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VOL. 37 | NO. 41 | Friday, October 11, 2013

Nashville power brokers use their clout, cash to revive our public schools, coaxing a high-profile Hillsboro grad home to lead the effort

Nashville is a city in the national spotlight, increasingly landing on “best of’’ lists that range from economic diversity to entertainment and food to the health care industry.

Hunt: Nashville at center of education reform

Shannon Hunt, who attended John Trotwood Moore Middle School, Hillsboro High School and the University of Tennessee, is a longtime public education supporter and comes from a family of public school advocates.

What Middle Tennessee’s private schools cost

All tuition prices include fees and are for the 2013-2014 academic school year unless otherwise noted.

Fundraising is indispensable tool for schools

No school is immune to lack of funds. Public, magnet, charter, private and parochial schools need extra cash.

Chance meeting helps launch City Saver success

When Tom Beach and his wife, Kristin, decided they wanted to start a family 10 years ago, they figured it was also time to change careers.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Wind: from the Southwest at 10.4 gusting to 17.3 mph
Humidity: 33%


GNAR’s Young Professionals Network. 3rd Annual Dareaoke Fundraiser benefiting Habitat for Humanity at Sam’s All-American Sports Grill in Hillsboro Village. GNAR’s YPN is a member-driven organization that provides young realtors with the tools and networking opportunities needed to excel in their careers. 6 p.m. $20. Information: gnar.org/news/ypn-presents-dareaoke, 254-7516.

more events »

Southern entrepreneurs gather for Summit

Beth Sachan has been to plenty of networking conferences over the years as the voice behind the incredibly popular food blog, eat-drink-smile.com, and as the director of marketing for Goo Goo Cluster.


Middle Tennessee home sales up 22% for 3rd qtr.; Prices up 9%

Home buyers moving to the Nashville region from other states are turning the real estate market on its head, buying expensive new homes in urban neighborhoods that once were overlooked and creating fast-growing suburbs around the city.


Boomer, Gen Y buyers have vastly different ideas about floor plans

For sellers to sell quickly and for good prices, or, often, to even sell at all, there must be a first-floor bedroom. Baby Boomers view steps as Stairmaster machines and, while they will pay tons of cash to go to facilities and climb Stairmaster machines, they will not climb a true set of stairs.


Despite beefed-up line, Titans' running game is a mess

This was supposed to be fixed by now.


Entrepreneurs: Beware of shiny object syndrome

The very quality that defines some of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs is the downfall of many.


Take a deep breath

Last Monday, as Congress was debating the 97th version of the Continuing Resolution (CR), I decided to watch some of the floor remarks made from Capitol Hill. After about four minutes of viewing, the alarmist nature of the comments about the pending shutdown proved to be three minutes too much for me.


The lesson of the Zax

As I sit down to write my article this week, all non-essential people working for the federal government are on furlough. All, that is, except for the most non-essential of all government employees – our Washington politicians.


Surely me and you can sort out pronoun usage

When it comes to words, I’m a big fan!


Cast iron: A constant companion

The cooler days and nights we have been experiencing lately have me craving big, hearty pots of soups and stews with piping hot slices of fresh-from-the-oven cornbread or cornbread sticks.


Cancer lab to expand operations in Franklin

FRANKLIN (AP) - A cancer-testing laboratory is set to be built in Franklin - a $2.7 million investment by Nashville-based health care company DiaTech Oncology.

Smyrna airport getting $9.7M grant for new hangars

MURFREESBORO (AP) — The Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport Authority has received $5.1 million in grants and contributions toward the construction of a $9.7 million hangar complex.

Idaho Prisons Board gives Corizon medical contract

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho Board of Correction has awarded Corizon Health Inc. a new contract to continue providing medical and mental health care to the state's prison inmates.


Man charged with stalking John Rich ordered to wear GPS device

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee judge has ordered a man charged with stalking country singer John Rich and a 17-year-old girl to wear a GPS tracking device until he can be mentally evaluated.


Haslam in New York for bond ratings presentations

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam is making his annual case for Tennessee to keep its strong bond rating.


4 file complaints about union at Chattanooga Volkswagen plant

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — Four workers at Volkswagen's plant in Chattanooga have filed complaints with the National Labor Relations Board saying the company is coercing employees into approving the United Auto Workers as their bargaining agent.

CEO: Toyota's slice of US market is about right

NEW YORK (AP) — After five up and down years, Jim Lentz thinks Toyota is right where it's supposed to be.


US unemployment aid applications drop to 358,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — Applications for US unemployment benefits dropped 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 358,000 last week, though the figure was distorted for the second straight week by California's efforts to clear backlogged claims.

