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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

Community payback order for teenager who broke down in tears while trying to raid Monifieth shop

March 14 2012

A teenager broke down in tears while attempting to rob a shop owner at knifepoint, a court has heard. Stewart McKenna (19), of Durham Street, Monifieth, escaped a jail sentence following an appearance at Arbroath Sheriff Court on Tuesday. He had previously admitted that on July 13, he presented a knife at the 61-year-old woman behind the counter at Ashgrove Mini Market, Monifieth, before demanding she fill a carrier bag with cigarettes. The court heard McKenna had been drinking and taking mephedrone (bubbles) for more than two days prior to the incident. Depute fiscal Arlene Shaw said the woman had been alone in the store when he walked in. She said: ”During the late hours of July 12 and the early hours of July 13 the accused was drinking with friends. This continued and the accused became upset regarding his grandmother being unwell. ”The accused became aggressive and stated to a friend that he was going to get money and get ‘fags’.” Ms Shaw said that McKenna’s friend knew he had no money and subsequently attempted to prevent him from leaving, fearing he would ”do something stupid.” However, McKenna managed to leave the property and walked to the shop, where he entered dressed in a back hooded top with the hood pulled up. She added: ”At this time she saw the accused had bloods on his hands and face. He asked for a bag, which she handed over then produced a black-handled kitchen knife with a six-inch blade from the waistband of his jeans, which he presented at the woman. ”He handed the bag back to her and instructed her to fill it with cigarettes.” The woman refused to hand anything over and told McKenna to get out of the shop. She was on the phone to her husband at the time, and he then called the police. McKenna again demanded cigarettes, with the woman this time telling him ”you are not getting anything,” before warning him he was going to get into trouble. Ms Shaw said: ”These comments appeared to have an effect. He put the knife back in his trousers and began to cry, then told the woman his grandmother wasn’t well.” As he broke down, the shop keeper suddenly recognised McKenna, as his grandmother was a regular customer. McKenna asked for a packet of 20 cigarettes, to which the woman replied ”no” and told him the police had been called, prompting him to run off. Sheriff Derek Pyle said the case was ”bizarre” and sentenced McKenna to a community payback order of 200 hours with a supervision requirement.

McKenna rewards McInnes for staying at Aberdeen with winner over Dundee

December 8 2017

Derek McInnes’ decision to stay as Aberdeen boss brought immediate dividends as Scott McKenna scored the only goal of the game at Dundee. The Dons manager missed two days training during the week as he talked with chairman Stewart Milne about the prospect of joining Rangers before reiterating his commitment to the club. McInnes was rewarded for his loyalty in the 48th minute when 21-year-old defender McKenna scored his first Aberdeen goal when he flicked in a Kenny McLean cross. The goal was ultimately enough to take the Pittodrie side above Rangers into second place in the Ladbrokes Premiership. Neil McCann’s side had come closest to scoring before they conceded but found Aberdeen keeper Joe Lewis in good form. In freezing conditions, the match opened up from the first whistle. Dons skipper Graeme Shinnie flashed a drive from 20 yards past the post in the third minute before Dundee striker Faissal El Bakhtaoui’s effort from similar distance was held by Lewis. The Pittodrie keeper did even better in the 14th minute when he blocked a Roarie Deacon drive from close range, after he had been sent through on goal by a Sofien Moussa head flick. In the 28th minute Ryan Christie, back from suspension, sped into the Dundee penalty area but his left-footed drive from 14 yards flew over. The Taysiders again threatened and Lewis did brilliantly to tip Deacon’s powerful drive over the bar, with the Granite City men defending the corner. However, it was Dons who got themselves ahead three minutes after the break when Christie’s free-kick from the left was cleared out to McLean and when he returned the ball back into the box McKenna out-muscled Dundee defender Jack Hendry to steer the ball into the corner of the net from 12 yards. The Dens Park side shook off their disappointment and responded positively. In the 57th minute Lewis was again called into action to save a Moussa header from a Jon Aurtenetxe corner and the Taysiders stepped up their efforts. However, Aberdeen were also pushing forward for the second. Another Shinnie shot from 14 yards was saved by Dundee keeper Elliott Parish before some nervy final moments around the Aberdeen penalty area preceded the final whistle, which confirmed three points for the Dons to end a good week for the visitors on and off the park.

