Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

April 18, 2012

Editorial: April 18, 2012 - Let’s require storm plans

The issue: Festival safety.

Our view: Kokomo and Howard County should require emergency plans from organizers before issuing permits for outdoor events.

 

Minutes before 59 mph winds toppled a state fair stage Aug. 13, Indiana State Police Capt. Brad Weaver asked the fair’s executive director to postpone the performance of the duo, Sugarland.

“We need to call this. We need to call this off,” Weaver apparently told fair director Cindy Hoye. She agreed, but it was too late.

As they were making their way to announce their decision to the crowd, the stage rigging collapsed. Dozens of concertgoers were injured. Seven died.

That’s what Kenneth Mallette of Witt Associates told the Indiana State Fair Commission Thursday. The emergency planning adviser, hired to investigate last summer’s tragedy, said the fair’s disaster preparedness was inadequate.

Even before Witt’s findings were released, the calamity caused fair boards across the state to examine their own emergency plans. Howard County authorities and 4-H Fair organizers recently announced how they would evacuate thousands of revelers if severe weather approaches the fairgrounds July 9-14.

Emergency Management Agency director Larry Smith has long-advocated such precautions, particularly after severe storms in 2010 blew through the Howard County Relay for Life event and shut down Ribfest. Those potentially dangerous situations uncovered a hole in the permitting process for local festivals: There’s no official criteria for stopping an event for safety reasons.

Smith told the Howard County commissioners two years ago his agency issues storm warnings to event organizers. He said there have been instances when those warnings were ignored.

To correct such oversight, Smith suggested Kokomo and Howard County require a plan for getting people to safety before issuing permits for outdoor festivals. The city and county should adopt – finally – Smith’s proposal.

But if the state fair tragedy has taught Hoosiers anything, it’s this: Ignoring weather warnings can imperil safety. Kenneth Mallette told the state fair commission Thursday weather conditions had been a topic of discussion and analysis throughout the day of Aug. 13.

The decision to stop the concert wasn’t made in time to save seven lives.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Road must be made safer Eight months ago, the Indiana Department of Transportation opened the new U.S. 31 bypass east of Kokomo. Joining Mayor Greg Goodnight was Gov. Mike Pence. Even the Kokomo High School marching band performed at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. It was the

    July 24, 2014

  • SEN. JIM BUCK: New laws offer help for kids Families with children who have special needs often face difficulties finding the best care or treatment for their specific circumstance. During the 2014 legislative session, the Indiana General Assembly passed several initiatives to assist these fam

    July 24, 2014

  • LETTERS: Christians must stand with Israel 'As Christians we must stand with life' The present conflict in Israel is with Hamas, recognized even in Egypt as a terrorist organization. Recently Hamas formed a unity government with the Palestinian Authority in Gaza. They're now the government in

    July 24, 2014

  • BILL STANCZYKIEWICZ: Youth sports leagues are on troubling decline An important youth development activity is looking to end a recent losing streak. Participation in organized youth sports leagues for baseball, football, basketball and soccer declined by 4 percent between 2008-2012, according to a report in the Wall

    July 24, 2014

  • Keep eye out for kids

    With most local schools welcoming students in a couple of weeks — and Kokomo schools beginning class Aug. 5 (yes, a week from this coming Tuesday) — it’s important for motorists to think about safe driving as children travel to and from school.Law en

    July 23, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Expiring term heightens urgency of legislator's mission State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants from paying i

    July 23, 2014

  • LETTERS: Let's hope 7th Circuit sides with couples Let’s hope 7th Circuit sides with couplesIf you blinked over the past month, you probably missed some news about marriage equality in Indiana.First, a federal court ruled that the state’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples was unconstitutional, whi

    July 23, 2014

  • CECIL BOHANON: Spend down surplus? Been there, done that Back in 1998, the state of Indiana had more than $1.3 billion in surplus funds in its general account. This was about 57 days of state spending. The state had total surplus funds of more than $2 billion that was over 24 percent of its annual operatin

    July 23, 2014

  • Rob Burgess House of Burgess: Bush? Clinton? Next, please

    Here comes a sentence I don’t usually find myself typing: I agree with Barbara Bush on something. Jan. 20, C-SPAN aired her installment in the series “First Ladies: Influence and Image,” which was filmed at Bush’s Houston home. “Do you think there is room for another Bush in The White House?” asked host Peter Slen. “This is a great American country, a great country, and if we can’t find more than two or three families to run for high office, that’s silly, because there are great governors and great eligible people to run,” said Bush. “I think Kennedys, Clintons, Bushes; there are just more families than that.”

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • State aims at outbreaks More than 200 Western School Corp. students were vaccinated for chickenpox after an outbreak in March 2012.The virus was confirmed to have infected five fifth-graders, the Howard County Health Department reported. It acted quickly to prevent the infe

    July 22, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll