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VOL. 35 | NO. 31 | Friday, August 5, 2011

A sales tax deal even Amazon could tolerate

Trade-offs of Tennessee’s old pact with Internet giant fade with new national proposal

Tennessee’s deal with Amazon – three new distribution centers in the state in exchange for not requiring the Internet giant to collect sales tax – might turn out to be a great online bargain after all.

Nashville ranks high in ‘Resilience Capacity’

A recent study confirms what the May 2010 floods taught us: Nashville has a strong capacity to come back from adversity.

60,000-80,000 expected for National Folk Festival

Nashville has no theme park, no beach and no casinos. But it has music. Lots of it.

REALTY CHECK

Sure, you can have an open house, but why?

There is a tradition in the Nashville area wherein sellers open their houses to the public on Sunday afternoons, usually from 2-4 p.m. These open houses present opportunities for the public to personally view these homes without the formality, or commitment, of an official showing with the listing agent or their own broker.

Local Weather
Currently
Nashville, TN
78.0°F
Mostly Cloudy
Wind: from the Southwest at 11.5 gusting to 24.2 mph
Humidity: 58%

EVENTS

The Civil War in Posters: 150 Years Later. Exhibit opens at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film presents an exhibit investigating the sesquicentennial of the War Between the States. The show, at the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery on campus, is collaboration between Watkins Graphic Design students and Hatch Show Print. The exhibit’s opening reception, on Thursday, August 11, from 6 to 8 p.m., is free and open to the public. Exhibit runs through Aug. 23. Currey Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and Sunday, 2-4 p.m. Admission is free. Information: watkins.edu.

more events »

GUERILLA MARKETING

Finding future customer is better target

Finding the best customer may feel like finding the Holy Grail. It’s something we all strive to find, but the traditional methods for identifying those best customers may always not be the most effective.

BUSINESS BOOK REVIEW

Managing what remains of your money

You’ve learned your lesson.

GET A JOB!

Want to live at the beach? Train for job to match locale

Where you want to live should influence the type of career and industry you are considering.

NEWSMAKERS

Ney, Varallo named ‘Celebration’ co-chairs

Paul Ney, Waddey and Patterson, P.C., and Deborah Varallo, Varallo Public Relations, will serve as co-chairs of the 2011 Celebration of Mission to Service to be held on Wednesday, October 26, an event benefiting Catholic Charities of Tennessee, Inc. and St. Mary Villa Child Development Center.

GREEN BUSINESS

Soccer mom scores with healthy vending

While watching one of her sons play soccer one night in Franklin, Christy Sykes’ daughter, Sadie, asked for a snack. Not wanting to leave during the game, she sent her husband to find something from the available machines. He came back with Skittles.

I SWEAR

As I lay dying for a grammar book

One of Richard Lederer’s books is Sleeping Dogs Don’t Lay (and that’s no lie). Subtitled Practical Advice for the Grammatically Challenged, it’s a good book to keep handy.

KAY'S COOKING CORNER

From ancient Greece to the gym bag

The fabled cherry. The poetic color of luscious lips, and just as sweet. Their history started somewhere in the Persia-Armenia region, and in just two varietals from which all cultivated cherries are descended: Prunus avium (sweet) and Prunus cerasus (sour). Today it is estimated that some 900 sweet varieties (ranging in color from yellow to black) and some 300 sour varieties are grown.

STATEWIDE

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."

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.

UT gets $1.3 million for nuke energy research

KNOXVILLE (AP) — The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded the University of Tennessee up to $1.3 million in grants for nuclear energy research and development.

NATIONAL BUSINESS

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.

Unemployment aid applications at 395k, 4-month low

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell last week below 400,000 for the first time in four months, a sign that the job market may be improving slowly after a recent slump.

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.

Oil above $84 amid signs of improving US demand

SINGAPORE (AP) — Oil prices rose above $84 a barrel Thursday in Asia amid signs global crude demand may be stronger in the second half than previously expected.

Demand for corn falls, food prices could level off

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Food prices could level off at the end of the year because farmers are seeing less demand for corn and are expecting a big crop.

