THE GROCERY store in Mojš, in the Žilina district, burned down for the second time. Arsonists, using gasoline, set fire to the store in the early hours of January 13. The store's interior and the goods inside were completely destroyed. An explosion caused the roof to collapse. Damages are estimated to be Sk2.7 million (€67,000).
Jasná, Vysoké Tatry
Avalanche tragedy in Tatras
A CZECH mountain climber died January 4 in an avalanche on Slavkovský štít in Veľká studená dolina in the High Tatras.
According to the daily SME, the mountain climber, identified only by the initials VV, was 37 years old and came from the town of Tlumače, in the eastern Czech district of Zlín.
The mountain climber and his 40-year-old companion were descending from Zbojnícka chata (cottage) to Hrebienok. They had decided to descend despite local authorities' and rescue services' warning of serious avalanche danger.
The avalanche caught the men as they were resting for some tea.
The older man managed to dig himself out of the avalanche after several minutes.
He then started looking for his mate. After a few minutes he rushed for help.
On the way down to Hrebienok he met a local cottage keeper, Peter Petras.
The Tatra mountain rescue team came to help with the search, which was complicated by high winds and harsh snow.
A specially trained avalanche dog located the climber's rucksack first. Then, approximately 15 minutes later, the climber's lifeless body was found buried some 120 centimetres beneath the snow's surface.
Director of the mountain rescue team, Jozef Janiga, said that the climber probably died of suffocation, although an official autopsy is expected to determine the actual cause of death.
Milan Lizuch, of the Avalanche Prevention Centre (SLP) in Jasná, thinks that the two climbers went into the mountain terrain totally under-equipped.
"They were moving around an avalanche terrain area. To move in such areas proper avalanche equipment is necessary, including a scoop and avalanche probe," he told SME.
"As far as I am informed, the climbers also made a tactical mistake because they were resting in the wrong place, directly in the avalanche's trajectory. If only they had gone a bit further towards the forest, they would have been safe," Lizuch said.
According to Janiga, however, the mountain climbers did not break any rules or regulations.
Janiga told the TASR news agency that the two were descending via a marked path. Their bad luck was that they strayed briefly into the path of the avalanche.
"Avalanches are common in that area, but this was a big one because of the strong wind. It fell only 150 metres away from the footpath, which doesn't happen often," Janiga said.
Hostel bully excluded
17-YEAR-OLD Stano S was charged with blackmail and restricting individual freedom (false imprisonment} of two secondary school first graders living in the same student hostel as him, according to the SME daily.
"He would tie one of the boys to a bed in the dormitory and then threaten him with the fire from a burning spray, or alpa [a slightly alcoholic liquid used for medical purposes]. The boy was not physically hurt," local police spokesman Igor Majoroš said.
"The parents [of the two boys] came to me recently, independently of each other, and said that Stano S had been using their sons' prepaid mobile phones every evening. I reacted immediately. I told the police and we excluded the student from the hostel. On the same day his parents came to pick him up. Further steps are in the hands of the police," Ján Harňák, the principal of the secondary engineering school, told SME.
According to Harňák, Stano S's parents apologized for their son and said he had been suffering from a psychiatric disorder.
The parrot is not for turning
EMPLOYEES of a mail depository in Trnava have enjoyed looking after a parrot that arrived in a wrongly addressed parcel.
For several weeks, the depository's employees took care of the parrot, bringing it food and keeping its cage clean, until the post office managed to track down the correct address of the recipient, wrote the SME daily.
The parrot survived the three-week sojourn in the post office in tip-top condition.
IT is a little cold now, but soon the black roses of Mlyňany will blossom.
photo: SME - Jana Beňová
Black rose of Mlyňany
THE ARBORETUM in Mlyňany is preparing a new exhibition of roses, including exotic rose species cultivated before 1900.
According to the SME daily, the old types of roses grow in bushes rather than as single flowers, as is common today.
The old rose bushes typically have flowers with a great number of petals and are characterized by their striking smell, according to SME.
The rosarium will also include dozens of roses that grow uncultivated in the wild. These will comprise an extensive range of colours, even including black roses.
"A rose is never totally black. It is dark when it is in bud but then it blooms into a dark blood red colour. Black flowers are definitely not among the most beautiful," said Juraj Kuba, the director of Arboretum Mlyňany.
The arboretum also contains a rich collection of trees and bushes from around the world. It was founded more than a century ago by a Great Hungarian gentryman, Ambrózy Migazzi.
He had married into a family that owned a large forest, and undertook the arboretum as an experiment. The favourable local climate enabled him to plant various Mediterranean tree types. According to SME, people considered him a fool but he is now regarded as a pioneer.
Trees from North America and East Asia are among the newest at the arboretum.
Man killed in hunt
A HUNT ended in tragedy when 41-year-old Alexander S was killed by a shot from a fellow hunter, Pavel S.
According to the SITA news agency, the tragedy probably happened because Alexander S moved to another observation position.
Košice regional police spokeswoman Jana Demjanovičová said that Pavel S was shooting at a running pack of wild pigs when he hit his fellow hunter.
Alexander S died immediately and investigators initiated proceedings aganist Pavel S, who was also taken into police custody.
Christmas feed for hungry animals
Unsold Christmas trees in Košice will not simply be thrown away. According to the Národná obroda daily, the trees will be served to animals in the local zoo.
Some 400 trees have already been donated to the zoo, said Košice zoo director Karol Seman. The caretakers mix the juicy Christmas branches in fodder for deer, chamois and horses.
"For the animals, the branches are something like a vegetable salad is for people," said Seman.
17. Jan 2005 at 0:00