• Power company spells out £130m benefits of station

    PLANS for a power station linking east Durham with Norway would result in a £130m investment in the area, claims the firm behind it. National Grid International (NGI) wants to establish the electricity converter station, along with underground cables

  • Keeper happy with the pressure

    MAN-OF-THE-MOMENT Anthony Williams is relishing the pressure of being at the summit of Division Three. The Hartlepool United keeper has helped earn his side four points on the road in the last week, making a crucial late save in the win at Macclesfield

  • Fire fighters to contest Labour seats

    Fed up fire fighters are to contest Labour councillors for seats in town hall elections on Teesside in May. Disillusioned with Labour nationally and locally, Middlesbrough firemen Kevin Morby and Telfer Whitfield are among five Middlesbrough Independents

  • City's relief as losing streak ends

    THE City breathed a monumental sigh of relief when the FTSE 100 Index finally broke its record 11-day losing streak. Despite falling ten points shy of the psychologically-important 3,500 mark, a 9.2 gain on the day was enough to raise spirits. Traders

  • 12 arrests in purge on drugs at prison

    A CRACKdown on visitors smuggling drugs into a North-East prison has led to the arrests of 12 people. Police and staff at Deerbolt Young Offenders' Institution, at Barnard Castle, County Durham, teamed up to launch a two-month operation in an effort to

  • Make the most of flying visits

    RESIDENTS in Middlesbrough are being invited to make the most of the wildlife in their gardens. At roadshow workshops across the town, Middlesbrough Wildspace team will demonstrate how to provide food and shelter for birds. There will be opportunities

  • Detective cleared of wife's 'threat to kill' allegation

    A DETECTIVE has been cleared of an allegation that he made a threat to kill his now estranged wife in a domestic row. John Steventon, a detective constable with Northumbria Police, was accused of making the threat during an argument with his wife, Sandra

  • 1,500 expected at gipsy's funeral

    AS many as 1,500 gipsies are expected to travel to the North-East on Monday to attend the funeral of a man who died while in custody. Police are expecting roads in Stockton to be heavily congested as family and friends of Patrick Lowther arrive in hundreds

  • Hair today, gone tomorrow to tackle Mount Everest

    TEACHER Bob Elston hopes he has a head for heights when he tackles an ascent part way up the world's tallest mountain later this year. But it could be a hairless head - as the County Durham maths teacher has offered to have his prized moustache and beard

  • City artist on display

    A DURHAM artist is staging her seventh solo exhibition next month. Gillie Cawthorne has been a professional artist since graduating from Durham University. Her series of paintings and prints of Durham Cathedral and the city's university colleges have

  • Store staff put the T in charity

    STAFF at one of the region's most popular tea rooms enjoyed a cup of tea and slice of cake yesterday to celebrate a successful year of fundraising. More than £30,000 has been raised for children's charities, thanks to the efforts of staff at Bettys and

  • Keep your feet still, geordie Hini

    designer San San Liu adopted a North-East term of endearment as the title of her new venture. The 28-year-old, who went to school in Newcastle, opened a furniture and homeware shop in Durham City after getting help from The Prince's Trust. She called

  • Consultation will decide anti-crime measures

    RESIDENTS are being urged to support an initiative to tackle crime and improve community safety in Hartlepool. Questionnaires have been delivered to hundreds of homes in the Burbank area asking for people's views on crime and the type of measures they

  • Kirsty's fightback comforts parents

    A TODDLER critically injured in a hit-and-run car crash that claimed the life of her six-year-old sister has amazed doctors with her powers of recovery. Rebecca Sawyer, of Ashington, Northumberland, was killed when a stolen car driven by Ian Carr jumped

  • Hear All Sides

    TUITION FEES - The decision to introduce £3,000-a-year tuition fees for students, taken by the Education Secretary Charles Clarke, is unfair for lower and middle income families. Not all graduates will get highly-paid jobs and those that do pay higher

