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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...


Missing Susan Reid: Family issue new appeal to find Newport woman

February 3 2014

The family of missing Newport woman Susan Reid have issued a personal appeal through Police Scotland for any information regarding her disappearance. Susan was last in touch with her family on Tuesday January 21, but has not been seen or heard from since. Police are continuing their search for the 56-year-old and have urged anyone with information as to her whereabouts to come forward. In a statement released via Police Scotland, Susan’s family said: “We are desperately worried for Susan who has been missing for the last fortnight. “She has never gone missing before and we would urge anyone who may know where she is to contact the police immediately.” Police in Fife Division are investigating three reported sightings of Susan, who had previously lived in Aberdeen, in the Tay Street/High Street area of Newport on Tay from Wednesday January 22 in addition to the physical searches in the Newport and coastline areas. Chief Inspector Adrian Annandale said: “We are working closely with Susan’s family, keeping them informed of enquiries to date. “The reported sightings of Susan on the Wednesday morning in the Tay Street/High Street area, all between 9am and 11am, are being investigated and I would appeal to anyone who may have seen Susan in this area on the 22nd, or at any other time during the week commencing January 20 to contact the Police. “Specialist officers are continuing to search the open land and coastline areas in and around the Newport area. “While our searches remain focussed within Newport on Tay, I would also ask that friends and family of Susan currently residing in the Aberdeen area also remain vigilant in the event she may have travelled up north.” Anyone with information can contact Police Scotland on 101, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, or the charity Missing People, where information can be passed by calling, emailing, or sending a text to 116 000. The service is free, 24 hour, and confidential. For more on this story, see Tuesday’s Courier or try our digital edition.


Mother and daughter encourage others to give the ultimate gift

November 17 2011

A Fife doctor has been given the gift of life after her mother donated part of her liver. Susan Alexander (33), of Glenrothes, was gravely ill and had her life on hold as she waited for a donor when Sheila Filsell (56) decided to go under the knife to save her daughter. Having stopped work and postponed her wedding as she waited for the transplant, Mrs Alexander was married to Grant (34) last month and has started shifts as a locum. She is now calling for more people to sign up to the Organ Donor Register and give others like herself a future. Dr Alexander said: ''You are more likely to need a transplant than become a donor and although most people would be happy to donate their organs, a lot of them don't get around to registering or telling their family their wishes.'' She was only the second person in Scotland to have a liver transplant from another living person. The procedure carried risks for both mother and daughter. But without the live transplant, Dr Alexander could have been in a life-threatening situation, with pre-cancerous cells found in her bile duct, and she faced an indefinite wait for an organ from a deceased donor. She said: ''It wasn't the best-case scenario, to put somebody else through that. If there were more organ donors we wouldn't have had to go down that route.'' Waiting for a transplant meant Dr Alexander was unable to work for a year and a half. She spent months sitting at home with her bag packed, waiting for a phonecall to say a donor had been found. She said: ''I can't emphasise enough how much a transplant can change your life, and how difficult it is on the waiting list your life is totally on hold.'' According to a survey, an estimated 96% of people would be willing to donate their organs upon their death, however only about a third of Scots have joined the Organ Donor Register. There are around 600 Scots awaiting a transplant. Dr Alexander said people are put off signing up because death is a sensitive subject. She was put on the waiting list because she suffered from primary sclerosing cholangitis, which is a chronic disease of the bile ducts that can progress to cirrhosis and liver failure. Having lived with the disease for a decade, her health took a sudden turn for the worse in May last year. Dr Alexander contracted a bile duct infection, which developed into liver failure, pneumonia and kidney failure. At one stage during her treatment in the high dependency unit of Ninewells Hospital she also found herself on a ventilator for respiratory problems. As a doctor, she was fully aware of how serious her illness was. As the need for a liver transplant became increasingly urgent, Mrs Filsell underwent tests to find out if she would be a compatible donor. The operation was carried out at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh in February, giving Dr Alexander a new lease of life. Although dr Alexander was only given a part of her mother's liver, the organ regenerates and will grow to the required size. Having been married at St Margaret's Church in Glenrothes, the Alexanders recently enjoyed a honeymoon in the north of England. Dr Alexander, who has to take medication for the rest of her life to prevent her body rejecting the organ, has been advised to stay in the UK for a year after surgery. She said: ''If I hadn't had the operation I could still have been waiting, but the chances of me dying before I got a transplant seemed to be higher than the one in 200 risk to the donor.''To find out more about donation, visit organdonation.nhs.uk.


