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  1. Updates Tuesday 26 July 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Kristie Kinghorn

BBC Newcastle

Live updates here have now finished for the day - thank you for joining us. 

There will be further updates through the evening on BBC Tees and BBC Newcastle, online and on Look North.

We'll be back from 08:00 with more news, sport, weather and travel from across the North East. 

Fancy getting in touch? If so, you can contact us on TwitterFacebook, or via email at  

Durham captain signs new deal

Durham captain Paul Collingwood will extend a distinguished playing career into a 22nd year after signing a fresh contract for the 2017 season.

The news of the venerable former England batsman, 40, committing himself to Durham comes on the same day it was announced highly-rated opener andlimited-overs skipper Mark Stoneman will leave for Surrey at the end of the season.

Paul Collingwood

He told the club's official website: "I am so proud to still be playing for my home county who have given me the perfect environment to fulfil all of my cricketing dreams."

Public invited to hear fertility services feedback

People in Hartlepool are being urged to attend a meeting on Thursday to hear findings from a consultation into the town’s fertility services.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust planned to end licensed fertility treatment, including IVF, at University Hospital Hartlepool on 31 March.

But the council won a High court injunction, claiming the trust had not properly consulted on the move.

University Hospital Hartlepool

During a three-month public consultation, three options were put forward by the NHS Hartlepool and Stockton Clinical Commissioning Group.

Surrey sign Durham opener Stoneman

Surrey have agreed to sign opener Mark Stoneman from Division One rivals Durham ahead of the 2017 campaign.

The 29-year-old has passed 1,000 first-class runs in each of the past three seasons, and has 575 Championship runs at an average of 44.23 in 2016.

"The desire to play for England is as strong as it has ever been," he said.

"I feel now is the right time to accept a new challenge in an environment which will hopefully see me fulfil the dream of playing for England."

Mark Stoneman
Getty Images

Uncapped Stoneman made his debut for Durham in 2007 and has played in three Championship-winning sides, as well as captaining the team which won the One-Day Cup in 2014.

Arrest after armed robbery

Police are appealing for information after an armed robbery in Wallsend. At about 10:20 officers attended a bank in High Street West after a man threatened staff with what is believed to be an imitation firearm and stole a cash box. 

Northumbria Police says a man has been arrested and remains in custody.

Jeremy Corbyn 'set to attend Durham Miners' Gala secretary's funeral'

Mark Denten

BBC Look North

 A Labour source says leader Jeremy Corbyn plans to attend the funeral of Durham Miners' Gala secretary Davey Hopper.

Mr Hopper died a week after attending The Big Meeting.

His funeral takes place on Friday at Redhills - the headquarters of the Durham Miners' Association.

Davey Hopper.

Community radio station closes

BBC Tees

A community radio station in County Durham is closing because it says it can't afford to stay on the air.

Radio Teesdale has broadcast for more than 10 years, but managers say a reduction in funding from grants and advertising mean it can no longer continue. 

John Gelson, who volunteered at the station, said: "I think it is a very sad day for everybody in Barnard Castle and right across Teesdale."

Your photos: Calm seas in Blyth

Francis Rozier sent us this photo of a Maersk Connector leaving Blyth Port in calm seas yesterday.

Maersk Connector leaving Blyth Port
Francis Rozier

If you have a photo you'd like to send us, you can contact us on TwitterFacebook, or via email at

Traffic building up in Darlington

'Fantastic news'

Adrian Jenkins, director of The Bowes Museum, said: "During the 15th century, Netherlandish paintings were admired all over Europe for their visual sophistication, imagination and invention, and those by Bouts and his workshop were no exception."

Netherlandish artworks were usually painted in oil, usually depicting religious scenes or small portraits with richly detailed backgrounds.

The Bowes Museum

The painting depicts St Luke drawing the Virgin Mary and Christ, a popular subject in 15th Century Netherlands.

The bulk of the funding came from the Heritage Lottery Fund which awarded The Bowes Museum £1.99m.

Rare St Luke painting to stay in UK

A rare 15th Century oil painting of St Luke Drawing the Virgin and Child by Dieric Bouts is to remain in the UK after £2,290,650, was acquired in funding and donations

County Durham's Bowes Museum secured money from the Art Fund, Heritage Lottery fund and private donors.

St Luke Drawing the Virgin and Child

The museum will work in partnership with galleries in York and Bristol. 

The government had placed an export bar on the "distinctive painting" last November while a buyer was sought.

Flood-hit bridge reopens

A replacement for a footbridge washed away by floods during Storm Desmond has opened.

The structure over the River Wear at Stanhope in County Durham was destroyed after torrential downpours in December.

New bridge at Stanhope being lowered into place
Durham County Council

The replacement was lifted into place on Monday last week and opened earlier.

Durham County Council, which is responsible for maintaining footbridges in the area, said it was a "vital link" for the community.

Travel update: Congestion in Durham

BBC Travel

The A690 Leazes Road in Durham is partially blocked and there is queuing traffic eastbound between Leazes Bowl Roundabout and Gilesgate Roundabout because of an accident involving a bus and a van. 

Congestion on New Elvet to the Church Street junction and on the A181 Sherburn Road to the Sunderland Road junction.

In County Durham there is slow traffic on the A167 Northgate northbound in Darlington between the A68 St Augustine's Way junction and the Charles Street junction.

Check for the latest travel updates here.

