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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.
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Last Update on October 30, 2014 07:33 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 declined 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 281,000.
Also today, the Commerce Department will release third-quarter gross domestic product figures. Many economists predict that overall growth of the economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, reached a healthy 3 percent annual rate in the July-September quarter, according to a survey by data firm FactSet.
Freddie Mac will report on average mortgage rates for this week. Last week, the average for the 30-year loan slid to 3.92 percent.
There are four major companies that will report earnings today.
Altria Group and Mastercard will report quarterly financial results before the market opens.
Starbucks and LinkedIn Corp. will report quarterly earnings after the closing bell.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- Samsung Electronics Co. says its third-quarter income has plunged 49 percent to the lowest level in nearly three years as its handset business slows down.
Samsung says its net income for the July-September quarter was 4.2 trillion won ($4 billion), a sharp decline from 8.2 trillion won a year earlier. The income was the lowest since 2012 but above market expectations. Analysts polled by Factset expected 3.7 trillion won income.
Sales fell 20 percent to 47.4 trillion won while operating income shrank 60 percent to 4.1 trillion won.
Samsung warned earlier this month that its handset profit declined despite a marginal shipment increase. Analysts said the Galaxy S5 smartphone launched in April did not sell well while many consumers held off upgrading their phones, instead waiting for new iPhones.
BEIJING (AP) -- China's Cabinet says it will ease restrictions on credit card processing in a move that might help to resolve a lengthy dispute with the United States over access for Visa, Mastercard and other foreign competitors.
A Cabinet announcement said "all qualified domestic and overseas enterprises" will be allowed to apply to set up credit card clearing operations. It gave no details of what qualifications would be required for a foreign competitor to be approved.
Beijing's restrictions have given a near-monopoly on credit card processing to a state-owned entity, UnionPay.
The World Trade Organization ruled two years ago the restrictions treated foreign competitors unfairly. The government said it would review the decision but did little to increase market access.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- WhatsApp founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton received 116 million shares of Facebook stock currently worth nearly $9 billion when they sold their mobile messaging service to the social networking leader earlier this month.
The breakdown of the big winners in Facebook Inc.'s $22 billion acquisition emerged Wednesday in a regulatory filing.
Koum, a Ukraine immigrant who was once living on welfare, reaped the biggest jackpot with 76.4 million Facebook shares now worth $5.8 billion. That makes him Facebook's fourth largest stockholder behind company CEO Mark Zuckerberg and two mutual funds, Fidelity Management and Vanguard.
Acton, who worked with Koum when they were both Yahoo Inc. engineers, owns 39.7 million Facebook shares worth $3 billion.
More than 45 other WhatsApp current and former employees also received Facebook stock.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- For-profit colleges that don't produce graduates capable of paying off their student loans could soon face the wrath of the federal government.
Schools with career-oriented programs that fail to comply with the new rule being announced today by the Obama administration stand to lose access to federal student-aid programs.
To meet these "gainful employment" standards, a program will have to show that the estimated annual loan payment of a typical graduate doesn't exceed 20 percent of discretionary income, or 8 percent of total earnings.
The Education Department estimates that about 1,400 programs serving 840,000 students won't pass. Nearly all of these programs are offered by for-profit schools.
SUPREME COURT-HEALTH OVERHAUL-SUBSIDIES
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Supreme Court justices have their first chance this week to decide whether they have the appetite for another major fight over President Barack Obama's health care law.
Some of the same players who mounted the first failed effort to kill the law altogether now want the justices to rule that subsidies that help millions of low- and middle-income people afford their premiums under the law are illegal.
The challengers are appealing a unanimous ruling of a three-judge panel of the federal appeals court in Richmond, Virginia, that upheld Internal Revenue Service regulations that allow health-insurance tax credits under the Affordable Care Act for consumers in all 50 states. The appeal is on the agenda for the justices' private conference on Friday, and word of their action could come as early as Monday.
DETROIT (AP) -- The U.S. government's auto safety agency, responding to criticism of its slow response to safety issues, has told the manufacturer of millions of potentially faulty air bags to make replacement parts faster and do more testing to find the cause of the problem.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sent letters Wednesday to Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. and 10 automakers seeking information in a widening air bag recall that now covers almost 8 million U.S. vehicles.
The vehicles are equipped with Takata air bags that can potentially inflate with too much force, blowing apart metal canisters and sending shards flying at drivers and passengers. Safety advocates say four people have died due to the problem.
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