Local News for Mnday 24th April 2017

Funeral of island historian
The funeral is to be held today of island historian Norman ‘Norrie’ Macgregor, who has died aged 83. By profession a BT Telephone Engineer, Norrie was best known as a historian. He was a long-time member and chairman of the Stornoway Historical Society, but it was as the host of the Isles FM favourite ‘History File’ that islanders will remember him. Norrie and colleagues from the society broadcast live each Monday night, in a totally unrehearsed show that became a hit with listeners. In one hour-long programme about Sandwick Cemetery headstone inscriptions, he and co-presenter Sandy Matheson digressed so much that they only managed to cover two headstones in the entire programme. Norrie was married to Zena Mackenzie, a school teacher from Crossbost, and they had two daughters, Barbara and Ruth. A keen golfer, he was captain of Stornoway Golf Club in 1983 and 1984. He also belonged to the Isle of Lewis Probus Club and was a Stornoway Parliamentarian from the days in Smiths' Shoe Shop and in Lodge Fortrose until his final illness. Norrie’s funeral is today, Monday at 2pm, with the service at 1.30pm, at the Free Church Seminary. Interment will be at Sandwick cemetery.

Read more: Local News for Mnday 24th April 2017

Local News for Friday 21st April 2017

Volunteers urged to step forward for community radio
Today’s 24-hour broadcast on Isles FM gives would-be volunteers an ideal opportunity to step forward and support the island’s community radio station, which is run entirely by volunteers. New presenters are always needed, especially for key shows such as Duisg! and Drivetime, but there’s also a need for behind-the-scenes support from people willing to answer phones, welcome visitors, and help with all the tasks which keep the station running. Anyone interested is welcome to call in at any time today at 50 Seaforth Road in Stornoway.
Today’s marathon broadcast starts with Duisg, and at 10am Crazy Carl will be with you for three hours of great music, chat and celebration giveaways. Between 1 and 2pm Uilleam Macleod brings you Friday Floor-fillers to get you in the mood for a great weekend, and later programmes include a special Gaelic hour with Maggie Smith at 6pm, the favourite Rock and Ceilidh show with Uilleam between 9pm and 1am and Iain Maciver and Stella presenting their Overnight Success from 1 to 4am. From 4am Allan Smithyman entertains and we round the clock with Carl at 7am to welcome in your Saturday.
MP questions Election blow to renewables
The snap General Election called by Prime Minister Theresa May could have an impact on progress for renewable energy from the islands, according to Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil. Mr MacNeil has written to Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, to ask for an urgent update following his visit to Stornoway just two weeks ago.  Mr MacNeil said: “At this meeting the Secretary of State was unable to confirm when a decision would be made as to whether the islands will be included in the next round of Contract for Difference allocations. I am concerned that this snap General Election on 8th June will further delay progress.  Many years have been spent on trying to move forward on island renewables and I have written to Mr Clark to ask him what the implications of the forthcoming General Election will have on island renewables.”

Read more: Local News for Friday 21st April 2017

Local News for Thursday 20th April 2017

Marathon live broadcast rewards patient listeners
A 24-hour live broadcast is to bring Isles FM back with a bang tomorrow, as the community radio station celebrates a return to the air. Isles FM has been broadcasting music and regular programmes since the weekend, but the marathon live broadcast is planned to reward patient listeners who’ve had to put up with ‘radio silence’ while fundraising for a new transmitter took place. From 7.30am tomorrow there’ll be a constant flow of music, chat, live interviews and drop-in guests, with regular volunteers taking shifts in the presenter’s chair all through the day and night. The bumper broadcast kicks off with Duisg, the breakfast show tomorrow, and will see Kathleen Maciver, Uilleam Macleod, Carl Easton, Maggie Smith, Norman Campbell, Iain Maciver and Stella, Allan Smithyman and finally Calum Macdonald each taking their turn for shows that stretch beyond the 24 hours and well into Saturday. The event’s been scheduled by Crazy Carl Easton, who promises surprises as well as the well-known mix of music, chat and local information for which the station is known. Carl said: “We may have been quiet for a while, but I promise this 24 hour Friday is going to make up for it!”

Read more: Local News for Thursday 20th April 2017

Local News for Wednesday 19th April 2017

Isles FM celebrate return to airwaves
Isles FM is back on air, and volunteer presenters are delighted to get back to work after a tense wait for funding was finally ended last week. A £2,000 donation from Lewis Electronic Trade Services Ltd tipped the scale on the funding needed to return to broadcasting. Isles FM managing director David Morrison said: “We heartily thank everyone who has supported us, and especially Simon Pearson, director of Lewis Electronic Trade Services Ltd, who gave us that icing-on-the-cake donation which helped us reach our target. One thing we have learnt is that we can never be complacent about our funding reserves - emergencies like this can come out of the blue, but we have to be ready for them, and to meet our ongoing running costs.” Lewis Electronics director Simon Pearson said: “We were part of the original set-up of Isles FM at the very beginning and we know that people find it very helpful. It’s a strong link to the island for people wherever they live, and it also gives many people in the community their best source of genuinely local news, notices and information. Turning on the radio first thing in the morning gives many people their most local source of information, and we wanted to give something back to the radio station, to help the volunteers keep on helping their listeners.”

Read more: Local News for Wednesday 19th April 2017

Local News for Tuesday 18th April 2017

Honesty box ‘shame’ in Lewis and Harris
There’s been dismay at a spate of petty from honesty boxes in Lewis and Harris, with islanders crying ‘shame’ at the petty thieves. The honesty box at Horgabost campsite in Harris and the box in the porch of St Peter’s Episcopal Church in Stornoway have both been raided, with vandals also targeting the campsite shop at Horgabost. Campsite operator Richard Maclennan is staying positive despite the damage to the site, saying: “We have operated the site for ten years with no trouble whatsoever and we envisage this to be a one off that will not happen again, We are looking forward to opening the site on the 1st of May and meeting all the wonderful people who visit our islands and also all the local people who frequent the site.” Reverend Terry, priest in charge of St Peter’s Church, said the theft over Easter weekend had been reported to the Police. £28 was taken from the collection box, together with a key to a nearby storage cupboard.

Read more: Local News for Tuesday 18th April 2017