Children of All Ages Delighted by Enslavement of Topsy the Elephant

TUCSON, AZCheers, laughter, and applause filled the big top tent at the Ringling Bros. Circus Saturday as children of all ages were captivated by the savage enslavement of Topsy the elephant. Whether young or just young at heart, thrilled audience members watched with glee as a circus trainer forced the frightened Topsy to perform tricks by brutally poking and prodding the traumatized 4-year-old pachyderm.

"He's such a funny happy elephant," said 8-year-old Madison Helms, referring to the abused creature that spends the majority of his time chained up in a cramped, feces-covered enclosure. "He loves being in the circus!" The crowd reportedly let out loud gasps and vigorously clapped when Topsy stood up on his hind legs, an unnatural and excruciatingly painful movement that stresses and permanently damages the 8,000-pound elephant's joints.

Topsy also delighted the audience after the trainer repeatedly thrust a hooked rod into his skin, causing the miserable animal to lift one leg and his trunk to simulate waving. "Aww" said the assembled circus-goers, who were taken by the cuteness of the barbaric spectacle. Branden Helger, 9, said Topsy was his favorite performer at Ringling Bros.

because the elephant knew how to do neat tricks like pretending to limp. The third-grader also excitedly pointed out the "cool necklace" clamped on the animal's foot. Topsy and the other elephant performers, who are separated from each other at all times, preventing the socialization that's so crucial to their well-being, received a standing ovation from the crowd when they marched into the center ring, nervously rocking back and forth.

"Look, they're dancing," said 5-year-old Jonah Meeks, mistaking the elephants' constant swaying for something that wasn't a maladaptive behavior caused by serious psychological trauma. "I can dance like an elephant, too. Look at me!

" Unaware that the elephant was terrified of the glaring stage lights, deafening crowd noise, and constant beatings, Phil Wingren, who brought his family to the circus, remarked that Topsy must relish being a star. "Boy, that Topsy's got it made," Wingren said to his children, referring to the mistreated, severely neglected creature, who is exposed to numerous diseases and receives no medical attention except when dirt is rubbed into his wounds to hide them from the public. "Always in the spotlight and everybody pampering you.

That lucky elephant." "Look, he even has his own ball," continued Wingren, referring to the most hated object in Topsy's life. Attending the circus with her grandparents, Gretchen Anderson, 4, was delighted by Topsy and by the other pachyderms as well.

"There's his mama," Anderson said of an elephant unrelated to Topsy, who has not seen his parents since being torn away from them shortly after birth, and last nestled up to his mother when he tried to suckle at her corpse shortly after poachers killed her. "They have a big happy family." Eyewitnesses who spotted the trainer patting the side of Topsy's body during the final trick were convinced the elephant and the man were best friends, though in fact the look of reverie on Topsy's face was the result of his daydreaming about stomping and crushing the cruel asshole's head like an overripe melon.

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Deadly Taiwan Fireball Caused by Stage Lights: Report
A deadly fireball that ripped through a crowd of young people at a Taiwan water park in June was caused when coloured powder was ignited by stage lights, an investigation reportedly showed Friday.The cornstarch powder had been sprayed over the crowd of hundreds of partygoers at the Formosa Fun Coast water park.It exploded when it came into contact with the lights, whose surface temperatures reached more than 400 degrees Celsius, the Liberty Times reported, citing a fire department investigation.Eleven people were killed and hundreds were hospitalised, some with third-degree burns covering more than 90 percent of their bodies.The report has been submitted to prosecutors, but officials declined to comment on its content."We will use this report as a reference," Shihlin district prosecutors' office spokeswoman Su Pei-yu told AFP. "We can't reveal details at the moment as the investigation is still underway."The event, which drew around 1,000 people -- mostly between 18 and 25 years old -- turned into a nightmare when the inferno ripped through the crowd. Horrific video footage showed people running for their lives and screaming as they tried to escape.Two months on, 42 of the victims are still in critical condition, according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare.The report by the fire department ruled out earlier speculation that the blaze was caused by a cigarette.Three suspects have been released on bail as prosecutors investigate them on charges of offences against public safety and negligence causing deaths.Six more are being investigated, prosecutors said, including both the chairman and the president of the water park.
