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Nwicker60
18-Dec-15, 10:34
John O' Groat Journal headlines for December 18


TWO companies whose shortcomings contributed to the death of a young caithness wind turbine technician, have been brought to book more than six years after the tragedy. Fines totalling 152,000 have been imposed on Siemens and RWE Innogy UK for health and safety breaches at the wind farm on the Causewaymire where Colin Sinclair died.

SERVICES provided by Highland Council are to be cut and staff numbers, reduced in a bid to make budget savings of 40 million next year after the Scottish government cut the grant settlement to local authorities by around four per cent. The move puts Highland Council in "an extremely difficult position" and leaves it with no alternative but to cut services and the workforce, according to leader Margaret Davidson.

NEW fish quotas that will allow fishermen to catch more of key species, have been welcomed by industry representatives in Caithness. Caps on haddock and North Sea cod are to rise by 30 per cent and 15 per cent respectively, as a result of the new regime approved by the EU fisheries and Agriculture Council.

EMERGENCY tugs shoudl be available to assist ships carrying nuclear material from Dounreay to Sellafield, in case they get into difficulties, a campaign group has said. Tor Justad, vice chairman of Highlands Against Nuclear Transport, is worried about the potential dangers if these vessels got into difficulties at sea. He pointed out that two boats, neither carrying nuclear cargoes, broke down recently off Stroma and Kirkwall.

RAIL improvements in the north are progressing at "a snail's pace" according to two Highlands and Islands MSPs. Rhoda Grant and David Stewart welcome proposals for a Georgemas chord direct to Thurso; a loop near Lentran and resignalling between Inverness and Dingwall. But they say there is no mention of a loop for Kinbrace or Kildonan in the new Scotland Route Study published by Network Rail.

THE building of a new path, seating and steps to a beach by 30 community volunteers has been celebrated at Brough. The project was undertaken by Brough Bay Association as part of a plan to open up part of the bay to visitors, giving easy and safe access to the beach and providing a seating area to view local wildlife.

A CAITHNES village bakery is again to mix with the upper crust as it looks to tickle the tastebuds of judges in a global competition. The chicken and black pudding pie from the ovens of Annie's Bakery has been shortlisted in the hot savoury category at the 17th World Scotch Pie Championships. The recipe, created by award-winning chef Meganne Shearer and developed by baker owner Annie Body will be represented at next month's awards ceremony in Cumbernauld.

DAVIE Allan's injury time equaliser at Harmsworth Park on Wednesday evening kept Academy's Scottish Cup dream alive, reviving tyheir hopes of making the fourth round for the first time. Manager Gordon Connelly was close to conceding defeat after a low-key second half performance from his men. The final score of 2-2 forced a replay at Linlithgow Rose's Prestonfield pitch.