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Summary

  1. Updates for Friday 16 January
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 09:00 on 19 January 2015

Live Reporting

By Nichola Rutherford and Giancarlo Rinaldi

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Giancarlo Rinaldi

South Scotland reporter, BBC Scotland news website

That's it for this week from the south of Scotland live service.

Back on Monday at 09:00 with all the latest news, sport, weather and travel from Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders.

Take care if the weather is bad where you are and keep in touch with us on dumfries@bbc.co.uk or selkirk.news@bbc.co.uk.

Extra space

Construction work will start on Monday to create 38 additional car parking spaces at the Borders General Hospital.

Borders general hospital
Walter baxter
Inspectors found improvements had been made at the hospital but more work was needed

The work is due to take approximately eight weeks to complete.

NHS Borders anticipates "minimal disruption" but said it would like to apologise in advance for "any inconvenience" the works may cause.

Wickerman dates confirmed

The organisers of the Wickerman Festival have confirmed that the event will be staged on 24 and 25 July this year.

Wickerman
Wickerman Festival

In a post on Facebook, they said: "Bring on the summer sun and The Wickerman Festival... It's going to be a cracker."

Sleet and snow

BBC Scotland Weather

Latest

Sleet and snow showers will become heavier and more widespread through this evening, with some accumulations expected, especially over high ground.

A widespread frost and some icy patches will develop - the Met Office has a yellow "be aware" warning in force for snow and a risk of ice on untreated surfaces.

Strong westerly winds will affect the Galloway Coast.

Scattered wintry showers will affect the Western Borders tonight, while eastern parts stay largely dry with clear spells

Temperatures will dip to around minus 1 Celsius.

Radio bulletins

The last two radio bulletins of the week are coming up at 16:30 and 17:30 from our Dumfries and Selkirk studios.

Tune in again on Monday at 06:30, 07:30 and 08:30 for all the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

Virtually Caerlaverock

Caerlaverock Castle is among a number of historic Scottish sites that tourists can now visit virtually.

Caerlaverock
Historic Scotland

People from around the world are able to explore the ancient seat of the Maxwell family using their phone, tablet or computer.

Historic Scotland has joined forces with Google Street View to create a 360 degree view of 16 landmarks from across the country.

Peebles memorial woodland

Plans to create a memorial woodland at a beauty spot near Peebles have been approved by Scottish Borders Council.

Wemyss and March Estates will turn over a grazing field on the south west of the town to allow families to bury the ashes of loved ones before planting a selected tree.

Star attraction

Interest in amateur astronomy at the Galloway Dark Sky Park is booming, according to Forestry Commission Scotland.

Dark Sky Park
PA

Their star-gazing events for beginners are increasingly over-subscribed.

Tourism boss Keith Muir said: "We thought we'd peak at a certain number then drop off but there's increasing demand as more people begin to realise, 'actually I'd like to learn more' because astrology is becoming a much more popular hobby to do."

The first of this year's sessions takes place tonight at Kirroughtree Visitor Centre.

Ewart success

There was a winner for Langholm trainer James Ewart in the last race of the day at Musselburgh this afternoon.

Catching Shadows was odds-on favourite and duly obliged in the National Hunt flat race.

'Fingers crossed'

Selkirk FC

tweets:
@dalbeattiestar Yarrow Park ready for tomorrow's game so far so good hopefully weather will hold up fingers crossed

Yarrow Park
Selkirk FC

Pitch inspection

Gala Fairydean Rovers

tweets: Subject to League approval the Gretna game at Raydale Park will KO at 2pm. There will also be a morning pitch inspection. Bus leaves 11am

Park sold

Colliers International has sold Beattock Country Park on behalf of administrators Begbies Traynor Group.

Beattock Country Park
Other

The site, which was placed in administration last year, has been acquired by Richmond Wight Estates Limited, a company that specialises in leisure park investment and operation.

Power reconnected

Homes in Dumfries and Galloway affected by power cuts following strong winds yesterday

have been reconnected.

pylons
Thinkstock

A spokesman for SP Energy Networks said: "The south west of Scotland was hit by gale force winds from Wednesday night until late on Thursday, making it difficult for engineers to work at height to fix problems.

