From local plumbers to luxury hotels, just about everyone selling a service these days has an online reputation. Increasingly, that reputation is shaped by online reviews: Customer ratings on sites such as Yelp and Urbanspoon can, for example, make or break a new restaurant.
It's no wonder, then, that some businesses are trying to fake us out. On Craigslist and online forums, posters are offering to buy and sell gushing reviews for just a few bucks; potential customers aren't able to tell the difference.
Hundreds of people gathered at the University of Kentucky Arboretum this morning to remember the 49 lives lost when Comair Flight 5191 crashed at Blue Grass Airport in Lexington. The five year anniversary ceremony included the dedication of a sculpture of 49 silver birds flying upward.
Gov. Steve Beshear will call a special session to handle a looming $28 million interest payment on a federal loan for unemployment benefits if no other options are available, his spokeswoman says. The outlook for business owners statewide is bleak if Kentucky misses the Sept. 30 deadline, several say, and they’re waiting to see what happens. At stake is roughly $600 million in federal tax credits they could lose.
A National Guard battalion based in Independence got a grand sendoff Saturday at the Bank of Kentucky Center before departing to serve in Iraq. A public departure ceremony was held at the arena for the nearly 600 soldiers from the 1204th Aviation Support Battalion. The battalion is made up of soldiers from Kentucky, Alabama, Florida and Maryland, with approximately 325 from Kentucky.
With Kentucky’s jobless rate at 9.5 percent, a possible expansion that could mean 80 new jobs in the area is good news for the entire region. The J.M. Smucker plant in Scottsville received preliminary approval Thursday for more than $5 million in state tax incentives for a possible $70 million expansion that would mean 80 new jobs within a few years. The plant currently employs 268 people full time and has some part-time jobs.
Overnight, Hurricane Irene pounded the East Coast from North Carolina to New Jersey. The National Hurricane Center reports there will still be heavy winds and rain for the remainder of the day, although the storm is weakening. As many as 3 million people are without power. Guest host John Ydstie and NPR's Joe Palca discuss the causes and aftereffects of Hurricane Irene.
In Libya, rebels have consolidated their control over the main city, Tripoli. Reports of human rights abuses are surfacing, with reports of apparent retaliatory murders. Reporters Sunday were taken to an apparent massacre site near a military camp held by supporters of Moammar Gadhafi. Meanwhile, a Gadhafi spokesman reportedly offered to negotiate with insurgents. Guest host John Ydstie discusses the latest news from Libya with NPR's Jason Beaubien.
Tropical Storm Irene is hitting New York City Sunday morning, but Saturday night in lower Manhattan, people weren't quite sure what to expect from the storm. NPR's Caitlin Kenney describes what it was like in her neighborhood.
Early Sunday morning, Hurricane Irene rolled through southern New Jersey. Guest host John Ydstie speaks with Pamela Grites of the American Red Cross Southern Shore Chapter about Hurricane Irene's effects on southern New Jersey.