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    Jun 2010
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    Default Fit's in 'e Groat 'e day?

    John O’ Groat Journal review: Sept. 16, 2011

    Fifty
    jobs could be created at Gills Bay, servicing future marine energy development in the eastern Pentland Firth. That is according to Gills Harbour Ltd chairman Bill Mowat, who has backed a claim by Highland Councillor Roy Pedersen that the area is “uniquely placed” to service the industry. Mr Mowat said the SNP councillor is absolutely correct and argued that local people would be “mortified” if potential marine energy jobs went to Scrabster, Invergordon or Peterhead, rather than Gills. He hopes that around 50 jobs could be created from marine developments at the port and believes the harbour could make “a substantial contribution” to offset the rundown at Dounreay.

    THE
    spirit of Wick Gala will not be ruined by an inconsiderate minority. That was the message from gala secretary Shirley Macleod, who spoke out this week, about an incident involving participants and committee members suffering verbal abuse. It happened during the float presentation evening at the Assembly Rooms. The supreme award went to the Willy Wonka-themed float by the Bosom Buddies. But the fact that the winners came from Castletown, did not go down well with members of a Wick-based float. Mrs Macleod said the villagers were booed off stage and the angry group approached vice-chairman Kerry Gunn about the decision.

    A SMALL
    wind turbine at Castletown Primary School has been placed too close to a children’s play area and could pose a risk to their safety. That is the concern which was expressed by the village’s community councillors at their latest meeting. Members felt the windmill should have been placed as far away as possible from the play area, to prevent any potential problems. Chairman Doug Fraser hit out and said: “It is ridiculous putting it where they did. Kids play there and do sports there. Children should be safe when they go to school, not maimed in the process. There seems no good reason for doing what they did.”

    THERE
    is an opportunity to create something special which meets the needs of local pupils. That’s the view of the Highland council’s head of support services, Ron Mackenzie, regarding the proposed merger of Pulteneytown Academy and South Primary in Wick. Plans to establish the two schools on a three-to-18 year old campus at the new Wick High-due to open in 2014-have been met with approval. Over 100 parents and teaching staff attended a consultation meeting on the plans at the Assembly Rooms on Tuesday night. Mr Mackenzie led the discussion, emphasising the two primaries are currently operating under capacity. He said the plans, set at an estimated cost of 9.225 million, would better utilise resources for pupils and staff.

    A LACK
    of women in the engineering industry is down to the false perception of it only being suitable for men. According to the Institution of Engineering and Technology, the proportion of women in STEM-related (science, engineering, technology and maths) jobs has not improved since 2008. It believes increasing the number of females in these areas, would boost the Scottish economy and has raised its concerns in evidence submitted to the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s working group inquiry titled Lifting Barriers to Women in STEM: A Strategy of Scotland.

    THERE
    are 13 fewer nurses and midwives employed at Caithness General and Dunbar Hospitals than there were three years ago. Figures released by NHS Highland this week, reveal that since August 2008, the figure has fallen from 187 to 174. The fewer numbers of staff has been attributed to the reduction of available beds at these hospitals. This was a result of audits of these premises which are regularly carried out, according to the health board. News of the fall , comes after the Scottish Government was accused by Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, of breaking its promise to protect the NHS.

    A DESIGN
    by a senior pupil at Keiss Primary School has been chosen as the logo to a new multi-million-pound community fund. Catrional Mhor’s artwork impressed directors of the Caithness and North Sutherland Fund Ltd as they felt it symbolised its mission –to give money to community organisations for projects that will increase the attractiveness of the area as a place to live, work and invest in. Chairman John Henderson said: “This fund is for our community, so directors wanted to engage the community at an early stage. A good way was to invite the young people in our area to design a logo symbolising what they believe the funding will do for the area.”

    FOUR Highland dancers from the Elise Lyall School of Dance won 12 medals in total at the world and Scottish championship held at Cowal. Thurso sisters Eilidh (16) and Rebecca Paterson (13) and Claire Risbridger (13) and Chloe Coghill (10) from Wick, first took part in the Scottish National Championships, each competing in four dances in their age groups. Eilidh won four medals which was good enough for third place overall, in her age group. Having just been out of the top three, the previous year, she was delighted.

    IMPROVING
    their goal-to-shot ratio is Wick Academy’s main aim when they take on bottom-of-the table Fort William, tomorrow at Harmsworth. Having had last weekend off, due to Keith playing Deveronvale in the Aberdeenshire Cup final, manager Davie Kirkwood said that break gave his team a chance to work on its game plan with an extra training session.
    Last edited by Nwicker60; 16-Sep-11 at 16:27.

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