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Joe Willis

The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author

Joe Willis LATEST

Don't bug the bees we depend on for survival

The Northern Echo: There are 24 different species of bumblebee. Picture: Nick Ansell/PA

4:41pm Friday 3rd July 2015

WE have a bees' nest in the garden, which I'm pretty excited about.

Thieves steal lead from another Dales church roof

The Northern Echo: THEFT: Thieves have stolen the lead off the roof at St Andrew's Church, in Aysgarth.

3:29pm Thursday 2nd July 2015

POLICE are appealing for witnesses after thieves stole large quantities of lead from a Yorkshire Dales church.

Train company offers grants for conservation work

The Northern Echo: GRANT: First TransPennine Express has joined forces with the Forestry Commission to give community environmental projects across the region the opportunity to win a grant of up to £2,500.

3:27pm Thursday 2nd July 2015

A TRAIN operator has donated £20,000 towards tree and woodland conservation projects

'Jenny Nicholl case won't close until teenager found' say police

The Northern Echo: REGRET: Retired North Yorkshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Sue Cross, who was the senior investigating officer who oversaw the murder investigation, said regrets that the team was not able to find Jenny.

5:05am Tuesday 30th June 2015

POLICE say the investigation into the murder of Jenny Nicholl will not fully close until the teenager's remains are found.

Parents still seek truth ten years after daughter Jenny Nicholl's murder

The Northern Echo:

10:20am Tuesday 30th June 2015

Ten years ago today, Jenny Nicholl left home and was never seen again by her parents who are still seeking the truth behind their daughter’s murder. Joe Willis reports.

Park pilgrimage still sounding good years later

The Northern Echo:

4:42pm Friday 26th June 2015

IN the last month or so I've seen several buzzards, a red kite, a peregrine falcon, numerous kestrels, a barn owl and a short-eared owl around and about.

Fewer people dying on region's roads - but more people injured

The Northern Echo: ACCIDENT: Fewer people are dying on the region's roads - but more are being injured in accidents.

4:37pm Friday 26th June 2015

A FALL in the number of people killed on the region's roads has been welcomed by road safety chiefs.

North-East soldiers train with 'enemy' Russian tanks as tensions grow between Moscow and West

The Northern Echo: ENEMY: A Russian-made BMP-1 tank, similar to the one used by soldiers training at Catterick Garrison.

5:04am Friday 26th June 2015

SOLDIERS at Europe's biggest Army base are training with Russian tanks representing the enemy amid heightened tensions between Moscow and the West.

Time judges take domestic abuse seriously

The Northern Echo:

4:07am Friday 26th June 2015

ANDREW Foulds laughed as he left Teesside Crown Court yesterday.

Metro mayor plans are 'greatest threat to local policing' says police commissioner

The Northern Echo:

6:51pm Thursday 25th June 2015

A METRO mayor for Yorkshire would be the greatest threat to local policing, claims North Yorkshire police and crime commissioner Julia Mulligan.

Anger as council chief is paid almost £1,000 a day

The Northern Echo: PAY: Adam Wilkinson, the interim head of paid service at the North East Combined Authority, is to be paid almost £1,000 a day. Picture courtesy of Derby Telegraph.

6:16am Thursday 25th June 2015

A PART-TIME council chief's wages of almost £1,000 a day have been described as "totally wrong".

Durham man could have suffered heart attack due to medication, coroner rules

The Northern Echo: DEATH: Andrew Watt's body was found in a French country lane.

4:36pm Wednesday 24th June 2015

THE family of a man found dead in France say someone could have got away with murder after a coroner recorded an open verdict on the death.

North-East leaders urged to develop Great North Plan

The Northern Echo: CONSULTATION: North-East leaders are being urged to shape the future of the region’s economy by contributing to the development of a Great North Plan.

5:12am Wednesday 24th June 2015

NORTH-East leaders are being urged to shape the future of the region’s economy by contributing to the development of a Great North Plan capable of delivering a Northern Powerhouse.

