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VOL. 39 | NO. 18 | Friday, May 1, 2015

Will Tennessee Republicans ever be truly happy?

The pain of getting almost everything

Why aren’t Tennessee Republicans happier? With the GOP so dominant in the Tennessee General Assembly and losses so rare – on the Hill or in elections – the party’s lawmakers should be jubilant with this year’s session. But it’s never enough.

Students not giving up on tuition equality

Tennessee students without citizenship say they’ll continue the battle for in-state tuition in 2016 after a measure to help them overcome the financial hurdle of out-of-state tuition barely failed on the House floor.

Winning, losing bills of 2015 Tennessee legislative session

A look at some of the winning and losing legislation during the 2015 session of the Tennessee General Assembly.

New state chair wants all-GOP Legislature

With more than six years of experience in the House of Representatives, Knoxville Republican Ryan Haynes is leaving the post to take on a new job: Tennessee Republican Party chairman.

Too much Mr. Nice Guy? Haslam struggles to exert influence

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam was riding high. He swept all 95 counties in his re-election bid, then his peers picked him to be chairman of the Republican Governors Association.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Partly Cloudy
Wind: South at 5.8 mph
Humidity: 48%


Nashville Small Business Forum. Mayor Karl Dean and the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce will host a small business forum and resource fair designed to help Nashville businesses, 9:30-11:30 a.m., at The Cordelle event space, 45 Lindsley Avenue.  A panel of Nashville government officials and public leaders will provide an overview of Nashville's small business incentives and assistance programs. Following the panel discussion, a business fair will feature representatives from more than 10 local, state and federal agencies and organizations all focused on helping small businesses. Panel participants include Terry Cobb, director of development services in the Mayor's Office of Economic and Community Development; Corey Davis, director of business growth initiatives at the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce; Michelle Hernandez Lane, minority and women business assistance director in the Metro Finance Department; Metro Council At-Large Councilman Jerry Maynard;  and Davita Taylor, business diversity development director at the Metro Nashville Airport Authority. No fee. Registration begins at 9:15 a.m.

more events »


Condo dwellers loving restaurant choices

It’s Saturday afternoon, and the Bakersfield taco bar, located at the bottom of the Encore condominium building downtown, has drawn a lively crowd.


Zoning issue a big threat to tiny houses

As the price per square foot for Nashville properties continues its climb, buyers are paying more for less.


Hospitality industry to honor former governor

Nashville’s hospitality industry will honor former Gov. and Nashville Mayor Phil Bredesen as the second recipient of the E.W. “Bud” Wendell Award at the fourth annual National Travel & Tourism Week Hospitality Industry Luncheon on May 4.


Subaru goes rear-wheel drive with BRZ

Subaru’s all-wheel drive passion aside, the automaker crafts a fun, rear-wheel drive, sport coupe. The 2015 Subaru BRZ is surprisingly affordable, too, with a starting retail price of less than $26,500.


Google’s algorithms get inside our heads

In the Internet search world, Google is clearly king, and marketing professionals across the globe give this tech giant the lion’s share of their attention.


Pays to be selective in today’s market

Last week, the Nasdaq, the S&P 500 and the New York Stock Exchange composite indexes all hit new historic highs, bolstered by falling rate hike expectations.


Does gay marriage ‘burden’ religious exercise?

“When is the law that is the law not the law? And vice versa.” Yeah, I know, that was last week’s column. But it’s apropos of the rash of laws that have been bandied about, and passed in some states, recently. They’re called Religious Freedom Restoration Acts.


‘TV dinners’ seem to look better than real thing

It just doesn’t pay for me to watch the Food Network. I get so inspired by the food the chefs prepare that I immediately go running to the store and buy all the ingredients.


Governor signs Tenn. measure requiring racial profiling ban

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam has signed legislation that requires all of Tennessee's law enforcement agencies to adopt written policies to ban racial profiling.

