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VOL. 38 | NO. 37 | Friday, September 12, 2014

Coverage gap leaves Tennessee hospitals on life support

Closings leave rural areas with little health care, increased unemployment

Four rural hospitals have closed and dozens are at risk of shuttering: That’s the fallout, some say, from Gov. Bill Haslam’s decision not to join the Affordable Care Act in 2013 and tap into millions in promised federal funds for Tennessee’s financially-strapped health care institutions.

Unintended consequences: ER visits increase

Hospital officials have been pushing for the state to expand Medicaid health care coverage for thousands of Tennessee’s poorest citizens, despite two significant and related concerns:


Asking for moon might leave you grounded

There were 3,226 closings in August, Greater Nashville Association of Realtors numbers show, up 4.6 percent from last August. It could have increased 24.6 percent if there were more listings.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Wind: from the Southwest at 10.4 gusting to 17.3 mph
Humidity: 33%


People’s Law School. Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands is hosting a free program that provides an overview of common civil legal issues that a person might face. Taught by Legal Aid Society attorneys and volunteer attorneys. 6 to 7 p.m., Cohn Learning Center, 4805 Park Avenue. Registration: 298-8050, nashville.gov/ce. This session: The New Healthcare Law: Know the Latest Facts: What you need to know about the Affordable Care Act.

more events »


‘Swamp Rat’ still thinks Vols had game-winning kick vs. Oklahoma in ’68 Orange Bowl

KNOXVILLE – University of Tennessee quarterback Dewey “Swamp Rat” Warren stood on the field during a timeout with a few seconds left in the Jan. 1, 1968 Orange Bowl.

Young Vols face long odds at Oklahoma

Two games into the 2014 season, and it’s time for the University of Tennessee to play some big-boy football.


Titans are buying what new coaching staff is selling

The Tennessee Titans did what few believed they could do when they went into Kansas City and dominated the Chiefs on Sunday.


Capella Healthcare hires 2 to leadership posts

Capella Healthcare has announced the appointment of Troy E. Sybert, MD, MPH, as executive vice president and chief medical officer.


Avoiding the dangers of a growing business

Your start-up days are long behind you.


Close the deal with successful follow-up meeting

Considering how hard salespeople have to work to land meetings with a prospective customers, it’s surprising how little effort is typically put into the follow-up with that prospect after the meeting.


The best education comes from traveling

The following message might not be for proponents of formal classroom education.


Grads shouldn’t settle for lower-level jobs

When I talk with millennials who have recently graduated from college, one thing is clear: They’re struggling to figure out what exactly to do next.


Woeful period for US markets

September 8, 2014, S&P 2000 = 11 + 4 percent + 11 percent + 1.5 percent + 2.5 percent. The last five years have been consistently wonderful for the U.S. markets. Over the time period, the S&P 500 has advanced more than 17 percent annually. Only four bull markets (advances uninterrupted by a 20 percent decline) have lasted longer and returned more. What has this bull been eating?


Go back and turn on those Friday Night Lights

A football spirals in slow motion across the Texas sky. The state championship hangs in the balance. Spoiler alert: If you’ve not watched “Friday Night Lights,” go watch it – all 76 episodes – and then return.


You say Timballo, I say Timbale

I don’t profess to be a great Italian cook for a good reason – I’m not Italian. However, you don’t necessarily have to be Italian to whip up some great tasting dishes that can really fool your diners into thinking you’re one excellent Italian cook.


Jason Isbell cleans up at Americana Awards

NASHVILLE (AP) — Singer-songwriter Jason Isbell swept the major awards Wednesday night at the Americana Honors & Awards, creating another special moment with his wife, Amanda Shires.


New chief justices echoes Haslam mantra on review

NASHVILLE  (AP) — First, the state Supreme Court hired Gov. Bill Haslam's top legal adviser as Tennessee's next attorney general. Now the high court's new chief justice is also adopting the Republican governor's rhetoric.


MTSU retooling financial aid to boost graduation

MURFREESBORO (AP) — Middle Tennessee State University is changing its financial aid package to encourage students to graduate in four years.


Alexander, Ball to appear at Tennessee candidate forum

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander and challenger Gordon Ball plan to appear at a candidate forum hosted by the Farm Bureau in October.


Health law enrollment now 7.3M

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration says 7.3 million people have signed up for subsidized private health insurance under the health care law — down from 8 million reported earlier this year.


Stock gains lift US household wealth to a record

WASHINGTON (AP) — Strong stock market gains and higher home prices boosted Americans' net worth in the April-June period to a record high, a trend that could encourage more spending.

Stocks creep higher on encouraging news

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. stock market headed higher Thursday as investors received more encouraging news on the economy. The slight gains come a day after the Federal Reserve signaled that it's in no rush to raise interest rates.

Volatile apartment sector reduces US home building

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home construction plunged in August, led by steep decline in the volatile apartment category. But single-family house construction, a larger and more stable portion of the market, fell only modestly.

Average US 30-year mortgage rate at 4.23 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates surged this week, marking their largest one-week gain this year.

