• Call for crackdown on mast rules

    PLANNERS in Northallerton have joined those calling for stiffer regulations governing the erection of mobile phone masts around Britain. The Department of the Environment is consulting with councils on planning regulations which apply to telecommunication

  • Teenagers appeal for backing over skate park site

    A GROUP of Durham teenagers have called on their MP to intervene in a bid to create a much-needed skateboard park in their community. At the weekend, a delegation from the Peterlee Skate Park Action Group asked Easington MP John Cummins to help break

  • Forget Tyson

    ONLY subscribers to Sky Digital could watch the Lennox Lewis v David Tua fight live and they had to fork out an extra £11.95 for the privilege. As I refuse to have something resembling a wok on my house, deplore the idea of pay-per-view, and have long

  • Advice on call with health help line

    A TELEPHONE health helpline is being launched across Teesside today, in time for the winter rush of illnesses. NHS Direct has already proved popular in East and North Yorkshire, and from today, patients across Teesside will also have access to the service

  • Stories weave their magic with youngsters

    THOUSANDS of children and families converged on Durham at the weekend for the biggest annual children's book festival in Europe. The Northern Children's Book Festival's annual gala day, at County Hall, Durham, concluded two weeks of free events for children

  • Police make

    POLICE in Darlington are searching for a vulnerable woman who has gone missing. Angela Cummings, 33, (pictured) who is from the town, went missing on Saturday night, from Darlington Memorial Hospital, and has not contacted her parents or relatives since

  • Police setting up classroom council at school

    POLICE are setting up a classroom council under an initiative designed to give a town's young people a voice. Shildon community beat officers PC Clare Addison and PC Martin Slater are recruiting council members from the 628 11 to 16-year-olds at Sunnydale

  • Move to help threatened village shops

    VILLAGE shops and post offices in parts of North Yorkshire could have a better chance of survival if a local authority agrees later this week to improve its support network. Most councils already offer rate relief to ease the financial problems faced

  • Soap stars' trolley good show

    TWO famous faces competed in a trolley dash this weekend as they opened a North-East store. Coronation Street's Fred Elliot - played by John Savident - and Emmerdale's Jack Sugden - Clive Hornby in real life - were invited to attend the opening of the

  • Police seek canine recruits

    A POLICE force is looking for new recruits - of the four-legged kind. The dog section of Cleveland Police is looking for sociable dogs to be trained for police work. The recruits are needed because two of the team have just retired. The dogs should be

  • Communication award

    Two academics at the University of Newcastle Medical School have won the BUPA Foundation Communication Award. Dr John Spencer and the Rev. Bryan Vernon of the university's Department of Primary Health Care, developed a workshop for trainee doctors aimed

  • 'Teacher and child' were thieves

    POLICE are hunting thieves who posed as a teacher and schoolchild to steal from an elderly woman. The pair, an older man and a younger male, possibly a child aged between 12 and 14, approached the pensioner's house in Morpeth Close, Ferryhill, County

  • Graduates to be honoured

    THE first graduates of the new millennium will receive their degrees and certificates this week. The first of ten ceremonies organised by the University of Teesside takes place tomorrow, as 2,000 graduates are presented with their honours. The ceremonies

  • Suspended cop marks four years of waiting

    TODAY marks the fourth anniversary of beleaguered cop Ray Mallon's appointment as head of Middlesbrough CID. In 1996, Superintendent Mallon, who had previously worked in Hartlepool, was given his new role and brought his tough zero-tolerance style of

  • Fuel crisis sees firm close doors

    AN 80-year-old haulage business has reached the end of the road with management laying the blame firmly at the doors of numbers 10 and 11 Downing Street. J. Oughton (Hauliers) Ltd has been a permanent fixture in the County Durham business community, surviving

  • Out of the eye of the storm at last

    AFTER one last delay, the operation to lift the world's first rotating bridge on to its base on the River Tyne is finally expected to go ahead this morning. The £22m Gateshead Millennium Bridge was lifted from its construction site at Amec Hadrian Yard

  • Best of brass do battle in national contest

    HUNDREDS of music lovers listened as a dozen of the country's top brass bands battled for glory yesterday. The TUC Brass in Concert Championships saw 11 British bands and one from Norway compete for the £2,000 first place prize and trophy at Spennymoor

