Local Daily News 18th January

A drugged driver without a licence arrested in Elche after a dangerous chase

A man who was driving under the influence of drugs and without having obtained a driving licence, has been arrested by the Elche Local Police after fleeing and leading a dangerous chase through the city.

The 36-year-old subject came to a sudden stop when he noticed the police presence and escaped at full speed, ignoring the officers’ stoppage and skipping traffic lights, signals and crossroads. Then, upon reaching him, he strongly resisted, injuring the agents.

The arrest took place at dawn on January 13th, for alleged crimes against road safety, reckless driving and under the influence of drugs and lack of a driving licence.

It all started when, at around one in the morning, a patrol car saw a vehicle driving down Manuel Campello Ruiz street suddenly stop when it noticed the police presence and escaped at full speed.

In this way, a coordinated pursuit began with the rest of the patrols in the area. The fugitive jumped several red lights until he reached the highway, and was followed until the Aspe exit.

Subsequently, and trying to avoid police action at all times, according to the Local Police in a statement, he tried to avoid the agents on the nearby interurban roads, making evident reckless driving due to the continuous invasions of the opposite lane.

Finally, when he found himself cornered, he opted to abandon the car and continue his escape on foot, jumping over a nearby fence. Even so, the agents were able to reach him and reduce him, but not before offering violent resistance that left two agents slightly injured.

The man was arrested and transferred to police units and the vehicle was immobilised in the Municipal Deposit. As could be verified after his identification, the subject did not have a driver’s licence and tested positive for drug evidence due to the presence of cannabis, methamphetamine and cocaine in his body. In fact, as it was found out, he had several records for crimes against public health.

They investigate the death of a woman after falling from a fourth floor in Pilar de la Horadada

The Civil Guard is investigating the death of a 45-year-old woman who died instantly after falling from a fourth floor in Pilar de la Horadada. The events occurred on Calle Alquerías del Niño Perdido, very close to Calle Mayor, in the centre of the town.

The health services and Local Police received a notice about 0.45 in the early morning of this Tuesday warning of the event. A primary care doctor went to the place, as indicated by the CICU. The woman, of Ukrainian origin, would have had a discussion prior to her tragic end with her 19-year-old son in the house.

Although the inquiries carried out so far rule out the intervention of a third party in the fall -accidental as the first hypotheses suggest or voluntary- of the deceased woman.

Investigators continue to work to clarify the events that have caused alarm in the centre of Pilar de la Horadada.

The first psychologists enter the classrooms of Alicante to combat problems such as depression or suicide

Harassment, bullying, problems at home, negative thoughts, self-injuries… Mental health-related problems have increased after the pandemic and are taking place among adolescents who, sometimes, cannot find a way out of what is causing them. To address these issues and provide tools so that they can deal with them, the Ministry of Education has sent psychologists to the schools to combat adolescent problems such as depression or suicide attempts. All this is trying to improve the emotional well-being of the students.

The pandemic has brought mental health problems to light and has even increased them. According to official figures, there were 1,600 incidents registered in the plan against violence and for school coexistence (Previ) specifically referring to suicide attempts and self-harm in the entire educational system during the past year, three times more than the last previous record to the pandemic in 2018. Data that worries all parties involved in the education of students.

“We are essential” is the motto that has been chosen for the workshops of this program that will be taught to students of 2nd and 4th year of ESO of the IES of the Valencian Community. The first of them in the province took place this Tuesday at the IES l’Arabí de l’Alfàs del Pi. The intention is none other than to empower and improve the emotional well-being of adolescent students, as explained by the Minister of Education, Culture and Sports, Raquel Tamarit.

In the province, 40,218 students will attend these workshops. In La Marina Baixa, 3,300 schoolchildren will be reached, including those from that Alfasino centre. The choice of this institute to give the first workshop in the province is not trivial: the young people have been the protagonists of the video clip and the song linked to this project and which will be the one used by the Consell for the campaign.

But who teaches them and how do these workshops work? Fifty psychologists will cover 716 centres that teach 2nd and 4th ESO, 225 of them in Alicante. Thus, the first session will consist of two hours in which different aspects will be dealt with depending on the course in which it is being taught. From there, the work continues during the remainder of the course with tutors and counsellors from the centre through specialised guides that address the mental health of students, as well as ways to avoid self-harming thoughts and behaviours in adolescence. The workshops and accompanying guides have been prepared by three clinical psychologists: Blanca Gallego, Xavier Sebastián and Antonio Felipe.

