Mushroom picker unearths bomb
A PART-TIME mushroom picker found two air bombs in a forest near the village of Gbelce, in the southern Slovak disrict of Nové Zámky.
The man, not named, quickly reported his find to police; afterwards, a specialist disabled the bombs, which dated back to the second world war.
Since the war, it has been quite common for grenades, bombs, ammunition, and other military material to be found in some parts of the country, particularly in regions that were near the front lines.
These areas include parts of northeastern and central Slovakia, as well as the southwestern part of the state, which was occupied by the German army as it retreated from the Soviets. The Germans, in a hurry to escape, had dropped hundreds, and perhaps even thousands of bombs, some of which experts say could still explode.
In the village of Tupá, in Slovakia's Levice district, another man made a similar discovery. When cleaning up his cellar, he found a 200-millimetre calibre air bomb.
40 pigs die in car accident
IN A TRAGIC car accident, 40 pigs, which were being transported in a truck, died after the vehicle ran off the road, into the ditch.
The accident took place on September 9, near the town of Topoľčany; the police managed to recover and rescue the driver, and the remaining 100 pigs, from the truck.
Miloš Fábry, spokesman for the Nitra regional police headquarters, said to the Slovak daily Nový čas that the driver admitted to officers that he fell asleep during the journey, and that's what led to the tragic consequences.
The driver also said that he woke up only after the car had crashed into the ditch.
Žiar nad Hronom
Math prodigy says there's more to life than numbers
TOMÁŠ Váňa, a 16-year-old secondary school student, who recently won the bronze medal at the International Math Olympics in Tokyo, may soon become the youngest Slovak university student, but he says there's more to life than just numbers.
Váňa, from the central Slovak town of Žiar nad Hronom, was a member of a successful Slovak math team, and the Slovak math champion in his age group.
But despite his impressive knowledge of numbers, Váňa remains down to earth when it comes to determining what his success means.
"I could probably reach for my furthest limits, and perhaps reach for the gold medal. But I don't want to give all of my time to math because life is about something else," Váňa said to the Slovak daily SME on September 12.
He revealed to the daily that his favourite pastime was playing guitar and that he is a member of a local student band.
Hunter mistakes a bull for a roe buck
POLICE are investigating a case in which a registered hunter shot and killed a bull, mistaking the animal for a roe buck.
The shooting took place in the early morning hours on a potato field, only a few metres from a private house in Odorica, a village in the northeastern district of Levoča. The unnamed hunter, was intending to point his gun at a roe buck, but in an unexpected turn hit a 150-kilo bull instead.
"How can a hunter shoot [only] a few metres from a private house, on private property?" asked Mr and Mrs Homola to the Slovak daily SME. The couple owns a house near to where the shooting took place.
"We often work on the field in the early morning hours. We don't even want to imagine what would have happened if, on that day, some of us had been working in the potato field. If someone mistakes a roe buck with a 150-kilo bull, then something must be wrong with that person," the Homolas said.
According to police spokes-man Pavol Paračka, the hunter who shot the bull may be facing a fine of Sk6,000 (€143), and the police may also withdraw his shotgun license.
In addition to that punishment, the hunters' union in Levoča is prepared to take further steps if the hunter is found guilty of transgressing general hunting rules.
The head of the hunters union in Levoča, Albert Baran, said: "If his guilt is proven, we will fine him or initiate disciplinary proceedings against him. In the worst case, we could also expel him from our organization."
Ambulance crashes while transporting dialysis patient
AMBULANCE collision leaves six people, including a dialysis patient, wounded.
SIX PEOPLE were wounded, three of them suffering serious injuries, in a car crash that involved an ambulance carrying a dialysis patient to his regular treatment.
The accident took place in the central Slovak town of Banská Bystrica, on September 10, when the driver of a car (Toyota make) failed to let the ambulance pass at an intersection, and the two vehicles collided.
As a result of the crash, the ambulance skidded and turned onto its side, while the three people in the car, including a two-year-old child, were saved from serious injury by airbags and a secure child car-seat.
