Dense, often extremely thick fog was cutting visibility in the northern Netherlands below ten meters, prompting the country's meteorologists to issue a Code Red weather alert. The red alert, the most extreme issued by weather agency KNMI, was issued just before 11:30 p.m. for the provinces of Drenthe, Groningen and Friesland, with no predicted end to the alarm.
The year 2019 was a busy one for the Netherlands, with elections and strikes, multiple high profile murders and shootings, and a summer full of heat records, severe storms and poisonous caterpillars. Here follows a review of the top ten stories of this year.
Police officers rescued a 3-year-old boy from the Noord-Willemskanaal in Tynaarlo, Drenthe on Wednesday. The toddler was rushed to hospital in serious condition. A 39-year-old man from Utrecht was arrested for possible involvement, Dagblad van het Noorden reports.
The child is also from Utrecht. Whether the arrested man is his father, is not yet known.
The police responded to a report of someone being in the canal near Heidenheim in Tynaarlo at around 5:45 p.m. A police spokesperson could not tell the newspaper how the boy ended up in the water.
Car owners in the Netherlands will pay 147 million euros more in road taxes next year than this year, according to Statistics Netherlands. The increase is partly due to the growing fleet of vehicles, higher rates, and the particulate matter tax that will be implemented. In total, the government and provinces expect to collect almost 6.1 billion euros in road tax in 2020.
The road tax, or motor vehicle tax, consists of a government part and a part collected by the provinces. The government expects to collect 131 million euros more next year, the provinces 16 million euros more.
The medical condition of a five-year-old boy who was pulled from the rubble of a building explosion is improving. Kenan was saved after a five-hour ordeal in Coevorden, Drenthe on Saturday by emergency responders and specialists.
"This afternoon I received a message from a happy family that Kenan is doing well," wrote Coevorden mayor Bert Bouwmesster on Twitter. "He is no longer in intensive care and is likely to leave the hospital in a few days."
A five-year-old boy who was trapped under the rubble of a snack bar which blew up on Saturday was rescued five hours after the explosion. The boy, known as Kenan, was taken by ambulance to an area hospital in serious condition, according to authorities in Drenthe.
He is the son of the snack bar's owner, according to RTL Nieuws. He was in communication with emergency workers during his ordeal, but it is not clear if that was still true several hours into the ordeal.
The boy's father, who owns the Ali Baba grill cafe, was taken to the hospital soon after the explosion.
A golden jackal was recently spotted in Drenthe, forestry association Staatsbosbeheer announced on Friday. This is the third ever sighting of a golden jackal in the Netherlands, and the first to be spotted outside the Veluwe.
The Drenthe sighting happened by luck - the golden jackal walked past a wildlife camera on November 22nd, according to Staatsbosbeheer.
The long winter nights and upcoming holiday season mean that you stand a much greater chance of being burgled in the coming weeks. According to the Burglary Barometer, the chance of a burglary increases by an average of 72 percent until December. The risk of falling victim to a burglary increases most for residents of Zeeland, Drenthe and Limburg in the coming weeks, the Telegraaf reports.
The Public Prosecutor wants to perform DNA tests to determine whether Gerrit Jan van D. really is the father of the six now-adult children who lived with him in complete isolation on a farm in Ruinerwold for years, a spokesperson for the Public Prosecution Service confirmed to NU.nl after reports in Dagblad van het Noorden.
The children themselves told the police that Van D. is their father, but as they are not registered in the Basic Persons Registration, this is not an established fact. The Public Prosecutor therefore wants to test their DNA for certainty.
The 67-year-old father of six adult children kept concealed on a remote farm was ordered back into custody as the investigation into the case continues. The magistrate presiding over the case sent Gerritt Jan van D. back to jail for a 14-day period, which may be further extended at the court's discretion, the prosecutor's office said in a statement.
Josef B. was remanded into custody by a magistrate on Thursday for at least another 14 days while an investigation continues into the family found living in a hidden room on his farm. The man is suspected of depriving a man and his six now-adult children of their physical freedom for nearly a decade, and causing harm to their health, according to the prosecutor's office in Noord-Nederland.
