Caithness Courier review: August 24, 2011

THE
paper leads with the good news that there has been a fall in drink-related violence in Caithness. Acting Chief Inspector John Johnston said officers have cracked down on assaults at pubs and nightclubs in the county. His views come after Sheriff Andrew Berry hit out at the regular “overnight mayhem” being cause by drink and drug-fuelled troublemakers. He has said, during recent cases at Wick Sheriff Court, that people are fed up with these individuals. The Acting Chief Inspector said it is a problem in the Far North but police are successfully tackling the issue. He added: “We take a robust stance against drink and drug-related violence in the region.”

FAMILY
, friends, colleagues and pupils turned out in force on Tuesday to pay their last respects to Kevin Costello. St Anne’s Roman Catholic Church, in Thurso, was packed for the funeral of the popular teacher, killed in a road accident last week. Among the mourners were colleagues and senior pupils of Wick High School, where he was principal science teacher.

A PHOTO
of young Oliver Sutherland of Wick, complete with his guitar, leaves you in no doubt as to where the action was on Saturday...at the B-Fest at the Riverside. The picture provided a link to a two-page photo spread of the event inside.

THERE’S a full page of cases from the sheriff court and a chaptert from the marathon post office robberies trial. Two men, suspected of carrying out a number of break-ins in Caithness and other parts of the Highlands were caught “like rabbits in headlights” during a police officer’s stakeout, the jury was told. The accused, John Hind and Matthew Peters, were identified with the aid of an infra-red nightscope, making their way down the track. Hind was pursued and caught, but his co-accused made good his escape.

ALL
of the 12million, earmarked by the local development agency to help counter the Dounreay rundown, has belatedly been allocated, it has emerged. The special funding is designed to help prepare Caithness and North Sutherland for life after the plant has been decommissioned. The package, pledged in 2006, was to supplement Highlands and Islands Enterprise’s ongoing support to the Far North economy.

INTREPID
American Seafarer Chris Duff returned to Scrabster at the weekend having failed to make the first kayak trip from the British mainland to Iceland. Powerful headwinds and adverse tides forced him to abandon the attempt, about 40 miles north of Shetland. But the veteran of a clutch of epic ultra-marathon rows, has vowed to have a second, next year.

CAITHNESS
was well represented “a very poignant ceremony” which took place at the weekend to mark the 70th anniversary of the Arctic convoys which sailed to Russia during the Second World War. Members from the Caithness branch of the National Merchant Navy Association and the Wick branch of the Royal British Legion, Scotland, were at the event, near Cove in Wester Ross, on Saturday. Fifteen veterans of the convoys, including Sandy Manson from John O’ Groats, were present at the memorial service as well as 300 family members friends, VIPs, the Wick branch of the Sea Cadets, local residents and schoolchildren.

HALKIRK
United’s dream cup run came to an end when they were beaten by Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the North of Scotland Cup semi-final on Monday night. The west of Caithness village outfit didn’t go out without a fight, as the players threw everything at their opponents. Although having to defend for long periods of the game, United were just as impressive going forward. But they couldn’t find a way into the net, despite going close on several occasions. The final score Caley 1, Halkirk 0. There was better news on the Highland League front, though, with Wick Academy recording their second successive win of the season, a 2-1 victory over Strathspey Thistle. The hitmen were Richard Macadie (1) and Sam Mackay (2) one of which was a penalty.