• Coroner found guilty of theft

    A coroner was today found guilty of stealing almost £155,000 from the estates of dead clients at his solicitors' practice. Jeremy Cave, 53, of The Grange, Balk, Thirsk, North Yorkshire, had denied 10 counts of theft from the beneficiaries of dead clients

  • Neighbour's wall would be 'intrusion'

    A SIX-foot stone wall near a neighbour's bedroom window would be an appalling intrusion into their lives, councillors have ruled. Although planners had recommended approval of the project at the Kennels, Gilling West, near Richmond, the district council's

  • Knives obsession led to stabbing

    A MAN who was fascinated by knives was jailed yesterday for a street stabbing. Teesside Crown Court heard how Craig Fairweather, 26, ended a row with a friend by going into his home and arming himself with a knife with an 8in blade. He then stabbed fellow

  • Protest forum

    A public meeting to launch a campaign against the US missile defence system at Fylingdales, North Yorkshire, has been organised. It will take place at Guisborough Parish Hall, Bow Street, Guisborough, on Wednesday, February 19, at 7.15pm.

  • News in brief: Conman steals woman's purse

    AN 81-year-old woman has fallen victim to a conman who knocked on her door and asked for a drink of water. When the woman went to get a glass the thief ran upstairs at the house in Ventor Avenue, Hartlepool, before taking a purse. He was described as

  • Policeman attacked during pub brawl

    A PUNCH-UP in a village pub, which involved a rival landlord, ended in an attack on police, a court heard yesterday. Harrogate magistrates heard that a fight broke out between a regular at the Punch Bowl, in Marton-cum-Grafton, near Boroughbridge, and

  • Silence is golden for fundraising pupils

    THE only sound in a school dining room tomorrow will be the clatter of knives and forks as youngsters try not to utter a word - for charity. The usual lunchtime chatter will be silenced for at least ten minutes as children at Ingleby Arncliffe Primary

  • Bob heads for Everest adventure

    TEACHER Bob Elston hopes he has a head for heights when he tackles an ascent part way up the world's highest mountain later this year. But it could prove a hairless head after Mr Elston offered to have his prized moustache and beard removed as part of

  • Stately home plan rejected

    PLANNERS have turned down a developer's bid to build a stately home, based on a 17th Century architect's plans, for the second time. Sir John Vanbrugh is credited with the design of Castle Howard and Blenheim Palace - and left behind plans for a similar

  • News in brief: Conman steals woman's purse

    AN 81-year-old woman has fallen victim to a conman who knocked on her door and asked for a drink of water. When the woman went to get a glass the thief ran upstairs at the house in Ventor Avenue, Hartlepool, before taking a purse. He was described as

  • £1.7m grant from Defra funds improved recycling service

    A NEW type of household waste recycling centre has been launched in the region. Durham County Council successfully bid for £1.7m from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to help fund improvements to ten of its civic amenity

  • Former city chief arrested again

    Controversial former council boss Rod Hills has been arrested again by detectives, it emerged today. Police would only say a 56-year-old man had been arrested in connection with an on-going inquiry but declined to say who he was or what was being investigated

  • Rape cases reopened after DNA advance

    PIONEERING work by detectives in the North-East has led to 1,544 rape cases being reopened by the Metropolitan Police. The London force will look again at the cases of unsolved stranger rapes between 1987 and 1999. The work was inspired by officers in

  • Tributes to teacher

    TRIBUTES have been paid to a former senior teacher who has died at the age of 94. Mrs Irene Bainbridge was first a pupil and then a teacher at the old Wolsingham Grammar School, which later became one of Durham's first comprehensives. She worked there

  • Theatre gets opening date

    LEISURE bosses have set a date for the re-launch of a popular arts venue that has been closed for building repairs. The Empire Theatre in Consett was due to open at the beginning of January, following a £700,000 re-fit. But the project fell behind schedule

  • Free trees on offer to improve wildlife habitat

    RESIDENTS in Darlington are being offered the chance to plant free trees and shrubs in their neighbourhoods. Now in its fourth year, Darlington Borough Council's free trees scheme has already given away nearly 5,000 trees and shrubs. Stephen Harker, the

  • Newell thanks Turner

    MANAGER of the month Mike Newell last night paid tribute to the legacy left by Chris Turner as he lifted his first honour as Hartlepool United boss. An unbeaten January was enough for Newell to collect the honour, but he admits his job has been easy thanks

  • Rural fire station left unmanned

    THOUSANDS of people were left without fire cover after a recruitment shortage left a rural fire station unmanned. A decision by fire chiefs to leave Stanhope Fire Station without any cover has sparked an outcry from residents. But Chief Fire Officer for

  • Wildlife scheme launched

    CHESTER-LE-STREET'S first community environment group has been launched to conserve wildlife. Chester-le-Street Action for a Sustainable Environment will carry out projects at the town's Riverside Park and other areas in the district. Schemes that have

  • Hearty thanks

    HEALTH Minister Alan Milburn visited youngsters at a Darlington school on Friday to present a healthy eating award. While presenting the certificate, the Darlington MP told pupils at Skerne Park Primary School it was important to exercise and to eat a

  • Fumes scare at arts centre

    DOZENS of people were evacuated and one man was taken to hospital following a chemical leak last night. Ambulance crews and firefighters were called after sulphuric acid fumes started leaking from a faulty battery at the Arts Centre, in Vane Terrace,

