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Nové Zámky
Ceiling collapses, family escapes

A FAMILY of ten was lucky to escape the collapse of their ceiling as thieves stole the floorboards and beams from the flat upstairs.
According to the SME daily the incident occurred in Kasárenská street in Nové Zámky. The family occupying the devastated flat was lucky they were not at home when the accident happened.
As a result of the collapse the family has no running water or electricity and has to live in the remaining two rooms. The windows also smashed and the family has had to nail cardboard into the frames to keep out the cold.


Nové Zámky
Safe place for stray dogs

24-YEAR-OLD Angelika Szökölová loves animals, especially dogs. Now she has turned her hobby into a profession and opened the Nové Zámky shelter for stray animals, according to the daily SME.
Szökölová catches animals that are reported as stray. "I am not afraid of dogs. They only attack when they are threatened. When they realise that you don't want to hurt them, they are calm. I gain their trust by speaking nicely to them," she said.
Once, Szökölová was called to save a dog that someone had tied to a pole and left without food for a week. Angelika took the starving dog to her shelter, fed it and cared for it and now it is happy with a new master in the eastern Slovak town of Humenné.
Szökölová says it gives her great satisfaction to place the stray dogs with new owners. She always assures them that if they grow bored with their new pets they should bring them back to her.
"It's always better to return the pet rather than kick it out on the street," she said.


Leopoldov
French murder suspect nabbed

A FRENCH murder suspect, who has eluded police capture for nearly 15 years, has been arrested in the western Slovak town of Trnava, police confirmed.
The regional court in Trnava ruled that the 42-year-old suspect be held in detention, pending extradition to France, the TASR news agency wrote.
According to Interpol, the man is suspected of shooting dead a policeman and wounding another in Mulen, France, on September 3, 1990.
Slovak railway police detained the Frenchman after failing to show them his ID at Trnava railway station on February 16.
Following a fingerprint check, the Slovak Interpol office discovered that a European warrant for the man's arrest had been issued long ago.


Banská Štiavnica
Going down the mines - for pleasure!

REPORTERS discover new tourist sites underground - disused mines.
photo: SME - Ján Krošlák

DISUSED mines in Slovakia may be turned into tourist sites, reports the daily SME. Prompted by an initiative from the Association of Historical Towns and Villages of Slovakia, the Slovak Mining Museum is studying whether the idea is feasible.
The study will be completed by the middle of 2005.
Already, however, the Economy Ministry has put a stop on an order to tear down four mining towers in Banská Štiavnica and nearby Hodruša Hámre, according to the daily SME.
Unused mines in Banská Štiavnica, Kremnica, Pezinok, Rožňava, and Prešov are included in the feasibility study.


Halič
Castle to become congress centre

THE 17th century Halič castle will soon regain its former glory - a Banská Bystrica firm plans to invest millions into it.
photo: SME - Ján Krošlák

HALIČ castle, situated in the Banská Bystrica region, has been sold to a local company for Sk55 million (€1.5 million), the daily SME reported. Milan Marčok, head of the Banská Bystrica regional government (BBSK), has already signed the contract, according to the daily.
The company, Matrix, wants to turn the castle into a hotel and congress centre.
BBSK spokeswoman Eva Berčíková said: "The firm must pay the Sk55 million within 60 days. If it misses the deadline, we will withdraw from the contract."
Peter Csucz, deputy chairman of BBSK said that the rejuvenation of the 17th century castle should help liven up tourism in the region.
Matrix plans to invest Sk1 billion (€26.5 million) in converting the castle into a five-star hotel capable of attracting major international and Slovak clients.
The building is set in a 13-hectare forested park with an artificial lake.


Košice
Mayor grows bananas

THE MAYOR of Košice's Old Town, Ján Süli, has managed to grow 20 bananas in his office, according to the daily Nový Čas.
"I guess that's around three kilos," the mayor said. He has already sampled one of the fast ripening fruits and declared it "delicious".
Süli was given the banana tree by a colleague and looks after it with great care.
"I water it every second day. I give it around two litres of water at a time," he said.
The banana tree has responded to his care. A new offshoot has started growing alongside the old tree.


Bratislava
Lunchtime a go-go

A GO-GO bar where waitresses wear see-through tops and even go topless is open to busy managers and others wanting a little diversion from their working day, the daily Nový Čas reports.
The recently opened establishment is located in Bratislava's Špitálska street and has already found a regular clientele.
"We are probably the only daytime go-go bar in Bratislava. While other similar establishments open after eight in the evening, guests can come here at noon and we close at nine in the evening," the manager Viktor Václav told the daily.
He said the bar was primarily dedicated to managers who prefer to ogle the "smooth curves of the girls" to business lunches.

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