Some of the thousands of people who take part each year in courses run by the Foundation of Light attended an award ceremony at the stadium.
A new £9million centre to support enterprise and innovation in Sunderland could produce up to 650 jobs.
Rock legend Brian Johnson, from Gateshead, has been given an honorary degree by Northumbria University.
The leader of Newcastle City Council said he needs 'no convincing' of the value of Sure Start children's centres, but reiterated that cuts must be made to balance the books next year.
Cllr Nick Forbes directed criticism over the proposed closures of two-thirds of the centres in the city towards central government.
The local authority must save £40m in government enforced cuts.
Unions are campaigning against the proposed closure of Sure Start centres in Newcastle.
The council say government cuts are forcing them to consider closing children's centres across the city.
Ed Whitby, from Unison, is urging councillors to think again.
Parents who are angry at proposed cuts to childcare and support services in some of Newcastle's most deprived areas have been taking part in a 'protest picnic'.
Newcastle Council say it may be forced to close two-thirds of the 20 Sure Start centres.
Two Durham academics have won national awards for contributions to physics. Professor Brian Tanner and Professor Charles Adams have been honoured by the Institute of Physics.
Professor Tanner, Professor of Physics at Durham University, receives the 2014 Gabor Medal and Prize for distinguished work in the application of physics.
– Professor Adams
“This is excellent news for experimental physics at Durham and a tribute to all the great staff and students that have contributed so much to the success of our research over the last decade.”
Professor Adams, a member of the Joint Quantum Centre, in the Department of Physics, receives the Thomson Medal and Prize for distinguished research in atomic or molecular physics.
Durham was recently named as Europe’s leading centre for space science researchers.
A County Durham head teacher accused of sexual offences against a teenage boy told police the allegations were "outrageous."
Anne Lakey, 54, is charged with nine sexual offences against a young teenager in the late 1980s.
In court part of her police interview was read out to the jury, in which she denied having any sexual relationship with the alleged victim. She was also described by a colleague as well respected and a visionary leader who had turned round a failing County Durham school.
Ms Lakey denies all the charges, none which relate to any of her former pupils. The trial will continue on Monday.
The family of a teenage girl who drowned in the River Wear last year has backed calls for lessons about water safety to be made a priority in schools.
Tonibeth Purvis jumped in to try to help her friend Chloe Fowler, who had got into difficulty near Washington, but both girls drowned.
Tonibeth's grandmother Tracy Gregory said she had the best of intentions, but did not know how to save herself.
The trial of a headteacher from County Durham on sex offences has heard from the alleged victim, who says she regularly had sex with him when he was aged 13 and 14.
Anne Lakey, from Stanley, denies nine offences against the boy, who was not her pupil, during the late 1980s while she was a teacher.
Durham Crown Court has heard that Lakey would have sex with the boy over a period of months when he was supposed to be at school and she was supposed to be at work.
The alleged victim said he had been the one to end it, after feeling he did not want it to carry on. He said he lost his temper after she told him he could not go and could not tell anyone. He pushed his way past her and left.
He told the jury that only as an adult did he realise it was wrong.
The trial at Durham Crown Court continues.
The trial has begun of a County Durham headteacher, accused of sexual offences against a teenage boy.
54 year old Anne Lakey was described at Durham Crown Court as 'the ultimate corrupting influence'.
The defendant denies four counts of indecency with a child under 14 and five counts of indecent assault against a child under 16 in the late 1980s.
The court heard that at the time of the alleged offences, Ms Lakey was a married teacher. The charges relate to the same alleged victim, who is not a former pupil.
Durham Crown Court heard how her 'proactive grooming' of the complainant had led to an 'exploitative sexual relationship'.
The trial is continuing.
The trial has begun in County Durham of a headteacher described in court as a "sexual predator".
Anne Lakey, 54, denies nine sexual offences against a teenage boy in the late 1980s. The charges are alleged to have taken place when Ms Lakey was a teacher, though they do not relate to a former pupil.
Durham Crown Court was told her "proactive grooming" led to an "exploitative sexual relationship". The trial is continuing.