August 7: CITY NOTES

Ice skating in Haifa

Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut. (photo credit: REUTERS)
Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Haifa’s new sports complex has been transformed into a giant ice-skating rink to provide some respite from the heat during these scorching summer days. The rink covers some 600 square meters and skaters can enjoy some icy fun while skating to background music on a rink lit up by colorful lights.
Children aged six and over may use the rink, and older children may use special “penguin” and “dolphin” aids that will make it easier for them to skate. Professional guidance and training are also available.
The ice-skating rink at the Raanan Katz hall will operate until the end of the month, from Sunday to Thursday between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m., on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Culture director Uri Blum remarked, “I’m afraid winter is not quite here, so [Haifa Mayor] Yona Yahav directed us to bring it ourselves. The Raanan Katz hall is the coldest place there is this summer.”
Border Police volunteers rescue trapped dogs from deep well A team of Border Police volunteers were on patrol in the Kiryat Ata forest area last weekend when a family signaled to them for help. The volunteers discovered that a number of dogs were trapped in a deep well, whose opening was blocked by a large rock; they moved the rock and found three dogs inside. They called firefighters to the scene, and while awaiting their arrival threw food down to the dogs, which they described as “hungry and exhausted.” When the firefighters arrived they placed a ladder in the well and rescued the three dogs; the volunteers then gave them water and took them to the Let the Animals Live rescue NGO. The pooches are now recovering and awaiting adoption.
Hiker rescued near Sussita Early Monday morning, police and rescue workers on the Golan Heights located a hiker who had lost his way near Sussita. The 20-year-old man from the South was found to be in good health.
Cornerstone laid in memory of astronaut Ilan Ramon A cornerstone was laid on Sunday night for the expansion of the Mitzpe Ilan community, in memory of Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon.
Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund will prepare land for 120 families who will arrive in the near future. KKL-JNF chairman Efi Stenzler, Ilan’s widow Rona Ramon and Menashe Regional Council head Ilan Sadeh attended the ceremony.
Karmiel bodybuilder nabbed for importing steroids Police arrested a Karmiel resident, 27, last week on suspicion of importing tens of thousands of anabolic steroids, which are prohibited from being imported, marketed, distributed or used in Israel.
The Customs Drug Unit center identified 42 packages addressed to a number of northern residents, many of which were addressed to the suspect, a bodybuilder and owner of a personal training business. The center seized 45,000 units of banned medicinal substances, all sent from the same address in Bulgaria.
Investigators from Haifa Customs in cooperation with the Health Ministry’s pharmaceutical law enforcement unit searched the homes of several package recipients. At the suspect’s home, investigators found different types of steroids and a large amount of cash, as well as documents linking him to the allegations. Under questioning, he admitted to the charges and confirmed he had asked friends and acquaintances for permission to send packages to their addresses so he could sell the drugs.
Two years ago the suspect’s father, also a resident of Karmiel, was arrested when he tried to smuggle 18,000 fake anabolic steroids, which he brought from Moldova, through Ben-Gurion Airport; he was foiled by airport customs. During questioning he claimed the pills had been recommended to him by his fitness instructor for bodybuilding and that he had been on a four-day visit to Moldova to sell a house, but he was carrying no additional baggage aside from the pills.
World’s biggest slide reaches Netanya The world’s largest waterslide reached Netanya this week, after the global attraction had been traveling the country. The 300-meter-long “Slide the City” feature was set to be laid down on Uzi Hitman Street in the Ir Yamim neighborhood. Children as young as three can take part in the fun, accompanied by an adult, and those over eight can slide the city alone. A turn on the slide costs NIS 10 for city residents.
Data show Sderot in ‘bagrut’ lead Education Ministry data published last week on the last school year revealed that the proportion of students eligible to receive a high school matriculation certificate is 73.4 percent in Sderot. This figure is high - er than in any other city in the Negev and shows an improvement of 3.57% from the previous year.
In second place is the city of Dimona, whose matriculation eligibility rate stands at 71.65%, followed by Beersheba, 67.41%; Yeroham, 65.49%; Eilat, 64.6%; Netivot, 62.93%; Arad, 60.97%; Kiryat Gat, 59.46%; Ofakim, 51.96%; and Kiryat Malachi, 49.85%.
Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi responded to these results saying that the city is “reaping the fruits of our enormous investment in education.”
“Since my election, I put education at the top of priorities in the city. I worked day and night and invested tremendous resources into promoting advanced learning programs, including science and technology studies, cyber studies and more. We have witnessed time and time again the impressive achievements of our educators, our education system and of course our wonderful and talented students.”