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VOL. 36 | NO. 33 | Friday, August 17, 2012

‘More secure’ buyers launch housing boom

Williamson leads Midstate’s strong July sales, followed by Davidson, Rutherford

Consumers are feeling confident, mortgage interest rates are lower than they’ve ever been and landlords are steadily raising monthly rent payments. For growing numbers of people in the Nashville region, this is the moment they’ve been waiting for to buy a house.

Real estate trends for July 2012

July 2012 real estate trends for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford and Wilson counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

Would ‘Strings’ resonate with lessees?

Nashville already is home to a replica of the Parthenon, a downtown icon that looks like Batman’s cowl, a museum with an exterior resembles the keys of a piano and country singer Webb Pierce’s guitar-shaped pools.

Top commercial real estate transactions for July 2012

July 2012 commercial real estate transactions for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

Top Lenders for Davidson County July 2012

A look at Davidson County’s top lenders based on total number of all loans, commercial and residential, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Wind: Northeast at 8.1 mph
Humidity: 71%


Music City Festival & BBQ Championship. Annual event features two of Nashville’s best talents, barbecue and music. Professional and backyard cook teams are invited to cook in the barbecue competition. The event is sanctioned by the Memphis BBQ Network and Kansas City Barbeque Society. A total of $20,000 in prizes and awards will be given to winners in various categories. Also featured: Classic cars, customs, motorcycles, sport trucks, and hot rods, Kids Zone, Music City Cornhole Tournament, and live music featuring The Fabulous Thunderbirds as Friday’s headliners and Grand Funk Railroad on Saturday. 4-11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday at Riverfront Park. Information: musiccitybbqfestival.com.

more events »

Community radio: ‘Mirror’ of local life

The conference room at Cadence Bank in downtown Franklin is filled with 15 or so people awaiting their turn to speak with Tom Lawrence, the veteran radio personality for WAKM 950-AM in Williamson County.

Better statewide workforce training urged

MEMPHIS – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has been hearing the same thing as he travels across the state holding forums on higher education.


Don’t believe rumors about ‘transfer tax’

Realtors across the area are being bombarded by e-mails and phone calls about the transfer tax for real estate sales that is supposedly included in the national health care bill, also known as Obamacare. There is no transfer tax in the bill.


Chasing the dream, one more time

For Joey Haynos, a slim chance to keep playing professional football is better than no chance at all.


Hands On Nashville has new president & CEO, officers

Hands On Nashville’s board of directors has recognized executive director Brian Williams’ leadership contributions and the nonprofit’s historic capacity growth by changing Williams’ title to president and CEO.


Good book for your next flight -- or before

You haven’t gained weight.


Be creative when using Pinterest

Virtual scrap-booking site Pinterest has quickly taken the world of social media by storm, leaving some business owners and marketers scratching their heads about how exactly to leverage their time investment accordingly.


Economy just needs better mechanics

Fedcasting: With the markets and the politicians currently co-dependent, vacation for one implies vacation for the other. Trading volumes have collapsed. For those who are manning their trading terminals, daily market activity amounts to position-squaring ahead of September’s central bank policy proclamations.


Be careful what you ask for in employee search

The other day I saw an advertisement for a major company recruiting highly aggressive employees. I feel certain they didn’t really mean that.


Times crossword clues can be surprisingly punny

I’ve highlighted for the past two weeks some New York Times crossword clues that served to give crosswords a bad name. That is, obscure, nobody’s-ever-heard-of-’em words and their clumsy, who-gives-a-darn clues. My focus was exclusively on the Farrar and Maleska Eras, so called for the Times’ first and third puzzle editors.


Good-looking dish also has to deliver on taste

Not long ago, I was sitting in hotel room waiting for hubby to wake up so we could make a coffee run. Not long into my wait, I decided it was going to be longer than I planned so I grabbed the paper that was left at our door: a Wall Street Journal.


Judge: TVA liable for massive Tenn. coal ash spill

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Tennessee Valley Authority is liable for a huge spill of toxin-laden sludge in 2008 in Tennessee, a federal judge ruled Thursday.


Last weekend closure of I-24 in Nashville coming

NASHVILLE (AP) — After a summer of weekend closures, construction on a section of Interstate 24 on Nashville's east side should wrap up this weekend.


