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Summary

  1. Updates for Tuesday 21 April
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 09:00 on Wednesday 22 April

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 from a positively balmy south of Scotland today.

If you've been out and about and have some pictures of your sunny corner of the Borders or Dumfries and Galloway why not send them our way?

Email

dumfries@bbc.co.uk or selkirk.news@bbc.co.uk.

Or, if you prefer Twitter, we're on

@BBCSouthScot.

Caerlaverock from above

@welovehistory

Historic Scotland

tweets: See how drones are used in high level surveying and conservation at Caerlaverock Castle, 5 May
http://ow.ly/LTk3G

Drone at Caerlaverock Castle
Historic Scotland

Cree Bridge improvements

Major road improvement works are to be carried out on the Cree Bridge on the A75.

Scotland Transerv said the work will begin on the Newton Stewart by-pass on Monday and it will run for about four weeks. The project will involve improving the quality of the road surface and waterproofing the brick deck.

Two-way traffic signals will be in place during the project and, from 8 May, the bridge will be totally closed between 20:00 and 06:00 each night.

Striking skyline

Tweet us @BBCSouthScot

@gaily_GF

tweets: Dumfries skyline on Sunday night, loving those clouds #dumfriesandgalloway

Skyline
Gail Harris

Evening sunshine

BBC Scotland Weather

Latest

Plenty of evening sunshine in store to end the day with the clear skies holding on into the night.

This means the temperatures will readily drop and it will be chilly in places by the end of the night.

Lows around 5 to 7C with the odd mist patch. Perhaps some low cloud filtering down the west coast too. Winds light.

'Bring title home'

@dumfrieshockeyc

Dumfries Hockey Club

tweets: BIG weekend of the men's team. A must win game against @Western1898 4s to secure league title. Good luck & let's bring title home#hockeyfam

Gibson congratulations

@StranraerFC

Stranraer FC

tweets: Congratulations to our very own Willie Gibson, who has been nominated for PFA League One Player of the Year!

Willie Gibson
Stranraer FC

Radio Times

Listen to BBC Radio Scotland at 16:30 and 17:30 to hear the latest news bulletins, broadcast from our studios in Selkirk and Dumfries.

We'll be back again at 06:30, 07:30 and 08:30 tomorrow.

Gatehouse festival a hit

Organisers of the Big Lit have hailed the book festival in Gatehouse of Fleet a huge success.

The Scone of Destiny
Big Lit
The Mischief La Bas was among the attractions at he Big Lit.

Hundreds of visitors attended readings, workshops, walks, talks and music sessions at last weekend's event.

Amongst the attractions was The Scone of Destiny, in which the ladies of the Women's Guild of Master Bakers (also known as the Mischief La Bas theatre company) performed their ritual dance for the mysterious scone.

Organiser Chrys Salt said: "The mix of events seemed to really appeal to people - there were well-known authors and poets, activities for children, plus music, song, installation art and some wonderful performances.

"Whether it was for adults, young people or the whole family all of it had its roots in literature."

Picture postcard

Dumfries looks like a picture postcard today, as it basks in the early Spring sunshine.

Dumfries bridge
BBC

Send us your photographs of the region by emailing us at or selkirk.news@bbc.co.uk

Gibson nominated

@DGStandardSport

Dumfries and Galloway Standard Sport

tweets: Stranraer's former QoS midfielder Willie Gibson has been nominated for the League One PFA Scotland player of the year.

Eskdalemuir forest buy-out

A community group has applied to

buy a slice of isolated forest land in Dumfries and Galloway.

Twiglees
David Medcalf

The Upper Eskdale Development Group (UEDG) wants to purchase the area at Twiglees near Eskdalemuir.

It has applied under the National Forest Land Scheme (NFLS) administered by Forestry Commission Scotland.

The scheme gives communities the chance to bid to buy or lease national forest land on the basis that it provides increased public benefits.

Community funding boost

Border Telegraph

The new community house at Langlee has received £9,140 in Lottery funding, the Border Telegraph can reveal.

The award is via the Awards for All lottery scheme, and Gerry Moss from the Langlee residents association says

the cash windfall will go towards running costs for the first year.

