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Summary

  1. Updates for Tuesday 24 February
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 09:00 on Wednesday 25 February

Live Reporting

By Nichola Rutherford and Giancarlo Rinaldi

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Walter Scott book prize

The

longlist has been revealed for the Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction to be awarded at the Borders Book Festival in Melrose in June.

Scott Prize
Other

A total of 15 books are in the running to take the sixth edition.

It is the first time a longlist has been revealed with the shortlist of six to be announced in London next month.

Judges said this reflected the 40% increase in entries for the prize as well as the "high quality of historical fiction" currently being published.

Dunmuir Park controversy

Colin Colthart

BBC Radio Scotland, Dumfries

Councillors have endorsed the progress of a task force set up to address concerns about the provision of new housing for adults with complex care needs in Castle Douglas.

It follows an independent review of the transfer of residents from a former care home to new purpose-built properties at Dunmuir Park.

The process surrounding the move remains shrouded in controversy, with families of the residents still in dispute with the local authority over a number of issues including proposed tenancy agreements.

A further report will be presented to the social work committee once the task force completes its work.

Chainsaw theft

Dumfries and Galloway Standard

Defiant Barony College bosses say

students will be able to finish their studies despite the theft of 31 chainsaws.

Barony College
D&G Standard

Cold night

@scotborders

Scottish Borders Council

tweets: Another cold night expected so our gritters will be out later this afternoon and checking again first thing tomorrow #sbctravel

Winds easing

BBC Scotland Weather

Latest

In the Borders it will be a largely dry end to the day, with some sunshine in the east. A few wintry showers continue in the west, but dying out as we head into the evening with the brisk westerly winds easing too.

There will be a few blustery, wintry showers in Dumfries and Galloway but they will become less frequent with drier and brighter conditions developing for a time to end the day. The strong to gale force winds will gradually ease too.

Foulden disturbance

A major police presence attended an incident in Foulden this afternoon.

Police officer
BBC

From around 12 noon until late afternoon, they were involved in negotiations to remove a man from a home on Kerrigan Way, a stretch of which was cordoned off.

Inspector Kevin Harris said: "We are currently involved in this incident, and we've been here since around 12:00.

"I would like to stress that there is no risk to any members of the public here or in the surrounding area."

The emergency services presence ran to two large vans, eight cars, two ambulances and a team of police dogs.

Racing success

Aristo du Plesis, trained at Langholm by James Ewart and ridden by stable jockey Dale Irving was a convincing winner in the 15:00 race at Catterick. The 7-5 favourite romped to victory by 12 lengths.

Music teacher in court

A Dumfries and Galloway music teacher

found with more than 21,000 indecent images of children has been made the subject of a community payback order.

Dumfries Sheriff Court
BBC

Timothy Geaney, 69, admitted taking or permitting the images to be taken between April 2004 and February 2014.

A court heard most of the images were of young boys partially dressed in erotic poses with no sexual activity.

Geaney was made the subject of a payback order with a condition he is supervised for three years.

@Lothian Loop

East Lothian Loop

tweets: Hope all is well in #Foulden, in the Borders - dramatic-sounding news coming from there.

Riot vans in Foulden

Berwickshire News

At least seven police cars, two riot vans, two ambulances and a dogs van are all attending

an "incident" in Foulden this afternoon.

Police on the scene are staying tight-lipped. The incident seems to be centred around the old school building.

@trafficscotland

Traffic Scotland

Latest

tweets: #SurfaceWater still affecting the #A74(M) from J17 to J22 so PLEASE #SlowDown #BeAware & take lots of extra care!

Fewer firefighters

Reevel Alderson

Home affairs correspondent, BBC Scotland

The number of firefighters in Scotland has fallen by almost 300,

official figures have shown.

Fire in Glasgow
BBC

It follows the creation of the new Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) in April 2013.

Figures compiled by Scotland's Chief Statistician showed 290 fewer firefighters - a drop of 4% - in the year after the merger of eight former regional brigades.

The number of support staff was reduced by 125, a fall of 12%.

How much do you pay?

The average price of petrol in the UK has dropped to around £1.07 a litre. For diesel, it is now below £1.15 a litre.

Fuel calculator
BBC

But how much it costs to fill up can vary from street to street and town to town.

Fill in

our fuel price calculator to see how what you pay compares with the national average and what people are paying in other countries.

Missing Galashiels man

Concerns is growing for the welfare of a 64-year-old man reported missing from Galashiels.

Thomas Johnstone
Police Scotland

Thomas Johnstone takes regular medication that he does not now have access to. He was last seen in the town at 10am on Monday.

