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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 July 30, 2014 07:27 GMT
TOKYO (AP) -- Asian stocks rose Wednesday ahead of U.S. economic data and as cheery earnings from major Japanese companies such as Honda Motor Co. countered a lower close on Wall Street.
Tokyo's Nikkei 225 recouped losses at the open to rise 0.3 percent to 15,662.84 in morning trading. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong, South Korea's Kospi and Sydney's S&P/ASX all gained ground.
Honda shares added 3 percent after a strong quarterly earnings report Tuesday, released after Tokyo stock trading closed, which prompted the Japanese automaker to raise its full year projections. The cheap yen is working as a plus for export manufacturers such as Honda, which are expanding sales in China and other emerging markets.
THE DAY AHEAD
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Commerce Department later this morning will release the gross domestic product for the second quarter -- a report being closely watched in many quarters.
The economy shrank at a steep annual rate of 2.9 percent in the January-March quarter. Analysts said the harsh winter had contributed to the biggest contraction since the depths of the recession five years ago.
The policymakers of the Federal Reserve conclude a two-day meeting, and the central bank is not expected to announce any dramatic moves.
Among the quarterly earnings reports due today, Wellpoint Inc. and Goodyear Tire & Rubber will release results before the market opens and Whole Foods Markets Inc. reports its quarterly financial report after the market closes.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Most analysts don't expect the Federal Reserve to make any major pronouncements or headlines when it ends a two-day meeting in Washington Wednesday.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen gave few hints about changes in the benchmark short-term interest rate or the Fed's enormous investment holdings when she testified to Congress this month. There will be a brief policy statement, but Yellen won't hold a news conference.
The Fed is expected to make a sixth $10 billion cut in its monthly bond purchases, which have been aimed at keeping long-term rates low.
Most analysts believe maintaining the status quo is likely because the economy needs less help now. Hiring is solid and manufacturing is strengthening. Consumers are voicing renewed confidence.
But because workers' pay remains flat and there is international uncertainty in Ukraine and the Mideast, there are potential threats. That likely means the Fed will leave its key short-term rate at a record low near zero "for a considerable time" after it ends its bond purchases.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Analysts are upbeat about what the government is expected to announce Wednesday.
The Commerce Department will provide its first estimate of how much the gross domestic product -- the economy's total output of goods and services -- grew in the April-June quarter.
According to a survey of economists by the data firm FactSet, the economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.9 percent. That would be a warming trend compared to the January-March period when unusually severe weather was blamed for 2.9 percent contraction, the biggest since the depths of the recession five years ago.
Some forecasters are encouraged about the remainder of the year and predict a period of acceleration. They cite hiring gains, surging consumer confidence, a cutback in business stockpiling and a rebound in business capital spending on new equipment.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Stronger-than-expected financial results pushed Twitter's stock sharply higher on Tuesday after the short messaging service said its revenue more than doubled in the second quarter.
The San Francisco-based company's stock jumped 29.6 percent to $50.01 in extended trading after the results came out.
Twitter posted a net loss of $144.6 million, or 24 cents per share, in the April-June period. That compares with a loss of $42.2 million, or 32 cents per share, a year earlier when Twitter was still a private company.
Adjusted earnings were 2 cents per share in the latest quarter, beating analysts' expectations of a loss of 1 cent, according to FactSet.
Revenue was $312.2 million, up from $139.3 million.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Argentina's finance secretary and economy minister met with a court-appointed mediator as the South American nation worked into the night to prevent its second default in 13 years.
Minister Axel Kicillof arrived Tuesday evening at the Manhattan offices of a mediator appointed to try to strike a deal by midnight Wednesday.
U.S. District Judge Thomas P. Griesa last week ordered around-the-clock negotiations to avoid a default, but no face-to-face talks between negotiators for Argentina and bondholders had occurred by the time Argentina officials arrived Tuesday morning.
