• FA crush United hopes of leniency for Dyer

    NEWCASTLE UNITED'S slim hope that the Football Association would show leniency in their treatment of Kieron Dyer was dashed yesterday - a three-game ban meaning the midfielder will miss the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United in 11 days. Since

  • Van users must apply for a permit to dump rubbish

    A scheme which prevents householders using trailers or vans to dump rubbish without first applying for a permit is saving Durham County Council £1m. But district and borough councils claim they will be left to bear the increased costs of providing extra

  • Driving mum and dad to distraction

    Supernanny (C4) We Have Ways Of Making You Talk (BBC2) - Supernanny Jo Frost realised that her task was going to be difficult when four-year-old Joseph threatened to throw a brick at her within minutes of her arrival in the Collins household. She did

  • McCarthy 'relieved' after win number eight

    MICK McCarthy last night spoke of his "absolute relief" after Sunderland spent 87 minutes defending the one-goal advantage over Wigan that has left them with one foot in the Premiership. Marcus Stewart's early opener preceded a closely-fought contest

  • How bed hopping breaks hearts

    A new term, polyamory, has been coined to describe sexual promiscuity, but does it really make people happy? So now it's polyamory. This is the new name for free love and multiple relationships - what we used to call "sleeping around". Only now it's been

  • Speculation ends as May 5 election called

    TONY BLAIR told wavering Labour voters they must "fight for every seat and every vote" as he confirmed May 5 as election day amid fresh signs that a low turnout could deliver Tory leader Michael Howard to Number 10. The Prime Minister e-mailed tens of

  • 'Positive talks' bring hope railway will run again soon

    HOPES are rising that trains could soon back on the troubled Weardale Railway following a meeting with private investors last night. Talks between the ECT Group, which includes the successful Dartmoor Railway, funding partners backing the Weardale Railway

  • When the fat lady doesn't sing

    THERE can't be many footballing mezzo-sopranos who have spent time with the lifers in Maidstone Prison, so that makes Jessica Walker a little bit of a one-off with Opera North. The Leeds-based company has tested the performer's ability even further by

  • Laying waste to our planet

    Among the imperishable Parkinson's Laws is the Law of Inverse Proportion. He applied it particularly to high finance, pointing out that proportionately more time is spent considering a small item of spending than a large one. His invented example was

  • Gazza's mate declared bankrupt

    Gazza's best mate Jimmy 'Five Bellies' Gardner has been declared bankrupt. The heavyweight dad-of-two owed thousands to multinational building and plumbing company Wolseley. Jimmy, of Dunston, Gateshead, had run up a debt of £5,543 to a building supply

  • Charity shop double act to feature on tv show

    TWO LOCAL charity workers who suffer from multiple sclerosis are to become a television double act today. Bill Duckling, 58, and David Sharp, 45, of Stockton, man the till at the Norton Home-Start charity shop, despite being paralysed from the waist down

  • Song to be released in support of charity

    A MUSIC resource centre is aiming for the charts with the release of a Band Aid-style single for a North-East charity. Stanley-based talentSTAR has unveiled plans to release a charity single featuring the finalists from their tour of 40 North-East comprehensive

  • Higher penalty for Metro fare dodgers welcomed

    PLANS to double the penalty for train fare dodgers have been welcomed by the operator of the Tyne and Wear Metro. Nexus says passengers who travel without paying cost it hundreds of thousands of pounds in lost fares a year. It runs a high-profile anti-fraud

  • A new dawn for Pattisons

    A FAMILY business with a long and illustrious history in the North-East has marked the end of an era -and the beginning of another. On April 1, Pattison Brothers stopped delivering sacks of coal to customers after 100 years of providing the service. It

  • Ofsted rates school as one of the best

    THIRSK School and Sixth Form College has been described as "very good" by Government inspectors. A team from Ofsted inspected the school from January 31 to February 4. They concluded that 91 per cent of the lessons they observed were either good, very

