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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...

UK & World

Winter is coming 10 days of snow forecast to descend on Tayside and Fife

December 4 2012

Weather experts have predicted Tayside and Fife could be hit by several days of almost non-stop snow. As many people awoke yesterday morning to the first snowfall of the season, residents are being urged to brace themselves for much, much more of the white stuff. Weather-predicting website MetCheck is forecasting up to 10 days of snowfall from next Tuesday. The site says some areas are likely to have sleety showers on some days, and Perth and central Fife may get brief respite courtesy of a small amount of sunshine on December 15. The temperature is likely to reach a ''high'' of around 3C. Lows will be around -3C, although with wind chill it is likely to feel more like -8C on some days. In the shorter-term, the Met Office has issued a weather warning for snow and ice until at least midday on Wednesday. A spokesman for the service said temperatures could dip as low as -4C for the rest of this week. Meanwhile, yesterday's snowfall has made bookies more confident that Scotland will have a white Christmas, with Ladbrokes ''slashing the odds across the country''. They are convinced that Courier Country will see snow on December 25, offering a price of just 4/5. They are offering evens on both Dundee and Angus witnessing a blizzard following Santa's visit, while Fife has been priced as 6/4 and Perthshire at 6/5. By comparison, William Hill is offering 4/1 that Glasgow or Edinburgh will have snow, while the odds of a flurry at Aberdeen FC's Pittodrie Stadium have been slashed to 3/1. Tayside Police are warning drivers to take care as temperatures plummet. A spokeswoman said officers attended a number of incidents yesterday, with no reports of any significant injury. She said: ''Motorists are reminded to alter their driving according to the conditions around them and to drive with the utmost care and attention. ''People should also be aware of local television and radio bulletins for the latest weather and travel.'' ktopping@dcthomson.co.uk

Angus & The Mearns

Tayside and Fife dodges Arctic blast which brought chaos to Scottish roads

December 1 2017

Tayside and Fife dodged a blast of Arctic weather which brought chaos to roads across Scotland yesterday. The mercury dropped to as low as -4.6C in parts of the country with several inches of snow landing across the north-east, closing schools and causing a spate of crashes. The coldest place in the UK was Benson, Oxfordshire, where conditions plunged to -5.3C , while Roxburghshire was the chilliest location north of the border at -4.6C. Locally, Leuchars dropped to 0.9C. Flurries of the white stuff reached the Angus Glens, Kirriemuir and briefly as far south as Arbroath, Forfar and Broughty Ferry. However residents in Dundee and Perth avoided the worst of the weather. Slopes at Glenshee Ski Centre continued to fill in nicely with the resort taking to social media to announce the possibility of its Sunnyside run opening on a limited basis on Friday "if the wind dies down". Temperatures in Courier Country were expected to plummet to freezing this morning, with locals warned of the likelihood of ice on roads and pathways. Lying snow was expected to cause the mercury to drop to -8C, or possibly lower in Scotland's most remote areas. A Met Office yellow warning for snow and ice was put in place for Tayside and Grampian at 11am yesterday and will remain enforced until 10am today, with parts of Perthshire, Angus and the Mearns likely to be affected. Met Office spokeswoman Emma Sharples said Courier Country would remain "dry but cold" throughout Friday, with temperatures due to get slightly warmer across the weekend. She said: "It will be cold and frosty overnight (into Friday) with maybe some ice. Across the weekend it becomes less cold, temperatures are on the rise. "Maximum temperatures (for Tayside) were about 2C - 3C on Thursday. The max on Friday might be 4C maybe 5C, and throughout the course of the weekend 8C or 9C. "Snow lying on Thursday night could mean it ends up being cold for some places. I think some areas across Scotland could be -8C, maybe a bit colder. Over snow flats you don't get any warmth coming up from the ground, you lose that benefit." She added that an "airflow coming off the Atlantic" would cause spells of rain across Courier Country come Saturday. Ms Sharples said: "There could be outbreaks of rain throughout the course of Saturday, enough to make things damp and a bit grey for a time. That frontal system clears away southwards. "Sunday is probably mostly dry with breaks developing. That is how we start next week really, with things perhaps turning cold again."


