Contraband snatched

Customs officers have seized almost 14,000 cigarettes from a house in County Durham.

Customs officers have seized almost 14,000 cigarettes from a house in County Durham.

Officials also seized 18kg of rolling tobacco in the raid on counterfeit and contraband goods. It is believed the products have a value of £7,000. A man could now face prosecution under trading standards legislation.

Strip asset

Pop singer Sting has invested in a strip club.

The 55-year-old rock star, who was born in Wallsend in North Tyneside, has signed a deal with fellow performer David Bowie to open a posh burlesque bar in Manhattan. He was approached by nightclub entrepreneur Ivan Kane, who wants to expand his successful Forty Deuce business, and it could be open by October.

Special garden

Generous allotment holders have joined forces to create a special plot for patients at Newcastle's newest hospital.

The eight gardeners from Benfield Road in Walkergate have built a site especially for patients from the neighbouring Walkergate Park Hospital, which opened last month. The £25m building is the largest facility outside of London for patients with brain injuries.

Nellie's return

A leading North punk bank are preparing to play their first gig in the region for more than 20 years.

The Toy Dolls will take to the stage at Durham University's Dunelm House on September 16 and tickets are already selling out. The band, famous for their hit Nellie the Elephant, played their final gig together in Newcastle in 1985, but Sunderland-born Michael Algar continued to tour.

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