2021 05 14
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Canada Letter: Stage Lights, Sunlight and Opening Shots
Jesse Green, who became The Timess co-chief theater critic in May, recently made his first trip to the Stratford Festival. He was impressed by one of the few remaining repertory theater companies in North America, describing his visit to Stratford, Ontario, as a bucket-list chance.I asked him for his impressions:Id heard of the festival, of course, but didnt really understand its enormous scale. By August and September, all 14 shows in a season are playing every week. Thats a costly and complicated undertaking, so I was surprised to learn that only five percent of the annual budget of 60 million Canadian dollars ($47 million) comes from the federal and provincial governments.Also surprising was finding such a gigantic theater operating in such a small city as Stratford, which maintains the feel of a friendly, walkable town. (With some fine restaurants!) For someone who mostly attends the theater in New York City, that scale inversion is disorienting.Also, I noticed while watching Guys and Dolls at the flagship Festival Theater that directors can achieve a kind of true black there that cant be had on Broadway, where fire laws require illuminated exit signs at all times. The director Donna Feore uses that true black for a great surprise early in the show.But the biggest surprise for a New Yorker at Stratford? The shows start on time.Mr. Green is the latest in a string of critics The Times has dispatched to Stratford since the festival began in 1953, with two plays that were performed in a large tent. During the debut, Brooks Atkinson, who was The Timess drama critic for 31 years, told the story of how Tom Patterson, a trade magazine journalist, had lured Tyrone Guthrie and Alec Guinness from the Old Vic in London to produce Richard III and Alls Well That Ends Well in a place then mainly known as a workshop town for Canadian National Railways.Mr. Atkinson declared the two plays to be a genuine contribution to Shakespeare in North America.A trip through The Timess online archive gives not just a history of the performances at Stratford (most, although not all of them, were well received) but also lays out the festivals changes in direction and, at times, its fortunes. In 1976, Clive Barnes, another of The Timess formidable theater critics, wrote that the arrival of Robin Phillips a year earlier as artistic director had turned the company upside down. 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And consistent with its approach to politics, the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used the start of negotiations to touch upon some of the leaderships key themes: the environment, gender equity and indigenous rights.This is the fourth major trade negotiation Ive reported on during my career. The first one led to the pact between Canada and the United States in 1988. One lesson Ive learned is that the early rhetoric is rarely reflected in the final result.Another lesson is that when it comes to dealing with the United States on trade, Congress is ultimately as important as the president, if not more so. Binyamin Appelbaum, who covers economic policy for The Times from Washington, wrote that Mr. Trumps political problems, which noticeably intensified this week, will only make it more difficult to gain Congressional support for a Nafta agenda that many American companies reject.Read: Canada Wants a New Nafta to Include Gender and Indigenous RightsRead: U.S. Begins Nafta Negotiations With Harsh WordsRead: How Nafta Changed U.S. Trade With Canada and MexicoRead: One U.S. Factory Goes Global, While Trump Shrinks the WorldWhile Canadians wont see a total eclipse of the sun on Monday, the sun and the moon will nevertheless still be putting on a partial eclipse show up here. People in British Columbia will see the most startling effect. The eclipse isnt the only current astronomical exhibition, of course. The Science department of The Times has bundled them into a calendar that can be downloaded so that youll never miss a shooting star or at least the prospect of trying to see one.Download: Sync your calendar with the solar systemRead: The Illuminating Power of Eclipses While the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is boasting about its new temporary visa program for skilled, highly paid tech workers, theres another visa program that is less cause for celebration. Dan Levin went to British Columbia to look into the system for temporary farm workers, which critics say is poorly supervised. A medical mystery has affected both Canadian and American diplomats in Havana. The Timess international real estate column checked out a $4.65 million, 19th-century house in Oakville, Ontario, Torontos prosperous western suburb.
2021 05 14
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Windhorst: Possibility of Kyrie and Lebron Reuniting 'opens by the Day'
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2021 05 14
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The Dancers Are Big Stars in the Fawn Chamber Creatives ...