Man and woman charged after robbery

A man and a woman have been charged in connection with an attempted robbery at a corner store in Darlington on Saturday night.

The incident happened at Seema News and off-licence, on the corner of North Road and Cumberland Street.

The 34-year-old man and 24-year-old woman appeared before Newton Aycliffe magistrates and were remanded in custody to appear at Teesside Crown Court on 23 August.

Pedestrian injured in car crash

Police are appealing for information after a pedestrian was hit by a Land Rover Defender at the junction of Park Road North and Linthorpe Road in Middlesbrough.

The crash happened at about 15:25 on Saturday. 

The 23-year-old female pedestrian was taken to James Cook University Hospital where she was treated for a broken foot.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Cleveland Police.

Sissoko on his way to Liverpool?

BBC Sport

Could Moussa Sissoko be making a switch to Merseyside?

Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund have both made bids for the Newcastle midfielder. 

It's in the gossip, along with plenty more.

Moussa Sissoko
Getty Images

Messages of condolence after priest killed in hostage-taking in France

The North East has sent its condolences after a priest was killed in an attack by two armed men at his church in a suburb of Rouen in northern France.

The attackers entered the church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray during Mass, taking the priest, Fr Jacques Hamel, 84, and four other people hostage.  

Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray  is twinned with Gateshead.

The mayor of Gateshead, Alison Ilderton-Thompson, said: “On behalf of the people of Gateshead I want to express our sincere condolences to the people of Saint-Etienne-Du-Rouvray following the horrific attack today. 

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their loved ones at this difficult time.”

The area has been cordoned off and police have told people to stay away

Durham prepares for cup

Cannabis farm found in Redcar

A cannabis farm containing more than 250 plants with a street value of more than £113,000 has been found in Redcar, police say.

The plants were found yesterday at a house in Hardale Grove.

Cleveland Police says the scene has been preserved overnight and officers are continuing to trace the occupants.

Cannabis plants
Cleveland Police

Goalkeeping machine keeps SAFC players on their toes

Looks like the Sunderland coaches have a new toy to test out their goalkeepers ahead of the Premier League season.

View more on twitter

Man charged over stabbing in South Shields

A man has been charged after another man was stabbed in Westoe Road in South Shields yesterday.

The man, 37, of Newmarket Walk, South Shields, has been charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm, possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear and threatening a person with a firearm in a public place.

He is due to appear before South Tyneside Magistrates' Court later.

Retired clergyman used 'veneer of respectability'

Granville Gibson, a retired clergyman, is on trial accused of sexually abusing two men and a boy in the 70s and 80s.

The prosecution described his alleged actions as a gross breach of trust, saying he used his position in the church under a "veneer of respectability" to abuse young men in his care or employment.

One witness told the jury that at the age of 18 he had been sent to the church to complete his community service. 

At first, Mr Gibson seemed to care for him and the pair engaged in play fighting, but within weeks it had turned into sexual touching and one serious sexual assault, Durham Crown Court was told.

Mr Gibson denies the charges. The trial continues.

Your photos: Happy hay-time

John Whitfield sent us this photo of "happy" hay bales in Allendale, Hexham, at the weekend.

If you have a photo you'd like to send us, you can contact us on TwitterFacebook, or via email at

Hay bales
John Whitfield

On this day: A certain striker joined a certain club...

BBC Sport

In 1992, former Newcastle striker Alan Shearer left Southampton for Blackburn for a then British record fee of £3.6m.

Yes, only £3.6m. For Shearer. How times have changed, eh?

Alan Shearer
Getty Images

Retired clergymen denies sex abuse

A retired clergyman has gone on trial accused of the "sinister and deliberate" sex abuse of two men and a boy in the late 70s and early 80s. 

Granville Gibson has pleaded not guilty to eight counts of indecent assault and one of serious sexual assault.

Granville Gibson

On Monday, Durham Crown Court was told the alleged offences were carried out while he was the minister at St Clare's Church in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham. 

The 80-year-old, from Darlington, later went on to become an archdeacon.

Chance to see the new plastic fiver

The new plastic £5 note is on show at the Metro Centre in Gateshead today, ahead of its launch in September.

Featuring the image of Sir Winston Churchill, it will be made of plastic rather than cotton paper

Image of new Bank of England £5 note

There are more than 329 million £5 notes in circulation, so it will take a year to fully replace the current one.

A1 delays expected due to emergency repairs

BBC Look North

North East and Cumbria

More traffic problems and potentially lengthy delays are expected for commuters this morning as emergency repair work gets under way on the A1 western bypass.

One lane is closed to allow temporary repairs to the Blaydon Haugh Viaduct, with a 50mph speed limit in place.Yesterday motorists were delayed for up to an hour as a result of surveying work.

Weather: Sunny spells with showers

Abbie Dewhurst

Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

A bright start with broken cloud and sunny spells. Possible scattered showers, particularly this afternoon, ahead of a band of heavier rain making its way in from the west.

The cloud will thicken later as patchy rain arrives in the west during the evening.

Abbie Dewhurst

Highs of 20C (68F).

Check the forecast where you are here.

Good morning. Welcome to our live coverage

Kristie Kinghorn

BBC Newcastle

Morning. Welcome to BBC Local Live.

We are back this morning with your latest news, sport, weather and travel updates, and will stay with you until 18:00.

Fancy getting in touch? If so, you can contact us on TwitterFacebook, or via email at