Family accept body found in Tentsmuir Forest is ‘our darling’ Susan Reid

March 28 2014

The family of missing Newport woman Susan Reid have accepted that the human remains discovered in Tentsmuir Forest on Tuesday are hers. The family are still waiting for formal identification. Police confirmed that the post-mortem is likely to take place today or Monday and formal identification will follow. However, Susan’s sister Lesley Coull, who lives in Aberdeen, said on Facebook: “Most people will know by now that a body believed to be that of my sister Susan Reid was found in the Tentsmuir area not far from Susan’s home. Just waiting for official identification but we do know this is our darling Susan.” On behalf of the family she thanked her Facebook friends for their “shares, likes and love” during the two-month search for her sister. She added: “Susan, I will simply miss you with all my heart.” The human remains were found by a walker at a remote spot just yards from a popular coastal path in Tentsmuir Forest on Tuesday. The discovery was made between the ice house, south of Tentsmuir Point, and a bothy. Susan has been missing from her home on Kerr Street, Newport, since January. It is understood Susan had been looking after her husband, who suffers from MS. The final posting on her own Facebook site in December was of a sunset at Tentsmuir Forest.

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

Perth & Kinross

Friend of missing US tourist Susan McLean flies to Scotland to renew search

July 20 2015

A friend of Susan McLean has travelled to Scotland in a bid to reignite the search for the missing American tourist. Lorna VanderZanden has known the 61-year-old for almost 30 years. The retired US Army veterinarian flew into the UK from her Virginia home on Sunday, nine weeks after Susan from Pennsylvania was last seen in Aberfeldy. The horse riding instructor disappeared on May 17 and was last seen on CCTV at 7.45pm outside the Moness Resort. Lorna learned her friend was missing after calling her phone and having Susan’s husband, Donald, answer a conversation that left her feeling “speechless and numbed”. She plans to spend up to a month in Scotland, talking to locals and searching the area around Aberfeldy. The 62-year-old said: “I am hoping my presence will bring Susan’s disappearance back into the news, possibly encouraging someone who might know something to step forward. “Even if people are not sure if they saw Susan, even if they only saw something that might be related, please report anything that might help us find Susan. “I hope to pull together a community meeting with hikers, dog walkers, estate managers anybody who is out and about in that area. “I think that openly sharing bits and pieces might lead to an accumulation of insight that takes us down the right path to finding Susan. “This will be my first visit to Scotland searching for Susan is such a sad reason to be here.” Lorna said she believes her friend has suffered an accident, and ruled out the possibility of suicide. She said: “I’m thinking that she likely slipped off the side of a trail, falling and injuring herself. “I’ve thought of her possibly being abducted but it seems so unlikely because she’s 5ft 9in, 180lb, and very strong from 55-plus years of managing and training horses, hauling feed bags, tossing hay bales. “She would be capable of giving any potential abductor a real fight.” She said Susan had a long list of events planned into the new year, making it unlikely that she had planned to take her own life. Lorna is encouraging anyone with any information to call Police Scotland on 101.