Pandora Libretto by David James Brock. Music by Joseph Glaser, Kit Soden and David Storen. Amanda Smith, stage director. Adam Scime, music director. Repeats May 25 at Geary Lane, 360 Geary Ave. The trees in Toronto may be struggling to fill out this spring, but the creative young talents in the citys artistic community are in full bloom thanks to careful nurturing over the winter months. The latest specimen to be cast under stage lights is Pandora , a new opera produced by Fawn Chamber Creative. The relatively new company brought together three composers, one librettist, four singers and two dancers for this 75-minute work. Is it pretty? Do the blooms smell nice? Would it make a lasting centrepiece for an operatic dinner party? Pandora doesnt answer a firm yes to any of these questions, but it does have flashes of brilliance. Billed as the product of collaborative development over the past three years, Pandora looks to depict elements of Greek mythology in a modern idiom. Pandora s biggest success is the dancing. Jennifer Nichols and Tyler Gledhill are captivating onstage. Nichols has the most work to do and her physical control is remarkable. Gledhill joins her in three duets in the final third of the evening that powerfully evoke a journey of manipulation and pain. The singers are all excellent, as well. Tenor Jonathan MacArthur and baritones Aaron Paul Durand and Andrew Adridge have beautiful voices that, unfortunately, are not always well served by the evenings music. In the final third, Durand has to sing while breathing in, a physical challenge he met remarkably well. Soprano Teiya Kasahara is a force of nature and gets some wonderfully expressive music to sing in the first third. But the music is not consistent through the three scenes that run seamlessly to make up Pandora . Thats because there are three composers at work. Kit Vaughan Soden, currently working on a PhD at McGill University in Montreal, has embedded Mahlerian echoes in his score. The result is timeless as well as very much from today, thanks to electronic elements. Vancouver composer David Storen is much more rock-oriented in his esthetic, while the music of Joseph Glaser, who is based in Montreal, presented the most abstract sound world. Collaborations yield all kinds of interesting results, but they can easily turn into projects that are more satisfying for the artists than for the audience. Pandora is one of these. David James Brocks libretto doesnt connect us with flesh-and-blood people. The multimedia elements contribute more to esthetics than helping enlighten the goings-on. At least the dancing, music and singing were well integrated, no doubt helped along by director Amanda Smith. Adam Scime was a confident music director at Thursdays opening performance, getting good sounds out of the five-instrument orchestra, which was augmented by Glasers work with digitally generated sounds. There is a lot of creativity bubbling in Toronto around opera. Although Pandora is not completely compelling, the work at blending movement and visual art with voices and instruments will continue to offer all sorts of tantalizing possibilities. Classical music writer John Terauds is a freelance contributor for the Star, based in Toronto. He is supported by the Rubin Institute for Music Criticism, San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation. Follow him on Twitter @JohnTerauds
2021 05 14
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And the Designers Said, Let There Be Ambient Interior Lighting
By PHIL PATTONJAN. 14, 2007CAR interiors glowed with a strange blue light this year at the North American International Auto Show, imparting a nervous, edgy electricity that seemed to speak to the industrys state of mind part excitement and part anxiety.What it spoke with, mostly, was L.E.D.s in the blue end of the spectrum, and what it promised was a sense that light is capable of providing the style once imparted by stamped metal or molded glass.Ambience was the word much used at the show in connection with light. Everyone is talking about ambient lighting, said Gary S. Vasilash, editor of a trade magazine, Automotive Design and Production, who has attended many auto shows.Ian Callum, the director of design for Jaguar, proved the point. Lighting is going to be the next big thing in automobile design, he said.AdvertisementOf course, ambience, like the chef or the menu, can make or break any restaurant that aspires to be more than a diner. In the car, ambience is created by dramatic lighting on doors, sills and beneath the seats, with footlights and sidelights that lend a theatrical quality to the simple act of opening a door. Luxury cars have offered lighting before, but never with quite such dramaturgy.AdvertisementLower costs for L.E.D.s and the electronics that control them and the development of blue L.E.D.s a few years ago, joining red and green ones have brought similar effects to more modest models. In the next generation of Chrysler minivans, cup holders glow with blue light.Beyond simply giving shape to headlights or taillights, designers are using the lighting itself to create drama and mood inside and outside the car.In the Jaguar C-XF concept car, blue instrument lights set a theatrical tone, and light from hidden sources, like stage lights, plays over a variety of materials. These