Friday Night: A clear sky with an overnight low near 30.
Saturday: Partly sunny and warmer with an afternoon ... More...
Bridgeport, Ala. Becomes Ground Zero for Major Yamaha Announcement
by Richard Simms
The small town of Bridgeport, Ala. became Ground Zero for some of the biggest writers in the outboard and boating business Tuesday.
Bridgeport has long been home of a semi-secret Yamaha Marine Division testing facility. Every year Yamaha big wigs come to Chattanooga and Bridgeport to show off the next season's latest and greatest Yamaha innovations to writers and editors.
This year the biggest news out of Bridgeport is what Yamaha calls Helm Master™.
You won't be using Helm Master on your run-of-the-mill fishing boat. It's designed for larger vessels at least 30 feet in length with either twin or triple-engines. But if you own a boat like that, you'll definitely want to learn about Helm Master, an amazing new boat control system.
Let me sum it up this way... you arrive at Chattanooga's Riverfront and there is only one "parking spot" left at the Marine Max dock, and it is just barely longer than your boat. Even for the most experienced Captain, parallel parking in the Tennessee River current just doesn't work very well.
However with Helm Master, you can literally move your boat sideways in the water, easing point-blank into your assigned spot.
At the touch of a button, the joystick-driven system integrates all boat control devices while eliminating the need for bow thrusters in most boats. It is based on steering from the boat's center axis, rather than on a stern axis... what Yamaha engineers call the "Ring of Motion." In tight quarters it allows movement of the boat in any direction with the simply touch of a joystick, not only fore and aft and port and starboard, but the joystick can be rotated for turning and positioning the boat.
That's just one of many innovations Yamaha says Helm Master brings to the plate.
Don't ask how much it costs. Yamaha hasn't decided yet. The company is still working with 15 or 20 boat manufacturers to determine who they'll give it to and who they won't.
The announcements Yamaha made this week won't be available on showroom floors until at least March 2013. Company officials say they'll be ready to release more detailed information at one of the country's largest boat shows in Miami, Fla. beginning Feb. 14, 2013.
But whatever folks hear about out of Miami, remember you heard it first out of Bridgeport, Ala.
More Business News
Last Update on November 28, 2014 20:00 GMT
HOLIDAY SHOPPING-BLACK FRIDAY
UNDATED (AP) -- A lot of Americans seem willing to head out to the malls, right after Thanksgiving dinner.
The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, says it drew 100,000 customers between 5 p.m. yesterday and 1 a.m. today. A spokesman says traffic slowed down after 2 a.m., but it's been picking up again today. And mall officials are still hoping to top last year's total of 230,000 Thursday-to-Friday visitors.
One shopper at a mall in Aurora, Illinois, this morning said she thinks people are feeling more confident about the economy this year. But Kimberly States said she still plans to spend about the same amount -- or maybe less -- on Christmas gifts compared with last year.
For retailers hoping for strong online sales, it's not the best time for technical issues. But Best Buy's website has been down this morning, with a message that asks customers to "Check back soon."
LONDON (AP) -- Americans celebrating Thanksgiving in Britain may have felt right at home as Black Friday shopping chaos caused some disruption.
The practice of offering bargain basement prices the day after Thanksgiving has spread across the Atlantic, with some retailers opening overnight to lure determined shoppers.
Police were called early Friday morning to help maintain security at some supermarkets and outlets that offered deep discounts starting at midnight.
Fights broke out at some stores and major websites stopped functioning because of too much traffic as shoppers sought online bargains.
Greater Manchester Police said two arrests were made and injuries reported as police closed some stores to prevent more severe problems.
The force tweeted "Keep calm, people!" at one point.
There were problems in many parts of Britain, including Wales and Scotland.
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) -- Demonstrators are looking to grab the attention of post-Thanksgiving shoppers today, to voice their anger over a grand jury's decision not to indict the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown in suburban St. Louis.
They've been going to major retailers around the St. Louis area to speak out. And similar protests have been planned at shopping centers around the nation.
In Chicago, about 200 people gathered near the city's Magnificent Mile shopping district. One demonstrator called it "a day of awareness and engagement." Kristiana Colon said, `We want them to think twice before spending that dollar today." She added, "As long as black lives are put second to materialism, there will be no peace."
Early today in the St. Louis suburb of Manchester, about two dozen people chanted, "No justice, no peace, no racist police" after police moved them out of a Wal-Mart.
Other planned events around the country seemed relatively brief and thinly attended. In Brooklyn, New York, a "Hands Up, Don't Shop" protest had been scheduled, but no one materialized.
Security was heightened at the Wal-Mart in Ferguson on Friday morning, with military Humvees, police cars and security guards on patrol. The store was busy, but there were no protesters.
CANDY CENTER FIRE
MAPLE HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) -- Some orders for chocolates have been halted after fire gutted a candy warehouse and distribution center in northeast Ohio.
Authorities are trying to determine what caused the blaze that began Thursday morning at the Fannie May Fine Chocolates center in Maple Heights, Ohio. Authorities said there were no injuries.
Firefighters from several departments responded, and hazardous materials units stood by because of ammonia in the center.
Fannie May Chocolates is a division of 1-800-Flowers.com Inc. The company says it is assessing the effects of the fire and the contingency plans that will be needed for the holiday season.
The company on Friday posted a message on its website saying Fannie May and its Harry London gourmet chocolates business have temporarily halted orders for most of their candies and confections.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The United States is appealing a World Trade Organization decision that made it harder for U.S. consumers to know where meat in the grocery store came from.
The WTO in October rejected U.S. rules requiring labels on packaged steaks, ribs and other cuts of meat identifying where the animals were born, raised and slaughtered. The WTO said the "country of origin labeling" requirements put Canadian and Mexican livestock at a disadvantage.
On Friday, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative appealed the ruling.
U.S. farmers who compete with Mexican and Canadian ranchers welcomed the appeal. National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson on Friday called it "the right thing to do for American family farmers, ranchers and consumers." But meatpackers oppose the labeling requirements, saying they impose costly paperwork.
BRUSSELS (AP) -- Sharp falls in energy prices as a result of the dramatic decline being recorded in oil markets has pushed inflation across the 18-country eurozone down to 0.3 percent in the year to November.
Preliminary figures from the European Union's statistics agency, Eurostat, show that the fall in eurozone consumer price inflation from the previous month's 0.4 percent was largely due to a 2.5 percent decline in energy costs.
The drop takes inflation further away from the European Central Bank's target to keep price rises just below 2 percent. It's likely to maintain pressure on policymakers to launch in the coming months a monetary stimulus similar to the one the Federal Reserve recently brought to an end.
Eurostat also said Friday that unemployment was steady in October at 11.5 percent.
BRUSSELS (AP) -- The head of the European Union's executive is opting not to sanction France or Italy just yet over their failure to meet targets on their public finances.
Instead, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is giving them until spring to deliver on commitments.
In an interview with eight European papers, published Friday, Juncker says he has "made the choice not to sanction," for the failure of Paris and Rome to meet rules that force the euro member states to observe strict limits on spending.
France and Italy have been accused of being too profligate in their budgetary spending plans at a time when the EU and the 18-country eurozone have been advocating strict austerity as the best way to get their public finances into shape.
BRUSSELS (AP) -- The European Union is extending economic and travel sanctions to 13 people and five entities it accuses of involvement with pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.
The EU's 28 member countries agreed to the action Friday, the bloc announced in a news release.
The EU said the names of the people, organizations and businesses affected will be made public Saturday.
The decision brings the total number of people subject to an EU-wide travel ban and asset freeze for allegedly undermining Ukraine's territorial integrity to 132, and the number of entities whose assets have been ordered frozen to 28.
Earlier this month, EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said more sanctions alone will not end the crisis in eastern Ukraine, and that there is a need to relaunch a dialogue with Russia.
The Good LifeCelebrating the events, adventures and activities that represent "The Good Life" in the NewsChannel 9 viewing area.
SideroadsTake a ride with Brian Smith to explore the unique people and places to be found along the Sideroads of the NewsChannel 9 viewing area.
Road TrippinCome Road Trippin' with us and see all the great sites in your area!
Closings and DelaysThese are the latest School and Business Closings reported to NewsChannel 9. If you see errors or need to add a school or business, call 423-757-7320.
This N ThatLearn about the latest in community affairs and great events with Brian Smith on This 'N That.
Educator of the WeekNominate now for Educator Of The Week!
Deaf & Hard of HearingInformation provided to NewsChannel 9 by members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community.
Sponsored EventsCheck Back Often for NewsChannel9 Sponsored Events!