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Joe Willis

The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author

Joe Willis LATEST

North Northallerton housing plan described as 'bonkers' by business chief

The Northern Echo: BUILDING WORRIES: Andrew Gatenby, of Allerton Steel Ltd, in Northallerton. The company is concerned about the submission of a planning application to build houses next door to the business which is a noisy, dusty 24-hour operation. Picture: CHRIS BOOTH

12:29pm Friday 29th May 2015

COMPANY bosses have warned that plans for a major housing development on the edge of a market town threaten the viability of their business.

A varied welcome for travelling folk

10:45am Friday 29th May 2015

AAH no, the travellers and Gypsies are coming – lock up your village greens and indeterminate grassed areas, says Joe Willis in this week's A Dales Life

Police search for teenager in distressed state

The Northern Echo: POLICE: Appeal for witnesses to Middlesbrough brawl

3:50pm Wednesday 27th May 2015

A 17-year-old was taken to hospital after being found following a police search.

Hundreds of dead fish prompt pollution inquiry

The Northern Echo: POLLUTION: A dead trout in Aldbrough Beck, near Aldbrough St John, Richmond.

3:18pm Wednesday 27th May 2015

THE discovery of hundreds of dead fish has prompted an investigation into a possible pollution incident.

UKIP pride

2:19pm Wednesday 27th May 2015

Sir, – Writing as the UK Independence Party candidate for Thirsk and Malton at the General Election, I would like to congratulate Kevin Hollinrake, our new MP, and the five other candidates on a fine campaign, fought on all sides with much good humour and courtesy. I would also like to thank sincerely the 7,805 electors who voted UKIP, up from 2,502 in 2010.

Dales village unveils new notice board

The Northern Echo: UNVEILING: Councillor Jane Ritchie, chairman of Burton-cum-Walden Parish Council and former district councillor Matthew Wilkes with the new notice board.

12:38pm Wednesday 27th May 2015

A NEW village notice board has been unveiled in a Dales village.

Dozens of off-duty police officers caught speeding

The Northern Echo: OFFENCE: A Durham police officer catching speeding drivers in Ferryhill.

5:03am Saturday 23rd May 2015

DOZENS of off-duty police officers caught speeding in the region have been criticised by road safety officers for undermining traffic laws.

Who was the mystery man found on the moor at Colsterdale?

10:35am Friday 22nd May 2015

The villages of Lower Wensleydale form the background to this week's column, and Joe Willis finds there's a mystery still to solve in Colsterdale

Sale of historic hall set to collapse amid bitter legal dispute

The Northern Echo: WINDLESTONE: Garry Moat (right) and project manager John Gibson at Windlestone Hall. Picture: STUART BOULTON.

5:05am Friday 22nd May 2015

THE sale of an historic North-East hall appears to have collapsed after the owner became aware of the buyer's arrest as part of an investigation into an alleged fraud, The Northern Echo can reveal.

Eating Out: Penleys, Richmond

The Northern Echo: BISTRO: Sophie Davison and Matthew Colley of Penleys in Richmond.

10:13am Thursday 21st May 2015

Joe Willis is lured to a new bistro at Richmond by the promise of cocktails.

North-East bobbies disappearing from the beat, claims Police Federation

The Northern Echo: BEAT: Police walking the beat in County Durham.

5:05am Thursday 21st May 2015

CUTS to the police force budgets are sounding the death knell for the traditional bobby on the beat, claims the body that represents rank-and-file police officers.

County Durham conman Mike Kenny is at it again!

The Northern Echo: FRAUDSTER: Mike Nicholas, formerly called Mike Kenny, was sacked after making fictitious business deals.

12:00pm Tuesday 19th May 2015

A CONMAN with a history of deception spanning more than a decade has resurfaced with a different name - but the same fondness for tall stories and forgeries, The Northern Echo can reveal.

Participants in TV documentary on surveillance culture hide out in Yorkshire Dales

The Northern Echo: WANTED: A poster being circulated as part of a documentary on surveillance for Channel 4 being filmed in the Yorkshire Dales.

4:27pm Monday 18th May 2015

PARTICIPANTS in a Channel 4 documentary on Britain's surveillance culture are attempting to evade capture by hiding out in the Yorkshire Dales.

