• Dealer denies antiques charge

    AN antiques dealer has appeared in court accused of handling an unusual jewelled exhibit stolen six years ago from a North-East museum. Kenneth George Markworth, 49, denied a charge of handling the antique mechanical mouse, worth £90,000, when he appeared

  • £10,000 grant bonus for kids' out-of-hours club

    A CHILDREN'S club is to receive a £10,000 boost to enable it to accommodate more youngsters. The Beehive Out of School Club, based at Hurworth House School, Hurworth, near Darlington, will receive the money over the next three years. The cash will pay

  • Officer is pulled from his horse

    A MOUNTED police officer was pulled from his horse as he tried to arrest a thug following Saturday's Wear-Tees football derby. The officer was warning a man about his behaviour after the match, when Sunderland beat rivals Middlesbrough 1-0. He was about

  • Steve helping needy children

    Joiner Steve Greenfield and volunteers have converted an empty shop he owns into a Santa's grotto, which opened for business this week. Steve, of GHS Joiners, has joined forces with radio station Galaxy 105, and Sainsbury's, to see that every child in

  • Gill to offer cut-price tickets for Dublin launch

    A NEW air service from the North-East to Dublin will begin in the new year - with a starting return price of just £39. That was the announcement from Gill Airways last night who reaffirmed details of the launch of its new service from Newcastle to the

  • Stage is set for a dickens of a classic

    AMATEUR actors in Darlington are getting into the festive spirit by staging the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol. St Augustine's Repertory Society are performing the show from tomorrow night, at 7.30pm, at St Augustine's Parish Centre, until

  • Waste wood is fuel for school

    TESTS have confirmed the viability of a system which recycles waste wood from landfill sites into an alternative to coal for school boilers. Durham County Council, backed by £63,500 of landfill tax credit funding from the County Durham Environmental Trust

  • Planning and the law in perfect harmony

    THE decision by a North-East law firm to form a dedicated team providing a fully integrated legal and planning service to clients has paid off as the firm looks to take the facility into its next stage of development. Ward Hadaway's planning and development

  • Punishment more fitting to the crime

    'TOUGH on crime, tough on the causes of crime." We all remember that. And our hollow laughter rings out. The Tories are right to highlight the decline in police manpower, now down by about 3,000 since the General Election, against that "tough on crime

  • Merger date set for Glaxo

    MORE than 1,500 North-East workers at pharmaceutical group Glaxo Wellcome will discover early in the new year the immediate effects of its merger with SmithKline Beecham. The pharmaceutical giants are set to win the race to complete the deal to form GlaxoSmithKline

  • Beat bobbies have speeders in range

    BEAT bobbies are to be armed with radar speed guns to tackle speeding drivers on housing estates. Ten officers from Durham Constabulary have been trained to use the Muni Quip radar speed detector, which enables them to monitor stretches of road where

  • Traders condemn cigarette tax scam

    CHILDREN are buying smuggled cigarettes at cheap prices from organised criminal gangs operating in the North-East. Shopkeepers losing millions of pounds from falling tobacco sales say that the crooks do not care who they sell to. Retailers went on the

  • Crunch time for Shearer

    Alan Shearer's season is on the line following the third - and final - injection in his problem knee. The 30-year-old Newcastle striker, out for the last two games, may need an operation if the latest steroid treatment proves unsuccessful. That would

  • Hartlepool chief insists Turner stays

    HARTLEPOOL United chairman Ken Hodcroft insists manager Chris Turner will not be allowed to leave Victoria Park next summer. Turner is out of contract at the end of the season, but Hodcroft - who yesterday announced a financial loss of £650,112 to the

  • Cammell hopes for good news on cruise liners

    WORKERS at the Cammell Laird shipyards in the region are hoping for some good news next week after discovering that 250 of their colleagues on Merseyside are facing the axe. A decision on whether the £344m contract to build two luxury liners for American

  • Wor Jackie wins praise for drink-driving confession

    SOCCER hero Jack Charlton stunned anti drink-drive campaigners yesterday by admitting that he once drove 60 miles while over the limit. The former Republic of Ireland manager made the revelation at the launch of a police road safety campaign. Mr Charlton

