View Full Version : John o' Groat Journal: review-March 4

04-Mar-11, 10:36
Caithness wedding on the Royal date

THE paper has come up with one of the nation’s couples marrying on the same day as Prince William and Kate Middleton. Jennifer Sutherland Allan Paul are tying the knot at the Castle of Mey says the front page story. The Thurso couple will wed in the castle’s visitor centre, followed by champagne in the castle’s drawing room.

THE lead story, below, tells of a local oil worker’s escape from trouble-torn Libya. Graeme McDonald and three work colleagues ended up being evacuated from the crisis-hit country to Bonn, on a German military plane. The 43-year-old had just started work in the country and had been due to be joined there by his wife Ruth, this week. But the Thurso couple’s plans were thrown into disarray, by the violence which erupted amidst the popular movement to overthrow President Gaddafi.

PAGE 1 is anchored with a photo-piece in which concerns Far North MSP Jamie Stone’s urgent call for the Dunbar Hospital to be used for more NHS services. In a written question, formally tabled this week at Holyrood, he calls for the hospital to be used as a hub using tele-medicine to deliver an increased number of services to patients, thereby reducing the requirement for long, 200-plus-mile return trips to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.

INSIDE, controversial community councillor, Laurel Bush has announced his intention to stand as a candidate in Wick’s forthcoming, Highland Council by-election. He will put his name forward, next week when nominations open for the vacancy, created by the resignation of Katrina MacNab. Mr Bush has been at the centre of repeated rows over his attitude towards the Royal Burgh of Wick Community Council. The situation reached a climax at last month’s meeting when Councillor Wendy Campbell resigned. She has, however, been persuaded to change her mind but warned she is only returning on a trial basis.
New council member David Stark, who was wheel-chair bound following an accident 10 years ago, says he wants to use his position to highlight problems facing those less mobile in Caithness, and, hopefully, make life easier for them.

PLANS are afoot for a multi-million-pound project to bring a historic building, on the outskirts of Castletown, back into public use and the local community has backed the initiative. Over 30 people turned up at a meeting in Castlehill Heritage Centre and gave their support to the plan which would see the disused old mill, near the beach being, used to benefit the area d the local economy. Under the plan, being mooted by the Prince’s Regeneration Trust, the listed building could be used as a hotel and restaurant or an outdoor activity hub, or for a mixture of private and public housing offices and workshops, retail, a micro brewery or distillery or a performance and arts centre.

THE new University of the Highlands and Islands is urging the Scottish Government to give equal funding support to part-time students. Most part-timers have to pay tuition fees while full-time school leavers and young people in Scotland are exempt. In its response to the Government’s Green Paper consultation on the future of higher education funding, UHI says the amount of support for full-time students should be available for their part-time fellows on a pro-rata basis.

THE acquisition of the Thurso-based ABSL Power Solutions by an American energy giant, was this week described as “very good news” by a senior manager in the local business. Michael Halliday, the general manager, said: “The announcement has been well received by the workforce. Energy Sys bought the business to invest in it.” A total of 70 people are employed at the Thurso battery factory.

A NEW social enterprise is set to revolutionise general maintenance in the home and gardens of Caithness residents. Run by Wick-based Pulteneytown People’s project, DIYnamo’s aim is to provide affordable services for the general public and obtain contract work by bidding for competitive tenders which will, in turn, allow the elderly in the community to have work done on their property at a subsidised rate. The money made from contract and public work helps to pay for the upkeep of elderly citizens’ homes. By hiring the DIYnamo team, the public will be ensuring that pensioners who need the most help, will pay the least for it.

TRIBUTES have been paid to long-serving Thurso minister who is retiring from his post at the end of the month. The Rev. Ronnie Johnstone was praised by members of the Caithness Presbytery of the Church of Scotland, at their meeting on Tuesday night, for his contribution to the kirk and local community over 27 years as minister at Thurso West.

WICK Academy head for Fort William tomorrow Saturday) in a bid to try to record their first away win of the season. The team’s co-managers are not taking anything for granted, despite the Claggan Park side’s lowly position.