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Around Slovakia

Pezinok
Town hires crier to announce local events

THE WESTERN Slovak town of Pezinok has a new tourist attraction - a town crier.
On the morning of August 12, 19-year-old Dušan Petráš donned the historical crier's attire of red jacket and cocked hat and started calling out Pezinok's upcoming events, the TASR news agency reported.
The next day Petráš urged locals and tourists to visit the 11th annual Pezinský permoník (Pezinok mine dwarf), an exhibition of minerals with a gold-panning competition.
The young architecture student got the job thanks to his strong voice, the Pezinok municipality said.


Rimavská Sobota
Judge suspended for drunk driving

A DISTRICT court judge in Rimavská Sobota in central Slovakia's Banská Bystrica region has been suspended for an indefinite period after the Judicial Council upheld Justice Minister Daniel Lipšic's decision for suspension.
Lipšic suspended Judge Vladimír Kvetko after the justice crashed his car near Rimavská Sobota. Police found 3.2 parts per thousand of alcohol in his blood. Slovakia is a zero tolerance country.
The Judicial Council voted 7-5 in favour of the minister's decision.
According to Judicial Council Chairman Milan Karabín, Kvetko was driving after attending celebrations at Zemplínska Šírava dam in eastern Slovakia.
"I believe the Council has acted correctly in upholding the minister's decision," Karabín said.


Brzotín
Driver hits two pedestrians

A 19-year-old driver hit two women walking on a road connecting Rožňava and Tornaľa in southcentral Slovakia near the Hungarian border on August 21, the daily SME reported. One of the pedestrians died on the scene; the other was treated at a Rožňava hospital for light injuries.
The driver hit the pedestrians close to a filling station. The women were walking on the right side of the road in the same direction as traffic. Both were pushing prams filled with various objects. No babies were in the prams.
According to the police, the driver was not drunk. Police are investigating the accident.


Boľkovce
Parachutist plummets to his death

A 61-YEAR-OLD parachutist from Žilina fell 700 metres to his death after his parachute failed to open.
Jumping from an AN-2 aircraft above the central Slovak village of Boľkovce, the man identified as Emil M died immediately after falling in a cornfield.
Emil M was participating in the second annual International Championship of Slovak Military Parachutists when the incident happened August 20.
The Boľkovce event, organized by the Banská Bystrica Regional Club of Paratroopers, drew 20 former paratroopers from Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
Police are looking into the tragedy. Forensic scientists will examine the parachute, which is believed to have malfunctioned. Apparently Emil M did not try to activate the reserve chute when the first chute failed.


AMERICAN actor Patrick Swayze, famous for his roles in Dirty Dancing and Ghost, livened up this year's TV Markíza awards, TOM 2005. On August 31 he handed first prize to anchor woman Martina Bartošíková. Swayze, pictured above, gives an autograph before the event at a press conference.
photo: TASR

Bratislava
Fake text messages complicate politics

REPORTERS used the Internet to send a fake SMS message to Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) chairman, Béla Bugár, the SME daily reported.
Pretending to be Jirko Malchárek from the New Citizen's Alliance (ANO), SME reporters sent an SMS to Bugár that read: "Join a coalition with us in Nitra."
Ahead of regional elections this year, the ruling SMK party stands alone against a coalition of so-called "Slovak" parties. When informed of the hoax, Malchárek and Bugár were shocked by how easily the reporters faked the message.
By entering a random number and choosing a sender and recipient, the website allowed the reporters to send SMS messages to a designated mobile phone.
"Such a message could be sent in my name to [Slovak National Party opposition leader] Ján Slota. It could cause conflict between parties or ordinary people," said an alarmed Bugár.
Juraj Droba, director of corporate affairs at T-Mobile, said his company is consulting with other mobile operators to try and "minimize the problem".


Bratislava
Doctors suspected of taking bribes

TWO doctors from the Kramáre college hospital in Bratislava are suspected of corruption, hospital director Valerián Potičný told the TASR news agency on August 12.
According to media reports, the doctors allegedly helped to find a surrogate mother for a Slovak couple for Sk430,000 (€11,150).
An STV television reporter filed a complaint against the doctors for commercial surrogacy and corruption. Slovak legislation does not cover the issue of commercial surrogacy. Consequently, police are only investigating allegations of corruption.
The reporter told TASR that he would take action against the doctors if police discover that the doctors broke the law.


Žilina
Cut woman found in lift

A MAN reported finding his 45-year-old neighbour lying in a pool of blood in their building's lift. According to the TASR news agency, the victim suffered multiple cut wounds in her neck.
She died two hours later, after being transported to a local hospital on August 21.
The tragedy took place in Žilina's district of Solinky.
Police are investigating the case. A man, 42, contacted the police saying he was involved. It is not clear whether he cut the woman.
"The man had traces of blood on him and we apprehended him. Everything will be clearer when the investigation is completed," a Žilina police spokesman said.


Komárno
A field of ganja detected

POLICE uncovered a marijuana crop in Veľký Ostrov close to the southern Slovak town of Kolárovo. The illegal crop was planted on three rented plots of land, each about 0.5 hectares.
According to the deputy police chief from Kolárovo, Major Peter Erdélyi, the police have already identified a group of suspects, including those who rented the plots.
He told The Slovak Spectator that he could not rule out organized crime.


Humenné, Bratislava
Train passenger gets aggressive

A PASSENGER travelling on a fast train from Humenné to Bratislava on August 21 threatened to shoot the conductor after the train official asked the man for a train ticket.
The 22-year-old passenger from Humenné showed his ID to the conductor, but when she asked the man to pay a fine, he became aggressive, the TASR news agency wrote.
He verbally attacked the conductor, threatened to kill her and followed her to the service car, where she locked herself inside for protection.
The train went all the way to Bratislava before police tried to arrest the man. When the train stopped in Bratislava's main station, however, the man ran away, eluding the police.


PART of the artificial canal of the Váh River that flows through Trenčín uncovered its hidden treasures as water managers drained it for repairs. Local firshermen first noticed the wheels of a Škoda Favorit with a Trenčín plate. Moments later they found five more wrecks. Under one of the bridges they found a safe and cash register. Most of the finds are believed to be stolen. Fishermen, in the picture, drain the oil from one of the cars to avoid water contamination.
photo: TASR

Trebichava
Mushroom picker finds bombs

INSTEAD of mushrooms, a 25-year-old man found ammunition during a walk in the forest near the village of Trebichava, the TASR news agency wrote on August 23.
Keeping a cool head he called police and did not manipulate with what later turned out to be artillery mines from World War II.
An expert confirmed that the mines were corroded and although their ignition mechanisms were gone, the explosives were intact. The mine could have exploded under certain circumstances.
The mines were taken to a local ammunitions storage area for further analysis.


Majcichov
Granny goes down in flames

Slovak grandmother perished in a yard fire on August 23.
The tragedy took place in the village of Majcichov close to Trnava in western Slovakia.
According to the Nový Čas daily, the grandmother, Emília B, 83, tried to accelerate the burning of old waste by pouring flammable liquid onto the flames.
The liquid splashed onto her clothes, which immediately caught fire. She lived in the house with her husband and their two sons, who took care of them.

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