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VOL. 35 | NO. 26 | Friday, July 1, 2011

Why are they running?

Is it any wonder no Metro Nashville mayor has ever failed to be re-elected?

Shoppers sometimes like to take a chance with off-brand grocery products. Three “Brand X” candidates who say they want to be mayor of Nashville are hoping voters will feel the same way in the Aug. 4 election.

Walmart ruling a game-changer

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling that stopped a class action sex-discrimination case against Walmart dead in its tracks will not end the big lawsuits, but it will change the game for many plaintiffs and their lawyers, area attorneys say.

New law mandates floodplain notification

Is your home in a floodplain? Until Metro Council passed -- and Mayor Karl Dean signed – a bill last week that requires Metro to inform residents within 30 days of placing property within floodplain lines, you probably would not have found out until you tried to refinance your mortgage or sell your property.


Piedmont’s Nashville facility given Gold LEED certification

Though it was completed in April 2010, the Tennessee Operations Center facility of Piedmont Natural Gas was just issued a “gold” rating from the United States Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED rating system.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Wind: South at 8.1 mph
Humidity: 90%


Moving Towards a Cure 5K is scheduled for Saturday at Edwin Warner Park. Miles For Hope, Inc., an organization dedicated to funding cutting-edge brain tumor research, is hosting the event at 9 a.m. (on-site registration 8 a.m.). Information: braintumorevents.org/Nashville.

more events »


Don’t be spooked by ‘propagandist’ email

“ARE YOU SELLING YOUR HOUSE IN OR AFTER 2012” is the headline of an error-filled, deceptive, fraudulent, propagandist e-mail that is being circulated to instill fear in those who may sell their homes next year. It suggests there is a transfer tax on all homes sold in 2012.


Follow-up letter vital to making good impression

The importance of a follow up letter should not be overlooked as part of the job hunting and interviewing process.


Environmental awards to Tidwell, Forest Hills, Ward

Ann Tidwell is the recipient of the 2011 Friends of Radnor Lake Environmental Award.


If you think McDonald’s coffee case is strange, you’re in for a caffeine rush

A couple weeks back, I mentioned the film Hot Coffee, a documentary based on the infamous 1994 McDonald’s case.


Why would Caprese salad not include goat cheese?

My sister, who lives in Grand Junction, Colo., has been visiting for awhile. While she was here we did the typical thing most families do when relatives from another state come to stay – pack a lot of stuff into each day.


JPMorgan pays $228M to settle bid-rigging charges

WASHINGTON (AP) — A JPMorgan unit is paying $228 million to settle civil fraud charges that it rigged dozens of bidding competitions to win business from cities and counties.

Fewer people sought unemployment aid last week

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level in seven weeks, although applications remain elevated.

Rate on 30-year fixed mortgage rises to 4.60 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fixed mortgage rates rose this week by the most in four months.

US retailers post strong June sales

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. retailers are reporting robust sales as deep discounts on summer merchandise pulled in shoppers in June. But the concern is that the momentum may not continue heading into the back-to-school shopping season when consumers are likely to find higher prices on everything from clothing to handbags.

Oil rises above $97 after US crude supply drop

Oil prices rose to above $97 a barrel Thursday as a report showed U.S. crude supplies fell more than expected for a second week, suggesting demand is improving.

Extreme coupon cutters save cash, teach their ways

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The women sat expectantly as Monica Knight told them she once routinely spent $600 a month on groceries for her family of four. Breaking into a broad smile, Knight says that figure has been reduced to only $100 to $150 a month.

Cricket's music plan showing promise

LOS ANGELES (AP) — If you think people who pre-pay their cellphone bills aren't the type to shell out for music these days, think again.


Lawmakers visit White House for budget talks

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama sat down with leaders of Congress at a crucial deficit-reduction negotiating session Thursday as the White House signaled a willingness to reduce costs for major benefit programs like Social Security and Medicare while Republicans indicated they might consider new steps to raise revenue.

Cantor: GOP not responsible for debt stalemate

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Majority Leader Eric Cantor says any deal between the White House and congressional Republicans to avert a government default must include "reforms to the system" so the public will have confidence that Washington can manage the country's finances.

Senators propose immediate end to ethanol credit

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two senators from ethanol-producing states are proposing to immediately end a tax credit for the corn-based fuel, agreeing to support shifting some of that money to debt reduction.

Court tosses out relaxed media ownership rules

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court in Philadelphia has tossed out government rules allowing media companies to own a newspaper and a broadcast television station in the same market.

Buffett sees risks in failing to hike debt ceiling

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Billionaire investor Warren Buffett says Congress is playing a dangerous game by considering not raising the U.S. debt ceiling.