include leather with the texture of carbon fiber, bright metal fittings and poplar wood that has been scorched. All of this gives the car a sense of occasion, Mr. Callum said. The door sills give a hint of nature, too, with a tatoolike floral pattern.The elegantly detailed 2008 Cadillac CTS won the shows Eyes on Design award (sponsored by the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology) for concept implementation. Its interior took inspiration from recessed ceiling lighting in the home, said Ed Welburn, vice president for global design at General Motors. Cadillac boasted that the CTSs cabin is dressed distinctively at night for a bit of ambience. The tone set by the jewelry on the cars exterior a highly detailed grille and a sharp side vent is matched by the mood struck by lighting inside the car.In the Lincoln MKR concept car, ambient lighting and contrasting colors establish a design language for the brands interiors. The new Lincoln theme of guilt-free luxury combines motifs derived from classic cars like the 1941 Lincoln Continental.The MKRs design was directed by Gordon Platto under the direction of Peter Horbury, Ford Motors executive director for design in North America. The interior, with gleaming accents, dark oak and white leather, has the ambience of an MGM movie set from the 40s. Even the lighting is theatrical; Mr. Horbury gave a name ice blue to the ambient lighting seen throughout the Lincoln.Nature provided inspiration in concept cars from Mazda and Volvo.Mazda introduced a design based on the characteristics of flowing water or windblown sand with the Nagare concept car that it took to the Los Angeles auto show several weeks ago. While the Nagare was presented as a car for the year 2020, the related concept car that Mazda brought to Detroit, the Ryuga, was imagined as a car to be driven relatively soon, in 2010. But it, too, continued to build on the flow theme.AdvertisementIn the case of the Ryuga, a Japanese word that translates as gracious flow, the textured body panels and interior evoke the waves and ripples from carefully raked Japanese gravel gardens, whose waves of stone seem to mimic water. Engineers might snicker, but according to Laurens van den Acker, Mazdas design chief, the Ryugas wavy headlights were inspired by blades of grass heavy with dew.At the Volvo display, the inspiration was more akin to the northern lights. Steve Mattin, senior vice president and design director, moved from Germany, where he worked for DaimlerChrysler, to Sweden to take charge of Volvo design. He has set out to reinvent Volvos design language and turned to lighting as a response to the long days of winter darkness in Sweden.In the XC60 concept for a car-based crossover wagon, lighting emphasizes the Volvo trademark catwalk design the big shoulder that runs the length of the car, along the fender tops and under the greenhouse of the cabin that Mr. Horbury, Mr. Mattins predecessor, helped to establish as a Volvo styling cue. New, wavy taillights emphasize the shape of the catwalk and make the car recognizable as a Volvo, even in the dark.The blue and white interior is like Scandinavian ice. Daniela Rothkegel, the color and trim designer, was quoted in the Volvo literature introducing the vehicle that she sought an interior perception of well-being through ambient light the very special Scandinavian light we get from autumn to spring that shows objects in sharp relief. The XC60s headlights and accents were inspired by ice crystal, the white console and dashboard by a wall of snow, Mr. Mattin said.At the show, not all the attempts at ambience were so high-toned or natural. The new Chrysler minivans have seats and tables that seem ready for family games of Monopoly (or a poker party). Even the oddball Ford Airstream concept, a metal pod with windows framed in safety orange, provides what Ford calls ambient mood settings that include a modern lava lamp and virtual fire. Suzukis gimmicky but fun Flix, an XL7 sport utility outfitted as a rolling theater with pivoting seats and a movie projector, offered L.E.D.s on the floor just like a suburban megaplex.The Bevel, Nissans interpretation of a ride for the empty-nester father, projects the ambience of a grumpy guy wanting nothing more than space for all his junk. The Bevels slit window and boxy rear end is that a touch of the A.M.C. Pacer? are accented with red dotted L.E.D.s.Designed by a team headed by Bruce Campbell at Nissans San Diego studio, the metallic brown Bevel recalls the SynUS, a 2005 Ford concept car that looked like a Brinks armored truck. Shiro Nakamura, Nissans head designer, said the Bevel was a distant descendant of the Cube, the first car done under his administration.But it is a lighthearted effort. Refreshingly, the Bevel is not aimed at the young people with active lifestyles who are repeatedly invoked at auto shows. Nor does it try to evoke an athlete in a tuxedo a current clich about S.U.V.s.No, its ambience is that of dads garage, so full of his stuff that there is no room left for cars or people.A version of this article appears in print on , on Page AU2 of the New York edition with the headline: And the Designers Said, Let There Be Ambient Interior Lighting. Order Reprints| Today's Paper|SubscribeWere interested in your feedback on this page. Tell us what you think.
