Local News for Monday 5th September 2016

Police news
Two men have been charged with assault after a fight in Stornoway at 1am on Sunday. Police were called to licensed premises in the town centre and arrested the two men, aged 25 and 19. They’ve both been charged with assault and will be reported to the Procurator Fiscal.

A 25-year-old man was issued with an anti-social behaviour vehicle seizure warning – commonly called a vehicle ASBO – on Friday at 11pm, when he was reported for his driving in Stornoway town centre. He had been accelerating harshly over speed bumps on Bayhead, causing excessive noise and annoyance to residents. If he receives another warning, his vehicle will be seized.
Merchant Navy Day
Merchant Navy Day was marked in Stornoway on Saturday with the raising of the Red Ensign in Perceval Square. The day raises awareness of the UK's dependence on Merchant Navy seafarers and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar responded to a nationwide call from the Seafarers UK charity and the Merchant Navy Association for the official flag to be flown on landmark flagstaffs. To find out more about the day, and the role of the Merchant Navy, follow the link on our Facebook page.  www.merchantnavyfund.org/merchant-navy-day
Harris Gin drought
The great Harris Gin drought of 2016 is set to last until the end of this month, after Isle of Harris distillers warned customers that a shortage of their distinctive bottles meant only limited quantities of the gin would be available for sale. Shop customers are being limited to one bottle only, with online orders being taken for delivery after the end of September. The shortage has been caused because the company’s bottle suppliers are replacing a furnace, and Harris Distillery says it’s trying to be fair to everyone by imposing the rationing.
Aird school coming down
Work is continuing to demolish the old Aird School in Point, with the site closed by barriers as semolition continues. Aird school, which was vacated when the new Sgoil an Rubha opened, was due to be handed over to the community when winter gales damaged the buildings so severely that rebuilding was no longer an option. The Comhairle is handling the demolition process, after which the site is to be offered once again to the community for a possible new building.
Mod visitors urged ‘book early’
Visitors coming to the Western Isles for next month’s Royal National Mòd are being encouraged to make advance bookings for the Inverness-Ullapool coach service and island ferries. The local committee for Mod nan Eilean Siar, CalMac, Police Scotland and the Stornoway Port Authority are encouraging Mod travellers to make bus and ferry bookings as soon as possible. Norman MacDonald, Chair of the local committee said: “Although the event is still about 6 weeks away, Ullapool to Stornoway and other ferry services will be at full capacity and we are keen to avoid unnecessary congestion and delays. We urge passengers travelling by car and by foot to make sure they make bookings well in advance and also check in early at the ferry terminals. It is also essential for those intending to use the bus service between Ullapool and Inverness to pre-book to avoid disappointment.”
Heb Challenge
Ferries were full of bikes at the weekend as more than 120 endurance athletes and volunteers headed to the inaugural Heb - Race on the Edge. The new two-day, 190km  challenge on foot, mountain bike and kayak was based on Benbecula and took in North and South Uist, with participants including the former double Duathlon World Champion, and multiple Ironman winner, Catriona Morrison.
Shinty victory
There was a mighty victory for Lewis Camanachd in their last match of the season on Saturday, with a bottom of the league place threatening if there were no points. Lewis were at home to Inverness, and delivered them a 4 – 1 thumping after Will Church opened scoring in the second minute, Kenny Murray made it two-nil and Ali Lamont sealed the victory with two more goals. Inverness had to make do with a consolation goal in the 58th minute. The win showed the hard work and fighting spirit that’s been evident all season, with plenty of action on the pitch, but often too little reward. A club spokesman said: “It's been a long hard season and we'd like to thank all our fans for their support at home and away.”
Lochs did the double at the weekend – after winning the 2016 Lewis and Harris League they added a new cup to their trophy cabinet, beating Carloway 3-1 at Saturday’s final of the Lewis Moldova Cup, sponsored by Charlie Nicolson.

Final track event of the year
The deadline is tomorrow for athletes wanting to join the final track and field event of the year, run by Stornoway Running and Athletics Club and taking place on September 10th.  Forms to register are available on the SRAC website and should be handed in by tomorrow to Lewis Sports Centre.

Cruise visits
And the last few cruise ships of the season are expected this week, weather permitting, with the Magellan, Oriana and Saga Pearl II due in on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday.