The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Breaking News

National News

November 14, 2013

Spanish pianist could face jail for practicing

MADRID — To most people, noise pollution is a jet engine roaring over their head. For one Spanish woman, it was a neighbor playing the piano more softly than a spoken conversation.

The woman has taken her neighbors in the apartment below — a 27-year-old pianist and her parents — to court. Now prosecutors want to send all three to jail for over seven years on charges of psychological damage and noise pollution.

In a country known for its exuberant noisiness, the case has raised eyebrows. Neighbors often complain about street and bar noise in Spain, but prosecutors seeking jail time for someone practicing the piano is unheard of — especially since that musician is now a professional concert pianist.

At the trial in the northeastern city of Gerona, Sonia Bosom claimed she suffered noise pollution from 2003 to 2007 due to the five-days-a-week, eight-hour practice sessions of Laia Martin, who lived below her in the northeastern town of Puigcerda.

Martin, 27, denies that she played at home that often, saying she took regular classes in other towns. She claims she mostly practiced at home on the weekends.

On Monday, the first day of the trial, the El Pais newspaper reported that Bosom told the court she now hates pianos so much she can’t even stand to see them in a film.

The prosecution claims that years of hearing constant playing has caused Bosom “psychological injury.” Medical reports showed she suffered from a variety of problems, including insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks and gynecological problems.

Bosom and her family moved in 2007 and she says she has had to take time off work, reportedly due to her problems.

The prosecutor said tests by local authorities found that the sound levels made by the piano were repeatedly up to 10 decibels higher than the 30-decibel limit laid down for musical instruments in the town. City authorities asked the family several times to either stop the piano playing or soundproof the room.

Text Only
National News
  • Medicare hospital fund to last 4 years longer

    Medicare's finances are looking brighter, the government said Monday. The program's giant hospital trust fund won't be exhausted until 2030 — four years later than last year's estimate.

    July 28, 2014

  • After 6 weeks, finally a deal on VA health care

    After more than six weeks of sometimes testy talks, House and Senate negotiators have agreed on a compromise plan to fix a veterans health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays.

    July 28, 2014

  • Brother sues W.Va. senator over business loan

    U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III faces a $1.7 million civil suit filed by a brother over a lifeline to save a family carpet business.

    July 25, 2014

  • Official: Hospital gunman intended to kill others

    A psychiatric patient ranted about a hospital gun ban before opening fire at the suburban medical complex, killing his caseworker and grazing his psychiatrist before the doctor pulled out his own weapon and fired back, authorities said Friday.

    July 25, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

     

    July 25, 2014

  • Illinois woman, 47, dies rescuing boy in Wisc. lake ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) — Friends and family are mourning the death of an Illinois woman who drowned while rescuing a 9-year-old boy in a Wisconsin lake.The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reports 47-year-old Karen Wessel of Arlington Heights d

    July 25, 2014

  • Taiwan plane crash photo Air travel a leap of faith for passengers WASHINGTON (AP) — Airline travel requires passengers to make a leap of faith, entrusting their lives to pilots, airlines, air traffic controllers and others who regulate air travel.Even after a week of multiple tragedies in worldwide aviation, “There

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona's prolonged lethal injection is fourth in U.S. this year

    Arizona's execution of double-murderer Joseph Wood marked the fourth time this year that a state failed to dispatch a convict efficiently, according to the Constitution Project, a bipartisan legal group.3

    July 24, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

     

    July 24, 2014

  • U.S. economy, though sluggish, may now be sturdier WASHINGTON (AP) — Out of a seemingly hollow recovery from the Great Recession, a more durable if still slow-growing U.S. economy has emerged.That conclusion, one held by a growing number of economists, might surprise many people. After all, in the fi

    July 24, 2014

AP Video
Facebook