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Joe Willis

The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author

Joe Willis LATEST

What would Lemmy do?

The Northern Echo: DINOSAUR REQUEST: What would Lemmy do?

7:46am Friday 28th August 2015

I WALKED out of the house yesterday to find a large, dead fish on the road. It looked like an over-sized goldfish, although it could have been something more exotic.

Yorkshire council leaders draw up rival devolution bids

The Northern Echo: TALKS: North Yorkshire County Council leader Carl Les says negotiations will go to the wire.

4:53pm Thursday 27th August 2015

COMPLEX negotiations are underway to agree the future governance of Yorkshire with rival bids set to battle it out for devolved powers and funding.

Colburn mum thanks kind-hearted community for help to replace son's stolen car

The Northern Echo:

4:02am Thursday 27th August 2015

A MOTHER says she has been overwhelmed by the kindness of friends and strangers who have helped her replace her son's stolen car.

Devolved skills funding 'essential' for region's economic development

The Northern Echo: OPPORTUITY: Apprentice Anthony Butler at SW Durham Training in Newton Aycliffe.

4:02am Wednesday 26th August 2015

As The Northern Echo continues its Power to the North series on the bid for greater powers, Joe Willis assesses the benefit to economic development of devolved skills funding.

250,000 people in North-East at risk of type 2 diabetes

The Northern Echo: RISK: A nurse gives a patient a diabetes test.

12:03am Wednesday 26th August 2015

ALMOST a quarter of a million people in the North-East are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes which can lead to blindness, amputations and a stroke, experts have warned.

Tractor fire causes delays for motorists in Richmond

The Northern Echo: BLAZE: A tractor fire caused delays for motorists in Richmond.

2:01pm Monday 24th August 2015

A TRACTOR fire closed roads in a North Yorkshire market town today (Monday, August 24).

Police notified after County Durham voters sent two postal packs

The Northern Echo: VOTING: The police and Electoral Commission have been notified after voters in County Durham receive two postal packs.

4:02am Saturday 22nd August 2015

THE police and Electoral Commission have been notified after voters in County Durham received two postal packs ahead of a local election.

York school has best A-level results in region

The Northern Echo: SUCCESS: Newcastle Utd manager Steve McClaren with son Josh, who collected his results at Yarm School.

4:02am Saturday 22nd August 2015

THE Mount School in York recorded the best A-level results in the region for a fee-paying school, a study found.

Dales artists take moorland artwork to London

The Northern Echo: ARTWORK: Judith Bromley with paintings boxed up ready for London exhibition.

3:00pm Friday 21st August 2015

TWO artists have taken their work capturing the sights and sounds of moorland in the Yorkshire Dales to the heart of the city.

Catterick Garrison junction upgrades must be welcomed

The Northern Echo:

12:59pm Friday 21st August 2015

A £1.6 MILLION scheme to improve traffic flow along the A6136 in the Catterick Garrison area was announced this week.

Volunteers wanted to keep Yorkshire Dales National Park in good shape

The Northern Echo: BEAUTY: A species-rich wildflower meadow in Dentdale.

12:55pm Friday 21st August 2015

VOLUNTEERS are needed to join the team helping to keep the Yorkshire Dales National Park in top shape.

Where have all the crayfish gone?

The Northern Echo: MISSING: Crayfish appear not to be as common in the River Use as they once were.

7:27am Friday 21st August 2015

ISN'T that just great. RAF Menwith Hill, in the posh bit of the Dales at the bottom, features on an Isis hit-list. They apparently want to attack it with nuclear and/or chemical weapons because it gathers intelligence for the US military.

Teenager cautioned after fly fisherman assaulted in Yorkshire Dales

The Northern Echo: ATTACK: The man suffered facial injuries in the incident on the banks of the River Ure, near Redmire, pictured.

4:08am Wednesday 19th August 2015

A TEENAGER has been cautioned after a fisherman was attacked while fly fishing in the Yorkshire Dales.

Dales councillors hot and bothered over shades of grey pub paint job

The Northern Echo: COMPLAINT: Councillors have complained about the colour of the King’s Head pub in Grove Square, Leyburn.

4:08am Wednesday 19th August 2015

A PUB'S new paintwork has left community leaders reaching for the rule book.

