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VOL. 39 | NO. 12 | Friday, March 20, 2015

Less for the tank, more for the bank

With gas prices falling again, drivers will have extra cash to play with this spring, summer

The U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts the typical American household will save nearly $750 on gasoline in 2015, but no one should expect the good fortune to last forever.

Midstate mayors push for gas tax increase

A lot has changed in Middle Tennessee’s cities, towns and communities since 1990. Tennessee’s fuel tax has not.

Need even cheaper gas? Groceries, big boxes have it

Why be content with low gas prices when you can get discounted low gas prices?

Eurofix, Autofix expand with purchase of Midas locations

When you live in an “it’’ city, it’s important to have an “it’’ car, or at least that seems to be the thinking given the number of high-end imports seen around Middle Tennessee these days.

Local Weather
Currently
Nashville, TN
57.0°F
Partly Cloudy
Wind: North at 16.1 mph
Humidity: 51%

EVENTS

Business Studio: Customer Valuation Workshop. This workshop is designed to help you accurately value your customers to use your marketing budget and resources more efficiently. The Chamber has partnered with Pryor Consultation to develop this workshop, which will be led by owner and lead marketing strategist Ryan Pryor, whose background is in online marketing, customer acquisition, lead generation and conversion rate optimization. Thursday, 8-9:30 a.m., Refinery Nashville, 438 Houston Street, Suite 263, Nashville. Information: nashvillechamber.com, 743-3060.

more events »

VIEW FROM THE HILL

Legislators misfire in rush to impress NRA attendees

With the National Rifle Association bringing 75,000 people to Nashville for its April 10-12 convention, the timing is seemingly right for the General Assembly to impress by passing a bevy of gun bills.

Jones still battling for medical marijuana

State Rep. Sherry Jones is continuing her push for legalization of medical marijuana in Tennessee after taking it further than ever in the legislative process last year.

REALTY CHECK

Affordability? It’s all in the eye of the buyer

The new construction at 2314 Castleman sold last week for $1,365,000 after Brent Morris of Parks listed the home for $1,395,000. Morris has developed a niche in locating infill lots and teardowns – to use the plural of the now-popular noun created by adding verb to adverb – in the Green Hills area.

REAL ESTATE

Middle Tennessee Real Estate trends for January 2015

January 2015 real estate trends for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford and Wilson counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

UT SPORTS

Former Ravenwood star's death looms over UT’s tennis season

KNOXVILLE – Tennessee senior Mikelis Libietis sits on the bench before a match on Court 1 at Goodfriend Indoor Tennis Center and is reminded of one of his greatest losses.

NEWSMAKERS

Former recording artist joins Adams and Reese

Adams and Reese has hired entertainment and transactions attorney Meredith Edwards Collins as an associate. Collins was formerly with Bass Berry & Sims and has been practicing law in Nashville for six years in entertainment, health care, and business transactions.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

Toyota’s 2015 Sienna climbs to best-selling van

Toyota’s Sienna, the best-selling family van in the country this year, has refreshed styling, stiffened vehicle structure, more safety equipment and new features for 2015.

GUERRILLA MARKETING

Facebook: Great tool but not maintenance free

Facebook is a platform that has more than 1.39 billion monthly active users that, in theory, can be accessed for free.

I SWEAR

Manning knows how to bring fans to their feet

SEARCY, ARK. – In the summer of 1966, I met Archie Manning in his home town, Drew, Mississippi. In a game of touch football, I caught a pass or two from the future All-Pro quarterback.

KAY'S COOKING CORNER

Some shiitakes facts you might not know

Cooking for my husband is a challenge... Well, I take that back. My husband is just what people call a “meat and potatoes man.”

STATEWIDE

AT&T completes Tennessee upgrades amid municipal broadband debate

NASHVILLE (AP) - AT&T says it has invested $1.2 billion on its wired and wireless networks in Tennessee since 2012.

STATE LEGISLATURE

Haslam undaunted by difficult prospects for Insure Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam said Thursday that he is willing to risk a second defeat of his Insure Tennessee proposal to highlight the need for improving health standards in the state.

