager to return to the Riverside yesterday.
Meanwhile, Karanka says he wants his players to use the Boxing Day clash with Nottingham Forest to prove that their defeat at Ipswich Town was a one off.
A controversial plan to allow wild ponies to roam a beauty spot in South Tyneside could get the go-ahead in the New Year.
Thousands of people are taking to the roads and the railways today, with East Coast Trains saying that they are experiencing their busiest Christmas Eve in recent years.Copyright: PA
John Gelson from East Coast Trains told BBC Newcastle that since Monday, 120,000 people have booked with them to get home for Christmas.
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The family of a British man stuck in India, who was cleared of possessing weapons, say they are sad he will spend another Christmas away from home.Copyright: BBC
Nick Dunn, 28, from Ashington, Northumberland, was one of six Britons accused of illegally possessing weapons while working on a private US-owned ship providing anti-piracy protection.
The charges were quashed in July. But as police have asked the supreme court to consider an appeal, the men's passports have not been returned.
A man indecently exposed himself to three women in Middlesbrough.
The three women were in a vehicle parked in Bedford Street at about 08:00 on Monday when they noticed a man standing in a doorway. He then approached them and exposed himself before fleeing.
The man is white, aged in his late 20s, about 5ft 10in and of slim build with a large nose and stubble.
Police are continuing to appeal for help to trace a missing Washington man. Colin Pine, 55, of Ennerdale in Albany, failed to return home after going out to watch the Tyne-Wear derby on Sunday afternoon.
It is believed he watched the match at The Swan Pub in Heworth but where he went after this is unknown.Copyright: Northumbria Police
Construction of new flood defences in Morpeth town centre have now been completed as part of a £27m scheme.Copyright: PA
The Environment Agency says a new flood wall and three new flood gates will reduce the risk of flooding to homes and businesses in the lowest lying area of the town.
Police are warning drivers about the A696 in Northumberland because of hazardous driving conditions.
There were warnings of ice on the route and a car crashed near Ottercops.
The road was closed between Ottercops and Otterburn but has since reopened.
BBC News, Cambridgeshire
A couple have completed a Lego Durham Cathedral Christmas decoration despite "sabotage" by their children who wanted a Star Wars Death Star instead.Copyright: Getty Images/Mike Addis
Mike Addis and Catherine Weightman used more than 250,000 bricks to create it.
They have built festive models for the last 20 years.
The Northern Lights were seen across parts of the North East last night.
Known as the Aurora Borealis, colours of green and pink danced across the sky. The natural wonder is caused by charged particles colliding in the Earth's atmosphere above the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemisphere.Copyright: PA
Press Association photographers Owen Humphreys and Tom White braved the cold to capture this great photo near Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland. We've used it as the big image on this page.
BBC News Online
An MP has described a North East prison, privatised a year ago, as a "powder keg" after a series of incidents including a small riot and assaults on guards.Copyright: other
HMP Northumberland, which cut its staff by a third, has been at the centre of controversy since it was taken over by the security firm Sedexo.
Ian Lavery, the Labour MP for Wansbeck, says he fears a member of staff could be seriously harmed. Sedexo says it has recently taken on 27 additional staff and will never compromise on safety at the jail.
The Shields Gazette
An impatient thief raided a South Tyneside store of goods for a fishing trip because he didn't want to wait in a 'long queue'.
The story of one Sunderland man and his quest to get his community a Christmas tree to be proud of has been shared around the world on Facebook.Copyright: Martin Corleone
Chris Young wanted to bring some holiday spirit to his hometown of Ryhope, so he set up a community fund to raise money for what had initially been a drunken idea.
Within five weeks he'd raised £5,000 and bought a 30ft (9m) tree.
BBC Local Live
The Royal Mail has carried out a study and found that the UK has 3,369 Christmas themed street names.Copyright: Royal Mail
Holly Street is the most common, but other festive street names include Christmas Street, Christmas Pie Avenue, Reindeer Road and Rudolph Road.
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Knitted angels have appeared on fences, railings and lampposts in Tynemouth.Copyright: BBC
Members of seven Methodist churches in the area have made 2,000 of them.
Each bears a Christmas message inviting people to take them away and give them as a gift to friends or themselves.
BBC Look North
A century ago British and German soldiers met in no man's land in what has become known as the Christmas Truce.Copyright: (C) British Broadcasting Corporation
Men from the Border Regiment were among those in the trenches who sent home first hand accounts of what it was really like.
Look North's Gerry Jackson spoke to Alan Cleaver, author of Not a Shot Was Fired.
A man has been charged after a woman was found with serious injuries inside a car in Newcastle.
The car crashed into a concrete post on the central motorway in the underpass at the Jesmond exit on Monday. A 50-year-old woman was found inside badly hurt.
A 44-year-old man from Newcastle has been charged with attempted murder and dangerous driving. He will appear before Newcastle Magistrates' Court today.
BBC Look North
A Darlington man whose life was saved by striking firefighters has returned to thank his saviours.Copyright: BBC
Mike Johnson suffered a heart attack while passing Darlington Fire Station in November. Six firefighters, who were outside the station on strike, crossed the picket line to save his life.
BBC Newcastle's Phil Connell joined the reunion.
Police are investigating a suspicious house fire in Middlesbrough.
Emergency services were called to Percy Street in the early hours of this morning. There are no reports of any injuries.
A new footbridge has opened to replace a 125-year-old one on Teesside.Copyright: Google
Stockton Council has been trying for a number of years to secure funding for the £1.1m Thornaby bridge project and managed to get £250,000 from the Department for Transport.
The old bridge, at the entrance to the railway station, was rusting and did not have wheelchair access.
Network Rail and Tees Valley Metro also helped pay for the new bridge, which has taken five months to complete.
Northern Echo editor Peter Barron
Here's the Christmas Eve Northern Echo front page. An inspirational story from a tragic mum.Copyright: Northern Echo
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