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Summary

  1. Updates for Tuesday 17 March
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 09:00 on Wednesday 18 March

Live Reporting

By Nichola Rutherford and Giancarlo Rinaldi

All times stated are UK

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  1. Aurora amber alert

    Lancaster University's AuroraWatch UK has issued its second highest alert for sightings of the aurora borealis.

    Nasa image of aurora on Tuesday

    The amber alert suggests the Northern Lights is likely to be visible from Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland - if the night sky is clear.

    British Geological Survey said a geomagnetic storm, the cause of the aurora, was "currently in progress".

    It could mean a hat-trick of big astronomical events following a meteor on Sunday and solar eclipse on Friday.

  2. Dry and cloudy

    BBC Scotland Weather

    Latest

    A dry and cloudy end to the day across our region with a light east to south east breeze. Any showers or drizzle will be few and far between.

    There should be some brighter spells around the coastline in Dumfries and Galloway before dusk too. Tonight it's dry and cloudy with the light winds continuing. Lows overnight around 4C or 5C.

  3. Advice service praised

    Dumfries and Galloway Citizens Advice Service generated more than £11m for the local economy last year, according to a new study.

    Pounds coins

    The Fraser of Allander Institute said the figure includes compensation, unclaimed benefits and with-held wages, as well as the savings made by preventing homelessness and debt.

    The service's chief executive Sue Irving said: "We have always know that the expert advice our team give to local people has a very significant economic value and so it's great to see that value calculated by such a respected source."

  4. On the radio

    Tune in to BBC Radio Scotland at 16:30 and 17:30 for the latest news bulletins broadcast from Selkirk and Dumfries.

  5. Woman attacked in Annan

    Police are appealing for help in tracing a man who attacked a woman in broad daylight in Annan.

    police

    The man confronted the 19-year-old in Springbells Road at about 17:30 on Monday. He took hold of her and tried to pull her along the road but she struggled free and pushed the man before fleeing the scene.

    He spoke with a Polish accent and is thought be 18-20 years old. He was 5ft8, with a yellowish skin tone, short brown shaven hair and he may have had a large mole or birthmark near his mouth.

    He was wearing black jogging bottoms, a black zipped hoodie with a red pull cord and grey high top trainers with velcro straps.

    Sgt Steven Wilson said: "This is a very rare occurrence to have happened in broad daylight in what is a busy residential street in Annan. Thankfully the female who was attacked was not physically injured however she did receive quite a shock at this man's actions."

  6. Borders ICT 'anger'

    There was a mood of "frustration" and "anger" at a meeting to discuss Scottish Borders Council's plans to outsource its information and communications technology department (ICT) last night.

    Computer keyboard and headphones

    Tony Trench of the Unite union said 63 workers and two councillors were at the event to discuss the possible changes.

    They fear the move could ultimately result in the loss of the highly-skilled jobs from the Borders.

    The local authority has said the matter will be discussed in private by council members on 2 April.

  7. Train artwork: Get in touch

    selkirk.news@bbc.co.uk

    Pete Matthews emails: This is much nicer than the usual 'artwork' seen on trains around most capital cities. I like the way this promotes Scottish sites of interest and applaud the designers.

  8. Embezzlement solicitor jailed

    A solicitor who embezzled £13,000 of clients' money at a law firm in Dumfries has been jailed for 12 months.

    Dumfries Sheriff Court

    At Dumfries Sheriff Court, Steven Crommie, 37, was told he had broken a trust with his firm and with clients.

    Crommie, from Reddingmuirhead in Falkirk, admitted committing the offence on various dates between April 2013 and February last year while he was a director of Bell Park Kerridge.

    The court was told that the firm opened in Dumfries in 2012.

  9. 'We've done all we can'

    Gala still hold down the fourth place play-off spot but their fate is out of their hands.

    Netherdale

    They'll have to wait and see if Currie win their final home game against Glasgow Hawks later this month to leapfrog the Netherdale side.

    Gala coach George Graham believes Currie, under Ben Cairns, will scupper the Maroons' chances of being in the play-offs.

    ""We have done all we can and it's up to other people now," he said.

  10. Get in touch: Train artwork

    selkirk.news@bbc.co.uk

    Sion Jones emails: The proposed livery on the train is excellent. I wish they did the same here in Wales! Well done!