  • Last Night's TV: Made For Each Other (C4)

    Sexual bribery on the home front AFTER the unmissable Wife Swap, Channel 4 tries to make amends with a programme about keeping couples together. Hidden cameras observe them at home around the clock. Then the footage is scrutinised by the experts in what's

  • Workman crushed

    A WAREHOUSE worker died after being crushed by a forklift truck at a supermarket distribution site. Police said Joseph Ward, 55, a single man who lived in Birtley, near Chester-le-Street, died from head injuries at the Co-op distribution site on the Drum

  • Councils target benefit fraud

    ACTION is being taken in Sedgefield and Darlington boroughs in an attempt to reduce the amount of money lost in benefit fraud. Sedgefield and Darlington Borough Councils are joining other local authorities in County Durham and Job Centre Plus to raise

  • 06/02/03

    WAR ON IRAQ: ALL those preaching against war with Iraq are not helping to prevent war, but making it all the more certain. They are, whether they realise it or not, giving aid, comfort, succour and support to an enemy or potential enemy. They are showing

  • Sorensen shut-out keeps dream alive

    THOMAS SORENSEN was Sunderland's penalty hero last night as they booked an FA Cup fifth-round home tie with Watford. Sorensen, back in the side for less than a month after recovering from a dislocated elbow, saved two Blackburn Rovers spot-kicks in the

  • New machine is at the cutting edge

    A CHESTER-le-Street steel supplier has splashed out £500,000 on mental cutting equipment designed to boost production. Armstrong Steel has bought the specialist piece of machinery which is set to increase production by nearly a quarter and significantly

  • Hanagan seeking repeat win

    LAST year's champion apprentice jockey Paul Hanagan has already proved he can more than hold his own in the senior ranks, a point which will hopefully be further hammered home by a repeat victory aboard Mr Pertemps (3.40) at Southwell today. The 19-year-old

  • Auditor calls Gala costs 'significant'

    A THEATRE has generated 'significant' costs since a council took over its running, an auditor has found. The annual audit letter of Durham City Council, recently published by the district auditor, highlights the costs of running the year-old Gala Theatre

  • New 90-bed care home proposed

    MORE than 80 jobs could be created if a proposal for a new private town centre care home for the elderly is given the go-ahead. Developers want to build a residential care home in Bishop Auckland that will provide accommodation for around 90 people. If

  • Want to know something? Just send in granny...

    WHEN Senior Son was about ten years old, a tall strapping lad, he suddenly became a sex object. Not that he realised that at the time - he was far more interested in football. But a gaggle of giggling little girls would ring him up, call to see if he

  • A taste of the Orient

    PUPILS savoured a taste of the Orient as part of Chinese New Year celebrations this week. Raventhorpe Preparatory School in Darlington, dedicated the whole of Monday to the theme, with 12 nursery pupils enjoying the extra education topic. Teachers decided

  • Charity mourns devoted couple

    THE funeral took place this week for a well-known Durham doctor and charity champion who died shortly after his wife last week. Dr John Jeremy Slowe died last Wednesday aged 89, just five days after the death of his 77-year-old wife Dorothea. A funeral

  • Angel artist in region to launch project

    Antony Gormley, the artist behind the Angel of the North, was back in the region today to launch a major art project. Dubbed the Arena project, it will see Mr Gormley mentor five up and coming artists, who in turn will work with 60 A Level art students

  • Long-lost AA Milne poetry goes under auction hammer

    SERIOUS literature scholars may scoff, but a simple autograph book is expected to bring delight to fans of one of the greatest children's authors of all time. The book is about to go under the hammer and contains all the usual little bits of doggerel

  • War protest

    THE non-political group Sedgefield Against War plans to stage a second Silent Vigil For Peace on Sedgefield Village Green, Crosshill, on Saturday from 11am to noon. Its first demonstration, last month, attracted people from across County Durham.

  • News in brief: Appeal to find missing man

    FAMILY and friends are trying to trace a man thought to have moved to the Durham area after leaving his pet shop in Bristol at short notice last month. Ashley Rogers, 26, who is understood to have family in County Durham, is asked to call AJ on (07817

  • Black Cats in the clear

    SUNDERLAND were last night exonerated by the Football Association over the signing of Stanislav Varga. The FA denied that they were investigating the £875,000 deal that took Varga to the Stadium of Light in July 2000. Aston Villa sparked an FA inquiry

  • Builders pass test with flying colours

    WATER workers built a 40ft bird hide in a few hours to mark World Wetlands Day. The bird-watching hut was built at The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in Washington when a challenge was laid down to 15 Northumbrian Water employees. The task began at 8am on

  • John North: Get me to the church sometime

    IT WAS June 21, 1969, and for Roderick Burtt and Judith Kent, a midsummer night's dream. He proposed, she accepted; five days afterwards the good news was announced in the Forthcoming Marriages section of the Telegraph. Nearly 34 years and a lot of ifs

  • Vandals ruin nursery

    VANDALS painted swear words and rude images on children's artwork during a wrecking spree at a nursery in the Louisa Centre at Stanley. Staff gave up their Sunday to clear up so children could attend on Monday. Nothing, apart from £5 tea money, was taken

  • Headteacher set to clean up

    A HEADTEACHER is counting the cost of a rash pledge after offering his services as a window cleaner. Wolsingham Primary School head Sam Underwood has volunteered for a window cleaning marathon at one of the biggest houses in the village to raise money