  • Call to cash in on Lottery

    ORGANISATIONS in Hartlepool are being urged to attend roadshows to find out how they can win cash from the National Lottery. Awards for All grants, of between £500 and £5,000, are allocated to community groups, sporting organisations and local schools

  • Not just one backseat driver, but 18

    THERE was room for 18 back seat drivers in a family car as a group of North-East students proved when they set out to raise cash for Children in Need. A total of 19 sixth-form students crammed into a five-seater VW Golf as part of a series of fundraising

  • Chilly challenge for toni

    A TRAVEL agent is going to the dogs in March, for her trip of a lifetime. Toni Inns, 19, of Middlesbrough, is preparing to go with a team of huskies to the Arctic Circle. She is hoping her challenge will help to raise money for the Disability Living Foundation

  • Defiant Boro chief issues rallying call

    EMBATTLED Middlesbrough boss Bryan Robson yesterday moved to head-off any hint of a players' revolt when he issued a call for unity at a crisis meeting with his first-team squad. Boro have denied suggestions that out-of-favour duo Hamilton Ricard and

  • Beeb accuses ITV of millionaire sabotage

    A BITTER wrangle broke out between TV bosses last night over the first £1m win on quiz show Who Wants to be a Millionaire? A huge audience saw TV history made as grandmother Judith Keppel become the first person to scoop the top prize on the ITV show

  • Search launched for owner of seat

    RIVERS can deposit all sorts of surprises when they've been in full flood - but one North Yorkshire farmer is hoping someone, somewhere can help him trace the owners of an unusual piece of property which ended up on his land. Brian Swinbank, of Myton-on-Swale

  • Quakers boss closes in on striker

    Darlington manager Gary Bennett is closing in on a new striker. But Quakers won't be changing their no-fee policy and Bennett admitted: "Even some players available on a free would want somewhere around £150,000 a year. "The chairman isn't wanting to

  • Bobby may miss out on Dalglish windfall

    CASH-STRAPPED Newcastle United boss Bobby Robson looks set to miss out on a £200,000 windfall from the deal which took Paul Dalglish to Norwich City. Every penny counts for Robson, who is stepping up his interest in Tenerife's Argentinian star Pablo Paz

  • Your letters

    RAILWAYS IN the light of recent events, could I ask the following questions? If Railtrack is now replacing cracked rails, will it be using quality metal? I am sure the people who were faced with redundancies and closures in the steel business in this

  • Putting the boot in on the hooligans

    TWO tribes face each other across the killing ground. Scores of them ready to do battle, bloodlust running high. Some are armed, others ready for hand to hand combat. Intoxicated with liquor, dressed in their unique colours and chanting an offensive litany

  • Panto fun in store

    THE stars of Middlesbrough Theatre's pantomime brought some festive magic to shoppers at the weekend. Aladdin and the rest of the cast were at Morrisons on Teesside Retail Park from 10am to encourage people to come to see their show. Included in the cast

  • Toddler died after doctors' flu diagnosis

    A TODDLER died four days after being sent home with what doctors diagnosed as flu symptoms. An inquiry has been launched after 19-month-old Hasaan Maroof was examined by three doctors before he was released from Newcastle General Hospital, Tyneside. His

  • Authority urged to scrap secret set-up

    A COUNCIL is this week expected to agree to open previously-secret cabinet meetings to the Press and members of the public. A full meeting of Sedgefield Borough Council is being recommended to open up the authority's meetings to public scrutiny. It follows

  • How passengers helped to save stricken aircraft

    TERRIFIED passengers helped avoid a possible jet crash - by shifting seats to the front of the stricken plane. The worried travellers knew there was something wrong when the aircraft began to vibrate minutes before it was due to land in Paris earlier

  • Doctor sacked for affair to fight for his job back

    A SURGEON who was sacked after having an affair with a patient has appealed against his dismissal, it was confirmed last night. Consultant gynaecologist Neil Hebblethwaite is attempting to win back his old job at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton

  • Bridge design catches the eye

    VISIONARY engineers have created a world first in the North-East. Gateshead's Millennium Bridge made a two-hour journey by giant crane up the River Tyne from the Amec yard, at Wallsend, yesterday before being lowered into place next to the new Baltic

  • RAF chef Lee cooks up Olympic triumph

    CORPORAL Lee Corke has returned to work as a chef at RAF Leeming, clutching gold and silver from the World Culinary Olympics. The event was held at Erfurt, in Germany, and Lee was part of a six-man team representing Britain's combined services. The team