  11. Stranraer rail link

    Some direct train services between Stranraer and Glasgow have been safeguarded, Dumfries and Galloway councillors have been told.

    train

    New train operator Abellio had planned to change the timetable so that just one train would run from Stranraer to Glasgow daily.

    Following a meeting with Transport Minister Derek MacKay, councillors Colin Smyth, Marion McCutcheon and Jim McColm said they were "reasonably content" with the assurances given.

    The minister said he asked Transport Scotland officials and Abellio to review the timetable and had secured agreement to reinstate two northerly and four southerly direct services daily via Kilmarnock.

  12. Newton Stewart teacher struck off

    A teacher who submitted false records on behalf of pupils studying higher biology at a south of Scotland secondary has been struck off.

    Douglas Ewart High School

    David McCallum handed in work by a previous class while working at Douglas Ewart High School in Newton Stewart.

    He also persuaded pupils to sign off the work as their own without their knowledge of what he was doing.

    Two other complaints were found not to have been proven but a panel ruled Mr McCallum was no longer fit to teach.

  13. Scots curling win

    The Scottish women's curling team have notched up their fourth win of the round robin series at the World Championships in Japan.

    Anna Sloan

    Eve Muirhead's rink, which features Dumfries and Galloway duo Anna Sloan and Vicki Adams, beat Finland 8-3.

    The win came after the Scots lost to China in a close match which ended 7-5 earlier today.

    They lie tied for fourth in the standings.

  14. Primary school closure

    Hoddom Primary School in Ecclefechan has been closed due to a heating failure.

    Dumfries and Galloway Council said it will re-open at 08:55 tomorrow.

  15. Tackling Japanese Knotweed

    Council funding is being sought to tackle invasive non-native plants along riverbanks in Dumfriesshire.

    Japanese knotweed

    Since 2010, 288 Japanese Knotweed plants have been removed from the main Annan catchment area in what has been described as a "very successful programme".

    The River Annan Trust has now applied for funding to allow for the continued employment of a project officer. It will also enable two volunteers to receive training at Barony College.

    The Galloway Fisheries Trust, which is embarking on a similar scheme in the Border Esk catchment, has also applied for funding from the Annandale and Eskdale area committee.

  16. Win for Team Muirhead

    @TeamGB

    Team GB tweets: Good to end the day on a win! @Team_Muirhead respond to China loss by beating Finland at Women's World Curling Champs

    Curling
  17. Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

    @SFRS_DnG_safe

    The fire service's Dumfries and Galloway prevention and protection team tweets: Firefighters will be in and around Catherine Street in Dumfries today offering FREE Home Fire Safety Visits.

    Fire safety notice
  18. South League action

    The top two sides in the South League are in action this evening.

    Football

    League leaders Wigtown and Bladnoch head to Lockerbie to face Mid Annandale. Second placed Newton Stewart take on Edusport Academy at Blairmount Park.

    Both games kick off at 19:30.

  19. A grey afternoon

    BBC Scotland Weather

    Latest

    High pressure will continue to dominate our weather initially this week bringing a lot of dry conditions. It will remain grey this afternoon, although there will may possibly be some brightness towards the Galloway coast.

    Some fog patches will linger in the Borders and there could be some light passing showers.

    Not feeling quite as cool than of late with the south-easterly winds remaining very light. Temperatures will reach 7C or 8C.

  20. Tune in

    Don't miss our local radio bulletins at 12:30 today from Dumfries and Selkirk.

    All the latest news from Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders coming up.

  21. Lowland fixture

    Selkirk will travel to East Kilbride in the Lowland League tonight.

    Football

    The Borders team currently lie third bottom in the table while their hosts are third top, although they are 17 points adrift of runaway leaders Edinburgh City.

    The match kicks off at 19:45.

  22. Selkirk game date

    Selkirk's visit to Watsonians should finally take place on Tuesday 24 March, after three postponements.

    It was originally cancelled on 10 January when the pitch was unplayable, then on 7 February, and then last Saturday when a number of Watsonians were playing with Scotland's Under 20s side.

  23. Is that Madge Elliot?

    @BordersRailway

    Borders Railwaytweets: Pandas, mining museum & @theforthbridge all get a nod in the new train livery. Is that Madge Elliot walking the route?

    Train images
  24. Libor funding for mountain rescue teams

    Fines paid by banks involved in the Libor lending rate-fixing scandal have resulted in a £60,000 donation to Scottish Mountain Rescue.

