Caithness Courier headlines for November 5, 2014

A YOUNG man had a lucky escape when a fierce fire broke out in his first-floor Thurso flat yesterday morning. He clambered onto the roof of the building at Bayview Terrace before being rescued by firefighters and taken to hospital.

A CAITHNESS-born test pilot for Virgin Galactic contacted his mother in the far north to tell her he was not on board the space craft which crashed in America. David Mackay, who was born in Thurso, but has lived in California for about three years, is the chief test pilot for the company which is run by Sir Richard Branson.

CAITHNESS heart attack victims could have a better chance of surviving if more defibrillator machines were available locally. That was the claim made by Steven Groaman of the Scotltish Ambulance Service when he addressed Caithness District Partnership on Friday.

WORK is underway on a 100,000 scheme to upgrade the public play park in Castletown. The initiative has involved a huge fundraising effort over the past two years. But now the work has started and is expected to last most of the month.

A LEADING UK surfing administrator has welcomed the restart of a a club which is promoting the sport in the far north. Dave Reed, the manager of the UK Pro Surf Tour, fitted in a talk with members and officials of the North Shore Surf Club during his trip to Thurso for the Scottish Open at the weekend. He said the role of surfing clubs extends beyond the competitive front.

THE prospective developers of a second major wind arm at Strathy, have scaled back their plans in response to representations about the impact it would have. SSE has confirmed its proposed Strathy South scheme in the Flow Country of north sutherland has been downsized from 47 to 39 turbines. The change has led to a delay in a public local inquiry due to be held into the controversial development.