John O' Groat headlines for September 26, 2014

A CALL was made yesterday for Caithness to have control over its administrative and financial affairs. It came from Thurso councillor John Rosie who argues Highland Council is "too big and too bureaucratic".

THE formal wraps were yesterday taken off a new 17.5 million quay at Scrabster which is earmarked to play a key part in helping diversify the far north economy away from its long-time reliance on Dounreay. The Jubilee Quay which as officially opened by Anne Dunnett, Lord Lieutenant has already generated new business from marine energy and oil companies.

A LIMITED edition of JOhn Lennon by one of the world's most famous photographers, will raise money for an appeal launched by a Caithness family. Janet and Calum Macleod want to raise funds for the Anthony Nolan Trust as their two young sons, Euan (7) and four-year-old Arran need lifesaving transplant operations. They are delighted the image of the former Beatle will help boost the appeal.

CAITHNESS Food Bank has distributed over seven tonnes of food to 768 people in the far north who are struggling to make ends meet during its first year of operation. The figures were revealed at the group's first annual meeting where it was reported that the local service is ranked as the second biggest emergency food parcel operation in the Highlands, outside Inverness.

A MIXED bag best describes the latest Caithness school roll figures when compared to those for last year. The latest statistics are particularly good when the rundown of Dounreay is taken into consideration, according to Wick councillor Bill Fernie. He feels the lack of any significant drop, is positive for people keen to maintain schools in the area, as, if number do fall, it makes their argument more difficult.

FRIENDS of an end-to-end cyclist killed just hours after setting off from John O Groats, have thanked those at the crash scene who came to help. Anna Roots (34) from London and her friend Rebekah Edgar, were riding through Bettyhill on the first leg of their journey south, when Mrs Roots' bike was in a collision with a timber lorry at Clacahn on September 6.

TWO young nurses have just returned from the experience of a lifetime, teaching and playing with young children in a Sri Lankan orphanage. Kelly Irodenko and Kirsty Coghill visited the country for two weeks after signing up to a trip organised by Plan My Gap Year, an award winning international volunteer placement organisation.

STREET dancers in Caithness stepped up to the challenge in their bid to gain a place at next year's European and world championships when they competed in a qualification tournament in Perth. performers took part in the Central Scotland Street Dance Championships which double as a qualifying round for the two international competitions.

GILLS harbour increased its profile at a major two-day marathon conference which was held in Inverness this week. The Caithness port, which is keen to play a key role in servicing the MeyGen tiidal energy project in the Pentland firth, was represented at the event, by chairman Bill Mowat. The conference in Eden Court, on Tuesday and Wednesday, was organised by trade body, Scottish Renewables.

A CANISBAY baker was named the best young business mind in the far north when she picked up the top award at the Caithness Chamber of Commerce 42 dinner. Annie Body, who established Annie's Bakery last year, was named the winner of the George Bruce Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2014 at the annual ceremony held at the Weigh Inn Hotel in Thurso.