  • Young performers turn back the clock

    YOUNG actors will bring the rock 'n' roll era of the 50s back to life tonight in a production of the hit musical, Grease. Greencroft School, in Annfield Plain, near Stanley, will be transformed into Rydell High for the performance by lower school pupils

  • Electric group wins £30m Midlands contract

    ONE of Northern Electric Group's stable of firms has won a £30m contract to upgrade and maintain part of a distribution network further south. Middlesbrough-based Integrated Utility Services (IUS) secured the deal with East Midlands Electricity, worth

  • Developer sets out leisure centre plan

    PROPOSALS for a multi-million pound leisure complex in Scarborough are to go on show again to allay fears about which amenities may be lost. The exhibition will be held at the Corner Complex tomorrow, from 3.30pm to 8pm, to explain the facilities being

  • Cause of car death crash a mystery

    THE cause of a head-on crash that claimed a driver's life may never be known, an inquest has heard. Stephen Tomlinson, 30, of Bridge View, Fishburn, died of multiple injuries when his Rover collided with a Volvo truck as he drove to work at a Spennymoor

  • Back hearing into Deepcut deaths, MPs urged

    The parents of a dead North-East soldier marked what would have been his 19th birthday by calling on MPs to back their campaign for a public inquiry. Private Geoff Gray, of Seaham, County Durham, is one of four young soldiers whose deaths at the Army's

  • School marks the future for estate

    The regeneration of a rundown Darlington estate began last week with the opening of a primary school co-designed by children. WHEN pupils at Firthmoor Primary School in Darlington wrote a letter to Tony Blair asking for a new school as part of a class

  • Joiner to test skills at trade 'Olympics'

    A joiner from Leyburn is preparing to prove he is the best in the world at his trade. Lee Fawcett has defeated the best in the country to win a place on the UK team for the 37th World Skills competition. During the four-day Olympic-style competition in

  • Top of league in value-added progress table

    A DARLINGTON school finished top of the league in a new indicator in the Government's performance tables. This year's tables included a value-added section, which charts the progress made by pupils compared with expected achievements. The Government looked

  • Hospice dream becomes reality

    THE Northern Echo's association with the Butterwick hospice movement in the North-East is a proud one. Following the death of the Princess of Wales, we launched a campaign in Diana's memory to complete the building of the region's first hospice for children

  • Landlord ballot result

    ALMOST 80 per cent of the 4,500 council house tenants on the Yorkshire Coast voted in a ballot to decide whether they should switch landlords from Scarborough Borough Council to the new Yorkshire Coast Housing Association. Councillor Bill Chatt, cabinet

  • Storey hopes Power switch lights up Newcastle

    WILF STOREY'S decision to switch Atlantic Power back to hurdles could spark a change of fortune for the ten-year-old grey gelding at Newcastle today. Sheer size is not one of Atlantic Power's attributes and as a consequence of his diminutive stature he

  • Doctors travel to Ethiopia

    A TEESSIDE doctor is to travel to Africa to teach on a degree course as part of a two-year volunteering programme. Dr Neal Wade, 27, a former Egglescliffe School pupil, will leave for Awasa, in Ethiopia, on Saturday, with his partner, Dr Jenny Search.

  • A helping hand for the 'lost' children

    Coping with disability can put an almost unbearable strain on a family. Nick Morrison looks at a project which aims to give the parents of disabled children a break FOR most of the six years the routine was the same. On Sunday mornings Susan would arrive

  • £1m Lottery grant bid to revitalise park

    ONE of South West Durham's oldest parks is to get a £1million revamp if a National Lottery bid is successful. Plans to repair, restore and upgrade Auckland Park, in Bishop Auckland, have been backed by councillors in order to attract more visitors to

  • Don't cry baby, you could die

    It's every parents' nightmare - your baby could stop breathing if she cries. Gavin Engelbrecht reports WHEN Anna Chrostowski cries, her mother has more to worry about than mere hunger pangs - for Anna's wailing can cause her breathing to stop, placing

