John O' Groat Journal headlines for January 20, 2017

CAITHNESS Citizens Advice Bureau is concerned one of it local offices might have to close if planned Scottish Government funding cuts go ahead. CAB office across the Highlands are expecting to see their grant funding slashed this year and bosses have warned this will mean job losses and fewer people to help people with benefits and debt advice.

PATIENTS failed to turn up for almost 600 GP appointments in Caithness last year as practices are urging people to let them know if they do not intend to cope with demand. Figures obtained from NHS Highland, revealed that at six GP practices based in Caithness, people failed to show up for 5900 appointments in the last 12 months.

TWO Highlands and Islands MSPs have raised concerns in the Scottish Parliament about local ambulance service cover in the wake of Caithness mums making difficult journeys to Raigmore Hospital. Edward Mountain believes the cabinet secretary for health, Shona Robison, failed to reassure local mums with her response when he asked her if the Scotltish Ambulance Service is meeting its response time targets, in rural areas.

HIGH Ormlie buse users are up in arms that changes to Thurso's service bus mean the area they live in, has been cut out of bus cover. The concern among locals led Ormlie Community Association to launch a petition and within a week it has 170 signatures.

TELEPHONE scammers have targeted houses in Caithness attempting to steal financial details by claiming bank staff in Wick have been stealing customers' money. Jim McPherson was not fooled by tricksters who attempted to fool him to put money into their account after they claimed staff at Bank of Scotland were taking money from his account which proved to be false.

THE historic Soldiers Tower has moved a step closer to being saved, after landowners signed a deal to sell the title deeds of the monument for just 1. The Hempriggs Estate which owns the land where the landmark has towered over Wick, at North Head, for almost 110 years, has sold the title to Wick Royal British Legion Scotland.

THE goalkeeping duties at Wick Academy are in safe hands for the foreseeable future after regular custodian Sean McCarthy signed a one-year extension to stay at Harmsworth Park.