María Leal is the psychologist who has given the workshop this Tuesday to the students of 4th ESO. First of all, they introduce themselves and an explanation of what is going to be done in the workshop: what motivates them, what they want to be in life and also what worries them. Above all, that they know how to deal with both positive and negative emotions. The first activity is also a “life curve” where they had to capture both the “ups and downs” of episodes they have experienced. “Situations can be seen as a way of learning or as a glass half empty,” said the psychologist.

The intention of the workshops is for students to feel that they are protagonists and that they can express issues related to mental health in a “safe and relaxed” context, something that facilitates the detection of intentions and needs for individual accompaniment. From there, the guides are worked on with the tutor teachers, the counsellors, the Equality and Coexistence coordinators and the interested teachers from each centre.

Precisely, teachers will also be a fundamental part of the process, a role they already play on many occasions. As some teachers explained, “we are used to facing situations in which students do not know how to react.” Among them, cases of harassment, bullying, cyberbullying… “We are very concerned about the use of social networks and we hope that this issue will also be worked on,” they pointed out. Thus, they stressed that “there are many problems that students do not express in the centre, especially those that occur at home. Many times we cannot go further in these cases either.”

As for schoolchildren, a group of young people who have participated in the preparation of this campaign video hope that these workshops will serve to “help” combat problems such as bullying. “Those colleagues who experience any of these problems should have the courage to say so, and those who do should not do what they do,” said another of the students. “It is quite necessary that the message reaches the whole world,” said another schoolgirl. “It can help us feel better and understand each other. There are many adolescents who fall into these things and with this work they can realise that it doesn’t only happen to them, but that there are more people and they can help each other,” stressed another student.

80% of the 3.3 million annual users of the Torrevieja urban bus must pay for a ticket

The plenary session of the Torrevieja City Council has definitively approved after the period of allegations an indirect management model -awarding a company- of the new urban transport service with the votes of the absolute majority of the PP, the mayor of Cs and the non-attached Carolina Vigara and the opposition from PSOE, Los Verdes, Sueña Torrevieja and the non-attached councillors Fanny Serrano and Rodolfo Carmona.

Apart from the political confrontation over the management model -privatisation or municipalization- what the municipal decision implies for its thousands of daily users, 3,373,275 per year in the new service, is that urban transport will no longer be free for those registered.

According to their management study, 80% will pay for the ticket. Only 20% Gold Card users as retirees will be exempt from the payment: 674,000 users. According to these calculations, 20% will pay an ordinary ticket set at 1.35 euros. Another 23% the Normal Multi-trip Voucher modality at 0.90 euros, 10% the Youth-School Multi-trip Voucher for 0.65, while the Youth and School Voucher for 30 days will be 0.58 although they will only use it on 4 %, while 5% will pay the Tourist Card for 0.77 and the remaining 18% will use the 30-day Bonus.

This cost, which is far from financing the entire service, is in exchange for having a sustainable service from the environmental point of view with a fleet of hybrid buses -5 of them electric-, with three new lines and a frequency of dignified step. What is now is far from being the case for a city with a large population such as Torrevieja, in which residents have to cover significant distances to guarantee their daily mobility to commercial areas or public services, without also having a single section of bike lane in the urban Casse.

The service will be awarded for almost 8 million a year, of which 4.3 must be financed exclusively by the municipal coffers. The mayor Eduardo Dolón (PP) defended the agreement, which comes after three years of procedures and lurching in decisions on how to formulate the initiative, in the technical reports of engineers, general director of Projects and inspection of the Intervention that indicate that, On paper, this option is the most efficient and economical for the municipality than municipalization. On the end of the gratuity, the first mayor alluded again to the improvements and to these seven types of subscription.

The left-wing opposition remarked, however, that the entire process of the PP has been oriented towards choosing a privatisation model in which, in their opinion, the business objective and profitability of the contractor company will prevail. He also criticised, as he has done in recent months, that it is the City Council that pays with public funds the 17 million euros cost of the new fleet without this expense being amortised by the new awardee.

Provision of the new fleet that is about to be formalised and that has fallen to the only company that appeared, Solaris Bus Ibérica -in two consecutive proceedings, because the first one was deserted when it failed to comply with the specifications-. In the session, the mayor defended this decision to buy buses, very unusual in these contracts, in the fact that the municipality has sufficient treasury remnants -one hundred million in the banks- to pay for the fleet at once and prevent its payment becomes a fixed cost of the company awarded the service provision -and of the canon that the City Council will have to pay-.

