Some news

CUSTOMER RELATIONS

Civil servants at Roquetas del Mar municipal offices are being trained in “customer relationship” classes. Some 400 town workers are being offered the classes which will help them deal with difficult members of the public. The council recently installed panic button at key points after a social services worker was attacked by a member of the public. The council said it is all part of a plan to make offices safer places to work in, and improve attention to the public. Officials will also be reminded of ways to make their services more pleasant and efficient for the public.

BEAR HOSPITAL

The Red Cross organised a special “Bears Hospital” last weekend in Almeria city to celebrate national children’s day. Dozens of children were shown practical first aid on stuffed teddy bears. The aim was to teach children about common accidents and how to avoid them, as well as practical first aid classes for older children. They also wanted to show children not to fear going to the doctor. Red Cross volunteers acted as “doctors”. There are some 2.000 Red Cross volunteers and members across the province. The ‘hospital de ositos’ is becoming an annual tradition in the city.

MOTORCROSS ACCIDENT

A motorcyclist has been seriously hurt whilst practising motorcross in Berja last Sunday. The accident happened at 10:40 when the driver jumped over the crest of a small hill and lost control. Local police rushed to the scene of the accident, but were unable to get close due to the nature of the terrain. A Guardia Civil offroad patrol vehicle was called and eventually reached the driver with a medic onboard. The nature of the injuries meant the officers decided not to drive him back to the main road, but instead the driver was airlifted to Almeria’s Torrecardenas hospital by helicopter.

CRUISE SHIPS

The cruising season has closed for the year, having bought just under twenty thousand tourists to Almeria port. In all, 19,808 passengers disembarked during the eight month long season from 29 different cruise ships. Half of the passengers were travelling on the luxury ships of Windstar Cruises, followed by five ships of Thomson Cruises, and two each from Saga cruises and Holland America Line. The Port Authority of Almeria has been working with the city’s tourism officials to offer cruise lines compelling reasons to stop in Almeria and next year plans to offer a special ‘Cinema’ tour for passengers.

ARGIE FILMS

The XIV edition of the provincial film festival ‘Almeria en Corto’ will be publicised in South America after the organisers signed an agreement with the Argentine Film Institute (INCAA). The agreement was brokered by the Argentine Embassy in Madrid where representatives from both sides met up last week to sign the agreement. The INCAA will be promoting Almeria’s film festival to young directors and cinema organisations not just in their own country but in neighbouring south American nations, and will also be showing films from the festival in fifty cinemas across their country.

FAKE ROBBERY

A couple have been arrested in Roquetas del Mar for simulating a break-in at their home for the insurance money. The couple, both in their early thirties, put in an insurance claim of 1,318 euros. The supposed robbery happened back in February, but police became suspicious when one of the “stolen” mobile phones was discovered to be in use by the couple. The Guardia Civil found scant evidence of a robbery at the time. The investigators reopened the case earlier this month and interviewed the couple under caution, at which point one of them broke down and confessed the scam.

SEXIST MAYOR

Carboneras opposition parties have called for the resignation of Mayor Hernandez (PP) after he allegedly made a sexist comment to a female opposition councillor during the last plenary meeting. According to the official video of the meeting, the Mayor responded to an interruption by a PSOE female councillor by saying “[everyone] be quiet and respectful when a man is talking”. The Mayor has rebutted by saying that he spoke in the generic plural (cállense) and was talking in general to all the opposition, not just the female councillor. He added that he meant “this man” rather than “any man in general”.

FILM STUDIO

The Aguadulce exhibition hall, the largest in the province, is to be offered to film producers as an indoor studio. The lack of such a facility in the province is believed to be hindering efforts to attract more productions here. The building can offer 4,000 square metres of hall which is 18 metres high, a space large enough for most indoor film sets to be setup. The provincial council, which is behind the initiative, has signed a four year plan with Roquetas council which owns the building. Work will commence shortly to remove a first floor inside the building which would impede filming.

FAKE CHILDREN

A couple from Albacete have been arrested for trying to pass off eight illegal immigrants as their children. The couple used the national police immigration centre in Almeria city to register the sub-Saharan men. The foreign couple were legally resident in Spain and thus entitled to bring their close family members to Spain to live with them. However, the couple forged documents to show that these men were their offspring in exchange for cash. Police became suspicious after the couple registered sixteen children, eight of whom really were their blood-kin. The eight “children” have been located and arrested on charges of fraud.

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