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Lake Winnie Breaks Ground on Waterpark
Lake Winnepesaukah officials broke ground Wednesday on SoakYa, a 5-acre water entertainment complex scheduled to open during the Summer 2013 season.
The waterpark is the first major expansion of the 88-year-old amusement park since the 1960s, when the park doubled in size and added two signature attractions: the antique wooden Carrousel and the world-famous wooden Cannon Ball Roller Coaster.
"Lake Winnepesaukah has a hard to say and even harder to spell name,” said Talley Green, Public Relations Director, “but through the years that name has become synonymous with family fun in our region. That’s why we chose SoakYa, a spirited play on our name, for the waterpark that is a perfect complement to our amusement complex.”
Today’s groundbreaking signals the start of an aggressive five-month construction schedule that calls for completion of the waterpark attraction in time for a Memorial Day weekend debut, two months after the amusement park opens for the 2013 season. Aquatic Builders Ltd., a division of master plan design and engineering firm Aquatic Development Group, will lead the park’s construction along with locally-based contractors. The development will create 100 temporary construction jobs and up to 60 new seasonal positions upon completion.
The multi-million dollar waterpark will feature a lazy river and wave lagoon. Clusters of flume body slides and enclosed tubes – some for single riders, some for multiple riders – will dot the landscape. A multi-lane racer slide will send dueling riders on a refreshing plunge into a pool while toddlers will be entertained in a shallow splash park with pint-sized slides and water play equipment. Covered and uncovered lounge seating, retail shops, concessions and a changing facility with lockers will allow families to enjoy a day-long stay at the park.
“The beginning of the year also marks a new beginning for Lake Winnie,” explains Chris Jones, Architect. “The owners have committed themselves to building a first class waterpark and ‘doing it right’! With the start of construction, a dream is on its way to reality. A former parking lot will soon be transformed into a colorful array of exciting water rides, water features, man-made hills and lush landscaping creating an oasis of fun and laughter. Did I mention water? Lots of water!”
The first phase of the multi-million dollar SoakYa waterpark will be developed on the West side of the amusement park between the Cannon Ball Roller Coaster and the lake. The 5-acre vacant tract of land has recently served as overflow parking for concerts and other major events. Subsequent waterpark expansions could triple the water entertainment complex’s size in years to come.
Lake Winnepesaukah will open the 2013 season with a $26 general admission rate ($10 for children two and under and senior citizens), which is consistent with 2012 ticket prices. During the summer months, guests will enjoy two parks for one admission price. From Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, general admission will be $31.95 ($15.95 for children two and under and senior citizens). General admission will revert back to the $26 rate for the remainder of the 2013 season when SoakYa closes for the season in early fall. SoakYa will be accessible through the main park entrance only.
The facility was designed by architect Christopher M. Jones of North Palm Beach, Florida and Aquatic Development Group of Cahoes, New York, both of which have extensive waterpark development experience. The park will feature “Made in the USA” slides and other water play equipment designed, engineered and manufactured by North Carolina-based AquaBlue International. Chattanooga-based CapitalMark Bank & Trust will finance the expansion.
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Last Update on September 17, 2014 07:32 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Federal Reserve concludes its latest policymaking meeting this afternoon, and analysts will be examining their statement for any changes in tone.
The Fed has held a key short-term interest rate close to zero for more than five years, making it cheaper for companies and consumers to borrow and boosting corporate profits. But investors widely expect the Fed to start raising rates in the middle of next year.
There are three economic reports of note this morning. The Labor Department releases its Consumer Price Index for August, while the Commerce Department releases the current account trade deficit for the second quarter.
A little later this morning, the National Association of Home Builders releases its housing market index for September.
And from the corporate world, FedEx reports its quarterly financial results before the market opens.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Americans, Japanese and many Europeans aren't sold on the benefits of trade. But people in China and other developing countries are far more convinced that it delivers jobs and higher wages.
That's according to a Pew Research Center international survey released Tuesday.
The center found that 50 percent of Americans say trade destroys jobs, while just 20 percent say it creates them. People in Italy, France and Japan are also far more likely to view trade as a job destroyer than as a job creator.
In China, Pew found 67 percent say trade creates jobs, and 61 percent say it raises wages. People in most emerging-market countries, from Vietnam to Tunisia, share that view of trade.
Pew surveyed over 48,000 people in 44 countries from March 17 to June 5.
