Local News for Thursday 10th November 2016

Lewis descendant is US President-elect
Islanders woke up yesterday to news that a Lewis descendant is to be the next President of the United States, as Republican candidate Donald Trump convincingly defeated his Democrat opponent, Hillary Clinton, in the race for the White House. Mr Trump is the son of a Lewis emigrant, Mary Anne Macleod Trump, who left the village of Tong to work in the United States. Yesterday’s news repeatedly focused on Mr Trump’s Scottish connections, including not only his Western Isles heritage but business interests in mainland Scotland. Mr Trump visited Lewis in 2008, posing for pictures outside the family home in Tong. His sister, senior circuit judge Maryanne Trump Barry, has been a major benefactor to the Bethesda Hospice and Care Home. In 2015, the Stornoway Gazette reported Mr Trump’s first moves towards the presidency under the headline ‘Lewis linked tycoon could be next US president’.

Read more: Local News for Thursday 10th November 2016

Local News for Wednesday 9th November 2016

Foodbank use soars
The Trussell Trust has reported a 22% increase in emergency food support distributed from the Eilean Siar foodbank, with 194 three-day supplies of emergency food given to people in crisis since April, compared to 159 at the same time last year. Isles MSP described the news as ‘simply shameful’ and said:  “I would like to commend those involved with the Western Isles foodbank for the work they do. While it is deeply regrettable that such a facility in needed, we can take great heart from the commitment and compassion of those who volunteer their time to help.”

Read more: Local News for Wednesday 9th November 2016

Local News for Tuesday 8th November 2016

999 goes AWOL
The emergency number 999 was temporarily unavailable in the Stornoway area for part of yesterday, as a BT fault affected the emergency call number in a number of areas around the Highlands and Islands. Police Scotland warned yesterday afternoon that Stornoway was one of the areas where landline calls to 999 were not able to get through, although calls to 101 and mobile calls to 999 were still functioning properly. Extra police patrols were put out and BT pledged to get the service back as soon as possible. The full service was tested, up and running once again by 3pm yesterday.

Read more: Local News for Tuesday 8th November 2016

Local News for Monday 7th November 2016

Galson’s bold plan unveiled
Friday evening’s AGM of the Galson Estate Trust saw the launch of a bold strategic plan to exploit £8million of wind energy income across the community over the next 20 years. After the local community identified elderly care support, tourism and crofting and land use as priorities, there are also needs for recreational facilities, childcare, youth amenities, business growth, digital connectivity and support for education and skills development. The new strategic plan will be supported by income from the three wind turbines installed at Ballantrushal in North Lewis. In their first year of operation these performed above forecast. Agnes Rennie, chair of Galson Estate Trust, described the plan as ‘highly ambitious’ and stressed the need for collaboration to make it work. She said: “If we can secure the essential partnerships and relationships we need to take matters forward, we can look forward to wind energy funds making a significant impact across the Galson Estate in the years ahead.” The meeting also heard that 36 voluntary sector projects have so far shared £32,600 in community regeneration funding.

Read more: Local News for Monday 7th November 2016

Local News for Friday 4th November 2016

Lifejacket rule would save lives
The Marine Accident Investigation Branch is calling for a change in the law on lifejackets for fishermen, following an investigation into the deaths of four fishermen, including one from Vatersay. Gerard Gillies, 42, of Vatersay died after falling from the fishing vessel Annie T in the Sound of Mingulay a year ago in October. The MAIB said yesterday that wearing lifejackets should be compulsory for all fishermen. It was reported that three of the four fishermen, who died in separate incidents, were not wearing what are known as PFDs of personal flotation devices.

Read more: Local News for Friday 4th November 2016