Local News for Friday 15th December 2017

Salvage operation off Taransay
The emergency tug Ievoli Black is approaching Taransay to assist in the salvage of a freight vessel, which is drifting without power off the west of the island. Stornoway an Leverburgh RNLI lifeboats and other emergency teams were called to the scene early yesterday evening, when the freight ship Fame, with five crew aboard, reported losing power and drifting off Scarp. The vessel's captain isued a 'pan-pan' call for aid, one step down from a Mayday distress call.
Stornoway RNLI lifeboat was tasked at 6pm and went to the scene, later joined by Leverburgh RNLI lifeboat. The coastguard helicopter also stpod by as the incident unfolded.

Read more: Local News for Friday 15th December 2017

Local News for Wednesday 13th December 2017

Tragedy at Nicolson - parents updated
Flags have been flying at half mast at the Nicolson Institute today as a mark of sorrow following the tragic death at the school on Tuesday of a secondary 4 pupil. The boy, who has been locally named as 15-year-old Anton Michael of Great Bernera, was taken from the school to hospital yesterday afternoon, and sadly pronounced dead soon afterwards.
A group message to all parents from education director Bernard Chisholm explained that the school was remaining open to provide mutual support, but that all Christmas events would be cancelled.
Mr Chisholm also asked parents to 'refrain from speculation' especially on social media. Guidance and teacher support will be available to all students until the end of term.
Police said yesterday that there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the tragedy, but that a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal, as with all sudden deaths.

Local News for Friday 17th November 2017

An Lanntair’s Alex is Gaelic champion
The head of performing arts at An Lanntair arts centre, Alex Macdonald, has been honoured with an award for supporting appreciation of Gaelic culture. Alex was presented with the Arts and Culture Award, sponsored by Creative Scotland, for the most outstanding contribution to Gaelic culture in 2016/17. The award was presented at a ceremony at the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow on Wednesday night. An Lanntair is still in line for a further award in 2017, with their nomination for an MG Alba Trad award as live venue of the year to be decided by public vote. Voting for that closes next Friday, November 24th, and other local nominees include Josie Duncan, who has two nominations for her folk due with Pablo Lafuente, and with the band Inyal. You can find a link to vote in NaTrads via our Facebook page.

Read more: Local News for Friday 17th November 2017

Local News for Wednesday 15th November 2017

1500 shoeboxes for Blythswood
Over 1500 shoeboxes filled with gifts, toiletries and good wishes will leave Lewis today bound for Romania, in a record year for the Blythswood shoebox appeal. DR Macleod have donated transport to take the boxes from Stornoway to Blythswood’s headquarters in Evanton, from where they’ll go on to deprived communities in Romania. Scheme co-ordinator Cllr Charlie Nicolson called the response from the islands ‘tremendous’ and thanked individuals, churches, schools and groups in Lewis and Harris for their contributions to the 2017 appeal. He said: “Over 1500 Shoeboxes were donated and will be leaving the Island on Wednesday. The local Blythswood Support Group would like to acknowledge the amazing volunteers that helped throughout the Island and at the Appeal Centre in Stornoway, including students from the UHI, senior pupils from the Nicolson Institute and adult volunteers.” The local Shoebox Support Team also included Dorothy Kennedy, Christopher Martin and DJ Macleod.

Read more: Local News for Wednesday 15th November 2017

Local News for Monday 13th November 2017

“Massive blow” if BiFab folds
There’s serious fear for the jobs of 160 workers at Arnish, with weekend reports that Burntisland Fabrications (BiFab) is set to go into administration. The company, which has yards at Arnish in Lewis and in Fife, has reportedly cited cash-flow problems resulting from a huge contract to construct 26 jacket sub-structures for a windfarm development in the Moray Firth. Two support structures for the same project were constructed by BiFab when it was in its experimental stage. At the time the project was the deepest offshore wind installation in the world. BiFab expanded their work in that sector and became one of the leading suppliers of jacket support structures for offshore wind turbines in Europe. But reports at the weekend said they were set to call in administrators with papers already lodged in court to begin the process. Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil called on Saturday for all agencies to work together urgently to help solve the situation. He said: “This is a massive blow for the workforce at Arnish and their families who will undoubtedly be very worried. It is imperative that all agencies come together to save these jobs. I have tonight contacted Fergus Ewing MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy.”

Read more: Local News for Monday 13th November 2017