Local News for Tuesday 6th March 2018

Search for 2018 award winner
The 2018 Donald Stewart Memorial Trust competition was launched yesterday commemorating the work of the late Donald Stewart MP. An individual 5th or 6th year pupil from any of the secondary schools in the Western Isles will be commended for outstanding achievement – academic, community service, bravery or self-sacrifice. All four secondary schools in the Western Isles are being invited to nominate pupils for the award, to be assessed by trustees who will choose this year’s winner.  The 2017 Award was won by Catriona Bain, from Gress, Isle of Lewis, a former pupil of The Nicolson Institute. The trust has also welcomed three new trustees: Uilleam Macdonald, Lesley Graham and Iain MacAulay joining Margaret Martin and Calum Iain Macleod. At its recent meeting Margaret Martin was appointed as chair. Further information from Calum Iain Macleod on 01851 701802.

Read more: Local News for Tuesday 6th March 2018

Local News for Monday 5th March 2018

Barra fire shows burning risk – fire service
A grass fire which ran out of control in Barra at the weekend shows the risk of burning in the current conditions, according to Western Isles fire officers. Fire crews from Castlebay and Barra airport were called out to the west side of Barra on Saturday afternoon, when a number of fires threatened the housing scheme at Cuithir. CalMac re-scheduled a ferry from Eriskay to bring a large fire appliance from Lochboisdale, together with fire crews and Coastguard volunteers from Griminish and Lochboisdale, to join Barra fire crews, coastguard and RNLI volunteers and members of the public. Scores of people worked together to bring the fire under control, but the flames continued to burn through the night, fanned by strong easterly winds. Crews were stood down at 2am on Sunday, but after only a few hours rest at the Castlebay Hotel, were called again at 5am as the blaze flared up in heather moors on Heaval, continuing to burn through Sunday. By this morning there were just a few smouldering patches under observation by fire crews.

Read more: Local News for Monday 5th March 2018

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