A last minute promise of extra cash for Northumberland's crumbling roads and a climbdown on spending cuts in care of the elderly was enough to avoid a potential council budget crisis last night.
The 11th-hour package of concessions by County Hall leaders enabled the unitary authority to finally agree its 2010/11 budget plans, with just four days to spare.
The agreement averted the risk of the council failing to set a legal budget in the required timescale, and the threat of Government-appointed commissioners being sent in to do the job.
A project to restore hay meadows in Northumberland has appealed for help to sort out its seeds.
North Pennines AONB Partnership wants contractors with experience in habitat restoration to help complete the Hay Time project.
The Hay Time project's mower-collector in action
Harvesting machinery needs to be operated between the months of July and September and small-scale habitat plots need to be established.
Around 4,000 people have applied for the 500 volunteer places to man beacons and flares which are set to illuminate the length of Hadrian's Wall.
"There has been a fantastic response," said Neil Carney, marketing manager for Hadrian's Wall Heritage Ltd.
Linda Tuttiet from Hadrians Wall Heritage holds a flare to join in the chain during a trial run yesterday
American tourists are among those who have asked to take part and talks are being held to involve Gurkha troops to occupy craggy positions in the line which are difficult to reach.
Hadrian's Wall has another claim to fame to add to its international status.
For Hadrian's Wall Country has been declared the first Fairtrade World Heritage Site zone.
The news comes as Fairtrade Fortnight kicks off in the UK from today to March 7.
Blaydon and Tynedale both won well to set up an intriguing derby match on Sunday.
The two National One teams from the North East both powered to bonus-point wins ahead of the forthcoming Crow Trees showdown.
At Tynedale Park, the home side made the running where tries were concerned, winger Charlie Ingall crossing twice and Grant Rastall, Hamish Smales and Gavin Beasley completing proceedings.
Andrew Hall and Gavin Beasley posted two conversions apiece, while Nuneaton's Hugh Thomas replied with four penalties for the struggling visitors.
Blaydon stole away from Newbury with the five points thanks to tries from rugby director Tom Rock, Andrew Archibald (pictured above), Andrew Baggett and Scott Riddell.
A TEACHER who dedicated her life to championing the cause of children with special needs has died.
Northumberland-born Margaret Usher was regarded as a pioneer in her field and worked tirelessly to establish the Hexham Priory special school - one of the first of its kind in the country.
Born on May 20, 1930, Mrs Usher grew up at Horsley, Northumberland, where her family farmed.
She studied at Tynedale High, in Hexham, at Newcastle Church High and at Houghall Agricultural College, in Durham.
HOMEOWNERS have been urged to make sure their houses and garages are secure following two burglaries in a Northumberland village.
The break-ins - which Northumbria Police believe are linked - both took place in Stocksfield between midnight and 8.40am on Thursday.
In the first thieves broke into a house in the Hall Farm Close area through an unlocked garage and got away with a purse.
Buoyant Tynedale will go for broke at Esher on Saturday - because the Corbridge men have nothing to lose.
Tom Borthwick's men boast a flawless four-from-four 2010 record, but even the fear of losing that tag does not concern the in-form outfit.
Tynedale rugby chairman John Shotton said the players are relishing the chance to test themselves against the fully-professional leaders.
With so many beautiful views and lots of open space, we're spoilt for choice in Northumberland when it comes to sitting down for a picnic - but which spot is best?
The Great Northumberland Picnics aims to find the best locations for eating out and wants people who have enjoyed an alfresco sandwich to let them know where they best like to spread their picnic blanket, as well as the best places to go and things to eat in the county.
Northumberland Tourism will launch the event in the coming months.
For your chance to win a Picnic Hamper for four, tell us all about your most memorable picnic in Northumberland, click here.
Political leaders in Northumberland were ordered back to the drawing board last night after their budget plans for 2010/11 were rejected by an alliance of opposition councillors.
The minority Liberal Democrat administration at County Hall will now have to come up with a revised package of proposals after its plans to make ÃÂ£21.5m in savings to balance the books failed to win the support of Conservative and Labour opponents.
Opposition councillors were accused of "political grandstanding" at a meeting of the full council in Morpeth, which had been called to approve this year's budget following months of detailed consultations.