  • Debenhams sales race ahead

    DEPARTMENT store group Debenhams hailed the popularity of its designer-led strategy after achieving further growth in sales and profits. The retailer, which was acquired by a consortium of private equity groups for £1.7bn in December 2003, said a 2.7

  • Spotlight on level of unclaimed benefits

    AGE Concern is highlighting how older people across County Durham can boost their income by claiming the benefits that are rightfully theirs. The charity says that older people are still the group most likely to miss out on benefits cash, either because

  • Vote for best in healthcare

    NOMINATIONS for the Durham Dales 2005 Health and Social Care Awards are due in by Friday. The awards mark the fifth year of recognising the best examples of excellence in health and social care, and give staff a chance to highlight all that is best about

  • Gold star for support team

    A SUPPORT service for teenagers has been given a good report by Government inspectors. An Ofsted report on Connexions County Durham published yesterday shows the partnership to be performing satisfactorily and giving value for money. The report highlighted

  • Pub hit by arson for fifth time

    A DERELICT Teesside pub is close to collapse after arsonists struck for the fifth time in a matter of weeks. Fire crews were called to tackle a blaze at the Queens Head in Haverton Hill, Billingham, shortly after 4am yesterday and it took two hours to

  • St Juste wants new deal

    TEENAGE sensation Jason St Juste has set an ambitious personal double target, helping Darlington to promotion and earning an extended deal at the Williamson Motors Stadium. The skilful 19-year-old has been a revelation since breaking into manager David

  • School aims for £15m pot of gold

    Education bosses last night revealed plans for a £15m revamp of Darlington's biggest secondary school. Stuart Mackintosh looks at the background to the announcement. WITH more than 1,200 pupils, specialist language college status and an attractive west

  • Optimism over proposal to preserve range of play areas

    THE future of council-run play areas and open spaces looks more secure today after council chiefs outlined plans to retain the land. Officers from Richmondshire District Council are proposing that most of the authority's recreation areas be kept under

  • North-East MPs absent from regional campaign launch

    LABOUR opted to use an MP from south London to launch its North-East election campaign as the region's big hitters took the battle to other parts of the country. While the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives wheeled out some of their biggest guns at set

  • Blairgowrie edges out McCoy

    CHAMPION jockey Tony McCoy was out of luck on his only ride at Sedgefield yesterday when man-of-the-moment, Graham Lee, forced Blairgowrie to an unlikely looking victory in the Novices Hurdle. McCoy oozed confidence as his mount, the red-hot

  • Residents vent their fury over plan for vessels

    IT was meant as a consultation to give local residents the opportunity to find out more about Able UK's plans to carry out ship dismantling at its Hartlepool site. However, such is the controversy and depth of feeling surrounding the issue of the Ghost

  • Spring Breeze looks set for all-the-way victory

    CATTERICK'S first Flat fixture of the year features a competitive seven-race card providing a pleasing mixture of sprints and long-distance races. The meeting starts with a fascinating two-miler featuring previous course and distance scorer, Spring Breeze

  • Bidding farewell to police dog Ben

    A canine crimebuster, the original Ben, part of crime-fighting duo Jet and Ben, died on Monday after a long and productive life in which he helped thousands of children say no to strangers. Olivia Richwald looks back on his puppy dog tale. Ben always

  • Davies aims to bounce back from Boro blow

    IT was Arnold Schwarzenegger's incarnation as The Terminator who famously declared "I'll be back", but Middlesbrough centre back Andrew Davies has also made the phrase his own. Davies, who is on loan to Championship play-off chasing Queens Park Rangers

  • Alps trip 'frolic' cost boy his life

    AN adventurous teenager died on a school expedition to the Italian Alps when he went on a "frolic of his own", an inquest heard yesterday. Alex Foulkes, 17, from Harrogate, North Yorkshire, was thought to have been looking for a short cut when he and