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

Derek McInnes: Hull target Scott McKenna not for sale

January 15 2018

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes insists Scott McKenna will not be sold this month following two bids from Hull. Hull manager Nigel Adkins is keen to sign the Scotland Under-21 centre-back but the Dons have rejected two offers from the Sky Bet Championship club. The 21-year-old has made 15 appearances this season after breaking into the first team in late September and is under contract until the summer of 2021. McInnes told his club’s official website: “There has been an offer. There was then a secondary offer in terms of tweaking the figures but nothing more on the down payment. “It does not really matter. They have been told we have no interest or appetite to sell Scott. He will not be sold in January. “There will be a time when Scott McKenna will move on and he will be sold at some point, but it certainly is not going to be in this window. “And it will be when we feel he is going to be the player that he is going to be, hopefully on the back of breaking into the Scotland team and after playing 100 to 150 games for us.”


New DNA test bid to link World’s End killer Angus Sinclair to Anna Kenny murder

October 27 2015

The latest DNA technology is being used by prosecutors to reinvestigate a 38-year-old murder. Anna Kenny went missing in Glasgow in August 1977 and her body was found nearly two years later in a shallow grave near Skipness in Argyll. The 20-year-old was last seen alive as she left the Hurdy Gurdy bar in Townhead. Angus Sinclair, convicted last year of the double murder of Christine Eadie and Helen Scott in October 1977, has been linked by police to a series of other murders in the 1970s – including that of Ms Kenny – but has never faced charges over them. The Crown Office Cold Case Unit is now reviewing evidence kept from the time of Ms Kenny’s murder with “cutting-edge DNA 24 technology” which can analyse tiny samples. Groundbreaking forensic science techniques were central to the reopening of the World’s End case which ended in the conviction of Sinclair. His DNA was found in three knots which had been preserved as evidence for 37 years. The killer – who has been in jail since the 1980s for a series of rapes and murders – was jailed for at least 37 years over the World’s End case – named after the Edinburgh pub where 17-year-olds Christine and Helen spent the evening before they died. After the guilty verdict, former detectives stated their belief that Sinclair was involved in other murders, including the cases of Ms Kenny, Hilda McAuley and Agnes Cooney – all in 1977. A Crown Office spokesman: “Our Cold Case Unit regularly reviews cases to ascertain if there are any new evidential developments, including advances in forensic techniques, which would assist in providing a basis for criminal proceedings. “The murder of Anna Kenny is under reinvestigation. “This work includes a re-examination of the physical evidence, including garments recovered with the body, to establish whether advances in DNA analysis might produce new lines of inquiry. This DNA work includes the new cutting-edge DNA 24 technology.” Ms Kenny’s aunt, Agnes Byrne, told the Scottish Sun: “I am pleased to hear they might finally be able to catch someone for it. “I just wish it was sooner because Anna’s dad, mum and brother are all dead. “She was a lovely girl, and died in a horrific way.”

Angus & The Mearns

Plan B for Bon Scott memorial for Kirriemuir

June 13 2013

Efforts to build a memorial to a hard-rocking Angus icon have not been derailed, according to organisers. The campaign to fund a statue of former Kirriemuir resident and AC/DC singer Bon Scott stumbled at a late stage despite having technically raised enough. DD8 Music has now arranged an alternative fundraising method to allow fans to drive the idea forward. Organiser Graham Galloway said plan B is already in earnest to raise the statue’s £38,000 price tag after the online Kickstarter failed to raise £50,000. “We have opened a PayPal account where people can donate directly to the statue and have already raised £5,879,” he said. “The fact the main costs of the statue were covered in only 30 days (of the Kickstarter), means we know we can definitely do it.” The group have commissioned sculptor John McKenna to create the piece, which will see Bon Scott stand proud in the town with a microphone and bagpipes. Ronald Belford “Bon” Scott sang for AC/DC from 1974 until his death in 1980 aged 33. Kirrie now hosts Bon Fest in his honour, drawing thousands of visitors every year. John McKenna’s previous works include the Jock Stein memorial outside Celtic Park. Kickstarter opened to UK initiatives this year and the “crowdfunding” site allows members to speculatively donate to creative causes. Tiers of donation often relate to increasing rewards as a project reaches its target. The initial £50,000 target included card transaction processing fees and the fee Kickstarter charges to host the effort. Now, fundraising will go directly through PayPal. Mr Galloway added: “We need £38,000 for the statue and will calculate the costs of the rewards as pledges come in and will update the costs and the running total every day. “As soon as we hit £13,000, our artist John McKenna will start work on the statue. He will then be paid in two other equal instalments as the rest of the money comes in.” Mr McKenna said the commission is a “great honour” as Bon Scott was an icon from his teenage years. “I’m of that age group now that you could call old rockers,” he said. “The work I do is public artwork in the truest sense. It’s not an indulgence on my part but is there for the people to enjoy. “I was obviously an AC/DC fan when I was younger and it will be a great thing for me to do.” Scott became part of one of music’s biggest success stories after joining Glasgow-born brothers Angus and Malcolm Young in AC/DC. BonFest has been organised by DD8 Music every year since 2006.