"We managed to restore supplies to most of the affected properties on Thursday, with the remaining 200 properties reconnected over the course of the morning and early afternoon today.

"We apologise to anyone who experienced an interruption to their electricity supplies, and thank customers for their patience while we worked to fix the faults."

Freezing temperatures

Scottish Borders Council

tweets: Road temps freezing for next 24hrs. Gritters will be out on all routes again from 2.30pm today and checking first thing tomorrow #sbctravel

Kelso trip for Glingerburn

Nicky Richards' highly-regarded Glingerburn, a recent winner at Doncaster, could be set for a double date in the Borders.

Glingerburn
Mike Egerton

The trainer confirmed: "We might take him to the Morebattle at Kelso on 14 February and then there's a Grade Two back at Kelso if that goes well."

Plant-hire jobs boost

A plant-hire firm is to create 14 new jobs in the Borders by moving its headquarters to Newtown St Boswells.

Tweed Horizons
Graham Ellis

Astra Site Services, whose managing director Mark Graham has Jedburgh connections, will locate its marketing and telesales teams at Tweed Horizons.

The firm, founded 18 years ago, has plant hire depots across the UK and has just invested over £1.3m in equipment.

Drink drive message

Southern Reporter

Police in the Borders have claimed that local motorists

ignored their festive message not to drink and drive.

During a four week campaign, 34 drivers were caught driving over the limit by Police Scotland - compared to 24 in the same period last year.

Milk pricing crisis

An

urgent inquiry into the milk pricing crisis has been launched by the Scottish Parliament's rural affairs committee.

Cow
Reuters

Global overproduction has cut the cost of a two-litre carton of milk to £1, prompting delays in payments to struggling Scottish dairy farmers.

Committee convener Rob Gibson said they were being decimated by rock-bottom prices and rising operating costs.

MSPs want to assess what is being done to stabilise the industry.

Winter Wigtown

There have been snow showers across Dumfries and Galloway this morning. Here's a photograph of a very wintry-looking Wigtown, taken by Jessica Fox.

Wigtown
Jessica Fox

We've had reports of blizzards in Kirkcudbright and Newton Stewart. Have you had any snow yet? Send us your photographs to dumfries@bbc.co.uk or selkirk.news@bbc.co.uk or tweet them to @BBCSouthScot.

Chapelcross consultation

A final consultation event is being held today on

proposals to use a former Scots nuclear plant to store radioactive waste from redundant submarines.

Chapelcross
BBC

Chapelcross, near Annan, is one of five sites being considered but is the only one north of the border.

Capenhurst in Cheshire, Sellafield in west Cumbria and Aldermaston and Burghfield, both in Berkshire, are the other possible locations.

The consultation is at the Victoria Halls in Annan from 12:00 to 20:00.

Stranraer hopes high

League One leaders Stranraer will face fellow challengers Brechin City to Stair Park on Saturday.

Craig Malcolm
Stranraer FC

Forward Craig Malcolm knows they'll be in for a tough afternoon but he says confidence is high.

"We are starting to believe we have got a wee chance of doing something special this year and hopefully we can."

Power restored

SP Energy Networks

tweets: Supplies have been restored to customers affected by #POWERCUT #TD1 #Galashiels #TD6 #Melrose. Thank you for your patience today.

The Peeblesshire News

The front page of the Peeblesshire News has a story about Hay Lodge hospital in Peebles.

Peeblesshire News
Peebleshire News

Rugby fixtures

Sandra Brown

BBC Scotland

Dumfries will head to Hawick YM tomorrow, after returning to the top of National league division three with a win last weekend.

In the regional leagues second placed Wigtownshire travel to fourth placed Isle of Arran in West Three. Langholm, Annan, Newton Stewart, Stewartry and West Four leaders Moffat are all at home.

In East One, bottom side Langholm host third top, North Berwick. While in West One, it's eighth against ninth at Violetbank as Annan who languish in the danger zone welcome fellow strugglers Lenzie. Fifth placed Newton Stewart host the unbeaten league leaders, GHK.

