• Home rule could be death knell for hundreds of jobs

    HUNDREDS of jobs could be axed as part of a radical shake-up in the way county and district councils serve the region. Thursday's historic White Paper, giving far-reaching powers for home rule, is likely to see the end of Durham, North Yorkshire and Northumberland

  • Robson attacks agents over Distin transfer saga

    ANNOYED boss Bobby Robson took a swipe at players' agents last night after it emerged Manchester City are leading the chase to sign Newcastle United loan star Sylvain Distin. Newcastle are understood to have agreed a £4m deal with Distin's club Paris

  • Reid backs fans to roar Sunderland to safety

    UNDER-FIRE Sunderland manager Peter Reid believes that "fantastic" Wearside fans will hold the key to Premiership safety in this afternoon's crucial home game against Derby County. Sunderland need just a point to stay above third-bottom Ipwich Town, whose

  • Nissan chief pledges drive to greatness

    NISSAN has completed its revival plan in style, becoming the UK's largest car production facility. The Japanese car firm, which employs 5,000 staff at its Sunderland plant, produces more than 300,000 cars a year, and has plans to increase that volume

  • Black Cats safe

    DESPITE the efforts of Sunderland manager Peter Reid to keep the news of Liverpool's two-goal half-time lead over Ipswich Town from his players striker Niall Quinn revealed afterwards that word had got round the team - and they took their foot off the

  • Smith strike sinks Boro

    THE domestic season maybe over but Middlesbrough manager Steve McClaren's work starts here. After bringing the curtain down on his first season in charge at the Riverside with a 1-0 defeat at Leeds United, McClaren admits his task now is to make sure

  • Travel chaos and staff morale on decline . . .

    RAIL industry officials warn-ed at the end of last year that commuters were facing increased travel chaos because of a collapse in the morale of Railtrack staff. Services on busy routes into London and across southern England suffered particularly badly

  • Accident adds to tragic track record

    YESTERDAY'S tragic rail accident at Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, is a huge body blow to an industry which has lurched from crisis to crisis in recent years. As the extent of the disaster became clear, many in the industry could scarcely believe yet another

  • Playing for the region's honour

    WHILE the importance of football has to be kept in context, it does have a special value to the people of the North-East. Success for our football teams can lift the mood of the region, as demonstrated by Newcastle's surprise qualification for the Champions

  • Sunderland visit gives Cestrians chance of a hat-trick

    Local Cricket round-up. High-flying Chester-le-Street aim for a hat-trick of wins when they take on Sunderland at Ropery Lane in the ECB North East Regional Premier League. Boosted by the signings of Ashley Day and Shaun Birbeck, the Cestrians look stronger

  • 'Drug-rape will be tackled'

    THE Governement has promised to tackle the growing problem of drug-assisted rape, following a campaign by Redcar MP Vera Baird. Ms Baird, a legal expert on sexual offences and a patron of the Drug Rape Trust, applied for an adjournment debate on the issue

  • Villagers see red over temporary traffic lights

    TEMPORARY traffic lights are still driving villagers crazy - six years after they were installed. The lights were put in place after a landslide, but have now been concreted into the ground. Residents in the village of Mickleton, in Teesdale, County Durham

  • Kerb crawlers to lose their cars

    MAGISTRATES are to be asked to put the brakes on kerb crawlers plaguing a town - by confiscating their cars. In a ground-breaking move, Crown Prosecution Service lawyers have given Cleveland Police the go-ahead to apply for court orders that will see

  • Roman camps discovery may delay £50m plan

    PLANS for a £50m business park may have to be put on hold following a chance discovery by airborne archaeologists. Experts flying over Monks Cross, in York, on their way to Hadrian's Wall, found the remains of two Roman army training camps. An investigation

  • Hearty walk

    The Take Heart Support Group stages a five-mile walk tomorow, leaving the Tees Barrage at 10.30am. Tom Burns will be leading the walk and people are advised to park at the Talpore Inn. Further information is available by calling (01642) 475167.

