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The Ledger - EST. 1978 - Nashville Edition
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VOL. 38 | NO. 49 | Friday, December 5, 2014

Have yourself a Music City Christmas: What to see, do in Nashville this holiday season

In years past, Carl Haley has offered his Grand Avenue transportation passengers the customary Christmas lights tour packages – about the same as other tours in Nashville – with a cruise by Opryland and a trip to a few choice, heavily decorated neighborhoods.

Festive drinks and fun venues

A number of new places opened in Nashville this year, bringing a bevy of new bourbons, crafted brews and incredible places to sit, relax and sip. If you are looking for more than a meal and want that genuine, trendy Nashville experience, here are a few hot spots.

Batch gets bigger with storefront, fourth city

Batch is gonna need a bigger box.

Yard work waiting? Hit Mowz app and take a nap

It’s hard to decide what’s less fun, mowing the lawn or raking leaves. If you loathe both in equal measure, however, help may be just a few clicks away.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Wind: from the West at 5.8 gusting to 17.3 mph
Humidity: 66%


Community-based Arts Workshop. Join Metro Arts for a workshop exploring community-based arts processes and methods for ensuring authentic community engagement and participation. Instructor and community artist Abby Whisenant will cover best practices for engaging your intended audience, producing work that benefits the community, sharing the story and communicating the results. The workshop is free and open to applicants interested in applying for THRIVE funding. Saturday, 1-4 p.m., Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, 2298 Rosa L Parks Blvd, Nashville. Information: http://www.nashville.gov/Arts-Commission.aspx.

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What could it hurt to wait for a better offer?

As hot as this market is, the old axiom of pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered can apply.


Titans should follow Lions’ lead in overhauling roster

Instead of CBS, Fox or even the NFL Network, the Titans might need to move to the HGTV, where experts take once-proud houses and restore them to their former grandeur.


Hanto will lead pediatric liver transplant program

Douglas Hanto, M.D., Ph.D., the new associate director of the Vanderbilt Transplant Center, will work with the departments of Pediatrics and Surgery to develop a comprehensive pediatric liver center at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.


CR-V is America’s most fuel-efficient SUV

America’s best-selling sport utility vehicle for a decade, the Honda CR-V, is an even smarter buy for 2015 with added features, updated styling and improved fuel economy.


Drive off beaten path to bargain travel destinations

December is here, and with it comes holiday decorations, busy party schedules and trips to Grandma’s house.


Common sense advice for protecting your credit

Your credit card was declined. Such an annoyance. You paid your bill, the expiration date was right, your signature was on the back and it should’ve worked.


10 useless PR tactics to avoid in 2015

The explosion of the Internet and the ensuing 24/7 news cycle, combined with a significant reduction in reporting staff at most media outlets over the past decade, has created a perfect storm driving a significant shift in public relations tactics that are effective and worth your time.


Search for the positive in your workplace situation

Thanksgiving week has come and gone. Let’s hope you took some time to reflect on what you’re thankful for at work.


Guys, it’s way past time to get over the comb over

I get a laugh now and again for telling what the crossword clues are for the term “comb over.” In light of a recent story from the sports page, I can’t resist writing about the topic. For your edification, of course.


From Blibber-Blubber to Black Bottom

Nov. 28 was a highly celebrated day in my life. No, it wasn’t my birthday, or my anniversary, although those are important. (Well, not the birthday one, unless for some reason I start getting younger.)


Top FedEx exec to give TSU commencement address

NASHVILLE (AP) — A nationally recognized FedEx executive will give the commencement address at Tennessee State University on Saturday.


Bill would require racial profiling ban in Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) - Legislation introduced in the Tennessee General Assembly would require all of the state's law enforcement agencies to adopt written policies to ban racial profiling.


State funding board to take up revenue projections

NASHVILLE (AP) — The State Funding Board is meeting Thursday to begin the process of projecting that state's revenue collections in the upcoming budget year.


42.9 million Americans have unpaid medical bills

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 20 percent of U.S. consumers — 42.9 million people — have unpaid medical debts, according to a new report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.


Average US 30-year loan rate rises to 3.93 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates edged higher this week after four weeks of declines, but they remained at historically low levels that could entice potential homebuyers.


Retail sales report boosts US stock market

NEW YORK (AP) — An encouraging report on U.S. consumer spending pushed stocks sharply higher Thursday. The energy sector rose after crude oil prices stabilized.

Teen retailers get the cold shoulder for holidays

NEW YORK (AP) — Being a teen can be tough, but catering to one is even more difficult.

