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...
Blood matching Montrose mum Kimberley MacKenzie's was found throughout her ex-boyfriend's flat, a jury has heard. Forensic biologist Jacqueline Sharp told Glasgow High Court a total of 45 blood spots were found at the Market Street property of murder accused Steven Jackson. Miss MacKenzie's blood was also found on one of his shoes. Ms Sharp said spots of blood were found on a sofa and armchair in the living room, as well as on a glass table and skirting board. More samples were taken from the hallway and bathroom. Asked by Advocate Depute Ashley Edwards if blood found at the bathroom door could have been caused by an injured person being carried into the room, Ms Sharp said: "Yes, that would be one explanation." Under cross examination by Donald Findlay QC, representing Jackson, she also accepted there could be "thousands" of reasons. Miss Sharp said that some of the blood found in the flat had been diluted or smeared as if the area had been washed or cleaned. Jackson, 40, and co-accused Michelle Higgins 29, deny murdering and dismembering Miss MacKenzie. They face further allegations that they disposed of Miss MacKenzie's body parts in bins and cleaned the flat and bath with bleach and caustic soda. The court has heard the 37-year-old died at the flat in October, last year. Forensic scientist Barry Mitchell said traces of DNA matching Jackson were found on the handle of the suitcase which held Miss MacKenzie's severed head and thighs. Traces of Miss MacKenzie's blood were also found on one of Jackson's shoes. Mr Mitchell said the chances of the blood being anyone else's were one in more than a billion. The court heard more of Miss MacKenzie's blood was found on Higgins' mobile phone, underneath its outer casing. DNA and blood matching Miss MacKenzie were also found on a claw hammer found in Jackson's living room. The jury was also told Jackson had texted Miss MacKenzie on October 17 — 10 days before she died. He wrote: "I'm with Mishy now and it would be easier if you stop coming. Please. I really want to make a go of it with her." Miss MacKenzie replied: "Yeah, no probs. I'm sorry I've made things difficult 4 u. What happens when you get gear again. Will still sell me? x" Dr Robert Cumming, who examined Higgins while she was in police custody, told the court she had the initials SJ "carved" on her leg. The trial before Lady Rae continues.
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.
A Montrose mother-of-three lived for about an hour after being hit on the head and could have survived the initial blow, a neuropathologist told a murder trial. Dr William Stewart said there was bruising and bleeding to the right side of Kimberley MacKenzie’s brain and signs of brain swelling. But with immediate medical attention, she could have lived. Dr Stewart was giving evidence at the trial of Steven Jackson and Michelle Higgins at the High Court in Glasgow. The couple deny murdering and dismembering Ms Mackenzie in Montrose on October 27 last year. The trial previously heard Ms MacKenzie had been hit on the head at least 11 times with a blunt object and stabbed about 40 times. Dr Stewart told the jury that he examined the brain last December. He said, in addition to the bruising and bleeding, there had been a segment of bone which looked like it had been “embedded on impact”. The court was told Dr Stewart examined sections of the brain to determine how long Ms MacKenzie had survived after the initial blow to her head. He said: “We use experience and data to produce a timeline. “The textbooks would suggest changes would take three to four hours, however my conservative estimate would be an hour or slightly less than an hour.” He then said that, with medical intervention, the head injury was “potentially survivable”. Defence QC Donald Findlay, representing Mr Jackson, suggested that changes in the brain caused by decay could account for his findings and suggested that Ms MacKenzie died shortly after being injured. Dr Stewart replied: “This is by no means a brain which masked the changes.” Jackson, 40, and Higgins, 29, are accused of murdering Ms MacKenzie by repeatedly striking her on the head, neck and body with a hammer or similar instrument and striking her with a knife in Market Street, Montrose, on 27 October last year. They are also accused of attempting to defeat the ends of justice by dismembering her body using a saw, knives and a screwdriver and wrapping parts of her body in bin liners and bags and hiding them in bins in Market Street, Patons Lane, Chapel Street and William Phillips Drive, all in Montrose, between October 27 and November 4 2015. The trial before judge Lady Rae continues.
