VOL. 41 | NO. 22 | Friday, June 02, 2017
SAM STOCKARD: VIEW FROM THE HILL
It was billed as the start of the 2018 governor’s race, but the GOP’s Reagan Day Dinner in Murfreesboro last week often sounded more like a tent revival.
RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK
With fraud raining down upon the real estate industry through the years, title companies began to rely on bank wires rather than paper checks. The wires fly in from buyers and lenders alike and make for a more secure transaction.
DAVID CLIMER: OUT OF LEFT FIELD
When Marcus Mariota participated on the first day of the Titans’ recent organized team activities – OTAs for you hard-core NFL fans – it sent two messages to the rest of the AFC South:
It was way back in 1980 that John Ward, the University of Tennessee’s legendary former play-by-play man, delivered one of his more memorable lines.
In the aftermath of his age-defying Olympic performance last year in Brazil, it was easy to believe sprinter Justin Gatlin would just jog off into retirement from professional competition.
Brigid M. Carpenter has been named managing shareholder for the Nashville office of Baker Donelson, making her the first woman to serve in this position. She assumes the role previously held by Scott D. Carey for eight years.
BEHIND THE WHEEL
The 2017 Ioniq Hybrid is Hyundai’s fuel-efficient challenger to the Toyota Prius, America’s best-selling gasoline-electric hybrid.
The coveted first-place ranking in Google’s search-engine results is every business owner’s dream.
OK, this is going to sound strange, but bear with me.
After walking away empty-handed at the Grammy Awards and the Academy of Country Music Awards earlier this year, Keith Urban found redemption at the 2017 CMT Music Awards, picking up four honors including video of the year for "Blue Ain't Your Color."
WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week, as the benchmark 30-year rate declined for the fourth straight week to its lowest level in nearly seven months.
DETROIT (AP) — Nissan plans to make automatic emergency braking standard on seven of 18 U.S. models for the 2018 model year, putting the safety feature on most of its top sellers.
U.S. stock indexes wavered between small gains and losses in early trading Thursday. Utilities were down the most, while banks led the gainers. Investors had their eye on Washington, where former FBI Director James Comey was testifying as part of a congressional investigation into Russia's possible election meddling.
NEW YORK (AP) — Members of the Nordstrom family including co-presidents Blake, Peter and Erik Nordstrom are considering making an offer to buy out the 70 percent of the department store's stock they don't already own.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week as most U.S. workers continue to enjoy job security.
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The European Central Bank took a small step Thursday toward phasing out its extraordinary support measures for the eurozone economy as further evidence emerged of the stronger and broader recovery in the single currency bloc.
WASHINGTON (AP) — In a hugely anticipated hearing, fired FBI director James Comey will recount a series of conversations with President Donald Trump that he says made him deeply uneasy and concerned about the blurring of boundaries between the White House and a law enforcement agency that prides itself on independence.
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans headed toward a vote Thursday on dismantling sweeping financial rules established under President Barack Obama that were designed to head off economic meltdowns like the one that caused millions of Americans to lose their jobs and homes during the Great Recession.
CINCINNATI (AP) — Dogged by allegations in Washington, President Donald Trump traveled to friendlier territory Wednesday and promised to create a "first-class" system of roads, bridges and waterways by using $200 billion in public funds to generate $1 trillion in investment to pay for construction projects that most public officials agree are badly needed and long overdue.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 7
NASHVILLE (AP) — The instant one of the Pittsburgh Penguins passes the puck to a teammate, one of the Nashville Predators closes in, taking away any time or space to operate.
The 2017 CMT Music Awards will honor the top acts in country music as well as lend its stage to pop, rock and R&B performers and Hollywood stars.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican Marsha Blackburn has confirmed she will seek another term in the U.S. House of Representatives.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee campaign finance officials have imposed a nearly $465,000 fine on a former lawmaker who was expelled from the General Assembly last year amid a series of sexual harassment allegations.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee has raised $1.3 million for his campaign at his first major fundraiser.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Vanderbilt University has received an anonymous $10 million donation to expand communal living residence halls where faculty members live alongside students.
NASHVILLE (AP) — President Donald Trump has signed legislation naming Nashville's new federal courthouse after former Sen. Fred Thompson, the late actor who appeared in the TV series "Law & Order" and at least 20 movies.
