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VOL. 41 | NO. 1 | Friday, January 06, 2017

Tax hikes, cuts both eyed as Legislature reconvenes

Look for fuel tax increase, surplus-fueled decreases

The 110th General Assembly is set to convene on Jan. 10 with unfinished business from previous sessions likely to dominate debate. Here’s a look at some of the hottest topics expected to arise.

Growth accelerates need for Tennessee road projects

Tennessee’s lieutenant governor-in-waiting predicts Gov. Bill Haslam will propose a modest fuel-tax increase in early 2017 to bolster the state’s road and bridge construction program.

SAM STOCKARD: VIEW FROM THE HILL

Reactionaries, evidence vie on medicinal marijuana

Three-year-old Josie Mae Mathis of Greene County used to suffer hundreds of seizures daily from epilepsy and infantile spasms.

Local Weather

Weather in Nashville, TN

EVENTS

Real Estate Investors Network. Deals, Deals, Deal Focus Group. An opportunity to learn where investors find deals, and sell deals, and to learn about the mechanics of various sorts of deals. Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., REIN Center, 4525 Harding Road, Suite 200, Nashville. Information: www.reintn.org. Additional January opportunities:

more events »

RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK

Slowdown in market brings sanity back to closing issues

As the market slows, the sale-of-home contingency has escaped extinction.

TERRY McCORMICK: TENNESSEE TITANS

Ode to joy: Football becomes fun again for Titans

Optimism, joy and even satisfaction – emotions largely missing for several seasons – were evident as the Tennessee Titans closed out the 2016 season and emptied their lockers at St. Thomas Sports Park.

Week 1 NFL playoff predictions

The regular season is over and the postseason phase of the NFL is upon us. And while the Titans fell short in their quest to reach the playoffs, the postseason begins Saturday and Sunday with Wild-Card Weekend, featuring two games in each conference.

DAVID CLIMER: OUT OF LEFT FIELD

Jones picks a bad time to lead UT football program

There was a time in University of Tennessee football history when a nine-win season and a victory over Nebraska in a bowl would guarantee a coach something just this side of a lifetime contract.

DAVE LINK: UT SPORTS

Dobbs had a great run, but Manning is still No. 1 UT QB

Tennessee senior Joshua Dobbs has created a quarterback controversy.

NEWSMAKERS

Nashville Bar honors Rubenfeld, Harbison

Abby Rubenfeld and Bill Harbison have been honored by the Nashville Bar Association with the The John C. Tune Public Service Award, the organization’s highest.

GUERRILLA MARKETING

Marketers ratcheting up Instagram investment

In a hot-off-the-presses study by eMarketer, marketing professionals have spoken with gusto about their intended 2017 investments in Instagram.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

2017 Infiniti Q60 is re-engineered for power and style

Infiniti has re-engineered its Q60 coupe for 2017, giving it more sculpted and sexy styling, three turbocharged engines and more features than ever, including various selectable steering modes.

CAREER CORNER

Intuition is your best friend when deciding on a job

You may wonder, “What’s the worst thing that could possibly happen during my job search?”

NASHVILLE AREA

Nashville airport sets record with 13M passengers in 2016

NASHVILLE (AP) — Nashville International Airport has set a new record with nearly 13 million passengers in 2016. That's an increase of 1.3 million travelers, or 11 percent more than the previous year.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Indicted VW exec seeking release on bail over US objection

MIAMI (AP) — A high-ranking Volkswagen AG executive indicted in the company's U.S. emissions scandal is seeking release on bail over the objections of federal prosecutors.

HEALTH CARE

CVS generic competitor to EpiPen, sold at a 6th the price

CVS is now selling a rival, generic version of Mylan's EpiPen at about a sixth of its price, just months after the maker of the life-saving allergy treatment was eviscerated before Congress because of its soaring cost to consumers.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US stock indexes slide in early trading; oil rises

U.S. stocks moved broadly lower in morning trading Thursday, giving back the market's gains from the day before. Technology and financial stocks were down the most. Investors were turning their focus to the next wave of corporate earnings reports in the weeks ahead.

Trump praises L.L. Bean heiress for donation; boycott urged

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump is urging people to buy L.L. Bean as the company faces calls for a boycott because of a family member's donations to his candidacy.

Amazon plans to hire 100,000 over the next 18 months

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon plans to hire 100,000 people across the U.S. over the next 18 months.