  • Fire strikers cross the line to save road crash victims

    STRIKING firefighters left their picket line yesterday to save three people after a car crash. Five officers among strikers at Leadgate, near Consett, County Durham, attended a head-on collision on the A693 Consett bypass, between Villa Real and Delves

  • Offiong heads back to Magpies

    Newcastle striker Richard Offiong has returned to St James' Park after Darlington boss Mick Tait decided not to extend his loan period for a third month. The 19-year-old, who initially joined Quakers for a month in November, had his spell at Feethams

  • No end in sight to terror inquiry

    POLICE are continuing inquiries a year after six men were arrested in one of the region's biggest terrorist raids. The men, who are suing Durham and Cleveland police forces, were arrested last January in dawn raids in Teesside and County Durham. The investigation

  • We all have to grow up in the end, Mick

    THE trouble with having children is that they turn us into parents. And we all know what parents are like, don't we? Boring. Yes, even raunchy rebellious parents, even parents who lived only for sex, drugs and rock and roll. Yes, even a Rolling Stone.

  • Darlington tax will increase by six per cent

    Council taxes in Darlington are set to rise by six per cent this year with promises of extra investment but no cuts in services. The borough council has stressed that despite the tax increases, householders in the town will continue to pay the lowest

  • Darren battles his way to a promotion

    A NORTH-EAST man has battled against a disease of the nervous system to climb up the managerial ladder at a fast-food restaurant. Darren Styles was recently promoted to floor manager at the McDonald's restaurant in Thinford, near Spennymoor. The promotion

  • Magistrate attacks soft stance on burglars

    A disillusioned magistrate spoke out against the Lord Chancellor's soft stance on burglars yesterday. Margaret Forbes, 63, has been a JP since 1983 and has seen numerous changes in the justice system. But now she is assessing her future after controversial

  • Rail line upgraded delayed due to funding crisis

    Rail chiefs are tomorrow expected to announce the postponement of a much vaunted upgrade of the East Coast Main Line, which would have created thousands of jobs. The Strategic Rail Authority (SRA), which will publish an annual report on its strategic

  • Beattie deals severe blow to survival hopes

    NORTH-EAST Nemesis James Beattie dealt a blow to Sunderland's Premiership survival hopes with his 16th top-flight goal this season. The England hopeful, who looks certain of a place in Sven-Goran Eriksson's squad for the friendly with Australia at West

  • That's the way to do it

    Any parent will tell you that the number of times you are acknowledged as being right are slim, especially by your offspring. Let me celebrate, then, such a moment courtesy of my younger son Chris after I'd wondered why he'd driven all the way to the

  • Newcastle United defence

    THE rumours circulating the Premiership that Newcastle United possess a soft-centre appear to be borne out by the statistics this season. The possible arrival of Jonathan Woodgate - dependant on Robbie Fowler staying at Elland Road - should shore up a

  • Hospice will create new jobs

    More than a dozen healthcare jobs will be created in the region thanks to a big influx of lottery funds into the hospice movement. The announcement this week that £1.2m of National Lottery money is being invested means Butterwick Hospice Care will shortly

  • Ups and downs of a hunt's fortunes

    THE Hurworth Hunt is one of the oldest in the North-East, but it celebrates its 200th anniversary amid uncertainty as the Government tries to work out what it dares to do with the sport's future. It is ironic, really, that the Government is led by Tony

  • Maccarone admits life is tough in the Premiership

    ITALIAN hitman Massimo Maccarone has admitted he has struggled to come to terms with life in the Premiership. But Middlesbrough's club record buy insists he is happy on Teesside and he is convinced the fans will soon see the best of him. The Italian has

  • Environmental groups given Lottery bonuses

    THREE County Durham environmental organisations have scooped National Lottery grants totalling £67,175. The money comes from the Social, Economic and Environmental Development (Seed) Programme, which has awarded £485,592 in grants to environmental projects

  • Pig of a poser, this one...

