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Summary

  1. Updates for Wednesday 18 February
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 09:00 on Thursday 19 February

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 today, we're back tomorrow from 09:00 with all the news, sport, travel and weather from the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway.

Watch out for those yarn-bombers where you are...

Dancing in Dumfries

Blink and you miss it but you might just catch a glimpse of Dumfries businessman Michael Pattie in

this trailer for The People's Strictly, posted on Facebook.

The People's Strictly
BBC

Mr Pattie, who has raised more than £300,000 for the Meningitis Research Foundation since losing his 13-year-old son to the disease in 1999,

is among the contestants on the Comic Relief show.

Get involved

Email selkirk.news@bbc.co.uk

Gerald Graham emails: Galashiels again for Textile Centre. What happened to Hawick. Knitting industry started here and it was the centre of the textile industry employing thousands over the years. Seems that Gala is the focus of everything just now.

New tech for Borders hospital

Border Telegraph

Patients living in the Borders suffering from severe indigestion no longer have to travel to Edinburgh to be

screened by a machine to assist their treatment.

Border Telegraph
Border Telegraph

Borders General Hospital's Gastroenterology Department has taken deliver of a new piece of equipment which avoids them having to rely on NHS Lothian who have the machine.

The Oesophageal pH recorder was purchased thanks to a donation of £6,115 by the Friends of the BGH specifically for the machine.

A wet and windy night

BBC Scotland Weather

Latest

In the Borders there will be a strong south westerly wind this evening, with gusts of 40 to 50 mph to the lee of high ground across the east of the region and towards the Lothians.

Higher road routes will also be affected. It's cloudy this evening with some rain for western areas, clearer spells though further east.

Heavier rain arrives during the night but clears though and the winds ease too. Lows of 6 or 7 Celsius.

It will stay cloudy this evening in Dumfries and Galloway. It will turn quite wet for a time after dark as a weather front moves in from the west with heavy rain.

Local news bulletins

Tune in to BBC Radio Scotland at 16:30 and 17:30 to hear the latest from Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders in the local bulletins.

Radio desk
Thinkstock

Catholic parishes review

Roman Catholics in the Borders will be affected by a review of parishes planned by their Archdiocese.

Priest and crucifix
Thinkstock

Recent reports have suggested as many as two thirds of parishes in the St Andrews and Edinburgh Archdiocese could close but church leaders stress no decisions will be made without consulting parishioners.

The review is being driven by an acute shortage of priests.

St Andrews and Edinburgh Archdiocese includes the Borders, along with the Lothians, Fife and parts of central Scotland.

Fostering service 'very good'

Fostering and adoption services in Dumfries and Galloway have been assessed as "very good" by the Care Inspectorate, councillors will be told next week.

Dad and son on beach
Thinkstock

The social work services committee will be told that they scored highly for care and support, staffing and management and leadership.

Committee chairman Jim Dempster said: "Providing the best start in life for all our children and protecting the most vulnerable are key priorities for our council.

"So I'm delighted that that under our fostering service children are benefitting from very good care provided by committed and caring foster carers and our adoption service does extremely well in matching children with adoptive families."

A gallant second

Hawick's Craig Nichol finished a gallant second on Reaping the Reward in the 15:25 at Doncaster this afternoon.

Lockerbie scholars

@CllrGraemeTait

Annandale north councillor Graeme Tait

tweets: I am pleased to announce that this years successful Syracuse Scholars are Joanna Barrie and Ellen Boomer. @LockerbieAc

Energy customers miss savings

John Moylan

Industry correspondent, BBC News

Dual-fuel customers of the big energy firms have missed big savings by not switching suppliers,

early evidence from a competition inquiry suggests.

Montage of big-six energy suppliers
PA

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been investigating the energy market since last summer.

It says that from 2012 to 2014, more than 95% of dual-fuel customers of the big firms would have have saved money by switching tariffs or suppliers.

The savings they missed ranged from £158 to £234 a year per customer.

'A sinking canoe'

Dumfries and Galloway Standard

The health board's chief executive has compared managing the hard-up NHS to being in

"a sinking canoe".

Jeff Ace
D&G Standard

Jeff Ace said Dumfries and Galloway Health Board is struggling financially.

