Caithness Courier headlines for March 8, 2017

THe review into maternity services at Caithness General, which led to the loss of three consultant posts, was "biased from the start" according to the chairman of a local health watchdog. But the claim, by Bill Fernie a Wick Highland Council and chairman of Caithness Health Action Team, was strongly refuted by NHS yesterday.

A KIND-HEARTED little Caithness girl has gathered in money instead of presents for her birthday and donated it all to charity. Young Bella Swanson was so driven by helping people through the Blythswood charities shoebox appeal, that she decided for her recent fourth birthday she did not want toys but would rather be given money she could donate to charity.

HUNDREDS of tonnes of earth fell in a landslide from a cliff face on to a road on the outskirts of Scrabster which has forced the closure of a lane for the foreseeable future. Bear Scotland is carrying out investigations on how to make a cliff on the A9 at Scrabster, safe, after 300 tonnes of soil from the cliff fell onto a road lane approaching the county biggest harbour.

A LAW firm with an office in Wick has given a major shot-in-the-arm to a charity which carries out lifesaving heart research. A raffle run by the Glasgow-based firm, Inksters, has raised 4897 in aid of British Heart Foundation Scotland.

CROFTERS in the Bettyhill area claim to have been the latest victims of a mysterious beast in which one of their ewes was killed after having its carcass stripped bear. The attack took place on Saturday when a Cheviot ewe belonging to Swordly couple George and Susan Mackay was killed and had all of its body ripped off its bones.

THURSO is to be filled with all things James Bond, as two charities are joining forces to hold a fundraising evening. Friends of Annie and Friends of Thor will hold a James Bond-themed charity dinner dance in the Park Hotel on Saturday April 1.

ARMY reserves in Caithness could have the opportunity to head down under, as a link has been established with an armed forces unit in Australia. Caithness Seven Scots Army Reserves has agreed a partnership with the 41st Battalion Royal New South Wales Regiment with the view to reserves from the far north travelling to Australia to carry out joint training army exercises.

A HIGHLAND MSP has launched a stinging attack on plans to replace boards, including Highlands and Islands Enterprise, with one national body. Conservative MSP Donald Cameron said people are right to be fearful about a single strategic board to oversee all of Scotland's enterprise and skills agencies.

A YOUNG Thurso girl is over the moon to have been given the highest achievement a girl can get in Girlguiding - the Queen's guide award. Ailidh Mackay (20) who has been involved in guiding her whole life, is the first Queen's Guide in the county for almost 30 years and Girlguilding Caithness is delighted for her.