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VOL. 35 | NO. 28 | Friday, July 15, 2011

Just not gonna happen

Hate to burst your bubble, Nashville, but IKEA, other retailers need a bigger stage

We always want what we can’t have – especially when it comes to shopping.

ModerNash delivers IKEA experience to Nashvillians

Necessity really is the mother of invention for Nashville entrepreneur Nick Ray, who has turned IKEA’s lack of presence in Nashville into a positive for local lovers of the Swedish superstore.

Low rates, patience put drag on 2nd quarter home sales

Low interest rates make mortgages more affordable, and that means higher homes sales. Or at least that used to be the case.


Smile, Mommy! deals with dirty work of diapers

When East Nashville residents Kelly, 32, and Aron, 33, Bacher, had their first child, son Brey, this past December, they were delighted to hear about Smile Mommy, a local cloth diaper cleaning and delivery service and immediately signed up.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
A Few Clouds
Wind: Northwest at 3.5 mph
Humidity: 61%


Dealing with Guns in the Workplace. Baker Donelson labor and employment attorneys Mark Baugh and Natasha Campbell lead a discussion Thursday on the impact the new laws will have on workplace violence, provisions needed to make sure a weapon is secure, and what immunity may be given to the employer. This is a part of Baker Donelson’s regular Third Thursday Labor & Employment Breakfast Briefing program. Registration and networking breakfast begin at 8 a.m., and the program is 8:30-9:30 a.m. The program (including breakfast) is free but registration is required. Information: rsvp@bakerdonelson.com.

more events »


Rich getting richer? Look deeper at the data

There have been numerous reports in the media that the middle class is shrinking -- if not vanishing -- from the population of the United States, and that the gap is widening between the upper class and the lower class.


Overqualified? What can I do?

In today’s employment market, employers can be extremely picky in selecting job applicants to interview. If you appear on paper to be overqualified for an available position, many recruiters and hiring managers might not give you any consideration.


Goodman to co-chair Nashville Music Council

Mayor Karl Dean has announced that Music Row veteran Randy Goodman will serve as co-chairman of the Nashville Music Council. Goodman most recently was president of Lyric Street Records in Nashville.


10 Twitter tips your business might be missing

Most businesses have Twitter profiles. Very few, though, are satisfied with the outcome of their Twitter strategy.


Justice is blind but it can hear

Thus far, I’ve avoided writing about the politician with the big hair and the name I can’t spell. But his recent 17-count corruption conviction causes me to relent. Charged with attempting to trade on the prestige of his office, he was found guilty by a jury who wish he was not their peer.


Chilled is cool but not the best for melons

I don’t know about you, but as far as I’m concerned summertime would not be the same without watermelons. I get started eating one and can hardly stop. Same for cantaloupes.


Deal reached to save Elliston Place Soda Shop

NASHVILLE (AP) — A landmark soda shop in Nashville will be able to keep serving milkshakes and other fare after the owners reached a last-minute deal to keep the shop open for another five years.

Founder of Tea Party Nation sued by hotel

FRANKLIN (AP) — A Las Vegas hotel has sued the founder of Tea Party Nation, saying the Tennessee attorney owes a half-million dollars for a canceled convention.


Governor mulls possible credit rating drop

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam says state officials are discussing the impact of a lowered credit rating if the U.S. government's credit rating is downgraded.


Fixed mortgage rates inch up from yearly lows

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fixed mortgage rates were mostly unchanged this week, inching up from their yearly lows.

More people sought unemployment benefits last week

WASHINGTON (AP) — More people applied for unemployment benefits last week, evidence that layoffs are rising and the job market is weak.

Oil falls below $98 as US debt deadline looms

SINGAPORE (AP) — Oil prices fell below $98 a barrel Thursday in Asia as a stalemate dragged on among U.S. lawmakers over raising the country's debt ceiling and a survey showed a contraction in China's manufacturing.

AT&T stays strong against threat of Verizon iPhone

NEW YORK (AP) — AT&T saw a rebound in the number of new contract subscribers in the second quarter, showing resilience in the face of competition from Verizon's iPhone.

Nokia posts $523M loss, slips behind iPhone

HELSINKI (AP) — Mobile phone maker Nokia Corp. on Thursday posted a loss of euro368 million ($523 million) in the second quarter and for the first time was overtaken by Apple's iPhone in smartphone shipments.

Eli Lilly 2Q profit falls 11 percent

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Eli Lilly and Co. said Thursday its second-quarter net income fell 11 percent, as increases in marketing and other expenses blunted the drugmaker's revenue growth.


