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VOL. 35 | NO. 25 | Friday, June 24, 2011

Inner Beauty

Historic Marathon Village rises from rubble, ready for TV spotlight

Barry Walker was just 28 years old in 1986 when he first laid eyes on the Marathon motor car factory in what had become a rough part of town. The neglected, decaying Clinton Street structure was surrounded by weeds and inhabited by addicts.

Marathon ready for TV debut with 'American Pickers' store

Marathon Village’s highest-profile tenant to date, Antique Archaeology, is set to open July 2.

Harnessing the power of consumers

Franklin-based CostPress wants to give consumers more of a voice in pricing and customer service with companies that provide such core services as wireless, cable, gas, and health and auto insurance.

Brentwood support group helps unemployed

In 2009, when Hal Hassall was hit with his second job loss, he had the emotional and tactical tools he needed to hit the pavement running.

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


Music on the Lawn series continues Friday at Woodland Presbyterian Church, 211 North 11th Street. Picnics are encouraged, and food is available for purchase from local groups, with proceeds benefiting local charities and non-profits. 6:30 p.m. This event is free and family-friendly.

more events »


Things are looking up . . . or soon will be

“How’s the real estate market?” Pause. “Things lookin’ up?”


Lobbying career offers chance to make difference

If you are not happy with the state of the country or your own community and want to make a difference in determining the direction of future legislation, take a look at a career as a lobbyist.

Waller Lansden’s pro bono work honored

The Tennessee Justice Center has honored Nashville law firm Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, PLLC as Pro Bono Firm of the Year.


Reputation stained by more than ink

Philip Martin, columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, began his Sunday piece awhile back with a quote from The Winner’s Manual: For the Game of Life by Jim Tressel:


Got patience? Soak some chips, fire up the smoker

A smokin’ hot summer!


Middle Tennessee judge honored for service

NASHVILLE (AP) — Circuit Court Judge John J. Maddux Jr. of Middle Tennessee has been honored for outstanding judicial service.

Producers hope faith-based movie surge continues

NASHVILLE (AP) — Producers of faith-based movies have a message for Hollywood studios: Make the movies and customers will pay to watch them.

Laptop computer with patient info stolen from car

GOODLETTSVILLE (AP) — A thief who took a laptop computer from the car of a medical billing company employee got personal information on more than 1,500 patients.


First rail shipment of Passats from new VW plant

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — Volkswagen loaded the first rail shipment of 2012 Passats built at the automaker's new plant in Chattanooga, and a spokesman said Wednesday they are destined for dealers who will show them off to prospective customers until selling starts in late September.

Tenure reform, anti-terror laws effective Friday

NASHVILLE (AP) — Laws that create tougher tenure requirements for teachers and crack down on terrorism are among a number of new measures that take effect in Tennessee on Friday.

New Tennessee laws taking effect July 1

New laws taking effect Friday in Tennessee will:


Mortgage exec gets 30 years for $3 billion fraud

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — An executive convicted of orchestrating a $3 billion fraud as chairman of one of America's largest private mortgage companies was sentenced Thursday to 30 years in prison.

Unemployment benefit applications stuck above 400K

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits was mostly unchanged last week, evidence that the weak economy is struggling to generate jobs.

Oil near $95 amid hopes for Greek debt resolution

BANGKOK (AP) — Oil hovered below $95 a barrel Thursday in Asia after Greece's approval of a harsh austerity plan eased concerns about a spreading financial crisis in Europe.

Farmers plant more corn, could slow food inflation

ST. LOUIS (AP) — U.S. food prices may ease later this year now that farmers have planted the second-largest corn crop in nearly seven decades.

Trade forum weighs Kodak patent dispute with Apple

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — Embattled photography pioneer Eastman Kodak Co. is nearing the end of a high-stakes patent-infringement fight with smartphone giants Apple Inc. and Research in Motion Ltd.

'Skills gap' leaves firms without worker pipeline

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — John Russo's chemical lab in North Kingstown has been growing in recent years, even despite a deflated economy, and he expects to add another 15 to 20 positions to his 49 employees over the next year.

Mazda sees growth with lean gas engines, not EVs

Mazda sees growth with lean gas engines, not EVs


S&P says US will get lowest rating if it defaults

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Standard & Poor's executive says the agency will give the U.S. government its lowest credit rating if lawmakers fail to raise the borrowing limit and the United States defaults on its debt.

