Police are searching for a man who started two fires at nightspots in a North-East resort. Both incidents happened on Friday, January 17.

At 9.45pm, in the men's toilets of the Havanna pub in South Parade, Whitley Bay, a plastic toilet roll holder was set on fire, causing extensive smoke damage. There was a similar fire in the gents toilets at Deep nightclub, also in Whitley Bay, at midnight. Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0191-214 6555, extension 63144.

MAN HUNTED: Police have named a man they want to question about a spate of thefts from cars. Detectives want to talk to 30-year-old David Peter Charlton, who is on the run from Wealstun Prison, Wetherby, where he was serving a four-year sentence for drug offences. Cleveland Police believe he is on Teesside and is a suspect following break-ins to four cars parked at Teesside Technology Centre, Redcar. Anyone with information for the police is asked to call (01642) 302626 or CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111.

STATION OPENS: Stockton South MP Dari Taylor South will re-open Thornaby railway station next week following major refurbishment. The station has been transformed through a joint investment of almost £500,000 by Stockton Borough Council, Arriva Trains and the Strategic Rail Authority. The scheme has involved the construction of a waiting room, retail unit, staffed ticket office and 60-space park-and-ride car park.

NAME SHAME: Signwriters in South Tyneside have incurred the wrath of people from Middlesbrough, after turning out a sign that misspells "Teesside". The sign for the A19, near Boldon, is missing an S. It is the latest target of a pressure group, the People's Republic of Teesside, which is declaring war on rogue spellings of Middlesbrough and Teesside.

CHEMICAL SPILL: Patients and staff were evacuated from part of a hospital yesterday after a toxic chemical spill. More than 30 firefighters, wearing protective suits, took part in the mopping up operation, after the spill at North Tyneside General Hospital, North Shields.

ROYAL VISIT: The Prince of Wales will enjoy a cup of tea at Bettys tea rooms, in Harrogate, during a visit to the region on Valentine's Day. He will also meet representatives from the East Keswick Wildlife Trust and walk through the village of East Keswick, near Wetherby, a regional winner in the 2001 Calor Gas Village of the Year competition.

BACK TO SCHOOL: The University of Northumbria, in Newcastle, is offering former teachers the chance to brush up their classroom skills during an 11-week refresher course. Those taking part can also claim a bursary of up to £150 a week and the same amount per child, to help pay for childcare.

TEACHER AWARDS: Pupils and parents have until February 9 to nominate teachers for the education world's Oscars. Nominate a teacher by logging on to: www.teachingawards.co