2012 Ark Encounter news

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  • Article titles in italic indicate the story appeared in the print edition.



  • December. The Atlantic. Washington, D.C. Dispatches: Diversions. A Boat of Biblical Proporations by Amanda Petrusich. Pages 21, 24, 26.
    "Michael Zovath and Patrick Marsh would prefer to not take quite as long. With a small team of designers and builders, they’re preparing to construct a colossal wooden ark per the directives presented in the Bible and in accordance with what they refer to as the “sound established nautical engineering practices” of Noah’s time. When completed, their 510-foot-long ark—the centerpiece of a biblical theme park to be called Ark Encounter—will take up about one and a half football fields. "
  • December. The Atlantic. Washington, D.C. Dispatches: Diversions. A Boat of Biblical Proporations by Amanda Petrusich.
    "As an apologetics ministry, Answers in Genesis is devoted to defending the Christian faith via a literal reading of the Bible, without allowances for allegory. Rather than publicly disavow science, though, the group has appropriated its methodology, hiring teams of creationism-friendly researchers to weigh in on ark-related puzzles. (Speaking of science, Answers in Genesis plans to use energy-efficient LEED technologies for the park’s heating, cooling, and lighting systems, so as "to be good stewards of creation"—though Zovath, for all his preoccupation with flooding, has said he doesn’t believe in global warming.)"
  • Dec 19. Lexington Herald-Leader. Lexington, Kentucky. Proposed hotel downtown gets up to $9 million in incentives by Beverly Fortune. Pages A3, A5.
  • Dec 18. Kentucky.com Lexington Herald-Leader website. Lexington, Kentucky. State approves $9 million tax rebate for 21c Museum Hotel in Lexington by Beverly Fortune.
    "Other tourism projects that have been approved for tax incentives by the authority include the Newport Aquarium, Kentucky Speedway, the Ark Encounter and welcome centers at some of the distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, Lawson said."
  • Dec 8. New York Times. New York, New York. OP-ED. Dinosaurs and Denial by Charles M. Blow. Page A19.
    " Kentucky has a Creationist Museum that warns visitors to “be prepared to experience history in a completely unprecedented way,” according to its Web site. It continues: "Adam and Eve live in the Garden of Eden. Children play and dinosaurs roam near Eden’s Rivers." Unprecedented is certainly one word for it."
    "Now the museum group is planning to build a creationist theme park, with $43 million in state tax incentives. It should be noted that Mitt Romney won Kentucky by 23 points last month. President Obama won only four of Kentucky’s 120 counties."


  • Nov 25. Chattanooga Times Free Press. Chattanooga, Tennessee. Ark project draws interest of believers, nonbelievers by Bob Smietana. Page B3.
    "The ark is the centerpiece of a planned biblical theme park 40 miles south of Cincinnati that organizers hope will draw more than a million visitors a year from Bible Belt states including Tennessee."
  • Nov. 20. The Tennessean. Nashville, Tennessee. A full-size Noah's Ark will be built in Kentucky biblical park by Bob Smietana.
    "Most of the current work on the ark is being done in a warehouse about six miles from the Creation Museum. Design drawings line the lobby, showing the ark along with other park attractions, such as the Tower of Babel and a 10 Plagues ride. On a table by the window is a scale model of the park’s 800 acres."


  • Jul 2. The Nation. New York, New York. Darwin, Still Losing After All These Years by Katha Pollitt. Page 9.
    "The group Answers in Genesis, which runs the Creation Museum, has plans to build a full-size replica of Noah's Ark as part of its Ark Encounter theme park."


  • May 10. Grant County News. Dry Ridge, Kentucky. Election News: Questions: Should tax incentives be given to the ARK project? Page B2.
    "THAYER: Yes, as long as the Ark Project qualifies under Kentucky law, it should be eligible for incentives."