Wall Street looks to return to 'normalcy'

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks were mostly higher Thursday as investors got back to focusing on corporate earnings and economic data.

Oil below $102 as relief over US debt deal fades

The price of oil slipped back below $102 a barrel on Thursday as relief faded over a U.S. deal to avoid default and amid apparent progress in talks about Iran's nuclear program.

Average US 30-year mortgage rate at 3.33 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose slightly this week, staying near three-month lows. Rates could fall next week now that lawmakers reached a deal to avert a possible government debt default and reopen the federal government.

American Airlines' parent earns $289 million in 3Q

DALLAS (AP) — After years of losses, American Airlines is making money by boosting revenue and cutting labor costs.

Verizon 3Q profit soars as number of devices grows

NEW YORK (AP) — Verizon is reporting a 40 percent jump in third-quarter net income after adding more than 1 million new wireless devices to its network.

UnitedHealth's 3Q profit edged up 1 percent

UnitedHealth Group Inc.'s third-quarter earnings inched up 1 percent in a rare performance that failed to trump Wall Street expectations, and the nation's largest health insurer gave a less-than-reassuring vibe to investors by narrowing its 2013 forecast instead of raising it.

Government: Employees aided Madoff's 'elaborate fiction'

NEW YORK (AP) — Bernard Madoff could not have pulled off history's biggest Ponzi scheme without assistance from five greedy employees who helped him lie to thousands of investors and federal regulators, a prosecutor told jurors at the opening of a five-month criminal fraud trial, the first to result from a lengthy probe of the financier's fallen empire.


Government open again, Obama bemoans damage

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government unlocked its doors Thursday after 16 days, with President Barack Obama saluting the resolution of Congress' bitter standoff but lambasting Republicans for the partial shutdown that he said had damaged the U.S. economy and America's credibility around the world.

Federal workers back to work after 16-day shutdown

WASHINGTON (AP) — By the thousands, furloughed federal workers began returning to work across the country Thursday after 16 days off the job due to the partial government shutdown.

Boehner's jam: Caucus loves but won't follow him

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress' debt-and-spending breakthrough crystalized a political contradiction.

Shutdown bill has items for states, fed agencies

WASHINGTON (AP) — Here's a little secret about the bill Congress has approved ending the partial government shutdown and preventing a possible federal default: It's got goodies for some states and federal agencies too.


UT grants Jimmy Haslam top alumni award amid probe

NASHVILLE (AP) - The University of Tennessee has granted its top alumni award to Jimmy Haslam amid an ongoing federal investigation into his family's company, Pilot Flying J, and its legal settlement with thousands of trucking company customers.

Carr raises just $52K for Alexander challenge

NASHVILLE (AP) - State Rep. Joe Carr's campaign says the Republican raised just than $52,000 in the first fundraising period of his challenge of U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander.


Vanderbilt building reopens after scare

NASHVILLE (AP) - The main administration building at Vanderbilt University has reopened after a brief scare because of a suspicious envelope.

2 dismissed Vanderbilt players get August trial

NASHVILLE (AP) - Attorneys Wednesday set a trial date for two of four former Vanderbilt football players charged with raping an unconscious fellow student.


Tracy outraises DesJarlais by $69K in 3rd quarter

MURFREESBORO (AP) — State Sen. Jim Tracy raised nearly $182,000 in the third quarter for his Republican primary challenge of incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, who brought in $113,000 in the period.


GM boosts prices as pickup battle rages

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is taking a seemingly odd approach to falling sales of pickup trucks: It's raising prices.


Stocks surge after Senate reaches deal on US debt

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are surging on Wall Street after Senate leaders reached a deal that would avoid a U.S. default and reopen the government after 16 days of being partially shut down.

Oil rises above $102 a barrel on Senate debt deal

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil rose 1 percent Wednesday as the U.S. Senate announced a deal that would avoid a potentially catastrophic default on its debt and reopen the government.

Fed: Growth slows in places on shutdown worries

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve said economic growth slowed in a few key regions of the United States from September through early October, as businesses grew worried about a budget impasse that led to a partial government shutdown.

US builder confidence dips amid budget impasse

U.S. homebuilders are feeling less confident in the housing market, reflecting their uncertainty over the budget impasse in Washington.

Buffett says allowing US default would be idiocy

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Billionaire Warren Buffett said Wednesday it would be idiocy for the nation's leaders to allow the United States to default on its bills.

Microsoft releasing Windows 8.1, a year in making

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Microsoft is releasing its long-awaited Windows 8.1 upgrade as a free download starting Thursday. It addresses some of the gripes people have had with Windows 8, the dramatically different operating system that attempts to bridge the divide between tablets and PCs.

