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VOL. 41 | NO. 48 | Friday, December 01, 2017

Mega-hits, mega-misses with state-funded sites

VW a win, but costly Clarksville setback shows the downside

Despite Tennessee’s growing automotive-manufacturing industry presence, and what would have likely been an enticing package of tax abatements and other incentives, Toyota and Mazda just took a pass on a huge tract of land near Memphis.

Megasite funds a godsend for the state’s rural counties

Tennessee’s rural governments have tight budgets during the best of times. That means developing industrial land is often a pipe dream, which is why those on the ground say that the state’s site-certification programs and related grants are game changers for any chance rural lawmakers have of luring in large-scale businesses, with their accompanying jobs and tax dollars.

SAM STOCKARD: VIEW FROM THE HILL

Is there room for common-sense gun legislation?

The Tennessee chapter of Moms Demand Action picks its battles judiciously. Once labeled as a bunch of anti-gun extremists, the group is anything but, spokeswoman Kat McRitchie says.

Local Weather

Weather in Nashville, TN

EVENTS

92nd annual Waffle Shop. A long-running Christmas tradition, the Waffle Shop will serve homemade waffles, turkey hash, grits, linked sausages, spiced tea and coffee. Plus, the event will include a silent auction, baked goods sale, Christmas gift shop and scheduled tours. All proceeds benefit the homeless ministries of the Downtown Presbyterian Church. One-hour complimentary parking will be available at 4th Avenue Garage (147 4th Avenue North). Thursday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Fee: $8 in advance, $10 at door. Call Downtown Presbyterian Church for advance tickets at 615 254-7585. Information: https://dpchurch.com/92nd-annual-waffle-shop/

more events »

PREDATORS

Better than 2006-07? Preds scoring at record pace

It was just more than a decade ago that the Nashville Predators roared through the NHL regular season, compiling franchise-best totals of 51 victories and 110 points. The 2006-07 Predators were almost certainly the most talented in team history, a club that featured six 20-goal scorers and a franchise-record 272 goals.

RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK

The Belle is back but she’s showing some vulnerability

As a large number of home sales amassed, it seemed Belle Meade had her groove back, regaining her perch atop the Nashville real estate world after losing it to newly developed and gentrified areas such as the 12 South, Belmont and even the Nations, at one point.

TERRY McCORMICK: TENNESSEE TITANS

Titans must find, fix what’s ailing Mariota

One of the biggest questions on everyone’s mind regarding the Tennessee Titans is what is wrong with Marcus Mariota? After a breakout season in 2016, one in which he threw 26 touchdown passes and just nine interceptions, Mariota has endured a stunning reversal in Year 3.

Texans at Titans: What to watch

1. Remember the Alamo, or something like that. OK, it was in Houston, not San Antonio, but the game in week four was a 57-14 drubbing at the hands of the Texans. The Titans won’t have to deal with rookie quarterback DeShaun Watson, who torched them that day. He is lost for the season with a torn ACL, but that game should serve as plenty of motivation to take care of business in a much-needed AFC South game.

UT SPORTS

Tennessee hires Alabama assistant Jeremy Pruitt as coach

KNOXVILLE (AP) — Tennessee has hired Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt as its head coach, capping a tumultuous search that cost an athletic director his job as the Volunteers attempt to recover from one of their most disappointing seasons.

DAVE LINK: UT SPORTS

Tennessee’s football search claims another casualty

Tennessee football isn’t what it used to be. Nor is the attraction of being UT’s football coach. It became more and more apparent this week as now-"suspended" UT athletics director John Currie tried to hire his first football coach as an AD.

Tennessee names Fulmer AD, places Currie on paid leave

KNOXVILLE (AP) — Tennessee has named Phillip Fulmer athletic director and placed former AD John Currie on paid leave amid what has been a tumultuous and embarrassing football coaching search.

Black's UT coaching tweet draws call from Jimmy Haslam

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Diane Black received a phone call from prominent University of Tennessee football booster Jimmy Haslam, the brother of Gov. Bill Haslam and owner of the Cleveland Browns, after she posted a tweet bemoaning the school's first choice to become the school's next football coach.