Woman injured in supermarket basket collision

The Northern Echo: INCIDENT: A woman needed hospital treatment after being knocked over by staff member.

2:45pm Tuesday 23rd June 2015

A SUPERMARKET shopper needed hospital treatment after being knocked over by a shop worker.

Mother finds "discrepancies, incompetence and untruths' after investigating son's death in France

The Northern Echo: INVESTIGATION: Mother Julie Sheppard thinks her son Andrew, pictured, died after being chased

8:32am Tuesday 23rd June 2015

THE mother of a man found dead in France said she found "discrepancies, incompetence and untruths" when she travelled to the country to investigate the death herself after officials refused to help.

Just when you thought it was safe to go in water

6:34pm Friday 19th June 2015

IT had been a fairly quiet week and I was wondering if I was going to have to fill the column with my top ten favourite plants in the garden that people have given me but I don't know what they're called.

Planners launch legal action to remove Dales fishing bothy

The Northern Echo: HUT: The owners of the fishing bothy say it is unobtrusive.

2:51pm Friday 19th June 2015

A LANDOWNER says he is "staggered" by a national park authority's decision to take legal action over a wooden fishing bothy.

MPs urge rail bosses to keep guards on North-East trains

The Northern Echo: CHANGES: MPs says it is important guards remain on Northern

3:35pm Thursday 18th June 2015

MPs have called on rail bosses not to axe guards from North-East services amid fears of driver-only trains being introduced.

Alessandro's Sicilian, Richmond

The Northern Echo: SICILIAN: Co-owner of Alessandro's Restaurant in Richmond, Antonio Alessandro. Picture: CHRIS BOOTH

1:50pm Friday 26th June 2015

The offer of dining at Richmond's new Sicilian restaurant was one Joe Willis was pleased he didn't refuse.

Almost 15,000 affordable homes built in region in five years

The Northern Echo: NEW BUILD: Affordable homes built by Teesdale Housing Association in Teesdale.

4:43pm Wednesday 17th June 2015

ALMOST 15,000 affordable homes have been built in the North-East and North Yorkshire since 2010, new figures show.

Chloe becomes one of country's youngest councillors

The Northern Echo: VOLUNTEER: 18-year-old Chloe Harrison is one of the youngest councillors in the country.

4:39pm Wednesday 17th June 2015

A TEENAGER has become one of the youngest councillors in the country.

Pervert victim feels 'glimmer of hope' after meetings

The Northern Echo: STALKED: Mandy Dunford says she feels a glimmer of hope.

5:05am Wednesday 17th June 2015

A FARMER whose faces having to move home to escape her sex pervert neighbour says she feels a "glimmer of hope" after two politicians agreed to look at her case.

Low-paid North-East workers getting 'raw deal on transport funding'

The Northern Echo: UNFAIR: An unpopular Pacer at Darlington railway station. Picture: ANDY LAMB

12:40am Tuesday 16th June 2015

LOW-income households in the North-East are receiving much lower transport subsidies than those in London and the South-East, a new report claims.

Could Islamic State have threatened a takeaway?

3:32pm Friday 12th June 2015

THE oldest boy has passed his driving test. It's a significant milestone in anyone's life when you can go out for a meal, have a few drinks, and then ring a child to pick you up afterwards.

Grandson of First World War hero donates long-lost medal to museum

The Northern Echo: MEDAL: Chris Foote-Wood pictured with a medal he is donating to a museum Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT

3:14pm Thursday 11th June 2015

A MEDAL won by a First World War hero is to be donated to a museum, having turned up after being lost for 25 years.

Cyclist seriously injured in Yorkshire Dales crash

The Northern Echo:

8:29am Thursday 11th June 2015

A CYCLIST suffered serious injuries after falling off his bike in the Yorkshire Dales.

North-East councils still targetting irresponsible dog owners despite funding cuts

The Northern Echo: MESSAGE: Hambleton District Council's Cllr Phillips is pictured with dog warden Dave Granger applying a stencil in Easingwold.

