2014 Convention



Friday, January 20, 2012

The Shrine Circus Arrives at the Lansing Center
By FOX 47 News

CIRCUS LUNCH BUNCH---From Mike Naughton

Jan 19, 2012

Our monthly SRQ Lunch Bunch will meet this next Friday and you may arrive as early as 1 p.m. Announcements will be made at 2 p.m.

Now that Lockwood Diner is open daily till 9 p.m. we may stay as long as we desire so there is no rush. Breakfast, Lunch, Brunch or Dinner.

Bring items you want to pass out such as fliers of future activities, give aways, etc.

You do NOT have to be a circus employee or part of an organized circus group. ALL ARE WELCOME and you pay for what you decide to eat and drink.

Lockwood Diner

17th Street at Lockwood Ridge Road

If you need directions, call Pete at 941-378-9596.

You do NOT need a reservation.

Circus concession worker hits $5 million Mega Money Multiplier jackpot

Mid-Hudson News Network

Wednesday, January 18, 2012
FISHKILL – A 59-year-old circus concession worker from Walden is the second person in the state to win $5 million from the Lottery’s Mega Money Multiplier scratch-off game.
Donnie Hayes bought the $20 ticket in New York City on New Year’s Eve when he stopped in a smoke shop to buy a pack of cigarettes. He claimed the pride at the Lottery’s Fishkill customer service center on January 3. He will take home a lump sum of $3.3 million after taxes.
Hayes plans on retiring from his job at the Big Apple Circus and moving to Georgia to be closer to his sister.

Shrine Circus at Lansing Center through Sunday

The Flying Pages and other acrobats set up their safety net for Shrine Circus at the Lansing Center.


Written by Laura Misjak
Jan. 19, 2012
The clowns, animals and contortionists who perform in the Shrine Circus are in town
They are ready for 10 more shows after their Wednesday debut of the 2012 season at the Lansing Center.
Several new acts are planned for this year's performances, including a chimpanzee and monkey act that will accompany the elephants and felines typically at the circus, along with a new clown skit and a "breathtaking" motocross grand finale, said Nick Singeles, chief of staff for the Elf Khurafeh Shriners, who present the circus.
About 22,000 people attended last year's circus, Singeles said.
The Lansing Center's circus capacity is about 3,200 for each of the shows.
Tickets are $12 for children age 12 and under and $14 for adults. Go to or stop by the Lansing Center 333 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing.
Proceeds go to the Elf Khurafeh Shriners.
The circus will run through this weekend.



Trapeze artist April Brown, of the "The Flying Pages," practices flying Wednesday afternoon, January 18, 2011, before opening night of the Shrine Circus in the Lansing Center. The purpose of the run through allowed each trapeze artist to fine tune each cable and bar in their trapeze set. The circus runs Wednesday through Sunday, January 22, 2011.

MATTHEW DAE SMITH for the Lansing State JournalTony Slater, left, and nephew Justin, make cotton candy Wednesday morning, January 18, 2011, in the Lansing Center, in preparation for the Lansing Shrine Circus.

MATTHEW DAE SMMATTHEW DAE SMITH for the Lansing Joe Gonyer, 18, of Flint, inflates an army of Spider Men, Wednesday afternoon, January 18, 2011, that he'll sell to circus-goers during the Shrine Circus in the Lansing Center.

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MATTHEW DAE SMITH for the Lansing State JournalPhil and Lynette Slater, of Flint, inflate souvenirs they'll sell to circus-goers.


MATTHEW DAE SMITH for the Lansing State JournalWorkers set up for the Shrine Circus, Wednesday morning, January 18, 2011, in the Lansing Center.

MATTHEW DAE SMITH for the Lansing State JournalTrapeze artists and crew members from "The Flying Pages" fine-tune ropes and cables on their trapeze set, Wednesday, January 18, 2011, in the Lansing Center in preparation for opening night.

MATTHEW DAE SMITH for the Lansing State Journal"The Flying Pages" Anthony Pages, 21, a fourth-generation trapeze artist, and April Brown, of Tarpon Springs, Florida, fine tune their trapeze set, Wednesday afternoon, January 18, 2011, before opening night of the Shrine Circus in the Lansing Center.

