Around Slovakia

Rakovec nad Ondavou
Man died after nurse ordered beating

A NURSE probably caused the death of a 30-year-old man at a home run by the social services in Rakovec nad Ondavou, the daily SME reported. Marek N, 27, has been accused of ordering the brutal beating of 30-year-old Jozef R at the home.
The police said that prior to the tragedy Jozef R had attempted suicide by jumping out of a window.
The nurse then tied the man to the bed and fastened a pyjama cord around his mouth to stop him from shouting. Marek N then allegedly ordered three other of the home's clients to beat Jozef R with sticks and hangers that he gave them.
He left the room and when he returned he discovered that Jozef R was dead. The direct cause of the death was suffocation.
The victim and the men who beat Jozef R were mentally disturbed.
A nurse serving in the home reported the case to the police. On examination, a doctor found numerous injuries on Jozef R's body.
"None of our employees understands how this could happen. The nurse who committed the act never showed signs of aggressiveness and did not have a violent character. I don't know if he ever treated the clients in a non-standard way," said the home's director, Helena Kovaľová.
"We are all deeply affected by this and we are firmly behind a proper investigation of the case," she said.

Worker dies at US Steel plant

A CRANE operator at the US Steel plant near Košice was found dead after falling 12 metres from a crane ladder at around midnight on January 12, the TASR news agency wrote.
The exact cause of the 50-year-old man's death is not clear. However, he is believed to have suffered a heart attack while climbing up the ladder to take over from a colleague.

Bear quintuplets celebrate birthday

Bear keeper Vladimír Zmuda feeds birthday cake to one of the bear quintuplets.
photo: SITA

THE UNIQUE bear quintu-plets, which reside in Košice zoo, and which are also registered in the Guinness Book of Records, celebrated their fourth birthday on January 10.
A large number of children from Košice schools came to the zoo to witness the bears celebrating their birthday with a big cake, a large heart-shaped ginger bread and many other delicacies as presents, the SITA news agency reported.
The bear cubs were born on January 6, 2002. Today they each weigh over 100 kilograms and have put Košice zoo on the map.
Their breeders also prepared a little surprise for the bears. For the first time ever the bears met with their parents and older siblings in one pit so visitors for the first time could observe all nine bears together.
When they were born, the bear cubs had to be fed artificially because their mum could not feed all of them.
Košice zoo director Karol Seman said that initially there were fears of how the zoo was going to handle the unexpected bear siblings, practically and financially.
However, the bear cubs have become the main attraction of the zoo and visitor rates increased by 50 percent thanks to them.
Domestic and foreign sponsors helped the zoo build a modern bear "house" and also contribute to their upkeep.

Russians caught hiding on train

SLOVAK border police prevented an attempt by 15 Russian nationals to illegally cross from Slovakia into Austria on a freight train, the SITA news agency reported.
The police came across 10 women and five men hiding in a cargo wagon at Bratislava's Petržalka railway station. None of the Russians possessed any identity documents.
Police searched the wagon, which was loaded with steel sheeting, after noticing a broken seal.

JANKO Alexy's In the Garden (above) and Martin Benka's Revúca Valley are two of the five valuable paintings, worth a total Sk4.5 million (€120,000) that were stolen from Tekov Museum in Levice on January 17, the SITA news wire reported. The booty also included Benka's Below Mních (the name of a hill), Alexy's Village with a Church, and Edmund Gwerk's Below the Ridge. All of paintings date from the inter-war years of the last century. The robbery took place shortly before midnight...
photo: TASR

Slovaks detained on drugs charges

CUSTOMS officials detained two Slovaks and two Hungarians suspected of drug dealing in the village of Kesztolz near the Slovak border on January 7, the Hungarian MTI news agency reported.
Hungarian customs guard (VPOP) spokesman Jenö Sipos said that VPOP investigators, acting in co-operation with a special anti-drugs unit, detained all four suspects near the town of Esztergom.
The officers confiscated four kilos of a drug, which, according to a preliminary analysis, is marijuana, and said to be worth eight million Hungarian forints (€32,000). In MTI's opinion, the drugs probably came from Slovakia.

High Tatras
Snow-made nativity scene at cottage

LOCAL cottage manager Peter Petra again carved a traditional nativity scene out of snow next to the Reinerova

...and took less than three minutes. It must have been prepared in advance, the museum's director, Ján Dano said, as the artworks were displayed in different parts of the museum. The police arrived within three minutes of the alarm going off but the thieves were gone. The paintings were on loan from Slovenská Sporiteľňa banking house and the Alexander Bazovský Gallery in Trenčín. The police are searching for the culprits. If caught they face three to 10 years in prison.
photo: SITA

útulňa shelter he runs in the High Tatras, the TASR news agency reported.
At noon on January 6, mountain enthusiasts and Christmas carols singers met near the carving.
This is the eighth time the Reinerova útulňa manager has built a nativity scene at the cottage. This year's edifice is one of the biggest, standing at four metres and around five metres wide, and unlike previous years this one has a tower. Petra spent hours modelling the figures for the nativity scene in great detail.
The snow-carved nativity scene has become a traditional tourist attraction. Since it is high up in the mountains the carving usually lasts until the spring thaw.

Považská Bystrica
Schoolboy displayed Nazi symbol

POLICE charged a 16-year-old student from Považská Bystrica with promoting fascism. For two days in a row the young man came to school with a Celtic cross measuring 13 x 13 cm shaved into his hair, the daily SME reported.
The symbol is popular with neo-Nazis and other racist groups.

Photographer Eugen Lazišťan dies

ONE of Slovakia's most famous photographers, Eugen Lazišťan, died on the morning of January 6 at his home in Sučany in the northern Slovak Žilina region at the age of 88, the TASR news agency wrote.
Lazišťan started his career as a photographer at the national heritage institute Matica slovenská.
He then worked for 30 years as a senior editor for the Osveta publishing house. It was there that he launched many photographic publications. His photographs appeared in nearly 30 of these.
He also worked for the Slovak National Museum in Martin and put a lot of energy into preparing a permanent exhibition in Blatnica of the work of Karol Plicka, the Czech photographer and founder of Czechoslovakia's first school of film, in Bratislava.
Lazišťan also organized many important photographic compe-titions.

Poacher caught with prey

LOCAL hunters apprehended a 40-year-old poacher who shot a deer on January 9 in a forest Nad Kamennou baňou near Nitra.
Members of the local hunting association heard the shot and later caught the poacher from the village of Tekovské Nemce as he was cutting up his prey, the daily SME wrote.
Police also confiscated his shotgun, for which he had no licence, and charged him with poaching.
The hunters' association estimated the damage caused by killing the roe deer at Sk20,000 (€530).

August 1968 memorial planned

PLANS are being put forward for a memorial in the central Slovak town of Zvolen to commemorate the events of August 1968, when Soviet Union and the Warsaw pact troops invaded the former Czechoslovakia, the daily SME wrote.
The memorial would be dedicated to Jozef Levák, who died in Zvolen after the occupying Soviet tanks rolled into the town.
Artist Fero Guldan has already designed a plaque.
Zvolen's deputy-mayor Vladimír Šeda plans to submit a draft revision to the municipal budget to earmark funding for the memorial.
Levák was one of dozens victims who died in the first days of the Soviet occupation.

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