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Report Reveals 'extremely Murky Goings-on' At NHS Highland, Tories Claim
NHS bosses have had a contract with a medical centre for almost 20 years without any formal tender arrangements being put in place to ensure value for money, a leaked report has revealed.   NHS Highland also made payments to Nairn medical centre without a signed agreement on services in place, it added.  
First Minister Confirms Governance Of NHS Boards Will Start With Highland Board
The First Minister confirmed today that the Scottish Government has commissioned a review of corporate governance of the Board of NHS Highland.   Nicola Sturgeon stated: "At the tail-end of last year we commissioned a pilot review of corporate governance in NHS Boards which is being led by John Brown, who is the Chair of NHS Glasgow and interim Chair at Tayside, and that started in NHS Highland.  
RICS Award 2018 - Caithness-moray Electricity Network ReinforcementThumbnail for article : RICS Award 2018 - Caithness-moray Electricity Network Reinforcement
Top Project of the Year 2018, Scotland — Caithness-Moray Electricity Network Reinforcement in the RICS Awards (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors).   The Caithness-Moray electricity network reinforcement took the top prize after being named winner in the infrastructure category, one of eight in the RICS Awards 2018 at the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa in Edinburgh.  
Scotland's Population Continues To Increase Due To Inward MigrationThumbnail for article : Scotland's Population Continues To Increase Due To Inward Migration
For the 8th year running, Scotland's population has continued to increase and stands at a record high of 5.42 million, according to statistics published today by the National Records of Scotland (NRS).   The figures relate to Scotland's population as at 30 June 2017 and show the population continuing to age, with just under one in five people (19%) aged 65 and over, compared to 16% in 2007.  
60,000 Car Breakdowns Expected As Temperatures Soar Across Country - Perhaps Not In CaithnessThumbnail for article : 60,000 Car Breakdowns Expected As Temperatures Soar Across Country - Perhaps Not In Caithness
Caithness may not get the soaring temperatures in the next few days but it will be warmer than it has been recently - finally.   Still some good advice here for heading off on holiday.  
Support For Farmers - £250k fund following severe weather
A package of support for farmers and crofters to help address the impact of recent extreme and adverse weather has been announced by Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing.   This includes a new £250,000 fund to help farmers offset the cost of retrieving fallen livestock.  
UK Inflation Rate Down Again - 2.5% in MarchThumbnail for article : UK Inflation Rate Down Again - 2.5% in March
The Office for Natioanl Statistics today (18 April 2018) released the inflation figures for March 2018.   Main points The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers' housing costs (CPIH) 12-month inflation rate was 2.3% in March 2018, down from 2.5% in February 2018.  
Bifab Agreement Reached
New investment has been secured for fabrication firm BiFab and its yards at Methil and Burntisland in Fife and Arnish in the Western Isles, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.   Canadian company JV Driver, through its subsidiary DF Barnes, has acquired BiFab as part of an agreement brokered by the Scottish Government to support new opportunities at these yards for fabrication and construction in the marine, renewables and energy sector.  
Dingwall & Highland Marts Ltd - Sale 17 April 2018
DINGWALL, Dingwall & Highland Marts Ltd., (April, 17th) sold 6 prime cattle.   Prime bullocks (1) averaged 219.0p (-0.9p) and sold to 219.0p per kg and £1,346.85 gross.  
Above Inflation Pay Offer For NHS Staff In Scotland
Scotland's biggest health union, UNISON, has reacted positively to a draft joint statement on NHS pay which, if agreed, would secure an immediate above inflation 3% wage rise for the all NHS workers in Scotland.   Speaking at the union's annual health conference in Brighton, Chair of the UNISON Scotland health committee, Tom Waterson said: "It was UNISON’s campaign in health, and across the public sector, which convinced the Scottish government to scrap the pay cap.  
95% Broadband Coverage
Around 890,000 premises now connected.   More than 95% of Scotland's homes and businesses are now able to connect to fibre broadband.  
