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VOL. 44 | NO. 52 | Friday, December 25, 2020

2020 has one last party to spoil

Big celebrations out as pandemic lingers like an unwanted guest

New Year’s Eve is not a major holiday for everyone, at least in normal times. It will be this year.

Restaurants to retailers, virus transformed business

It would be just a temporary precaution. When the viral pandemic erupted in March, employees of the small insurance firm Thimble fled their Manhattan offices. CEO Jay Bregman planned to call them back soon – as soon as New York was safe again.


Skyrocketing prices can’t be good for Nashville’s future

The flood of those migrating to Nashville remains unfathomable, many having sold their homes in what they consider expensive markets. And then, like Michael Keaton in Batman, the Nashville market says “Wait’ll they get a load of me.”

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Mostly Cloudy
Wind: South at 13.8 mph
Humidity: 76%


Marshmallow Hikes. Enjoy a hike in the winter woods followed by hot chocolate and roasted marshmallows. Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary offers several dates for an outing the family can enjoy. Marshmallow and Hot Chocolate Hikes, Dec. 28-31 and Jan. 2, 9 and 16. Fee: $10 per hiker. Register in advance. Owl’s Hill, 545 Beech Creek Road, Brentwood. Information

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Benchmark U.S. 30-year mortgage drops to record low 2.66%

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. long-term mortgage rates dropped this week to a record low for the 16th time in 2020, reflecting an economy hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.


Titans ready (or not) for prime time

Sunday Packers game seen by players as beginning of playoffs

We know this much about the Tennessee Titans after 14 games: The offense is prolific – the best we have ever seen from the club since it moved to Tennessee in 1997. The Titans have scored 30 points or more nine times this season, and scored 40-plus points for the fourth time this season in Sunday’s 46-25 romp against the Detroit Lions.

Leaky defense must slow potent offense

The Titans head to the proverbial Frozen Tundra of Lambeau Field for a rare Sunday Night prime-time game, one circled as a highlight of the season since the 2020 schedule was announced.

High-scoring offense has Titans closing in on AFC South title

NASHVILLE (AP) — Ryan Tannehill admits he was frustrated not hearing his name called for the AFC's Pro Bowl team in arguably the best season of his career.


Abelow named president of Nashville Bar Association

Mike Abelow, member at Sherrard Roe Voigt and Harbison, has been named 2021 president of the Nashville Bar Association.


Revance relocating HQ here from California

Revance Therapeutics is relocating its headquarters from Silicon Valley’s Newark, California, to Nashville.


Edmunds names its top new cars for 2021

Every year Edmunds’ experts put their heads together to determine the very best new vehicles on sale. Spread across eight categories, the Edmunds Top Rated Awards are given to the cars, trucks and SUVs that rank at the top of their class according to Edmunds’ vehicle testing program.


Need to get away? RV-buying mistakes to avoid

Recreational vehicle sales are soaring, and the RV industry expects 2021 to be a record-breaking year. Dealerships say much of the demand is coming from first-time buyers and others anxious to find a safer way to vacation during the pandemic.


Ready to make the jump to being your own boss?

Right about now, you’d pounce on just about any job. One that’s different from the one you have. A job that pays better or offers flexible hours so you can deal with virtual schooling, unimpeded.


Burnout is not a badge of honor to be celebrated

Burnout is not a badge. Yet, for some reason, we wear it every day as if it qualifies us for a prize. Grinding yourself down is not a contest. I wish we could all agree on this.


Nashville man's girlfriend warned he was building bombs

NASHVILLE (AP) — More than a year before Anthony Warner detonated a bomb in downtown Nashville on Christmas, officers visited his home after his girlfriend told police he was building bombs in an RV trailer at his residence, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. But they did not make contact with him, or see inside his RV.


Teachers move up in Tennessee vaccination rollout plan

Tennessee has updated its scheduled rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations, including moving teachers into a higher priority category.


US home contract signings at record levels in November

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes declined last month, but was still a record high for November when a seasonal slowdown traditionally seeps into the real estate market.


Colorado Guardsman has 1st reported US case of virus variant

DENVER (AP) — Health officials say a Colorado National Guard member has the first reported U.S. case of COVID-19 variant and a second case is suspected in another Guard member.

UK OKs 'vaccine for the world'; extends time between doses

LONDON (AP) — Britain authorized an easy-to-handle coronavirus vaccine Wednesday and decided to stretch out the time between doses to allow more people to get some level of protection faster as infections surge. The first greenlight for the shot dubbed the "vaccine for the world" brought a measure of hope that the pandemic could be brought under control.

Highest-tier limits extended to most of England

LONDON — The British government has extended its highest tier of restrictions to three-quarters of England's population, saying a fast-spreading variant of the coronavirus has reached most of the country.

