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VOL. 38 | NO. 1 | Friday, January 03, 2014
EMPHASIS ISSUE: HEALTH & WELLNESS

Middle Tennessee auto parts supplier Calsonic Kansei offers a blueprint for worker wellness, cost containment

With health care dominating the national conversation in 2013, it would be easy to view cost reform as a top-down proposition mandated by the federal government and forced on a reluctant market.

Sumner Co. man goes from 426 lbs. to fitness business owner, role model

Three years ago, Richard Neal weighed 426 pounds. His doctors told him he might not make it to age 30 – or have children.

That diet you just started knows nothing about you

It’s the most wonderful season of all – for the diet and fitness industry.

Weigh in line: January is the cruelest month for waiting around on gym newbies

Thinking about weight loss or an exercise plan? If not, just click on the TV or flip through a magazine.

Local Weather
Today
Nashville, TN
39°F
Mostly Cloudy
Wind: 8 mph
Humidity: 67%

EVENTS

Chamber North Quarterly Meeting. Chamber North is hosting a series of quarterly meetings specifically for North Nashville businesses to discuss growth and activities, including public safety and traffic/transportation. Chamber North serves Chamber members in the 37207, 37208, 37189, 37218 and 37228 zip codes, including MetroCenter, Jefferson Street/Germantown, Trinity Lane, Dickerson Road, Whites Creek, Briley Parkway and Bordeaux. Thursday at Fisk University, Jubilee Hall, Appleton Room, 1000 17th Avenue, Nashville. Information: nashvillechamber.com, 743-3063.

more events »

Gym etiquette for dummies

Don’t be the person holding up the line for the butterfly machine while you’re sitting on it adjusting your iPod. More gym tips from “Weight Training for Dummies:”

White House plans health care blitz in Tennessee

CHATTANOOGA (AP) – Tennessee residents can expect to hear a lot more about the federal health care law from the White House in the coming weeks.

REALTY CHECK

Fair Housing Act not to be taken lightly

Most of those who were unaware of Phil Robertson are aware of him now that the “Duck Dynasty” star has worked his way into every news outlet on the planet.

TENNESSEE TITANS

Titans GM looking for 'right' fit in next coach

NASHVILLE (AP) — Ruston Webster is in charge of his first coaching search in the NFL and only the Titans' second since moving to Tennessee, and the general manager says his goal is finding the man who is the right fit for the franchise.

TERRY McCORMICK

Players sold on Munchak; how about ticket buyers?

And so the wheels begin to spin for the Tennessee Titans.

NEWSMAKERS

Five attorneys join Baker Donelson

Baker Donelson has announced the addition of five new associates to its Nashville office: Austin L. Fleishour, TaCara D. Harris, Henry E. Hildebrand, Michaela D. Poizner and Taylor K. Wirth.

BUSINESS BOOK REVIEW

Your ‘gut feeling’ might be letting you down

The new hire came highly recommended.

GUERRILLA MARKETING

2014's game-changing sales trends

With the rapid technological advancements that have accompanied the Information Age, the “selling process” has been shifting toward more of a “buying process” for years, as most buyers engage in significant online research prior to ever engaging a sales rep.

THE WORLDLY INVESTOR

Helicopter Fed: Something for all

Ben Bernanke announced a tapering of the Federal Reserve’s asset purchase program from $85 billion to $75 billion at his final Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting on December 18, and contrary to pundit fears, the Dow Jones Industrial Average threw him a going away celebration by rallying to new highs. What he said:

KAY'S COOKING CORNER

A hoppin-good way to start the new year

First observed in ancient Babylon about 4,000 years ago, the celebration of New Year’s Day is the oldest of all holidays. In the years around 2,000 B.C., the Babylonian New Year originally began with the first New Moon after the Vernal Equinox, or first day of spring.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Ford board raises quarterly dividend 25 percent

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford is raising the quarterly dividend it pays shareholders for the second time since restoring the payout in 2012.

China's auto sales rise 15.7 percent in 2013

BEIJING (AP) — China's auto sales rose 15.7 percent last year to 17.9 million vehicles, boosted by strong demand in December, an industry group reported Thursday.