  • Mar 30. Kentucky Enquirer. Cincinnati, Ohio. Group protests state funding for Ark exit by Scott Wartman. Page C1, C2.
    "Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, a Washington D.C. nonprofit, has called for the Kentucky General Assembly and Gov. Steve Beshear to not allow funds for the project because it promotes the Ark Encounter theme park and violates the separation of church and state."
    "State officials and people involved with the park development, however, argue that the interchange improvements are for safety and not the promotion of a religious organization."
  • Mar 30. NKY.com. Cincinnati, Ohio. Kentucky Enquirer website. Road project near Ark Encounter angers some by Scott Wartman.
    "Zovath said the economy has slowed fundraising for the project but still expects to break ground by the end of the year and will build the project in phases. He said Answers in Genesis and the state did research to ensure the tax incentive the park received from the state and the road project don’t violate the separation of church and state."
  • Mar 30. Richmond Register. Richmond, Kentucky. Group disputes state-funded exit for Noah's Ark project via Associated Press. Page A2.
  • Mar 29. Christian Post. Washington, D.C. Church-State Group Opposes Road Project That Benefits 'Ark Park' by Michael Gryboski.
    "That increased traffic otherwise would cause significant congestion and dangerous backups on Interstate 75. The cabinet designs projects based on traffic needs, regardless of the source of that traffic."
  • Mar 29. Courier-Journal.com. Louisville, Kentucky. Louisville Courier-Journal website. Group disputes state-funded exit for Ark project via AP.
    "Transportation Cabinet spokesman Chuck Wolfe said the improvements are being funded due to concerns about increased traffic in the area. He says state officials don't want traffic backing up on I-75."
  • Mar 29. Lexington Herald-Leader. Lexington, Kentucky. Funds for road to Ark Encounter opposed by Beth Musgrave. Page A6.
    "The $2 million would be used to purchase right-of-way and pre-construction work on an interchange with I-75."
  • Mar 28. Kentucky.com. Lexington, Kentucky. Lexington Herald-Leader website. Group questions $2 million for road near Ark Encounter theme park by Beth Musgrave.
    "A nonprofit group that advocates for the separation of church and state raised questions Wednesday about the legislature's plan to spend $2 million on road improvements near the proposed Ark Encounter theme park in Grant County."
  • Mar 28. Bluegrass Politics blog. Lexington, Kentucky. Group raises questions about $2 million for road near Ark Encounter theme park by Beth Musgrave.
    "Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a Washington D.C. nonprofit, is protesting the legislature’s decision to include $2 million for improvements to KY 36, a project included in road budgets proposed by Gov. Steve Beshear and approved by the House and Senate."
  • Mar 28. Opposing Views. Beverly Hills, California. Kentucky to Spend $2 Million for Road to "Noah's Ark Park" by AUSCS.
    "The Ark Park, sponsored by Answers in Genesis, would purportedly feature a full-size replica of Noah’s Ark. A ground-breaking for the project, which is intended to promote a fundamentalist understanding of the Bible, has been repeatedly delayed, and media reports suggest the ministry has received less than $5 million of the $24.5 million sought to build the facility."
  • Mar 28. Americans United. Washington, D.C. Press release. Kentucky Legislature Should Delete Budget Funding To Benefit ‘Ark Park,’ Says Americans United.
    "Said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director, “Legislators are desperately looking for ways to cut the budget, yet they are including $2 million to benefit the Ark Park. That’s an astonishing lapse in judgment. Taxpayers should never be forced to support a religious ministry, and it is particularly appalling to do so when essential public services are being cut.” "
  • Mar 28. American United. Washington, D.C. Email blast. Stop Funding for Highway Access to the Ark Park!.
    "Despite an uncertain future for the religious “Ark Park” in Kentucky, the legislature is considering appropriating $2 million in this year’s budget expressly designed to enhance and expand access to the theme park. Item 411 of the committee substitute for HB 267 funds a stretch of Highway KY-36. Although it is simply labeled as funding for “safety” upgrades, this construction was not included in the state highway six-year plan released in 2010 and is clearly intended to benefit the Noah-themed water park (sic). In these difficult economic times, it is particularly fiscally irresponsible to allocate public funds that fostering (sic) religious activity."


