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VOL. 39 | NO. 5 | Friday, January 30, 2015

A country drowning in student loan debt

$1.2 trillion owed creates long-term problems for auto industry, home sales

Three and a-half years after graduating from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Yasameen Hoffman is still trying to land the kind of full-time job that will help her start paying off her student loan.

Student debt, rising rents take bite out of real estate market

Hefty student loans are a major stumbling block for young Americans as they try to buy their first home, a National Association of Realtors’ annual survey shows.

Cohen pushes for student loan bankruptcy protection

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen sponsored legislation in the Tennessee Senate that led to creation of the HOPE Scholarship, which provides four-year college students with $4,000 a year for their studies.

It’s a hands-on experience at Antiques & Garden Show

Don’t just look; touch. Come in. Sit down. Marvel at the off-seasonal flora and run your hands along the mossy bench. Please, do.

Local Weather
Today
Nashville, TN
47°F
Cloudy
Wind: 16 mph
Humidity: 61%

EVENTS

Financial Fitness Friday. Regions Bank is offering free financial reviews. Come meet the financial team at any of Middle Tennessee’s 88 offices and learn more about getting financially fit in 2014. Experts will be available to discuss anything from budgeting, buying a home or car, managing debt, savings and much more. This year’s program also serves as the launch of a video series outlining financial “workouts of the week” on topics including planning, savings, tax preparation and retirement. Information: www.regions.com/advice.rf.

more events »

STREET LEVEL

Sewing seeds of success at Sunflower Café

Dreams, cancer, tofu, death, love, loyalty and the quest for good gut bacteria are parts of the story of the hidden little gem that is the Sunflower Café.

STATE LEGISLATURE

Both sides dig in for Insure Tennessee special session

Battle lines have been drawn for a Feb. 2 special session of the state Legislature to determine the fate of Gov. Bill Haslam’s Insure Tennessee proposal, which would use federal funds to catch some 280,000 working people falling through a health insurance coverage gap.

REALTY CHECK

Pay down that debt by investing in real estate

My father was born (1928) and raised in Franklin, when it was a sleepy little standalone hamlet unrelated to Nashville. In the mid-90s, I met him for lunch at the Shoney’s near I-65 off of Highway 96.

REAL ESTATE

Top 2014 commercial real estate transactions for Middle Tennessee

Top 2014 residential real estate transactions for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

UT SPORTS

Campbell’s gamble finally pays with scholarship

KNOXVILLE – Galen Campbell might get to play a minute here or there as the University of Tennessee men’s basketball team pursues its surprising run toward bubble status for the NCAA tournament.

NEWSMAKERS

Smith tapped to lead Stites & Harbison

Stites & Harbison, PLLC veteran attorney Gregory D. Smith has been named office executive member for the firm’s Nashville office.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

Toyota’s lowest-priced car gets spruced up

Toyota’s lowest-priced car, the Yaris, is restyled inside and out for 2015, has an improved ride and adds new standard features – all for a starting retail price of less than $16,000.

GUERRILLA MARKETING

What to watch for in this year’s Super Bowl ads

Regardless of what happens on the field, history will be made at this year’s Super Bowl of advertising – starting with a record price tag of roughly $4.5 million for a 30-second spot, a significant spike from the $4 million advertisers forked over last year.

CAREER CORNER

You have an interview! Now, what should you take with you?

Hiring season is on! Chances are good you’ve been sending out your resume online for every interesting job out there. Soon, you’ll find yourself invited for in-person interviews.

THE WORLDLY INVESTOR

Why the market has fallen in 2015

The stock market overreached in 2013, expecting big things from 2014. Earnings estimates for 2014 were for growth of 10 percent-plus. High expectations boosted valuations above long-term averages.

I SWEAR

Different from or different than? A difference?

I’m fortunate to count Lee Martin, assistant director of Vanderbilt University’s English Language Center, as a weekly reader. Most recently, he writes about my having written, in a recent column, “No different than watching reruns on regular TV, right?”

