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VOL. 37 | NO. 45 | Friday, November 8, 2013

From sweet to intoxicating, great treats made in Middle Tennessee spread holiday cheer

George and Christina McCoy Cohn first started making toffee with an old family recipe 11 years ago as a treat for friends and family.

Batch Nashville sends Midstate’s best to the world

Yes, it’s better to give than receive. But here’s an idea that allows for both.

PR experts share ideas for sending treats to business associates

You’d be hard-pressed to find bigger cheerleaders for Nashville – and for all of its homemade, home-grown goodies – than area public relations experts. A few of them shared the sweet local treats they send to their clients over the holiday season.

Great food-related gifts made in Middle Tennessee and where to get them

Send your out-of-towner family, friends and clients the delicious taste of Middle Tennessee by ordering local products online and shipping them anywhere nationwide.

Better to ship or receive gifts of liquor? Both options a hassle in Tennessee

With all of the attention Nashville has been getting lately, it’s likely that an out-of-state uncle would love to open a Tennessee-themed holiday package this season, stocked with some of the area’s sweetest liquors.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Mostly Cloudy
Wind: Northeast at 3.5 mph
Humidity: 79%


People’s Law School. Conclusion of the free program that provides an overview of legal issues that a typical person might face. Taught by Legal Aid Society attorneys and volunteer attorneys, the final session tonight at Cohn Learning Center is "Worried You Might Lose Your Home to Foreclosure?" 6-7 p.m., 4805 Park Avenue. Registration, Information: 298-8050.

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Midstate sees surge in $1 million-plus home sales

Last week was a monumental week in Middle Tennessee residential real estate as seven single-family homes and one condo closed for more than $1 million each. Williamson County boasted three $1 million-plus sales for the week and 16 for the month, while Davidson County held a slight edge with 18 closed sales in October.


A sign of maturity from often-criticized Chris Johnson

Shortly after the Tennessee Titans won the Jeff Fisher Bowl, thanks in large part to a resurgent running game, Chris Johnson revealed that the Titans did something they hadn’t done since the end of the Fisher Era in preparation.


Bone McAllester adds labor, employment attorney

The law firm of Bone McAllester Norton PLLC has hired Vanderbilt alumnus Bryan Pieper as the firm’s newest attorney in labor and employment law and commercial litigation.


Best of the rest in social media and how to use them

With more than 200 major, active social media networks cited by Wikipedia, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the choices available.


Vanderbilt chimes in on ‘me and him’ controversy

The Pronoun Showdown continues. I started it some weeks back, asking which of two football coaches was correct, the one who said “between me and him” or the one who said: “between he and I?”


Beignets to gator, New Orleans has it all

This past week, some of us from work traveled to New Orleans for a conference. New Orleans, even though it has gone through a major overhaul due to Katrina, is still New Orleans. It’s full of unexpected excitement, frivolity, color and tons of little shops, both in and outdoor, in which to stroll.


TVA to close 8 coal-powered units in Alabama, Kentucky

The nation's largest public utility has voted to close six coal-powered units in Alabama and replace two more in Kentucky with a new natural gas plant.


Audit critical of company hired to manage assets

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam says the state has benefited from a company hired to manage its assets, despite a comptroller's report that suggests the company may have benefited from its own advice, creating a conflict of interest.


Panel suggest 3 candidates for appeals court

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam has been presented with a slate of three finalists for an upcoming vacancy on the state Court of Appeals.


China announces VW recall of 640,000 vehicles

BEIJING (AP) — China's government on Thursday announced the second recall of Volkswagen vehicles this year, a setback for the German automaker following a March report by state TV that criticized its quality standards.

Toyota to stop production at Subaru's Indiana plant

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Toyota plans to stop building cars at the Subaru factory in central Indiana after the contract between the companies ends in 2016.


Policy cancellations: Obama will allow old plans

WASHINGTON (AP) — Bowing to pressure, President Barack Obama on Thursday announced changes to his health care law to give insurance companies the option to keep offering consumers plans that would otherwise be canceled.

Obamacare enrollment low; Democrats unhappy

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Thursday planned to announce a fix to counter the millions of health coverage cancellations going to consumers, as the White House tried to stem Democratic impatience over a program likely to be at the center of next year's midterm elections for control of Congress.


Yellen stands by Fed's low interest rate policies

WASHINGTON (AP) — Janet Yellen said Thursday that the U.S. economy has regained ground lost to Great Recession but still needs the Federal Reserve's support because unemployment remains too high at 7.3 percent.