Court toughens standard for serious bodily injury

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled that a gunshot wound isn't necessarily the same as a serious bodily injury.


Senator loses post over expletive to black caucus

NASHVILLE (AP) - A state senator who headed a panel investigating allegations of grade fixing at Tennessee State University has lost his chairmanship for using an expletive to dismiss concerns from the caucus of black lawmakers.

GOP panel to hold closed hearing on vote challenge

NASHVILLE (AP) — A special panel of members of the state Republican Party's executive committee is meeting behind closed doors to consider an election challenge in a legislative primary race.


Nissan recalling Infiniti SUVs to fix gas gauges

DETROIT (AP) — Nissan is recalling about 7,800 Infiniti SUVs because the fuel gauges can show gas in the tank when there isn't any.


Facebook updates iPhone app to speed it up

MENLO PARK, Calif. (AP) — What's the worst insult you can throw at a fast-moving company like Facebook? Call its iPhone app slow and poky.

Drought worsens in Plains, despite cooler temps

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The nation's most withering drought in decades only got worse in several key farming states last week, despite cooler temperatures that at least gave those living there a break from this summer's stifling heat, according to a new drought report released Thursday.

US new-home sales rise to match 2-year high

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of new homes in the United States rose 3.6 percent in July to match a two-year high reached in May, the latest sign of a steady recovery in the housing market.

Average on 30-year US mortgage up to 3.66 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages have risen for a fourth straight week, remaining slightly above record lows. Cheap mortgages have helped fuel a modest housing recovery this year.

Applications for US unemployment aid up slightly

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking first-time unemployment benefits rose a slight 4,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 372,000, evidence that the job market's recovery remains modest and uneven.

Stocks down; Fed moves seem less like a sure thing

NEW YORK (AP) — Nobody ever said reading the Federal Reserve was easy.

Oil prices up on hopes for US central bank action

The price of oil is rising for a second day after signs that the Federal Reserve may take additional action to help the sluggish economic recovery in the U.S.

Organizers meet to create $100b climate fund

GENEVA (AP) — Top-level government officials from around the world have begun three days of talks on how to set up a $100 billion a year fund to help poor countries cope with climate change.


SPIN METER: China-bashing on the campaign trail

WASHINGTON (AP) — While U.S. presidential candidates talk tough about what they see as China's unfair trade policies, one fact gets little notice: Chinese companies are investing more than ever in the U.S. and supporting thousands of American jobs.


Tennessee seniors show improvement in ACT scores

NASHVILLE (AP) — In Tennessee, ACT scores for the high school class of 2012 show a slight improvement in all four subject areas — english, math, reading and science.

Tennessee justices let lethal injection ruling stand

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court has decided not to hear an appeal by two death row inmates who claim that changes to the state's lethal injection procedure are unconstitutional.


Middle class share of America's income shrinking

WASHINGTON (AP) — The middle class is receiving less of America's total income, declining to its smallest share in decades as median wages stagnate in the economic doldrums and wealth concentrates at the top.

Rise in US home sales reflects steady improvement

WASHINGTON (AP) — The recovery of the U.S. housing market is looking steadier and more sustainable, a trend that will likely add to economic growth in 2012 for the first time in seven years.

Analysts project $1.1T federal deficit this year

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress' nonpartisan budget analysts are projecting a $1.1 trillion federal deficit for 2012, the fourth straight year the government's shortfall will exceed $1 trillion.

Stocks climb from lows after Fed signals help

NEW YORK (AP) — Investors drew some comfort Wednesday from signals that the Federal Reserve is worried about the slow pace of the U.S. economic recovery feels more urgency about providing help.

Oil prices rise on expectations for economic aid

It was the message the oil market has been hoping to hear.

First lady announcing new hiring push for vets

WASHINGTON (AP) — First lady Michelle Obama is traveling to the electoral battleground of Florida on Wednesday to announce that 2,000 businesses around the country have hired or trained more than 125,000 military veterans and spouses in the past year, exceeding a White House goal of 100,000 by the end of next year.

Chinese solar industry faces weak sales, price war

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese solar panel makers that grew fast over the past decade are suffering big losses due to slumping global sales and a price war that threaten an industry seen by communist leaders as a role model for hopes to transform China into a technology leader.