  • Foresight is the key to success

    A CONFERENCE aimed at highlighting the impact learning and development can make on the regional economic strategy, has received the support of business and education chiefs from across the North-East. The aim of the day was to develop the workforce of

  • Benefits help project wins £55,000 grant

    A SCHEME to help young people claim benefits has been given a funding boost. Hartlepool's Benefits Advice Project, run by Manor Residents' Association and the West View Advice and Resource Centre, dealt with more than 250 inquiries in the first six months

  • Driver was three times over limit for booze

    A MOTORIST arrested for driving three times over the drink-drive limit was out trying to find his girlfriend, a court heard yesterday. Kelvin Bowery, 25, may lose the two driving jobs he was due to start next month, after Chester-le-Street magistrates

  • Champion dad gives sons' weighty ambitions a lift

    YOUNG Joe Grey is hoping to make a big impact in the weightlifting world - even though he is only three. Little Joe, and his older brother Jake, are already in training as they bid to follow in the footsteps of their dad, Steve . Steve, 32, was recently

  • Shopper receives wheel surprise

    SHE has the chance to be one of the trendiest middle-aged shoppers in the North-East. But, instead of heading to the shops on the micro-scooter she won in a shopping competition, Mary Corner, 47, has decided to give it to one of her nephews or nieces

  • Teenage robbers locked up

    TWO teenagers who robbed fellow youngsters in the street were locked up yesterday. Simon Lewins and a 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, went out on an evening in February and tried to rob a 16-year-old boy as he walked home from

  • Charity gives youngsters a christmas party to remember

    DISABLED and disadvantaged children in the region, pictured, enjoyed a Christmas party at the Tall Trees Hotel, in Yarm, thanks to the charity, TrustTees, which raised money to give grants to children who cannot be helped by social services and other

  • Manager tells of sex with accusers

    A CHILDREN'S home manager said yesterday that three women workers launched a conspiracy to accuse him of indecent assault after he had had affairs with each of them. Married Christopher Winstanley Smith, 41, told a court that two of them ripped his clothes

  • Drug dealer tells of phone call from police

    A DRUG dealer told a murder trial yesterday that he got a shock when police rang the mobile telephone he used. Cannabis dealer Ian Pretty said he wondered how they got the number. The telephone was then ditched for another, he told the trial of a man

  • Security contract win for Baydale

    BAYDALE Control Systems, specialists in the installation of electronic management and security systems, has been awarded a £140,000 contract at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead. Baydale, based in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, has won the contract

  • Hotel Building for the future

    BUILDING work has started on a £1m refurbishment programme to convert Durham's Swallow County Hotel into a Marriott Hotel by March 2001. The move follows the recent announcement by Marriott to refurbish the hotel - along with the Swallow Hotel at Seaburn

  • Armed robbers strike at bookies

    A GANG of armed robbers escaped with cash after terrorising staff at a bookmakers. Three men wearing balaclavas - one carrying a handgun and the others carrying crowbars - burst into Done Bookmakers, Lane Heads, Ryton, Gateshead. They threatened staff

  • Lighting improved in bid to cut burglaries

    HOMES around Hartlepool are to benefit from improved street lighting in a bid to stamp out burglary. More than 200 houses in the Belle Vue/Rift House East burglary initiative area will get the lighting. The area has already received £60,000 from the Government

  • Creche gets £3,000 boost

    LEISURE company Whitbread has given £3,000 to support the supervised creche at the Owton Rossmere resource centre, Hartlepool, for two months. The creche allows parents to get two hours free childcare while they pursue vocational training and gain qualifications

  • Chilling tale of the stolen pigeons

    A PIGEON fancier turned detective to track down his prize-winning birds - and found them in a freezer. Ian Cadman was distraught to find 49 stock and racing pigeons had been stolen from his cree at the Sugar Hill allotments in Cockerton, Darlington, in

  • Staff are key to successful five years

    LONDON Electricity has proved that the capital's loss is Wearside's gain over the last five years. Since establishing its customer care centre at Doxford International Business Park in 1995, with just 50 employees answering two million calls a year, it

  • A player on the world stage

    HISTORY will accuse Bill Clinton of many things. But it will never accuse him of shirking the most pressing international issues of our age. On the world stage, his eight years as President have witnessed his dogged determination to solve two of the most

  • Charity boxing show proving knock-out success with fans

    A NORTH-EAST boxing bill in aid of charity is proving a knock-out success with punters. The National Association of Clubs for Young People, Class A Championship Finals, takes place on Friday at the Peterlee Leisure Centre, County Durham. It is already

  • Police hunt for man who stole shop takings

    POLICE are searching for a mugger who carried out a daytime attack. The mugger struck on Friday in Bishop Auckland. His victim was a man outside the Tenters Street post office. The thief snatched the man's bag, containing shop takings, and fled over a

  • Catalogue of 50 problems on stranded ship

    A STRANDED Russian ship detained in a North-East port has a catalogue of 50 significant problems, a survey has found. The Vismark Gloria cargo ship was detained last month by Maritime and Coastguard Agency inspectors when it arrived in Stockton, following

  • Extra council safeguards for care of youngsters

    A COUNCIL is to introduce more safeguards for children receiving care in Darlington. Today, members of Darlington Borough Council's cabinet will be recommended to introduce charges to independent fostering and child-care agencies for safeguard checks.

  • Flood-hit pensioners go home for Christmas

    MORE than 40 pensioners, who were evacuated after devastating floods in the summer, are looking forward to returning home for Christmas. The elderly people from Church View Residential Home, South Church, near Bishop Auckland, were moved to accommodation

  • Lottery grant for play area

    CHILDREN in Crookhall, County Durham, will be able to play in safety, thanks to a cash hand-out from the National Lottery. Members of the Crookhall Foundation are to build a fence around a children's play area in the village, just outside Consett. The

  • New deal at AS&T secures 250 jobs

    THE future of 250 workers has been secured after a deal was agreed to buy out at an aerospace firm. Celtic Aerospace Ventures (CAV) will acquire the assets of County Durham-based Aerospace Systems & Technologies (AS&T) from receivers Ernst &

  • Help appeal follows raid

    DETECTIVES have released more details about an armed robbery at a village post office. Two men burst into the sub-post office in Heighington, near Darlington, at 7.40pm on Friday. They made off with cash after threatening a shop assistant with a hand

  • Transplant girl opens premises

    THE UK's youngest heart transplant patient cut the ribbon to open an expanding business's new premises in Chester-le-Street this week. Kaylee Davidson, who had the operation when she was five months old and is now 13, opened Excaliber IT Systems, in Front

  • Clean-up for cycle route

    Stockton Borough Council workers will spend the next two weeks clearing litter and weeds from a two-mile section of the Castle Eden cycle and pedestrian route, between Harrowgate Lane, Hardwick, and Darlington Road, Hartburn. The former railway track

  • Rape claims that left my life in ruins

    A MAN cleared of rape is demanding a change in the law after claiming his life has been ruined in the 20 months since the allegation was first made. John Mchale, 26, of Millfield Road, in Fishburn, was charged with rape in May 1999 but yesterday was cleared

  • Korean firm's expansion brings 300 jobs to town

    AN electronics firm has delivered an early Christmas present to people in one of the region's unemployment blackspots. Woo One, in Brenda Road, Hartlepool, unveiled expansion plans yesterday for its factory, which will quadruple its workforce, bringing

  • Driver knocked out in rage attack

    A DRIVER was knocked unconscious in front of his wife during a road rage attack. The 39-year-old victim had reached the roundabout on the south side of Sunderland's Wearmouth Bridge, when he accidentally drove his Nissan Sunny in front of a white Ford

  • Raising awareness of water voles

    EFFORTS are being stepped up to save the endangered water vole on Teesside following research which discovered that many of the creatures live along the beck valleys of Middlesbrough. Arthur West and Jonathan Pounder, assistants with Middlesbrough Borough

