News Archive - November 2014


What's On at Caithness Horizons: December 2014

Financial watchdogs to grill north health board about financial failings - Press & Journal

Wick Leads On Wearable Technology Innovations
Wick High Wearable TechnologyWick High Wearable TechnologyThis week, Wick High School Computing Science department hosted a Wearable Technology competition in what is believed to be the first event of its kind in Scottish schools. Students in S2 designed an app for the cutting edge wearable technology platform of their choice with most students choosing either Google Glass, the Samsung Gear 2 or Pebble smartwatches. Over the course of two months the students worked in teams of two or three to think up problems that could be solved using one of these platforms. Once they had identified problems the students then had to move on to designing the flow of their app (how it progresses from screen to screen). Their task was made even more difficult given that they had to design their app to cater for the limited input; primarily voice recognition and very small touchscreens.

Caithness And North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership Update Highland Council has saved over £476k and cut carbon emissions through reduced business mileage
Councillors and council staff have cut business travel mileage greatly over the past 4 years.

Smith Commission Full Report on Devovling More Powers To Scotland
Scotland 'should set own income tax', says Smith Commission - BBC

Highlands MSP warns about giving a pet as a Christmas present
Highlands & Islands (Labour) MSP Rhoda Grant backs Scottish SPCA warning that pets should not be seen as cute gifts to give just at Christmas, but they are for all year round and for the life of the pet.  It can be far more expensive to keep a pet than most people think.

Wick & District Pool League - Rockwater Shield

Indian Restaurant In Wick Under New Ownership

Police in Thurso appeal for information following theft of bike

Drivers reminded of new lower drink drive limit

Highland Council removes reduction in school week from immediate proposals
The SNP/LibDem/Labour Administration of Highland council today announced that, having listened to the concerns of the public regarding proposals to reduce the primary school week, they have decided to remove the proposal from year 1 (2015/16), to allow further work on the detail and to minimise any impact on schools.
Thurso's Fun Day and Christmas Lights Switch On 6th December

Turriff-ic tail-ender terminates Academy's record run
Wick Academy 3 Turriff United 4THE last-minute strike by Gary Harris denied the Scorries a share of the points and ended their 14-game unbeaten record in a seven-goal ding-dong thriller before a bumper crowd at Harmsworth Park. The tension was tangible as United levelled the scoreline at three all, with a couple of minutes of injury time left, and local supporters doubtless content to settle for a share of the points. However, in a riveting match in which the lead changed hands as often as a pass-the-parcel party game, it was clearly, not going to be over, until the final whistle.
Photo Gallery New Council Offices By Night
New Wick Council Offices - 20 November 2014
Lights can be seen in the new council offices as darkeness falls earlier and earlier in Caithness.  

Fit's in 'e Groat  
And even earlier this week in 'e Coorier

Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership Update
Dance From The Heart
Dance From The HeartDance From The Heart
Elise Lyall School Of Dance once again presents a great show in Assembly rooms, Wick on 21st and 22nd November.

Halkirk Village Council Drama Club - 'Alice the Musical'

New Noss Primary School, Wick - Latest Photos
New Noss Primary School at Wick - 18 November 2014

Wick and District Pool League  - Week 5 Results

Police appeal for information following damage to property in Wick

Police in Thurso appeal for information following damage to work vehicle

Caithness and Sutherland Local Development Plan events coming to Halkirk, Wick and Tongue
People living and working in Caithness and Sutherland are being encouraged to help influence a new Local Development Plan for the area known as CaSPlan. Upcoming events include:
 · Halkirk on 25 November at the Ross Institute, Bridge Street;
 · Wick on 26 November at the Town Hall, Bridge Street;
·  Tongue on 27 November at the Village Hall, Kirkiboll.
At each event there will be a drop-in session between 2pm and 5.30pm and a round table discussion which starts at 6.30pm. Everyone is welcome to attend one or both parts of the event.