  • Personnel and aircrafts deployed to Gulf

    Aircraft and personnel from the region will be stationed in the Gulf as part of the preparations for possible war with Iraq. Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon announed today that about 100 RAF aircraft and more than 7,000 personnel will be present in the Gulf

  • Dales heart disease programme scoops third award

    A NEW health service created in one of the country's heart disease blackspots has earned three awards for its fight against the killer disease. The Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) programme developed for the districts of Teesdale and Wear Valley has been

  • Readers do the talking

    PEOPLE who enjoy a good read are being offered a chance to join a monthly series of discussion sessions at Bishop Auckland Town Hall. Called The Write Read, the meetings are led by County Durham author and writing tutor Elizabeth Hankin on the first Thursday

  • Pupils' words win patrol fight

    PUPILS campaigning to keep a crossing patrol won their fight after speaking at a meeting in County Hall. A class of youngsters from Our Lady and St Joseph's RC Primary School, Leadgate, attended Durham County Council highways committee meeting on Monday

  • A very rational fear of banking

    WHAT a relief. I may not be an irresponsible, incapable, feckless wimp after all. According to Dr Brendon Burchell of Cambridge University I'm just sick. I've got a new illness he's discovered, called "financial phobia". And I've got it bad. Sufferers

  • Majority favour home rule vote

    THE biggest test yet of public opinion on the creation of a regional assembly for the North-East has found a majority of County Durham voters favour a referendum on the issue. But in a blow to the vociferous campaign to bring Home Rule to the region,

  • Gun guard for shooting victim as armed officers patrol town

    ARMED police were last night patrolling the streets of a quiet market town hunting for two gunmen still on the loose 24 hours after a shooting shocked the area. A 23-year-old man was shot in the abdomen at point blank range in the rugby club car park

  • School closure is discussed after fall in pupils

    THE falling population of a North-East town could lead to the closure of one of its secondary schools. In an attempt to cut surplus places in the five secondary schools in Washington, education bosses in Sunderland are to consult the public on the closure

  • Swimming instructor receives payout after unfair dismissal

    A POPULAR swimming instructor has been given almost £10,000 in compensation after being unfairly dismissed from her job. Josephine Gibson, 56, was employed by Durham City Council to work at Durham City Baths in August 2000. As an instructor with 18 years

  • Now you see the litter warden . . .

    CARDBOARD cutouts are to be introduced to crack down on litter. Four of the 7ft-high placards will be placed around Darlington town centre to remind people that they could be fined for dropping litter. The cutouts, featuring warden Antony Sharp, will

  • Dealership hopes to win car awards

    PEUGEOT dealership Simon Bailes is hoping to drive away from the Automotive Management Awards 2003 with a hat-trick of accolades. Having scooped an award in the bodyshop category last year, the Northallerton firm is shortlisted for three awards this year

  • Nursery standards are top class

    YOUNGSTERS in Darlington are receiving a top class start in education, according to figures which show that nurseries are performing above Government targets. More than 1,100 children in the town receive nursery education, which aims to prepare them for

  • Centre expansion completed

    THE first tenants are moving into a major extension of one of Tees Valley's most successful business centres. The extension to UK Steel Enterprise's (UKSE) Innovation Centre in Kirkleatham Business Park, Redcar, has added 16,500sq ft of space to the existing

  • News in brief: Council tax rise agreed

    COUNCIL tax in Darlington will rise by six per cent this year, it was decided yesterday. The borough council's cabinet agreed the move after it was pledged that taxpayers would see no cuts in services, as well as extra investment in education, leisure

  • Band wins a promotion

    FERRYHILL Town Band are celebrating winning promotion in an annual contest. The band competed at the Durham County Brass Band Association contest at Spennymoor Leisure Centre. Ferryhill won first prize in the third section, beating several other bands

  • 'Hero' team quits in row over bonus

    NINETEEN non-league football players and their management team - hailed as heroes when they made it into the second round of the FA Cup - voted last night to resign from their club in a row over pay. Harrogate Railway, North Yorkshire, scaled new heights

  • Council ponders charity scheme

    COUNCIL workers could soon agree to have money deducted directly from their pay packet for charity. Darlington Borough Council will decide next Tuesday whether to join the Pennies from Heaven scheme. The initiative works by deducting the pennies from

  • Partnership gives college a boost

    A LEARNING partnership has helped a college receive new accreditation. Bishop Auckland College has been named as a County Durham Learning accredited centre following its efforts to develop non-accredited learning. The college has been working in partnership

  • Last chance to nominate for award

    NOMINATIONS close tomorrow for The Northern Echo Positive Young People Awards, sponsored by npower. The awards are presented to youngsters in Darlington who have been outstanding at school, on the sports field or in the community. The event, organised

  • Agency hits job targets

    REGIONAL development agency One NorthEast has hit its mid-year targets for job creation and retention and business growth. The organisation said it had created or safeguarded 1,803 jobs and created or attracted 129 businesses between April and September

  • Brother denies he made up sex claims

    AN alleged victim of sex abuse yesterday angrily denied he had colluded with his brother to fabricate charges against a former prison officer. In a showdown in front of a jury, the man pointed at his alleged tormentor and shouted: "You may deny it, but

  • Store plan put on hold

    PLANS to extend Darlington's main Safeway store into a hypermarket have been put on hold. There was outcry among town centre shops after the supermarket chain applied for permission to extend its Victoria Road store by more than 2,000 sq m towards South

