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Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...

Angus & The Mearns

Forfar nurse struck off over drug mix charges

August 12 2013

A nurse who worked at a care home in Forfar has been struck off after being found mixing medicines that should have been administered separately. Victoria Henderson, who worked at Lochbank Manor Care Home in Graham Crescent, was found guilty of five charges at a hearing at the Nursing and Midwifery Council in Edinburgh. It was found that on three occasions on August 27 2011 she gave a resident two doses of drugs at the same time through a tube instead of administering each independently and flushing in between. The panel found Ms Henderson guilty of falsifying the patient’s MAR (medication administration record) chart on that date and that, on numerous occasions between May 21 and September 6 in 2011, she did not carry the nurse’s phone with her at all times. Additional charges that she took additional breaks to which she was not entitled on seven occasions in 2011 and failed to update care plans for four patients at the end of her shift between June 1 2011 and July 21 2011 were not proved. The misconduct came to light when a new nurse started working at the home on August 27 2011 and was asked to shadow Ms Henderson as part of her induction week. Giving evidence, the nurse said during the morning, lunch and tea time drug rounds she observed Ms Henderson mixing and administering medicines that were meant to be given independently. She claimed Ms Henderson told her: “It’s easy to pick up bad habits but we all end up having them. “It just saves time but if you’re ever seen doing this by senior members of staff, don’t mention that I showed you this or that you’d seen me do it.” According to the resident’s MAR chart, they were meant to be given perindopril at 7.30pm. The nurse claimed Ms Henderson administered this drug at 5.30pm but stated on the MAR chart it was given at the correct time. The nurse said Ms Henderson explained: “The perindopril gets administered early. It’s the practice at the home because it gets really busy in the evening at handover time. “Because no other residents are given medications at 7.30pm it’s easy to forget to give it to her. Just sign the MAR sheet as if it was given to her at 7.30pm.” The nurse reported these incidents to an operations director at RDS Healthcare Ltd, which runs Lochbank Manor, on August 30. Ms Henderson’s employment at the home, which provides care to 40 elderly residents, was terminated by RDS on September 6 2011. Defending her actions, Ms Henderson told the panel she had referred to the British National Formulary to check what medicines could be taken together. She claimed she had performed a flush before and after giving the medicine to the resident and a pharmacist had confirmed the drugs given to the resident could be combined. Ms Henderson said her quotes had been taken out of context and also claimed the nurse who gave evidence against her had administered the tea time round of drugs. The panel took the view the nurse who started employment at the home in August 2011 was a credible witness, due to her consistent evidence and preferred her version of events. The written judgement stated: “The panel considered Ms Henderson’s misconduct and the nature of her dishonesty to be a serious departure from professional standards. “It noted her misconduct involved the deliberate concealment of poor practice. Further, the panel found Ms Henderson did not accept personal responsibility and attempted to shift the blame on to others. “The panel has considered Ms Henderson’s misconduct is fundamentally incompatible with her remaining on the Nursing and Midwifery Council Register. “The panel therefore decided the only appropriate and proportionate sanction in this case is a striking-off order.”

Road tests

Audi Q2 puts quality over size

March 21 2018

Audi’s Q2 was one of the first premium compact SUVs on the market. It sits below the Q3, Q5 and the gigantic, seven seat Q7 in Audi’s ever growing range. Although it’s about the same size as the Nissan Juke or Volkswagen T-Roc, its price is comparable with the much larger Nissan X-Trail or Volkswagen Tiguan. Even a basic Q2 will set you back more than £21,000 and top whack is £38,000. Then there’s the options list which is extensive to say the least. My 2.0 automatic diesel Quattro S Line model had a base price of £30,745 but tipped the scales at just over £40,000 once a plethora of additions were totted up. Size isn’t everything, however. In recent years there’s been a trend of buyers wanting a car that’s of premium quality but compact enough to zip around town. It may be a step down in size but the Q2 doesn’t feel any less classy than the rest of Audi’s SUV range. The interior looks great and is user friendly in a way that more mainstream manufacturers have never been able to match. The simple rotary dial and shortcut buttons easily trounce touchscreen systems, making it a cinch to skim through the screen’s menus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eQ5p5Z7-Ek&list=PLUEXizskBf1nbeiD_LqfXXsKooLOsItB0 There’s a surprising amount of internal space too. I took three large adults from Dundee to Stirling and no one complained about feeling cramped. As long as you don’t have a tall passenger behind a tall driver you can easily fit four adults. At 405 litres the boot’s big too – that’s 50 litres more than a Nissan Juke can muster. Buyers can pick from 1.0 and 1.4 litre petrol engines or 1.6 and 2.0 litre TDIs. Most Q2s are front wheel drive but Audi’s Quattro system is standard on the 2.0 diesel, as is a seven-speed S Tronic gear box. On the road there’s a clear difference between this and SUVs by manufacturers like Nissan, Seat and Ford. Ride quality, while firm, is tremendously smooth. Refinement is excellent too, with road and tyre noise kept out of the cabin. It sits lower than the Q3 or Q5 and this improves handling, lending the Q2 an almost go-kart feel. On a trip out to Auchterhouse, with plenty of snow still on the ground, I was appreciative of the four-wheel drive as well. The Q2 is expensive – though there are some good finance deals out there – but you get what you pay for. Few cars this small feel as good as the Q2 does. Price: £30,745 0-62mph: 8.1 seconds Top speed: 131mph Economy: 58.9mpg CO2 emissions: 125g/km