Peebles nursery praised

A children's nursery in Peebles has been praised by inspectors.

children playing hulahoop
Thinkstock

Education Scotland found that youngsters at First Nursery were happy, confident children who enjoyed their time in the setting.

It praised the leadership of the managers, the teamwork of the staff, and the support for children and their families.

Floral flourish

Tweet us @BBCSouthScot

@pebblean

tweets: Rhododendron campanulatum 'Roland E. Cooper' @Dawyck Dawyck Botanic Garden, Scottish Borders

Flower
Gavin Harris

Big date for Duns

Berwickshire News

Duns is to host a very special event next month

to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jim Clark's second F1 World Championship success.

Although the Berwickshire town is missing out on hosting this year's Jim Clark Rally, motorsport fans could still get to see some cars in action during the Jim Clark Weekend, on Saturday and Sunday, May 16 and 17.

@ScotTranserv

Scotland Transerv

tweets: #A75 Lockerbie Road Roundabout to the Driving Range resurfacing works begin Friday 24 April. Link for more info
http://ow.ly/LTvSf

Get involved: Dumfries in bloom

Email: dumfries@bbc.co.uk

Here's more of the displays of blossom in Dumfries today.

blossom
BBC

Get online

A nationwide road show to help people across Scotland get online will visit the south-west next week.

Keith Brown and Michelle McManus
Scottish government

The Scottish government's Let's Get On team will offer free, informal drop-in sessions to show people how to set up an email address, tips for safe internet shopping and banking, and how to video call friends and family.

Details of the sessions in Dumfries, Castle Douglas, and Stranraer are available

here or by calling 0300 004 1000.

Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities Keith Brown said: "The internet can bring huge advantages to people's lives, whether it's finding a job or keeping in touch with friends and family and getting connected can save people time and money."

Waltzing Matilda

Tune in to BBC Radio Scotland at 13:30 to hear the history of And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda, the poignant song by Peebles-born musician Eric Bogle.

Ricky Ross explores the history of the song, which tells the story of an Australian soldier maimed at Gallipoli during World War One.

Bake for Victory

@DumfriesMuseum

Dumfries Museum tweets: Lots of cake enjoyed at last nights Bake for Victory event at the @NtlMuseumsScot Next of Kin exhibition

Bake for Victory
Dumfries Museum

Grandfather in a flap

Peeblesshire News

A grandfather from the Borders is causing a flap with plans for a marathon fundraiser.

Bob Johnson, 56, a mechanical engineer from Walkerburn, has announced

he is running the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday, April 26 - in a full-size ostrich outfit.

Spring sunshine

BBC Scotland Weather

Latest

A lovely afternoon with long spells of spring sunshine.

The sun will make it feel warm too with highs of around 17C, maybe a degree or two lower in coastal areas.

South-westerly winds will be light.

Radio times

Tune in at 12:30 to hear the latest bulletins from our Dumfries and Selkirk studios.

All the latest news, sport, travel and weather from the Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway coming right up.

Get involved: blossoming beautifully

selkirk.news@bbc.co.uk

We're looking forward to seeing the photographs of your beautiful blossom from across the south of Scotland.

In the meantime, here's a picture of the shrub that is currently brightening up the car park at the BBC's Dumfries office.

blossom
BBC

Norovirus hits Borders hospital

The department of medicine for the elderly at the Borders General Hospital has closed to admissions following a norovirus outbreak.

NHS Borders said one bay in ward four is also closed due to the confirmed presence of the bug.

Visitors to the department are being "strongly discouraged" and people who have experienced diarrhoea or vomiting in the past 48 hours are being asked to stay away from the hospital.

Dr Tim Patterson, a consultant in public health medicine, said: "Patients, visitors and staff can help minimise the spread by complying with instructions given by staff and paying attention to the signs at the entrances to the hospital and wards."

'Bust' firms fall

Fewer Scottish businesses have gone bust since the start of the year, according to

new figures from professional services firm KPMG.

Coins and notes
Getty Images

The number of corporate insolvencies fell year-on-year by 21%, to stand at 188, in the first three months of 2015.

The figure was 10% lower than the previous quarter.

The number of administrations, which typically affect larger organisations, remained virtually the same as a year ago, with 20 cases.