  • 'No threat to birds' posed by windfarms

    RESEARCH conducted by a North-East ecologist has concluded that most windfarms do not significantly harm bird populations. Steve Percival, of the Ecology Centre at the University of Sunderland, studied reports that significant numbers of birds, some of

  • Muntjac munching relentlessly northwards

    MUNTJAC deer - one of the most destructive introduced species in the countryside - are continuing their relentless spread across the North-East. Established for many years in North Yorkshire, the tiny deer have arrived in Cleveland, and there have been

  • Job Search 2000

    MORE details about the jobs below are available from the Employment Service Direct on (0845) 606 0234. Delivery driver, North-East and Cleveland. £3.70ph, 46.5hrs pw, age 25 plus. Current clean driving licence required. Should be able to lift 25kg sacks

  • Youngster thanks life-saving medics

    A COUNTY Durham youngster returned to hospital yesterday to thank staff who helped to save his life. When he was just ten days old, in November 1997, Luke Martin-Ainsley was rushed to Sunderland Royal Hospital suffering from pneumonia. Now three-years-old

  • Poison risk to young vandals

    CHILDREN have been warned they could be suffering from the effects of a chemical spillage on Tyneside. Youngsters are believed to be responsible for the spill at Rom Limited, on the Blaydon Industrial Estate, Gateshead, after breaking in at the weekend

  • Cycle of events nears 75 years for wheelers

    Sit up and beg as usual, the column attended on Friday the annual dinner of Ferryhill Wheelers cycling club. As spokesmen go, they were wonderful. There was club president Bob Douglas, who considers everything under 100 miles a "babbies' race"; George

  • Bungalows building scheme for park site

    A HOUSING association wants to build pensioners' bungalows on a Darlington park. Railway Housing Association wants to develop land at Hunden's Park, Hunden's Lane. It will be a second phase of development on the land, because the association is already

  • Job Search 2000

    MORE details about the jobs below are available from the Employment Service Direct on (0845) 606 0234. Sales ledger clerk/credit controller, Peterlee. £5.30 ph, 9am-5.30pm, Mon-Fri. GCSE in Maths and English (or equivalent) and 2 years' credit control

  • Protestor cries fowl on turkey dinners

    AN animal welfare activist staged a protest yesterday in a bid to persuade people not to eat turkey this Christmas. Andrew Kirk, of Middlesbrough, standing outside McDonalds in the town's Linthorpe Road, wore a white apron soaked with fake blood. He carried

  • Bike hopefuls hanging on in there to win a harley

    WHILE many dream of getting their hands on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, a group of North-East men and women are being challenged to keep them there. Five people from the region have taken up a challenge set by Century FM and Just Harleys, of Newcastle

  • Grieving father jailed for threats

    A BEREAVED father who threatened to kill himself with a knife in the street, a year after his baby son died, was jailed yesterday. Timothy Jay never recovered from having to take the decision last year to switch off the hospital machine which was keeping

  • Mayor's parlour will cost £200,000

    A controversial plan to spend at least £200,000 redecorating the Middlesbrough mayor's parlour should go ahead, councillors agreed last night. The money, enough to buy a small street elsewhere in the town, will be spent on the revamp of the suite in the

  • Power cut wrecks Christmas shopping

    TRADERS were last night left counting the cost after contractors cut through a power cable, wrecking Christmas shopping trips across the region. About 20,000 people were affected by the power failure yesterday afternoon, caused when contractors accidentally

  • Barclays' 1,000 jobs boost

    Barclays announced last night that another 1,000 jobs are to be created at a thriving North-East business park - then dropped a broad hint that more may be on the way. The new posts, at the bank's centre on Sunderland's Doxford International Business

  • Premier role the key for Armstrong

    Striker Alun Armstrong yesterday revealed he only agreed an £800,000 move to Ipswich last week because he believed there was no future for him at Middlesbrough. The 25-year-old Geordie was reluctant to quit the Riverside but claimed he was forced into

