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Rare American visitor graces Burra garden

The rose-breasted grosbeak feeding in Lynn Goodlad's garden - Photos: Hugh Harrop/Shetland WildlifeA WOMAN in Shetland is buzzing with excitement after learning that the colourful bird feeding on a coconut in her garden was the first ever record of a rose-breasted grosbeak in the islands, and only the fifth ever in Scotland.

When Lynn Goodlad noticed the bird on Tuesday morning she initially thought it was a toy and someone was playing a trick on her.

Anger over Faroese mackerel fishing

Kristian I Grotinum is being escorted into Lerwick harbour in November 2014 - Photo: Ian LeaskWITH JUST six weeks to go until the in/out European referendum, fisherman in Shetland are calling for Faroese vessels to be suspended from EU waters.

This follows an incident in the Danish port of Skagen last week where the Faroese trawler Jupiter allegedly landed 600 tonnes of mackerel mixed into a catch of blue whiting.

Lerwick man admits brandishing knife

A MAN from Lerwick who brandished a knife at his wife has been remanded in custody for nearly a month, as reports are prepared ahead of sentencing.

Alan McLeod, of 33 Leslie Road, appeared from custody at the town's sheriff court on Thursday to admit assaulting his wife on 8 August at an address in Lerwick and pushing her while brandishing a knife.

The 40 year old also pled guilty to breaching a court order by contacting the woman between 16 August and 5 September last year by repeatedly sending her text messages.

Johnson jailed for ten months for thefts

A MAN from Sullom has been sent to jail for nearly one year after admitting a string of offences at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday.

Sydney James Johnson pled guilty to stealing an outboard motor from West Dock, Lerwick on 10 September.

The 24 year old also admitted thieving a Yamaha outboard motor from Lerwick Port Authority on 4 October.

‘Depravity’ of child sex abuse images

Lerwick Sheriff Court.A TWENTY nine year old man has pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography videos of the “most serious” classification at his address in Mid Yell last year.

Sam Hesketh, of 6 Burra Park Road, Mid Yell, admitted an offence of permitting indecent images of children to be taken between 3 May and 5 June 2015.

Wills wants trust to restore democratic control

Shetland Charitable Trust's Commercial Road premises.THE VICE-CHAIRMAN of Shetland Charitable Trust is calling for the introduction of a majority of directly elected trustees when it reviews its governance arrangements next month.

Jonathan Wills is arguing the trust’s board, which used to be dominated by members of Shetland Islands Council, ought to consist of eight elected trustees and seven appointed trustees in order to “restore democratic control to the trust”.

The best independent hotel in Scotland

Peter Mackenzie holds up the award he and his wife Caroline won on Sunday night.PETER and Caroline Mackenzie were celebrating in Edinburgh on Sunday night after Scalloway Hotel was judged Scottish independent hoteliers of the year in the Scottish Hotel Awards.

The hotel won the award jointly with The Pierhouse Hotel in Port Appin, Argyll.

Speaking from the Grand Sheraton Hotel in Edinburgh where the awards ceremony took place, an overwhelmed Caroline Mackenzie said: “We are absolutely over the moon, this is absolutely incredible.”

4G in Lerwick today, rest of Shetland by 2017

SIC economic development director Neil Grant says bringing 4G to Lerwick is a huge step.THIS WEEKEND saw Lerwick leap into the modern age with its first experience of 4G mobile connectivity, giving superfast internet access on handheld phones.

EE, now the UK’s largest mobile operator and part of communications giant BT, has just announced Lerwick is the first of many locations in Shetland that will soon be able to enjoy a 4G signal this year.

Shetland’s fiddle tradition in safe hands

An extremely happy Jodie Smith after being judged Shetland's Young Fiddler of the Year, aged just 13. All photos Valerie WattTHE SHETLAND Young Fiddler of the Year 2016 award has gone to 13 year old Jodie Smith after two days of fierce competition in Mareel, involving 111 fiddlers and an astonishing 271 tunes memorised and played through the course of the contest. Alex Garrick-Wright witnessed the whole thing.

Jodie, who attends Sandwick Junior High School, was presented with the new Frank Jamieson Memorial Trophy for coming first in the young fiddler open category.

Oceanic lifeboat restoration almost complete

Shetland museum curator Ian Tait with the restored Oceanic lifeboat, now just in need of a lick of paint - Photo: Hans J Marter/ShetNewsA PROJECT to restore an antiquated lifeboat from the White Star liner Oceanic to its former glory is nearing completion.

The wooden boat fell into Shetland’s hands in 1914 after its ship, which was being used by the navy at the time in World War I, grounded off the east coast of Foula.

Erraid barred from Paralympics qualifier

Errand Davies in training for the Rio Paralympics this year. Photo Kevin JonesSHETLAND’S medal-winning swimmer Erraid Davies has been told she may not be able to take part in the 2016 Rio Paralympics after her disability was reclassified by judges on Thursday.

The 15 year old had travelled to Glasgow to compete in this weekend’s British para swimming championship in Glasgow’s Tollcross International Swimming Centre, where the Paralympic team will be chosen.

The Lerwick Zebra leaves town

Sans Vitesse being towed out of Lerwick harbour on Thursday evening by the council's Sullom Voe tug Tystie. Photo Platform ShetlandLERWICK harbour’s most distinctive feature for the past two and a half years has finally left the town’s waterfront.