UNDATED (AP) -- A number of the NFL's biggest sponsors say they are not happy with the recent controversy that has engulfed the league.
Anheuser-Busch issued a statement on Tuesday saying it was "disappointed and increasingly concerned" by recent incidents and was not yet satisfied with the league's response. It says it has shared its concerns and expectations with the NFL.
The league has come under fire for its handling of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's assault of his then-fiancee. The Minnesota Vikings have also been criticized for allowing Adrian Peterson to play while he faces a charge of abuse for spanking his 4-year-old son with a wooden switch.
McDonald's, Visa and Campbell Soup Co. say they have also voiced similar concerns to the league.
Sponsorship consultancy IEG says Anheuser-Busch's sponsorship fees alone are worth an estimated $50 million a year to the NFL.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- NASA is a giant step closer to launching Americans again from U.S. soil.
On Tuesday, the space agency announced it has picked Boeing and SpaceX to transport astronauts to the International Space Station in the next few years.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden named the winners at a late-afternoon news conference at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The news had been eagerly anticipated for weeks.
The deal will end NASA's expensive reliance on Russia. U.S. astronauts have been riding Russian rockets ever since NASA's shuttles retired in 2011. The latest price tag is $71 million per seat.
NASA has set a goal of 2017 for the first launch under the commercial crew program. Both companies will use crew capsules. Launches will originate from Cape Canaveral.
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- A new federal report finds hospitals in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut were not prepared to meet the challenges of Superstorm Sandy.
The study from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Inspector General Office was released Wednesday. It's based on surveys of 172 hospitals hit hard by the storm in October 2012.
It finds that hospitals had surges in patients that were unexpected as well as power outages and problems with backup generators and transportation to get employees into work.
It says nearly 90 percent of the hospitals faced "critical challenges."
In many cases, the issues had been identified in citations for deficiencies issued in the years before the storm.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Endo International PLC says it is making an unsolicited offer for Auxilium Pharmaceuticals that values Auxilium at $28.10 per share.
The deal is worth $1.41 billion in cash and stock, based on Auxilium's shares outstanding. Endo values the offer at $2.2 billion. It comes at a premium of 31 percent based on the Tuesday closing price of Auxilium shares.
Dublin-based Endo says the two companies have complementary products and added that there are significant opportunities for savings.
Auxilium, based in Chesterbrook, Pennsylvania, is struggling with reduced sales of its testosterone gel Testim and said this month that it would cut 30 percent of its workforce as part of a plan to save $75 million per year.
Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc. shares are up about 4 percent for the year to date.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- California will no longer be the only western state with a pump-as-you-please approach to groundwater.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Tuesday requiring local agencies with depleted supplies to begin managing their wells. The state can intervene if necessary.
The worst drought in a generation gave momentum to three bills by Assemblyman Roger Dickinson of Sacramento and Sen. Fran Pavley of Agoura Hills, both Democrats.
Groundwater makes up nearly 60 percent of the state's water use during dry years but is not monitored and managed the same way as water from reservoirs and rivers.
Over-pumping of groundwater has led vast swaths of land to sink.
Republicans and Central Valley Democrats criticized the legislation, saying it punishes well-managed agencies and infringes on water rights.
DALLAS (AP) -- Customer-service agents at American Airlines are voting overwhelmingly to join a union and reverse a "no" vote in 2013.
Federal labor officials announced the results Tuesday in voting that covered about 14,000 employees at airports and reservations centers and home-based agents.
About 86 percent of those voting are favoring representation by the Communications Workers of America and the Teamsters. The CWA lost a previous election in January 2013 by about 150 votes.
CWA President Larry Cohen says the difference in the outcome is that unlike previous management, American's current executives did not campaign against the union.
Negotiations on a contract covering wages and other items are expected to begin this fall.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Corinthian Colleges is being sued by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for what it calls a "predatory lending scheme."
The CFPB is seeking more than $500 million for borrowers who used the for-profit education company's private student loans. The CFPB says that Corinthian misled students about their job prospects, in some cases paying employers to offer temporary jobs to graduates.
The agency also says Corinthian charged as much as $75,000 for a bachelor's degree and pushed students into private loans with interest rates of roughly 15 percent, more than double the rate for a federal loan.
The agency says that more than 60 percent of Corinthian students with those loans defaulted within three years.
Shares of Corinthian Colleges Inc., based in Santa Ana, California, plunged almost 30 percent Tuesday.
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