A good hearted pensioner has offered to work for a few hours a week for free as a tourist guide for two of Teulada’s most historic buildings. Alejandro Llobel Dalmau will be giving up a few hours of his own time each week to show people around the Santa Catalina Church and the Ermita de la Divina Pastora. Alejandro’s expertise is not in doubt as he worked in the tourist industry for many before retiring and crucially also speaks, English, German, French, Castellano and Valenciano. Thanks to his kind offer the buildings will now be open for tourists from 11am to 1pm each Wednesday, said the town’s mayor Carlos Linares when thanking Alejandro.

VALENCIA’S Town Hall has started the second phase of their programme to control the cities’ burgeoning feral cat population. Entitled “Pla Colonial Feli” it entails sterilising around 200 cats, similar numbers to the first phase of the plan. Valencia has over 500 cat colonies of varying sizes and they create several problems such as raiding bins, hygiene issues and killing small birds and other animals. The cats will also be dewormed, all done with the voluntary assistance of twelve local veterinary clinics. Some animal welfare groups oppose the measures and have launched a campaign with slogans on buses etc. saying “A city with cats is a healthy city” and urging people to help look after cat colonies where they can.

THE major improvement work on Alcoy’s emblematic Glorieta Park is on schedule and going to plan, the Town Hall has announced.  Works in progress include improving the water drainage channels and updating lighting in the area. They are also constructing a themed play area for children and installing a new kiosk where the old aviary building sat. Glorieta is Alcoy’s main park, ideally located in the city centre and is regarded as an important space for young and old, both locals and visitors to the town.

A body was discovered trapped under the hull of a boat moored in Alicante port on 3 April. The Guardia Civil retrieved the body with the help of a specialist diving team and it was sent for an urgent autopsy. This determined that the body was of a man of about forty and he had died by drowning. They also confirmed that the corpse showed no signs of violence. The body was unclothed and has yet to be identified and a case has been opened to investigate the matter further.

THE schedules for Benidorm’s Holy Week events have now been confirmed, read out by Pepa Zaragoza Ivers, daughter of former mayor the late Pedro Zaragoza, in the Church of Sant Jaume and Santa Anna. The announcement was made in front of the cities Holy Brotherhoods and this year the Brotherhood of Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazarene will be organising events in what is their 50th anniversary.  Highlights include the Procession of the Palms on Palm Sunday and the Central Procession of the Holy Burial on Good Friday. The processions and accompanying floats are a wonderful spectacle even for those not of a particularly religious persuasion, and if you contact the Town Hall they will be able to give you a full schedule of events in the city over Easter.

INCREASES in after-hours police patrols in Alicante City appear to be paying immediate dividends with two groups of thieves arrested in one weekend early this month.  In the first incident police were alerted to a possible house break-in and arrived at the scene to see two suspects attempting to flee across the rooftops. They were intercepted when they eventually came to ground level; it is believed the pair had broken into three houses that same evening. The second incident saw the arrest of a man and woman on suspicion of breaking into a car.  The woman had a toddler with her in a pushchair and was using the pram to hide and transport goods taken from the vehicle. The increased police patrols are in response to a spate of recent robberies, in particular house break-ins.

FIREFIGHTERS were called out to the Zenia Boulevard shopping centre on 5 April after a restaurant reported a fire in their kitchen. The fire had started at about 7.30 am and the fire brigade had managed to extinguish the blaze after just over an hour. However as well as the damage to the restaurant – the “Good Rices” – there was also smoke damage to the next door premises. The heat had also caused several water pipes to burst flooding the floor below the kitchen where the fire started. Thankfully no-one was hurt in the incident, helped by the fact that the mall was not open to the general public at the time the fire broke out.

THE newly established headquarters of the Podemos political party in Alicante have been painted with right wing graffiti and pelted with eggs in two recent night-time attacks. Local leaders of the left wing party are concerned the attacks may escalate and have presented a formal complaint to the Alicante police. As well as the physical attacks there have been threats on social network sites, again by purported right wingers, and Podemos Secretary General Pacual Perez said that they will be asking officially about protection.

A resident of San Vicente del Respeig pleaded guilty to swindling almost a hundred people over the sale of various technical products such as computers. The products were sold online but did not exist. It appeared that if people complained he refunded the money from income from other buyers, if they did not complain – or gave up trying – he held on to the cash. He set the scam up using several identities and constantly made promises regarding the dispatch of the goods hoping eventually the consumer would give up. He was sentenced to six years in jail and a fine, although the prison sentence was suspended for three years as he agreed to plead guilty to the charges.

A world famous seller of gourmet meats has been fined €15,000 for breaching health regulations. “El Capricho” restaurant and winery in Leon have boasted that they sell “the best beef in the world” although the food inspection unit of the Guardia Civil disagreed after finding that 2,800 kilos of red meat had no health marks or expiration dates. Rules regarding the cold storage and freezing of meats were also being breached on 1,000 kilos of beef and ox. The company refused to issue a formal comment saying that the fine had been paid and the matter was closed, while seeming to blame their supplier. The 2,800 kilos of meat is officially marked for destruction but has not yet been disposed of and may still be salvageable.