Sugarland singer ordered to testify
An Indiana judge ordered lead singer Jennifer Nettles of the country duo Sugarland on Friday to give a deposition next month in lawsuits filed over August’s deadly Indiana State Fair stage collapse – testimony that will focus on whether the band resisted delaying the start of their concert despite threatening weather.
Stage roof and rigging builder Mid-America Sound Corp. faces lawsuits in the Aug. 13 collapse that killed seven people and injured 58 others.
Marion Superior Court Judge Theodore Sosin directed that Nettles’ initial deposition next month would focus on whether she was aware of conversations fair officials purportedly had the night of the stage collapse with Sugarland representatives over delaying the concert’s start.
The comedian Gallagher says he’s had his fill of performing live onstage and is retiring after 32 years.
The Los Angeles-based comedian told an Ohio radio station Thursday his retirement plans include posting his writings online and possibly appearing at private parties.
Gallagher is known for smashing watermelons with a sledgehammer. He had a heart attack March 14 before a performance at a suburban Dallas bar. He came out of a medically induced coma this week and was released from a hospital Wednesday.
Elephants’ plight tugs Barker’s strings
Three elephants will travel from the Toronto Zoo to a sanctuary in California aboard a private plane thanks to longtime animal activist Bob Barker.
The 88-year-old TV icon offered to fund the $880,000 flight after learning that one of the elephants wasn’t well enough to withstand the long trip by truck, Barker spokesman Henri Bollinger said Friday.
He said the Toronto Zoo agreed to move Thika, Iringa and Toka to the Performing Animals Welfare Society elephant sanctuary in San Andreas, Calif., in the Sierra foothills southeast of Sacramento, but that one of the animals suffers from “a serious foot problem.”
Barker said the elephants “have suffered so much for so long and now they have an opportunity to live the rest of their lives at what has been described as ‘elephant paradise.’ To think that one of them might not survive the trip in a truck touched my heart and purse strings.”
The birthday bunch
Actor R. Lee Ermey is 68. Gov. Christine Gregoire is 65. Singer Nick Lowe is 63. Fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger is 61. TV personality Star Jones is 50. Actress Lara Flynn Boyle is 42. Actor Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”) is 39. Peyton Manning is 36. Actress Jessica Chastain (“The Help”) is 35. Actress Keisha Castle-Hughes (“Whale Rider”) is 22.