Yellen says US families need to boost savings

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Great Recession showed that a large number of American families are "extraordinarily vulnerable" to financial setbacks because they have few assets to fall back on, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Thursday

Applications for US jobless benefits fall sharply

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people applying for U.S. unemployment benefits dropped by a sharp 36,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 280,000, a sign that the job market is strengthening.

Fed keeps rates low, but brace for the inevitable

WASHINGTON (AP) — Record-low interest rates will be around for at least a few more months, the Federal Reserve made clear Wednesday.

US to train veterans to install solar panels

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. will train at least 50,000 veterans to become solar panel installers in the next six years, the White House said Thursday.

News Corp opposes Google in EU antitrust case

BRUSSELS (AP) — The media conglomerate controlled by Rupert Murdoch is joining the fray in Google's protracted European antitrust case, saying the technology company unfairly distorts competition.


Family Dollar tells investors to reject takeover

MATTHEWS, N.C. (AP) — Family Dollar has told shareholders to reject an unsolicited, $9.1 billion takeover bid from its rival, Dollar General.


Sen. Summerville charged with public intoxication

NASHVILLE (AP) - Outgoing state Sen. Jim Summerville, whose behavior has often drawn the ire of his Republican colleagues, has been charged with public intoxication.

Haslam announces workforce grant competition

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam has announced a new statewide initiative to help residents get more education and training for jobs that are available in their communities.

FedEx tops Street 1Q forecasts

MEMPHIS (AP) — FedEx's fiscal first-quarter net income rose 24 percent, thanks partly to a strong performance by its ground division.


Fed increases estimate for key rate at end of 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve policymakers have slightly increased their estimate of what the Fed's benchmark interest rate should be at the end of 2015 compared with their estimate three months ago.

Dow closes at record after Fed keeps rates intact

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market rose Wednesday after the Federal Reserve told investors to expect low interest rates for a while yet, pushing the Dow Jones industrial average to a record high.

US homebuilder confidence soars in September

U.S. homebuilders' confidence in the market for new, single-family homes surged this month to the highest level in nearly nine years.

US consumer prices fall 0.2 percent in August

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer prices edged down in August, the first monthly drop since the spring of 2013, as gasoline, airline tickets and clothing prices all fell. It was the latest evidence that inflation remains under control.

Sony forecasts $2B loss as smartphones lag

TOKYO (AP) — Sony expects its annual loss to swell to $2 billion and has canceled dividends for the first time in more than half a century after writing down the value of its troubled smartphone business.


Citizen Action hires back former director Mancini

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Citizen Action has hired back its former executive director Mary Mancini to run a new get-out-the-vote effort.


Senate Speaker Ramsey spins wins out of defeats

NASHVILLE (AP) - State Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey has a way of turning spectacular failures into soaring victories.

Tennessee gets grant to ID worker misclassification

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee has received a $499,000 federal grant for efforts to stop worker misclassification.


'Minecraft' could boost Microsoft's mobile reach

NEW YORK (AP) — Microsoft's decision to spend $2.5 billion for the creator of the hit game "Minecraft" could help the Xbox maker grab attention on mobile phones, a new priority for the company.


House panel: Safety agency mishandled GM recall

WASHINGTON (AP) — The agency responsible for safety on the nation's roads was years late in detecting a deadly problem with General Motors cars and lacks the expertise to oversee increasingly complex vehicles, congressional Republicans charged in a report Tuesday.

Self-driving cars now need a permit in California

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Computer-driven cars have been testing their skills on California roads for more than four years — but until now, the Department of Motor Vehicles wasn't sure just how many were rolling around.


Blacks, Hispanics have doubts about media accuracy

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new study shows a large majority of African-American and Hispanic news consumers don't fully trust the media to portray their communities accurately, a statistic that could be troubling for the news industry as the minority population of the United States grows.

US CEOs less optimistic about hiring, spending

WASHINGTON (AP) — Optimism among chief executives at the largest U.S. companies fell in the July-September quarter after reaching a two-year high in the previous quarter.

Stocks end higher as investors await news from Fed

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market rose Tuesday as investors waited to find out when the Federal Reserve might raise interest rates.

US producer prices unchanged in August

WASHINGTON (AP) — A measure of prices that producers receive for their goods and services was unchanged in August, the latest sign that inflation is in check.

UPS expects to hire up to 95,000 seasonal workers

ATLANTA (AP) — UPS plans to hire up to 95,000 seasonal workers to help with package deliveries during the busy holiday season.

Alibaba investors beware: History not on your side

WASHINGTON (AP) — Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is about to launch what may prove the biggest initial public stock offering ever. Yet anyone who expects to get rich from buying into China's high-growth story will be betting against history.

Another Atlantic City bust: Trump Plaza closes

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino closed its doors early Tuesday, the fourth Atlantic City casino to go belly-up so far this year.


Panel hears discussion on criminal justice reform

NASHVILLE (AP) - Attorneys and law enforcement officials speaking before a legislative panel examining criminal justice reform in Tennessee say the state's sentencing laws need to be reviewed.

Tennessee Supreme Court names Slatery as attorney general

NASHVILLE (AP) - The state Supreme Court on Monday named Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's top legal adviser, Herbert Slatery, as Tennessee's next attorney general.


