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VOL. 35 | NO. 32 | Friday, August 12, 2011

Real estate sales offer a glimmer of hope among the ruins

Nervous investors look beyond Wall Street

Congress’ month-long fight over the debt ceiling did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of Nashville-area homebuyers. Quite the opposite.

The ups and downs of a semi-permanent crisis

Déjà vu all over again? Ironically, the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors released sales numbers on Tuesday citing that home sales are up 15 percent for July of 2011, as compared with July, 2010. This is the first unassisted rise in more than four years.

Oversight sought for 80+ community gardens

The dismantling of George W. Carver Food Park and community garden in April pitted neighbor against neighbor and – in the eyes of many -- cast the Tennessee Department of Transportation in the role of villain.


Peddling an alternative to cars, two-wheelers

Riding a bike to work is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and get in a good workout. But certain limitations can prevent some people from enjoying that option – unless they have a Rhoades Car.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Partly Cloudy
Wind: South at 9.2 mph
Humidity: 55%


Bellevue Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon today features guest speaker David Humes, co-author (along with Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield and Denis Waitley) of Stepping Stones to Success, Humes, past president of the National Speakers Association Tennessee, has presented more than 800 seminars with companies like Verizon, DirecTV, Capital One Bank, McDonald’s Corporation, Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. Army, Roche Pharmaceuticals, and more. 11:30 a.m. at the Meadows on Coley Davis Road in Bellevue. Information: 662-2737

more events »


Are you ready for major shift to mobile devices?

By 2015, more people will access the Web via a mobile device – such as a smartphone, Kindle, iPad, video game or GPS system – than through traditional desktop Internet access.


Employees don’t have to think like you

It sure would make things easier if we had our personality types tattooed on our foreheads, wouldn’t it?


Get ‘motivated’ to write a resume that stands above others

When writing your resume, consider that many other candidates applying for the same job might be making similar claims and using the same words you are.

Leadership changes at Vanderbilt-Ingram

Two senior faculty members at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center have been promoted to new leadership roles.


Caution: Netflix is highly addictive

Regarding the recent piece on Friday Night Lights, David from Chattanooga writes, “Good column. I’ve not seen the show, but your piece made me want to watch it. And I have Netflix, too!”


Many ways to worship this apple of love

Cherry, big boys, grape, beefsteak, brandywine and plum, home-grown tomatoes are here and I, for one, am plum tickled!


New group The Boxcars top IBMA Awards nominations

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Boxcars, a new bluegrass super group of sorts, leads all nominees for this year's International Bluegrass Music Association Awards with 10.

Elaborate outdoor concerts amp up safety concerns

CHICAGO (AP) — When thunderstorms slammed New York's Central Park before this summer's highly anticipated Black Eyed Peas concert, officials made the rare decision to call off the event. Tens of thousands of fans were livid, but safety experts praise the decision for bucking the industry's aversion to such last-minute cancellations.

Belmont University now totally tobacco free

NASHVILLE (AP) — Belmont University in Nashville is now a tobacco-free campus.

Vanderbilt includes pagan holidays in calendar

NASHVILLE (AP) — Pagan and Wiccan holy days, which follow the changing seasons, are included among Vanderbilt University's list of religious holy days alongside other religious events like Ramadan and Passover.


Haslam wants quicker national online tax rules

JOHNSON CITY (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam says there are varying views among Tennessee's congressional delegation about the urgency for national rules governing the collection of online sales tax collections by retailers like Amazon.com.

TVA board meeting attracts more than 50 speakers

KNOXVILLE(AP) — Dozens of opponents and supporters of the Tennessee Valley Authority restarting construction of the Bellefonte nuclear plant at the 37-year-old site in northeast Alabama have given opinions on the project to the utility's board.

UT gets major grant to improve nation's power grid

KNOXVILLE (AP) — The University of Tennessee has received a National Science Foundation grant to research the overhaul of the nation's electric power transmission system.


Rate on 30-year mortgage falls to lowest on record

WASHINGTON (AP) — The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage has fallen to its lowest level on records dating to 1971.

Home sales dropped 3.5 pct. in July, hit 2011 low

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people who bought previously occupied homes fell in July for the third time in four months. This year is on pace to be the worst in 14 years for home sales, as more Americans worry that the economy could slip back into another recession.

More people sought unemployment benefits

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people applying for unemployment benefits rose back above 400,000 last week. Still, the four-week average, a more reliable gauge of the job market, fell to the lowest level since mid-April.

