Caithness Courier headlines for June 4, 2014

A FUND, originally earmarked to benefit Wick Academy FC, continues to lie dormant while a long-running probe by the charity regulator remains to be concluded. The second investigation by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator into the affairs of Wick Academy Development fund has entered its third year while mystery surrounds just who will benefit from the six-figure sums it holds. New light on WADF has been cast after North of Scotland Newspapers got access to copies of the fund’s audited accounts for the year ending May 31, 2013.

TWO giant towheads, which arrived in Caithness over the weekend, will be the subject of a feature on the BBC1 programme The One Show. A crew director and reporter John Sergeant spent three days in Wick filming the towheads on their journeys to the Subsea 7 construction site at Wester.

RSPB SCOTLAND is stepping up its efforts to spike plans to build on what would be one of Scotland’s largest wind farms, in the heart of the Flow Country. The charity has leafleted residents of north Sutherland to back the campaign mounted against SSE’s proposal to put up 47 turbines on part of the tract of blanket bog which is the subject of a World Heritage Site application. Members have also staged a demonstration on part of the Strathy South site, where the company wants to erect the turbines which would have a maximum blade-tip height of 135 metres.

THE Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has introduced a minimum fitness standard for firefighters. Its board has decided to bring in a minimum level of fitness from June. Robert Scott, assistant chief officer, said firefighters, who initially failed to meet the national force’s new standard, would be put on a fitness regime.

THE number of legally-held rifles and shotguns in the Highlands and Islands has risen to nearly 40,000. The figures, pulled together by Police Scotland for a report to Highland Council, confirms more than 10,000 people hold gun licences – outnumbering the region’s 30 armed police officers by 333-1.

AN ambitious project to protect and restore seven square miles of one of Europe’s largest expanses of blanket bog has been given full grant approval of more than 4 million of lottery funding. The Flow to the Future project, co-ordinated by the Peatlands Partnership, aims to make a significant contribution to the UK’s climate change targets and will see the development of a visitor and education facility close to the RSPB’s Forsinard Flows nature reserve in Sutherland.

A TRIO of Caithness sides will fly the flag for the county in the third round of the Highland Amateur Cup with four biting the dust on Saturday, including Castletown who suffered the heartbreak of going out on penalties to last year’s runners-up Kirkwall Thorfinn. Hat-tricks from Lukasz Geruzel and Goerdie MacNab helped Pentland United and Wick Groats, respectively, progress, while John O’ Groats made light of their long trek to Skye after scoring four without replay, versus Kyleakin.