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Darlington votes counted again after court ruling

Votes in a council election in Darlington have been again, almost two weeks after the result was originally declared.

A judge today ordered sealed ballot papers to be re-opened to allow an investigation into the result for the Hurworth ward.

It was because of concerns that more than 500 postal votes had not originally been counted.

So all of the votes for that ward were recounted this afternoon - and nothing changed.

Here's an explanation from our reporter Jonny Blair:

New inquest into teenager's death adjourns

A fresh inquest into the death of a County Durham teenager, who died nine months after being assaulted in a nightclub, was opened and adjourned today.

Kristian Thompson.

Kristian Thompson, from Burnopfield, died in July 2011.

He was 19 years old.

Nine months earlier, he was attacked at a nightclub and a man was jailed for assault.

At an inquest into his death the coroner recorded an open verdict but that was quashed by the High Court last week and a new inquest ordered to see if a reason for his death can be established.

A full inquest will be heard at a later date.

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Concern grows for missing Consett teenager

Melissa O’Hara. Credit: Durham Police

Durham Police say concern is growing for a missing teenager.

Melissa O’Hara, who is due to celebrate her 17th birthday tomorrow (Thursday), was last seen at her home in Cutlers Hall Road, Consett, at about 6.45pm on Saturday, May 16th.

Melissa has not made contact with home since then.

“Melissa has not been in touch with home since leaving early on Saturday evening and, although she is a regular user of social media, she has not posted an update on her account since late on Sunday night. I would appeal to her to contact us so that we know she is safe and well. If anyone has any information regarding her whereabouts we would urge them to contact police."

– Sgt Denise Riley, Durham Police

Virgin Trains cancels services Monday and Tuesday

Virgin Trains has cancelled all its West Coast mainline services on Monday and Tuesday ahead of an anticipated strike by Network Rail workers over the Bank Holiday.

Members of the RMT and TSSA unions have voted for a 24-hour strike, starting at 5pm on Monday, amid an ongoing dispute over pay.

Virgin Trains will not run any services on the West Coast mainline on Monday and Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for the company told ITV News that East Coast services - which are run by a different operator - would continue on a reduced timetable, and advised customers to check for the latest updates before travelling.

She said bosses were monitoring talks between Network Rail and the unions to see whether the situation may improve.

Anyone with tickets for those dates can use them for either the Sunday or Wednesday, in line with any restrictions on the tickets bought.

A refund is also available from the Virgin Trains website or by calling 0344 556 5650.

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Election votes to be counted again in Darlington

Votes will be counted again in one Darlington ward. Credit: PA Wire

The votes cast in a local election in Darlington will be recounted in Darlington this afternoon, almost two weeks after the original result was declared.

The re-inspection is being held for the Hurworth ward after it emerged some postal votes may not have been included in the final count.

Permission to legally re-open the sealed ballot papers had to be granted by a judge.

The recount will start at 4,30pm today at Darlington Town Hall.

Six of region's beaches among best in the world

Six of the region's beaches have been granted Blue Flags Awards - which recognise the international standard for the best beaches in the world.

They are:

  • Sandhaven Beach, South Shields
  • Longsands, Tynemouth
  • King Edwards Bay, Tynemouth
  • Whitley Bay
  • Scarborough North Bay
  • Whitby
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