NEWSMAKERS

Bradley hires former assistant U.S. attorney

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP has hired former Assistant U.S. Attorney Scarlett Singleton Nokes for the firm’s Nashville office.

BRIEFS

More sausage to be made in Nashville

Cargill’s North America protein business is investing $146 million to expand the company’s Nashville facility.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

Pacifica or Odyssey? Depends on makeup of your family

There’s a reason the cover of a popular driving video game features a Porsche 911 GT2 RS instead of a minivan. One has 700 horsepower and racing stripes. The other reminds you of changing diapers.

CAREER CORNER

The importance of thanks to interviewers

The holidays are here again. Along with the turkey, stuffing and loved ones, there’s more to consider. This season is a time of giving thanks.

GUERRILLA MARKETING

Does your brand evoke emotion?

The essence of a brand isn’t so much about rationale arguments, but how it makes the market feel emotionally. So believed the late Steve Jobs:

NASHVILLE AREA

Dollar General tops Street 3Q forecasts

GOODLETTSVILLE (AP) — After a slow start to the year, Dollar General bounced back in the third quarter thanks to stronger sales that pushed revenue and earnings ahead of projections.

STATEWIDE

Bredesen joins race to succeed Sen. Corker in Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) — Former Gov. Phil Bredesen, the last Democrat to win a statewide election in Tennessee, touted his problem-fixing credentials on Thursday in announcing his bid to succeed Republican Bob Corker in the U.S. Senate.

REAL ESTATE

US mortgage rates rise, though remain historically low

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. mortgage rates rose this week as the economy showed signs of strength, which makes it more likely that the Federal Reserve will raise its short-term rate next week.

HEALTH CARE

Poor health and high expectations for Medicaid

WASHINGTON (AP) — People on Medicaid are more prone to smoke, struggle with depression and obesity, or rate their own health as fair or poor. But that's not the whole story.

Scientists call on US to allow research on pot meds for pets

BEND, Ore. (AP) — Dr. Byron Maas surveys a supply of marijuana products for dogs that lines a shelf in his veterinary clinic. They're selling well.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

S&P 500 inches higher, heads for first gain in 5 days

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks perked higher in Thursday morning trading, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index was on track for its first gain in five days.

Applications for US jobless benefits drop again to 236,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of unemployed workers filing for jobless benefits fell by 2,000 last week to 236,000, the lowest level in five weeks and further evidence of the strength in the labor market.

Bitcoin worth millions stolen days before US exchange opens

TOKYO (AP) — A bitcoin mining company in Slovenia has been hacked for the possible theft of tens of millions of dollars, just days before the virtual currency, which hit a record above $15,000 on Thursday, is due to start trading on major U.S. exchanges.

Kentucky hopes to benefit from renewed horse sales to China

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — After a two-year standstill, Kentucky's renowned horse industry is back in the race to develop a market in China, the world's most populous country.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Congress seems set to avert weekend government shutdown

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress seems set to prevent a weekend government shutdown, but lawmakers and President Donald Trump still have longer-range disputes to settle over spending, immigration and other issues before they can declare budget peace.

On Jerusalem, Trump delivers for supporters at home

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's move to recognize the divided city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital may have triggered a worldwide chorus of critics but the president had his ears closely tuned to his supporters at home.

McConnell: Tax bill won't add to nation's debt woes

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Fresh off his biggest legislative victory of the Trump era, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Saturday disputed projections that the Senate's tax bill would add to the nation's debt woes.


WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6
STATEWIDE

Former Tennessee Gov. Bredesen running for Senate

NASHVILLE (AP) — Former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen has been calling potential donors to let them know he plans to join the race to succeed Republican Bob Corker in the U.S. Senate.

Tennessee feels effects of Christmas tree shortage

KNOXVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee region has not been immune to the effects of a nationwide Christmas tree shortage, which is driving up costs and potentially endangering future years' supply.

Black names leadership teams in all 95 Tennessee counties

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Diane Black has named leadership teams in all 95 Tennessee counties.

MIDSTATE

Mars to base US headquarters in New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Mars Wrigley Confectionary is basing its U.S. headquarters in New Jersey.

