NEWS FROM AROUND THE REGION

with Madeleine McMullin

1 year of prison for paedophile grandfather

The 70 year old ex-companion of the grandmother of a 5 year old girl showed her pornography and tried to get her to let him put his penis in her mouth, when she was staying with him and his new girlfriend.  She told her parents and he was arrested and has just been sentenced to one year in prison and 2 years suspended sentence.  He also had thousands of pornographic images of kids on his hard drive. 

Secretary cleared of fraud

A former secretary at the St Pierre Clinic was up before court accused of stealing 105 cheques for the Association for Pharmacological Research in to Cardiovascular Pathology.  The total amount of the cheques was €100,000 and the alleged thefts took place between 2009 and 2011.  The funds were destined for use for any and all means whether financial, human or technical which furthered cardiology in the Languedoc-Roussillon and came from laboratories.  The counsel for the defence argued that the woman carried out studies on patients for the laboratories and paid herself using the cheques which she had been given the power to do.  He added that the Association never gave her a contract, held any audits, tried to manage the association nor did it hold any general assemblies, although the treasurer tried to claim it had.  The court found her not guilty after 2 hours of deliberation as it held that she had carried out the work claimed and had a right to payment.

Young fish studied in port

The Centre for Research and Training on the Mediterranean Environment based in the University of Perpignan is conducting a study into the restoration of the marine environment in Le Barcares and Port Vendres.  They have put cages filled with recycled material in the water near the ports to provide a nursery environment for young fish and are studying the effect of recent improvements in the water quality now that the treatment of black and grey water has been improved by the port authorities.  The results of the research are encouraging but the centre warns that we cannot be complacent and need to continue to make improvements.

Roussillon Wines in Bordeaux Citadel of Wine

The Interprofessional Wine Council for Roussillon has signed a contract with the “Cité des Vins” which opened its doors in Bordeaux at the end of May to provide 1300 wines for tasting, wine launches and other occasions over the next 3 years.  The wines of which 80% are “vins doux naturels” come from 30 companies.

-8% Household Rubbish

Sydetom 66 has been running a campaign to get households to recycle more and waste less since 2011.  This seems to be paying off with an average of 39.15kg less per inhabitant being thrown away during this period.

54% drop in birthday parties held at McDonalds since 2013

Fashions have moved on and the number of parties held at McDo dropped to 71 in 2015 with parents preferring to go to centres that offer games rooms or inflatables rather than taking the kids to McDonalds.

Objection to new pig farm in Eus

Certain residents are objecting to a new pig farm which is opening on wasteland near to Eus, fearing the smell and that the pigs waste will pollute the irrigation canals.  The authorities who have granted a permit have said that it is an extensive farm with a maximum of 49 pigs on 6 hectares of land which is not visible from the neighbours, as a hedge has been planted and that it should not cause problems, especially as the farmer and the owner of a neighbouring gite have signed an agreement that the pigs will not be kept near to the gite in summer when it is occupied.  They are not intending to repeal the farmer’s permit.

Students from Alfred Sauvy build holiday camp

Pupils from the lycée have helped Stephanie Massoteau realise her dream of opening a resort of quirky buildings at Mas Cabanids in the Cortal d’en Baptiste area of Maureillas – Las Illas.  They have built a number of different dwellings in the cork oak forest from cabins on stilts, yurts, tepees, glass pyramids and visiobulles (plastic bubble tents).  The holiday centre will open on 1st July.

€5 between Bordeaux and Barcelona via Perpignan

Flixbus has just started running a new inter-regional bus service at prices from €5.  Perpignan is the crossroads for this line and travellers can take advantage of 2 return journeys per day to Toulouse and Bordeaux.  The prices vary according to the destination: Perpignan – Barcelona costs €11 and departs 3 times per day.  Perpignan – Toulouse costs €9.

We will never be Occitan

Catalans are not happy that Occitanie has come first in the poll for the new name for the region and the organisation “Oui au pays catalan” is calling for demonstrations against it.

Homeless man arrested for rape

A 20 year old homeless man was arrested by police for two incidents of sexual aggression and threatening behaviour towards young men aged 15 – 16.  He hung around schools, approached the youngsters and then menaced them with a knife before taking them to a secluded spot and raping them.  He also mugged two people, although both of them managed to escape, one with the help of a third party.  The man is from Perpignan but spent time abroad and only returned in the last few months.  He has been remanded in custody pending trial.

Research on truffle cultivation

Researchers and producers of truffles met in Perpignan to discuss research into the best way to cultivate truffles.  Apparently you need to take some pieces of ripe truffle and put them into a hole in the ground near a truffle oak and then wait two years before trying to harvest.  However researchers are looking at the genome to determine which genes are masculine and which feminine and how best to go about cultivating.  The P-O produces 40kg of the 40 tonnes produced annually in France.  Internationally there are 80 tonnes produced each year, the difference coming from Italy and Spain.  Before WWI there were more than 1000 tonnes produced in France and the researchers are looking at ways to get back to that level.

Power cut in Perpignan

The power went out in Perpignan from 1.30 on the morning of 21st June due to a fault which was quickly fixed by technicians, but as a result traffic lights were still out of service on the morning of the 21st.

Fire in Cerbère

A fire broke out on the edge of the RD914 on Sunday 19th at around 3pm.  It moved up towards the tops of the hills and took the fire brigade until 10.15 to bring it under control after it had burned some 120 hectares.

Catherine Deneuve and Diane Kruger in Canet

The two actresses are filming “Tout nous sépare”, a Thierry Klifa film which also stars the rapper Nekfeu and actor Nicolas Duvauchelle.  Filming will continue in various locations across the department: the chateau de l’Esparrou in Canet, the Castell Embruixat, Saint Hippolyte, Salses le Chateau, La Palme and Port La Nouvelle for the next few weeks.

Bojos in Perpignan – mad obstacle course

On Saturday 18th June, more than 600 people took place in a 6km obstacle race on the beach at Canet.  The course included a run through the water, crawling back to the beach through narrow tubes before climbing over wooden palisades, electric fences, and tyres.  The Tramontane didn’t help, blowing more than 1 competitor over.  The winner was Christian Robescu who also won the first two races.

 

Madeleine McMullin lives in Palalda from where she runs her marketing business Marketing66.  She has worked both in the UK and abroad, with big brand names in the interiors and design industries such as Wedgwood, Denby, Sebastian Conran, Laura Ashley, Hemingway Design…….

 

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