Northern Ireland

NI weekly paper review: Elderly drinking and a hero puppy

Front page of the Tyrone Constitution Image copyright Tyrone Constitution
Image caption Front page of the Tyrone Constitution
Impartial Reporter front page Image copyright Impartial Reporter
Front page of the Coleraine Chronicle Image copyright Coleraine Chronicle
Image caption Front page of the Coleraine Chronicle
Ballymena Times front page Image copyright Ballymena Times

The bright lights of Las Vegas could be coming to Lurgan, online site the Armagh I reports.

Before blackjack fans get too excited, it's not a casino but a potential new drive-thru American diner.

The site says that plans for the development - submitted last year - are to be recommended for approval.

It has been proposed at the Centrepoint leisure complex in the town.

Image copyright Getty/NeonJellyfish
Image caption Could Armagh be getting a new drive-thru American diner?

The Armagh I also has a sad tale with a happy ending.

A distressing image shows a horse trapped in mud in the Mourne Mountains.

The animal was, however, rescued safely by firefighters on Tuesday. Crews saved the day and got the horse back on its feet.

NIFRS Southern Command said: "Thankfully we had a positive outcome for the horse who was checked by a vet at the scene."

The Coleraine Chronicle reports that the potential sale of Portstewart Town Hall is being considered by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.

The newspaper says that it has learned that "disposal" of the landmark building was discussed by a special committee established to seek savings of £1.8m required in a recent rates freeze.

Following queries about the future of the town hall, a council spokesperson would only confirm that "a number of options are being looked at".

The building hosts the Portstewart Music Festival, as well as concerts, Irish dancing events, exhibitions and occasional craft fairs.

Image copyright Geograph/Kenneth Allen
Image caption Is a potential sale of Portstewart Town Hall in the pipeline?

Elsewhere, the newspaper reveals that a puppy is being hailed as a hero after she raised the alarm when vandals set her owner's shed alight.

Holly, who is a four-month-old Yorkshire Terrier, began barking loudly after being let out at the back of her family's home in Riverdale Crescent on 18 March.

When the puppy's owner, Yvonne Peters, checked on Holly, she discovered her garden shed was on fire.

Yvonne said that the family had "lost everything that was in the shed".

However, she added that without the puppy's help "something much worse could have happened".

'Secret world of elderly drinking'

The front page of the Tyrone Constitution highlights a new report launched in Omagh which it is hoped could help "call time" on the secret world of elderly drinking.

The newspaper says the Drink Wise, Age Well report reveals evidence of age discrimination in alcohol policy, practice and research.

Director of Addiction NI, Thelma Abernethy, said that data gathered in the Western Trust area would play a part in future plans to tackle the issue.

The impending amalgamation of three primary schools in County Down makes the front page of the Mourne Observer.

It says representatives of the Concerned Parents of Lower Mourne Schools Community will have the opportunity to meet with the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS) "in the coming weeks".

From this September, primary schools in Moneydarragh, Ballymartin and Glasdrumman will merge, but the site for the new school has yet to be announced.

The newspaper says some parents are concerned by what they see as "a lack of consultation, information and inclusion in the decision-making process".

Image caption Production at the Michelin factory in Ballymena is due to stop at the end of April

The Ballymena Times reports that the Michelin tyre factory in the town is to be turned into a business park after it closes in June,

The newspaper reports that 10 acres of the facility will be given to Mid and East Antrim Borough Council for the development of a centre for manufacturing excellence.

It is understood the council will use its land to bolster the area's bid to host a Heathrow Logistics Hub.

Production at Michelin is due to stop after 50 years at the end of April.

The site is being sold to Silverwood Property Developments, which already operates an enterprise park in Lurgan, County Armagh.

'Rubbish in Fermanagh'

Bill Clinton may be due to receive the freedom of Belfast, but a hall in his name is facing problems, says The Impartial Reporter.

The paper says the Clinton Centre in Enniskillen, which was to play host to a poignant portrait exhibition, will not be ready in time to do so.

Artist Colin Davidson's exhibition was due to be in place in the centre to mark the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.

The paper says work that was agreed on to make the centre ready for the exhibition has been held up because of "structural" issues.

A pile of rubbish is making the news in County Fermanagh, the paper also reports.

Business owners are not happy about the amount of bottles, bin liners and food waste they say is being dumped along the Shore Road in Blaney.

Gabriele Tottenham, owner of a spa in the area, tells the paper she and her husband have been forced to clean it up themselves so tourists won't have to see it.

"Why should we have to employee someone to clean up after other people?" she asks.

She tells the paper the bad habits of the general public "need to change".

Mrs Tottenham is pictured with some of the debris that has been dumped on the road.