  • Feb 23. Cynthiana Democrat. Cynthiana, Kentucky. Grant's Ark attraction help up by financial lag by Jamie Baker-Nantz. Page 14.
  • Feb 22. USA Today Travel. McLean, Virginia. What do Angry Birds, Noah and Napoleon have in common? by Jayne Clark.
    "Closer to home, the group behind a giant Noah's Ark-themed attraction in northern Kentucky has purchased the final land parcel for the project – 800 acres in all. But fundraising efforts are slowing its progress, the AP reports."
    "Answers in Genesis, the group behind the $150 million Ark Encounter, say they've raised about $5 million thus far, but are seeking $24 million in donations."
  • Feb 22. Kentucky Enquirer. Cincinnati, Ohio. Ark park's new plans may alter incentives by Mark Hansel. Pages B1, B2.
  • Feb 17. Kentucky Enquirer. Cincinnati, Ohio. Ark park pushes back completion by Mark Hansel. Pages A1, A5. Includes photo.
  • Feb 17. Louisville Courier-Journal. Louisville, Kentucky. Last of land is bought for ark park in N. Ky. Page B4.
  • Feb 17. Washington Times. Washington, D.C. Noah's Ark attraction gets final piece of land. Page A9.
  • Feb 17. Tampa Tribune. Tampa, Florida. Noah's Ark attraction still years away. Page 3.
  • Feb 17. The Independent. Ashland, Kentucky. Ark attraction gets final piece of land via Associated Press. Page A9.
  • Feb 17. WSCH-FM, 99.3. Lawrenceburg, Indiana. Ark Park Plans Change.
    “In addition, the completion of complex engineering and architectural work on the Ark structure has allowed for significantly greater guest capacity inside the Ark than originally anticipated. This finding has eliminated the need to build additional biblical attractions simultaneously to accommodate the projected crowds,” the ministry said."
  • Feb 17. Christian Post. Washington, D.C. Life-Sized Noah's Ark Attraction Acquires Land by Alex Murashko.
    " "We have decided to stop trying to predict the U.S. economy so we will announce ground breaking/construction as soon as we are funded," Mike Zovath, sr. vice president with Answers in Genesis, Special Projects, who is overseeing the Ark Encounter project, told The Christian Post via email."
  • Feb 16. WKRC-TV, Channel 12, CBS. Cincinnati, Ohio. Final Land Bought for Biblical Ark Attraction via Associated Press.
    "Organizers are attempting to draw about $24 million in donations to partially fund the building of the massive ark, which will be the park's centerpiece. About $5 million of that has been raised so far, according to the Ark Encounter website."
  • Feb 16. Cincinnati.com. Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati Enquirer website. Funding forces change in Ark park plans by Mark Hansel.
    "Apart from $5 million in donations to build the Ark itself, Answers in Genesis is also offering lifetime boarding passes to the attraction.has surpassed which would be included in Phase I of the project.
    Joe Boone, advancement director for Answers in Genesis, said to date 638 family memberships at $3,000 each and 113 individual passes at $2,000 each, have been purchased.
  • Feb 16. Louisville Courier-Journal. Louisville, Kentucky. Ky. Noah's Ark attraction gets final piece of land by Dylan Lovan, Associated Press.
    "The group has acquired a 556-acre tract, the last piece of the 800-acre site set on rolling farmland in Grant County, project manager Mike Zovath said Thursday. But a groundbreaking originally set for last year won't be scheduled until the ark's construction is funded, he said."
  • Feb 16. KyPost.com. Kentucky. Noah's Ark attraction gets final piece of land by Dylan Lovan, Associated Press.
    "The ark would be built and opened to the public first but other attractions like a village, amphitheater and a Tower of Babel would "be built in multiple phases over many years," Answers in Genesis said Thursday. Zovath said last year that planners had hoped to break ground on the project in August 2011, but that date passed. On Thursday the group said it has a groundbreaking "in its sights" but no date was given."
  • Feb 16. Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Seattle, Washington. Noah's Ark attraction gets final piece of land by Dylan Lovan, Associated Press.
    "Gil Lawson, a spokesman for the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, said the state's tax rebate offer ends in May 2014, but project costs spent before that date would count toward the potential rebate."
  • Feb 16. Cincinnati Business Courier. Cincinnati, Ohio. Ark Encounter buys last piece of land for theme park by Lucy May.
    “This approach will reduce the initial construction period and funding requirements. It will also allow the utility infrastructure to be able to grow with the Ark Encounter’s expansions at a reasonable pace,” the release said. “Phased-in construction is also a safe way to proceed in a difficult economy. Even then, over $5 million in donations have already been received for the building of the Ark itself. In addition to that milestone, many more millions of dollars in memberships and private funding have been raised or committed for the construction of the other attractions surrounding the Ark, the centerpiece of the project.”
  • Feb 15. Goon Squad blog. USA. "Who Would Jesus Tax?" by Greg Bacon.
    "Or will they let you dress up and pretend you're 'Noah,'--or was it 'Lot' or both?-- get drunk on some wine...
  • Feb 15. The Northerner. Viewpoints. Highland Heights, Kentucky. ‘Ark Encounter’ threatens science ed. in Ky. by Aaron Sprinkles.
    "...Governor Beshear has proposed that the government of Kentucky provide substantial assistance to the “Ark Encounter” project, a biblical theme park proposed by the creationist group Answers in Genesis; the organization responsible for the nearby Creation Museum in Petersburg." Page 2.
  • Feb 14. The Northerner. Viewpoints. Highland Heights, Kentucky. ‘Ark Encounter’ threatens science ed. in Ky. by Aaron Sprinkles.
    "Besides the fact that supporting this project with state money is blatantly unconstitutional and, as the Lexington Herald-Reader pointed out in their editorial, makes Kentucky appear either “desperate” or stupid, the park and its sister museum are a threat to the minds of Kentucky’s children. Many of the displays and events hosted at the Creation Museum are explicitly calculated to appeal to the vulnerable minds of the young, as convincing adults that haven’t been exposed to this idiocy in childhood remains difficult. All the obscurantist techniques accrued for centuries by institutional religion are on display, as children receive classes on “debunking evolution” and a Biblical petting zoo is on site to foster positive associations with the overall message."
  • Feb 8. The Eastern Echo. Ypsilanti, Michigan. Eastern Michigan University student newspaper. Creationist theme park shouldn't get backing by James Tatum.
    "The Ark Encounter is a one-of-a-kind historically-themed attraction,” reads the company Answer in Genesis’s website. “In an entertaining, educational and immersive way, it presents a number of historical events centered on a full-size, all-wood Ark, which should become the largest timber-frame structure in the USA."


