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Former Evening Gazette sports editor Neil Thomas has been made editor of the Braintree and Witham Times.
He was sports editor at Colchester’s evening paper for about two years andhas now taken up his new post in Braintree.


The Telegraph & Argus is backing a local talent by devoting an Internetsection to its Pop Idol Gareth Gates, who overcame a stutter to win throughin the semi-finals of the ITV show.
The 17-year-old was voted through by 800,000 calls, after the public saw him performing Westlife’s hit Flying Without Wings. The T&A website has links to videos and the official Pop Idol site, as well as pages of its ownnews, interviews and information on Gareth.


The black-tie East London Business Awards, organised jointly by RecorderNewspapers and NatWest Bank, was held at the International Hotel in London’s Docklands and attracted more than 400 business entrepreneurs and dignitaries from across London.


Community support through the Norwich Evening News Park Life promotion has come to fruition with the opening of a £15,000 skate ramp in the city.
The £15,000 park was built on a recreation ground in Norwich, after thecommunity rallied together to collect 4,000 tokens in the promotion, run as part of the Evening News’ relaunch earlier this year.
Editor David Bourn said: “It would have been very easy for us to launch a contest to win a £20,000 car, for instance. In fact, it would have been very popular, I am sure. However, prizes like that leave one single individualvery happy and leave thousands disappointed. What we wanted to do was tobenefit whole communities, and so the Park Life competition was born.”


Choirs and musicians from across Norfolk lit up St Andrew’s Hall in Norwich on Wednesday night at the EDP’s annual Festival of Carols.
Hundreds packed the building for the service led by the Rev Canon IvanBailey, where money was raised for the EDP’s chosen charities, the We CareAppeal and The Samaritans.


Do you have a story about the regional press? Ring 0116 227 3122/3121, or
e-mail pastill@nepmidlands.co.uk