11 stories from the region you might have missed this week

Staff at the Sunderland's new Aldi store, which opened this week.

Staff at the Sunderland's new Aldi store, which opened this week.

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Thankfully the weekend is here - and it's time to catch up on what you've missed.

For many, the week’s much-needed days of rest have finally arrived.

But if work got the best of you from Monday to Friday (and you’re feeling a little bit out of the loop) we are here to look after you.

It’s been a busy week in the North East Press newsroom – and there’s been a lot going on – so take a look at our guide to what you might have missed this week.

We’ve picked 11 stories from our region to share with you and help you catch up before Monday rolls around again. Click on the headlines to read more.

When should you put your Christmas tree up?

Our Facebook and Twitter feeds are filling up with pictures of friends' Christmas trees.

(And arguments over whether not it’s too early).

But are you really getting too excited if you put your tree up this week?

Grassroots football under threat as council pulls plug on pitch deal

A football trust that runs clubs and matches for hundreds of children in South Tyneside says it is under threat after being told a pitch deal it had with council bosses is being scrapped.

South Tyneside Football Trust created an all weather pitch at Monkton Stadium, in Jarrow, after a public appeal - backed by the Gazette - raised £50,000 and, since 2011 it has split the profits from the venture with South Tyneside Council.

Aldi opens new Sunderland store - and treats early bird customers to breakfast

Aldi opened the doors to its fourth Sunderland store today - and treated its first customers to a free breakfast.

Store manager David Graham performed a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the store at Knollside Close, Hall Farm, on the site of former sheltered housing.

Sunderland villagers spent year fundraising to buy a Christmas tree

Villagers have spruced up their community with some eye-catching festive fauna.

Hundreds turned up to see the Christmas tree on Ryhope Village Green lit up for the holidays.

South Shields comic Chris Ramsey on tours, DVDs and fatherhood

South Shields comic Chris Ramsey admits he is living the dream after the release of his debut DVD.

Chris has crammed a successful tour and the DVD release into the last few months, not to mention the birth of his first child, Robin.

Christmas jumper day will benefit Hartlepool charity

A charity is calling on people to jump-er to it and wear their festive finery for a worthy cause.

The Hartlepool Special Needs Support Group is holding only its second ever Christmas Jumper Day.

Dog owner banned from keeping animals after starving German Shepherd

A woman who starved her German shepherd dog has been banned from keeping animals for six years.

Izzy, a long-haired bitch, was found undernourished and surrounded by litter and faeces in the front yard of a house in Seaham, magistrates heard.

Man jailed for attempted murder after terrifying stab attack behind pub

A knifeman who tried to kill a pub customer in a terrifying attack has been jailed for 15 years.

Steven Robinson, 40, pounced on Stephen Fortune from behind at the Oaklands bar in Peterlee and repeatedly stabbed him in July.

Where to listen to carols in the North East this Christmas

If you like to sing in the festive season with a selection of carols, there are plenty of place to watch, take part and enjoy this Christmas.

Take a look at our selection of events happening in the North East - and get practising those Jingle Bells!

'Systemic failure' contributed to death of pensioner who died after fall at South Tyneside Hospital

A “systemic failure” in South Tyneside Hospital contributed to the death of a pensioner who fractured his skull in a fall in the accident and emergency department, a coroner has ruled.

John Lawrenson, 85, was taken to the hospital on November 2, last year, after a suspected fall at his home in Ingham Grange, South Shields, and assessed as needing to be seen by a doctor within 10 minutes.

Treasurer claimed he burned £22,000 stolen from Hartlepool FC Supporters' Club

A football supporters’ club treasurer stole £9,000 in cash and used the club’s credit card to steal another £13,000.

Christopher Gregory, who was treasurer of Hartlepool FC Supporters’ Club, told police he burned the cash because he didn’t like the way the club treated him, Teesside Crown Court heard.