  • HQ under way

    ONE of Britain's top Army medics, Colonel Jeremy Rowan, yesterday cut the first turf for a new headquarters building. The site at Queen Elizabeth Barracks, Strensall, near York, will become the centre of excellence for Territorial Army medical services

  • Mayor makes smart move to protect town environment

    A NORTH-EAST mayor has swapped his top-of-the-range Jaguar for a more environmentally-friendly mayoral limousine. Middlesbrough Mayor Ray Mallon will no longer travel around the town in a chauffeur-driven V8 4000cc Jaguar Sovereign. Instead, he will drive

  • Thousands back culture status bid

    MORE than 2,500 people in the North-East have pledged their support for Newcastle and Gateshead's bid for the European Capital of Culture 2008. Calls flooded in to Newcastle City Council's Envirocall hotline for the Back the Buzz campaign, after the team

  • Grieving mum's court fury

    A MOTHER has criticised a £40,000 fine imposed on a demolition firm after her son was crushed to death in an accident. Patricia Henderson, 48, said she felt "extremely let down" after Brown and Mason, of London, failed to apologise after the death of

  • North man dies in holiday home blaze

    A North-East man died yesterday in a fire at his family's apartment home in the resort town of Fuengirola, on Spain's Costa del Sol. Paul Burgess, 19, from Middlesbrough, was believed to have been asphyxiated by smoke in the kitchen blaze. His parents

  • Exhibition highlights pit tragedy

    THE stage is set for a major charity exhibition to back The Advertiser's campaign to mark the graves of the 54 men and boys who died in County Durham's worst peacetime disaster. The exhibition is being held at the Lamplight Arts Centre, Stanley, on the

  • Churches online

    Internet company Vigournet is offering 1,000 churches the chance to create their own websites online. For more information, visit:

  • Apartments plan proposed as part of site development

    A PLAN to redevelop a historic part of Hartlepool to create a restaurant, bistro and shops may be expanded. Hartlepool Borough Council is working on plans for the complex, which could be built on a site next to Kafiga Landings beside the Old Headland

  • Go-ahead for £20m hospital

    A £20M mental health hospital in the North-East was given the go-ahead yesterday. Members of Darlington Borough Council's planning committee approved the Private Finance Initiative-funded hospital, which will form part of the West Park development in

  • Lighting factory facing closure

    THE region could be about to suffer another jobs blow with the closure of a County Durham factory. Oshino Manufacturing UK, which employs 45 people at its plant in Newton Aycliffe, may have to close at the end of the month. The Japanese-owned company

  • Samantha nets school strip winner

    A football team has its own strip for the first time thanks to a talented young designer. Ten-year-old Samantha Kivi entered a national competition to design a strip for her school team and won the top prize with her orange-and-blue kit. But rather than

  • Negotiations open on sale of steelworks

    SPECULATION was growing last night that a buyer has been found for a crisis-hit North-East steelworks. The owners of the 37-acre Weardale Steel site at Wolsingham, in County Durham, said they were trying to negotiate a deal either to lease or sell the

  • Directors banned over quarter-of-a-million pound debts

    DIRECTORS who ran two companies that went into liquidation have been banned from running any business for four years. Graeme Colin Crowther, from Highfield Rise, and Mark Denholm, from Caxton Way, both Chester-le-Street, agreed to be disqualified from

  • Primary pupils go global on web

    PEOPLE from all over the world can keep track of a school after it launched its own website. St Hild's College CE Aided Primary School in Gilesgate, Durham, is among only a few primary schools to have set up its own website. Mainly designed as an educational

  • Coach drivers' phone protest leaves businesses gridlocked

    DISGRUNTLED businessman Gary Walton almost brought an entire industrial estate to a standstill yesterday as he took his phone company protest to the top. Mr Walton, who owns Stockton coach firm Compass Royston, got so fed up with ntl's failure to install

  • Bigger and better gym will follow fire

    A SCHOOL which lost its sports hall in an arson attack plans to reopen a bigger and better version later this year. A blaze ripped through Hermitage Comprehensive School's sports centre, just off Waldridge Lane, Chester-le-Street in November 2001. The

  • News in brief: Inquiry into woman's death

    POLICE are investigating the death of a young woman whose body was found early yesterday. Paramedics were called to a flat in Leybourne Terrace, Stockton, just after 1am, where they found the 20-year-old in a collapsed state. She was confirmed dead at

  • 'My children suffered as much as me'

    Many people believe domestic violence affects only women but, in nine out of ten cases, children are present in the same or next room. Women's Editor Christen Pears reports. ANDREA was just 11 when she started drinking neat vodka; now 18, she is a heroin

  • Shotgun seized in drugs raid

    THREE people are helping police with their inquiries after police seized a sawn-off shotgun and drugs from a house on Teesside. The two men and a woman were arrested after Cleveland Police, executing a warrant, raided a house in Warwick Street, Middlesbrough

  • Clown struck lover after she snubbed show

    A CIRCUS clown has been jailed for two years after punching his girlfriend when she refused to watch him perform in the big top. Gavin Riley expected Christine Pearson to travel to shows with him - but his live-in girlfriend became bored with watching

  • Championship honours for band

    A DARLINGTON brass band has swept the board in a county-wide championship contest. Cockerton Band won the Durham League (B section) competition, held in Spennymoor on Sunday. The band won the C section last year and were promoted into the B section for

