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This news is translated from the Spanish Press unless otherwise indicated.

Dog helps to save boy from well

Mario, a young man of 13 fell into a well approximately 25 meters deep in the municipality of Tuineje, and only suffered scratches on various parts of his body. His dog, a cocker spaniel named Kira, alerted his family by barking madly and led them to the mouth of the shaft where he had fallen in. Mario always goes for a walk in the area with his dog. Kira. Passing near the well, which is without any protection, he tried to see if any wild pigeons were nesting in the stonewalls. He stepped on a stone, that was at the mouth of the well and it gave way and he fell in. Mario thought he would die as he had no means of escape. He started shouting the name of the dog and she started barking. Once in the water, Mario had the sense to take off his clothes to help stay afloat, while still calling Kira. The insistent barking of the dog led the boy’s uncle, Antonio Perez, to the mouth of the well. He immediately threw him a rope to attach to himself so he could be rescued. A neighbour alerted the local police Tuineje, whose officers arrived a few minutes being called. Then the members of Civil Protection, Guardia Civil and an ambulance from the SCS arrived. One of the members of the Civil Protection entered the well to rescue Mario, who was transferred to the Health Center of Greater Tarajal and subsequently sent to the General Hospital. No serious injuries were found and Mario only suffered some bruising. Tuineje municipality has more than 500 wells without proper protection, causing a serious hazard to people and wildlife. Marios accident has reopened the debate about the serious danger posed by these excavations, most of them abandoned. Tuineje City Council had ordered owners to fence or seal wells, water tanks or ponds, but there are still more than 500 without any protection. Local Police are continuously receiving numerous complaints by locals about the many wells that are not covered or have no security fences, which results in great danger for residents and people passing through these places who are unaware of them.

Biosphere Reserve proposal accepted

The Scientific Committee of the MaB Committee (Man and Biospher) of UNESCO, has accepted the proposal for the Biosphere Reserve in Fuerteventura. The proposal will be brought up in the next session of the General Assembly of UNESCO, that will be held next month and which will discuss the definitive approval of Fuerteventura's proposal. The approval of the proposal is the beginning of a crucial stage for the development of Fuerteventura, that will be respectful to the Biosphere and the natural environment of the Island.

Lidl to open on Fuerteventura

Lidl is to open a store on Fuerteventura, across the road from the industrial estate in Puerto del Rosario. The store is due to open in May 2009. The store is famed for providing no nonsense cheap foods.

Four men arrested for smuggling

FOUR men were arrested at Edinburgh Airport after customs officers discovered 80,000 cigarettes in their hand luggage and suitcases.
The men, aged between 30 and 45, had flown into the airport from Fuerteventura via Madrid on Wednesday.

Each had cases packed with boxes of cigarettes and had no other luggage, such as clothing, with them.

The cigarettes have an estimated street value of £18,000 and a duty loss amounting to around £14,000.

After questioning by HM Revenue & Customs officers, the men were charged with the illegal importation of cigarettes.

All four of the men were UK passport holders but three lived in Fuerteventura and the other in Dublin.

Colin Fraser, senior detection manager with UKBA at Edinburgh Airport, said:

"The cigarettes were intended for the UK black market but we can't say whether they were intended for sale in Edinburgh." []

British Olympic medallist chooses Fuerteventura as a training venue

Rebecca Adlington, the bubbly, Mansfield-born swimmer, who achieved a remarkable double success at the Olympic Games in Beijing last summer is currently in training in Fuertventura.

At 19 years of age, Adlington became Britain’s first female Olympic swimming champion since Anita Lonsborough in Rome 48 years earlier when she won the 400m freestyle. But that was not enough for her superb talents because, six days later, she secured her place in the record books by winning the 800m freestyle - breaking the world record in the process - to become Britain’s most successful swimmer, either male or female, for more than a century.

And, with those achievements in mind, she was rewarded by being named our Olympian Of The Year for 2008. It was a tough decision for the judges, though, in a field that included Rebecca Romero, the first British woman to win Olympic gold medals at two different events - in 2004 in Athens, she triumphed in rowing before switching to cycling where she enjoyed success in the 3km individual pursuit last summer.

But it was Adlington, who will be given an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List, that wooed our judges the most, even though she could not make it to the Awards because she is currently training in Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands and then competing in France.

She did, however, send a message of thanks and was quick to look ahead to the London Olympics in 2012. “To young kids, I say 'stick with it, enjoy whatever sport you can because London coming up and it is going to be an unbelievable opportunity',” Adlington said. “It is only three years away but four years ago I was not in the same position that I am now.

“The last 12 months have been a whirlwind and Beijing was unbelievable. Getting the OBE was such an honour and hopefully I can follow it up this year at the World Championships [in Rome].”

She added: “My life has changed drastically, but it is still the same. I am still getting up at five in the morning. I have met some fantastic people and done some amazing things."

Sport, perhaps like nothing else, can change a person’s life overnight and Adlington discovered that, making front page headlines and even having her fashion dreams come true. As was shown by Tony Eggington, the Mayor of Mansfield, when he said: “When we did our Olympic send-off, I promised her a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes if she brought back gold, so it looks like I might have to eat my words now. She has raised the profile of Mansfield and as an individual she is remarkable.”

She set a brilliant foundation for her success in China when she won gold at the world short course championships in Manchester in April in a European record of 8min 8.25sec. The rest is part of British sporting history.

Two tourists killed in traffic accident

A car and bus had a collision on th FV-2 near Tuineje. The 2 tourists in the car died of their injuries, while 4 passengers on the bus suffered minor injuries. The deceased were a man of 30 anad a woman of 31. The Emergency Services received a call in reporting that a small bus and a car had collided and that people were trapped in the car. An ambulance from the Canary Emergency Service (SUC), along with a doctor and a nurse from the nearby health center, rushed to the scene and found the two injured occupants of the car had already died due to the severity of the injuries they suffered. They then helped the passengers on the bus who were injured to the health center. These were a child under 4  who suffered a mild head injury, a woman of 65 again with a mild head injury, another aged 57 with mild trauma of a lower limb and a man of 55 year-old with a minor wound to his face.

Social services under pressure

The current economic crisis is affecting the social services of Fuerteventura. Demand has skyrocketed in all municipalities. It is because about 66% of the population was not born on the island and have come to live here in recent years. This means that many people who have become unemployed have no resources, with no family or relatives on the island who could help them. This means additional demand for social services, that in other communities does not happen, at least not to the extent that occurs here. The first answer is to help with food, clothing and shelter. All institutions are now making extra efforts in their budgets to fund such services. Then there is the answer that could really help save the situation, and it is related to employment and training. Social services and NGOs account for hundreds of people asking for help daily in the different municipalities

Rivers flow on Fuerteventura

The recent rains have caused a change in the appearance of the island, unusual on an island normally parched and desolate. Showers managed to fill ditches and even caused small rivers to flow, but the best thing is that the crops will be bigger and better than normal. Also the goats and cattle have lush grass on which to graze.

Canary Islands gets new British consul

Matthew Vickers has taken over from Steve Jones, to become the new British Consul to the Canary Islands. Matthew has decided to make Tenerife his base instead of Gran Canaria, but will carry on with the regular visits to the other islands started by Steve.

Search for Camping areas begins

The Municipality of La Oliva has begun to prepare two or three camping areas for Easter and summer. The selection of the areas depends on enviromental issues and the agreement of land owners, as they don't want camping in public places. Camping in the past has been mostly on the coastal areas, with local authorities turning a blind eye to persons camping on public land. This situation is caused by the lack of official camping sites, which the municipality hopes to rectify.

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