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Also in the news / New Loganair boss appointed, Gaza walk, new defibrillator, healthcare challenges and more…

Luke Farajallah will be in charge of Loganair as of 4 March. Photo: Loganair

LOGANAIR has appointed a new chief executive just four weeks after Jonathan Hinkles stepped down in a surprise movement.

The new man at the helm is Luke Farajallah who has held senior roles at flybe, BA CitiExpress and Brymon Airways.

The airline’s executive chairman Peter Simpson said Farajallah’s commitment to “operational excellence and resilience” aligns perfectly with Loganair’s mission to continually improve its service.

The company also announced the introduction of a third weekly one stop, same plane service connecting Sumburgh with London Heathrow.

The twice weekly service will resume in early next month and increase in frequency to three times a week as of 31 March with departures in each direction on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

A GROUP of Shetlanders are planning to walk the 30 miles between Sumburgh Head and Lerwick next month to raise funds for Israel and Palestine.

The group will set off from the lighthouse at 6am on Saturday 23 March and plan to arrive at the Market Cross at 9pm.

Southend councillor Alex Armitage, said the ward he represents was of a similar size to the Gaza strip.

“In walking the length of the Soothend, we will be walking the same distance from Gaza city to Rafah, a treacherous journey that hundreds of thousands of Palestinian civilians have had to make, often on foot, in recent weeks,” he said.

All are welcome to join the walk, either in its entirety or for a section of the route.  Money will be raised for Israeli and Palestinian organisations that work to provide humanitarian relief, and build solidarity, understanding and peace between Palestinians and Israelis, and an online donations page will be set up shortly.

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VOLUNTARY Action Shetland (VAS) says it now has a defibrillator at Market House in Lerwick. VAS obtained funding from the Shetland Community Benefit Fund to purchase the equipment which has been installed at the side of Market House.

Wendy Hand, deputy and facilities manager said: “The provision of a defibrillator at Market Street will provide a vital resource for the community in this populated area for local people and visitors alike.

“Providing this life saving equipment could make the difference between life and death.”

VAS said it is arranging training for the equipment, however full instructions are given should anyone need to use it.

Anyone interested in training should get in touch with Voluntary Action Shetland on 01595 743900 or vas@shetland.org

SHETLAND MSP Beatrice Wishart has highlighted the challenges for island and rural primary healthcare in a parliament debate, raising issues from unfilled posts of health professionals to travel costs for treatment.

Wishart said: “Recruitment and retention of NHS staff from primary care through all parts of the health service has been an issue for years. “Post pandemic, staff are feeling overworked and undervalued and we are seeing GP numbers reduce.”

She added: “Where will the new GP or nurse live when there’s a shortage of housing to rent or buy?

“What attracts a healthcare professional to an island community when ferries don’t run and are unreliable in providing lifeline services?

“The Scottish Government need to look again at how best we ensure patients are not financially burdened while undergoing treatment.”

POLICE in Shetland have been made aware that local residents have been receiving phone calls, messages and emails from scammers.

Officers said these are criminal acts, “usually aimed at encouraging you to hand over money, or your personal or financial information”.

More tips and advice can be found here.

PLANS have been lodged to renovate the historic Park Hall building in Baxter.

The proposal, from Bev Powis, is to bring it to its “former glory” and provide two one bedroom, two storey units for rent and a single-bed, one storey private living accommodation.

This includes the rebuilding of a rear outhouse that has partially collapsed.

In 2022 previous owner Shetland Amenity Trust invited expressions of interest in the C-listed property, which was built circa 1900.

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