We're all used to the United States rushing to the aid of people in other countries who suffer from the effects of major disasters.  Now, 1200 WOAI news has learned that one other country, the Czech Republic, is rushing to the aid of West, Texas.


  A spokeswoman for the Czech Foreign Ministry tells 1200 WOAI news from Prague that her country is sending cash to help residents of the small town rebuild from last week's fertilizer plant explosion.


  "The government is releasing four million Czech Crowns as an aid to rebuild the community," Johana Grohova told 1200 WOAI's Michael Board.


  That's about $200,000.


  About three quarters of the population of West is of Czech heritage.  The 'Czech Stop' on I-35 is the most noticeable business in West, which includes Gerik's Old Czech Bakery and a motel shrewdly called the 'Czech Inn.'


  "About three quarters of the inhabitants of the West community has Czech roots, because there was a big emigration wave in the 19th Century to that part of America," Grohova said.


  She says people in West have never forgotten the Czech heritage, and have always been there to help the Czech Republic, and before that, Czechoslovakia.


  "That community has always helped us when there were floods here," she said.    "They always supported us when it came to the Czech Republic joining NATO and other international agencies."