Weekly US unemployment aid applications fall to 294,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer people sought U.S. unemployment benefits last week, as the continued low levels of applicants reflect growing job security.

US retail sales climb on holiday shopping

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. retail sales perked up in November with the start of the holiday shopping season, led by online buying and purchases of autos, clothing and electronics.


Survey shows Internet's broadening political role

NEW YORK (AP) — Would-be 2016 presidential candidates take note: the Internet may potentially make or break your campaign.

Spending bill teeters amid Democratic discontent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Growing opposition among Democrats and persistent opposition from the tea party Republicans has left a $1.1 trillion government-wide spending bill teetering as many lawmakers find more in the measure to dislike than like.


Higher ed officials told to find other funding sources

NASHVILLE (AP) - Faced with flat revenue projections, higher education officials will have to find ways to cover costs at their institutions because the state won't be able to help them anytime soon, a top economist said Wednesday.


Harwell defeats tea-party challenge for speaker

NASHVILLE (AP) - House Speaker Beth Harwell decisively defeated a tea-party challenge from Rep. Rick Womick on Wednesday to win the Republican nomination for another term in charge of the lower chamber of the Tennessee General Assembly.


Funds to help low-performing schools

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's Education Department has awarded nearly $5 million in federal funds to five school districts.


Protesters, supporters demonstrate at Obama speech

NASHVILLE (AP) — About 200 protesters and supporters gathered outside a south Nashville community center on Tuesday while President Barack Obama spoke inside about his executive action on immigration.


Appeals court deals blow to US in insider cases

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York federal appeals court has dealt a blow to the government's approach to insider trading cases by reversing two convictions.


Oil takes another dive on OPEC report, US supplies

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil took another dive Wednesday, plunging to five-year lows amid mounting evidence that global supplies are far outstripping demand.

US stocks slide the most in two months

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil resumed its slide on Wednesday and took the stock market down with it.

Morgan Stanley paying $4M to settle SEC charges

WASHINGTON (AP) — Morgan Stanley has agreed to pay $4 million to settle federal charges of failing to prevent the unauthorized purchase of $525 million in Apple stock by one of its customers.

November budget deficit drops to $56.8 billion

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government's deficit for the first two months of the new budget year is down 21 percent from the same period a year ago, although much of that improvement stems from quirks in the calendar.

Air fares seen dipping thanks to oil slump

GENEVA (AP) — Flying could get cheaper next year as airlines say they will finally start passing on some of the savings made on plummeting oil prices.


Liberals and conservatives gripe about $1.1T bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Exposed to the light of day, a year-end, $1.1 trillion spending bill drew vociferous objections from liberals and milder criticism from conservatives on Wednesday while lawmakers readied a brief, stopgap measure to prevent a government shutdown both parties vowed to avoid.

Congress relaxes whole grain standards for schools

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is taking some whole grains off the school lunch line.


Obama tries to reassure immigrants to register

NASHVILLE (AP) - President Barack Obama on Tuesday tried to reassure immigrants that if they register under his new executive action they won't be a priority for deportation in the future.

Obama to visit Nashville for speech on immigration

NASHVILLE (AP) — President Obama is scheduled to give a speech in Nashville discussing his recent executive action on immigration.


TBR, Nissan break ground for $35M training center

SMYRNA (AP) — The Tennessee Board of Regents and Nissan have broken ground for a new $35 million training center in Smyrna.


Court: No pay for Amazon warehouse security checks

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that warehouse workers who fill orders for retail giant Amazon don't have to be paid for time spent waiting to pass through security checks at the end of their shifts.


Why areas with good jobs have hard-to-afford homes

WASHINGTON (AP) – It's the new career trade-off: Around the country, areas with the strongest job markets increasingly have some of the costliest homes. And areas with the most affordable homes lack a solid base of middle class jobs that attract workers.


Haslam questions UAW process at Volkswagen

FRANKLIN (AP) - Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, a longtime critic of the United Auto Workers' efforts to organize foreign automakers in the South, on Tuesday questioned the process by which the union qualified under a new labor policy at the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee.

Nissan agrees to settle faulty brakes lawsuit

NEW YORK (AP) — Nissan has agreed to pay some customers up to $800 each to settle claims that certain vehicles had faulty brakes.

Nissan recalls 470K vehicles for fuel leak problem

DETROIT (AP) — Nissan is recalling about 470,000 cars and SUVs worldwide to fix a problem that can cause fuel leaks.