  • PM urges people to vote - from his comfy sofa

    Labour: Tony Blair knows his chances of a triumphant return to Downing Street rest on one factor above all others - an ability to get his own apathetic supporters to the polling booth. Therefore, its campaign will be aimed as much at boosting turnout

  • Ex-councillor jailed for indecent assault on girl

    A former councillor who indecently assaulted a schoolgirl has been jailed for the protection of the public. Harry Devine, 54, touched the youngster's private parts after taking her to his home in Salters Lane, Wingate, County Durham, in summer 2002. He

  • 'We will not be pushed aside'

    ONE of the Conservative Party's most senior figures yesterday insisted that they would not be pushed to one side in the forthcoming election campaign in the region. Theresa May, the Tories' high-profile Shadow Secretary of State for the Family, said that

  • School revamp plans unveiled

    PLANS for a £15m redevelopment of one of Darlington's leading schools were unveiled last night. Education chiefs are drawing up a bid for Government funding for the refurbishment of Hummersknott School and Language College. Darlington Borough Council

  • 06/05/05

    ID CARDS: The Federation of Small Businesses' Colin Stratton may not have noticed that it will be law-abiding small businesses who will bear the cost of complying with employee ID checks (£2,000 fine per illegal employee) and not the criminals and fraudsters

  • No takers for taxi jobs - so firm recruits Czech drivers

    A NORTH-EAST taxi firm has had to travel to the Czech Republic to recruit cabbies - because it cannot find any at home. Station Taxis, in Darlington, placed adverts for drivers in local JobCentres, newspapers and on radio but failed to receive a single

  • It's May 5 - but Blair warns against apathy

    TONY BLAIR told wavering Labour voters they must "fight for every seat and every vote" as he confirmed May 5 as election day amid fresh signs that a low turnout could deliver Tory leader Michael Howard to Number 10. The Prime Minister e-mailed tens of

  • Concern over rise in child prostitution

    SIX months after the launch of a regional project aimed at establishing the extent of child prostitution, research has revealed the problem is still growing. Barnado's children's charity began its Rise (Reducing the Impact of Sexual Exploitation) campaign

  • Kennedy has high hopes of winning N-E seats

    In four weeks, voters will go to the polls. Tony Kearney speaks to Charles Kennedy who says there is all to play for in the North-East. LIBERAL Democrat leader Charles Kennedy insisted his party had "high hopes" of making a political breakthrough in the

  • Notes from a new Chancellor

    Award-winning travel writer Bill Bryson has been named as the new Chancellor of Durham University. He talks to Gavin Havery about his shock at being asked to take on the role, the importance of a university education and his love of the North-East. HE

  • Car maker reaching end of the road

    TENS of thousands of British jobs hung in the balance last night as MG Rover tried frantically to secure its future with the Chinese. The company appeared doomed yesterday when negotiations with the Shanghai Automotive Industrial Corporation (SAIC) appeared

  • Two admit attack on bus driver

    TWO men have admitted attacking a bus driver after being caught on the bus security cameras. Anthony Cooper, 20, of Aldam Street, and Christopher Fothergill, 21, of Chatsworth Terrace, both of Darlington, pleaded guilty before the town's magistrates yesterday

  • Wanted: One home - can offer lots of love

    TWO chocolate crossbreeds are appealing for families to take them home after a Christmas spent in the kennels. Izzy and Ace were abandoned at Ramshaw Rescue, near West Auckland, last winter. Owner of the home Kate Wilson, 42, said: "I don't take dogs

  • Grant opens access to millions of documents

    ACCESS to millions of archived documents is to be improved thanks to a £48,800 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. North Yorkshire County Council has won the funding for an 18-month project to modernise the way the authority's archives can be used.