Swaledale Big Dig due to restart

The Northern Echo: DIG: Volunteers take part in the Swaledale Big Dig last year.

1:04pm Friday 15th May 2015

ARCHAEOLOGY enthusiasts will begin a new summer season of digging this weekend as part of the Swaledale Big Dig project.

Cam belt catastrophe is the least of my worries

11:53am Friday 15th May 2015

Council tax, cam-belts and can you run over a deer... all tackled in this week's sideways look at A Dales Life

Man who has gambled £20,000 in a fortnight calls for more help for addicts

The Northern Echo: ADDICT: Mark Tweedy says he is winning and losing thousands of pounds a week on internet gambling sites.

2:06pm Wednesday 13th May 2015

A COMPULSIVE gambler has called for more help for addicts after being told he needed to travel to London to get specialist assistance.

Cancer sufferer found life-saving treatment on Google

The Northern Echo: RELIEF: Adam Riddle with wife Jo.

5:07am Wednesday 13th May 2015

A MAN diagnosed with an inoperable cancer has told how he found a life-saving treatment by searching the internet.

SNP success prompts fears in the North-East of the Scottish lion's roar

The Northern Echo: LANDSLIDE: SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon arrives at Edinburgh Airport after her party's election triumph.

5:03am Saturday 9th May 2015

SNP former first minister Alex Salmond said the "Scottish lion had roared across the country" after his party's dramatic election success.

This week I saw a man using a public phone box...

10:56am Friday 8th May 2015

Joe Willis has had enough of the election but has happy memories of red phone boxes in the latest instalment of A Dales Life

North-East companies take legal action over alleged telecoms fraud

The Northern Echo: INVESTIGATION: Police are investigating companies run by North-East businessman Garry Moat.

6:15am Thursday 7th May 2015

NORTH-East companies who claim they have been victims of a telecoms fraud have begun legal action against a leasing company.

My frustrating battle to end pervert's reign of terror

The Northern Echo: VICTIM: Mandy Dunford at Studstyle Farm with the Bilsdale Valley in the background.

5:35am Tuesday 5th May 2015

WHEN Mandy Dunford first moved to an idyllic hillside farm deep in the North York Moors National Park, neighbour Ken Ward seemed friendly.

Police 'powerless' to protect terrified woman from sex offender stalker

The Northern Echo: PERVERT: Ken Ward.

6:50am Tuesday 5th May 2015

POLICE have urged a terrified woman to build a panic room - because they are powerless to protect her from the sinister sex offender who has stalked her for nine years.

David Cameron pledges to tackle North-South divide if Tories win election

The Northern Echo: DIVIDE: Prime Minister David Cameron tests a light bulb during a visit to ACDC Lighting in Barrowford, Pendle.

7:31pm Friday 1st May 2015

DAVID Cameron has pledged to close the North-South economic gap with investments in infrastructure and skills.

DJ Wilko is a winner in the election poster war

11:30am Friday 1st May 2015

Joe Willis has been having fun spotting election posters on his travels in the Dales - and he's found an unlikely winner.

Young rugby players looking the part thanks to new polo shirts

The Northern Echo: FUNDING: Players from Wensleydale RUFC's mini section in their new tops, pictured with coach Stephen Michael, left, and Tim Waite, Morrison Utility Services commercial manager.

1:16pm Thursday 30th April 2015

YOUNG rugby players are looking the part after a donation from a local company paid for new club polo shirts.

Head's legacy

12:10pm Thursday 30th April 2015

Sir, – Everyone involved with the Wensleydale School and Sixth Form in Leyburn will have been shocked and saddened to hear of the untimely death of Graham Parker from a heart attack, just a few weeks after he left his post as headteacher at the school.

Election leaflet

12:09pm Thursday 30th April 2015

Sir, – Having received at long last through our letter box this week the local Conservative party candidate's election leaflet, my eagle-eyed wife was quick to spot that among the rogues gallery of party leaders pictured on the inside pages was Alex Salmond. Sheer ignorance, sexism or both on the part of the self-proclaimed party of competence?

