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Summary

  1. Scottish councils set budgets
  2. Tributes paid to crash death boy
  3. Borders Railway track laying complete
  4. Rangers keeper banned over betting
  5. Scottish companies warned over 'insider threats'

Live Reporting

By Thomas McGuigan, Graham Fraser and Paul McLaren

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Bye for now

That's all from the Scotland Live team for Thursday. Join us again tomorrow from 07:00 for all the latest news, sport, travel and weather updates.

Byrne on School of Art row

Artist and writer John Byrne has spoken out in

a row about Glasgow School of Art.

Byrne said an article in Highland Life last year had been "extensively misquoted".

John Byrne
BBC

He was said to have described the art school as "a fun factory" and that much of the work was "garbage".

And he was said to have criticised compensation payments to students who lost work in last May's fire in the art school's Mackintosh building.

Speaking ahead of the revival of his play The Slab Boys at Glasgow's Citizens Theatre, Byrne clarified that he believed the school was producing many fine artists.

He told BBC Scotland's arts correspondent Pauline McLean: "I was supposed to have said that going to art school was like going into a music school with no instruments.

"What I actually said was that people go into a music school, tone deaf, not able to play an instrument or read music. And the music school says, come in, you can play in an orchestra and you'll be paid money."

Tomorrow's weather

BBC Scotland Weather

Latest

Tomorrow will be cloudy for most with outbreaks of rain. These more persistent in the west and south west at first. In shelter from the brisk southeasterly wind it will remain dry for the Inverness area, the far north and the north west with some sunshine here. A mainly dry start for the Northern Isles with some bright or sunny spells, becoming cloudy with some patchy rain later. A duller day for the east with some patchy rain. Southeast winds will be moderate for most but fresh to strong around exposed coasts, especially the south and east. Highs of 7C to 8C.

Your Pictures - Get involved

Email: newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk

Lesley Christie from Carluke took this picture of Tinto from across the Clyde Valley in the early morning. She said the layers of mist created an enchanting scene.

Layers of mist over valley, mountains in background - beige, blues and green
Lesley Christie

Email us your pictures from around the country for our photo gallery and we'll publish the best.

Motorway problems

@BBCTravelScot

BBC Scotland Travel

Latest

Problems on M8 - 1 hour delays eastbound from 29 St James (Paisley) to Charing Cross because of an earlier shed load. All lanes open again.

Trucker caused death crash

A lorry driver

has admitted causing the death of a student after he drove through a red light and crashed into a taxi in Glasgow.

Andrew Wilson
Spindrift

Russian business student Anton Dementyev, 19, was with three friends when Andrew Wilson's articulated lorry hit them on Argyle Street.

Wilson, 55, from Ripon, North Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to causing Mr Dementyev's death by careless driving on 8 May 2013.

He will be sentenced next month.

On air now

Reporting Scotland has just got under way on BBC One. More on council budgets, Borders rail and tower blocks.

Watch it online here.

reporting scotland
BBC

Locke targets top six and beyond

BBC Sport

Scotland

Gary Locke admits he would feel "hard done by"

if leading Kilmarnock to a top-six finish did not lead to an extended stay as manager.

Kilmarnock manager Gary Locke
SNS

The 39-year-old has been put in charge of the first team following the departure of Allan Johnston.

"There will be a lot of people who will put themselves forward for the job," said Locke, whose side are eighth in the Scottish Premiership.

"I know I need to win games if I'm to have any chance of keeping it."

Road reopens

@BBCTravelScot

BBC Scotland Travel

Latest

A74(M) heading up to Dumfries - all lanes open again northbound at J21 Kirkpatrick Fleming following RTA. 90-minute delays back to Gretna.

Murder accused walked past victim

A man accused of

murdering a woman in a Glasgow park told a friend he had walked past her the night she was attacked, a court has heard.

Jean Campbell
Police handout

Paul Ward, 21, denies killing Jean Campbell by striking her with a dog lead in Cranhill Park in December 2013.

Thomas Leyden, 23, told the High Court in Glasgow that he spoke to Mr Ward after hearing that Mrs Campbell's body had been found in the park.

