• Paymaster General confirms tax jobs are doomed

    THE fight to save 1,200 threatened tax office jobs across the region is as a futile as King Canute trying to hold back the tide, a Treasury minister warned today. Dawn Primarolo, the paymaster general, accused opponents of plans to axe up to 200 HM Revenue

  • Woman charged with murder

    A 39-YEAR-OLD woman has been charged with the murder of a man found with a stab wound to the heart. Janet Taylor of Wardle Gardens, Gateshead, is accused of murdering Keith Weightman, 48, from Felling, Gateshead. The father-of-three, was found in

  • A 10 month Basset Fauve de Bretagne vomiting during night

    QUESTION In the last few weeks my dog has been waking me up in the early hours of the morning to be sick. It started New Year's Eve and hasn't stopped. It is not every night and sometimes it is just to go pee. He is bright, healthy looking, eating

  • A dog which has had cluster fits and been vomiting

    QUESTION Just before christmas he had been vomiting unable to keep food and water down. He stayed in the vets for two days they said he had inflamation in his stomach. Three weeks later he was sick again they did some tests, he's showing signs of

  • More help treating vestibular disease in an older dog

    QUESTION I have a 14 year old dog that recently suffered from Vestibular disorder, she was treated with Antibiotics and steriods as Vivitonin is not available in the country where I live. She was responding well and had begun to move around freely

  • What to do about worm problems

    QUESTION My Tom Brian has recurring worm problems. I give him tablets every 3 months to no avail. Would taking him to a vet for treatment be any more beneficial? Tracy Craig ANSWER Dear Tracy It would be worth speaking to your vet about alternative

  • Magical Christmas

    THERE will be a visit from Santa and magic tricks at two festive events in Crook. Tomorrow, there will be a Santa's grotto in St Catherine's Church, ahead of the switching on of the Christmas lights. Father Christmas will be there from 4pm and there

  • Tributes paid to former councillors

    Two long-serving former Bishop Auckland councillors, from opposite ends of the political spectrum, have died within days of each other. Roy Thomas was a Labour party activist and local headteacher who moved to Middleton-in-Teesdale, became an active member

  • Students at cutting edge of issues

    STUDENTS discovered more about the work of the justice system at a forum at Northallerton College. A panel of teenagers were given the chance to question representatives from the police, Crown Prosecution Service, magistrates' bench, Youth Offending Team

  • Young artists see their designs go up in lights

    Three youngsters are helping to spread festive cheer around a town centre. Chloe Tweddall, Chloe Warburton and Zoe Ball each designed a decoration to include in Spennymoor's Christmas lights. Last week, they saw their ideas up in lights as the town's

  • Chance to join the festive fun

    A WEARDALE Christmas extravaganza will be held this weekend, with entertainment for all ages on offer. The Stanhope Christmas event on Sunday will feature two bands, street entertainment, displays, a treasure hunt as well as a visit from Father Christmas

  • Getting ready to join the lantern parade

    FINAL preparations are being made for a town's Christmas procession. The Bishop Auckland Christmas celebrations begin next Thursday and will involve schools, nurseries, voluntary and youth groups. One of the highlights will be the Walk of Light at 6pm

  • Police warning over intruders

    Police are warning members of the community not to allow strangers into their homes after a series of incidents in Middlesbrough. Officers believe that a teenage couple could be targeting elderly residents and tricking their way into their property. In

  • This is just wizard, Oz

    Oz & James's Big Wine Adventure (BBC2); The Secret Millionaire (C4): James May seems to be getting into the swing of things as he travels around France learning about wine from expert Oz Clarke. "I can wholly recommend this to viewers," he said - although

  • Pupils staging a musical treat

    YOUNGSTERS are hoping audiences will be left wanting more as their production of Oliver! takes to the stage next week. Pupils at Wolsingham School and Community College will be performing the musical on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, at 7pm. Tickets

  • Cross infection

    NO one holds dinners any more, they hold gala dinners. Until last week, a gala dinner was a dinner with balloons (and, quite, likely, hot air). The do to mark the golden jubilee of Northern Cross, the monthly newspaper of the Roman Catholic diocese

  • New dress put me in a real cleft stick

    'COME upstairs, there's something I want to show you," shouted my wife when I arrived home from work unexpectedly. It sounded promising so I took the stairs two at a time and pushed open the bedroom door. It wasn't quite what I'd hoped for. "What

  • Lorries may be banned from road

    OFFICIALS are recommending that lorries are banned from a moorland road in the Dales. Residents at Grinton have called for a prohibition order on the road between the village and Bellerby Camp, near Leyburn. They say large wagons have damaged verges and