Dundee

Dundee beautician’s drugs hoard could have been worth £62,000 on streets

October 3 2014

A Dundee beautician-turned-drug dealer was caught with nearly 900 grams of high-purity amphetamine. The sheriff court heard Cally Henderson, who works at a city centre beauty salon, was also found with enough bulking agent to make the drug up to 6,294 grams of street-strength powder with a value of £62,940. The court heard police had been watching Henderson, 33, of Sandeman Street, for weeks before they searched her home. Depute fiscal Vicky Bell said: “Officers rang the doorbell and were let in to the house by the accused. “They were led into the kitchen where she voluntarily said, ‘that’s it there’ and pointed to a carrier bag. “The bag was seized and within it was a plastic and duct tape wrap containing 888.1 grams of amphetamine, which was found to be of 14% purity when tested.” Henderson admitted that, between January 3 and 16, she was concerned in the supply of amphetamine. She was given bail but warned by Sheriff Elizabeth Munro she could face jail. Henderson’s sentence was deferred to October 27.

Fife

Man who drove at police officers says he was ‘in fear of my life’

February 5 2015

A Dunfermline man said he feared being attacked and robbed when two plain-clothes policemen tried to stop his car. Michael Henderson, 58, said he had no idea the two men were police officers, claiming: “I was in fear of my life”, when he appeared at Dunfermline Sheriff Court. Henderson, of Fodbank View, denied that on October 9 2013, at that street, he drove a car dangerously and reversed at excessive speed, causing PC David Souter to take evasive action to avoid being struck, and drove forward at excessive speed, causing PC Dale Clark to take evasive action to avoid being struck. After a trial, however, Sheriff Craig McSherry found demolition supervisor Henderson guilty, fining him £1,500 and disqualifying him from driving for a year. The court heard the background to the incident was a drugs-related investigation and the two officers were in an unmarked vehicle near Henderson’s home. The officers saw him arrive in his street, get out of his car, then get back in quickly and start to drive away. PC Clark told the court warrant cards were shown as he and his colleague shouted at Henderson, telling him they were police officers, and he struck the window with his handcuffs. PC Souter said he tried to get in the back door but all the doors were locked. He went to the rear of the vehicle but had to move out of the way to avoid being hit. “It was clear he wasn’t going to stop,” said the officer, who claimed that Henderson “definitely” saw his warrant card before driving off. Henderson said in evidence he had just arrived back when his partner phoned, asking for him to go for chips, and so he got back in his car. He saw two men approach his car and he had to stop to avoid hitting them. “They had no uniforms, they were in an unmarked car, no fluorescent jackets, no warrant cards. They were dressed casual. “I didn’t know who they were. I thought somebody was going to beat me up or take the car. I had no idea what they were going to do. I was in fear of my life.”