Caithness Band 'Neon Walz' Starting UK Tour in Cumbria
They recently played on BBC live

Deveronvale 0 Wick Academy 1

For the second week running Deveronvale features on SHFLtv due to the Keith v Lossiemouth game being called off. Wick Academy made the five hour trip to defend their 14-game unbeaten run and had the ball in the net after four minutes through Lukasz Geruzel, however the far-side linesman ruled it off-side. Deveronvale’s new signing, Stuart Leslie, also had the ball in the net after 13minutes but the near-side linesman raised his flag for off-side. Darren McConnachie and his opposite number in the visitng goal, James More, kept the scoreline at 0-0 with some superb goal-keeping. The second half saw chances for each team to open the scoring and when Davie Allan chased a long-ball, the on-coming goal-keeper, Darren McConnachie, was fortunate to receive a yellow-card for barging into Allan. On the 80th minute Craig Simpson received his second yellow-card resulting in an early bath. McConnachie and Allan were the centre of focus again with referee David Sim awarding a penalty to Wick Academy for McConnachie’s foul on Allan in the box. Richard Macadie stepped up and slotted home the penalty on the 84th minute securing the points for Wick Academy. Interviews by Brian Barclay with Gordon Connelly (Mgr of Wick Academy), Ally MacLeod (Mgr of Deveronvale), players Davie Allan of Wick Academy and Man of the Match Darren McConnachie of Deveronvale. Full round-up of results and league table follows.
Countdown to lower drink drive limit
Campaign launched to highlight proposed change on 5 December 2015. A high-profile public information campaign to ensure Scotland is ready for a new lower drink drive limit has been launched at the start of Road Safety week. The Scottish Parliament will vote tomorrow (18 november 2014) on an order which will bring the reduced limit into effect on December 5. This would lower the blood alcohol limit from 80mg in every 100ml of blood to 50mg in every 100ml of blood. Scottish Government is recommending zero alcohol to remain under the limit in its new advertising campaign.

New Council Offices - Latest Photos
New Council officesin Wick - 17 November 2014

Police in Caithness appeal for information following death of sheep near Lybster

Melvich Gaelic Choir - Celebration Ceilidh
Melvich Gaelic Choir Celebration CeilidhFollowing the success of the Melvich Gaelic Choir in this year's National Mod competitions they have organised a ceilidh to let everyone hear some of the successes live.  Other winners wil join them for an evening of great music.  Combined with solo artists and musicians it will be a lively evening.  So get along to Royal British Legion, Thurso on 29th November at 7.30pm.

Wings Over Wick - Still Circling The Planet
Recently received from Sara Bourgoin who has identified a relative one of the men in an old photo in the section "Those Who Did Not Return".   Her great uncle Gordon Strutt is in the photo at the bottom of the page and she discovered it by a reference to it on Facebook.

Edinburgh Festival Hit Comes to the Mill Theatre, Thurso - 23 November
Waves at Mill Theatre - 23 November 2014Waves tells the story of the unofficial history of the invention of the Butterfly stroke. It is a solo theatre work written and performed by Alice Mary Cooper. Combining new writing, highly expressive storytelling, delicate movement and humour, Waves is the amazing tale of Elizabeth Moncello and how, growing up on Gabo Island in the 30's, she employed sea creatures to teach her how to swim. With the help of fish, penguins and amphibian friends, Liz, the daughter of immigrants, developed ‘the Dolphin,' known to the world as the Butterfly. A hit at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe where it was nominated for the Brighton Fringe Emerging Talent Award and programmed for the 2014 Imaginate Festival Delegates Programme, this enchanting tale promises to delight audiences young and old.

What People Said About 'Waves'

Fire - Thistle Park, Wick
Still Time To Get Your Chriistmas Event Added To Our FREE 'What's On' Calendar
Lots of Christmas events are still being added to our what's On calendar so get yours in soon - it's FREE.
To add an event just use the Submission form and remember you can add a poster or photo to brighten it up.