Governor signs Tennessee 'Neighborhood Protection Act'

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam has signed legislation that helps homeowner associations or neighborhood watch groups keep repeat offenders out of their communities.


Haslam postsecondary education initiatives showing success

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam's efforts to persuade more Tennesseans to get a postsecondary education appear to be paying off.


Comcast to offer super-fast Internet in Nashville

NASHVILLE (AP) — Comcast says it is bringing its super-fast Internet service to Nashville, but won't say how much it will cost to install or subscribe.


Tesla beats Wall Street forecasts on record quarterly sales

DETROIT (AP) — Electric car maker Tesla Motors delivered a quarterly record of 10,045 cars in the first quarter, helping it beat Wall Street's expectations despite costly investments in new products and factory capacity and the impact of the strong dollar.


Average US rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 3.8 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates are up this week to the highest level since mid-March.


US jobless aid applications rise slightly

WASHINGTON (AP) — Slightly more Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week. But even with the modest increase, the total number of people collecting jobless aid — pulled down steadily for months — fell to near 15-year lows.

US stock indexes are slightly higher a day after a drop

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks edged higher in morning trading Thursday as investors remained cautious following comments a day earlier from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, who suggested that stock prices might be overvalued.

Fannie Mae posts $1.9B profit in 1Q; paying $1.8B to gov't

Mortgage giant Fannie Mae says it had net income of $1.9 billion for the first quarter. That's sharply down from the same period a year ago due to lower fee income.

Lumber Liquidators suspends sales of Chinese-made flooring

Lumber Liquidators has suspended the sale of all laminate flooring made in China a week after disclosing that the Justice Department is seeking criminal charges against the specialty retailer in an investigation over imported products.


UT declines to release emails to newspaper

NASHVILLE (AP) - The University of Tennessee in Knoxville has declined a newspaper's request to release emails between administrators that contain the names of current and former student-athletes who may have been disciplined for alleged sex assaults.


Speakers disavow any 'mandate' for Tennessee security group

NASHVILLE (AP) - A private group called the Tennessee Task Force on National and Homeland Security is marketing itself with an official-looking logo and a claimed "mandate" from state lawmakers. But legislative leaders say the group has no official endorsement from the General Assembly.


Report states water pollution enforcement way down since 2008

NASHVILLE (AP) - State regulators issued 77 percent fewer enforcement orders against water polluters in 2014 than they did in 2008, according to the nonprofit Tennessee Clean Water Network.

Tennessee Board to examine Historic Places nominations

NASHVILLE (AP) — The State Review Board will meet on May 20 to examine Tennessee's proposed nominations to the National Register of Historic Places.


Daimler's self-driving big rig makes big entrance in Nevada

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Its name is "Inspiration" and Daimler Trucks says it's the first ever self-driving semi-truck licensed to drive on public roads — in this case Nevada's highways — not only for testing, but business, too.

BMW profits rise on SUVs, strong sales in UK, US

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — German luxury carmaker BMW increased its profits in the first quarter thanks to strong demand for its expensive SUVs and higher sales in the U.S. and Britain as well as in a recovering European market.


US stocks close lower after weak jobs data; oil prices rise

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks fell across industries on Wednesday as investors worried over stock valuations, economic growth and rising interest rates.

Lending Club jumps as online lending continues to grow

NEW YORK (AP) — Everyone wants in the Club. Shares of Lending Club advanced 3 percent Wednesday after the company reported better-than-expected results and raised its full-year outlook as more people discover peer-to-peer lending as a cheaper alternative to a traditional bank.

For some long-term unemployed, hope arises: A job audition

WASHINGTON (AP) — Bill Lewis was under more pressure than most new hires when he began a job in information technology last year in Monroe, Connecticut. Jobless for a year, he had eight weeks to persuade his employer to keep him and pay his salary.

Yellen says bank regulators making progress in reforms

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Wednesday that the Fed and other banking regulators have made significant progress in correcting flaws in the financial system that triggered the worst banking crisis in seven decades.