Progress scarce as debt limit impasse continues

WASHINGTON (AP) — Progress remains elusive as official Washington grapples day after day for a way out of a debt dilemma that has the government sliding toward a first-ever default on its financial obligations.

If debt deal near, Obama would OK stopgap measure

WASHINGTON (AP) — Running out of time, President Barack Obama softened his stand and signaled Wednesday he would back a short-term deal to prevent a disastrous financial default on Aug. 2, but only if a larger and still elusive deficit-cutting agreement was essentially in place. He called lawmakers to the White House in a scramble to find enough votes from both Republicans and his own party.


Nissan to build electric car motors at Tenn. plant

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — Nissan said Wednesday it will build motors for its electric Leaf car at its engine plant in Decherd, Tenn.


Nashville codifies personal use of city cars

NASHVILLE (AP) — In the wake of a government official's resignation to avoid prosecution, the Metro Nashville Council has voted to make policy on personal use of city vehicles part of the law.

Landmark café faces closure in Nashville

NASHVILLE (AP) — The landmark Elliston Place Soda Shop, a favorite of former Vice President Al Gore and hundreds of other Nashvillians, will close Saturday unless a new lease is worked out.

Central Parking worker guilty of stealing $1.9M

NASHVILLE (AP) — A former treasury analyst for Central Parking Corp. has pleaded guilty to wire fraud related to her embezzlement of more than $1.9 million from the Nashville-based company.


Home sales fell in June, fewer 1st-time buyers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans bought previously occupied homes in June, putting this year on pace to be the worst for sales since the housing bust.

Oil slides as debt talks continue in US, Europe

Oil prices are sticking around the same level they've been at since the beginning of the month, as talks continue over debt issues in Europe and the U.S. that could affect future demand.

American orders 460 new planes from Boeing, Airbus

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — American Airlines is buying at least 460 new planes over the next five years and splitting the order between Boeing and Airbus.

Trying a new approach to primary care: prevention

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A budding model for primary care that encourages the family doctor to act as a health coach who focuses as much on preventing illness as on treating it has shown promising results and saved insurers millions of dollars.

Abbott Labs 2Q profit jumps on tax benefit

WASHINGTON (AP) — Drug and medical device maker Abbott Laboratories says its second-quarter profit jumped 48 percent on lower expenses and a one-time tax benefit.


Senate GOP shows flexibility in debt, budget fight

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans are showing far more flexibility than their tea party-backed House colleagues as Washington policymakers seek to steer the government away from a first-ever default on its financial obligations.

Top Democrats positive about Gang of 6 debt plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top House Democrats are making positive but cautious comments about a deficit-reduction proposal by a bipartisan group of senators called the Gang of Six.

Boehner seeks magic 217 in debt-ceiling showdown

WASHINGTON (AP) — The terms "billions" and "trillions" are tossed around in the nation's debt ceiling debate. Probably no number, however, is more important than 217.

'Cut cap and balance' debt measure passes House

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has passed legislation conditioning a $2.4 trillion increase in the nation's borrowing cap on a tea party-backed plan to require immediate spending cuts and a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget.


TBI probing lawmaker involvement in nurse cases

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is looking into whether lawmakers improperly intervened with a state board to help three nurse practitioners whose licenses were suspended.

Tennessee bond rating at risk in default battle

Moody's Investors Service warned Tuesday that it probably will lower the credit rating on five states if it downgrades the U.S. government's credit rating.


Deal to bring 900 jobs to Nashville falls through

NASHVILLE (AP) - A deal to bring 900 jobs to Nashville has fallen through amid concerns that the company closed several offices in Canada and laid off workers.

Hermitage reports $521,000 in donations for year

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Hermitage, the home of President Andrew Jackson, had more than $521,000 in donations during its just completed fiscal year.

TBI reportedly investigating health department

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is looking into whether lawmakers improperly intervened with a state board to help three nurse practitioners whose licenses were suspended.


Home building spikes in June after dismal spring

WASHINGTON (AP) — Builders broke ground on more single-family homes and apartments in June, helping the battered construction industry gain a little life after a dismal spring.

Oil near $97 as US crude supply drop expected

Oil prices rose above $96 a barrel Tuesday amid expectations U.S. crude supplies dropped last week, a sign demand may be improving.

UnitedHealth's 2Q profit climbs 13 percent

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — UnitedHealth Group Inc. said Tuesday its second-quarter earnings rose 13 percent, as enrollment gains helped fuel revenue growth in several categories and consumers continued to moderate their health system use.

