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NHS reduces number of hospital beds

NHS Shetland said occupancy levels at the Gilbert Bain Hospital are well below the Scottish averageTHE rehabilitation ward at Lerwick's Gilbert Bain Hospital is to close permanently allowing NHS Shetland to reduce the number of beds needed.

The move to close Ronas Ward will save the health board almost £500,000, money that is being invested into social services to provide early supported discharge and long-term rehabilitation in the community.

Lack of wind slowed down yachts

The crew of the Winocean receiving the Blue ribbon for the fastest crossing. Photo: Shetland Race CommitteeALL YACHTS competing in the Shetland Race have now reached Lerwick following a frustrating day and a half of sailing due to the lack of wind.

First over the line at 11.15pm on Thursday evening was Winocean skippered by Carl Olav Wickmann.

Man admits sexually assaulting underage girl

A TWENTY year old who admitted sexually assaulting a minor has been placed on the sex offenders’ register ahead of sentencing.

Asa Tulloch, of St Olaf Street, Lerwick, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the girl, who was yet to turn 10 at the time of the first offence, on two occasions between June 2012 and August 2013.

The incidents, which took place at a local playing park and multicourt, involved him touching her over her clothing and placing his her hand down his trousers.

Jailed for assaulting man with a metal tool

A FIFTY eight year old man who used a metal tool to assault another man in Lerwick before dragging him out of a house has been jailed for a year.

Richard Bradley, of Lerwick’s Staney Hill, had previously pleaded guilty to the offence, which occurred at an address in the town’s Ladies Drive on 20 July last year.

His 20-year-old son Nathan Robertson, of Culswick, also admitted his part in the assault and was sentenced to a one-year community payback order and told to carry out 230 hours of unpaid work.

Team Shetland ready to set off for Gotland

THERE is a quiet confidence in Team Shetland as they prepare to fly to Gotland for this year’s NatWest Island Games.

A total of 129 competitors and staff begin their trip to the Swedish island on Wednesday ahead of the biennial games starting in earnest on Saturday (24 June).

Jail for possessing £3,000-worth of heroin

A FORTY three year old man has been jailed for over a year after he was found in possession of heroin worth more than £3,000.

Kevin Goodlad, of Lerwick’s North Lochside, was sentenced at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday having pleaded guilty to the offence in April.

MP challenges HIAL over air traffic control

Recently re-elected Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael.NORTHERN Isles MP Alistair Carmichael has issued a renewed challenge to Highlands and Islands Airports (HIAL) over its plans to centralise air traffic control to a single location.

Local politicians and unions previously voiced serious concern when it emerged HIAL was looking at getting rid of air traffic control towers across its network of airports in April.

Committee undecided on island games grant

Team Shetland at the opening ceremony in Jersey two years ago.A DECISION on whether to contribute public money towards the cost of Team Shetland’s trip to Gotland for the NatWest Island Games will be taken at a Full Council meeting next week.

The local authority’s policy and resources committee on Monday deferred a decision on whether to approve a £5,000 grant towards the Swedish trip. A move by councillor Theo Smith to double that sum was voted down 5-3.

Human error caused air ambulance mix-up

AN INVESTIGATION has concluded that an individual staff error, rather than any systematic failing, caused an air ambulance to be mistakenly sent to Shetland instead of Orkney earlier this year.

NHS Grampian faced stern criticism after the 17 March incident, which saw an air ambulance despatched to Lerwick rather than Kirkwall to pick up an infant for transfer to Aberdeen Maternity Hospital.

Malakoff expands boat building business

Cooke Aquaculture employees gather at the boat building yard to mark the occasion of the keel laying. From left to right: Tommy Ridland, Eric MacMillan, Ian Anderson, Jahn-Remi Hatledal, David Brown, Katrine Johnson, Dennis Johnson, John Wilson, Ewan Georgeson and Keith Leslie. Photos: Ivan HawickLOCAL engineering firm Malakoff has just started building a 14-metre workboat for Cooke Aquaculture at its new boat building facility at the Greenhead Base, in Lerwick.

The keel-laying ceremony for the new workboat, which took place last week, also served as the unofficial opening of Malakoff's new yard.

Funds raised during Midsummer Carnival

The Pirates of Yell Sound was voted the winning float. All photos: Steven JohnsonHUNDREDS of pounds were collected in support of the Callum Younger Reach Fund during Saturday's Midsummer Carnival on Saturday.

The now annual event saw a number of colourful floats, five jarl's squads, Lerwick Pipe Band, coastguard and fire brigade vehicles, as well as two motor cross riders pulling stunts, setting off from the Lower Hillhead for a procession through the town ending at Victoria Pier.

Review will strengthen trust - Gregson

A NEW ethos of openness and communication will help transform Shetland Amenity Trust into a slimmer and smarter organisation, according to its chairman Brian Gregson.

Following the untimely death of former manager Jimmy Moncrieff in February of this year, the trust has been undergoing a root and branch review of its activities.

Diver jailed for five years for Edinburgh rape

A DIVER from Shetland who was found guilty of raping a woman in an Edinburgh churchyard over seven years ago has been jailed for five years.

