John O' Groat Journal headlines for April 29, 2016

A FAR north mother yesterday spoke of the moment she thought she was going to give birth in the back of an ambulance, after being told she would not be able to have her baby delivered at Caithness General Hospital. Because of new NHS Highland protocols in the wake of a neonatal tragedy last autumn, she was rushed to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness. Within 12 minutes of arriving there, she had produced Anna, her and her husband Martin's third child

THURSO High School has been given the keys to its new wheels as pupils and staff celebrate the arrival of their new school minibus. Around 26,000 was raised through fundraising and grants from various local organisations, to purchase the new Vauxhall Movano.

HEALTH service campaigners are calling on the Scottish Government to hold a public consultation into the status of Caithness General Hospital. Caithness Health Action Team has written health secretary Shona Robison urging the launch of a public consultation over concerns about the downgrading of services.

HIGHLAND Council has applied for planning permission to change the stone cladding finish to its 8.6 million headquarters in Wick. In June it emerged there were difficulties with the cladding at the front of Caithness House in Market Square.

FAR North college students have lent their expertise to a Caithness research project being carried out on the movements of wild salmon. Scientists at the Environmental Research Institute in Thurso, are gearing up to monitor young salmon which migrate from Wick river to the open sea.

FEVER pitch certainly does not describe the mood in the far north ahead of Thursday's Hollyrood election. The lack of a pre-poll public hustings in Caithness reflects the fairly low-key build up to the four-way contest to succeed the SNP's Rob Gibson as MSP for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross.

NORTH Highland Harriers celebrated a historic moment for the club when for the first time, five of its athletes took part in the London Marathon. Alistair Geddes, Victoria Hill, David Orr, Bryan Newlands and Kirsty Wood all conquered the 26.2 mile course when they joined thousands of athletes in the most famous running marathon in the world.