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Summary

  1. Updates for Tuesday 16 June
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 09:00 on Wednesday 17 June

Live Reporting

By Giancarlo Rinaldi and Nichola Rutherford

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Giancarlo Rinaldi

South Scotland reporter, BBC Scotland news website

That's it from another busy day across the south of Scotland.

Join us again tomorrow from 9am for all the latest from Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders.

In the meantime, email us your news, views and images to dumfries@bbc.co.uk or selkirk.news@bbc.co.uk.

Golf latest

Thornhill's Greig Marchbank looks like Dumfries and Galloway's best bet to make the matchplay stages of the Amateur Championship at Carnoustie and Panmure.

He was -1 overall after second round.

Liam Johnston (Dumfries and County) was +3 after three holes of his second round while Scott Gibson (Southerness) was +4 after nine holes.

Doonhamer Connor Syme will miss out with a +4 total after completing his second round.

Dark skies

@WildSeasonsDG

Wild Seasons D&G

tweets: Dark skies, New Abbey, Dumfries & Galloway

New abbey
Valerie Harrison

Howie in the hunt

Peebles' Craig Howie has been blazing a trail at the Amateur Championship at Carnoustie and Panmure.

He shot an impressive seven under par over his first two rounds to lead the field.

Rain threat

BBC Scotland Weather

Latest

A cloudy end to the day with a dry evening across our region.

However, as we head towards dusk, a weather front moves in from the north west bringing the threat of rain overnight.

South westerly winds tend to pick up too and it turns into a cloudy, damp night but mild. Overnight lows around 10 to 12 celsius across our region.

Hundreds at Melrose rideout

Cameron Buttle

BBC Scotland

Hundreds of horses and riders have taken part in

the Melrose rideout, part of the Scottish Borders town's community festival.

Melrose rideout
Sheila Spence

The Melrosian Donald Crawford was joined by representatives from other Border towns, as well as many local supporters.

Police object to taxi licence bid

Nichola Rutherford

BBC Scotland

Police have refused to the support the application of a convicted drink driver for a taxi licence.

Graeme Weir was caught driving while over the limit in Galashiels, and at Selkirk Sheriff Court in 2011 he was fined and banned for 12 months.

He applied for a taxi driver's licence from Scottish Borders Council in May but in a letter to its licensing unit, Chief Inspector Andrew Mclean said: "The police cannot support the grant of this licence on the basis that the applicant is not a fit and proper person."

Eden fans 'well behaved'

Police say the majority of people attending the Eden Festival near Beattock

were "well behaved" with a low number of arrests.

Eden Festival
BBC

More than 7,000 people went to the event with police present from Thursday night through to Monday morning.

Bogus caller warning

Police have urged people in the Borders to be wary of bogus callers, after receiving reports yesterday that a man was calling at properties in Coldstream offering to carry out landscaping work.

The man, who called himself Mr Evans, was middle aged, of stocky build, with short brown hair. He was wearing a high visibility jacket and he drove a white Ford Transit van, registration number SF64 UR0.

A spokesman for Police Scotland said the vehicle has links to a number of bogus caller incidents and other criminality.

Winners at Thirsk

Hawick jockey Jason Hart was among the winners at Thirsk racecourse this afternoon.

He was aboard 16/1 shot Pumaflor in the 2.55pm race.

'Absolute privilege'

Three SNP politicians who have represented Dumfries and Galloway at Westminster have met for the first time.

Three SNP MPs
Richard Arkless

Scotland's most south-westerly constituency is the only one in the country that has elected three different SNP MPs.

George Thompson represented the area in the 1970s and Alasdair Morgan was MP in the late 1990s.

Richard Arkless was elected to parliament at the last general election. He said: "It is my absolute privilege to follow in the footsteps of these great men, men who are still so highly regarded both locally and within the SNP group."

New hospital 'assumptions'

Colin Colthart

BBC Radio Scotland, Dumfries

NHS Dumfries and Galloway has responded to concerns that have been raised about the potential for bed blocking at the new £270m Dumfries hospital.

Artists impression of ward at Dumfries hospital
High Wood Health

A spokeswoman admitted that bed modelling and clinical design for the new hospital has been based on assumptions about its ability to remodel social care across the region.

But she said the board is focused on making the best use of the community and cottage hospitals as well as supporting people in their own homes.

Bed blocking fears

Colin Colthart

BBC Radio Scotland, Dumfries

The new £270m Dumfries hospital is being built before a final strategy for linking health and social care is in place, it has been claimed.

