Caithness Courier headlines for March 13, 2013

father has blasted police for making him pay more than £500 to find out how his son died in a road accident. George Durrand sought answers as to how 17-year-old Christopher was killed at Hastigrow Bridge, on the outskirts of Bower, in February last year. But he was stunned to learn he would have to pay £500 for a report into the tragedy and would not be able to obtain it for free, under the Freedom of Information Act.

national cull to reduce deer numbers, is not required in the north Highlands according to local gamekeepers. They have spoken out after a study by University of East Anglia researchers recommended 750,000 deer be shot each year in Britain. The plan has sparked an angry backlash north of the border with representatives of the North Deer Management Group insisting the population of deer in its area is manageable.

brothers from a Castletown family are taking part in a 10-mile night run this weekend to raise money in memory of a former Thurso High School pupil. Colin (21) and Christopher Stone (19) are competing along with 20000 other runners in the annual Night Deerstalker event in the Borders on Saturday. The pair will tackle two hills totalling nearly 3000 feet, run through three rivers, several swamps, an old sewer an obstacle course – all at night in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
CHEVRON UK could use Wick airport as a base for some of its helicopter flights for a year or more. That is the hope of Andy Bruce who runs Far North Aviation and has been instrumental in attracting the helicopters to Wick John O’ Groats airport. He said yesterday the Chevron contract could last for a year and possible longer.

contract to carry out an investigation into long-awaited improvement works at a notorious stretch of the A9 in Caithness, is set to be awarded by the start of next month. Transport Scotland is to select one of three firms which has tendered to undertake a detailed design study on the planned realignment of the north hairpin bend at Berriedale Braes.

of the resurrected area committees will investigate whether local members will be given financial control of their budgets following a clash between councillors. Two pilot committees were launched by Highland Council’s SNP-led administration, in Inverness and Caithness/Sutherland, last year in a move to allow more decisions to be taken in communities. The set-up will be extended to the rest of the region later this year, following a review.

round of applause broke out amongst Highland councillors as they paid tribute to a far north colleague who quit his seat after a mini-stroke. Robert Coghill stepped down from his Landward Caithness seat last month because of health concerns and a by-election to replace the popular independent takes place in May.

Academy’s dream of winning a first Highland League championship could still come true after they woke up from their Sutherland nightmare to knock sleepy Keith for six. With four absentees from the squad, meaning they could only bring four substitutes to Moray, some critics thought the shinny bubble had well and truly burst. But a devastating first-half performance in which they scored four goals in 12 minutes sent out a warning to the chasing pack that they were not finished yet.