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VOL. 40 | NO. 53 | Friday, December 30, 2016

Titaned up: Success found in big moves, tiniest details

Robinson, Strunk, Mularkey flip team’s culture of calamity

Most critics of last year’s Tennessee Titans saw unsettled ownership, a revolving door of coaches and a lack of talent at key positions. Jon Robinson saw weeds.

Climer: Strunk has provided long-missing ownership stability

Since becoming controlling owner of the Titans in March 2015, it has become customary for Amy Adams Strunk to spend a half-hour or so on the sideline visiting with coaches and players prior to games.

Texans-Titans: What to watch

The 2016 season isn’t going to end the way the Tennessee Titans wanted it to. Last week’s loss at Jacksonville, coupled with a field goal miss by Cincinnati’s Randy Bullock against Houston, extinguished the Titans’ playoff hopes on a Christmas Eve that went from good to bad to ugly – rather quickly.

SAM STOCKARD: VIEW FROM THE HILL

New year, new resolutions for legislators

Some Tennesseans recall the days when the state Legislature met every other year and wonder if it should revert to that schedule. Considering the General Assembly pushes most of its work into three and a-half months, it might be worth a try.

Local Weather

Weather in Nashville, TN

EVENTS

Real Estate Investors Network: Main Event dinner, landlording focus group and Real Estate Finance 101 featuring speaker Yogi Dougher, who will discuss how to finance everything from your first duplex to a large commercial project, as well as the basics of real estate financing and how to make yourself more bankable. Monday, 5:50 p.m., 235 White Bridge Road. Information: www.reintn.org. Additional January opportunities:

more events »

TIM GHIANNI: STREET LEVEL

MadeFirst hits high note with Nashville's New Year’s drop

The fellow who makes sure Nashville’s New Year gets off on a cheerful, multi-colored note wanders across his MadeFirst complex – a 30,000 square-foot office and warehouse – in East Nashville and smiles brightly.

RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK

High-end sales take tumble in final quarter of stellar sales year

When January 2016 sales figures begin to roll in they will reflect another monstrous year in the Nashville real estate market. What might be lost in the numbers for the year in its entirety is the trend of the past 90 days, which will run counter to the year-end statistics.

REAL ESTATE

Long-term US mortgage rates rise, staying near 2014 highs

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term US mortgage rates ticked up again this week, staying at their highest levels since early 2014.

STATEWIDE

An uncertain prognosis for many popular Smoky Mountains trails

GATLINBURG – Call it a sense of foreboding. The unsightly orange traffic barricades seem strangely out of place while making the steep climb along picturesque Newfound Gap Road in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

NEWSMAKERS

Walker to chair Tennessee Economic Partnership

Clay Walker, CEO of NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership of the Tri-Cities region, has been elected 2017 chair of the board of directors for the Tennessee Economic Partnership (TEP), the statewide public-private partnership that markets the state of Tennessee as a premiere place for business.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

Acura NSX returns to supercar scene with gas-electric hybrid

After a 12-year absence, the Acura NSX returns for 2017 as the first gasoline-electric hybrid supercar, mixing exotic looks and sports-car handling with the latest engine and electric power technology.

BUSINESS BOOK REVIEW

Good grief: Now Charlie Brown is a business expert

Sometimes, you just have to laugh. That’s how it is with business. You have to laugh because if you didn’t, you’d cry.

GUERRILLA MARKETING

Ideas to give your business a boost in new year

It won’t be long before the ball will be dropping in Times Square, signaling a new year and a new start. While people everywhere vow to make changes in their personal lives, businesses should be no different.

CAREER CORNER

Reinvent your career in 2017

Have you ever wondered if you might have picked the wrong career path? If so, you’re not alone.

I SWEAR

Judge Vic’s orbit grows smaller with final column

As I read of “Right Stuff” astronaut John Glenn’s Dec. 8 death in Columbus, Ohio, a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke runs through my head. The first stanza goes:

STATE LEGISLATURE

Haslam seeks elusive 'comfort level' on road funding plan

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

MUSIC INDUSTRY

Country star Mel Tillis recovering from digestive disease

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

NASHVILLE AREA

Longtime Owen School professor J. Dewey Daane has died

WASHINGTON (AP) — J. Dewey Daane, a noted expert on monetary policy who was nominated to serve on the Federal Reserve board by President John F. Kennedy, has died. He was 98.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

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

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

US indexes drift in early trade; department stores nosedive

NEW YORK (AP) — Department stores dominated the news Thursday morning as Macy's and Kohl's both plunged following weak holiday-season reports that led the chains to cut their profit forecasts. Macy's also said it will eliminate 10,000 jobs as it continues to close stores. Sears jumped after it said it will close 150 stores and sell its Craftsman tool brand. Overall, stocks were only slightly lower as gains for energy and technology companies limited the losses.

