John O' Groat Journal headlines fo October 10, 2014

A CALL was made yesterday for powers over the transport of nuclear waste in Scotland to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament.
It was made by First Minister Alex Salmond and was supported by far north MSP Rob Gibson who said such a move would be "logical and correct". The call comes after a fire broke out on a ship carrying nuclear waste from Caithness to Belgium.

IMPROVEMENTS to a notorious stretch of the A9 at Berriedale Braes will not begin for at least another 18 months it has emerged. The announcement has left a Caithness councillor fuming, and insisting work should have already started. Landward Caithness councillor Willie Mackay spoke out, after receiving news that the realignment of the north brae will not start until spring 2016.

A FAMILY in rural Caithness has hit out at Royal Mail after being told it will not longer deliver mail to their home. Tammy Conner claims the company is failing in its duty to meet the miniumum requirements of the universal service obligation. Royal Mail will not let staff drive up the road to their home at Lochdhu Lodge, Altnabreac. It has defended its decision, by saying the road is inaccessible for its vehicles but is in the process of trying to negotiate a solution.

THE skipper of a fishing boat which crashed and sank at Scrabster Harbour could not have done anything to prevent the accident, investigators have revealed. The Marine Accident investigation Branch concluded Andrew Gardiner was not at fault for the Shalimar BCK598, crashing into the quayside in April which caused the vessel to sink in less than five minutes.

CONTROVERSIAL signs, which are "demeaning" a war memorial and public gardens in Thurso, are to be taken down. That was confirmed by Highland Council this week. But the local authority could not give a timescale for the work as it is in discussion with "several other parties" on the matter. However, local Thurso Highland councillor John Rosie is delighted the signs will soon be taken down.

A RAIL campaigner has called on the new operator of ScotRail to improve the journey times between Caithness and Inverness and address the punctuality and reliability of the service. Mark Norton, convener of the North Line Action Group made the plea after it was confirmed Dutch rail company Abellio has won the 10-year franchise for the Scottish network.

A HARPSDALE woman has visited Japan to display her years of work, helping young adults with learning disabilities or autism. Katie Webster, a trained occupational therapist, works as a community connector for Health & Happiness, a charity which support young adults across the Highlands.

LYBSTER Primary school has officially launched its Patagonia project and teachers already have endless ideas on how they are going to develop it. The project has stemmed from Wick man Ian Leith and his research into the links between Caithness and Patagonia which began in the late 18th century and early 19 centuries when locals travelled to Argentina in search of a better life.