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VOL. 38 | NO. 14 | Friday, April 4, 2014

Many Tennesseans are working for peanuts, but the solution is more complicated than raising the minimum wage

Tennessee’s economic development efforts have given the state much to brag about.

Graves, Fox find formula for online success with StyleBlueprint

Liza Graves and Elizabeth Fox launched the online lifestyle publication StyleBlueprint.com in January 2009 with the goal of purpose of connecting women with their community.


Thompson Lane market a neutral zone in Russia-Ukraine conflict

With Russian troops pushing against his homeland’s borders, you might expect Ukraine native Yuriy Kvaternyuk to be wary.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Mostly Cloudy
Wind: North at 9.2 mph
Humidity: 47%


Are Patent Trolls Exhausted? A host of legislative efforts to curb so-called “Patent Trolls” are being pushed in a variety of venues, including an anti-troll statute introduced in Tennessee. But what is a Patent Troll? Are they really the source of the problem? And is it worth dismantling the patent system to kill them off? Baker Donelson hosts this intellectual property roundtable featuring speaker W. Edward Ramage as part of the ABA Intellectual Property Roundtable Series. Today, Noon-1 p.m., Baker Donelson Center, 211 Commerce Street, First Floor Special Events Center, Nashville. Program and lunch are complimentary. Registration: rsvp@bakerdonelson.com.

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Top Realtor shares insider view of market

Richard Bryan was honored recently by the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors for having more listings and more closed sales in 2013 than anyone else in the association.


Could Ramsey really win a statewide race?

A few years ago, before Bill Haslam took office, then-Gov. Phil Bredesen was mentioned as the front-runner for the position of secretary of Health and Human Services in the Obama administration.


‘Solid, Christian belief’ guides Pody’s work in Legislature

Helping people with insurance means requires the ability to plan for multiple scenarios.


Oliphant is interim CEO of Metro, regional transit

Edward W. Oliphant has been named interim CEO of the Nashville MTA and Regional Transportation Authority of Middle Tennessee, effective April 1, 2014.


Less drama, more pleasure in your workplace

You started a business to make money.


Talk like TED in your sales pitch

TED is a nonprofit committed to spreading ideas in the form of succinct-yet-powerful talks that are all 18 minutes or less – the ideal length of time to connect with and persuade viewers.


Now Tack!

In sailing, when the wind shifts direction, you must move your sails or risk losing the wind. The first indication of a shifting breeze comes from the telltales, strips of lightweight material attached to the sails that foreshadow a change in conditions. Recently, the market telltales have been active.


All in the family for crossword, Sudoku champs

Robin and Darren Morrissey, wife and husband, finished one and one at the 2014 Clinton School Puzzle Festival. That would be first place in crosswords and first place in Sudoku.


French dip: A delicious, accidental classic

A French dip is a beef sandwich on a long white French roll that’s dipped in pan juices. American menus often describe the pan juice as “au jus.” Au jus is a French expression that means “with broth” or “with juice.”


Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame to honor Helton

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame plans to honor former Colorado Rockies star Todd Helton as its Tennessean of the Year during its May 17 induction banquet.


State House approves $32.4B spending plan

NASHVILLE (AP) - The House has approved the state's $32.4 billion spending plan for the budget year beginning in July.

Senate OKs House version of 'In God We Trust' bill

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Senate has voted to overrule the sponsor of a bill that originally sought to require the phrase "In God We Trust" to be painted behind the speaker's podiums in the state Capitol.


Nashville will host 2014 Tennessee Bike Summit

NASHVILLE (AP) — Nashville will be the site of the third annual Tennessee Bike Summit.


Enovate Medical expanding in Mufreesboro

NASHVILLE (AP) — State officials say medical device company Enovate Medical plans to expand its operations at its U.S. headquarters in Murfreesboro, adding 410 jobs in the next five years.


Toyota, GM recalls push US to near-record pace

DETROIT (AP) — Big U.S. recalls by General Motors and Toyota have put the auto industry on a record pace as companies try to avoid bad publicity and punishment from an increasingly aggressive government.

GM puts 2 engineers on paid leave in recall case

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors has suspended two engineers with pay in the first disciplinary action linked to its delayed recall of thousands of small cars for a deadly ignition switch problem.

UAW subpoenas Haslam, Corker in VW challenge

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — The United Auto Workers has issued subpoenas to U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, Gov. Bill Haslam and 18 other officials as part of a challenge of a vote rejecting union representation at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga.

