a weekly update of the local news


Man dies in car accident – for an as yet undetermined reason, the driver of a car lost control of his vehicle as he drove along the D618 by St. Genis-des-Fontaines.  The car rolled over several times and such was the force of the accident that the man was thrown from his vehicle – as well as part of the engine which was then hit by another vehicle.  Sadly attempts to revive the driver, from Montesquieu-des-Albères, failed and he died at the scene.
Kidnappers caught at Le Boulou – Border staff were alerted to be on the look out when Police in Grenoble reported that a young woman had been kidnapped.  A young woman, 5 months pregnant, had been kidnapped by her partner, (and his brother and sister)  and was being driven to Barcelona where she was to be forced to have an abortion.  Perpignan police immediately blocked the border and stopped the two cars in which the ‘family’ were travelling.  The two men and a woman have been jailed.
Guns found in Prison – A recent search of Perpignan Prison has uncovered a tablet computer, mobile phones, cannabis, and home-made guns.  Prison officials joked that the prisoners lives have been ‘much improved’ since they have cut down on the number of random searches made.
Man jailed after killing his step-brother – 39 year-old David Serrière was sentenced to 8 years in prison after being found guilty of killing his younger step-brother at a family birthday party in Pia in 2011.  Of the two brothers, it was always assumed that the younger one would be the one causing the most trouble, being described as a ‘lazy drunkard prone to rages’ and yet it was the clean-living well-dressed older brother who faced charges of having lost his temper and stabbed his brother to death.
Processionary Caterpiller warning – The early arrival of Spring has brought with it an unprecedented infestation of ‘Chenilles Procéssionaires’ – the hairy caterpillers who hibernate in ‘candy floss’ style nests in Pine trees and then leave the trees when the weather is warm and form long chains as they walk.  These caterpillers can cause strong allergic reactions in animals and humans and should be avoided at all costs.  The authorities will treat nests found in public areas but those in private gardens are the householders responsibility and the two solutions are to cut down the nests and burn them, and/or to use an eco-trap on the tree trunk which catches them as they first make their way down to bury their cocoons.
Municipal Elections – An ‘unprecedented’ number of National Front candidates are among this year’s ‘lists’ for the forthcoming elections.  Two towns are yet to declare their lists but already 9 communes are showing National Front candidates – Le Barcarès, Canet, Saint Esteve, Bompas, Espira de l’Agly,  Le Soler, Sainte-Marie-La-Mer, Bages and Passa.
Confidential File stolen – A dossier containing names and salary details of all employees of the Mayor’s Office has been stolen.  The file of information, which had been compiled for presentation to the Tax Office, was taken from the Human Resources department of the Mairie in Perpignan.  The motive is, as yet, unknown.
Is the Yellow Train on the right track?  A Civic meeting highlighted many problems concerning the operation of the famous Train Jaune.  Equipment is not being maintained, there is competition from the 1€ bus, and numbers have dropped from 500,000 passengers in 1980 to just 185,000 in 2012.  Reseau Férré de France have been accused of running the line badly – reducing the number of journeys, running timetables that do not connect with other modes of public transport, and charging steep prices.  Suggestions were made to privatise the line – possibly offering a 1€ tariff for residents, and scheduling the timetable to connect with trains from Perpignan and Latour de Carole.  Talks continue.
Stray animals on the road – A driver peacefully heading through Porte d’Espagne between Auchan and Les Acades roundabout at 7.30am was startled to see a donkey and a pony galloping along the road together.  Luckily he had some bread with him and was able to lure the animals off the road and calm them until the police arrived.  They were then led off to Mas Palegry where their anxious owners soon joined them.
And finally……
Happy in Perpignan!  Four students from Perpignan have become an ‘internet sensation’ following their posting of a parody of the song Happy by Pharrell Williams.  The students advertised on twitter and the local paper for locals to come and be filmed last Saturday, and the resultant video was posted on YouTube and has received 65,000 hits in just 3 days.  For a cheerful start to your week, here is the link

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