COVID cluckers: Pandemic feeds demand for backyard chickens

ROSS, Calif. (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic is coming home to roost in America's backyards.


Stocks hold on to modest gains, marking another Dow record

Stocks are closing modestly higher on Wall Street, keeping major indexes at or near record highs.

Trump's $2,000 checks all but dead as GOP Senate refuses aid

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's push for $2,000 COVID-19  relief checks all but died Wednesday as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell proposed an alternative approach of loading up the bill with other White House priorities that appeared destined to fail.

EU, China leaders seal long-awaited investment deal

BRUSSELS (AP) — Top European Union officials and Chinese President Xi Jinping concluded a business investment deal Wednesday that will open big opportunities to European companies, but has the potential to irk the new American administration.


Census Bureau to miss deadline, jeopardizing Trump plan

The Census Bureau plans to announce it will miss a year-end deadline for handing in numbers used for divvying up congressional seats. That delay could undermine President Donald Trump's efforts to exclude people in the country illegally from the count if the figures aren't turned in before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

Missouri senator to contest Electoral College win for Biden

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said Wednesday he will raise objections next week when Congress meets to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the election, forcing House and Senate votes that are likely to delay — but in no way alter — the final certification of Biden's win.

Explainer: How Congress will count Electoral College votes

WASHINGTON (AP) — The congressional joint session to count electoral votes is generally a routine, ceremonious affair. But President Donald Trump's repeated, baseless efforts to challenge Democrat Joe Biden's victory will bring more attention than usual to next Wednesday's joint session of the Senate and the House.

Pelosi likely speaker again, but might require high-wire act

WASHINGTON (AP) — There's little doubt that Nancy Pelosi will be reelected House speaker when the new Congress convenes Sunday. It could take a high-wire act for her to get there, largely thanks to the pandemic.

Trump leaves mark on immigration policy, some of it lasting

WASHINGTON (AP) — When President Donald Trump was running for reelection, foreign-born U.S. residents were rushing to get their American citizenship before it might be too late.


Henry poised to repeat as NFL's rushing leader

NASHVILLE (AP) — Derrick Henry has been running into lots of NFL records, and now he's a game away from joining another exclusive group.


Christmas bombing marks another dark day for Nashville

NASHVILLE (AP) — When Sandy and Geff Lee finally saw a photo of the building that was home to their Nashville boutique on the day after the Christmas morning bombing, a quiet came over the room.

Nashville bomber left hints of trouble, but motive elusive

NASHVILLE (AP) — In the days before he detonated a bomb in downtown Nashville on Christmas, Anthony Quinn Warner changed his life in ways that suggest he never intended to survive the blast that killed him and wounded three other people.


Lee calls special session to address education issues

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Lee on Tuesday announced he was calling for a special legislative session to address education challenges that have popped up amid the coronavirus pandemic.

State capitols face showdown over COVID powers, spending

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — State lawmakers across the country will convene in 2021 with the continuing COVID-19 pandemic rippling through much of their work — even affecting the way they work.


Feds decline charges against officers in Tamir Rice case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department announced Tuesday that it would not bring federal criminal charges against two Cleveland police officers in the 2014 killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, saying video of the shooting was of too poor a quality for prosecutors to conclusively establish what had happened.


FAA outlines new rules for drones and their operators

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal officials say they will allow operators to fly small drones over people and at night, potentially giving a boost to commercial use of the machines.


US home prices rise at fastest pace in more than 6 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices jumped in October by the most in more than six years as a pandemic-fueled buying rush drives the number of available properties for sale to record lows.


Biden criticizes pace of vaccine rollout, vows to accelerate

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden criticized the Trump administration Tuesday for the pace of distributing COVID-19 vaccines and predicted that "things will get worse before they get better" when it comes to the pandemic.

First reported US case of COVID-19 variant found in Colorado

DENVER (AP) — The first reported U.S. case of the COVID-19 variant that's been seen in the United Kingdom has been discovered in Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis announced Tuesday.

'Like a bathtub filling up': Alabama is slammed by the virus

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — With its dozen intensive care beds already full, Cullman Regional Medical Center began looking desperately for options as more and more COVID-19 patients showed up.

Human resources expert discusses vaccines and employers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The rollout of the first COVID-19 vaccines poses some thorny questions for U.S. employers: Can they or should they require employees to get the shots?

Wiser resolutions? Lessons from COVID's unfulfilled ones

She'd wanted to frame and hang them — just three printed pictures that had been sitting in Lucy O'Donoghue's suburban Atlanta house since the year began. That's all. Yet with a full-time job and two small kids, she hadn't found the time.