And he admitted: "I haven't got a balanced budget next year, let alone a three-year plan. So I am in a sinking canoe."

'Eat Safe' hospitals

Galloway Community Hospital and Newton Stewart Hospital have been recognised for their high standards of hygiene, cleanliness and food safety.

They have both won an Eat Safe award, which promotes excellence in food hygiene in catering businesses across Scotland.

Sales drop in wet January

Scottish retailers saw sales fall in January, with poor weather pushing shoppers online,

a new report has suggested.

Shoppers in the rain
PA

Total sales dropped by 2.3% compared with the same month last year, the Scottish Retail Sales Monitor showed.

Like-for-like sales, which strip out factors such as new store openings, decreased 3.1%.

Retail experts said the drop could be attributed to January being Scotland's fourth wettest since 1910.

Get in touch

Contact us with your stories, photographs or comments about this service. Email us on dumfries@bbc.co.uk or selkirk.news@bbc.co.uk or tweet us @BBCSouthScot

Scottish unemployment rate

Unemployment in Scotland fell by 15,000 in the three months to December and now stands at 149,000,

according to official figures.

Woman entering a job centre
Getty Images

Employment rose by 20,000 to a record high of 2,625,000 over the same period.

The Scottish unemployment rate is 5.4%, compared with 5.7% for the whole of the UK.

The UK's jobless total fell by 97,000 to 1.86 million between October and December, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Reaping the Reward

Hawick's Craig Nichol is reunited with Reaping The Reward in the 15:25 at Doncaster today.

Nichol will be striding against the legendary AP McCoy, on Burton Port, in the eight-strong field.

Galashiels textile centre

Galashiels in the Scottish Borders has been selected as the

planned base for a national centre of textiles.

Bobbins
Getty Images

MP Michael Moore said the decision brought the project, which it is hoped would boost tourism, a "step closer".

He has been working with Heriot-Watt University, textile producers, Borders College and project leaders to try to ensure it would be based in the region.

A possible site in Selkirk was ruled out by a feasibility study, which concluded it would not be viable.

Scottish Borders Police

@BordersPolice

tweets: Look out for a Honda blackbird motorcycle V Reg. & White VW Transporter van NL10YHG stolen from Kelso overnight any sightings call 101

Telegraph back page

The Border Telegraph's back page focuses on rugby and badminton.

Border Telegraph
Border Telegraph

Turbines turned down

Plans for a 30-turbine wind farm near Kirkconnel in Upper Nithsdale

have been rejected by the Scottish government.

Wind turbines
Thinkstock

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing refused consent for Burcote Wind's Sandy Knowe scheme in Dumfries and Galloway.

Mild day

BBC Scotland Weather

Latest

A cloudy afternoon with outbreaks of light and drizzly rain this afternoon.

The wet weather will be mainly over the hills and prolonged at times with some mist, as the strong south westerly wind holds on, with strong gusts driving the wetter conditions in from the Irish Sea.

A mild day too with highs of 10 to 11 Celsius.

Local news bulletin

Listen to the local news bulletins on BBC Radio Scotland at 12:30. Broadcast from our studios in Selkirk and Dumfries, our reporters will bring you the latest news, sport and weather from the south of Scotland.

Radio
Thinkstock

Border Telegraph

The Border Telegraph hits the news stands today.

Border Telegraph
Border Telegraph

Yarnbombed

@junebugfire

Dumfries and Galloway Standard reporter Magdalene Dalziel

tweets: Dumfries has been yarnbombed! #yarnbomb #Standard #Office #instacollage #Wednesday #Scotland #picoftheday

Yarnbomb
Magdalene Dalziel

Berwick Rangers cup glory

Berwick Rangers ended Spartans' thrilling Scottish Cup run as they

won the fifth-round replay at Shielfield Park to set up a quarter-final match away to Championship side Hibernian.

Darren Lavery celebrates scoring against Spartans
SNS
Darren Lavery's goal has earned Berwick a Cup quarter final at Easter Road

Lowland League Spartans had secured

a 1-1 draw against their League Two opponents on 7 February.

However, their Cup dream came to a halt when they could not cancel out Darren Lavery's first-half strike.