MUSIC INDUSTRY

Miranda Lambert leads ACM Awards with 8 nominations

NEW YORK (AP) — Miranda Lambert is continuing her reign as contemporary country queen with eight nominations at this year's Academy of Country Music Awards.

STATE LEGISLATURE

Haslam wraps up statewide tour, names Senate sponsor

MURFREESBORO (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam has finally found a Senate sponsor for his Insure Tennessee proposal just days before the start of a special legislative session to take up the matter.

Tennessee lawmakers asking Congress to keep feds out of schools

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers are turning to the federal government for help with a task that might seem self-contradictory - keeping the federal government at bay.

STATEWIDE

Tennesseans urged not to drink and drive Super Bowl weekend

FRANKLIN (AP) — State officials are joining the Tennessee Titans in urging folks to not drink and drive Super Bowl weekend.

COURTS

FTC settles case against 'revenge porn' site operator

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Colorado man accused of operating a "revenge porn" website has settled with federal regulators who said he broke the law by posting nude pictures of women without their consent or knowledge.

TECHNOLOGY

How can Google snap its stock out of its stupor?

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google has turned into a stock market laggard as the shift to mobile devices has lowered the Internet search leader's digital ad prices and the company's expensive investments in far-out technology has trimmed its profit margins.

Amazon shares spike as 4Q profit beats by a mile

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Amazon.com jumped over 8 percent in aftermarket trading after the e-commerce giant beat quarterly profit expectations by a mile.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Tech advances lower chance that driver will die in car crash

WASHINGTON (AP) — The chances of a driver dying in a crash in a late-model car or light truck fell by more than a third over three years, and nine car models had zero deaths per million registered vehicles, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Consumers fuel steady US economy as rest of world struggles

WASHINGTON (AP) — There's a good reason the U.S. economy is impressing the world right now despite a slowdown in the final three months of 2014: In a word, steadiness.

Stocks sag at the close; January finishes on weak note

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market is sagging at the close as investors weigh a slowdown in the U.S. economy and corporate earnings.

Oil soars on signs US oil companies curtail production

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil is up 7 percent on indications that production in the U.S. has slowed following the big drop in prices since last June.

US consumer sentiment rises to highest level since 2004

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumers are more confident than they've been since January 2004.

US economy slowed last quarter, but signs are pointing up

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy slowed in the final three months of 2014, but a burst in consumer spending and the prospect of continued low energy prices are bolstering confidence that growth will strengthen this year.

Markets brace for Big Oil profit plunge

NEW YORK (AP) — It's just a forecast, and for only one of 10 industry groups in the stock market. Yet it has almost singlehandedly turned what had been a strong earnings season into a weak one.

US pay and benefits rose at slightly faster pace last year

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wages and benefits rose at slightly healthier rate last year, a sign strong job gains could be forcing companies to pay a bit more for workers.

Barbie blues gave Mattel holiday disappointment

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — Slumping sales of Barbie did little to bring a happy holiday to her maker, Mattel Inc.

Poll shows giant gap between what public, scientists think

WASHINGTON (AP) — The American public and U.S. scientists are light-years apart on science issues. And 98 percent of surveyed scientists say it's a problem that we don't know what they're talking about.

For traders, oil's plunge takes a toll on egos and accounts

NEW YORK (AP) — The plunge in oil has crushed the Russian ruble, erased $80 billion from Exxon Mobil's market value and pushed Venezuela to the brink of economic collapse.

Venezuelan hedge fund manager gets 13 years in prison

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — A Venezuelan hedge fund manager has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for running a massive Connecticut-based investment fraud scheme that involved hundreds of millions of dollars.

NATIONAL POLITICS

What red ink? As deficits dip, all sides seek more spending

WASHINGTON (AP) — The deficit is dead. Long live the deficit.

Republicans: House to begin work on health care alternative

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House will vote next week to repeal the health care law Republicans have vowed to undo. They'll also direct work to start on a replacement bill the GOP promised more than four years ago.

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