Red bag found at retail park Wick
A forum member has found the bag at the wick Retail park and is attempting to contact the owner to return it.

Fit's in 'e Groat 'e Day

Police appeal for information regarding a report of a man behaving suspiciously in the Thurso area

Latest News From Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership

Nice Film About Local Bakers - Reid's Of Caithness

Council reinforces commitment to tackle bullying behaviour in Highland schools
The Highland Council is to enhance its policy on anti-bullying in schools after members of the Education, Children and Adult Services Committee (12 November 2014) agreed to introduce a new ‘Positive Relationships and Bullying Prevention Policy, Guidance and Toolkit' to all Highland schools.

Thurso Scouts Local Christmas Post Delivery For 20p
Thurso Scout Post
Thurso Scouts wil this year resurrect the Christmas post fund-raiser and help local people save some cash by delivering local cards for only 20 pence.  Boxes will be placed at various locations in Thurso from 1st December so remember just place all your cards in a large envelope with full address and postcodes.  Please remember it's Thurso only.

   Community Pages

'Where the White Stops' - Pre- Christmas Family Outing
Where The White Stops - Antler Theatre at Melvich Village Hall
Antler Theatre are touring to Melvich Village Hall after successful tours to the Edinburgh Fringe and elsewhere. Come see 'Where the White Stops' - for adults, but suitable for 8+ year olds - check the video to see if your under 8 will like it. An ideal pre-Christmas Christmas family outing.

   Arts Pages

Caithness Horizons Christmas Market Hits Success As Stalls Take Up Was Fast
The demand for stalls on 6th December at the Caithness Horizons this year was so fast they have all been taken in double quick time. There may still be opportunities for craft and other businesses as a range of Christmas events are still accepting names for tables and stalls.  Wick Christmas Fair this year is being held at wick High School on 29th November so if you are quick you might be lucky to get a space.
Other Christmas Events
Latheron Christmas Craft Show - 22nd Novermber
Christmas Coffee Evening - 21st November
Wick Christmas Fair -
29th November
Murkle Chirstmas Craft Fair
29th November
Mey Market Christmas Special - 30th November
Christmas Fun Day At Northlands Glass -  30 November
KWK9 Dog Rescue Christmas Fayre and Coffee Evening - 27 November
Keiss Christmas Fayre Coffee Evening - 27 November
Santa's Wonderland and Christmas Frenzy Castletown - 30 November
Thurso Cinema Christmas Fayre - 30 November
Girl Guiding Christmas Shopping Event - 23 November
For more Christmas events check  the What's On in November and December
High Life Highland Challenge Returns due to Demand
Move it to lose it
The 6 week "MOVE IT TO LOSE IT" Christmas Challenge begins this week with first weigh in's taking place at all participating High Life Highland leisure centres. The campaign encourages everyone in the community to get active in the run-up to the festive season. There is no need to worry if you have not exercised for some time. The challenge is accessible for all and the leisure team will support MOVE IT TO LOSE IT participants, providing motivation, backed up by professional advice and support, to improve health and lose weight in a fun environment.

High Life Highland Libraries Win Quality Award
The work of High Life Highland libraries has been recognised at The Highland Council Quality Awards for delivering the best used and most cost-effective library service in Scotland.

End Of Year Rally Report
End of year Rally report
Bill Hamilton reports on his end of year Rallying. The final rally of the 2014 Scottish Rally Tarmac Championship, the Kingdom Stages was held at Crail Airfield near St Andrews in Fife on November 1st. Competing in Class 3 was Bill Hamilton and new co-driver Matt Fletcher in the Hamilton Optimum Training Opel Kadett.

Police in Thurso appeal for information following damage to property
Police in Wick appeal for information following damage to property

Garden waste kerbside collections stopping for winter
As winter approaches householders are reminded that Garden Waste Collections will cease for a period of 3 months from the end of November. There will be no brown bin collections in December, January or February. The final collection day of 2014 will be Friday 28th November and collections will begin again on Monday 2nd March 2015.