NASHVILLE (AP) — President Donald Trump's administration is "fully in a receiving mode" for suggestions to improve a push to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, his health chief told a room of health professionals Tuesday in Nashville.
DETROIT (AP) — Autonomous vehicles with no human backup will be put to the test on publicly traveled roads as early as next year in what may be the first attempt at unassisted autonomous piloting.
Banks and other financial companies led U.S. stocks slightly higher Wednesday, snapping a two-day losing streak for the market.
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Home improvement retailer Lowe's says it's laying off approximately 125 information technology workers, the third round of job cuts this year.
NEW YORK (AP) — Small business owners who install solar panels or help customers use clean energy don't seem fazed by President Donald Trump's plan to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord, saying they expect demand for their services will still keep growing.
PARIS (AP) — The world economy is picking up speed but faces big political uncertainties and needs to be reformed to make growth work for a broader swath of people, a global policy watchdog said Wednesday.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's plan to privatize the nation's air traffic control system is running into bipartisan opposition in Congress, where Republicans fret that it could raise costs for air travelers and hurt small airports.
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Increased violence and corruption in central Africa could be the result of the recent decision by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission not to enforce a rule requiring American companies to report their use of conflict minerals, warn Congolese civic groups, rights groups and U.S. senators.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he'll nominate a former Justice Department official as FBI director.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A day before a Senate panel hears former FBI Director James Comey's first public account of his dramatic firing, lawmakers will question senior members of President Donald Trump's national security team about surveillance law and are expected to ask whether the president has tried to influence ongoing investigations into Russia's election meddling and possible coordination with the Trump campaign.
WASHINGTON (AP) — With fired FBI Director James Comey's highly anticipated congressional testimony just a day away, the White House and its allies are scrambling for ways to offset potential damage.
WASHINGTON (AP) — This city knows how to do big hearings — even Titanic ones. Dramatic congressional hearings are something of a Washington art form, a rite of democracy carefully crafted for the cameras.
TUESDAY, JUNE 6
NASHVILLE (AP) — Frederick Gaudreau sure is doing his best to earn his own locker with the Nashville Predators with a Stanley Cup Final debut for the ages.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas is suing the discount chain Dollar General for false advertising and unfair trade practices for selling what he describes as obsolete motor oil.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Memory foam maker Sinomax Group is opening its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Tennessee.
MURFREESBORO (AP) — The president of Middle Tennessee State University says the institution anticipates enrollment growth this fall.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Communications Director David Smith is leaving Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam's administration to start his own consulting business.
NASHVILLE (AP) — While Gov. Bill Haslam travels the state to tout his signature road funding program, the latest entrant into the race to succeed the term-limited governor is making a repeal of the state's first gas tax hike in nearly three decades a top campaign pledge.
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Will Toffey had two homers and five RBIs to lead Vanderbilt into the NCAA Tournament's super regional with an 8-0 victory over No. 1 seed Clemson in the Clemson Regional on Monday night.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The NCAA has announced sites for the eight super regionals in the Division I baseball tournament.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Conservative groups are wasting little time in trying to deal a crippling blow to labor unions now that Justice Neil Gorsuch has joined the Supreme Court.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — Google is spearheading an educational campaign to teach pre-teen children how to protect themselves from scams, predators and other trouble.
DETROIT (AP) — General Motors shareholders have overwhelmingly turned down an activist shareholder's plan to split the company's stock into two classes.
WOLFSBURG, Germany (AP) — The independent monitor overseeing Volkswagen's efforts to prevent a repeat of its diesel emissions scandal says he has a "broad mandate" to review the company's practices and that his initial impression is that VW is making a serious effort to reform.
DETROIT (AP) — General Motors' normally tranquil annual meeting could be a contentious affair this year, as an activist investor targets GM's stagnant stock price.
Disappointing results from several retailers led U.S. stock indexes lower on Wall Street.
NEW YORK (AP) — Macy's has warned investors that its profit margins would keep shrinking this year, sending shares in the chain tumbling more than 8 percent and affecting other department store stocks.
NEW YORK (AP) — An Illinois judge on Monday ordered satellite-TV company Dish to pay $280 million for calling people who said they didn't want to be bothered by telemarketers.