US productivity drops at 1.9 percent rate in first quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. worker productivity declined in the first three months of the year as labor costs jumped, reflecting a slowdown in growth.

Survey: Hiring by US businesses slows sharply in April

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. companies hired in April at the slowest pace in nearly a year and a half, a private survey found, as the strong dollar dragged down overseas sales and energy companies cut back on spending in the face of lower oil prices.


GAO: Gov't waste of natural gas costing taxpayers millions

WASHINGTON (AP) — A congressional investigation has found that significant amounts of natural gas on federal lands are being wasted, costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars each year and adding to harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

Senate adopts GOP budget targeting 'Obamacare'

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate on Tuesday adopted a GOP budget that paves the way for an assault on President Barack Obama's health care law this summer and a partisan showdown over spending bills this fall.


HCA backs up early 1Q peek at quarter with strong admissions

NASHVILLE (AP) - First-quarter earnings soared 70 percent for HCA, as admissions growth helped the hospital chain reaffirm a strong performance it initially outlined last month.


Troopers to be more visible during Cinco de Mayo holiday

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Highway Patrol will increase enforcement during the Cinco de Mayo holiday.


VW CEO vows progress on costs after leadership struggle

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Volkswagen's CEO said the company is tackling its problems in the wake of a leadership struggle and promised progress on lowering costs and raising profitability.

General Motors will invest $174 million in Kansas plant

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — General Motors will invest $174 million in its Fairfax plant in Kansas City, Kansas, to pay for new equipment and technology to produce the 2016 Malibu, company officials announced Monday.


Googling on mobile devices surpasses PCs in US for 1st time

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google's influential search engine has hit a tipping point in technology's shift to smartphones. More search requests are now being made on mobile devices than on personal computers in the U.S. and many other parts of the world.

High-tech sensors help kids keep eye on aging parents

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Each time 81-year-old Bill Dworsky or his 80-year-old wife Dorothy opens the refrigerator, closes the bathroom door or lifts the lid on a pill container, tiny sensors in their San Francisco home make notes on a digital logbook.


Growth in US services firms picked up speed last month

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. service firms' growth accelerated in April, fueled by more orders, rising sales and an uptick in hiring. The figures provide solid evidence that the economy is recovering from its first-quarter stumble.

US trade deficit jumps to 6-year high of $51.4 billion

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit in March jumped to the highest level in more than six years as a small increase in exports was swamped by a flood of imports from autos to cellphones.

US stocks sink as oil price jumps above $60

NEW YORK (AP) — A combination of concerns knocked the U.S. stock market lower Tuesday, snapping a two-day run.

Freddie Mac posts $524M profit in 1Q; paying $746M dividend

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mortgage giant Freddie Mac reported net income of $524 million for the first quarter, down sharply from the same period of 2014, as it sustained losses on the investments it uses to hedge against swings in interest rates.


Senate slated to vote on GOP budget compromise

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is poised to approve a compromise Republican budget that makes deep cuts in spending while boosting Pentagon accounts by an additional $38 billion next year.


Tennessee lawmakers reimburse state for trips

NASHVILLE (AP) - Two lawmakers have reimbursed the state for trips they took to legislative conferences.


GM cuts 2016 Volt plug-in hybrid car price by almost $1,200

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is knocking nearly $1,200 off the price of the 2016 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid car.


Comcast now has nearly as many Internet as cable customers

NEW YORK (AP) — Just before its $45 billion deal with Time Warner Cable collapsed over regulators' fears about a giant cable company's control over the Web, Comcast was racking up more Internet customers.


US factory orders rise in March for first time in 8 months

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to U.S. factories rose in March for the first time since last July, breaking a long stretch of weakness in manufacturing.

US stocks gain, pushing the market close to record levels

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market closed just short of a record on Monday as investors assessed some positive earnings reports.