COURTS

Federal judge to shut down Pilot Flying J trial until Jan. 8

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — A federal judge is setting a monthlong break in the fraud trial of former executives and sales representatives at the truck stop chain controlled by the family of Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam.

Tennessee officials settle for $81k in inmate program suit

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee officials are settling a lawsuit for almost $81,000 over claims that an inmate coaching program was improperly religious.

SPORTS

Saros makes career-best 43 saves, Predators beat Stars 5-2

DALLAS (AP) — Nashville goalie Juuse Saros reveled in his busy night.

Rivals Manning, Spurrier enter College Hall of Fame together

NEW YORK (AP) — After the class picture of the latest Hall of Fame inductees was taken, Peyton Manning made his way over to Steve Spurrier for another handshake and some chit-chat before heading off in opposite directions to do media interviews.

AUTO INDUSTRY

VW senior manager gets 7 years in US prison

DETROIT (AP) — A Volkswagen senior manager has been sentenced to seven years in a U.S. prison for concealing software that was used to evade pollution limits on nearly 600,000 diesel vehicles.

HEALTH CARE

While still rising, health law sign-ups likely to fall short

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sign-ups for the Affordable Care Act's subsidized health insurance are still rising, the government said Wednesday. But with just over a week to go in an enrollment season cut in half, experts say the final tally is likely to fall short.

As health premiums rise, small businesses seek alternatives

NEW YORK (AP) — Small businesses are getting notices about their premium and coverage changes for 2018, and some are making adjustments because of that.

UnitedHealth ventures deeper into care with nearly $5B deal

The nation's biggest health insurer is spending nearly $5 billion to buy hundreds of clinics, just three days after rival Aetna announced a bigger tie up with CVS Health Corp.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Sinking energy stocks pull S&P 500 to fourth straight loss

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks took another small step backward on Wednesday after a plunge in the price of oil dragged down shares of energy producers. The losses overshadowed gains for technology companies and other areas of the market.

Small businesses hire at moderate pace in November, ADP says

NEW YORK (AP) — Small businesses hired at a moderate pace last month, adding 50,000 jobs, according to payroll provider ADP.

US records strongest US worker productivity in 3 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. worker productivity rose 3 percent in the third quarter, the best showing in three years, while labor costs fell for a second straight quarter.

Survey: US businesses added a solid 190,000 jobs in November

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. businesses added a robust 190,000 jobs in November, according to a private survey, a sign that hiring is strong enough to reduce an already-low unemployment rate.

In the age of Amazon, Walmart is changing its legal name

NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is changing its legal name effective Feb. 1 as it shifts away from physical stores in the age of Amazon's increasing dominance,

Too chic for Amazon: Luxury firms in EU can pick sales sites

BRUSSELS (AP) — Luxury goods companies may ban sales of their products on online platforms like Amazon to preserve their aura of exclusivity, the European Union's top court said Wednesday.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Count the ways: How GOP tax plans would reward rich families

WASHINGTON (AP) — Life may be about to get easier for people with rich parents. They can thank the Republicans' tax plans.

Senate Republicans barrel toward sweeping tax overhaul

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate on Wednesday barreled toward the most sweeping rewrite of the tax code in more than three decades as the top Republican senator said he was willing to compromise on a major sticking point for lawmakers from high-tax states such as New York and California.

House conservatives show openness to bill averting shutdown

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hard-right House conservatives signaled an openness Wednesday to backing a short-term spending bill this week, raising the odds that Congress will pass the measure and prevent a partial government shutdown on Saturday.

Amid positive talk, some in GOP offer blunt take on taxes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sounding a discordant note among the positive talk on the tax bill, a number of Republicans are delivering a blunt assessment, casting the bill as a boost to big corporations and the wealthy instead of the middle class.

Trump flouts world's warnings, to name Jerusalem a 'capital'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defying dire, worldwide warnings, President Donald Trump prepared Wednesday to declare Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a move upending decades of U.S. policy and carrying unclear consequences for Mideast peace efforts.

Doctors identify brain abnormalities in Cuba attack patients

WASHINGTON (AP) — Doctors treating the U.S. Embassy victims of mysterious, invisible attacks in Cuba have discovered brain abnormalities as they search for clues to explain the hearing, vision, balance and memory damage, The Associated Press has learned.