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

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

Weekly applications for US jobless aid drop to 235,000

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

Somber department store holiday season casts pall over 2017

NEW YORK (AP) — A cheerless holiday season is rolling over into the new year for department stores, with bad news from Macy's and Kohl's dragging down the entire sector.

Sears to sell Craftsman tool brand to Stanley Black & Decker

NEW YORK (AP) — Sears is selling its well-known Craftsman brand to Stanley Black & Decker Inc., which plans to grow the tool brand by selling its products at more stores.

Trump's deportation vow spurs California farmers into action

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

Activity at US services companies stays at high level

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

Fox News says Tucker Carlson to take Megyn Kelly time slot

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

AUTO INDUSTRY

Mercedes recalls about 48K SUVs to fix air bag sensor

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


WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 4
NASHVILLE AREA

Elvis' home-away-from-home could be razed for car wash

NASHVILLE (AP) - As a teenager growing up in the 1950s, Steve North would look for the pink Cadillac outside a stone house on the outskirts of Nashville. If the car was there, Elvis was in the building.

Vanderbilt med school sees federal research funding increase

NASHVILLE (AP) — Vanderbilt University says its medical school saw a significant increase in federal funding in 2016 for research.

REAL ESTATE

Mortgage rates, home sales and prices seen rising in 2017

Nate Lowenstein has been shopping for a home in Los Angeles, on and off, for more than a year.

HEALTH CARE

Obama, Pence harden 'Obamacare' battle lines at Capitol

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hardening battle lines for the brawl to come, President Barack Obama urged congressional Democrats to "look out for the American people" in defending his legacy health care overhaul, while Vice President-elect Mike Pence stood firm Wednesday in telling Republicans that dismantling "Obamacare" is No. 1 on Donald Trump's list.

AUTO INDUSTRY

US auto sales near record highs in 2016; Nissan up 5%

DETROIT (AP) — Demand may be slowing, but U.S. consumers still bought a whole lot of cars and trucks in 2016.

Auto industry's relationship with Trump takes dramatic turn

FLAT ROCK, Mich. (AP) — The auto industry's relationship with President-elect Donald Trump took a dramatic turn Tuesday as Ford Motor Co. decided to shift investment dollars targeted for Mexico to the U.S., while Trump threatened General Motors with a tax on some imported small cars.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Macy's to close 68 stores, none in Tennessee

Macy's says it is eliminating more than 10,000 jobs and plans to move forward with 68 store closures after a disappointing holiday shopping season. The department store chain also lowered its full-year earnings forecast.

Stock indexes near records as car makers and retailers rise

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks climbed Wednesday as investors bought shares of companies focused on consumers, including automakers and retailers. The Standard & Poor's 500 index finished a single point below its all-time high.

Fed minutes: If economy heats up, rate hikes may accelerate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve officials, who boosted a key interest rate last month, said they might need to accelerate future rate hikes if a faster-growing economy pushes down the unemployment rate farther than currently expected.

Trump names Wall Street lawyer Clayton as SEC chairman

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday chose a Wall Street attorney with experience in corporate mergers and public stock launches as his nominee to head the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Tillerson and Exxon part ways; $180M retirement package

NEW YORK (AP) — Rex Tillerson, the nominee of President-elect Donald Trump for secretary of state, is severing ties with Exxon Mobil through a $180 million retirement package ahead of a Senate confirmation hearing.

Insurer: 2016 saw highest natural disaster losses in 4 years

BERLIN (AP) — Last year saw the highest costs from natural disasters since 2012, with a pair of earthquakes in Japan in April accounting for the heaviest losses, a leading insurer said Wednesday.


TUESDAY, JANUARY 3
REAL ESTATE

US construction spending hits highest level in 10 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. builders boosted spending on construction projects for a second straight month in November, pushing activity to the highest level in more than a decade.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Ford cancels plan to build new Mexican plant, adds US jobs

FLAT ROCK, Mich. (AP) — The auto industry's relationship with President-elect Donald Trump took a dramatic turn Tuesday as Ford Motor Co. decided to shift investment dollars targeted for Mexico to the U.S., while Trump threatened General Motors with a tax on some imported small cars.