MATTHEW DAE SMITH for the Lansing State JournalFourth generation trapeze artist Anthony Pages, 21, of the "The Flying Pages," practices flying Wednesday afternoon, January 18, 2011, before opening night of the Shrine Circus in the Lansing Center.

MATTHEW DAE SMITH for the Lansing State JournalAcrobats from "The Flying Pages" fine-tune ropes and cables on their trapeze set, Wednesday, January 18, 2011, in the Lansing Center, in preparation for opening night.

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MATTHEW DAE SMITH for the Lansing State JournalWilliam Pages, bottom, and April Brown, of "The Flying Pages," make careful measurements between the safety net and floor of their trapeze set.


Elephants are herded off freight cars Wednesday afternoon before crossing Blossom Street on their way to the Colonial Life Arena. Andrew Askins / THE DAILY GAMECOCK
Cirque du Soleil redefines circus experience

'Dralion' hits 1stBank Center stage in Broomfield Feb. 8-12

HOOP DIVERS: Hoop Diving is one of the many performances featured in Cirque du Soleil s Dralion, which plays the 1stBank Center Feb. 8-12. Photo by Daniel Desmarais/ Courtesy of Cirque du Soleil

( )


By Dylan Otto Krider For the Enterprise


Canadian-based Cirque du Soleil set out to re-imagine the travelling circus, but ended up supplanting it in many ways. Take "Drallion," for instance, one of the most popular and enduring Cirque shows, which runs Feb. 8-12 at the 1stBank Center in Broomfield. The show is a fusion between the circus traditions of East and West, including 52 performers from 15 countries, half of whom are Chinese acrobats. The name itself is a combination of symbolic circus animals, the dragon and lion.
Ringling Bros., long considered the standard-bearer of the circus, instead has been following in Cirque's footsteps with shows such as "Dragons!," which incidentally, features the same cast of lions, elephants and trapeze artists its had for more than a century.
Cirque was started by Guy Laliberté who dropped out of college to tour Europe as a folk singer and busker, or street performer. When he returned to Canada and found himself unemployed, he organized a summer fair with friends Daniel Gauthier and Gilles Ste-Croix that would become Cirque du Soleil in 1984.
Cirque is now a live entertainment behemoth of its own. What began as a "dramatic mix of circus arts and street entertainment" exploded in the '90s from one show to 19 in 271 cities. In recent years, it began converting its big top tent show for arenas such as the 1stBank Center, which seems to be going well, because the show keeps coming back.
Julie Desmarais, spokeswoman for the "Dralion" show, said the show still has moments that generate plenty of "ooohs" and "ahhs" from the audience. The secret has been that, unlike Barnum & Bailey, which hasn't changed much since it combined with the Ringling Bros. at the beginning of the 20th century, Cirque shows keep adding new elements. "We always keep the show fresh," Desmarais said.

CHAIRS IN ROTATION: The chairs act in rotation is one of the many performances featured in Cirque du Soleil s Dralion, which plays the 1stBank Center Feb. 8-12 Photo by Daniel Desmarais/ Courtesy of Cirque du Soleil ( )
The performers are always working on new tricks, and they bring a creative team with the show to recalibrate routines, she said. "Each show has its own story line and provoking imagery," Desmarais said. The costumes still more closely resemble modern Broadway musical extravaganzas than red-nosed clowns.
"Dralion," with performers representing the four elements -- water, air, fire and earth -- debuted 11 years ago and got a complete re-staging in 2010. The show now includes 26-foot-high trampoline walls with "five performers defying gravity."
But Cirque also has stuck around because it doesn't tinker with the things that work -- the show is still 80 percent the same, and "Dralion" has endured because, of all the shows, it perhaps best represents the multicultural approach that wowed audiences when the first show launched back in 1984.

