- Updates on Friday 2 December 2016
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A Sunderland man who allowed building waste to fall from his van while driving on a busy road has landed a £500 fine.
David Phelan, 32, of Rosslyn Avenue, Ryhope, pleaded guilty to littering and failing to provide receipts for the waste when he appeared at Peterlee Magistrates' Court.
Phelan's tipper truck was stopped by police and Durham County Council neighbourhood wardens in Chester-le-Street on 11 March.
Building and plumbing waste including blue polythene and a piece of plastic pipe had been seen falling from his truck on the A693 near Rotary Way, the hearing heard.
Three masked robbers wielding planks of wood attacked an elderly couple before raiding their home.
The men barged their way into the property in Bailey Rise, Peterlee at around 21:00 last night demanding cash.
Durham Police said the thugs had put the couple through a "horrific ordeal". They escaped with a number of valuables.
Exmoor ponies are set to return to a South Tyneside nature reserve following the success of a trial grazing scheme.
South Tyneside Council piloted the conservation grazing project at Cleadon Hills Local Nature Reserve last year as an alternative to traditional grass cutting.Copyright: South Tyneside Council
The trial saw four of the ponies placed on site, with experts concluding their grazing helped to restore native grassland and boost visitor numbers.
The ponies are due to return later this month and stay until spring.
The Shields Gazette
Hospital chiefs have spoken of their pride at winning a prestigious award for producing research which has had a global impact.Copyright: Shields Gazette
A Wearside couple have revealed their “nightmare” after they were wrongly suspected of abusing their baby daughter after taking her to hospital.Copyright: Sunderland Echo
Two men have been arrested for illegal fishing in County Durham.
Environment Agency officers caught two men on the River Browney in Consett using lamps and a net to take migratory trout off spawning gravels.
Both men were arrested at the scene. Three dead sea trout were also seized.
The agency said investigations were continuing.
If you're going to the shops on Teesside today keep an eye out for a chance to grab an 'elfie' with Jason Watkin.
It's all to raise money and awareness for a Durham-based charity, Veterans at Ease, which supports ex-servicemen and women struggling to cope with life away from the Forces.
So here's Teesside's very own real-life elf!
Plans for a new £4m new primary care centre on the site of Guisborough Hospital have been confirmed.
The former Priory ward building is to be redeveloped, with the current building stripped to its shell and completely rebuilt.Copyright: Google
The South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said existing community and outpatient clinics would continue to be provided in the new-look centre, while additional space will be created for more services to be provided in the future.
The CCG originally proposed the development of the Chaloner building, but following feedback from patients about access to the building via a steep hill and car parking, other options were considered.
Work is expected to begin in October 2017 and be completed a year later.
Seen any Great North Snowdogs?
Share your photos with us.
Here's a 360 video preview of their farewell event in Gateshead:
Climbers from Newcastle University have revealed why they've revealed all in a fund-raising calendar for the Langdale Ambleside Mountain Rescue team.
The volunteers rescued two of their members who'd fallen from Gimmer Crag in the Lake District, one sustaining serious multiple injuries.
The female climber was picked up by a helicopter in what the team described as "a stunning and brave bit of flying in very poor conditions" and flown to the Preston Royal Hospital.
It's understood she's since made a full recovery.Quote Message: They did an absolutely amazing job and I can't praise them highly enough." from Oliver Grady Newcastle University Mountaineering Club
Durham County Council has paid out over half a million pounds in compensation to people who've developed illnesses from asbestos in school buildings.
In the past decade 32 councils have settled claims from former teachers, school staff or pupils.Copyright: Thinkstock
Asbestos was used extensively in school buildings until it was banned in 1999 and it's estimated around three-quarters of schools contain it.
The Health and Safety Executive say, if handled properly, it poses no risk and can only cause serious illness if the fibres are disturbed.
A696 Northumberland both ways severe disruption, between Limestone Lane and Gowk Lane.
A696 Northumberland - A696 closed in both directions between the Limestone Lane junction in Ponteland and the Gowk Lane junction in Belsay, because of a serious police incident.
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