Around Slovakia

Gunslinger teacher jailed for five years
Born again
University plagiarist remains in job
No room for the dead
Fishermen catch piranhas in lake
Bear in a tent

Gunslinger teacher jailed for five years

A HIGH school teacher who shot a student in the back for parking in front of her house has been sentenced to five years in jail by a regional court.
Mária M., 50, was found guilty of attempting to murder Marián J., 17, in November 2000 after a group of teenage boys parked a car preventing access to her garage, and then became involved in a fight with her husband. The defendant has said she will appeal.

THE REBORN Stromček.
photo: Sme - Peter Kaleta

Štrbské pleso
Born again
A PARAGLIDING enthusiast enjoyed a miraculous escape from death after his craft suddenly collapsed while he was 100 metres above the ground. The man plummeted down to what doctors later said would have been his certain death, but was fortunate enough to land on a five square metres trampoline in a children's entertainment park.
"Everything went quick as lightning. I don't really remember much from the fall. All I know is that I was very lucky," said Stanislav Stromček from Svit, who suffered the terrifying experience in the High Tatras mountains Štrbské pleso area on June 20.
Stromček was taken to a Poprad hospital, where he was found to have come out of the accident without a bruise.
"People who do this kind of sport must be prepared for anything," Stromček said, adding that he had tried to pull the ripcord on his parachute, but that it had failed.
"It was then that I knew I was lost," he said
Although the trampoline averted one tragedy it nearly caused another. At the time Stromček hit the trampoline it was being used by a child, who luckily was not hit by the falling airman.
Those who witnessed the fall say they were more terrified than Stromček himself. "When he fell I ran over to him. He told me that he wished he had fallen into a pool, but that maybe that would have been too great a luxury," said a park employee.
Stromček says he will not give up his hobby, and plans to return to hang gliding as soon as he buys another machine.

University plagiarist remains in job

THE HEAD of the mathematics department at Trnava's Slovak Technical University was discovered by students to have copied works by two US academics and printed them in domestic journals under his own name.
Although the professor, Marián Halabrín, was recalled from his post shortly after students reported the case to university management four months ago, he continues to examine students and give lectures as before in what the university says is due to a serious shortage of qualified teachers.
Jaroslav Červeňanský, the current head of the math department, confirmed the information and said: "At the moment we have no replacement for him, and if he didn't teach big complications would arise."
University rector Juraj Molnár argued that the school had done its best to deal promptly with the students' complaint, adding that Halabrín's wages had been cut.
Molnár said that Halabrín had sent a letter of apology to the US scientists.

No room for the dead

TRENČÍN cemetery will soon have no room for new graves, as the graveyard is almost full and a new one has not yet been built.
"We can bury people here at most until the end of this year. If the cemetery is not enlarged, the system will break down," said Anton Kalafút, head of the Trenčín city management section.
The situation has arisen because of a new trend among freshly retired Trenčín inhabitants, who immediately after retiring buy a plot at the cemetery so that when they die at least their final resting place is assured. It is estimated that around half of the cemetery's grave sites are empty.
The city, however, says it has no money to enlarge the cemetery, and says an enlargement project will likely take over a year to complete.

Zelená Voda
Fishermen catch piranhas in lake

TWO PIRANHAS were caught recently at a popular holiday water resort in western Slovakia.
The South American fish were snared by fishermen at two separate places in the Zelená Voda resort near Nové Mesto nad Váhom.
Štefan Bielik caught a 28-centimetre piranha on June 20, and said he believed there were more piranhas in Zelená Voda.
"They usually attack in shoals. It's very fast, you can't get out of the water quick enough to escape them. It could be nasty if it bit someone," said Bielik who reported his catch to the local authorities and who now says he keeps his piranha in a bucket on his balcony at home.
Authorities remain clueless as to how the fish wound up in Slovak waters.
Piranhas are considered the most dangerous fish in South American waters, and can also attack people. Their teeth are so sharp that South American natives sometimes use them for shaving.

Bear in a tent

TWO CZECH tourists experienced a shock on awakening when a bear suddenly entered their tent while they were sleeping in the Low Tatras' camping area.
The hungry bear tore the front part of the tent open and grabbed some food. The two managed to scare the bear out by shouting and banging camping tools, but the bear scratched one of the tourists on the back of his head.
"We released the patient on June 25 and luckily the wound was not dangerous," said Zdeno Greško from the nearby hospital in Brezno.
In Tále, locals and hotel staff are used to seeing bears wandering around the popular tourist area.
An employee with the Golf hotel said: "We always warn our guests not to walk too far off from the hotel at night because they could meet a bear."
Head of the Low Tatras National Park administration Ľuboš Čillag said, however, that people were usually to blame for the occurrence of the bears in inhabited areas.
"It's a problem of waste deposits. They lure the bears."

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