• High-flier returns to home town

    THE new post for Wing Commander Nigel Guz is almost a home-coming. He has just taken the reins of XI (Fighter) Squadron at RAF Leeming, taking over from Wing Commander Mick Mercer who has been posted to the Ministry of Defence. Born in Middlesbrough,

  • Pain-stricken patient in delays protest

    A PATIENT who was outraged when she was told she would have to wait five months to see a pain specialist is calling a public meeting to press for change. Mary Hawgood, 67, from Durham, is in constant pain because of an inoperable back problem. After surgeons

  • Domino champions

    THE final rounds of a national dominoes championship are to be staged in the North-East. The semi-final and final of the National Dominoes Straight Pairs Championship, sponsored by John Smith, will be played in Darlington this Saturday. This event will

  • Popstars rejects stage own audition

    THE successful Popstars contestants are heading for chart success with their first single. But two hopefuls who did not make the band, called Hear'Say, are holding their own version of the show in County Durham. Call centre worker Stuart Pawley, 22, of

  • Sales hit hopes of interest rate cut

    HIGH street sales last month were "considerably stronger" than expected, dampening hopes of an April interest rate cut. Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed sales volumes in February jumped 0.6 per cent month-on-month, way ahead

  • Parking plan for memorial withdrawn

    PLANS to create car parking spaces around a war memorial are to be withdrawn. South Durham Health Care and NHS Trust submitted plans for the grounds of Darlington Memorial Hospital, at Hollyhurst Road, because of increased demand for parking. But now

  • Council accused of ignoring sex pest complaint

    A COUNCIL was yesterday accused of failing to adhere to its own procedures by ignoring a social worker's complaints of sexual harassment against her manager. Instead of taking "prompt and sensitive action" as required in the circumstances, Darlington

  • Body inquiry police seek video recorder

    POLICE investigating the death of a North-East teenager have renewed their appeal for information about a stolen video recorder. The body of John Paul Jeffries, 18, was found on rocks in Hartlepool marina on Wednesday, January 24. A 17-year-old and Darren

  • Code to crack product claims

    SHOPPERS are being given a code-breaking guide to crack the gobbledegook appearing on items they buy. Aerosols, paints, cosmetics and other products carry claims of being ozone friendly, CFC-free and produced with no animal testing. The claims have got

  • Motor trader denies fraud over loan

    A FORMER motor business director has denied fraudulently securing backing from a finance company. Ian Stuart Teeder is accused of obtaining between £200,000 and £300,000 by dishonestly using his influence as a director of County Durham specialist car

  • Helplines swamped as fears rise of suicides in farmers

    SUICIDAL North-East farmers are turning to telephone help-lines in droves to get them through the foot-and-mouth crisis. Thousands of calls have flooded into the Farm Crisis Network (FCN) helpline, and volunteers fear suicides could rise as the outbreak

  • Hero relives daredevil memories

    ONE of the last surviving Spitfire pilots from the Second World War took a trip down memory lane yesterday. George Bennions visited the Hartlepool Headland to speak to enthusiasts restoring the Princess Royal lifeboat used during the war. Mr Bennions,

  • Boxing Day dip raises £1,000 for charity

    A WOMAN who took part in a Boxing Day swim in the sea raised more than £1,000. Shirley Craig took part in the event at Seaton Carew to raise money for the Hartlepool and District Hospice. She raised the money through sponsorship and asked her family,

  • 20 jobs hit as firm's operations go south

    Twenty jobs will be lost in West Auckland when Helmsman Cubicle Systems moves manufacturing to Suffolk headquarters. Ten workers are being made redundant and the rest will transfer to Bury St Edmunds following a costcutting review of parent company W

  • Families call for upgrade

    FRESH calls have been made to upgrade an increasingly busy road in Newton Aycliffe. Windlestone Parish Council and Rushyford Residents' Association are concerned about the volume of traffic using the C35, running between Aycliffe and Rushyford. Both groups

