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John Alder's body returned to the North East

John Alder Credit: Family photo

The family of John Alder, who was killed on the Malaysian Airline flight MH17, has confirmed his body has now been returned to the North East. The funeral of the 63-year-old Newcastle United fan from Gateshead will take place in the next few days.

"The family of MH17 victim John Alder would like it to be known that John's body has now been returned to Gateshead and would like to express their gratitude for all the support and good wishes received during this long and difficult period. Preparations are now being made for a private funeral service for John's family and friends later this month."

– Police statement

20 North East historic sites added to 'at risk' register

Twenty historic sites across the North East have been added to an 'at risk' register due to their condition.

English Heritage publishes an annual report which identifies listed buildings and historic sites most at risk of loss or decay.

Since last year, 27 sites have been removed from the list after investments of £768,000 in the region.

In the North East:

  • 8 buildings or structures have been taken off the Register and 5 have been added.
  • 4 churches and places of worship have been taken off the Register and 9 have been added.
  • 14 archaeological sites have been removed from the Register and 3 have been added.
  • 1 conservation area, Spittal in Berwick upon Tweed, has been removed from the Register this year, 3 conservation areas including Alnwick, Northumberland and Chester-le-Street, County Durham have been added.
Church of St Andrew,Winston Village,County Durham Credit: English Heritage
  • The 13th century Church of St Andrew Winston on the banks of the River Tees has been added to the list this year. There are several structural issues in the building and the roof needs repairing. The congregation has agreed a repair project. The work is underway with financial help from English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and is due to be completed by 2015.
Hamsterley Hall,Hamsterley Mill,Rowlands Gill,County Durham. Credit: English Heritage
  • Hamsterley Hall has suffered from decades of decline leaving the property with an estimated repair bill of £4m. The hall was already on the Heritage At Risk register but is now classified at the highest level of risk.
Coquet Island, Northumberland Credit: English Heritage
  • Coquet Island is one of a number of remote islands off the Northumberland coast. The remains of a monastic cell and a medieval tower have been removed from the Heritage at Risk register this year after a repair project and grant of £93,000 from English Heritage.

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Around The House

Around The House at 11.40pm on ITV Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

On this month's programme from Westminster, Paul Brand and guests consider the Chancellor's vision of a 'Northern Powerhouse', ten years after the North East rejected the chance of its own regional Assembly.

Joining the debate are the former Lib Dem leader of Newcastle City Council, Lord Shipley; Sunderland Labour MP Julie Elliott, and North Yorkshire Conservative MP Anne McIntosh.

Also in the programme, UKIP's North East MEP Jonathan Arnott joins the panel to consider the toughest General Election to predict for decades.

Around The House is at 11.40pm, tonight on ITV.

Over 200 jobs to go at Middlesbrough Council as part of £77m saving cuts

At a council meeting last night, Middlesbrough Mayor Ray Mallon outlined plans to lose up to 230 jobs and slash just over £14 million from the council budget in the next financial year.

He says he needs to make cuts of £77 million by 2020 and to lose hundreds more jobs by then. The council has already made similar savings in the last 4 years. There is now a six week consultation period.

Protest over nursery closure at Teesside hospital

Staff to protest at University Hospital of North Tees. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Nursery staff at the University Hospital of North Tees are protesting over the closure of the hospital's day nurseries.

The demonstration, between 11am and 2pm, has been timed to coincide with a meeting of the hospital's Trust Executive Board.

Staff and unions say they are furious at the closure, which they believe has been decided without any formal consultation.

In a statement, a spokeswoman for the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust said the nurseries are 'no longer economic to run.'

She added: "We are having to subsidise the nurseries with money which should be directed to patient care and this can no longer continue.

"We are currently having one to one discussions with the nursery staff and we are looking to redeploy staff where possible.”

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Dog owner led away by police after attack

Stephen Potts, 48, from Pittington is led away by police. Credit: North News

This is the moment Stephen Potts was led away by police.

One of the dogs is muzzled after the alleged attack on another dog owner yesterday afternoon.

The 48-year-old from Pittington in County Durham had only been released from hospital in the last few days after being savaged by two of his animals last month.

His right arm had to be amputated after that attack, his left was only just saved by surgeons.

Yesterday, he was out walking with five of the dogs when he met another man walking a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

Police believe the animals started fighting and when the owner of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier tried to intervene, they turned on him.

The man, who's 63, remains in hospital with serious injuries to his head and limbs.

Mr Potts has been keeping 14 of the American Bulldogs, described as little bears, in sheds near his home in Pittington.

Stephen Potts was arrested on suspicion of allowing his dogs to be out of control. He is on bail while the investigation continues.

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