Two spirits of a different came together for a special evening in Sleat.

As part of the build up to the opening of Skye's newest whisky producer, the Torabhaig Distillery, owners Mossburn Distillers staged an evening reception at the Talla Mòr, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig which was hosted by Visit Sleat.

And as an added touch of the exotic they invited along representatives from the Akashi Sake Brewery Company located in the city of Hyogo on Japan's southern island of Honshu, with who they have a joint venture.

In fact the distillers are set to become the first Scottish company to produce Japanese whisky in Japan. To mark the occasion two executives of the Sake company were in Sleat to introduce the community to their national drink as well as some stunning Japanese whisky.

Police in Portree are seeking help to track down those responsible for damage to a home in Urquhart Place. The incident, on Wednesday evening (January 18) involved a window being broken. Anyone who can help should call 101.

 

Skye figures in several of the programmes due to be screened by BBC Alba over the coming weeks.

In De a-nis? Tuesday 31 January, from 6.30 – 7.00pm Megan and her friend Sara introduce us to the fiddle, their favourite musical instrument, you can find out how Kilmuir Primary School in Skye fare in this week's hopper challenge, Puingean nam Boingean, and Tia from Lewis tells us about her favourite pastimes.

Step into Guillemot, the new boutique on Wentworth Street, and you are stepping into a shop that has long been the dream of owner, Liza Hawthorne.

Liza, who owns the Isle of Skye Baking Company along with her husband Barry, says: "I have always wanted a little boutique.  I wanted it to have a quirky name, and I had seen pictures of Black Guillemots with their red legs.  I thought Guillemot was a perfect name - evocative of Skye and Scotland."


If he's still around here's one Santa who could spring a nasty surprise.

Chocolate company Thorntons is recalling all batches of its Hollow Milk Chocolate Jolly Santa because they may contain a piece of plastic.

Police in the Highlands have thanked members of the public for their vigilance and assistance in providing information on incidents of hare coursing in the north.

Hare coursing is the illegal pursuit of hares by dogs resulting in a barbaric, terrifying death for the animal.

PC Dan Sutherland, Divisional Wildlife Crime Officer, explains: “We’ve issued a number of appeals recently relating to crime in the rural environment and following contact from members of the public, Police in Inverness have reported three individuals to the Procurator Fiscal for hare coursing in the Ardersier area.

Experiences gained on Skye have been helping to form a national picture of how communities in Scotland help themselves and each other.

A new study has found that Scotland’s disconnected communities could be costing the local economy £731 million every year. This constitutes a portion of the £32 billion that makes up the total UK-wide cost.

The research, commissioned by Eden Project initiative The Big Lunch and funded by the Big Lottery, reveals the annual cost to Scotland’s public services of social isolation and disconnected communities, including:

Emily Watts, Country Manager Scotland for Eden Project Communities said: “This piece of research only deepens our commitment to encourage communities to connect with one another and take whatever action they feel will best benefit their area. We know that people who live in a place have a unique knowledge about what will work. We hear stories every year about how people feel better and more resilient after taking part in things like our mass participation event ‘The Big Lunch’ or by simply doing things where they live that benefit the community.”

The Big Lunch is one of Eden’s most significant and best known initiatives, made possible by the Big Lottery Fund. The idea is for as many people as possible across the UK to have lunch with their neighbours annually on a Sunday in June, in a simple act of community, friendship and fun. 

In Portree Lesley Hellon who runs the Youth Drop in was instrumental in pulling together a Big Lunch event which, unsurprisingly, was hit by the weather.

 

Margaret Davidson

Leader of The Highland Council, Margaret Davidson has welcomed the outcome of the vote in the Scottish Parliament on the motion to reverse the decision to scrap the Board of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

Cllr Davidson said: “This vote sends a strong message to the Scottish Government about their incessant centralising agenda and we would now urge Ministers to reconsider their entire approach. Centralisation completely contradicts the move towards localism and communities being involved in decision making and having services which reflect their local needs and geography.”

Cllr Davidson joined with the Leaders of all the local authorities in the Highlands and Islands, in writing to Cabinet Secretary Keith Brown, in December, in a call to protect local decision making for Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). This was in addition to the motion agreed by Highland Council in December, and numerous correspondence and meetings with Keith Brown MSP and Fergus Ewing MSP.

 

From 1 April 2017 the Scottish Government is changing the basis on which properties are assessed for Council Tax and this will increase the charge for Council Tax properties that are banded E to H.

The Highland Council say they have no discretion in this matter and must apply these increases to the Council Tax charges although households living in properties in Bands A-D are not affected by these increases.

Further information on the Council Tax increases by the Scottish Government (external link) can be found on their website: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Government/local-government/17999/counciltax (external link)

This change will mean that residents of Band E properties would pay at least £2.05 more per month and £10.06 for Band H properties.

If you would like to check what band your property falls under you can check on the Assessor’s web site: https://www.saa.gov.uk/

Calum's creation

 

Local artist Calum Gillies has come up with a whole new look for Raasay.

For he has taken the island....and sent it vertical!

On social media he said: "I finally drew a picture of my wee island that I'm happy with! It's stuffed full of references and my favourite spots, and it, of course, features a Kelpie."