Circus Performers Help Kids Get Fit

By: Tuquyen Mach WSAV-TV
Published: January 18, 2012
SAVANNAH, Ga. - Stars of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus showed some kids from the Boys and Girls Club how exercise can be fun.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fun in Hluhluwe Umfolozi mud bath with starring role for baby elephant

Al Amin Circus set two performances in Victoria on Wednesday

Photo by Wayne Posner

Broadway Bo strikes a poses during a circus performance.


published January 16, 2012

The Al Amin Shrine Circus is coming to Victoria,TX on Wednesday.
Performances will be at 4:30 p.m. and at 7:30 p.m. at the Victoria Community Center, 2905 E. North St.
Featured acts include tigers, high wire acts, juggling, clowns, performing elephants and horses, a human cannon ball and much more.
A pre-party will be held an hour before each show. Visitors can meet the performers, ride the elephants and clown around.
Tickets are $16 for adults, and $14 for children. Kids age 2 and under are free. Buy one adult ticket and get one child ticket free passes are available at

Fund-raising circus to roll into Dartford


By Alan Woods

Monday 16th January 2012
THE ‘Circus with a Purpose’ is visiting Dartford tomorrow (January 18) to raise money for a children’s charity.
Circus Starr will be performing two shows at the Mick Jagger Centre in Shepherd’s Lane with proceeds going to the EllenorLions Hospice.
With international artists, clowns and acrobats, the show is guaranteed to provide something to entertain the whole family.
Circus Starr director Neville Wilson said: “We are dedicated to bringing laughter, smiles and entertainment to our audiences as well as enabling local causes to continue with their essential projects.
“Get ready to be filled with warmth on winter’s coldest days as the ‘Circus with a life changing purpose’ comes to town.”
The circus donated more than £1m worth of tickets to charities across the country last year.
Shows are taking place at 4.45pm and 7pm, with tickets costing £12.50.
Tickets can be bought on the door.

Comedy Toy Box Circus Starr

Moscow State Circus


Published on Monday 16 January 2012

Enjoy a trip to the circus as the Moscow State Circus brings its latest and most spectacular show to the Royal & Derngate today.

This sensational extravaganza called Babushkin Sekret is inspired by the legend of The 12 Chairs and features a mammoth cast of Russia’s greatest circus artistes, taking audiences on an incredible journey combining contemporary and classical circus in a way never witnessed before. From the most famous circus in the world, this extraordinary night of entertainment features the beautiful queen of Russian circus, Yana Alievia, on a revolving aerial chandelier. Joining her are The Whirlwind Rubsovs Troupe, who acrobatically catapult themselves at breakneck speed, sizzling skipping sensation The Skakalki 9 and The Doktrov, who fly and spiral in the apex of the auditorium with grace, beauty and elegance.

There will also be high-flying, bouncing and backflipping from Vaisiliov on the Russian horizontal bars, along with hilarious trampoline capers from Professor Balakov, unbelievable roller-skating from flying Veslovski, plus Konstantins German wheel. The hilarious clowns Valik and Valerik will also have audiences falling off their seats with laughter.

The show is on tonight at 7.30pm and is at the theatre until Wednesday.

Tickets cost from £11 to £26 from the box office on 01604 624811.

Popovich and his circus cats

Competition: Win tickets to new Chinese State Circus show

Chinese State Circus

from: East Anglian Daily Times

Monday, January 16,

Breath-taking displays of power, poise and agility; the Chinese State Circus must be in town. Entertainments writer WAYNE SAVAGE finds out why their new show will be like nothing you’ve seen before.

YIN Yang, the interaction of two energies in a dynamic system of balance. It’s a fitting name for The Chinese State Circus’ latest show.
A UK premiere, the very best acrobats China has to offer will have you on the edge of your seats as they defy gravity in a spectacular showcase of power, poise and agility.
Packed full of action, artistic director and co-producer Phillip Gandey promises the show is very different to the circus’ previous visits.
“I went to China and found a new troupe so it’s their first appearance here. The last six years it [the show] has had a little bit of a story. This time we’ve turned it completely on its head and gone for absolutely no spoken word at all.
“We’ve gone back to straight circus, one act after another; but we have included some fabulous Chinese musicians this time playing traditional Chinese instruments.”