House OKs GOP bill expanding gun owners' rights

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans rammed a bill through the House on Wednesday that would make it easier for gun owners to legally carry concealed weapons across state lines, the first significant action on guns in Congress since mass shootings in Nevada and Texas killed more than 80 people.

AP FACT CHECK: Trump's curious case for shrinking monuments

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump made a curious case for stripping federal protections from vast stretches of two of America's national monument lands.

Survey: US firms losing confidence in China business climate

HONG KONG (AP) — U.S. companies in China are seeing their sales improve but are frustrated by policies and regulatory barriers that block better access to the country's lucrative market, according to a survey released Wednesday.


TUESDAY, DECEMBER 5
STATEWIDE

Cineworld buying Knoxville's Regal movie chain in global expansion

NEW YORK (AP) — Cineworld Group PLC is buying Regal Entertainment Group for $3.61 billion in a deal that gives the movie theater operator a larger global footprint.

MIDSTATE

Officials offer $5k reward after 18 guns stolen in Mt. Juliet

NASHVILLE (AP) — Federal officials say a $5,000 reward is available for information about who stole 18 guns from a Tennessee gun store.

SPORTS

IOC to allow Russians to compete as neutrals at Olympics

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Russian athletes will be allowed to compete at the upcoming Pyeongchang Olympics as neutrals despite orchestrated doping at the 2014 Sochi Games, the International Olympic Committee said Tuesday.

Manning: My role at Tennessee is now 'donor, supporter, fan'

NEW YORK (AP) — Peyton Manning says he takes his role as an ambassador for the University of Tennessee seriously and looks forward to supporting the Volunteers' next football coach.

Smith scores twice to lead Predators over Bruins 5-3

NASHVILLE (AP) — With his team struggling in the third period, Predators coach Peter Laviolette called a timeout that helped swing the momentum.

HEALTH CARE

Q&A: Tax bill impacts on health law coverage and Medicare

WASHINGTON (AP) — The tax overhaul Republicans are pushing toward final votes in Congress could undermine the Affordable Care Act's health insurance markets and add to the financial squeeze on Medicare over time.

COURTS

Lawyer says Trump too busy to face lawsuit

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump's lawyers say he should be immune from a New York defamation lawsuit filed by a former contestant on his reality TV show "The Apprentice" in part because he's too busy and important.

Kennedy seems conflicted in Supreme Court wedding cake case

WASHINGTON (AP) — On a sharply divided Supreme Court, the justice in the middle seemed conflicted Tuesday in the court's high-stakes consideration of a baker who refused to make a wedding case for a same-sex couple in 2012.

Not a final ruling, but justices OK travel ban enforcement

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's not a final ruling, but the Supreme Court is letting the Trump administration fully enforce a ban on travel to the United States by residents of six mostly Muslim countries.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Ford ups electric push in China as Beijing transforms market

NEW YORK (AP) — At least 30 percent of the new vehicles Ford will roll out in China by 2025 will be electric, with Beijing pushing hard to improve air quality for people living in smoke-choked cities.

TECHNOLOGY

Chicken nugget guy, Obama among most retweeted of 2017

NEW YORK (AP) — What do a former U.S. president, LeBron James and a guy with an insatiable appetite for chicken nuggets have in common? They all made the biggest splash on Twitter this year.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

S&P 500 drops to third straight loss after tech rally fades

NEW YORK (AP) — Another afternoon fizzle for stocks left the Standard & Poor's 500 index with its third straight loss on Tuesday.

US service sector grows at slower rate in November

U.S. services companies expanded at a slower pace in November, an unsurprising downshift after having grown in October at the fastest rate in a dozen years.

Senate panel approves Jerome Powell as Fed chairman

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday approved President Donald Trump's selection of Jerome Powell to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve.

US trade deficit rises to $48.7 billion on record imports

WASHINGTON (AP) — Record imports lifted the U.S. trade deficit to $48.7 billion in October, highest since January.

