Tonight: Partly cloudy with an overnight low in the upper 60s to near 70.
Saturday: A mix of sun and clouds. More humid along with some scattered t-showers through the afternoon and evening. An afternoon high in the upper 80s to near 90.
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Ruby Falls Honored by Tourism Society
On Tuesday evening, November 5th, Southeast Tourism Society (STS) announced Ruby Falls as the winner of the Tourism for Tomorrow Award during their Shining Example Awards Banquet, a recognition identifying the attraction as a leader in sustainable tourism efforts. The award was accepted by Hugh Morrow, president of Ruby Falls. This STS award requires notable accomplishments in sustainable tourism development, while safeguarding local culture and protecting the environment.
“To be recognized by such a great organization as STS two years in a row is quite frankly very humbling,” said Hugh Morrow, president of Ruby Falls, LLC. “As the 2012 Travel Attraction of the Year, the “what” our great team at Ruby Falls accomplished has now been followed by this year’s award, recognizing the “how” we are getting there. Focusing on sustainable business practices not only makes sense in stewarding such a grand natural attraction, but has also shown that it makes great economic sense too.”
Ruby Falls has saved almost 1,000,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from their solar panel installation in 2009. This has offset the use of approximately 51,000 gallons of gasoline, the equivalency of about 5300 round trips from Atlanta to Ruby Falls.
Three years ago, Green Globe International, Inc. announced Ruby Falls as the first US attraction to receive certification for tourism businesses. Green Globe certification requires extensive work in sustainable management, social and economic development, cultural heritage and environmental stewardship. Since then, the attraction has been re-certified, continuing to hold this distinction.
The Tourism for Tomorrow award given to Ruby Falls follows on the heels of another recent achievement in Chattanooga. On October 29, 2013, TVA gave a platinum ranking to the city in its Valley Sustainable Communities program, a top environmental sustainability rating. Ruby Falls’ contribution is one of many made by entities throughout the city to increase the quality of the environment for visitors to Chattanooga.
Southeast Tourism Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and development of tourism throughout the Southeast. STS had eight member states when founded in 1983 (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee). Since then, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia and Arkansas were added.
Ruby Falls is home to America’s deepest commercial cave and largest underground waterfall open for public viewing. It features a 145-foot waterfall located 1,120 feet beneath the surface of Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Go to www.rubyfalls.com for more.
More Business News
Last Update on August 29, 2014 17:14 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. consumer spending fell in July, with a drop in auto purchases accounting for most of the weakness. Income growth also slowed in July.
The Commerce Department says consumer spending edged down 0.1 percent last month after a 0.4 percent increase in June. It was the first decline in spending since January. Income growth slowed to a 0.2 percent rise in July, the weakest showing in seven months.
The fall in spending came primarily from a decline in auto sales, which took a breather in July after posting big gains in recent months, although spending in other areas was also weak.
Consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity, so it needs to recover for the economy to keep its momentum in the second half of the year.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. consumer sentiment ticked up in August, driven by greater optimism about jobs, rising incomes, and increasing wealth. The increase largely occurred among higher-income groups.
The University of Michigan says its index of consumer sentiment rose to 82.5 from 81.8 in July. Still, it has barely risen in the past year.
Consumers have sent mixed signals in recent months. The Michigan index has fluctuated between 80 and 82.5 since December. A measure of consumer confidence by the Conference Board rose this month to nearly a seven-year high. And yet Americans cut back their spending in July.
Nearly 60 percent of households in the top third of income earners say they are financially better off this month, the Michigan survey found, compared with only 36 percent in the bottom two-thirds.
DETROIT (AP) -- U.S. investors should soon be able to buy stock in Chrysler for the first time in seven years.
Italy's Fiat and Chrysler are merging to form Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Fiat says Friday that an ongoing tally of investors suggests there is not enough opposition to derail the deal.
Earlier this month, Fiat shareholders approved combining the companies. But Italian law gives dissenters the right to cash out. Fiat has said that if investors offered more than 500 million euros ($650 million) in shares, the merger would be off.
Fiat SpA will announce the final tally by Sept. 4. So far the maximum number of shares to be cashed is below the cap.
Shares of Chrysler haven't been publicly traded since 2007 when it was still combined with German automaker Daimler.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Federal regulators are putting Reynolds American Inc.'s planned $25 billion takeover of rival cigarette maker Lorillard Inc. under the microscope.
The nation's second-biggest tobacco company said Friday that the Federal Trade Commission has asked for additional information as part of an antitrust review of the deal.
In July, Reynolds announced the deal to combine two of the nation's oldest and biggest tobacco companies, creating a formidable No. 2 to rival Altria Group Inc., owner of Philip Morris USA.
Reynolds markets Camel, Pall Mall and Natural American Spirit cigarettes. Lorillard sells Newport, Maverick and Kent cigarettes.
The companies plan to sell the Kool, Salem, Winston, Maverick and blu eCig brands to Imperial Tobacco Group for $7.1 billion to ease regulatory concerns about competition.
HEALTH OVERHAUL-TAX FORMS
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The federal agency that brought you the glitchy HealthCare.gov website has a massive new project.
If the Health and Human Services department has trouble this time, that could delay tax refunds for many people.
Complicated connections between the new health care law and income taxes will start to surface in 2015.
HHS has to send millions of people who got health insurance tax credits this year a new tax form that's like a W-2 for health care. It's called a 1095-A.
If they're delayed beyond Jan. 31, people who got coverage through the new insurance exchanges may have to wait to file their taxes -- and collect their refunds.
Some tax preparation companies are worried.
The Obama administration says it's on task, but won't provide much detail.
BRUSSELS (AP) -- Inflation has fallen to an annual 0.3 percent in August for the 18 countries that use the euro, underlining the shakiness of the continent's economic recovery.
Eurostat, the EU statistics agency, says the figure is down from 0.4 percent in July, as expected by market analysts.
Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy, sent a modestly brighter signal as it rose to 0.9 percent from 0.8 percent.
The eurozone economy showed no growth in the second quarter as fears about the Ukrainian crisis weighed on consumers and investment decisions.
The European Central Bank has warned that inflation expectations are worsening and says it will add more stimulus if needed. Many analysts are predicting the bank will launch large-scale purchases of financial assets to pump more money into the economy.
SAO PAULO (AP) -- Brazil's government says the country's gross domestic product contracted 0.6 percent in the second quarter compared with the previous three months, sending the country's economy into a recession.
The government's IBGE statistics bureau said Friday it was the second consecutive quarterly contraction of the economy.
In the first quarter of the year, GDP was reported as having grown 0.2 percent. But that figure was revised downward to minus 0.2 percent.
The IBGE says the country's GDP stands at 1.27 trillion reals ($567 billion).
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