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30 January 04
Thurso FC V Alness United - Saturday 31
Following on from
last week's progression to their second cup final of the season having
defeated league leaders Golspie 5-0 in The PCT Cup Semi on Saturday,
Thurso F.C now concentrate back on to league duties as they face a tough
away trip to Alness to take on Alness United. The game kicks off at 2 p.m
and the bus leaves The Dammies at 10.45, weather permitting of course.
PROJECTS SECURE HIGHLAND COUNCIL FUNDING
Urgent works required at Thurso Burial
Ground and Scalesburn Road in Wick have been
given the go-ahead with funding of £300,000
assured from The Highland Council's central
capital budget of the Transport,
Environmental and Community (TEC) Services.
Highland Council members at the TEC Services
committee today approved £150,000 funding
for Thurso Burial ground and a further
£150,000 for works at Scalesburn Road to be
carried out in the current financial year.
29 January 04
Snow Scenes In Caithness
Wendy Sutherland has already been
out with her camera and send us a picture of
Wick last night and a few of Thrumster today
29 January 04
SECOND DAY OF ADVERSE WEATHER DISRUPTS
HIGHLAND SCHOOLING AND TRAVEL
Due to a continued deterioration in weather
conditions and a concern for pupil safety,
The Highland Council's Education Culture and
Sport Service decided there would be no
school transport operating today (Thursday)
in Caithness. Sutherland and other Highland
counties. The A9 was closed at
29 January 04
Winter In Sutherland
few seasonal scenes from the Sutherland
Collection. these pictures are from an
earlier winter but no doubt the pictures
will be very similar with today's weather in
the north of Scotland
29 January 04
All Schools In Caithness Closed Today
With more snow forecast for today and
school transport already cancelled all
Caithness schools have taken the decision
not to open to prevent the problems of
trying to get pupils home again in worsening
conditions. Snow was falling heavily
in Caithness and across various parts of the
Highlands this morning.
29 January 04
Caithness Takes Two Highlands And Islands
Journalist of the Year is Ally McGilvray of
the John O'Groat Journal, Wick, whose
colleague Corrina Thomson, was highly
commended in the Features' section.
Photographer of the Year is John Baikie
(left), a freelance from Castletown.
25 January 04
JOINT WORKING AGREED OVER REVIEW OF SHIPPING
SAFETY IN MINCH
The Government has agreed to work in
partnership with The Highland Council and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar over a
review of shipping safety in the Minches. The Councils won this assurance
at a meeting with Shipping Minister, David Jamieson MP, in London today
(Monday) when they highlighted their safety concerns and their misgivings
about the sinking and subsequent unsuccessful salvage of the freighter, MV
Jambo, and its cargo last summer.
COUNCIL SEEK TO WIDEN ELIGIBILITY FOR SCHOOL
The Highland Council is to urge the Scottish Executive to modernise
outdated legislation surrounding school transport to significantly
increase the number of pupils qualifying for free travel to and from
Members of the Education Culture and Sport Committee want the Executive to
change the rules governing eligibility so that children under eight years
qualify if they live one mile or more from school and children 8 years and
over qualify if the live two miles or more from school. The current
thresholds are two miles and three miles respectively.
26 January 04
HIGHLAND COUNCIL HELPS YOUNG PEOPLE
STAY ON AT SCHOOL
A new scheme aimed at encouraging young people from low-income
households to remain in full-time education between the ages of 16 to 19
will be introduced into Highland Schools from August 2004 and is expected
to be fully operational by 2006. Funded by the Scottish Executive,
the new 'Education Maintenance Allowances' will be administered by The
Highland Council's Education, Culture and Sport Service and will replace
the existing system of Higher School Bursaries.
25 January 04
AEA Batteries On Mars The Best By Millions Of
As science enthusiasts celebrate the initial success of Mars Express's
mission, scientists at AEA Battery Systems are also celebrating their role
in the mission... the power behind the science. As European space science takes a great
leap forward with the broadcasting today of the first video sequence
featuring famous Martian landmarks and other initial results of the Mars
Express orbiter's mission, British scientists from AEA Battery Systems,
who provide the power to the Mars Express, are among many raising their
hopes of discovering the lost Beagle 2 Lander. AEA Battery Systems designed, developed
and tested the battery which is at the core of the central power subsystem
of the Mars Express orbiter, delivering energy to the seven instruments
which are conducting the remarkable science seen over the past few days.