BofA reports $9.1 billion loss in 2Q on settlement

NEW YORK (AP) — Things keep getting worse for Bank of America.

Coca-Cola 2Q net income rises on overseas growth

ATLANTA (AP) — Coca-Cola Co.'s second-quarter net income rose 18 percent as it sold more drinks around the world and offset higher ingredient costs by raising some prices.


Debt plan nears House vote; other ideas emerge

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans pushed ahead Tuesday toward a vote on legislation that would raise the nation's debt limit in exchange for trillions of dollars in federal spending cuts and congressional approval of a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget.

Obama praises 'Gang' plan as debt debate begins

WASHINGTON (AP) — Declaring "11th hour" urgency" to raise the government's borrowing limit, President Barack Obama on Tuesday hailed a plan by "Gang of Six" senators from both parties to reduce federal deficits as the kind of balanced approach that could break the economy-threatening deadlock. He said it was time for Congress to rally around such a proposal.


Nashville, Memphis arenas among tops for concerts

NASHVILLE (AP) — Bridgestone Arena in Nashville ranks ninth in the United States and 23rd in the world for concert ticket sales at mid-year.


Haslam summer tour taps voter interests, concerns

TULLAHOMA (AP) — Bill Haslam has ramped up his travel schedule now that the legislative session is over, attending ribbon-cutting events, delivering grant checks and discussing education policy over pizza.

Assembly passed 154 bills in 3 days

NASHVILLE (AP) — Pressed by GOP leaders to end the legislative session earlier than usual, the General Assembly passed 154 bills in the final three days of the session, 30 percent of the year's entire package of enacted legislation.

Protesters who disrupted Senate hearing acquitted

NASHVILLE (AP) — Seven protesters who disrupted a state Senate committee hearing in March have been acquitted of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct charges.

Tenn consumer officials warn about contest scams

NASHVILLE (AP) — State consumer affairs officials have reminded Tennesseans that you can't win a foreign contest you didn't enter.


US builders' outlook rises after hitting 2011 low

WASHINGTON (AP) — The outlook among U.S. homebuilders became a bit rosier in June but the future prospects for home construction are anything but promising.

Poll: Hiring will pick up, growth slow in 2nd half

NEW YORK (AP) — Economists increasingly see hiring picking up through the rest of 2011, even as they predict slower overall growth.

Oil loses about 2 percent on stronger dollar

NEW YORK (AP) — Growing concern about the U.S. and European economies weighed on oil Monday as prices fell nearly 2 percent.

Halliburton 2Q earns grow 54 percent

NEW YORK (AP) — The expansion of oil and natural gas drilling in North America continued to drive Halliburton Co. as its earnings jumped by nearly 54 percent in the second quarter. Revenue also hit a company record for the period.

Stock futures drop ahead of busy earnings week

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock futures are falling ahead of a busy week for corporate earnings reports.

Gannett reports lower 2nd-quarter earnings

NEW YORK (AP) — Gannett Co, the publisher of USA Today and more than 80 other daily newspapers, said Monday that its second quarter net income declined 23 percent, dragged down by lower ad revenue in its publishing segment.


Coburn proposes $9 trillion deficit cut measure

WASHINGTON (AP) — One of the Senate's staunchest budget-cutters has unveiled a massive plan to reduce the deficit by $9 trillion over the coming decade.

Tea party takes its turn in debt battle

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House weighed in with a veto threat Monday against a tea party-backed plan to let the government borrow another $2.4 trillion, a measure conditioned on big and immediate spending cuts and adoption by Congress of a constitutional amendment to balance the federal budget.

Fixing glitch in Obama's health law saves $13B

WASHINGTON (AP) — Memo to President Barack Obama and the debt negotiators: You can save $13 billion by fixing a glitch in the new health care law.

Debt talks and little else on Washington's agenda

WASHINGTON (AP) — The debt showdown isn't just the dominant issue in Washington this summer — it's virtually the only one getting any attention in the nation's capital.

Obama picks ex-Ohio AG to lead consumer agency

WASHINGTON (AP) — Reigniting a partisan fight over banking regulations, President Barack Obama intends to nominate former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to lead a consumer protection bureau that was a central feature of a law overhauling the rules that govern the financial sector.

Accusations fly over obscure Medicare board

WASHINGTON (AP) — So long death panels. Hello "rationing" board.


