Sonar, divers search for ‘Glee’ star thought to have drowned

“Glee” star Naya Rivera is presumed dead by authorities. File/AFP
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Updated 11 July 2020

Sonar, divers search for ‘Glee’ star thought to have drowned

LOS ANGELES: Teams are using sonar and robotic devices in what could be a long search for “Glee” star Naya Rivera, who authorities believe drowned in a Southern California lake.

“We don’t know if she’s going to be found five minutes from now or five days from now,” Ventura County Sheriff's Capt. Eric Buschow said at a news conference Friday, two days after Rivera’s 4-year-old son was found asleep and alone on a boat the two had rented a few hours earlier.

Search teams on Lake Piru are towing sonar devices across the surface that scan the bottom for shapes that might be a body, then employing small remote controlled devices to explore the underwater spaces that show promise.

Two such shapes were found Friday, but neither led to Rivera, Buschow said.

Divers are also still searching the murky waters, but fewer are being used than in the hours immediately after the 33-year-old was reported missing.

“We're putting as many assets as we can out there,” Buschow said. “We appreciate everybody’s concern out there about locating her, and providing some closure for her family.”

Surveillance video showed Rivera and her son parking and entering the boat dock in the recreation area at the lake 55 miles (89 kilometres) northwest of downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday afternoon, authorities said. She had experience boating on the lake.

About three hours later, the man who rented them the pontoon boat found the boy alone on it wearing a life vest. The boy told investigators he and his mother had gone swimming, and he had gotten back on the boat but she hadn’t.

An adult life vest was found in the boat, along with Rivera’s identification, and her car was still in the parking lot.

On Thursday, authorities said they believed she had accidentally drowned, and the search had shifted from an effort to rescue Rivera to an attempt to find her body.

Search teams were focusing on the north end of the lake, known as the Narrows, where the boy was found, and the east side, where wind patterns suggest it might have been earlier.

The boy, Rivera’s son with actor Ryan Dorsey, was safe and healthy and with family members, authorities said. The couple divorced in 2018.

The last tweet on Rivera’s account, from Tuesday, read “just the two of us” along with a photo of her and her son.

Rivera played singing cheerleader Santana Lopez for six seasons on the Fox musical-comedy “Glee.”

If she is declared dead, she will become the third major cast member from the show to die in their 30s.

Cory Monteith, one of the show’s leads, died at 31 in 2013 from a toxic mix of alcohol and heroin.

And co-star Mark Salling, who Rivera dated at one point, killed himself in 2018 at age 35 after pleading guilty to child pornography charges.


Dubai gets a taste of kosher

Updated 18 September 2020

Dubai gets a taste of kosher

  • The Habtoor Group has partnered with Elli’s Kosher Kitchen to become the first UAE hotel operator to offer kosher meals

When Elli Kriel moved to Dubai from South Africa eight years ago, she was determined to maintain her family’s kosher Jewish diet and quickly sought out shops serving kosher products in the city.

“At the time we thought we were the only family that kept a kosher diet, but when word got out that we were a kosher family living in Dubai, many Jews who were traveling to the UAE would contact me for food,” Kriel told Arab News.

“I started sending food out from my home to help Jewish travelers and as the community started growing so, too, did the need for more kosher food.”

In 2018, a group of rabbis arrived in Dubai for an interfaith conference and the organizer called Kriel in a panic not knowing how to feed them. Once again, she cooked and prepared kosher meals for the numerous attendees.

“At the time the idea of kosher food outside the Jewish community was strange — something unknown,” said Kriel.

After the conference, word of her services spread quickly, and she received requests from hotel managers, concierges and others who needed to serve food to Jewish guests. In 2019, Elli’s Kosher Kitchen was born.

With the UAE normalizing ties with Israel, a number of hotels and restaurants across the emirate have begun preparations to introduce kosher food and beverages. The first is the Habtoor Group, which will offer kosher meals at several of its hotels, including the Hilton Dubai.

Habtoor Hospitality has partnered with Elli’s Kosher Kitchen.

“There has been great demand since the normalization process with Israel started, and we have had several requests for groups that require kosher food, as well as from tourists from Israel and other parts of the world who would like to visit the UAE now,” Fredrik Reinisch, general manager at Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City, told Arab News.

Hotels offering kosher catering will include Hilton Dubai, V Hotel, Habtoor Palace Dubai, LXR Hotel and Resorts, Habtoor Grand Resort, Autograph Collection LLC, Metropolitan Hotel and Habtoor Polo Resort.

“Kosher food is prepared in accordance with religious laws, the laws of the Jewish religion,” said Kriel. “It has to have kosher ingredients, follow specific methods of cooking and be served in a particular way. But it also applies to the way in which you eat the food. The basic principle is not to mix any dairy or meat products.”

Kriel ensures that all meals are prepared in accordance with OU kosher certification (Orthodox Union), believed to be the most trusted form of certification globally.

Guests with specific kosher preferences will also be able to choose from tailored menus. Meals will be packaged and sealed with an OU certified stamp.

Kosher food is similar to the concept of halal food, which adheres to Islamic law and follows religious rules in production, service and consumption.