Tennessee school voucher bill scheduled for Monday Senate vote

NASHVILLE (AP) - Legislation that would give parents the option to move a child from a failing public school to a private school is scheduled for a vote on the Senate floor on Monday.

Tennessee GOP senator espouses 'sacred right to be stupid'

NASHVILLE (AP) — A bill seeking to do away with Tennessee's motorcycle helmet requirement has failed in the state Senate.

COURTS

Task force examines Tennessee sentencing laws, recidivism

NASHVILLE (AP) — A task force formed by Gov. Bill Haslam to examine Tennessee's sentencing structure and look at ways to reduce the state's high recidivism rate is scheduled to meet Thursday in Nashville.

Silicon Valley gender discrimination lawsuit goes to jury

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Jurors were set to begin their second day of deliberations on Thursday in a gender-bias case that has drawn attention to the treatment of women in Silicon Valley.

TECHNOLOGY

Facebook's Messenger app to mix business with more pleasure

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook's Messenger app is evolving into a multitasking tool equipped to send an animated fist bump to a friend at one moment and then get a little business done in the next.

REAL ESTATE

Average US rate on 30-year mortgage falls to 3.69 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week for a second straight week, edging closer to historically low levels at the start of the spring home-buying season.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Fewer Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer people sought U.S. unemployment benefits last week, evidence that strong hiring should continue despite signs of slower economic growth at the start of 2015.

US stocks recover early losses, oil gains on Yemen tensions

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks were little changed in midday trading Thursday, following declines in Europe after Saudi Arabia launched strikes on key military installations in Yemen. The price of oil rose.

How gov't aims to protect low-income users of 'payday' loans

WASHINGTON (AP) — Payday lenders would face federal rules aimed at protecting low-income borrowers from being buried by fees and debts under proposals being unveiled Thursday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Lawmakers unhappy with new fracking rules

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican and Democratic lawmakers in the House have found something in common. Many have issues with the Obama administration's new regulations requiring companies that drill for oil and natural gas to disclose chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing.

Senate up next after House passes bold conservative budget

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is up next after House Republicans pushed through a boldly conservative budget eliminating deficits over the next decade by cutting deeply into Medicaid, food stamps and welfare, and repealing the president's health care law.


WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18
STATE LEGISLATURE

Senate panel advances Haslam's Insure Tennessee proposal

NASHVILLE (AP) - A revived version of Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to extend health coverage to 280,000 low-income Tennesseans on Wednesday cleared its first full Senate committee.

House panel OKs bill to let Tennessee end pre-K funding

NASHVILLE (AP) - A House subcommittee has advanced a bill to allow Tennessee to cancel federal pre-kindergarten funding if a court were to rule that the program must be offered to all of the state's 4-year-olds.

Bill to allow charges for public records searches fails

NASHVILLE (AP) - A bill seeking to allow government agencies to charge for public records searches has failed in the House.

Bill to require K-5 students to participate in PE class

NASHVILLE (AP) - Students in kindergarten to fifth grade would have to participate in a physical education class at least twice a week under legislation advancing in the House.

Bill would require citizenship test for Tennessee students

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee students would have to pass the U.S. citizenship and immigration services' civic test before getting a high school diploma under legislation advancing in the state House.

Firearms in parks bill headed for Tennessee House floor vote

NASHVILLE (AP) — A bill that would strip local governments of the power to ban guns in public parks advanced in the Legislature on Tuesday despite concerns from the governor.

STATEWIDE

Knox County superintendent 'surprised' by Hamilton Co. suit

NASHVILLE (AP) - The superintendent of Knox County Schools said Wednesday that he's surprised Hamilton County and six Chattanooga-area school systems filed a lawsuit against the state over funding after what he thought was a productive meeting with the governor.

NASHVILLE AREA

Former NFL player offers reward for missing Super Bowl ring

NASHVILLE (AP) - A former NFL player is asking for help in finding his Super Bowl ring, which he says he lost over the weekend in Nashville.