  • Bangladeshi centre opens

    THE first Bangladeshi community centre in the North-East was opened yesterday. Presiding over the ceremony at Hendon, Sunderland, was Bangladeshi economic minister Yeahyea Choudhury, joined by the city's Mayor, Councillor Brian Dodds. Banks of the Wear

  • Students head for the slippery slopes

    SPENDING the winter in a ski resort and being paid must be every student's idea of a dream job. Now, a set of courses pioneered by Darlington College have given four students the chance to make that dream come true. In partnership with senior English

  • Sun shines on mark

    DAMP days will be forgotten by businessman Mark Sutton who has won a trip to Portugal. Mark, 29, of Boldon, South Tyneside, won the holiday while representing travel firm Freedom Direct at the Association of British Travel Agents conference on the Greek

  • Council directors' jobs to be lost in shake-up

    A COUNCIL is shedding some of its directors' posts under a major shake-up of its services. From next April, Wear Valley District Council will be streamlined into four departments instead of the present eight, with a chief executive at the helm. The move

  • Something new for the New Year

    A RELIGIOUS service with a difference has been promised in Newcastle on New Year's Eve. The Reverend Kit Widdows, of St Thomas the Martyr Church, said he would preach something for all faiths as he delivers his message from the Haymarket stage at 5.40pm

  • Cars targeted in night raids

    CARS in Spennymoor were targeted in a series of overnight raids. In the early hours of Saturday, a Peugeot Boxer van in Whitworth Meadows had a window smashed and a black Nike three-quarter length coat was taken, plus a Nokia mobile telephone. Police

  • Bobbies get back on their bikes

    BEAT bobbies have returned to traditional ways of patrolling on Teesside's largest housing estate. Two top-of-the-range mountain bikes have been given to Ingleby Barwick beat officers PCs Kevin Stockley and Dave Sanders by the local Safeway store. Ingleby

  • Bird Oscars honour for N-E woman

    A WOMAN from the region is to judge at the Oscars of the bird world next month. Liz Murry, from Stockton, has been chosen for the judging panel at the National Cage and Aviary Birds Exhibition, at the NEC Birmingham. The biggest bird show of the year

  • Burning Questions

    A friend of mine says hundreds of planets have been discovered in the last few years. Is he right? - J Anderson, Houghton-le-Spring. I understand that, with the exception of the nine planets of our solar system, more than 50 planets were identified by

  • Business backs cameras bid

    A group of business people from Eston have supported a bid from Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council to bid for Home Office money for new CCTV cameras. It is hoped new security cameras in the town will encourage more development the area by reducing crime

  • £1m centre to boost education

    A £1.2M learning centre for music, dance and IT is planned for Hartlepool. The City Learning Centre at Dyke House Secondary School will benefit all 11 to 16-year-olds in the town, who will be able to use its facilities. Hartlepool Borough Council is due

  • Fallen hero's memory lives on

    A REMARKABLE story of remembrance keeps fallen hero Frank Howse's name alive. On each anniversary of his death, in Korea in June 1954, his sister, Emma Hall, receives a long-distance telephone call from her brother's best friend. A cruel trick of fate

  • Business leaders back caution on euro

    A SURVEY showing that Britain's biggest businesses are reluctant to bang the drum for British entry into the European single currency, was welcomed by opposition leaders last night. The poll of 109 chief executives of leading companies found a seven-to-one

  • Big medals haul for dance academy

    DANCERS aged between four and 65 won 83 medals at a national championships. The 26 members of Dianne White's Academy of Dance, Shildon, attended the UK Alliance Medallist of the Year Competition at Blackpool. "We got 83 medals and 31 of them are first

  • Government's urban renewal plans praised

    A PLAN to give more funds to urban areas has been praised by the leader of Stockton Borough Council. Councillor Bob Gibson has welcomed the Government's vision for cities of the future, announced earlier this week. The proposals include new powers for

  • Santa post service

    FATHER Christmas's elves will be leaving special post boxes in Newton Aycliffe again this year. All children who post their letter to Father Christmas in the boxes will receive a reply from Greenland. Parents are asked to check that the child's name and