    OVER ham and pease pudding sandwiches in the Brit - the currency in which the column's principal lieutenants are paid, foot soldiers receiving nothing whatsoever - the conversation turned to the word "gis". "Gis" as in "fower taties more than a gis" or

  • Last Night's TV

    Living fast and dying young - Living Dangerously (BBC2) - CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (five) HUMPHREY Bogart said that dying was the best career move for any young actor. He might have been thinking of James Dean, who died in a car crash, aged 24,

  • Childcare bills expensive in North-East

    Childcare bills in the North-East have reached record levels, according to a survey set to be published tomorrow. Although the region has below average fees, the cost of a nursery place for a child under two is now £112 -- a rise of 8.7 per cent from

  • Revamp enters its final phase

    WORK will soon begin on the final part of a project to revitalise a Hartlepool shopping centre. A total of £180,000 is being spent on Brierton Lane shops to improve their appearance and make the surrounding area more secure. During the coming weeks three

  • Paedophile who was freed early stalked victim's family

    A paedophile who won a reduction in his prison sentence is back behind bars after stalking the family of the teenage girl he molested. Alan Fairless had been jailed at Newcastle Crown Court after pleading guilty to two counts of indecent assault and three

  • It's hardly the Toon, but kebabs are on the menu

    IN his heyday, Geordie legend Paul Gascoigne was universally acclaimed as one of the finest footballers ever to pull on an England shirt. The wayward genius has enjoyed a largely successful career, taking him from his hometown club of Newcastle United

  • Community group's closure fears eased by Lottery cash

    FEARS that a community project would have to shut have been eased thanks to a National Lottery grant. Funding of almost £70,000 of Community Fund has secured the future for Northallerton group Breathing Space, which provides trips for adults with learning

  • Saw used to damage bridge

    A VANDAL with a power saw has damaged a wooden bridge and a seat in Saltburn Valley Gardens and has stolen a four-foot section of the bridge's ornate handrail and part of the seat's backrest. A member of the public alerted countryside wardens to the vandalism

  • Killer son's early release bid fails

    A teenage killer who battered his mother to death with a champagne bottle failed yesterday in his bid to be released early from prison. The Lord Chief Justice ruled that Simon Geldart will have to serve at least ten years. Geldart, from Darlington, was

  • Dublin's fair atrium

    ONE of the UK's leading manufacturers of fire resistant products has completed a project costing a million euros at an Irish office development. Baydale Architectural Systems - producer of high quality fire resistant doors, screens and specialist glazed

  • We all have to grow up in the end, Mick

    THE trouble with having children is that they turn us into parents. And we all know what parents are like, don't we? Boring. Yes, even raunchy rebellious parents, even parents who lived only for sex, drugs and rock and roll. Yes, even a Rolling Stone.

  • In defence of the Queen's crown

    SCARBOROUGH - "Queen of Watering Places". How potently that lovely, though long-discarded, tag lingers. And how grateful Scarborough should be that it does. What grace it suggests. What elegance. Their everyday lives left far behind, the town's visitors

  • Youngsters take notes from the maestros

    DISABLED youngsters enjoyed a visit by expert percussionists as part of a national tour. The Rhythm Attack Percussion Quartet called at Durham Trinity School's Flambard premises, at Aykley Heads, yesterday, during the first of three Live Music Now tours

  • Inquest finds no explanation for head-on crash

    THE cause of a head-on crash that claimed a driver's life may never be known, an inquest has heard. Stephen Tomlinson, 30, of Bridge View, Fishburn, County Durham, died of multiple injuries when his Rover collided with a Volvo truck as he drove to work

  • Exhibition recreates life in a prisoner-of-war camp

    A YORKSHIRE museum is to tell the story of some of the bravest men to serve in the Second World War. Behind Barbed Wire opens at the Green Howards' Regimental Museum, in Richmond, on Monday, February 10. The exhibition focuses on the challenges faced

