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Around Slovakia

Fountain of wine
Granddad demands sex from wife
Comedian gets three-year suspended sentence
Holocaust victims to get memorial
Festival of impersonators
Bear shot
Secret bales revealed
Three teenagers poisoned after eating pills

Bratislava
Fountain of wine

TO COMMEMORATE the anniversary of the coronations of Austro-Hungarian monarchs that once took place in the Slovak capital centuries ago, white wine instead of water will trickle from a fountain on Ventúrska Street in the centre of Bratislava.
The celebrations will take place on October 4 of this year.
"Last year [at a similar celebration] 200 litres of wine flowed from the fountain on Ventúrska Street. Because this year we expect greater attendance at the coronation celebrations, 500 litres of white wine produced by vintners of Pezinok will be prepared for the fountain," the event's organiser, Miroslav Vetrík, said to the Nový Čas daily.
Vetrík expects that around 60,000 people will take part at the celebrations.


Skalica
Granddad demands sex from wife

A POLICE investigator accused a 72-year-old man from the western Slovak town of Skalica on August 12 of sexual violence and causing injuries to his wife.
According to the state-run news agency TASR, the old man brutally beat his 70-year-old wife, causing her a concussion and further injuries that will take at least two weeks to heal.
After the attack the man tried to appease his wife by forcing her to have sex with him.
The "active granddad", as TASR described him, was then taken to the police station and his wife had to be hospitalised, Trnava Police Spokesman Martin Korch confirmed.


Považská Bystrica
Comedian gets three-year suspended sentence

A COURT in Považská Bystrica ruled on August 12 that famous Slovak comedian and actor Štefan Skrúcaný was guilty of killing a 73-year-old woman in a car accident that took place in Považská Bystrica on June 11.
The town's court ruled that the comedian was guilty of negligently causing bodily harm and sentenced him to two years in prison with three-years' probation.
Skrúcaný was also banned from the roads for three years. He will not appeal the decision, the private news agency SITA wrote.
Judge Helena Markovičová said that it was very difficult to make her decision but insisted that it was not influenced by media pressure. Local newspapers covered the story excessively and Skrúcaný himself complained how much attention this "mere human tragedy" got from the press and electronic media.
Skrúcaný admitted his guilt and apologised to the relatives of the victim. According to some press reports, he paid for her funeral and sent flowers. According to SITA, Skrúcaný even bought a flat for the dead woman's son.


Bánovce nad Bebravou
Holocaust victims to get memorial

THE CONSTRUCTION of a religious monument in Bánovce nad Bebravou to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust was approved by the central body of the Slovak Jewish Religious Communities. The local municipality also approved the idea, the SME daily wrote.
The new memorial should be built in the entrance of the existing Jewish cemetery. Because the local Jewish community was almost completely eliminated during the Holocaust, the funds for the project must be raised mainly from abroad and from those who were born in this area but left - the Holocaust victims' descendants and relatives.
The first anti-Jewish measure in the town, approved on November 7, 1938, ordered that all Jews without a permanent address in Bánovce nad Bebravou had to leave the vicinity.
The other Jews were later prohibited from holding state and public positions. Jews were also prohibited from having their own businesses, working in free professions, they had their land and other property confiscated, they were banned from travelling freely, and not given access to education, SME wrote.
On March 2 and March 3 of 1942, a list of all Jews who had a permanent address in the town was compiled and their elimination began.
Jewish girls were the first to be removed from the town and the official propaganda stated that they were "called to work". The majority of them were transported to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.
Whole families were later transported to work camps in Nováky and Sereď. Available documents suggest that, in 1942, a total of 490 Jews from the local district were taken to camps, accounting for nearly 80 percent of the local community.
Of these, only 30 survived the horrors of the Holocaust.
Some survivors left the country after the war, while others have since died. The local Jewish community is virtually nonexistent.



THE COMEBACK of Elvis.
photo: SME - Ján Krošlák

Žiar nad Hronom
Festival of impersonators

THE REVIVAL Free Festival, which took place in the central Slovak town of Žiar nad Hronom, saw impersonators of world pop icons including Elvis Presley, U2, Robbie Williams, REM, and Iron Maiden.
Project director Janko Kulich said that the doubles looked, moved, and sang exactly like the world stars.
"The project's philosophy is to enable the people in a small Slovak town to touch the stars," Kulich said to the daily SME.
According to the daily, the true star of the open-air festival was the Czech, Vladimír Lichnovský, who impersonates Elvis Presley. At the start of this year he ranked second at a professional international contest of Elvis impersonators in Blackpool, England.
Lichnovský, aka Elvis, has given around 700 performances during his career and said that he does it for fun. His transformation into Elvis takes him around 15 minutes.


Strečno
Bear shot

HUNTERS from Strečno shot a female bear on August 9 weighing almost 100 kilograms that was ravaging the local honey apiaries.
The four-year-old bear had regularly come to the apiaries of one of the local honey farmers for several weeks and had destroyed virtually the whole farm, the SME daily wrote.
The hunters suggested that the footprint of the shot bear was identical with the prints that had been found at the start of the summer after several local sheep were attacked while at pasture.
It is believed that it was also the same bear that was spotted in the nearby village Stráňavy in front of a local community centre one night.
Honeycombs as well as the remains of a rabbit were found in the bear's stomach.



A HAY day of hay days.
photo: SME - Alena Borszéková

Veľké Uherce
Secret bales revealed

FOR TWO YEARS, Štefan Maťašeje has been secretly preparing for an unusual record that will most likely be entered into the Guinness Book of World Records.
The 43-year-old tractor driver from a Veľké Uherce farm in the Partizánske district decided that he would try to produce the longest and the shortest machine-packed hay blocks using the US-made press John Deere 690 and a tractor of the same mark.
The standard hay block is 2.5 metres long.
Maťašeje first produced a 700-kilogram block that was 5.35 metres long while the shortest bloc was only 90 centimetres long.


Veľká Lomnica
Three teenagers poisoned after eating pills

TWO ROMA sisters aged 14 and 16 and their 16-year-old cousin suffered serious poisoning after eating pills that they found in a trash container.
According to the private TV Markíza, the teenagers ate the pills because they thought they were candy. They were immediately hospitalised by helicopter, which flew them to Bratislava's Kramáre hospital.
Each of them allegedly ate at least 14 Isoptine pills. The drug is used to lower blood pressure.
"The kids were at risk of having their blood circulation collapse, resulting in their deaths," Pavol Svetoň, the spokesman of the flying rescue team told the Pravda daily.
"An adult 70-year-old patient uses one pill of Isoptine per day," Beáta Šoltýsová, head of Kežmarok hospital where the children were first taken, said to the SME daily.
"The drug could have stopped their hearts from functioning. It is hard to say whether they will survive," Šoltýsová said.
When the children were transported to Kežmarok hospital, their blood pressure was 50 to 30 millimetres of mercury.

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