Caithness Courier headlines for February 13,

A WICK
refuge for women, who suffer domestic abuse, is set to close at the end of April. The surprise move was confirmed yesterday, by Heather Williams who has been helping to manage the facility on behalf of Caithness and Sutherland Women’s Aid. She stressed the charity is working closely with Highland Council to provide “a more comprehensive service” to women, children and young people who experience domestic abuse.

THREE
strikes and you’re out – that is the new police which applies to workers at Dounreay who risk losing car parking privileges if they fail to adhere to the rules of the road. Site licence company DSRL has brought in a new code of conduct for motorists who drive to work which means that three breaches will result in a parking ban or the rest of their time at the former fast reactor complex.

BUTCHERS
in Caithness have reported an increase in business in the wake of the supermarket horsemeat scandal as customer flock back to the high street to buy meat. One trader yesterday blasted food health officials for not picking up the problem well before now claiming large companies have been deceiving the public for decades.

CAITHNESS
Highland councillor Bill Fernie has launched a blistering attack on the council leadership over its newly approved budget. The Wick Independent member described school meal price hikes and extra pupil transport charges as an “attack on families” and warned of ‘hidden’ job cuts ahead. But his claims were rebutted by council leader Drew Hendry who accused the Independent group of being fixated on party politics, during a clash about job losses at the council meeting last Thursday when the budget was set.

TWO
trust-run harbours in Caithness are set to receive up to 350,000 funding after the Scottish government earmarked an extra 1million for emergency funding or storm-hit ports. Wick Harbour will receive up to 250,000 and Lybster Harbour up to 100,000 from the new pot which was announced by Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead on Friday, to help the affected ports in the Highlands and the north-east.

OFFICIALS
have announced that plans to re-align a notorious stretch of the A9 in Caithness, should move forward in the coming months. Transport Scotland expect that a designer will be appointed by April to finalise the brief for the long-mooted realignment of the Berriedale Braes.