Toyota gas cars get efficient engine from hybrids

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota has developed an efficient gasoline engine using technology fine-tuned with gas-electric hybrids, in which the Japanese automaker is an industry leader.


House defeats bipartisan fix to 'Obamacare'

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House on Wednesday rejected a bipartisan fix to the Affordable Care Act that would exempt U.S. health plans sold to expatriate workers from having to comply with the law's mandates.


US budget deficit falls in March to $37 billion

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government's budget deficit shrank to just $37 billion in March from $107 billion in the same month last year, the latest sign of improvement in the nation's finances. The deficit was the lowest for the month of March in 14 years.

Applications for US jobless aid dip to lowest level in 7 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits dropped to the lowest level in almost seven years, falling 32,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 300,000.

Stocks drop; Biotech takes another plunge

NEW YORK (AP) — Another plunge in the biotechnology sector led stock indexes down Thursday, as Biogen Idec, Gilead Sciences and other biotech companies extended a recent slump. EBay fell after Carl Icahn abandoned an effort to shake up the company and Bed Bath & Beyond fell after reporting weak sales figures.

$4 billion: Bogus tax refunds a growing problem

WASHINGTON (AP) — An Internet connection and a bunch of stolen identities are all it takes for crooks to collect billions of dollars in bogus federal tax refunds. And the scam is proving too pervasive to stop.

Oil falls on weak China trade data, US supply rise

The price of oil edged slightly lower from a five-week high Thursday after China reported weak monthly trade data and U.S. crude supplies rose substantially last week.

Artificial cooling tricky topic for climate panel

BERLIN (AP) — It's Plan B in the fight against climate change: cooling the planet by sucking heat-trapping CO2 from the air or reflecting sunlight back into space.

Average US 30-year mortgage rate down to 4.34 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages declined this week, edging closer to historically low levels as the spring home-buying season begins.

Family Dollar to cut jobs, close about 370 stores

MATTHEWS, N.C. (AP) — Family Dollar plans to cut some jobs and close about 370 underperforming stores as it tries to reverse sagging sales and earnings. The discount store operator will also lower prices on about 1,000 basic items.

Continued drop in PC shipments slows

NEW YORK (AP) — Worldwide shipments of PCs fell during the first three months of the year, but the latest numbers show that the global slump in PC demand may be easing.


House set for vote on Ryan budget with big cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans are marching ahead with an election-year budget promising to balance the government's books with wide-ranging cuts in programs like food stamps and government-paid health care for the poor and working class despite the knowledge that they could be checkmated by Senate Democrats and President Barack Obama's veto pen.


Senate to vote on Tennessee's $32.4B spending plan

NASHVILLE (AP) - The state Senate is ready to vote on a $32.4 billion spending plan for the budget year beginning in July.

Open carry bill presents Haslam campaign flashback

MURFREESBORO (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam said Wednesday that his administration is carefully examining the ramifications of a bill passed by the Senate that would allow Tennesseans to openly carry guns without state-issued permits.

Tennessee House OKs watered-down anti-meth bill

NASHVILLE (AP) - Supporters of a watered-down version of Gov. Bill Haslam's anti-methamphetamine legislation approved by the House on Wednesday believe it will help in the fight against the drug's production across the state, even though it's not as tough as they would like.

Bill seeks 'In God We Trust' signage at Capitol

NASHVILLE (AP) - A bill calling for the phrase "In God We Trust" to be painted in the tunnel that connects the Tennessee Capitol and the Legislative Plaza has been approved by the House.

Haslam's school voucher bill headed to full Senate

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to create a school voucher program in Tennessee is headed for a full Senate vote.


Mars buying some P&G pet food brands for $2.9B

Procter & Gamble is crying uncle on the edible business so it can focus on its core brands like Tide detergent and Pampers diapers.


Haslam seeks disaster relief for Cheatham, Dickson, 7 other counties

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam is requesting a presidential disaster declaration for nine Tennessee counties affected by extreme winter weather last month.


Medicare database reveals top-paid doctors

WASHINGTON (AP) — Medicare paid a tiny group of doctors $3 million or more apiece in 2012. One got nearly $21 million.


VW tells US dealers to stop selling 4 models

DETROIT (AP) — Volkswagen is telling U.S. dealers to stop selling its most popular cars until transmission fluid leaks can be fixed.

