City Notes: 30 children safely escape school bus fire

Three teams of firefighters successfully evacuated all 30 children on board; no one was injured.

Lag Ba'Omer2 GALLERY (photo credit: Marc Sellem Israel/The Jerusalem Post)
Lag Ba'Omer2 GALLERY
(photo credit: Marc Sellem Israel/The Jerusalem Post)
30 children safely escape school bus fire
Parents and children received a nasty scare but a happy ending when a school bus carrying dozens of first-graders caught fire in western Galilee. Three teams of firefighters were quickly dispatched to the roadside scene and successfully evacuated all 30 children on board. No one was injured in the blaze. Fire investigators and other authorities were looking into the cause of the fire.
Over 40 injured at Meron on Lag Ba’omer
Some 40 people were brought from to Ziv Hospital in Safed on Saturday night from Meron where hundreds of thousands went to celebrate Lag Ba’omer. All but one of those brought to the hospital were in light condition, suffering from minor injuries and smoke inhalation. One young man had a stranger and much more serious injury. A whistle with sharp metallic edges, bought by a 19-year-old at Meron, entered his lungs, requiring him to be treated urgently at Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot on Sunday. Under general anesthesia, the doctors managed to pull the dangerous object out of his respiratory system and save his life.
Rare sea eagles found poisoned in Emek Hefer
A pair of white-tailed sea eagles, extinct in Israel since the 1950s when their swampland habitats were drained, were found dead in the Emek Hefer area this week. The sea eagles – the female originally from a Holland zoo and the male from a breeding center in the Carmel wildlife reserve – found each other and became a pair immediately, upon release into the wild. They built a nest together this year, the southernmost nest of the species in the entire world, according to the Nature and Parks Authority.
The pair of sea eagles is believed to have been poisoned after eating small animals that were intentionally poisoned by local farmers to protect their crops, the NPA said. Cyclists in the Zeita swamp area found the two birds alongside four dead mongooses and 10 jackals.
Man dies after falling 3 floors from hospital
A 71-year-old man fell three floors to his death in Nahariya over the weekend. The septuagenarian, who was hospitalized in the city’s Western Galilee Medical Center, apparently fell from one of the hospital’s upper floors. Details of the incident were unclear and police were investigating the circumstances of the incident, the Local website reported.
Learning a new way to throw out trash in Ra’anana
Ra’anana residents received a knock on their doors this week from visitors with a new, environmentally friendly message. As part of a new trial program, specialists distributed extra trash cans so that residents can begin separating dry and wet waste for more efficient disposal that reduces landfill waste.
The specialists explained both how the program works and its benefits, and were well received by Ra’anana’s residents. Over two-thirds of the city’s households received the new trash bins in the second week of the program, while the remaining residents can expect a knock on their doors soon. Pending further funding, the program is scheduled to spread to other municipalities throughout the country in the coming months.
Serial good Samaritan strikes again in Kfar Saba
A Kfar Saba man is set to receive a certificate of appreciation from the city’s police department after he returned a wallet containing NIS 300,000 to its owner. On Friday night, as Arthur Strava walked through a mall in Kfar Saba with his daughter, he noticed a large wallet sitting on an arcade game. After looking around for anybody searching the area for the lost wallet and the unusually large amount of money it contained, Strava didn’t think twice before checking the address on the driver’s license inside and immediately drove to the owner’s home, the Local website reported.
Strava recounted to Local, “The man’s wife answered the door and was very surprised, saying that they had already looked for the wallet throughout their home and the mall.” The good Samaritan added, “I was happy to be able to help. That’s the most important [part], in my opinion.” The incident was not the first time Strava made somebody’s day by returning lost property. Four years ago, he returned a woman’s purse after finding it lying on the sidewalk.