  • £90,000 worth of drugs seized

    POLICE have seized more than £90,000 worth of drugs during two raids in the Billingham area. Officers taking part in Operation X-Ray searched a house and vehicle and found 3kg of amphetamine and 5kg of skunk cannabis, worth £50,000. Three local men were

  • Tributes paid to ex-council chief

    TRIBUTES have been paid to a respected former councillor who died this week after serving his community for more than 60 years. Colonel Peter Consett, of Brawith Hall, near Thirsk, had represented his area on both Thirsk Rural District Council, and Hambleton

  • Defence in safe hands

    ANDY Griffin yesterday backed Newcastle's young guns to do the job if boss Bobby Robson fails to find a replacement for Alain Goma before Thursday's transfer deadline. The Geordies plan to increase their efforts to land Bradford defender Andy O'Brien

  • light relief from matters of state

    TINY tots got on with their work as usual yesterday even though a very special visitor dropped in to their nursery. The pupils at Wingate Nursery School, County Durham, were unfazed when Prime Minister Tony Blair arrived in their innovative open plan

  • Socialist group stages meeting

    MEMBERS of The Socialist Alliance in the North-East are being invited to attend a public meeting, tonight. The theme of the meeting, in the Larchfield Street sports centre, Darlington, is globalisation, and how big business is starting to control all

  • Customs seize massive haul of cigarettes

    CUSTOMS officers have foiled smugglers' plans to flood the region with cheap cigarettes. They found 2.5 million cigarettes - equivalent to 125,000 packets of 20 - hidden in fridge- freezers being unloaded from a container at Tyne Dock, South Shields.

  • Vote gets the job done for Bob theme park

    BOB the Builder is coming to the North-East in a new adventure park by the end of the month. Councillors voted to grant permission for the £2m Diggerland park which is due to open on Saturday, March 31. The children's park, which will feature fictional

  • Band of gold is find of a lifetime

    A METAL detector enthusiast made the find of a lifetime when he unearthed a gold Bronze Age coin worth thousands of pounds. Now Norman Smith, from Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, hopes to put the object on display after being told he can keep it. Mr Smith

  • 'Forged deals' of upwardly mobile phone salesman

    A MOBILE phone salesman topped up his meagre wage by forging customer contracts and cashing in on the commission, a court heard. Brian Yarker, 59, was a self-employed phone salesman at Cellular City, in Gateshead, when customers realised that they were

  • Pharmacist allowed back

    A PHARMACIST who was struck off five years ago after leaving unqualified staff to dispense medicine while he went on holiday abroad, was restored to the register yesterday. Wai Man Yong, 52, registered at Corby Hall Drive, Sunderland, was making his third

  • Improving schools win cash bonuses

    IMPROVING schools around the region are being rewarded with government cash bonuses of up to £25,000. Rising standards in hundreds of primary and secondary schools in the North-East and North Yorkshire have earned Achievement Awards for staff. Tudhoe

  • Search on for good citizen

    THE search is on for a person whose good deeds have helped the community. Peterlee Town Council is seeking names for the Frank Turnbull Memorial Award. Nominations can be submitted for any person who has achieved success in any field which has brought

  • 'My son nearly died after man gave him vodka'

    A MOTHER has told how her son nearly lost his life after drinking a bottle and a half of vodka handed to him in the street by an adult. The teenager drank the spirit before collapsing in a field near South Stanley. Chief Inspector Bob Glass, of Derwentside

  • Shoptalk

    HAD a bad cold lately? Able to breathe yet? No, neither can the rest of us. Rotten, isn't it? The cold has gone, but the malady lingers on, making you still feel horrible and blocked up. We swear that central heating makes it worse, but aren't tough enough

  • Second facial op for Katie

    BRAVE Katie Meehan is preparing for a second facial operation which to help her lead a more normal life. Five-year-old Katie, of South Shields, South Tyneside, has suffered from a rare condition, called cystic hygroma, from birth. It causes her face to

