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Crown Office seeks helicopter black box

Four people were killed when the Super Puma helicopter they were travelling in ditched into the sea in August 2013.SCOTLAND’S Lord Advocate is seeking to obtain the black box recorder from last year’s fatal helicopter crash just off Sumburgh.

Three men and a woman died after their Super Puma helicopter, carrying a total of 18 people, ditched into the sea on 23 August last year.

As part of its investigation into the incident, the Crown Office has petitioned the Court of Session for release of the EC225’s cockpit voice recorder. It is currently held by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB).

Town hall reception for trio of games athletes

From left to right: Shetland MSP Tavish Scott, swimmer Andrea Strachan, bronze medal winning swimmer Erraid Davies, table tennis player Lynda Flaws and SIC convener Malcolm Bell. Photo: Davie Gardner

SHETLAND'S trio of Commonwealth Games athletes were given a civic reception at Lerwick Town Hall on Monday night.

Council convener Malcolm Bell elected to lay on the event for bronze medal winner Erraid Davies, swimmer Andrea Strachan and table tennis player Lynda Flaws as a token of the community's appreciation of their achievements.

Joint venture could see new hotel built

Frank Strang of SaxaVord Resort says the mixture of local knowledge and Norwegian business acumen will help the new partnership to succeed.A NEW BUSINESS partnership has announced its intention to build a new hotel in or around Lerwick as part of a wider agreement to provide and operate different types of accommodation to address the unprecedented demand in the isles.

The Norwegian owner of the accommodation sites at Sella Ness, Malthus, has signed a partnership agreement with SaxaVord Resort aimed at tackling the shortage.

Hotel beds have become increasingly hard to come by in Shetland lately, with over 2,000 workers now in the isles helping to build Total’s £1bn gas plant.

Memorial at Sumburgh for helicopter crash victims

Over 100 people gathered to remember the four people who died in last year's tragic accident. Photo: Malcolm YoungerSURVIVORS of last year’s tragic helicopter crash just south of Sumburgh have paid tribute to the Shetland community following a dedication service marking the incident’s first anniversary.

Four people were killed when the Super Puma helicopter they were travelling in ditched in the sea around two miles south of Fitful Head on 23 August 2013.

80-mile walk in aid of six year old Charlie

Nine of the 10 workmates who are limbering up for an 80-mile, non stop walk the length of Shetland. Photo: Malcolm YoungerTEN WORKMATES have taken it upon themselves to undertake a non-stop, 80-mile walk the length of Shetland, from Unst to Sumburgh, for charity.

The workers, employed by Bilfinger Industrial Services at Sullom Voe, are raising funding for three charities helping six year old Charlie Newlands, from Sandwick, who is currently receiving treatment for leukaemia.

New Lerwick secondary faces delays

Final designs of the new Anderson High School may not be agreed until next year.SHETLAND Islands Council is facing up to the possibility that construction of the new Anderson High School may be delayed by several months following the takeover of the construction company behind the project.

This week a draft building programme for the £42 million Lerwick secondary school leaked to local media suggested the school may not open until Easter 2017, eight months behind schedule.

Ex Jarl banned and fined for drink driving

A FORMER guizer jarl with Lerwick Up Helly Aa was banned from driving for two years and fined £1,000 at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Thursday after he admitted being at the wheel of his car while three and a half times the legal alcohol limit.

Stanley Manson, aged 57, of King Harald Street, Lerwick, was arrested after he was seen swerving back and forth across the centre of the road at the town's North Lochside around noon on Monday 11 August.

People driving behind his car reported Manson to the police after they saw him mount the kerb as he drove into the Clickimin Leisure Complex car park, before "stumbling and staggering" towards the building entrance when he climbed out of his vehicle.