  • Project to help young people from offending

    AN initiative to help young people stay out of trouble is being launched in Hartlepool tomorrow. The town's first Youth Inclusion Programme (YIP) will centre on the Dyke House area, and aim to prevent young people from offending for the first time, re-offending

  • Sir Cliff Richard, MetroRadio Arena, Newcastle

    SOME fans of the 65-year-old star still seem disenchanted that he's not stuck in the 60s endlessly churning out Summer Holiday, Move It and Congratulations etc. It's a surprising attitude given that some of the great knight's best work has come in

  • Public can join choirs

    ORGANISERS of a Christmas concert are keen to recruit the public to sing in Ripon Cathedral. The annual Ripon Spectacular will take place in the cathedral with a programme of carols and hymns. Former BBC music director Paul Shepherd has brought together

  • 'Market work is legalised vandalism'

    IMPROVEMENT work in a market square has been branded legal vandalism. The work at the foot of Trinity Church Tower, in Richmond, was carried out by Richmond Swale Valley Community Initiative (RSVCI). New features include a timeline with a snake-like representation

  • Youngsters hope for Christmas CD success

    PUPILS got a taste of musical stardom when they recorded a CD. Ashville College's Pre-Prep and Juniors schools, in Harrogate, hired a mobile recording studio to make the 16-track CD, which will be sold to raise money for school funds. It features 260

  • Anger as bowling green site fenced off

    RESIDENTS opposed to a development on a former bowling green have criticised a council for fencing it off. The Elvet Residents' Association, in Durham, is fighting plans by Durham City Council and Durham University's plans to build 90 apartments

  • Police pledge to bring pride back to community

    A CLAMPDOWN on anti- social behaviour to restore a beleaguered community's faith in law and order is targeting drug dealers, arsonists and truants. Operation Pride, a week- long Cleveland Police campaign, is focusing on the boarded-up

  • Parents will be fined over careless parking at schools

    PARENTS will be fined if they fail to park responsibly outside schools. A major campaign has been launched to improve road safety outside schools across Hartlepool. It aims to persuade motorists, particularly parents and carers, to park more considerately

  • Schoolchildren raise money Romanian convoy aid

    CHILDREN in one of Britain's poorest areas are helping youngsters less fortunate than themselves. More than 300 pupils attend Thorntree Primary School, in Middlesbrough. Thorntree is one of Britain's most disadvantaged housing estates. The children have

  • Boating enthusiast phones home hours before his death

    A SEA captain who made two desperate telephone pleas for help to his home in the North-East was later found floating face down in a Spanish harbour. Post-mortem examinations failed to find any evidence of a struggle or injuries on Peter Crossley's body

  • Project to save black poplars at next stage

    A PROJECT to save one of Ryedale's rarest trees has moved to the next stage. The only known and authenticated specimen of the native black poplar in the Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is at Stonegrave. The tree blew down ten

  • Hear All Sides

    KEVAN JONES: I WAS delighted with North Durham MP Kevan Jones when he launched an attack on the Tories' economic policy and criticised the LibDems for their views on Iraq. His stunning performance highlighting the SNP's devisive policy was also welcome

  • Decision day for voters

    VOTERS go to the polls today in a by-election for Durham County Council. Two candidates will contest the by-election for Ouston and Urpeth Division in a straight fight between Labour's Colin Carr and Liberal Democrat Sean Kilkenny. The vacancy for the

  • Chance to join lantern parade

    MORE children are needed to take part in a lantern parade this weekend. Organisers of the annual St Nicholas Lantern Parade, which takes place on Saturday during Durham City's Silver Christmas Festival, are hoping to recruit more children to take part

  • Brothers provide magic moments

    A magic show by aspiring performers Phil and Dan Nelson proved popular at Chester-le-Street Community Centre. Two near sell-out shows were staged last Saturday by teenage magician Phil Nelson, backed by his assistant, older brother

  • Decision soon on leisure centre

    THE future of a council-run leisure centre could be decided soon, after more than two years of negotiations. The Spectrum Leisure Complex, in Willington, is run with a restricted service by Wear Valley District Council, but a community group has been

  • Tributes as royal favourite Roy dies aged 83

    A TALENTED musician who was chairman and compere of one of the Queen Mother's favourite village bands has died at the age of 83. Roy Thomas played tenor horn for many years, as well as being front man for the silver band in Middleton-in-Teesdale, near

  • November 30th, 2006

    I TAKE no great pleasure from this, but I would like to point out that last week's column successfully predicted that Steve Harmison would start his Ashes series with a wide. Admittedly, I went for the leg side rather than the off but, given the rustiness