Volkswagen sales rise 11.9 percent in July

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — German carmaker Volkswagen AG says sales rose 11.9 percent in July as demand in Asia and the United States outweighed slacker sales in crisis-hit western Europe.

Apple labor fixes in China said ahead of schedule

WASHINGTON (AP) — The labor group hired by Apple Inc. to assess working conditions at three manufacturing plants in China said Tuesday that the improvements it recommended in March are being implemented ahead of schedule.


AP-GfK poll shows White House race still tight

WASHINGTON (AP) — For all the attention it got, Republican Mitt Romney's selection of Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate has not altered the race against President Barack Obama. The campaign remains neck and neck with less than three months to go, a new AP-GfK poll shows.

Obama extends federal pay freeze

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama told congressional leaders Tuesday that he is extending a two-year pay freeze for federal employees until at least next spring.


St. Thomas cuts 150 hospital jobs in Nashville

NASHVILLE (AP) - Two hospitals in Nashville are cutting 150 positions to save costs.

Nashville sheriff drops immigration program

NASHVILLE (AP) - Nashville Sheriff Daron Hall said on Tuesday that he will not renew a controversial agreement that allows local deputies to enforce federal immigration law, replacing it with a program in which the fingerprints of detainees are sent electronically to federal agents who can check immigration status.

Tennessee State University faculty leader arrested

NASHVILLE (AP) - A vocal faculty member at Tennessee State University who has opposed university leadership was taken away from a meeting in handcuffs on Monday and removed as the chair of the faculty senate.


CMA Awards nominations to be announced in NYC

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Country Music Association Awards will be bringing a little twang to the big city when nominations are announced next month.

Grammy noms concert special coming to Nashville

NASHVILLE (AP) — This year's Grammy Awards nominations will come with a Southern accent.

Wynonna Judd's husband loses leg after SD crash

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — Wynonna Judd's husband has lost his leg after a motorcycle crash in South Dakota.


S&P touches highest level since 2008, then falls

NEW YORK (AP) — The Standard & Poor's 500 index touched its highest point in more than four years Tuesday, helped by more talk that the European Central Bank may buy struggling countries' bonds. But a morning rally faded, and stocks ended lower.

Oil resumes upward march, hits 3-month high

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil resumed climbing Tuesday, reaching its highest point since early May.

Fifty Shades helps Barnes & Noble in 1Q

NEW YORK (AP) — Barnes & Noble's fiscal first quarter was a tale of modern and traditional. Tech-savvy readers snapped up its e-books and other digital content during the period, while traditionalists headed to its bookstores for the popular "Fifty Shades of Grey" series and other items.

USDA: Corn harvest ahead of schedule

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — One of the worst growing seasons most U.S. farmers can remember is coming to an end with a corn harvest that's at least three weeks early thanks to an unusually warm spring and suffocating summer.

Late auto-loan payments lowest in more than a decade

LOS ANGELES (AP) — More Americans are making their car payments on time, a trend that has sent the rate of overdue auto loans to the lowest level on records dating back more than a decade.

Best Buy 2Q profit drops 90%, misses estimates

NEW YORK (AP) — Best Buy Co. is reporting a 90 percent drop in net income during the second quarter, dragged down by restructuring charges and weak sales. The company also withdrew its earnings guidance for the year.


Jason Aldean readies 'Night Train' for Oct. 16

NASHVILLE (AP) — When Jason Aldean names an album, he looks for a title that fits his life at the moment.

Wynonna Judd postpones shows after husband's crash

HILL CITY, S.D. (AP) — Country singer Wynonna Judd announced Sunday that she is postponing concerts scheduled in Canada next week after her husband was hurt in a motorcycle accident in South Dakota.


GOP panel to hear election challenge in House race

NASHVILLE (AP) - The state Republican Party is setting up a special panel to hear an election challenge in a legislative primary race.

Free hunting day scheduled for Saturday

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has scheduled a free hunting day for Saturday.

Haslam aide: Tennessee not promoting Islamic code

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam's administration is responding to what it calls "confusion" about the role of a Muslim staffer and a council that has advised two state departments on Islamic affairs.