Trump's anti-General Motors tweet short on facts

DETROIT (AP) — In another tweet targeting a U.S. company, President-elect Donald Trump threatened Tuesday to slap a tax on General Motors for importing compact cars to the U.S. from Mexico.

For 1st time in 50 years, a Volvo's not top seller in Sweden

STOCKHOLM (AP) — A Volvo model is no longer the top selling car in Sweden — for the first time in more than 50 years.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Health care rises as US indexes ring in new year with gains

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks broke a three-day losing streak Tuesday and ushered in the new year with broad gains. Health care stocks, which struggled for most of last year, climbed.

Megyn Kelly leaving Fox News, will host 2 shows on NBC

NEW YORK (AP) — Megyn Kelly, the Fox News star who's had a contentious relationship with President-elect Donald Trump, said Tuesday that she's leaving the network for NBC News, where she will host a daytime talk show, a weekend newsmagazine and contribute to breaking news coverage.

SpaceX finds source of rocket explosion, plans new launch

LOS ANGELES (AP) — SpaceX plans to resume flights as early as next week after finding the cause of an explosion that destroyed a rocket and satellite on a Florida launch pad in September.

Trump names lawyer Lighthizer as top trade rep

NEW YORK (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump announced Tuesday he will nominate lawyer Robert Lighthizer as U.S. trade representative, picking an experienced trade official who has questioned the conservative movement's commitment to free trade.


MONDAY, JANUARY 2
STATE LEGISLATURE

In red states, businesses gearing up to fight bathroom bills

NASHVILLE (AP) — Sean Henry, the president of Tennessee's NHL team, is stunned he even has to explain why he hopes state legislators will snub bills similar to North Carolina's transgender bathroom law, which has consumed that state for months and scared off businesses and sporting events.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Samsung, Hyundai Motor see growing uncertainties in 2017

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Chiefs of Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motor said Monday their businesses would face increased uncertainties due to growing protectionism.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks start 2017 with gains, but many markets stay shut

LONDON (AP) — Global stocks rose on the first day of 2017, though trading volumes were thin as many major markets observed New Year's holidays.

US Sen. Warren seeks to pull pot shops out of banking limbo

BOSTON (AP) — As marijuana shops sprout in states that have legalized the drug, they face a critical stumbling block — lack of access to the kind of routine banking services other businesses take for granted.


FRIDAY, DECEMBER 30
MIDSTATE

Jailed sheriff to face ouster trial if acquitted of crimes

NASHVILLE (AP) - A jailed Tennessee sheriff accused of profiting from the sale of electronic cigarettes to inmates will face a civil trial if a jury acquits him during a February criminal trial.

NASHVILLE AREA

Nashville re-times 550 traffic signals to address growth

NASHVILLE (AP) - Nashville officials have synchronized hundreds of traffic signals to help address the traffic brought on by the city's rapid growth.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US stocks end modestly lower on final trading day of 2016

Investors capped a year of solid gains on Wall Street Friday in a selling mood, sending the major U.S. stock indexes modestly lower on the final trading day of 2016.

Energy companies and banks led rally on S&P 500 in 2016

NEW YORK (AP) — In 2016, the Standard & Poor's 500 index jumped 9.5 percent and bounced back from a flat result the year before, and energy companies and banks made some of the largest gains as investors bet on a stronger economy that will lead to more lending and spending. Health care companies slumped as drug prices came under intense scrutiny.

Nvidia leads S&P's winners in 2016; drug companies slump

NEW YORK (AP) — In a solid year for stocks, graphics processor maker Nvidia stood far above its peers on the Standard & Poor's 500 index. The company's stock more than tripled for the year. But it was far from the only company that made a notable move. Goldman Sachs helped a rally in financial companies and Caterpillar contributed to an industrial boom on Wall Street, while drug companies like Mylan suffered big drops.

Pay to rise for millions as 19 states increase minimum wage

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — It will be a happy New Year indeed for millions of the lowest-paid U.S. workers. Nineteen states, including New York and California, will ring in the year with an increase in the minimum wage.

What it means if Trump names China a currency manipulator

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to name China a currency manipulator on his first day in the White House.

Weekly applications for US jobless aid fall to 265,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, continuing a nearly two-year trend that suggests a solid job market.

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