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  1. Updates on Wednesday 9 November 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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

There will be more updates overnight online, on BBC Tees and BBC Newcastle and on Look North.

We'll be back with more news, sport, weather and travel from 08:00 tomorrow

In the meantime you can contact us on TwitterFacebook, or via email at  

The weather tonight...

Further outbreaks of showery rain may affect the area at times, and could be wintry over the highest parts of the Pennines. 

It will be a cold night with a widespread frost in rural areas and a risk of icy patches. 

Minimum Temperature: 1C (34 F). 

Weather graphic

Ofsted says Middlesbrough College 'requires improvement'

An Ofsted report published today has found that Middlesbrough College 'requires improvement'.

The findings included:

  • 16-to 19-year-old students on A-level programmes, and to a lesser extent those on vocational courses, do not achieve the grades that they are capable of in key subjects.
  • Not enough students across the college’s provision achieve their English and mathematics functional skills qualifications and too few students achieve high grades in GCSEs.   
  • A significant minority of students are not given sufficiently challenging work in lessons.

In its last inspection in 2011, the college had been rated "good."

This year's inspection had found some strengths including good progression rates to higher education and employment and good quality work placements and enrichment activities that prepare students well for work.

Principal and chief executive Zoe Lewis told The Gazette: "We are pleased the report acknowledges that the vast majority of our students, more than 10,000 of them, are studying in good provision and that all our provision types are above national achievement rates.

"We genuinely value any external evaluation of our work and are therefore fully committed to further improving standards for all our students."

Middlesbrough College

Appeal for information after firework posted through letter box in South Tyneside

A firework was posted through a letterbox in Boldon Colliery, South Tyneside, Northumbria Police said.

The incident took place yesterdaybetween 20:30 and 21:00.

No one was injured but minor damage was caused to the property.

Officers are warning the consequences could have been much worse and are carrying out enquiries.

Meet Newcastle's 93-year-old hero war veteran and his pop-up poppy stall

Harold Turtle, a 93-year-old Newcastle World War Two veteran, has had an incredible military career.

He sailed on the Arctic convoys for which he received a Ushakov Medal - one of Russia's highest honours for naval personnel.

He was also torpedoed defending Malta, fought his way through North Africa as a commando volunteer and took part in the D-Day landings.

He's been selling poppies for the last 30 years and after being no longer being able to stand up and sell them in places like supermarkets, for the past few years he's set up a pop-up stall in a garage in Newcastle.

He says his "secret weapon" for attracting people to his stall is playing music from around the time of World War Two.

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Teaching assistants picket line

Schools across County Durham have faced a second day of disruption as teaching assistants strike over pay.

Read more

Photos of damage to Roker Pier railings

Sunderland Echo


Photos show extent of storm damage to Roker Pier’s railings.

Roker PIer railings damage
Sunderland Echo

Council claims 80% of schools stayed open despite strike

Schools across County Durham have faced a second day of disruption as teaching assistants strike over pay.

An estimated 100 schools were affected, although the council said 80% of schools stayed open. 

The 48-hour stoppage by support staff began on Tuesday over the council's proposals to only pay them during term time. 

There were picket lines at schools and a ralyy outside County Hall. 

The council said that there has been no formal approach for a meeting from Unison.

Children in Need: Bluewatch Youth Centre

Bluewatch youth centre in Sunderland helps young people with all types of disability.

Their sessions encourage children to increase their confidence and social skills by offering a variety of activities.

Staff and children describe the group as “a family”, and with the help of Children in Need they can continue to bring people together.

Bluewatch youth centre in Sunderland helps young people with all types of disability

Root keen England continue good start

Joe Root keen England continue good start against India

Yorkshire batsman Joe Root says England still have "a lot of hard work to do" after they got off to a good start in the first innings against India in Rajkot.

Army put on stand-by for winter floods

More than 1,000 UK troops have been put on 24-hour stand-by to help in the event of flooding this winter.

The government is also investing £12.5m in new temporary flood defences for its "most comprehensive winter plan yet".

This follows a review of the handling of the problems caused by Storm Desmond in parts of the UK late last year.

The Met Office warned of icy conditions in north-east England and the East Midlands tomorrow, after snow hit parts of northern England and Scotland.

Flooding in Cumbria

Five-year-old named on bench against Hartlepool

BBC Sport

Rochdale have named five-year-old Joshua McCormack in their squad for tonight's Checkatrade Trophy match against Hartlepool.

Joshua is suffering from a terminal brain tumour and has been among Keith Hill's substitutes.

Sadly, Joshua is not well enough to attend the game but his name will appear on the team-sheet and his shirt will hang in the dressing room and on the substitutes bench during the game.

The proposed new cricket stand at night

Yorkshire County Cricket Club has said Headingley Stadium could lose cricket Test matches at the venue after a delay in a £38m plan to renovate the stadium.

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Men with placards protesting

About 100 UK steelworkers join a march in Brussels calling for action to protect the industry and safeguard thousands of jobs.

Read more

Teessiders hail Trump election as 'brilliant'

BBC Tees

Donald J Trump will be the next American president. 

Teessiders react to the news...  

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Warning for ice across the North East tomorrow

Owain Wyn Evans

Weather presenter, BBC Look North

The Met Office has just issued a warning for ice tomorrow morning.

Here's the predicted area:  

Weather warning
Met Office

Strike by teaching assistants has 'national implications'

Mark Denten

BBC Look North

Unison General Secretary Dave Prentis tells the Durham teaching assitants their dispute has "national implications".

