River Gorge Explorer Earns Certificate of Excellence
The Tennessee Aquarium’s River Gorge Explorer recently earned the 2013 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence. This designation places the River Gorge Explorer among the top ten percent businesses on Trip Advisor. The award is given to businesses that consistently earn high ratings from TripAdvisor travelers. “We are committed to providing every passenger with an entertaining and educational experience,” said Captain Pete Hosemann. “So we’re thrilled that our guests want to tell others about their trips with us.”
The River Gorge Explorer, a 70 passenger catamaran – and the first of its kind in the Southeast – transports guests downstream into “Tennessee’s Grand Canyon”, the Tennessee River Gorge. This scenic waterway is home to a remarkable array of plants and animals.
Aquarium naturalists, like John Dever, lead each excursion pointing out wildlife and historic points of interest along the way. “Right now there are five active Osprey nests along the cruise route,” said Dever. “One has three chicks so our passengers get a good look at them and the fishing and feeding behaviors of the parents.” Birdwatchers enjoy comparing the different fishing strategies used by Kingfishers, Great Blue Herons and Ospreys.
Dever also reports seeing a lot of hawks recently. He notes that Bald Eagles nest in the Gorge and are spotted on about half of the summer excursions. Kids enjoy learning about these animals and their natural habitat in the Gorge. They can earn “Eagle Eye” stickers and view the sights through real binoculars.
Since coming to Chattanooga in 2008, the River Gorge Explorer has carried more than 144,000 passengers and traveled nearly 100,000 miles. The boat is scheduled to make its 3,500th trip early this summer.
Early reservations are recommended and can be made online at: tnaqua.org/RiverGorgeExplorer.
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Last Update on May 26, 2015 17:47 GMT
CHARTER-TIME WARNER CABLE
NEW YORK (AP) -- Charter Communications will spend $55.33 billion to acquire Time Warner Cable in a cash-and-stock deal that would instantly create one of the largest pay-television and broadband operators in the U.S.
As part of the agreement, Charter will also buy Bright House Networks for more than $10 billion.
Charter will provide $100 in cash and shares of a new public parent company equal to 0.5409 shares of Charter for each outstanding Time Warner Cable Inc. share. The transaction values each Time Warner Cable share at about $195.71.
The companies on Tuesday valued Time Warner Cable at a total of $78.7 billion.
Shares of Charter Communications Inc. are up more than 3 percent in premarket trading.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting manufactured goods fell slightly in April. But orders in a category that indicates business investment posted a second increase, a hopeful sign that this key sector is starting to revive.
The Commerce Department says that total orders for durable goods slipped 0.5 percent from March, when total orders had surged 5.1 percent. The big swing was driven by changes in commercial aircraft, an extremely volatile category that had jumped in March but fell in April.
Orders in the business investment category rose 1 percent in April after a 1.5 percent increase in March. The results followed a sizable 5.1 percent fall in February. Business investment has been hurt by a stronger dollar cutting into exports and cutbacks in the energy industry.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Conference Board says consumer confidence rebounded this month as the job market showed signs of improvement.
The business research group's consumer confidence index rose to 95.4 in May from 94.3 in April. The April reading had been sharp drop from March's 101.4.
Consumers' assessment of current economic conditions improved, but their outlook for the next six months slipped. Their expectations for the for the job market improved, however.
Employers added a healthy 223,000 jobs last month, up from a lackluster 85,000 in March. And the unemployment rate slid to 5.4 percent, lowest since May 2008, six months into the Great Recession.
NEW HOME SALES
WASHINGTON (AP) -- More Americans bought new homes in April -- fresh evidence that the improved job market is powering the real estate sector.
The Commerce Department says new-home sales climbed 6.8 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 517,000. Sales recovered from an annual pace of 484,000 in March.
Purchases of new homes are volatile on a monthly basis, although sales during the first four months of 2015 are 23.7 percent higher than in 2014. Employers have added 3.1 million jobs over the past year, with those new paychecks starting to trickle into housing.
Sales increased in the Midwest and South last month, while slumping in the Northeast and West where prices are generally higher.
The median sales price has risen 8.3 percent since April 2014 to $297,300.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. home prices rose at a steady pace in March, pushed higher by a limited supply of houses for sale.
The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 5 percent in March from 12 months earlier. Prices increased at the same pace in February.
Home values are rising at a faster rate than incomes, potentially pricing many would-be buyers out of the market. Yet current increases have moderated from the double-digit gains of late 2013 and early last year.
The biggest increases were in San Francisco and Denver, where prices rose 10.3 percent and 10 percent respectively.
The Case-Shiller index covers roughly half of U.S. homes. The index measures prices compared with those in January 2000 and creates a three-month moving average. The March figures are the latest available.
DEUTSCHE BANK-SEC SETTLEMENT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Germany's Deutsche Bank AG has agreed to pay $55 million to settle civil charges of filing incorrect reports during the financial crisis that downplayed risks of huge losses.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced the settlement Tuesday with the big German bank, which is a prominent institution on Wall Street. Deutsche Bank neither admitted nor denied the allegations but did agree to refrain from future violations of the securities laws.
The SEC said that in some quarterly reports in 2008, Deutsche Bank inflated the value of its transactions designed to hedge against losses on securities in the credit markets, which were turbulent at the time. That created a "gap risk" worth billions of dollars that wasn't properly taken into account in the bank's reports, the agency said.
BEIJING (AP) -- An official of the International Monetary Fund says it believes China's currency is no longer undervalued -- a stance that might help Beijing in its wrangling with Washington over exchange rate controls.
The IMF's first deputy managing director, David Lipton, also said Tuesday that Beijing should work toward having a floating exchange rate in two to three years.
Lipton spoke after meeting Chinese officials to discuss economic and financial policy.
The United States and some other governments have complained for years that China suppresses the value of its currency, the yuan, giving its exporters an unfair price advantage and hurting their foreign competitors.
Referring to the yuan, Lipton said that after recent changes in global exchange rates, "We believe that it is no longer undervalued."
LONDON (AP) -- A British prosecutor says a former Citibank and UBS trader motivated by greed served as the ringmaster in the alleged manipulation of a key interest rate, the London Interbank Lending Rate, or Libor.
The charges against trader Tom Hayes, who specialized in products pegged to yen-denominated Libor, relate to the period from August 2006 to September 2010. He is charged with conspiring with employees from other leading institutions.
Prosecutor Mukul Chawla says the 35-year-old Hayes' greed "led to his dishonesty on an enormous scale."
Libor is a key rate that banks use to borrow from each other. Indirectly, the rate affects what people pay when they take out loans, such as a car loan.
Hayes denies all eight charges in the case that opened Tuesday at Southwark Crown Court.
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