Average US rate on 30-year mortgage at 4.35 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose for the second straight week amid some signs of economic strength. Still rates remain near historically low levels.

US unemployment benefit applications dip to 339K

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people applying for U.S. unemployment benefits slipped 2,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 339,000, the fifth straight decline that shows businesses see little need to cut jobs.

US worker productivity rises at modest pace

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. workers increased their productivity from July through September at roughly the same modest pace as the previous three months. Steady gains in productivity could dissuade companies from ramping up hiring.

US trade deficit widens 8 percent in September

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit widened in September as imports increased to the highest level in 10 months while exports slipped.

Lockheed Martin cutting 4,000 jobs, closing plants

BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — Lockheed Martin is cutting 4,000 jobs, about 3.5 percent of its workforce, as the defense contractor continues to look for ways to lower costs amid reduced government spending.

Stocks mostly higher; Cisco drags tech sector down

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks were mostly higher on Thursday, but a sales slump from technology giant Cisco Systems dragged other technology stocks lower.

Oil prices mixed ahead of US data, Yellen speech

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Oil prices were mixed Thursday ahead of the release of data on U.S. crude stocks.

Fewer US homes repossessed by lenders in October

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Fewer U.S. homes are completing the foreclosure process and ending up repossessed by banks because investors are increasingly buying up properties when they go on sale at public auction.

Share of young US adults who move hits 50-year low

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. mobility for young adults has fallen to the lowest level in more than 50 years as cash-strapped 20-somethings shun home-buying and refrain from major moves in a weak job market.

Wal-Mart 3Q profit up, but cuts outlook

NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart Stores cut its annual outlook for the second time in three months as the world's largest retailer sees its low-income shoppers continue to feel squeezed around the globe.


Boehner rules out new taxes in budget talks

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner says a budget deal "won't happen" if Democrats keep insisting on more tax increases.


Report: Refugees a net positive for Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) - A report by the state's Fiscal Review Committee has found that refugees bring in more money to Tennessee than they cost the state in entitlements. But that's not the message some of the lawmakers who asked for the report want to hear.


Lawmakers request review of book selection process

NASHVILLE (AP) — The heads of two legislative committees say the process for selecting books for state schools is flawed and needs to be fixed.


Sarah Trahern named new CMA CEO

NASHVILLE (AP) — The senior vice president and general manager for the Great American Country network, Sarah Trahern, has been named the new CEO of the Country Music Association.


Community Health Systems' purchase of competitor approved

NEW YORK (AP) - Health Management Associates said Wednesday that its new board of directors supports the sale of the hospital company to competitor Community Health Systems, which is based in Franklin, Tenn.

Titans asking fans to donate food against Colts

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans are asking fans coming to the Colts' game on Thursday night to bring non-perishable food with them to donate to the Second Harvest Food Bank.


White House to release health law sign-up figures

WASHINGTON (AP) — After weeks of criticism over the balky rollout of the health care sign-up website, the Obama administration is releasing figures on how many people have successfully enrolled through the new federal insurance exchanges.


GM stock rises as government sells off more shares

DETROIT (AP) — Shares of General Motors rose to their highest level in almost three years Wednesday after analysts applauded news that the company could be free of U.S. government ownership by the end of the year.


In key shift, US oil production tops net imports

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the first month in nearly two decades, the U.S. in October extracted more oil from the ground than it imported from abroad, marking an important milestone for a nation seeking to wean itself off foreign oil.

Beyond Twitter: The next wave of tech IPOs brews

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Just as one high-tech breakthrough often paves the way for the next big thing, technology IPOs move in virtuous cycles, too.

Indexes climb back to records after retail boost

NEW YORK (AP) — Macy's gave the stock market some early holiday cheer.

Oil near $94 as traders eye supply data

Oil rose near $94 a barrel Wednesday, a day after falling to a five-month low.

Motorola unveils budget smartphone, aimed at world

NEW YORK (AP) — Motorola says it wants to equip the world with the latest smartphone technology, at less than a third the price.

Macy's pushes S&P 500 toward record

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market got a boost from Macy's on Wednesday, pushing the Standard & Poor's 500 index back into record territory.

Netflix spruces up service for television screens

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Netflix is reprogramming the way its Internet video subscription service appears on millions of television screens in an attempt to hook viewers for even longer periods.

Apple demands Samsung pay $380 million for copying

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Apple demanded Wednesday that Samsung Electronics pay it $380 million for copying vital iPhone and iPad features, as a billion-dollar patent fight between the world's two biggest smartphone makers resumed in a Silicon Valley courtroom.


