West coast ferry operator CalMac has reassured customers that despite unavoidable disruption due to vessel repair overrun, each of its 26 island destinations remain very much open for business.

The company's priority has been responding to its customers and has handled over 12,500 calls during the last five days.

'Staff are working overtime to reassign bookings on to the amended timetable and deal with new customer reservations. The most important thing for our customers is that they know with as much certainty as possible that the journey they are booked on will run, we are working pretty much round the clock to provide that certainty,' said managing director, Robbie Drummond.

All customers booked to travel up until 23 May will have their travel arrangements confirmed by 25 April. The company is making every effort to return to its normal timetable and scheduled services by 23 May.

The Main Street in Kyle will be closed to vehicles for three weeks.

The closure is intended to allow access for a crane to newly built flats at the Corner Site.

The closure will commence on Monday 30 April.  

Main Street will remain open for pedestrians.  

NHS Highland has carried out a new treatment for patients with breast cancer for the first time this week.

Helen Homer from Beauly has undergone deep inspiration breath hold radiotherapy (DIBH) treatment at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.

This uses an advanced surface guidance system called “AlignRT” for monitoring position during treatment, with Raigmore Hospital being the only centre in Scotland using this.

This method involves the patient holding their breath for around 20 to 25 seconds during radiotherapy treatment to the chest area. This helps to reduce the risk of long-term heart damage following exposure to radiation.

NHS Highland’s superintendent radiographer Vicky Doughty, who led this development, said: “Because of the risk of damage to the heart following radiotherapy, we have worked extensively with the multi-disciplinary team to make improvements to our technique.

Three familiar Skye faces could be seen running in the London Marathon.

Jeremy Rossiter completed the race in 2 hours, 40 minutes and 27 seconds.  He told The Skye Times: "I finished 154 out of 40,000 over all and 18 out of just over 4,000 in my age group.

"I was quite surprised."

He described the racing conditions as "oppressive," saying: "It was unbearable in some parts.

"About mile 21, I didn't think I was going to finish.

"It was 24 degrees, but much warmer with the crowds.

"In the second half, I was increasingly aware that I was overtaking a few people.  Apparently, in the last 10k, I overtook 125 people.

Local police have asked for help to trace a 31 year old man, reported missing in Portree.

Stephen Moncada from Inverness was last seen on Monday 23 April at around 6pm in Portree.

He is described as having black hair, being of thin build, wearing a green Lyle and Scott jacket, blue jeans and red and white Nike trainers.

Anyone with information is asked to call 101.

MSPs in the Scottish Parliament will today (Tuesday 24 April) hear that the Gaelic language "is not the preserve of any single party or ideology."
Making her second chamber speech in Gaelic in the last month, Kate Forbes MSP will welcome the vast increase in students going through Gaelic-Medium Education as well as BBC Alba's programming.
The MSP is also expected to hit back at claims that a new Gaelic school in Portree is "divisive."
The constituency MSP will take a different tact from Skye councillor, John Finlayson, who wrote that the opening of the new £10m Portree Gaelic School is "a disaster for community relations."
Kate Forbes MSP is expected to say: "Last week, I was delighted to welcome the latest Gaelic Medium Primary School – as an MSP for the area, it's always great to see a new school being built but it is doubly good that this will ensure a new generation of Gaelic speakers able to learn and play and work totally immersed in language.

Police Scotland have revealed that 50 drivers have been charged with speeding offences near schools during a targeted operation either side of the Easter holidays.
Thirty individuals were issued with fixed penalty conditional offers - while a further 20 have been reported to the Procurator Fiscal.
A number of these vehicles were detected driving in excess of 40mph in areas with a limit of 20mph outside of schools
The operation ran between Monday, March 26 until Wednesday, March 28 - and then again between Monday April 16 and Friday April 20.

Portree Community Centre will be out of action while repairs are completed.

The main hall and toilets are closed while structural repairs and upgrades are carried out.

The team aim to complete the work as soon as possible, but are unable to take bookings until the work is finished.

The Silver Chanter Piping Competition will be held off the island for the first time since 1967.

The Skye Piping Society and The National Piping Centre have announced that, from this year, the Silver Chanter Competition will continue in Glasgow.

Due to rising costs, the Skye Piping Society say they can no longer host the event.

Cailean Maclean, Chairman of The Isle of Skye Piping Society, said: “While the Skye Piping Society is disappointed that due to rising costs and diminishing income we have had to sever our connection with the Silver Chanter Competition, we are delighted that through the support of the William Grant Foundation and The National Piping Centre a way has been found of ensuring the event’s continuation at least for the next few years. It is wonderful that this prestigious piping event has not been lost and we wish every success to The National Piping Centre in its stewardship of the Silver Chanter competition.”

Kate Forbes MSP has written to the Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf, to highlight the need for an urgent solution for CalMac on a popular ferry route from Skye to Lochaber.

Following CalMac’s decision to remove the MV Lord of the Isles from the route in March, in order to move ferries around the network, the Mallaig to Armadale crossing has been plagued with cancellations and local businesses are reporting a substantial drop in visitors compared to the same period last year.

Whilst the MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch welcomed CalMac’s decision yesterday (19 April) to introduce a second, albeit small, vessel on the route later this month, she made clear that 125 cancellations in 25 days was “simply not acceptable”.

Kate Forbes MSP said: “On Monday (23 April), the Mallaig to Armadale crossing will have seen 125 cancellations in the first 25 days of the summer timetable because of the domino effect of moving vessels about.