Nonprofit files lawsuit notice for Kingsport plant

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Tennessee Clean Water Network says it is prepared to sue a Kingsport ammunition plant over its continued pollution of local drinking water.

Tennessee voters to decide ban on income tax

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennesseans are just weeks away from voting on a constitutional amendment to bar lawmakers from ever imposing a state income tax. The November vote approaches as a new study from ratings agency Standard & Poor's suggests that rising income inequality has a stronger negative effect on the states most reliant on sales tax revenues compared with those with those more dependent on income taxes.

Third parties still fighting for ballot access

NASHVILLE (AP) — Four years after the Libertarian Party of Tennessee filed its first lawsuit to get on the ballot, the group is still fighting for access in a state that has some of the most restrictive rules in the country for smaller political parties.


Hurdles for Obama health law in 2nd sign-up season

WASHINGTON (AP) — Potential complications await consumers as President Barack Obama's health care law approaches its second open enrollment season, just two months away.


Apple: Record 4M orders of iPhones on 1st day

NEW YORK (AP) — Apple had more than 4 million advance orders of its new, larger iPhones in the first 24 hours, exceeding its initial supply, the company said Monday.

Microsoft to buy Minecraft maker for $2.5 billion

NEW YORK (AP) — Microsoft will acquire the maker of the long-running hit game Minecraft for $2.5 billion.


GM expert says 19 deaths eligible for compensation

DETROIT (AP) — The death toll tied to faulty ignition switches in General Motors small cars has risen to 19, according to a compensation expert hired by the company. The number is likely to go higher.


Once-troubled reverse mortgages poised for rebound

WASHINGTON (AP) — Advertised as a path to an affordable retirement, federally insured reverse mortgages are showing signs of a rebound, drawing the scrutiny of regulators seeking to reduce historically high default rates that have cost the government billions.

Speculation swirls over Fed language on rate hike

WASHINGTON (AP) — When the Federal Reserve issues a policy statement after it meets this week, the financial world will be on high alert for two words:

Stocks mixed ahead of Fed; small companies slump

NEW YORK (AP) — Investors played it safe on Monday ahead of a potentially pivotal Federal Reserve meeting. While large company stocks ended the day little changed, smaller, riskier stocks slumped.

US factory output drops 0.4 percent in August

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. manufacturing output declined in August for the first time in seven months, reflecting a sharp fall in production at auto plants.

US wealth gap putting the squeeze on state revenue

WASHINGTON (AP) — Income inequality is taking a toll on state governments.


I-65 to be shut in Middle Tennessee next weekend

NASHVILLE (AP) - A portion of Interstate 65 in Middle Tennessee will be closed in both directions next weekend to remove a bridge that was damaged when a truck carrying gasoline hit a vertical support.


State treasurer announces college saving incentive

SMYRNA (AP) - State Treasurer David Lillard Jr. is offering an incentive for families to start saving for college.

Open records counsel leaving for new job

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Open Records Counsel Elisha Hodge is leaving her post to become a legal consultant.

Senate speaker lauds 3 Republican AG candidates

NASHVILLE (AP) - Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey on Thursday voiced support for Republican state attorney general candidates, while refusing to divulge how much he spent on trying to oust members of the Supreme Court who will decide the next AG.

Man pleads not guilty in tainted steroid case

BOSTON (AP) — A pharmacist who worked for a Massachusetts company blamed for a nationwide meningitis outbreak that killed 64 people pleaded not guilty to a mail fraud charge Thursday as his lawyer said he is concerned he could be made a scapegoat.


Nevada governor enacts Tesla tax break package

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Calling it one of the most important pieces of legislation in Nevada history, Gov. Brian Sandoval signed into law an unprecedented package of incentives to seal a deal to bring Tesla Motors' $5 billion battery factory to the Silver State.

Toyota recalls Tundra pickups to fix air bag problem

DETROIT (AP) — Toyota is recalling about 140,000 Tundra full-size pickup trucks because a plastic trim piece can interfere with the side air bags.


US threatened Yahoo with huge fine over emails

WASHINGTON (AP) — Yahoo's free email service could have cost the company an extra quarter of a million dollars a day.


Stocks decline amid interest rate worries

NEW YORK (AP) — The prospect of rising interest rates sent the stock market to its first weekly loss since early August.

US business stockpiles up 0.4 percent in July

WASHINGTON (AP) — Stockpiles held by U.S. businesses rose by a moderate amount in July while sales increased at the fastest pace in three months.

US retail sales rise in August on auto sales

WASHINGTON (AP) — Auto buying drove U.S. retail sales higher in August, a possible sign that job growth in recent months has led to accelerated consumer spending.

US budget deficit dips to $128.7 billion in August

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government ran a lower budget deficit this August than a year ago, remaining on track to record the lowest deficit for the entire year since 2008.

4 Reasons shoppers will shrug off Home Depot hack

NEW YORK (AP) — Home Depot's data breach could wind up being among the largest ever for a retailer, but that may not matter to its millions of customers.

Average US 30-year mortgage rate at 4.12 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose slightly this week but remained near their lows for the year.

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