Shetland’s role in the First World War

Converted to fighting ships, the merchant cruisers were armed with guns to stop any ship they met, and fend off an attack if need be. These gunners are on H.M.S. Almanzora - Photo: Shetland Museum and ArchivesSHETLAND's important role in Britain's blockade of Germany during the First World War is being highlighted in a new exhibition that opens at Da Gadderie in the Shetland Museum on Saturday.

The islands were crucial to the Allies in the First World War – not as a source of manpower, but because of its geographical position.

Motorcyclist 'very fortunate' to keep licence

A MOTORCYCLIST who drove at “grossly excessive” speed was told he was “very fortunate” not to be disqualified at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday.

Vincent Tonner, 27, of North Nesting, pleaded guilty to a charge of driving his motorbike carelessly on the A970 road between the South Nesting junction and Lerwick on 31 July 2013.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said the offence took place at 8.30pm on a fine summer’s evening. Tonner had “gone out and opened up the throttle” without realising he had pulled out of a junction in front of an unmarked police van.

Planning permission but no licence

An image of the new Rova Head power station proposed by SHEPD last year.PLANS to build a new 120-megawatt power station at Rova Head, in Lerwick, continue to be on hold despite planning consent having been granted by the Scottish Government on Wednesday.

The £200 million power station will be linked to Scottish & Southern Energy's smart grid project NINES, and replace the existing 60 year old power station at Gremista.

Decommissioning cash a major boon for harbour

A digital impression of the Dales Voe South development - Image: Courtesy of LPAINVESTMENTS of more than £20 million into decommissioning facilities at Lerwick Harbour were announced on Wednesday.

Lerwick Port Authority will spend £12.5 million to lengthen the quay at Dales Voe South to 130 metres and to strengthen its load bearing capability.

Councillor airs disquiet over staff pay-offs

Councillor Andrea MansonA SHETLAND councillor claims the local authority is guilty of a “complete waste” of public money by handing “substantial” pay-offs to social care staff and then re-hiring them.

North Mainland member Andrea Manson made the remarks following Tuesday’s audit committee meeting, suggesting Shetland Islands Council had been too hasty in laying off staff to save money in recent times.

Community health and social care director Simon Bokor-Ingram said that, of 74 staff given either early retirement or voluntary redundancy, 15 were now working within the service on “temporary relief” contracts with no guaranteed hours, while one individual had been re-employed on a part-time contract.

56 year old denies making assault threat

A MAN who denies threatening to assault a night porter at a local youth hostel has been kept behind bars after appearing at Lerwick Sheriff Court.

Christopher Robinson, 56, who gave the court an address in Fife, appeared from custody on Tuesday.

He is charged with behaving in a threatening or abusive manner by telling two women that he was going to assault the night porter at Islesburgh Youth Hostel in Lerwick with a rock on 14 August.

First spirits from Unst distillery

Celebrating the launch of the Shetland gin are Wilma and Stuart Nickerson (left) and Frank and Debbie Strang.THE FIRST product from Britain's most northerly distillery was officially launched on Friday.

Shetland Reel Gin is made with botanicals, including apple-mint, specially grown in the island of Unst.

The distillery is located in the supplies building of the former RAF Saxa Vord site and is operated by The Shetland Distillery Company.

Young couple take on popular fudge shop

Magnus Johnston and Nicola Duthie have taken over the Shetland Fudge Company business. Photo: Shetnews/Neil RiddellAN AWARD WINNING confectionery business in Lerwick is under new ownership after being taken over by a young Shetland couple.

Magnus Johnston, 31, and Nicola Duthie, 25, officially took up the reins at Shetland Fudge Company from the firm’s founder Gillian Ramsay on Friday.

Teenager unfazed by media attention

Erraind (centre) with her father David and sister Vhairi (left) and mother Joyce and sister Morven (right) - Photos: Hans J MarterSHETLAND's new sports star Erraid Davies returned to the isles on Monday, two weeks after becoming the Commonwealth Games' youngest ever medal winner.

