John O' Groat Journal headlines for July 31, 2015

RESIDENTS in Halkirk are concerned the village would be blighted by plumes of smoke and steam, if plans for a biomass plant at Georgemas get the go-ahead. However, developers have offered a reasurance that emissions will not affect the village and the tranportation of timber to the site will have minimal impact.

VETS in Caithness have joined the Big Tick Project which aims to counter the rising theat of Lyme disease. An increase in the blook-sucking creatures has raised concerns about the serious infections they can transmit such as Lyme disease, a serious and debilitationg illness that can cause long-term health problems in people, dogs and other animals.

CAITHNESS farmers are cying out for the rain to stop, to allow them time to get back on track with much-delayed and disrupted work to keep their animals and ground in check. Adverse weather for most of the spring and summer has put local farmers under a huge amount of pressure to get even the most simple of jobs done, before the autumn and winter descends.

THE first turbines for the pioneering MeyGen tidal energy project are due to be installed off the Caithness coast, next summer. So said company chief executive, Dan Pearson, during a visit to the north on Wednesday afternnoon.

A BEFRIENDING charity has secured almost 300k,000 in funding to keep it going for the next five years. Befriending Caithness will be given 283,119 from the Big Lottery and 15,000 raised in match funding from the E.ON Camster Community Fund.

A NEW memorial trophy celebrating decades of support given to a sea angling alliance by a Caithness ambassador for the sport, will be among the silverware on offer at a European championahip in Orkney. The tribute is in honour of the late Hamish Holmes who was an honorary genral secretary of European Federation of Sea Anglers.

CAITHNESS photographer John Baikie has become the first cyclist to complete the North coast 500 route. He spend five days on his bike tackling the 516-mile circuit of the northern Highlands enjoying some spectacular scenery and enduring many, gruelling, uphill stretches. He took on the challenge to raise money for the official charity of NC500 MFR Cash for Kids.

CAITHNESS stock featured in the final roll call at the Sutherland Show in Dornoch on Saturday. Pride of place went to a heifer from Ian Sinclair's commercial herd at Clyth Mains, Lybster, which took the C1hampion of Champions title.

WICK Academy will tomorrow be looking to bounce back from the shock opening-day defeat of their Highland League campaign when they welcome Nairn County to Harmsworth Park. After the Scorries took a major scalp in the North of Scotland Cup, knocking out league champions BroraRangers, they were unable to reproduce their form, three days later when they suffered a surprise 3-0 defeat at home to Clachnaduccin.