Pies stay on football menu

February 28 2013

TAYSIDE’S top football clubs have vowed to continue serving meat pies, despite Aberdeen FC dropping the matchday favourites after being caught up in the horsemeat scandal. Supporters at the Aberdeen v Ross County match last night were to told there were no mince pies available after the caterer for Pittodrie found traces of horse in its products. French firm Sodexo has withdrawn all of its frozen beef products from the UK as a precaution after three of them tested positive for horse DNA. The caterer is one of the latest suppliers to be named as a victim of a suspected scam allowing horsemeat into the British food chain. However, Dundee FC and St Johnstone FC have both confirmed they are confident in their club pies. It is understood Dundee United use the same supplier as Dundee. Jim Thomson, operations manager at Dundee FC, said the club gets its pies from caterers The Lindley Group, which has assured the club testing has been done and there is no horse meat in its pies. A spokesperson from St Johnstone said: “We do not get our pies from the same source as Aberdeen FC. “We do our own catering it is not contracted out, so we will continue to serve beef pies.” Caterers for Dunfermline Athletic confirmed their beef products were horse-free. The Pars source their stadium savouries from Edinburgh-based Saltire Hospitality, which said its beef products were 100% bovine. David Peters, managing director of Saltire Hospitality, said: “We use a local butcher for our pie meat, both for our hearty pie and Scotch pie, made in-house by our sister company Saltire Patisserie Ltd.” The Courier was shown a copy of correspondence from Saltire’s meat supplier Shaws Fine Meats, stating its product labels already included slaughter information and had now been updated to show country of origin. Andrew Deans from Shaws said: “I confirm that all beef products supplied by Shaws Fine Meats are sourced 100% from the bovine species. “In addition to purchasing livestock from local farms, we only source from EC approved suppliers who process bovine, ovine and porcine (beef, lamb and pork) species only. We have never processed any equine material and are not linked in any way to the current issue. We have complete traceability on all products.” Catering at Raith Rovers is taken care of by club director Mario Caira, who was on holiday abroad yesterday. Turnbull Hutton, chairman of the club, said: “As far as I know, I haven’t heard anything about it being an issue.” Additional supplies of chicken and macaroni pies were on sale at Aberdeen’s Pittodrie stadium. A Dons spokesman apologised for any inconvenience but said the ban was part of the club’s commitment to food safety. He said: “Sodexo, AFC’s catering partner, took the decision to withdraw all frozen and processed beef products for which they do not have evidence of DNA testing.” arobertson@thecourier.co.uk

Scottish Championship

Raith Rovers ask SFA to investigate Rangers player’s recall

September 3 2015

Raith Rovers have requested that the SFA compliance officer Tony McGlennan investigates whether Rangers broke the governing body’s rules by bringing Ryan Hardie back early from Scotland Under-19 duty ahead of Saturday’s clash between the two Championship sides at Ibrox. The Kirkcaldy club say that Rangers assistant manager David Weir helped secure the player’s release before the Under-19s face Bulgaria tomorrow night. While Hardie will now be available to play at Ibrox, Raith will be without on-loan Dundee striker Craig Wighton who has remained with the squad. In a statement, the club said: “Ahead of Saturday’s Ladbrokes Championship match versus Rangers at Ibrox, Raith Rovers FC has today asked the Scottish FA’s Compliance Officer to consider whether he agrees that Rangers FC, through David Weir, have breached SFA Articles and Rules by requesting and securing the early release of its player Ryan Hardie from international duty with Scotland Under-19s in Bulgaria, for the sole reason that he is then available to play against Raith Rovers. “Raith Rovers FC also has an important player in the same Under-19 squad, 1st team regular Craig Wighton. Craig remains in Bulgaria and available for selection for Friday evening’s national representative match. “He will fly home with the rest of the squad on Saturday afternoon. We are delighted that Craig is receiving international recognition, and whilst we are without his services for the crucial match with Rangers, our loss is Scotland’s gain. “Naturally we are concerned that if there is any breach of Article 82.1 and Rules 56 & 57, this would in these circumstances result in an unfairness in terms of players available for selection for Saturday’s match, which is to our disadvantage.” Scottish FA Article 82.1 states: “If any player selected to attend any international or other match arranged by the Scottish FA refuses without good and sufficient cause to comply with the arrangements for playing in such match or fails to attend such match, the Judicial Panel may find him to have been in breach of this Article 82.1, and any club or official or Team Official or other member of Team Staff who may be found to have encouraged or instigated or caused such player so to refuse shall likewise be deemed to be in breach of this Article 82.1 and the provisions of Article 95 shall apply.”