According to the daily SME, the ambulance driver suffered the most severe injuries of all: after being trapped in the emergency vehicle, the police had to free him with hydraulic scissors.
Sumo fighters arrive in east Slovakia
SUMO wrestlers bared it all in Slovakia.
BIG MEN commanding respect filled the streets and gyms of the eastern Slovak town of Prešov for an exhibition of their art, which is part of the ongoing Slovak-Japanese culture days festival in the eastern city.
Prešov welcomed 20 sumo wrestlers, all of whom are members of the Japanese national team. According to coach Matsuzaka Noriaki, plenty of Japanese boys dream of becoming professional sumo wrestlers, but only a few manage to make their dreams come true.
"In Japan there are about 60 professional sumo fighters," Noriaki said to the Slovak daily Nový čas on September 12.
"A respected sumo wrestler must be very strong," says Noriaki. To achieve that, and stay in top condition, members of his team must not only endure rigorous physical training, but he says his team must also "eat twice as much as other people do".
Cop forges school diploma
A POLICEMAN is being prosecuted after his bosses found out that when applying for the job, he forged his secondary school diploma.
The policeman, not named, who worked in the eastern Slovak village of Spišská Belá, was a member of the force for several years, and was accepted after having lied to his employers about the level of his education.
When applying for the job, he forged a diploma that stated that he had graduated from secondary school and had passed the required state exams in mandatory subjects. Only recently, it was discovered that the officer never completed his secondary school education.
Officials in the nearby police headquarters in Kežmarok confirmed for the Slovak daily Pravda that the officer will be fired from his position, and may be charged with counterfeiting official documents.
Mafia car ring stored stolen vehicles on state property
POLICE have discovered a storage space where a local mafia car ring stored stolen cars and automobile parts.
Several luxury vehicles were parked in a storage space on Bazova Street, on the premises of the state-owned Slovak Railways company.
During a police raid of the storage space and four related garages, officers impounded four luxury cars, including a Seat Alhambra, and a Volkswagen Sharan. In addition, they found 15 engines, a number of tires, and various car parts.
The railway company spokeswoman, Kornélia Blašková, said to the Slovak daily Nový čas that the garages and the storage space were legally rented from her company, and that they did not know a car ring had been using the premises.
"They [the mafia] were using the premises illegally. The property, including the four garages, belongs to the Railways and was legally rented from us [by a different party]."
Church tower collapses
A 500-year-old, crumbling church tower collapsed in a tiny southern Slovak village, leaving some of the inhabitants wondering whether the occurrence had some mystical bearing on the Pope's visit in the central European country.
On September 12, the second day of John Paul II's visit to Slovakia, the church tower in Zacharovce collapsed unexpectedly in the late evening hours, with some of the tower's debris falling only a few metres from the newly reconstructed kindergarten building.
No one was hurt in the incident. Ružena Gembická, mayor of Zacharovce, a village of 400 inhabitants, said to the private TV channel Markíza that the inhabitants were "sad and terrified, because the church tower was a paramount building in our village".
One resident even wondered whether the incident had a deeper meaning in relation to the Pope's visit. Between September 11 and 14, the Pontiff visited Slovakia on his 102nd foreign trip.
The villager said: "The fact that it happened just now ... I don't know ... is it a sign?"
Not good enough
A SLOVAK Parliamentary Deputy speaker who wanted to study law did not score high enough on the required entry exams, and thus failed to be accepted to university.
The official, Zuzana Martináková, 42, is deputy chairwoman of the country's ruling Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), and wanted to enrol in a BA program at the Comenius University Faculty of Law, in Bratislava.
However, the university could only accept 300 students to the program, and Martináková's entry test scores ranked 326th.
"In the morning [before the tests], I was not even sure if I was going to go," Martináková said to the Slovak daily Nový čas on September 13.
Although she already has a university degree in French and Slovak, the deputy parliamentary speaker wanted to gain a better legal background, which she hoped would help her in her career.
"I run several advisory centres and I thought I could use some legal education," she said.
It is possible that she will try her luck again next year.
22. Sep 2003 at 0:00