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  1. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest Northumberland news A landlady claims she's been made to feel like a "plague" victim after police closed her pub because households were mingling. Officials claim customers at The Wharton Arms were ignoring the rules, strolling around without masks and refusing to socially distance. It was the first Northumberland pub to be ordered to shut under tough new coronavirus laws. However, furious boss Maxine Stubbs is fighting the closure, slamming the "over the top" allegations made against her Bedlington boozer. Rather than a bar awash with frivolity, she claims the pub had just 30 customers when police visited last Saturday night - and that she'd taken just £100 all day. "I feel like I'm in a dream world when I read what they've claimed has gone on," said Maxine, 42.
  2. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest Northumberland news A Bedlington primary school has been forced to close due to a staffing crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic with more than 20 staff members self-isolating. Whitley Memorial Primary School will be shut until October 19 "at the earliest", after it said it cannot guarantee the safety and welfare of its children and staff. The Bedlington school announced it was initially closing on Wednesday for two days for a deep clean, citing that its catchment area had one of the highest areas of confirmed cases in Northumberland. The county has seen its coronavirus infection rate rise in recent weeks with 583 cases recorded in the seven days to October 5, a rate of 180.8 cases per 100,000 people - climbing from 559 cases the week before (173.4 per 100,000). But now the school has revealed that pupils will have to wait before returning to the classroom due to more than 20 members of staff off work as a result of the virus. And due to those members of staff needing to quarantine for 14 days, Whitley Memorial Primary School will be closed until at least Monday, October 19, with a review of the situation to take place next Thursday.
  3. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest Northumberland news A Bedlington pub has been shut after police caught households mingling and customers without their masks in breach of coronavirus guidelines. Officers claimed there was no social distancing inside The Wharton Arms during a spot check on Saturday, October 3. The pub, in Burdon Terrace, must now potentially close for a fortnight as punishment for the breaches. It is the first pub in Northumberland to be closed for breaching Covid-19 regulations. All North East venues are currently subject to tough new laws aimed at c urbing the region's rocketing infection rate. Northumbria Police say multiple breaches at the pub also included not displaying a Track and Trace QR code, or enforcing a one-way system.
  4. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest Northumberland news For over a year bride-to-be Emma Wilson has been looking forward to her perfect wedding day. But sadly her wedding to partner Cole Moscrop on October 11 isn't going to be the one that she has dreamt of since she was a little girl. New coronavirus restrictions have slashed the number of people allowed to attend a wedding from 30 to 15 guests. The Northumberland couple is 'heartbroken' to not be able to be surrounded by all their family and loved ones on their special day. And now they are only able to invite both of their parents, Emma’s brother, Cole’s three grandparents, two bridesmaids, one best man and two groomsmen to share their day with them. The 27-year-old bride-to-be from Bedlington said: "We were heartbroken to find out that we had to cut our numbers to 15 after already being quite strict on our initial guest list, to begin with.
  5. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest Northumberland news Northumberland's public health chief has urged residents to follow the new North East lockdown restrictions with coronavirus 'spreading like wildfire' across the county. The tougher rules will come into force from midnight on Wednesday, affecting about two million people across Newcastle, Northumberland, Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Sunderland and County Durham, in a bid to stop the soaring number of Covid-19 cases. The new measures will mean that people from different households will be banned under law from mixing indoors in any setting, including pubs or restaurants, and will face fines of up to £6,400 for doing so. However, it will not be illegal to meet up with friends from another household in a beer garden – though it will be against public health advice to do so. Latest figures revealed all seven authority areas in the region have recorded an increase with cases up 79% to 2998 in the week leading to September 25 from 1324 in the previous seven days. The number of Covid-19 cases in Northumberland more than doubled to 450 in the same week – the equivalent of 139.6 cases per 100,000 people. This is up from 196 cases (60.8) in the week previous.
  6. Want the top news headlines sent to your inbox daily? Sign up to our FREE newsletter below Almost two-thirds of residents feel the Government was too late introducing a local lockdown in the North East as Covid-19 cases continue to rocket, according to a ChronicleLive survey. Tighter restrictions were imposed across the region's seven council areas on September 18 in a bid to combat the spike in coronavirus cases. But numbers continue to soar at an alarming rate, with North East cases more than doubling to 2,524 in the week leading to September 21 from 1,107 in the previous seven days. According to Public Health England data covering the seven days to September 22, Newcastle now has the highest rate of infection in the North East and the fifth-highest in England – with the city’s numbers almost tripling. Newcastle recorded 632 new cases in that week, with an infection rate of 208.7 per 100,000 people. That was compared to 224 new cases and a rate of 74 in the previous 7 days. South Tyneside had previously had the second-highest rate in England, but is now eighth according to the latest figures. The borough recorded 301 new cases with an infection rate of 199.4 per 100,000.