7:44pm Wednesday 10th June 2015

NORTH-East councils say they will continue issuing fines to people who refuse to clean up after their dog - despite many councils across England no-longer handing out any fixed-penalty notices.

Dog lovers turn heroes

The Northern Echo: DONATION: Dog lovers who attend dog training classes run by Heather Stevens raised £525 for Hounds for Heroes.

5:05pm Wednesday 10th June 2015

A GROUP of dog lovers has handed over £525 to the Hounds for Heroes charity.

Stopping smoking could lift 34,000 North-East households out of poverty, campaign claims

The Northern Echo: WARNING: How smoking affects the North-East.

12:03am Wednesday 10th June 2015

TOBACCO companies should be forced to pay to reduce smoking, campaigners say as new figures show that quitting cigarettes could lift 34,000 households in the region out of poverty.

Winning team looks forward to new challenge

The Northern Echo: WINNERS: Leyburn Junior FC U10s. Back row from left; Aidan Simpson, Sam Margetts, Cameron Smith, Joe Mayer and Callum Fowler. Front row from left; Rhys Swift, Henry Wiltshire, Oli Hammond and Lewis Cartwright.

3:41pm Tuesday 9th June 2015

MEMBERS of Leyburn Junior FC U10s are celebrating successive league wins as the club looks forward to new challenges in a bigger league.

Judge who described burglar as "brave" retires

The Northern Echo: CRITICISED: Judge Peter Bowers, who sparked controversy by calling a burglar "brave", has retired.

1:10pm Tuesday 9th June 2015

A JUDGE who was reprimanded for saying burglars show a "huge amount of courage" to break into people’s homes has retired.

Murder post office to be turned into house

The Northern Echo:

5:09am Tuesday 9th June 2015

A VILLAGE store which was the scene of a brutal murder will not reopen, The Northern Echo understands.

Delivery driver discovers major fire in Richmond town centre

The Northern Echo:

7:45am Saturday 6th June 2015

TEN fire crews were called in to tackle a major fire in a row of shops in Richmond this morning.

Sample of Dales creativity brings on giggling fit

12:50pm Friday 5th June 2015

I FOR one cannot believe that the travellers took down the wire fence and posts on Bainbridge village green and parked up in their, ooh, scores on Friday last week.

Council gets keys to Northallerton Prison after £1.4m deal completed

The Northern Echo: DEAL: Cllr Peter Wilkinson (left) and Cllr Mark Robson, deputy leader and leader of Hambleton District Council, with the keys to Northallerton Prison.

6:02am Friday 5th June 2015

THE regeneration of Northallerton town centre has taken a step forward this week with the keys for the town's former prison handed over to Hambleton District Council.

Windlestone Hall row intensifies after buyer uses force to enter grounds

The Northern Echo: DISPUTE: Garry Moat's project advisor, John Gibson, talks to police as a barrier at Windlestone Hall is removed.

5:30am Wednesday 3rd June 2015

A BITTER dispute over ownership of historic Windlestone Hall has escalated after a businessman who says he has exchanged contracts on the property used force to enter the grounds.

Fishing hut built without planning permission set to prompt legal action

The Northern Echo: PLANNING: Officials are unhappy about the fishing hut on the River Ure below Aysgarth Falls, pictured.

11:36am Tuesday 2nd June 2015

PLANNING officials are looking to take enforcement action against an 'alien' fishing hut built without permission.

Councils accused of 'hoarding assets' after report reveals they own pubs, shops and farms

The Northern Echo: ASSETS: Stressholme Golf Club in Darlington (pictured) was owned by the council until 2013 when it was taken over by Blackwell Grange Golf Club.

12:03am Tuesday 2nd June 2015

CASH-STRAPPED councils in the region have been accused of hoarding assets after a report found they owned dozens of pubs, farms, shops and golf courses.

Dozens of drug drivers caught by new roadside tests

The Northern Echo: TESTING: Police officers drug test a driver in Hartlepool. Picture: STUART BOULTON.

12:20pm Monday 1st June 2015

DOZENS of motorists have been caught driving while under the influence of drugs by new roadside tests.

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.

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