Serious failings by doctors 'compounded family's grief', watchdog finds

The Northern Echo:

7:10am Wednesday 19th August 2015

DOCTORS have been accused of "serious failings" after a misdiagnosis of a pensioner's lung condition was found to have compounded his family's grief.

Farmers threaten to step-up protests over milk prices as Ministers hold talks

The Northern Echo: PROTEST: Farmers buy milk at Asda in Stockton earlier this month. PIC: ITV Tyne Tees.

5:53pm Monday 17th August 2015

FARMERS in the region have warned supermarkets they will step up the protests if talks to increase the price they receive for their milk do not bring about change.

Jack and Amelia remain the region's most popular baby names

The Northern Echo: Oliver Cheshire and former X Factor star Amelia Lily are thought to have inspired people' choice of names for their babies.

5:47pm Monday 17th August 2015

JACK and Amelia were the most popular names given to babies born in the North-East in 2014.

Rabbit rescuer says road builders are 'big softies' after handing in baby bunnies

The Northern Echo: LUCKY SEVEN: Bunny Burrows in Richmond have rescued baby rabbits from the A1 roadworks. Erin Hutchinson (11) and Rhianna Bromley (16) with the rabbits. Picture: CHRIS BOOTH

7:14am Saturday 15th August 2015

BABY rabbits found on the site of a new motorway are looked bright-eyed and bushy-tailed after being handed in to an animal rescue centre.

North-East GP shortage means 7-day service is "undeliverable"

The Northern Echo:

12:07am Saturday 15th August 2015

A CHRONIC shortage of trainee GPs in the North-East means Government plans to introduce seven-day opening for doctors' surgeries are "undeliverable", the medics' union has warned.

Are apprenticeships just conning school leavers?

The Northern Echo: Students at Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College, in Darlington, collect their A-level results. Picture: CHRIS BOOTH

5:02pm Friday 14th August 2015

PEOPLE sometimes say to me "Joe, what on earth was the column about this week?"

Review: Amontola Indian Restaurant

The Northern Echo: REVIEW: Amontola Indian Restaurant in Richmond. Picture: TOM BANKS

4:58pm Friday 14th August 2015

IT was a Saturday evening, or it could have been a Tuesday lunchtime. Sarah wore white, linen trousers or perhaps they were blue jeans. I needed a stiff drink beforehand, yes I definitely needed a drink beforehand.

Spitfires grace the region's skies to mark beginning of the Battle of Britain

The Northern Echo: FLYING PROUD: Four spitfires fly over RAF Leeming to mark the anniversary of The Battle of Britain. Picture: CHRIS BOOTH (35126115)

6:37pm Thursday 13th August 2015

THE public got the chance to look back on a pivotal moment of British history when four iconic Spitfires flew over the region to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of Eagle Attack.

Small beer

The Northern Echo:

4:00pm Wednesday 12th August 2015

I read with interest the sharply contrasting criticisms of two of our local authorities this week (D&S, August 7).

In Yorkshire

The Northern Echo:

4:00pm Wednesday 12th August 2015

Your editor was obviously being deliberately provocative in the D&S on July 31, one day before Yorkshire Day, by publishing a photograph of Bowes, which was erroneously labelled as being in County Durham and then reviewing a restaurant in Mickleton, again saying that it is in County Durham. Neither is true. They are both firmly in the North Riding of Yorkshire and the Wapentake of Gilling West. In 1974 there may have been changes to areas of jurisdiction and administration but the geographical counties did not change, with rivers and water-sheds remaining as boundaries. Everything south of the River Tees is in Yorkshire.

Dales bus service

The Northern Echo:

3:53pm Wednesday 12th August 2015

Recently, I used the bus service called The Wensleydale Flyer for the first time.

A1 closed amid concerns for man on bridge

The Northern Echo: CONCERN: North Yorkshire Police said they were called at 12.30am after a man was seen at Catterick Bridge, near Richmond.

11:27am Wednesday 12th August 2015

THE A1 was closed this morning after police received reports of a man on a bridge over the dual-carriageway.

Extreme weather leaves gamekeepers predicting inglorious 12th

The Northern Echo: GLORIOUS: Grouse shooting on the moors of County Durham.

