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Ky. Fair Board, group reach amusement park deal

Jan. 25, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A group of private investors and the Kentucky State Fair Board have reached a 50-year lease agreement for the shuttered Kentucky Kingdom amusement park with promises to reopen in 2014.

The investment group pledged $20 million and cash and a promise to secure another $25 million in a loan to restart the state's largest amusement park.

The Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau pledged $100,000 a year for five years, Louisville Metro Council is weighing a $200,000 annual commitment for a decade and the state is considering tourism tax credits.

The fair board-owned park has been closed since 2009 when Six Flags ended its lease while in bankruptcy.

Former park owner and current investor Ed Hart pledged to make the park competitive with amusement parks in Indiana and Ohio.

Toyota, BMW working on battery technology

TOKYO -- Toyota Motor Corp. and BMW Group are working together on next-generation batteries for green vehicles called "lithium-air" as their collaboration, first announced in late 2011, moves ahead in fuel cells, sports vehicles and other fields.

But both sides said Thursday the partnership will not involve a capital alliance while spanning a wide range of technologies for green vehicles.

The Japanese and German automakers aim to complete a fuel-cell vehicle system by 2020, and a concept for a mid-size sports vehicle by the end of this year. They will also work together on developing lightweight technologies such as composites, which will help make cars greener.

Joint research will be started to develop a lithium-air battery, which will be more powerful than the current lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles, they said.

The technology, which other automakers are also working on, will allow a major part of the battery's energy-making process to come from the oxygen in air.