9am Briefing: Firefighters tackle printworks blaze

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DOZENS of firefighters tackled a blaze at a disused print works which broke out in the early hours of this morning.

The fire has ripped through the building on Young Street in West Calder. Lothian and Borders fire brigade said it received the call just before 2am.

No-one was injured, but the roof was in a dangerous state and firefighters had to wait for daylight before going inside.

At the height of the fire 32 firefighters from across the Lothians were dispatched.

The council’s building control department was also expected to attend.

* Killer Luke Mitchell’s fight against his conviction will not be heard by the UK’s highest court.

Three Supreme Court justices refused permission for Mitchell, 23, to take his appeal to the London court.

Mitchell was ordered to serve at least 20 years for the 2003 murder of his 14-year-old girlfriend, Jodi Jones, in Dalkeith.

He applied to the court to hear his case after judges in Scotland did not grant him leave to take his case further.

But the Supreme Court justices have refused to hear the case, saying Mitchell’s appeal against conviction is “closed”.

* Edinburgh City Council is pressing ahead with plans to spend up to £30,000 on portraits of provosts.

There was outrage earlier this year when the Evening News revealed the council’s plans to spend the cash on a stained glass window of former Lord Provost Lesley Hinds and an oil painting of current Lord Provost George Grubb.

The scheme was suspended in March after councillors ordered officials to think again about the costs of the “vanity” project.

But despite the scale of the £1bn trams fiasco that has since emerged, the council has now confirmed it is going ahead with the portraits.

* THE country’s tourism body is in debt after stumping up £2 million in pay-offs for staff.

The most notable costly departure from VisitScotland was former chief executive Philip Riddle, who was handed a £240,000 deal for leaving the organisation.

Its annual accounts stated the body was now £32,000 in the red.

The severance total was ten times that of last year’s pay-offs.

It is understood around 60 staff were offered deals to leave, and although Mr Riddle was asked to leave VisitScotland in the summer of 2010, it is only now the details have appeared in public.