  • Bag-snatch pair leave pensioner injured in attack

    AN elderly woman is recovering in hospital following the second attack on a pensioner in as many days. The 65-year-old woman was walking home after a night out just before midnight on Tuesday, when she was approached by two men in Marton Grove Road, Middlesbrough

  • Children celebrate Muslim festival

    NURSERY school children sampled a taste of another culture yesterday. The children from Corporation Nursery Centre, in Darlington, marked the Muslim festival of Eid, which celebrates the birth of the prophet Abraham. Headteacher at the school, Carol Dawson

  • Honour for Aston, the 999 hero

    A YOUNG hero who kept cool when his mother collapsed from a severe bout of flu, has been honoured for his bravery by the ambulance service. Five-year-old Aston Field, of Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire, used mum Sandra's mobile phone to dial 999 -

  • Quilts' poignant message for bereaved parents

    TWO unusual pieces of craftsmanship have been created as a way of helping parents who have suffered the agony of seeing their child die. A pair of quilts, featuring 63 panels each, most of them dedicated to a dead child, were produced for the charity

  • Research team gets the cold shoulder

    A LEADING specialist has spoken out after a mobile research project was denied access to one of the region's top heart units. Families in the region are being urged to support the British Heart Foundation's pioneering study into the genetic causes of

  • Cathedral funeral for student Patrick

    THE funeral takes place tomorrow of a 21-year-old Durham University student. Fellow undergraduates will join family and other friends at the city's cathedral to pay their final respects to Patrick Brown. Durham's dean and chapter gave special permission

  • Mystery tour cash for hospice

    A TRAVEL company held a mystery tour to raise money for the Butterwick Hospice in Stockton. Hays Travel, in Stockton, organised the surprise trip to York to raise £125 for the hospice, which looks after people from all over the region. Hospice representative

  • Customs seize massive haul of cigarettes

    CUSTOMS officers have foiled smugglers' plans to flood the region with cheap cigarettes. They found 2.5 million cigarettes - equivalent to 125,000 packets of 20 - hidden in fridge- freezers being unloaded from a container at Tyne Dock, South Shields.

  • Beware, play's Big Brothers are watching you

    BIG Brother is taking to the streets to raise awareness of a theatre production of George Orwell's 1984. Northern Stage Ensemble is presenting a stage version of the classic novel in Newcastle, which features the original Big Brother and Room 101, from

  • Get some Comic Relief on the web

    TOMORROW is Comic Relief's Red Nose day and the Internet has the chance to bring you some laughter while changing the lives of people around the world. The official Comic Relief website provides plenty of fund-raising inspiration and gives readers lots

  • Campaigners concerned over phone mast health issues

    A THOUSAND people have signed a petition against a proposed mobile phone mast they claim will devalue their homes. The residents, who live in the Marsh House Avenue area of Billingham, are angry about plans by One2One to erect a phone mast and two equipment

  • Offer of help to start businesses

    FREE advice is available for people planning to start their own businesses. Rossmere and Seaton Grange Residents' Association (RSGRA) in Hartlepool has expanded its team with the appointment of Liz Ashton as enterprise development officer. Based in Jutland

  • Museum looks to wider audience

    GROUPS of people are being invited to visit Guisborough Museum when it reopens in April. The museum has new computer equipment and display cabinets thanks to a £4,000 lottery grant, which has enabled the museum to improve its displays of local artefacts

  • Arsonists return to housing estate

    FIREFIGHTERS have been called to a fire on a deserted estate for the second time in two days. The latest blaze, in an empty first floor flat in Scorton Court, on the Courts estate, Redcar, started yesterday morning and needed two crews from Redcar fire

  • Teenage student to help street children in Kenya

    A SIXTH form student will be travelling to Kenya as part of her Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award. Georgina Rutherford, 16, a student at Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College, Darlington, will fly to Africa on July 14. She will spend a month working with a charity