  7. Want the top news headlines sent to your inbox daily? Sign up to our FREE newsletter below A further two coronavirus cases have been confirmed at a Northumberland school. The new infections come within 24 hours of a staff member at St Benet Biscop Catholic Academy in Bedlington t esting positive. In addition, a "small number of pupils" are now self-isolating after coming into direct contact with the confirmed cases. In a letter to parents, headteacher Kevin Shepherd accepts parents will find the latest development "concerning". "We are continuing to monitor the situation and are working closely with Public Health England," he added. The letter was sent to parents on Thursday, a day after it emerged two members of staff were self-isolating.
  8. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest Northumberland news Two members of staff at a Northumberland school are self-isolating after one of them tested positive for coronavirus. St Benet Biscop Catholic Academy, in Bedlington, has said the infected staff member is well but is spending two weeks at home in quarantine. The secondary school and sixth form has decided to not send any students home as a result of the confirmed case due to the employee's limited contact with pupils. However, another member of staff has also been asked to self-isolate for a fortnight following advice from Public Health England. A letter to parents and carers from headteacher Kevin Shepherd reads: "A member of staff at St Benet Biscop has tested positive for Covid-19 and is therefore self-isolating. The staff member is well and is self-isolating at home. "I have been in contact with the Public Health England Protection Team to discuss the situation and the potential risk to other students and staff.
  9. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest Northumberland news Police are investigating a Bedlington care home where inspectors say some elderly residents weren't kept safe. Medicines had allegedly gone missing at Baedling Manor Care Home, while the local authority was called in to monitor the home's safeguarding arrangements. The home's 49 residents "did not always experience safe care and treatment", inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said. The CQC said it had launched an inspection after being contacted with concerns about "safeguarding people, staffing, recruitment, medicines, infection control, consent, complaints and the governance of the service". Downgrading the home, run by Alcyone Healthcare, from 'Good' to 'Requires Improvement', the report said: "People were not always safeguarded from the risk of harm. Incidents were not reported or recorded properly, and action was not always taken to address matters. "The home was placed into organisational safeguarding by the local authority and there were police investigations in progress."
  10. Want the top news headlines sent to your inbox daily? Sign up to our FREE newsletter below More than three quarters of residents would back a local lockdown in the North East as coronavirus cases continue to soar, according to a ChronicleLive survey. However, less than 10% believe people would follow the rules if tighter restrictions were imposed in the region. Boris Johnson announced on Wednesday that social gatherings of more than six people will be illegal in England from Monday in a bid to curb the rise in coronavirus cases. The new laws follow a sharp rise in infection rates which has prompted warnings from council leaders and public health experts that a local lockdown is a real possibility. Sunderland now has the second highest coronavirus infection rate in England after 209 cases were confirmed in the seven days to September 7 - a rate of 75.3 cases per 100,000 population. According to the same NHS data Gateshead now has the 13th highest number of cases in the country with 55.8 cases per 100,000 people.
  11. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest Northumberland news A £2.5m Government funding boost will help get Bedlington's stalled redevelopment works "up and running again," town bosses have said. A start date for the scheme is expected this year after the cash boost from Boris Johnson’s “Get Britain Building” fund - but some changes to the design have been announced. Northumberland County Council-owned company Advance Northumberland says the economic impact of Covid-19 on the high street retail market will mean some planned retail space will now be replaced by a swimming pool, relocated library and "enterprise hub". Chair of Advance Northumberland, Richard Wearmouth, said: "Works involving the anchor supermarket store remain unaffected as will the frontage onto the market square which will still include additional shops. It is anticipated that these works will start in 2020 as previously suggested. "However, the remainder of the scheme will be amended to provide a new leisure offer and will make use of space that had been earmarked for larger retail units, and / or the site held in reserve for a family oriented pub and restaurant. "In addition, the design work will look at relocation of the library to a town centre site and the creation of an enterprise hub. Both will encourage further spend in the town centre by increasing footfall.
  12. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest Northumberland news An honest drink driver confessed "I'l be over the limit" when he was approached by police officers in Northumberland. Police followed James Tinson after they spotted him driving erratically in his Vauxhall Insignia and watched as he was forced to come to a stop after he went down a dead-end street. The officers then walked up to the 31-year-old's vehicle and breathalysed him after they noticed he showed all the classic signs of being drunk, a court heard. Tinson failed the test and was arrested, later giving a reading nearly three times over-the-limit. Now, Tinson, of Merley Gate, in Morpeth, has been given a 18-month community order after he pleaded guilty to one count of driving with excess alcohol during a hearing at South East Northumberland Magistrates' Court. Prosecutor, Rehana Haque, said police began following Tinson after they spotted him driving erratically in Bedlington on July 31 this year.
