Chattanooga Named One of Top 100 Best Places to Live
Chattanooga has been named one of the Top 100 Best Places to Live by Livability.com, a website that ranks quality of life and travel amenities of Americas small and mid-sized cities. See the full list at: livability.com/top-100-best-places-to-live.
The list is the result of a months-long study of U.S. cities and the factors that make them better places to live, work and play. Livability.com partnered with the Martin Prosperity Institute, the world's leading think tank on the role of location, place, and city-regions in global economic prosperity, to produce the list.
"This is the first time we have focused on measures for specific cities instead of metropolitan regions," said Kevin Stolarick, PhD, Research Director at the Martin Prosperity Institute. "While getting consistent, reliable data at the cities level had its challenges, the results were worth the effort."
Livability recruited Ipsos Public Affairs, a leading market research firm, to conduct a survey to find out what quality of life amenities residents value most. Respondents were asked about factors that make their communities better places to live, as well as the factors they would consider in selecting another city.
Those factors were narrowed down to eight categories economics, housing, amenities, infrastructure, demographics, social and civic capital, education and healthcare that were used to score and rank cities. Researchers narrowed their field to small-to-mid-sized cities with populations between 20,000 and 350,000 before collecting data for each city from a wide range of sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, Walkscore and GreatSchools.com.
Chattanooga scored high in the areas of education and amenities as well as health care.
"Great cities are more than just a check-list of bars, coffee shops and museums. Our goal was to collect the best data available, from the best sources and the best partners to gauge the true measures of livability. Access was important, but so were utilization and affordability," said Livability.com editor Matt Carmichael. "By using data from the public sector, the private sector and non-profits focused on these issues, we have compiled an Index that celebrates America's great cities and towns."
The top 100 cities are featured on Livability.com, along with their LivScores and information about the amenities that helped them make the list.
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Last Update on March 05, 2015 18:48 GMT
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The Labor Department says weekly applications rose 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 320,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, increased 10,250 to 304,750, a six-week high.
The number of applications tends to reflect the pace of U.S. layoffs. The four-week average has remained near or below 300,000 since September, a historically low level that typically signals healthy job gains.
There are some signs that heavy snow and unseasonably cold weather have played a role in increasing the number of layoffs. Several states said two weeks ago that applications had risen because of bad weather.
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The Commerce Department says that productivity declined at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter, weaker than the 1.8 percent drop that was estimated a month ago. Labor costs rose at a 4.1 percent rate, faster than the 2.7 percent increase first estimated.
Weaker productivity and higher labor costs could spell inflation troubles for the economy. But analysts say that the changes in the fourth quarter are temporary and not an indication that inflation is about to be a problem.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Orders to U.S. factories fell again in January but a key investment category showed a gain.
The Commerce Department says orders to factories edged down 0.2 percent in January following declines of 3.5 percent in December and 1.7 percent in November.
In an encouraging sign, orders in a category viewed as a proxy for business investment showed an increase of 0.5 percent in January following declines of 0.5 percent in both December and November.
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Mortgage giant Freddie Mac says the national average for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.75 percent from 3.80 percent last week.
The rate for a 15-year mortgage, popular with homeowners who refinance, fell to 3.03 percent from 3.07 percent last week.
A year ago, the average 30-year mortgage stood at 4.28 percent and the 15-year mortgage at 3.32 percent. Mortgage rates have remained low even though the Federal Reserve in October ended its monthly bond purchases, which were meant to hold down long-term rates.
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The settlement has been criticized by Democratic lawmakers who note that the state initially sought $8.9 billion in damages. A judge found the company liable but no damage amount had been determined.
Last month the two sides told the judge to delay his ruling because a settlement was imminent.
The case was brought in 2004 and charged that Exxon's petroleum refining plants contaminated the land and water.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Marine scientists are raising concerns about the Obama administration's decision to move ahead on use of seismic air guns in the Atlantic Ocean for oil and gas exploration.
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