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VOL. 39 | NO. 28 | Friday, July 10, 2015

Boner, Fate and our summer of shame

25 years after hitting rock bottom, a new Nashville has emerged

Phil Bredesen knew what he was trying to do. He just didn’t know if he could accomplish it.

Boner, Peel and a reporter’s call spark a city’s embarrassment

Nashville’s mayor broke into a broad smile and funny walk, pointing across the main dining room at the old TGI Friday’s on Elliston Place to a young reporter seated at a long table with eight colleagues and friends.

Traci Peel looks back on moment in spotlight

During the course of research for this package, I spent a couple of hours with Traci Peel, talking about her well-publicized, tabloid-grabbing romance with Mayor Bill Boner as well as where she is today and her views on other issues about Nashville.

Former mayor Purcell traces city transformation to 1978 election

Former Mayor Bill Purcell lived through the transition from the good old boys who ran Nashville to the “new Nashville,” in which a displaced Yankee became mayor in 1991 and began the type of forward-thinking, executive-style leadership that has propelled Nashville to skyline-shattering status on the national stage.

Cardwell a link to Metro’s past, present

Metro Trustee Charlie Cardwell definitely is a member of the “good old boys” network that ran Nashville for decades.

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EVENTS

Business Studio: Marketing Starter Series - Social Media. The Nashville Chamber has partnered with k2forma to present four “DIY” marketing workshops as part of our Marketing Starter Series. This series is designed to empower small business owners to manage their marketing efforts and optimize their resources on their own. You’ll learn how to work smarter, not harder. During this session, participants will learn about the myriad platforms for social media and how each one differs, as well as how to determine which platforms are best for individual businesses and how one can utilize each for business growth. Wednesday, 3:30-5 p.m. Refinery Nashville, 438 Houston Street, Suite 263. Information: nashvillechamber.com, 615 743-3060615 743-3060 .

more events »

VIEW FROM THE HILL

Special action on same-sex nuptials a waste of time

With Republican lawmakers scrambling for a response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s gay-marriage ruling, Tennesseans on both sides of the issue say they are seeking “equality.”

BEYOND BELIEF

Antidote found for same-sex marriage bias

My smartphone was beeping out severe weather warnings as I drove to Mark Jones and Michael Fields’ second wedding – to each other. I wrung out the hem of my dress as we waited for the happy couple.

REALTY CHECK

Sliding into home easier without balks, walks, brushbacks

Real estate is a bit like baseball. It seems easy enough until a person takes a shot at explaining the intricacies of the respective fields.

NEWSMAKERS

Harbison takes office as TBA president

Nashville lawyer William L. “Bill” Harbison has been installed as president of the Tennessee Bar Association.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

Jaguar XJ flagship is distinctive luxury style

An odd thing happened as Americans’ taste for luxury vehicles grew in recent years: Jaguar, the venerable British marquee, struggled to gain traction.

GUERRILLA MARKETING

Earning the right to ask clients tough questions

The world’s best salespeople excel at asking engaging questions and actively listening to a prospect’s response without interruption.

CAREER CORNER

Take charge of your career independence

With the Fourth of July fresh in my memory, I’ve been thinking about the importance of independence.

I SWEAR

Lack of brotherly love sends Franklin to Philadelphia

Next January will mark the 310th birthday of Benjamin Franklin. Thinker, inventor, scientist, diplomat, politician, writer. Founding parent of a great nation. A non-President with his face on a bit of paper currency.

KAY'S COOKING CORNER

Meals, grocery deals delivered to your door

I recently received an email from Amazon.com about a new service since I am one of their best prime customers – at least my husband tells me so.

MUSIC INDUSTRY

Kid Rock publicist: Confederate flag display ended years ago

DETROIT (AP) — A representative of Kid Rock said it has been years since the musician displayed the Confederate flag while on tour — a decision that was cemented when he was honored with an award by Detroit's NAACP chapter.

Kings of Leon to headline New Year's Eve Nashville bash

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Kings of Leon will help Nashvillians ring in 2016.

COURTS

Attorneys want investigation, say Nashville judge is biased

NASHVILLE (AP) - A group of defense attorneys has called for a Nashville domestic violence judge to be investigated because of an email the group says shows the judge is not impartial.