  • Pain-stricken patient in delays protest

    A PATIENT who was outraged when she was told she would have to wait five months to see a pain specialist is calling a public meeting to press for change. Mary Hawgood, 67, from Durham, is in constant pain because of an inoperable back problem. After surgeons

  • Pupils build nesting boxes for endangered owls

    YOUNGSTERS at High Coniscliffe Primary School, Darlington, have built nesting boxes for the local barn owl population, which is under threat. Pupils, from left, Adam Keeligan, Carl Eddon, Mark Tweddle and Daniel Wllson were among those taking part in

  • Giles leaves Sri Lanka in a spin in final Test

    Ashley Giles set the tone for another spirited revival by keeping his composure to secure a notable victory for England's spinners and increase the pressure on Sri Lanka in the deciding Test. So far in the series, England's batsmen have claimed a slight

  • Getting the timing right

    WHILE rural communities are consumed by foot-and-mouth disease, the political classes are being consumed by election date fever. Before we wade in on the latter, we should remind ourselves of the nature of the political game. Understandably, since October

  • Farm leader threatens 'rural revolt' over culls

    THE Government was threatened with a "rural revolt" last night after announcing that thousands of healthy animals face slaughter to halt foot-and-mouth disease. This comes as the number of confirmed cases rose to 251, including Northern Ireland. Agriculture

  • Thousands of women refuse vital health check

    THOUSANDS of women are choosing not to have smear tests because of fear or embarrassment. It is estimated that 13,980 women, 9.2 per cent of the eligible Teesside population,are ignoring the simple but vital check-up. Consultant Dr Deborah Beere said:

  • Coulthard fitness may prove crucial in heat

    David Coulthard plans to keep his cool while his rivals feel the heat in the hottest race of the year in Malaysia on Sunday. The super-fit Scot hopes his months of punishing work-outs in the gym and in the mountains above Monaco could give him the edge

  • Given sees Quinn injury as huge blow for Eire

    SHAY Given has described Niall Quinn's decision to pull out of the Republic of Ireland's World Cup qualifiers as a "huge loss." Sunderland striker Quinn, forced to stand down because of back trouble, misses key games against Cyprus and Andorra. Newcastle

  • TV footage may help solve death mystery

    DETECTIVES were last night examining closed circuit television footage as investigations into the mysterious death of a father-of-two continues. The unconscious body of Paul Simpson, 34, was found in Askrigg Street, Darlington, by a police officer at

  • Teenager started fire in his neighbour's lounge

    A TEENAGER started a fire to destroy evidence after breaking into a neighbour's house with a young accomplice. Stephen Barrett, now 20, and the 14-year-old youth, urinated on a mattress before setting it alight in the lounge of the house in Pelton Fell

  • Venables admits to talks over Ravanelli

    TERRY VENABLES last night admitted that Middlesbrough have discussed the possibility of bringing Fabrizio Ravanelli back to the Riverside Stadium. The controversial Italian striker, who fell out with manager Bryan Robson and went AWOL before moving to

  • Birmingham move for Liddle a non-starter - Bennett

    DARLINGTON have strongly denied rumours that central defender Craig Liddle is set to sign for Birmingham City today. The former Middlesbrough defender has been linked with a £500,000 move to the First Division club, but Quakers have moved quickly to confirm

  • 'Residents hold key' to speedway scheme

    RESIDENTS living close to the site of a planned speedway circuit could hold the key to the future of the controversial venture. The planned track at Barford Camp, at Stainton, near Barnard Castle, could bring £200,000 in to the Teesdale economy if it

  • School head in clear over slapping

    THE case against a head- teacher accused of slapping her pupils at a village school has been discontinued. But angry parents are refusing to send their children back if she returns to the school. Elizabeth Carey, 51, was suspended from her job at the

  • Iceland issues fresh warning but pledges to bounce back

    TROUBLED frozen food retailer Iceland has issued another profits warning to the City - saying sales across the chain were continuing to fall. The group said pre-tax profits for the 15-month period to the end of March would not exceed £40m before exceptional

  • Letters

    TAXES GORDON Brown, the most notorious highway robber of all time, is now the grand master of the stealth tax. He says he wants people to provide for their old age, but raids their pension funds and then forces them to suffer the indignity and nightmare

  • Oh Brother! Why did they do it?