Consumer prices rose by the most since March

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumers paid more for gas, food and clothes last month, pushing prices up by the most since the spring.

Oil hovers below $87 amid glum economic outlook

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Oil prices fell below $87 a barrel Thursday in Asia on renewed concerns that the U.S. economy may weaken and hit fuel demand in the world's top crude consumer.

APNewsBreak: BP investigates new sheen in Gulf

LONDON (AP) — Oil giant BP said Thursday it was investigating a new sheen in the Gulf of Mexico but added there was no immediate indication it was the result of a new oil spill.

Car dealers fear economy could scare off buyers

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. (AP) — Jeff Swanson was in the market for a new car just a few weeks ago. Then the stock market went crazy.

Coca Cola plans $4 billion investment in China

BEIJING (AP) — Coca Cola Co. said Thursday it plans to invest $4 billion in China as food brands scramble to expand in its fast-growing consumer market.


Report: Government probe of Standard and Poor's

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is investigating whether the Standard & Poor's credit ratings agency improperly rated dozens of mortgage securities in the years leading up to the financial crisis, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Charter, cargo airlines target pilot safety rule

WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid fierce opposition from charter and cargo airlines, as well as alarms raised by Pentagon officials, the Obama administration has delayed new safety rules aimed at preventing airline pilots from becoming so exhausted that they make dangerous mistakes.


Nashville vice mayor chosen criminal court clerk

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Metro Nashville Council has chosen Vice Mayor Howard Gentry to fill the unexpired term of the Davidson County Criminal Court Clerk, who resigned.


Corker: Federal regs on online taxes 3-4 years off

CARTHAGE (AP) — Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker said Tuesday that could be three or four years before Congress passes national guidelines on tax collections by online retailers like Amazon.com.

Report shows Tenn. improving in child welfare

NASHVILLE (AP) — A national report shows Tennessee is taking better care of its children.


Oil rises above $87 amid mixed US supply report

SINGAPORE (AP) — Oil prices rose above $87 a barrel Wednesday in Asia after a report on U.S. crude inventories revealed mixed signs about consumer demand.

Companies paid more for food, other goods in July

WASHINGTON (AP) — Companies paid more in July for raw materials and wholesale goods. Food, tobacco and pickup truck costs drove the increase.

China appeals to US to focus on economic recovery

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese commentators are marking a visit by Vice President Joseph Biden by offering a struggling United States advice: Stop flooding your economy with cheap credit.


AP source: Obama to give major jobs speech

WASHINGTON (AP) — Seeking a jolt for a wilting economy, President Barack Obama will give a major speech in early September to unveil new ideas for speeding up job growth and helping the struggling poor and middle class, a senior administration official told The Associated Press.


Predators donate $181K to cancer hospital

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Nashville Predators are giving $181,000 to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt University.

Sustainability is theme for Vanderbilt students

NASHVILLE (AP) — Vanderbilt University students will explore the theme of sustainability this academic year through classroom curriculum, a speaker series, documentary film series and field trips.


TVA says lower fuel cost for September bills

KNOXVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Valley Authority residential customers will pay a lower fuel cost on September bills, with the decrease ranging from 50 cents to $1.50.


Statoil announces huge North Sea oil discovery

OSLO, Norway (AP) — Norway's Statoil has received a huge boost to its reserves with the announcement that two previous North Sea oil discoveries are connected which may represent the biggest find in the Norwegian continental shelf in 30 years.

Oil falls on concern about German economy

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil fell Tuesday on concerns about Europe's biggest economy.

Automakers rebound in July to lift factory output

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. automakers rebounded in July to boost factory production by the most since the Japan crisis. But builders broke ground on fewer single-family houses, leaving home construction at depressed levels.

July home building slips after early-summer bump

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. builders broke ground on fewer single-family houses in July, leaving home construction at depressed levels.

Overseas strength lifts Wal-Mart 2Q profit 5.7 pct

NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Tuesday its second-quarter profit rose 5.7 percent, due to international sales growth and cost cutting. But the world's largest retailer still wasn't able to reverse a two-year sales slump at its Walmart stores in the U.S.


TN finance chief says budget surplus to be reserve

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee should hold a $28 million general fund surplus in reserve in case state tax collections drop, state Finance Commissioner Mark Emkes said Monday.


US home builders not optimistic in August

WASHINGTON (AP) — Homebuilders are not feeling very good about a turnaround in the U.S. housing market.

Stocks rise for third day after acquisition flurry

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are having their longest rally since early July. A $19 billion corporate buying spree and encouraging economic news form Japan sent the Dow Jones industrial average up 213 points and erased its losses from last week.

