Around Slovakia

A summer under canvass
Vandals pay for statue reconstruction
Priest saves man from blowing up house
Derailed train accident takes one life
Police arrest Romanian housebreaking gang head
Transfusion refused

A summer under canvass

A FAMILY with eight children has found a new home in a tent in a forest near Zvolen, with some of the children sleeping in an old car the father bought to give his kids a bedroom.
The father, Rudo Papanitz, said that his family had moved to the forest three weeks ago after a fight with his cruel mother in law with whom they had been living.
Although four of the children are still of school age, Papanitz said they were now not attending school because "we can't even wash their clothes. The kids are dirty, and in the beginning we were sleeping on the ground. Tell me, can you attend school from a forest?"
The family lives on the mother's maternity allowance and allowances paid by the state for every child.
Papanitz said he has been unemployed for a long time already, as has his wife who, as Papanitz said, "finishes with one baby and then goes on maternity leave with another one coming. It's been like this for 13 or 14 years now."
"In all my life I've never breathed so much fresh air," Papanitz added.

Vandals pay for statue reconstruction

THREE vandals who in April this year cut the arm off a bronze statue of a kneeling woman in central Slovakia's Nemecká have paid for its reconstruction. The men brought the stolen arm to a local recycling centre and sold it for scrap.
The statue had been erected in homage to Nemecká inhabitants who during the second world war were killed and cremated in a local cement factory. It is already being fixed by a local artisan.
"I welcome the outcome of this. The reconstruction cost them [the vandals] around Sk100,000 [$2,200]," said Milan Stanislav from the Slovak National Uprising Museum in nearby Banská Bystrica.
The memorial area was also equipped with a new security system connected to the local police station. Stanislav says he believes the statue, which has been damaged several times already, will not be vandalised again.
Apart from the three young men who had the statue fixed, police are also investigating two men from Ráztoka in Brezno district who last year attempted to remove the entire statue from the memorial site.

Priest saves man from blowing up house

FOR UNKNOWN reasons a 58-year-old Trnava inhabitant decided to blow up his own house with a propane-butane solution.
But on June 26, the man's wife rushed to a local priest asking him to come to the house and give last rites to her husband.
The priest immediately called police and fire fighters, who found that the man had barricaded the house so nobody could get inside. A police negotiator managed to convince the man to open the door, and firemen eliminated the danger of explosion.

A TRAIN driver died in this crash after suffering a heart attack.
photo: TASR

Derailed train accident takes one life

A TRAIN accident which took place in Jesenské near Rimavská Sobota was caused by a train driver who had a heart attack while on the job.
The train gained speed uncontrollably after the man's attack and finally went off the track, ending up only four metres from a house. The accident took place in the early morning hours of June 28.
The 38-year-old driver died, but nobody else was hurt. Shortly after the train came to rest the passengers, many in shock, started to jump out of the wagons.
"We could not help the train driver. He was stuck in the overturned locomotive. But the other passengers were very lucky," said attending doctor Jana Kolkayová from Rimavská Sobota.

Police arrest Romanian housebreaking gang head

BRATISLAVA police have uncovered an organised group which focused on robbing houses and which, apart from its Romanian leader, allegedly included several local taxi drivers.
Starting in November last year the group broke into several family houses in Bratislava and surrounding towns concentrating on cash, jewels, electric appliances, computers, telephones and expensive clothing such as leather jackets and fur coats.
Bratislava police spokeswoman Marta Bujňáková said on July 1 that the police had already arrested the 33-year-old gang leader, a Romanian national, and had also gathered information on several taxi drivers allegedly connected to the group.
The group since last year has broken into six houses in Bratislava and Senec and caused damages of almost Sk2 million.

Transfusion refused

A MAN who suffered serious burns and was transported to a hospital refused a blood transfusion because his religion bans it.
The 21-year-old patient, a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses, stated his disagreement with the blood transfusion both verbally and in writing, said Ján Babík, a doctor from the Prešov burn clinic.
"He has even refused a transfusion of his own blood. That very much complicates the patient's health condition outlook, and at the same time will considerably increase expenses related to non-traditional healing methods," Babík added.
The doctor estimated that a special cure could increase costs by as much as Sk500,000 ($11,000).

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