Dave Prentis

Durham teaching assistants attend rally at Durham Miners' Hall on day two of strike

Mark Denten

BBC Look North

Striking Durham teaching assistants have been attending a rally at the Durham Miners' Hall where Unison regional secretary Clare Williams has announced that more strike action is planned.

It's the second day of their 48-hour walk out over pay.

Striking Durham teaching assistants attend a rally at the Durham Miners' Hall
Mark Denten

Watch: Blue Peter presenters bungee jump off the Transporter Bridge

In case you missed it yesterday, BBC Tees were there as Blue Peter presenters bungee-jumped off the Transporter Bridge for Children in Need.

It formed part of their Extreme TRY-athlon challenge for the BBC charity.

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New leads in hunt for pony's killers

Colin Briggs

Look North

Police in Sunderland say they're now pursuing "a number of lines of inquiry" into the brutal killing of a Shetland pony in Cleadon

The pony - called Bobby - was found dead in a field on 3 November after suffering multiple injuries. 

Bobby the Shetland pony

An RSPCA post-mortem examination has revealed the animal may well have died up to 24 hours before he was found. 

Police are appealing again for anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in the Cleadon Lane area to get in touch.  

Jonjo Shelvey

Newcastle United's Jonjo Shelvey is charged with allegedly abusing, in racial terms, Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Romain Saiss.

Read more

Ploughs deal with snow in County Durham

Snow ploughs and gritters have been out in parts of County Durham dealing with the first significant snowfall of the winter.

Snow in Tow Law

These ploughs were spotted in the Tow Law area dealing with drifts on the A68, which is traditionally one of the worst affected areas on the  region.

Snow in Tow Law

The forecast is for snow to turn to rain later, but with the prospect of more white stuff at the weekend.  

Teenager asked for indecent photographs by fake 'model scout'

A 14-year-old girl from County Durham has been targeted online by a fake model scout asking her to send indecent photographs.

She's one of more than 40 teenage girls who have received messages from Snapchat profiles set up in the name of Base Models, a legitimate company which is not involved with the activity.

The teenager from Hunwick told her mother who reported the exchange to Base Models, who confirmed the messages were fraudulent.

Base Models managing director Max Ridd said:  

Young people have always been seduced by the idea of fame and celebrity - but especially today with the Kardashian fame wave going on.

Modelling is seen as a first step on the fame ladder - and I think that's one reason why we are being targeted."

Kim Kardashian

Local farmers to discuss Brexit

The uncertainty surrounding Britain's decision to leave the European Union will be discussed by farmers today.

The seventh annual Northern Farming Conference takes place at Hexham Auction Mart.

Local farmers will be guest speakers at the event, which will also include updates on the latest technology available in the industry.

Cows in field

Teesside steelworkers join European jobs rally

BBC Tees

Steelworkers from Teesside will be among thousands of other workers from across Europe joining together for a mass rally in Brussels later.


Workers from Teesside's Beam Mill will be joining the European Steel Action Day, which is calling for more measures to safeguard jobs by tackling the global issue of the dumping of cheap imports and by imposing effective trade tariffs.

The union IndustriALL estimates that 80 000 steelworkers have lost their jobs across Europe since the economic crisis of 2008. 

Mike Ashley may be quizzed over 'bugged' meeting

Lisa McCormick

BBC Tees

Hartlepool MP and chair of the Business Select Committee, Iain Wright, says he is not ruling out ordering Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley to appear before MPs over claims the company bugged a private meeting. 

Mr Wright has called on Mr Ashley, who also owns Newcastle United, to investigate why someone at the firm's headquarters allegedly bugged a private meeting of politicians.

Hidden camera
Anna Turley

It is claimed a camera was hidden by plate of sandwiches. 

The firm has denied it authorised anyone to snoop on committee members during a confidential conversation on a visit to its warehouse in Derbyshire.

Durham woman loses £183,200 after betting on Hillary Clinton

If you're waking up to the news that Donald Trump will become the 45th US president after a stunning victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton, spare a thought for a woman from Durham.

She bet £183,200 on Ms Clinton to win in a two-part wager, William Hill said.

The Republican nominee's victory came down to a handful of key swing states, despite months of polling that favoured Mrs Clinton.

Donald Trump
Getty Images

However other gamblers managed to call it right. 

A man from London won almost £500,000 after betting £200,000 on Mr Trump.

Weather warning as winter kicks in

Second day of strike action by teaching assistants

Schools in County Durham face further disruption with the second day of a 48-hour strike by teaching assistants.

More than 100 schools were either closed or cut classes yesterday as the assistants took part in action over a decision by the council to only pay them during term time.

Teaching assistants

Unions ATL and Unison say the move would see some of the county's 2,000 assistants lose about 20% of their salary.

The council argues it could face equal pay claims from other employees if it does not make the cuts.

Picket lines are due to be in force again and a rally is due to be held outside County Hall at 09:00.

Rain, sleet and some snow on the hills

Owain Wyn Evans

Weather presenter, BBC Look North

Rain and hill snow will continue in the morning, but will gradually clear eastwards through the afternoon, although it will remain cold and rather cloudy. 


More western areas around Haltwhistle may see some brightness before sunset, with a maximum temperature of 6C.

Later it will be a mostly dry and chilly night with patchy cloud. 

However, occasional outbreaks of showery rain may affect areas away from the coast. 

Minimum temperatures unlikely to rise above 1C. Check the forecast where you are.

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