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  1. A children’s author has been offering inspiration to students at Cramlington Learning Village as part of a nationwide book tour.
  2. A Northumberland hospital has reassured staff and patients after fire safety concerns were raised over the new building. One NHS worker, who has asked not to be named, has questioned whether the fire safety at Northumbria Emergency Specialist Care Hospital is up to standard after seeing firefighters regularly at the hospital. The Cramlington hospital, which first opened three years ago, is currently being extended, with a new ambulatory ward under construction. During the work, firefighters from Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service have been offering advice to correct “minor defects”. However, fire hoses have been laid out outside the building, prompting one worried worker to fear that there was a fire risk. He said: “The only reason why a hospital would have fire hoses outside if the fire brigade had a huge concern about the fire safety at the hospital.”
  3. From rockets, to Viking boats, or Newcastle United’s colours, this North East funeral firm has had all kinds of requests for bespoke coffins. Go As You Please, which has outlets across the region, specialises in custom made coffins. Its unique Irn Bru design caused a stir after going viral on social media. The business was set up by Carl Marlow, of Ponteland, Northumberland, who said bespoke coffins have become increasingly popular. “Marijuana leaves is a common request,” the 50-year-old said. “We have done Elvis, The Beatles, vampires. We made a coffin into a rocket and made a canal boat for someone. “There have been Newcastle United football ones, Liverpool, the Scottish flag, and we made a Viking boat for someone who thought they were a Viking.”
  4. The most dangerous spots for cash point muggings and thefts in the North East have been revealed. Newcastle comes out on top with the most crimes close to an ATM over the last decade, according to recent data. Northumbria Police recorded 207 thefts or robberies in the city, more than a hundred more crimes than second-placed Gateshead. The figures translate to one in every 1,432 residents suffering at the hands of thieves in the last decade. This is particularly high compared to other large cities such as Leeds (one in 5,143), Birmingham (one in 5,459) and even London (one in 6,340). The research compiled by MoneySuperMarket through Freedom of Information requests shows Northumbria Police is the fifth busiest force for cashpoint thefts and robberies nationwide, with 801 crimes recorded in the last decade.
  5. A group of teenagers are repaying the community after admitting damaging equipment at a play park in Cramlington.
  6. A group of teenagers are repaying the community after admitting damaging equipment at a play park. Last month, officers appealed to the public for information after reports of new play equipment being vandalised and set alight at Seven Oaks Park in Cramlington. Five teenagers - aged 15 and 16 - were later identified as those responsible and fully admitted to causing the damage at the Dudley Lane site. After consultation with Cramlington Town Council and the Youth Offending Team the boys were given an out of court disposal with a condition that they would have to carry out unpaid work in the local community. Neighbourhood Sergeant Steven Nicklin said: “After we appealed to the public for help with our investigation, we were quickly able to identify a group of teenagers caught on the park’s CCTV. “All five boys owned up to causing the damage and were spoken to by officers. “Working with the local authority and Youth Offending Team, it was decided the best and most proportionate course of action was to issue them with a youth caution. They will also be carrying out unpaid work in the community. “It is important everyone realises there are consequences to their actions – rather than enjoying themselves during the holidays, these teenagers are now giving up their time repaying the community for their unacceptable behaviour. “I’m happy to see that a positive outcome was reached and we will continue to do all we can to make sure Cramlington continues to be a safe and pleasant place to live." Anyone who has concerns about anti-social behaviour in their area can call 101 and ask to speak with their Neighbourhood Policing Team. Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.
  7. It has been a proud day for students collecting their A-level results. But few have overcome so much in their lives as Cramlington teenager Dan Mattison. He was still being treated for leukaemia in January, but still managed to score three As in his exams. Netting top scores in Biology, Chemistry and Maths, Dan, 18, is now planning to become a doctor himself, inspired by his own experience of medical treatment. The Cramlington Learning Village student said: “Whilst I was still receiving treatment, I was tired a lot and going to hospital quite a lot. “I found my exams hard, so I wasn’t sure how I was going to do. But I seem to have managed ok in the end.