US stocks fall as investors turn cautious following records

Stocks closed modestly lower on Wall Street Tuesday as investors turned cautious a day after major indexes closed at their latest record highs.

Explainer: Brexit ends Britons' right to live and work in EU

LONDON (AP) — So far, the large majority of British and EU citizens have not felt the realities of Brexit. Though the U.K. left the European Union on Jan. 31, it follows the bloc's rules until the end of this year as part of a transition period to the new economic relationship.

Child labor in palm oil industry tied to Girl Scout cookies

They are two young girls from two very different worlds, linked by a global industry that exploits an army of children.

Japan's Nikkei at 30-year high after Trump OKs stimulus

World stocks rose Tuesday, with Japan's Nikkei 225 benchmark hitting a 30-year high after President Donald Trump signed a $900 billion economic aid package.


Senate GOP blocks swift vote on Trump's $2K checks

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday blocked Democrats' push to immediately bring President Donald Trump's demand for bigger $2,000 COVID-19 relief checks up for a vote, saying the chamber would "begin a process" to address the issue.

Trump lashes out at GOP after override vote on defense bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump lashed out at congressional Republicans on Tuesday after the House easily voted to override his veto of a defense policy bill.

Biden warns of Trump officials' 'roadblocks' to transition

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden is warning of massive damage done to the national security apparatus by the Trump administration and "roadblocks" in communication between agency officials and his transition team that could undermine Americans' security.


Titans get second chance to clinch AFC South with road win

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans at least should be comfortable in this spot.

Titans' offense has rare off-night in 40-14 loss to Packers

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans still have a direct path to their second straight postseason berth even after wasting an opportunity to clinch their first AFC South title since 2008 on Sunday.

Adams shines in snow as Packers trounce Titans 40-14

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams created a picturesque atmosphere as they connected for three touchdown passes on a snow-covered Lambeau Field.


Music City Bowl between Iowa and Missouri canceled

The Music City Bowl between Missouri and Iowa was canceled Sunday because COVID-19 issues left the Tigers unable to play.


Bomber to neighbor: The world is 'never going to forget me'

NASHVILLE (AP) — It seemed like a friendly chat between neighbors. Only after a bomb exploded in downtown Nashville on Christmas morning could Rick Laude grasp the sinister meaning behind his neighbor's smiling remark that the city and the rest of the world would never forget him.


Tony Rice, master bluegrass guitarist, dies at 69

Tony Rice, the master bluegrass picker who drew fans worldwide for the chance to hear the quick, fluid sounds he conjured from his storied Martin D-28 guitar, has died at age 69.


From Zoom to Quibi, the tech winners and losers of 2020

We streamed, we Zoomed, we ordered groceries and houseplants online, we created virtual villages while navigating laptop shortages to work and learn from home. When it comes to technology, 2020 was a year like no other.


AstraZeneca: Shot will be effective against COVID-19 variant

LONDON (AP) — The head of drugmaker AstraZeneca, which is developing a coronavirus vaccine widely expected to be approved by U.K. authorities this week, said Sunday that researchers believe the shot will be effective against a new variant of the virus driving a rapid surge in infections in Britain.

Finland latest nation to find UK virus variant

HELSINKI (AP) — Finland has become the latest European country to report a case of the more contagious coronavirus variant first identified in Britain.

Fauci: US taking hard look at variant of coronavirus

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health officials believe the coronavirus mutation that set off alarms in parts of Britain is no more apt to cause serious illness or be resistant to vaccines than the strain afflicting people in the United States but it still must be taken "very seriously," the government's top infectious disease expert said Sunday.


US stocks hit records after Trump signs $900B aid package

Stocks are closing at record highs Monday as Wall Street entered the final week of 2020.

House set to vote on Trump's $2,000 checks as GOP balks

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pandemic aid secured, Congress turned Monday to confront the White House on additional year-end priorities after President Donald Trump reluctantly signed a $2 trillion-plus COVID-19 relief and federal spending package that will provide relief for millions of Americans.

Trump's hesitation on relief bill will delay aid payments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The $900 billion economic relief package that President Donald Trump signed over the weekend will deliver vital aid to millions of struggling households and businesses. Yet his nearly one-week delay in signing the bill means that it will take that much longer for the financial support to arrive.

Chinese regulators order Ant Group to rectify its businesses

HONG KONG (AP) — Chinese regulators have ordered Ant Group, the world's largest financial technology company, to rectify its businesses and comply with regulatory requirements amid increased scrutiny of anti-monopoly practices in the country's internet sector.


Ex-Tennessee Rep. Holt joins state agriculture department

NASHVILLE (AP) — Former Republican state Rep. Andy Holt has joined the Tennessee Department of Agriculture as the director of business development.


