In brief

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Last baby to be born in 2008 and first in 2009
The last baby to be born in Menorca in 2008 was Adam Chahbouni El Wahbi who made his entrance into the world at 1952 hrs. on Wednesday 30th December. Weighing 4.1 kgs. Adam was born by caesarean section and initially placed in an incubator although he was not suffering from any health problems. He is the second child of a Moroccan couple living in Es Castell, Jamal Chahbouni and Hafida El Whabi, who already have a three-year old, Aiman.
The first baby to arrive in Menorca in 2009 was also born to Moroccan parents. Amene Khaliphy Amakrane entered the world at 0420 hrs. on 1st January, after a natural birth with no complications. Weighing 2.67 kgs. Amene is the first son of 20-year old Keltum Amakrane and 30-year old Karim Khaliphy who have lived in Ciutadella for several years.
The first day of the New Year was a busy time for staff in the maternity ward at the Mateu Orfila Hospital in Maó with a total of six babies making their appearance.

Balearics had greatest increase in population
The population of the Balearic Islands grew by 9,314 inhabitants from 2007 to 2008, an increase of 4.09%, above the national average of 2.12%. According to the National Institute of Statistics the population of the islands at 1st January 2008 stood at 1,071,221.

January sales period starts tomorrow
The January sales start tomorrow in the Balearic Islands and big discounts are expected on the goods on offer right from the beginning of the sales period (El Corte Inglés announcing up to 60% off their items). Shopkeepers are hoping that the sales will bring them some compensation for the slower than ususal sales leading up to Christmas and Kings.

More nursery school places to be provided
The Balearic Government is to provide 1.9 million euros to create 333 new nursery school places on the island over the next three years in response to increased demand.
Maó will be the area to benefit most, with a total of 81 new places being provided at a cost of 486,000 euros. Not far behind are Es Castell and Ciutadella, each of which will need 444,000 euros to increase their places by up to 74. Ferreries will gain an extra 67 places at a cost of 402,000 euros and the 222,000 euros to be spent in Es Mercadal will result in an additional 37 places for children aged 0-3 years.

Paintball attack on Nura Nova ferry
The Nura Nova ferry was hit by several bursts from "weapons" used in paintball games as she was leaving Ciutadella port on Saturday. The incident happened shortly after 1900 hrs. as the vessel was carrying out manoeuvres to leave, according to the shipping line Iscomar.
It would appear that several shooters had positioned themselves on the north bank of the port on the stretch between the dock and Cala en Busquets, armed with items used in the war games. As the ferry passed them they opened fire on her hull, covering the starboard side with paint. Unfortunately two passengers were also "hit".
The captain observed what had happened but was unable to stop, as the ferry was in the middle of departure manoeuvres, but he informed the shipping company of the incident which they then reported to the National Police who are now looking for those responsible for the acts.

Closing date for open darts competition
Darts organiser Cathy Banks has announced that the closing date for entrants for the open singles darts competition will be 31st January. The competition is a separate entity from the league matches and will be played on Thursday nights over several weeks, with the final taking place on Presentation Night. Teams may enter as many players as they wish but must let Cathy have the names before the end of the month.
Two items of news from the "B" Division. The Champs team is now playing from the Village Pub in Cala en Porter as their original venue has closed. The match between Delfin A and Bar Pons, postponed from 4th November, has now been played; the result being Delfin A 4 Bar Pons 5.

Winning ticket in Xibau art draw
The draw for the work of art created by Pacífic Camps for Xibau Punt de Art was held in the Ferreries gallery on Saturday. The winner of the "Christmas Tree" is the holder of ticket number 3,734 who has one month in which to collect the prize.

Exhibition in aid of Parkinson's sufferers
An exhibition opened in Sa Nostra's Cultural Hall in Maó on Friday in aid of the Association of People Affected by Parkinson's Disease. The show has a dual theme; to raise funds to help those affected by the illness and to introduce the association to the public in general.
Open until 12th January, the exhibition features the work of some 63 artists, some of whom are U.K. residents on the island: Kenneth Draper and his wife Jean Macalpine, Daphne Livermore, Lynn Gormann, Alfred Hutchison, Tessa Pons, Sheelagh Ratliff and Ronald Webb. The exhibition was previously on view in Ciutadella, during which time some 40 works were sold.
Founded a year ago by several people affected by Parkinson's, the Association offers sufferers and their families services such as speech therapy, psychology, physiotherapy and primary attention. Further information is available by telephone on 971 353 130 or by e-mail at aparkinson.me@gmail.com.

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