Caithness Courier headlines for May 10, 2017

THE amount spend on medical locum staff at Caithness General Hospital, has spiralled from 225,000 four years ago, to more than 3 million last year. Health campaigners in the far north are shocked by the 1300 per cent hike, which they claim is draining resources from the NHS as well as affecting the drive to fill long-term permanent vacancies.

A PREVIOUSLY unacknowledged historical gem has recently been discovered by local historian, Harry Gray, in the centre of Wick. The unassuming building, now used as a storeroom for the Bombay Spice fast-food outlet in High Street, is presumed to be one of the last remnants of medieval Wick.

FORMER MSP Jamie Stone yesterday confirmed he will be standing as the Lib Dem candidate for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross at next month's general election. And the 62-year-old newly re-elected Highland councillor wasted no time in getting into canvassing mode, describing sitting SNP MP, Paul Monaghan, as "the invisible man" of Highland politics.

CAITHNESS lost three prominent Highland council members at last week's elections. Area committee chairman Roger Saxon, civic leader Gillian Coghill and Highland budget leader, Bill Fernie, all failed to get re-elected.

A Lybster mother, whose young son has a heart defect condition has given a vote of thanks to the people who backed her drive to raise thousands of pound for a charity. Two years ago Scott Norris was airlifted from Caithness General Hospital in Wick, to Glasgow Children's Hospital after he fell seriously ill soon after birth.

A CALL has been made for Highland Council to have more flexibility in its roads budget. It comes from Castletown community councillor, Alan Wilcock who is unhappy money has to be spent by the local authority before the end of a financial year.

THE swing of the hammer resounded across a scenic stretch of the east Caithness coastline as volunteers worked tirelessly on the John O Groat's Trail, last week. Jay wilson the man spearheading the initiative and the Friends of JOGT have taken the task on board.

A WICK HIgh School teacher has joined a campaign to encourage more people to consider a career in teaching in science, technology, engineering and maths subjects. Award-winning computing science principal, Chris Aitken, has joined the Scottish Governments Teaching Makes People campaign targeting university undergraduates and people working within STEM industries to consider working in schools.