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Around Slovakia

Impostor TV crew makes quite a production
Miner writes novel in 20 hours
Dear Comrade...
Old shepherd lost and found
National cemetery to get a facelift
Fix my phone or you're dead
Thieves find rich booty in shepherd's shed
Castle to be visible at night

Kamienka
Impostor TV crew makes quite a production

A PACK of impostors claiming to work for the public broadcaster Slovak Television (STV) tried to coerce money from people in return for allegedly getting them jobs as extras in the TV network's new movie.
The cheats told inhabitants of the village of Kamienka in eastern Slovakia that, if they paid Sk1,000 (€25), they would be hired as extras for the filming of a made-up movie called The Tramp's Ballad.
Branislav Zahradník, a member of STV's management, told the public TASR news wire on November 28 that the cheats told people that they needed 200 extras for the production.
Záhradník said that the people were told they would need to pay the money when they signed a contract with STV.
"STV is not working on any such title and it never hired anybody to collect financial sums from citizens in the broadcaster's name," Zahradník said, adding that the crooks were reportedly behaving in a persuasive way and impressing people by pretending to have knowledge of show business.
The fraud was revealed thanks to a municipal official from the village who rang STV to inquire about the suspicious TV crew. In cooperation with local police, STV then came to a fake costume rehearsal that the fake moviemakers had organized for the evening of November 27. The prospective extras were expected to pay their deposits at the rehearsal.
The cheats, however, never arrived at the rehearsal. At this time, police continue to search for the criminals.


Bratislava
Miner writes novel in 20 hours


SPEEDWRITER Vladimír Jurišta finished The Unfinished Story in less than one day.
photo: TASR

BUSINESSMAN and former miner Vladimír Jurišta hopes to earn an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records with his recent writing performance - penning a novel cover to cover in a mere 20 hours.
The book, 73 handwritten pages long and entitled The Unfinished Story, was produced at the recent Bibliotéka book fair that took place from November 20 to 23 in the capital city of Bratislava.
"I was undisturbed there [at the fair]; it's just a matter of exercise. Some time ago, I would ride hundreds of kilometres by train every day and I learned to write and read a lot on the journeys," Jurišta said to the Slovak daily Nový Čas on November 28.
He said the story was about people who find themselves at the margins of society.
Jurišta said the plot occurred to him spontaneously at the fair. He wrote the book without stopping, only taking short breaks for coffee and to go to the toilet.
The Unfinished Story was written in a new record time for Jurišta, beating his speedwriting performance last year, when he poured out a book in 24 hours.


Bratislava
Dear Comrade...

A WOMAN who was never a member of the Communist Party (KSS) and had no intention of joining it was shocked at receiving an invitation to a KSS meeting - the letter opening with a homey "Dear Comrade".
The addressee, a 37-year-old woman from Bratislava named only Katarína Č, told the Slovak daily Nový Čas that she feared her personal data had been misused.
She said that her number was not in the phone book, nor was her name on her mailbox, and therefore was very surprised at receiving the invitation to the KSS district conference.
František Kasanický, head of the Bratislava district headquarters of the KSS, however, offered the daily a possible explanation: Someone who knows the woman's details might have played a trick on her.
"Mrs Katarín Č sent us a membership application via the internet, and that is why we registered her as a party supporter," Kasanický said.
"We apologize for the inconvenience," he added.


Važec
Old shepherd lost and found

SHEPERD Michal Hyben, 81, alarmed his neighbours when he did not return with his sheep from a day of grazing. They immediately started a search for the old man in the forests surrounding the central Slovak village of Važec.
Two hundred people, including firemen, police, and Hyben's friends and family, helplessly searched for the shepherd, who, as it turned out, was wandering the woods looking for stray sheep.
"The flock started to run home and I could not keep up with them," Hyben said to the Slovak daily Nový Čas.
He suspected that some sheep had gotten scared and lost in the local woods and he ended up looking for them all night.
Locals failed to trace Hyben and it was not until the next morning that he returned home, tired and fearing that hungry wolves he had heard howling in the night had attacked some sheep.
The sheep, meanwhile, returned home to their village as well.
"We thought he was gone forever," Hyben's wife Mária, 75, said.
"This was definitely the last grazing I will do," Hyben added. "I don't have the strength for it anymore."


Martin
National cemetery to get a facelift


STUDENTS on school excursions can look forward to admiring the national cemetary in Martin once it is repaired and remodeled.
photo: TASR

THE NATIONAL cemetery in Martin, where dozens of Slovakia's historically important figures have found their rest, is to get a dignified new look after years of vandalism that has damaged the area as well as some graves.
Buried at the cemetery are national figures such as the 19th century rebel poet Janko Kráľ, along with dozens of reputed writers, scientists, and other men and women of achievement.
The central Slovak city of Martin has produced a plan that, among architectural changes, suggests increased security at the cemetery. These, the city hopes, will deter further destructive acts.
In the past, reported the Slovak daily SME, thieves caused millions of crowns worth of damage at the cemetery, not shying away from stealing statues and other pieces of art decorating the graves.
Viera Šottníková, head of Martin's architectural department, said that the plan also includes rebuilding the area surrounding the cemetery.
The national cemetery is to be connected with the city's cemetery, and the arrangement of paths and greens will also be redesigned.
A new entry will be built, with an information office about the cemetery. Visitors could thus find all necessary information about where the nation's heroes are buried, as well as other information related to the cemetery.
The cemetery dates back to the second half of the 19th century, and in 1962 it was declared a national cultural sight.


Nové Mesto nad Váhom
Fix my phone or you're dead

A MAN holding a pistol came to a mobile phone shop and demanded that his telephone be fixed or he would kill the shop owner. The incident took place on November 26 in the western Slovak town of Nové Mesto nad Váhom.
The private SITA news agency reported that the 59-year-old man, not named, entered the shop and pointed his pistol at the sales clerk, forcing her to take the broken telephone and grant him a free repair.
Police are investigating the incident.


Stará Lehota
Thieves find rich booty in shepherd's shed

A THIEF made off with a full bag from a shepherd's shed near the town of Stará Lehota, taking gold, euros, Slovak crowns, one ram, and 23 sheep home.
The TASR news agency wrote that the unknown thief came to the shed on November 24. Inside he found Sk80,000 (€1,952) and €1,000 in cash. The total damage, including the stolen sheep, was estimated at Sk409,000 (€9,850).


Stará Ľubovňa
Castle to be visible at night

ANOTHER Slovak castle, in the eastern Slovak town of Stará Ľubovňa, is to be illuminated with hundreds of bulbs if the managers of the castle find sponsors for the project. Visitors will thus have a chance to admire it also during night Other Slovak castles that are shed in artificial light are, for example, Spišský castle in the northeast and the Krásna hôrka castle in the southeast.
The head of the castle museum, Monika Pavelčíková, said that the project was prepared but that her castle was waiting for a sponsor to help finance the plan. President Rudolf Schuster allegedly promised to find one for Stará Ľubovňa.
Presidental spokesman Ján Füle confirmed for the Slovak daily SME that the presidential office was looking for investors and that it planned to have the matter closed by the end of the year.

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