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Value of SIC reserves soars above £320m

SIC finance chief Jonathan Belford.SHETLAND Islands Council’s oil reserves are enjoying their healthiest position in years, with a buoyant stock market in the first six months of 2016/17 seeing the value of its investments swell to £326 million.

The funds were worth £287 million at the start of this financial year, but a strong market performance – partly caused by the plummeting value of the pound in the wake of the UK’s vote to leave the EU in June – saw an investment return of some £41 million by the end of September.

Drink driver banned from road for five years

A MAN who drunkenly drove a car off the road just months after losing his licence has been banned from holding a licence for five years.

Declan Harrison, of North Roe, was also placed under supervision for 18 months and fined a total of £850 when he appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday.

Scallop fishermen stuck ashore after council shuts off access to unsafe Toft pier

The fenced-off pier at Toft early this morning. Photo: Robert Williamson.INSHORE fishermen in the north mainland were unable to access their shellfish boats on Wednesday morning after Shetland Islands Council put up a barrier preventing use of the dilapidated Toft pier.

Three shellfish boats are currently tied up at the pier, which council-commissioned engineers have deemed to be unsafe.

It could scarcely come at a worse time for the scallop fishermen, whose produce attract by far their highest price at this time of year in the lead-up to the festive period.

SIC hopeful of solution to Toft pier situation

An older photo of Toft pier.THE SHELLFISH pier at Toft will be closed off later this week after a further attempt to temporarily fix the crumbling structure was ruled out by Shetland Islands Council.

The local authority had hoped to employ a specialist firm that could inject a resin to stabilise the structure, but has now been told that the pier has deteriorated too far.

Trial: accused of sexual assaults on two girls

A SIXTY four year old man has gone on trial at Lerwick Sheriff Court accused of sexually assaulting two girls under the age of 16 over a four-year period at his home in the north of the Shetland mainland.

Basil Beatty, who lives in North Roe, denies 12 charges on various dates from December 2010 until October 2014, including one instance of intentionally causing one of the girls to participate in sexual activity by masturbating him.

Next step for Staney Hill housing plans

An aerial view of Staney Hill taken from an earlier consultation video.THE PUBLIC will get a first view of draft proposals for a 300-house development at Lerwick's Staney Hill during a drop-in session next Monday.

The masterplan for the site has been designed by a team that is led by Iain Malcolmson of local firm Redman Sutherland Architects.

Police: keep a lookout for heroin dealers

POLICE say they have received information that suspected drug dealers from the north west of England have travelled to Shetland with the intention of distributing heroin.

The dealers have previously used bed and breakfast, hotel and private rented accommodation, police said, and officers urged the local hospitality industry to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour to police.

Inspector James McConnachie said: “These criminals are intent on only one thing, and that’s making money through the suffering of people living in Shetland. They do not care about the consequences their actions can have on our community.

Fisherman says ‘we’re not going anywhere’

Access to Toft pier had been restricted for some timeA LOCAL fisherman has vowed to continue using a small pier in the north mainland to land shellfish despite moves by Shetland Islands Council to close it over safety fears.

The dilapidated pier at Toft, which has not been repaired in years has now developed a second hole, is set to be fenced off as soon as this weekend.

Gender equality talk screening

A SCREENING of a talk given in Shetland last year by a renowned author and educator about gender equality will be held in Mareel this weekend.

Dr Michael Kaufman took his Raising Our Sons to be Good Men talk to the isles to discuss the role men and boys can play to help promote gender equality.

The Canadian was brought to Shetland by the local Women's Aid branch and staff are showing a recording of the event at Mareel in Lerwick on Sunday afternoon.

Support worker Karen MacKelvie said it was a coup to have Kaufman, a former lecturer at Toronto University, visit Shetland.

Over 200 air weapons surrendered to police

OVER TWO hundred unwanted guns have been handed into the police in Shetland as part of a nationwide air weapon amnesty ahead of a change in legislation.

From 1 January it will be an offence to use, possess, purchase or acquire an air weapon in Scotland without holding a special certificate.

After 45 years Jim would do it all again

Jim Moar started his career with the fire service back in October 1971 - Photo: Malcolm Younger/Millgaet MediaLERWICK man Jim Moar has retired from the town's retained fire service after 45 years of commitment to the community.

Earlier this week he handed back his bleeper and vacated his watch manager's office at the Sea Road station. And later this month he will also vacate his manager's desk at Hay & Co Buildbase in Lerwick.

Ill-riggit Christmas tree lights to be changed

The lighting on the tree came in for social media criticism. Photo: Davie GardnerTHE LIGHTS on Lerwick’s town centre Christmas tree will be changed this weekend after coming in for some criticism.

The 7.5-metre Norwegian tree was erected at the Market Cross at the weekend and it features loops of bright lights running vertically instead of being wrapped horizontally.

However, locals took to social media after its lights were turned on to call the tree a “godless eyesore” and the “worst Christmas tree in the country”.