Tickets for Darlington play-off final are sold out

The Northern Echo:

10:23am Thursday 30th April 2015

DARLINGTON'S play-off final against Bamber Bridge is now a sell-out.

Bishop Auckland house prices have plummeted since last election, study shows

The Northern Echo: FOR SALE: Bishop Auckland house prices have plummeted since last election, a study has shown.

8:07am Thursday 30th April 2015

AVERAGE house prices have dropped by 8.4 per cent in Bishop Auckland since the last election - the biggest drop in the country.

Taken for granted

12:14pm Wednesday 29th April 2015

Sir, – I get the feeling that Rishi Sunak is taking the electorate for Richmondshire for granted after failing to attend a meeting in Northallerton, the largest town in the constituency, on Sunday evening, giving a limp excuse for not being there. This was met with astonishment by the 300-plus people who attended. Does he really think that he has to just put his name on the ballot paper to get elected? Judging by comments overheard he might just get a deserved nasty shock on the night. Congratulations to all other candidates who acquitted themselves very well on the night. Also thanks to Steve Cowie for keeping a tight control on the evening.

Police praise McDonalds staff who helped save suicidal man

The Northern Echo:

7:29am Wednesday 29th April 2015

POLICE have thanked staff from a McDonalds restaurant who helped save a distressed man.

No racist

12:22pm Tuesday 28th April 2015

Sir, – The constant general comments about UKIP being racists is untrue and hurtful. UKIP have a host of progressive policies and say, in line with all major parties, that we need effective and efficient border controls and a fair immigration policy, again, the same as other major political parties. I am a local UKIP candidate, interested in the well-being of my local community and local issues; so please, no more unfounded accusations of racism. I am certainly no racist, but I believe in harmony and equal opportunities in our society. Let's debate the facts, not rely on slurs to win a contest.

Getting worse

1:02pm Monday 27th April 2015

Sir, – What a disappointment. I read the headline about a new railway bridge to ease congestion in Northallerton (D&S, April 10) and assumed it would be built at Low Gates. Wrong. Having attended the consultation presentation I can only see that things will get worse instead of better. There is the potential with the new development for an extra 1,000 cars accessing Stokesley Road and Darlington Road with no easing of the choke point at Low Gates roundabout. I suspect Standard Way will become a rat run for people avoiding Low Gates when the inevitable queues form whenever a train goes by. When will North Yorkshire County Council and Hambleton District Council accept the fact that a bridge at Low Gates is the only way to ease congestion in the town? Maybe Network Rail can be persuaded to help if the proposed electrification of the Middlesbrough line goes ahead.

Such excitement: fried chicken and chips are on the way

10:52am Friday 24th April 2015

In this week's look at Dales Life Joe Willis reports mounting excitement at the prospect of fried chicken at the new Catterick Garrison shopping centre

Raw deal

6:33pm Wednesday 22nd April 2015

The Rural Services Network (RSN), which represents more than 200 countryside organisations, claimed this week that Whitehall funding formulas were disadvantaging rural councils across the country.

Husting error leads to gap pride pledge

3:42pm Wednesday 22nd April 2015

THE dismantling of shared services revealed that there was little love lost between the independents - several of whom were once Tories - who run Richmondshire and the Conservatives in control of neighbouring Hambleton. The relationship will not have improved by a claim in last week's D&S by Richmondshire deputy leader Mick Griffiths that Hambleton had increased its council tax bills this year. Several Hambleton Conservatives have been in-touch to point out that their district actually froze its precept for 2015/16. Spectator is sure the error by Cllr Griffiths, who was responding to election baiting by the Tories, was unintentional.

North-East councils spending £1m a year to full-time union reps

The Northern Echo: UNION: A Unison sign on the steps of a closed Hartlepool Civic Centre during a public services strike in 2008.

7:04am Monday 20th April 2015

COUNCILS in the region are paying out more than £1 million a year to staff who work full time on trade union business, The Northern Echo can reveal.

'Get out of our club' - Newcastle fans protest against owner Mike Ashley

The Northern Echo: PROTEST: A so-called 'oustmobile' outside the St James' Park as Newcastle United supporters take part in a demonstration against club owner Mike Ashley outside the ground before the match.