However, AEA's Lithium-ion battery on Mars Express also supported the
orbiter's renewed search for the Beagle 2 Lander over this weekend.
24 January 04
NORTHERN CONSTABULARY TEAM UP WITH
IN MAJOR SHETLAND DRUGS SWOOP
A JOINT Police operation in Shetland has resulted in the seizure of
controlled drugs with a street value of £25,000. Around 25 officers,
mainly from Northern Constabulary but including officers from Grampian,
took part in the raids which all came under the banner of Operation Lapel. Also used during the searches were drug
detection dogs from the Shetland-based charity Dogs Against Drugs.
Large quantities of Heroin, Ecstasy tablets and Cannabis resin were
recovered from various addresses in Lerwick at the end of a lengthy
operation which spanned several months.
23 January 04
LOCAL MAN KEVIN IMLACH KEEPS TRADITIONAL SKILLS
GOING IN CAITHNESS
businessman Kevin Imlach (23) has drawn on the assistance available in his
area from a Royal source to help develop his business as fencer and
drystane dyker. The Prince's Scottish Youth Business Trust (PSYBT)
gave help at the outset of Kevin's enterprise at the end of last year with
a funding package of £2000 as well as professional business support to
guide the transition to self employment. Mr Imlach said; "It has
been a long process in getting my business off the ground but making
contact with the PSYBT has been invaluable with their understanding of my
circumstances and guidance into working for myself. This help has been
extended to give financial assistance towards a vehicle, which has proven
to be a necessity in a widespread area like Caithness.
22 January 04
Passenger Figures Rise to Over 700,000
More than 700,000 passengers flew via airports in the
North of Scotland in the past nine months. Figures for the third
quarter of 2003/04 issued by Highlands and Islands Airports today (22nd
January 04) show that 726,751 travellers used the company’s 10 airports in
the nine months to end of December. This is an increase of more than
50,000 passengers on the previous year’s running total.
21 January 04
Divers, fishermen and local people asked to
look out for rare underwater plant
inshore fishermen and local people from West Sutherland and North West
Ross are being asked to report sightings of a rare underwater plant.
Common Eelgrass, (Zostera marina) is a species of seagrass with leaves
that are said to look like green eels when they move with the current of
the sea. It is the subject of a survey being carried out this year by
Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) to find out where it occurs around the
north coast. Common eelgrass likes a sheltered sand or mud substrate
to grow in and does not like to grow deeper than 10m. There are three
different species of eelgrass in the UK and all are considered scarce. It
is an important species for the biodiversity of Scotland's marine
environment by providing shelter for flatfish and, in some areas, for
cephalopods such as squid and octopus.
21 January 04
UKAEA Support For Salvation Army White
Water Rafting Event
recently donated money to the Salvation Army in support of their highly
successful sponsored white water rafting fund-raising event that was held
in John O'Groats last year. Margaret Shortreed, Salvation Army Songster
Leader, said 'We are very grateful to all the organisations who have
contributed towards the white water rafting and to Dounreay for their
additional donation and also to the Dounreay Firefighters who took part.
The monies raised will assist with the wide variety of ongoing work of the
Salvation Army within the local community in the Thurso area'.
19 January 04
Town & County Bowls Club held its annual Billy Bain Memorial Charity
Triples Competition on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th January, which is
sponsored by UKAEA. There were a total of 28 teams entered with each
team being made up with members from different clubs around the county.
The total raised over the weekend for Crossroads Care was £585.
19 January 04
CASE Monthly Report December 2003
17 January 04
Fur and Feather Show
COUNCIL TAX COLLECTION
IMPROVEMENT IN HIGHLAND
For the seventh year in a row The Highland Council has achieved
continuous improvement in its In-Year Collection Rate for Council Tax.
In 2002/2003, the Council collected 92.6%, or £62.4 million. This was
above the Scottish average of 91.5%. For all years from 1996 to
2003, the Council has achieved an overall collection rate so far of 95.1%.
The Scottish average was 93.7%.
