AND HERE IS THE NEWS…. 

a weekly update of the local news


WITH CAROLINE HILL

Motor-cyclist seriously injured – A motor-cyclist was seriously injured when he crashed into the back of a car which had just pulled into a layby on the N116 near the Thuès-entre-Valls turn off.  The road was closed in both directions on Saturday evening as the injured man was helicoptered to hospital.
 
House destroyed by fire – A fire completely destroyed a 2 storey house in Claira late on Saturday night.  Luckily the occupants were away but firemen were unable to control the blaze, which quickly spread to the roof and an enquiry has been launched into the cause of the fire.
 
Road accident near Rivesaltes – A three vehicle collision on the D900 caused traffic problems near Rivesaltes on Saturday afternoon.  The accident was caused by the sudden breaking of the first vehicle, which was then hit by the two vehicles behind.  The only injuries sustained were caused by seat-belts.
 
Accident on the A9 – Traffic ground to a halt for several hours on the A9 near Tresserre following an accident between two Spanish registered vehicles.  A van carrying glass collided with a semi-trailer carrying paper.  The occupants of the van were taken to hospital and the driver of the truck was uninjured but it took police several hours to clear the scene.
 
Man in court for insulting police officers – Following a rowdy party where much whisky had been consumed, neighbours called the police to complain about the noise.  When they arrived, the owner of the house (who admitted having drunk 10 glasses of whisky) greeted them with threats of violence.  He apologised for his behaviour in court but was fined, sentenced to 120 hours community service and ordered to pay damages of 400€ to each of the officers he insulted.
 
Driver evades police check – When asked to pull over for a routine police check on his vehicle, the driver had other ideas.  He drove off at speed into the surrounding streets but was soon tracked down and admitted that he fled because he knew his tyres were bald.  It was also discovered that the vehicle was not insured, and he will face court.
 
Casa Sansa founder dies – Jean-Marie Pujades, who opened the restaurant Casa Sansa in Perpignan in the 80s died last week aged 67.  He was famed for his flamboyant and extrovert character which added to the convivial atmosphere of the successful restaurant.
 
Nostalgic Facebook page – A Facebook page entitled ‘You are a native of ….’ is gaining popularity throughout France as many towns now have their own page where people can write down their memories of childhood and history.  In our department Thuir is the most popular (with over 1500 members) closely followed by Banyuls-sur-Mer and Cerét.
 
Rookie policeman makes first arrest – The cries of a house-holder who had just discovered a youth trying to break into his house in Haut-Vernet were heard by a student police officer who just happened to be passing nearby.  He immediately chased after the youth and tackled him to the ground, and then called for assistance.  The youth was found to be carrying a knife and will appear in court very soon.
 
Family’s vigil for missing Irishman – Paul Shine-Dixon was last seen at Perpignan Hospital in May 2009 where he disappeared before being seen by a doctor.  His family relate that the ‘adorable and quiet’ young man had been planning a new life in Alicante with his pregnant wife and had been on his way to Barcelona to meet up with his father in law to start looking for accommodation before his wife joined him.  He then sent a phone call from the train saying that he had witnessed a murder and would be getting off at the next stop, Perpignan.  According to the family, he was taken to the hospital in a confused state but it was then that he disappeared before seeing a doctor and 5 years on the family are beginning to give up hope.
 
Driver killed in accident – Police are investigating the circumstances in which a driver lost control of his vehicle while overtaking on a street in Perpignan late on Friday night.  The 25 year old man, who died at the scene, crashed violently into a truck, and then into a second car.
 
On trial for violent crimes – Four men faced court this week over several violent crimes, including armed robbery of a pharmacy and fast-food restaurant, kidnapping a man before robbing him, and a violent burglary in a home.  The cases date back to May 2010 but some of the victims are still so traumatised that they could not face appearing in court.  All four men were found guilty and sentences varied from 18 months to 4 years in prison.
 
 
Gary the ‘flying’ dog leaves clinic – The dog which fell from a 3rd floor balcony and landed on a builder instead of the pavement left the vet’s clinic yesterday.  His two broken front legs have been operated on but he is walking well on his plaster casts and it is hoped he will make a full recovery.
 
And finally…..
 
Pensioner’s Pylon Protest – Late last Monday night a 72 year old man climbed up an electricity pylon in the Maury vineyards.  He had taken with him banners protesting against the ‘Bankers’ and enough cheese and wine to last him for 3 days.  Police from St. Paul de Fenouillet and Firemen from Maury eventually managed to persuade him to descend – despite his protests that he was fit and healthy and did yoga regularly.

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