TECHNOLOGY

EBay, PayPal outline plans for after split

NASHVILLE (AP) - When eBay and PayPal split up on Friday, they'll face different challenges than they did as a combined company.

As Amazon turns 20, a look at its biggest bets

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon has come a long way from selling books out of a Seattle garage.

Amazon: 20 bets in 20 years

NASHVILLE (AP) - Amazon turns 20 on Thursday. Here's a timeline of 20 investment bets Amazon made in the past 20 years:

REAL ESTATE

Average US rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 4.09 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose this week, reaching highs for the year as investor anxiety over economic turbulence abroad moderated.

US homebuilder sentiment hits highest level since 2005

U.S. homebuilders' confidence in the market for new homes is back up to levels not seen since the height of the housing boom a decade ago.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Applications for US jobless aid fall to low level of 281,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer people sought U.S. unemployment benefits last week as employers remain confident enough in the economy to hold onto their staffs.

US stocks rise as eBay, Citi, others report strong earnings

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are rising broadly in midday trading Thursday after several big companies reported better-than-expected earnings. Citigroup, Intel, Netflix and eBay all beat analysts' forecasts. The rise in U.S. stocks follows a rally in European markets on news that Greece's parliament approved pension reforms and other measures demanded by its creditors.

Uber tops taxi use for business travelers, new report shows

NEW YORK (AP) — Taxis are losing business travelers to ride-hailing services like Uber, a survey shows.

Netflix delivers strong 2Q with 3.3 million more customers

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Netflix's second-quarter performance followed a familiar script of accelerating subscriber growth that has turned the Internet video service into a stock market sensation.


WEDNESDAY, JULY 15
MUSIC INDUSTRY

Luke Bryan backtracks on comments slamming outlaw country singers

NASHVILLE (AP) - Country star Luke Bryan said he misspoke when he differentiated himself from outlaw country musicians like Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings by saying he doesn't do drugs.

COURTS

Tennessee executioner barred from testifying for now

NASHVILLE (AP) - For the time being, Tennessee's executioner will not testify in a trial challenging the constitutionality of lethal injection.

NASHVILLE AREA

TSU, Fisk partner to host national honors conference

NASHVILLE (AP) - More than 4,000 of the nation's brightest students will converge on Nashville, Tennessee, in the fall.

MIDSTATE

New Wilson County facility to create 245 jobs

MT. JULIET (AP) — A company that specializes in manufacturing machine parts is establishing a new facility in Wilson County that's expected to create 245 jobs.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Nissan recalls 270K vehicles worldwide to fix start buttons

DETROIT (AP) — Nissan is recalling about 270,000 vehicles worldwide because the ignition start buttons can malfunction and unexpectedly shut down the engine.

TECHNOLOGY

Obama's high-speed Internet announcement includes Nashville

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama set a goal of bringing high-speed Internet to most schools by 2017. Now he's promoting a new program to help close the digital divide even further by bringing that faster Internet to more people, particularly students who live in public and assisted housing.

Apple's iPod Touch update brings faster chip, better cameras

NEW YORK (AP) — Apple is updating its iPod Touch music player for the first time in nearly three years, as the company seeks to make music a central part of its devices once again.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Shoppers disappointed in much-hyped 'Prime Day' sales

NASHVILLE (AP) - Amazon aimed for Christmas in July with its much-hyped "Prime Day" sale. But some shoppers found a lump of coal instead.

Yellen: First Fed rate hike likely later this year

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Wednesday she is encouraged by signs that the economy is reviving after a brutal winter. And if the improvements stay on track, the Fed will likely start raising interest rates later this year.

US wholesale prices rise 0.4 percent in June

WASHINGTON (AP) — Prices for the producers of goods and services rose modestly in June, a sign that broader inflation is being kept in check. But an outbreak of avian influenza caused the cost of eggs to nearly double, as prices soared at the fastest pace ever recorded.

Energy stocks lead US market lower

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are ending lower as energy companies fall with weaker oil prices.

Greek parliament to vote on painful new austerity bill

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece's lawmakers were debating an austerity bill set for a midnight vote Wednesday that will condemn the country to years of more budget savings but is needed to get a new bailout and avert financial collapse.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Watchdog: Budget cuts lead to poor taxpayer service at IRS

WASHINGTON (AP) — The IRS provided poor customer service during this year's tax filing season as taxpayers struggled with a rise in identity theft and complications related to President Barack Obama's health law, a government watchdog said Wednesday.