4:34pm Tuesday 11th August 2015

GAMEKEEPERS are predicting that extreme weather conditions will mean an inglorious twelfth ahead of the traditional start to the grouse shooting season.

North-East £15m public health cuts 'hitting the poorest hardest'

The Northern Echo: CUTS: School nurse Emma Cook gives a girl her HPV jab, cervical cancer vaccine, at King James I School, Bishop Auckland.

8:10pm Monday 10th August 2015

MINISTERS' plans to axe £15 million from the region's public health budget will hit the "poorest hardest", critics warn with suicide prevention, school nurses and sexual health among the services facing cuts.

Farmers buy up supermarket milk stocks in protest at prices

6:39pm Friday 7th August 2015

FARMERS emptied a supermarket's shelves of milk in protest at the price they are paid for the liquid.

North-East disposable income levels lowest in country

The Northern Echo: SPARE CASH: The North-East's disposable income levels are the lowest in the country.

5:47pm Friday 7th August 2015

THE North-East has the lowest disposable income levels in the country, analysis shows as experts warn the so-called Northern Powerhouse has a long way to go before people feels its benefits in their pockets.

Have you any ideas what this building might be?

The Northern Echo: Have you any ideas what this building might be?

4:02pm Friday 7th August 2015

I SPOTTED this building recently. "What on earth is that? I thought despite it being obvious that it's clearly some kind of cold war spy listening device and/or a weapon for shooting asylum seekers attempting to get into the UK by clinging to a drone, which has been hidden in a traditional Dales barn near Ellingstring, a village nestling among the hills between Masham and Middleham.

North Yorks police commissioner rejects claim her office is too expensive

The Northern Echo:

5:04am Friday 7th August 2015

A POLICE and crime commissioner has rejected campaigners' claims she costs the public more than the police authority she was elected to replace.

Labour leadership: What you need to know

The Northern Echo:

6:50am Thursday 6th August 2015

Labour is searching for a new leader, but how will the process work? Joe Willis finds out.

Sex pervert victim's fear after tormentor's chilling televised threats

The Northern Echo: PERVERT: Ken Ward spent nine years harassing his neighbour.

12:10pm Wednesday 5th August 2015

A WOMAN sexually harassed by her neighbour for nine years says the pervert will "not let things rest" after he made a chilling threat on national television.

Change needed in Labour leadership vote

The Northern Echo:

3:02pm Tuesday 4th August 2015

Sir, - 15-years-ago the Labour Party had rules against entryism - the practice of new people joining to vote for a particular candidate in a selection contest.

Thanks to everyone who attended Just the Job coffee morning

The Northern Echo:

2:42pm Tuesday 4th August 2015

Sir, – Thank you to everyone who attended our coffee morning in Richmond Town Hall on Saturday, July 25 not forgetting our small army of helpers including hard-working staff, loyal volunteers and dedicated mums, dads and carers.

Exhibition success for tiny village

The Northern Echo:

2:35pm Tuesday 4th August 2015

Sir, – Who would have believed in a tiny village of less than 100 households so much talent could be nestled.

Cheap shot at council

The Northern Echo:

2:27pm Tuesday 4th August 2015

Sir, – District councillor Tony Pelton wrote last week about a district council matter - bin collecting.

Gobsmacked over pub complaints

The Northern Echo:

12:24pm Tuesday 4th August 2015

Sir, – I am gobsmacked to see Leyburn town councillors have referred the recent refurbishment of the King's Head pub to the district council. Why? This pub has been upgraded and refurbished by the new owners; it looks clean, tidy and refreshed and is further complemented with hanging baskets and tubs - very inviting to locals and visitors alike. The fact it is painted grey is no different to some other businesses in the town. Furthermore, it might sit in the Conservation area but people will recall the eco-house development that was approved by the district council despite being totally out of character, so what difference will a touch of new paint on an existing building make? I also note the whining about a satellite dish on a building frontage and again, this is no different to TV aerials on other buildings in the square and when challenged previously, Richmondshire District Council said these were not covered in conservation area guidance. Perhaps Leyburn Town Council should spend more time looking at the decision made in 2012 to ensure the town toilets did not become a cost burden to the rate payers of the town. Councillors will recall that if the donation system did not raise sufficient funds, coin operated systems would be installed – this has been ignored but is certainly more of an issue than some local business owner tidying up an otherwise tired looking building.

