John O'Journal headlines for August 16

POLICE SCOTLAND has made an unreserved apology to a Caithness pensioner who was forced to leave his hous in the wake of the the sudden death of his wife, after being told it was being treated as a crime scene. Chief Inspecter Garry Cameron said CID officers should have been called out to Naver road, Thurso, to investigate the death, on Saturday May 4, and not have waited until the next morning. Retired Church of Scotland minister, the Rev. Ken Warner made a complaint on behalf of the man and his family who do not wish to be identified.

EASTER AIRWAYS is being accused of threatening to stifle new energy-related opportunities for Caithness after a company was charged almost 400 for a flight from Wick to Aberdeen. Sinclair Bay Subsea Ltd general manager Louise Sinclair need to book a next-day flight for her husband and company director Peter, to attend an urgent business meeting. She was left gobsmacked when she was charged 391.50.

AN osprey chick born in Caithness, is flying high over the Basque Country of northern Spain as part of a reintroduction project. As previously reported, ornithologist Roy Dennis visited the country recently, to ring a small group of the birds of prey and was accompanied by local photographer, Karen Munro. Sworn to secrecy, in an earlier interview with the Groat about her trip to Spitsbergen in the Arctic, Ms Munro didn't let on how Mr Dennis had taken away one of two female osprey chicks they had found at the nest. The chick - along with 11 others from Scotland - was flown to Spain and released near Bilbao in the first stage of a five-year project to restore breeding ospreys to the Basque Country.

CAITHNESS could become "a sinking ship" unless more is done to get jobs to replace those being lost at Dounreay. That was the warning made this week by the GMB union which has accused the agences responsible, for getting work into the area, of "blowing a lot of hot air" over the last six years. According to the union, these bodies need to act now, or the far north will become "the new Ravenscraig" - the steelworks in Motherwell which closed in 1992 with the loss of thousands of jobs.

A BLOCK of 12 flats in Wick has been renovated and renamed Exmouth House in honour of the crew of a Royal Navy warship which was torpedoed off the Caithness coast during the Second World War. HMS Exmouth had the unfortunate distinction, of being the first naval loss of the war. It was sunk by a German U-boat 22 miles off the coast of Wick in 1940. All 189 crew members were lost with 18 bodies later recovered and buried at the town's cemetery. The renaming of the flats took place earlier this month when local residents, Highland Councillors Bill Fernie and Willie Mackay; community councillors Geraldine Durrance and Anne Duffy, members of the HMS Exmouth Association and John Thurso MP, joined Cairn's team to unveil a plaque and plant a ceremonial tree.

A BID is being made to restore a Caithness war memorial which commerorates the sacrifices made by local men at historic battles such as Waterloo, Trafalger and Balaclava. Highland Council wants to return the Soldier' Tower, on the North Head path, in Wick, as near as possible to it original state as it has fallen into "a shabby condition".

A MIXOLOGISTmay try to shake up some more investment to expand his company after successfully generating 20,000 through crowdfunding. Simon Collier will now kit out MRC 's Newmarket Bar in Thurso, using the money raised with the help from the Caithness Community.

THE glorious 12th arrived on Monday and with it came the start of what was, at one time the glorious lamb sales of Bettyhill, Foirsinard and Dunbeath where literally thousand sof lambs converged on their respective local marts. Nowadays, with less sheep around, the Highlands, Aberdeen & Northern Marts, Quoybrae base in the main arena for these sales. It sold 4176 prime and store lambs with the overall sale average recorded at 50.88, down 3.34 on the year.

FRASERBURGH was the last team to beat Wick Academy at Harmsworth Park in the Highland League with a 3-1 win. Since the, 30 teams have come to the far north and failed to escape with all three points with Rothers the last side to take anything at all with a 1-1 draw at the end of the 2011/12 season. With an impressive start to the campaign which has seen the Scorries rise to the top of the table, manager Barry Wilson said the next four games starting against the Broch tomorrow could be an indicator of Wick's championship credentials.