  • Four quizzed in family deaths inquiry

    FOUR people, including two teenage boys, have been arrested by detectives investigating an alleged arson attack on the home of a Bangladeshi family. Police carried out a series of dawn raids across the Hendon area of Sunderland yesterday, resulting in

  • Still chance to see Titanic exhibition

    ONE of the most successful exhibitions in the 25-year history of Redcar's Kirkleatham Museum ends soon. Titanic: Honour and Glory, completes its six-month stay on Saturday and Sunday, December 9 and 10. Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council's

  • Police plea after bus driver is threatened

    TWO passengers threatened a bus driver and forced him to hand over cash. The bus was travelling from Bishopthorpe village, York, towards the city centre at 10.20pm, on Tuesday, when it stopped near the College of Law, in Bishopthorpe Road. Two men on

  • Regional scientists to lead health research

    SCIENTISTS in the region are to lead a £6.7m international research network aimed at finding a cure for a group of incurable diseases. A team of researchers at Newcastle University will work with 21 partner organisations based at 11 European countries

  • Opera North: Rigoletto, Newcastle Theatre Royal

    THIS production of Verdi's opera has a modern setting but still achieves the composer's aim of shocking the audience. The first act contains a brutal beating and a gang rape, and the acceptance by all the characters that such violence is normal, even

  • Weak performance for school caterers

    CATERING group Compass reported a weak performance in its school meals division yesterday, as students continue to shun healthier food. The company, which has its North-East regional office in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, reported a six per cent increase

  • Inquest told of man's death in high-speed, drink-drive crash

    AN electrician died when the best friend he had joined in New Zealand crashed a car while driving at twice the speed limit and three times over the drink drive limit, an inquest heard. Mark Taylor, originally of Billingham, had just started his new life

  • Nurse receives national recognition

    A NURSE who works tirelessly challenging the misconceptions and stigma surrounding mental health has had his dedication rewarded. Lol Butterfield, who works for Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Trust based with the Ashwood Community Mental Health Team,

  • Software group still on the look-out

    SOFTWARE firm Sage Group yesterday reported a 14 per cent increase in full-year profits - and revealed it was still on the look-out for acquisitions. The Newcastle company announced a pre-tax profit of £221.2m for the year to September 30, up from £193.6m

  • Conference facilities at hotel unveiled

    A HOTEL company has invested £2.2m in extending one of its sites in the North-East to make it the biggest property in its group. The North Tyneside Village Hotel is to unveil a purpose-built 400sq m conference facility, providing capacity for 350 delegates

  • Base flying high after excellence award

    AN air base in the region has become the first RAF station to win a business award. RAF Linton-on-Ouse, near York, has gained the British Quality Foundation's Investor in Excellence award. The station's business model will now be used to set the standard

  • Tails and laughter

    A FAMILY Christmas show is being performed in the region. Stories, comedy and a lot of silliness come together when Them with Tails is put on at Tow Law community centre tomorrow, from 2pm. Tickets are £2 for adults and £1 for concessions. To book,

  • Security group triples profits

    ANTI-FORGERY specialist OpSec Security Group yesterday saw its half-year profits almost triple to a record high. The group, which has its European base in Washington, Tyne and Wear, and its global headquarters in the US, said it was trading at record

  • Welcome and a warning to new magistrates

    NEW magistrates were welcomed yesterday with words of advice from a senior North-East circuit judge. Fourteen newcomers to the North and South Durham magistrates' benches were sworn in as Justices of the Peace. Judge Richard Lowden, the Honorary Judicial

  • £25,000 for former officer after racial discrimination

    A FORMER police officer was yesterday awarded £25,000 after an employment tribunal ruled he had suffered racial discrimination at the hands of the Police Federation. Sultan Alam's said he had been set up in a car-ringing fraud as a direct result of

  • Hamper gifts for residents

    Residents of East Green Home and Devonshire House Nursing Home, West Auckland, will be presented with hampers by representatives of the village's parish council on Monday, December 18. The next day, there will be carols around the Christmas tree on the

  • Sports stars are preparing to celebrate unsung heroes

    A HOST of sporting celebrities will gather tonight to celebrate the best of grassroots sport. Among the names at the seventh annual Northern Echo Local Heroes Awards will be England manager Steve McClaren, who is supporting the event for the fourth year

  • Farmer prepares to power homes with wind turbines

    A FARMER hopes to light and heat 2,272 homes with two wind turbines being built on his land. Michael Eggleston, of South Sharpley Farm, High Sharpley, near Hetton-le-Spring, signed a deal with Cornwall Light and Power (CLP), and hopes the green