Colin Wyper, a member of Dumfries and Galloway Council's scrutiny committee, said: "You can't have people lying in there for weeks on end in single rooms.

"They need to be shifted out to their local hospital or care home or whatever but that isn't in place yet. It's like making the roof for your house before getting the walls up."

Time for Tea

Dumfries and Galloway Standard

Running the most powerful nation in the world is thirsty business. But Barack Obama can now relax with a cup of Stewartry tea to ease the strain.

Garrocher Grey, produced by Angela Hurrell on her Creetown plantation, was

presented to the US president as a "gift of state" this week.

Farm workers increase

The number of people employed in agriculture in the Borders rose by more than 38% to 835 last year, according to the Scottish government's latest economic report on Scottish agriculture.

Farmer in a milking parlour
Thinkstock

But at the same time total income from farming dropped by 17% in Scotland as a whole - largely due to lower prices being offered for produce, particularly in the cereals sector.

Borders MSP John Lamont has called on the government to do more to help the farmers, by reducing red-tape and offering more support to drive up productivity.

RSPB's wind farm concerns

The RSPB has said it is going to carefully consider Glenmuckloch Renewables'

plans to build eight wind turbines next to an opencast coal mine near Kirkconnel.

The charity has warned that the open cast mine site is next to a Special Protection Area (SPA) which is designated for bird species like hen harriers, peregrine and golden plover.

A spokesman said that the area is already under huge pressure due to poor regulation of the open cast coal industry in the past, and it's vital that mistakes are not repeated with new developments.

Ticket prices online

ScotRail has published

details of the new Borders Railway fares.

Tickets for journeys between stations in the Borders and Edinburgh should be available to buy before Friday.

Train fares
ScotRail

View from the Borders Railway

@BordersRailway

Borders Railway

tweets: Great views of #Stow and #BorthwickCastle from the train window!

View from the train
@BordersRailway

ScotRail's ticket pledge

Tickets for services on the new Borders Railway line will be available by the end of this week, according to train operator ScotRail.

They should have been on sale from Sunday, but

a website "glitch" meant most stations on the new route weren't recognised and the quoted fares from Galashiels were for a combined bus and rail journey via Berwick, not the direct Borders rail route.

Scotrail have apologised "for any inconvenience caused".

£18m boost for Upper Nithsdale?

A combined renewable energy project on an open cast mining site in Upper Nithsdale could generate up to £18m for the local economy over 25 years, its developer claims.

Glenmuckloch
BBC

Glenmuckloch Renewables, which is already constructing two community wind turbines on the site near Kirkconnel, is now seeking permission to develop eight more. It's part of a wider restoration plan following collapse of the previous mine operators.

The project has allowed coal extraction to continue saving around 63 jobs, and a potential a hydro power scheme is being explored.

Hazy sunshine

BBC Scotland Weather

Latest

A dry, fairly bright afternoon with spells of hazy sunshine, especially along the Berwickshire coast.

Warm with highs of 19C. Winds will remain light.

Art gallery plans backed

Colin Colthart

BBC Radio Scotland, Dumfries

Plans to create a publicly-run art gallery in Kirkcudbright have been approved this lunchtime by councillors.

It's estimated it will be worth almost £750,000-a-year to the local economy.

Members of Dumfries and Galloway Council have backed the business case for transforming the town hall to accommodate the facility.

An application will be made to the Heritage Lottery Fund to cover almost half the project costs which run to just over £3.1m. A decision is expected in September.

Tune in

It is almost time for the local radio bulletins from Dumfries and Selkirk so make sure you don't miss out.

Tune in at 12:30 for all the latest news, sport, travel and weather for Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders.

Festivals' economy boost

T in the Park, Celtic Connections, and Dumfries and Galloway's Wickerman Festival helped attract more than 700,000 music fans to Scotland in 2014.

Wickerman burning
BBC

They are among

foreign music tourists who boosted the economy by £3.1bn last year, according to a report by industry body UK Music.

From CD to Stonemouth

You may have recognised one of the stars of hit BBC One drama

Stonemouth last night.

Chris Fulton, 26, who plays Ferg, grew up in Castle Douglas before heading off to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow.

Watch an interview with him, discussing his character,

here.

Chris Fulton
BBC

Smoking ban 'difficult' to enforce

Enforcing a

smoking ban in cars with children present could prove "difficult", the Law Society of Scotland has said.

Smoking in car
PA

The society is due to give evidence on a bill, tabled by south of Scotland MSP Jim Hume, that would make smoking in cars when children are present illegal.

