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REPORT: River Wear safety

Following a rescue operation in the early hours of this morning to save the life of another student who had fallen into the the River Wear, police are saying there is a desperate need to change the drinking culture among students.

Watch Frances Read's report on river safety measures in Durham:

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'Her death has left a big hole': Son's tribute to mother who died in a house fire

The woman who died in a house fire near Darlington has now been identified as Freda Thompson, 88, from Barningham.

The inquest for the fire, which started on 24 January 2014, opened and adjourned into her death yesterday.

Freda’s son Mark has said:

My mum was a lovely person who loved nothing more than doing her garden and chatting to people. She was loved by everyone who knew her and we are absolutely devastated that she has been taken from us by such a tragic event.

Her death has left a big hole in our family and she will be sadly missed by everyone who knew her.

– Mark Thompson

Weather: ICE warning

Credit: Met Office

Icy stretches are likely to form on untreated surfaces on Friday evening, overnight and into Saturday morning.

In addition, further accumulation of snow are likely on high ground, especially across the northern half of the yellow area.

The public should be aware of the risk of difficult driving conditions.

Watch Bella - the 365 trick dog!

A woman in Hetton-le-Hole is teaching her dog Bella 365 tricks - one for every day of the year.

Lynn Stacey has been a wheelchair user for two years and Bella already helps her around the house by opening drawers, putting washing in the machine and even taking Lynn's shoes and socks off.

Now to raise money for Dog Aid, which trains dogs to help people with disabilities, Lynn is teaching Bella a new trick every day for a year and posting the videos online.

Click below to see Bella's "Sleep" trick...

...and click below for Bella's "Frisk" trick.

To see Lynn's website click here. Or you can even follow Bella herself on Twitter:

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Reckless driver jailed after flipping car with 4-year-old child inside

Scott Tony Smith has received a 12-month jail sentence and a 2-year driving ban after refusing to stop for police during a car chase that reached almost 100mph.

The 23-year-old was at the wheel with a four-year-old passenger and another woman, weaving in and out of traffic before flipping the MG ZT vehicle over.

Smith of Pankhurst Place in Stanley was sentenced today at Durham Crown Court.

Scott Tony Smith

Wear rescue: Durham University thank those who averted a 'possible tragedy'

The 20-year old student was discovered at 1.45am today in the River Wear near Durham Amateur Rowing Club by a passer-by who raised the alarm.

Durham University's Chief Operating Officer, Paulina Lubacz has issued the following statement:

We have been notified of an incident in the early hours of this morning (Friday) involving one of our students at the River Wear in Durham, which was attended by the emergency services. The student is safe.

The University would like to thank the member of the public who raised the alarm and the emergency services for averting a possible tragedy. We are working actively with partner organisations to address river safety.

The University is also contacting all students to notify them about the incident and urging them to take proactive measures to ensure their personal safety.

– Paulina Lubacz
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