Caithness Courier headlines for April 8, 2015

NO changes are likely to take place at Thurso's Dunbar Hospital following the latest review being carried out into the future of NHS services in Caithness. The assurance has been welcomed by those who fought plans to close the hospital's 12-bed inpatient unit and do away with the night-time and weekend operation of the hospital's minor inuries casualty unit as part of a a revamp of provision in west Caithness.

SHOPKEEPERS in Caithness are finding new cigarette display regulations a "drag" describing them as unnecessary and ineffective in helping people quit smoking. A ban on showing tobacco products at the point of sale in small shops across the country came into force on Monday.

MOVES are under way to attract supermarket traffic to deliver goods in Caithness stores by train, using the multi-million pound railhead at Georgemas. Progress in reinstating regular freight on the far north line, was initially slow, following the opening of the facility in July 2012. But, Direct Rail Services has reportedly been in talks with an unnamed company to operate a services two or three time a week.

THE weekend saw country and western music fans descend on Halkirk to enjoy the rare treat of performances by top-class musicians from around the world. Around 1000 people turned out to dance their way through the northern Nashville Caithness Country Music Festival which kicked off on Friday.

FLIGHTS are expected to run as normal in Caithness, despite strike action taken by the union representing security staff at airports across the Highlands and Islands. Highlands and Islands Airports Limited has reassured passengers that all sechduled flights to and from Wick John O' Groats Airport, will go ahead.

LOCAL surfers filled the top spots in the men's and women's open competitions at the Scottish National Championships held on the five-star reef break at Thurso East over the weekend. Chris Noble made it three titles in a row after a battle royale with fellow Thurso -based competitor, Scott Main, in the four-man final on Friday afternoon.

A PLAY created by a Caithness writer and performed by Thurso actors has ignited a national campaign to solve one of Scotland's enduring mysteries. It comes on the week of the 30 anniversary on the death of anti-nuclear campaigner Willie McRae whose body was recovered from his car which had crashed near Kintail in Wester Ross.

A PIECE of waste ground behind Rhind House in Wick, is to be turned into allotments by a local voluntary group. Wick Allotments Association wants to turn the eovergrown area into a horticultural hotspot to give green-finger enthusiasts a new place to call home.

GORDON Connelly saw nothing for his side to fear for the Highland League cup final in Saturday's 1-1 draw with cove Rangers. The Wick Academy manager was disappinted not to pick up all three points against the Allan Park side whom they will face again, in this weekend's final at Grantj Street Park, Inverness.