UAW reaches top tier of VW labor policy in Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) — The United Auto Workers on Monday qualified for the top tier of a new labor policy at the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee, giving the union its first formal role within a foreign-owned auto plant in the South.


TennCare considers scrapping computer system

NASHVILLE (AP) - A $38 million computer system that had been in the works for the Department of Human Services might be scrapped.

Obama health adviser apologizes for 'glib' remarks

WASHINGTON (AP) — MIT economist Jonathan Gruber — an adviser on the president's health care law — told Congress on Tuesday he was glib and "inexcusably arrogant" when he said it was "the stupidity of the American voter" that led to the law's passage. Democrats tried to limit the damage as the GOP raked Gruber at a four-hour hearing, but they acknowledged he has given Republicans a political gift "wrapped in a bow."


Government: Gas to average $2.60 next year

The Energy Department again slashed its prediction for next year's average price of gasoline across the U.S., this time to $2.60 a gallon. That would be 23 percent below this year's projected average and the lowest full-year average since 2009.

US stocks are mostly spared from a global sell-off

NEW YORK (AP) – The U.S. stock market ended slightly lower Tuesday, avoiding the sharp declines in Europe and Asia thanks to a rally in beaten-down energy companies.

Fed proposing big US banks boost capital cushions

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators are proposing that the eight biggest U.S. banks be required to further increase the amount of capital they set aside to cushion against unexpected losses.

US job openings rise, hiring remains healthy

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of available U.S. jobs rose in October to the second-highest level in 14 years, and companies kept hiring at a healthy pace, adding to evidence of an improving economy.

US wholesale stockpiles up 0.4 percent in October

WASHINGTON (AP) — Stockpiles held by wholesale businesses rose in October, while sales posted a smaller gain.

Ice bucket, Brazil elections popular on Facebook

NEW YORK (AP) — Day after day, Facebook captures our best and worst moments, from the birth of a new baby to heated political spats. So what got discussed the most in 2014? The Ice Bucket Challenge and the death of Robin Williams, to name a few.


Time runs short for $1.1 trillion spending bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Time running short, Republicans and Democrats reached for elusive agreement Tuesday on a $1.1 trillion spending bill to avoid a government shutdown and delay a politically-charged struggle over President Barack Obama's new immigration policy until the new year.


TSU researcher gets national award

NASHVILLE (AP) — A researcher at Tennessee State University has received a national award for his work on water conservation.

Tennessee Residence open for holiday tours

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Residence, home to Gov. Bill Haslam and Crissy Haslam, is open to the public for holiday tours.

Haslam addresses public safety summit in Nashville

NASHVILLE (AP) - While there's been progress in making Tennessee a safer state, much remains to be done, particularly on domestic violence, Gov. Bill Haslam said Monday.

Notre Dame to face No. 22 LSU in Music City

NASHVILLE (AP) — Notre Dame will try to end its late-season slide when it faces No. 22 LSU on Dec. 30 in the Music City Bowl.


Williamson County commissioner faces gun charge

FRANKLIN (AP) — A Williamson County commissioner is facing a gun charge.


Devaney wins 4th term as Tennessee GOP chairman

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney on Saturday turned back a tea party-styled challenge to win a fourth term in charge of the state GOP.


7 largest US school districts to teach computer science

WASHINGTON (AP) — The seven largest school districts in the U.S. are joining more than 50 others to start offering introductory computer science to all their students, the White House said Monday.


Death toll from GM ignition switches rises to 38

DETROIT (AP) — At least 38 people have died and 51 have been injured in crashes involving General Motors cars with defective ignition switches.


More Americans to buy homes with 3 percent down

WASHINGTON (AP) — Some Americans will soon be able to buy a home with a down payment as low as 3 percent, compared with the current minimum of 5 percent, the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac say.


Economists forecast fast growth in 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy, helped by a stronger job market and falling oil prices, should enjoy the fastest economic growth in a decade next year, according to a panel of top business economists.

US stocks fall as energy sector drops sharply

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks fell on Monday as oil prices turned sharply lower and spooked investors into dumping shares of drillers and other energy-service companies.

E-cigarette tech takes off as regulation looms

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Just a few years ago, early adopters of e-cigarettes got their fix by clumsily screwing together a small battery and a plastic cartridge containing cotton soaked with nicotine.

Fuel to the fire? Fuel exports soar under Obama

GARDI SUGDUP, Panama (AP) — Solar panels glisten from every thatched hut on this crowded island, one of the largest in this remote chain off the Panamanian coast. But the tiny emblems of green energy offer no hope against climate change.


