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Appeal after another deliberate fire in Dumfries and Galloway

Police Scotland. Credit: ITV Border

Police are appealing for witnesses after another fire was deliberately started in Dumfries and Galloway.

Sometime between 22 and 29 September a new flat-packed garden shed was set on fire and completely destroyed.

It happened at a storage site in the Maxwelltown Industrial Estate in Dumfries, and the shed was worth around £500.

This was a reckless act which could have had some serious implications if other items or property in the yard had caught fire. Those responsible have had to break into the yard in order to carry out this act.

We are appealing to anyone who may seen any suspicious activity in the Maxwelltown Industrial Estate area over the past week to call us here at Dumfries on 101."

– Constable Kevin Smith at Dumfries

It follows an appeal the police sent out yesterday, after two other fires in the region which are thought to have been started deliberately:

Dumfries and Galloway fires thought to be deliberate

The two fires are thought to be deliberate. Credit: ITV Border

Police are appealing for witnesses after two suspicious fires in Dumfries and Galloway.

First, the front door and letterbox of a flat in Kirkcudbright were damaged by fire at around 3pm on Tuesday 29 September.

A neighbour extinguished the flames at the flat on Dee Road, and police now believe it was started deliberately.

The consequences of such a reckless act don't bear thinking about in this case. We want to hear from anyone who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously around the Dee Road area, and in particular in the vicinity of the flats around 1500 hours yesterday. Callers with information should call us at Kirkcudbright on 101."

– Constable Gillian Dingwall of Police Scotland

Another incident was reported at 12:20am today (Wednesday 30 September), when a car in Dumfries was set on fire.

The red Vauxhall Corsa was found in flames on Wallamhill Road in Locharbriggs, and was seriously damaged.

Extensive enquiries are being made into this reckless act and we are keen to trace a man who was seen in the vicinity the time of the fire. He is described as being white, in his early to mid 30s, stocky build, short dark hair and was wearing a black hooded tracksuit top with a black t-shirt underneath, black tracksuit bottoms and trainers. This man was walking three dogs, an alsatian, a black labrador and a small white dog. Anyone with any information which might help should call us at Dumfries on 101."

– Constable Paul Murphy at Dumfries


Dumfries doctors' recruitment rap

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A group of junior doctors who started their careers in Dumfries have written and starred in their own recruitment rap to encourage other medics to work in the town.

In a spoof of rapper Jay Z's hit 99 Problems, they penned their own version called "99 Problems (but Dumfries ain't one!)

Since it was uploaded the video has proved something of a hit being viewed thousands of times on YouTube.

While the doctors have now moved on to work in Glasgow, they're keen to promote Dumfries and Galloway as a good place for medical staff to work.

"Dumfries and Galloway was a fantastic place to begin our careers as doctors and we just wanted to celebrate that and give people a little flavour of what life is like down here.

"If the film encourages even one person to come down and experience working with NHS Dumfries and Galloway then we'd be delighted as we can guarantee they'll have a great time surrounded by excellent colleagues. "

– Dr Mark Goddard (rapper)

Bee farmers bemoan fall in honey harvest

Honey harvests have dropped by as much as 50%. Credit: Wolfgang Kumm/DPA/Press Association Images

A Dumfries bee farmer says this year's honey harvest has dropped dramatically, and things are likely to get worse.

The combination of wet and windy weather and cool temperatures at key times of nectar production meant bees collected significantly less to deposit into honeycomb cells.

Farmers across the UK say the drop could be as much as 50 percent.

John Mellis farms around 500 hives in Dumfries:

The poor honey crop is not the only problem.

Colonies have failed to build up so are going into winter relatively weak.

This means there are not going to be enough winter bees to sustain the hives resulting in a prediction of high winter losses."

– John Mellis, bee farmer


Single police force in the spotlight in Dumfries

Police Scotland. Credit: ITV Border

The Scottish Government's decision to introduce a single police force will be in the spotlight today, at a public meeting in Dumfries.

Former senior police officer and current Labour MSP Graeme Pearson is touring the country as part of his own review of Police Scotland, and the impact a single police force has had on regions like Dumfries and Galloway.

The review looks at:

  • Local accountability
  • The relationship between Police Scotland, the Scottish Police Authority and Scottish Government ministers
  • Staffing
  • Targets

The event takes place at the Nith Room at Georgetown Community Centre, Georgetown Road, Dumfries, at 7pm.

The public are welcome to attend.

Dumfries group 'overwhelmed' with Calais refugee donations

People in the region have been generous with their donations. Credit: ITV Border

A group set up in Dumfries to help refugees in Calais say they have been overwhelmed by the amount of donations received.

The "Massive Outpouring Of Love" team say they now have enough items, but are looking for people to help sort through parcels, and get them to Calais as soon as possible.

There are still items online that we need such as toiletries, camping equipment and food, however when it comes to clothes we're not accepting anymore donations of clothes.

What we really need people to help us with now is help us to process it so we can get the stuff down there."

– Tabitha Mudaliar, Massive Outpouring of Love

Dumfries temporary swimming pool closing for maintenance

DG One remains closed. Credit: ITV Border

A temporary swimming pool in Dumfries, which is being used while the town's DG One sports centre remains shut, is to be closed for maintenance.

The council says the pool, at the Ice Bowl, has to be closed while the work takes place because of health and safety regulations.

It'll be shut from Friday 18 September at 12pm, until 7:30am on Monday 21 September.

The continued closure of DG One, which is costing millions of pounds to repair, has drawn plenty of criticism.

But Dumfries and Galloway Council says the temporary pool has been a big success:

Despite this necessary maintenance, it is fantastic to hear that the temporary pool has been so successful to date. Through the provision of the swimming pool facility at Dumfries Ice Bowl we are proving our commitment to our priority of providing the best start in life for all our children, supporting them to lead healthy and active lives.

The high number of visitors through-out the summer season has proven that we are achieving this commitment, and it is in no small part down to the hard work and determination of all council staff involved that this service is continuing so effectively”.

– Councillor Tom McAughtrie, Chairman of the Community and Customer Services Committee
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