House to take up bill to keep highway aid flowing to states

WASHINGTON (AP) — Faced with the prospect of a shutdown in highway and transit aid to states, the House is due to take up a bill to temporarily shore up funding for transportation programs for the 35th time since 2009.


TUESDAY, JULY 14
STATEWIDE

Tennessee sales tax revenue increases over 7 percent in June

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee Finance Commissioner Larry Martin says the state's overall revenue collections in June were $56.5 million more than expected.

State officials cancel controversial anti-DUI campaign

NASHVILLE (AP) - State officials have ended a new anti-DUI campaign following criticism that it had taken a sexist approach to encouraging young men not to drive under the influence.

NASHVILLE AREA

Plans for new Tennessee State Museum taking shape

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam will lead the planned private fundraising campaign to bolster $120 million in taxpayer support for the new Tennessee State Museum.

STATE LEGISLATURE

Tennessee lawmaker wants to end Nathan Bedford Forrest Day

NASHVILLE (AP) — A state lawmaker says he is seeking to have the legislature do away with a day honoring Confederate general and early Ku Klux Klan member Nathan Bedford Forrest.

COURTS

Wal-Mart accused of same-sex bias in class-action lawsuit

BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts woman filed a class-action lawsuit Tuesday accusing Wal-Mart of wrongly denying employee benefits for same-sex spouses.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Second company probed for air bag inflator malfunctions

DETROIT (AP) — The problem of exploding air bags could be widening beyond Japanese manufacturer Takata Corp.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US retail sales fall in June as consumers stay cautious

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans cut back their spending at stores and restaurants last month, a sign that they remain cautious despite robust job growth in the past year.

US stocks post a 4th straight gain; Micron soars

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are closing broadly higher, giving the market its fourth gain in a row.

Investors hope US earnings lift markets as fears fade

NEW YORK (AP) — After fretting over a Greek bailout, a collapse in Chinese stocks and the timing of an interest rate increase, investors are hoping U.S. corporate earnings will bring more reassuring news this month.

Greek leader faces dissent at home over rescue deal

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras faced open revolt from some of his own ministers as he tried Tuesday to rally support for a financial rescue agreement that includes measures that will cause more economic pain for Greeks.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Greece pledges to get rid of tax evasion as a way of life

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Dimitris Bokas keeps meticulous records of the bathroom fixtures he sells from his small shop in the quiet middle-class residential neighborhood of Koukaki near the center of Athens — just in case a tax inspector makes a surprise visit to ensure Greece's 23 percent sales tax is being collected and reported correctly.

Obama warns Congress not to stand in way of Iran deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama heralded a historic nuclear agreement with Iran Tuesday as an opportunity for the longtime foes to move in a "new direction," while sharply warning Congress that it would be irresponsible to block the accord.

Military announces plan to lift transgender ban

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Ash Carter has ordered a six-month study aimed at formally ending one of the last gender- or sexuality-based barriers to military service, saying the Pentagon's current regulations banning transgender individuals from serving in the military need to be examined.


MONDAY, JULY 13
MUSIC INDUSTRY

Music council honors Kristofferson, Pride, Lauderdale

NASHVILLE (AP) — The National Music Council is honoring the life-long musical contributions of Kris Kristofferson, Charley Pride and Jim Lauderdale.

STATEWIDE

State audit uncovers millions in questionable spending

NASHVILLE (AP) — An audit of the Tennessee Department of Human Services found a lack of oversight led to at least $1.8 million in questionable spending last year from contractors operating programs to feed the needy. In 2013, the questioned costs were $4.3 million. And that is just in the small sample of agencies auditors reviewed.

TECHNOLOGY

New Comcast online video service for its Internet customers

NEW YORK (AP) — Comcast, the country's largest cable company, is offering its own online video alternative as people spend fewer hours watching live TV and more time using tablets and phones for entertainment.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Union, General Motors confident they can reach contract deal

DETROIT (AP) — It was all smiles and optimism Monday as the United Auto Workers union opened contract talks in an official handshake ceremony with General Motors.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Greece reaches deal with creditors, avoids euro exit

BRUSSELS (AP) — After months of acrimony, Greece clinched a preliminary bailout agreement with its European creditors on Monday that will, if implemented, secure the country's place in the euro and help it avoid financial collapse.