  • Rural firms await competition decision

    RURAL businesses that have been shortlisted in awards will find out in the middle of next month if they are through to the national finals. The Countryside Alliance's Best Rural Retailer competition attracted 2,000 nominations, which have been whittled

  • Doctor challenges cot death advice for parents

    A SCIENTIST has challenged traditional advice, aimed at preventing cot-deaths, that babies should not sleep alongside their mothers in the same bed. After a two-year study involving North-East mothers and babies, researchers at Durham University have

  • It really is the Von Trapp family singers

    We can't say So Long or Farewell to The Sound Of Music because, next year, the great-grandchildren of the real Von Trapp family are coming to the region to perform. Steve Pratt talks to singer Melanie Von Trapp. THE tills are alive with the sound of cash

  • Chancellor's baby has cystic fibrosis

    GORDON BROWN last night revealed that his four-month-old son James Fraser has been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. A spokesman for the Chancellor said he and his wife, Sarah, were told their youngest son might have the condition shortly after his birth

  • Quakers defence in defiant mood

    WITH six clean sheets in their last eight games, Darlington are fast-becoming the shut-out kings of League Two. What makes their rich vein of defensive form all the more impressive is the almost endless list of defenders manager Dave Penney has been

  • Hospital to provide scanning facilities

    THE first of a new generation of medical super-scanners has arrived in the North-East. Bosses at the private Woodlands Hospital, in Darlington, say they are the first in the North to provide Positron Emission Tomography (Pet) scanning facilities. The

  • Three are cleared of police database abuse

    THREE men accused of using the police computer to unmask a love cheat have been cleared. Newcastle Crown Court heard that Terrence Haley, 45, suspected his wife, Jill, was having an affair and had hired a private eye to prove it. Jurors were told the

  • Cook just happy to be back in star company

    CITY of Newcastle swimmer Chris Cook will spearhead a triple-pronged North-Eastern attack as Britain sends a strong squad to the Dutch World Championship trials in Eindhoven this weekend. Cook will be joined by Stockton duo Jessica Dickons and Jemma Lowe

  • Nobelix out to show Festival credentials

    NOBELIX has the class to firmly establish himself as one of this season's leading novice hurdlers by maintaining his unbeaten record at Leicester today. Any National Hunt fan worth his or her onions could not have failed to be impressed by the manner

  • Bumpy night

    Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat - and so is Laurel in Emmerdale (ITV1). She's pregnant and this is no virgin birth. Her husband, the Rev Ashley, has had a hand (and other body parts) in the proceedings. We don't often visit the Soapland

  • Funny appeal

    Viv Hardwick talks to Darlington club owner Rachel Smith about her decision to launch comedy nights using BBC3's Comedy Club NORTH-EAST bar owner Rachel Smith has raised the level of night-time entertainment in Darlington by signing a deal with Essex-based

  • High time to bury old Barnett

    THOSE who have long complained the North-East is starved of public spending compared to Scotland should be watching the rise of the Scottish Nationalist Party with relish. If the polls are to be believed, the Nationalists are poised to become the largest

  • November 30th, 2006

    ROAD SAFETY: THE EU has stamped its authority on New Labour's Road Safety Act. During debate on this Bill numerous amendments were proposed to help save lives. Unfortunately, the UK Parliament was unable to accept any suggestions - it has no power to

  • School barred 205 of its pupils

    A SCHOOL suspended more than a quarter of its pupils in the last academic year, new figures show. Eastbourne School in Darlington suspended 205 pupils during 2005-06 - 28 per cent of its 743 total. In all, there were 557 temporary exclusions at Eastbourne

  • Department awarded top marks

    INSPECTORS have praised the work of Darlington Borough Council's adult social services department, giving it their highest possible rating. The department has been awarded three stars by the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI), improving on last

  • Revamped centre celebrates

    A WEEKEND of fun activities has been arranged to mark the full re-opening of Darlington Dolphin Centre. The borough council has arranged celebrations to launch the leisure centre's £5m refurbishment package. They will take place on Saturday and Sunday

  • Keep cemetery locked, say couple

    A COUPLE who live at the entrance of a cemetery have demanded that the gates be locked at night to curb anti-social behaviour. North Road Cemetery has been turned into a drink and drugs haunt, residents have said. They have made complaints about damage

  • Council street teams spring into action

    SPRING may still be a long way off, but a North-East council is rushing to clean up its borough so flowers can bloom on time. The Street Scene teams at Darlington Borough Council are concentrating on maintenance jobs, such as removing graffiti, and cleaning