Spending cuts, shutdown lower US budget deficit

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government started the first month of the 2014 budget year with a $91.6 billion deficit, signaling further improvement in the nation's finances at a time when lawmakers are wrestling to reach a deal that would keep the government open past January.

Work not done, Obama climate adviser moves on

WASHINGTON (AP) — Heather Zichal admits her job is unfinished.


Agreement keeps merged airline at 5 Tennessee airports

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee's top five airports will continue to be served by a merged US Airways and American Airlines for the next five years under an agreement with the state.

Haslam says he's committed to improving teacher salaries

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said Tuesday he's committed to improving the salaries of the state's teachers and plans to provide some degree of funding in his proposed budget to start the process.


Medicaid is health overhaul's early success story

WASHINGTON (AP) — The ugly duckling of government health care programs has turned into a rare early success story for President Barack Obama's technologically challenged health overhaul.


All day shopping frenzy on Thanksgiving?

NEW YORK (AP) — Last Thanksgiving Day, Kimberly Mudge Via's mother, sister and nieces left in the middle of their meals to head for the mall.

Govt in agreement to allow American merger

DALLAS (AP) — American Airlines and US Airways reached a deal with the government that lets the two form the world's biggest airline and opens up more room at key U.S. airports for low-cost carriers.

US stocks edge lower as earnings disappoint

NEW YORK (AP) — Disappointing company earnings and falling oil prices pulled stocks back from record highs on Tuesday.

Oil drops 2 percent on supply concerns

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil sank 2 percent Tuesday, hitting a five-month low, as the market anticipated another increase in domestic supplies.

Late-payment rate on mortgages down in 3Q

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Fewer U.S. homeowners are falling behind on their mortgage payments, aided by rising home values, low interest rates and stable job gains.

5-ex Madoff employees on trial in NYC for fraud

NEW YORK (AP) — In the many years he spent as a trader at Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, David Kugel learned that investments that Madoff claimed to be making for clients were fiction.


The secret, dirty cost of Obama's green power push

CORYDON, Iowa (AP) — The hills of southern Iowa bear the scars of America's push for green energy: The brown gashes where rain has washed away the soil. The polluted streams that dump fertilizer into the water supply.

Industry takes aim at AP ethanol investigation

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new Associated Press investigation, which found that ethanol hasn't lived up to some of the government's clean-energy promises, is drawing a fierce response from the ethanol industry.

Obama faces worry at home, abroad over Iran talks

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's hopes for a nuclear deal with Iran now depend in part on his ability to keep a lid on both hard-liners on Capitol Hill and anxious allies abroad, including Israel, the Arab Gulf states and even France.

Obama nominating Treasury official to run CFTC

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is nominating a top Treasury Department official to run the independent agency that regulates the futures and options markets.


Haslam budget hearings get under way this week

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam's annual budget hearings are getting under way this week.


Open records advocates fear impact of court ruling

NASHVILLE (AP) — Transparency advocates are warning about the ramifications of a recent Tennessee appeals court ruling that "high government officials" can keep documents secret if they deem them part of their decision-making process.


University of Michigan sets goal of driverless car network by 2021

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The University of Michigan has announced a collaboration with government and business to make its hometown of Ann Arbor the first American city with a shared fleet of networked, driverless vehicles by 2021.


Blue Cross Blue Shield notifying clients of mandated changes

NASHVILLE (AP) - About 66,000 people who get individual health plans through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee are being notified that they must pick a new plan due to new federal regulations.


Dow Jones average reaches another record high

NEW YORK (AP) — The Dow Jones industrial average rose to another all-time high on Wall Street Monday.

Oil tops $95 as Iran talks stall; pump price lower

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil rose above $95 a barrel Monday after negotiations in Geneva to curb Iran's nuclear program were stalled.

Amazon, US Postal Service will deliver on Sundays

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon is teaming up with the U.S. Postal Service to deliver packages on Sundays.

US, Europe resume talks on new trade pact

BRUSSELS (AP) — The United States and the European Union, which already enjoy the world's biggest business relationship, resumed talks Monday on a deal to further grow two-way trade and investment.

Target to open earlier on Thanksgiving

NEW YORK (AP) — Target Corp. is becoming the latest retailer to open earlier on Thanksgiving this year.


Automatic spending cuts would bite more in 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's not just longstanding battles over taxes and curbing mandatory spending that are obstacles to a year-end pact on the budget. Another problem is a perception among some lawmakers that the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration haven't been as harsh as advertised.