JPMorgan pays $100M, admits fault in London trades

WASHINGTON (AP) — JPMorgan Chase & Co. has agreed to pay a $100 million penalty and admitted that it "recklessly" distorted prices during a series of London trades that ultimately cost the bank $6 billion in losses.

Need motivation? There's an app or gadget for that

WASHINGTON (AP) — Welcome to the measured life. When Tim Davis of Beaver, Pa., tipped the scales at 318 pounds two years ago, he bought a Fitbit gadget to track his physical activity and the Lose It! app on his phone to track calories.

Bank of America Q3 profit up sharply

Third-quarter profit for Bank of America Corp., the second-largest U.S. bank, surged as it saw increases from investments and interest charged on loans.


Deal reached to avoid default and open government

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate leaders announced last-minute agreement Wednesday to avert a threatened Treasury default and reopen the government after a partial, 16-day shutdown. Congress raced to pass the measure by day's end.

Short-term debt deal won't mask big barriers ahead

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hold the champagne.Even after lawmakers complete their pending deal to avert a federal default and fully reopen the government, they are likely to return to their grinding brand of brinkmanship — perhaps repeatedly.


Supreme Court won't hear Nashville resegregation case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court won't hear an appeal asking courts whether the rezoning of Metro Nashville schools in 2009 was a pretext for resegregation.

SEC makes Nashville primary site for men's tourney

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Southeastern Conference is making Nashville the primary home of its men's basketball tournament through 2026.

Vanderbilt's earnings from tech on rise

NASHVILLE (AP) — Vanderbilt University officials say earnings from technology commercialization has more than quadrupled in the past three years, bringing in more than $24.5 million in the 2013 fiscal year.


Rebate scandal: some Pilot customers say 'no deal'

NASHVILLE (AP) - A speedy settlement by some companies with the truck-stop chain owned by Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam won't put a quick end to lawsuits from customers who authorities say were cheated out of discounts and rebates.

Alexander raises $838K in quarter for Senate race

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander has raised nearly $838,000 in the third quarter for his re-election bid.

Nearly 400 Labor Department workers furloughed

NASHVILLE (AP) — Nearly 400 state workers in the Tennessee Department of Labor are being furloughed because of the partial federal government shutdown.

State initiative seeks to help veterans get jobs

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development is partnering with more than 150 employers to help veterans get jobs.


Justices consider Michigan affirmative action ban

WASHINGTON (AP) — Affirmative action opponents persuaded Michigan voters to outlaw any consideration of race after the Supreme Court ruled a decade ago that race could be a factor in college admissions.


Fitch puts US credit rating on negative watch

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Fitch credit rating agency has warned that it is reviewing the U.S. government's AAA credit rating for a possible downgrade, citing Thursday's looming deadline to increase the nation's borrowing limit.

US stocks down as investors wait on debt news

The stock market was whipsawed Tuesday as the on-again, off-again talk of a debt deal in Washington made investors wonder just how pessimistic they should be.

Oil falls toward $101 as US debt deal awaited

Oil fell toward $101 a barrel Tuesday as negotiations on Iran's nuclear program got underway in Geneva, and U.S. lawmakers tried to hammer out an agreement to raise the government's borrowing limit and avoid a possible default.

New seats let airlines squeeze in more passengers

It's not your imagination. There really is a tighter squeeze on many planes these days.

ESA showcases printed metal parts fit for space

BERLIN (AP) — The European Space Agency says it has developed a technology that allows metal parts for spacecraft and nuclear reactors to be "printed" as a single piece.

Coca-Cola's profit rises as it sells more drinks

NEW YORK (AP) — Coca-Cola says its profit rose in the third-quarter as the world's biggest beverage maker managed to sell more of its drinks despite choppy economic conditions.

Apple taps Burberry CEO to oversee stores

LONDON (AP) — Apple said Tuesday that Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts, who used technology to drive a remarkable turnaround at her luxury fashion house, will take charge of the company's expansion plans and retail operation.


New House GOP plan as debt-limit deadline nears

WASHINGTON (AP) — Time growing desperately short, House Republicans pushed for passage of legislation late Tuesday to prevent a threatened Treasury default, end a 15-day partial government shutdown and extricate divided government from its latest brush with a full political meltdown.


Lady Antebellum pushes back concert tour

NASHVILLE (AP) - Lady Antebellum is postponing the start of its 60-date concert tour.

Strait, Jackson to salute Jones on CMA Awards

NASHVILLE (AP) - George Strait and Alan Jackson will team up to pay tribute to George Jones at next month's Country Music Association Awards.