  • Youngsters dig in to help with bulb planting

    PUPILS at three Darlington schools got their hands dirty to do their bit for the environment this week. Youngsters from Springfield Primary and Beaumont Hill School in the Education Village planted about 800 spring bulbs in the school grounds yesterday

  • An abuse of press integrity

    OVER the past week, we have strongly argued the case for blocking Government proposals to limit the media's use of the Freedom of Information Act to save costs. In an age of political spin and mistrust, we believe it is essential that news organisations

  • UEFA Cup Diary: Frankfurt still Real-ly suffering

    EINTRACHT Frankfurt are infamous in the footballing world for one thing - being on the receiving end of a 7-3 hammering by Real Madrid at Hampden Park in the 1960 European Cup Final. It was arguably the greatest European final and the match was revisited

  • Welcome and a warning to new magistrates

    NEW magistrates were welcomed yesterday with words of advice from a senior North-East circuit judge. Fourteen newcomers to the North and South Durham magistrates' benches were sworn in as Justices of the Peace. Judge Richard Lowden, the Honorary Judicial

  • Gloomy weather means it's all fine for motorists

    MOTORISTS have been spared fines in a new restricted zone - thanks to the miserable weather. The streets around Stanhope Road, near the Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College, have recently become residents-only parking. Signs have been put up, and wardens

  • Moody man of rock books history

    Middlesbrough guitarist Micky Moody has a book and an album out as he talks to Viv Hardwick about his early days on Teesside which led to world fame with the band Whitesnake. MICKY Moody started off his incredible guitar career in the 1960s as an Acklam-born

  • Luque escapes smash to start in Euro clash

    GLENN Roeder will hand his wantaway Spanish misfit Albert Luque another chance to impress tonight, despite the £9.5m being involved in a car smash yesterday. Luque was forced into a diversion to Manchester Airport after his Porsche Carrera was hit just

  • Bramble playing for future

    TITUS Bramble last night revealed he has no intention of quitting Newcastle in January - despite not opening negotiations on a new contract with just six months left on his current deal. The centre back confirmed he has spoken to Glenn Roeder about the

  • Artwork tragedy: artist is arrested

    THE artist who designed the inflatable artwork Dreamspace has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by detectives investigating the tragedy. Abstract artist Maurice Agis was arrested yesterday morning when he attended an interview at Charing Cross

  • Pipped over apples and pear letter

    A COUNCILLOR has been given a warning by town hall officers after fears that a pear and four apples she accepted on different occasions could be construed as gifts. Middlesbrough Council feared it could be reported to the Standards Board for England if

  • How pilot escaped air collision

    A GLIDER pilot survived a mid-air collision after crawling through a hole in his shattered aircraft as it plummeted to the ground and parachuted to safety. Steve Algeo, 50, was found dangling from trees by firefighters, suffering from nothing worse than

  • Leadbitter rues missed chances

    IT might have been one of their most incisive performances of the season, but Grant Leadbitter has warned his Sunderland team-mates they cannot afford a repeat of the profligacy that blighted Tuesday night's impressive 2-1 win over Queens Park Rangers

  • Steel earnings up more than half

    STEELMAKER Corus yesterday reported a 63 per cent rise in earnings after improved trading conditions and higher steel prices offset an increase in operating costs in the market. The Anglo-Dutch steelmaker - currently a takeover target for India's Tata

  • Ehiogu planning a return to top-flight action

    UGO Ehiogu has admitted he is unlikely to have a future at Middlesbrough but, after kicking off a loan spell at Leeds on Tuesday, the defender is hoping to make a return to the top-flight in January. With Jonathan Woodgate, Emanuel Pogatetz, Robert Huth

  • Cross infection

    NO one holds dinners any more, they hold gala dinners. Until last week, a gala dinner was a dinner with balloons (and, quite, likely, hot air). The do to mark the golden jubilee of Northern Cross, the monthly newspaper of the Roman Catholic diocese

  • Dairy farmers looking for feedback on diversification

    A DAIRY farm hit by the low price of milk hopes to secure its future by expanding its award-winning ice cream business. Sue and John Archer set up their ice cream parlour at New Moor Farm, Walworth Gate, near Darlington, more than two years ago, to earn

  • The dole clerk who fought Fascism

    DAVE Marshall's war lasted just ten weeks, but in that brief time he would witness savagery which would stay with him for the rest of his days. The young idealist was only 20 when he forged his father's signature and left his job as a dole office clerk