Metro Nashville budget hearings to begin Monday

NASHVILLE (AP) — Budget meetings for Metro Nashville will begin Monday and will be streamed online and broadcast on television.

Dell laying off 96 customer support workers in Nashville

NASHVILLE (AP) — Nearly 100 workers will be laid off in the shutdown of a Dell Inc. customer support unit in Nashville.

MIDSTATE

Lawsuit: Boy, 11, died of allergic reaction to Clarksville Publix cookie

NASHVILLE (AP) - The family of an 11-year-old boy is suing the Publix grocery chain, saying the child was allergic to nuts and died from a severe reaction after eating a cookie despite a worker's assurance it was safe.

TECHNOLOGY

Facebook's Messenger app adding more ways to connect

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook is trying to mold its Messenger app into a more versatile communications channel as smartphones create new ways for people to connect with friends and businesses beyond the walls of the company's ubiquitous social network.

COURTS

Justices revive ex-UPS worker's pregnancy bias lawsuit

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court gave a former UPS driver another chance Wednesday to prove her claim of discrimination after the company did not offer her lighter duty when she was pregnant.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Auto workers president rejects lower-tier of wages

DETROIT (AP) — The leader of the United Auto Workers union has rejected a third tier of lower wages for members who make auto parts.

HEALTH CARE

Obama ready to sign bill revamping Medicare doctor fees

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama said Wednesday he's ready to sign "good, bipartisan" legislation protecting physicians from steep cuts in Medicare reimbursements and bolstering health programs for children and the poor as Senate Democrats seemed to soften their opposition to the package.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Comcast says $45B Time Warner Cable deal to take longer

NEW YORK (AP) — Comcast says it $45 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable to take longer than expected because of a long-running regulatory review.

US durable goods orders fell 1.4 percent in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting manufactured goods fell in February for the third time in the past four months, while a key investment category fell for a sixth month.

US market indexes slump, extending declines to a 3rd day

NEW YORK (AP) — Investors dumped high-flying technology and biotech companies and sent the stock market down for a third straight day Wednesday.

HJ Heinz buying Kraft, building a $28 billion food giant

NEW YORK (AP) — H.J. Heinz Co. is buying Kraft Foods, creating one of the largest food and beverage companies in the world with annual revenue of about $28 billion.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Bill would create organic-type labels for non-modified foods

WASHINGTON (AP) — Inspired by the popular "USDA organic" label, House Republicans are proposing a new government certification for foods free of genetically modified ingredients.


TUESDAY, MARCH 17
NASHVILLE AREA

Nashville Sounds selling standing-room tickets for opener

NASHVILLE (AP) - With a new stadium nearing completion, box seats for the Nashville Sounds opening night are already sold out. To help fans attend the game, the Triple-A minor league affiliate of the Oakland Athletics is selling berm and standing-room tickets for the April 17 opening in advance.

Actress Taraji P. Henson to speak at TSU event

NASHVILLE (AP) - Oscar-nominated actress Taraji P. Henson will be the keynote speaker at an event in Nashville on Tuesday.

STATE LEGISLATURE

Anti-abortion bills advancing in House

NASHVILLE (AP) — Proposals seeking to restore abortion laws that were struck down by a state Supreme Court decision advanced in the House on Tuesday despite criticism from opponents who say the measures could put more stress on woman facing difficult circumstances.

Tennessee school voucher bill continuing to advance in House

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal to create a school voucher program in Tennessee is continuing to advance in the House.

Haslam encouraged by Insure Tenn. revival; Ramsey skeptical

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam said Tuesday that he's pleased to see his Insure Tennessee proposal revived in the Legislature, but the top Republican in the Senate called it unlikely that the measure will reach an up-or-down vote by the full chamber.

AAA fights to keep helmet law in Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) - AAA motor club wants to put the brakes on proposed legislation that would allow many motorcyclists to ride without a helmet.

STATEWIDE

Tennessee AG wants court to set aside municipal broadband ruling

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's attorney general wants a federal appeals court to set aside a recent decision by the Federal Communications Commission to allow cities like Chattanooga to offer municipal broadband beyond their normal service area.

