June 1
WASHINGTON
Climbers’ bodies
too difficult to reach

Rescuers think they know the final resting place of six climbers who set out last week to attempt one of the most technical and physically grueling routes to the peak of Mount Rainier in Washington state.

But the danger of recovering the bodies of the two guides and four climbers believed to have fallen 3,300 feet from their last known location is too great, park officials say.

“People are very understanding that we cannot risk another life at this point,” Patti Wold, a Mount Rainier National Park spokeswoman, said Sunday.

The climbers were last heard from at 6 p.m. Wednesday when the guides checked in with their Seattle-based company, Alpine Ascents International, by satellite phone. The group did not return Friday as planned.

They are presumed dead in one of the worst alpine accidents on Rainier since 1981, when 11 people were struck and killed by a massive ice fall on the Ingraham Glacier.

Family and friends of the dead climbers arrived at the mountain Sunday to meet with park officials.

It’s unclear whether the climbers were moving or camping at the time of the accident, Wold said. Searchers located camping and climbing gear and detected signals from avalanche beacons buried in the snow at the top of the Carbon Glacier at 9,500 feet in elevation.

It’s also not known what caused the climbers to fall from their last known whereabouts at 12,800 feet on Liberty Ridge.

— Associated Press

CALIFORNIA
Police disability retirements reviewed

Officials in Oakland are reviewing seven years of police disability retirements after learning last month that one of their former officers was collecting a disability pension even while he was working for the FBI.

Former Oakland police officer Aaron McFarlane, 41, received more than $52,000 in disability benefits each year while he was working as an FBI agent in Boston.

Oakland spokeswoman Karen Boyd told the San Francisco Chronicle that the city plans to compare the list of police officers who took medical retirements with requests for background checks to identify who may have claimed disability but got jobs elsewhere.

McFarlane was recently identified as the federal officer who last year shot and killed Ibragim Todashev, a friend of suspected Boston Marathon bomber Tamer­lan Tsarnaev.

He retired from the Oakland Police Department on medical disability in 2004, four years after he joined the department as a patrol officer.

— Associated Press

NEW YORK
Festivities, protests at Israel Day parade

A boisterous feast of floats, music and dancing highlighted the 50th Israel Day Parade on Sunday — punctuated by some Jewish spectators protesting same-sex marriage and even the existence of Israel.

Awash in white and blue — the colors of Israel’s flag — tens of thousands of onlookers cheered the celebration that featured a model of an Israeli spacecraft.

But some of the 35,000 who marched along Fifth Avenue opposed the purchase of Israeli products made by Jewish settlers in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. A group of spectators countered by hoisting signs that read, “Jews don’t boycott Jews.”

The parade stepped off late Sunday morning near the Plaza Hotel by Central Park, led by Mayor Bill de Blasio (D). Other dignitaries included Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D), Israeli diplomats and seven members of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament.

“Every year is special, because it’s important that people come and stand with Israel,” said Nadav Traeger, a physician from Queens who said he has attended the parade more than 20 times.

A group of ultra-Orthodox rabbis and other faithful voiced their opposition to the founding of Israel. They believe a Jewish state should be created only after the arrival of the Messiah they’re awaiting.

— Associated Press

Lake Michigan search after accident is called off: Authorities have suspended the search for two missing boaters off the Chicago coast of Lake Michigan. The Coast Guard released a statement late Sunday saying it called off the search for the 30-year-old man and 27-year-old woman. It said a man rescued Sunday is hospitalized in stable condition with hypothermia symptoms. A woman who was rescued later died. The Coast Guard said crews originally responded to a report of six people in the water but later confirmed that four were onboard. The four apparently ended up in the water late Saturday about seven miles from shore. Searchers didn’t find the boat or any debris from it. The boaters were headed from New Buffalo, Mich., to Burnham Harbor in Chicago.

A woman on a boat that capsized miles from Chicago’s shoreline died Sunday after being pulled from Lake Michigan, and the Coast Guard said crews were conducting an air and water search for as many as four other people. The Cook County medical examiner’s office confirmed the woman’s death Sunday afternoon but had no other details. A fisherman pulled a man who had been on the boat from the lake about 6:15 a.m. Sunday. He was taken to a hospital in critical condition. Rescuers pulled the woman from the 60-degree water a few hours later. It is not clear whether four or six people were aboard the 30-foot boat that capsized about five to seven miles from shore Saturday night. Coast Guard spokesman Levi Read said the rescued boater is in a “hypothermic state” and has given conflicting information.

Customer saves doughnut shop employees: A Dunkin’ Donuts customer looking for a morning cup of coffee was in the right place at the right time with the right equipment. Authorities say an ambulance technician wearing a carbon monoxide detector entered the store in Carle Place, N.Y., about 4 a.m. Friday. The tech’s detector went off, indicating high levels of the poisonous gas. He hustled the employees out of the eatery and notified authorities. An investigation found that a vent in one of the ovens was the problem.

— From news services

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