Transparent local government
THE NEW mayor of Poprad, Anton Danko, has taken a step forward for transparency in local government by replacing solid office doors in council offices with glass ones. Danko said he wanted the residents of Poprad to feel that the council was there for them, and not the opposite. Another of his changes to the focus of the council was to replace three apartments in the council offices with new offices.
According to the head of administration at the council, Emil Kostelničák, the change of doors will not be expensive, and many of the new ones will come from other buildings owned by the city.
Car hurts minister's heel
ECONOMY Minister Robert Nemcsics was taken to hospital after his two-ton BMW scratched his heel when he was exiting the vehicle.
The incident took place on February 28 as the minister was rushing to meet with labour unions and representatives of employers to discuss the draft of the revised labour code.
Shortly after the car stopped, Nemcsics opened the door and stepped out. His driver got out of the car at the same time, and, in his haste, failed to engage the parking brake. The car then moved forward scratching the minister's right heel.
Head of the office for the protection of constitutional officials Ján Packa blamed the driver, the minister, and a technical problem.
"Mr Nemcsics was getting out of the car too fast," Packa said.
Nemcsics's driver, who has not been named, will be fined. The minister himself was reported to have undergone a series of medical checks, accompanied by Health Minister Rudolf Zajac.
MISS Congeniality Petra Mokrošová (centre) is off to Panama.
Eastern beauty wins Miss Universe Slovakia contest
LAW student Petra Mokrošová, 20, from the eastern Slovak town of Michalovce won the Miss Universe Slovakia title and took home a new Volvo car.
Twelve finalists competed in the prestigious pageant in Bratislava on March 1. Apart from being selected winner by the contest's jury, Mokrosova was also named Miss Congeniality by viewers who sent in SMS text messages.
Mokrošová will represent Slovakia in the Miss Universe contest in Panama later this year. After the contest she told journalists that because of the strong competition she had had no confidence that she would win the title, but was happy that she had been voted the most beautiful girl.
"I did not expect [to win the contest] but I wanted the title like any other girl. I am happy that I won," Mokrošová said.
Donald Trump, who is a producer of the Miss Universe contest, was expected to show up at the Slovak contest, but according to the organisers, he had to cancel his trip to Slovakia at short notice.
Hungry man eats dog's dinner, sleeps in kennel
DESPERATELY hungry and sleepy, a 19-year-old man broke into an enclosed forest area near Trenčín, ate the watchdog's kibble and fell asleep in the shocked animal's kennel.
When police arrived on the scene, after a call came that an unknown person was inside the area, they could not believe their eyes. They found Roman K. sleeping inside the kennel while the sad dog shivered outside its house.
Police said that Roman told them he had had a fight with his family five weeks ago and left home.
When asked whether or not he had been scared of the watchdog's reaction to his presence, Roman K. said: "I'm not afraid of dogs."
Roman K. said the dog was snarling only while he ate its food, but when he lay down to have a nap in the kennel, the dog lay outside his home without protest.
Train hits car at unguarded crossing
THREE people were lucky to survive when the car they were travelling in was hit by a train on an unguarded crossing. The accident took place on a minor road between Michalovce and the village of Krásnovce.
According to the train driver, the car skidded on ice as it approached the crossing and was unable to stop. The train was travelling at 70 km/h when it struck the right side of the car and pushed it about 200 metres down the tracks.
The 36-year-old driver of the car is in intensive care, where doctors report her condition as serious. The two passengers escaped with minor injuries. No one on the train was hurt.
Wax museum in eastern city
A BUSINESSMAN from Košice plans to establish a wax museum to display historical and contemporary figures who either visited the city or contributed to its development.
Anton Lukačin, who is working on the project, said that the museum should open this September and will be situated in the city's Urbanova veža tower.
"Initially we will order 16 figurines from Hungary," Lukačin told daily Nový Čas. Employees of the Museum of Eastern Slovakia will assist in the creation of the exhibition.
Among the figures to be displayed will be František II Rákoczi, the leader of an uprising against the Habsburgs; St. Elisabeth, the patron saint of the local church; King Matej Korvín, who lived in the 15th century; and Russian marshal Kutuzov, who defeated Napoleon on his return from an excursion in Russia.
It is not known whether President Rudolf Schuster, who for years served as Košice mayor in the 1990s, would also be included in the exhibit.
Man likely killed by flu
A 25-YEAR-OLD man died in a hospital in the central town of Lučenec from a condition likely to have been caused by influenza, local doctors reported.
If the diagnosis is confirmed by virology tests, this will be the third death caused by the fatal virus in Slovakia this year.
The sick young man was hospitalised shortly after midnight on March 1. After his condition worsened, he was moved to intensive care, but he died in the early hours of March 3.
The department's head surgeon told the TASR news agency that the direct cause of death was pneumonia, but the man had flu as well, so that might have been responsible for his death.
Slovakia has been struck by a flu epidemic in recent weeks, causing many schools to declare flu holidays.
The national flu sickness rate climbed by 21 percent at the end of February, exceeding a 10-year average, according to the National Influenza Reference Centre.
10. Mar 2003 at 0:00