Caithness Courier headlines for August 14

NEWS that taxis have been deployed to ferry blood samples from Caithness General to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness, has been met with surprise. NHS Highland claims the journeys which come in at over 100, are only done in emergencies but there have been eight such trips since June, totting up to over 1000. Elizabeth Sinclair, a public patient representative who sits on several health committees, said: "In these stringent financial times, I think it would be difficult to justify, unless it was a very urgent case".
WHEN Wick Groats won the Highland Amateur Cup for the first time, Alison Groat knew her late husband was sitting with her in the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium looking proudly down on the team he loved. George Groat was diagnosed with bowel cancer in July 2012, shortly after he had led his Wick Groats team to last year's Highland Amateur Cup final. He died in March, just before the start of the new season.

MEDIEVAL coins discovered in Caithness and estimated to be more than 800 years old, are set to find a new home at the Dunbeath Heritage Centre. Treasure Trove Scotland accepted a 2210 bid from the museum for the 47 coins discovered by Mikie Aitken, at Wester, in February 2012. The coins are expected to arrive at the museum later this year.

THE first maintenance contract secured by Scrabster harbour since its 20 million redevelopment, was yesterday described as "a positive and promising move" for the Caithness port. Scrabster Turst manager, Sandy Mackie, was speaking after the harbour secured its first operations and maintenance contract for a tidal device. Scotrenewables Tidal Power Ltd, which is based in Orkney, chose Scrabster for work on its prototype tidal turbine the SR250. It was towed across the firth last week, by Scotrenewables' sister company Scotmarine Ltd in a seven-hour operation and stayed there until M0nday afternoon.

A CAITHNESS Highland councillor is "fed up" with the lack of progress being made at the derelict house in Sir John's Square in Thurso. Roger Saxon said it is frustrating that nothing seems to be happening and he has pledged to take the issue up with council officials this week.

OPERATORS of off-road vehicle activities in the Highlands are set to be licensed following the death of a Scottish footballer who was electrocuted in a crash on a Ross-shire estate. Dumbarton FC captain Gordon Lennon died in June 2009 after the four-wheel vehicle he was a passenger in, struck an electricity pole on the Brhan Estate. The Highland Licensing Committee is now set to act on advice from the sheriff, who investigated hte 26-year-old's death, and seek a public entertainment licence for companies running off-road activities.

"We want 10!" That was the cry from the band of Scorries fans who watched their side blow Strathspey away on Saturday. Despite not reaching double figures, there were no complaints from the away end as Academy went top of the Highland League albeit after just two games.