NEW YORK (AP) — More international visitors came to the U.S. than expected in April 2017, according to a new report released Tuesday in Washington.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers in April advertised the most open jobs in 16 years, yet hiring fell and fewer people quit work. The figures suggest that businesses are struggling to find qualified employees as the unemployment rate declines.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Kuwait is trying to mediate a Gulf crisis between Qatar and its Arab neighbors, which have severed ties with the energy-rich travel hub and moved to isolate it from the outside world, Qatar's foreign minister said Tuesday.
NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon is making a play for low-income shoppers. The online leader is offering a discount on its pay-by-month Prime membership for people who receive government assistance.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Businesses and advocates for workers are forming a rare alliance against President Donald Trump's proposal to overhaul the way the government investigates workplace discrimination, part of what his critics say is a broader swipe at decades of civil rights protections.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Leading U.S. CEOs remain supportive of some of President Donald Trump's policy initiatives despite his still-hazy plan for cutting taxes and recent actions by Trump that have intensified attention on federal investigations of his campaign.
WASHINGTON (AP) — In its effort to regain control of its message, the White House has curtailed press briefings, redirected questions on the Russia investigation to an outside lawyer and planned a major infrastructure policy rollout for this week.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's environmental chief has been trying to clear the air about why his boss is pulling out of the Paris climate accord, but some of the claims he's making are as solid as smoke. A look at a some of the statements Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt made over the weekend:
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is accusing Senate Democrats of slow-walking his nominees, but his blame is misplaced. It's the president who is lagging behind his predecessors in naming candidates for key government posts during his first five months in the office.
MONDAY, JUNE 5
NASHVILLE (AP) — P.K. Subban says ask the Pittsburgh Penguins if he's getting under their skin. The All-Star defenseman only knows he apparently needs to work on his breath on the ice and loves the challenge of helping shut down Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
CHATTANOOGA (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is hitting the road to hold bill signing ceremonies for his highway and bridge funding program called the Improve Act.
CHATTANOOGA (AP) — Officials in Chattanooga say the number of large trees falling on power and communications lines has risen significantly following last summer's drought and weather fluctuations in the last few years.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Police and security guards keep watch as thousands of children zigzag through Nashville's downtown bus hub each morning and afternoon, catching buses between home and school.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Inside the concrete walls of the bunkerlike veterinary clinic at the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, Niran — the zoo's first-of-its kind clouded leopard cub — scales the fence of his holding pen.
NASHVILLE (AP) — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Nashville says diocese Bishop David R. Choby has died of complications from a blood infection. He was 70.
NASHVILLE (AP) — A money trail leads from state Sen. Brian Kelsey's state campaign account to an outside conservative group that ran radio ads supporting the Germantown Republican's unsuccessful bid for Congress.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday made it tougher for the government to recover ill-gotten gains from people convicted of securities fraud, ruling that such recoveries are subject to a five-year statute of limitations.
SAN JOSE, California (AP) — Apple nodded to several up-and-coming technology trends, unveiling a new "smart" home speaker and device features touching on virtual reality, online privacy and a form of artificial intelligence called machine learning.
Stocks are closing slightly lower on Wall Street as the market pulls back from record highs set late last week.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. services companies expanded at a slightly slower pace in May compared with the previous month, a sign that modest economic growth is likely to continue.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to U.S. factories fell in April for the first time in five months amid declining demand for heavy machinery, iron and steel, and commercial airplanes. A key category that tracks business investment was weak for a third month.
NEW YORK (AP) — Alphabet's stock is surpassing the $1,000 mark for the first time, less than a week after Amazon reached the same milestone.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The productivity of American workers was flat in the first three months of this year, while labor costs rose at the fastest pace since the second quarter of last year.
DETROIT (AP) — Forecasts for U.S. economic growth are coming in slightly lower after a weak first quarter, according to a survey of business economists released Monday.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is launching a major push for a $1 trillion overhaul of the nation's roads and bridges, a key item on his domestic agenda that's gained little traction amid a slew of controversies that have engulfed the White House.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Monday that the nation's air traffic control system needed a modern makeover and urged Congress to approve a privatization plan that he said would increase safety and reduce wait times for passengers.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. air traffic control system, the world's largest and most complex, is in the midst of an era of unsurpassed safety. There has not been a fatal crash of a domestic passenger airliner in the U.S. in eight years.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and his GOP allies on Capitol Hill have made it through nearly half their first year in power without a single major legislative achievement. If that's going to change, it will have to start soon, a reality that Republican lawmakers will confront when they return to the Capitol on Monday from a weeklong break.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Even members of his own party were quick to declare President Donald Trump's budget plan dead on arrival in Congress last month. And in fact, lawmakers are facing a burst of overdue budget-related work this summer.
