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Slovakia
Quick, fasten your seat belts

SLOVAK executives would like to be able to drive faster on Slovakia's highways, while pensioners would prefer a slower pace.
A recent poll carried out by the MVK polling agency for the daily SME also revealed that 42 percent of drivers use mobile telephones while driving, 4.7 percent send text messages and just 51.6 percent wear seat belts.
Only 37 percent of Slovaks, including non-drivers, are satisfied with the current maximum highway speed limit - 130 kilometres per hour.
According to Vladimír Gemela from the Police Presidium, it is difficult to prove the use of mobiles while driving, but the police often succeed in issuing a fine for this traffic violation.
He added that wearing a seat belt increases the chances of surviving an accident by 500 percent.


JOZEF Pšenčík blows what might be the world's largest fujara.
photo: Viera Legerská - Nový Život Turca

Martin
Fujara record set

THIS YEAR'S festival of traditional folk music and dance, Turčianske slávnosti folklóru, which was held between June 2 and 19 in Martin, may gain entry into the Guinness Book of Records, the Nový Život Turca weekly reported.
Jozef Pšenčík from Slovenské Pravno, has made what is probably the world's longest functioning fujara - a traditional Slovak wind instrument. He played the instrument at the festival.
Pšenčík has a collection of instruments and has turned his house into a small private museum for wind instruments.
The organizers of Turčianske slávnosti folklóru measured the fujara at 2.88 metres, which is a national record.
Michal Svitok from the Slovak Records association handed over a certificate to Pšenčík confirming the national record.
Svitok also added that he would investigate whether the fujara would qualify for entry into the Guinness Book of Records.


Levice
Archaeologists excavate Celtic cemetery

Archaeologists at a dig close to a site in the centre of Levice, where a shopping mall is to be built, unearthed Slovakia's largest Celtic burial site.
Marián Samuel, head of the dig, told the SITA news agency that archaeologists had already examined 80 graves dating back to the third and second centuries BC.
The estimated number of graves at the Levice site is around 160.
He said that the remaining graves are located under a parking lot and adjacent plots close by.
Over three months of research the archaeologists made numerous discoveries.
The news agency reported that in addition to human corpses the Celtic graves contained bronze and glass jewellery and richly decorated ceramics.
Male warrior graves contained various spears and swords as well as several wooden oval coats-of-arms.
Of the pots and jars found nearly half were intact.
A selection of the findings will be on display at the shopping centre.


Zvolen
Italian seriously injures couple

AN ITALIAN citizen, named only as Marco G fired at least six shots at a married couple on the night of July 4 in Zvolen, the SITA news agency reported.
According to Mária Faltaniová, Banská Bystrica regional police spokesperson, the shooting took place in the Zlatý Potok housing estate shortly after midnight at the crossroads of Prachatická and Rázusova streets.
Twenty-seven-year-old Radoslav H suffered serious injuries when bullets were fired into his neck, abdomen and collarbone.
His 23-year-old spouse Mária was hit in her chest, her right hand and fourth thorasic vertebra, including her spinal cord. The couple was visiting relatives in Zvolen.
After the shooting, Marco G escaped in a silver BMW with Italian registration plates. He was arrested in Italy on July 6 under an international arrest warrant.
The gun used in the shooting was found at the scene of the attack. Marco G is accused of attempted murder and may face life imprisonment.


Spišská Nová Ves
Winner scoops Sk60 million in Loto draw

A SINGLE winner scooped a Sk60 million (€1.5 million) prize in the July 3 Jackpot Loto lottery draw, the TASR news agency reported.
The winning coupon was entered on June 30 in the Spišská Nová Ves district in eastern Slovakia.
The lucky person paid just Sk16 (€0.4) for the ticket, and correctly chose all six numbers in a single column: 4,7,19,26,34, and 43.
The winner must claim the prize within 35 days at the headquarters of gaming agency Tipos in Bratislava.


LARGER than life, writer-priest-politician Martin Rázus surveys his domain from a park near Liptovský Mikuláš.
photo: TASR

Liptovský Mikuláš
Memorial to writer unveiled

MEMORIAL to Martin Rázus, the well-known Slovak writer, priest and politician was unveiled in his hometown of Liptovský Mikuláš on June 26, the SITA news agency reported.
"He is [symbolically] making a return to his hometown. He left a major mark on each of his professions," Ján Juráš, the head of the Martin Rázus society told the news agency.
The memorial is situated in a park close to Liptovský Mikuláš. It features a bronze statue of Rázus standing next to a preacher's lectern and an open book.
The memorial was produced by sculptor Ján Hoffstädter and his colleagues.
Juráš said that local enthusiasts initiated the idea back in 2002 and formed the Martin Rázus society. The group started collecting donations for the memorial. People donated around Sk300,000 (€7,700) for the project and the town of Liptovský Mikuláš contributed another Sk700,000 (€18,000).
Sponsors and supplier firms also gave some money for the project, which cost a total of Sk1.5 million (€38,000), according to Juráš.
Rázus was born in 1888 in Liptovský Mikuláš's Vrbica district and died in 1937 in the central Slovak town of Brezno. He is buried in Banská Bystrica.


Banská Bystrica
Harmanecká cave re-opened

AFTER being closed for two years, the Harmanecká cave near Banská Bystrica has been re-opened to tourists.
Visitors can access the cave until the end of October. Until then it will open to the public between 10:00 and 17:00 every day except Mondays, the SITA news agency reported.
The cave was closed for two years due to construction work on a new entrance to the area.
Jozef Hlaváč, the director of the Slovak caves administration authority told SITA that the Sk15 million (€386,000) had been spent on the new entrance.
The Harmanecká cave is 2,763 metres long and around 75 metres wide.
The publicly accessible part is 720 metres long.
The Harmanecká cave is one of the most important bat habitats in Slovakia. Eleven different types of bats have been identified in the area.
The Harmanecká cave was discovered in 1932 by Michal Bacúrik, and the cave was opened to public in 1950.


Kuchyňa
US fighter pilots to train in Kuchyňa

US F-16 fighter pilots will use the army training area in Kuchyňa in western Slovakia's Bratislava region for 10 days in late July and early August 2005, the TASR news wire wrote.
The presence of US Air Force aircraft was approved by the Slovak cabinet on July 6.
The cabinet also agreed to send 13 Slovak airmen to an air show in the Hungarian town of Kecskemét, from August 5 to 8.
Ministers also approved the sending of two Slovak military servicemen on a medical corps training exercise to be held in Georgia, US, in September. Slovakia will act only as an observer at the exercise, which will be carried out by US military forces.
The main aim of the training exercise is to increase international cooperation between members of the Partnership for Peace and NATO in the sphere of humanitarian aid, and will focus on the management of a major health crisis with a massive death toll.

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