Gov't to ease foreclosure rules for unemployed

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is making it easier for out-of-work homeowners to stay in their homes, as it tries to revamp its signature but troubled foreclosure-prevention programs.

Study: Medicaid does make a difference after all

WASHINGTON (AP) — Signing up for Medicaid could improve your overall health and financial security, says a surprising new study that offers clues on how President Barack Obama's health care overhaul might affect millions of low-income uninsured Americans.

House and Senate panels take up 3 trade bills

WASHINGTON (AP) — House and Senate lawmakers on Thursday wrangled over how to help American workers dislocated by trade as they took up three free trade agreements that could also create tens of thousands of new jobs in the U.S.

Congressional gridlock on highway programs loosens

WASHINGTON (AP) — The congressional gridlock that has tied up federal highway programs for years loosened up a bit Wednesday as key House and Senate lawmakers outlined separate proposals to fund repairs and construction of roads, bridges and transit systems.


Judge rules against bank in foreclosure suit

NASHVILLE (AP) — A federal bankruptcy judge in Nashville has ordered the sale of a flood victim's home after the lender refused to foreclose.

Auto auction company merges Tenn. facilities

NASHVILLE (AP) — An automotive auction company is consolidating two facilities in Middle Tennessee resulting in employee layoffs.

"Don't Say Gay" statute sparks councilman rant

NASHVILLE (AP) — Metro Nashville Councilman Jamie Hollin shouted at colleagues who blocked his proposed commendation of students who protested what has become known as the "Don't Say Gay" bill and then left the council chamber.

Ponzi scheme nets Nashville man 4 years in prison

NASHVILLE (AP) — A former financial adviser has been sentenced in Nashville to four years in prison for mail and securities fraud.

Planned Parenthood Nashville chapter loses grant

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Planned Parenthood chapter in Nashville is no longer getting government funds after a grant was diverted Friday to the city's public health department.

Walking horse museum moves to Wartrace

SHELBYVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Walking Horse Museum is moving to Wartrace from Lynchburg, but city officials hope tourists will also make the move to learn about the history of the state's high-stepping breed.


Auto industry, seeing new life, is on hiring spree

DETROIT (AP) — Volkswagen opened a plant in Tennessee last month with 2,000 workers. Honda is hiring 1,000 in Indiana to meet demand for its best-selling Civic. General Motors is looking for 2,500 in Detroit to build the Chevy Volt.

Rule lets board recover pay from failed bank execs

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators will be able to take back two years of pay from executives held responsible for a large bank's failure.

Oil near $96 as Portugal's downgrade lifts dollar

SINGAPORE (AP) — Oil prices slipped to near $96 a barrel Wednesday as the downgrade of Portugal's bonds renewed investors' concern about crude demand in Europe and helped boost the U.S. dollar.

Lagarde takes helm of IMF amid major challenges

WASHINGTON (AP) — Christine Lagarde can count on at least one thing Wednesday during her first news conference as chief of the International Monetary Fund: few softball questions.

China raises interest rates amid inflation fight

BEIJING (AP) — China raised a key interest rate Wednesday for a third time this year as it tries to cool surging inflation.

Documents detail Exxon's Yellowstone response

LAUREL, Mont. (AP) — Federal documents show it took Exxon Mobil nearly twice as long as it publicly disclosed to fully seal a pipeline that spilled roughly 1,000 barrels of crude oil into the Yellowstone River.


Cantor signals flexibility on tax loopholes

WASHINGTON (AP) — A top House Republican is signaling that he's willing to consider White House proposals to close tax loopholes in advance of a meeting tomorrow with President Barack Obama over cutting the budget and permitting the government to continue to borrow to meet its obligations.

Obama cites progress in deficit reduction talks

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says back-channel talks with congressional leaders last weekend have produced new progress in advance of a White House session Thursday on deficit reduction.

Obama summons GOP, says no to short-term debt deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama prodded Congress Tuesday to reach a sweeping long-term deal within two weeks to raise the nation's borrowing limit rather than "kick the can down the road" with a makeshift, short-term solution to stave off a first-ever U.S. default. And he declared the agreement must include the tax hikes Republicans strongly oppose.

GOP pushes back on effort to limit kids' food ads

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans are siding with food companies resisting the Obama administration's efforts to pressure them to stop advertising junk food for children.


Companies ordered more factory goods in May

WASHINGTON (AP) — Businesses requested more airplanes, autos, and oil drilling equipment in May The jump in factory orders after a sluggish spring suggests supply disruptions stemming from the Japan crisis are fading.