Applications for US jobless aid rise to still-low 247,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, but the increase was modest and overall applications remain low, a sign of a steady job market.


WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11
STATE LEGISLATURE

GOP lawmaker wants Tennessee tags to say 'In God We Trust'

NASHVILLE (AP) - A Republican state lawmaker wants all Tennessee license plates to include the phrase "In God We Trust."

Lawmakers approve new terms for 3 constitutional officers

NASHVILLE (AP) - A joint convention of the Tennessee General Assembly has approved new terms for three constitutional officers.

STATEWIDE

Tennessee health officials say William, Emma top baby names

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee health officials say William and Emma remained the top baby names in the state in 2016.

HEALTH CARE

GOP Senate to move forward on 'Obamacare' repeal

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-led Senate is poised to take a step forward on dismantling President Barack Obama's health care law despite anxiety among GOP lawmakers over the lack of an alternative.

AUTO INDUSTRY

6 VW employees indicted in emissions scandal; VW fined $4.3B

WASHINGTON (AP) — Six high-level Volkswagen employees from Germany were indicted in the U.S. on Wednesday in the VW emissions-cheating scandal, while the company itself agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges and pay $4.3 billion — by far the biggest fine ever levied by the government against an automaker.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

World Economic Forum says capitalism needs urgent change

LONDON (AP) — Reforming the very nature of capitalism will be needed to combat the growing appeal of populist political movements around the world, the World Economic Forum said Wednesday.

US stock indexes close higher after wavering much of the day

Energy companies led U.S. stocks modestly higher Wednesday, nudging the Nasdaq composite to its fifth record-high close in a row.


TUESDAY, JANUARY 10
STATE LEGISLATURE

McNally new Tennessee Senate speaker; Harwell wins in House

NASHVILLE (AP) - Randy McNally was elected as the new speaker of the Tennessee Senate on Tuesday, and fellow Republican Beth Harwell unanimously won a fourth term in charge of the House.

State lawmakers convene 110th Tennessee General Assembly

NASHVILLE (AP) - State lawmakers have convened the 110th Tennessee General Assembly.

End of silencer ban sought in name of 'hearing protection'

NASHVILLE (AP) - A state lawmaker is seeking an end to Tennessee's firearm silencer ban in the name of "hearing protection."

First major order for Tennessee lawmakers is speaker's vote

NASHVILLE (AP) — The first major order of business for the members after they're sworn in to 110th Tennessee General Assembly will be the election of the House and Senate speakers.

NASHVILLE AREA

Healthways rebranding as Tivity Health

Nashville-based Healthways, Inc., today announced the company is rebranding and changing its name to Tivity Health, Inc., to better align with its portfolio of fitness and health improvement programs and to position the company for future growth.

Report: Nashville's sidewalk, bike lane needs top $800M

NASHVILLE (AP) — A report says Nashville would need more than $800 million for a wide-spanning plan to build and fix sidewalks and create a bikeway network.

HEALTH CARE

Obama health law posts solid sign-ups despite GOP repeal vow

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress may be moving to repeal "Obamacare," but millions of people are still signing up. The administration said Tuesday that 11.5 million enrolled nationwide through Dec. 24, ahead of last year's pace.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Volkswagen: Draft deal in scandal contains $4.3B in fines

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — German automaker Volkswagen AG said Tuesday that it was in "advanced talks" with United States authorities over a proposed settlement in its diesel emissions scandal under which the company would pay $4.3 billion in criminal and civil fines.

General Motors exudes optimism, raises outlook for 2017

DETROIT (AP) — Optimistic executives at General Motors say strong sales in two core markets, the U.S. and China, along with cost-cutting will power the company to higher profits in 2017.

What scandal? VW closing in on title as world's top carmaker

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — It's ironic: Volkswagen spent 2016 battling a huge scandal over cars it rigged to cheat on emissions tests.

TECHNOLOGY

Apple proved a phone can change the world in just 10 years

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Few people realized it at the time, but the world shifted fundamentally a decade ago when Steve Jobs pulled the first iPhone from Apple's bag of technological tricks.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Nasdaq sets another record high on mixed day for US stocks

The Nasdaq composite index notched its third record-high close in three days Tuesday, eking out a modest gain on a day when the other major U.S. stock indexes barely budged.

IRS to delay tax refunds for millions of low-income families

WASHINGTON (AP) — The IRS is delaying tax refunds for more than 40 million low-income families this year as the agency steps up efforts to fight identity theft and fraud.