Tennessee quarterly revenues $97M below projections

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's general fund revenues fell $97 million short of projections in the first quarter of the state's budget year.

State GOP and former top aide settle lawsuit

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Tennessee Republican Party and former chief of staff Mark Winslow have settled a lawsuit over the public disclosure of his severance pay after he left the state GOP.


CCA, top competitor won't bid on Idaho prison contract

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - The two biggest private prison companies in the nation say they don't want the contract to run a troubled Idaho prison, and that could shrink the pool of potential bidders to just two smaller companies.

Titans asking for used cell phones for soldiers

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans are asking fans coming to Sunday's game against Jacksonville not to forget their used cellphones.


Government oversight of tour bus, truck industries faulted

WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal accident investigators called on Thursday for a probe of the government agency charged with ensuring the safety of commercial vehicles, saying their own look into four tour bus and truck crashes that killed 25 people raises "serious questions" about how well the agency is doing its job.


US safety agency probes VW SUV lighting problem

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. safety regulators are investigating thousands of Volkswagen SUVs because the headlamps and other outside lights can fail with little warning.

Third fire in Tesla Model S reported

DETROIT (AP) — A Tesla Model S electric car caught fire this week after hitting road debris on a Tennessee freeway, the third fire in a Model S in the past five weeks.


Obama apologizes to people losing health coverage

WASHINGTON (AP) — Bowing to intense criticism, President Barack Obama apologized to Americans who are losing health insurance plans he repeatedly said they could keep and pledged to find fixes that might allow people to keep their coverage.

Canceled policies could be a plus for new markets

WASHINGTON (AP) — Insurance cancellations are fueling a political backlash against President Barack Obama and Democrats supporting his health care overhaul, but they may be a silver lining for the law itself.


Bernanke: Fed has greater power to combat crises

WASHINGTON (AP) — Chairman Ben Bernanke says the Federal Reserve is drafting rules to close large insolvent banks without bringing down the broader financial system, one of many steps regulators must take to prevent another financial crisis.

Dow hits another high on hiring surge last month

NEW YORK (AP) — The Dow Jones industrial average is closing at another record high after the government reported an unexpected surge in hiring last month.

Pump prices at low since December 2011; oil gains

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of gasoline is the lowest in nearly two years, an early holiday gift for U.S. drivers.

US added surprisingly strong 204,000 jobs in Oct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A burst of hiring in October added a surprisingly strong 204,000 jobs to the economy in a month when the government was partly shut down for 16 days. And employers added far more jobs in August and September than previously thought.

US consumer spending slows to 0.2 percent gain

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumers slowed their spending in September, even as overall income grew at solid pace for the second straight month.

Home Depot apologizes for racist tweet

NEW YORK (AP) — Home improvement retailer Home Depot Inc. on Thursday apologized for a tweet that showed a picture of two African-American drummers with a person in a gorilla mask in between them and asked: "Which drummer is not like the others?"

After Twitter's hot IPO, now comes the hard part

NEW YORK (AP) — Twitter's stock took to its wings in its public debut, closing up more than 70 percent. The day flew by with nary a hitch and gave birth to a new batch of Silicon Valley millionaires — even a few billionaires.

Americans cut back on credit card use in September

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans cut back on using their credit cards in September for the fourth straight month but boosted borrowing in the category that covers auto loans and student debt.

Company restocking lifted US economic growth in Q3

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy expanded at a 2.8 percent annual rate from July through September, a surprising acceleration ahead of the 16-day partial government shutdown. But much of the strength came from a buildup in company stockpiling.


McCarthy: Not enough time for immigration in House

WASHINGTON (AP) — The third-ranking Republican in the House has told immigration advocates that there's not enough time left this year to deal with the issue.

After Senate win, gay groups shift focus to Obama

WASHINGTON (AP) — Moments after the Senate passed a historic measure to outlaw workplace discrimination against gays, activists turned their attention toward President Barack Obama and a long-sought executive order that would have the same effect, though on a much smaller scale.

Budget office: Shutdown cost 6.6 million work days

WASHINGTON (AP) — Furloughing federal workers in last month's partial federal shutdown cost the government 6.6 million work days, according to a White House budget office report Thursday.

Senate OKs gay rights bill banning discrimination

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has approved a bill outlawing workplace discrimination against gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.

Report: IRS refunded $4B to identity thieves

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Internal Revenue Service issued $4 billion in fraudulent tax refunds last year to people using stolen identities, with some of the money going to addresses in Bulgaria, Lithuania and Ireland, according to a Treasury report released Thursday.

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