Taylor Swift, Meghan Trainor grab Grammys nominations

NEW YORK (AP) — British newcomer Sam Smith and Beyonce — the most nominated female in Grammy history — are the current leaders at the Grammy Awards with five each.

Nominees in top categories for the Grammy Awards

Nominees announced Friday in the top categories for the 57th annual Grammy Awards:


Cooper's Nashville counsel leaving for new job

NASHVILLE (AP) — U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper's Nashville-based counsel is leaving to become chief deputy criminal court clerk of Davidson County.

Obama to speak in Nashville on immigration

NASHVILLE (AP) - President Barack Obama is traveling to Nashville to speak about his executive actions on immigration.


Haslam says decision on Medicaid expansion close

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam said Friday that he's talked with nine Republican governors who have expanded Medicaid for low-income people in their states, and he plans to announce what he will do by the end of the month.

Average Affordable Care premiums going up in 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) — Many people covered under President Barack Obama's health care law will face higher premiums next year, the administration acknowledged Thursday. While the average increases are modest, it's more political fodder for the nation's political battles over health care.


Automaker seeks $118M tax break for 4-mile move

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Subaru of America says it is applying for $118 million in state tax credits from New Jersey to move its headquarters about four miles.

Parts maker building headquarters in Murfreesboro

MURFREESBORO (AP) - An auto parts maker is locating its new North American headquarters facility in Murfreesboro, bringing 250 jobs, including 100 new positions.

GM shutters Opel plant in Bochum after 52 years

BERLIN (AP) — The last vehicle has rolled off Opel's production line at its flagship factory in Bochum, which General Motors is shuttering as it restructures its lossmaking European subsidiary.

Japan: Auto recall overhaul needed for global woes

TOKYO (AP) — The top Japanese auto safety official acknowledged Friday that Japan's recall system needs an overhaul to better respond to global problems highlighted by the debacle over Takata air bags that can explode.


Steve Jobs' video testimony transfixes courtroom

OAKLAND, California (AP) — Three years after his death, legendary Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs held a federal courtroom transfixed on Friday as attorneys played a video of his testimony in a class-action lawsuit that accuses Apple of inflating iPod prices by locking music lovers into using its players.

Supreme Court takes up Cisco patent dispute

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is taking up a patent infringement dispute between computer networking giant Cisco Systems Inc. and rival Commil USA LLC.

Apple says plaintiffs' iPods not covered by suit

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — For want of an iPod, a billion-dollar lawsuit may be in jeopardy.


Job gains put US on pace for best growth since '99

WASHINGTON (AP) — The resurgence in U.S. hiring accelerated in November and put 2014 on track to be the healthiest year for job growth since 1999.

Stocks rise after hiring surge; Dow misses 18,000

NEW YORK (AP) — A strong jobs report boosted U.S. and European stocks Friday, and leaving the Dow Jones industrial average just short of the 18,000 mark.

US trade deficit drops as oil imports hit 5-year low

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit fell slightly in October as exports rebounded while oil imports dipped to the lowest level in five years.

US factory orders drop 0.7 percent in October

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to U.S. factories slipped for a third straight month in October and would have fallen even more except for a big jump in defense orders. A key category that tracks business investment spending fell for a second straight month.

Uber raises $1.2 billion, valued at $40 billion

NEW YORK (AP) — Despite recent bad publicity over privacy violations and other problems, the ride-hailing app Uber has raised $1.2 billion in its latest round of funding from venture capitalists, valuing the company at $40 billion.

Four retailers in need of holiday cheer

NEW YORK (AP) — The holiday shopping season is always a make-or-break period for struggling retailers.

Starbucks to push more food, offer mobile ordering

NEW YORK (AP) — Starbucks plans to let customers across the U.S. order ahead on their smartphones over the next year, a move that should help shrink lines as it pushes more snacks, sandwiches and even wine.

US hiring was likely solid for 10th straight month

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers are thought to have hired at another robust pace in November in the latest sign that the United States is outshining struggling economies throughout the developed world.


Senators to NFL: Drop 'blackout' rule or we might

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senators from both parties warned the National Football League Thursday to get rid of a 4-decade-old TV "blackout" rule or risk congressional action to restrict the league's lucrative antitrust exemption, which allows NFL teams to negotiate radio and television broadcast rights together.

Government terrorism insurance program faces lapse

WASHINGTON (AP) — As Congress races to its lame-duck finish, time is running out on a government program that provides a backstop to private-sector insurance against terrorist attacks.

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