  • Warehouse death case jury to retire

    THE jury hearing the case of a factory boss accused of manslaughter is due to retire on Monday to consider its verdict. Closing speeches in the case of Factory Cover managing director John Elders, who is standing trial at Teesside Crown Court accused

  • Widow calls for stiffer sentences

    A YOUNG mother told of her anguish yesterday after the motorist who killed her husband and his best friend was jailed for just two-and-a-half years. Charles McKay, 20, crashed his red Seat Toledo into Lee Benson Gardner, 29, and his motorbike pillion

  • 'Useful' response to death inquiries

    SCORES of late night revellers have been interviewed by police piecing together the last hours of father-of-four David Griffiths. The 39-year-old's crushed body was found by a worker in a heap of rubbish being sorted and graded at a recycling plant in

  • Quality of family life can prevent drug use in young

    CHILDREN who have close relationships with their mothers are far less likely to get involved in drug or alcohol abuse, a study by North-East academics has claimed. But international researchers also found that good parenting - seen as a barrier which

  • Paying tribute

    Messages from friends and collegues Jimmy Montgomery The great thing about Frank is that you always knew where you stood with him. There are some journalists you can have a beer with and tell them something off the record and you know it will stay that

  • News in brief: Seeking clues over fatality

    Police are hoping to track down the owner of a Citroen Saxo car spotted near the scene of a fatal accident last month. The dark vehicle, which had three occupants, was seen leaving Swainby, near Northallerton, North Yorkshire, late on the night of April

  • Still waiting to act on key recommendations for safety

    AS the investigation begins into yesterday's Potters Bar tragedy, key recommendations from the 1999 Paddington crash have still not been implemented. Paddington inquiry chairman Lord Cullen stipulated that recommendations on the supervision of, and use

  • Passengers cut from bus wreckage

    NORTH-EAST coach passengers had to be cut free from wreckage when their bus collided with a lorry on a motorway. More than 40 people needed treatment after their 52-seater vehicle, believed to have travelled from Dover, collided with a truck on the M20

  • Durham turn to McCallum for county clash

    KEVIN McCallum, the former Darlington Mowden Park full back now with Consett, has been drafted into the Durham County team for today's match against Middlesex at the Old Merchant Taylors' ground. He replaces Darlington skipper David Glendenning, who is

  • Newspaper saved my life, says North-East survivor

    A NORTH-EAST survivor of the rail crash last night described how a newspaper may well have saved his life. Daniel Wilson, 27, originally from Darlington, said it was a miracle he had not been sitting in the carriage that was derailed after deciding to

  • Tonight, I'm going to be Matthew

    SOME actors want to be remembered for their performances, others for their hairdoes. Steve Pratt meets coiffeur man, Matthew Macfadyen FUNNY people actors. You can praise them to high heaven for a performance and give them countless awards, only for one

  • RA fight to death for title

    Wearside League. It's the last throw of the dice for Darlington RA, who must defeat leaders North Shields to have any chance of clinching the championship. "Realistically the Robins have just about sealed the title but if we defeat them and win our last

  • Police hunt thugs after vagrant, 87, is viciously beaten

    A HARMLESS 87-year-old vagrant was beaten within an inch of his life by young thugs as he slept in a shop doorway. Bob Glenholmes faced the world yesterday after being battered black and blue in the attack. He was huddled in a Newcastle doorway sleeping

  • Publican in court over counterfeit drinks charges

    THE man at the centre of a beef-on-the-bone row when the meat was banned from sale during the BSE crisis was back in court yesterday to face charges relating to selling counterfeit drinks. Publican Christopher Bowman - whose supporters blocked the road

  • Magpies suffer Saints defeat

    It was a case of new ground, same old jinx for Newcastle as their season ended in dismal fashion with their usual defeat at Southampton - and a serious injury to Kieron Dyer. The Magpies have not won here for 30 years but hoped their luck might change

  • Arriva defends its record on safety

    BUS company Arriva North-East has defended its safety record amid increasing fears over attacks on drivers. The operator says it places paramount importance on the safety of its staff and has denied that it is failing to take steps to increase security

  • Resurrection for Latin mass

    REPLACED - some say "suppressed" - more than 30 years ago, the traditional Catholic Mass, in Latin, begins its comeback in Middlesbrough tomorrow. Among those attending the celebration will be Dr Carol Byrne from Nunthorpe who claims that the traditional

  • Anwar's return will lift the Tudhoe spirits

    Tudhoe are expecting professional Shahid Anwar to give them a lift for their home game with Sedgefield today Tudhoe are expecting to receive clearance in time for him to start his third spell as a pro at the club, and skipper Kevin Littlefair said: "He

  • It's not just plants these days

    I took a step back and admired the latest addition to my garden, a Trillium erectum. It stood straight and proud amongst my small semi-shaded woodland border. It did look lonely, but one was all I could afford. I have been after this particular plant

  • Beardsley and Durham in the 'Zone'