Jack Nixon gave the home side a fright when his shot hit the post late on.

'Drug-fuelled' festival claims

Claims that an annual music event is becoming a

"fringe festival for drug use" have been rejected as "completely unsubstantiated" by organisers.

Raehills
Chris Newman
The Eden Festival takes place at Raehills, near Moffat, every year

Councillor Gail MacGregor made the comments after the Eden Festival, based near Moffat, secured a grant of £8,000.

She said Dumfries and Galloway Council had to keep a "really close eye on any hint of excessive drug use".

Organisers denied the claim and added it had been shortlisted for Best Family Festival at the UK Festival Awards.

Railway station assault

A woman suffered a serious facial injury when she was attacked in Dumfries.

Police
BBC

She was one of two women who were subjected to the serious assault in the car park at Dumfries railway station at about 21:00 on Saturday.

They were in a group of three who were heading for their train home to Annan.

Police want to speak to two men and two women who arrived at the station by train shortly before the incident, and left the area in a silver-coloured car.

Solicitor guilty of embezzling

A solicitor from Falkirk has been told he could face a prison sentence after

he admitted embezzling £13,000 while working with a Dumfries firm.

Dumfries Sheriff Court
BBC

Steven Crommie, 37, committed the offence between 2013 and 2014 at estate agents Bell Park Kerridge.

Dumfries Sheriff Court heard all the clients involved had been fully compensated.

The case was deferred for background reports.

Back page

The Standard's back page hails Queen's goalkeeper Zander Clark a "hero", following their 1-0 win over Alloa at the weekend.

D&G Standard
D&G Standard

Teacher numbers row

Dumfries and Galloway Council has agreed to the

comply with the terms of the Scottish government's budget and maintain teachers numbers.

Pupils in classroom
Thinkstock

Finance Secretary John Swinney said two weeks ago that a failure to reach a national deal on teacher numbers meant each council must agree or lose cash.

The Labour-led Dumfries and Galloway administration has now said it would take the Budget deal.

Opposition parties accused it of an "embarrassing climb down".

Biker 'critical but stable'

Police are appealing for witnesses to

a serious road accident in the Borders yesterday morning.

Police accident sign
BBC

A 49-year-old motorcyclist suffered serious injuries in the accident on the A7, four miles north of Galashiels.

Police said he is in a "critical but stable" condition in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

Cannabis farmer jailed

A man who admitted growing £130,000 worth of cannabis plants in his home

has been jailed.

Cannabis
Thinkstock

Scott Marshall, 50, also pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of the drug.

At Dumfries Sheriff Court, the Gretna man was sentenced to 14 months imprisonment.

Front page

The Dumfries and Galloway Standard leads with a story about a lawyer who has admitted embezzling £13,000 from his clients.

D&G Standard
D&G Standard

E-cigs banned from hospitals

Patients and visitors will be

banned from using electronic cigarettes in hospital grounds across Scotland within weeks.

Electronic cigarettes
Thinkstock

New laws require NHS boards to ensure their grounds are smoke-free by April.

The Scottish government has said it is up to individual health boards whether they prohibit the use of e-cigarettes.

A survey by BBC Scotland has revealed that all but one health board will completely ban the devices.

Travel news

There are temporary lights today on the A76 between Thornhill and Carronbridge as well as at Enterkinfoot and further north between Kirkconnel and the Ayrshire boundary.

On the A75, stop/go boards are in use on the Castle Douglas by-pass. There are also four way lights in use at the Newton Stewart roundabout, as well as temporary controls at Springholm and in the centre of Crocketford.

Drizzly rain

BBC Scotland Weather

Latest

A cloudy day with outbreaks of light and drizzly rain. The wet weather will be mainly over the hills and prolonged at times with some mist, as the strong south westerly wind holds on, with strong gusts driving the wetter conditions in from the Irish Sea.

It will be drier towards the east coast, with a few bright spells here.

A mild day too with highs of 10 to 11 Celsius.

Nichola Rutherford

BBC Scotland

Good morning. It's already shaping up to be quite a busy day. Stay with us until 5pm for updates on the news, sport, weather and travel from across the south of Scotland.