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Summary

  1. Updates for Thursday 12 March
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 09:00 on Friday 13 March

Live Reporting

By Giancarlo Rinaldi and Nichola Rutherford

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Nichola Rutherford

BBC Scotland

That's it for another day for the South of Scotland Live page.

We'll be back at 9am with the latest from across the region.

Rain clearing

BBC Scotland Weather

Latest

A cloudy end to the day with further outbreaks of rain.

There will be further rain at first this evening too, however clearing away from the west.

This will result in a dry night with cloud breaking to allow clear spells to develop overnight. The strong winds will continue to ease with overnight lows of around 3C, but possibly lower in shelter.

No joy for Thomson

Greenlaw trainer Sandy Thomson's Seeyouatmidnight was unplaced in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at Cheltenham this afternoon.

The top prize went to

Cole Harden for Warren Greatrex and Gavin Sheehan.

Archaeology offer

@scotborders

Scottish Borders Council

Scottish Borders Council

tweets: Budding Indiana Jones? Find out about being an archaeologist at Llamas on Sat 21 March at Duns Library Contact Centre
http://ow.ly/KfnVe

Muckle honour

Dumfries and Galloway Standard

A Langholm woman has been honoured

for keeping the Muckle Toon tidy for 23 years.

Margaret Pool has been a long-term member of Bonnie Langholm, a registered charity set up to improve the appearance of Langholm and the local environment.

And her efforts have earned her the national Clean Up Scotland Hero of the Month award from Keep Scotland Beautiful.

Upgrade works return

The £40 million upgrade of the A74(M)/M74 between Junction 22 (Gretna) and Junction 12 (Millbank) is getting under way again next month.

A74(M)
David Dixon

The programme of works, which is being spread over a number of years, will improve the condition of the road and extend the long-term lifespan of the route.

Radio bulletin time

Radio news bulletins from our Dumfries and Selkirk studios coming up at 16:30 and 17:30.

More in the morning again at 06:30, 07:30 and 08:30.

Eclipse preparations

Some 4,500 pupils from schools near the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park have been given special glasses to protect their eyes for next week's total eclipse of the Sun.

Children in shades
Forestry Commission Scotland

Forestry Commission Scotland supplied 31 schools in a bid to arouse an interest in astronomy.

A74(M) crash latest

Traffic Scotland

Latest

tweets: *CLEARED* RTC & vehicle fire on #A74(M) S/B btw J14 & J15. No reported delays in the area #TakeCare #StaySafe

Application deadline extended

Farmers will have until the middle of June to apply for agri-environment schemes under the new Scottish Rural Development Programme.

It comes after industry representatives raised concerns about the time frame for applications.

The joys of text

An award-winning author will run a workshop on writing about sex

at a book festival in Dumfries and Galloway.

Michele Roberts
other

Michèle Roberts, who won the WH Smith literary award for her novel Daughters of the House, will run the class at the Big Lit in Gatehouse of Fleet.

It is one of the highlights of the four-day event, which will run from 16 April.

Crash update

Traffic Scotland

Latest

tweets: UPDATE 15:22 - #A74(M) S/B btw J14 & J15 - a car has hit the central reservation & is on fire. Lane 3 of 3 is blocked #BeAware #StaySafe

Department switch anger

Scottish Borders Council has drawn up plans to outsource its information and communications technology (ICT) department,

a union has claimed.

Computer keyboard and headset
Gajus

It is understood that 80 council jobs could be transferred to an outside company as part of a joint arrangement with the City of Edinburgh Council.

Dunbar injury blow

The Scotland medical team has confirmed that Glasgow Warriors centre Alex Dunbar is out for the rest of the season through injury.

Alex Dunbar has gathered 12 Scotland caps so far
SNS

The former Annan RFC player was set to start for the national team against England in this Saturday's Calcutta Cup clash at Twickenham when he injured his knee a few hours before the team's departure from BT Murrayfield.

A scan at Spire Murrayfield Hospital later in the morning revealed he had ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament - requiring surgery and around six to nine months rest and rehabilitation.

Property price rise

Surveyors in Scotland have predicted that property prices

will continue to rise over the next three months.

estate agent window
PA

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) said the forecast was made by a net balance of 49% of respondents to its monthly survey.

Motorway crash

Traffic Scotland

Latest

tweets: #A74(M) S/B btw J14 & J15 - a car has hit the central reservation & is on fire. Emergency services are en-route. More details to follow.

Flood alerts

Flood alerts have been issued for Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders.

Flood sign
Getty Images

A prolonged period of heavy rain is forecast for the area during much of Thursday.

It is expected to cause river levels to rise throughout the region. As a result some localised flooding to low-lying land and roads is possible.

Metal thefts

Police in the Borders are investigating following a spate of metal thefts in the West Linton area.

The first incident occurred overnight between 5 and 6 March at St Mungos Lea when

a £3,000 exhaust system was taken from an orange Mercedes Sprinter van.

The second incident occurred overnight between Monday and Tuesday when an aluminium trailer worth about £300 was stolen from an address in Deanfoot Road.

The need for tweed

Thousands are expected to descend on the Tweed Valley this weekend to take part in what is billed as

"the toughest off-road race in the UK".

Mighty Deerstalker
Andrew McCandlish

They will tackle steep ascents, mud-filled trenches, water crossings and forest trails across 10km (six miles) as part of The Mighty Deerstalker.

It is the 10th anniversary of the race, which is held at Traquair House, near Innerleithen on 14 March.