    CRICKET fan Peter Beardsley will help promoted Durham Dynamos launch their Norwich Union National League programme at home to Warwickshire Bears tomorrow. The former Newcastle and England footballer will officially open the Universal Kids' Zone, which

  • Collett plans to catch up

    Darlington keeper Andy Collett doesn't plan on getting a rest this summer as he sets his sights on a return to action next season. Collett suffered two severe injuries and after missing a chunk of the action, he is determined to be back on August 10 for

  • Stoute's Classic star duo on trial at Lingfield

    SIR MICHAEL Stoute has pencilled in two of his top three-year-olds for this afternoon's attheraces-sponsored Oaks and Derby trials at Lingfield. First on stage is Barzah (2.40), a beautifully-bred 300,000-guineas daughter of Darshaan, owned by Hamdan

  • Neighbourhood rocked by explosion

    A SLEEPING neighbourhood was rocked by an explosion at the weekend. Residents were woken by a massive bang that ripped through an alley, blowing in nearby windows and setting off burglar alarms. Police suspect the explosion, in an alley between Oxford

  • Southgate tips Cole to be huge hit

    MIDDLESBROUGH defender Gareth Southgate is backing "maverick'' midfielder Joe Cole to be England's secret World Cup weapon. The 20-year-old West Ham star is hoping to emulate the impact of Geordie genius Paul Gascoigne during the 1990 tournament in Italy

  • Double delight for Dods

    ON form trainer Michael Dods continued his sparkling early season form with a double at Carlisle yesterday. And Dods, who trains at Denton, near Darlington, nearly made it a treble when Bundy finished a close second under Liz Maude at Hamilton last night

  • Dozy criminal left big clue

    A DOZY criminal gave police a more than handy clue when he wrote his name on a stolen war pension book - so another could cash it in, a court heard yesterday. Houghton-le-Spring magistrates heard that Brian Walmsley, 20, gained nothing from signing his

  • Four face court over drugs

    FOUR people from County Durham appeared in court yesterday facing drug charges after a series of police raids on Thursday. Peter Alfred Shutt, 32, of Holly Hill, Shildon, was accused of possession with intent to supply heroin. Michael Robert Jardine,

  • Cockpit smoke leads to emergency

    A FIRE alert forced a military plane to make an emergency landing at Newcastle Airport. Five planes had to circle for about an hour on Thursday as firefighters investigated the incident aboard the RAF VC-10, which had five people on board. The crew of

  • Hotel guests are hit by virus

    NEARLY 200 people are known to have been affected by a virus which has forced the closure of a top hotel. The Grand Hotel, in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, will be closed this weekend as a precautionary measure against any further spread of what is thought

  • Hear all sides: Recycling facilities

    HOW much money is there in Hambleton District Council's reserves? £30m-£35m? There are about 16,000 to 20,000 people in Northallerton, and only one bin for recycling plastic bottles, on the edge of town. HDC has, in common with all other councils, to

  • Calendar girls raise £14,000

    FARMERS' wives who bared almost all for a risque calendar are celebrating after it raised thousands of pounds. Women from across the region added a touch of glamour to the traditional image of rural life last year in a bid to counter the devastating effects

  • Taking on the Army will be best for Jake

    THE Army's Be the Best slogan is to be put to the test for charity later this year. Teams from across the region have been chall-enged to take them on in a series of hurdles which put both mental and physical skills to the test. The Jake Burgess App-eal

  • Phone hotline is catching out smugglers

    MOVES to crack down on lucrative cigarette and alcohol smuggling has been boosted by calls to a confidential customs hotline. Customs and Excise officials have reported a 20 per cent increase in calls following the launch of a publicity campaign in the

  • Furniture for special client

    A NORTH Yorkshire furniture maker is celebrating keeping a customer satisfied for the past 25 years. John Aitken, from Belgium, began a special relationship with Beaver Furniture, of Thirsk, in 1977 when he requested a piece of furniture to commemorate

  • Pollock power proves too much for Dynamos

    IT WAS not so much the gulf between the two divisions which undermined Durham on Sunday as the unexpected inclusion of Shaun Pollock in the Warwickshire ranks at the Riverside. The visitors are under orders from the South African board not to overwork

  • Van man is held behind bars

    A MAN who hit the headlines when he was bailed to live in his three-wheeled van was behind bars last night. Last month, magistrates told Neil Savage, 30, who faces drugs and theft offences, he must not leave the van in Hogarth Drive, Columbia, Washington

  • Woman, 85, mugged for her handbag

    AN 85-year-old pensioner was taken to hospital after a thug pulled her to the ground while stealing her handbag. She was waiting at a bus stop near the Eagle pub, in Durham Lane, Eaglescliffe, Teesside, yesterday, when she was approached by the youth.