Plans to improve A7

Border Telegraph

Two schoolgirls narrowly avoided being killed at the same spot a pensioner was struck by a lorry just four months ago, community councillors heard this week.

Eighty-four-year-old Marion Fair, from Selkirk, died after being trapped beneath the vehicle in the town's Market Place in December last year.

And, at

this month's meeting of Selkirk Community Council, members heard tragedy almost struck again.

Festival appeal

An appeal is being made to find

new board members for Scotland's "largest rural performing arts festival".

Scottish Chamber Orchestra
other

Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival was established in 1979 and runs over 10 days in May.

This year's event is described as its "most ambitious yet" with 82 performances in 42 venues region-wide.

Ken Gouge, who chairs the festival, said would-be board members needed enthusiasm, commitment and a willingness to help promote the event.

Community funding boost

Two community projects in the Borders are waiting to hear whether they will be awarded a major cash boost later today.

Members of Scottish Borders Council have been asked to approve £32,000 worth of funding to build an extension at Southdean Village Hall, as well as new toilet facilities.

At a meeting this morning, they will also decide whether to agree to give Innerleithen Pipe Band more than £14,000 to help refurbish their premises.

If approved, the funding will come from the landfill communities fund.

Get in touch: South of Scotland Live

@BBCSouthScot

@epaget31 tweets: Blissful morning in Newcastleton @BBCSouthScot @BBCScotWeather #scottishborders

Newcastleton
@epaget31

Carriage driving appeal

Debbie Muir

BBC Scotland, Dumfries

A horse carriage driving centre which specialises in providing experiences children with disabilities or special needs is staging a mass participation fundraiser to help celebrate its 20th anniversary.

horse
Byrdyak

Chariots of Fire, based at Boreland near Lockerbie, is looking for hundreds of volunteers to take part in a challenge in May in aid of the local charity Sports Driving Unlimited.

Participants will negotiate a mini obstacle course and the more experienced will do it blindfolded.

Get in touch: Beautiful blossom

dumfries@bbc.co.uk

It has been an exceptionally good season for blossom, we heard on

BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning.

Blossom
Thinkstock

The Royal Horticultural Society's Guy Barter said the combination of sunny days and cold nights mean it's lasting longer than usual.

Send us your photographs of striking Spring-time blossom and we'll publish the best on the South of Scotland Live page.

Email us at dumfries@bbc.co.uk, selkirk.news@bbc.co.uk or Tweet us @BBCSouthScot.

Unemployment in the Borders

The number of people in the Borders who were out of work and claiming benefit fell last month.

Job Centre Plus sign
ANDY RAIN

A total of 1,215 claimed Job Seekers Allowance in March, 53 fewer than in February and 545 less than in March 2014.

Of the 315 unemployed young people, aged between 18 and 24, 70% have been signed on for less than six months.

However it is estimated that actual local unemployment, not just JSA claimants, could be much higher.

Wind farm inquiry

Giancarlo Rinaldi

South Scotland reporter, BBC Scotland news website

A public

inquiry is set to get under way into plans for a 24-turbine wind farm in south west Scotland.

Wind turbine
AFP

Dumfries and Galloway Council has already lodged a formal objection to Wind Prospect's plans on moorland at Stranoch, near New Luce.

Travel news

On the A75 there will be traffic lights today east of Glenluce for work on the new vehicle checkpoint and there will be a lane closure on the new stretch of dual carriageway between Cairntop and Barlae.

Patching work is scheduled to continue on the A76 at Kirkpatrick, south of Thornhill. And a convoy system will be in use for patching work on the A701 today - that's at the Blairnhill Road junction between Amisfield and Parkgate.

Good sunny spells

BBC Scotland Weather

Latest

A chilly start with possibly a touch of frost, maybe some mist patches at first too. This will soon burn away to leave a dry day with good sunny spells.

Cloud will tend to bubble up a little this afternoon, not spoiling the day at all. Temperatures will warm up nicely once the sun gets to work with highs of around 16C. South-westerly winds will be light,

Nichola Rutherford

BBC Scotland

Good morning. It's another beautiful morning in Dumfries.

The photo on today's Live page shows Logan Botanic Gardens, in the far south-west of our region.

Stay with us until 5pm for live updates from across the south of Scotland.