2 winning Powerball tickets sold in Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) - State Lottery officials say that two winning Powerball tickets have been sold in Tennessee, including one that won Saturday night's $50 million jackpot.

HEALTH CARE

In rare deal, Boehner, Pelosi tout wins for seniors, doctors

WASHINGTON (AP) — An extraordinary bipartisan accord between House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is letting both parties exhale as they move toward ending the nagging annual threat of Medicare cuts to physicians. Yet each side is bragging about far more than that.

CDC: Uninsured drop by 11M since passage of Obama's law

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of uninsured U.S. residents fell by more than 11 million since President Barack Obama signed the health care overhaul five years ago, according to a pair of reports Tuesday from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

High nursing home bills squeeze insurers, driving rates up

NEW YORK (AP) — Thirty years ago, insurance companies had the answer to the soaring cost of caring for the elderly. Plan ahead and buy a policy that will cover your expenses.

REAL ESTATE

US new-home sales surge in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of new U.S. homes in February climbed to their fastest pace in seven years, as an otherwise dormant housing market showed fresh signs of life.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US stock indexes end lower

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks ended lower for a second straight day, dragged down by utility companies.

Comcast gets social to shake bad customer-service reputation

NEW YORK (AP) — Comcast is adding more social media representatives as it tries to work on its reputation for inefficient, unresponsive or just plain rude customer service.

Higher gas costs lift US consumer prices after 3 declines

WASHINGTON (AP) — A slight rise in gas costs and broad increases in other categories lifted consumer prices in February, a welcome sign after three straight months of declines that had pointed to excessively low inflation.

AmEx Troubles: Some cardholders can leave home without it

NEW YORK (AP) — For decades, American Express was the undisputed credit card of choice among corporate road warriors, the wealthy and the well-traveled, who lived by the company's slogan, "Don't leave home without it."

NATIONAL POLITICS

New pro-trade board will sharpen Dems' divide on the issue

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's allies are recruiting high-profile Democrats to help combat liberal resistance to his bid for new trade agreements in Asia and elsewhere.


MONDAY, MARCH 23
STATE LEGISLATURE

Bid to revive Tennessee Medicaid expansion moving in Senate

NASHVILLE (AP) - An effort to revive Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's Insure Tennessee proposal has received a positive recommendation in a Senate subcommittee.

Tennessee AG: Proposal to tax out-of-state trucks unconstitutional

NASHVILLE (AP) - State Attorney General Herbert Slatery says a proposal to boost Tennessee's road fund by raising taxes and fees on out-of-state trucks would be unconstitutional.

STATEWIDE

Devaney stepping down as Tennessee Republican chairman

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney announced Monday that he will step down just months into his fourth term in charge of the state GOP.

Haslam to meet with urban districts about school funding

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam met with representatives of the school districts in Tennessee's four largest cities to discuss their grievances about state funding and told them that he's working on short-term and long-term plans to address their concerns.

AUTO INDUSTRY

US probes effectiveness of 2 Nissan air bag sensor recalls

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. safety regulators are investigating complaints that two Nissan recalls didn't go far enough to fix a problem with front-seat air bag seat sensors.

COURTS

Justices hear free speech dispute over license plates

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is weighing a free-speech challenge to Texas' refusal to issue a license plate bearing the Confederate battle flag.

HEALTH CARE

On 5th anniversary of health care law, no end to debate

WASHINGTON (AP) — When President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act five years ago, he visualized a time when the political hyperbole would be silenced and ordinary people would see that the health care law improved their lives.

REAL ESTATE

US home sales rebound slightly in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — Slightly more Americans bought homes in February, but tight inventories, affordability problems and nasty winter weather point to sluggish sales in the coming few months.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US stock market starts the week with a small loss

NEW YORK (AP) — A late turn pulled the stock market to a loss on Monday, as major indexes wavered following a strong run last week.

Louisville Slugger maker announces deal to sell iconic brand

The company that makes Louisville Slugger bats has announced a deal to sell the iconic brand to rival Wilson Sporting Goods Co.