Cy Sullivan, 26, raped his 42 year old victim at Greyfriars Kirkyard on 27 November 2009 and left her naked from the waist down.

DNA was recovered but there was no match in the national database. However, a routine swab was taken when he was charged with assaulting a bouncer in October 2015 and it matched the DNA found at the churchyard.

Trump helps to boost charitable trust funds

The charitable trust's headquarters on Lerwick's North Road.THE OVERALL value of Shetland Charitable Trust's funds rose by £32 million over the last financial year to £232 million, trustees were told on Thursday.

A total investment return of £40 million was helped by a rise in the global equity market which was partly due to the proposed economic policies of new US president Donald Trump.

Man in hospital after motorcycle accident

A MOTORCYCLIST who was involved in a serious accident north of Brae on Thursday has been taken by air ambulance to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

The 46 year old male motorcyclist came off his bike on the B9076 near the Voxter outdoor centre at around 5.15pm. No other vehicle was involved in the accident.

Police and the Scottish Ambulance Service attended. The Sumburgh based coastguard helicopter was then requested to airlift the casualty to Lerwick's Gilbert Bain Hospital, where he was stabilised.

Trust confirms Wool Week not at risk

Shetland Amenity Trust chairman Brian Gregson is a huge fan of Shetland Wool Week. Photo: Malcolm Younger/Millgaet MediaSHETLAND Amenity Trust has reiterated that the popular Wool Week is not under threat following the SIC's decision not to award the £400,000 Promote Shetland contract.

There was an outcry among locals and visitors alike who feared the event may be pulled in case the Promote Shetland contract was to be taken in-house by the council.

However, the trust has now confirmed that Shetland Wool Week is safe as it not formally part of the Promote Shetland service anymore.

Mariner platform modules arrive off Shetland

The heavy load carrier Forte arrived off Gulberwick a few days ago. Photos: Courtesy of Billy Fox

PLATFORM topside modules for the Mariner oil field, 93 miles east of Shetland, have started arriving off the isles.

The 216-metre heavy load vessel Forte has been lying off Gulberwick for a number of days carrying two of the modules.

Police name motorcyclist killed in accident

TRIBUTES have been paid to Robert Gidney, from Sandness, who died in hospital following a tragic road traffic accident on the B9071 near Aith, earlier this week.

Police said the 60-year old died in hospital on Tuesday morning following a collision between his red Honda CBF 125 motorcycle and a black Mitsubishi Trojan pick-up truck, on Monday evening.

Neighbour of the deceased, councillor Cecil Smith, said the small west side community was in deep shock.

SIC receives affordable housing funding boost

The Hjaltland Housing affordable homes scheme at Quoys, Lerwick.SHETLAND Islands Council is to be given a "significant increase" in money for affordable housing from the Scottish Government over the next three years.

A total of £14.3 million will be allocated to the council between now and 2021 to invest in building new homes in partnership with Hjaltland Housing Association.

Motorcyclist dies after west side collision

The road between East Burrafirth and Aith will remain closed on Tuesday. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland NewsA MOTORCYCLIST has died in hospital after being involved in an accident near Aith on Monday evening.

The B9071 road between Aith and East Burrafirth is to remain closed on Tuesday following the incident, which involved a red Honda CBF 125 motorcycle and a black Mitsubishi Trojan pick-up truck.

Subsea cable set to replace power station

Lerwick Power Station is set to close in 2021. Photo: SSESHETLAND is set to be connected to the national grid for the first time - but it will not come as part of the development of large wind farm projects in the isles.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has confirmed that a 60MW subsea cable is likely to be laid between Caithness and Shetland to replace Lerwick power station by 2021.

Promote Shetland contract to be re-tendered

SHETLAND Islands Council has agreed to re-tender the Promote Shetland contract after it was revealed last week that the only two bids for the service were deemed unacceptable.

The decision was made at Monday's development committee meeting in Lerwick after the issue was added to the agenda as a matter of urgency.

Huge increase in use of local renewables

Lerwick power station is burning between 10 and 15 per cent less diesel due to the increase in renewable energy projects. Photos; SSETHE SHARE of renewable energy used locally in Shetland's electricity network has gone up from below ten per cent to about a third thanks to the successful conclusion of an innovative pilot project for smart grids that has now the potential to be rolled out nationally.

The £18 million Shetland based Northern Isles New Energy Solutions (NINES) project was set up six years ago to increase the amount of renewables being used in a small island-based distribution network.

Carmichael: Significant opportunities for Lib Dems

 Alistair Carmichael was reelected MP for Orkney and Shetland with a majority of 4,563 votes. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland NewsRE-ELECTED Orkney and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael believes the Liberal Democrats will have "quite significant" opportunities to exert political influence on the newly elected parliament.

The Lib Dems increased their number of MPs from eight to 12, including regaining three previously held seats in Scotland.

Carmichael re-elected with increased majority

ALISTAIR Carmichael will extend his 16-year stint as Orkney and Shetland's MP after greatly increasing his majority and comfortably winning Thursday's election.

The Liberal Democrat, who has represented the Northern Isles since 2001, received almost 49 per cent of the votes to clearly beat the SNP's Miriam Brett, who had been expected to put up a strong fight.

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