He is 6ft2, with short grey hair and a beard. He has a muscular build and he was wearing blue trousers, a grey/green Karrimor three-quarter length jacket, a black striped polo top and black training shoes.

Insp Kevin Harris said: "We are eager to establish Thomas's whereabouts as soon as possible and anyone who believes they have seen him since Monday is asked to come forward."

Get in touch

@BBCSouthScot

@Libbyextra

tweets: Hail the size of peas in #Dumfries #DG2 at the moment! :-O

Minimum wage failure

Kelso-based C&R Tyres Ltd has been named as one of

70 companies which have failed to pay workers the minimum wage.

The company was found to have neglected to pay £2,261.60 to three workers.

Energy giant SSE was also named in the UK Government publication.

The Perth-based firm was found to have neglected to pay £2,233.95 to five workers.

'Utterly damning'

A

report into patient care for older people at the Galloway Community Hospital in Stranraer is "utterly damning", according to local MP Russell Brown.

Russell Brown
BBC

The Labour member for Dumfries and Galloway said: "The only way to describe this report is utterly damning.

"I think what is so frustrating is the fact that even when the inspectorate carried out a follow up visit a couple of months later there didn't appear to be any significant improvement."

He added: "The report does highlight the compassionate care patients receive from many individual members of staff, who I am sure are under considerable pressure. But that clearly isn't enough to overcome the failure of leadership and the failure to implement basic procedures."

@trafficscotland

Traffic Scotland

Latest

tweets: #A74 (M) at J17 to J22 - Surface water warning in place as we have reports of very heavy hail showers in the area. #BeAware

Get in touch

dumfries@bbc.co.uk

We've introduced BBC South of Scotland Live, which is written by reporters across the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway, to bring you the latest news, sport, travel and weather all in one place.

Tell us what you think. Email us at dumfries@bbc.co.uk or selkirk.news@bbc.co.uk.

@trafficscotland

Traffic Scotland

Latest

tweets: #A77 b/w Girvan to Stranraer - Night closure & temp traffic lights until Feb 28th. For more info check:
bit.ly/1vuiP11 #BeAware

Cash boost for festival

A Hawick film festival could be given a funding boost today, after running into short-term financial difficulty.

The Alchemy Film and Arts Festival, which is scheduled to run from 16-19 April, will screen about 100 films, including 20 world premieres.

Members of Scottish Borders Council's executive committee have been recommended to award a grant of £4,500 from the authority's community grant scheme budget.

NHS targets missed

The NHS in Scotland has missed a target to treat 90% of patients within 18 weeks,

according to the latest figures.

hospital ward
PA

In December 2014, 89% of people waited less than 18 weeks from the point they were referred by their doctor.

This is the second time the target has been missed.

During the quarter from October to December last year, the NHS also failed to meet a legal obligation for treatment to start within 12 weeks of it being agreed by a specialist.

A 50th winner?

Hawick's Wilson Renwick could secure his 50th winner at Catterick this afternoon.

His best chance looks to be on Venue in the 14:30.

'Culturally important item'

A

stone carving stolen from Dryburgh Abbey is a "culturally important item", according to Historic Scotland.

Dryburgh Abbey
Ailson Stamp

A spokesman for the group, which owns the medieval ruins, said: "The missing head-stop carving is a great example of detailed stonemason craftsmanship and is extremely well preserved.

"It depicts the head of a noble female widow - clearly identifiable through the detailed decorative carvings which depict a full headdress and crimped patterned barbe.

"We will continue to work with Police Scotland on the on-going investigation into the theft of this culturally important item."

Jim Clark museum plans

Plans to expand and improve a museum celebrating the two-time Formula One world champion Jim Clark have

secured a major cash commitment.

Jim Clark
BBC

Scottish Borders Council has agreed to give more than £500,000 to the project.

The £1.2m scheme would see the existing Jim Clark Room in Duns expanded and enhanced to allow cars and trophies to be put on display.

The aim is to open the museum in 2018 - the 50th anniversary of Clark's death at Hockenheim in Germany aged just 32.

Wintry showers

BBC Scotland Weather

Latest

In the Borders it will remain mainly dry with some sunshine across the east. A few wintry showers will develop for a time in the west. It will be quite a breezy start to the afternoon with a brisk westerly wind. This will ease as the day progress with highs of 7C.

There is still a few blustery showers at first this afternoon. The showers will tend to become less frequent with drier and brighter conditions developing, some sunshine too. The strong to gale force winds will gradually ease. Temperatures will reach around the 6C mark.

Tune in

Catch up on the latest news from Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders on BBC Radio Scotland at 12:30.