Stocks end higher after Greece lines up a new bailout deal

NEW YORK (AP) — A new agreement between Greece and its lenders helped lift the stock market on Monday, extending the market's winning streak to a third day. The deal for a new loan package is aimed at keeping the country in the euro, but many hurdles remain.

Natural gas surpasses coal as biggest US electricity source

Natural gas overtook coal as the top source of U.S. electric power generation for the first time ever earlier this spring, a milestone that has been in the making for years as the price of gas slides and new regulations make coal more risky for power generators.

Whataburger takes stand against Texas' new open carry law

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — An iconic Texas restaurant chain will not allow the open carrying of guns on its properties, and industry experts say other restaurants will likely take the same stand against a new state law legalizing the practice in many public places.


FRIDAY, JULY 10
MUSIC INDUSTRY

Country music acts quietly abandon Confederate flag

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Confederate flag was once a familiar symbol in country music, representing the rural South and the renegade spirit of artists such as David Allan Coe and Hank Williams Jr.

COURTS

US provides marriage benefits to gay couples in all states

WASHINGTON (AP) — Same-sex married couples can now receive Social Security and veterans benefits for spouses in all 50 states, as the federal government implements the Supreme Court ruling that allowed gay couples to marry nationwide.

AUTO INDUSTRY

GM recalling nearly 780K SUVs to fix power lift gate problem

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is recalling nearly 780,000 crossover SUVs mainly in North America because the rear power lift gates can suddenly fall and hit people.

Critics say Senate bill would weaken rental car, rail safety

WASHINGTON (AP) — A transportation bill introduced by a Senate committee chairman would allow car rental companies to rent recalled vehicles that haven't been repaired and eliminate any hard deadline for railroads to start using long-sought technology that automatically stops trains to prevent crashes, safety advocates say.

2 visions emerge for getting self-driving cars on road

DETROIT (AP) — Two competing visions could determine how you first experience a driverless car.

TECHNOLOGY

First electric planes fly over English Channel

CALAIS, France (AP) — Airbus flew its electric plane across the English Channel for the first time Friday — hours after an independent French pilot made a similar voyage, beating the aeronautics giant in this symbolically important step toward making electronic flight viable in the long term.

Facebook makes it easier to tweak what you see in your feed

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook wants you to see more of what you want to see. New tools will help you weed through the clutter of boring, unwanted information, often from long-forgotten acquaintances, and surface the gems from close friends and interesting pages.

NYSE: Bad software upgrade reason for outage

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Stock Exchange said an outage of more than three hours was caused by problems associated with a software upgrade on the exchange's computers.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Yellen expects interest rate hike this year

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says she expects to start raising interest rates later this year but stresses that a number of headwinds are still holding back the U.S. economy.

US stocks rise on optimism that Greek debt deal will be done

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are closing higher as Greece moves closer to sealing a deal for new loans from its creditors.

Greece's Tsipras to sell austerity deal to reluctant party

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras sought his left-wing party's backing on Friday for a new budget austerity package that is harsher than what he urged Greeks to reject in a vote just last week, but would provide the country will longer-term financial support.

McDonald's: We swear those 'Minions' aren't swearing

NEW YORK (AP) — McDonald's swears up and down that the little yellow "Minions" Happy Meal toy is speaking only nonsense words and not something a little more adult.

IMF downgrades 2015 outlook for global growth to 3.3 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy's stumble at the start of 2015 is dragging down the world's growth to the lowest level since the Great Recession, the International Monetary Fund said Thursday.

Average US rate on 30-year mortgage falls to 4.04 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week, retreating from high levels for the year amid economic turbulence overseas. The lower rates brought an incentive for prospective purchasers toward the end of the spring home buying season.

NATIONAL POLITICS

House OKs bill to speed drug approvals, boost bio research

WASHINGTON (AP) — Urged on by the medical industry and patients' groups, the House overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan bill that would speed federal approval of drugs and medical devices and boost biomedical research.

Senate panel OKs $675M to curb flow of Central Americans

WASHINGTON (AP) — A key Senate panel has approved $675 million in aid to Central American countries to improve conditions in the poorest and most violent regions of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala that sparked a crisis of unaccompanied children fleeing to the U.S. last year.

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