NEW YORK (CNN) -- CNN Money's Maribel Aber has your top business and financial news on this Thursday, October 31.
Walton Foundation delivers $1M for Fort Smith River Trail
Fort Smith Parks & Recreation announced Wednesday that it had received a $1 million grant from the Walton Family Foundation to develop an exercise trail along the city's riverfront. According to a news release, the money will be used to build a two-mile section of the River West Trail from River Park to the Rice Carden Levee Trail. The news release said the trail is a "high priority" part of the Trails & Greenways Master Plan the city adopted in 2004.
U.S. deficit falls to $680 billion
The federal government's latest annual deficit is the smallest it's been since 2008, according to Treasury Department data released Wednesday. At $680 billion, the fiscal 2013 deficit is 51% less than it was in 2009, when it hit a record high nominally of $1.4 trillion. As a percent of the economy, it's also considerably smaller than it's been in the past five years, coming in at 4.1% of gross domestic product. By contrast, the annual deficit in 2009 topped 10% of GDP. And last year it was 6.8%.
Lighter and faster, it's iPad Air
The iPad Air is noticeably lighter than its predecessors. If you are the least bit interested in the new tablet computer from Apple, you probably already know that. The company's engineers shaved just short of a third off the weight of the earlier version; the 9.7-inch Air weighs only a pound. What you may not know is this: Those 6.4 ounces make all the difference when, as you recline while reading or watching a movie, you conk out and the iPad falls forward to bonk you on the nose. The Air won't hurt you the way the old iPad did.
Halloween freebies is growing restaurant trend
Halloween, the night when kids rake-in gobs of free candy, is evolving into an occasion when parents also can walk-off with something equally enticing: free meals for the kids. A growing parade of restaurant chains - from Olive Garden to IHop to Krispy Kreme - will offer free eats around Halloween in order to lure traffic during a seriously slow time. Halloween evening is a time when most families eat at home. While Halloween is one of the pizza delivery industry's biggest days of the year, it's an evening when many casual dining restaurants are scraping for business.