RESCUERS search for an avalanche victim in the High Tatras.
Skier triggers an avalanche and dies
A CZECH skier died in Slovakia's High Tatras mountains on March 4 in an avalanche that was, according to rescue guards, most likely triggered by him and his fellow skiers.
The unnamed victim, 30, was skiing in the Nižné Kôprovské saddle above the Hincové pleso mountain lake in Mengusovská valley.
According to the Slovak daily Pravda, he was skiing in an area closed during the winter season.
"This area is not suited for ski-alpinism. The entire High Tatras area is a level three on the five-degree scale of avalanche danger," Martin Kulanga, head of the mountain rescue guards in the High Tatras, said to Pravda.
The rescue guards said that the Czech skiers did not have the equipment necessary for skiing adventures in avalanche-prone terrain - an avalanche finder, a shovel, and an avalanche probe that helps rescue teams locate skiers under heaps of snow.
Two skiers managed to escape and one of them called for help from a nearby cottage.
A helicopter, two specially trained avalanche dogs, and a team of 15 rescue guards were employed in the search, which took several hours.
This was the third person this winter season to lose his or her life in the High Tatras. All victims were from the Czech Republic. Previously, from a group of four, one man and one woman died during a hiking trip to the Malý Ľadový štít peak at the start of February.
TWO sisters were found dead in their house in Prešov on March 1 in what authorities believe was a double suicide.
According to the Slovak daily Pravda, the two sisters, both teachers, were found after a colleague discovered a farewell letter from one of the victims in her mailbox.
The colleague then called the police and officers broke into the house to find the 53-year-old teacher and her younger sister, 50, with multiple cut wounds on their wrists. The wounds were plastered with bandages.
Though suicide is believed to be the cause of the deaths, police have not ruled out other possibilities.
Speculation that the deaths were driven by sectarian motives comes from the fact that the police found the wills of both sisters in the house along with their savings books and lists of names and addresses of people who would receive their money. Police sources revealed that the inheritance was designated for members of an unspecified religious sect.
Not seeing green
A WOMAN gave a $100 bill to her daughter, who soon found the banknote was fake after trying to change it into Slovak crowns.
The Slovak daily Pravda wrote that the 61-year-old woman from the Topoľčany district had the banknote for seven years before she decided to give it to her daughter. She had not known it was fake.
A model of aging beauty
ONE of the first fashion models of the communist era currently lives in Bratislava, where she has grown into a charming lady of 77 years.
Shortly after the second world war, the 168-centimetre tall Oľga Hlôšková went out onto the catwalk with her attractive long brown hair and 92-66-94 centimetre bust, waist, and hip measurements.
"I was given the opportunity to go to Switzerland but at that time we were not allowed to go to the West," Hlôšková, a native of Nitra who now lives in the Bratislava suburb of Petržalka, said to the Slovak daily Pravda on March 3.
She said that as a young girl she studied ballet, which helped her in her later career. "The models of today walk differently than we were taught to walk. They don't have the graceful movements and you rarely see a gentle smile on their faces," she said.
Hlôšková's career started in 1948 in the capital of Czechoslovakia, Prague, where she worked as a clerk in an insurance company.
She switched to modeling after her colleague found a newspaper ad promoting a school for models. When she started working as a model, many of her friends and relatives disapproved of her parading herself in revealing clothing - sometimes only in underwear.
The active lady still follows fashion trends and enjoys knitting, opera, and a good book.
Providing asylum for abused men
TWO ASYLUM homes for abused men are to be built in Slovakia within five years. At the same time, the Health Ministry wants to build one asylum home for battered women per every 100,000 inhabitants.
Slovakia lacks reliable statistics on domestic violence against men, but activists argue that it is at a level comparable to that against women.
"They say that every fifth woman is a victim of domestic violence and I can say with certainty that every fifth man is also tortured," Imrich Galla, head of the Union of Tortured Men, said to the Slovak daily Pravda on March 5.
"There are cases of physical violence but more frequently the [torture] is a sophisticated form of exploiting men through [child] allowances, taking their property, and preventing them from contact with their children," he said.
Galla believes every district city should have such a home.
Millennial grave found
ARCHAEOLOGISTS recently discovered a 1,000-year-old grave in the western Slovak town of Nitra, the private news agency SITA wrote.
Discovered at Svätoplukovo square in the centre of the city, it dates back to the ninth or tenth century. The body found inside is believed to be a young male from the Great Moravian or early Hungarian period, said the head of the research team, Matej Ruttkay.
The remains of a sheep and a horse head were also found inside the grave.
15. Mar 2004 at 0:00