GM auto workers vote to allow strike in Kentucky

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Workers at the General Motors plant in Kentucky that assembles Corvettes voted Tuesday to authorize a strike over lingering safety concerns, but a local union leader said he hopes the differences can be resolved without a walkout.

Toyota recalls about 6.4 million vehicles globally

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling 6.39 million vehicles globally for a variety of problems spanning nearly 30 models in Japan, the U.S., Europe and other places.


Stocks advance on Fed minutes, US earnings

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market is sharply higher as investors got some encouraging news about interest rates and as U.S. corporate earnings got off to a good start.

Oil rises above $103 a barrel on Ukraine unrest

The price of oil rose to a five-week high Wednesday amid unrest in eastern Ukraine, even as a report showed a large rise in U.S. crude oil supplies.

Poll: Most Americans say filing taxes easy

WASHINGTON (AP) — With tax day approaching, most Americans say filling out a federal tax return isn't that hard, after all.

Northwestern appeals NLRB ruling on athletes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Northwestern University is asking the National Labor Relations Board to overturn a regional director's ruling that the school's football players are employees under federal law and thus entitled to unionize.

Minutes show Fed struggled to agree on rate policy

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve struggled last month over how to convey to investors that it will raise short-term interest rates only slowly once it increases them from record lows.

Investors shed tech, biotech stocks

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street's cool kids have been booted from the lunchroom.

BofA paying $772M over selling credit card extras

WASHINGTON (AP) — Bank of America Corp. is paying $772 million in fines and refunds to settle regulators' accusations that it misled customers who bought extra credit-card products and illegally charged others for credit monitoring and reporting services they didn't receive.

Bank of America to cut 3,000 overseas jobs

NEW YORK (AP) — Bank of America says it's cutting about 3,000 jobs overseas as part of ongoing reviews of its global operations.

Panera CEO looks to fix 'mosh pit' ordering system

NEW YORK (AP) — Panera CEO Ron Schaich realizes ordering at his chain can be chaotic.

'Heartbleed' bug causes major security headache

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A confounding computer bug called "Heartbleed" is causing major security headaches across the Internet as websites scramble to fix the problem and Web surfers wonder whether they should change their passwords to prevent theft of their email accounts, credit card numbers and other sensitive information.

Twitter tweaks website to attract new users

NEW YORK (AP) — As Twitter looks to broaden its appeal beyond its 241 million users, the company is introducing a redesign of profile pages that includes bigger photos, more user controls and a distinct resemblance to Facebook.


GOP derails gender pay gap bill in Senate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans derailed a Democratic bill Wednesday curbing paycheck discrimination against women, an effort that even in defeat Democrats hoped would pay political dividends in this fall's congressional elections.


Senate votes for open gun carry without permit

NASHVILLE (AP) — The state Senate on Tuesday passed a bill to allow Tennesseans to openly carry guns without a state-issued permit.

Haslam free tuition plan to be heard by key panel

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam's signature proposal to create a program that would cover tuition at two-year colleges for any high school graduate is headed to a full House vote.

Bill seeks 'In God We Trust' signage at Capitol

NASHVILLE (AP) — Legislation that calls for the phrase "In God We Trust" to be displayed above the main Capitol entrances and behind the speakers' podiums in both the House and Senate has been approved by the Senate.


Volkswagen expansion talks at standstill in Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) — Expansion talks at Volkswagen's lone U.S. plant have ground to a halt amid disagreements about the role of organized labor at the factory in Tennessee.


Stocks rise, breaking a three-day losing streak

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are closing higher as the market stabilizes after a three-day slump.

Regulators act to require stronger bank capital

WASHINGTON (AP) — Regulators are acting to require U.S. banks to build a sturdier financial base to lessen the risk that they could collapse and cause a global meltdown.

Scant relief: Summer gas prices to dip 1 cent

NEW YORK (AP) — Drivers will get the slightest of breaks on gasoline prices this summer, according to the Energy Department.

US bacon prices rise after virus kills baby pigs

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A virus never before seen in the U.S. has killed millions of baby pigs in less than a year, and with little known about how it spreads or how to stop it, it's threatening pork production and pushing up prices by 10 percent or more.

IMF: World economy is stronger but faces threats

WASHINGTON (AP) — The global economy is strengthening but faces threats from super-low inflation and outflows of capital from emerging economies, the International Monetary Fund warned Tuesday.