Police Scotland have also raised concerns about being the sole enforcers of the proposed legislation.

Get in touch: Fergusson not seeking re-election

Tweet: BBCSouthScot

@Libbyextra

tweets: Sorry to hear this - a good voice for the people of #DumfriesandGalloway.

Suspicious fires

Police believe

three suspicious fires in Galashiels may be linked.

Since Thursday night, two hedgerows have been set alight in Manse Place and Manse Street, causing extensive damage. And at about 1.30am on Sunday, a swing was set on fire at Victoria Park.

Fire engine
BBC

Sgt Gavin Liddle said: "Thankfully, these fires were extinguished safely however they could have had much more serious consequences.

"We are eager to trace those involved as soon as possible. Anyone with information regarding these incidents is asked to contact police immediately."

Workforce boost

A Borders-based telecommunications firm providing installation services across the UK has

more than doubled its workforce in the last three years.

Cables
Thinkstock

QubeGB, which has its headquarters in Galashiels, has increased employee numbers from 257 in 2012 to 537.

'National significance'

Giancarlo Rinaldi

South Scotland reporter, BBC Scotland news website

Councillors will be asked to approve

the business case for plans for a gallery of "national significance" in Kirkcudbright today.

Kirkcudbright Town Hall
MJ Richardson

It has been estimated the project could be worth nearly £750,000-a-year to the local economy.

Dumfries and Galloway Council is being asked to endorse a bid for Heritage Lottery Fund support.

The overall cost of transforming Kirkcudbright Town Hall into an art gallery would be just over £3.1m.

Get in touch: Rail ticket problems

Tweet @BBCSouthScot

@MacphersonAnnie

tweets: Very confused, no TweedBank station available and tickets for family of 5 will cost over £110..?!!! #takethecar

Clegg takes gold

Great Britain's Libby Clegg stormed clear of the field to

win the 200m T12 at the IPC Grand Prix in Grosseto.

Libby CLegg and guide
Jamie McDonald/ Getty
Libby Clegg competed in the Paralympics World Cup Atheltics in Manchester in 2011

The

Commonwealth 100m champion, 25, who is visually impaired and runs with a guide, won in 26.58 seconds.

'Time to move on'

After 17 years as an MSP, Alex Fergusson said he has

enjoyed his time in the Scottish Parliament and he will miss the job.

Conservative MSP Alex Fergusson
BBC

"But I will be 67 when next year's election takes place, and it is time for me to move on," he said.

"Until Parliament is dissolved at the end of March, I will continue to try to uphold the best interests of my constituents in Galloway and West Dumfries, and I thank them from the bottom of my heart for giving me the honour of doing so."

MSP Fergusson 'will not seek re-election'

BREAKING: Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Alex Fergusson has announced that he will not be seeking re-election to the Scottish Parliament in 2016.

Travel news

On the A75 Gretna to Stranraer Euroroute, temoporary traffic lights remain in place at Cree Bridge, just east of the Newton Stewart roundabout.

Further west, you'll also encounter progressive traffic controls between Glenluce and the A751, Inchpark.

A convoy system will be operating today on the A76 or patching works between Holywood village and Auldgirth. On the same route there are traffic controls at Enterkinfoot, north of Thornhill.

And on the M74 a lane closure will operate southbound from Paddy's Rickle Bridge to Junction 15th Beattock for safety fence repairs.

A little damp

BBC Scotland Weather

Latest

A cloudy and rather damp start in the Borders with some patchy light rain or drizzle. It will become dry for all with some brighter skies and even some hazy sunshine, especially along the Berwickshire coast. Warm with highs of 19C.

A very mild start to the morning in Dumfries and Galloway as well, where it will be rather cloudy with outbreaks of patchy light rain or drizzle.

Quite murky too with some hill fog over the Southern Uplands and the Galloway Hills. During the course of the morning it will become dry for all and skies will brighten along with spells of hazy sunshine.

Feeling warm with highs of 18C, perhaps even topping 19C.

Slow moving vehicle

@GallowayPolice

Galloway Police

tweets: Very slow moving wide load will be travelling between Gretna and West Freugh on the A75 road today.

Nichola Rutherford

BBC Scotland

Good morning from a very grey Dumfries.

Stay with us until 5pm for the latest news updates from the south of Scotland.

If you've spotted anything you think we should know about, drop us an email at dumfries@bbc.co.uk or find us on Twitter @BBCSouthScot.