FRIDAY, JUNE 2
NASHVILLE (AP) — A good night's sleep has P.K. Subban more confident than ever about what the Nashville Predators will do on their own ice trailing the Pittsburgh Penguins 0-2 in the Stanley Cup Final.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — By coach Peter Laviolette's math, the Nashville Predators have been pretty good for all but 10 minutes of the Stanley Cup Final.
Live music and big screens will take over Lower Broadway on Saturday and Monday for the free Broadway Smash parties when the Nashville Predators play host to Pittsburgh in the Stanley Cup Finals.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Several Tennessee-based refugee rights' organizations have asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit the state Legislature filed over the refugee resettlement program.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican state Sen. Mark Green announced Friday that he will not resume his bid for Tennessee governor after withdrawing from consideration as President Donald Trump's pick for Army secretary.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell is asking the state attorney general to consider suing painkiller manufacturers for their role in the ongoing opioid crisis.
NASHVILLE(AP) — A federal magistrate on Thursday recommended against throwing out statements two executives made to federal agents when they raided the headquarters of a truck stop chain owned by the family of Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates were flat to slightly lower this week, as the key 30-year rate marked a new low for the year.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. construction fell in April by the largest amount in a year, reflecting weakness in homebuilding, non-residential construction and government projects.
DETROIT (AP) — U.S. auto sales fell for the fifth straight month in May, bolstering expectations for the first annual sales decline since 2009.
Automakers released May U.S. sales of new cars and trucks on Thursday. Here are the top-selling vehicles, the total sold and the percent change from last May.
NEW YORK (AP) — Bond yields sank Friday to their lowest level of the year, and the dollar's value fell against rivals after the nation's job growth slowed last month. But stock indexes chugged again to record heights, led by technology companies and dividend payers.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Are employers starting to run out of workers to hire?
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers pulled back on hiring in May by adding only 138,000 jobs. Hiring was still enough to help keep pushing unemployment lower.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit rose in April to the highest level since January. The politically sensitive trade gap with China registered a sharp increase.
LONDON (AP) — The price of oil has fallen sharply as investors bet that President Donald Trump's decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement will increase the country's oil and gas production.
NEW YORK (AP) — Take a bow, investors. It's never been cheaper to invest in funds, and it's largely because of you.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Exactly eight years after the Great Recession ended, the U.S. job market has settled into a sweet spot of steadily solid growth.
WASHINGTON (AP) — American factories grew at a slightly faster pace in May, another sign that manufacturing remains healthy.
NEW YORK (AP) — Small businesses kicked up their job creation in May, adding 83,000 jobs in a sign that they're willing to take more risks, payroll provider ADP said Thursday.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Rex Tillerson downplayed the significance of the U.S. pullout from the Paris climate pact, arguing Friday that America still will continue taking steps to cut heat-trapping pollution.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's supporters on Friday cast his decision to abandon the world's climate change pact as a "refreshing" stance for the U.S. that would save jobs, unburden industry and save money.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Announcing that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris climate accord, President Donald Trump misplaced the blame for what ails the coal industry and laid a shaky factual foundation for his decision. A look at some of the claims in a Rose Garden speech and an accompanying fact sheet about the deal to curtail emissions responsible for global warming:
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — President Vladimir Putin has urged U.S. businessmen to use their influence to help normalize Russia-U.S. relations.
BERLIN (AP) — World leaders pledged Thursday to keep up the fight against global warming as U.S. President Donald Trump announced he was pulling out of the Paris climate accord.
WASHINGTON (AP) — James Comey, fired last month as FBI director amid a federal investigation into connections between Russia and the Trump campaign, is set to testify next Thursday at a highly anticipated congressional hearing that could shed light on his private conversations with the president in the weeks before his dismissal.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Michael Catanzaro, a former oil and gas lobbyist, can help shape the Trump administration's energy policies. Shahira Knight can weigh in on retirement matters even though she previously worked for Fidelity, a financial company specializing in retirement services.