VOL. 41 | NO. 9 | Friday, March 03, 2017
SAM STOCKARD: VIEW FROM THE HILL
In a case of déjà vu all over again, Democratic state Rep. Bo Mitchell isn’t willing to give Republican House leaders a break on their handling of former Rep. Mark Lovell’s resignation for alleged sexual misconduct.
RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK
With an increase in mortgage interest rates in place and more on the horizon, residential real estate is La La Land no more. Some of the younger buyers are so distraught over missing the rates in the three percent range that they are outraged.
Will Pedigo, Nashville Public Television producer, has been selected as a 2017 moderator for INPUT, an international public media conference that presents films and television programs.
Since announcing plans in early February for an indoor, ideal drive-in experience called August Moon, the great imaginer behind it has enjoyed a deluge of media coverage and supportive emails and messages from potential customers and interested investors.
DAVID CLIMER: OUT OF LEFT FIELD
When wide receiver Kendall Wright was a healthy scratch for the Titans’ final game of the season, it further underscored why this franchise is still struggling to gain altitude in the NFL.
When I hear Tuscaloosa, it’s almost always in the classic voice of former college football announcer Keith Jackson as he welcomes TV viewers to the campus of the University of Alabama.
BEHIND THE WHEEL
GMC has given the Acadia the biggest makeover in its 10-year history, shrinking the size and the price of its best-selling SUV while making it more fuel efficient and giving it new technology.
The secret to inspiring visitors to purchase from your e-commerce platform is equal parts art and science.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Authorities say a former Tennessee driver's license examiner has been convicted of taking bribes to give unqualified people a driver's license.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Vanderbilt University's student government is urging the school to set guidelines against any investment in private prisons, though the school says it currently has no such investments.
NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Registry of Campaign Finance has informed expelled state Rep. Jeremy Durham that he faces potential fines for failing to report more than $36,000 in contributions and more than $51,000 in expenditures.
NASHVILLE (AP) — A legislative committee has delayed votes on voucher bills following questions about what assessment tests the students would take if the proposals were to pass into law.
NASHVILLE (AP) — A bill seeking to ban abortion in Tennessee at the first detected fetal heartbeat, as early as six weeks, has failed for the year.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose this week, marking new highs for the year. An increase in a key interest rate is expected by the Federal Reserve next week, propelled by signs of strength in the economy.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Determined House Republicans pushed ahead Thursday with divisive legislation to undo former President Barack Obama's health care law, holding marathon all-night voting sessions in key committees despite Democratic protest and intense opposition from doctors and consumer groups.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Forget about insurance coverage. The new Republican buzzwords in Washington are health care access.
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans scored a pre-dawn triumph Thursday in their effort to scuttle former President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, but it masked deeper problems as hospitals, doctors and consumer groups mounted intensifying opposition to the GOP health care drive.
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes are slightly higher Thursday morning as interest rates continue to move higher and banks climb with them. Energy companies continue to fall with the price of oil. Retailers Tailored Brands and Staples are falling after weak quarterly reports, but Sears is climbing as investors are pleased it cut its losses. Stocks have fallen for the last three days.
NEW YORK (AP) — Three weeks after AIG reported a titanic loss, the person chosen to turn things around at one of the world's largest insurance companies is stepping down.
WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, but claims remained low enough to suggest that most workers enjoy job security.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — RadioShack has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the second time in just over two years, putting the future of the nearly 100-year-old electronics retailer in doubt.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8
NASHVILLE (AP) — The site of civil rights sit-ins in 1960, the Woolworth building in downtown Nashville, will reclaim its historic look as it becomes a soul food restaurant with live music.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Nashville's Metro Council is calling for the "immediate purchase" of police body cameras after the fatal shooting of an armed black man by a white officer last month.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Nashville's Gordon Jewish Community Center is holding a security forum in the wake of a number of bomb threats it has received since January. Federal officials have been investigating more than 120 threats against Jewish organizations in three dozen states since Jan. 9 and a rash of vandalism at Jewish cemeteries.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers are slated to vote on several school-choice proposals, including vouchers bills moving through the legislature.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Democrat Andy Berke was overwhelmingly elected to a second term as Chattanooga mayor on Tuesday.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Speaker Paul Ryan staunchly defended the House Republican health care plan Wednesday as the only alternative to the current Obama-era law, as he confronted forceful opposition from conservatives, medical professionals and others.
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Republican governors complain that a GOP proposal to replace former President Barack Obama's health care law would force millions of lower-income earners off insurance rolls or stick states with the cost of keeping them covered.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The American Medical Association says it won't support the proposed health care plan as drafted by congressional Republicans.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Over the strong objections of key conservatives and Democrats, House Republican leaders are forging ahead with a health care plan that scraps major parts of the Obama-era overhaul.
ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania man has been convicted of failing to file his income tax returns for 21 years because he considered using a Social Security number akin to using the "mark of the beast" spelled out in the Bible.