Teenager launches social media business

18 year old Regan Williamson has gone into business by launching Klueless Media. Photo: Shetland News/Neil RiddellMANY of his peers will be a few months into a college or university course, getting stuck into an apprenticeship or tentatively taking their first steps in the world of full-time work.

But 18 year old Regan Williamson, who finished high school in May, has gone down a different avenue and launched his own social media marketing business Klueless Media with help from the Prince’s Trust.

Racially-aggravated assault on pub bouncer

GETTING drunk and committing a racially aggravated assault on a bouncer who refused him entry to a Lerwick nightspot in the early hours of Sunday has cost an offshore worker the best part of £1,000.

Tysen Carthy, of Primrose Lane, Houghton Le Spring, Sunderland, was stuck in Shetland overnight after his flight to a platform was cancelled.

Grieg Seafood on the right track – new MD

Grieg Seafood Hjaltland's new managing director Grant Cumming. Photo: Shetland News/Hans J. Marter.THE NEW man in charge of Grieg Seafood’s Shetland operation is quietly confident that the company has turned a corner after implementing some major changes in the way it produces farmed salmon.

Grant Cumming takes over responsibility for one of Shetland’s largest private employers when he replaces Sigurd Pettersen later this week. Brought up in Orkney, Cumming holds a BSc (hons) in zoology (marine and fisheries biology) from Aberdeen University and an MSc in mariculture.  

Man cut free from van after accident

A man was cut free from the van following the accident on Friday morning. Photo: Alex Garrick-Wright/Shetland NewsEMERGENCY services cut free a man from a van after it came off the road and rolled onto its roof in the south mainland of Shetland on Friday morning.

The driver was taken to Lerwick's Gilbert Bain Hospital with back injuries following the accident, which took place at around 10.45am on the A970 near the Aithsetter junction.

Two fire appliances arrived at the scene, while police and the ambulance service also attended. Police slowed traffic at the scene but the road was fully reopened.

Man rescued after entering Lerwick harbour

A MAN in his twenties was taken to the Gilbert Bain Hospital after climbing into the water at Lerwick Harbour on Thursday night.

The alarm was raised at around 11.50pm following reports of a person entering the water at Alexandra Wharf near the Bressay ferry terminal.

Shetland Coastguard, Lerwick Lifeboat and the police were all alerted and Lerwick Port Authority's on duty port control officer Ryan Leith, who is known for sea swimming, attended the scene.

Man admits breaking into Lerwick chemist

A MAN from Lerwick who admitted breaking into a town centre chemist and thieving sedative tablets has been remanded in custody ahead of being sentenced next year.

Appearing from custody at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Thursday, Martin MacDonald, of Robertson Lane, admitted breaking into A.L. Laing's chemist on the town's Commercial Street on 15 October and stealing a quantity of tablets of the sedative lorazepam, while on bail.

Tavish clashes with SNP over HIE board merger

Tavish Scott MSP.Maree Todd MSP.OPPOSITION politicians have criticised the SNP government following an announcement that the boards which oversee the work of regional development agencies including Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) are to be merged.

Deputy first minister John Swinney confirmed that HIE's board would be disbanded at Holyrood, telling MSPs the government's "intention is that, once established, this overarching board will replace individual agency boards".

Man handed supervision order after sending explicit Snapchat photos to underage girls

A MAN who sent sexual images of himself to girls under the age of 16 on photo sharing app Snapchat has been placed under supervision for 18 months.

Robert Groat, of South Lochside, was also ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work when he appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday.

The 26 year old previously admitted intentionally causing four girls – then aged between 13 and 15 – to look at a sexual image of himself naked or wearing only underwear, and images of his naked penis and genitalia, on various occasions between 1 July and 16 August 2014.

Library users enabled to print 3D objects

Sven Thomson from Weisdale with Shetland Library's new 3D printer.SHETLAND Library is adding 3D printing to its array of digital services, allowing members of the public to try out printing various different objects.

A 3D printer and handheld object scanner has been supplied by the Scottish Libraries and Information Council (SLIC) thanks to funding from the Scottish Government. Every public library in Scotland is receiving one as part of a £76,000 project.

Loganair severs ties with budget airline Flybe

The Flybe logo will soon be a thing of the past on planes arriving at Sumburgh Airport.AIRLINE Loganair is bringing its current relationship with Flybe to an end and will start operating flights under its own name next autumn.

Loganair has operated a franchise agreement with Flybe on flights to and from Shetland since late 2008, and for many years prior to that had a similar arrangement with British Airways.

Craft fair off to flying start

Punters begin flocking to the Shetland Craft Fair on Saturday morning. Photo: Chris Cope/ShetNewsTHIS YEAR's Shetland Craft Fair got off to a flying start on Friday as 750 people attended the opening night of the event in Lerwick.

It is expected that at least 4,500 punters will pass through the Clickimin doors over the weekend as local makers show off their wares.