Courier proves Seville’s claim as Spain’s oldest football club

February 7 2013

A 123-year-old page of The Courier is to hang in the offices of the Spanish Football Association after it was revealed that, thanks to an article in the paper that day, Sevilla FC can officially claim to be Spain’s oldest club. The Courier revealed in September that the discovery of the club being founded 15 years earlier than previously thought was due to the story on page four of the paper from March 17 1890, which details how a group of young British, mainly Scottish, men met in a pub in Seville on January 25 that year to celebrate Burns Night. Along with some Spanish friends, they decided to form the country’s first official football club, and, word having reached back to Dundee, The Courier carried an article documenting the club’s act of constitution. As a result, current members of the club say the article can be considered the founding document of Sevilla FC. The president of Sevilla FC, Jos Mara del Nido, was presented with a copy of the page, certified by the British Newspaper Archive, by the club’s history department on January 25, 123 years after the club’s formation. Another print of the page will be presented by the club to the Spanish FA. Grant Millar, marketing executive of Dundee online company brightsolid, which hosts the online version of the British Newspaper Archive, was told of the presentations by Spanish researcher Javier Terenti. Javier said: “The page in question contains a treasure for the history of Spanish football, since it is an article that describes in detail how the club was founded 15 years earlier than it was thought, thus being Spain’s oldest football club. “The article that is extremely rich in detail shows how the club’s founding date was not a coincidence. “Everything suggests that that Saturday 25 January, 123 years ago, a group of young British, mainly Scots, along with other young men of Spanish origin, met at one of the cafes in the city and celebrated Burns Night with the excuse of founding the first football club in Spain. “Among the most prominent Scots was the club’s first president, EF Johnston, and first captain, Hugo MacColl, who later, upon returning to the UK, became chairman of Sunderland Burns Club. “The discovery of the club’s Act of Constitution within an old edition of the Dundee Courier has been published not only in Spain but also in several important newspapers outside the country.” Mr Carlos Romero, director of the club’s history department, said: “It’s a beautiful article that chronicles the adventures of those first ‘Sevillistas’, in which the following paragraph appears: ‘Some six weeks ago a few enthusiastic young residents of British origin met in one of the cafs for the purpose of considering a proposal that we should start an athletic association, the want of exercise being greatly felt by the majority of us, who are chiefly engaged in mercantile pursuits. After a deal of talk and a limited consumption of small beer, the “Club de Football de Sevilla” was duly formed and office bearers elected.” Mr Miller added: “The reason why this important report was published in the Dundee Courier is probably due to the fact that, at that time, tonnes and tonnes of Seville oranges were loaded on steamships, travelling from Seville to Dundee for the manufacture of the city’s famous marmalade. “However, this connection between Seville and Dundee could even go further if we take into account that two of the members of the Sevilla Football Club at that time, D Thomson and Robert Thomson, could have been related to DC Thomson, founders of the Dundee Courier.”

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.


Fresh ice warning as temperatures to plummet across Tayside and Fife

December 13 2017

Drivers across Tayside and Fife have been warned to expect icy conditions on the roads tonight as temperatures plummet once again. However forecasters say a "quieter period" of weather is on the horizon for the UK in the run-up to Christmas. A Met Office yellow warning for ice is in place for Tayside and Fife until 11am tomorrow morning, which is expected to form on roads, pavements and pathways. Traffic Scotland is urging locals to take care on the roads. https://twitter.com/trafficscotland/status/940891150436663296 The mercury could drop to -6C in the highest regions which have seen snowfall in recent days, but more widespread temperatures in eastern Scotland will be between -2C and -4C. Showers of snow are also expected on higher ground. An Aberdeen Met Office spokesman said: "There is a warning out for ice with a mention of snow, it extends through to 11am on Thursday. There is a full packet of wintry showers moving in from the west through the rush hour. "I don't see too much of the snow lying to low levels below 200m (656ft) or so. Showers will continue through Thursday. There could be a few of them about the west and central parts of the country. I don't think there will be too many around Tayside and Dundee. "It is relatively dry in Tayside and Fife from the back end of Thursday through to Friday, then mainly dry from there." https://twitter.com/NWTrunkRoads/status/940940206508859392 Met Office meteorologist Steven Keates added: "On Friday for central Scotland, Tayside and Fife, it will probably see quite a lot of sunshine. The odd sort of wintry showers are not out of the way. Temperatures struggling again with highs reaching 3C or 4C at best. It could be -3C or -4C in a few places. "It gradually changes through the weekend. On Saturday there is a fair amount of cold air around, enough for some patchy rain or sleet. There is potentially another frost into Sunday. "At the start of next week, temperatures should start to make a slow, steady recovery. It is a quieter period of weather coming through."