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks fell for the third day in a row as energy companies tumbled along with the price of crude oil. Investors also sold high-dividend stocks as bond yields rose, giving investors other alternatives for seeking income.
NEW YORK (AP) — The hiring freeze at small businesses looks like it's finally thawing.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. businesses added the most jobs in three years last month, a private survey found, a sign that hiring has accelerated sharply from last year's modest levels.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The productivity of American workers grew at a slower pace in fourth quarter and last year recorded the smallest annual gain in five years.
TUESDAY, MARCH 7
A split House Transportation Committee slammed the brakes Tuesday on Gov. Haslam’s IMPROVE Act, even though it contains a measure to use the sales tax for transportation funding instead of raising fuel taxes.
Legislation requiring public school students to use restrooms based on their sex at birth is on hold.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers are considering a sweeping expansion of a voucher-like program that is estimated to cost $71 million.
State Rep. Raumesh Akbari is altering her strategy on legislation to reduce suspension of kindergartners, seeking a task force study on the matter rather than an immediate and outright ban.
GREENEVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee bank manager was sentenced to three years in prison for embezzling about $1 million and using it to gamble online and pay personal debts.
ATLANTA (AP) — Waffle House co-founder Joseph Wilson Rogers Sr., who went from short-order cook to co-founder of one of the nation's largest restaurant chains, has died. He was 97.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Brown-Forman Corp. on Tuesday reported fiscal third-quarter profit of $182 million.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Republicans' health care bill adds up to big tax cuts for the rich.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and his administration's top health official praised the new House Republican health care legislation Tuesday as the GOP embarked on a drive to sell the proposal to rank-and-file lawmakers and the public.
WASHINGTON (AP) — At first glance, the new health care bill from House Republicans appears to have similarities to the Obama-era law, like tax credits, protections for people with health problems, and the ability of parents to keep young adults on their insurance.
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks declined for the third time in four days on Tuesday as health care companies took center stage.
PARIS (AP) — There appears to be a disconnect between the recent surge in stock markets and the global economy's underlying strength, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned Tuesday.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit jumped in January to the highest level in nearly five years as a flood of mobile phones and other consumer products widened America's trade gap with China. The result underscores the challenges facing President Donald Trump in fulfilling a campaign pledge to reduce America's trade deficits.
BRUSSELS (AP) — A European Union court on Tuesday struck down a 2013 decision by EU regulators to block a planned takeover of Dutch-based package delivery company TNT Express by United Parcel Services Inc.
PARIS (AP) — The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is predicting that global economic growth this year will be 3.3 percent and rise to around 3.6 percent in 2018.
WASHINGTON (AP) — It was a nice story while it lasted.
PARIS (AP) — WikiLeaks on Tuesday published thousands of documents purportedly taken from the Central Intelligence Agency's Center for Cyber Intelligence, a dramatic release that appears to provide an eye-opening look at the intimate details of America's cyberespionage toolkit.
LISBON, Portugal (AP) — U.S. President Donald Trump's use of Twitter to convey his thoughts on policy is perplexing France's finance minister.
American Indians from across the country are bringing their frustrations with the Trump administration and its approval of the Dakota Access oil pipeline to the nation's capital Tuesday, kicking off four days of activities that will culminate in a march on the White House.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is again citing corporate investments planned before he took office as evidence that his policies are growing jobs and business.
MONDAY, MARCH 6
Despite a reversal of federal guidelines for public school restroom use, state Rep. Mark Pody is prepared to present legislation Tuesday restricting bathroom use to a students’ sex at birth.
House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh is questioning a long-term real estate strategy to would consolidate state properties and sell Davidson County land and buildings in the downtown Capitol hub, including the multi-story Citizens Plaza.
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Agent De’Greaun ReShun Frazier was only 35 when he was shot and killed in Jackson while working an undercover drug operation.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Former Sen. Douglas Henry, a larger-than-life former state lawmaker with the longest tenure in the history of the Tennessee General Assembly, has died. He was 90.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Former Sen. Douglas Henry, a lawmaker with the longest tenure in the history of the Tennessee General Assembly, died at 90 years old on Sunday.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Knoxville businessman Randy Boyd is joining the race to succeed term-limited Gov. Bill Haslam next year.
GATLINBURG (AP) — Tennessee officials are using a federal grant to provide cleanup work to people who lost their jobs after deadly wildfires.
Leslie Kurtz needed three plates, eight screws and a big assist from her insurer after breaking every bone in her ankle while white water rafting.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is leaving the issue of transgender rights in schools to lower courts for now after backing out of a high-profile case Monday of a Virginia high school student who sued to be able to use the boys' bathroom.
DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. is laying off 1,100 workers at an assembly plant in Michigan.
PARIS (AP) — General Motors is selling its unprofitable European car business to the French maker of Peugeot, marking the American company's retreat from a major market and raising concerns of job cuts in the region.