Oil climbs to around $97 per barrel

NEW YORK (AP) — Some major investment banks are still betting that oil prices will grow next year despite an emergency injection of crude on world markets from the U.S. and other countries.

Borrowers sue over apparent loan mod mishaps

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It seemed Maria Campusano's financial problems were behind her when the mortgage on her Victorian home in a Massachusetts mill town was chopped by hundreds of dollars a month.

Energy Transfer in new $5.1B Southern Union deal

DALLAS (AP) — Energy Transfer Equity LP has agreed to pay a revised $5.1 billion for pipeline company Southern Union Co., increasing its offer in an effort to trump rival bidder Williams Cos. Inc.


House panel to take up 3 trade agreements

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans are bucking demands from the Obama White House to include renewal of a U.S. job training assistance program in long-pending legislation providing free-trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.

Leading Democrat says GOP tax argument flawed

WASHINGTON (AP) — A leading House Democrat thinks members of Congress could reach a deal to avoid a government default if they could get past the semantics of tax increases.

GOP uses budget, other tools to sap financial law

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional Republicans are greeting the one-year anniversary of President Barack Obama's financial overhaul law by trying to weaken it, nibble by nibble.

New air traffic control system at crossroads

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration is creating a new air traffic system that officials say will be as revolutionary for civil aviation as was the advent of radar six decades ago. But the program is at a crossroads.


Southern Baptist leader: Would accept DREAM Act

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Southern Baptist Convention leader says the group's policy arm supports a version of the DREAM Act — the proposed law that would allow illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children to earn legal status, either by going to college or serving in the military.

Dollar General gives $1M for children's hospital

NASHVILLE (AP) — Discount retailer Dollar General has given $1 million to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt University to help fund a 33-bed expansion project.

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.


Tenn troopers plan saturation patrols over holiday

NASHVILLE (AP) — Susan Bosserman of Harrisonburg, Va., is getting ready to throw two suitcases and a packed cooler into her 2006 silver Honda Accord for a July 4 weekend trip to East Tennessee.

TBI to begin issuing special alerts Friday

NASHVILLE (AP) — The TBI will begin issuing special alerts Friday to help apprehend violent criminals who harm law officers.

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.


Manufacturing activity grew faster in June

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. manufacturing activity recovered somewhat in June from a sharp slowdown in May.

GM, Ford June sales rise as gas prices fall

DETROIT (AP) — Falling gas prices brought truck buyers back to showrooms last month. Still, pump prices remained high enough that shoppers snapped up smaller cars as well.

Construction spending falls 0.6 pct. in May

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. builders began work on fewer projects in May, led by steep declines in apartment construction and less spending by state and local governments.

Gas is 24 cents/gallon cheaper since Memorial Day

NEW YORK (AP) — Call it an Independence Day discount.

Lehman plan receives support from major creditors

NEW YORK (AP) — Lehman Brothers is getting broader support for its new bankruptcy plan.

Ex-Bundesbank boss Weber to chair UBS

GENEVA (AP) — Switzerland's biggest bank, UBS AG, has tapped former German central bank chief Axel Weber as its next chairman.

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.

Dealerships spruce up: Cappuccino while you wait?

DETROIT (AP) — Spending a Saturday afternoon at the typical car dealership is not exactly pampering yourself. Drab floors, battered furniture, weak coffee in a paper cup. And that's before the salesman abandons you for half an hour to "check with my manager."

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.

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.


Obama picks fight on taxes, big or just symbolic

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is renewing an old fight with the business community by insisting that $400 billion in tax increases be part of a deficit-reduction package. His proposals have languished on Capitol Hill, repeatedly blocked by Republicans, often with help from Democrats.

Treasury confirms deadline for raising debt limit

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department says Congress has one month to raise the U.S. borrowing limit or the government will default on its debt.

Recess canceled; Senate to work next week on debt

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate canceled its planned July Fourth recess on Thursday, but partisan divisions remained razor sharp as the clock ticked on efforts to strike a deal to avoid a government default and trim huge federal deficits.

Senate GOP blocks hearing on free trade bills

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate action on three stalled free trade agreements was cut short Thursday when Republicans refused to participate, objecting to linking the deals to renewal of a program that retrains workers hurt by foreign trade.

Feds won't give assurance on medical pot

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department says that marijuana dispensaries and licensed growers in states with medical marijuana laws could face prosecution for violating federal drug and money-laundering laws.

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

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

Colbert gets conditional OK on campaign finance

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Election Commission said Thursday that comedian Stephen Colbert can use his TV show's resources to boost his political action committee, but he must disclose some major expenses as in-kind contributions from the show's corporate owners.

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