No quick exit for eurozone from debt crisis

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Twenty-one months after Greece triggered financial and political turmoil by admitting it was broke, the eurozone still can't fix its debt crisis.

US stock futures fall again after another big drop

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock futures are falling a day after the ninth-worst day ever for the Dow Jones industrial average and the second big daily drop this week.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Debt panel members face conflicting pressures

WASHINGTON (AP) — Before even getting down to work, members of Congress' new debt-reduction supercommittee face pressures to rally behind partisan principles and to find even more savings than planned.

Obama, Bernanke discuss need for deficit reduction

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke met in the Oval Office on Wednesday to discuss the need for long-term deficit reduction and the European financial crisis.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10
STATEWIDE

TVA says Standard & Poor's downgrade no problem

KNOXVILLE (AP) — Standard & Poor's has downgraded the Tennessee Valley Authority's credit rating to AA-plus, but TVA says the downgrade is "not expected to have a material impact."

Cracker Barrel names McCarten as a board member

LEBANON (AP) - Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. has named William W. McCarten as a director, bringing its board to 12 members.

Tenn. July tax collections exceed state estimates

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee tax collections in July exceeded state budget estimates for the 12th straight month.

NATIONAL BUSINESS

Oil prices rise as traders mull demand prospects

Oil prices rose Wednesday as traders weighed the prospects for stronger global demand against the backdrop of sluggish U.S. and European economies.

IEA trims 2011 oil demand forecast

PARIS (AP) — The International Energy Agency has trimmed its forecast for global oil demand this year, saying increased evidence of economic slowdown has raised fears of a double-dip recession.

Stocks soar after Fed pledges low rates into '13

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve offered super-low interest rates for two more years Tuesday — an unprecedented step to arrest an economic free fall that dragged down the stock market. Wall Street roared its approval and finished a wild day with a 429-point gain.

Fed's low rates pledge supports global stocks

LONDON (AP) — A pledge by the Federal Reserve to keep extremely low interest rates for another couple of years has calmed investors' jitters, sending stock markets around the world higher Wednesday.

Macy's 2Q profit surges, boosts yearly outlook

NEW YORK (AP) — Macy's Inc. reported a 64 percent increase in its second-quarter profit as its strategy of tailoring merchandise to local markets is helping to overcome an overall sluggishness in the economy. The department store chain is also boosting its full-year profit outlook.

US stock futures fall after best day since 2009

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock futures are falling in the wake of the market's best day since 2009.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Labor fight at heart of dispute over FAA bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — At the heart of the bitter dispute over funding the Federal Aviation Administration is an ongoing brawl between Republicans and Democrats over the rights of labor unions, one of several that have flared up during the Obama administration.

Comparing the Fed's views on the economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — A comparison of the Federal Reserve's statements from its June 21-22 meeting and the meeting on Tuesday.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 9
STATEWIDE

GOP comptroller knew of Amazon sales tax deal

NASHVILLE (AP) - A high-ranking Republican official kept tabs on the negotiations by the previous Democratic administration that gave online retailer Amazon.com a sales tax exclusion in Tennessee.

Tenn. to make case for keeping top debt rating

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee officials are headed to New York this week to make their case for why the state should keep what Finance Commissioner Mark Emkes calls its "prestigious" debt ratings, even after one of the three major agencies downgraded the federal government's grade.

Tenn. may soon get requested school test waiver

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's request for a waiver to use its own reformed education standards to measure schools instead of those mandated by No Child Left Behind is falling in line with a plan by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

Storm shelters may qualify for state tax break

NASHVILLE (AP) — Storm shelters may qualify for state sales tax savings under recently passed legislation.

NASHVILLE AREA

Nashville sues Forest Hills over city court

NASHVILLE (AP) - Nashville is suing one of its wealthy satellite cities to prevent it from creating its own municipal court.

NATIONAL BUSINESS

Job openings rose in June, though levels are low

WASHINGTON (AP) — Employers posted more job openings in June, a sign that hiring could improve a bit in the coming months.