‘This is so out of character’ son’s concern for missing Fife woman Susan Reid

January 25 2014

The son of a missing Newport woman has made an emotional appeal for information. Susan Reid, 56, was last in touch with her family on Tuesday but has not been seen or heard from since. She is described as 5ft 7in, slim, with short blonde/greying hair and the disappearance is said to be out of character. Her son Jamie, 21, said he had given no indication that anything was wrong when he was last in touch with her. He said: “My mum has never done anything like this before so that’s the most worrying thing. She would usually get in touch with me if she was going to be going away for even a little bit of time. “I spoke to her on Tuesday and texted her and she replied to me and everything seemed fine. Then on Wednesday I texted her again and I got no response.” “When I went round yesterday that’s when I realised that she was actually missing.” Susan, who stays in Kerr Street, works as a part-time librarian at Dundee University where she should have been working on Wednesday but did not appear. Lifeboat crews from Broughty Ferry carried out a search of the Tay as part of the operation to find her. Jamie said Susan’s sister and mother are travelling from Aberdeen to help with the search. He said: “This is so out of character. We are all very concerned about her whereabouts and wellbeing. “If anyone has any news I would urge them to come forward to the police. I would also ask that they keep an eye out in the surrounding area.” Susan’s church, Newport Parish in Blyth Street, is having a prayer vigil for her safe return at 2-3pm on Saturday and also 2-4pm on Sunday. Chief Inspector Adrian Annandale said: “We are growing increasingly concerned for Susan’s welfare the longer she remains missing, and we want anyone who has seen or heard from her, or who knows of her current whereabouts, to contact police. “We would appeal to Susan to contact us directly (dial 101) so that we can confirm that she is safe.”

Alex Salmond

Story of Stavanger’s oil kids exposes Treasury’s disastrous stewardship of the North Sea

March 30 2015

Susan Ormiston is one of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s senior foreign correspondents. Her career spans more than 25 years reporting from hot spots such as Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, Haiti, Lebanon and South Africa. Last week she filed a major report on Norway and oil, contrasting the position of the province of Alberta with that of Norway. They are both oil producing areas facing up to the oil downturn. She was full of admiration for our near neighbours across the North Sea and had some tough comments about what their experience should teach Canada. Susan pointed out that Norway today sits on top of a £600,000 million pension fund established 20 years ago to handle the huge returns from oil and gas. That capital has been invested in more than 9,000 companies worldwide, including more than 200 in Canada. It is now the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world. But Susan’s report was not just about facts and figures. It was about people. She interviewed ordinary Norwegians to ask what they thought about their country’s approach to oil. She interviewed some of the so called “oil kids” of Stavanger, the Norwegian Aberdeen, about the lifestyles of these wealthy second generation beneficiaries of Norway’s offshore oil riches. “If you compare to our parents or grandparents who built this country, I think we’re a little bit spoiled,” admits Bjorn Knudsen, whose father worked for a large North Sea oil company. “We are extremely lucky,” says Bjorn’s wife, Kristin Alne, a production engineer for Det Norske Olijeselsksap, an offshore oil company. “There are only five million of us and someone several decades ago was really smart to deal with the income from the oil industry to generate the welfare of this country as a whole.” Susan’s report was comparing Norway with Alberta. It is a good job for the London Treasury’s less than dynamic duo of George Osborne and Danny Alexander that she was not comparing Canada with their suicidal stewardship of the North Sea. In this newspaper last week Osborne demanded plaudits for relieving taxation on the industry. He omitted to say that he was largely just reversing the swingeing tax increase he imposed in 2011. The investment allowance was welcome but the exploration incentive for the future is inadequate. Meanwhile, Alexander wants credit for helping oil workers. He seems oblivious to the fact that oil workers are being sacked right now because this desperate duo at the Treasury forgot to gain assurances on employment from the oil companies before they agreed the tax concessions.

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.


Body formally identified as Newport mum Susan Reid

March 31 2014

A body found in a Fife woodland last week has been formally identified as that of Susan Reid. The remains of the 56-year-old were discovered last Tuesday at Tentsmuir Forest, three months after she was reported missing from her Newport home. The disappearance of the Dundee University librarian had prompted a major search across Fife and Tayside. However, following last week’s discovery, Mrs Reid’s family had said on social media that they had already accepted that the body was that of Susan. Confirming the identity of the remains, Chief Inspector Adrian Annandale praised the public for their help in the investigation. He said: “The discovery of Susan’s body and subsequent formal identification concludes the missing person enquiry in relation to her disappearance. “I would like to thank the people of Newport on Tay and surrounding communities for their assistance and understanding during this enquiry.”