Research reveals value of Gaelic to businesses and communities in Scotland
Rannsachadh a' sealltainn luach na Gàidhlig do ghnothachasan is choimhearsnachdan ann an Alba

Damen Delivers Tug for Scrabster Harbour
Stan Tug for ScrabsterScrabster Harbour Trust (UK) has taken delivery of a new harbour tug / workboat, a Damen Stan Tug 1606. The vessel, named Highlanders, will replace its current workboat which was built in 1976. The new tug will undertake pilotage, towing, general harbour and maintenance duties.

Wick & District Pool League - Week 4 - Results

Santa's Little Helpers At St Fergus Gallery, Wick
Decorate St Fergus Gallery Snatas Little Helpers at St FergusSt Fergus Gallery will have a Christmas Craft Market on Saturday 13th December. To make the gallery as festive looking as possible for this event, children and adults are invited to come in anytime during the opening times to create pretty paper decorations. If you like, these can be made in your own home as well and brought to the gallery to be used to decorate it before 6th December.

ANDRITZ to supply tidal current turbines to MeyGen
Meygen TurbineANDRITZ HYDRO Hammerfest, part of international technology Group ANDRITZ, has received an order from MeyGen Ltd. to supply three 1.5-megawatt tidal current turbines to the planned tidal array in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth, Scotland.

Council helps businesses to bid for public sector contracts
North businesses are being invited by The Highland Council's Procurement team and Business Partners to join them at Mackay's Hotel, Wick on Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 November to find out about new opportunities in public sector business. This is a free advice and information event aims to help interested businesses bid for public contracts, whether they have worked with the Council before or never considered public sector contracts.
Police in Thurso appeal for information following theft of mountain bike
Theft seen On CCTV.

Remembrance Caithness 2014
Remembrance Caithness 2014

Ross parents revolt over plans to cut teaching time in primaries -
Ross-shire Journal
A ROSS-SHIRE parent power revolt is looming over fears primary pupils will be left trailing behind their counterparts under cost-cutting plans to trim half-an-hour from teaching time in schools. A teacher has voiced concerns that the cumulative effect of the measures over seven years of primary school education would be the equivalent of axing three entire terms of schooling.
A PLAN to shorten the school day for Highland youngsters, has been attacked by a Caithness mother.
The plan has been suggested by Highland Council as part of budget cuts of £64 million over four years.
Jobs and Schools On Block in Highland council Cuts - Lochaber News
Highland Council Budget Consultation
The Highland council Budget consultation for the public to input to the process closes on 16th November.  
Budget Blog        Budget Consultation Document

Independent panel to consider school closures
Candidates are being sought for a new independent panel to make final decisions on school closure proposals called in by Ministers. Fit's in 'e Groat

Progress At New Wick High School
Wick High School 3 November 2014
A few photos to show progress as groundworks get well underway at the new Wick high school.

Sheltering From The Storm At Keiss
WK28 Sheltering from the storm at Keiss in Sinclair Bay, Caithness
SAFE in port, one of the boats secure at Keiss Habour from a storm-lashed Sinclair Bay.

See more of Keiss

Thurso Heritage Calendar 2015
Thurso Heritage Calendar 2015Thurso Heritage Calendar 2015
Thurso Heritage have produced a great calandar for 2015.  Taking old Thurso photos and adding colour.  This may be the calendar you keep long after 2015 is past.

World War One Wick
World War On Wick and District - An Exhibition
An exhibition of memories and information about how World War One affected people from the Wick area.