Obama, Congress work against, and with, the clock

WASHINGTON (AP) — In prodding Congress to act swiftly to avoid a government default on its financial obligations, President Barack Obama has Isaac Bassett and a long history of procrastination conspiring against him.

Confrontational Obama rebukes GOP on debt talks

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a blistering rebuke of Republicans, President Barack Obama on Wednesday pressed lawmakers to accept tax increases as part of a deal to cut the nation's deficits and avoid a crippling government default. "Let's get it done," Obama challenged, chiding Congress for frequent absences from Washington.

Reid: Senate in session next week

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate will be working next week, cancelling a weeklong July 4 break at a time the government is struggling to avoid a first-ever default.

AP Exclusive: Fuzzy math in health law formula

WASHINGTON (AP) — Older adults of the same age and income with similar medical histories would pay sharply different amounts for private health insurance due to what appears to be an unintended consequence of the new health care law.

High court undoes Scalia's pro-tobacco order

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia exercised a rarely used power last fall to let Philip Morris USA and three other big tobacco companies delay making multimillion-dollar payments for a program to help people quit smoking.


Tennessee launches business startup program

NASHVILLE (AP) — State officials announced a new job creation effort aiming to build Tennessee businesses from the ground up.


Homeless newspaper sues Brentwood over right to sell

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Nashville newspaper about homelessness sued the wealthy suburb of Brentwood on Wednesday over the right of its vendors to distribute there.

Nashville group gets grant to fight diabetes

NASHVILLE (AP) — United Neighborhood Health Services in Nashville has received a $300,000 grant to fight diabetes.

New guideline for getting help paying energy bill

NASHVILLE (AP) — Individuals who have received help from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program since last July must wait until Oct. 1 to reapply for benefits.


Contracts to buy homes rose sharply in May

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people who signed contracts to buy homes rose sharply in May, pushed higher by an influx of spring buying.

Oil rises above $94 amid US crude supply drop

Oil prices rose above $94 a barrel Wednesday on hopes that Greece will approve a crucial austerity package and after a report showed a drop in U.S. crude supplies, suggesting improved demand.

Wal-Mart Stores cutting gas prices for 3 months

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is cutting gas prices by 10 cents a gallon for three months to help consumers worried about their spending amid a sputtering economy and busy summer travel season.

Bank of America in $8.5B mortgage settlement

NEW YORK (AP) — Bank of America and its Countrywide unit will pay $8.5 billion to settle claims that the lenders sold poor-quality mortgage-backed securities that went sour when the housing market collapsed.

General Mills 4Q profit climbs on higher sales

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — General Mills Inc.'s fiscal fourth-quarter net income rose 51 percent on stronger sales but was hampered by higher ingredient costs.

Red-letter day for ailing photo pioneer?

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — Innovation turned Eastman Kodak Co. into one of the world's most recognizable brands. Imitation by its rivals might help keep the picture-taking pioneer from fading into history.

Toyota to recall 82,200 vehicles in the US

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday it will recall about 82,200 hybrid SUVs in the U.S. due to computer boards with possible faulty wiring.

White House, lawmakers break trade pact stalemate

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House and congressional lawmakers reached a deal Tuesday to propel three coveted free trade agreements toward a vote on Capitol Hill, though the ultimate fate of the pacts with South Korea, Colombia and Panama remained uncertain.


'Get it done,' Obama challenges GOP on debt talks

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a blunt challenge to Republicans in Congress, President Barack Obama insisted Wednesday that elimination of selected tax breaks for oil companies and the super-wealthy must be included in any deficit reduction plan.

Geithner calls GOP debt limit plan 'irresponsible'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is strongly criticizing a Republican proposal that would prioritize interest payments on the nation's debt and cut spending rather than raise the borrowing limit.

IMF urges US lawmakers to raise $14.3B debt limit

WASHINGTON (AP) — The International Monetary Fund is urging U.S. lawmakers to raise the nation's borrowing limit. It warns that inaction could lead to a spike in interest rates that would harm the U.S. economy and world financial markets.

Obama, Biden plan debt talks with Senate Democrats

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden plan to meet with Senate Democratic leaders Wednesday, the latest step in debt negotiations with Congress.

Boeing labor dispute turns into headache for Obama

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government's labor dispute with Boeing Co. is turning into a political headache for President Barack Obama, giving his Republican rivals a fresh opening to bash the administration's economic policies.


Appeals court hears arguments over Fisk art sale

NASHVILLE (AP) — The state Court of Appeals is considering whether to allow Fisk University to sell a 50 percent share in its modern art collection to keep the school afloat.