Down the divisions, Paisley will visit Greenlaw for Stewartry's game in West Two and in Division Four, Clydesdale are Moffat's opponents.

Falkirk showdown

Queen of the South will be looking to maintain their place in the Championship top four this weekend, when they make the trip to fellow challengers, Falkirk.

Mark Kerr
SNS

Queens will have new signing Mark Millar in the squad while the home side are likely to field former Queens duo, John Baird and Mark Kerr.

Snow showers

BBC Scotland Weather

Latest

A cold but largely dry afternoon across the region with some bright or sunny spells, but also a few showers at times. These could give a spell of sleet, maybe even snow to lower levels.

The afternoon stays cold with winds fresh from the west-north west. Highs of 5C.

In Dumfries and Galloway a Met Office yellow "be aware" warning is in force for the likelihood of these wintry showers along with a risk of ice. It's valid until midday tomorrow.

Scottish Power 'making progress'

Scottish Power says it's "making progress" in restoring electricity to homes in Dumfries and Galloway affected by a power cut.

About 150 properties in the region are still without power.

Radio bulletins

Don't forget to catch the latest international, national and local news on BBC Radio Scotland at noon.

Cairnryan congestion

Stranraer and Wigtownshire Free Press

tweets: There is a lot of congestion in Cairnryan today. Leave extra time for your journey if you are using the A77.

The Galloway Gazette

Today's Galloway Gazette leads on a story about the loss of some direct trains between Stranraer and Glasgow.

Galloway Gazette
Galloway Gazette

Catstrand flooding

Volunteers who helped clean up a flooded New Galloway arts venue have been thanked by staff.

flooded catstrand
Catstrand

The Catstrand was inundated on Wednesday night following "unprecedented rainfall" in the town.

All scheduled events and activities have been cancelled while a clean-up operation is underway.

School closure

Cummertrees Primary, near Annan, has been closed due to a power cut.

Dumfries and Galloway Council say it's due to reopen at 08:30 on Monday.

Dumfries and Galloway Standard

The Standard's back page looks ahead to Queen's match against Falkirk tomorrow.

back page
Dumfries and Galloway Standard

Power problems

Scottish Power Energy Networks

tweets: Some supplies have been removed in #TD1 #Galashiels #TD6 #Melrose areas to make emergency repairs to a low hanging cable at Kittyfield East.

On the pitch

Berwick Rangers will look to strengthen their place in the play-offs when they entertain Montrose at Shielfield tomorrow.

Gala Fairydean Rovers face the tough trip to Raydale Park to play Lowland League title contenders Gretna.

Elsewhere Selkirk are at home for Dalbeattie Star, and Vale of Leithen go up to Whitehill Welfare.

Borders rugby

Tomorrow's big match is the clash at the Greenyards between hosts Melrose and old rivals Hawick, which kicks off at 2pm. Both sides have been showing improvement lately, with Melrose in third place and Hawick producing some fine displays.

Rugby
Thinkstock

Gala take on Edinburgh Accies at 3pm at Netherdale. Gala stopped the rot with a fine win at Stirling last week. Coach George Graham now wants his players to keep it up for the final run-in of matches.

In National League 1, Selkirk go for 15 in a row when they host Stewarts/Melville at Philiphaugh, while Jed-forest are at Riverside Park for Aberdeen Grammar, Kelso also have home advantage, against Watsonians, and Peebles travel to struggling Hillhead/Jordanhill.

'Calm and serene'

Emily Paget

tweets: Calm and serene in the Scottish Borders after a stormy few days #newcastleton @BBCScotWeather @BBCSouthScot

Newcastleton
Emily Paget

Beer-drinking bear

A life-size statue of a

beer-drinking bear who saw action during World War Two could be erected in the Borders town of Duns.

Wojtek
Other

The community council is investigating the costs of transporting a 60kg (9st 6lb) model of Wojtek from Poland.

The bear was brought to Berwickshire by Polish soldiers during World War Two after being "adopted" by troops in Iran.

Scottish Borders Council

tweets: A collapsed manhole at Island Street in Galashiels means emergency works by BT are required. Traffic lights are in operation #sbctravel