The change was a direct response to comments the company, and a lot of circuses, were getting from critics and the public. The show was fantastic, but they didn’t want the narrative. They have musicals and plays for that.
“When we first started introducing narrative it was quite new; but I think people want a return to pure, undiluted, quality circus from start to finish.
“This production does that, going back to where it all started. It doesn’t need the theatrics which circuses in the past few years have built around themselves,” says more at:
Cubs aren't off to join the circus: zoo owner

Darling Downs Zoo owners say they won't sell lion cubs to a travelling circus. Photo: Bev Lacey/Toowoomba Chronicle


January 17, 2012.
The Darling Downs Zoo has became the target of an international protest against a rumoured plan to sell two of its lion cubs to a travelling circus, but the owner has rejected the claim.Queensland---Stephanie Robinson said it was possible the cubs would be moved from the zoo, but that would be a decision for the zoo to make.
"We are not in the practice of selling animals. We do work with other organisations,'' she said.
The California-based website has launched the online petition, which had attracted more than 1600 by 1pm today.
It states: "Spike and Spot, two lion cubs born in captivity at Darling Downs Zoo in Queensland, Australia, may soon be sold to an Australian travelling circus. The two young lions will spend the rest of their lives on the road in a small, barren enclosure with no opportunity whatsoever to express their natural behaviour.''
Mrs Robinson said animal liberation supporters had been in contact since the birth of the cubs - the third generation of lions raised at the zoo.
"Anywhere they [the cubs] go will be somewhere organised by us. Everything we do will be legal and in the best interests of the animal. When the time comes that they do go somewhere, we will let everyone know," she said.
The zoo is located midway between Toowoomba and Warwick, about two hours drive from the Brisbane central business district.Read more:

Monday, January 16, 2012

This is Einstein!

Uploaded by knoxvillezooadmin on Jul 26, 2008

Meet the Knoxville Zoo 's avian SUPERSTAR, Einstein. Come visit Einstein the African gray parrot at the Knoxville Zoo's Bird Show, Knoxville, TN USA.
Audience aghast as acrobat falls

Circus performer Ziyon Gao, 15, who is lucky to have only a bruised hip after a fall during her act - Source: Fairfax

Monday January 16, 2012

Audience members were shocked when a teenage circus acrobat plunged to the ground after a "routine went wrong" at a Christchurch circus.Chinese performer Ziyon Gao, 15, escaped serious injury after falling at least two metres during Zirka Circus' Saturday afternoon show in Hagley Park.
One member of the audience, who did not want to be named, was so disturbed by the incident he contacted the Department of Labour.
He believed the fall had been caused by a rope or fastener snapping.
The man said Gao had been holding on to a large metal box, which fell with her.
There was no padding beneath her and she landed heavily on the wooden floor.
She appeared to be unconscious and he was horrified to see four people carry her outside.
"That's first aid 101, you do not move someone. If she'd injured her back, that would've been pretty bad."
The show carried on after only a short pause, with no explanation to the crowd about what happened, he said.
"[There] was the initial shock of that happening, which was totally unexpected and the way it was handled made it look like it was something that was unexpected - it looked like a panic."
He was also surprised the performers continued to use equipment without any of it being checked.
"I think the show ... is fantastic and almost under-recognised. I've seen it a couple of times and I'm always really impressed by it, but I wasn't particularly impressed by their handling of [the fall]."
The Hamilton-based circus held its last show in Christchurch yesterday.
General manager James Finlayson said the accident happened at the start of Gao's routine, close to the end of the 4.30pm show.
She was being pulled off the ground manually by three other performers, using a pulley system, when the front performer "lost his footing".
The three pullers lost their grip, causing Gao to fall about two metres to the ground.
Finlayson said the rope did not break, and Gao landed feet-first, then fell onto her side.
"She was asked if she was OK. She said `yes', but she was very upset. They rolled her on to a pad and moved her onto the backstage."
An ambulance was called and Gao was taken to Christchurch Hospital, where they confirmed she had suffered only a bruised hip, he said.
"Her most biggest upset was that she'd mucked up her act.
"She had another act to go, she wanted to go back, but obviously we wouldn't let her."
It was the first time such an accident had happened at Zirka Circus, he said.
Gao would be "taking it easy" for a while, he said.
Finlayson said the circus had received calls from audience members concerned about Gao since the incident.
A Department of Labour spokesman said they would not be investigating the accident because there had been "no serious harm" done.