2021 05 14
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Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra Marry with Hindu Ceremonies ...
After a year of insatiable rumours and another four months of a whirlwind engagement, Quantico star Priyanka Chopra and singer Nick Jonas have officially been proclaimed husband and wife twice ! The two paid homage to their respective backgrounds by including a Christian and Hindu wedding ceremony in their festivities which took place last weekend. They were first married in a Christian ceremony on Saturday, officiated by Jonas father, according to Vogue. A Hindu ceremony was held the next day in the historic sandstone Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, Rajasthan in Chopras home country of India, ending the week-long wedding festivities with aplomb. People will need vacations after this wedding, Chopra was quoted as saying in an last week. While she probably meant it as a joke, its a sentiment deeply related to by anyone, Indian or otherwise, who has had to plan an Indian wedding. Hindu weddings are known worldwide for their extremely colourful, elaborate ceremonies, filled to the brim with flower decorations, religious rites, social functions that can last over a week. Unlike a Christian ceremony which usually start and end on the same day, a Hindu wedding usually involves a series of pre-wedding rites designed to physically and emotionally prepare the bride and groom for their nuptials : A post shared by (@priyankachopra) on The ceremony is generally the first to prelude any Hindu wedding and usually takes place months before the actual ceremony. Known as one of the most significant pre-wedding ceremonies, its considered as a stamp solidifying the bride and grooms commitment to the marriage. Unlike a traditional Christian ceremony which sometimes includes a question asking if there are any objections to the wedding on the day itself, there are no take backs after the ! Chopra and Jonas announced their upcoming wedding with a ceremony in August. An important part for a girl in an Indian wedding is the Mehendi, wrote Chopra in an Instagram post. A rite that typically takes place a day or two before the wedding, the m ceremony is one of the most coveted by women within the wedding. Here, all of the women in the bride and grooms families, along with guests gather while the bride traditionally has elaborate, intricate henna designs applied to her feet and hands. Apart from its beauty, is known for its cooling properties and is thought to calm the bride before her ceremony. Sometimes, designers will hide the grooms initials within their designs on the brides hands for the groom to later search for. While the ceremony is traditionally women-only, most functions today also allow men to attend. Nick Jonas is pictured laughing with Chopra during her ceremony in an Instagram post, which she captioned, Once again we made it our own and it was an afternoon that kicked off the celebrations in the way we both dreamed. A Hindu wedding icebreaker ! Apart from the , the ceremony is generally one of the most fun ceremonies for guests and families alike. Here, the bride and groom, in separate locations are slathered with a thick paste of , i.e. turmeric powder, rose water and sandalwood powder, by their respective family members and guests. The powder is thought to strengthen and beautify the couple before the nuptials as well as ward off any evil that comes their way. While Chopra held a ceremony as per tradition, Jonas reportedly did not and instead participated in a ceremony afterwards, i.e., a ritual in which turbans are tied for the groom and other male relatives involved in the wedding. A post shared by (@priyankachopra) on Open bar, make way ! The is an Indian weddings extravaganza, that can either be made as lavish as a Bollywood movie or instead modest and toned down. As a Hindu ceremony traditionally does not involve the exchange of rings, couples normally perform the rite during the , the last function to take place the night before the wedding day. As means song or sung together, its a night filled with music and dance and long-practiced performances by friends and relatives of the bride and groom. Chopra posted a sneak-peek of her and Jonas on Instagram. The post included a video of clips showcasing a spectacular event filled with stage lights, Nick Jonas flawlessly dancing in traditional Bollywood style with props, a performance by Joe Jonas and a mother-daughter dance by Chopra and her mother. As guests and relatives slowly wake up amidst the exhaustion and hangovers from the previous night, the bride is already out of bed, showered and in the middle of makeup and hair. , Priyanka Chopra donned a sari in red as according to Hindu custom while Nick was attired in a turban and traditional wear. The day traditionally begins with a ceremony in which the groom arrives on a horse, complete with a throng of friends and relatives dancing to festive drum beats. Reportedly Chopra joined Jonas during his festivities. A post shared by (@filmfare) on While many Hindu weddings nowadays come with their own twists and variations, every wedding at its core will include a , a ritual conducted by sitting around a sacred fire and , which literally translates to seven steps, but in reality means completing seven rounds around the fire in order to become husband and wife. With the exchange of rings completed the night before, the groom instead places a necklace, known as a around the brides neck, officially wedding her to him. Chopra and Jonas reportedly maintained a strict no-pictures policy during their wedding which means us fans will have to wait longer before we can steal ideas from the couples fairytale palace wedding.