  • Sixth-form centre open after £1m investment

    A SIXTH-form centre offering modern facilities for students has opened following a £1m expansion. Derwentside College's Lanchester Sixth-Form Centre offers a range of A-level courses. The centre has been extended to include an enhanced sports area, an

  • Youngsters get a glimpse of the consequences of crime

    YOUNGSTERS have been given a taste of life behind bars by a charity that wants to stop them going to jail. The No Way Trust is a national body that runs crime and safety awareness days to show children the consequences they face if they commit crime or

  • £377,000 payment under consideration

    A LEADING member of a Teesside council looks set to leave the authority - at a cost to taxpayers of £377,000. Hartlepool Borough Council director of education Jeremy Fitt, 55, has decided to opt for early retirement after a shake-up at the authority.

  • On the trail of a wizard apprentice

    The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) is on the hunt for the best young talent in Britain. And those who nominate an apprentice stand the chance of winning a £3,000 holiday. Barry Oliver, FMB regional director, said: "There is a real shortage of new

  • Carriage to make a last stop at pub

    A PUB which lies on the historic route of the Stockton and Darlington Railway is to recreate a little bit of history. The Fighting Cocks Hotel in Middleton St George has been given permission to put a railway carriage next to it. Work is unlikely to start

  • Serial thief escapes prison sentence

    A SERIAL thief avoided a return to prison yesterday when a court told him a spell behind bars would not provide a long-term solution to his drug addiction. Harrogate magistrates heard how Christopher Abbott, 29, ran from the town's Asda store with food

  • On TV

    Supernanny (C4) We Have Ways Of Making You Talk (BBC2) SUPERNANNY Jo Frost realised that her task was going to be difficult when four-year-old Joseph threatened to throw a brick at her within minutes of her arrival in the Collins household. She did not

  • Bag of tools man pleads guilty

    A MAN spotted carrying tools in a holdall at 5am told police he was on his way to repair a roof, a court heard. But officers, who found hammers, screwdrivers, pliers and other items in the bag, arrested Andrew Hunter who they knew had a criminal record

  • Blairgowrie edges out McCoy

    CHAMPION jockey Tony McCoy was out of luck on his only ride at Sedgefield yesterday when man-of-the-moment, Graham Lee, forced Blairgowrie to an unlikely looking victory in the Novices Hurdle. McCoy oozed confidence as his mount, the red-hot

  • Residents have to pay for rubbish

    RESIDENTS in east Durham may have to pay up to get rid of some of their old rubbish. Until now, household waste has been removed free by Easington District Council. However, because of the spiralling demand for the service, the council is to introduce

  • Poster messages aid spring clean-up

    YOUNGSTERS have helped launch a clean-up campaign by targeting irresponsible dog owners. Members of the Beck Buddies, a youth group set up to help look after Hartlepool's Greatham Beck Local Nature Reserve (LNR) on the town's Fens estate, have made dozens

  • Apprenticeships are in top gear

    WOULD-BE apprentices will watch a car transformed from an old banger into the envy of the road at a live event next month. The Apprenticeships Live event will show youngsters from across the Tees Valley the hands-on uses of vocational qualifications.

  • Bede's x-ray vision is about to pay off

    X-RAY technology specialist Bede has increased staff by more than a third as it prepares for its first profitable year. The Durham company made a loss of £2m last year, down on £4m losses the previous year, but expects to make a profit of about £500,000

  • Father who lost son in Iraq set to run against Blair

    The father of a Royal Military Policeman killed in Iraq is formally launching his campaign today to unseat Prime Minister Tony Blair in the General Election. Reg Keys, 52, has already called on the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats not to field candidates

  • Expansion creates and secures jobs

    A FAMILY-owned manufacturer of metal seals and gaskets is investing hundreds of thousands of pounds in facilities, creating 20 jobs and safeguarding 34. Nicholsons Sealing Technologies is moving to a 50,000sq ft unit on the Greencroft Industrial Park,

  • Only one super casino - not eight

    Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell yesterday conceded that there will only be one regional ''super casino'', instead of the eight previously planned by ministers. Ms Jowell accepted the cut in a deal with shadow culture secretary John Whittingdale to save