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks finished lower Monday for the second time in the last three trading days. Banks gave back some of their recent gains after a jump in interest rates last week sent them sharply higher.
NEW YORK (AP) — A majority of business economists disagree with the Trump administration on several key issues, notably immigration, trade and the budget, according to a survey by the National Association for Business Economics.
HOUSTON (AP) — An international group representing oil-importing countries warns that the global supply of oil could fall short of demand after 2020 and push prices higher.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. businesses increased their orders in January, although a key component that tracks business investment spending fell for the first time in four months.
HOUSTON (AP) — Darren Woods, the new CEO of Exxon Mobil, is a veteran of the more cautious refining side of the oil business who is likely to focus relentlessly on controlling costs.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Monday signed a reworked version of his controversial travel ban Monday, aiming to withstand court challenges while still barring new visas for citizens from six Muslim-majority countries and temporarily shutting down America's refugee program.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Reducing America's huge trade deficits would deliver stronger economic growth and improve national security, the White House trade adviser said, in a speech that underscored the Trump administration's harsh view of recent U.S. trade policies.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The start of a new administration is never a clean slate, even when parties flip. Day One is just another day for military operations, a budget that is still in place from the old crowd and a vast array of economic, social and law enforcement initiatives left over from the last president.
FRIDAY, MARCH 3
NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam is lauding lawmakers for advancing his plan to begin tackling Tennessee's more than $10 billion backlog in road and bridge projects, but the Republican wants to see his bill returned to its original form that includes boosting funding through fuel tax increases.
NASHVILLE – State Rep. Micah Van Huss’ “heartbeat bill” ran into an unlikely opponent this week: Tennessee Right to Life.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam has issued a writ of election to replace former Republican state Rep. Mark Lovell, who resigned amid a sexual harassment investigation.
NASHVILLE (AP) — The Haslam administration has postponed the deadline for private companies interested in running Fall Creek Falls State Park to submit proposals.
NASHVILLE (AP) — A proposal to amend the state constitution to say that God is the source of Tennesseans' liberties has failed in the House.
MEMPHIS (AP) — Nearly four decades after Elvis sang his last tune, his legacy got a $45 million boost with the Thursday opening of a major new attraction at his Graceland estate -- an entertainment complex that Priscilla Presley says gives "the full gamut" of the King of Rock 'n' Roll.
DAVE LINK: UT SPORTS
KNOXVILLE (AP) — New Tennessee athletic director John Currie has a five-year contract worth at least $900,000 annually with opportunities for raises and additional bonuses.
NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans have agreed to a contract extension with quarterback Matt Cassel a week before he was set to hit free agency.
DETROIT (AP) — French carmaker PSA Group is expected to announce Monday that it has purchased General Motors' money-losing European car business, according to two people briefed on the matter.
DETROIT (AP) — Mercedes is recalling about 1 million cars and SUVs worldwide because a starter part can overheat and cause fires.
DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co is recalling 31,867 vehicles in the U.S. and Canada because their driver's side air bags may not inflate properly.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. services companies expanded in February at the fastest pace since October 2015.
LONDON (AP) — The 19-country eurozone economy is growing at its fastest rate since 2011, according to a survey released Friday, but few economists expect the European Central Bank to ease up on its stimulus efforts anytime soon given political uncertainties that could derail the recovery.
A late wave of buying helped nudge U.S. stock indexes slightly higher Friday after a day of mostly listless trading.
BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union and the United States have agreed to recognize each other's inspections of facilities where medicines are made.
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Paul Ryan told Republican lawmakers Thursday that leaders plan to draft legislation this weekend revamping the nation's health care system, the latest indication that party leaders are trying to surge ahead despite persistent disputes over what the measure should look like.
NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon says an incorrectly typed command during a routine debugging of its billing system caused the five-hour outage of some Amazon Web Services servers on Tuesday.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen signaled Friday that the Fed will likely resume raising interest rates later this month to reflect a strengthening job market and inflation edging toward the central bank's 2 percent target.
Banks and other financial companies led a slide in U.S. stocks Thursday, erasing some of the gains from a day earlier, when indexes soared to their latest record highs.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week, breaking a holding pattern that prevailed for more than a month.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Just 223,000 Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, fewest in nearly 44 years.
NEW YORK (AP) — The company behind Snapchat is trading sharply higher in its Wall Street debut.
NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market is hitting new heights, and yes, excitement about President Trump's policies is part of the reason for it. But it's not the only one, analysts say.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A Federal Reserve board member on Thursday added his voice to a growing group of Fed officials who are indicating that they may raise rates in March.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A senior Senate Democrat is asking the Treasury Department to evaluate whether President Donald Trump and his family's business associates and possible investors from Russia and other countries have violated U.S. laws against financing terrorism, money laundering and other illicit activities.