  • Siege man in hospital after health fears

    THE former councillor at the centre of a 35-hour siege was in hospital last night after his health deteriorated. Maurice Kellett, 60, was finally taken from his home at Colliery Lane, Hetton-le-Hole, near Sunderland, just before midnight on Tuesday following

  • Siege man in hospital after health fears

    THE former councillor at the centre of a 35-hour siege was in hospital last night after his health deteriorated. Maurice Kellett, 60, was finally taken from his home at Colliery Lane, Hetton-le-Hole, near Sunderland, just before midnight on Tuesday following

  • News in brief: Appeal to find missing man

    FAMILY and friends are trying to trace a man thought to have moved to the Durham area after leaving his pet shop in Bristol at short notice last month. Ashley Rogers, 26, who is understood to have family in County Durham, is asked to call AJ on (07817

  • Houses likely replace former vicarage

    HOUSES are likely to replace the former vicarage at Leyburn after councillors backed amended plans. Yorvik Homes reduced the number of properties to be built on the site in Bellerby Road from ten to nine. The developer also agreed to look at providing

  • Valentine's Day prizes

    The Northern Echo is giving its readers the chance to have a special St Valentine's Day. The newspaper's website is running a competition offering the chance to win a bouquet worth £50, from Clare Florist, in Edinburgh. In addition, another entrant will

  • Art project immortalises memories in steel

    People living in Redcar are being given the chance to have their memories of the town immortalised in stainless steel as part of an art project. On Tuesday, a team of canvassers were asking residents and visitors to take part in Quotes In Steel, a project

  • Win a half-term treat

    THE Advertiser, in association with the Darlington Civic Theatre, is offering you the chance to win a family ticket to see The Hobbit this half-term. Two runners-up will receive a pair of tickets each. JRR Tolkien's magnificent and magical adventure story

  • School takes on eco-centre role

    A PRIMARY school is to start a new life as an 'eco centre' in January and become a trailblazing centre for environmental education. From next year, ecology and the environment will be high on the agenda at Esh Winning Primary School, when the Esh Winning

  • Police issue warning on bogus officials

    Police are warning elderly people in Teesdale to be extra vigilant after two bogus water board officials duped a pair of pensioners into letting them into their homes, making off with hundreds of pounds in cash and jewellery. The warning comes after two

  • Leeds block Woodgate return

    LEEDS UNITED have succeeded in barring Jonathan Woodgate from embarking upon a potentially explosive return by blocking the defender from making his Newcastle United debut at Elland Road on February 22. With Leeds fans furious at chairman Peter Ridsdale

  • Team scores soccer record

    YOUNG footballers at a Consett school have made sporting history after winning a tournament for a record seventh consecutive year. The team, made up of pupils from Years five and six, at St Patrick's RC School, beat rivals Castleside Primary in the finals

  • House collapses near Bedale

    An investigation was launched today after part of a brand new home collapsed, forcing neighbours to be rehoused. The gable end of a house on the new Persimmon Homes estate at Aiskew, near Bedale, fell while underpinning work was being carried out. No-one

  • Lucky lion dance

    THE Chinese New Year came to Durham City on Saturday with a performance of the colourful Lion Dance. The ceremony, performed outside the Gala Theatre by Durham Hung Sing Choi Lee Fut Kung Fu Club, heralded in the Year of the Ram. The lion, brought to

  • Walks for health get more cash

    EXTRA cash is boosting the fight against heart disease by setting more people on the path to healthy living. The Countryside Agency has increased its funding to Wear Valley District Council's three-year programme encouraging residents to get fitter by

  • Hospital joins national bid to cut waiting times

    ACCIDENT victims could soon be seen by physiotherapists and social workers when they go to hospital as part of a scheme to speed up treatment. Hospital bosses in County Durham have joined a nationwide drive to improve casualty units. New ways of working

  • US spells out case for war against Saddam

    Saddam Hussein's top intelligence officials held secret talks with Osama bin Laden, US Secretary of State Colin Powell claimed yesterday. He was setting out America's case for war with Iraq to the United Nations Security Council in New York. Mr Powell

  • Taxi drivers get test help

    A COMMUNITY group in is providing training for cabbies to help them pass a controversial test. The Cockerton and Branksome Living Enterprise (Cable), in Darlington, is running courses for would-be and existing taxi drivers to get them through the taxi

  • Rush of support delays holiday village decision

    AN eco-friendly holiday village remains a possibility after planners decided to postpone a decision until they are able to study a late rush of letters supporting the scheme. Eco-Build, of Richmond, North Yorkshire, has proposed building 18 log chalets

  • Woman in court over baby death

    A WOMAN appeared in court yesterday charged with murdering her baby daughter more than 13 years ago. Maxine Jane Robinson, 34, appeared before magistrates in Peterlee, County Durham, charged with killing nine-month-old Victoria Jean Cope in 1989. The

  • New chapter in memory of Nicole

    YOUNGSTERS have come up with a lasting tribute to a pupil who died when she was knocked down in a road accident. Children at Walkergate Primary School, Newcastle, have named their new library after Nicole Wong, who died six years ago, aged seven. Her

  • New chapter in memory of Nicole

    YOUNGSTERS have come up with a lasting tribute to a pupil who died when she was knocked down in a road accident. Children at Walkergate Primary School, Newcastle, have named their new library after Nicole Wong, who died six years ago, aged seven. Her

