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Nwicker60
24-Oct-12, 08:57
Caithness Courier review: October 24, 2012

THE mother of a disabled Caithness girl, who has spent her whole life in a wheelchair, has paid tribute to a martial arts teacher for giving her daughter a new lease of life. Nine-year-old Ellie McIver of Clett Terrace, Scrabster was diagnosed with Dandy-Walker syndrome and cerebral palsy when her mother, Fiona, was still pregnant at 32 weeks. Despite being confined to a wheelchair, she has never let her condition get the better of her, and, after being involved in kuk sool won for just over a year, she celebrated receiving her yellow belt this month.

A notorious stretch on the northernmost stretch of the A9, is only a problem for drivers of heavy goods vehicles who are not used
to driving on it, according to the operator of a local breakdown service. John Elder said that drivers who get stuck on Berriedale Braes are usually not local to the area and are making deliveries to the county from far afield. His view comes, as a lorry got stuck on the north hairpin and the road was blocked in both directions for 45 minutes on Monday afternoon.

A WICK councillor said that ‘unfair’ cuts will have a massive impact on residents in the far north who need help the most. Neil MacDonald has hit out at welfare reform changes to be introduced in six months time, which will see housing benefit entitlement drop, if it is deemed claimants have more bedrooms than they require. Changes passed at Westminster earlier this year, will slash benefits by 14 per cent if householders have one bedroom more than they need, and by 25 per cent if they have two extra bedrooms.

A BID to get the Traill Hall in Castletown back into public use would cost around 1 million and could take up to five years to complete. That emerged at the weekend when local people were given an opportunity to express their views about what the refurbished 19th century building should accommodate. Around 70 people turned up to get a look round the unoccupied hall on Saturday morning and then went along to the Castletown Hotel where details of three options were displayed. Possible uses and funding sources were also outlined. Pictures of the hall and a computer graphic showing what it could look like, were also on show.

AN anthropologist carrying out PhD research will be exploring life in Caithness for the next year and she’s looking for people who may want to help. Lousie Senior, a doctoral student at the University of Aberdeen, has just moved to the area and will be recording and documenting particular aspects of people’s interactions with the local environment.

ONCE again, Caithness has a gold medal winner from the Royal National Mod, after a passionate supporter of the Gaelic language scooped the prestigious prize last week, at Dunoon. Christine Stone, originally from back in Lewis, and now based in Castletown, won the traditional gold medal for her vocal singing last Thursday. Mrs Stone has long been a stalwart of the language in Caithness and was heavily involved in bring the national Mod to the county in 2010.