  • Clan's fraudulent heir is warned of prison

    A clan heir who fraudulently tried to fatten up his ailing computer firm in readiness for flotation is facing jail after the firm went bust with debts of more than £4 million, a court heard today. Disgraced company director Charles Forsyth, of the wealthy

  • Divide narrowed by market growth

    STRONG growth in the region's housing market has helped narrow the North-South price divide. A study by the Halifax found prices in the South are only £83,000 higher than in the region, a fall of 16 per cent from a peak of £99,000 two years ago. Britain's

  • When the fat lady doesn't sing

    A football-playing professional singer is a rare sight in female opera. Jessica Walker talks to Viv Hardwick about her life, which includes a father who wrote Cream's rock hits and a spell in Maidstone Prison with the lifers. There can't be many footballing

  • Outrage as fox found skinned

    THE RSPCA and police yesterday condemned ''mindless thugs'' who skinned a fox and dumped its mutilated remains at a bus stop. The animal was skinned apart from a small piece of fur on its underbelly. Its tail had also been cut off. The fox's front paws

  • Take nothing for granted

    AS Tony Blair looks ahead to a May 5 election, there are many who believe that a Labour victory is as inevitable as the chances of Lee Bowyer getting into bother. They are probably right because, despite new polls showing the Conservatives closing the

  • Village ban for rhubarb attacker

    A WOMAN who attacked her brother with rhubarb has been told she cannot enter her home village after being accused of breaching an anti-social behaviour order. Margaret Porter, 51, of Tofts Farm, Newbiggin, near Leyburn, North Yorkshire, pleaded not guilty

  • Royal wedding delays Grand National

    REVISED arrangements for the Royal wedding caused an unprecedented headache for racing last night. Grand National officials decided to delay one of the sport's favourite events to ensure maximum television coverage. The decision caused a knock-on effect

  • Calendar girl widow finds love with vicar

    THE widow who inspired the hit movie Calendar Girls is to marry the vicar who helped her through her grief. Angela Baker, 58, shot to fame after posing naked for a charity calendar with friends of Rylestone Women's Institute, in North Yorkshire. The calendar

  • Innovator scoops an award

    AN excavator bucket manufacturer has won a national design award for its environmentally-friendly product. Anross, in Leadgate, near Consett, County Durham, won the innovation category at the Quality in Construction Awards, held in London. The company

  • Stewart takes Cats in sight of cream

    AFTER signing from Ipswich in the autumn of 2002, Marcus Stewart was unable to score the goals that might have kept Sunderland in the Premiership. But, after his third-minute strike took the Black Cats eight points clear of promotion rivals Wigan last

  • Health secretary set to open mobile gym

    Health Secretary John Reid and running legend Brendan Foster are due to launch a unique £1.1m mobile gym in the region today. Developed for use in the North-East, the Wellness On Wheels project is believed to be the first of its kind in the world. The

  • Augusta National brings back good memories

    THE AUGUSTA National brings back great memories for me. It was after playing in the Masters five years ago that I turned professional and it will be an experience that I will never forget. After winning the British Amateur championship in 1999 it handed

  • Pool snatch draw from jaws of easy victory

    HARTLEPOOL UNITED last night managed to turn the most routine of victories into the most disappointing of draws. After a first half which saw Pool go two up against limited opposition, the only talking point was how many Pool would rack up. Instead, they

  • How bed hopping breaks hearts

    A new term, polyamory, has been coined to describe sexual promiscuity, but does it really make people happy? So now it's polyamory. This is the new name for free love and multiple relationships - what we used to call "sleeping around". Only now it's been

  • Pupils to get passes to tackle truancy

    EDUCATION chiefs are planning a clampdown on truancy in a North-East town after new figures were revealed. Darlington Borough Council officials are to hold talks with headteachers in the town about introducing a school pass system for pupils. Such a scheme

  • Man faces jail for fraud offences

    A businessman whose mail order computer firm went into receivership with debts of more than £4m has been warned he faces jail after admitting a string of fraud offences. Company director Charles Forsyth pleaded guilty to offences of fraud and deception