10:09pm Sunday 19th April 2015

AFTER yet another season to forget, Newcastle Utd fans say they have had enough. Joe Willis reports.

North of England would be 'big winner' from SNP success

The Northern Echo: PLEDGE: SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon appearing on the BBC1 current affairs programme, The Andrew Marr Show.

6:26pm Sunday 19th April 2015

THE SNP will make a pledge to help the North of England when it launches its manifesto tomorrow (Monday, April 20).

Ukip shows support for North-East fishing fleet

The Northern Echo: PROTEST: Ukip MEP Jonathan Arnott, centre, was joined by fishermen and three of the party's parliamentary candidates at the Fish Quay at Sunderland harbour.

2:50pm Friday 17th April 2015

ELECTION candidates have shown their support to the North-East's fishing fleets.

Richmondshire councillor pledges to vote for the opposition if they can lower council tax

The Northern Echo: CAMPAIGN: A sign erected on the Richmondshire and Hambleton boundary by Richmondshire Conservatives.

2:46pm Friday 17th April 2015

A SENIOR councillor has pledged to vote for the opposition if they can run a council on the same level of council tax as a neighbouring authority.

Budget bin bags aren't the answer

The Northern Echo: Budget bin bags aren't the answer

10:36am Friday 17th April 2015

YOU can choose the budget option for many things in life – plain white T-shirts, peanut butter, baked beans, car insurance, but never bin bags says Joe Willis in this week's look at Dales Life

Parents need to talk to their children about online safety, warns charity

The Northern Echo: INTERNET DANGERS: Cheryl Ellis became concerned after Hugo got Xbox Live for his birthday last year. Picture: STUART BOULTON.

10:35am Friday 17th April 2015

Social networking sites popular with children are not necessarily safe, the NSPCC has warned. Joe Willis reports.

Supermarket prosecution dropped after forklift driver admits blame

The Northern Echo: DROPPED: The case against Aldi has been withdrawn.

5:05am Thursday 16th April 2015

A PROSECUTION against a supermarket giant has been dropped after a forklift truck driver told a court it was his fault a co-worker was badly injured.

A66 crash victim Tyrone Singh was friend of tragic Kyle Hull who died days earlier

The Northern Echo:

12:20pm Wednesday 15th April 2015

AN 18-year-old man killed in a crash on the A66 last night was friends with tragic Kyle Hull, the teenager who died after falling through a roof at Darlington Auction Mart.

Scrap dealers declare bank's customer service as 'rubbish' after account closed

The Northern Echo: SCRAP DEAL: Scrap metal dealing brothers John and Owen Hanratty at their business on Wooler Street, Darlington. They have experienced problems with their bank HSBC. Picture: CHRIS BOOTH

9:00am Tuesday 14th April 2015

A SCRAP metal dealer is furious with his bank after an account was closed unexpectedly meaning cheques bounced and bills went unpaid.

Acclaimed chefs prepare for food festival

The Northern Echo: HOME GROWN: Stephen Bulmer, left, from Swinton Park with assistant Mike Humble.

3:10pm Monday 13th April 2015

CHEFS from some the county's top restaurants will give free demonstrations of their creative skills at a local food festival.

Police appeal after elderly churchgoer critically injured by reversing car in Dales village

The Northern Echo: ACCIDENT: Villagers used tarpaulin to keep the injured man dry after the accident in West Witton.

1:44pm Monday 13th April 2015

VILLAGERS rushed to the aid of an elderly churchgoer critically injured by a reversing car at the weekend.

Rail death train driver is 'killing himself with drink' after not getting help, says brother

The Northern Echo: FEARS: The brother of former train driver Stephen Douglas, pictured, fears he is drinking himself to death.

5:20am Saturday 11th April 2015

THE BROTHER of a tragic train driver who watched helplessly as his engine killed a teenager has called on rail companies to provide more help for traumatised staff.

Councillor accuses of prospective MP of 'pettiness' after she is barred from meeting

The Northern Echo: ELECTION: Rishi Sunak is the Tory parliamentary candidate for Richmond.

5:23pm Friday 10th April 2015

A DISTRICT councillor has accused a prospective MP of "pettiness" after she was barred from entering a meeting in her home village.

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