Kfar Saba gets its first hybrid bus
Riders of Kfar Saba’s Metropoline No. 29 bus had a particularly silent commute this week as the company began a multi-week trial of a new hybrid-electric bus. The vehicle, which looks just like its more familiar diesel guzzling counterparts, operates completely on electric power up to 20 kph, uses 30 percent less fuel and produces 50 percent less air pollution.
Although the lone hybrid bus has thus far received rave reviews by passengers, it will soon be returned to Sweden when the trial is completed. Metropoline will then decide if it is advantageous enough to begin introducing to Israel on a permanent basis.
Four arrested for dog-fighting
Police in Hod Hasharon arrested four men this week on suspicion of running a dog-fighting ring. Four injured canines were also seized. During a regular patrol, Kfar Saba police stopped a suspicious vehicle and after a short search, found the four injured dogs, clubs, knives, flashlights and slingshots. During an investigation at the local police station, the men, all from the Arava region, claimed that they were simply going for an outing in a nearby nature reserve with the dogs, the Local website reported.
The men were released from police custody to house arrest as the investigation continues. Under Israeli law, dog fighting carries a penalty of up to three years in prison.
Man dies in third Netanya drowning this month
For the third time this month, the waters off the coast of Netanya claimed the life of a swimmer. The most recent drowning took place over the weekend when a man in his 80s was found lifeless on the city’s Sironit Beach, which does not have a lifeguard. Magen David Adom paramedics who were called to the scene attempted to resuscitate the man, but were forced to declare him dead on the scene.
A week earlier, the body of a young man was washed ashore after he apparently attempted to swim from Sironit Beach to Ampi Beach. Earlier in the month, a woman in her 60s was pulled out of the sea after inhaling water at Netanya’s Four Seasons Beach. A MDA crew attempted to resuscitate her and evacuated her to a local hospital, but were unable to save the woman’s life.
Eilat residents woken by unexpected visitors
Residents of Eilat were woken by unexpected and likely unwelcome visitors knocking on their doors in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Dozens of asylum seekers and migrants who infiltrated Israel’s southern border from Egypt overnight found themselves in one of the southern city’s residential neighborhoods. The incident prompted Eilat’s mayor to send an urgent letter to Defense Minister Ehud Barak demanding action against border infiltrations, the Local website reported. Over 2,000 people have illegally crossed the border from Egypt since the beginning of the year, according to the report.
Man given 20 months in prison for possession of cigarettes
A man was sentenced to 20 months in prison and fined NIS 30,000 for the possession of illegally imported cigarettes this week. Rashid Gafrov was caught with 206 cartons of smuggled cigarettes by the Ashdod Customs drugs unit following an investigation. Also found during the successful search were forged import documents. Ultimately, the man was convicted and sentenced by the Ashdod District Court for possession of contraband cigarettes, unpaid taxes, and attempts to avoid paying import duties on smuggled goods.
Brothers pull off infantile supermarket robbery
Two brothers were arrested by police in Arad this week for stealing a large quantity of Similac baby formula. According to police, security cameras captured the entire robbery, helping them apprehend the thieves. The video footage showed one brother engaging the lone security guard in conversation at an Arad supermarket while the other nonchalantly pushed out a packed cart full of the formula. Police believe the brothers have pulled off similar robberies at other stores in the area, the Local website reported.
Eilat’s leaders look much younger – for a day
Some 120 Eilat youths got a taste of adult responsibility and the accompanying power this week. As part of an event organized by Eilat’s youth council and city leaders, the youths were handed the proverbial keys to the city – for a day – as they took over the municipality’s top jobs.
For a few hours, the mayor, deputy mayor, city managers, school principals, police officers and tourist-site managers appeared to have reversed the aging process. The youths took over the jobs, under supervision, in order to learn about civic service.
At the beginning of the special day for the young and aspiring future leaders, Eilat Mayor Yitzhak Halevi welcomed them at city hall. Before beginning their new (temporary) jobs, Halevi told the youths that the purpose of the day was “to create and promote the right conditions for producing young leaders who will [one day] lead the city,” according to the Local website.