  8. Two Cramlington Learning Village students have overcome extreme personal challenges to get excellent A-level results.
  9. A group of teenagers have had to give up their summer holidays after admitting to setting a newly refurbished playground on fire. Five teenagers, aged 15 and 16, admitted to vandalising play equipment at Seven Oaks Park in Cramlington, Northumberland, after they were caught on CCTV. Police said the play area was set alight in the early hours of July 26, just weeks after the playground reopened following a £100,000 refurbishment. After consulting Cramlington Town Council and the Youth Offending Team, the boys were given an out of court disposal, which allows police to deal with young offenders without going to court. The disposal was given on the condition that the youths would carry out unpaid work in the community. Neighbourhood Sergeant Steven Nicklin said: “After we appealed to the public for help with our investigation, we were quickly able to identify a group of teenagers caught on the park’s CCTV.
  10. Hexham General Hospital’s urgent care unit will stay closed overnight, after a “last resort” trial. Northumberland NHS leaders say they’ve taken the decision “with great reluctance” to shut the overnight service indefinitely. The unit closed its doors between 10pm and 8am on July 18, as a result of “staffing pressures”. The closure was initially set to last for “at least” four weeks, but health bosses pledged to keep the matter “under constant review”. With the four weeks up, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust says the closure will now last “for an indeterminate period”. It says the decision has been taken purely on safety grounds, and will “ensure patients get access to a reliable and safe service”.
  11. North East life-saving sisters-in-law Kelly Best and Christine Stephenson are backing a new project to map Britain’s public defibrillators. Christine’s brother and Kelly’s husband, Neil Best, died in 2003 of an undiagnosed heart defect. In his memory they set out to place defibrillators across the North East and raise awareness of CPR. And now, after five years, they have around 400 defibrillators across the region, while eight lives have been saved - thanks to their machines. The pair have now welcomed a new scheme where the NHS, British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Microsoft have vowed to map the UK’s public defibrillator. The BHF has estimated that thousands more lives could be saved if the locations were known to emergency call handlers.
  12. A national builder is backing a runner’s target to complete a half-marathon every week for charity.
  13. Inspirational lifesavers Kelly Best and Christine Stephenson have been nominated for our prestigious Chronicle Champions award. In July we told how their love for the same man brought them closer together after his devastating death. Christine’s brother and Kelly’s husband, Neil Best, died aged 32 in 2003 of an undiagnosed heart defect. And in Neil’s memory they set out to place defibrillators across the North East and raise awareness of CPR. Now, after five years, they have raised around £400,000 to get nearly 400 defibrillators across the region, while eight lives have been saved - thanks to their machines. And now they have been nominated in our Champion Fundraiser category. The Chronicle Champions Awards recognise bravery, devotion and selflessness in unsung heroes across the region. This is your chance to thank those people in our community that deserve to be recognised for their extraordinary efforts. We welcome your entries for our 11 unique categories. To enter these awards – please click here for an online entry form – otherwise contact Amy Taylor on 0191 201 6092 or email amy.taylor@reachplc.com and she will advise on an alternative entry.
  14. A project to transform ‘Dorran’ style properties on a Cramlington estate has won two regional awards.
  15. Their teenage years may have been turbulent, but dressed up to the nines at their end-of-year prom, these youngsters were on top of the world. This ‘alternative prom’, held at the Life Science Centre on Tuesday, offered an evening of joy for care leavers and other young people who may have missed out on a more traditional school celebration. Everything, from dresses, to make-up, to private security, were provided for free by local businesses and community groups eager to help out. Organisational help came from the Big Days Project, which helps create positive experiences for children across the region. Outfits came from Nicola Tunstill, a Cramlington mum who has spent the last year working on ‘Prom in the Community’, her group which loans out dresses and suits to ensure every teenager can go to the ball for a fraction of the cost. DJs, bouncers and taxi companies ensured the event was a success from start to finish, while around 20 local hairdressers and beauticians gave everyone picture-perfect hair and make-up.
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