Chattanooga track club president gets top award
Michele Sledge, the president of the Chattanooga Track Club, was recently recognized as the Outstanding Club President of the Year by the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA).
Sledge, who has headed the half-century-old running club in Chattanooga for the past couple of years, will receive the RRCA award at the association’s annual awards program in Chicago on March 25. Sledge was selected for the award from among more than 900 running clubs across the country.
In addition to leading the Chattanooga track club with more than 500 members, Sledge has served as the race director for the club’s largest race, the Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon, for the past two years.
“I am honored by the national recognition for serving as the Chattanooga Track Club president hosting thousands of runners in over a dozen events each year from 1 to 100 miles around Chattanooga and North Georgia,” Sledge said in a statement after the award was announced.
Microsoft halts work on Atlanta campus
Microsoft confirmed Friday it has stopped work on its gigantic campus in Atlanta’s Westside that was poised to bring thousands of jobs, act as a new hub for the technology giant and become a defining cornerstone of the area.
A Microsoft spokesperson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the company “has decided to pause the planning process” on the 90-acre campus within the Grove Park neighborhood that it purchased in 2020 for $127 million. The development was expected to include affordable housing, retail and a grocery store.
The Redmond, Washington-based company said it has not abandoned the land or placed it up for sale, with the spokesperson adding, “We still aim to set aside a quarter of the 90 acres for community needs.”
“We intend to re-engage in planning efforts when expansion is warranted,” the statement continued.
The plans to halt work were announced soon after Microsoft said it would lay off 5% of its global workforce, or roughly 10,000 employees.
More electric SUVS qualify for tax credit
The Treasury Department said Friday it is making more electric vehicles — including SUVs made by Tesla, Ford and General Motors — eligible for tax credits of up to $7,500 under new vehicle classification definitions.
Under the sweeping climate law approved last summer, pickup trucks, SUVs and vans with a sticker price up to $80,000 qualify for EV tax credits, while new electric cars, sedans and wagons can only be priced up to $55,000. The rule had disqualified some higher-priced EVs, such as GM’s Cadillac Lyriq, prompting complaints from Tesla and other automakers.
Ford and market leader Tesla both said in recent weeks that they are cutting prices on some EV models, including the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y and the Ford Mustang Mach-E, in part to qualify for the new federal tax credit and spur buyer interest.
The EV tax credits are among a host of changes enacted in the Inflation Reduction Act, which was designed to spur EV sales as part of a broader effort to reduce planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions.
But a complex web of requirements, including where vehicles and batteries must be manufactured to qualify, has cast doubt on whether buyers can receive the full $7,500 credit.
Some old Hondas have air bag risks
Honda and the U.S. government are urging owners of about 8,200 older vehicles not to drive them until dangerous air bag inflators are replaced.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Friday issued a “Do Not Drive” advisory for the 2001 through 2003 vehicles with Takata inflators that have a high possibility of exploding and hurling shrapnel in a crash.
The safety agency says the risk to drivers and passengers is dire because the so-called “Alpha” inflators have a 50% chance of exploding in a crash. If the inflators blow apart, they can shoot shrapnel toward a driver’s face that could kill them or cause serious injuries.
The agency says the Honda and Acura vehicles were recalled previously but records show that repairs have not been made in the affected vehicles. Honda already has replaced 99% of the dangerous inflators.
Vehicles affected include the 2001 and 2002 Honda Accord and Civic, the 2002Honda CR-V and Odyssey SUVs, the 2003 Honda Pilot, the 2002 and 2003 Acura 3.2 TL and the 2003 Acura 3.2 CL.
Western allies impose oil price cap on Russia
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Friday that industrialized countries in the Group of Seven are imposing a price cap on refined Russian oil products such as diesel and kerosene, as part of a coalition that includes Australia and a tentative agreement from the European Union.
The cap follows similar price limits put on Russian oil exports, with the goal of reducing the financial resources Russian President Vladimir Putin has to wage the nearly year-long war in Ukraine.
“Today’s agreement builds on the price cap on Russian crude oil exports that we set in December and helps advance our goals of limiting Russia’s key revenue generator in funding its illegal war while promoting stable global energy markets,” Yellen said in a statement.
On Friday, EU governments tentatively agreed to set a $100-per-barrel price cap on sales of Russian diesel to coincide with an EU embargo on the fuel. Diplomats representing the 27 EU governments set the cap on Russian diesel fuel, jet fuel and gasoline ahead of a ban taking effect Sunday. It aims to reduce Russia’s income while keeping its diesel flowing to non-Western countries to avoid a global shortage that would send prices and inflation higher.
— Compiled by Dave Flessner