Ireland to start collecting $15 billion in tax from Apple

LONDON (AP) — Ireland has struck a deal with Apple to collect up to 13 billion euros ($15 billion) in back taxes and hold it in an escrow account pending an appeal before the Court of Justice of the European Union.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Then and now: Why 1986 tax bill was everything 2017's isn't

WASHINGTON (AP) — They don't do tax reform like they used to. The legislation that House and Senate Republicans have embraced has revived memories of Congress' most recent major tax overhaul three decades ago.

ABC says Ross will no longer cover stories involving Trump

NEW YORK (AP) — Suspended ABC News reporter Brian Ross will no longer cover stories involving President Donald Trump following his erroneous report last Friday on former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Trump science job nominees missing advanced science degrees

WASHINGTON (AP) — When it comes to filling jobs dealing with complex science, environment and health issues, the Trump administration is nominating people with fewer science academic credentials than their Obama predecessors. And it's moving slower as well.

WH budget meeting planned with Trump, congressional leaders

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and congressional leaders have scheduled a summit to begin sorting out their budget differences, top lawmakers and the White House said, as a clash that could produce a partial government shutdown by the weekend hung in the balance.

Trump's tweet raises obstruction specter, worries allies

WASHINGTON (AP) — The shifting explanations for why President Donald Trump fired national security adviser Michael Flynn have revived questions about whether the president may have obstructed an ongoing investigation of potential contacts between his campaign and Russia.


MONDAY, DECEMBER 4
SPORTS

Hey 8-4: Titans stay atop AFC South by beating Texans 24-13

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee left tackle Taylor Lewan remembers only too well how the Titans always seemed to find a way to lose through his first two seasons in the NFL.

MIDSTATE

MTSU launches new children's physical activity program

MURFREESBORO (AP) — Middle Tennessee State University is launching a pilot project to enhance children's after-school physical activity.

STATEWIDE

2 UTC administrators cited for public indecency

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — Two University of Tennessee at Chattanooga administrators have been cited for public indecency.

COURTS

Supreme Court allows full enforcement of Trump travel ban

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday allowed the Trump administration to fully enforce a ban on travel to the United States by residents of six mostly Muslim countries.

Former airport authority CEO in Tennessee sues over firing

NASHVILLE (AP) — A lawsuit claims an ex-Tennessee airport official was fired after taking medical leave.

High court hints it could side with state on sports betting

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a case being closely watched by states interested in allowing betting on sports, the Supreme Court indicated a willingness Monday to side with New Jersey's effort to permit sports gambling.

TVA gets $3.5M in tree firm's immigration case

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Valley Authority has received $3.5 million in a settlement with a tree-trimming firm that pleaded guilty in a scheme to employ thousands of people in the country illegally.

Cake case before Supreme Court has ties to barbecue decision

WASHINGTON (AP) — The upcoming Supreme Court argument about a baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex couple makes some civil rights lawyers think of South Carolina's Piggie Park barbecue.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Nissan undaunted by bid to stop electric vehicle tax credits

SMYRNA (AP) — The head of Nissan Motor Co.'s operations in North America said Monday that the company is undaunted by congressional efforts to do away with a federal tax credit for plug-in electric vehicles.

Lamborghini joins the boom in supercar SUVs

MILAN (AP) — Supercar makers have long known that parked next to that snarling Lamborghini, racing-red Ferrari, or stately Bentley at some of the globe's toniest addresses is a practical SUV. With the sport utility vehicle market growing by leaps and bounds, they increasingly want in on those profits.

TECHNOLOGY

AP FACT CHECK: Net-neutrality claims leave out key context

NEW YORK (AP) — The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, in seeking to dispel "myths" about Obama-era "net neutrality" rules, has instead put out his own incomplete and misleading talking points.

Facebook launches parent-controlled Messenger app for kids

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook is coming for your kids. The social media giant is launching a messaging app for children to chat with their parents and with friends approved by their parents.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Slump for tech stocks overshadows gains by telecoms, banks

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock indexes didn't do much at first glance on Monday, but the modest move for the Standard & Poor's 500 masked some dramatic changes roiling underneath the surface.

Rates rise at US Treasury auction to highest in 9 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills rose in Monday's auction to their highest levels in nine years.