Kids day out in circus


Posted on Jan 16, 2012 Express News Service , The New Indian Express

It was a dream come true for children of Angels Orphanage on Saturday afternoon, for they experienced for the first time the magic of circus.
Around 60 children from the orphanage were taken for the afternoon show by a group of young volunteers grouped under a banner — ‘Spread the Smile’. One could feel their excitement even before they got out of their buses. The children aged between 4 and 14 years were ecstatic from the time they got their name tags. They raced about with oodles of energy and curiosity.
Sampoorna, the youngest member of the group, was so inspired by the hoola hoop act that she wanted to get on stage and try it out. “Give me a ring. I can also do that,” said the four- year-old with all the confidence of a professional.
Two 14-year-old girls said they loved the trapeze act and admired tricks performed by animals. The kids clapped with glee when the elephant played cricket. “We always go to the Sangam. This time aunty (Sabina) said she would take us to Bannerghatta National Park. But this is so much better. I liked all of it,” gushed 14-year-old Ranjitha.
The boys loved the trapeze acts the most. Their expressions ranged from shock and awe to admiration and wonderment as they saw men flying in the air and changing positions mid air. “I will never forget this. I got goosebumps when they were flying from the trapeze and when the African group ate fire,” exclaimed Sathya. She confided to the reporter that they were planning to try some of the tricks “tonight” at their home.
For some children the colourful snacks like cotton candy and ice cream caught all their attention as their eyes followed the route of the vendors. It was unfair to quiz them on their favourite act of the day as fast-changing answers poured in swiftly.
Sabina, who runs this orphanage at Shivajinagar, said: “I love it when these kids enjoy something. I never get a chance to take them out much. If not for Vedica, I would have never thought of bringing them to a circus.”
Manatee County Fair pig races are pure family fun

Pigs race for iced oatmeal cookies at the fair Sunday.


Monday, Jan. 16, 2012

PALMETTO -- Pigs from Missouri are smart.They are not going to race around a track to the delight of audiences of 200 at the Manatee County Fair just to catch a fake carrot or a furry cloth apple.No, you need a package of real iced oatmeal cookies to get them to run. “The pig that gets to the bowl first gets the whole cookie while the rest get the crumbs,” said Missouri-based Show-Me Swine Racers’ pig handler Nathan Tidwell, whose statement could also serve as an observation on life itself.The 30-minute pig race show, which is scheduled 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m and 8:30 p.m. today and each day throughout the fair right next to the Belle City Amusement midway sign, is just good, old-fashioned family fun, Tidwell said.The show, which has nary an off-color moment and is perfect for kids of all ages, is free to the public.“The only reason I’ve been in this so long is that I like to see the kids’ faces during the show,” said Tidwell, who goes by “Pork Chop” and has been a career pig racing man for 20 years.Tidwell and his partner, James Crew, nicknamed “Hambone,” are all about getting laughs.

James "Hambone" Crew, left, and Nathan "Pork Chop" Tidwell run the pig races at the Manatee County Fair
Like on Sunday before the Vietnamese pot belly pigs were scheduled to race, Tidwell and Crew had the audience raise their hands to volunteer family members with their own pot bellies to be official “pot belly pig rooters.”There were plenty of giggles as the tummy-terrific bods of Robert Witham, Scott Kinney, Matt Arredonbo, Don Callhoun and Kyra Broxon strutted to the front.Broxon didn’t have a pot belly, but she was determined to be a pig-rooter so the guys let her in.Arredonbo’s pig won the race, and Arrendonbo won a stuffed toy for his son, Eddie Salazar, 11, who couldn’t stop smiling.Tidwell and Crew also make the audience laugh when they read off the names of the pigs, some of which are Britney Spareribs, Squally Ray Cyrus, Hamma Montana and Arnold Swartzenpigger.This coming week promises more old-fashioned family fun at the fair.Today marks the Martin Luther King Jr. observance, and the midway will be open until 10 p.m. Troubadour Dennis Lee will be performing all day, said John Neuhauser, fair treasurer. Also at 6 p.m. today the 17th Annual Cheerleading competition is set for the Mosaic Arena, featuring cheerleaders from all the local high schools.The 2nd annual Drum Line competition, also featuring local high schools, is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday in the entertainment tent.Wednesday is Senior Day, with seniors getting into the fair for $5 all day, Neuhauser said.The Harry James Orchestra will perform at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Wednesday.Thursday’s highlight is country music talent Craig Campbell at 9 p.m., Neuhauser said.
Read more here:
Shrine Circus sees boost in numbers for Flint event; event offers hands-on participation, new acts

Lathan Goumas Flint JournalGrey St. John watches a tiger taming act with his sons Graydy St. John, 5, and Cayden St. John, 7, and his wife Teri St. John during a performance of the Shrine Circus at the Perani Arena and Event Center in Flint on Sunday.

