Around Slovakia

PM's daughter caught DUI
Supermodel to become nation's messenger
A cactus for Christmas? No, thanks
No power for the dead
Man found shot dead after explosion in house
Horses killed in road crash
House magnet for thieves
Bats share gallery space

PM's daughter caught DUI

POLICE confiscated the Prime Minister's daughter's driving licence November 1, after she was caught driving under the influence of alcohol in Bratislava's Old Town. Nineteen year-old Zuzana Dzurindová was stopped in a regular traffic check, according to the daily SME.
The Prime Minister apologised for his daughter and insisted she would have to take full responsibility.
"I am very sorry for what has happened," said PM Mikuláš Dzurinda.
"I have had a serious talk with my daughter and I think she has learned her lesson. I want to add that she is 19 years old, an adult, and as such she must bear the consequences of her actions," Dzurinda insisted.

Supermodel to become nation's messenger

THE SLOVAK supermodel Adriana Sklenaříková, famous as a Wonderbra girl and for her 124 centimetre-long legs, is due to be named as a "World Messenger for Slovakia" November 13.
According to the TASR news agency Eduard Kukan, Slovak Foreign Affairs Minister, is to present the leggy model with official credentials to represent Slovakia all over the world. Sklenaříková, married to French football star Christian Karembeu, already works with the Slovak Red Cross in their first aid campaigns.
"The minister recognises the value of her activities. Not only those related to the promotion of Slovakia around the world, but also her charity work," Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Juraj Tomaga told TASR on November 9.

LET's put it here so we can hear the thieves in the night.
photo: SME - Ján Krošlák

A cactus for Christmas? No, thanks

GABRIEL Vereš would not welcome any cacti for Christmas. The recreational gardender from the central Slovak village of Sliač has already got around 6,000, and he does not have room for any more, according to the daily SME.
Vereš's brothers gave him his first cactus some 40 years ago, and the rest is history. "I did not know how to take care of it, and so I bought a book on looking after cacti and here I am still growing them today," he said.
The garden he and his wife tend everyday is now chock-a-block with cacti, leaving only a patch or two for vegetables. "We don't really have time for anything else. We spend about half a day everyday just taking care of the plants," said the lady of the garden.
Their children did not inherit their parents' prickly passion, however, and so the Vereš' hope their grandchildren might follow in their footsteps.
"If none of our grandchildren shows an interest in growing cacti we will probably donate them to a botanic garden," Vereš said.
According to SME, there are around 300 registered cactus enthusiasts in Slovakia.

Stará Kremnička
No power for the dead

THE FAMILY of Vladimír Bugár from Stará Kremnička had a traumatic weekend the day before All Saints day (November 1), when Slovaks light candles at the graves of deceased family members.
Bugár's father died, and when the family wanted to take the body to the local mortuary, there was trouble.
"The local MP gave me the keys to the mortuary. We wanted to put the body in a refrigirator but we found there was no power. I was totally helpless. It was a holiday and there was no one I could ask for help," Bugár told the daily SME.
The Bugár family then waited in the front yard of the mortuary wondering what to do. "My mum almost collapsed," Bugár said.
"Luckily I managed to get hold of an electrician who takes care of the lighting for the village," said Bugár, adding that the electrician reconnected the power with the mayor's approval.
He found out later that it was not a power failure but the town authorities had not paid the bill.
Mayor Igor Vankulič admitted that the power plant had stopped supplying the mortuary because they had not managed to pay the Sk282 (€7) owed for the first six months of 2004. They had made a mistake with the bank identification number, he added.

Man found shot dead after explosion in house

A BUSINESSMAN was found shot dead in his car in Slovakia November 8, shortly after his house had been severely damaged by an explosion.
The 49-year-old man's death is being treated as suicide: He died from a single shot to the head and the gun was found next to his body, according to the TASR news agency.
The car was parked about one kilometre from Visolaje, a village near Púchov in north-west Slovakia, police told journalists.
Police suspect the explosion, which occurred at 4:30 am, was caused by gas igniting. No one was inside the house at the time.

Horses killed in road crash

A TRUCK carrying horses crashed on the D1 highway between Trnava and Bratislava on the morning of November 10, leaving several of the animals dead.
According to the state-run news agency TASR the accident caused a major traffic jam that led to collisions involving a further five cars.
The Polish truck was on its way to a slaughterhouse in Italy. For reasons yet to be determined, the driver lost control and the truck careened across the road and overturned, according to TASR. More than 20 horses were stuck in the truck, six of them badly injured. Before noon, a vet had had to apply lethal injections to some of the horses.
The driver, 27, suffered no injuries. He denies allegations that he fell asleep at the wheel.

House magnet for thieves

THIEVES in the eastern Slovak town of Trebišov have broken into the home of an elderly couple four times in just a few days. According to the Nový Čas daily, the couple is helpless. Once, the robbers even came in while they were at home.
"We are desperate. The thieves come and go as they please. At first they just broke into the yard. Then they locked up my mother in the bedroom and turned the whole house upside down. The next day they broke into the garage and smashed my car window," said the couple's daughter Mária P.
She says she is scared for her parents.
Her father Andrej, 84, cannot move and is bedridden, and her mother Anna, 78, is terrified.
"I saw one of the robbers. He poked his head into the room and then locked me up," she told the daily.
According to Nový Čas the robbers have caused around Sk50,000 (€1,250) worth of damage and other neighbours have also had similar unwelcome visits.

Dolný Kubín
Bats share gallery space

THE ATTIC in the Oravská gallery in Dolný Kubín has some new and rather unusual tenants - bats.
The slit-faced bats are small, around three to five centimetres long. Employees have gotten used to the 500 or so creatures, according to Eva Luptáková, director of the gallery.
However, the attic needs to be protected because some of the gallery's archive materials are stored there and these could be damaged by the bats' excrement, wrote the daily SME.
"The attic is divided into several areas and in some of them we store documents and other valuable things. Now, together with environmentalists, we are trying to find ways how we can protect our property and at the same time keep the bat colony here," she said.
According to her, a complete separation of the storage areas and the bat colony is a possible solution.
"Initially, we are planning to seal at least the most risky areas. The bats will then be able to move freely," Luptáková said.

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