2021 05 14
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Pop Stars Face Blackouts Under Eu Plans to Ban High-power Stage Lights
POP stars face a concert black-out under EU plans to ban high-power stage lights. New energy efficiency rules will outlaw the use of traditional tungsten bulbs and many of the latest LED fittings. Concert promoters warn it will be catastrophic for spectacular touring shows by artists such as Beyonce, Take That and Taylor Swift. And it will force small theatres, school halls and community venues to splash out to replace older lighting systems. The EUs proposed Ecodesign Working Plan will regulate stage lighting under the same rules that govern household and office use. Brexit will come too late to save music shows and theatre from the diktat, which comes into force in September 2020. Tugnsten and arc light bulbs would become unavailable and high-quality LED lighting units now on the market would also be banned. Theatre lighting technicians say all the tools and equipment needed to put on a show will be put out-of-date by the new rules. Lighting chiefs have launched a petition, signed by 80,000 so far, calling for an exemption for the entertainment industry. They say high-powered gear is vital to vital to highlight drama, emotion and energy in a performance. UK Music boss Michael Dugher said: This could have a serious impact on the music industry that contributes 4.4billion a year to our economy . While we recognise the importance of improving energy efficiency, there is a real risk venues could face huge costs to replace perfectly good lighting equipment. Despite UK Music and the Music Venue Trust winning much-needed changes to planning laws recently, this could not come at a worse time for many grassroots venues which are already battling to survive in the face of rent and rate hikes. It is vital that we maintain the existing exemption until a proper assessment has been made of the impact of the proposed change and we find a solution that everyone is happy with.
2021 05 14
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Grand Ole Oprys Circle Is Unbroken
NASHVILLE, TENN.Brad Paisley and Little Jimmy Dickens helped a handful of construction workers install the circle in the centre of the Grand Ole Opry House stage Wednesday after flood waters nearly destroyed the precious piece of country music history. The two then performed the Opry standard, Will the Circle Be Unbroken? That is a classic song thats been sung here for generations and its taking on new meaning with all of this, Paisley said. Officials announced the Opry House will reopen to the public with a star-studded performance Sept. 28 and the Oprys 85th anniversary celebration will go on as scheduled in October. Were having a party, Opry president Steve Buchanan said. The circle, made in 1974 from a part of the old stage from the Oprys former home at Ryman Auditorium, was submerged in more than a metre of water during the May flood that damaged the Opry house and the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Resort in Nashville. Many musicians and fans consider the circle the heart of country music. The wood carries scuffs from the boots of the genres biggest stars and is a destination for aspiring singers from all corners of the world. This is absolutely the one place that matters more than any other in country music, Paisley said. Buchanan said the two-metre circle of oak buckled but proved to be sturdier than the modern Opry stage. It was refurbished by Nashvilles CC Cabinet Inc., and is now surrounded by a dark brown teak that helps the lacquered circle stand out under stage lights. Paisley said hes amazed at how far the reclamation project has come since the days following the flood, which caused more than $2 billion damage in Nashville alone. When I first walked in here everything you see including the rafters and the very top pews were covered in a sort of brown film from the dried mud that had become dust and it was horrendous looking, he said. I didnt know how they were ever going to get it clean and rebuilt, and all of these things that needed done. Associated Press
2021 05 14
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Crews Sifting Through Debris, Search for Answers to Stage Collapse
iReport: Are you there? Share photos, videos (CNN) -- Crews on Sunday sifted through debris of a concert stage that collapsed at the Indiana State Fair, trying to determine what caused the accident that killed five people and injured 40, authorities said.The fairgrounds were closed Sunday as investigators began the search for answers. The state fair was expected to reopen to the public Monday following a public memorial service to remember those who were killed and injured, said Cindy Hoyne, the fair's executive director.Forecasters warned heavy rain and strong winds would hit the fair nearly two hours before the storm moved through, causing the collapse of the stage Saturday night. The National Weather Service estimated winds at 60 to 70 mph.Metal scaffolding fell onto the "Sugarpit," a section usually occupied by Sugarland's most ardent fans, about four minutes after authorities took