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    Default Fit's in 'e Coorier 'e day

    Caithness Courier review: November 16, 2011

    VOLUNTEERS are desperately need to make sure next year’s Thurso gala goes ahead, reports the paper on its main front page story. The plea, for people to commit to help run events, comes after organisers, Thurso Town Improvements Association, issued a last-ditch appeal for new committee members at the end of September, as numbers had dropped to an unsustainable level. Chairwoman Doreen Macleod, said that since then, the committee had lost another two members but it has been agreed to continue with a core group of just eight people-for now. However, in order to keep going, TTIA needs to build a body of willing helpers. “What we are going to do is stick with eight members but we need volunteers to come forward, said Mrs Macleod.

    THERE
    was magic in the air over the weekend when Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling stopped off in Caithness. The international best-selling writer lunched at Wickers’ World on Saturday after being chauffeured around by local businessman George Dunnett, of C.F.D. Executive Car Hire. Rumour was that the 46-year-old was in the county to buy a horse-although the Caithness Courier could not get that confirmed. Owner Irene Sinclair was in the cafe when Rowling walked in, accompanied by her husband Dr Neil Murray and their children. Mrs Sinclair said she thought recognised the blonde’s face but could not quite place her.

    SUPPORT
    for local causes seems to be at a premium, for inside this week’s Courier it’s reported that a village hall committee has issued a last-ditch appeal for new blood “before the keys are handed back to the council and the windows are boarded up”. Secretary David Carter said that new and enthusiastic committee members are desperately needed to ensure that Staxigoe Hall can continue to be at the centre of the community. He said: “With the programme of school closures and shops closing around the county, the things that used to hold a community together are dwindling”, said 47-year-old Mr Carter.

    A PROPOSED
    upgrade of the Berriedale Braes has been branded “unacceptable” by a former Caithness councillor who claimed the only solution to the problem is a bypass. Billy Mowat, who served for many years as a district and regional councillor, said an upgrade would not be satisfactory and, instead, called for the trouble spot to be bypassed at an estimated cost of 30 million. That would, he argued, help ease ”the transport difficulties on that section of the A9, create work at a time when jobs are being lost at Dounreay, and help the fledgling renewables industry.

    DOUNREAY
    workers will next week find out the identity of the site new operator. Two Anglo-American consortia are vying to take over the running of the remainder of the decommissioning. BDP and Caithness solutions have each spent millions of pounds preparing their technical cases and making their pitches to land the lucrative contract. According to site owners, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the marathon 5 million tender exercise will more than pay for itself in terms of savings.

    THE
    6 million redevelopment of John O’ Groats is “an absolutely tremendous project” and one which should be “welcomed with open arms”. That was said by VisitScotland chairman, Dr Mike Cantlay on a two-day trip to Caithness last week. During his time in the Far North, he visited Groats, the Pulteney Distillery in Wick, met local businessmen and was involved in an event called “Making things Happen for Tourism in Caithness & Sutherland.” Dr Cantlay who was accompanied by Scott Armstrong, VisitScotland’s regional partnerships director (north), described the development at John O’ Groats, as “a huge undertaking“ but one which could help to boost the local tourism profile.

    AN
    outpouring of generosity, following a tragic road accident in Caithness, is improving the quality of life for cystic fibrosis sufferers in the Highlands. New gym equipment and computers have been bought at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness for youngsters with the genetic condition. This was made possible due to around 12,000 being donated in memory of Connor Craigie from Dunnet, who died in a car accident at the age of 17, in November.

    CAITHNESS r
    emembered the dead of two world wars and other conflicts on Sunday with services which were held throughout the county. Veterans were joined by members of the public and youth organisations to pay tribute to those who lost their lives during the two world wars and subsequent conflicts.

    A FAILURE
    to follow instructions is what led to three points being plucked from Wick Academy’s grasp at the weekend. That is according to Scorries manager Davie Kirkwood, who said he is disappointed not to have taken at least a point from Cove Rangers on their home turf. Kirkwood said he knew, beforehand, that Allan Park was a tight pitch and had given his players tips to combat the opposition. He said: “ We set out instructions before the game and a couple of them just went to pot and it costs us two goals”. That was all Cove need to claim the points, with no reply from Academy.
    Last edited by Nwicker60; 16-Nov-11 at 14:55.

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