Art and design lie at the heart of the creative industries in Dundee, industries which have often been inspired by the leisure pursuits and interests of Dundee’s population. These interconnections are clearly shown in the Archives of the University of Dundee; art and design is woven through many of the collections. This article features a few items which highlight the diversity of design related material held in the Archives. Dundee Art Society started out as the Graphic Arts Association in 1890, changing its name in 1904. From the outset the group welcomed both professional and amateur artists as well as art patrons and lovers. As the Art College in Dundee grew, many of the staff joined the Society and used its platform to exhibit their art and network with other artists. The striking design for the cover of the centennial exhibition catalogue produced in 1990 echoes to the artistic trends of the early twentieth century. The longevity of the society reflects the continuing desire of artists within the community to join together, curate exhibitions and share their passion for art. Many of these artists had connections with the Dundee Institute of Art and Technology which was dissolved in 1975 to create Dundee College of Technology and Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art. The Art College remained independent until 1994 when it became a full part of the University of Dundee. All of these bodies are represented in the exhibition material, posters, photographs and student guides in the Archives. Furthermore, alumnus of the College have contributed to our on-going Oral History Project. Former textile students, Pauline Hann and Sheila Mortlock, were interviewed to capture the personal stories of their time at the College, their career paths and interests. Hann and Mortlock were founding members of Embryo – Dundee Creative Embroiderers, formed in 1980, which developed from the frustration felt by numerous students at the lack of opportunities to exhibit contemporary embroidery within Scotland. The remit of the group was to promote the highest standards of workmanship, achieving this by restricting membership to graduates and undergraduates of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art. Embryo actively promoted their work through various exhibitions not only in Scotland but across the UK, eventually joining forces with two other textile groups to form Edge – Textile Artists Scotland. Edge is still going strong and attracting new members from a broader background albeit with a recognised education in textiles. The Archive’s Embryo collection includes exhibition publicity material, photographs and correspondence. Textile samples can be found in other collections, such as The Wilson Bros Ltd collection who were taken over by Pringle of Inverness. The pattern books of the woollen and cloth products they manufactured from 1927 to 1967 are fascinating. They show the changing trends in pattern and colour combinations and how design comes in and out of fashion over the decades. Other samples in the Archives show how design blended with the mass production of durable textiles as seen in the printed designs on linen which form part of the D. J. MacDonald collection. Using only two colours, the rising sun motif for the MacDonald company is bold and graphic whereas the design for Louise, seller of lingerie and hosiery has a more delicate touch with the female form and the name of the brand printed in signature style picked out in red. Jute and linen bags adorned with colourful printed designs are still popular today. Textile design in the city is thriving. Local fashion designer, Hayley Scanlan, studied textile design at DJCAD. Her oral history recording in the Archives tells of her desire to remain rooted in the city despite her burgeoning international career. Proud of her Dundonian heritage, Hayley’s designs are influenced by the changing city and she will soon open her first shop a stones throw from DJCAD where her talents were honed. Records held in the Archive are accessible to everyone. For further information about the Archives and its collections see www.dundee.ac.uk/archives Sharon Kelly is assistant archivist at Dundee University's Archives Services
Recruitment and growth in the Scottish private sector has gained momentum since the start of the year, according to the latest Bank of Scotland PMI. The purchasing managers’ index signalled a moderate and accelerated expansion of business activity north of the border. Rising to a seven-month high, output and new work increased faster than during December, led by growth in the services sector, according to Bank of Scotland chief economist Donald MacRae. Improved business conditions and added pressure on operating capacity also led firms to create extra jobs over the month. “Much of the improved trend in business activity in Scotland reflected an accelerated increase in new work placed with firms during January,” said the bank. “Intakes of new business rose for the second month in row, at the fastest pace since March 2012,” it added. This was driven by a rise in demand in the domestic market, with a slight drop in new export orders recorded at manufacturers. Ending a 16-month sequence of depletion and pointing to a greater pressure on operating capacity than in previous months, the level of outstanding business at private sector firms in Scotland was unchanged from that registered one month before. “Accordingly, firms continued to add to their payroll numbers during January, raising employment levels for the seventh time in the past eight months,” said the bank. However it conceded the overall rate of net job creation was nonetheless still “modest” and “slower than the UK average”. January data showed a further rise in cost burdens facing businesses north of the border, with higher fuel, labour and raw material costs mentioned by panellists. However, the rate of inflation in operating costs eased to the slowest in seven months, and was down on the long-run series average. Output prices increased on average, with a rise in factory gate prices more than offsetting reduced tariffs in the tertiary sector. “The rate of decline in manufacturing output was modest and has eased since the previous month, but export demand remains weak,” said Professor MacRae. “This result suggests the Scottish economy not only started the year in growth mode but has maintained moderate growth throughout January.”