Taylor Swift talks next album, CMAs and Ed Sheeran

NASHVILLE (AP) - Songwriting is the topic of the moment for Taylor Swift.


Tire-maker Hankook to build $800M plant in Tennessee

CLARKSVILLE (AP) — South Korean tire-maker Hankook announced Monday that it will build its first North American plant in Tennessee, creating 1,800 jobs.


Retired Nashville bishop to ignore gay wedding ban in Alabama

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A retired United Methodist bishop from Tennessee said Monday that he will perform a wedding service for two men in Alabama despite opposition from the presiding bishop, who says the ceremony will violate church law.

Dean: Same sex benefits the right thing to do

NASHVILLE (AP) - Nashville Mayor Karl Dean says offering benefits to the same sex partners of Metro employees is the right thing to do and is a matter of tolerance.


New prescription drug law in effect this month

NASHVILLE (AP) — Beginning this month, prescriptions for opioid pain medicines and benzodiazepine medicines may not be dispensed in Tennessee in quantities that exceed a 30-day supply.


3 US economists win Nobel for work on asset prices

Ordinary investors don't stand much chance of beating the market. It moves way too fast and efficiently. Or it behaves in ways that make no sense at all.

US stocks close higher on hopes for debt talks

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are ending higher following signs that Washington was moving closer to an agreement to avoid a debt default and re-open the federal government.

Oil rises on hopes for debt deal

The price of oil rose slightly Monday amid alternating hope and uncertainty about the looming deadline for U.S. lawmakers to reach an agreement over the government's borrowing limit and shutdown.

Microsoft's phone update to feature driving mode

NEW YORK (AP) — Microsoft is updating its Windows software for cellphones to accommodate larger devices and make it easier for motorists to reduce distractions while driving.


Reid, McConnell optimistic on debt-shutdown deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate's top two leaders both expressed optimism Monday that they were closing in on an agreement to prevent a national financial default and reopen the government after a two-week partial shutdown.

US never defaulted on its debt? Not so fast

WASHINGTON (AP) — You hear the same proud claim every time Washington wrestles with the debt limit: The United States has never defaulted. But the record's not that clean. America has stiffed creditors on at least two occasions.

Sen. Corker says parties need to be on 'same page'

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate Republican says there's plenty of blame to go around for the partial government shutdown and specter of default.


States get $30M from discount club marketer

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee is one of a group of states that has won a $30 million settlement against a marketing company the state says used confusing and deceptive business practices.

Fred's September sales figure rises

MEMPHIS (AP) — Fred's Inc., the operator of a chain of nearly 700 discount stores in the southeastern U.S., said Thursday that an important sales measurement rose 2.8 percent in September compared with a year ago.


Federal courts to remain open through Oct. 17

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's federal courts have enough money to stay open at least through Oct. 17 if there is no resolution to the budget stalemate in Washington.


Nissan sales increase by 83% in China

BEIJING (AP) — China's auto sales grew at their fastest rate in eight months in September as Nissan and other Japanese brands rebounded from a slump sparked by political tensions with Tokyo.


Stocks close higher as debt talks continue in Washington

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market is closing higher as talks continue in Washington over ending a budget impasse that has partially shut down the government and threatened the U.S. with default.

Oil near $102 on forecast for rising oil supplies

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil retreated to $102 a barrel Friday on a forecast for an increase in global oil supplies next year.

Rising legal costs push JPMorgan to rare loss

NEW YORK (AP) — Mounting legal costs pushed JPMorgan Chase to a rare loss in the third quarter, the first under the leadership of Jamie Dimon.

Wells Fargo's profit up 13 percent; revenue slips

Third-quarter profit for Wells Fargo & Co., the biggest U.S. mortgage lender, jumped 13 percent as a decline in revenue from mortgage lending was offset by reduced expenses and fewer soured loans.

Average US 30-year mortgage rate at 4.23 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages were little changed this week, staying near their lowest levels in three months.


New GOP shutdown/debt plan, but no agreement yet

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans are offering to pass legislation to avert a default and end the 11-day partial government shutdown as part of a framework that would include cuts in benefit programs, officials said Friday.

IMF warns US must not fail to raise debt ceiling

WASHINGTON (AP) — The International Monetary Fund chief warned the U.S. on Thursday that failure to raise the debt ceiling could do deep damage to both the American and global economies.

Feds will let states pay to reopen national parks

WASHINGTON (AP) — Under pressure from governors, the Obama administration said Thursday it will allow some shuttered national parks to reopen — as long as states use their own money to pay for park operations.

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