NHS Highland Offers Attractive Package For GP's To Come To Thurso

Extra blue bin recycling could save £70k
The addition of new materials to the blue bin will be introduced next year and could save around £70,000.
World's largest tidal array development wins prestigious international Award
Meygen Underwater Turbines
Last night, the 398MW MeyGen project was awarded the first ever 'Navigator Award' at the International Conference on Ocean Energy (ICOE), in recognition of the project's significant contribution to the global marine renewable industry. The highly prestigious Award was awarded to the MeyGen Project, which is 86 percent owned by Atlantis Resources, at the International Conference on Ocean Energy, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Police appeal for information following damage to vehicle in Thurso

Dornoch's disabled toilet hit by thoughtless firework vandals

Police in Thurso appeal for information following damage to vehicles

NHS Highland bosses accused of ‘gross misconduct’ over finances  -
Press & Journal
NHS Highland bosses have been accused of "gross misconduct" over their handling of the authority's financial troubles.
Scottish government audit committee webcast online.  The Full Public audit committee meeting can be viewed online HERE   A meeting of the Health And Social Care is being held today and papers can be viewed HERE  The meetings are webcast live or for later viewing HERE
NHS Highland's management criticised for keeping members in the dark  - BBC
Jim conquers Africa's highest peak ...after triple heart by-pass
Caithness Heart Support Group, started at 7.30pm Tea coffee and shortbread will be served at a charge of £3 which will include a free raffle ticket.

Food Fair - Saturday 15th November
Food Fair 2014
A special event featuring an amazing selection of delicious baking, cheeses, pork, smoked products, fish, speciality cakes, breads, summer fruits, honey, eggs and similar, on display and available to purchase from high quality local suppliers.

The National Body for Volunteering, Volunteer Scotland, is celebrating the diversity of volunteers during its 30th Anniversary Year by joining with Members of the Scottish Parliament to promote the value of volunteers during Trustees' Week in Scotland, which takes place 10th till the 16th November. Trustees' Week is an annual event each November recognising the difference thousands of volunteer trustees make across Scotland. And this year marks three decades of promoting the value and worth of volunteers as Volunteer Scotland celebrates its 30th anniversary as the national body for volunteering.    Volunteering In Caithness - Local contact Catherine Patterson.
Several New Vacancies Just Added To Our Jobs Section at 5.50pm

New report shows encouraging signs for seabirds in Scotland
Arctic TernAfter declines over the last two decades, seabird numbers show encouraging signs, according to new statistics by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). There are, however, a number of birds which are still declining, including kittiwakes and Arctic skuas, whose Northern Isles' breeding strongholds have seen large declines over a number of years. Although the declines are serious, the latest results from the 2014 are encouraging. It's still too early to say whether this will continue, but the suggestions from seabird researchers around Scotland are that the 2014 season was another good year.

Joint fire and police investigation to take place after fire at a property in Thurso

Light In The North - Neil M Gunn
Lightin the North - A celebration of the life and works of Neil M gunn
Writer George Gunn with Jennifer Ross on Clarsach at the Salmon Bothy, Dunbeath Harbour on Saturday afternoon on 8th November.

Missing!!!! small ginger male dog  - Can You Help?
From Watten Area

First World War Wick Sailor Still Remembered In Wales
Frieda Murray has contacted us to say she found a graveyard in Wales and still visits the grave of James Smith from Wick to lay a poppy each year.  The body of James was found washed ashore in the Bristol Channel after his ship was torpedoed in the First World War.

HMS Vulcan, Caithness Recruiting Police Trainees and Transferees

49 ways to help your wildlife - Views sought on New Plan to help Highland Biodiversity
Common Blue ButteflyViews are being sought on a new plan to help wildlife across Highland. The draft Highland Biodiversity Action Plan (2015-2020) was drawn up by the Highland Environment Forum, and went out to public consultation today (Monday 3 November). Chairperson George Hogg said: "The Forum is made up of representatives of around 50 local groups and organisations. It aims to foster and co-ordinate action on environmental matters and biodiversity is one of the main work streams.  Caithness Biodiversity Photo Collection   Nature In Caithness   Birds

Police appeal for information following damage to property in Thurso

Adoption Week 3 - 9th November
Adoption WeekPeople in the Highlands are being urged to consider fostering or adopting during National Adoption Week this week (3 - 9 November 2014). Highland Council's Fostering and Adoption service need permanent families for children with special needs, disability, older children and sibling groups, to help keep brothers and sisters together. Children's Champion, Councillor Linda Munro said: "There’s a constant need for foster carers and adoptive parents right across the Highlands. The people who come forward play a vital role in securing a better future for children who desperately need support and the opportunity to experience a stable family environment. You don’t need to be an expert, you just need to care and want to provide a family home. I urge anyone evening thinking about it to pick up the phone and call 01463 703 431 for more information - you don’t have to commit - just call."