Beyond Rx? CVS Health-Aetna deal may mean more services

CVS Health wants to do much more than fill your prescription or jab your arm with an annual flu shot.

Economists expect modest boost from tax cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — Economists expect a tax overhaul to provide a modest boost to the U.S. economy but are increasingly worried that a rewrite of the North American Free Trade Agreement will take a toll on growth.

Facebook's Sandberg warns of backlash against women

NEW YORK (AP) — Sheryl Sandberg is warning of a potential backlash against women and is urging companies to put into place clear policies on how allegations of sexual harassment are handled.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Graduate students to protest proposal to tax tuition waivers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Graduate students around the U.S. are staging campus walk-outs and lobbying Congress in an effort to keep their tuition waivers tax-free.

Those tax breaks in the GOP plan? Enjoy them while they last

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has touted his tax overhaul as a once-in-a-generation opportunity. Yet the plan Senate Republicans have embraced could force lawmakers to rewrite the tax code repeatedly for years to come.

Grassley says comments on estate tax misinterpreted

WASHINGTON (AP) — A top Republican senator said Monday his comments were misinterpreted when he defended GOP efforts to scale back the federal estate taxes because it helps those who invest rather than people who spend their money on "booze or women or movies."

Trump complains about 'unfair' treatment of Flynn

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lobbing new criticism at the special counsel's Russia investigation, President Donald Trump said Monday he feels "very badly" for former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who last week pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about reaching out to the Russians on the president's behalf.


FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1
SPORTS

AP Source: Leach meets with Tennessee AD about coaching job

Washington State football coach Mike Leach met with Tennessee athletic director John Currie on Thursday to discuss the Volunteers' coaching vacancy, according to a person with direct knowledge of the meeting.

Boeser nets 2, Sedin hits milestone as Canucks top Preds 5-3

NASHVILLE (AP) — It was a grand night for Daniel Sedin.

STATE LEGISLATURE

Black: State, Congress should release sex harassment claims

NASHVILLE (AP) — Congresswoman Diane Black wants the Tennessee General Assembly and Congress to release information about sexual harassment claims and settlements involving lawmakers and staffers.

STATEWIDE

Flap over botched ACT test leads state to consider SAT

KNOXVILLE (AP) — A disagreement over ACT scores withheld from students at a Tennessee high school could lead state officials to consider moving to a rival assessment test.

COURTS

US wants 'Pharma Bro' Shkreli to forfeit $2M Wu-Tang album

NEW YORK (AP) — The government wants to seize Martin Shkreli's one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album.

Sports agent contests fine for violation of state law

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Florida-based sports agent is contesting a fine imposed by Tennessee of more than $25,000 for representing a pitching prospect from the state before registering as an athlete's agent with the Tennessee Secretary of State's office.

Randy Travis loses legal bid to keep DUI footage private

NASHVILLE (AP) — A federal judge has denied a request by country singer Randy Travis to stop the state of Texas from releasing footage of him naked and ranting during a 2012 DUI arrest.

WSMV news personalities file ageism lawsuit

NASHVILLE (AP) — Three former Tennessee on-air news personalities are suing their station over age discrimination claims.

REAL ESTATE

US construction spending up a strong 1.4 percent in October

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. construction spending surged 1.4 percent in October, the best gain in five months, with all major categories of building posting gains.

Housing trends favor builders focused on entry-level buyers

It's lining up to be another strong year for investors who own homebuilding stocks.

Longer-term mortgage rates slip to historically low levels

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term mortgage rates slipped this week, though shorter-term rates rose in response to better economic news that made it more likely the Federal Reserve will hike rates in December.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Nissan the exception to poor November US auto sales

DETROIT (AP) — Black Friday deals and strong consumer confidence pushed auto sales higher in November despite waning demand for post-hurricane replacement vehicles.

US prosecutors seek 7-year prison sentence for VW manager

DETROIT (AP) — Prosecutors are seeking a seven-year prison sentence for a Volkswagen senior manager who pleaded guilty in the automaker's U.S. diesel emissions scandal.

GM to launch self-driving vehicles in big US cities in 2019

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. expects to carry passengers and deliver goods with self-driving vehicles in big cities sometime in 2019, telling investors it's moving quickly and plans to be ahead of other automakers and tech companies.