  • Police urge vice girl's clients to help with hunt

    DETECTIVES hunting a prostitute's killer have warned her clients they may be visited at home. Officers have spoken to more than 500 people since the body of Vicky Glass was found on moorland near Danby, in North Yorkshire, on November 3. A team of 40

  • Groups receive £5,000 award

    TWO Teesside groups are £5,000 better off thanks to an awards scheme. The Middlesbrough Refuge and the North Tees Breast Screening Unit benefited from the Tees Valley Women of Achievement Awards. The scheme aims to highlight the achievements of Tees Valley

  • Cost of drugs poses threat to operations

    DOCTORS who fear they may have to put the brakes on health spending because of the spiralling costs of drugs have launched an appeal aimed at North-East patients. Thousands of leaflets are being distributed to practices in the Darlington area in a bid

  • Tourism boom 'likely to continue'

    THE growing importance of tourism to the Tees Valley has been highlighted in a new study. A report by the Tees Valley Development Company (TVDC) shows that tourism supports more than 10,000 jobs. In recent years the tourism industry has grown, with a

  • Green initiative aims to reduce energy usage

    TEESDALE District Council is doing its bit to help protect the environment and reduce global warming. As part of its environmental policy, the authority is closely monitoring the use of water and energy and is setting targets for reduction. In 1999/2000

  • Wargame fans go on display

    TWO disabled wargame enthusiasts are staging a massive model-making rally in aid of a Teesside charity. David Clemmet and Thomas Davidson are hosting an exhibition, called Parade Ground 2000, at Stockton Sports Centre on Saturday. It will include demonstrations

  • Disabled parking abuse in spotlight

    A MONTH-LONG campaign to stop misuse of parking permit badges meant for disabled drivers is to be launched in Darlington. Although widely known as orange badges, since April this year their colour has changed to conform with the European Blue Badge scheme

  • Dramatic way to plan for a future career

    TEENAGERS looking for career ideas are being encouraged to make a drama out of their future plans. Touring theatre group Cragrats has been recruited to liven up a careers advice event for pupils due to leave Sunnydale School, Shildon, next summer. The

  • Celebration for diamond pair

    A RETIRED police sergeant and his wife celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary at the weekend. David Hodgson, 81, and his wife Winifred, 79, enjoyed a lunch with 42 guests at Kensington Hall, in their home town of Willington, on their anniversary

  • More villages to get their say on design

    MORE North Yorkshire communities are to be given a say on the design of new buildings in their villages. Hutton Rudby was the first to produce a Village Design Statement - a document which is passed to architects to help them come up with something which

  • Youngsters camp out for charity

    YOUNGSTERS from a North-East church slept rough this weekend to raise money for children living on the streets. The Youth Fellowship from Hutton Rudby Methodist Church, in Cleveland, slept outside the church in cardboard boxes on Saturday to highlight

  • Still 450 more miles to row

    A LONG distance rower has completed a quarter of a marathon charity voyage - without getting his feet wet. Cleveland Police community safety officer Harry Simpson has rowed 150 miles in the gym at the police headquarters, leaving 450 miles of his challenge

  • Authority is top business

    A LOCAL authority's finance department is celebrating being named the best business in the region. The department at Stockton Borough Council was awarded the overall winner title at the North-East Excellence Awards 2000. It is the first public sector

  • Decision to cancel trains criticised

    A TRANSPORT pressure group has criticised Northern Spirit for stopping all trains between Middlesbrough and Sunderland because of a landslide. The Tees Valley group of Transport 2000 says that despite the landslide last Wednesday, which was caused by

  • Firefighter's record lift

    A FIREfighter has broken the record for the biggest fish caught at a North-East reservoir. Mark Hayes caught a rainbow trout weighing 19lb 6oz at Northumbrian Waters's Derwent reservoir - almost doubling the existing record. Green watch sub officer Mark

  • Hideaway strictly for bird lovers

    VOLUNTEERS at a country park hope to have helped bird watchers blend into the scenery by taking part in a workshop at the weekend. Countryside wardens at Stillington Forest Park, near Stockton, invited people to help create a bird watching screen for

  • Track suits Wren

    WREN WARBLER will take some catching at Market Rasen today, provided she adopts her normal forcing tactics. Twice last season the ten-year-old mare ran the opposition ragged at Ludlow and Taunton with a brace of pulsating pillar-to-post victories. In

  • 'Give cheated elderly their money back'

    CAMPAIGNERS have called on the Government to repay North-East pensioners thousands of pounds they were cheated out of through computer errors. The national Campaign against Pensioners' Poverty, based in Newcastle, was reacting to news that about 25,000

  • Interprise wins regional support

    INTERPISE 2001 - Technologies for the Future continues to gain momentum. The major business partnering event to be staged by County Durham Development Company (CDDC) at County Hall, Durham, next March is attracting regional supporters of a high order.