Foster Carers Wanted In Highland
Foster Carers Wanted In HighlandTemporary and permanent foster carers are wanted in Highland.  A huge range of support is available including payments of £292 per week for 13 year old.

Intensive Foster Carers Wanted To Become Self Employed In Highland
Intensive Foster Carers Wanted In HighlandHighland council wants to speak to people about the possibility of becoming self employed looking after a child with a severe disabilitycomplex needs and behavioural problems. Earnings wil be £34,413 plus weekly age related allowance for the child.

Have your say on Highland school meals
Pupils, parents and carers are being asked to make their views known on Highland Council's schools meals service. The Council's Care and Learning Service are carrying out an online survey to gather the views of primary and secondary pupils who eat school meals and parents that pay for the meals. In January 2015 free school meals will be provided to all Primary 1 - 3 pupils. Information from the survey results will also help to indicate ways that the Council can help cater for new pupils who may start to have school meals.

Police in Caithness appeal for information following reported theft in Brough

Police anxious to trace missing girl Danya MacKay from Thurso  - update - Person now traced.
Hunting For Lost Crafts - Skye Weavers - See It At St Fergus Gallery, Wick

Hunting For Lost Crafts - Allison Weightman - Ceramicist - See It At St Fergus Gallery, Wick

New Noss Primary School, Wick - Latest Photo
Noss Primary School, Wick - 1st november 2014

Police Looking For Information On Padlock Removal at Rosehall Windfarm, Sutherland

The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry At Helmsdale
Scottish diaspora Tapestry Exhibition at Community Centre Helmsdale
Currently On Show At The Community Centre In Helmsdale Until 9th November
A project to involve communities around the world in the celebration of Scottish heritage and culture. Scotland's global legacy as it has never been seen before, stitched by Diaspora communities in 25 countries across the world!  In every one of the panels their diaspora tales unfold whether it be of the arrival of tea in India, the creation of a steel works in Corby England, military leadership in Sweden and Russia, national parks and tobacco growing in the USA, sugar plantations in Jamaica or the gold rush in Australia. More often than not Scot's presence around the world stimulated migration to Scotland by the peoples they lived amongst, creating 'reverse' diaspora from countries such as Italy, Lithuania, India and Poland.

Hunting For Lost Crafts - Fly Tyer - Ronald Sutherland, Helmsdale

Caithness And North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership Update

Hunting For Lost Crafts - Exhibition At St Fergus Gallery, Wick
High Life Highland would like to invite you and your friends to visit the new exhibition Hunting for Lost Crafts which will be with us at the St Fergus Gallery from 1st November -6th December 2014. It is an exhibition of crafts and historical objects connected with the pursuits of hunting, shooting and fishing in the Highlands illustrating how historic techniques and materials have been transformed by contemporary makers - including fly-tying, taxidermy and trophy fish carving. Artists involved in this exhibition are Lizzie Farey, Nora Fok, Dalziel + Scullion, Patricia Niemann, Kate MccGwire, Shauna Richardson, Angus Ross, Roger Brookes, Skye Weavers, Laura West, Allison Weightman and Lucy Woodley.
Below are some short films made in connection with the exhibition.

Hunting For lost Crafts - Patricia Niemann - Jeweller, Wellbeck Estate, Caithness

Hunting For Lost Crafts - Falconry At Dunrobin Castle, Sutherland

Hunting for Lost Crafts - Michael Wigan, Borrobol Estate, Sutherland - See It At St Fergus Gallery, Wick