The older brother of 58-year-old Austrian man Josef B. is not surprised that his brother was arrested on suspicion of depriving a family of their freedom for nine years on a farm in Ruinerwold, he said to newspaper AD. "Josef has a very strong persuasiveness", brother Franz said to the newspaper.
The tenant of a farm where a family was found concealed is suspected of depriving people of their physical freedom, and harming the health of others, the Public Prosecution Service (OM) said on Wednesday. The suspect is reportedly 58-year-old Austrian man Josef B., according to multiple published reports.
The police discovered a father living with his six children in an 'end of times' bunker on a farm in Ruinerwold. The family, who hasn't seen the outside world for years, was discovered after the oldest son managed to get away on Sunday and went to a local pub for help, RTV Drenthe reports.
The provinces of Gelderland, Overijssel and Drenthe followed Friesland's example and announced on Monday that they are reversing the nitrogen measures they announced last week. This happened as hundreds of farmers took their tractors to protest at eight provincial governments. "This is asking for further actions", Jan Brouwer, director of the Center for Public Order and Safety, said to NOS.
Doctors in the Netherlands reported a major spike in patients this past June for complaints related to the poisonous oak processionary caterpillars. Primary care physicians in the last week of June saw a 4.5 times more patients than in other weeks, according to care research organization Nivel.
A Hyalomma tick, commonly referred to as a giant tick, was found in Wageningen. This is the third specimen of this type of tick, which can carry dangerous diseases like Crimean Congo virus and Spotted Fever, to be found in the Netherlands this year. The other sightings were in Drenthe and in the Achterhoek in July.
Rents in the Netherlands continue to rise. In July, the average rents were 2.5 percent higher than in the same month last year. The highest increases happened in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, Statistics Netherlands reported on Wednesday.
The rents of social housing owned by housing corporations increased by 2 percent. Rents for social housing owned by other landlords and rents in free-sector housing both increased by 3.3 percent. In all three categories, the rents increased more than last year.
The partial collapse of the AFAS Stadion roof earlier this month was caused by the downward force of heavy winds. The stadium, home of Alkmaar-based football club AZ, will now undergo a renovation in which roughly 75 percent of the roof will be renovated or replaced.
An investigation into the death of a 32-year-old deaf man in Assen determined that a sex crime took place on the playground where the man died, authorities said on Tuesday. Five men were arrested after reports surfaced that the hearing-impaired gardener named Martin was accused of sexually abusing a four-year-old girl just after 1 p.m. on Saturday.
An irrigation ban is in effect in the Achterhoek, Twente and parts of Drenthe from noon on Thursday. From then farmers in these areas are not allowed to use surface water for watering their fields, waterboards Rijn en Ijssel and Vechtstroom announced on Wednesday, NU.nl reports.
There is a very real concern in the Netherlands regarding potential terror attacks, particularly from ISIS recruits and jihadists, right-wing extremists, and radical activists, according to Dutch counter-terror office NCTV. Because of this, the terror threat level in the country remains high, with holding at 4 out of a maximum of 5 in the terrorism threat assessment published by the NCTV on Monday.
The Public Prosecutor demanded institutionalized psychiatric treatment against a 34-year-old man from Zwolle who is accused of stalking an underage girl from Drenthe for eight years. This is the fourth time that the man is on trial for stalking the now 17-year-old girl from Drenthe the village of Zuidlaren, RTV Drenthe reports.
A 59-year-old woman was found dead in her home on Driehoekskamp in the Drenthe town of De Groeve on Monday night. She was killed in a crime, according to the police. A 56-year-old man was arrested, Dagblad van het Noorden reports.
Police officers responded to the home at around 7:00 p.m. after a report. They found the victim dead inside.
The suspect was arrested shortly after the woman's body was found, a police spokesperson said to the newspaper. He is still in custody. "The victim and the suspect knew each other", the police spokesperson said.