Stocks slip; Apple sets a record

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks slipped Monday in one of the quietest trading sessions of the year. Worries about European debt crept up again, and Apple became the most valuable company of all time.

Apple sets record for company value at $623B

NEW YORK (AP) — Apple is Wall Street's all-time MVP — that's Most Valuable Property.

Summertime blues for drivers: Gas at August record

You may pay more than ever for a late-summer drive.

Facebook stock rebounds after dropping below $19

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook's beleaguered stock got an afternoon boost after hitting its lowest level ever earlier in the day.

Wal-Mart brings back holiday layaway

NEW YORK (AP) — After seeing high customer demand for layaway during last year's winter holiday season, Wal-Mart is expanding the interest-free pay-over-time program for Christmas.

Insurer Aetna to buy Coventry in $5.7 billion deal

Aetna, one of the nation's biggest health insurers, staked a $5.7 billion claim in the burgeoning market for government-funded coverage Monday when it announced plans to buy fellow insurer Coventry Health Care.

Best Buy hires Joly as new CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — Best Buy Co. has tapped Hubert Joly, the former head of global hospitality company Carlson and turnaround expert, as the nation's largest consumer electronics chain's new CEO and president.

American Airlines' flight attendants OK contract

DALLAS (AP) — Flight attendants at American Airlines voted to approve a new contract offer from the airline, which is seeking to cut costs in bankruptcy protection.


Feds checking Nissan Versa air bag problem

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. safety regulators are investigating the Nissan Versa subcompact car because an air bag may fail to inflate in crashes.


Lobbyist compares food stamps with handouts

NASHVILLE (AP) — A lobbyist and former state legislator has likened providing food stamps to feeding animals.

Donor, PAC accused of topping contribution limits

NASHVILLE (AP) - The state board that regulates campaign finance in Tennessee has launched an investigation to determine whether a Middle Tennessee health care investor used a political action committee he funded to skirt the law limiting campaign contributions.

Judge won't void US Senate Democratic primary

NASHVILLE (AP) — A federal judge on Thursday refused to void the Tennessee Democratic primary for U.S. Senate won by an anti-gay candidate the party has disavowed.


Measure of US economy rose 0.4 percent in July

WASHINGTON (AP) — A measure of future U.S. economic activity recovered in July following a sharp drop in June, providing further evidence of an economy that is regaining some momentum.

Stocks up slightly on strong retail results

Stocks resembled summer vacationers on Friday, rising not-too-impressively in the morning and then mostly laying around for the rest of the day.

Oil rises; US considers release from reserves

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil rose to its highest point in three months Friday, topping off four straight days of gains, on signs U.S. consumers are gaining confidence in the economy.

Apple stock hits new high after 4-month dip

NEW YORK (AP) — Apple's stock hit a new high Friday after a four-month swoon, as investors looked ahead to the release of a new iPhone and possibly a smaller iPad.

Facebook falls to half of public offering price

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook's stock fell to $19 for the first time on Friday, meaning it has lost half its market value since the company's initial public offering in May.

Kenny the Clown had Steve Jobs' stolen iPad

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A professional clown who used an iPad pilfered from the home of the late Steve Jobs to play pop songs at a street fair while he made balloon animals said Friday he had no idea his friend had snatched the tablet.

Treasury changes Fannie and Freddie bailout deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government is changing the terms of its bailout agreement with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in a way that will shrink the holdings of the two mortgage giants more quickly and will require payment to the government of all quarterly profits the companies earn.

Trulia files for $75M initial public offering

NEW YORK (AP) — Trulia Inc., which operates the real estate website Trulia.com, on Friday filed for an initial public offering that could raise up to $75 million.

CO2 emissions in US drop to 20-year low

PITTSBURGH (AP) — In a surprising turnaround, the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere in the U.S. has fallen dramatically to its lowest level in 20 years, and government officials say the biggest reason is that cheap and plentiful natural gas has led many power plant operators to switch from dirtier-burning coal.

US rate on 30-year mortgages rises to 3.62 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages ticked up for the third straight week, staying slightly above record lows. Cheap mortgages have helped fuel a modest housing recovery this year.

Justice Dept approves Verizon-cable deals

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department's antitrust division on Thursday approved deals between Verizon Wireless and four of the nation's largest cable companies but applied conditions.

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