AND HERE IS THE NEWS…
….a quick glance at the latest local news with Caroline Manson
Feeling hot hot hot
The current heatwave has provided a new record for the department – Serralongue recorded a temperature of 20.2° during the night of Thursday May 19, which can therefore be classed as a ‘tropical’ night (ie. night temperature over 20°). This is also the new minimum temperature record for the month of May, the previous record being 18.4° in May 2007. And the maximum degree record has also been broken, with 32.9° recorded at 4pm (again in Serralongue), being 2° hotter than the previous record of May 29 2001. The heatwave is due to break early this week with rain and storms returning at the end of the month.
Body found in Canet Port
Rescuers were alerted when a man in a boat spotted a body floating in the water in the port of Canet. Unfortunately, the 68 year old woman could not be resuscitated and was pronounced dead at the scene. It is thought that the woman had been swimming and got into difficulty as the waves were extremely strong that day, but the cause of death is still being investigated. Sadly, on the same day, two 17 year olds on a day out from Toulouse also drowned when they ventured into the water at Narbonne plage to retrieve a ball.
Children left on balcony in full sun
Worried neighbours called the police when they saw two young children alone on a balcony, with the roller shutter closed behind them. The police knocked on the door of the apartment but it took some time for the parents to answer as they were engrossed in playing video games. The explained that they had put their children down for a nap but they had obviously managed to open the electric shutter to go outside and it must have closed behind them. The neighbours explained that this was not the first time this had happened. The children have been placed in care and the parents are to attend parenting classes.
Elderly couple assaulted and robbed in their home
At around 4am, two individuals entered the home of a couple of pensioners in the Vernet district of Perpignan. The 75 year old woman was surprised while sleeping alone on the ground floor and the burglars held a cushion over her mouth to prevent her from calling for her husband, who was asleep upstairs. The attackers took the jewellery she was wearing then robbed and ransacked the rest of the house. Alerted by the noise, the 75 year old husband tried to intervene and threatened them with a knife, whereupon a violent scuffle took place before the robbers escaped with jewellery and computer equipment. A witness saw them escaping and they were quickly traced to a children’s home where they were living. They have since been placed in police custody.
Experiment to combat coastal erosion
Research shows that the Catalan coastline has been suffering for many years from slow but certain erosion. A government study has placed Collioure among one of the towns most threatened but other seaside resorts are also at risk. This week, a system of nets have been laid at the bottom of the sea off the beach of Saint-Marie-la-Mer on an experimental basis. The nets are at a depth of 5 or 6 metres and are designed to trap the sand in place without damaging the marine ecosystem. This system has already been tested on the Opal Coast and the results have been promising.
Criminal escapes from prison van
Having been tried in court and sentenced to 2 years in prison for sexual offences, a man found himself in a police van on his way to Perpignan prison. He took advantage of the fact that traffic in the town centre was very slow-moving and somehow managed to escape from the van, despite being handcuffed. To date, police are still searching for him.
There have been many instances of illegal packages being thrown over the walls of Perpignan prison, but not all of them reach their mark. Last Sunday, an inmate climbed the wall to try to recover a package he had spotted when he got trapped in the barbed wire. He remained suspended 3 metres above the ground for over an hour until the emergency services arrived to free him and hand him over to the prison authorities.