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ICEBREAKER Brezno breaks ice at Hrušovská zdrž (dam) on the Danube near Bratislava. On January 24, the state river-transportation authority (ŠPS) prolonged the ban on sailing on the Danube between Bratislava and Komárno. The measure follows a similar ban Austria enforced on the upper part of the Danube. Ice floating on the river could put the ships in danger. Icebreakers cracked ice blocks on the Čunovo dam near Bratislava, trying to push them into the old Danube's river basin. The extreme freezing temperatures also closed the lock at the Gabčíkovo dam. Cargo boats are staying anchored in Komárno and Bratislava harbours.
photo: TASR

Važec
Driver found hanged after crash

A THIRTY-THREE-year-old man was found hanged just two-and-a-half hours after abandoning his car following an accident on the D1 highway in northern Slovakia on January 16.
At 18:00 the man's car smashed into the highway's central crash barrier, causing damages to the car and road signs amounting to at least Sk50,000 (€1,300). The man left the scene of the accident and was found hanging dead near the highway's Važec exit in the Liptovský Mikuláš district at 20:30.
The unnamed man, 33, came from Slovenská Ves. Police investigating the death have ordered a forensic autopsy to be carried out, Žilina police spokesman Igor Mahút informed the SITA news agency.


Bratislava
Lottery winners scoop Sk33 million

THE JANUARY 15 Tipos lottery produced jackpots in both draws. The two winners will receive a total of nearly Sk33 million (€875,000), according to Tipos marketing director Viera Krupová.
In the first draw, an unnamed player from Skalica in western Slovakia's Trnava region won Sk4,521,480 (€120,000), with his/her lucky numbers being 12, 3, 41, 24, 8, 19, and 10.
In the second draw an unnamed person from the Komárno district scooped a massive Sk27,767,297 (€736,000). His/her lucky numbers were 6, 2, 4, 12, 29, 15 and number 39.
There has not been a double jackpot in Slovakia for three years, the TASR news agency reported.
In 2005, there were 16 jackpots - 11 in the first draw, and five in the second. In 2006, there have been two first-draw jackpots, with only one jackpot so far in the second draw.


Bratislava
Foundation awards Slovak golds

THE SLOVAK Gold Foundation (NSG) awarded 12 products, including two from abroad, Quality Certificates and Slovak Gold medals on January 19.
NSG golds went to Imunoglukan, a nutritional supplement produced by Bratislava-based firm Pleuran; Gynastan, Mantisol and Melaton herbal teas produced by Fytopharma Malacky near Bratislava; Lucka mineral water from Vodax in Bratislava and the prestigious Patriot premium beer from the Topvar brewery in Topoľčany.
Way Industry in Krupina scored with its Božena 5 minesweeping system, while De Miclén from Levice was successful with its moisturizing and anti-callous skin creams. Chemolak in Smolenice and Slovak Science Academy publisher Veda were given awards for their respective products - Chemolux wood-protecting paint and the Encyclopedia Beliana Volumes III and IV. The list of domestic awards was completed by a measuring-and-testing analysis service provided by Vipotest from Partizánske.
The foreign-made products awarded were the VESKO-B biomass-fired boiler from TTS Eko in the Czech city of Třebíč, and the Suzuki Swift passenger car made by the Hungarian branch of Japanese carmaker Suzuki in Esztergom.
Slovak Gold is an assessment system designed to rate and certify quality products and promote them on the European market, reported the TASR news agency.


Ivanka pri Nitre
Spine treatment centre takes shape

A LARGE medical complex in Ivanka pri Nitre in western Slovakia was no more than a vision a year ago, the Hospodárske noviny wrote.
However, that dream should become a reality within a few years. A modern rehabilitation centre will be built, catering mainly to wealthy clients.
The project, which has a budget of almost Sk7 billion (€185 million), is the brainchild of an international consortium led by German group, SAIR Europe and Naumann Services. The consortium has already worked on almost 200 hospital and health centre projects.
The investors, working in co-operation with the local authorities, plan to begin the construction work at the end of this year.
The centre, which is set to be the largest of its kind in Europe, will specialize in the treatment of injuries and diseases of the spine and spinal cord. It is set to employ around 1,200 medical and support staff, including almost 700 nurses. Around 90 percent of the patients are expected to come from abroad.


Trenčín
Norwegians help rebuild castle

AN INITIATIVE from the Norwegian region of Trondelag to help reconstruct Trenčín castle is continuing, despite a change in local politics following the regional elections at the end of 2005.
The new head of the Trenčín higher territorial unit (VÚC), Pavol Sedláček, welcomed representatives from the Trondelag region and a group of Norwegian restorers as his first official visit, the daily SME reported.
The Norwegians came to Trenčín once again to offer assistance in the restoration, with funding coming from a Norwegian financial mechanism. Trenčín VÚC spokeswoman Vlasta Henčelová confirmed for the daily that the aim of the cooperation is the "research and restoration of Trenčín Castle as a significant Slovak historical sight".
Norway, together with Iceland and Liechtenstein, is not an EU member but it does have access to the internal EU market. The three countries are planning to provide almost €1.2 billion in the form of grants by 2009, especially to new EU members such as Slovakia. Slovakia should gain some €70 million of that sum.
The Trenčín VÚC expressed interest in receiving Sk260 million (€6.9 million) from Norway in 2004, when Trondelag representatives signed an agreement on the renewal of Trenčín Castle.
However, Brussels will have the final say on which projects actually gain the available funds.

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