Local news translated – Dec. 16, 2022

Graphic by U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart Public Affairs Office

Host Nation Update, Dec. 16, 2022  

New details on the chaotic journey of a Stuttgart Train conductor – apparently he was already intoxicated when starting work

Late Thursday evening, the federal police stopped an intoxicated train conductor. He was arrested in Korntal-Münchingen (Ludwigsburg district). A voluntary breath alcohol test showed a value of 2.8 per mille. The 43-year-old man was taken to a hospital after his arrest.  The man had admitted to the task forces that he had already been intoxicated when he came on duty. That was around 1:30 p.m. and possibly continued drinking on his journey.  A woman had raised the alarm because the S 60 commuter train did not stop at Rutesheim, like it was supposed to. She wanted to pick up her daughter, who was on the train, and saw the train simply continued without stopping at the station. Also, the train driver had not ended his journey in Weil der Stadt as planned, but had made another loop. Also during his announcements over the loudspeakers, he slandered his employers and made bad comments about them. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Dec 16)

Weapons ban zone in Stuttgart is coming – Fewer knives – less danger

Weapon ban zone in Stuttgart center will go into effect in the near future. During the night times before weekends and before holidays It will then be prohibited to carry knives that have a lockable blade with a length of more than four centimeters. These do not fall under the Weapons Act so far, but are also dangerous, according to police. The council voted in favor by a two-thirds majority of 36 to 18. When the new law will go into effect is not yet certain, said police chief Markus Eisenbraun after the meeting. The city must communicate the rules of the prohibited zone very well in order to regulate that, he said.   Young people wanting to party on the weekend go to the city to do that. Usually, this involves alcohol, music and – especially among young men – a showdown. In most cases, drinking, dancing, courting, and even the trial of strength go peacefully and cheerfully. Therefore, the majority of people who populate the city on weekends will continue to live the same way after the knife ban goes into effect, as before.

Nothing will change, and no one needs a knife in his pocket for the above-mentioned pleasure. Nevertheless, the police and the Mobile Youth Work have noticed that more and more people have a knife in their pocket on weekends. Many justify this with “self- defense”, if someone may assault them to be able to defend themselves. However, with more knives there is also the negative effect that they are being used. The ban can help: Fewer knives mean less danger. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Dec 16)

Several injured in accidents due to ice and snow

Summary of weather-related accidents between Wednesday and Thursday morning.

Böblingen district. After a rather lightning-like onset of winter with sometimes heavy fast falls on Wednesday morning in the area of responsibility of the police headquarters Ludwigsburg, which includes the districts of Böblingen and Ludwigsburg, several accidents occurred until Thursday morning, which are likely to be attributed to the weather conditions.  Between Wednesday, 9 a.m. and Thursday, 6 a.m., police headquarters registered a total of 125 accidents on roads in the two counties and 9 on highways. A total of 14 people were slightly injured in these 134 accidents. The total material damage caused is estimated to be around 557,000 euros.

In the Böblingen police station, 9 accidents were registered, in the Herrenberg police station 6 accidents, in the Leonberg police station 18 accidents with 2 injured persons, in the Sindelfingen police station 13 accidents with 2 injured persons and at the Ludwigsburg traffic police station 9 accidents on the highways with 1 injured person. (BB.heute.de, Dec 16)

One of the largest Aldi stores opens in Böblingen with 1700 square meters of sales area

One Aldi, two entrances. Anyone wishing to enter the discounter’s new store on BB’s Hulb has a choice: either take the main entrance or go a few meters further through the large sliding doors at Marktkauf. From there, there’s another entrance directly into the Aldi checkout area. On Thursday morning, these doors opened for the first time. After more than half a year of renovation, the former Real beverage market has become a discount store.  The spacious development is not the only unusual thing about Aldi’s latest branch. Hardly any of the almost 2,000 Aldi Süd stores in Germany is as large as this one: 1,700 square meters of sales area await customers – only Lake Constance and Mülheim/Ruhr have even larger stores.  Early in the morning at seven, customers are still sparse. Cold, snow and darkness don’t seem to be fueling the consumer urge. This leaves enough room for Böblingen’s mayor Stefan Belz (Greens) to open the Aldi store. The mayor speaks of a “good offer” that the citizens of the region can now expect with two stores in the immediate vicinity. However, he also mentions that this concentration of goods offers at a location far from the city center would not be approved nowadays. “You are profiting from the development plans of the 1970s,” he says to the representatives of Aldi Süd who have arrived for the opening.   Normally, Aldi salespeople manage 10,000 to 15,000 steps per working day. “Here it’s not less than 20,000 a day. (BB.heute.de Dec, 16)

Aquarium burst in Berlin – Initial findings point to material failure

Apparently, material failure could be the cause of the bursting of Berlin’s large aquarium Aquadom.  Early Friday morning, the large aquarium at Sea Life near the Berlin Cathedral with 1000 cubic meters of water and 1500 fish had burst in a hotel in Berlin-Mitte. In the process, parts of the hotel got damaged, as well and, two people were injured and taken to the hospital. Looking at the sheer force that has acted and the temperatures, unfortunately one fears the worst as far as the animals are concerned. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Dec 16)

Thousands had to leave home – Another bomb found in Heidelberg, which got defused successfully

Within a few days, two World War II bombs were found during construction work in Heidelberg and then successfully defused. After the second discovery on Thursday, 7,000 people had to leave their homes in the evening. The condition of the bomb required a “quickest possible defusing”. A large part of the Bahnstadt and parts of the Bergheim district were evacuated. Shortly before midnight, they were allowed back – after the defusing had succeeded.  The police were on site and made announcements over loudspeakers from patrol cars and special loudspeaker trucks. The main train station located in the affected area was completely closed for a time. In the short term, there were restrictions on regional and long-distance traffic.

It was only on December 7 that a World War II bomb was found in Heidelberg. The two sites are only a few meters apart, according to the police. Then, too, thousands had to be evacuated before the bomb could be defused. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Dec 16)