Business news

Strong city showing on biggest games stage

April 2 2013

Dundee’s digital media companies have been chasing new business in America as part of a Scottish delegation to the world’s largest games industry event. A total of 32 firms and organisations joined a Scottish Development International trade mission to the four-day Games Developers Conference in San Francisco. It is the longest-running event of its kind in the world and brings together more than 27,000 professionals to discuss issues in the industry, showcase the latest developments and make new deals. Dundee was particularly heavily represented amongst the Scottish presence, with nine city-based development firms including Denki, Tag Games, Cobra Mobile and 4J Studios making the trip, along with representatives from Abertay University and chartered accountants Henderson Loggie. The group had hoped to return to a new tax landscape for the games industry in Britain, but the UK Government’s proposal to offer a new relief has yet to be granted approval by the European Commission. Steve Cartwright, who leads the video games team at Henderson Loggie, was among the delegation which travelled to the US last week. He said it was imperative the proposed games tax relief was given the green light in order to ensure UK-based developers were competing on a level playing field with overseas rivals. Such reliefs have been in place in other countries for a number of years, and their games and mobile app development scene has flourished as a result. “The implementation of this new tax relief will be great news for the games industry in Scotland and Dundee in particular, where there are a significant number of games companies,” said Mr Cartwright. “Countries such as France and Canada where tax reliefs for this sector already exist have seen significant increases in the numbers employed in this growth sector, whereas jobs in Scotland have contracted. “This new tax relief will go a long way to levelling the playing field, and hopefully will get Scotland back to where it was a number of years ago when it punched well above its weight in the games industry globally.” Mandy Cooper of SDI said there was great value to be had for Scottish companies by attending events such as GDC, where they had the opportunity to showcase their products to an audience of globally influential people. She said: “Having so many companies with a variety of products, skills and expertise to showcase what Scotland has to offer has led to a significantly higher level of interest and activity on the Scotland Pavilion stand. “As well as helping our Scottish companies find new global business growth opportunities at GDC, we’re also receiving a number of positive inquiries from businesses looking at Scotland as a potential location for new business,” she added.

This student took his Tinder profile to the next level by turning it into a PowerPoint presentation

February 21 2018

Standing out from the crowd on Tinder can be tough, but with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint a British student has managed just that – and gone viral in the process.Sam Dixey, a 21-year-old studying at Leeds University, made a six-part slideshow entitled “Why you should swipe right” – using pictures and bullet points to shrewdly persuade potential dates to match with him on the dating app. The slideshow includes discussion of his social life and likes, such as “petting doggos” and “laser tag”, and “other notable qualities and skills” – such as being “not the worst at sex” and “generous when drunk”.It even has reviews mocked up from sources such as “Donald Trump”, “Leonardo Di Capri Sun” and “The Times Guide to Pancakes 2011”.Sam told the Press Association the six-slide presentation only took about 20 minutes to make and “started off as a joke”.However, since being posted to Twitter by fellow Tinder user Gracie Barrow, Sam’s slideshow has been shared tens of thousands of times across social media.So, it’s got the seal of approval form Gracie, but how has the slideshow fared on Tinder? “I’d have to say it has been pretty successful,” Sam said. “Definitely a clear correlation of matches and dates beforehand to afterwards.“Most of the responses tend to revolve around people saying ‘I couldn’t help swipe right 10/10’ but I’ve had some people go the extra mile and message me on Facebook.“Plus some people have recognised me outside, in the library and on dates.”A resounding success.

