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Ten-mile galley pull for new SMUHA shed

A TEN-mile galley pull between Gulberwick to Sandwick kicked off this afternoon (Saturday) to raise money for a new South Mainland Up Helly Aa galley shed.

The team left the Gulberwick Hall at around 2pm and they are expected to arrive at the Sandwick Social Club at about 6pm.

Update: Cable work disrupts communications

SOME telephone and internet services in Shetland continue to suffer from reduced capacity as a result of planned emergency work being carried out on the Shefa-2 undersea cable between Orkney and Shetland.

The work is scheduled to last for another two or three days, but the capacity issues are not expected to last for that long as services will be rerouted via Shefa's network, the company's chief executive Pall Vesturbu said.

Shefa is a subsidiary of Faroese Telecom and the undersea cable in question links Faroe, Shetland and Orkney to the Scottish mainland.

Emergency work disrupts communications

TELEPHONE and internet services in Shetland are suffering from reduced capacity while BT Openreach carries out emergency work on Faroese Telecom's undersea cable between Orkney and Shetland.

The work could last up to 72 hours, but it is expected to be completed sooner than that.

Prison terms handed out to criminal pair

A WOMAN who sold cannabis in Lerwick was imprisoned for two years at the town's sheriff court on Wednesday.

The court heard that 35-year-old Paula Flaherty continued to deal drugs for eight months after police started investigating her. She was in court with her ex partner Simon Cooper, 31, who appeared from custody having admitted assault charges.

A protracted investigation that started on 13 April last year followed intelligence that packages of drugs were being delivered to the couple's house in Nederdale.

The likely cost of crashing out of the EU

Brexit is set to hit the pockets of everyone living in Scotland, according to the People's Vote campaign. Photo: Shetland NewsA REPORT forecasting a tough Brexit outcome for Shetlanders vindicates remaining in the EU, according to local SNP politicians.

The report by the People's Vote campaign, drawn up from research by the London School of Economics, indicates Shetlanders will be £483 per head worse off under a hard Brexit, and £241 worse off if access to the single market is kept.

High-tech fire engines set for September

The new fire engine with the Conduct equipment on board. Photo: SFRSTWO new state of the art fire engines are set to come into service in Bixter and Bressay in the third week of September.

Crews at the two stations are already undergoing training to prepare them to use the rapid response units.

Industry publishes salmon mortality rates

A Shetland salmon farm.MONTHLY mortality rates for fish in Scotland's salmon farms have been published for the first time.

Details of around 50 farms in Shetland operated by Cooke Aquaculture, Grieg Seafood and Scottish Sea Farms are included in the reports, which were issued by the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO).

Abuse man ordered to stay away from Foula

Lerwick Sheriff Court.A MAN who subjected his wife to tirades of threatening or abusive behaviour narrowly escaped prison at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday.

William Ratter, 49, formerly of North Biggins, Foula, was ordered to keep away from the isle for 18 months during which time he is to make no contact whatsoever with his victim, other than by court approved application.

More discussion on overprovision of booze

A used cider can a stone's throw away from Lerwick Town Hall on Tuesday. Photo: Chris Cope/Shetland NewsTHE ISSUE of whether there is an overprovision of alcohol in Shetland has been up for discussion again - but there is still no consensus on whether it needs to be embedded in local policy.

Shetland Islands Council's licensing board and the isles' licensing forum met up at the Lerwick Town Hall on Tuesday morning to discuss the matter as the board continues to consider whether any overprovision needs to be included in its next licensing policy refresh.

SIC seeks to buy SLAP from trust

The SIC headquarters at 8 North Ness is part of the SLAP portfolio the council seeks to buy back from Shetland Charitable Trust. Photo: Shetland NewsSHETLAND Islands Council is understood to be in negotiations to take over Shetland Leasing and Property Development Limited (SLAP), which owns buildings such as the 8 North Ness council headquarters, Shetland College and Scatsta Airport.

Twenty of Shetland's 22 councillors met behind closed doors at Lerwick Town Hall last week to discuss at length a "property matter", but members remained silent on what the issue was.

Gas plant strike averted after pay deal

Shetland Gas Plant at Sullom Voe. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland NewsSTRIKE action at the Shetland Gas Plant has been called off after workers accepted an improved pay offer.

The new deal includes a base salary increase of 15 per cent and a commitment from operator Total that it will not negatively change the shift rota for the next three years.

Whalsay ferry petition handed over to SIC

SIC head of infrastructure John Smith receiving the petition with councillor Duncan Simpson on his right. Photo: Ivan ReidA PETITION calling for a second vessel to be reinstated on Whalsay's weekend ferry service has been handed over to Shetland Islands Council.

Around 500 people signed the petition - roughly half of the island's population - in protest of the council's decision to remove the Hendra on Saturdays and Sundays back in 2013 as purse strings tightened.

Sun shines on crowds at Cunningsburgh

A GOOD crowd at Cunningsburgh - Shetland's biggest agriculture show - basked in the sunshine on Wednesday, ensuring all the hard organisational work paid off.

Duncan advocates ‘common sense’ Brexit

Lord Duncan of Springbank in Lerwick on Thursday. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland NewsA UK government minister has expressed his belief that a "workable" and "common sense" Brexit will eventually be negotiated to allow the UK to remain a strong partner of the European Union.

Parliamentary under secretary in the Scotland Office, Lord Duncan of Springbank, was in Shetland on Thursday to listen to representatives from a number of fishing industry sectors as well as elected members of Shetland Islands Council.

New NHS chairman: 'health and social care integration working well'

Former SIC leader Gary Robinson took up the reins as NHS Shetland chairman on Wednesday. Photo: Shetland NewsTHE NEW chairman of Shetland Health Board Gary Robinson has defended the organisation charged with integrating health and social care services in the isles, after it was branded an "unnecessary bureaucracy" by his predecessor.

Robinson, who took up the reins at the health board on Wednesday and will chair his first meeting later this month, said that Integration Joint Board (IJB) was a success given that it had been one of the last such organisations to bet set up nationally.

He said that after a painful birth for the IJB, the last thing needed was the distraction of rebuilding that organisation.

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