US job openings, quits rise, pointing to modest hiring ahead

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers posted more jobs in November and quits also rose — signs that job gains and wages may increase in the months ahead.

US stock indexes shift mostly higher in afternoon trading

Health care companies led the major U.S. stock indexes mostly higher in afternoon trading Tuesday, as the market gave up some of its gains from earlier in the day. Consumer goods and financial stocks also rose, while real estate companies were the biggest laggard. Crude oil prices headed lower.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Lawsuits over Trump business threaten to tie up presidency

WASHINGTON (AP) — As a businessman, Donald Trump has kept the courts busy. That's hardly likely to change when he enters the Oval Office, creating an unusual and potentially serious problem for a sitting president.


MONDAY, JANUARY 9
STATEWIDE

Boyd leaving Haslam administration as he ponders gov's bid

NASHVILLE (AP) — Randy Boyd is stepping down as commissioner of the state Department of Economic and Community Development as he ponders a bid to succeed term-limited Gov. Bill Haslam in 2018.

MIDSTATE

Mars buying pet health care company VCA in $7.7B deal

NEW YORK (AP) — Mars is buying the pet health care company VCA in a deal valued at around $7.7 billion.

AUTO INDUSTRY

GM CEO: Won't change production plans despite Trump tweet

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors has no plans to change where it produces small cars because of criticism from President-elect Donald Trump, the company's top executive said Sunday night.

Chevy Bolt gets top car award; Pacifica top utility vehicle

DETROIT (AP) — The Chevy Bolt has been named top car in North America, an important milestone for a car General Motors hopes will finally get Americans hooked on electric vehicles.

Second VW employee arrested over emissions scheme

DETROIT (AP) — The Volkswagen executive who once was in charge of complying with U.S. emissions regulations was arrested during the weekend in Florida and accused of deceiving federal regulators about the use of special software that cheated on emissions tests.

Fiat Chrysler to build 3 new Jeeps, create 2,000 jobs in US

DETROIT (AP) — Fiat Chrysler will add three new Jeeps to its lineup including a pickup truck as it invests $1 billion in two U.S. factories, furthering its effort to increase production of hot-selling SUVs and pickup trucks and get out of producing small and midsize cars. The expansion will create 2,000 new jobs.

HEALTH CARE

AP FACT CHECK: Despite woes Obamacare not in 'death spiral'

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump says that President Barack Obama's health care law "will fall of its own weight."

GOP turns to arcane budget process to repeal Obamacare

WASHINGTON (AP) — Yes, Donald Trump is taking charge and Republicans control both the House and Senate, having won an election promising to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law.

UnitedHealth buying Surgical Care for $2.3 billion

NEW YORK (AP) — UnitedHealth Group is buying surgical center operator Surgical Care Affiliates for about $2.3 billion in a cash-and-stock deal that will add to its outpatient holdings.

COURTS

High Court won't hear appeal over Backpage.com escort ads

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court said Monday it won't hear an appeal from three sex trafficking victims who accuse advertising website Backpage.com of helping to promote the exploitation of children.

Supreme Court rejects appeal from flight-sharing company

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court won't hear an appeal from a company that wants to offer flight-sharing services using a model similar to Uber.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US stocks close mostly lower as oil prices slide

A slide in oil and natural gas companies led U.S. stock indexes mostly lower Monday, even as the Nasdaq composite index eked out another record high.

Parents, save up: Cost of raising a child is more than $233K

WASHINGTON (AP) — Expecting a baby? Congratulations! Better put plenty of money in your savings account.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Trump has taken few steps to disentangle from private empire

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump pledged to step away from his family-owned international real estate development, property management and licensing business before taking office Jan. 20. With less than two weeks until his inauguration, he hasn't stepped very far.


FRIDAY, JANUARY 6
COURTS

Lawsuit: Tennessee driver's license law punishes poor

NASHVILLE (AP) - Justice reform groups are challenging a Tennessee law they say unfairly punishes the poor by revoking driver's licenses due to unpaid court fines.

NASHVILLE AREA

Nashville's Music City Center set for $20M upgrade

NASHVILLE (AP) — Nashville's $623 million convention center is expecting a $20 million upgrade 3 ½ years after it opened.

STATE LEGISLATURE

Letzler becomes first female chief clerk of Tennessee House

NASHVILLE (AP) - House Speaker Beth Harwell has named Tammy Letzler as the first female chief clerk in Tennessee history.

