"NO, that guy in the front is the one who reeks of borovička, not me."
Student cops fired for booze
TWO STUDENT cops were fired from the police academy on a direct order of Interior Minister Vladimír Palko after it turned out that the future officers were partying instead of attending lectures.
The state-run news agency TASR wrote on May 12 that Palko made the decision after finding out that the students, aged 25 and 23, were busy drinking in the student dormitory when they should have been in shooting classes.
Since taking office in autumn 2002, Palko has fired 81 officers over drinking problems; 30 of them have caused car accidents while driving drunk.
Male prostitute arrested in female clothes
AFTER taking a prostitute who said her name was Andrea to the police station, officers from Bratislava were shocked to learn that she was actually a 20-year-old man named Tibor from Fiľakovo.
Tibor, a trained florist, said he came to Bratislava to make some extra money, and his family has not known his whereabouts since last year.
According to the Slovak daily Nový Čas, it has become fashionable for male prostitutes to dress like women, a trend that originally entered Slovakia in the town of Detva, near Zvolen in central Slovakia. These prostitutes offer their services to drivers.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that one driver who made use of the services offered by such a prostitute suffered a heart attack after finding out that he had received oral sex from a man.
Dog thrown from a bridge
AN UNKNOWN person shot a dog in the back and then threw him from the 20-metre-high New Bridge in Bratislava, the Slovak daily Nový Čas wrote on May 15.
The dog, which people from the local animal rights group Sloboda zvierat (Animal freedom) later called Figa, survived but broke his pelvis after hitting the ground.
"I was working the night shift when a man called to say that a dog had fallen from the bridge," Martin Zámečník from Sloboda zvierat recalled.
"We went there and found the dog. When I saw him I was terrified to realise how far he had fallen," Zámečník told Nový Čas.
After discovering that the unfortunate dog was unable to stand on his feet, the activists immediately took him to a vet who x-rayed him and discovered that, in addition to having a broken pelvis, Figa had two bullets in his back.
SO MANY caterpillars have appeared in the southern Slovak town that inhabitants sweep them up with a broom.
photo: SME - Ján Krošlák
When caterpillars attack
HUNDREDS of small black caterpillars have flooded the southern Slovak settlement of Fuľajtárovo, near the village of Mýtna in the Lučenec district. According to the Slovak daily SME, hundreds of caterpillars have been moving from the surrounding meadows and fields into the yards and houses of locals, who are helpless in defending themselves against them.
Ján Patočka from the Forest Ecology Institute with the Slovak Academy of Sciences told SME that the caterpillars, if they overmultiply, can eat a meadow down to its roots, but they do not present any immediate danger to people.
"My mother has lived here for 40 years and has never experienced anything like this," Mária Aláčová from Fuľajtárovo told SME on May 13.
The officials say that they are aware of the problem but are not entitled to force a chemical spray upon the owners of the land around the settlement.
"We could not [force them to spray the fields] even if grasshoppers attacked the area. We do not have such power," said Ladislav Tatár, the head of the environmental section at the regional office in Lučenec.
photo: SME - Ján Krošlák
Patočka advised that people use specific types of pesticides that are produced to eliminate caterpillars and have no negative effects on other living creatures.
Aláčová told SME that she discovered the first caterpillars two weeks ago and that they very quickly multiplied into the hundreds.
"When it is warm, they move in here in swarms and even crawl into the kitchen. In the morning the walls of the house are completely black with the crawling caterpillars .
"I run around the yard with a broom all day long sweeping the caterpillars. It is disgusting. They come through the windows, to the bedroom, to the kids' room. Everything must be kept shut," Aláčová said.
A shallow grave unearthed
POLICE identified a man whose body was found buried in a shallow grave last November in a forest near the Nová Lehota village in the Nové Mesto district.
A local discovered the dead body after spotting a leg sticking out of the ground.
The head of the Trenčín regional police headquarters, Miroslav Hepner, informed the press on May 13 that the man died after being hit in the skull and was found with a plastic bag on his head, the state-run news agency TASR wrote.
Hepner said that the victim was businessman Róbert Čepec, 36, a local beauty pageant organiser who had been prosecuted in the past for his business activities.
Police also tracked down the murderers, two men aged 28 and 24 from Nitra and a district of Topoľčany, respectively. One of them is currently in prison for a different crime and the other man, who admitted to the murder, was arrested and is currently in pre-trial custody.
The culprits could face up to 15 years in jail if convicted. Their motive, Hepner said, was related to the victim's business activities.
Baby girl dies from hot-water burns
ONE-YEAR old baby girl Natalka Z from Trebišov died from severe burns after a pot full of boiling water spilled over her.
Police have already initiated criminal proceedings against her parents for inflicting health injuries.
According to the state-run news agency TASR, the tragedy took place on April 19 when, unsupervised, Natalka pulled the pot down from the table before her father, Jozef Z, could prevent it from spilling on her.
The baby was immediately taken to a local hospital in Trebišov and later to Košice but, despite many efforts, doctors were unable to save her. She died on April 20.
The doctors later stated that the immediate cause of death was shock from the severe second- and third-degree burns on 24 percent of her body.
24. May 2004 at 0:00