GA English on Sunday News in Brief from Bonn and the region

Bonn · An 18-year-old was run over last night in Bad Godesberg, nature conservationists see the current severe bark beetle infestation in the Rhein-Sieg area as an enrichment and not a danger, a filling station in Plittersdorf robbed on Saturday night, the strong demand for the new Nextbike rental system is causing difficulties in Bonn, Weco makes a statement in regard to Nazi symbol on a firecracker, and the first cherry blossoms can already be seen in Bonn's old town – here is our news in brief on Sunday.

Accident in Bad Godesberg: 18-year-old run over on zebra crossing

BAD GODESBERG. A 26-year-old female driver ran an 18-year-old pedestrian over with her car at 6.45 pm on Saturday evening while he was about to cross at a zebra crossing on Hochkreuzallee in Bad Godesberg. The young man was walking with a 15-year-old friend. When they walked over the zebra crossing Hochkreuzallee/Friesdorfer Straße, the two noticed that the approaching car of the 26-year-old was not about to stop. The 18-year-old was caught by the vehicle and seriously injured. He was taken to hospital by ambulance for further treatment. His injuries were not life-threatening. Why the driver, who was heading towards Friesdorfer Straße, did not notice the two pedestrians on the crosswalk will be the subject of further investigations.

(Original text: Michael Wrobel)

Nature conservationists disagree with foresters: BUND criticises spruce deforestation

RHEIN-SIEG-KREIS. According to a forestry spokesperson, the current severe bark beetle infestation is a danger to the domestic forests. Nature conservationists, however, see this as an enrichment. "Ecologically that is the total boost for the area“, says Achim Baumgartner of the BUND nature group Rhein-Sieg region. The bark beetle infestation is a testimony of nature's self-healing powers and transforms the coniferous forest into a climate-adapted natural forest, the Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland (BUND) has now announced. The dry spruces offer new habitats in the forest, the increased population of bark beetles provides food for the animals of the forest, such as the woodpecker. "The fact that the spruces no longer have needles means that the forest floor receives much more sunlight and a natural rejuvenation occurs," says Baumgartner. The bark beetle population also will go down naturally in such a process.

(Original text: Jana Fahl)

Bad Godesberg: Filling station in Plittersdorf robbed shortly before closing time

BAD GODESBERG. Shortly before closing time, a bft gas station in Plittersdorf was robbed on Saturday evening. The search for the perpetrator has so far been unsuccessful. The employee of the bft petrol station on Godesberger Allee in Bonn-Plittersdorf was just about to leave when a man stormed the petrol station shop at about 10 p.m. and forced the employee to hand over the takings.How much money the perpetrator got away with is not yet known. An immediately initiated search by the police remained unsuccessful so far. Nobody was injured during the robbery. The criminal investigation department secured traces on the spot. Further details on the attack are not yet available.

(Original text: Michael Wrobel)

Bottlenecks at rental bike stations: 14,000 Bonner use Nextbike

The strong demand for the new Nextbike bike rental system is causing difficulties in Bonn. In addition, 400 bikes have still not been delivered. Also, Nextbike is not a competitor for buses and trains. The Nextbike bike rental system is very popular in Bonn. Since its launch in October, the bikes have been used around 55,000 times. This strong demand is causing difficulties: As soon as the bikes are unloaded by the service staff at the stations, they are out of stock again. But the bottleneck also arises because only 500 of the 900 planned Nextbike bicycles have been delivered. A new app is supposed to link public transport with the rental bikes: Nextbike is not a competition for buses and trains, but rather an addition. On average, 1.4 kilometres are covered per rental. On all bikes, more than 70,000 kilometres have been cycled on Nextbikes in Bonn so far.

(Original text: Nicolas Ottersbach)

After Nazi symbol complaint: Weco wants to inform

EITORF. After a customer found a firecracker with a mirror-inverted swastika on the packaging, the manufacturer Weco wants to clarify. The company from Eitorf announced on Saturday that any risk of repetition should be eliminated. So far, only one case is known. The symbol, which could correspond to a mirror-inverted swastika with an Reichsadler figure, was located on the underside of a ground fountain manufactured in China. A consumer had pointed this out. The company stated that the fireworks fountain "Hell's Spell" was produced in millions per year in China. „There has been a shortage of paper on the Chinese market for many years", explained Weco, "as a result various papers from different sources have been used.“ The swastika-like symbol is used in Asia as a symbol of luck. Therefore, it could be ruled out that the Chinese supplier wanted to remind people of National Socialism and the symbols used at that time. Weco claims to be the market leader in Europe.

(Original text: dpa)

Unusually early: First cherry blossoms to be seen in Bonn's Old Town

BONN. The first cherry blossoms can be seen in Bonn's old town. The species known as the Japanese flowering cherry usually blooms in spring. The mild temperatures at the end of December may have irritated the plants. "This is very unusual for this time of year," says Markus Radscheit, Technical Director of the Botanical Gardens at the University of Bonn, on GA request. The species Prunus serrulata, also known as the Japanese flowering cherry, does not actually blossom until spring. Then every year in the old town it inspires not only the people of Bonn, but also people from all over the world. According to Radscheit, there is initially no acute danger for the still young cherry blossoms: "They will now bloom normally for two to three weeks and then fall from the tree." Whether the early bloom phase in January will have any effect on the actual bloom in the spring, Radscheit however cannot say. In order to determine this, one must now wait for spring.

(Original text: GA Bonn)

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