After the storm, the Kinneret is on the rise

A roundup of local news stories.

Israeli Police (photo credit: ISRAEL POLICE)
Israeli Police
(photo credit: ISRAEL POLICE)
The level of Lake Kinneret rose 14.5 centimeters between the end of last week when the storm began and the beginning of this week. The Water Authority expressed satisfaction with the increase in water levels but anticipate more winter rain. Maariv online quoted Water Authority Spokesman Uri Shor as saying that the expected snow and rain would ensure that the improvement in water levels continues.
“This last period of rain was good. This week, too, local rainfalls are expected to increase the Kinneret water level, as well as a beautiful event that we are waiting and hoping for on the weekend,” he said.
He added that this year has been much better than last year, and the Water Authority hopes that it will continue in the same way.
“We must not forget that we are only in the middle of winter, so we can certainly expect and hope that this trend will continue,” he said.
Near Nazareth, police arrest 16 people illegally residing in Israel
Police arrested 16 people on Sunday night in a forest in Kafr Manda, near Nazareth, who were illegally residing in Israel, Israel Police reported Monday. Authorities launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident. Some of the people reportedly could face jail time, while others in the group will be sent back to the Palestinian Authority.
Tel Aviv Marathon’s ‘social track’ seeks to raise money to help others
The Tel Aviv Samsung Marathon, Israel’s largest sporting event, will be held next Friday. This year, there will be a “social track” that will allow marathon participants to take advantage of the race to help others.
Registered participants can choose an organization from a list that appears on the marathon website and will receive an electronic certificate that will allow them to raise money for their chosen cause via email and social media. The funds will be transferred directly to the charitable organization.
One of the organizations participating in the social track is the Schneider Children’s Medical Center’s “Our Children.”
Many celebrities helped raised awareness of the social track and took part in a video to promote it.
Some 40,000 runners are set to participate in this year’s marathon, and another 150,000 from all over the country will go to support them. There are seven running tracks in this year’s marathon of varying degrees of difficulty, which allows people of all ages to take part, including children.
Bat Yam schools implement “safe surfing” week
Bat Yam dedicated this past week to raising awareness among students about surfing the Internet safely. In schools across the city, seventh graders ran workshops and held lectures for sixth graders about secure Internet browsing and how to deal with online bullying and crime.
The initiative is part of an annual project called Good Life Online. Youth who are doing National Service also participated. Bat Yam operated various projects for safe surfing based on the notion that students learn using tablets and should view the Internet as a tool that needs to be used correctly. This is the third year of the project, which puts an emphasis on harmful pictures and content, using the search engine safely and privacy tools.
Police arrest five suspects in murder of shuttle bus driver
Police said on Sunday that they had arrested five suspects in connection with the murder of a shuttle bus driver that occurred on December 18 at the Negev Junction.
The suspects, who are from Beduin villages and the Beduin town of Segev Shalom, include a minor. On December 18 at 8 a.m., Southern District police received a report that gunshots had been fired at the Negev Junction and that the driver of a shuttle bus had been wounded in the shooting. Large police forces arrived at the scene. The 30-year-old man, a resident of a Beduin community near Bir Hadaj, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The police launched an investigation into the incident, which revealed that two of the suspects had followed the shuttle bus driver in a jeep and when they reached the junction got out of their car, with their faces masked, and shot the victim at close range. The probe also revealed that the suspects had planned the attack, purchased the weapons and then hid their vehicle and weapons.
At the start of the probe, two suspects were arrested and indicted on charges of possession of weapons and abetting a crime.
Later, three additional suspects were arrested in connection with the shooting.
Eilat launches first digital classroom
A new project called A Password for Every Student was launched in Eilat last week, allowing students to learn using tablets in class.
The project is being tested in the Talei Harei Eilat and Mitzpe Yam schools.
Present at the launch event were the CEO of the enterprise Maggie Asaig; Mayor Meir Yitzhak Levi; and Dr. Drori Ganiel and Miri Kopito of the municipality. Minister for the Development of the Negev and the Galilee Silvan Shalom, whose ministry has invested significant funds in the implementation of the project, was invited as guest of honor, but stormy weather prevented him from attending. The event included a demonstration of how the students would learn via the tablets and a tour of the Mitzpe Yam school where the launch event was held.
The tablets that will be given to the students are unique to this initiative and were made according to the schools’ needs. The lightweight computers comprise a student’s entire work desk and can replace textbooks and notebooks. The tablets have applications with digital programs tailored to the curriculum, and teachers are trained accordingly. Fourth grade was chosen for the pilot project so the students can use this method of learning until sixth grade.
BGU students present math-teaching system for blind population
Two students at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have designed a system for teaching mathematics to blind people. The program, which was presented this week at the Light and Blindness Conference at the Carasco Science Park, is slated to introduce a less expensive and more accessible option than those currently available on the market.
The system, which is still in the development stage, is designed to teach basic math to elementary school students. It is based on a board with Braille, bar codes and a home web camera. The idea behind the system is that the computer will display the exercise to the user using audio software, and the user will complete the exercise using the Braille writing on the board. The camera will scan the bar codes below the blocks on the board and enter them into the computer, which will work out the result and let the user know whether he/she completed the exercise correctly.
The proposed system will cost about $200 and will be accessible for home use. This system was presented at the conference among other technologies aimed at improving the quality of life of the blind and visually impaired.
Police rescue students and teachers lost in crater
A police rescue team came to the aid of 24 students from the center of the country who got lost while on an outing to Hamaktesh Hakatan. When the group lost their way, they contacted the Southern District police call center. The small teams of police that were sent out found the students and their teachers. They took them back to safety by helicopter.