Mr Ward has been deemed unfit to stand trial because of mental health issues.

Murphy defends Catholic school stance

Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy has said he won't be silenced after he was criticised for backing Catholic schools in Scotland.

jim murphy
Danny Lawson

Senior figures from the Scottish Secular Society attacked Mr Murphy for celebrating the role of Catholic schools in Scotland as part of Catholic Education Week.

Mr Murphy said: "Like me, lots of families in Scotland have benefited from Catholic education. Instead of attacking them, we should celebrate the important contribution Catholic schools make to Scottish public life.

"I won't be silenced. Scottish families cannot be stopped from standing up for Catholic schools."

Rapist has sentence cut

A man jailed for abducting and repeatedly raping a teacher in Perth has had his sentence reduced on appeal.

Barry Dalton
Perthshire Picture Agency

Barry Dalton, 40, was jailed for 10 years and six months for the "brutal and sustained attack", along with a series of other violent attacks on women.

However, a mistake was made during directions to the jury during the trial in June 2014.

Dalton's sentence was reduced by two years, to eight years and six months.

Council warns of 'tougher times'

Moray Council has warned of tougher times ahead as its annual budget was set.

The local authority set a total revenue budget of £197.9m for 2015-16.

Council leader Stewart Cree said: "We must make best use of this period of respite to put us in a position to address the forthcoming challenges."

He said it was expected savings of £14.9m would still have to be found over the following two years.

Peterhead sign McDonald

BBC Sport

Scotland

Former Aberdeen and St Johnstone midfielder Gary McDonald has signed for Scottish League One side Peterhead until the end of the season.

Gary McDonald
SNS

McDonald, 32, was released by St Johnstone near the end of the winter transfer window.

Scotland B cap McDonald has also played with Kilmarnock, Oldham Athletic, Hamilton Academical and Morecambe.

Peterhead, who are currently sixth in League One, visit Stranraer on Saturday.

Call for whisky duty cut

Tim Reid

Political correspondent, BBC News

Chancellor George Osborne has been urged to slash duty on Scotch whisky by 2% in his final budget before May's general election.

scotch whisky
PA

The Liberal Democrat Alan Reid told MPs that the cut would help boost the economy.

Last year, the chancellor froze duty but the industry is calling for a reduction.

During a short Commons debate, the Treasury minister Priti Patel said she could not pre-empt the budget but conceded Scotch whisky brought significant benefits to the economy. She said she had "heard very clearly" the demands.

Your pictures - Get involved

Email: newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk

Frank Paterson took this picture, looking down Loch Awe and across to Ben Cruachan.

loch awe
frank paterson

Email us your pictures for our photo gallery and we will use the best.

Man in custody over burns victim

A man in his 20s has been taken into custody after another man was found severely burned.

Police Scotland said the 34-year-old victim suffered burns on his lower body before being found in the Tower Court area of Nairn at 22:44 on Tuesday.

He was taken to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness before being transferred to a specialist burns unit at St John's Hospital in Livingston.

The injured man has been named locally as James Shaw.

Celebs back assisted suicide

Celebrities including author Ian Rankin, actor Elaine C Smith and Scots Makar Liz Lochhead have backed controversial proposals to legalise assisted suicide.

ian rankin
BBC

A letter supporting the Assisted Suicide Bill has also been signed by novelist Christopher Brookmyre and actors Andy Gray, Colin McCredie and Paul Young.

The letter calls on MSPs to support the legislation, which is currently being considered by the Scottish Parliament.

It states: "We believe that people suffering intolerably from a terminal or life-shortening condition should be allowed to request reasonable assistance to end their lives."

Teale's a Gow getter

BBC Sport

Scotland

St Mirren manager Gary Teale is considering offering a contract to

experienced forward Alan Gow.

Alan Gow
SNS

The 32-year-old has been training with the Buddies and played in Tuesday's friendly defeat by New York City in Manchester.

Should a deal materialise, St Mirren would become Gow's 14th senior club.

"Gowswer has done well," Teale said. "That's him been in a week now and he has been showing up a lot more."

