Scottish Enterprise spent £100,000 on hiring celebrities

SCOTTISH Enterprise has splashed out more than £100,000 to hire celebrities such as Fred MacAulay, Jackie Bird and Sally Magnusson to attend business events.

The extravagant spending included £23,500 for former Ryder Cup golfer Sam Torrance to give golf tips to potential investors and £12,000 to comedian Fred MacAulay to act as master of ceremonies at two dinners.

The move has been branded “desperate” by David Whitton MSP, Labour’s shadow finance spokesman.

The quango receives a £276 million budget to help boost economic growth in Scotland.

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Car stranded in sea as tide comes in

Rescuers struggle to get the 4x4 out the water

By Cara Sulieman

A GROUP of jet skiers were left red-faced after their car got stuck in the sea when the tide came in and submerged the 4×4.

Trying to launch a jet ski from a trailer attached to the back of the blue Mitsubishi Warrior, the men didn’t notice the rising water until it was too late.

They had to call out a rescue truck to tow the car out of the ocean, but it also had to go into the water to retrieve the stranded vehicle.

Onlookers watched as the drama unfolded on Portobello beach on Monday afternoon but revealed it wasn’t an uncommon sight.

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Coathanger statue unveiled

The statue attracts attention on its first day

By Amanda Keenan

A UNIQUE sculpture depicting the crucifixion of Jesus Christ has been put on display in Edinburgh’s Parliament Square.

The 9ft tall piece ‘Die Harder’ was unveiled outside St Giles’ Cathedral by acclaimed sculptor David Mach.

The Fife born artist is best known for his artwork made out of everyday items including coat-hangers, match sticks and bricks. 

He spent three-and-a-half months creating the crucifixion scene through welding together 3000 coat-hangers.

He said: “This work is made of thousands of coat-hangers, we’ve teased the hooks out to points.

“It’s a material I use a lot for sculpture, so we’ve got this ‘pierced Christ’ that appears. It looks like quite a violent image and I wanted to enhance that violence in a way.

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Woman who fought off armed robber receives award

Sheila Jeffrey was presented with an award for her bravery

By Cara Sulieman

A WOMAN who fought of an armed robber who tried to stab her was given an award for bravery today.

Sheila Jeffrey was working in the small post office in Yetholm, near Kelso in the Borders in September 2008 when Patrick Loyden demanded cash.

But 72-year-old Sheila – who has been at the post office since 1984 – struggled with Loyden even though he was brandishing a knife.

Loyden received nine years for assault and robbery in March this year for the attack.

Today she and the other four people who tried to stop the thief were presented with meritorious awards from Lothian and Borders Police for their bravery.

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Brave Scots gather for awards ceremony

Ricci Foreman tried to save tragic Jessica McCagh after her boyfriend set her slight and trapped her in his flat.

By Cara Sulieman and Paul Thornton

A YOUNG man who dragged a teenage girl from a flat after her boyfriend poured petrol on her and set her on fire was among 50 heroes to be recognised by a new award presented for the first time today.

Ricci Foreman, 20, was presented with a Brave@Heart award for his attempt to rescue Jessica McCagh after a horrific fire attack by twisted killer Stewart Blackburn.

The hero was just 19 years old when he tried to save Jessica, 17, at her flat in Arbroath in April last year.

He battled a blazing and smoke filled room to repeatedly pour a fish tank of water over the girl, who had been set on fire with petrol, and helped her out of the home.

Jessica tragically lost her fight for life later the same day.

Blackburn was later given a life sentence with a minimum of 21 years behind bars after being convicted of murder.

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Edinburgh council set to sack German tram contractor

The trams were set to open in Edinburgh next year but have been delayed by at least seven months

By Cara Sulieman

EDINBURGH councils chiefs plan to axe the German firm carrying out work on the city’s troubled tram project.

Council chiefs say they are at the end of their tether after months of delays and projected overspends.

The £545 million project – originally due to finish in August 2011 – promised to bring benefits to the capital but is now seven months behind schedule with no end in sight.

Now they are preparing for a potentially costly legal battle to rid them of the contractors Bilfinger Berger.

Transport convener, Councillor Gordon Mackenzie, said the “ludicrous” position adopted by Bilfinger Berger left the council with no option but to terminate the contract.

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Friends of club manager use Facebook to issue plea

Martin Gordon has been missing since last Wednesday (March 24)

By Cara Sulieman

FRIENDS of a nightclub manager who has been missing for a week after leaving for work have set up a Facebook page to try and track him down.

Martin Gordon left for work at Edinburgh club Cabaret Voltaire last Wednesday (March 24) but never turned up.

His flatmate and friend Richard Duff has now set up a group on the social networking site in a bid to track down the 33-year-old, who is originally from Glasgow.

Mr Gordon – who was known to his friends as Tartan – was last seen leaving his flat in the Grassmarket for work at 7.40pm on Wednesday March 24.

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