Local News for Monday 1st May

 Major fire in Scalpay
A huge blaze at the net store in Scalpay on Friday afternoon has destroyed the building and caused disruption to many. Scottish Fire Service teams from Scalpay, Tarbert, Leverburgh and Stornoway were called to the site at around 4.30pm on Friday, with South Lochs Coastguard volunteers helping to evacuate local residents and maintain public safety while crews tackled the blaze. No-one was injured. The store, used by Net Services Scotland for cleaning and mending nets, was reduced to a smoking ruin, with smouldering wreckage all that was left by Saturday. About 20 people are employed at the site, and it's hoped a temporary workplace can be created while the situation is assessed.



Feis lose instruments in blaze
The Scalpay fire had devastating consequences for Feis Eilean na Hearadh. With all the musical instruments for the annual music festival kept at the Net Store, the organisation has lost everything in the fire and will have to replace them to allow the tuition of youngsters in music to go ahead this year. A spokesman said: "Following the fire at Scalpay factory we will shortly launch an online fundraising appeal. Funds raised will help Fèis Na Hearadh replace lost instruments and crafts that were kindly being stored for us at the factory. Anyone able to donate second hand instruments would also be very much appreciated." The Feis takes place each summer and celebrates 25years this year. Anyone who can help by donating musical instruments can contact them via Sir E Scott school in Tarbert.

Air traffic review questions
The announcement that Highlands and Islands Aiports Ltd is to review Air Traffic control at less busy airports has left island airports with 'more questions than answers', according to Highlands and Islands MSP Rhoda Grant. Mrs Grant said she had immediately written to HIAL after being contacted by constituents worried about their jobs and concerned about safety, with a review expected to report on options in October. HIAL are considering Remote Tower Services as one option for smaller airports. As well as scheduled flights, Stornoway airport has to deal with emergency landings, chartered aircraft and unexpected visitors during military activity. In April last year a Hawk fighter jet landed at Stornoway as an emergency during Operation Joint Warrior. On their own website, HIAL describes Air Traffic Control towers as 'the heart of every airport within the group.'

Celtic Media Festival
The 2017 Celtic Media Festival is this week, taking place this year in Douglas, Isle of Man. The annual festival celebrates the best of broadcast media in the Celtic nations, with shortlisted entries including Tormod a Bhocsair by BBC Radio nan Gaidheal in the radio documentary category, Air an Lot from MAC TV nominated as best factual TV programme, and Isles FM’s own Friday afternoon show Behind the Headlines, with Annie Delin, shortlisted as best radio magazine programme. Behind the Headlines returns to air this Friday afternoon from 4pm, with coverage of this week’s local election results.

Island wild places in new book
Wild places throughout the Western Isles are featured in a new book to be published today. The Wild Guide to Scotland is the first guide to chart Scotland’s best wild places, including hidden glens, lost ruins, untrodden peaks, secret beaches and wild swimming waterfalls. In the Western Isles the book features coastal walks and beaches, the abandoned islands of St Kilda and Mingulay, high cliffs at Mangersta and the Golden Road around the Bays of Harris, while accommodation from campsites and blackhouses to luxury hotels, restaurants and visitor centres are also explored. The book’s been compiled by young Scottish photographers Kimberley Grant, Richard Gaston and David Cooper based on a decade of travel and research. It’s published by Wild Things publishing and is available from their website at www.wildthingspublishing.com