  13. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest Northumberland news A drink driver has been banned from the roads after he was caught after his girlfriend phoned the police. Dad-of-two Christopher Armstrong and his partner had been arguing at their Bedlington home when he decided to get behind the wheel of his Kia Sportage in a bid to "calm down". However, the 31-year-old was unaware that the woman had phoned the police and officers were waiting for him when he returned minutes later. Armstrong then failed a roadside breath test and was arrested. The Nissan worker, of Burnside, in Bedlington Station, has now been banned from the roads for 20 months after he pleaded guilty to one count of driving with excess alcohol. Rehana Haque, prosecuting at South East Northumberland Magistrates' Court, said the police were called to the couple's address on the evening of July 30 this year.
  14. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest Northumberland news Despicable Kieran Ditchburn spat at two paramedics who had just saved his life and threatened to kill them and their families. When the ambulance men revived him after he took a drugs overdose, the thug reacted with disgusting aggression instead of gratitude. He spat in the face of one of the paramedics, leading to an anxious six month wait to see if blood tests showed if he had contracted any diseases. A court heard Ditchburn also repeatedly punched his mother and taunted the ambulance crew by asking what they were going to do about it. He then spat at two police officers. The 21-year-old had been given a suspended prison sentence just weeks earlier for spitting at police while claiming to have coronavirus and calling medical staff offensive names.
  15. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest Northumberland news An elderly drink driver was caught after he was spotted driving too "carefully" in a Northumberland town. Police followed Andrew Fenny, 70, when they saw him doing 20mph in a 30mph zone in Bedlington one evening in February this year. The pensioner then parked-up near his home in Rowan Close but was stopped by the officers and breathalysed, a court heard. Fenny was arrested after he failed the test and later gave a reading of 45 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath. And he has now been banned from the roads for 12 months after he pleaded guilty to one count of driving with excess alcohol at South East Northumberland Magistrates' Court. Fenny's solicitor, Steve Chambers, said he first came to the attention of the officers for driving too "carefully" on February 24.
  16. Want the best local news sent to your inbox daily? Sign up to our newsletter The simplest sign an area is growing in popularity is when house prices start to increase - which can help identify the most sought-after towns in the North East. According to the latest figures from Rightmove, a number of towns and villages across the region have seen significant swings in average property prices in recent years. The new data shows the average value of homes in each area in July 2017 compared with the same month in 2020. In the past three years, average house prices have soared in certain areas by as much as almost 25%. The locations people are most desperate to move to in the North East are quieter locations to settle down and raise a family, particularly in Northumberland. Here are the top nine areas of the region which have seen the biggest house price percentage increases since July 2017. Check out properties for sale on InYourArea.
  17. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest Northumberland news Murder accused James Rutherford may stand trial early next year accused of killing Andrew Saint. Rutherford is accused of attacking the 64-year-old, who died three weeks after he was allegedly assaulted in Bedlington, Northumberland. Rutherford, 37, made his first appearance at Newcastle Crown Court via a video-link to HMP Durham on Thursday. The charge was not put to him but a provisional trial date was set for January 12 next year, with a time estimate of seven days. Judge Paul Sloan QC told him: "I'm going to adjourn this case to a further pre-trial hearing. That will be listed on September 1 and you will be linked in on that date as you have been today. "You should understand, if you have committed any offence or offences arising out of these allegations, the sooner that's communicated to the court, the better for you, the more credit you will receive. The longer you leave it, the worse it will be for you."
  18. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest Northumberland news Still reeling from the shock death of her beloved dad, Toni Saint has made an emotional plea for help to find out what happened to him. Fun-loving great-grandad Andrew Saint died in hospital weeks after he was allegedly assaulted. The 64-year-old had gone to his local shop in the hours before the incident, which happened in Bedlington Station, Northumberland. When Andrew - who was in poor health - did not come home, his family became worried and asked friends to help look for him But the next time his loved ones saw him he was in hospital, hooked up a ventilator and in a coma. Andrew never regained consciousness and passed away almost three weeks later. A 37-year-old has now appeared in court charged with his murder.
  19. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest Northumberland news Murder accused James Rutherford has today appeared in court over the death of Andrew Saint. The 64-year-old died in hospital almost three weeks after he was allegedly attacked at a home in Bedlington. Northumbria Police say Mr Saint was found with a serious head injury after emergency services were called to the home, on Pioneer Terrace, at around 7pm on February 23. He was taken to hospital where he passed away on March 13. A 37-year-old man was arrested on the night of the incident and released under investigation. Yesterday Mr Rutherford, of Pioneer Terrace, was charged with murder.
