Sugarland and others settle death claims
Country duo Sugarland, concert promoter Live Nation, and 16 other defendants have agreed to pay $39 million to settle claims stemming from the deadly 2011 Indiana State Fair stage collapse, lawyers for the victims and their families announced Friday.
Seven people were killed and nearly 100 were injured in August 2011, when high winds toppled rigging and sent the stage roof onto fans awaiting the start of a Sugarland concert. Two investigative reports found that the stage rigging that collapsed didn't meet industry safety standards and that fair officials lacked a fully developed emergency plan. The accident led to new regulations on the erection of rigging for outdoor events.
Friday's settlement resulted from mediation that began in the spring and is in addition to an earlier $11 million settlement with the state. - AP
Demo drone crashes
An aerial drone testing program got off to a bumpy start Friday in Nevada, when the first unmanned aircraft authorized to fly without direct Federal Aviation Administration supervision crashed during a ceremony at a remote site. "This is still a great day for Nevada," Gov. Brian Sandoval said after the aircraft dubbed the Sensurion Magpie was launched by hand, flew about 10 feet, and plunged nose-first to the desert floor. "This is testing," Sandoval said. "This is why we're here." - AP
Gay marriages are on
The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday refused to block gay marriages in Florida, the latest of about three dozen states allowing same-sex weddings. In a one-paragraph order, the court decided not to step into the case. A federal judge previously declared Florida's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional and said same-sex marriage licenses could start being issued in the state after Jan. 5 unless the Supreme Court intervened. - AP