  • Robbers beat driver and burn out taxi

    A TAXI driver was beaten up by three men who then hijacked the cab and set fire to it nearby. The driver had been cleaning out the inside of his taxi at 1.30am yesterday, in Allendale Road, Spencer Beck, Middlesbrough, when he was attacked by the men

  • Death crash trucker has sentence cut

    A LORRY driver who killed six people when he crashed into three vehicles on the hard shoulder of a motorway had his prison sentence and driving ban cut on appeal yesterday. Three judges, sitting at London's Court of Appeal, reduced Brian France's six-year

  • Future is bright for rugby duo

    TEENAGE rugby stars Matthew Tate and James Hamer could be gracing the hallowed turf of Twickenham with the best players in the world in years to come. The two Barnard Castle School pupils have already represented their country at under-16 and under-18

  • Just cloning around with Star Wars

    After the lukewarm reception for the last Star Wars instalment, director George Lucas was expected to come up with the goods. Next week, fans and critics alike get the chance to give their verdict. Steve Pratt reports. THESE must be tense times at Skywalker

  • Sergeant on parade

    Darlington Building Society NYSD Premier League. Champions Guisborough, who won for the first time on Monday, visit Blackhall and although the Collierymen have made an inauspicious start, a close result is anticipated. Blackhall welcome the return of

  • A farewell to Frank

    When Northern Echo sports writer Frank Johnson takes up his seat in the Stadium of Light box this afternoon it will be the end of an era. It is Frank's last competitive game before retirement and the well respected writer reflects on 42 years covering

  • Niall's tonic for cancer sufferer

    SOCCER star Niall Quinn has put a smile back on the face of a teenage cancer sufferer. The Sunderland striker visited Gary Harvey at home to ask him to be his guest of honour at his testimonial match. The 13-year-old was diagnosed six months ago with

  • Players unite to boost op funds

    A charity rugby match is taking place in the North-East today. Stockton Rugby Club will face a Teesside Barbarians team, made up of players from local rugby clubs Darlington Mowden Park, Middlesbrough, Billingham, Yarm, West Hartlepool and Redcar. The

  • Durham captain confident of beating champions

    LEADING last season's wooden spoonists out against reigning champions Yorkshire in their own backyard may not seem the ideal introduction to the Durham captaincy. But after confidently setting out his lofty plan to finally break the White Rose county's

  • At your service: Golden greats for a very happy band

    A 50th anniversary celebration for a North-East Salvation Army singing group went with real swing, thanks to a wealth of talent. ANOTHER golden jubilee, Shildon Salvation Army's songster brigade marked 50 high note years last weekend. They have appeared

  • Honouring fairer sex

    A NEW awards ceremony will honour the achievements of businesswomen from the North-East. The Women In Business Awards take place on June 14 at the Hardwick Hall Hotel in Sedgefield. The event has been created by Enterprise Event Management, a division

  • Bowey directors in driving seat

    SIX directors of Bowey Construction have completed a management buy-out of the company. The deal completes a demerger from the Bowey Group, started two years ago. The process began in May 2000, when the Bowey Group moved to the Team Valley, in Gateshead

  • Vince out for record

    FORMER Great Britain junior international Vince Wilson aims to equal a 70-year-old record by winning the North-East 800m record for an eighth time in the annual track and field championship at Gateshead International Stadium this weekend. Wilson, once

  • Trescothick ton sends Yorkshire to big defeat

    Yorkshire's start-of-season slump continued at Taunton yesterday when they crashed by seven wickets to Somerset after Marcus Trescothick flayed their bowling with a masterly 134. The champions have now suffered three-day defeats in their first two matches

  • Goal-shy Beni can only blame himself

    BENITO CARBONE'S lack of goals ultimately cost him a move to Middlesbrough. Carbone, who was a huge hit with the fans and helped Boro reach Premiership safety during his three-month loan, returned to Bradford City this week after failing to agree a permanent

  • Quinn plea to fans

    SUNDERLAND club captain Niall Quinn last night pleaded with disgruntled fans to forget about protests and rally round the team in their last-ditch fight for Premiership survival against Derby County at a full-house Stadium of Light this afternoon. "I