NEWS FROM AROUND THE REGION
with Madeleine McMullin
Man wins €1 million betting in PMU
The owner of the PMU bar Le Haras in Latour-Bas-Elne received a text message on Wednesday morning (12/10/16) saying that one of his customers had won €1 million in a bet on the quinté (quintet). The winner had bet €2 on the quinté in the right order and hit the jackpot due to the number on his receipt. He still hadn’t turned up to claim his winnings by Wednesday afternoon and gossip was rife among the regulars at the bar.
If the Bouillouse dam gave way?
On Wednesday 12th the pupils of Bourg-Madame’s schools were evacuated as part of an exercise to test the PPI (Plan particulier d’intervention) for a scenario in which the Bouillouse dam gave way. The exercise involved police, firemen, radio volunteers, the company running the dam, the departmental council and the local commune. If the dam broke there would be 17 minutes warning before the commune was flooded. The exercise showed up some problems with telecommunications and the fact that the special sound that the sirens made was very hard to hear.
Delay on New Perpignan Covered Market
The opening of the new covered market that is planned for the Quai Vauban has been pushed back to March 2017 rather than Christmas 2016 due to administrative delays. Work is however due to start in the second half of October with several businesses already signed up for the market being given access from January onwards. The market will be called the “Halles Vauban”.
600 years of the Sanch celebrated in Perpignan
600 years of the brotherhood of the Sanch was celebrated in Perpignan on Tuesday 11th, bringing to a close 3 days of celebrations with the reinauguration of the restored church of St Jacques on Saturday and a mass presided over by Cardinal Martinez-Sistach and Monseigneur Turini at the cathedral on Sunday. The brothers in the Sanch originally accompanied the condemned to their execution but now try to help those “injured by life” according to Monseigneur Turini. They are made up of men and women who have played an important role in the life of the city.
Pepper the robot welcomes visitors at CMultiserve
The founder and CEO of CMultiserve in Le Soler has invested €28,000 in a robot called Pepper who is there to amuse customers when the receptionist is busy on the phone. He talks, dances, sings, offers coffee, does tai chi demonstrations, forwards emails, directs calls, answers questions. He is available to rent for any of the 24000 companies that CMultiserve supplies in France. The company has already ordered another robot, but a different model. They are also looking to recruit human staff in the near future.
Nearly €10 million to restore Ave Joffre in Perpignan
Work has just started on replacing the water pipes and restoring the major road. Mayor Jean-Marc Pujol told a meeting of 150 residents about the plans. The work will continue until July 2019 and will take place on the section between the bridge and the Lancaster roundabout. The cost will be €8.7 million which will come from the town and the urban community. The existing parking will be kept and 26 new places created just after the Pont Joffre. A two way cycle track will be installed, but the trees will be removed as they are in a bad way and cause problems for the elderly, disabled and pushchairs. However at least as many new trees will be planted on the edge of the road between the parking spaces. Traffic will be able to travel in both directions during the roadworks. Members of the local residents association were disappointed that their suggestion to create a pedestrian area in the middle of the road and move the cycle tracks to neighbouring streets was not taken up.
Dragons beat USAP when it comes to subsidies
On 10th October the departmental council voted to give nearly €600,000 in subsidies to the Catalan Dragons and about €400,000 to USAP. The vice-president of the council, M. Olive explained that the entire envelope for sport had been reduced by between 5 and 10% and that the Catalan Dragons were in the elite at the top of Rugby League and USAP had failed to pull themselves back up the table. He added that they had waited before applying the Pro D2 scale to see if the team would improve. The Dragons have a budget of around €10.5 million for 2017 and USAP around €10 million. If USAP qualify for the semi-final in the Pro D2 league they will get a €50,000 bonus from the council.
10 years for holding ex-girlfriend prisoner
A man who tied up and gagged his ex-girlfriend in his shop toilet was sentenced to 10 years with 5 years of socio-legal follow up and treatment. He had already served 3 years while awaiting his trial.
The man claimed that he wanted to commit suicide in front of her rather than hurt her, but his car contained 26 pornographic DVDs some featuring bestiality, a rope and various knives. He also had a cutter. She was rescued by gendarmes before any violence had been committed.