Rugby

Dundee HSFP 24 Howe of Fife 19: McKay’s try double denies depleted Howe

December 3 2016

A late try double by Dundee High stand-off Fraser McKay lifted his side to a narrow victory against a brave Howe of Fife side who played a man down for nearly an hour. The sending off of Howe tight-head Grant Henderson for dissent meant the Fifers, bottom of BT National League One, had to battle but they nearly produced a shock win, McKay second try with the last play of the game denying them. Dom Martin had a try for Howe and four penalties, including what looked like being the game winner with just two minutes left, but fatigue told on the visitors in the end and Dundee retained the Rankin Bowl they won in the team's last meeting. Howe defended with some resilience in the first half hour and found themselves with a handsome lead, but minus two men before Dundee struck just before the break. Dom Martin’s 23rd penalty broke the deadlock after a mistake-prone first quarter, but on the half hour referee Craig Clark lost patience after warning both captains about players questioning decisions. At the next scrum he gave a penalty against Howe and tight-head Grant Henderson’s verbal reaction was enough for the ref to show him a straight red. That just seemed to stiffen Howe’s resolve and two more Martin penalties as they enjoyed some possession at last had them out to a 9-0 lead, but when their captain  and stand-off was yellow carded for an intentional knock-on, High had their chance. They scrummaged the penalty against the depleted visitors and smashed forward for lock Jack Anderson to dive over the line, Fraser McKay adding the conversion. Even two men down Howe looked to have greater purpose as the second half began and when Martin returned they quickly re-asserted their lead. The stand-off had High in bother with two well-judged kicks over the top and when Howe won back possession in the home 22, they stayed patient until Martin dummied his way in under the posts, converting himself. Dundee lost replacement prop Neil Dymock to a yellow card for retaliation, but finally got a grip on possession in the Howe 22 and worked a good driving maul for Dayle Turner to score, although it went unconverted. Then Howe’s defence finally wilted and Fraser McKay picked his way through a splintered defence from just outside the 22 to put High ahead with a solo try, but it went unconverted. That meant the gap was just a point for the final minutes and although Martin missed one penalty he landed another when High crept up offside. However on the last move of the game Dundee moved it wide and McKay squirmed over from close range for the winning try, which he converted to secure the victory for the home side. Dundee High Rugby: R Fairweather; I Matacagi, C Bowie, J Broadley, R Joy; F McKay, A Dymock (c); S Strachan, C Mathieson, A Brown; I Robertson, J Anderson; R Milne, D Turner, G Arnott. Howe of Fife: S Gray; B Mitchell, D McIntyre, S Lathangie (c), E Cruickshank; D Martin, A Harley; S Player, C Crawford, G Henderson; N Rees, T Turpie; C Mann, J Lawrie, G Steedman. Ref: C Clark

Entertainment

Movie charts the life of Hamish Henderson – a cultural colossus

June 3 2016

Ahead of its screening in Courier Country cinemas, Michael Alexander speaks to Robbie Fraser, the director of Hamish - a movie which charts the life of Perthshire-born war hero, poet and songwriter Hamish Henderson Like many people in Scotland, film-maker Robbie Fraser had dim memories of who Perthshire-born Scottish cultural colossus Hamish Henderson was. But he had never fully engaged with his material or found out anything about the man himself. That all changed, however, when he was working on a documentary in Mali about a gold miner with a Scottish wife from Fife. At a time when music was banned by Islamic terrorists, Robbie’s sister sent him a copy of Henderson’s famed Scottish ballad ‘Freedom Come All Ye’ – a folk song that some say should be Scotland’s real national anthem. “I listened to it over and over again,” Robbie, 43, tells The Courier. “It’s a real anti-imperial anthem. It’s the opposite of Scotland the Brave. I think it’s even more relevant in the world we live in today. To paraphrase another Scottish legend, ‘We are all Jock Tamson’s bairns’.” Following its sold-out premiere at the 2016 Glasgow Film Festival, Hamish, Robbie’s much-anticipated documentary about Hamish Henderson, will tour cinemas across Scotland from June 3. Blairgowrie-born Henderson (1919-2002) was a hugely influential part of Scotland’s cultural scene. Hamish pays tribute to the many contrary forces and diverse facets of Henderson’s life as a poet, soldier, intellectual, activist, songwriter and leading force of the revival of Scottish folk music. From an English orphanage and the draughty corridors of Cambridge to overseeing the capitulation of the Italian army in the Second World War, this is Henderson’s life told by those who knew him best and loved him most. “The way it’s been done is a wee bit unusual in that there’s no voice-over, “explains Robbie. “It’s been a privilege to work on the film because he’s a wee bit lost right now, faded from view. But he needs to be re-cemented into the Scottish imagination as a poet, a maker and an inspirer of people.” Robbie says it has been a “very emotional film” to work on, and that comes in part because the story is told only through the words of people who knew him personally over many years. “I’m pretty much the only person on the production who didn’t know him, “adds Robbie, “and I wish I had. He was clearly a benevolent, adored and empowering cultural force.” It was a particular coup to hear from Hamish’s widow and daughters. He also got on board writer, film-maker and art historian Timothy Neat of Wormit. He wrote Henderson’s biography and gave the film maker exclusive access to stills and video footage. “It was a steep learning curve, and a daunting responsibility trying to carry on the spirit of who he was, “adds Robbie. “But we’ve given it our best shot and I hope we’ve captured the spirit of the man.” Born to a single mother on November 11, 1919, in Blairgowrie, Hamish Henderson attended Blairgowrie High School before moving to England with his mother who died before he started school at Dulwich College, London. Living in an orphanage, Hamish managed to secure a place at Cambridge where he would study modern languages. While a student visiting Germany he acted as a courier for a Quaker network which helped refugees escape the Nazi regime, later serving with Intelligence Corp in Europe and North Africa as a translator. His experience of war acted as a catalyst for his poem sequence Elegies For The Dead In Cyrenaica for which he received the Somerset Maugham Award in 1949. He used his prize money to fund his journey to Italy where he translated The Prison Letters Of Antonio Gramsci; given the sensitivity of the subject, it wasn’t published until years later and he was asked to leave the country. Henderson became an integral part of the Scottish folk movement when he accompanied the American folklorist Alan Lomax on a collection tour of Scotland. His career as a collector not only established his place as a permanent member of staff at the School of Scottish Studies but also led him to return to his native Blairgowrie, making the travellers who berry-picked in the summer his particular area of activity. He beautifully described this time as “like sitting under Niagara Falls with a tin can” Henderson helped establish the Edinburgh People’s Festival in 1951. It put traditional Scottish folk music on a public stage for the first time and arguably evolved into the internationally celebrated Edinburgh Festival Fringe as we know it today. As folk clubs sprung up and modern folk songs bled into the mainstream, often these songs contained political themes and Henderson’s own compositions Freedom Come Aa Ye and The John MacLean March were written in to the fabric of Scottish culture. In 1983 he turned down an OBE in protest of the nuclear arms policy under the Thatcher government and as a result was voted Scot Of The Year by BBC Radio Scotland listeners. He was openly bisexual and campaigned for equal rights, Scottish independence and was a strong supporter of the release of Nelson Mandela. *Hamish is screened at Perth Playhouse from June 3 to 7 and at DCA Dundee on June 5 malexander@thecourier.co.uk

