Caithness Courier headlines for July 8, 2015

A PERMANENT memorial is being planned to be erected at Duncansby Head to remembers the eight seamen lost when their freighter suddenly overturned and sank in the Pentland Firth. The idea was revealed at the weekend during an emotional visit by 30 relatives of the crew of the Cemfjord who drowned off Caithness as the cement carrier sailed from Denmark.

ORGANISERS of Saturday's Latheron Show are steeling themselves for financial woes after torrential rain flooded their showground and forced them to deploy a clutch of altenrative venues where there will be no entry fee. Following emergency meetings of the show committee on Sunday and MOnday, it was agreed to rule out the established location at West Clyth Farm with some parts of it under a foot of water.

A FARMER has claimed a reduction in grass-cutting by Highland Council could put pedestrians and road users at risk. The local authority will now only trim back grass at junctions where its growth poses a danger to visibility. But Tom Pottinger of Baillie Farm, Westfield is concerned about the implications of the cost-cutting measure.

A GROUP of householders in the centre of Thurso are kicking up a stink about an abandoned commercial refuse bin which they claim has not been emptied in a year. They are at the end of their tether after having had to put up with the vile smell which one said is making their lives miserable.

THE number of non-religious baby-naming ceremonies in Caithness is on the rise, mirroring its growth in popularity across Scotland. The Humanist Society of Scotland has seen the number grow from 46 in 2004 to 226 in 2014 while practiticioners in Caithness are finding an increasing demand for the service.

SIX beds have gone from Caithness General Hospital to comply with stricter infection control guidelines. NHS Highland has confirmed the total now stands at 74 following revamps of some of the six bedroom wards at the Wick hospital. Officials have however, stressed the change has not affected the number of nursing staff or any of the services provided at the hospital.

THIRTY-EIGHT wedding dresses spanning 110 years have proved a popular display a Thurso West Church. The ladies of the church guild organised the bridal display with the proceeds raised, 1011 for guild-supported charities. The oldest gown was last worn by a local woman's grandmother in 1905 in Glasgow.

THE weather threatened to put a damper on the slimmed down Castletown Gala on Saturday night. Heavy rain during the day forced the organiser to consider staging the crowning ceremony inside. But as the conditions improved slightly by 4pm they decided to go ahead as planned and thanfully, the weather held although it did affect the size of the crown.

KEISS school pupils and staff held a special tea party for retiring head teacher Maureen Miller who left the classroom for the final time after a career spanning more than four decades. After starting her teaching career at Castletown school in 1971, MRS miller was head at Keiss for 15 years and was joined by current and former pupils for a farewell party last Wednesday.

CAITHNESS women's number one badminton player, Shona Mackay is celebrating after she won silver at the NatWest Island Games in Jersey. "I'm on cloud nine" said the 27-year-old after returning from the games to her home at Greenvale House, near Dunnet at the weekend.