    THE organisers of Comic Relief can laugh all the way to the bank with the charity proceeds of Celebrity Big Brother, but the housemates have had the smiles knocked off their faces. They've discovered the hard way that sitting in a bath of cold baked beans

  • Tour de France charity ride

    FOUR North-Easterners are competing in a stage of the Tour de France - to raise money for heart care. Intrepid John Chisholm, Peter O'Neill and Paul Willetts, from South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust, and Sunderland University lecturer John Moses plan to cycle

  • Murder bid man in court

    A 27-YEAR-OLD was further remanded in custody by the Central Criminal Court yesterday, charged with the attempted murder of a North-East Jewish theology student. Nabil Ould Eddine, of Highbury, North London, is accused of attempting to murder David Myers

  • Addict jailed for heroin find

    A DRUG addict was told by a judge yesterday that he had thrown away his last chance of liberty. Dean McFarlane, 25, of Napier Street, Darlington, pleaded guilty at Teesside Crown Court to possessing 20 wraps of heroin for his own use. The cache was found

  • 'Boarding schools boost family morale'

    RELATIONSHIPS between parents and children improve as a result of going to boarding school, a new survey reveals. A national survey of more than 1,000 boarding school parents, including people from the North-East, has been carried out to enhance awareness

  • Groups hoping for grant boost

    TWO groups who applied for cash help from Darlington Borough Council are likely to be successful in their bids. The council's cabinet committee decided to award Branksome Tennis Club £200 to help it establish a club at Branksome School, for pupils, ex-pupils

  • Easter opening for play area

    A NEW children's play park is due to open at Delves Lane, near Consett. The opening of the £144,000 Delves Lane Village Hall play park will take place after an Easter Fancy Dress Parade on Easter Monday. The Delves Lane Community Association received

  • Public questioned in hunt for assassins

    PLAIN clothed and uniformed police officers took to the streets yesterday to try and find a new lead in a murder inquiry. The officers questioned members of the public in the Jesmond area of Newcastle a month to day since Peter Beaumont-Gowling was found

  • Plunge raises £1,000

    AN EAST Durham woman who took part in a Boxing Day swim raised more than £1,000. Shirley Craig took part in the event at Seaton Carew to raise money for the Hartlepool and District Hospice. She raised the money through sponsorship and asked her family

  • Why I feel sorry for Keith Vaz

    I MAY be a lone voice, but I feel Europe Minister Keith Vaz has been badly treated this week. I don't condone some of his tactics - if it is proved, for instance, it is clearly very unacceptable to intimidate witnesses - and, even though cleared by the

  • A miilion-to-one coincidence

    MORE than 50 years after they last met, a former Co Durham police officer has had an extraordinary reunion with the prisoner of war he knew simply as Hermann the German. "He was always a canny little feller, not tub height to me but there was never any

  • Death driver 'hit wall of swerving cars'

    A SUSPECTED burglar died when he drove head-on into oncoming traffic on the A1 as he fled from the police, an inquest heard. David Prenelle, 31, of Chilton Moor, Houghton-le-Spring, near Sunderland, did a U-turn and smashed into cars coming in the opposite

  • Fines for road work delays welcomed

    COMIC actor Bernard Cribbins once sang a humorous hit single about men digging a never-ending hole in the road. But contractors have had the smile wiped off their faces by new legislation, coming into effect from April 1, giving councils across the UK