  • Bennett gives duo night off for York clash

    DARLINGTON manager Gary Bennett is ready to give skipper Martin Gray and veteran defender Neil Aspin a night off tonight. Quakers travel to York in a rearranged LDV Vans Trophy first round tie and with the threat of a hernia operation hanging over Gray

  • Now we're ready to take on best, says Fletcher

    Duncan Fletcher returned home with his victorious England squad yesterday convinced their outstanding triumph in Pakistan will give them the self-belief to challenge the world's best sides in the year ahead. Coach Fletcher capped a successful 12 months

  • Town campaigners' council showdown

    CAMPAIGNERS fighting for what they have dubbed "the forgotten end" of Northallerton to be cleaned up, have secured a private meeting with a council chief. Residents and traders formed the North End Action Group to protest about the area they say is blighted

  • Santa trades in sleigh for float

    SANTA will swap his sleigh for a milk float for a delivery with a difference. Associated Co-op Creameries is helping to spread the word of a Christmas party to hundreds of children by commissioning a specially-decorated milk float. Santa will be joined

  • Power cut hits homes

    ABOUT 2,000 homes were without power yesterday morning. Engineers investigating the power cut in Nunthorpe and Marton, both Middlesbrough, said it was caused by a suspect piece of underground cable. The power went off at 10.45am and 1,600 homes were restored

  • Council learns flooding lessons

    A NORTH Yorkshire council will this week consider a report into its performance during November's floods. Hambleton District Council was inundated with appeals for help when ten inches of rain fell on the region in a fortnight. Although the administration

  • Florida goes for Bush

    THE Republican-controlled House of Representatives in Florida yesterday approved a plan to deliver the state's 25 Electoral College votes for the US Presidency to George W. Bush. On a vote of 79-41, with two Democrats crossing party lines, the House endorsed

  • College students prepare to have dickens of a good time

    STUDENTS thought lecturer Billy Nicholson was cut out to be Scrooge in their Christmas production. He was the popular choice to take the role in East Durham and Houghall Community College's version of A Christmas Carol. Billy, a former student at the

  • Paedophile jailed for sex assaults on girls

    A PAEDOPHILE who moved to the North-East after his release from prison, was jailed yesterday for sexually assaulting two young girls. John Bratton, 59, was living in Scunthorpe when he was convicted in June 1976, of indecently assaulting two girls and

  • TV Comedy star heads panto cast

    THE actress who played the outrageous vamp Dorien in TV's Birds of a Feather has arrived in Newcastle to see if she can pave the streets with gold. Lesley Joseph will be joined by John Nettles, from TV's Bergerac and Midsomer Murders, and Jeffrey Holland

  • Developer creates new jobs

    ST PAUL'S Developments is the first major developer to commit to One NorthEast's flagship Newburn Riverside development situated directly adjacent to the Al crossing of the River Tyne in Newcastle. The new business park is destined to become one of the

  • Volunteer ambulance service seeks support

    A HEALTH care appeal covering North Yorkshire and Teesside is on the look-out for volunteers to hold car boot sales next year. St John Ambulance needs to raise thousands of pounds to replace many of its ambulances and first aid equipment. The service

  • Children win their campaign to secure playground repairs

    AN appeal by schoolchildren for a playground to be repaired has been answered by their local council. Pupils at Barnard Grove School, Hartlepool, wrote to the borough council about the state of the King Oswy play area in the town. The youngsters told

  • Bellissimo, truly bellissimo

    POCO is Italian for tiny, Caf Poco abundant proof of what they say about good stuff and little bundles. It's in Wolsingham, one of those eating places - there are too few - which doesn't just help put in the day but positively enhances it. Though the

  • The shape of rural things to come

    SHEEP graze among the heather of the northern uplands, while in the distance, down in the dales, herds of cows mooch around fields in search of the juiciest grass. Without warning, a grouse takes to the air, emerging from cover briefly, only to disappear

  • Reid feels for fans

    DISAPPOINTED Sunderland boss Peter Reid last night sympathised with 2,000 supporters who made a wasted journey to Selhurst Park. The Worthington Cup quarter- final against Crystal Palace was called off less than two hours before the scheduled kick-off

