Around Slovakia

Breath of life

A WOMAN saved both her daughters by giving them the kiss of life February 27. The woman, named only as Renáta, discovered both daughters lying unconscious when she awoke to discover a gas leak in her house.
Her husband had left their house in the village of Nemšová near Trenčín an hour earlier, apparently not noticing anything amiss.
After waking to discover the house full of gas Renáta opened all the windows and checked on her two daughters, 17-year-old Kamila and 15-year-old Eliška, who were sleeping upstairs.
According to the Pravda daily, both girls were already unconscious. Their mother rang for help and gave each girl the kiss of life. By the time rescue services arrived, the sisters were already conscious.

Starý Smokovec
Avalanche kills snowboarder

AN AVALANCHE killed a 20-year-old Czech snowboarder in Slovakia's High Tatra mountains February 26.
According to the TASR news agency, the avalanche hit two snowboarders at about 9:00. One of them managed to escape. His buddy, however, was buried under the snow.
Rescuers and sniffer dogs found the young man's body at around noon.

Slovak police arrest Italian mafia man

THE RIGHT-hand man of one of Naples' most notorious mafia bosses was arrested on February 23 in the northern Slovak town of Poprad, the SME daily reported. A joint operation between the Slovak police and Interpol led to the arrest.
26-year-old Ugo de Lucia is wanted in Italy for various alleged crimes. These include membership of a mafia-style gang, participation in two alleged murders, illegal possession of arms and arson, Interior Ministry spokesman Boris Ažaltovič announced.
The murders were part of an ongoing war between two rival gangs. According to SME, de Lucia had been in hiding in Slovakia for at least a week. Slovak police kept the mafia suspect under surveillance until they received an international arrest warrant. Then they moved in and arrested him.
The capture took place in an unnamed bed and breakfast in Poprad. De Lucia was arrested on suspicion of the brutal murder of Gelsomina Verde, the girlfriend of a rival gang leader. 22-year-old Verde's burnt and bullet-ridden remains were found in a car last week.
De Lucia is also under suspicion in relation to at least three other murders, a Naples police spokesman said. It is still unclear when he will be extradited to Italy, according to SME. Why de Lucia chose Slovakia as a hideaway is also unknown.

Headless body floating in river

THE HEADLESS body of a 23-year-old man was found in the river Nitra near an overpass in Nováky, Trenčín police spokesperson Lenka Bušová said February 18.
According to the TASR news agency, firefighters searched for the head on the riverbed and surroundings without result.
The corpse was discovered by a local man who noticed a hand sticking out of the water and notified the police. Identity documents were found on the man.
He is thought to have been in debt to underworld figures. The dead man is also believed to have worked in Austria and been a frequent visitor to an Internet café.
A similar case occurred in the early 1990s when the headless body of a young man was found in a forest near Nitrianske Pravno in the Prievidza district.
The murder was allegedly connected with Libor Oller's gang. Oller was sentenced to 20 years in jail in Austria for a train robbery and the murder of a post office employee.

AN EXCESS of snow north of the summit venue, Bratislava castle, inspired the Bolešov villagers to turn it into a "White House".
photo: TASR

Summit venue made of snow

A FEW days before the presidential summit in Bratislava residents of the village of Bolešov got into the spirit of the occasion by building a replica of the presidential summit venue - Bratislava castle, out of snow. It took 10 people seven hours to construct a four-metre high version of the castle, the daily SME reported.
Once built, residents adorned it with US, Russian and Slovak flags, and pictures of both visiting presidents.
The castle roof was sprayed red and the windows frames were actually made of wood.

Burglars steal broken goods

A COMPUTER repair company has been robbed of 55 laptops. The computers were waiting to be repaired and the burglars were probably unaware of their condition, according to the Nový Čas daily.
However, estimates put the stolen goods worth at Sk1 million (€26,300).
The burglary took place at the end of February at the premises of the Assupport company, close to Slovakia's cabinet office building.
"Most of the computers were waiting to be repaired. We will have to compensate our customers for that," an Assuport representative said.
The thieves managed to remove an iron-barred window to get into the building.
Police are continuing their investigations.

Sewing a pretty picture

39-YEAR-OLD Viera Oleksíková from the village of Budkovce near Michalovce in eastern Slovakia has turned embroidery into an art form, reported the Nový Čas daily.
Oleksíková makes large embroidered pictures, showing such scenes as a fleet of ships in a stormy sea, a group of dancers and religious motifs such as Christ on the cross.
One picture takes Oleksíková several weeks to complete. She has already made 80 picture embroideries. She took up the hobby 10 years ago.

Bulldozer kills little girl

A SIX-year-old girl has been killed in an accident with a snow clearer. The machine backed into little Sára in the Bambusky district of Martin, according to the SME daily.
It seems the driver simply didn't notice the little girl. A breath test proved negative.
Vladimír Jankovič, the dead girl's grandfather said he saw children playing near the vehicle and shouted at them to get away. Suddenly he heard screams.
"Sára was under the bulldozer. She was dead," said Jankovič.
"She was the most beautiful little girl in Bambusky," Sára's father, Viliam Facuna, said.

SNOW sculptures in Čadca will adorn the town's square until they melt away.
photo: TASR

Snow statues stand in square

Residents in the northern Slovak town of Čadca can for the second year running admire snow sculptures in their town square, according to the SME daily.
International teams built 15 of the frosty figures.
Organizers chose Matičné Square on purpose, because lots of people pass through the square on their way to the shops. Children were asked to join the teams as they built the sculptures.
Young snow enthusiasts from Čadca, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Spain took part in the project. A team of artists and architects also built a work.

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