    Rescue in blizzard

    The umbrella organisation for Scotland's 27 teams has received the funding from Police Scotland.

  25. Gretna and Eastriggs festival

    Plans are being drawn up for a festival to mark the role of Gretna and Eastriggs in the supply and manufacture of ammunition during World War One.

    Eastriggs

    The event, due to be held in August, will be part of the Great War centenary celebrations.

    It will include a vintage car and motorcycle rally, stage plays, street parties, and games reflecting the period.

    Gretna and Rigg Community Council have applied to the local area committee for help with funding the project.

  26. Stranraer aims for a win

    Stranraer have a chance to move back to the top of League One tonight when they travel to strugglers Stirling Albion.

    Scottish League One

    The Stair Park side has slipped to third after back-to-back defeats but boss Stephen Aitken is hopeful they can find return to winning ways.

    "There's a long way to go. There's still eight games to go, there's plenty of points to play for. We have got a game in hand which we need to try and win now. We are still in with a shout, there's no doubt about that.

    "That wee spark we had, we lost that over the last couple of games. We need to work hard to get that back."

  27. Earth's Crust blaze

    A small artisan bakery in the south of Scotland has been destroyed by fire.

    Bakery

    The blaze broke out at the Earth's Crust Bakery in Laurieston, near Castle Douglas, in the early hours of Monday morning.

    Owners said an "unexplained electric fault" had caused the fire which ripped through the building.

  28. Claim against council dropped

    A multi-million pound claim by consultants against Scottish Borders Council has been dropped.

    Waste

    Barry Phelps, of D&P Management Enterprises, claimed he was due fees for work on a waste facility planned for Easter Langlee near Galashiels.

    The Court of Session case was due to be heard later this month.

    However, the firm has agreed to drop the action - and to pay £20,000 towards the council's legal fees of more than £36,000.

  29. One way traffic

    An experimental one-way traffic system in Hawick could be made permanent, after a poll of residents found that two-thirds believed it had benefitted them.

    One way

    Members of Teviot and Liddesdale area forum are being recommended to confirm that a section of Langlands Road will be one-way permanently.

    Local residents in the Langlands Road area had voiced concern about traffic speeds and the volume of vehicles on their street for some time.

    A survey found that is had increased the number of vehicles using the route but the average speed had fallen to 16mph.

  30. Sanquhar man found

    A Sanquhar man reported missing after he failed to return home from his job overseas has been traced.

    Richard Griffiths

    Police said Richard Alexander Griffiths, 37, was "safe and well".

    He had been due to return home last Tuesday but yesterday it emerged that he had not arrived.

  31. Fall in salmon numbers

    A fall of more than 50% has been reported in the number of salmon caught on the River Tweed last year.

    Salmon

    Figures disclosed in the River Tweed Commissioner's annual report show the total number of salmon caught by rod and net in 2014 was 9,971.

    It is a drop of more than 10,000 compared with the 2013 total of 20,316.

    It has been attributed to the mildest winter on record coupled with a hot summer and lengthy dry spell.

  32. Travel news

    Traffic lights remain in use for cabling work on the A701 at Locharbriggs in Dumfries. On the same route stop-go boards will also be in use today for white lining work just north of St Ann's Bridge and at the Grove at Heathhall in Dumfries.

    Also in Dumfries, surfacing work is scheduled today on the Catherinefield Road which is at the the junction with Tinwald Downs Road. Work is also continuing on the Moffat Road at the junction with Carnegie Street.

    Elsewhere, the A751 link road in Wigtownshire remains closed for resurfacing Work is continuing on the new vehicle checkpoint on the A75 at Glenluce and traffic controls are also use on the A77 north of Cairnryan and on the A76 at Enterkinfoot.

  33. A cold start

    BBC Scotland Weather

    Latest

    A cold start with possibly a touch of frost for inland parts and some patches of mist and fog. Some early brightness across Galloway, especially coastal areas.

    For most though it will be a rather cloudy, grey misty day with very limited brightness. There will be a little patchy rain at times, mainly over the Southern Uplands, and not really amounting to much.

    Temperatures will reach 8C with light south-easterly winds

  34. Post update

    Nichola Rutherford

    BBC Scotland

    Good morning. Welcome to Tuesday on the South of Scotland Live page.

    We'll be here until 5pm to bring you the very latest news, sport, weather and travel from across Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders.