This week’s Stornoway Gazette front page welcomes the first Western Isles born baby of 2014 with Marybeth delighting parents Rae and Mark Macdonald when she appeared at 9.40am on January 1st.
However, our front page also carries the story of a lack of Biology textbooks for senior pupils at The Nicolson Institute – with students sharing the learning aids and unable to take them home for further study, just weeks before their prelim exams start.
We check out the work beginning at Ullapool Harbour in preparation of the arrival of the new CalMac ferry – MV Loch Seaforth – later this year; and congratulate a local Coastguard administrative officer who has been recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.
Other news stories include a look at how broadband will improve in the islands as the ‘start of a new age’ of digital communication is planned; the disappointment of youngsters in the Cearns at the loss of play-park equipment; and an update on the Office of Fair Trading investigation into the distribution of road fuel in the Western Isles by GB Oils (Certas).
As the new year advances, we take a look at what’s in store for Scotland in 2014 with a special feature on the Independence Referendum with Highland and Island political players telling their views.
Gazette weather columnist Eddie Graham talks about December 2013 having the worst weather on record; and we find out about Point model boat builder John Campbell’s latest project – a four foot replica of the HMS Iolaire – which was launched on New Year’s Day, nearly a century after the tragic disaster.
Entertainments, we reveal the plans for Tattoo Hebrides 2014, with the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band attending; Paris-based pianist Ivan Ilic talks about the development of his music; and another HebCelt headliner is announced for the summer festival.
And in Sport we have part 3 of the Lewis and Harris Select history, as well as the dramatic story of Kilphedar wonder woman, cyclist Kerry MacPhee who is bruised but not beaten after a bike pile up when training in Spain.
All this and more in your local newspaper, The Stornoway Gazette, out now.