  • Pensioners warned over rogue builder

    POLICE are hunting a rogue builder who is preying on pensioners in Darlington. The man has targeted elderly people in various parts of the town in the past few weeks. On each occasion he told them that there were slates or tiles missing from their roofs

  • Youngsters pick horse names

    Andrew Powell, 11, and Leonie Whitlock, ten, of Barnard Grove School, Hartlepool, above, show their affection for two Cleveland Police horses, which are in need of names. Andrew and Leonie were among the youngsters who gathered at the Riverside Stadium

  • Police pull in the charity loot

    POLICE handed over a swag bag of cash to charity. Crook police have been running, batting and hiking all year to raise money for the Imperial Cancer Research Fund. Earlier in the year, officers completed the Durham Rural Challenge, a 28-mile walk from

  • Taxibus transport lifeline for villages

    PEOPLE in two villages have bus links for the first time in three years. Villagers in Mordon and Bradbury have been without a public transport link to and from Sedgefield since 1997. But from this week, they have got their own taxibus service, thanks

  • Entrepreneurs gear up for the business school

    JUDITH Mashiter is hoping her scholarship to study an MA in entrepreneurship at The University of Durham will be helpful to everyone who lives in her local community. The 40-year-old from Middleton-in-Teesdale landed the top prize in the Northern Echo

  • Police launch hunt for knife attacker

    A MAN was stabbed and robbed of his wallet as he walked across Newcastle's Town Moor. The 22-year-old was heading towards the exit which crosses the central motorway on to Claremont Road, at 6pm on Sunday. A man blocked his path and demanded that he hand

  • Ex-mineworker earns award for coastal clean-up

    A FORMER mineworker has won an award for helping to remove the legacy of mining from the east Durham coast. Denis Rooney, of Seaham, a former maintenance fitter at Dawdon Colliery, now a National Trust warden, has been named Countryman of the Year by

  • Campaign to reduce car crime

    A poster campaign has been launched on buses to drive home a Christmas crime prevention message to motorists. The adverts reinforce to drivers the importance of keeping valuables out of sight of thieves, who are particularly active at this time of year

  • GP service improved

    ELEVEN Teesside doctors have joined the national Personal Medical Services pilot scheme, which aims to improve services. The practices which have joined the scheme will look at new ways of managing patients with drug problems, revise opening times, and

  • Job Search 2000

    MORE details about the jobs below are available from the Employment Service Direct on (0845) 606 0234. PCV driver, Bishop Auckland. £4.95 ph; 39 hpw on rota. Required for local bus company. Must have good customer skills, be punctual and reliable. Will

  • Job Search 2000

    MORE details about the jobs below are available from the Employment Service Direct on (0845) 606 0234. Accounts clerk, Thirsk. £9,921 pa pro rata, 35 or 17.5 hpw. Duties to provide support to accounts team by processing invoices and assist with procedures

  • Fish tanks attack left 250 dead

    A MOTHER returned home to find her former boyfriend had smashed up property, including three fish tanks, leaving the tropical fish to die, a court was told yesterday. The 250 fish in the three tanks belonged to the Samantha Bates and her two children.

  • Letters

    BILLINGHAM FORUM SO, Stockton Council expects a backlash against getting rid of the town's ice rink even though it claims that 77 per cent of residents who responded would prefer a supermarket to the Forum and 61 per cent would want a new leisure centre

  • Museum day is wheel fun

    Stockton Borough Council organised a family Christmas fun day at Preston Hall Museum, near Stockton - which turned out to be wheel entertainment. An array of old bicycles was on show, including the penny farthing, pictured, ridden by Bob Hutchinson, of

  • One small step from the abyss

    It was one of the most moving events of my life: last week I was invited to preach at St Lawrence Jewry to the veterans of the Far East campaign of the Second World War. The church was packed with old heroes who had endured unspeakable treatment at the

  • Andrea takes on pioneering role for trust

    A NEW post in the Prince's Trust has been created at a North-East college, which will be used as a pilot for the rest of the country. Andrea Smedley has been made a business development officer and will be situated at the Billingham site of Stockton and