By Roberto Acosta Flint Journal

The Flint Journal Published: Sunday, January 15, 2012,

FLINT, Michigan — Fiber-optic wands and spinning balls lit up Flint's Perani Arena at times Sunday during the 69th annual Shrine Circus, while the oohs and awes of thousands in the crowd echoed as trapeze artists flew threw through the air with ease.Grand Blanc resident Justinian Durmon could hardly contain his excitement after having a photo taken with a yellow and white-colored Burmese python on the floor of the arena.
"It felt weird, cause it was crawling all over me," said Justinian, 6, his mouth outlined with blue sugar from cotton candy.
"It was his idea," said Wesley Durmon, 33, Justinian's father of the Polaroid with the reptile. "He'd seen it and had to go."
Kelly Kelley summed up her experience atop a 13-foot tall, 9,000-pound elephant in one word: scary.

Elephants perform during the Shrine Circus at Perani Arena and Event Center in Flint on Sunday.To keep the event fresh, Singelis said new acts are brought in each year, with this event including a motocross jump across the arena, monkeys, chimpanzees and trapeze family.
A slow economy may actually be helping the event, said Alan Basner, Potentate for the local organization.
"With the way the economy has been, people don't like to go very far," he said. "It's been a great turnout this year."

Fiber-optic wands light up the stands during the Shrine Circus Sunday at the Perani Arena and Event Center in FlintThe first Shrine Circus event took place in Detroit, held by the Moslem Shrine Center, and has grown from a one-ring to three-ring circus traveling to roughly 160 cities in the United States and Canada.
Deanna Struck and two-year-old grandson Landin Curtis took in this year's event, with Landin waving a spinning ball as trapeze artists swung high above the arena floor to the crowd's delight.
"The kids really liked the tigers, and Landin really liked the puppies" said Struck, of Flint, of another one of the show's performances. She appreciated what the event was meant to do while entertaining the crowd.
"I like the Shriners," Struck said. "I support the Shriners and thankful for what they do."
While patrons have fun, state Rep. Charles Smiley, D-Burton, said the performers are just as excited for the event each year. The former Burton Mayor has performed in the circus for more than a decade, as Smiley the clown.
"To see that smile, the sparkle in their eyes," he said of the children pining for autographs and photos with the 30 to 40 clowns. "It makes everything worthwhile."
Money raised during the event goes towards the center's opreating budget and its mission which includes funding for Shriners Hospitals for Children in Chicago, Erie, Pa. and Cincinnati, Ohio.
Flint resident Tim Corrigan, also known as Knoby the Clown, received treatment from six months of age until he was 18 at the Shrine Hospital in Chicago.
"With me, I had birth marks and my left leg was shorter than my right leg and I had a crooked ankle bone," said Corrigan, 32, who suffered from a genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis.
He's performed at the Shrine Circus for 10 years now, after overcoming his physical issues as a gesture of thanks.
"I just wanted to repay them for the help I got," said Corrigan.
The event runs through Monday at Perani Arena. For more information on the event, visit or
Company that provides rides at the State Fair disputing federal fine