Swinney slams bonuses

John Swinney has hit out at bonus payments totalling almost £7m paid by councils, universities and other public bodies.

john swinney
Andrew Milligan

The Deputy First Minister said it would be a "good idea" if these organisations followed the Scottish government's example and ended the practice of awarding bonuses at a time of continued pressure on the public purse.

He spoke out after it emerged payments totalling £6.86m were made in 2013-14 by universities, colleges, councils, health boards and others.

The bonuses were revealed as a result of a Freedom of Information request by the Scotsman newspaper.

Man charged over robberies

A man has been arrested in connection with two armed raids in Edinburgh.

The first robbery took place at a BP garage on Ferry Road on 18 January when a sum of cash was taken.

The second incident, an attempted armed robbery, happened on 27 January at the Scotbet shop on the same street.

Police Scotland said a 39-year-old man is expected to appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court tomorrow.

Dead fisherman named

A fisherman who died after he fell into the sea about 20 miles west of Shetland has been named.

Beryl
Davie Tait

Joshua Aryeetey, 47, from Ghana, was on board the Banff-registered Beryl fishing boat when the incident happened just after 12:00 on Tuesday.

The crew of the nearby offshore supply ship Caledonian Victory managed to recover him from the water.

He was then transferred by coastguard helicopter to Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick.

A report regarding the death will be submitted to the procurator fiscal.

BBC Scotland Weather

Latest

A largely dry start to the evening with clear spells across the north east. Temperatures fall to around freezing under those clearer skies, with a touch of frost. Cloudy skies for many overnight, with outbreaks of rain spreading into the west and south of Scotland; elsewhere dry. Milder where it's cloudy, holding at around 4C or 5C. Southeasterly winds will freshen, becoming strong along the west coast, and reaching gale force here by dawn.

'Get a grip on NHS'

Labour MPs have demanded Scottish ministers "get a grip" on the NHS during a hospital visit.

Murphy, Alexander and Doyle
Danny Lawson

The party's Scottish leader Jim Murphy spoke to staff on a tour of the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, Renfrewshire, with local MPs Douglas Alexander and Gemma Doyle.

They said the Scottish government should apologise for the "crisis" that has hit the hospital and threatens others in Scotland.

And they called on ministers to publish NHS figures more regularly to improve transparency.

Angus Council's budget

Philip Sim

Tayside and Central reporter, BBC Scotland

Angus Council has agreed a budget for 2015/16 containing £5.6m of savings.

The budget was passed by the full council, although opposition was recorded by a number of non-administration members.

Councillors met at Forfar's Town and County Hall to agree the latest phase of a three-year spending strategy.

A further £6.8m of savings are expected in the 2016/17 year.

M8 disruption

@BBCTravelScot

BBC Scotland Travel

Latest

M8 Glasgow closed eastbound between J18 Charing Cross & J17 Great Western Road to recover debris. Diversion through dedicated slip road.

Council budgets set

Steven McKenzie

BBC Scotland Highlands and Islands reporter

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has set a budget of £111m.

The Western Isles' local authority also froze its council tax band D at £1,024 - the lowest in Scotland.

The comhairle said it must make savings of £8.2m over the next two years.

Highland Council set its budget of £570.9m in December.

However, some additional savings have still to be identified because of changes to plans to reduce gritting of some roads in winter.

Tributes to boy killed on A92

The family of a nine-year-old boy who was killed after he was struck by a car on the A92 have paid tribute to him.

Logan Carrie died after the incident near Cadham, Glenrothes in Fife on Tuesday.

Logan Carrie
Collect

Logan's mother Sionaid Brown said: "The whole family is devastated by the loss of Logan.

"He was so cheeky. He loved playing tricks on people but was a very sensitive soul. He didn't like seeing people hurt or sad. He loved giving to charity as well.

"Logan was so close to his brother Zachary as well. The bond between them was incredible. They've never been apart. He will also be greatly missed by his grandfather and other siblings."

Council tax frozen

Ken Banks

BBC Scotland North East reporter

Councillors in Orkney have agreed to freeze council tax for the eighth year in a row.

A special meeting of the full Orkney Islands Council decided that £81.8m should be spent running council services in 2015-16.