  • Council presses ahead with recreation ground scheme

    IMPROVEMENT plans for a recreation ground in Hartlepool have been given the go-ahead. Hartlepool Borough Council's cabinet has approved a blueprint for the future development of Grayfields. Members also gave their approval for officers to begin preparing

  • Royal family in the spotlight

    THE monarchy and its image will be examined at a conference in Durham this weekend. The event, called The Monarchy: Inventing Tradition?, is being organised by Durham University, and will be held on Saturday in the Debating Chamber, Palace Green, from10am

  • Pupils get a lesson in safety

    CHILDREN from Stockton were given a ticket to ride to learn about safety on the railways. Youngsters from Hartburn Primary School joined other youngsters on a visit to the National Railway Museum in York. They took part in Track Wise events on Thursday

  • Group celebrates ten years of support

    A GROUP helping sufferers of a crippling disease is marking its first decade in Darlington. The Darlington branch of the National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society has been offering practical and emotional support to sufferers for ten years this month. The

  • Customers asked to help in charity drive

    A SUPERMARKET is asking its customers to give generously to a charity throughout next month. Envelopes will be placed at the entrance to Asda, in Peterlee, and a mailbox will be provided in the store for customers to donate money to the Hartlepool and

  • Guards injured during robbery

    POLICE have released e-fits of two men suspected of a robbery and a vicious assault on two security guards at the weekend. One of the guards was seriously injured when the robbers beat him with a metal bar. The guards, aged 18 and 38, were on duty at

  • Homes revamped

    More than 150 council houses are to be revamped in a £270,000 upgrade. Gateshead Council is to invest the cash in its properties in Sunniside, to bring them up to the Government's decent homes standard. The work, starting in April, is part of a £3.2m

  • Vigilance urged following second mugging in town

    A SECOND mugging in a week has prompted Richmond police to warn people to be on their guard until the culprit is caught. A pensioner was knocked to the ground by the robber who tried to snatch her handbag while she walked along the town's Bargate at 12.15pm

  • Ministers 'preparing to outlaw fire strikes'

    RELATIONS between the Government and striking firefighters reached a new low last night after moves to impose a pay rise were announced. The move led to claims that ministers were preparing to ban industrial action in the fire service. Deputy Prime Minister

  • Pig of a poser, this one...

    OVER ham and pease pudding sandwiches in the Brit - the currency in which the column's principal lieutenants are paid, foot soldiers receiving nothing whatsoever - the conversation turned to the word "gis". "Gis" as in "fower taties more than a gis" or

  • Riverside is rocked by rampant Villa

    MIDDLESBROUGH'S proud Riverside record was torn to shreds last night by an Aston Villa side who won for the first time on their travels this season. Prior to the game Boro were able to boast being the only team to have not been defeated on their own patch

  • Small business fears over maternity leave rules

    SMALL businesses in Darlington could suffer because of new maternity leave rules, the business index for December shows. The Darlington Business Index, compiled by Clive Owen, senior partner at Clive Owen and Co, chartered accountants and business advisors

  • Children's hospice dream a reality

    FUNDRAISERS were celebrating last night after the region's first children's hospice received a massive National Lottery cash boost. The £1.2m grant over three years is the final piece in the financial jigsaw that will enable the Butterwick Children's

  • The last name accounted for in toll of pit heroes

    After almost exactly 94 years, a complete record of where each and every one of the 168 men and boys who died in the North-East's worst ever peacetime disaster can be recorded for posterity for the first time. Only the grave of Thomas Killingback, victim

  • Ups and downs of a hunt's fortunes

    THE Hurworth Hunt is one of the oldest in the North-East, but it celebrates its 200th anniversary amid uncertainty as the Government tries to work out what it dares to do with the sport's future. It is ironic, really, that the Government is led by Tony