Fed to keep interest rate near zero for 2 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve sketched a dim outlook for the economy Tuesday, suggesting it will remain weak for two more years. As a result, the Fed said it expects to keep its key interest rate near zero through mid-2013.

Plunge on Wall Street threatens to spook consumers

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's the last thing a nervous consumer and a fragile economy needed: a confidence-killing nosedive on Wall Street.

Oil tumbles below $80 amid US recession fears

PARIS (AP) — Oil prices tumbled to their lowest in almost a year Tuesday in Europe amid a global sell-off of equities and commodities triggered by investor fears the U.S. will soon fall into recession.

Obama to announce fuel standards for big vehicles

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fire trucks and concrete mixers, semis, heavy-duty pickups and all trucks in between will, for the first time, have to trim fuel consumption and emissions of heat-trapping gases under new efficiency standards announced Tuesday by President Barack Obama.

Asia to keep buying US debt despite downgrade

BEIJING (AP) — China and other governments have little choice but to keep buying U.S. Treasury debt to store swelling foreign reserves even after Washington's credit rating was cut by Standard & Poor's.

US workers were less productive in the spring

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. workers were less productive in the spring for the second quarter in a row, a trend that may not bode well for future hiring.

NATIONAL POLITICS

After nearly 200 years, House page program ending

WASHINGTON (AP) — After nearly 200 years, the House is killing the messengers.

Justice Dept. accuses college of breaking law

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration and four states are accusing a private, for-profit college of illegally paying recruiters to enroll students in an $11 billion fraud, the latest action in a long-running examination of the industry's recruitment techniques and an allegation the company called "flat-out wrong."

MONDAY, AUGUST 8
STATEWIDE

Scores slightly higher in non-bargaining districts

NASHVILLE (AP) — An Associated Press analysis of student testing data shows Tennessee school systems without teachers' collective bargaining rights performed slightly better than those with negotiated contracts, but posted weaker gains.

Driver's license offices seek to cut wait times

NASHVILLE (AP) - A new requirement that Tennessee voters must have photo identification is putting more pressure on driver's license examining stations to cut wait times.

Consumer Affairs warns of employment service scams

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's Division of Consumer Affairs is warning job seekers to be wary of employment service firms that charge a fee to help clients find a job.

Pinnacle begins moving into new Memphis offices

MEMPHIS (AP) — Pinnacle Airlines Corp. this week begins moving into its new headquarters in downtown Memphis.

NATIONAL BUSINESS

Dow plunges more than 600 points after downgrade

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks plunged Monday as anxiety overtook investors on the first trading day since Standard & Poor's downgraded American debt.

Oil down over 6 pct after US credit downgrade

Oil plunged to its lowest price of the year Monday on concerns about the slowing global economy and future demand for oil and gas.

US markets fall sharply after S&P downgrade

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. stock market joined a sell-off around the world Monday in the first trading since Standard & Poor's downgraded American debt and gave investors another reason to be anxious.

S&P downgrades Fannie and Freddie, US-backed debt

WASHINGTON (AP) — Standard & Poor's Ratings Services on Monday downgraded the credit ratings of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and other agencies linked to long-term U.S. debt.

Gold price tops $1,700 as investors seek refuge

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of gold streaked past $1,700 an ounce for the first time Monday. Anxious investors sought safety in the metal as stocks tumbled around the world after the U.S. lost its AAA credit rating.

Questions and answers about the market's turmoil

NEW YORK (AP) — Global stock markets tumbled Monday on the first trading day since Standard & Poor's downgraded long-term U.S. debt. The plunge came as investors grew anxious over a weakening U.S. economy and a widening debt crisis in Europe.

AIG sues Bank of America for $10B over mortgages

NEW YORK (AP) — Insurer AIG wants more than $10 billion from Bank of America, saying the bank cheated it by selling it overvalued mortgage-backed securities.

S&P's Beers: No 2nd thoughts on US downgrade

NEW YORK (AP) — A managing director at Standard & Poor's said Monday that he has absolutely no second thoughts about the credit ratings agency's decision to cut the U.S. debt rating.

