John O' Groat Journal headlines for July 14, 2017

A WICK businessman yesterday claimed that around 1 million a year could be saved. if the maternity unit at Caithness General Hospital had paediatric and obstetric cover. John Sutherland, who runs Caithness Stone Industries Ltd, is among the many people in the far north who are unhappy about the move to axe three consultant posts and put midwives in charge of the baby unit.

RETIRED Dounreay scientist, Robin Sellars, gives himself what may seem an unenviable task, counting the seabirds off the Caithness coastline. Mr Sellars worked at Dounreay as an industrial chemist before retiring back to his homeland in Gosforth in Cumbria. He often finds himself back in Caithness on an assignment to assess the fluctuating numbers of the much-maligned seagulls.

OWNERS of the former mart site in Thurso, which has Iain derelict for years, said it is still planning to go ahead with development, despite For Sale signs being put up on the land. London and Scottish Investments intends to build two retail units at the site off Ormlie Road.
PLANS have been launched to create a new footballpitch in Staxigoe which would allow the village's football team to move home for the first time and would also be available for the public to use.

DEBT racked by people struggling to survive on the controversial new Universal Credit benefit system has rocketed to almost 1 million. Highland Council chiefs have hit out at the UK Government for the "ludicrously flawed" welfare reform which has left more than 1000 people struggling to survive, causing a backlog in income to the local authority as people are forced to choose between paying rent or eating.

JENSON Gunn toddled off with the Champion of Champion's title at Saturday's Latheron Show when he laid a solid claimed to becoming the youngest-ever winner. Jenson who turned one last month, was with his parents Jonathon and Joanne of Mavsey, Lybster, who are regular exhibitors at the show.

THE second drystone walling festival to be held in Thurso and the only one of its kind in the UK, proved another hit according to the organisers. George Gunn, a master craftsman and festival chairman, was delighted with the response to North-stonefest 2017 which was held over three days.