Around Slovakia

Oldest DJ
Monstrous baby; hospital tells all
Woman dies in landslide
An especially silent auction
Ski lift to save village
Unnamed man drinks himself into notoriety
Employee fires at boss
Precious castle falling apart
Armed robber takes Sk2 million in jewelry
Concord blast alert

Žiar nad Hronom
Oldest DJ

PERHAPS the oldest DJ in Slovakia, if not in the world, is Július Pavlo, 74, from the central Slovak town of Žiar nad Hronom.
photo: Ján Svrček

PERHAPS the oldest DJ in Slovakia, if not in the world, is Július Pavlo, 74, from the central Slovak town of Žiar nad Hronom. Pavlo, a professional saxophone, trombone and clarinet player, mixes many different types of music, ranging from folk dances to modern hits, primarily at the weddings and other celebrations of locals and his friends. On Valentine's Day, February 14, he played at the wedding of Peter and Lucia Sukops, entertaining the couple and their guests until 5:00 the next morning. The DJ, who carries his own equipment to the events and announces his songs through a microphone, says that DJing is his hobby.

Monstrous baby; hospital tells all

A BABY girl weighing nearly six kilograms set a record when she was born in a hospital in Košice.
Doctors in the Šaca district said that Timea Zelinková, at 5.6 kilos, is the heaviest baby ever born in their private hospital.
The baby came into the world via Caesarian section. Timea's five year old sister was no lightweight herself: she weighed five kilograms at birth, the Slovak daily SME wrote on February 11.
Doctor Slávka Virágová said that there has been a recent trend in big babies at the hospital. A week before Timea was born, a baby boy weighing 4.9 kilos was delivered.
"Most of the time the [big] babies are born during risk pregnancies, when the mother either suffers from diabetes or when complications arise during the pregnancy," she said.
Timea and her mother remain completely healthy, however, and another doctor, Monika Pažinková, suggested that her heavy weight was related to the genetic predisposition of her parents.

Woman dies in landslide

A YOUNG woman died after a landslide buried her dilapidated hut.
The unnamed victim from Košice lived in the abandoned hut with her mother and sister, who managed to escape the slide, which occurred on February 8.
It took three hours before rescue workers recovered the body of the woman, who suffocated, the coroner later confirmed.
Police told the Slovak daily SME that the victim and her companions were squatting in the hut.
"It was about eleven in the evening when it happened. Three people were inside and the mother and the sister [of the victim] managed to run away. We all came to the place and started to dig her out. Then the firemen came but it was hours before they found the body," Róbert Makula, neighbour of the victim, told SME.
Fireman Miloš Kováč from Košice said that the hut was constructed of various wooden and iron plates and was attached to a dillapidated house that had been abandoned long ago.
Firemen also found a dead puppy about 30 metres from the victim.

An especially silent auction

AN AUCTION organised by a Košice-based centre for the treatment of drug dependency did not go very well: No one bought a single item.
The items on auction included deep sea diving glasses belonging to Justice Minister Daniel Lipšic, a golden sieve of Hungarian Coalition Party leader Béla Bugár, and a protest poster that union leaders once gave to Labour Minister Ľudovít Kaník.
Vladimír Holub of the rehabilitation centre that organised the auction said he was unhappy with the outcome.
"We are disappointed in the lack of interest shown by local personalities, representatives of the city and the region, and representatives of big local firms, all of whom promised to participate in the auction.
"It is sad, but I guess it just proves that money can be found in [Slovakia] for everything except assistance for social projects," Holub said to the Slovak daily Nový Čas on February 14.

Ski lift to save village

A VILLAGE of 200 people hopes to return to prosperity when a ski lift is built on a nearby hill.
As many as 70 percent of the inhabitants of the Uhliská village in the Levice district are unemployed. Young people leave for more prosperous destinations, and many earn their living by seasonal work abroad.
But the Uhliská mayor has a plan that he hopes will help bring the village back to life. He believes that building a ski lift and a hotel will create at least 20 jobs.
"Only we old people have stayed here," Mária Pacherová, 76, said to the Slovak daily SME.
"I have five children and they have all left. There are 10 couples in the village, 33 widows, two widowers, and 56 houses," she added.
Uhliská used to be a popular ski resort but after business disagreements between the operator of an old ski lift and the owners of the land, the lift was shut down.
"We want to renew the ski lift. We are buying land from people and we are negotiating the purchase of the land in the meadows. The hotel, which will have a capacity of 85 tourists, will be built there," said Mayor Jozef Tošál.
The lift alone will require an investment of Sk20 million (€494,240) and the hotel another Sk80 million (€1.98 million). The mayor wants to apply for Eurofunds to finance the project.
"In the end, I hope the village will be revived again," said Anna Jeřábková a native of Uhliská.
The village's name, Uhliská - loosely translated as "mining hill" - was named after the main profession of its former inhabitants, who produced wood coal in local forests.

Unnamed man drinks himself into notoriety

A MAN who drove a car while having a blood alcohol level of 4.6 promille has probably set a Slovak record. Although people react differently to various volumes of alcohol, mainly depending on their weight, experts say that for most people 4.0 promille is a lethal dose.
The unnamed man, 49, was stopped by police after he fled a car accident, Levice police spokesman Peter Polák told the Slovak daily Nový Čas.

Rimavská Sobota
Employee fires at boss

A DRUNK employee attempted to kill his boss with an illegally owned gun.
The Slovak daily Nový Čas wrote on February 14 that Ján Z, 49, has been charged with attempted murder. Marián Slobodník, head of the criminal police in Banská Bystrica, said to the daily that the incident took place on the evening of February 12 in a private firm in the southern Slovak town of Rimavská Sobota.
After several verbal fights with his boss during the day, the man turned physical, shooting at his boss several times, but missing.
Ján Z faces up to 15 years in jail.

Precious castle falling apart

A 700-YEAR old castle in the central Slovak town of Halič is falling apart due to the neglect of local and regional authorities.
Locals are worried that the castle will soon become a threat to those who live under the dilapidated 14th century construction.
According to the Slovak daily Pravda, the Banská Bystrica greater territorial unit, which officially owns the castle, has failed to find an entity that would be willing to invest in renovating it.
"We are angry that no one is giving proper attention to the problem of the precious castle," said Halič Mayor Vladimír Rehanek.
He says millions of crowns would be needed for the reconstruction.
Meanwhile, the Banská Bystrica greater territorial unit contributed a mere Sk200,000 (€4,940) to fix the roof of the castle last year.

Banská Bystrica
Armed robber takes Sk2 million in jewelry

POLICE are searching for a man who robbed a jewelry shop in the centre of Banská Bystrica and took Sk2 million (€49,420) worth of gold.
The man, described by witnesses as 25-30 years old, wore a carnival mask, a fake moustache, and a baseball hat. He was armed with a pistol.
Apart from 600 golden necklaces, he also took Sk12,000 (€300).

Concord blast alert

AN UNKNOWN man called the Bratislava airport on February 11 and said that a Concord plane would soon explode there.
Although a Concord plane has not landed in the Bratislava airport for over five years, police searched four planes and the airport premises.
No explosives were found, the state run TASR news agency reported.

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