Today: Sunny and a little warmer through the afternoon with a high in the upper 60s. A lighter breeze from the north at 10-15.
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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 October 23, 2014 07:29 GMT
ECONOMY-THE DAY AHEAD
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Labor Department will report today on the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week. Economists forecast that weekly applications increased 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 280,000.
Also today, Freddie Mac will report on average mortgage rates for this week. Last week, the average for the 30-year loan slid to 3.97 percent.
The Conference Board will release its index of leading indicators for September as well. In August, the index - a gauge designed to predict the economy's future health - rose but at a much slower pace than the previous month
On the business side: Southwest Airlines, United Continental, American Airlines, Union Pacific, 3M, Comcast, General Motors and Caterpillar will report quarterly financial results before the market opens.
Amazon and Microsoft will report earnings after the market closes.
APPLE PAY GLITCH
SAN JOSE, CALIF. (AP) -- Bank of America is apologizing for double-billing customers who made purchases using Apple's new mobile payments service.
A bank spokeswoman said Wednesday that the glitch involved about 1,000 transactions and that all duplicate charges will be refunded.
Some customers who used Apple Pay with debit cards issued by Bank of America have complained they were charged twice for a single transaction.
Apple says it was aware of the glitch, which it said affected "a very small number of Apple Pay users." The Cupertino, California-based company has not disclosed how many customers have used Apple Pay since it became available Monday.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) -- The American Postal Workers Union called upon Harvard University's president to oppose a deal between Staples Inc. and the U.S. Postal Service, or resign her seat on the office supply company's board.
Staples, based in Framingham, Massachusetts, began providing postal services at some of its stores last year, under a partnership with the financially-struggling Postal Service.
The union, which represents some 200,000 workers, took out a full-page ad Wednesday in the Harvard Crimson, the Ivy League school's student newspaper, saying President Drew Gilpin Faust should use her position on the board to push for an end to the deal or resign from the company board. The union says Staples is using poorly-trained workers to handle mail in a low-security environment.
Neither Faust nor Staples responded to requests for comments.
YAHOO-CEO AT CROSSROADS
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Signaling her reign has reached a pivotal juncture, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is trying to convince restless shareholders that the long-struggling Internet company is heading in the right direction.
Mayer staunchly defended her strategy during a Tuesday presentation that addressed recent criticism leveled by activist investor Starboard Value LP, a New York hedge fund with a history of leading shareholder mutinies.
Starboard contends that since Mayer became CEO in July 2012, Yahoo has been wasting money on ill-advised acquisitions and a bloated payroll while mismanaging its lucrative stake in Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group.
In her rebuttal, Mayer described the $1.6 billion spent her more than 30 acquisitions as smart investments that have made Yahoo more competitive in the increasingly important mobile-device market. She also highlighted cost-cutting measures.
And she insisted that Yahoo wouldn't have been in a position to make as much money as it has on its Alibaba holdings if she hadn't taken steps to ease "years of tension and hard feelings.
Zuckerberg speaks Chinese; Beijing students cheer
BEIJING (AP) -- China may ban Facebook, but not its co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, and he entertained an audience of students with a 30-minute chat in his recently learned Mandarin Chinese at a prestigious Beijing university.
There was no explicit discussion of the ban or any Facebook effort to enter the China market during Wednesday's question-and-answer session at Tsinghua University.
But Facebook CEO Zuckerberg noted during his talk that the social media giant already helps some Chinese companies gain customers abroad. He cited computer maker Lenovo's ads on Facebook in India.
Zuckerberg married Chinese-American Priscilla Chan in 2012 and said he was learning Chinese.
His pronunciation was far from fluent, but he maintained the conversation for a half hour and the students responded with warm cheers for his effort and laughter at his humor.
BEIJING (AP) -- A gauge of the health of China's manufacturing industry inched higher in October but factory output was at a five-month low in a sign of slowing domestic and foreign demand.
HSBC said Thursday the preliminary version of an index based on a survey of factory purchasing managers rose to 50.4 from 50.2 in September. Figures above 50 on the 100-point scale indicate expansion.
HSBC's chief China economist says manufacturing likely stabilized in October but the "economy continues to show signs of insufficient effective demand."
Earlier this week, China reported economic growth in the third as growth based on trade and industrial investment runs out of steam.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A World Series opener involving the San Francisco Giants set a record low TV rating for the second time in three seasons.
San Francisco's 7-1 win over Kansas City drew a 7.3 rating and 12.2 million viewers Tuesday night on Fox, according to fast national ratings by Nielsen Media Research.
That broke the previous low of a 7.6 rating and 12.2 million for the Giants' 8-3 victory over Detroit in 2012. San Francisco's 11.7 win over Texas in the 2010 opener got an 8.9 rating.
The rating for this year's opener began with a 6.9 from 8:05-8:30 p.m. EDT and peaked at 8.5 in the half hour starting at 9 p.m. With the Giants scoring three runs in the first inning and leading 5-0 by the fourth, the rating ended at 5.7 from 11:30-11:41 p.m.
Still, Fox said Wednesday it expects to win the prime-time night and have its best Tuesday night since February 2012.
Fox Deportes averaged 273,000 viewers, a record for Spanish-language World Series coverage.
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