  • Jan/Feb. North Kentucky Magazine. Cincinnati, Ohio. Beyond the Creation Museum by Julianna Roche. Pages 32-33. Includes photos.
  • Jan 31. Louisville Courier-Journal. Louisville, Kentucky. Editorial cartoon by Marc Murphy. Page A6.
  • Jan 26. The Evolving Scientist - The most mature science blog on the interwebs blog. Lexington, Kentucky. Ark Park sinking, Governor still likes roads of gold by Dustin.
    "Friend of the blog and Rachel Maddow show stopper, Joe Sonka, wrote an article for the Leo Weekly a few days ago that may answer the final question we had for him during our Ark Encounter Podcast. The article outlines over 280 million dollars in budget short falls for the Bluegrass State, including a $50 million cut in education. Still included in the state budget is an allocation of $11.1 million for revamping an exit off I-75 in Williamstown, KY for the 3,500 people that live there. Why so much you ask? Ky-36 is how you and the rest of the Duggars find your way to the proposed sight of Ken Ham's Ark Encounter --scheduled to open sometime before the second coming."
  • Jan 25. Constitutional Daily. USA. Raiders of the Lost Ark Encounter Tax Subsidy by Staff.
    "Forbes writer Alex Knapp (pronounced "ka-nap") has his britches all in a bundle over the state of Kentucky providing a subsidy to a creationist theme park, Ark Encounter, while at the same time cutting education spending."
  • Jan 25. Leo Weekly. Louisville Eccentric Observer (LEO), an alternative newspaper. Louisville, Kentucky. Ark over troubled waters by Joe Sonka.
  • Jan 19. Florence Recorder. Cincinnati, Ohio. Creation Museum employee responds by Georgia Purdom. Page A9.
  • Jan 19. Boone Community Recorder. Cincinnati, Ohio. Creation Museum employee responds by Georgia Purdom. Page A13.
  • Jan 16. Leo Weekly. Louisville Eccentric Observer (LEO), an alternative newspaper. Louisville, Kentucky. Ark Encounter is spiking! by Joe Sonka.
  • Jan 12. Grant County News. Dry Ridge, Kentucky. Ark Encounter - Is It Coming? Mayor Says Yes!. Page 1.
  • Jan 12. Boone County Recorder. Cincinnati, Ohio. Curb foolish talk about science by Nancy Rowles. Page A10.
  • Jan 12. Boone Community Recorder. Cincinnati, Ohio. Curb foolish talk about science by Nancy Rowles. Page A10.
  • Jan 12. Florence Recorder. Cincinnati, Ohio. Curb foolish talk about science by Nancy Rowles. Page A8.
  • Jan 5. South Kenton Recorder. Cincinnati, Ohio. Curb foolish talk about science by Nancy Rowles. Page A6.

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