Motorists Advised Of Traffic Restrictions For Etape Loch Ness Cycling Event
The Highland Council and partners are advising motorists of temporary road closures and speed restrictions which will be in place from 28th - 30th April 2018 during the Etape Loch Ness cycling event.   The restrictions and prohibitions which are being put in place are for participants' safety and to allow the Etape to take place on public roads.  
£2.2m for worker skills development
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced £2,262,000 to support trade unions in accessing skills and lifelong learning opportunities for workers across Scotland.   With dedicated funding from the Scottish Government, Scottish Union Learning helps unions to develop and embed learning in the workplace, equipping workers with the skills to progress in the labour market.  
Technology And The Labour Market
A new publication sets out how digitisation, automation and other innovations will affect the Scottish labour market.   The joint report from the Scottish Government and the Scottish Trades Union Congress follows from the First Minister's recent biannual meetings with the STUC, where discussions addressed the growing anxiety among some workers that their jobs may either be lost or changed due to new technologies.  
Traditional Window of Opportunity!
The Inverness Townscape Heritage (TH) Project is hosting a series of free traditional building skills training events in 2018, starting on Wednesday 26th April with an evening talk focussing on traditional windows and doors.  A full day workshop will take place on Thursday 26 April, giving more in-depth training on repairing and upgrading of traditional doors and windows.  
1 in 4 Inverness Retailers Fail Underage Cigarette Test Purchases
Highland Council's Trading Standards team is reporting poor findings from the cigarette test purchase programme it recently carried out in the Inverness area.   During the recent exercise, while a total of 10 retailers correctly refused to sell cigarettes to a young test purchase volunteer who is under the minimum age of 18, three businesses sold cigarettes to the volunteer.  
Treas Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ainmichte Na Gàidhealtachd Air A Fosgladh - Highland's 3rd Dedicated Gaelic School Is OpenedThumbnail for article : Treas Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ainmichte Na Gàidhealtachd Air A Fosgladh - Highland's 3rd Dedicated Gaelic School Is Opened
Chomharraich sgoilearan, pàrantan agus luchd-obrach toiseach teirm an t-samhraidh an-diugh (Diluain 16 Giblean 2018) aig Bun-Sgoil Ghàidhlig Phort Rìgh a chaidh fhosgladh às ùr.   Bha an cùmhnant togail mar phàirt de phrògram tasgadh calpa iomlan ann an co-bhann ri Riaghaltas na h-Alba, a' gabhail a-steach rathad inntrigidh ùr chun na sgoile, agus ath-leasachadh air seann togalach Ostail Eilginn gus àite-còmhnaidh ùr a chruthachadh do sgoilearan Àrd-Sgoil Phort Rìgh.  
New measures to tackle organised crime
Betting slips and casino chips to be treated as cash assets.   New measures to combat organised crime in force from tomorrow (Monday 16 April 2018) will widen what can be classed as cash when seizing The provisions from the Criminal Finances Act 2017 now mean that betting slips, casino chips and gaming vouchers can now be seized as if they were currency.  
Meygen Sets World Record For Tidal Stream Electricity In Pentland FirthThumbnail for article : Meygen Sets World Record For Tidal Stream Electricity In Pentland Firth
MeyGen Phase 1A completes construction phase and officially enters 25 year operations phase.   Atlantis, a global leader in the marine power generation sector, is proud to announce that Phase 1A of the MeyGen project has now completed the construction phase and has formally entered the 25 year operations phase.  
Rural Banking Survey ExtendedThumbnail for article : Rural Banking Survey Extended
Individuals, businesses and community groups in and around 14 communities in the Highlands and Islands have an extra two weeks to take part in an online survey on rural banking services.   Among other things, the survey asks about the importance of being able to withdraw and deposit cash locally, experiences of using Post Office and mobile banking services, and the perceived impacts of local branch closures.