  • Art show to mark launch of base

    A DARLINGTON consulting company is hosting an art exhibition to mark the opening of its premises. KWM Consulting, in Darlington, is hosting the exhibition to welcome clients and the public to its new premises at Ashburn House, in Grange Road. The one-off

  • St John friends' new link

    A group for former members of St John Ambulance is being set up. The St John Fellowship helps people who used to be involved in the charity stay in touch with each other. It also helps former members in need and provides support for working St John Ambulance

  • Help offered to educational groups

    THE national Grid for Learning is offering community groups the chance to be included on its website. The free Government-funded site acts as a gateway to more than 900 sites containing educational resources for teachers, adult learners, parents and pupils

  • Museum lines up fun themes

    DARLINGTON Railway Museum is livening up its weekends with themed family activities. The Family Fun events, which include half-price entry for children, begin on Saturday, February 15, with a Victorian weekend. The following weekend will focus on train

  • Inquest told of couple's tragic death

    A TRAGIC couple died within three months of each another, an inquest hearing was told yesterday. Just nine weeks after Melanie James killed herself with a cocktail of drink and drugs, her husband Paul Christopher James died of acute alcohol poisoning.

  • Company success leads to job losses

    A REVIEW of activities at a Darlington business will inevitably lead to job losses. But any redundancies at conservatory manufacturer Amdega will not be because the company is in trouble. The past five years have been the most successful in the company's

  • Young citizens receive awards

    THREE youngsters have received citizenship awards. Tammy Held, Sammi-Jo Healer, ten, and Liam Errington, nine, were also treated to a day out at a football match. Headteacher Barbara Simpson, from St Cuthbert's Primary School, Crook, was asked to nominated

  • Benefits fraud initiative

    ACTION is being taken in Sedgefield and Darlington boroughs to reduce the amount of money lost in benefit fraud. The two borough councils are taking part in a joint initiative with all of County Durham's local authorities and JobCentre Plus to raise public

  • Benefits fraud initiative

    ACTION is being taken in Sedgefield and Darlington boroughs to reduce the amount of money lost in benefit fraud. The two borough councils are taking part in a joint initiative with all of County Durham's local authorities and JobCentre Plus to raise public

  • Building society's profits reach £467m

    UNIVERSAL Building Society has reached record levels of new business in mortgages and investments. The society, which has branches across the region, saw assets grow by eight per cent to £467m in the past year, while profits rose 35 per cent. Universal

  • Famous faces go on display

    FAMOUS faces including Prince Charles, Pierce Brosnan and Elizabeth Taylor are greeting visitors to a gallery as part of its latest exhibition. Artist Angela Simpson, from East Rainton, is displaying a collection of celebrity portraits, as well as those

  • Penny turns up after search

    A RARE Chinese dog which escaped from its home during the high winds last week has been found. Penny, a Chinese Shar pei, escaped when winds blew the front door of her home open last Thursday. Worried owner Helen King, who lives in the Denes area of Darlington

  • Can you help trace this man?

    POLICE have identified a man who may be able to assist them with ongoing inquiries into a series of house burglaries which have taken place in North Yorkshire. Keith Baker was born in 1963 and has connections in the York area, where most of the offences

  • Solicitor trial jury sent home

    THE jury in a long-running trial of a North Yorkshire solicitor on theft charges was sent home for the night yesterday after members were unable to reach a verdict. Jeremy Cave, 53, coroner for the western district of North Yorkshire and a solicitor in

  • New dog dirt team on patrol

    DOG owners in Chester-le-Street who let their pets foul in public are being warned they face a new team of law enforcers. Chester-le-Street District Council, which enforces the law, is training more staff to enforce the rules on owners who fail to clear

  • Young designers urged to apply for prize

    A DESIGN competition which could discover the business innovations of the future was launched in the region yesterday. The Audi Foundation's Young Designer of the Year competition was unveiled at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art. Last year's winner

  • Plans for soccer centre finalised

    THE finishing touches have been added to plans to create a footballing centre of excellence in Durham. Durham City AFC has finalised its plans to develop eight indoor six-a-side pitches, complete with the type of state-of-the-art surfaces used by top

  • Widow to sue steel firm over work death

    A HEARTBROKEN widow is to sue steel maker Corus over the death of her husband. Bob Powlay, 54, was involving in welding work on a roller which had sheared on a 48-year-old conveyor belt at the pipe works in Portrack, Stockton. He was fatally injured when

  • Slowdown in housing is contradicted

    NEWCASTLE housebuilder Bellway has rejected reports that the property market is slowing down. The company is on track to smash its annual targets amid growing demand for its products. It has already completed or reserved 80 per cent of its estimated output

  • Club for women in business launched

    THE region's best female business brains will be looking to work together through a new networking group. The North East Women (New) group was established by the North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) to encourage businesswomen to share ideas. It will

  • Young offenders make amends

    YOUNG offenders in Hartlepool are helping to make amends for their crimes by working for the benefit of the community. Young people subject to Reparation Orders are working under the supervision of Hartlepool Youth Offending Service Staff to clean up

  • 'Go-between' praised for role in murder probe

    AN Iranian man has earned a special commendation for helping a police investigation into the death of an asylum seeker. Asylum seeker support worker Vadood Aghajani was presented with a Northumbria Police Chief Constable's compliment by Superintendent