By Kate White

January 15, 2012
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The company that has provided amusement rides at the West Virginia State Fair since 1990 is contesting a federal citation arising from a near fatal injury to a ride operator last year.
The U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration cited Reithoffer Shows Inc., based in Gibsonton, Fla., with a "serious" violation and proposed a penalty of $6,300.
The action came after ride operator, Adolfo Dominguez, 25, of Mexico was critically injured Aug. 20, 2011, when he stepped in the path of a ride called The Speed. He was in a coma for weeks with a brain injury.
Dominguez was working for Reithoffer on a work visa, according to Mindy Kolbus, risk manager for the company.
The company was cited for failing to provide proper guarding to prevent contact with the ride or patrons while the ride was in motion.
According to OSHA's machine guarding regulations, "one or more methods of machine guarding shall be provided to protect the operator and other employees in the machine area from hazards such as those created by point of operation, ingoing nip points, rotating parts, flying chips and sparks."
Thomas Jones of Brandon, Fla., who inspected the carnival rides at the fair last year, told the Gazette in September that safety changes should be made after the incident left Dominguez in critical condition. Jones suggested the company install a barrier to separate the operator from the motion of the ride.
"There is no gate on that specific ride that keeps the operator off the platform," Jones said. The ride is an older model that has the controls to the ride on the platform, where Dominguez was standing, Jones said.
Kolbus said in September that the company was considering painting a yellow line, where Jones suggested a barrier be put in place.
In October, Dominguez was moved from Charleston Area Medical Center to a recovery center in Conroe, Texas, where he would undergo rigorous physical therapy, Kolbus said. She did not return phone calls Friday.
Joanna P. Hawkins, OSHA's deputy regional director, said a conference has been scheduled for "the coming weeks" with Reithoffer to discuss their contention of the citation. Because the meeting is private, Hawkins would say when it would take place. She also said that because Reithoffer's case has been contested, OSHA could not comment on the violation.
Reithoffer has a history as the subject of federal safety investigations, according to OSHA's website. In 2007, the company was cited for two alleged violations at two Pennsylvania carnival sites, with proposed fines totaling $62,000.
At a carnival in Bensalem, Pa., an OSHA investigation resulted in "a citation for one alleged willful violation due to the company's failure to provide employees with adequate fall protection. The agency has proposed a $56,000 fine," according to a release issued by the U.S. Department of Labor. It was not clear Friday if that incident had been resolved.
Reach Kate White at or 304-348-1723.

Six Flags Hosts Job Fairs for Spring Season
The theme park in Arlington opens March 3

By Elvira Sakmari Tuesday, Jan 10, 2012

View more videos at:
Take a ride on the new and improved Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington.
Six Flags Over Texas is looking for several hundred good people to work at the theme park this spring.

Six Flags will host two job fairs to fill 700 positions at the park before opening its doors for the 2012 season on March 3.

The job fairs will be held Saturday-Monday, Jan. 14-16 and Saturday-Sunday, Jan. 21-22.

This year interviews are by appointment only and can be set up after applying online at

Jobs are open in guest services, food service, games, retail, ride operations, park services, security, entertainment, and revenue control.

Expect competition to be stiff for those 700 positions, more than 2,800 people were interviewed during the park's two job fairs last year.

The company's website says a job at Six Flags Over Texas comes with benefits like flexible scheduling, free unlimited admission, free passes, discounted passes, in-park discounts and exclusive employee events.

For more information or questions about the upcoming job fair you can go to, or contact the Human Resources office at 817-640-8900, ext. 4200.

JAN. 13, 2012

Arianna Huffington Pulls Sword From Dan Meyer's Mouth

Sword Swallowing at The Huffington Post

Arianna Huffington has skewered some people in the media, and certainly others have skewered her. Today, however, she was simply assisting master sword swallower Dan Meyer.

Meyer, who holds five Guinness World Records, was in New York City to film a documentary that includes sticking a 3-D endoscope down his throat. He was a guest of HuffPost Weird News, and put on a swallowing show outside Arianna's office, coaxing the news organization's titular head to be his assistant.

"I want to thank Arianna for not impaling me," Meyer said. "At least 29 people have died sword swallowing in the last 50 years, so at least I'm not No. 30."

Meyer has made a name for himself by taking sword swallowing to the extreme. In 2007, he swallowed a 24-inch blade while submerged 20 feet underwater in a tank of 88 sharks and stingrays.

In 2008, he made it to the finals on "America's Got Talent" and on "Stan Lee's Superhumans" he swallowed a glowing sword, heated to 1,500 degrees.

He'll be performing on Feb. 25 at Ripley's Believe It Or Not! in Orlando, Fla., to mark World Sword Swallower's Day, along with other steel slurpers and blade glommer.