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Caithness News Bulletins July 2004

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Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has welcomed the appointment of William Roe as the development agency's new chairman.  Mr Roe (57), who hails from Kinlochleven, is chairman and director of leading Scottish business consultancy Rocket Science UK and chairman of software solutions firm Mysterian, based in Stornoway and Glasgow.  He takes up his new post on 1st September 2004, succeeding historian, author and broadcaster Jim Hunter, who is stepping down after six years.  Dr Hunter was among the first to pay tribute to his successor.  "William Roe became a board member of HIE at the same time as I became chairman and he has been a valued colleague throughout that period," he said.  "I am delighted he has been selected as HIE's new chairman.  It's a great job in a great part of the world and William's vision and energy will, I'm sure, make a strong contribution to the area's future."

A John O'Groats woman is starting a new business which she hopes will add that special touch to a bride's big day.  Through her business - Tickety Boo Bridal Wear - Anne Baker will design and create bridal wear customised to the exact wishes of the bride to be.  She also plans to make dresses for other special occasions, such as high school 'prom' nights.

Larry Six Wins Battle Of the Bands In Thurso
Larry Six won this years Battle of the Bands competition with an outstanding performance. Thurso High Schools' annual battle of the bands contest took place recently. A total of five bands took part in the competition with the prize of the Murkle Bay Studios Trophy and £150 up for grabs. The evening was opened with a set from All Stitch Up, which got the packed audience in the mood for the school bands.

Johnson Controls MX Beach Race 2004
The 2004 beach race held on Thurso beach was a great success with entries from as far as Fraserburgh. The racing started at 3:30 after all the hard work carried out by the Caithness MX Club and friends forming the track with Geddes and John Anderson’s JCB’s.  The afternoon’s events consisted of 4 junior races and 4 senior races and with Caithness FM, the tide and sun out and a barbecue in attendance every one was in good spirits.

HITRANS, the strategic transport partnership for the Highlands and Islands, is investing more than £800,000 on modern low-floor buses, which are wheelchair accessible and provide the general public with much easier access.  HITRANS is working in partnership with bus companies to contribute towards the cost of the new buses, using funds awarded by The Scottish Executive for public transport improvements. Since April 2003, HITRANS has received £2.7 million from the Executive to improve public transport in its area.

On the 50th Anniversary of UKAEA Dipesh Shah the Chief Executive Dipesh Shah mulls over the achievements of the past 50 years.  Today the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority celebrates its 50th Anniversary.  On 19 July 1954 UKAEA came into being as the body responsible for taking forward the atomic energy research programme from the Ministry of Supply.  Over the following years UKAEA pioneered the development of an entire industry and went on to spearhead many other scientific and technological advances.  Today, its pioneering role continues in its equally challenging tasks of nuclear site restoration and leading the UK's contribution to the international fusion programme.

Caithness Girl To Play At The BBC Proms On TV - 1 August
Carol Ella from Wick who studied music at St Mary's Music School in Edinburgh and graduated with a first class honours at the Royal College of Music will shortly play with London Symphony Orchestra at the BBC Proms (1 August).  Carol plays the Viola and is seen in the pictures here after a concert at the Thaxted Festival.  With a growing list of prizes to her credit she has also worked with some famous names and conductors including Bernard Haitink, Sir Colin Davis, Michael Tilson Thomas, Lorin Maazel and the late Lord Yehudi Menuhin.

Tenants Asked For Their Views On Community Ownership Proposals

The Highland Council has opened a discussion forum on its website www.highland.gov.uk  to give council house tenants and other interested members of the public the opportunity to comment on the proposal being examined by the Council to join the Scottish Executive’s Community Ownership Programme. The forum will remain active until the Council meets on 28 October this year when it will formally decide the way forward. The forum will supplement the information contained in a newsletter that has been delivered to the homes of all 15,000 tenants in the Highlands outlining the issues involved in joining the Programme and the possible transfer of the council house stock to a not-for-profit landlord.

Caithness County Show 2004

Computer Scheme For Rural People Comes To Scotland
A successful initiative providing refurbished, ex-Government computers for rural people is expanding into Scotland.  The Warwickshire-based 'Arthur Rank Centre' charity entered into a partnership arrangement with the Government Disposal Services Agency to access high quality, fully refurbished and guaranteed ex-Government computer equipment two years ago.  Now 'Computers for Rural People', which brings IT to those who need it at very reasonable prices (an internet-ready laptop costs just £345 including vat and delivery) is coming to Scotland, after the scheme gained interest at the Royal Highland Show.

Recently 15 teams of 3 took part in the Texas Scramble at Lybster Golf Club, which was once again very generously sponsored by Sandisons (Wick) Ltd.  The weather on the day proved to be much better than for the recent Open competition but most competitors were treated to a shower at some point in their round. The last 3 golfers to get back to the clubhouse were the most unfortunate and caught the worst of the weather, but a special prize for the highest score on the Hidden Hole was some compensation for Murray Smythe, Lorna MacMillan and Alison Stewart.

Ross & Cromarty (East)
Biodiversity Plan - Launched
The Ross & Cromarty (East) Biodiversity Action Plan was launched on Tuesday 13th July 2004 in Alness.  It has been drawn together over the last year, following an initial workshop in May 2003.  At the workshop, 11 local people agreed to meet as the Ross & Cromarty (East) Biodiversity Group to oversee the drafting process.  The Group comprises representatives of local land users and conservationists, and the Plan was written with help and input from Scottish Natural Heritage and The Highland Council.

Thurso Gala Pictures    

Latheron Show 2004

A revolutionary new product that takes much of the effort out of reaching from or propelling a wheelchair is officially launched on Friday 9th July 2004 at the Scottish Mobility Roadshow in Edinburgh.  The Bodypoint Hip Grip is an innovative and dynamic pelvic stabilisation device from the United States that helps the wheelchair user to maintain stability, whilst allowing the pelvis to move freely. The Hip Grip has taken over five years to develop and is the result of a 36-month, 23-user clinical trial.

Fishing Boat Audacious Grounded At Canisbay
Banff registered trawler BF83 Audacious was grounded at about 11.00am on Saturday 3 July on the rocks at Canisbay and easilyy seen from Canisbay church.  It is hoped that she could be refloated at high tide around 10.00pm.  Thurso lifeboat was standing by and a tug was believed to be on the way to assist.

1 July 04
UHI Can Help Transform Rural Health Services
NORTH MSP Mary Scanlon said she hopes the qualifications on rural health studies will help ease the burden on a struggling health service in the Highlands and Islands.  The Scottish Conservative communities’ spokesman wrote to the UHI Millennium Institute to ask whether it had any plans to develop a rural healthcare facility, in light of the health minister confirming to Mary that it is up to organisations such as UHI to develop.

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