  • Woman found dead in house is named

    A PENSIONER who died after her house filled with gas has been named. Dorothy Axford, 65, was found dead at her home in Hill View, Road, Sunderland, on Monday. Police who forced their way into the property found the gas cooker was on, but the gas had not

  • Woman found dead in house is named

    A PENSIONER who died after her house filled with gas has been named. Dorothy Axford, 65, was found dead at her home in Hill View, Road, Sunderland, on Monday. Police who forced their way into the property found the gas cooker was on, but the gas had not

  • Drug dealer kept supplies in graveyard

    A DRUG dealer who kept packages of heroin hidden in a cemetery was jailed for over six years yesterday. Police who discovered that John William Preston was back in business after his release from a seven-year sentence found £7,000 worth of heroin hidden

  • Forklift tragedy inquiry continues

    INVESTIGATIONS are continuing into the death of a warehouse worker crushed by a forklift truck at a supermarket warehouse. Joseph Ward, 55, a single man who lived in Birtley, near Gateshead, died of severe head injuries at the Co-op distribution site

  • Small, but beautifully rebuilt

    ONE of the region's best known miniature railways is to re-open after being rebuilt for £150,000. Volunteers at the Saltburn Miniature Railway, in east Cleveland, had been holding their breath ahead of a Health and Safety Executive inspection last week

  • Jack and Betty count blessings

    JACK and Betty Greathead were lucky to celebrate a day of being married. They were spending their wedding night in rooms lent to them by a friend when an air raid sent them to a shelter. After the all-clear was sounded they were woken again, this time

  • Comment: Real evidence but what now?

    FOR the first time in this phoney war which has lasted for months, the international community has been presented with real evidence against Saddam Hussein. Some of it, as Colin Powell admitted, is open to interpretation; some of it, as Tony Blair suggested

  • Runners quick off the mark to enter event

    THE entry limit for this year's Great North Run has been reached in the quickest time ever. Although the official closing date for entries is not until May, organisers of the annual half-marathon have already received applications from the maximum 47,000

  • Patients have say on service

    PATIENTS who have attended North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust's accident and emergency departments and outpatients clinics are to be asked for their views about the service they received. A total of 850 A&E patients and 850 outpatients, who will

  • Don't lose the right to vote

    PEOPLE living in the borough of Stockton are being urged to make sure they do not lose their right to vote in local elections in May. Stockton Borough Council has written to 10,000 people who failed to fill in the electoral register in October, urging

  • Crews move into station residence

    AMBULANCE crews have moved into their new base at Billingham police station. The crews had been using Billingham Health Centre as a base, but the room was small and did not have a toilet. In addition, the ambulance had to be parked some distance away

  • Store to close after 108 years

    A VILLAGE shop which has been in business for 108 years is to close. For the past 33 years the shop and post office at Ampleforth, near Helmsley, has been run by John and Elizabeth Severs but now they are retiring to move to Boroughbridge to be near their

  • Attacker claimed his drinks were spiked

    A MAN who ran 100 metres to launch an attack on two strangers claimed his drinks had been spiked, a court heard yesterday. Steven Kniveton, 20, pleaded guilty at Harrogate Magistrates' Court to causing actual bodily harm to Adrian Kidd and assaulting

  • Freezing weather highlights plight of homeless

    One week after the body of rough sleeper Terry McGann was found in freezing conditions in Darlington, the plight of the region's homeless during winter has been brought into sharp focus. On the most bitterly cold of winter's nights, negotiating the icy

  • Tanya loses her charm for pub bosses

    PUB bosses in a conservative market town were last night forced to call time on their saucy new sign - after the image change sparked outrage. The Fleece, in Richmond, North Yorkshire, was enjoying its new-found fame after changing its name to Tanya's

  • Sister in court over attempt to kill charge

    A GIRL accused of trying to kill her younger brother has made a second court appearance. The 12-year-old is charged with the attempted murder of her nine-year-old sibling at the family home, in the South Shields area, last month. She appeared before South

  • Sister in court over attempt to kill charge

    A GIRL accused of trying to kill her younger brother has made a second court appearance. The 12-year-old is charged with the attempted murder of her nine-year-old sibling at the family home, in the South Shields area, last month. She appeared before South

  • Crime protection advice on offer to towns and villages

    A PARTNERSHIP of organisations is preparing to offer the best advice in crime prevention to towns and villages. Residents from all parts of the district are invited to two neighbourhood watch (NHW) awareness evenings organised by the Hambleton Community

  • Delays could cost council a prime site

    DELAYS which have plagued a council's plans to relocate could cost the authority a prime site on a business park. An independent expert has already agreed Richmondshire District Council's current office accommodation is inadequate. Staff are forced to

  • Children's charity plans to visit city

    A PRESENTATION about an award-winning charity is to be brought to the region next week. The international children's relief agency Global Care is to present its work with children around the world to supporters and other organisations, a week on Saturday

  • News in brief: Wheelchair appeal

    DRIVERS are being urged not to block pavement features designed to help people in wheelchairs. Wear Valley Disability Access Forum has highlighted a problem in Howden-le-Wear, where dropped kerbs have been installed by Durham County Council. Forum co-ordinator

  • Man stabbed in neck by would-be car thief

    A MAN who fought off a teenage terror trying to steal his wife's car spoke of his brush with death - but said he is no have-a-go hero. Michael Garthwaite, 46, was left with a stab wound less than an inch from his jugular vein, when he took on the would-be