The councilor spokesman for Los Verdes, Israel Muñoz once again insisted on the incompetence -in his opinion- of the popular ones- that will cause the City Council to lose up to 700,000 euros of the 3,421,000 subsidy granted by the Government for the implementation the service is underway due to the delay in the processing of more than eight months. The mayor assured that the aid will be received in full.

The spokesman for Sueña Torrevieja, Pablo Samper, warned once again -and has been doing so for months- that the municipality can no longer support with its level of income -in which the drop in capital gains tax stands out- in the coming years the fixed cost of the multimillion-dollar public service contracts in which it is committing itself, such as garbage -25 million- or this contract, in addition to other chapters of current spending such as personnel -another 27 million-.

The Consell owes three months of the subsidy for rental housing for 3,700 young people in the Valencian Community

The Youth Rental Bonus promoted by the Ministry of Housing has 3,679 young people in the Valencian Community on edge. The aid was granted last October to most of them, but since then several of them have not received a single euro of the 250 per month that they are entitled to. The problem, they report, is that many of them were encouraged to become emancipated by the appearance of this subsidy, but now they have to “juggle” with a tight salary and rental prices that do not stop rising.

Lucía, who does not want to reveal her full name for fear of losing the concession, explains her situation: “I am extremely outraged, really. They gave us the Young Rent Bonus and that’s why [my boyfriend and I] went to live together. We thought that “With the help, we were going to be able to afford to become independent. We’ve been lucky because the rent we’ve found has a good price and, for now, we can afford it, but if it had been a higher rent, I’d already be back at home.”

The conditions for obtaining help are strict, especially for those young people who want to go live together as a couple or share a flat. For someone who wants to emancipate alone, their salary cannot exceed 3 times that of the Multiple Effects Public Income Indicator (IPREM), which in 2022 was 1,737.06 euros per month. It is in couples where the aid is more restrictive, since the income of both added cannot exceed 4 times the IPREM, 2,316.08 euros. If three or more young people share the flat, they cannot exceed 2,895 euros of monthly income between all of them, 5 times the IPREM.

There is also a cap on the maximum rental price they can pay. In the city of Alicante, the fee to the landlord cannot exceed 680 euros, while in Elche, Benidorm, El Campello, Mutxamel, Sant Joan d’Alacant and San Vicente del Raspeig the limit is 600 euros. In the rest of the municipalities in the province, the maximum income is 550 euros. It is at this price that the Ministry of Housing should help with the 250 euros per month, despite the fact that they have not yet paid the amount, as recognized by the regional body itself.

The price of rental housing, moreover, is suffering a significant increase in the last twelve months. If a year ago the average fee in the province of Alicante was 580 euros, now it is approximately 890 euros, 18.8% more. In the city of Alicante the increase is even greater, going from 580 euros to 950 in just one year, according to data from the Idealista real estate portal, based on the more than 3,800 rental properties that its website has for the Alicante demarcation.

The Ministry acknowledges that it has not paid the rent receipts corresponding to November and December of last 2022, although it assures that it has paid the amount corresponding to the rest of the year. In addition, Housing adds that the beneficiaries must first provide the rental receipts, after which the payment is made.

Some affected young people, however, indicate that the platform through which the receipts have to be delivered does not work well and that, in addition, the attention given by the housing staff is not good: “I have to provide documentation and it does not come out no option to do it, other people do see that tab”, says Lucía, who adds that “I have to upload the documentation every month but they are not helping me to solve the problems”. The young woman explains that the attention given by the agency’s staff is deficient since “we have no way of contacting. We call and they ignore us, they don’t pick up the phone. I just got off work and I’ve been with my hands-free in the car all the way on hold. I’ve sent ten emails in the last week and haven’t gotten a reply to any of them.”

The two resolutions that have been carried out so far were published in the Official Gazette of the Generalitat Valenciana (DOGV) on October 11, 2022 and December 27, 2022. At that time, the Department of Housing assures, it has been granted help to 3,679 young people in the Community, 1,369 of them in the province of Alicante, out of a total of 24,069 files received. In this time, they indicate from the regional body, two payments of these aids have been made. A first payment for an approximate amount of 1,800,000 euros and a second payment for an amount of 3,0050,000 euros, corresponding to the beneficiaries of the first and second grant of aid.

The third and fourth aid concession will be published shortly in the DOGV, from which time the beneficiaries will be able to provide the rent receipts justifying the aid and the corresponding payments will then be processed, indicates the Ministry.

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