Bedale bypass conundrum

The Northern Echo:

12:14pm Tuesday 4th August 2015

Sir, – The conundrum being asked is will the new bypass be good or bad for Bedale?

Dismayed to hear lost and found property is no longer a police matter

The Northern Echo:

11:58am Tuesday 4th August 2015

Sir, – Having spoken to our police and crime commissioner during her visit to Leyburn this week, I was dismayed to learn that lost and found property is no longer a police matter. “What has lost property got to do with the police?” was what she said. All my life I have been led to believe that you take something you find to the police station, and I don’t just say that as a policeman’s daughter. I took an informal poll of people I know to see what they would do if they found something of value which had nothing on it to identify the owner. Without exception they all said they would take it to the police station. As the police station in Leyburn is now never open to the public, that would be a waste of time anyway, but it does prompt me to ask what are we supposed to do? Does a ‘finders keepers’ rule now apply?

Veiled threats on parking

The Northern Echo:

11:55am Tuesday 4th August 2015

Sir, – I read with interest your article on the £600,000 Bedale car park to go ahead following an about turn by council bosses (D&S, July 24).

Housing concerns

The Northern Echo:

11:16am Tuesday 4th August 2015

Sir, – The key issue underpinning my call for an exemption to the Government’s housing policy, giving the right to buy to housing association tenants and the auctioning of the highest value council houses, for communities of under 2000 is the doom these policies will bring for their bright future.

Community rugby club welcomes donation of ipads to aid coaching

The Northern Echo: DONATION: John Marshall, left, from A1 Tank Services, hands over the ipods to coaches and players from Wensleydale RUFC.

9:12pm Sunday 2nd August 2015

A COMMUNITY rugby club has welcomed a gift of two ipads to help with coaching sessions

Fraudster jailed for fleecing his fiancée and leaving her business on brink

The Northern Echo: Gannett cash (32222702)

4:19pm Friday 31st July 2015

A FRAUDSTER is behind bars for fleecing his fiancée by using her details to apply for loans and credit - and leaving her business on the brink.

Beloved rural show ready for Hollywood reboot

The Northern Echo: Christopher Timothy as James Herriot for BBC's All Creatures Great and Small

2:08pm Friday 31st July 2015

OMG as the kids say. They're going to make a Hollywood version of All Creatures Great and Small. And it's going to be "sexier and glossier". I do hope their is a film executive somewhere in LA desperately trying to work out he how to make a man with his arm up the back of a cow look sexy and glossy.

Sex pervert neighbour - who exposed himself for NINE years - denies scaring victim

The Northern Echo: SORRY: Ken Ward says he is sorry for harassing his neighbour - but doesn't believe he caused her distress.

8:29am Thursday 30th July 2015

A MILITARY fanatic who repeatedly exposed himself and performed a sex act in front of his neighbour says he does not believe he caused his victim any distress.

KFC denies rumours of free food for customers who camp out in Colonel Sanders costumes

The Northern Echo: RUMOUR: KFC denies rumours of free food for Colonel Sanders campers at its new Catterick restaurant.

10:50pm Wednesday 29th July 2015

BOSSES at restaurant chain KFC have denied they will be offering free food to anyone who dresses up as Colonel Sanders and camps outside a new store.

'Our finances are in good shape' says Darlington RFC as Quakers groundshare talks stall

The Northern Echo: Blackwell Meadows Rugby Club, Darlington.  (33586132)

11:40pm Wednesday 29th July 2015

DARLINGTON Rugby Football Club (DRFC) has turned a corner and is back in the black, say club bosses amid rumours its finances are standing in the way of the groundshare with the Quakers.

What would you do if you saw a rabbit suffering by the roadside?

The Northern Echo: What is the most humane thing to do when you see a rabbit suffering by the roadside?

6:04pm Tuesday 28th July 2015

I'M going to start by touching on a potentially distasteful subject. The cute stuff about the kids will be along soon enough, but you will have to skip to about the sixth of seven paragraph if you want to miss the controversy. Yeah, I didn't think so.

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