TECHNOLOGY

Tesla builds world's biggest battery in Australian Outback

ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — The world's biggest lithium-ion battery has plugged into an Australian state grid, delivering on a promise by Tesla Inc. chief executive Elon Musk.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks mostly recoup midday losses

Stocks are closing modestly lower, having recouped much of a steep loss from earlier in the day after a former adviser to the White House pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

US world's biggest supplier of heavy oil refining byproduct

NEW DELHI (AP) — U.S. oil refineries that are unable to sell a dirty fuel waste product at home are exporting vast quantities of it to India instead.

US factory growth slowed in November but still looks strong

WASHINGTON (AP) — American factories grew more slowly in November but still appear healthy.

Macy's plans to hire 7,000 extra seasonal workers

CINCINNATI (AP) — Macy's is hiring an extra 7,000 seasonal associates this holiday season, saying traffic in its department stores nationwide has been high.

Even with stocks at record highs, experts see 'Santa' jump

NEW YORK (AP) — Is Santa Claus coming to town? Wall Street thinks so, even though stocks have already exceeded most expectations this year.

Holiday shopping: Desire for deals, but some impulse buying

NEW YORK (AP) — As shoppers have bought TVs and toys so far this holiday season, they've shown a desire for deals but also an inclination for some impulse spending, retail experts say.

Harry Potter puts a curse on Barnes & Noble's sales

NEW YORK (AP) — Call it the curse of Harry Potter. Shares in bookseller Barnes & Noble tumbled 12 percent Thursday after the company reported a sharp drop in quarterly sales.

OPEC, allies extend production cut through 2018

VIENNA (AP) — The OPEC cartel and a group of allied oil-producing nations agreed Thursday to prolong crude output cuts until the end of next year, extending a policy that has led to a significant rise in the price of oil over the past year.

Even procrastinators can find deals on holiday travel

DALLAS (AP) — So you polished off the pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, watched Black Friday and Cyber Monday come and go, and now — just now — you're thinking that it might be time to make your Christmas travel reservations.

Consumer spending rose solid 0.3 percent in October

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumers boosted their spending a solid 0.3 percent in October, while their incomes grew 0.4 percent. Both were healthy gains indicating the all-important holiday shopping season was getting off to a good start.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Sen. Corker says he's voting against GOP tax bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker has become the only Republican senator to say he will vote against his party's $1.4 trillion tax bill.

GOP nears Senate OK of tax bill after flurry of final deals

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans used a burst of eleventh-hour horse-trading Friday to edge a $1.4 trillion tax bill to the brink of Senate passage, as a party starved all year for a major legislative triumph took a giant step toward giving President Donald Trump one of his top priorities by Christmas.

House lines up vote on GOP bill easing gun restrictions

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans are lining up a House vote next week on a bill making it easier for gun owners to legally carry concealed weapons across state lines.

Former Trump adviser Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBI

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to making false statements to the FBI, the first Trump White House official to make a guilty plea so far in a wide-ranging investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Michael Flynn's rise was rapid, his fall even faster

WASHINGTON (AP) — Michael Flynn was President Donald Trump's favorite general, rapidly vaulted to prominence by his fiery speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention about jailing Hillary Clinton and by Trump's decision to reward him with a plum job as his top national security aide.

Analysis: Tax bill would add $1T to deficit

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new congressional analysis says the Senate tax package would add $1 trillion to the budget deficit over the next decade, much less than previously estimated.

AP source: Kushner questioned by Mueller's team about Flynn

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner has been questioned by special counsel Robert Mueller's team of investigators about former national security adviser Michael Flynn, a person familiar with the investigation confirmed to The Associated Press.

GOP tax bill gains support; Senate leaders work on holdouts

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republican leaders wrangled with the last few GOP holdouts Thursday as they pushed toward passing the first major rewrite of the nation's tax code in more than three decades, a package that would impact rich and the poor as well as businesses big and small.

Lawmaker says GOP has the votes to avert government shutdown

WASHINGTON (AP) — One of the House's conservative leaders indicated Thursday that Republicans have the votes needed to approve legislation preventing a weekend partial government shutdown.

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