Tyson 3Q profit falls but beats expectations

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (AP) — Tyson Foods is reporting a 21 percent drop in earnings for its third quarter, but the results beat expectations on higher pork profits.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Congress has a shot at passing jobs-creating bills

WASHINGTON (AP) — When Congress gets back to work after Labor Day it will have the chance to achieve something that has largely eluded it for the entire year, passing legislation that might actually create jobs.

Geithner: S&P showed terrible judgment

WASHINGTON (AP) — The credit rating agency Standard & Poor's showed "terrible judgment" in lowering the U.S. government's credit rating, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Sunday.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 5
NASHVILLE AREA

Voters make it tougher to develop TN fairgrounds

NASHVILLE (AP) — Voters by a healthy margin on Thursday made it tougher for Nashville officials to make changes to the century-old Tennessee State Fairgrounds.

Memo: Booster clubs paid Rutherford Co. coaches

MURFREESBORO (AP) - Rutherford County Schools is reporting violations of state athletics rules by five of its high schools after principals found their booster clubs paid supplements to football coaches over the last three years.

Downtown power outage due to crew hitting cable

NASHVILLE (AP) — A spokeswoman for the Nashville Electric Service said Thursday that power outages to about 20 downtown buildings — including the state Capitol — are the result of a work crew accidentally cutting underground cables.

J Alexander's 2Q net income more than doubles

NASHVILLE (AP) - J. Alexander's Corp.'s fiscal second-quarter net income more than doubled, benefiting from price increases and more guests at its restaurants.

Emdeon to be taken private by Blackstone for $2.2B

NEW YORK (AP) — Health care payment technology company Emdeon Inc. has agreed to be taken private by The Blackstone Group for about $2.2 billion.

STATEWIDE

Tennesseans like sales tax holiday yet use it less

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennesseans taking advantage of the state's sixth annual sales tax holiday this weekend say it provides needed relief in a tough economy, but state figures show that shoppers aren't using it as much as they first did.

NATIONAL BUSINESS

Oil near $85 as outlook for crude demand dims

SINGAPORE (AP) — Oil prices extended sharp losses, falling to near $85 a barrel Friday in Asia amid expectations a slowing global economy will weaken demand for crude.

Global stocks tumble amid recession fears

BRUSSELS (AP) — Stocks around the world tumbled Friday ahead of crucial U.S. jobs figures, continuing a losing streak reminiscent of the aftermath of the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers in 2008.

July jobs data could heighten Wall Street jitters

WASHINGTON (AP) — Investors seeking reason for optimism after the worst stock-market sell-off since the 2008 financial crisis probably won't find it in Friday's July jobs report.

Fannie Mae 2Q loss widens, seeks to modify loans

WASHINGTON (AP) — Government-controlled mortgage company Fannie Mae says its second-quarter loss attributable to shareholders widened as it continues to seek out loan modifications to help lower defaults amid the ongoing difficulties in the housing and mortgage markets.

Retailers report solid sales gains for July

NEW YORK (AP) — The back-to-school season got off to a strong start as discounts and high temperatures in July drove shoppers to air-conditioned malls. But merchants worry that momentum won't continue through the remainder of the second-biggest shopping period of the year as the weather gets cold and the deals dry up.

Dow falls 512 in steepest decline since '08 crisis

NEW YORK (AP) — Gripped by fear of another recession, the financial markets suffered their worst day Thursday since the crisis of 2008. The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 500 points, its ninth-steepest decline ever.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Obama praises deal to halt aviation shutdown

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is praising a bipartisan deal that will end the partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration and get thousands of workers back on the job.

Senate to take up bill to end partial FAA shutdown

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is poised to pass legislation ending a two-week partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration that has cost the government about $400 million in uncollected airline ticket taxes and idled thousands of workers.

Dems warn long-term jobless could derail recovery

WASHINGTON (AP) — Unemployment remains stubbornly high at just over 9 percent, but it's the alarming number of long-term jobless that is causing fresh concern for Democratic lawmakers.

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