John O Groat Journal headlines for May 15, 2015

A MAJOR coach tour operator has threatened to scrap visits to John O Groats if the turning circle and parking facilities at the end of the road are not retained under new development plans for the tourist hotspot. Shearings Holidays claims it will have no choice but to remove the Caithness landmark from its schedules if it receives no reassurance about access for coaches as part of regeneration plans being proposed by leisure firm, Natural Retreats.

TOURISTS from Moray have accused boy racers of ruining Wick as a holiday destination, claiming antisocial driving resulted in them cutting short their vacation. Shirley Brand said her caravan holiday with her husband across the north coast of Sutherlan and Caithness was spoiled by the noise of loud exhausts and screeching tyres in the town.

TWO police officers were forced to wade into Wick River to help a young woman who had ignored pleas from onlookers to get out of the water. The drama happened on Tuesday afternoon near the town's Service Bridge at the mouth of the river which flows out to the sea through Wick Harbour.

THE devastation caused by the earthquake in Nepal was "like something you only see in a disaster movie". That was how Caithness nurse Steph Sinclair, who survived the quake and helped treat the injured, described the scenes she encountered in Kathmandu.

THE grandson of a well-known Caithness farm family has been bestowed one of a Borders' town's biggest honours in the same week as the second anniversary of his brother's death. Gregor Hepburn, grandson of the late Dan and Betty Coghill, of Skinnet, Halkirk, has been named as the Hawick Cornet of this year's Common Riding season.

A CHARITY is buzzing after being awarded almost 120,000 to help safeguard one of the last great bumblebee strongholds in the UK - in Caithness. The Bumblee Conservation Trust has received 116,880 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to launch its project Thurso Gateway to the Great Yellow in Caithness.

THURSO can claim to be the home of one of the best steak pies in Scotland after Reid's of Caithness won national recognition at the Scottish Baker of the Year Awards. The firm picked up a national bronze award for its steak pie as well as clinching the top award for its fruit scone and a silver accolade for its multi-seed bread in the north region category.