US employers advertised more open jobs in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers posted more job openings in February, a sign that hiring will likely improve in the months ahead.

Oil prices up in Asia ahead of weekly US data

Oil prices gained modestly Tuesday in Asia as traders awaited weekly U.S. data on crude oil and distillates stockpiles.

American, US Airways tweak fees, mileage rules

DALLAS (AP) — If you use miles to get a free ticket on American Airlines, you may have to pay to check that suitcase.

US jury hits Takeda, Eli Lilly with $9B penalty

TOKYO (AP) — A U.S. jury ordered Japanese drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. and its U.S. counterpart, Eli Lilly and Co., to pay $9 billion in punitive damages over a diabetes medicine linked to cancer. The drug companies said Tuesday they will "vigorously challenge" the decision.

Nokia gets Chinese approval for Microsoft deal

HELSINKI (AP) — Nokia has received regulatory approval from Chinese authorities to sell its mobile phone unit to Microsoft Corp., removing one of the last major hurdles to the 5.4 billion-euro ($7.3 billion) deal.


Unemployment benefits bill headed to House

WASHINGTON (AP) — Election-year legislation to resume long-term jobless benefits is headed to the House, where a small band of dissident Republicans is leaning on Speaker John Boehner to permit a vote on resuming aid to more than 2 million victims of the Great Recession.

Obama signs actions taking aim at gender pay gap

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a concerted election-year push to draw attention to women's wages, President Barack Obama signed directives Tuesday that would make it easier for workers of federal contractors to get information about workplace compensation. He seasoned his move with a sharp rebuke of Republicans whom he accused of "gumming up the works" on workplace fairness.


Strait wins entertainer of the year at ACM Awards

George Strait won his second entertainer of the year — 25 years after he won his first — and Miranda Lambert and Keith Urban teamed up to earn top honors Sunday night at a jam-packed Academy of Country Music Awards that had a little something for everyone.


Tennessee Legislative session nearing conclusion

NASHVILLE (AP) — Legislative leaders are hoping to adopt Tennessee's annual spending plan as early as this week, clearing the way to the conclusion of the legislative session.


Press asks for more access to Haslam speeches

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Tennessee Capitol Hill Press Corps is asking Gov. Bill Haslam to let them know when he is going to make a speech.


Ford recalls nearly 435,000 vehicles

DETROIT (AP) — Ford is recalling nearly 435,000 cars and SUVs to fix rusting frame parts or faulty seats.


Supreme Court to hear class-action dispute

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court will consider the requirements for transferring class-action lawsuits from state courts to federal courts.

High court rejects new campaign finance case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to century-old bans on campaign contributions by corporations.


AMA won't stop Medicare doc data release

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's largest doctors' group said Monday it won't try to block Medicare's release of billing records for 880,000 physicians, although it continues to oppose the government's recent decision to open up the massive data trove.

Survey confirms gains in health insurance sign-ups

WASHINGTON (AP) — A growing share of Americans got health insurance as sign-up season for President Barack Obama's health care law came to a close last month, a major survey released Monday has found.

GOP seeks expansion of choices in health law it hates

WASHINGTON (AP) — At the prodding of business organizations, House Republicans quietly secured a recent change in President Barack Obama's health law to expand coverage choices, a striking, one-of-a-kind departure from dozens of high-decibel attempts to repeal or dismember it.


S&P 500 posts longest losing streak since January

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are sagging at the close, pushing the broader market to its longest losing streak since January.

Oil prices slip below $101 after Libyan deal

Oil prices fell below $101 a barrel Monday following reports that four Libyan oil terminals under militia control could soon open and possibly boost global supplies.

US consumer borrowing up $16.5 billion in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumers increased their borrowing in February on autos and student loans by the largest amount in a year. But for a second straight month, they cut back on their credit card use.

Next year's high-skilled visas snapped up in days

WASHINGTON (AP) — Businesses seeking highly skilled workers from overseas took less than a week to snap up all 85,000 visas available for next year, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced Monday.

End of Windows XP support spells trouble for some

NEW YORK (AP) — Microsoft will end support for the persistently popular Windows XP on Tuesday, and with an estimated 30 percent of businesses and consumers still using the 12-year-old operating system, the move could put everything from the operations of heavy industry to the identities of everyday people in danger.

Some airlines drop limes from beverage service

NEW YORK (AP) — Airline passengers might notice something missing these days from their vodka tonics or Diet Cokes: the lime.