Haslam seeks elusive 'comfort level' on road funding plan

JACKSON (AP) — With just over three weeks remaining until he presents his annual Tennessee spending plan to lawmakers, Gov. Bill Haslam is still trying to find what he calls a "comfort level" with lawmakers on his efforts to boost transportation funding in the state.

STATEWIDE

Green takes formal step toward Tennessee governor's bid

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican state Sen. Mark Green is the first among a bevy of potential candidates to take a formal step toward entering the Tennessee governor's race in 2018.

Prominent GOP donor Miller moving from Tennessee to Kansas

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican donor Andy Miller Jr., who has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Tennessee candidates for state and federal offices, is moving to Kansas.

MUSIC INDUSTRY

Blake Shelton-themed bars to open in Tenn., Okla.

NASHVILLE (AP) - The company that owns the Grand Ole Opry and the Ryman Auditorium is opening two new venues in Tennessee and Oklahoma with the help of country star Blake Shelton.

Country star Mel Tillis recovering from digestive disease

NASHVILLE (AP) — Country music star Mel Tillis is receiving home care following surgery and treatment for a digestive disease.

REAL ESTATE

Long-term mortgage rates fall, breaking 9-week rise

WASHINGTON (AP) — After nine straight weeks of increases, long-term US mortgage rates fell this week.

AUTO INDUSTRY

US approves fix for some Volkswagen diesels

DETROIT (AP) — Volkswagen will soon be able to repair some of its diesel cars so they meet U.S. emissions standards.

Toyota stock dips after Trump tweet on planned Mexico plant

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. is a "good corporate citizen" and intends to work with President-elect Donald Trump to help make America strong, the Japanese automaker's president, Akio Toyoda, says.

Mercedes recalls about 48K SUVs to fix air bag sensor

DETROIT (AP) — Mercedes-Benz is recalling nearly 48,000 SUVs in the U.S. to fix a sensor problem that could stop the front passenger air bag from inflating in a crash.

HEALTH CARE

Obama derides 'reckless' plan to repeal now, replace later

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama derided as "reckless" on Friday a Republican plan to repeal his health care law now and replace it later, predicting that the replacement may never come.

Ryan: Lawmakers will act this year on replacing health law

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers will act this year on bills not simply repealing President Barack Obama's health care law but replacing it as well, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Higher wages push stocks to records, but Dow misses 20,000

NEW YORK (AP) — So close! The Dow Jones industrial average missed the 20,000 mark by a fraction of a point Friday as U.S. stock indexes rose after the government said wages jumped in December. Two other major indexes set records.

US adds 156K jobs; unemployment rate ticks up to 4.7 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers added 156,000 jobs in December, capping a year of slower but solid hiring and providing the last major snapshot of the economy President-elect Donald Trump will inherit from President Barack Obama.

US services companies saw solid growth in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. services companies grew again in December during the holiday season, maintaining the high pace reached in the previous month.

Fox News says Tucker Carlson to take Megyn Kelly time slot

NEW YORK (AP) — Fox News Channel says that veteran pundit Tucker Carlson will replace Megyn Kelly in the network's coveted 9 p.m. time slot sandwiched between Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity.

Weekly applications for US jobless aid drop to 235,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped significantly last week, a sign of a robust job market.

Sears to sell Craftsman tool brand to Stanley Black & Decker

NEW YORK (AP) — After controlling the Craftsman name for 90 years, troubled department store operator Sears said it will sell the famous tool brand to Stanley Black & Decker Inc.

Trump's deportation vow spurs California farmers into action

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Days after Donald Trump won the White House vowing to deport millions of people in the country illegally and fortify the Mexican border, California farmer Kevin Herman ordered nearly $600,000 in new equipment, cutting the number of workers he'll need starting with the next harvest.

Somber department store holiday season casts pall over 2017

NEW YORK (AP) — After a disappointing holiday shopping season, the nation's largest department stores and some of the shoppers who still depend on them are set for an unhappy new year.

Survey: US businesses add a modest 153,000 jobs in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. companies reported a modest gain of 153,000 jobs last month, all in service industries such as retail and health care, according to a private survey.

US gov't accuses Fiat Chrysler of cheating on emissions

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. government is accusing Fiat Chrysler of failing to disclose software in some of its pickups and SUVs with diesel engines that allows them to emit more pollution than allowed under the Clean Air Act.

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