The people of Perth have raised more than £3,000 for a toddler whose tragic mother died as a result of an asthma attack. Perth and North Perthshire MP Pete Wishart joined Pete Chan at his China China takeaway in Craigie to review the progress made in the efforts to support Mason Martin. The toddler’s mother, Lydia MacDonald, 28, was found dead at her Perth flat on June 10, and it was understood that three-year-old Mason was by her side for around two days after she died. Mr Chan launched Team Mason on Facebook and it has drawn support from a swathe of the Perth community, with proceeds to be divided between setting up a bank account for Mason and funds going to Asthma UK. Mr Wishart is a trustee of the Team Mason initiative and spoke of the issues he wants to raise with the UK Government about adequate support following fatalities from asthma. He said: “This was an episode that shocked the people of Perth and there has been a real sense of the community gathering round and supporting the family. “What I now want to see is this response to be matched by the Government. Fatalities from otherwise healthy asthma sufferers are rare but it remains under-researched and under-supported. “I hope this superb initiative in Perth will mean that the Government now looks at how it resources support services for asthma so that no other families have to endure what the MacDonald family have been through. “I will now be writing to both the UK and Scottish Governments to highlight this campaign and ask what more can be done to ensure that tackling asthma is properly resourced and supported.” Mr Chan said he had “really enjoyed” being involved in the fundraising effort. “We’re hoping to raise around £4,000 and it’s been great to see the community help with this,” he told The Courier. “We’ve had money from people at Perth Concert Hall, the BP Triangle, Perth, and I’ve been notified that wives of RAF personnel at Lossiemouth will be fundraising, so we’ve had help from people from all walks of life.” Lydia’s father, Ronald MacDonald, said the family are “overwhelmed by the generosity” of the public. “We’d like to thank the Perth people very much, especially Pete Chan for this fundraising campaign,” he said. Lydia’s funeral was held on June 19 at Perth Crematorium when those who attended heard her son “was her life”.
Vehicle insurance premiums hit a record high last quarter, rising by more than five times the rate of inflation in 2016. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) said that tax increases, rising repair costs and increasing costs arising from whiplash injury claims were to blame. According to the ABI’s Motor Premium Tracker - which measures the price consumers actually pay for their cover, rather than quotes - the average price for private comprehensive insurance in Q4 2016 was £462. The highest figure recorded before this was in Q2 of 2012, when the average price was £443. The Q4 figure for 2016 was up 4.9% over Q3, equating to a £22 rise in the average premium. It was also found that the average premium for all of 2016 was 9.3% higher than the average premium for 2015. ABI’s assistant director and head of motor and liability, Rob Cummings, said: “These continue to be tough times for honest motorists. They are bearing the brunt of a cocktail of rising costs associated with increasing whiplash-style claims, rising repair bills and a higher rate of insurance premium tax. “While we support the Government’s further reforms to tackle lower-value whiplash costs, it must not give with one hand and take away with the other. The sudden decision to review the discount rate has the potential to turn a drama into a crisis, with a significant cut throwing fuel on the fire in terms of premiums. “Insurers are open to a proper dialogue on how to reform the system and urge the Lord Chancellor to engage with the industry about setting a rate that is fair for both claimants and customers.” Meanwhile, the RAC has released research that suggests not indicating when turning is our number one annoyance on the roads. Well over half (58%) of the survey’s respondents said failing to indicate was the top inconsiderate behaviour. It was narrowly ahead (56%) of those who thought middle lane hogging was the greatest driving sin.