Air travel: Late flights are up, complaints down

DALLAS (AP) — A big drop in customer complaints helped U.S. airlines post their best ratings ever even though more flights were late and more bags were mishandled, according to a report released Monday by university researchers.

Lands' End to start trading as public company

NEW YORK (AP) — Lands' End shares are falling in its first day as a separate public company after being spun off from Sears.

Railroads stress safety after 2013 increase in deaths

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Railroads are launching a new campaign to highlight the dangers of being near train tracks after a spike in rail deaths last year.


Obama tests work policies on federal contractors

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sidestepping Congress, President Barack Obama is using the federal government's vast array of contractors to impose rules on wages, pay disparities and hiring on a segment of the private sector that gets taxpayer money and falls under his control.


Prism of modern country on display at ACM Awards

NASHVILLE (AP) - The new artist of the year category at the 2014 Academy of Country Music Awards is a primer in Modern Country 101 with three nominees who perfectly capture the genre's 21st century sound.


Haslam free tuition plan garners praise, concern

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam's signature proposal this year, a program that would cover a full ride at two-year colleges for any high school graduate, appears on track to pass as lawmakers enter the waning days of the legislative session. The details, however - including how to pay for this perk in the years to come - remain scattered.

Alexander has $3.1M on hand for Senate campaign

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander raised $614,000 in the first quarter, leaving him with $3.1 million on hand for his bid for a third term.

Haslam unveils 3-year, $1.5B transportation plan

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam and Transportation Commissioner John Schroer have released the state's three-year, $1.5 billion transportation program.


For-profit charter schools bill fails in House

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal to allow charter schools in Tennessee to be operated by for-profit groups failed in its final committee vote Thursday before reaching the House floor for debate.

City beer sales bill headed to governor's desk

NASHVILLE (AP) - A bill to allow local governments to obtain permits to sell beer is headed for Gov. Bill Haslam's desk after being approved by the House on Thursday.


Tennessee court decision could be blow to immigrants

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Tennessee Supreme Court has issued a decision that could be a blow to immigrants who have been convicted of a crime but had the record wiped clean because of good behavior.

Appellate judge appointed to Tennessee Supreme Court

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican Gov. Bill Haslam on Thursday named Criminal Appeals Judge Jeff Bivins to fill an upcoming vacancy on the Tennessee Supreme Court bench.


Health care bill helps add 3 million to Medicaid

WASHINGTON (AP) — Three million Americans signed up for Medicaid under President Barack Obama's new health care law as of the end of February, the administration said Friday, offering its first full accounting of how much the safety-net health program has grown since implementation of the law.


Nissan settles worker's labor practice charge

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Nissan Motor Co. says it has settled an unfair labor practice charge with a pro-union worker at its assembly plant in Canton, Miss.


Tech stocks, once highfliers, drop; Nasdaq sinks

NEW YORK (AP) — A slump in Internet and other technology stocks pulled the broader market lower Friday, as traders turned on the same companies they flocked to earlier this year. Google, Netflix and other pillars of the Internet economy took a beating.

Oil prices rise on US jobs report

Oil prices rose slightly Friday after a monthly U.S. jobs report showed stronger hiring in the U.S. in recent months.

Holder: Justice investigating high-speed trading

The Department of Justice is investigating high-frequency stock trading to see if any of the practices violate insider trading laws, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said Friday.

Steady, not spectacular: US jobs up 192K in March

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy delivered a solid month of job growth in March and signaled that stronger gains could lie ahead: More Americans without jobs are starting to look for one, and paychecks are growing.

Wall Street orders up GrubHub in market debut

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street appears to be in the mood for takeout.

Mozilla CEO resigns after furor over gay rights

Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich is stepping down as CEO and leaving the company following protests over his support of a gay marriage ban in California.

US home market: Few buyers and not enough sellers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Entering the 2014 spring buying season, the U.S. housing market faces an unusual dilemma: Too few people are selling homes. Yet too few buyers can afford the homes that are for sale.

US trade deficit hits $42.3 billion in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit climbed to the highest level in five months in February as demand for American exports fell while imports increased slightly.

Growing demand for US apartments pushing up rents

These are good times for U.S. landlords. For many tenants, not so much.


Bill would extend tax breaks for NASCAR, wind farms, filmmakers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wind farms, NASCAR tracks and filmmakers would keep their treasured tax breaks as part of an $85 billion package of temporary tax cuts passed by a key Senate committee.

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