Southwest cutting seasonal flights from Nashville

NASHVILLE (AP) — Southwest Airlines is reducing daily flights to seven cities from the Nashville International Airport this fall and winter as part of seasonal changes to its schedule.

Nissan donates 5 new vehicles to Nashville Zoo

NASHVILLE. (AP) — Nissan Americas has donated four new Titan trucks and one Armada to the Nashville Zoo, continuing a company tradition.

Program at MTSU honored by regents

MURFREESBORO (AP) — The experimental vehicles program at Middle Tennessee State University has been honored by the Tennessee Board of Regents.


Spring buying boosts home prices in 13 US cities

WASHINGTON (AP) — Home prices in major U.S. cities have risen for the first time in eight months, boosted by an annual flurry of spring buyers.


Consumers' confidence down in June on job worries

NEW YORK (AP) — A private research group is reporting that U.S. consumers' confidence declined to a seven-month low as job worries increased.

Oil climbs ahead of Greek austerity vote

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil climbed more than 2 percent Tuesday ahead of a vote in Greece to approve tough new financial reforms that would shore up its beleaguered economy.

Lagarde chosen to lead IMF; first woman in top job

WASHINGTON (AP) — French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde has been chosen to lead the International Monetary Fund. She will become the first female managing director of the global lending organization.

News Corp. to sell MySpace this week

LOS ANGELES (AP) — News Corp. is aiming to sell its struggling social network site MySpace this week and will likely lay off more than half of the staff, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Sony faces jittery shareholders after cyberattack

TOKYO (AP) — Sony Corp. Chief Executive Howard Stringer credited "very loyal" PlayStation Network gamers for flocking back to the service in big numbers, as he sought Tuesday to reassure shareholders following a series of embarrassing hacker attacks.

Jury weighs first US foreign bribe sting case

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jurors have seen grenade launchers, M4 rifles and secretly recorded videos of military suppliers working on a deal to funnel money to an official of an African nation they wanted to buy their weapons.


Obama, Biden plan debt session with Senate Dems

WASHINGTON (AP) — At least they're still talking. While President Barack Obama and congressional Republican leaders have publicly dug in their heels on critical debt-limit negotiations, Obama's spokesman said Tuesday the president and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell will continue discussions.

High court to rule on TV indecency, GPS tracking

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has added a couple of high-profile constitutional challenges to its lineup of cases for next term: One looking at governmental regulation of television content and the other dealing with the authority of police to use a GPS device to track a suspect's movements without a warrant.

US rolls out plan to protect business websites

WASHINGTON (AP) — Businesses facing a growing threat of cyberattacks against their websites will now have more tools to protect themselves and harden their Internet sites against hackers.


Governor ponders future of Tennessee Regulatory Agency

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam says the functions of the Tennessee Regulatory Agency might better be performed by the state's executive branch.

FBI probes never entangled McWherter

NASHVILLE (AP) — Ned McWherter, one of the most powerful Tennessee Democrats during his quarter century in public life, never got caught up in any of the FBI undercover investigations that pushed another governor out of office early and led to several prison sentences and suicides for others in his party.

TVA says power grid not fragile, despite storms

CHATTANOOGA — As the Tennessee Valley Authority continues to repair storm damage that temporarily knocked out some electricity distribution, the utility insists its transmission system is not fragile.


Why economists see a stronger second half for 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) — Farewell and good riddance to the first half of 2011 — six months that are ending as sour for the economy as they began.

Consumer spending in May weakest in a year

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the first time in a year, Americans have stopped spending more.

Oil below $91 on Greek crisis, release of reserves

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil prices wavered near $91 a barrel Monday as concerns about the Greek debt crisis waned. The market is waiting to see if Greece receives a new round of international aid.

Court overturns ban on video game sales to kids

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Monday that it is unconstitutional to bar children from buying or renting violent video games, saying government doesn't have the authority to "restrict the ideas to which children may be exposed" despite complaints that the popular and fast-changing technology allows the young to simulate acts of brutality.

Citigroup ex-VP arrested on fraud charges

NEW YORK (AP) — A former Citigroup vice president embezzled $19.2 million from the bank in a one-man "inside job" involving a series of secret money transfers, federal prosecutors said Monday.

Populations around US nuke plants soar

BUCHANAN, N.Y. (AP) — As America's nuclear power plants have aged, the once-rural areas around them have become far more crowded and much more difficult to evacuate. Yet government and industry have paid little heed, even as plants are running at higher power and posing more danger in the event of an accident, an Associated Press investigation has found.


