John O' Groat Journal headines for September 5,

A BUS is no longer to take football fans to Wick after one of its coashes came under fire from rock-throwing yobs. The incident occurred on Tuesday night when the George Rapson Travel single-decker was leaving Harmsworth Park after the North of Scotland cup semi-final game between Wick Academy and Brora Rangers.

TENSIONS are rising in Thurso between both sides of the independence debate with the appearance of an enormous "AYE" painted on one of the town's buildings and "NO" posters being torn down. Roger Saxon, local councillor and supporter of the Better Together "No Thanks" campaign, is upset to see the escalation in feelings which follows similar incidents in the rest of the county as the referendum date edges ever nearer.

TOURISM representatives in Caithness feel the county is being undersold, with calls being made for greater efforts to boost the holiday trade. Hotels, tourist attractions, caravan sites, camping sites and bed and breakfast estabishments have reported mixed results this summer despite the good weather.

A PHONE firm has been blasted by an elderly woman who has been without a landline at her North Sutherland home for over two weeks, despite being told it would be fixed within 24 hours. Eighty-year-old Elizabeth Mackay says she has been forced to rely others to contact the outside world as she has no means of communication at her home at Achoty, Skerray.

A REDEDICATION ceremony for Thurso lifeboat The Taylors, is to take place next week, to mark a special anniversary. The event is being held on Sunday September 14 and will be part of the lifeboat's open day. The ceremony will herald the 10th anniversary of the naming of the lifeboat by Margaret Vicountess Thurso, on September 18, 2004.

ONE of the most extensive research projects to be carried out in Caithness for many years is taking place this month. The scientific and engineering initiative is being undertaken from a base at Gills Harbour and involves measuring turbulence in the Inner Sound in the Pentland Firth.

WATTEN Improvements Group's third annual fun day proved a roaring success as well as helping a number of community groups boost their coffers. Variety was the name of the game with events incuding ferret racing, boxercise demonstrations and a competition to guess the weight of two sheep as well as the more conventional baking tables, barbecue, bouncy castles, fancy dress competition, Highland dancers and a gymnastic display.