This is an increase of £1.1m compared to the previous budget.

Aberdeenshire and Moray councillors have also been meeting to set their annual budgets.

Murray watch

@BBCKheredine

Kheredine Idessane

BBC Scotland

Andy Murray thru to quarters in Rotterdam to play G Simon tomorrow. Beat Pospisil 6-3, 7-5.

Andy Murray
Getty Images

Read the match report

here.

Houses evacuated after fire

Firefighters have been called out to tackle a blaze involving a lorry on the A712 near Balmaclellan in Dumfries and Galloway.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service crews from Dalbeattie and New Galloway were sent to the scene at 11:15.

A third appliance was then sent from Castle Douglas to assist.

Police Scotland are controlling traffic in the area as it is near a junction, and nearby homes were evacuated as a precautionary measure.

Reading prisoner's mail was contempt

A judge has found Scottish ministers to be in contempt of court after breaking a promise not to read a prisoner's mail.

HMP Glenochil
Richard Webb

Scottish Prison Service bosses had earlier told Kenneth Smith at the Court of Session that they would not open his confidential correspondence.

However, the message was not passed on to guards at HMP Glenochil, who opened a letter addressed to him.

Lord Pentland found ministers in contempt, but imposed no punishment.

Helicopter firm expansion

On-shore helicopter company PDG is looking to expand, following a £20m-plus management buyout.

PDG helicopter
PDG Helicopters

The Inverness-based firm, which employs 85 people, specialises in aerial support services for infrastructure and construction projects.

The deal was backed by private equity investor LDC, which will take a majority stake in the business.

The investment will be used to increase capacity and invest in the fleet to support the company's continued growth.

The group recorded sales of £16m for the year to the end of September.

Your pictures - Get involved

Email: newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk

Mike Liddle, from Edinburgh, took this Valentine's-inspired photo of a starling murmuration at dusk at Johnstonebridge services near Lockerbie.

mark liddle
Mark liddle

Email us your pictures for our photo gallery and we will use the best.

Teen driver 'serious' after crash

A teenager is in hospital with serious injuries after his car left the road and landed on its roof in a ditch in Fife.

The 19-year-old male driver was taken by ambulance to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.

The incident happened on the B939 Pitscottie to St Andrews road near to Ladeddie on Wednesday at 19:50

Two female passengers aged 16 and 17 sustained minor injuries.

Hughes wins manager prize

Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Hughes has been awarded the Scottish Premiership manager of the month prize for January.

John Hughes
SNS

Caley Thistle were unbeaten in their six league games last month and are currently third in the division.

Hughes' side beat Highland rivals Ross County as well as St Mirren, Kilmarnock, St Johnstone and Hamilton Academical and also drew with County.

Last week, Inverness secured a place in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals.

Heel deal

Shoe flyer
Angela Constance

MSP and Education Secretary Angela Constance

tweets: My favourite "bambi" shoes dear to my heart will be auctioned for
@ShoeAidUK - details enclosed

Teen sniper shot at schoolkids

A teenage sniper who shot eight school pupils with an air gun has been ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work in the community.

Gilmerton Primary
Google

Jack Hewitt, who was 17 at the time of the incident in 2013, said he was "letting off steam" while he was studying for his Highers.

At Edinburgh Sheriff Court, he admitted firing the gun from the bathroom of his home at children in the playground of Gilmerton Primary.

McCulloch stamp - Your views

Text 80295

BB, Knightswood: McCulloch is generally a clumsy player. This might mitigate.

Jim, Elgin: Had a smirk on his face as he walked away. Guilty.

Ken Mowbray: The stamp was intentional but innocuous - a foul but not a card.

Dannie Murdoch, Edinburgh: Very deliberate as was the elbow in the back of the head. He also showed no concern as to how Carrick was after that tackle, instead he grinned and spat and pointed a threatening finger at a protesting player.

Meekings extends contract

@BBCMartinDowden

Martin Dowden

BBC Scotland

Inverness CT have signed defender Josh Meekings on a two year extension which commits him to May 2017 @ICTFC

Josh Meekins
SNS