Fire alert: Ministry restricts entry to woods
A HEIGHTENED risk of forest fires has led the Agriculture Ministry to restrict access to national parks.
THE AGRICULTURE Ministry has issued a decree restricting forest visitors to marked trails only, a response to the scorching heat over recent weeks, which has heightened the risk of fires.
All of Europe has been suffering from extreme heat, and temperatures in Slovakia have risen well beyond 30ë Celsius, remaining above that level for the last three weeks.
Several recent forest fires, for example one near the eastern Slovak village of Spišská Magura, Kapušany, moved the ministry to issue the country-wide restrictions. Those who stray from the path may be fined up to Sk5,000 (€120).
Milan Fisher, head of the forest policy section of the Agriculture Ministry, told the Slovak daily SME: "I hope people will understand that the situation is really serious, with potential damages extremely high."
"The ban not only applies to tourists but also to people who work in forests," Fisher said.
Managers too tired for sex
TOP Slovak managers may provide their partners with fancy lifestyles, but little or no cuddling is taking place in their beds, some psychologists have said.
According to the Slovak weekly Slovenka, many top managers are too tired to have sex, causing their partners to seek advice from psychologists and sexologists.
Doctor Danica Caisová told the weekly that top managers are one of the most endangered groups with respect to having a healthy sex life.
"They usually make their partners financially secure, but many of them gradually lose interest in their sex lives. Although some of them sometimes find lovers to try to enliven their passion, they often fail there as well," Caisová said.
She also said that in recent years the number of young men experiencing impotence has increased, as has the number that complain that they have lost interest in sex.
She said recently that the wife of a well-known Slovak businessman visited her, complaining that her husband did not have sex with her at all.
"She asked me to prescribe pills to treat his erection problems, but he refused to take them. He said to his wife: 'At least you can be sure that I will not cheat on you.'"
Lower visitor numbers for Slovak camping sites
CENTRAL Slovakia's camping sites have reported a fall in the number of foreign tourists, largely from Germany and the Netherlands.
The Slovak daily SME wrote on August 8 that the camping sites in general were suffering from a smaller number of visitors, including Slovaks.
"Compared to last year, there is a general decrease in the number of tourists. Slovaks don't have money and foreigners somehow have stopped coming here," Alžbeta Sobotová, the owner of a camping site in the central Slovak village of Tajov, near Banská Bystrica, said.
Though last year her camp saw 70 caravans coming per month, this year the number has dropped to about 40 on average.
Analysts believe that some of the traditional visitors decided to spend their holidays by the Adriatic Sea, in Slovenia or Croatia.
Heating the dead back to life
CEMETERY administrators had to call the police after one woman refused to leave a dead body, claiming she wanted to bring him back to life by lying on him and heating him up.
According to Eva Burianová, the administrator of a cemetery in the central Slovak town of Zvolen, an unknown woman came to her on August 1, asking to see the dead body of a 62-year-old man who was to be buried one hour later.
Burianová told the Slovak daily Nový čas that the woman claimed she was the man's niece; therefore, the administrator let her into the room where the body was stored.
"We led her to the body in a cold room. [Seeing the deceased before the funeral] is a common request by families," Burianová said.
The administrator eventually realised that the woman had been in the cooler room for quite a long time and thus went to see her. What she saw shocked her.
"She was heating him up with her own body, completely undisturbed by the fact that there were two more dead bodies in the room. 'For God's sake, what are you doing,' I shouted at her," Burianová said.
The woman then allegedly said that she was just bringing the dead man back to life.
Because the woman refused to leave the cemetery premises, the administrator then called the police to remove her from the area.
Student hostel catches fire
ALL escaped safely from a hostel fire in the central Slovak town of Zvolen.
photo: SME-Ján Krošlák
SEVENTY people had to be evacuated after a student hostel in the central Slovak town of Zvolen caught fire on August 10.
According to the Slovak daily SME, no one was hurt in the fire, but the hostel suffered extensive damages, including the burning down of the hostel's computer room.
Investigators believe that the fire was sparked by a maintenance worker who was fixing the roof using a propane-butane burner.
The damages are estimated at Sk7 million (€166,000).
Stolen mobile in knickers
TWO thieves who stole a mobile phone from their friend were caught after the stolen telephone rang in one of the thieving girls' knickers.
According to Bratislava police spokeswoman Marta Bujňáková, the curious case took place on August 6, when culprits Monika B. and Denisa A. stole the telephone of their 23-year-old friend Monika F.
The latter reported the theft to police, who soon tracked down the two culprits.
When officers asked the girls about the telephone, "they denied the allegations," according to Bujňáková.
Then, however, one policeman dialled the missing mobile phone, causing a ring to emit from one of the culprits' underwear.
Student returns anorexic from US
PARENTS of 17-year-old Zuzana Justhová could not believe their eyes when they went to pick up their daughter from a 10 month-long study stay in the US, as they discovered the girl lost nearly 30 kilos.
Upon returning from the US, Zuzana Justhová weighed only 38 kilos and had a severe eating disorder. At her departure, the teenager's weight was at 65 kilograms.
Zuzana stayed in Millington, Tenessee, living in the house of a volunteer who offers housing to foreign students.
"I did not like her food. She cooked only out of a can and everything was very fatty. Other [students] just ate hamburgers and were putting on weight," Zuzana told the Slovak daily Nový čas. She then started to eat only fruits and vegetables.
Although her family knew that their daughter had lost some weight in the US, they had no idea that the weight loss was so dramatic. They have blamed the agency through which their daughter was sent for not informing them of what was happening to Zuzana.
The agency, ASSE - CZ, based in Prague, admitted that their representative in the US, as well as the lady with whom Zuzana stayed, failed to inform them and offered to pay for Zuzana's treatment.
"We are very sorry for what happened. I admit that it was our representative's mistake, neither informing us nor Zuzana's parents as to what was happening with the girl," ASSE - CZ officer Josef Motyčka said to the daily.
Police hunt for iguana
A PET owner who went for a walk with his 80 centimetre-long iguana lizard alarmed police after the leash tore off and the animal ran free.
Despite the police and fire fighters' joint efforts, the animal escaped, climbing to the top of a tree after a ladder proved too short to reach the animal.
The pet's owner, Filip Pernich, said his iguana later escaped from the tree, making it impossible to track down.
Sweltering city hits 100-year high
SOUTHERN Slovakia experienced the highest temperatures on August 13 in one hundred years, as the thermometer registered 37 degrees Celsius.
"Fifty years ago Bratislava recorded 34C, while in 1952 temperatures climbed to 34.9C," meteorologist Eugen Lexman told daily Nový čas. On August 13, Štefánik Airport and Koliba were the hottest spots in Bratislava.
The previous highest temperatures ever recorded in Slovakia tortured Hurbanovo locals three years ago.
Meteorologists do not expect relief from the heat during the upcoming weeks. Furthermore, they predict August to be the driest month in the past hundred years.
A PACK of wolves killed 21 sheep in an attack on a flock near the eastern Slovak village of Švedlár.
Shepherds told the Slovak daily Nový čas that the hungry wolves first appeared in the middle of the night, but the shepherds managed to scare them away.
About half an hour later, the wolves returned, and before shepherds could stop them, the animals attacked the sheep, leaving 21 dead and scattered around the meadow.
According to Cyril Šmelko, the head of the Agrospiš firm, to which the sheep belonged, the total damage was around Sk70,000 (€1,660).
18. Aug 2003 at 0:00