Freezing Arctic weather to continue: How will Tayside and Fife fare this weekend?

December 8 2017

A blast of Arctic weather brought freezing temperatures to Scotland on Friday, grinding trains to a halt and causing white-out conditions on roads. Temperatures plummeted to a low of -3.8C in Renfrewshire in the wake of Storm Caroline on Friday morning and are forecast to plunge as low as -8C in regions which have experienced snowfall into Saturday. Despite the odd flurry, Tayside and Fife missed out on the worst of the winter weather once again. However the A93 Perth to Braemar road was forced to close at the Spittal of Glenshee due to snow on Friday morning, while the B974 Fettercairn to Banchory road, or Cairn O’Mount, was also briefly shut as a result of the conditions. Trains between Perth and Inverness were affected by snow in the north, with more than 3in of the white stuff landing in Aviemore. https://twitter.com/ScotRail/status/939148502420148224 Journeys including the 6.10pm from Glasgow to Inverness were terminated in Perth with others services experiencing delays of 45 minutes due to a signalling fault said to be brought on by the snow. https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/local/perth-kinross/560757/tayside-trains-delayed-3in-snow-lands-highlands/ A ScotRail statement said conditions had been "a challenge", adding: "We have some signalling problems at a few locations between Carrbridge and Inverness which are suspected to be caused by snow conditions." The freezing temperatures prompted bosses at the Tay Road Bridge to warn motorists to "take extra care" on the crossing. Strathallan School has been forced to cancel all of Saturday’s eight home fixtures against Dundee High due to frozen pitches. Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray and the Highlands and Islands experienced the most snowfall, with a number of schools across the north and north-east forced to close. A Met Office yellow warning of snow and ice remains in place for Tayside and Fife until 6pm on Saturday, however forecasters said there was only a "5%-6% chance" of snow for much of the region. https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/scotland/560353/tayside-road-closed-arctic-blast-brings-freezing-temperatures-snow-scotland/ Spokeswoman for the organisation Nicola Maxey said: "If we look at Saturday temperatures are hovering just above freezing at 2C or 3C at most during the day. "You've got some quite strong west and north-westerly winds which are causing wind chill, although temperatures get to around 2C it is going to feel more like -4C or -5C. "There will be some sunshine around, but it is not going to feel warm. We have an Arctic maritime air mass. Storm Caroline has moved out of the way and allowed cold air to sink from the north. "Sunday is a very similar day but with more cloud and less sunshine. Overnight temperatures into Saturday and into Sunday will be at least -4C and probably below that in rural areas, over higher ground where there is lying snow in particular. "The warning area is quite a big one for snow and ice. Any rainfall over the weekend or showers will fall as snow because the temperatures are so cold. There is not a lot of moisture in your forecast. There is a 5%-6% chance (of snow). "The (yellow) warning is valid until 6pm on Saturday. You are looking at, quite widely, 2cm-3cm of snow. There is a chance of 10cm-20cm over higher ground in northern Scotland." An amber warning of snow has also been put in place for Wales and parts of England on Sunday. Meanwhile Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) said it had restored power to more than 18,000 homes throughout the course of Storm Caroline, which brought widespread chaos to Scotland on Thursday.


We’re on your side: football-themed fund-raiser is further proof of city’s support for Japan

April 6 2011

Members of the Japanese community are hoping the combined generosity of Dundee FC fans and Courier readers will help boost their funds for the rebuilding effort in their home country. A 20-strong group will be auctioning off a signed Dundee FC shirt and two signed footballs which were presented to them at the game against Cowdenbeath, where they were guests of the DFC Supporters' Society. The items are to be auctioned on eBay to raise money for the Japanese Red Cross and other voluntary organisations dealing with the chaos caused by last month's earthquake and tsunami. The group has already raised a significant sum through bake sales and donations and is hoping the Dundee merchandise will help to boost the funds. Dr Kei Sakamoto from the college of life sciences at Dundee University is co-ordinating the effort and said Tayside's Japanese community have been overwhelmed by the generosity of residents, in particular Courier readers. "There have been a few articles in The Courier about the bake sale we were holding and that helped quite a bit we raised over £3000 from that," he said. He said individuals and community groups who could not come to the bake sale but read about it in The Courier have sent donations. He added, "So far, we have raised over £5000 and Dundee FC has been very kind in donating the signed shirt and footballs." Bids can also be made by emailing k.sakamoto@dundee.ac.uk or by calling 01382 386378.