The departure of the black and white-striped accommodation barge Sans Vitesse marks the end of one of the busiest periods in Shetland’s economic history.

TV show triggers Unst tourist boom

The BBC's promotional image for the series An Island Parish which began on BBC2 last month.SHETLAND'S most northerly island is experiencing a tourism boom after featuring on a popular BBC TV series.

Unst is currently starring in the BBC Two documentary An Island Parish and the nationwide exposure is seeing interest in the island rise significantly.

Enquiries into accommodation and tours are up, while businesses are enjoying a boost. Visitors are also heading north to Unst earlier in the year than usual.

MAIB: commerce a factor in tragic capsize

The upturned hull of the Cemfjord, taken by a passenger on the NorthLink ferry that was passing by.CEMENT carrier Cemfjord, which capsized in the Pentland Firth causing the death of all eight crew, may have been sailing in “extraordinarily violent” sea conditions due to “commercial pressure”, accident investigators have concluded.

The Cyprus-registered ship capsized at around lunchtime on 2 January 2015 and no distress message was transmitted. It was more than 24 hours before the alarm was raised when passengers on a passing NorthLink ferry spotted its upturned hull.

Obesity risk for one in four P1 kids

NEW research claims that Shetland has the fifth highest obesity rate in the UK, with an alarming one in four children having weight problems by the time they start primary school.

Online pharmacy has created an interactive map showing how obesity varies across the country.

Service for child sex abuse victims relaunches

SSCHAIR workers Laura Herculson and Suzi Inkster at the organisation's shared premises. Photo: ShetnewsA GROUP set up 20 years ago to help victims of child sexual abuse in Shetland is expanding as it seeks to raise awareness of the issue and improve the range of help available to islanders overcome the damage they have suffered.

Survivors of Sexual Childhood Abuse Information and Resources (SSCHAIR) currently has 26 people on its books, with two dedicated 25-hour posts.  

Investigation into MP's conduct dropped

Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael.THE PARLIAMENTARY standards commissioner has dropped an investigation into Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael, saying that the conduct in question “falls outside my remit”.

In an 11-page report considering Carmichael’s role in the leaking of a Scotland Office memo about Nicola Sturgeon, Kathryn Hudson said she was discontinuing the investigation.

Thousands to take part in Da Voar Redd Up

Pupils from Scalloway Primary School taking part in last year's redd up. Photo courtesy of Shetland Amenity Trust.THIS WEEKEND sees Shetland’s biggest environmental clear-up, Da Voar Redd Up, take place for the 29th occasion.

The event was launched in 1988 and swiftly became the largest community-based voluntary clear-up in the UK – with over a fifth of the isles’ population regularly volunteering.

Fjanna are pick of the bunch in talent show

Fjanna were the judges' pick for Shetland's Got Talent 2016 on Saturday night. Pictured, from left, are Anya Johnston on piano, Jodie Smith on fiddle and Mike Laurenson on accordion. Photo: Davie GardnerA TRIO of young traditional musicians were crowned Shetland’s Got Talent winners for 2016 at a sell-out event which raised over £5,000 for Cancer Research UK on Saturday night.

The talent contest at Mareel was a precursor to next month’s biennial Relay For Life event, taking place at the Gilbertson Park on 28 May.

Search for missing fisherman called off

Two search and rescue helicopters were supported in the search by two fixed wing military aircraftTHE SEARCH for a fisherman missing from a fishing boat 20 miles to the northwest of Orkney has been stood down.

Two coastguard helicopters and two military aircraft had searched an extensive area since early Monday morning.

Search for missing fisherman

Two Coastguard helicopters are involved in the search.THE SEARCH for a fisherman missing from a fishing boat 20 miles to the northwest of Orkney is continuing in "challenging" conditions.

Both the Sumburgh and Stornoway-based coastguard helicopters are searching the area.

Scaling a mountain for the RNLI

Elizabeth Atia in the water during a woman overboard exercise with the Aith lifeboat.A LIFEBOAT volunteer in Shetland is embarking on a 250-mile cycle and hill climbing adventure this summer to raise funds for the RNLI.

Elizabeth Atia, who stays in Aith, will set off from the most northerly lifeboat station on 13 June to cycle to the foot of Ben Nevis before climbing Scotland's highest mountain.

Family finding SIC repair work “unbearable”

Mandie Fulbirg outside the building site surrounding her house on Stucco in Hillswick. Photo ShetnewsA HILLSWICK mother has taken Shetland Islands Council to task for failing to protect her and her family from the disruption caused by major refurbishment to her council house.

The SIC has contracted Lerwick firm Garriock Brothers Building Centre to replace walls, windows, doors and roofs in six properties on the Stucca estate, work that has been carried out on council houses throughout the islands.

SIC makes profit on sale of troubled tugs

The SIC has made £70,000 on the sale of Solan and Bonxie.SHETLAND Islands Council has made a small profit on the sale of its two largest tugs to an Italian port.

This week SIC infrastructure director Maggie Sandison revealed that while the tugs Solan and Bonxie had failed to reach their market valuation, overall their sale had contributed £70,000 to the council’s coffers.

Rock festival to return with a bang

Topping the bill at Shetfest in August will be Glasgow quartet We Came From Wolves.ROCK music festival Shetfest is set to return this summer with a packed line-up of Scottish bands and local talent.

The all-day event, which last took place in the isles in 2014, will be held at Da Wheel in Lerwick on 13 August.