Davidson Co. official resigns amid investigation

NASHVILLE (AP) — Prosecutors ended their investigation into the Davidson County Criminal Court Clerk's office after the clerk resigned Friday.

State fairgrounds center stage in city election

NASHVILLE (AP) — The early voting period in the Metro Nashville city election has begun and a dominant theme is the fate of the Tennessee State Fairgrounds.


Haslam refusing some state workers raises

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam has refused to grant pay raises to hundreds of state workers who have been disciplined in the past year, and he said anything short of good performance doesn't deserve higher pay.

Settlement reached in Tennessee health fraud case

NASHVILLE (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a $220,000 settlement has been reached with a Florida-based provider of mental health services whose former employee billed the state of Tennessee for therapy sessions at nursing homes that were never held or were very brief.

Mentally disabled sue Tenn. over cuts to home care

NASHVILLE (AP) — A group of 39 disabled Tennesseans is suing the state over cuts to in-home care services they say will force them from their homes.


Drop in gas prices lowered inflation in June

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer prices fell last month for the first time in a year because of a steep drop in gas costs. But Americans paid more for autos, clothes and hotel stays, driving prices outside of volatile food and energy costs up.

Down on the farm, investors see big potential

Braden Janowski has never planted seeds or brought in a harvest. He doesn't even own overalls.

Google 2Q earnings soar past analyst estimates

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google Inc. ushered in new CEO Larry Page with second-quarter earnings that were far better than analysts expected.

Oil climbing on expectations of tighter supply

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil is climbing as analysts and investors focus on the prospect of tighter supplies.

BP adopts new safety standards for Gulf drilling

ATLANTA (AP) — A year after it capped its out-of-control well in the Gulf of Mexico, oil giant BP PLC said Friday it is taking new steps to improve the reliability of the cement used to seal its wells and the fail-safe devices used to prevent blowouts.

Mattel 2nd-quarter net income jumps 56 percent

EL SEGUNDO, California (AP) — Strong sales of Barbie and toys tied into Disney/Pixar's "Cars 2" helped Mattel's second-quarter net income rise 56 percent, the largest U.S. toy maker said Friday.

Mixed data show economy growing at weak pace

WASHINGTON (AP) — A mixed slate of reports Thursday showed the economy is being held back by high gas prices and sluggish hiring.

Business stockpiles rose for 17th month in May

WASHINGTON (AP) — Businesses added to their stockpiles for a 17th consecutive month in May. But sales fell for the first time in nearly a year, a sign that many companies could be forced to trim supply levels if the economy weakens.

Wholesale prices drop for first time in a year

WASHINGTON (AP) — Companies paid less for raw materials and factory goods in June, evidence that inflation pressures are weakening as gas prices fall.

Fixed mortgage rates fall toward 2011 lows

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fixed mortgage rates fell this week, and the rate on the 15-year loan dropped to its lowest point of the year.

Unemployment aid applications fell for 2nd week

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer people applied for unemployment benefits last week, an encouraging sign that the job market may be slowly improving.

Foreclosure activity slowed in first half of 2011

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The number of homes taken back by lenders in the first half of this year fell 30 percent compared with the same 2010 period, the result of delays in foreclosure processing that threaten to stall a U.S. housing recovery.


Obama challenges Congress: Do 'something big'

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Friday challenged Congress to compromise and "do something big" to reduce long-term deficits, insisting he was willing to make his own tough choices including trimming benefits for wealthy Medicare recipients. Facing a critical Aug. 2 deadline to raise the nation's debt limit, Obama said the public was on his side but "we're running out of time."

Debt face-off shifts to Congress, bargain in play

WASHINGTON (AP) — Negotiations to increase the nation's debt ceiling shifted to Congress where Republican and Democratic leaders were assessing the mood of their members even as an intricate but potentially face-saving deal to avoid an unprecedented government default was taking shape in the Senate.

Debt talks: No 'hallelujah moment' in sight

WASHINGTON (AP) — Testy lawmakers and President Barack Obama headed back for a fifth day of debt-limit negotiations Thursday, pointing fingers at each other while trying to stave off a government financial default. No "hallelujah moment" was likely by day's end, White House spokesman Jay Carney said, with Friday shaping up as an important decision day.

GOP adds constitutional amendment to budget fight

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional Republicans are rallying behind a long-shot bid for a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget. But they're divided over conservatives' efforts to demand its passage as their price for backing any increase in the government's borrowing limit.

Geithner: No way to provide more time on debt

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says he's looked at all the options and that there's "no way to give Congress more time" to solve the debt limit problem.

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