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U.S. economy expanded at 2.4 percent in 4th quarter PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer   
Friday, 28 February 2014 09:46
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew at a 2.4 percent annual rate in the October-December quarter, significantly slower than first thought, reflecting slower consumer spending than initially estimated.

The severe winter weather is expected to slow growth further in the current quarter, but as the snows melt, economists believe growth will rebound.

The Commerce Department says the downward revision from an initial 3.2 percent estimate for the fourth quarter primarily reflected a downgrade in consumer spending, which is now estimated to have expanded at 2.6 percent rate, still the best showing in nearly two years. But it is below the previous 3.3 percent estimate.

For all of 2013, the economy grew at a lackluster 1.9 percent, but analysts expect growth will rebound in 2014, possibly as high as 3 percent.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
Expansion planned at Maker's Mark distillery PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by BRUCE SCHREINER, Associated Press   
Friday, 28 February 2014 07:02

LORETTO, Ky. (AP) — The producers of Maker's Mark bourbon announced a distillery expansion Thursday to pump up production and keep pace with growing demand for the Kentucky whiskey, known by its distinctive bottles sealed in red wax.

The $67 million expansion comes barely a year after the brand created a backlash by saying it was cutting the amount of alcohol in each bottle to stretch its whiskey supplies. Producers quickly scrapped the idea.

The expansion — in the works well before the watered-down whiskey flap — comes amid strong sales across the whiskey sector. Bourbon and Tennessee whiskey revenues rose a projected 10.2 percent last year in the U.S., and exports surpassed $1 billion for the first time, according to the Distilled Spirits Council.

Maker's shipped 1.4 million cases in 2013, up 10.7 percent from the prior year. It forecasts shipments to reach 2 million cases later this decade, after surpassing 1 million cases in 2011.

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Atlanta police: Fake Waffle House manager arrested PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 28 February 2014 08:30

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta police say a woman in a Waffle House uniform accused of pretending to be a company manager and stealing about $100 later returned to the restaurant to give the cash back.

But officer Kim Jones tells The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (http://bit.ly/1fO2wlj ) that the suspect — 35-year-old Katie Marie McCrary of Decatur — was apprehended Wednesday when she returned to the business in the southeast part of the city.

DeKalb County Jail records show McCrary faces a theft charge. The jail records do not list an attorney for McCrary.

Jones says the suspect began acting as an area manager and conducted an inspection of the restroom area, then continued her routine as real area managers do before taking cash from the register.

Jones says investigators don't believe McCrary is or was a Waffle House employee.

___

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, http://www.ajc.com


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
Noah's ark project in Kentucky to move forward PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 28 February 2014 06:56

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Christian ministry's long-stalled plans to build Noah's Ark in the hills of Kentucky have been revived.

Creation Museum founder Ken Ham announced Thursday that a municipal bond offering has raised enough money to begin construction on the Ark Encounter project, estimated to cost about $73 million. Groundbreaking is planned for May and the ark is expected to be finished by the summer of 2016.

Ham said a high-profile evolution debate he had with "Science Guy" Bill Nye on Feb. 4 helped boost support for the project.

Nye said he was "heartbroken and sickened for the Commonwealth of Kentucky" after learning that the project would move forward. He said the ark would eventually draw more attention to the beliefs of Ham's ministry, which preaches that the Bible's creation story is a true account, and as a result, "voters and taxpayers in Kentucky will eventually see that this is not in their best interest."

Ham's Answers in Genesis ministry and the Creation Museum enjoyed an avalanche of news media attention during the debate, which focused on science and the Bible's explanations of the origins of the universe.

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