the stage to warn the crowd to seek shelter, according to a timeline of events released by investigators Sunday."It's not clear to me at this stage how anyone could have foreseen a sudden, highly localized gust of wind in one place," Gov. Mitch Daniels said.Video shows the blue canvas top fraying and flapping just seconds before the steel scaffolding gave way, sending a heavy bank of stage lights and metal onto fans closest to the outdoor stage.Gov. Daniels described the collapse as a "freakish accident."Sugarland, an Atlanta-based country duo, escaped injury since they had not yet come onstage. They later posted a message on Twitter saying they were "stunned and heartbroken for the fans."The group -- along with its opening act, Sara Bareilles -- cancelled their scheduled performance Sunday night at the Iowa State Fair. According to the fair's website, "aside from coping with the magnitude of the accident, the ongoing investigation prevents the band from getting what may remain of their stage equipment."Jennifer Nettles, one half of the Sugarland duo, posted a statement on the group's web site Sunday, saying "there are no words to process a moment of this magnitude and gravity.""There are only prayers for peace in the hearts of the bereft, and prayers of thanksgiving for those who were spared or safe. A piece of our heart is left in that grandstand," Nettles said.Sara Bareilles, who had just finished her performance when the collapse occurred, tweeted Sunday she was still thinking of all those affected."On her web site, she wrote: "The accident at the Indiana State Fair felt like a bad dream. The weather changed in a matter of minutes and the stage collapsed in a matter of seconds. "She called the emergency response "incredibly quick." While most of the injured were treated and released from Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital, nine patients were admitted and still being treated Sunday afternoon, the hospital said. Three children remained at Riley Hospital for Children, the hospital said.The Marion County, Indiana, coroner identified the three women and two men who died as: Tammy Vandam, 42, of Wanatah, Indiana; Glenn Goodrich, 49, of Indianapolis; Alina Bigjohny, 23, of Fort Wayne, Indiana; Christina Santiago, 29, of Chicago; and Nathan Byrd, 51, of Indianapolis. Vandam, Goodrich, Bigjohny and Santiago were dead at the scene, while Byrd died later at the hospital, the coroner said.Friends, colleagues and family gathered Sunday to remember Santiago at Chicago's Howard Brown Health Center, a health care organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, where she worked."We have lost a fierce warrior, an amazing activist," said Rosa Yadira Ortiz, board president for Amigas Latinos, a group for lesbian Hispanics in Chicago that Santiago was involved in. "She really brought us all together."The families of two of those hospitalized released brief statements Sunday, each asking for prayers and privacy."Jenny Haskell, a 22-year-old Ball State senior, is very critical at this time," her family said.A fifth-grader, identified only as Jade, is in critical condition, according to her family."A big gust of wind came through. You could see a lot of people panicking," said Aaron Richman, who witnessed the collapse at the fair in Indianapolis. "All the scaffolding and speakers -- all that came crashing down -- and the whole stand just collapsed."Allison Hoehn, another concertgoer, said many attendees rushed to those trapped after the stage crumbled."We tried to get down to help, but no one was moving," Hoehn said. "The storm came on so fast and the stage just snapped like a toothpick."Spectators grabbed parts of their seats to assemble makeshift stretchers, Hoehn said."Everyone rushed to help, and we saw people searching and pulling people out," she said. "(I) saw five people go away on stretchers. It was amazing how many people ran in to try to lift the scaffolding."Capt. Brad Weaver, commander of special operations for the Indiana State Police, said he took the stage at 8:45 p.m. to warn the audience of severe weather.Weaver said he "saw the framework from the stage start to come over."He said he and others took cover behind a trailer, which was also struck by debris from the stage.Weaver said authorities were in the process of issuing an evacuation order, but Hoehn said no one told the crowd at the concert to evacuate.Earlier this month, severe weather caused a stage to collapse before a Flaming Lips performance in Oklahoma.The August 6 incident occurred after heavy winds and rain pounded Tulsa, ending a block party music festival that featured Primus, the Flaming Lips and other acts. A lighting rig fell down and struck audio equipment and instruments. It was unclear whether there were any injuries.And last month, a severe storm toppled a stage when classic rock band Cheap Trick was performing. No one was seriously hurt during the incident at the Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest in Canada.CNN's Alan Duke, Chelsea J. Carter, Leslie Tripp and David Williams contributed to this report.
2021 05 14
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