Caithness Courier headlines for August 13, 2014

FRIENDS and family of a young Thurso man have been stunned after he was found dead at the foot of cliffs near Holborn Head at the weekend. Father-of-three William Allan, who was known as Bruce, was a diehard Rangers fan and had arranged to take his young son Scott to the opening league match of the season at Ibrox, last Sunday. Instead, Scott and the rest of the the family are mourning the sudden death of the popular 40-year-old who had most recently been working in Malta. Police yesterday could add little about the death which they are treating as "unexplained".

PLANS to upgrade helicopter facilities at Wick John O Groats Airport, in a bid to strengthen its links with the oil industry, are at an early stage. Highland and Islands Airports Ltd is in discussions about refurbishing the existing landing areas within the next two weeks. This will include upgrading the current helipad, which has already seen an increase in traffic, transporting workers to oil rigs in the North Sea.

A MEMORIAL to a famous Thurso detective who led the investigation into the Jack the ripper murders in the 19th century, was unveiled yesterday. Held in the grounds of Thurso police station, the ceremony was conducted by police chief Donald Swanson's great grandson, Nevill. He travelled from his home for the commererative event which was also attended by Mr Swanson's grand-daughter and oldest surviving relative, Mary Berkin.

NORTH SUTHERLAND bored the brunt of the tail end of Hurrican Bertha in the far north as the Clachan Burn overflowed to cause flooding in Bettyhill. More than 10 centimetres of rain fell overnight across the Highlands on Sunday and flooding caused damage to properties and roads in the village near the Caithness border.

AN attempt is being made to resolve the tense stand-off between a marine conservation charity and a salmon netting company which operates in Caithness. Liaison officers have been talking to representatives of Sea Shepherd UK and Usan Salmon Fisheries Ltd which has stations at Murkle Bay and Castlehill outside Castletown.

THE MeyGen renewable energy project in the Pentland Firth has taken a step forward with contracts signed for the supply of turbines for the initial phase of the development. Parent company Atlantis Rescources has signed contracts with Andritz Hydro Hammerfest as the supplier of three 1.5MW tidal turbines. The hardware will sit alongside one of Atlantis's own 1.5MW machines at the 6MW Phase 1A in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth.

A HELICOPTER which was due to carry out a rescue demonstration during John O' Groats Harbour Day at the weekend, had to be diverted to take a diver to hospital in Aberdeen. The diver, understood to be a woman was working from a vessel called Valkyrie north of Lerwick harbour in Shetland on Sunday afternoon. The alarm was raised around 2pm and the Shetland Coastguard chopper responded.

CUT grass being left where it lies around Wick, has been getting a community councillor hot under the collar over the mess and impression it gives of the town. Wendy Campbell is frustrated about the problem which seems to be affecting the whole county. At the latest meeting of the community council she spoke of children being hardly about to run through grass at Wick Riverside while fellow members complained about public pathways and cemeteries left with clumps of mowings and about the state of the Green Road park.

A HOME semi-final tie in the North of Scotland Cup is what awaits the winners of Wick Academy against Clach, who meet at Harmsowrth Park in their quarter final tonight. Scorries boss Gordon Connelly is relishing the prospect of setting up a semi, either against Brora Rangers or North Caledonian League champions Halkirk United, which is sure to draw a bumper crowd.