Farming news

Aberdeen-Angus DNA test hailed by Victor Wallace

February 13 2015

The adoption of a new DNA test to authenticate the pedigree of all Aberdeen-Angus calves will put the breed in the vanguard of genomic technology, retiring Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society president, Victor Wallace, told a packed annual at Stirling. The society has decided to collect blood samples using special ear tags which incorporate a small uniquely identified receptacle. As the tag is inserted soon after birth the small amount of displaced tissue and blood is captured ready for future DNA testing. Responding to criticism of the society’s decision to use only one company, Caisley, for the collection of samples, Mr Wallace insisted Caisley was the only ear tag company which had the technology to meet the society’s required specification. “We invited a number of ear tag companies to tender and some didn’t bother to reply while others couldn’t meet the spec,” said Mr Wallace. “It is a simple and inexpensive system which most breeders are finding easy to use.” The aim is to collect blood samples from all bull calves to enable the sire of all calves to be verified in the case of any uncertainty or dispute and to authenticate beef being sold as Aberdeen-Angus.” The move by the society has been welcomed by major supermarkets selling Aberdeen-Angus beef. Mr Wallace added: “This process was extensively and rigorously tested with management and council visits to the manufacturers in Germany and the completion of field trials. After this process it was brought back to council and unanimously approved. “Like all changes, there has been some resistance but I am convinced that putting the society in a position to be leading in genomic testing can only be a good one. “We should be leaders, not followers.” Mr Wallace admitted that a £34,000 re-branding exercise carried out over the past year, which included the dropping of the society’s long-established black, green and yellow colours, left room for “significant improvement”. The issue, particularly improvement to the website, would, he said, be addressed in the coming year. The decision to prop up the pension fund of chief executive, Ron McHattie, by £120,000 in four tranches was defended by new president, David Evans, who explained that it was a “catching up” operation as the funding of the pension had not been addressed for 11 years and annuity rates had halved in that time. Mr Evans, who works as a financial adviser, runs a 60-cow pedigree herd in Cleveland with his wife, Penny, and has been chairman of the society’s breed promotion committee. He is planning a series of open days throughout the country this year to promote the commercial attributes of the Aberdeen-Angus breed. “There is a huge and growing demand for certified Aberdeen-Angus beef with the active involvement of most of the leading supermarkets in the UK and registrations in the Herd Book are at a record level and continuing to increase,” said Mr Evans. “But we can’t stand still and it is important that the breed adopts all the latest technology to take the breed forward in the future.” New senior vice-president is Tom Arnott, Haymount, Kelso, while Alex Sanger, Prettycur, Montrose, was appointed junior vice-president.

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