AmEx to roll out new loyalty program today

NEW YORK (AP) — American Express will roll out a new loyalty program, Plenti, on Monday, allowing U.S. shoppers for the first time to earn rewards points through a variety of purchases, from paying a phone bill to filling up at the pump.

McDonald's to detail latest turnaround plans

NEW YORK (AP) — McDonald's is set to unveil its latest plans to revive its sputtering business on Monday.


Boehner: Clinton needs to bring Democrats along on trade

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner says Hillary Rodham Clinton needs to back trade legislation that President Barack Obama wants — and help get Democrats on board.


Haslam signs measure for lifetime handgun-carry permit

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam has signed legislation that allows Tennesseans to get a lifetime handgun-carry permit.


Nashville library helps mark 5th anniversary of 2010 floods

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Nashville Public Library is helping to mark the fifth anniversary of the historic May 2010 floods that affected much of Middle and West Tennessee.


Musical instrument maker expanding Wilson County operations

MT. JULIET (AP) — A musical instrument manufacturer and distributor is investing nearly $4 million to expand its operations in Wilson County.


House to adopt compromise GOP budget targeting 'Obamacare'

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House is moving quickly on a compromise GOP budget that promises to speed repeal of the nation's health care law and calls for a major budget hike for the Pentagon.


Small, midsize SUVs drive April US auto sales gains

DETROIT (AP) — Hot sales of small and midsize SUVs drove auto sales higher last month as Nissan, General Motors, Ford, Toyota and Fiat Chrysler all reported U.S. sales gains.

GM to spend $5.4B on US factories over 3 years, add 650 jobs

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors plans to spend $5.4 billion to improve its U.S. factories during the next three years, creating about 650 new jobs.

GM Canada to cut assembly workforce by 1,000 jobs this year

OSHAWA, Ontario (AP) — General Motors Canada says it will cut about 1,000 positions from its Oshawa manufacturing operations this year.


Inked and irked: Apple Watch users report tattoo problems

NEW YORK (AP) — It's an annoying problem for the unlucky few: the Apple Watch's heart rate monitor might not work if you have a tattoo on your wrist.

Comcast must show what's next after collapse of deal

NEW YORK (AP) — Comcast, which reports financial results on Monday, faces some tough questions about what's next for the country's biggest cable company after its dreams of a far-reaching network collapsed with the death of its $45 billion Time Warner Cable deal.

LinkedIn joins Twitter in post-earnings tumble

NEW YORK (AP) — Dumping social media stocks that show any sign of weakness is trending on Wall Street.

Tesla to expand battery technology to homes, businesses

FOSTER CITY, Calif. (AP) — Tesla CEO Elon Musk is trying to steer his electric car company's battery technology into homes and businesses as part of an elaborate plan to reshape the power grid with millions of small power plants made of solar panels on roofs and batteries in garages.


US construction spending drops 0.6 percent in March

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. construction fell in March as an increase in nonresidential construction was offset by declines in home building and government projects.

1 in 4 US renters must use half their pay for housing costs

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than one in four U.S. renters have to use at least half their family income to pay for housing and utilities.

$100 million for a home? Luxury buyers reach a new threshold

WASHINGTON (AP) — The poshest of luxury homes are acquiring the cachet of a masterwork by Picasso or Matisse.


US consumer sentiment rises on optimism over job market

WASHINGTON (AP) — Optimism about the job market lifted U.S. consumer sentiment in April to its second-highest level since 2007.

US factory activity improves in April, but hiring declines

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factories expanded in April at the same pace as in March, but manufacturers are starting to curtail hiring in a possible sign of weakness.

Stocks end higher, bouncing back from a drop the day before

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are closing higher on the first day of May, erasing much of a loss from the day before.


Boehner: Killing Export-Import Bank risks thousands of jobs

WASHINGTON (AP) — Thousands of jobs would "disappear pretty quickly" if the Export-Import Bank were to expire abruptly when its charter runs out at the end of June, House Speaker John Boehner said on Thursday.

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