Angus & The Mearns

Waterfront Nightclub hosts fight night for good causes

July 4 2011

While all eyes of the boxing world were on Hamburg for the weekend’s heavyweight bout, a series of lesser-known pugilists went toe to toe in Angus. The Waterfront Nightclub in Arbroath was packed to capacity for the town’s annual charity boxing show, which saw local favourites battle it out for bragging rights. Organised by Doug Ford and Scott Cooper, the evening was given an extra lift through the presence of Arbroath FC manager Paul Sheerin, who brought the division three trophy along to cheer the crowd. Other invited guests at the top table included former olympic boxing champion Dick McTaggart MBE, Ian Gardner, Jamie Buchan, Ann McNab and Mike and Linda Caird. Many of the match-ups were closely fought affairs, with Matthew Chisholm defeating Kenny Ayre, Emma Whitton beating Tracey McCulloch and Darren Walker winning against James Millar. Lisa McCagh beat Cheryl Ramsay, Martin Watson defeated Keith Ramsay, Nicola McLeod triumphed over Denise Fyffe and Ross MacGregor was the victor in his match with Alan Cargill. The bout between Jamie McKenzie and Ben Cruickshanks ended in a draw, as did the fight between Scott Herron and “Scooby” Cooper. A display of martial arts saw Andy Burns defeat Jonathan Rioch. At the interval, Jenna Cooper, Jenna Swankie and Lauren Buick put on a dance routine, before entering the ring to hold up the round number cards. Funds generated will be presented to various worthwhile charities on July 24 at The Tutties Neuk Inn, Arbroath.


Derek McInnes warns suitors against further bids for Dons star Scott McKenna

January 28 2018

Derek McInnes insists defender Scott McKenna is going nowhere after the defender’s wonder goal helped Aberdeen come from behind to defeat Kilmarnock at Pittodrie. McKenna, 21, has attracted interest from Hull and did his burgeoning reputation no harm by firing in an unstoppable 35-yard strike to put the Dons in front. He also had a role in the Aberdeen equaliser, though Adam Rooney seemed to get the final touch to cancel out Kris Boyd’s fortunate opener for Killie. The points from a 3-1 triumph were sealed by Niall McGinn, whose solo strike would have been the highlight of any other game. When asked about McKenna, Dons boss McInnes said: “He doesn’t get carried away, and he’s just a level-headed boy. He’s always helping clean the bus, helping the kit man. “It’s refreshing – he’s just an old-school centre-half. “He recognises he’s only just starting out in his career, and getting a move will be on the back of 150 games for Aberdeen, getting that experience and hopefully playing in European football, cup finals and semi-finals. He’s on his way to a really good career. “We spoke again to Hull last night to reinforce the message that we don’t want any other offers. There’s no point anyone making offers in January. He will be our player at the end of this transfer window.” McInnes did reveal that he is seeking a goalkeeper after Joe Lewis picked up a knee injury in the midweek defeat at Rangers. “I’m really pleased with Danny (Rogers),” said McInnes. “It could have been a big impact losing Joe, but Danny acquitted himself well on his full debut and made a great save at 3-1. “We’ll look to bring a keeper in – we’re quite fortunate it’s happened in a transfer window and we have more options than we might otherwise.” Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke has distanced himself from reports linking him with the Scotland job this week as he remains focused on the job he is doing at Rugby Park He insists getting away from the relegation zone is still the main aim following a horrific start to the season. “I’ve never stopped looking over my shoulder since I came into the club,” he said. “The press talk about us aiming for the top six, but it’ll take us probably until the league splits to recover from taking three points from eight games. “You can’t give away 21 points from the first eight games and hope for a smooth ride through the season. We knew the league would concertina and close up behind us, and I could probably do with some help from the fixture planners. “It would have been nice to play Hamilton this midweek before we play at home to Celtic, and we’ve three fixtures to fit in between now and the split.” (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By John Skilbeck'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'f394f0a7-0753-40c3-a5c6-d06269950750'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Derek McInnes warns suitors against further bids for Dons star Scott McKenna'});

UK & World

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.