'Unique sculpture'

@scotborders

Scottish Borders Council

tweets: Come along to Wilton Lodge Park on Sun 22 March to see the unveiling of a unique sculpture to mark Year of the Bee
http://ow.ly/KeEEB

Cycling challenge

A campaign group has thrown down a challenge to local politicians and parliamentary candidates to get on their bikes and witness first hand the problems facing cyclists in Dumfries.

Bikes
Thinkstock

A key focus is the route to the planned new regional hospital.

Members of the Cycling Dumfries group want councillors, MSPs and local candidates for the forthcoming general election to join them for a short bike ride on Friday, 20 March.

Rugby postponed

Two important games for Borders sides this Saturday have been called off due to players from some of the clubs involved being selected for Scotland Under 20 this weekend.

Melrose's final game in the Premiership against Ayr will now be played on 21 March, while Selkirk's match at Watsonians in National League 1 this Saturday will now also be played at a later date.

Smoking ban

@NHSBorders

NHS Borders

tweets: Our grounds are smokefree. Please wait till you leave our grounds before lighting up #greencurtain

Green curtain
NHS Borders

Six Nations changes

BBC Sport

Scotland

Head coach Vern Cotter has made

five changes to his Scotland starting line-up for Saturday's Six Nations match against England at Twickenham.

Edinburgh number eight David Denton, who replaces Johnnie Beattie, is the only player among the quintet not to have featured in the tournament so far.

Denton's club-mates Dougie Fife and Matt Scott come in for Sean Lamont and Alex Dunbar, who have knee injuries.

Finn Russell replaces Peter Horne and Jim Hamilton comes in for Tim Swinson.

Heavy bursts of rain

BBC Scotland Weather

Latest

A cloudy start to the afternoon with outbreaks of rain.

Some heavy bursts at times, especially on the upslopes off the Galloway hills.

Windy too with a fresh to strong southeasterly, occasionally gale force in coastal areas.

Temperatures today will reach 10 celsius but feeling colder in the wind and rain.

Bulletin time

It is nearly time for our radio bulletins from Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders.

Tune in at 12:30 and then again later today at 16:30 and 17:30.

Temporary lights

BBC Scotland Travel

Latest

Temporary traffic lights on A76 in both directions between (Mennock) and A702 (Carronbridge). Around 700 metres South of Hell's Cauldron - near Enterkinfoot

Cup elimination

The Galloway News back page today carries the story of Dalbeattie Star's Challenge Cup elimination.

Galloway News
Galloway News

Visitor centre concerns

Concerns have been raised about

the relocation of a visitor information centre in Newton Stewart.

Visitor centre
Billy McCrorie

The current site at Dashwood Square is being axed after VisitScotland reported that the number of people passing through its doors fell by 66% in the past five years.

The Wigtown Rural Enterprises Office building nearby will be trialled for the next 12 months.

However, Mid Galloway Councillor Graham Nicol doesn't think enough thought has gone into exploring other options.

Big in Japan

Peeblesshire News

A small Walkerburn firm has put Tokyo on track

to become the next big mountain biking nation.

Bike Track People, who operate out of a small workshop in the Peeblesshire village, are one of only two companies in the world who make the specialist equipment.

And this week they shipped off their first order to the capital of Japan.

Sports news

A play-off bottleneck makes the back page of today's Southern Reporter.

Southern Reporter
Southern Reporter

Stunning view

@WWTCaerlaverock

@WWTCaerlaverock

tweets: Stunning photo of the reserve at night, taken by Richard Clarkson

Caerlaverock Reserve
Richard Clarkson

Burnfoot update

A public meeting is to be held to update residents on plans to tackle anti-social behaviour problems in Burnfoot - close to the site of the kennels hit by fire.

It's on Tuesday 31 March in the local community centre.

Land dispute

The Galloway News is out today and leads on a dispute over land in Dalbeattie.

Galloway News
Galloway News

'Callous act'

A fire which destroyed a shed attached to racing greyhound kennels was a "callous" act,

according to police.

They have renewed their appeal for information about the incident at a property on Hamilton Road in Hawick on Sunday.

Thomson takes Cheltenham tilt

Greenlaw trainer Sandy Thomson's Seeyouatmidnight goes in the Ladbroke's World Hurdle at Cheltenham today.

Seeyouatmidnight
PA

Thomson is enjoying his best ever season with 10 winners.

IT fears

The Southern Reporter is out today and leads on a story about job fears at Scottish Borders Council.

Southern Reporter
Southern Reporter

Dancing delight

Giancarlo Rinaldi

South Scotland reporter, BBC Scotland news website

Dumfries man Michael Pattie put the result of hours of practice

on show on BBC One last night in The People's Strictly.

Strictly
BBC

Along with partner Aliona Vilani he performed a tango to try to win the public vote.

He will find out the results

on Red Nose Day this Friday.

Plant qualities

The qualities of 47 places identified as Important Plant Areas have been detailed in

a new report to mark Plantlife Scotland's 25th anniversary.

Clearburn Loch
Peter Bond

They include Clearburn Loch which has the largest population of holy grass in southern Scotland.

Travel news

The A751 link road between the A75 and A77 is closed for resurfacing - diversions are in place.

On the A75, temporary lights today at new vehicle checkpoint at Glenluce and on the eastern section of the route traffic controls will be in use from 8am between Mouswald and Cleughbrae.

No problems to report at the moment with Irish Sea ferry services of local rail travel.