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Bill requiring Indiana stage inspections advances

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All temporary outdoor stages like the one that collapsed last year at the Indiana State Fair, killing seven people, would have to be inspected before they are used for performances under a bill approved Tuesday by a state Senate committee.

The bill also would require the state's building safety commission to set standards for the stages and equipment being used for outdoor performances.

Sponsor Sen. Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, said he and other legislators were surprised to learn that no inspections were required for the large stage blown over by strong winds before an Aug. 13 concert at the state-owned fairgrounds. Along with the seven killed, more than 40 people waiting for the country duo Sugarland to perform were injured.

"You go to a performance, you just assume all's well and that this has been put up in a safe manner and you're not going to have to worry about any danger," Lanane said.

The Senate's homeland security committee approved the bill Tuesday, sending it to the full Senate for consideration. The new law would require applicants to submit proof to the state that a qualified inspector had checked out the stage.

Indianapolis code enforcement director Rick Powers told the committee that city regulations require inspections for the dozens of temporary stages being put up for activities connected with the Feb. 5 Super Bowl. He suggested the bill be expanded to include temporary indoor stages.

Lanane said not all cities and counties have temporary stage regulations like Indianapolis and the new law would set statewide standards.

The Indiana State Fair Commission has decided to permanently move concerts from its outdoor grandstand to the Pepsi Coliseum, which is scheduled for renovations before the 2014 fair. Organizers have decided to have the 2012 fair's concerts at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis.

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  • feel good
    this is nothing more than a feel good measure. People died, and people are permanantly injured, and the state has to do something. If this happened at Deer creek what would have happened? The families would have sued, and insurance would have covered most of it.
  • Stage Inspections Are Already Required
    It is not true to state that inspections of temporary outdoor stages are not currently required in Indiana. The requirement is found in the Indiana Fire Code. This applies to all areas of the State of Indiana, including the City of Indianapolis.

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    1. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

    2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

    3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

    4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

    5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.

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