For business, more women in charge means bigger profits

LONDON (AP) — When Rohini Anand took over diversity programs at multinational catering company Sodexo in 2002, she had one goal: To prove that it pays for a company to have equal numbers of male and female managers.

Tax refund advances appeal to more cash-strapped Americans

WASHINGTON (AP) — Cash-strapped Americans anxious for tax refunds are increasingly turning to payment advances, prepaid cards or other costly services when getting tax preparation help, according to new federal data raising concerns among regulators about whether consumers are fully informed about the fees.

Tourists flocking to Cuba 'before the Americans come'

HAVANA (AP) — Bookings to Cuba jumped 57 percent for one New York tour operator in the weeks after Washington said it would renew ties with Havana. In February, they were up 187 percent; and so far this month, nearly 250 percent.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Obama to announce $240M in new pledges for STEM education

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is highlighting private-sector efforts to encourage more students from underrepresented groups to pursue education in science, technology, engineering and math.

FACT CHECK: Higher taxes needed to balance GOP budgets

WASHINGTON (AP) — The new House and Senate Republican budgets make a big boast: They both balance the federal budget within 10 years, without raising taxes.


FRIDAY, MARCH 20
STATEWIDE

Simon Property boosts its bid for Macerich to $16.8B

NEW YORK (AP) — Mall operator Simon Property boosted its hostile bid for rival Macerich by 5 percent to $16.8 billion and said it will be its best and final offer.

Tennessee Main Street communities created 1,565 jobs in 2014

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development says Tennessee Main Street communities generated more than $95 million last year and created more than 1,500 jobs.

NASHVILLE AREA

University gospel choir wins top honor at national contest

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee State University's gospel choir is being recognized nationally.

Nashville DA to pay back state for controversial job

NASHVILLE (AP) - Nashville District Attorney Glenn Funk says he will reimburse the state of Tennessee for a controversial part-time job he was given before becoming D.A. that allowed him to get a good deal on the state's pension plan and health insurance for him and his family.

STATE LEGISLATURE

Compromise legislation keeps Tennessee academic standards

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey said Thursday that an agreement has been reached on legislation that would keep the state's current academic standards intact - for now - despite efforts to repeal them.

COURTS

Tennessee attorney sues Haslam administration for records

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's administration is being sued for refusing to release documents about a $350,000 analysis of business- tax collections in Tennessee.

ACLU sues for airport 'behavior detection' program records

NEW YORK (AP) — A civil rights group sued the federal government Thursday to try to force it to turn over information about airport "behavior detection" programs designed to spot passengers who are potential threats, saying they lead to discrimination.

HEALTH CARE

House Medicare deal hits Senate turbulence over abortion

WASHINGTON (AP) — An emerging bipartisan House deal changing how Medicare reimburses doctors ran into turbulence in the Senate Thursday over abortion, spotlighting a rare public disagreement between Congress' two top Democrats.

Boehner, Pelosi see victories in fixing Medicare docs' fees

WASHINGTON (AP) — An uncharacteristic joint effort by House Speaker John Boehner and his usual nemesis, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, to resolve a gnawing problem about how Medicare pays doctors underscores the political victories each sees in finally sweeping the issue off the deck — if they can.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Tesla updating Model S to ease range anxiety, improve safety

DETROIT (AP) — Tesla Motors is updating its Model S electric car to help ease drivers' worries about running out of battery charge — and is hinting that in the future drivers can take their hands off the wheel altogether.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US stocks rise on rebound in oil, strong company results

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks advanced Friday, capping a strong week, helped by a recovery in the price of oil and earnings from Olive Garden owner Darden Restaurants and sportswear giant Nike.

Judge OKs $10 million settlement in Target data breach

A Minnesota judge has endorsed a settlement in which Target Corp. will pay $10 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over a massive data breach in 2013.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Budget spat leaves House GOP leaders facing new discord

WASHINGTON (AP) — Whether the issue is immigration or federal budgets, Republicans keep learning a bitter lesson: Their sizable and near-historic congressional majority doesn't necessarily mean they can govern.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0