The 13 year old was joined by her family at the North Mainland pool in Brae, where she told waiting reporters that despite the newly won fame life would go on as normal.

Swimmers' Bressay-Lerwick charity crossing

Some of the swimmers getting in practice ahead of the 6 September challenge.A GROUP of 18 swimmers are gearing up to tackle the 1,200-metre channel between Bressay and Lerwick to raise money for three different causes early next month.

The swimmers’ training is already well underway ahead of braving the cold water of Lerwick Harbour on Saturday 6 September.

A month’s worth of rain in a day

Fire crews pumping water from the old Adamson Brothers building in Cunningsburgh - Photo: Michael Owen

FIRE CREWS in Shetland had a busy Saturday night as they were called out to several flooded homes in Levenwick and Cunningsburgh.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Services said all the calls came in within a very short time span at just before 9pm.

Heavy rain causes landslides and flooding

The A970 above Levenwick is partially blocked due to a landslide - Photo: Diane GrayLandslides are affecting traffic on the main A970 road between the Bigton junction and Levenwick, as well as on the A971 at Weisdale.

At least one lane at Levenwick is blocked with debris washed off the hill by the heavy rain Shetland has been experiencing since lunchtime.

Yell firm gets new mussel harvesting boat

C&A Thomason's new musssel harvesting boat in Lerwick Harbour yesterday.A NEW purpose-built mussel harvesting vessel for C&A Thomason of Yell arrived in Lerwick Harbour on Thursday.

Built by Alumarine in Brittany, the Pro-Cat 14 aluminimum boat – named ‘Reliance’ – measures 14 metres long and 6.5 metres wide.

Viking opponents take fight to Supreme Court

Sustainable Shetland members are determined to continue the fight against Viking Energy's windfarm.ANTI-VIKING Energy campaign group Sustainable Shetland has announced that it will take its fight against the 103-turbine wind farm to the Supreme Court in London.

The decision was taken unanimously at a members’ meeting in Bixter Hall on Wednesday night and confirmed in a statement on Thursday morning.

In 2013 the Court of Session upheld Sustainable Shetland’s appeal in a judicial review against the Scottish Government’s decision to grant consent for the controversial project.

Bone marrow appeal for James gathering pace

The family of six year old James Hawick are raising awareness of the importance of donating bone marrow.A CAMPAIGN started by the family of a six year old boy with a rare blood disorder to encourage folk in Shetland and beyond to register as bone marrow donors is gathering pace at a remarkable rate.

Craig Smaaskjaer, whose nephew James Hawick was recently found to have the condition aplastic anemia, has decided to scale Ben Nevis seven times in as many days between 6 and 12 September to raise both funds and awareness of the Anthony Nolan Trust.

The Facebook page James’ aunt Carol Massey has created, ‘7in7 for James’, has attracted over 1,300 followers in the past few days and more than £4,500 has been raised already.

Scott wants UK to stop arming Israel

MSP Tavish Scott has made separate pleas to end the export of arms to Israel and to clamp down on issuing firearms to police in the Highlands and Islands.SHETLAND MSP Tavish Scott is calling for an end to UK arms exports being used by Israel to target the people of Gaza.

He was speaking after figures showed that £42 million-worth of arms has been exported from the UK to Israel since 2010.

There is a major humanitarian crisis in Gaza following the deaths of an estimated 1,900 Palestinians, including hundreds of children. A 72-hour truce began on Tuesday.

Country music star to toast new gin venture

Jim Salestrom and his wife Pam.ONE OF the most outstanding players on the country music scene is coming to Shetland later this month to play a concert in Unst.

Emmy Award winning country folk musician Jim Salestrom will also help launch Shetland Distillery Company's first batch of locally produced gin at the Saxa Vord restaurant.

A close friend of Saxa Vord owners Frank and Debbie Strang, Salestrom and his wife Pam have also been booked for next summer to kick off the UK's most northerly country and folk festival.