White House considers big boost to fuel economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is telling American automakers that it would like cars and light trucks to average 56.2 miles per gallon by 2025.

White House: 'Significant' deal on debt possible

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama plunged into deadlocked negotiations to cut government deficits and raise the nation's debt limit as the White House expressed confidence Monday that a "significant" deal with Republicans can be reached. But both sides only seemed to harden their positions as the day wore on, with the White House insisting on some higher taxes as part of the package and the Republican leadership flatly refusing to consider them.

People divided on looming debt crisis

WASHINGTON (AP) — It might be time for another midnight ride by Paul Revere, this time warning "the creditors are coming."


Nashville festival meant $30 million for city

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Country Music Association says its recent four-day festival in Nashville generated approximately $30 million in direct visitor spending for the city.

Immigration law enforcement challenge can go ahead

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A lawsuit challenging the right of the Davidson County Sheriff's Office to enforce federal immigration law can be expanded to also target the federal immigration agency, a federal judge has ruled.

Genesco buying UK's Schuh Group for $112.6M

NASHVILLE (AP) — Genesco Inc. has purchased British footwear company Schuh Group Ltd. for about $112.6 million, saying the deal gives it a retail presence in the United Kingdom and better insight into global fashion trends.


Trustees approve 12 percent UTK tuition increase

KNOXVILLE (AP) — As University of Tennessee system trustees Thursday approved a $774 tuition increase in Knoxville, students and parents on the campus said paying more for college is just part of financial pain everywhere.

Regents approve tuition hikes of 8 to 11 percent

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Board of Regents has approved tuition hikes of between 8 and 11 percent, with the actual increase for each student depending on how many credit hours that student is taking.

Traffic tickets to cost Tennesseans more

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennesseans could be charged up to nearly $70 more for traffic tickets under a new state law that takes effect next month and is intended to fund crime lab services for law enforcement agencies.

Web application shows state Civil War sites

NASHVILLE (AP) — A new web application shows where hundreds of Civil War activities occurred in Tennessee.

Haslam touts administration's social media focus

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam is touting his administration's dedication to social media, but he also acknowledges that not every one of his 40,000 followers on Facebook are actually supporters.

Beasley elected president of Judicial Conference

NASHVILLE (AP) — Criminal Court Judge James C. Beasley Jr. has been elected president of the Tennessee Judicial Conference.


Oil little changed, markets assess global economy

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil settled slightly higher Friday as investors weighed the latest economic data and the planned release of 60 million barrels of oil onto the world market.

Stocks slide on tech earnings, European debt woes

If weak financial results from big tech companies are sign of what's to come, stock indexes are in for a tough summer.

Layoffs, housing data point to chronic problems

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sour reports Thursday on the number of people who sought unemployment benefits and buyers of new homes illustrate what Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke acknowledged Wednesday: Many factors weighing on the economy are proving to be more chronic than first imagined.

US to issue subpoenas in Google antitrust probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — A published report says federal regulators are preparing to issue subpoenas to Google and other companies as authorities gather information for a broad antitrust probe into the Internet search leader's business practices.

Oracle's profit tops Street, but worries surface

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Oracle Corp.'s latest quarterly results Thursday underscore the critical role its software business plays despite its push to become a more well-rounded technology vendor by selling computer servers.

Harry Potter e-books plan worries bookstore owners

NEW YORK (AP) — Author J.K. Rowling has joined the 21st century on her own special terms.


Obama invites top US senators for debt talks

WASHINGTON (AP) — Stepping directly into stalled debt talks, President Barack Obama is inviting the two leaders of the U.S. Senate to separate meetings Monday, shifting the negotiations to the highest levels.

Budget talks suspended as Cantor bolts over taxes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Efforts to find a bipartisan agreement blending huge budget cuts with a must-pass measure to increase how much the government can borrow have entered a new phase after Republican negotiators pulled out of talks led by Vice President Joe Biden.

Democrats eye GOP tax cut ideas to boost jobs

WASHINGTON (AP) — Desperate to boost employment and their bleak poll numbers, the White House and Democrats in Congress are turning to a Republican idea for stimulating the economy: tax cuts.

AP-GfK Poll: Bachmann, Pawlenty gain in GOP field

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans are starting to pay more attention to the candidates who hope to take on President Barack Obama next year, and so far that's been a good thing for Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty.

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