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Daniels preparing changes following stage collapse

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Gov. Mitch Daniels on Tuesday outlined a handful of changes Indiana is taking following last year's deadly state fair stage collapse.

Daniels said he ordered the state Department of Homeland Security to begin reviewing temporary outdoor structures like the stage rigging that collapsed Aug. 13.

He also said firings at the state fair commission could be a part of an overhaul he's considering. He did not say whether that included State Fair director Cindy Hoye.

Asked if anyone would be fired because of the collapse, Daniels said, "It may be that someone will. But this will all be part of the restructuring and the decisions that are about to start now."

Fair spokeswoman Stephanie McFarland did not respond Tuesday to an email seeking a response to Daniels' comments.

An independent investigation released last week found the fair had no clear chain of command for deciding when to evacuate fans. A separate investigation found that the rigging that killed seven people and injured close to 60 people was not built to withstand the 59-mph winds that knocked it down.

State Fair Commission Chairman Andre Lacy told investigators that Hoye initially offered her resignation but that he refused to accept it. Daniels said Tuesday that Lacy never offered to resign, but if he had, the governor says he would not have accepted it.

Daniels said he wants state investigators to begin reviewing temporary outdoor structures immediately. State lawmakers approved a plan to establish the state's first inspection guidelines for temporary structures and plan to study the issue before they return for their 2013 session.

"We want to make sure those are looked at even before we have new code in place," Daniels said.

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