  • Youngsters have designs on safety

    Three youngsters were presented with certificates by the Mayor of Stockton, Councillor Jean O'Donnell, on Tuesday, after winning a poster competition. More than 2,000 pupils from schools across the borough of Stockton took part in the Crucial Crew event

  • Pensioner seeks a Royal memento from her youth

    AN 87-year-old woman is hoping someone can help her find a memento of a royal meeting that took place in 1927. Eva Swanson, of Sunderland, recalls meeting Princess Mary at Lumley Castle when she was 11 years old, but has no photographs of the occasion

  • Dream day for Kristian

    THE Manchester United side gave a young Wear Valley footballer a day to remember when he walked out with his heroes on to the Old Trafford pitch. Kristian Iceton, aged 11, from Coundon, teamed up with his idols David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and the rest of

  • Brothers died at same spot

    THE family of a man who died in freezing temperatures have spoken of their horror after his body was found in the same place where his brother perished ten years earlier. The body of Terry McGann, who had been sleeping rough, was found by a shopper behind

  • Work to water mains in city finishes early

    A MAJOR water mains renewal scheme, which brought disruption to the heart of a city centre, has finished. Northumbrian Water's £3m scheme to replace ageing mains in Durham led to the closure of the only road leading to the cathedral and castle last month

  • Tradition means priest is now rector

    CHURCH leaders have demonstrated their commitment to a Weardale village by appointing a new rector. Malcolm Goodall has been priest in charge of St Mary's and St Stephen's Church in Wolsingham for the last four-and-a-half years. But at a ceremony in the

  • Funeral of charity's champion is held

    THE funeral has taken place of a well-known doctor and charity champion who died days after his wife. Doctor John Jeremy Slowe died on Wednesday, January 29, aged 89, five days after the death of his 77-year-old wife, Dorothea. The former consultant anaesthetist

  • News in brief: Appeal to find missing man

    FAMILY and friends are trying to trace a man thought to have moved to the Durham area after leaving his pet shop in Bristol at short notice last month. Ashley Rogers, 26, who is understood to have family in County Durham, is asked to call AJ on (07817

  • Calendar wins praise

    DURHAM'S prize-winning civic calendar has won further national acclaim. But the city's 2003 publication was just edged out from top spot in the National Business Calendar Awards by a cute puppy promoting toilet paper. While photographer Royston Thomas's

  • Arson attack school gets better gym

    A SCHOOL that lost its gym hall in an arson attack plans to reopen a bigger and better version later this year. A blaze ripped through Hermitage Comprehensive School's sports centre, just off Waldridge Lane, Chester-le-Street, in November 2001. The gym

  • Charity brings in service for cold snaps

    THE death of Terry McGann has prompted a charity to bring extra emergency accommodation to Darlington during bad weather. Managers at First Stop, where Terry had been a client, believe his death possibly could have been prevented if more through-the-night

  • Pupils given lessons in joinery

    PUPILS have made their own garden furniture for an outdoor classroom they are creating on an overgrown allotment site. Years 10 and 11 boys from Parkside School, Willington, joined in joinery classes at Bishop Auckland College where they made four two

  • Headteacher retires through ill health

    THE head teacher at one of the region's top private schools has taken early retirement because of ill health. Helen Hamilton has been at all-girls Polam Hall School in Darlington for 20 years and has been head teacher for the last 16. years. Parents were

  • Schools celebrate as Ofsted singles out success stories

    DOZENS of schools in the region were celebrating yesterday after being singled out for praise in the annual report of the best schools in the country. The schools in the Annual Report of Standards and Quality in Education either received outstanding Ofsted

  • New club set up for youngsters

    A NEW club for youngsters from ethnic minorities in Darlington has attracted dozens of teenagers in its first two weeks. The youth 'pod,' which is based at North Lodge Park in Darlington, is a converted shipping container which serves as a youth club.

  • College's demolition scheme is approved

    PLANS to demolish a college and build nearly 150 homes on the site were approved by councillors yesterday. Darlington College of Technology aims to move from its Cleveland Avenue site and build a £27m complex. Its preferred site is the Torrington's factory

  • Dinner tickets on sale

    TICKETS are now available for the annual Sportsman's Dinner staged by Chester-le-Street and District branch of the Sunderland AFC Supporters' Association. The event will be staged in the banqueting suite at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland, on Maundy

  • Minister denies abuse

    A CHURCH minister appeared in court this week accused of systematically abusing boys when he was a prison officer at Medomsley Detention Centre in Consett. One alleged victim, who was 15 at the time, said that when he pleaded with his tormentor to stop

  • Lib Dems pick Carol

    DURHAM'S Liberal Democrats are sticking with 2001 election candidate Carol Woods for the next contest. She was chosen ahead of two other hopefuls at a meeting of the party in County Hall last week. In the last election Ms Woods came second to the city's

  • N-E gets cash hope to revamp rundown areas

    THE North-East stands to benefit from a £500m cash boost unveiled by the Government yesterday to help regenerate rundown property blackspot areas. The Sustainable Communities Plan, which targets areas including those where rows of terraced houses have

  • City council sets its tax

    PEOPLE in Durham will have to pay 3.5 per cent more for services provided by the city council. The Labour-run council is expected to ratify the council tax rise, which is slightly-above inflation, on Monday after the Government confirmed it would provide