Oil rises 3 percent on broad market rally

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil jumped to the highest level in more than a week on some positive news about the global economy.

US stock futures rise following wild week

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock futures are rising, following Wall Street's wildest week since the 2008 financial crisis.

Google's patent play: $12.5B for Motorola Mobility

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google Inc.'s $12.5 billion deal to buy cellphone maker Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. is aimed at giving the Internet search leader more legal firepower as it battles Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. to gain the upper hand in the increasingly important mobile computing market.

Lowe's 2Q net income flat on muted demand

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Lowe's Cos. said Monday its second-quarter net income was nearly flat as volatile weather and shoppers' worries about the economy muted demand during the key summer selling season.


'Doomsday' defense cuts loom large for select 12

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the dozen lawmakers tasked with producing a deficit-cutting plan, the threatened "doomsday" defense cuts hit close to home.

US economic woes loom over Biden's China trip

WASHINGTON (AP) — Concerns about the U.S. economy and the country's ability to manage its debt and deficits loom over Vice President Joe Biden's trip this week to China, America's biggest foreign creditor.


Haslam: Don't force Amazon sales tax without deal

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam doesn't want lawmakers to require Amazon.com to collect Tennessee sales taxes unless the online retailer agrees first.

Officials say state pension plan strong

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee financial officials say they're confident the state's pension plan is in good shape long term despite the likelihood of continued stock market volatility and the recent Wall Street sell-off.

US education secy. says Tenn. courageous in reform

NASHVILLE (AP) — U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Wednesday applauded Tennessee for what he called courage in making education changes and said the state can "help lead the country where we need to go."

Gov't pays for empty flights to rural airports

On some days, the pilots with Great Lakes Airlines fire up a twin-engine Beechcraft 1900 at the Ely, Nev., airport and depart for Las Vegas without a single passenger on board. And the federal government pays them to do it.

Jackson, 12 other cities facing possible cuts in EAS program

13 cities facing possible cuts in EAS program

Ramsey defends Gov. Perry for backing Gore in '88

NASHVILLE (AP) — During last year's Republican gubernatorial primary, Tennessee Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey attacked rival Bill Haslam for backing Democrat Al Gore's 1988 presidential bid, though Haslam took issue with the claim. Now Ramsey is dismissing as "silly" any criticism of Texas Gov. Rick Perry for backing Gore that year.


Dow finishes wild, historic week on an up note

The wildest week in Wall Street's history is ending on an up note.

Oil falls as mixed reports offer few demand clues

Oil prices fell slightly Friday as mixed economic reports offered few clues about future energy demand.

Retail sales rose 0.5 percent in July

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumers spent more on autos, furniture, clothing and gas in July, pushing up retail sales by the largest amount in four months. The gain signaled that Americans are a little more confident in the economy and could helped dispel fears that the country is headed for another recession.

US stock futures rise after week of wild swings

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. stock index futures are rising after a week of massive gains and losses on Wall Street.

4-month low in unemployment claims eases fears

WASHINGTON (AP) — After calamitous losses on Wall Street and fears of another recession, the economy got a dose of good news Thursday: The number of people applying for unemployment benefits fell below 400,000 for the first time since April.

Mortgage rates fall again, 30-year near record low

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fixed mortgage rates fell to at or near record lows. That's good news for the few who can afford to buy a home or are able to refinance. But the rates have done little to lift the ailing housing market.

US trade deficit widens in June to $53.1 billion

WASHINGTON (AP) — American producers sold fewer industrial engines, electric generators and farm products to the rest of the world in June, pushing the trade deficit to the highest level since 2008 and dealing another blow to an already struggling economy.

FACT CHECK: Republican debate strains some facts

WASHINGTON (AP) — Michele Bachmann cast her opinion as a settled fact when she told the Republican presidential debate Thursday that a key element of President Barack Obama's health care law is unconstitutional. And Mitt Romney danced around an attempt to learn why he stayed largely mum on the epic debt limit standoff between Obama and Congress.


Special interests gave millions to budget panel

WASHINGTON (AP) — The 12 lawmakers appointed to a new supercommittee charged with tackling the nation's fiscal problems have received millions in contributions from special interests with a stake in potential cuts to federal programs.

Obama: Something is wrong with country's politics

HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) — Seeking to align himself with a public beleaguered by economic uncertainty and frustrated by Washington, President Barack Obama declared Thursday: "There is nothing wrong with our country. There is something wrong with our politics."

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