Local News for Tuesday 11th December 2018


A photo of a mysterious phenomenon known as Steve – which stands for ‘Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement’ has won the first ever Hebridean Dark Skies Festival photography competition and listeners can see the winning photo on the Isles FM Facebook news page today.

The picture, titled 'Meet Steve', by Berneray photographer Casey McIntyre, captures the rare phenomenon that can be seen during displays of the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights.

The photo will appear on the cover of the Hebridean Dark Skies Festival print programme, available this week, and will also be included in an exhibition at An Lanntair that will run throughout the festival in February 2019.

The festival programme can be viewed online now at www.lanntair.com/darkskies.

The Hebridean Dark Skies Festival, created and led by An Lanntair, will take place on the Isle of Lewis from 8-21 February next year.

Speakers will include Chris Lintott from BBC's The Sky at Night, science presenter Heather Couper and Astronomer Royal for Scotland, John Brown.

There will be live music performances and film screenings including The Rocket Post and the silent movie Wunder Der Schöpfung


Highlands and Islands Green MSP John Finnie has called on the Scottish Government to ensure Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) is adequately delivering for the remote, rural and island communities it is supposed to serve.

HIAL operates airports in the Highlands and Islands on behalf of Scottish Ministers.

Mr Finnie highlighted a number of areas where the company is failing in its duties, such as:

  • Inverness Airport has received a ‘very poor’ environmental compliance rating from SEPA for four years in a row
  • Air Traffic Controllers may be about to go on strike over pay and plans to centralise air traffic control operations
  • HIAL has repeatedly failed to consult the remote, rural & island communities it is supposed to serve, on behalf of ministers, on important issues including the introduction of parking charges.

Mr Finnie said: “HIAL is wholly owned by Scottish Ministers and has a duty to serve communities throughout the Highlands and Islands. It is becoming increasingly clear that the organisation is failing on a number of fronts. Ministers must take responsibility for these failures and commit to urgently improving the service its company provides to my constituents. I gave the Cabinet Secretary for Transport the opportunity to express confidence in HIAL’s management and it won’t be lost on HIAL, and the wider public, that he chose not to endorse their performance.”


CNES Trading standards are advising residents not to respond to a scam Euromillions Commonwealth Lottery letter currently in circulation in the islands.

The letter “notifies” that you have won £490,000 in a Dublin lottery, the letter has an Australian address and a Gold Coast 2018 logo on the top right hand corner.

A spokesperson said: “This appears to be a scam designed to get the recipient to respond so that the scammers can get hold of your personal information and bank details. So far all the letters we have seen have the same dates, reference and ID numbers “

The spokesperson added: “By responding to the sender, even without passing on any financial information, your contact with them may result in you receiving further scam letters in the future. Our advice is to destroy the letter without replying as there is no prize waiting to be claimed”.

If you are unsure if a letter you receive is a scam, ask a friend or family member for their advice, or contact Trading Standards CNES on 01851 822694.