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Six Flags Reaches A Settlement In Rollercoaster Tragedy

Edward Beavers
Rosy Esparza fell 75 feet to her death from the Texas Giant on July 26, 2013.

Five stories that have North Texas talking: a settlement is reached over last summer’s tragic Texas Giant accident, no textbooks were voted on in yesterday’s State Board of Education meeting, Fort Worth names its interim police chief, and more.

The family of Rosy Esparza, who was thrown from the Texas Giant to her death last summer, has reached a settlement with Six Flags Over Texas and the ride’s manufacturer. WFAA reports the amount of the settlement agreement was not disclosed. Since the accident, the theme park added new restraint-bar pads and seatbelts to the Texas Giant. The ride was closed for nearly two months after Esparza’s death.

According to some witness reports, the victim expressed worry about her safety restraint to an employee shortly before the ride started. A rollercoaster rider also claimed her lap bar wasn’t properly secured, but didn’t stop the ride to check Esparza. Since the accident, Six Flags has issued new protocols for employees.

  • The State Board of Education did not issue a vote for history and social studies books. The Texas Tribune reports four Republicans abstained from voting and the five Democrats voted against any approval. The vote was derailed after discovering that one textbook publisher references the Common Core standards on its supplementary material. Other board members worried that they would be voting on content without a chance to review it since publishers were still sending in changes.

  • Fort Worth has named its interim police chief. The Associated Press reports Assistant Chief Rhonda Robertson will take over for Chief Jeff Halstead on Jan. 10. Halstead announced his retirement last week after serving six years as Fort Worth’s police chief. He says he plans to work in law enforcement consulting.  

  • The Dallas Architecture Forum will present landscape architect Laurie Olin tonight in the Horchow Auditorium at the Dallas Museum of Art. Some of his more high profile work includes Bryant Park, Columbus Circle and the Metropolitan Museum in New York City; the Barnes Collection and the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. and the Getty in Los Angeles. A reception will be open to the public at 6:15, and the lecture will follow.Tickets can be purchased at the door for $20.  

  • Gwyneth Paltrow has opened a pop-up shop in Highland Park Village. The shop is called “goop,” and the Dallas Observer’s Scott Reitz describes it as “a lifestyle store that's a bit like Martha Stewart's line of home furnishings that took over half of Kmart.” The shop offers pricy knick-knacks and food items like a turkey burger that’s actually green. 
Former KERA staffer Krystina Martinez was an assistant producer. She produced local content for Morning Edition and She also produced The Friday Conversation, a weekly series of conversations with North Texas newsmakers. Krystina was also the backup newscaster for the Texas Standard.