13 January 04
New Emergency Dental Service for
NHS Highland’s has secured approval from the Scottish Executive's
Health Department for its proposals to establish a Caithness Emergency
A spokesman said today:
“We are delighted that the Scottish Executive has agreed to this proposal.
The Caithness Emergency Dental Service (EDS) will be operational by the
26th January 2004. It will have the capacity for a total of 12 patients
per day from Mondays to Fridays. This service will be provided by a
dentist in Thurso and a dentist in Wick.
Dumping Question Gets Politicians Going
An article in the Northern Times last week has sparked a round of argument
and comment amongst politicians at national and local level,
Comments by John Thurso alluding to Greenpeace activist as scaremongering
have now brought comment from MSP Rob Gibson and a reiteration of SNP
policy. Getting in on the act are Jamie Stone and local councillor
for Golspie & Rogart Ian Ross as questions again arise about sites
proposed in the 1970's at Strathy, Altnabreac,
the Ben Armine area,
Rogart, Shin Forest, Scourie, and Loch Laxford to Enard Bay.
12 January 04
Call For Councillors To Resign From Health Posts
The Scottish Socialist Party is calling on Highland councillors to follow
the example of council Convenor Alison Magee and resign their consultative
positions on the Health Trusts Quangos, and begin the process to
democratise the new unitary authority. These include David Alston
(Black Isle North) and Garry Coutts (Beauly & Strathglass)
8 January 04
SUBMARINE BERTHS IN LOCH EWE AND BROADFORD BAY
Two public meetings are being held later this month in the Highlands
to explain the health and safety reasons for the decision to
pre-distribute stable iodine tablets to occupied premises within a two
kilometre radius of the Ministry of Defence nuclear submarine moorings in
Loch Ewe, West Ross, and Broadford Bay, Skye. The pre-distribution of
tablets has already been introduced near the nuclear establishment RNTE
Vulcan on the Dounreay site in Caithness, as well as at the Torness Power
Station, East Lothian, and the decision to follow these examples of good
practice in West Ross and Skye results from a recent risk assessment,
which requires NHS Highland and The Highland Council to have in place
appropriate plans and counter-measures to offset any potential hazard at
the moorings. The Emergency Planning Department of Highland Council
have confirmed that in Caithness over 600 people have had stable iodine
tablets distributed mainly in the Reay area but also to farms and houses
and the local primary school and Achvarasdal Home for the Elderly.
7 January 04
TOMORROWS HOUSE TODAY
On Friday 30th January, at the Portland Arms Hotel, Lybster,
Caithness, from 9.00am until 4.00pm The Local Economic forum for
Caithness and Sutherland has identified the lack of available good quality
affordable housing as a major constraint to development. To help remedy
this problem members of the Forum decided to organise a Seminar for the
wider Community to consider options. All interested parties, whether
community housing association or groups, professional architects, builders
or private developers as well as those with an interest in the latest low
cost technologies for energy efficient housing for their own use, are
invited to this Seminar with national and international speakers.
DRINK DRIVE RISE DUE TO PUBLIC CONTACT
Northern Constabulary's festive drink drive figures are up on last years
figures by 50%, however positive public feedback is the reason for the
rise. Last year 271 people were breathalysed with 62 people
positive however of the 349 people breathalysed this year, 95 people
proved to be over the limit.
The figures show that male drivers are still the highest with 86 men
detected drinking and driving compared with last year's figure of 55 men
Nine women have been detected during the 3 week campaign compared to 7
females in 2002/3.
5 January 04
Young Culture Vultures Encouraged
To Enter Website Competition
Primary 4 to 7 children in the Highland Council area are being invited
by Highland Libraries to take part in the Am Baile Children's Competition.
The competition consists of 10 questions and has been designed to
encourage children to find out more about the Scottish Highlands and
Islands and what has gone on in its past. All the answers can be found in
the Am Baile website which can be accessed at
www.ambaile.org.uk, and up to 18 lucky winners will receive a
£10 book token each.
5 January 04
Final Tribute For Alex Steven
A final tribute was paid
to Alex Steven whose funeral took place in Wick on Saturday 3 January.
some of the trucks from the firm D Steven and son were lined up at Wick
harbour for the funeral procession which went via the harbour where Mr
Steven had operated the firm his father had started for many years.
The business has been run by his sons for several years.