Argentina has blamed the judge for the crisis, saying his orders are forcing it into insolvency.
CRASH TESTS-SMALL CARS
DETROIT (AP) -- The four-door Mini Cooper Countryman was the only one of 12 cars to earn a top rating of "good" in new frontal crash tests.
The Nissan Leaf, Nissan Juke, Fiat 500L and Mazda5 wagon fared the worst in tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The frontal test, introduced in 2012, replicates what happens when 25 percent of a car's front end strikes a rigid object at 40 miles per hour.
The Chevrolet Volt, Ford C-Max, Mitsubishi Lancer, Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ all got the second-highest rating of "acceptable." The Hyundai Veloster and Scion xB got "moderate" ratings.
The Volt was the only car in the group to earn the institute's "Top Safety Pick Plus" rating, because it has an optional front crash-prevention system
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) -- Biologic drugmaker Amgen plans to lay off 12 percent to 15 percent of its worldwide workforce and close sites in Colorado and Washington state to fund investments, particularly launching new drugs.
The layoffs will happen this year and next, eliminating 2,400 to 2,900 jobs, mostly in the U.S. The announcement came even as the company reported second-quarter results that trounced Wall Street expectations.
Amgen said it will streamline the company, reduce management layers and reduce its real estate footprint by 23 percent.
The company based in Thousand Oaks, California anticipates charges of $775 million to $950 million, mostly in 2014 and 2015. It expects modest 2015 savings, but expense reductions in 2016 of about $700 million, versus 2013 spending. Most savings will be reinvested, including expanding operations in the biotech hubs of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and South San Francisco, California. The company manufactures Prolia for osteoporosis and anemia treatment Aranesp.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) -- Three reporters for a food safety publication have been subpoenaed in the $1.2 billion defamation lawsuit against ABC related to the network's coverage of a meat product derided as "pink slime."
Court records show that the writers for the online Food Safety News have been asked to supply all communication they had with ABC in 2012.
Attorney Bruce Johnson said Tuesday the subpoenas were "overreaching" and that the publication would fight the requests.
Beef Products Inc. sued ABC in 2012 alleging that its reports led to plant closures and layoffs because it misled consumers into believing the product was unsafe. The industry describes the meat product as "lean, finely textured beef."
Attorneys for ABC and BPI have proposed a trial date in February 2017.
NEW YORK (AP) -- McDonald's is coming under intensifying pressure for labor practices at its U.S. restaurants.
The National Labor Relations Board said Tuesday that the world's biggest hamburger chain could be named as a joint employer in several complaints regarding worker rights at franchise-owned restaurants. The decision is pivotal because it could expose McDonald's Corp. to liability for management practices in those locations.
It also comes as protests for higher pay have captured national attention, with labor groups calling for pay of $15 an hour and the right to unionize. Organizers had been pushing to get McDonald's named as a joint employer at franchised restaurants, a move intended to give them a centralized and powerful target.
In the U.S., the vast majority of McDonald's more than 14,000 restaurants are owned and operated by franchisees. The same is true for many other fast-food chains, including Burger King and Yum Brands, which owns Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza hut. As such, the companies have sought to distance themselves from the pay protests by saying they don't determine wages.
DETROIT (AP) -- A trial to determine if Detroit gets out of bankruptcy has been delayed by a week to Aug. 21.
Judge Steven Rhodes filed a new schedule Tuesday. Some creditors wanted a longer postponement, but he settled on seven days. Rhodes found "extraordinary cause" for "limited adjournments."
It's the second delay in the historic case. The trial was first scheduled for July, a year after Detroit filed for protection under Chapter 9.
Detroit's plan to erase or greatly reduce $18 billion in debt has been approved by many creditors, including thousands of retirees. But nothing will happen unless the judge finds that the overall strategy is fair and feasible.
The greatest resistance is coming from bond insurers who stand to lose millions. The trial likely will last weeks.
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