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

Bonn/Region · The compulsory wearing of face coverings in schools ends on Tuesday, some St. Martin's Day processions will take place in Bonn this year, police discover a potential drugs lab in a Roisdorf apartment, and police are investigating break-ins into 21 cars in Alfter – here is our news in brief on Sunday.

 Students at Karl Simrock School can also hang their masks on the hook or put them aside during class time.   

Students at Karl Simrock School can also hang their masks on the hook or put them aside during class time.  

Foto: Meike Böschemeyer

The compulsory wearing of face coverings in schools ends on Tuesday

The abolition of the obligation to wear a face covering in the classroom from this Tuesday has sparked controversy among teachers, parents and students. Some school administrators interviewed by the GA on Friday think that most students will continue to voluntarily keep their face coverings on; others welcomed the abolition of the obligation.

Arndt Hilse, the principal of the Karl Simrock secondary school, believes that the concern that a student who has tested positive for Corona could be sent to quarantine again unless they have been vaccinated or has recovered, certainly also plays a role. According to the previously applicable corona protection ordinance, only students who tested positive had to quarantine. Now, the school ministry states that if an infection case occurs in a class, the quarantine of pupils is to be limited from now on to the infected person and the direct seat neighbour. Fully vaccinated or recovered individuals without symptoms continue to be exempt from the quarantine order.

Ursula Dreeser, principal of the Kessenich comprehensive school, welcomes the lifting of the obligation to wear face coverings in class. She thinks that the measure is a further step back to normality, which is enormously important for the children and young people. However, she fears that the pandemic will create lasting psychological problems for many students. Bernd Powitz is vice-principal at Dreeser's school and If the incidence were stable, he would have welcomed the stopping of classroom face coverings, but in his view, the measure comes two to three weeks too early. Christa Hahn, principal of Ludwig Richter Elementary School, specifically recommends that her colleagues promote the voluntary wearing of face coverings to children and parents. "I don't think the decision to remove the requirement to wear a face covering at seats is in order given the rising incidences." According to a GA poll of more than 2,000 people on GA social media channels within 24 hours, 1,116 people think the decision is good, 1,053 think that abolishing mandatory face coverings is too soon, and some are ambivalent.

Some St. Martin's Day processions will take place in Bonn

Some groups in the borough of Beuel have decided not to hold their St. Martin's procession this year, whereas others want to stick to the tradition. Some of the organisers have imposed rules to ensure the safety of the participants, in addition to the requirements of the currently valid Corona Protection Ordinance of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and the rules of the City of Bonn.

Among the groups organising a modified procession is the Catholic elementary school, Holzlar. On Wednesday, 10 November, the procession will start at about 5 p.m. at the school. It is also planned to light a fire on the church meadow and musicians of the Beueler city soldiers will be present. Participants are advised to wear face coverings and to adhere to 3G rules. About 500 participants are expected, including about 250 students. The school has secured funding to distribute the “Weckmänner” to students. These will be distributed on Friday, November 12.

On the other hand, there will be no procession by elementary school students from the Adelheidis School this year in view of the uncertain situation. There had uncertainty concerning the extent to which the city of Bonn could make the organisation of St. Martin's processions with more than 2,500 participants more difficult by imposing requirements. As a result, the Catholic city deanery first cancelled the large St. Martin's procession in Bonn, and later announced an alternative in the cathedral. In addition, the Förderverein St. Martin Beuel-Mitte plans a large procession in Beuel with about 1,650 participants on Monday, November 8, from 5.15 p.m. A procession by BV Vilich-Müldorf will take place on Saturday, November 6, starting at 5.30 p.m. at the Mühlenbachhalle.

Police discover a potential drugs lab in a Roisdorf apartment

Police found chemicals in an apartment on Klarenhofstraße in Bornheim-Roisdorf on Friday afternoon. According to the officer in charge at the scene, the chemicals are suitable for the production of narcotics and therefore, the flat could be a possible drugs laboratory. In addition to formic acid, the emergency services seized a large number of other chemicals in the apartment, but these are still to be examined. Initially, 35 containers were seized, including canisters and test tubes. According to the police, however, there was no danger to the residents. The seized chemicals were stored at a specialised company.

A 21-year-old man, who was apparently the resident of the apartment, was provisionally arrested and was later admitted to a hospital due to his mental condition. According to police at the scene, the chemicals were found by chance and there was no connection with the drug raids on Wednesday in Bonn and other cities. Apparently, the operation was preceded by a call from the suspect to the police, in which he made himself suspicious and attracted the attention of the officers. The police did not provide further details. The fire department was on the scene with special vehicles. Firefighters in protective suits cleared the containers from the apartment. The searches lasted until about 10:30 p.m.

Police are investigating break-ins into 21 cars in Alfter

The police are currently dealing with a series of 21 car break-ins in the centre of Alfter between Saturday, September 18, and mid-October. The incidences occurred on Herrenwingert, Schlossweg and Hertersplatz. The perpetrator or perpetrators gained access to the vehicles by smashing windows. It is probable that all the acts were committed by the same person or persons; however, the investigation is still ongoing. The stolen items were things that are usually found in cars: small change, handbags and their contents, cigarettes, outer clothing and tools. The so-far unknown persons were not selective and no specific vehicle types were targeted. According to the police, there are no concrete clues to the perpetrator or perpetrators, but a possible lead is that DNA was secured from the vehicles, during evidence recovery.

The police advise not to leave valuables, cash, keys, ID cards or documents with the home address in the car, not even in the boot. It also advisable not to hide things in a vehicle, because experienced thieves know every hiding place. Visibly placed bags or suitcases could attract the interest of perpetrators, whereas an open glove compartment could signal that nothing is up for grabs in the vehicle.

The Bonn police chief Frank Hoever and Alfter's mayor Rolf Schumacher have now discussed the security situation in the municipality, in particular, street crime, home burglaries, thefts from bicycles and cars, damage to property and vandalism. They also discussed traffic controls, the promotion of safety for pedestrians and cyclists, and violence against women.

(Translations: John Chandler)

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