  20. Want the best local news sent to your inbox daily? Sign up to our newsletter More than 4,000 jobs will be created and another 3,500 safeguarded after the Government backed 18 schemes around the region with £47m from its infrastructure fund. The schemes include project to improve town and city centres, put the North East at the forefront of the green recovery and boost key employment sites, as well as creating 1,300 new homes. High profile projects such as the Gateshead Quays convention centre and the Aykley Heads business park in Durham have been backed, along with town centre regeneration schemes in Newcastle, North Shields and Bedlington. There is also backing for a new landing area for the Tyne ferry at the North Shields Fish Quay, plans to improve the digital infrastructure of the city centre and riverside area of Sunderland, better cycling and pedestrian links around Gateshead town centre and investment in a planned energy park at Blyth. The projects are part of the £900m Getting Building Fund which was announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in June to support “shovel-ready” housing and infrastructure projects. It is hoped the schemes will create 2,253 new jobs, 1,839 construction posts and safeguard 3,551 positions in the North East.
  21. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest Northumberland news A man has been charged with the murder of 64-year-old who died after an alleged assault in Northumberland. James Rutherford, 37, of Pioneer Terrace, Bedlington, was due to appear before Bedlington Magistrates' Court on Tuesday accused of killing Andrew Saint. Mr Saint died after an incident at an address on Pioneer Terrace, which police were called to at about 7pm on Sunday February 23. He was found with a serious head injury, believed to have been sustained in an assault, and was taken to hospital but he died as a result of his injury on March 13. A 37-year-old man was arrested on the night of the incident but later released under investigation while a police investigation into the alleged assault was conducted. On Monday he was re-arrested by police and charged with Mr Saint's murder.
  22. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest Northumberland news With everything that's happening in the world, staying informed is more important than ever. One way you can do that is by signing up to receive newsletters from NorthumberlandLive. We send a range of newsletters each day on the latest news, up-to-the-minute breaking incidents, information on coronavirus and the latest football stories. The what's on newsletter also goes out once a week and features events - both for real and virtual - happening in Northumberland and across the North East, as well as tips and advice on keeping the children entertained. If it's news specifically from your part of Northumberland that you're after, we've got everything covered too with a daily bulletin that lands in your inbox every evening. To sign up for one or all of these bulletins is simple, easy and free. Keep up-to-date with all the latest news in the county by visiting our new Northumberland Live homepage. Facebook: Here's our main Northumberland page. Twitter: You can follow the Northumberland Live page here.
  23. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest Northumberland news Four men have been arrested as part of a police operation to crack down on rural crime in Northumberland. Officers carried out a string of dawn raids at properties in Stobhill, Blyth and Bedlington on Tuesday as part of an investigation into drug supply, burglary and theft in the area. As a result, four men were detained on suspicion of burglary, handling stolen goods, public order and insurance fraud. A number of suspected stolen items were also seized, including a cable locating system worth almost £2,000. Neighbourhood sergeant Ian Pattison, of Northumbria Police, said: “Organised crime can devastate communities and often spearheaded by heartless individuals only out to make a profit. “Yesterday, as part of our ongoing proactive activity, we were able to arrest four suspects who have been assisting officers with their enquiries, while we also seized evidence that will prove invaluable moving forward.
  24. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest Northumberland news When Hayley Cadman was diagnosed with stage two Hodgkin's lymphoma, her world was turned upside down. Last year, the mum-of-two experienced intense pain in her back and arms and medics thought she had a trapped nerve. But after trips to see a chiropractor and sports massage therapist, Hayley’s symptoms continued and became worse. She began to lose weight, suffered from heart palpitations and had a persistent dry cough. Hayley had recently started a new job as a learning disability nurse and her GP thought it was causing her anxiety and stress. But she knew that something wasn’t right and asked for blood tests to be taken.
  25. Work to reopen the former Northumberland Line could start "in a matter of months", regional leaders have said. Plans are currently being worked on to resume passenger services between Newcastle and Ashington, with the project expected to cost about £162m. And although transport bosses are still waiting for a decision on more Government funding for the scheme, it is hoped construction could begin soon. “Now is an opportunity for us as a region to actually make this ripe for significant investment,” said Peter Jackson, the leader of Northumberland County Council. “The Northumberland Line would be transformative to the whole area and our county, but it’s also a regional project and I’m very proud it’s actually getting nearer and nearer to being a reality. “We could have spades in the ground in a matter of months on that one. The crumbling, overgrown stations that could become a lifeline for Northumberland Keep up-to-date with all the latest news in the county by visiting our new Northumberland Live homepage. Facebook: Here's our main Northumberland page. Twitter: You can follow the Northumberland Live page here.
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