  • Food for thought

    Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP Ashok Kumar staged a fast for Oxfam's Give it Up event, to help street children in Tanzania. Participants raised funds by giving up something they take for granted, such as food or shelter. Mr Kumar said: "In

  • Pat gives up on wedded bliss

    Serial bride Pat Higgins is going it alone - after dumping her sixth husband. Tying the knot once might be quite enough for most women, but not post-graduate student Pat, 46. Three years ago she got married to Philip Pendlington, 20, after he fooled his

  • Shame of PC

    A POLICEMAN resigned when he woke up in his own cells after a drunken brawl, a court heard yesterday. Special Constable Ronald Wall, 43, celebrated his son's Army passing out parade with too many drinks in the police club in Stockton, said Helen Gamble

  • Study into gay ban removal effect

    TROOPS have not been affected by the lifting of the ban on gays serving in the armed forces. A report by the Ministry of Defence has revealed no effect on the morale or effectiveness of troops, including those at Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire,

  • Crackdown on drink-drivers

    DRINK-drivers were targeted at the weekend as police took part in a Europe-wide road safety crackdown. From 6am on Saturday until 6am Sunday, Cleveland Police joined with forces across Europe to try to catch drivers over the limit. Cleveland officers

  • Car crashes into horse trough

    POLICE have appealed for witnesses to an accident in which a car failed to negotiate a bend in the road and collided with a horse trough. The accident happened at the corner of the A1018 and B1287 Seaham Road at Ryhope Village, Sunderland, at 11.40pm

  • Long-distance walkers cheque in with £2,300

    THREE Wensleydale men with a total age of 210, who walked 191 miles from coast to coast, have handed a cheque for £2,300 to Yorkshire Cancer Research. Jack Shepherd, 74, of West Witton, Tony Doyle, 67, and Jim Rollinson, 69, of Middleham, took 96 hours

  • Village heritage mapped

    An illustrated guide has been produced featuring the Shotley Bridge Heritage Trail. The guide, containing three walks around the village, highlighting points of interest, has been produced by Shotley Bridge Village Trust. Each walk is circular, starting

  • Behaviour orders for youths

    ESTATE residents are celebrating the slapping of anti-social behaviour orders on three youths found to have caused repeated nuisance and intimidation. The orders, which are the first to be issued by magistrates in Gateshead, were obtained jointly by the

  • Star shines at switch-on of festive lights

    CROWDS of fans turned up last night to see pop star Billie Piper turn on Middlesbrough's Christmas lights. Billie was the star of a TFM radio roadshow organised to coincide with the festive switch-on. The young star, whose latest single Walk of Life is

  • Santa rolls into town

    FATHER Christmas arrived in Middlesbrough at the weekend to get the seasonal celebrations under way. Santa took up residence in the Cleveland Shopping Centre, on Saturday, as part of an animated display based on the story of The Snowman by Raymond Briggs

  • Thieves cut short students' visit

    SEVEN German students are having to cut their trip to Darlington short after thieves stole all their money. The students, from Bremen in north Germany, arrived last week to gain experience of working with various organisations in Darlington. But on Monday

  • Final chapter of a disaster zone

    WHEN the idea of building the Dome was conceived, it was promised it would be a lasting landmark to the nation's celebration of the third millennium. Tragically, within a few days of the new millennium it was apparent it would fall way below those high

  • Pits heritage will be recalled

    AN exhibition depicting the mining and industrial heritage of north-west Durham will be staged next weekend. The new Dipton Local History Group will hold the event in Dipton Community Centre, near Consett, on Saturday. Most of the items on display will

  • Wendy drops in

    A NEW hospital catering for the needs of sick reptiles was officially opened by animal-loving celebrity Wendy Turner Webster at the weekend. Wendy, of Channel Four's Pet Rescue, was on hand to perform the honours at the Reptile Trust, in Burnopfield,