Radio
Thinkstock

Creative Dumfries and Galloway

A study into the impact the creative sector has on Dumfries and Galloway has revealed it is key to the local economy.

Paintbrushes
Thiknstock

More than 900 people are employed in the industry which has an annual turnover of almost £50m.

Dr Stephen Connolly of DC Research, who carried out the independent review on behalf of the local authority, said many businesses did not know what help they could access locally.

"More than 60% described their awareness as limited at best," he said.

Breastfeeding appeal

NHS Borders is appealing for breast-feeding mothers to volunteer to advise other new mums.

Breastfeeding mother
Thinkstock

The health board is looking for peer supporters in Selkirk to help raise levels of breast feeding.

Many women give up six to eight weeks after their baby is born but the target is to have half the town's new mums still doing some breast feeding at six months old.

A team from NHS Borders are in Selkirk's pop-up shop today and on the last Tuesday of every month if you need advice or want to volunteer.

Domestic abuse rise

The number of domestic abuse incidents reported to the police in Dumfries and Galloway continues to rise, according to the latest crime figures.

police
BBC

Between April and December last year there were 922 cases recorded, a 10% increase on the same period in 2013.

In his report to Dumfries and Galloway Council, Ch Supt Robert Moore said the figures show that more victims are now prepared to report such crimes to the police.

He added that it is important to encourage those who have suffered domestic violence to come forward.

@trafficscotland

Traffic Scotland

Latest

tweets: *CLEARD* #A74(M) (S) at J16 - RTC is now off the road and we have no reported delays in the area. #DriveSafe

Apology over hospital care

An apology has been issued after

health inspectors raised concerns about patient care for older people at the Galloway Community Hospital.

Galloway Community Hospital
chris newman

Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) visited the Stranraer site in November last year and again in January.

Despite an action plan being put in place, they said they failed to find "significant improvements".

NHS Dumfries and Galloway has apologised for being "unable to demonstrate best standards of care".

Berwick bounce back?

Berwick Rangers will hope to bounce back from a disappointing 2-1 defeat at Queen's Park on Saturday when they face Elgin City in a rearranged SPFL2 encounter at Borough Briggs tonight.

Berwick is currently lying fifth in the SPFL2 table, six points adrift of fourth-placed Annan Athletic, but Berwick have a game in hand.

Selkirk break-ins

A man has been arrested in connection with break-ins at Selkirk Cricket Club and Selkirk Rugby Football Club, police said.

Police
AP

The buildings were targeted on Sunday, when the interior of the cricket club was damaged and items were stolen from the rugby club.

Police Scotland said a 36-year-old man is expected to appear in court at a later date.

Get in touch

Tweet @BBCSouthScot

@lyndabrom

tweets: @BBCSouthScot @cameronbuttle Fabulous to see so many Dandie Dinmont Terriers returning to their roots. Great piece...

Dandie dogs

One of the world's rarest breeds of dogs has been celebrated in the Borders.

Dandie film
BBC

It has been said that every Dandie Dinmont terrier can trace its roots back to a pair of dogs from The Haining country estate near Selkirk.

The breed was made famous by author Sir Walter Scott and the many celebrated owners include Queen Victoria and Agatha Christie.

BBC Scotland's Cameron Buttle

reports from the terriers' gathering.

Dunmuir Park row

Colin Colthart

BBC Radio Scotland, Dumfries

A bitter dispute surrounding the development of a new homes for adults with complex care needs in Castle Douglas will be the focus of a report to the Dumfries and Galloway Council's social work committee later.

Residents moved into the complex of 12 new homes at Dunmuir Park a year ago, after they were built on the site of a former care home.

Since then, the families of the residents have raised a series of concerns and complaints about the council's handling of the transfer process - many of which were backed up by an independent review.

A key issue is the proposed tenancy contract which the families refuse to sign because it doesn't offer a guarantee of "a home for life", which they insist they were originally promised.

The council which leases the properties from social landlord DGHP says is can't legally give that assurance. Instead it's seeking to extend its lease agreement with DGHP to at least 40 years.

Stone carving stolen

Police are investigating after

a stone carved head was stolen from a church in the Scottish Borders.

carved head
Police scotland

The unique carving originally decorated part of a stone arch inside Dryburgh Abbey in Newtown St Boswells, near Melrose.

The sculpture is of a female wearing a headdress with a crimped collar that runs under her chin.

The carving was taken some time between Thursday 12 and Friday 13 February.

@trafficscotland

Traffic Scotland

Latest

tweets: #A74(M) S/B at J16 (Johnstonebridge Services) - 1 lane of 3 is blocked by RTC, we are awaiting update when police arrive #BeAware