Local News for Wednesday 28th December 2016

Business as usual
The islands are getting back to business as usual, following over a week of uncertainty and disruption from storms and public holidays over Christmas. An Lanntair re-opens today with a programme of film leading up to the big Hogmanay party on Saturday night, with Willie Campbell and Open Day Rotation (this concert is sold out). The Woodlands Centre is also re-opening today and most shops and businesses will now be open until Friday. Tarbert has the biggest clear-up to face, with storm damage to street lights and to their Christmas tree, as well as buildings, bins and other damage – mostly caused before Christmas when winds over Scalpay Bridge topped 100mph.

Praise for transport operators
Yesteday saw the seventh Scottish Government resilience meeting hearing about recovery from Storm Conor. Transport minister Humza Yousaf praised travel operators for a well co-ordinated effort to keep Scotland moving during Storms Barbara and Conor. Mr Yousaf said: “Transport operators, and energy and telecommunications providers in particular have been tested by the severe weather. I would like to praise their efforts for dealing with conditions and co-ordinating their efforts which in the main has allowed Scotland to keep moving over Christmas and Boxing Day. I would thank the public for playing their part too and, if making any journeys over the remainder of the festive period, ask that they plan ahead before setting out.”

Dementia Dip tops £2,000
The freezing waters off Gress beach on Boxing Day have proved exceptionally rewarding for the Lewis branch of Alzheimer’s Scotland, as the hardy souls braving the annual Dementia Dip have already topped £2,000 in donations and sponsorships for their feat.

Award for Amy
The Donald Stewart Memorial Trust award for 2016 has been won by Amy McClements from Parkend, Isle of Lewis.  Amy completed her 6th year in The Nicolson Institute, Stornoway in June and is currently studying at Glasgow University. The Trustees were highly impressed Amy’s commitment to her studies and how she managed to make time to support and represent causes both within school and also at community level.  Amy met the demands of her studies, achieving four A passes and one C in her highers, as well as being selected as the school’s vice-captain and becoming president of Interact. At the same time she was holding down three part-time jobs and doing voluntary work. The award is presented annually in memory of the long and distinguished service provided by the late MP for the Western Isles. Because of the exceptional quality of this year’s nominations, a runner-up Award was also made to Amy Mackay, a former pupil of Sir E Scott School, Harris for her achievements in both Gaelic and music and particularly her commitment to the School choir over many years.