Wednesday, 17 October 2007

... and now for the local news

Even though Halloween has yet to arrive and Christmas is still almost two months away - Ballymena has already put up its tree.

The lights will be turned on on 1 November - 55 days before Christmas, making it perhaps the first town in the British Isles to light up for the festive season.
Even Oxford Street in London does not light up until 7 November and the Belfast switch-on takes place 13 days after that.

A Belfast man scammed almost £250,000 worth of goods from B&Q and sold them on internet site eBay.
Philip Dumigan used fake barcodes which registered a lower price when he brought the items to the cashdesk.
A judge said the 36-year-old, from Tildarg Crescent, had been involved in a sophisticated scam which had required careful planning.

Work has begun on the construction of a "Belfast Eye" in the grounds of the City Hall.
A 60m wheel is scheduled to open on 25 October, giving passengers panoramic views 200ft above the city.
The 365 tonne structure has 42 fully enclosed capsules, each of which can carry six adults and two children for each 15 minute trip.

A source of geothermal energy found in County Antrim could have the potential to provide heat and electricity for Northern Ireland's towns and cities.
Scientists have discovered a subterranean water source 3,000 metres under Larne which reaches temperatures close to boiling point.
The energy source was found during the Tellus Project, which was undertaken to assess the potential of Northern Ireland's natural resources.
Garth Earls, Director of Geological Survey NI, said hot rocks deep under the surface of the earth had heated the natural groundwater at the site near Magheramorne to about 90 degrees Celsius.

Prospectors rush to Ulster gold strike
Nine mining groups are seeking permission to explore Ulster sites for gold, following the success of the Galantas mine, near Omagh, County Tyrone.

Ireland ranked friendliest place in the world
Prestigious travel guide Lonely Planet names Ireland as friendliest country in the world.