POLICE discovered dried marijuana leaves hidden in a box of flour in a flat belonging to a man from the western Slovak town of Šahy.
According to the private news agency SITA, the unnamed, unemployed man, 40, had what the police called 50 to 55 "doses" of the psychoactive drug stashed in the flour box.
Police also found several glasses full of seeds ready to be planted.
Because possession of any amount of a drug is illegal in Slovakia, the man faces criminal charges.
Newsagent sends robber home unhappy
A FEARLESS newsagent refused to give cash to a robber and sent him home shocked and empty-handed.
The private news agency SITA wrote that a man armed with a starting pistol used in athletics approached a clerk in a newsstand near Nitra's main train station.
He demanded that she give him all the cash she had, but the brave woman simply said no and warned the man that if he did not leave immediately, she would call the police.
Apparently unprepared for the resistance, the unfortunate robber started to run away but was arrested by the train police patrol only a few metres from the shop.
THESE bottles and cigarettes will be safe with the police.
Illegal booze bust
IN A MASSIVE police strike on producers of illegal alcohol, officers in the eastern Slovak districts of Humenné and Michalovce confiscated thousands of litres of illicit spirits of various brands, as well as fake certification stamps and devices for distilling and bottling the alcohol.
Police also found hundreds of illicit cigarettes.
The Slovak daily SME wrote on January 29 that 11 people were busted in the police operation, with 10 being taken into custody.
During the house searches, SWAT teams assisted the officers in what was a carefully organised police strategy.
"We did not go there by accident," said Jiří Miker, head of the crime section at the Humenné police headquarters.
The police believe that the spirits were smuggled in small volumes from Ukraine and were then flavoured, processed, and poured into bottles in Slovakia.
"During seven house searches, we collected 1,074 litres of pure spirits, 544 litres of alcohol filled in 0.7 litre bottles, 13,362 control stamps, a large quantity of various flavouring mixtures, and labels for different types of alcohol," said Prešov Regional Police headquarters spokeswoman Magdaléna Fečová.
"We also found 5,073 packages of cigarettes," Fečová said.
Police said that in some cases an entire family was involved in the illegal business and that the youngest of the perpetrators was 26, while the oldest was 54 years old.
Man goes to doctor, sets himself on fire
AN ELDERLY man staged a suicide attempt in front of a doctor's office by pouring gas on himself and then striking a match.
Doctor Ivan Gnoth, a nurse, and one patient put out the fire, saving the life of the unnamed man, 74.
"A patient who had just left my office called me outside. We called an ambulance and the fire squad and just started pouring buckets of cold water on the man. We managed to put the fire out within a few minutes and the ambulance then took the man to a hospital in Šaca," Gnoth said to the Slovak daily SME.
"I just can't explain why this man wanted to take his life right in front of my office. Perhaps it was revenge, but I have no idea what for," the general practitioner said.
The man has been Gnoth's client for over a decade. According to SME, the man suffered from high blood pressure and heart problems, but never had any psychiatric problems.
According to Gnoth, however, the man had recently started to look unhappy, as if he no longer wanted to live.
The tragic incident took place on January 27 in the early afternoon. According to witnesses, the fire was so wild that it touched the ceiling of the waiting room.
Surgeon Karol Sopko from the Šaca hospital said that the patient suffered serious third degree burns on 70 percent of his body and that his respiratory system was also affected.
The man's condition remains critical and because of his age it is still uncertain whether he will heal.
Revenge by sex ad
A VENGEFUL man decided to teach his cousin a lesson by placing a sex ad that contained her contact information.
The Slovak daily Nový Čas wrote on January 30 that the victim, only named Renáta, testified against her cousin in court five years ago, and that this was his motive for revenge. He wanted to teach Renáta that one never betrays one's family.
"An attractive brunette offers erotic services to gentlemen, ladies, couples, and students. I'll do it to anyone who calls me. I like it," read the ad, which then listed Renáta's contact information.
Renáta told the daily that ever since the ad ran, dozens of people have called her every day. Renáta, who lives in a small village near the eastern Slovak city of Košice, has been unable to get rid of the resulting bad reputation.
Renáta said that she was still a virgin and that she has not even had a boyfriend because of her supposed status as a fallen woman.
"Everyone is pointing fingers at me as if I were some kind of a harlot. The ad turned my whole life upside down," Renáta said.
Renáta decided to take her case to court, but her cousin has repeatedly failed to appear at the proceedings.
"He has not even said a word of apology to me. I want him to pay for this. It is unbelievable that someone can give a decent person a reputation as a hooker and not be punished," she said.
A PURE bred Nordic dog, pulling his master behind him, sniffs out the Big European Prize.
photo: Roman Millan
Dog sledding watched by 25,000 spectators
OVER 400 dogs competed from February 30 to March 1 for the Big European Prize in dog sledding. The elite contest, Europe's traditional competition of pure bred Nordic dogs, featured around 70 participants this year - from Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, and Slovakia.
Of the competitors in individual categories, only Miroslav Pažúr from LKM Hybe and Branislav Slaný from Lučenec, competing in the B2 category, caused excitement, as Pažúr finished their three-phase race only 41 seconds ahead of Slaný. The Big European Prize also determined the Slovak nomination for the upcoming European Championships taking place from Februray 13 to 15.
Over 25,000 spectators came to watch the competition, among them Slovak Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda.
When a tourist meets a tourist
THOSE who met at the 38th annual outdoor enthusiast meeting in the central Slovak town of Kremnica celebrated the reunion this year by building big snow and ice statues that included a dinosaur, a pyramid, and a turtle.
The Slovak daily SME wrote that nearly 1,000 people from Slovakia and abroad came to the winter meeting. In addition to hiking and skiing, the particiants found time to sled down a slope right in the middle of the town.
Cop, some heroin
A CUSTOMS officer could not hide his heroin addiction from his colleagues, who discovered their peer had a problem during a regular workplace test for alcohol and drugs.
The Slovak daily Nový Čas wrote on January 30 that officer Pavol D, 24, who worked at the Petržalka train station, tested positive for the presence of drugs.
He was then taken to a local drug dependency centre, where tests on his urine and blood showed traces of morphine and benzodiazepine. The officer then admitted that he was addicted to heroin.
He was released from duty, said Silvia Balázsiková, spokeswoman for the customs headquarters.
Lovin' in a churchyard
COLD weather and heaps of snow did not prevent a loving couple from enjoying themselves on the pavement right next to a local church.
An observer called the police in late January and reported that there was a man lying on the snow near a church in the Bratislava district of Lamač.
When police arrived, they discovered that the man was not alone and caught him and his companion in "a rather delicate situation", Bratislava city police spokesman Peter Pleva said to the Slovak daily Nový Čas.
"After arriving there the officers could not believe their senses," Pleva said, adding that the temperature was minus three degrees Celsius that night.
In a separate affair last November, police discovered a different couple making love in the Kozia brána cemetery. In an attempt to enhance the romantic atmosphere, they had lit candles on one of the graves.
9. Feb 2004 at 0:00