For more than 150 years Perth Show has been a popular, once a year meeting point for the people of the city and the farming community. The show - now the third largest of its type in Scotland – remains as always a showcase for champion livestock but this year holds a much wider appeal for visitors. To be held on Friday and Saturday August 5 and 6 on the South Inch, throughout the two days, trade stands, sideshows, entertainment, activities, music and parades all add to the vibrancy of the show along with a new culinary direction. “For the first time, Perth Show is set to feature a cookery theatre and food and drink marquee,” said show secretary Neil Forbes. “This will bring a new and popular dimension to the visitor attraction. “Perth Show 2016 is also delighted to welcome Perthshire On A Plate (POAP) - a major food festival, celebrating the very best in local produce and culinary talent. “Organised by Perthshire Chamber of Commerce, the two-day festival will run as part of the show and feature celebrity and local chefs, demonstrations and tastings, book signings, food and drink related trade stands, fun-filled activities for ‘kitchen kids’ and a large dining area and pop-up restaurants in a double celebration of food and farming.” Heading the celebrity chef line-up are television favourite Rosemary Shrager (Friday) and spice king Tony Singh (Saturday), backed by a host of talented local chefs including Graeme Pallister (63 Tay Street) and Grant MacNicol (Fonab Castle). The cookery theatre, supported by Quality Meat Scotland, will also stage a fun cookery challenge between students from Perth College and the ladies of the SWI. A range of pop-up restaurants featuring taster dishes from some of the area’s best known eating places will allow visitors to sample local produce as they relax in the show’s new POAP dining area. “We’re trying to create a wide and varied programme of entertainment,” said Mr Forbes. “Late afternoon on Friday will see the It’s A Knockout challenge with teams from businesses throughout Perth and Perthshire competing against each other. “And the first day’s programme will end with a beer, wine and spirit festival where teams can celebrate their achievements and visitors can sample a wide range of locally produced drinks.” This year will also see the reintroduction of showjumping at Perth Show on the Saturday afternoon.
A thief kissed her victims as their wallets were stolen on a nightclub dancefloor. Heroin addict Sonya MacDonald danced with her victims before locking them in a passionate embrace as their wallets were pickpocketed. She then left her victims hanging as she raced off and they only realised they had been robbed after MacDonald had disappeared. Depute fiscal Bill Kermode told Perth Sheriff Court: “The accused started dancing with the witness. They started kissing and the accused put her arms around him. “She then suddenly stopped kissing him and left to go to the toilet. The man discovered his wallet missing and suspected the accused of stealing it. “She was seen running across the dancefloor with a wallet in her hands and was trying to stuff it down the front of her trousers. She was stopped and produced a wallet.” The court was told that the wallet actually belonged to another man who had had it stolen from him earlier in the evening. Mother-of-one MacDonald, 24, of North Bridge Street, Crieff, admitted a charge of theft by finding a wallet at the Loft nightclub in Perth on March 9 2013. She also admitted shouting and swearing and making racist remarks. MacDonald further admitted trying to steal clothes from TK Maxx in Perth on November 14 last year by using bodily force to remove security tags. The court was told that MacDonald was stealing to feed heroin and ‘legal high’ habits and had lost her child as a result of her criminal offending. Sheriff Lindsay Foulis placed her under supervision for six months.