COVID-19 is top 2020 Tennessee story; tornadoes No. 2

NASHVILLE (AP) — The top story in Tennessee in 2020 was the new coronavirus and its crippling grip on every facet of life, while a string of deadly tornadoes in March came in at No. 2 in an annual Associated Press survey of reporters, editors and broadcasters.

Tennessee saw $131M in Nov. sports bets; $2.4M tax revenue

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's new online-only sports betting program saw $131.4 million in gross wagers last month, yielding almost $2.4 million in privilege taxes for the state, officials said Wednesday.


$350M Tennessee hospital deal called off amid FTC opposition

MEMPHIS (AP) — A Memphis-based health care system won't acquire two area hospitals after the Federal Trade Commission opposed the $350 million deal.

Trump plan to curb drug costs dealt setback in court

WASHINGTON (AP) — A late-term maneuver by President Donald Trump to use lower drug prices paid overseas to limit some of Medicare's own costs suffered a legal setback Wednesday that appears likely to keep the policy from taking effect before the president leaves office.


COVID in California: 2 million confirmed cases and counting

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California became the first state to record 2 million confirmed coronavirus cases, reaching the milestone on Christmas Eve as close to the entire state was under a strict stay-at-home order and hospitals were flooded with the largest crush of cases since the pandemic began.

Coronavirus dampens Christmas joy in Bethlehem and elsewhere

BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) — A stream of marching bands joyously paraded through Bethlehem on Thursday, but few people were there to greet them as the coronavirus pandemic and a strict lockdown dampened Christmas Eve celebrations in the traditional birthplace of Jesus.

The autopsy, a fading practice, revealed secrets of COVID-19

NEW YORK (AP) — The COVID-19 pandemic has helped revive the autopsy. When the virus first arrived in U.S. hospitals, doctors could only guess what was causing its strange constellation of symptoms: What could explain why patients were losing their sense of smell and taste, developing skin rashes, struggling to breathe and reporting memory loss on top of flu-like coughs and aches?

No Christmas Eve joy for truckers stuck in UK virus gridlock

DOVER, England (AP) — Trucks inched slowly past checkpoints at the English port of Dover and headed across the Channel on Thursday to the French port of Calais after France partially reopened its borders with Britain following a scare over a rapidly spreading new virus variant.


Stocks close higher in holiday shortened week

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed slightly higher on Christmas Eve, as investors went into the holiday weekend not bothered by President Donald Trump's threat not to sign a major economic stimulus package approved by Congress this week.

Breakthrough: UK and EU reach post-Brexit trade agreement

BRUSSELS (AP) — Just a week before the deadline, Britain and the European Union struck a free-trade deal Thursday that should avert economic chaos on New Year's and bring a measure of certainty for businesses after years of Brexit turmoil.

Retailers brace for flood of returns from online shopping

NEW YORK (AP) — A huge surge in online shopping during the pandemic has been a savior for retailers, but it comes at a price.

China steps up pressure on Alibaba with anti-monopoly probe

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese regulators on Thursday announced an anti-monopoly investigation of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, stepping up the ruling Communist Party's efforts to control fast-growing tech industries.


'We are struggling': A bleak Christmas for America's jobless

NEW YORK (AP) — Last Christmas, Shanita Matthews cooked up a feast for her family of three: Roast chicken, barbecue spareribs, spinach, macaroni and cheese.

GOP blocks $2,000 checks as Trump leaves COVID aid in chaos

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's sudden demand for $2,000 checks for most Americans was swiftly rejected by House Republicans on Thursday as his haphazard actions throw a massive COVID  relief and government funding bill into chaos.

Senate hearing elevates baseless claims of election fraud

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican senators on Wednesday further perpetuated President Donald Trump's baseless claims of widespread voter fraud, two days after Democrat Joe Biden's victory was sealed by the Electoral College.

New round of Trump clemency benefits Manafort, other allies

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Wednesday pardoned more than two dozen people, including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Charles Kushner, the father of his son-in-law, in the latest wave of clemency to benefit longtime associates and supporters.

A look at the 29 people Trump pardoned or gave commutations

WASHINGTON (AP) — For a second night in a row, President Donald Trump issued a round of pardons and commutations in the final weeks of his presidency, giving full pardons to his former campaign chairman, his son-in-law's father and another of his allies convicted in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

Trump's presidential legacy, by the numbers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Words matter. But numbers tell stories, too. Presidential historians and others will plumb them as they assess President Donald Trump's legacy,

Biden: Cardona right pick to lead education through pandemic

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden introduced Miguel Cardona as his pick for education secretary on Wednesday, saying Connecticut's education chief and life-long champion of public schools is the right pick to lead the department as the nation struggles to educate students safely during the pandemic.

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