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Pyrotechnics warn of upcoming controlled explosions at Vrbětice munitions depot

Pyrotechnics clearing the munitions depot in Vrbětice, Moravia, have warned of upcoming controlled explosions. Soldiers and explosives experts have been working throughout the Christmas holidays to clear the main roads along which munitions undamaged by the devastating blast in mid-October and dozens of others that followed could be transported to a new site. The surrounding grounds of the munitions depot are still scattered with damaged ammunition which will need to be eliminated in a series of controlled explosions in the coming days. Villages in the vicinity will be warned about the blasts well in advance.

Many of the prisoners amnestied in 2012 are back in jail

A quarter of the prisoners released under the presidential amnesty declared z Václav Klaus two years ago are reportedly back in jail. According to information released by the Czech Prison Service 1498 of the 6471 prisoners released in 2012 are back in jail serving prison sentences for new offences. The country’s prisons which were severely overcrowded before the amnesty are now filled to 93 percent of their capacity, the prison service says.

Czech man arrested in Britain in connection with cemetery thefts

Officers from West Yorkshire say they have arrested a 35-year-old Czech man in connection with the 2008 theft of over 800 bronze plaques bearing the names of Holocaust victims at the National Cemetery in the town of Terezín. The man was stopped for a regular road check and when officers ran his details through the Police National Computer they discovered a European Arrest Warrant had been issued in his name. The man was taken into custody, where he remains pending extradition proceedings. Two other men are wanted in connection with the said crime which caused damages of 1.7 million Czech crowns.

Taxi services for seniors increasingly popular

Taxi services for seniors subsidized by local city halls are proving increasingly popular. The town of Bohumín which provided the service to seniors over 70 has now broadened the offer to people aged over 65. Seniors use the taxi service for trips to their GP or hospital paying a symbolic 15 crowns for the ride. The town hall subsidizes the service with around 30 thousand crowns a month. Other Czech towns and cities have latched on to the idea, such as Plzen and Karvina.

Prague City Tourism to conduct extensive survey among foreign visitors

Prague City Tourism is preparing to conduct an extensive three-year survey among tourists to Prague to find out why they chose to spend time in the Czech Republic and the level of satisfaction with services offered. The agency plans to address some 1,500 visitors from different countries twice a year. According to the agency’s spokeswoman Prague City Tourism needs more comprehensive data about visitors to Prague in order to attract more tourists and improve services. At present it relies on information provided by the Czech Statistics Office.

Hay warehouse destroyed by fire

A fire completely destroyed a large hay warehouse the town of Lesná in the Tachov region of western Bohemia. The fire started in the night hours and fire-crews fought the blaze until the early morning. The damage is estimated at over 5 million crowns. Police are investigating the cause of the fire.

After unseasonably warm weather, winter hits with a vengeance

After weeks of unseasonably warm weather in central Europe, temperatures have dropped to minus 20 degrees Celsius in the mountain regions. The coldest night was registered in the Šumava Mountains, in southern Bohemia, where temperatures dropped to minus 27 degrees. Although there has been little natural snow so far ski resorts have started making artificial snow for the upcoming season.