HEALTH CARE

Some find health insurers have no record of them

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Record-keeping snags could complicate the start of insurance coverage this month as millions of people begin using policies they purchased under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

NATIONAL BUSINESS

Retailers of all stripes sing holiday blues

NEW YORK (AP) — Several major retailers slashed their fiscal fourth-quarter profit forecasts this week in the latest sign that Americans didn't spend briskly during the holiday shopping season.

Weekly US unemployment benefit claims drop to 330K

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell 15,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 330,000, signaling fewer layoffs and steady job growth.

French Senate stands up to Amazon in bid to help independent booksellers

PARIS (AP) — If the French Senate gets its way, online retail giant Amazon and its online peers won't be able to offer free book deliveries anymore.

US stocks drift for a second day; Retailers sink

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks wavered in early afternoon trading Thursday as traders reacted to disappointing news out of the retail industry. If the Standard & Poor's 500 index ends the day down it would be its fifth decline of the six trading days so far in 2014.

Crude oil nears $93 as US cold snap continues

The price of oil approached $93 a barrel Thursday, rising slightly as expectations of greater use of heating oil during extreme cold weather in North America offset signs of weak demand for gasoline.

Average US rate on 30-year loan at 4.51 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates for fixed mortgages barely changed this week, hovering near historically low levels.

Food industry cuts calories four-fold over pledge

WASHINGTON (AP) — Some of the nation's largest food companies have cut daily calorie counts by an average of 78 per person, a new study says, more than four times the amount the industry pledged to slash by next year.

NATIONAL POLITICS

GOP seeks jobless bill changes to offset the cost

WASHINGTON (AP) — One day after clearing a key Senate hurdle, legislation to renew long-term jobless benefits stood at a crossroads on Wednesday with gridlock beckoning from one direction and the prospect of compromise from the other.


WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 8
NASHVILLE AREA

Health Management holders approve sale to Franklin-based CHS

FRANKLIN (AP) - Health Management Associates Inc. shareholders have approved the company's sale to competitor Community Health Systems, which is based in Franklin.

STATEWIDE

At least 11 flu deaths reported in Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) - Health officials in Tennessee are urging more people to get vaccinations for the flu after at least 11 people have died from complications of the virus so far this season.

NATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks mostly lower after Fed releases minutes

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are mostly lower as investors pick over minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting and look ahead to the beginning of corporate earnings reports.

Oil drops 1 percent on rise in gasoline supply

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil fell more than 1 percent Wednesday after government data showed that demand for gasoline fell last week to the lowest level in a year.

Fed reduced bond buys after seeing big job gains

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve agreed last month to modestly reduce its bond purchases because of improvements in the job market that many Fed members felt would be sustained.

US consumer borrowing up $12.3 billion in November

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans increased their borrowing in November, led by continued gains in auto and student loans.

Holiday sales up, but fewer people in stores

NEW YORK (AP) — Window shopping is taking on a new meaning for many Americans.

Survey: US companies add 238K jobs, most in year

WASHINGTON (AP) — A private survey shows U.S. businesses added the most jobs in a year in December, powered by a big gain in construction. The figures are the latest evidence that the economy gained momentum at the end of 2013.

Your next TV: Will it be Ultra HD?

LAS VEGAS (AP) — After attempts to hawk 3-D and OLED TVs fizzled in recent years, television manufacturers are taking small steps toward making a new technology, Ultra HD, more viable for mainstream consumers.

Madoff-related fraud to cost JPMorgan $2.5 billion

NEW YORK (AP) — For more than 15 years, there were signs something was amiss with what federal prosecutors in Manhattan call the "703 account" at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Benefits debate is first volley of election year

WASHINGTON (AP) — The struggle in Washington over whether to renew expired jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed is as much about providing aid to 1.3 million out-of-work Americans as it is about drawing the first political line of an election year.

Unemployment aid: What's at stake for US economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than a million Americans lost their unemployment benefits late last month, when a temporary federal program expired. Congress is debating whether to restore the aid for three more months.


TUESDAY, JANUARY 7
STATE LEGISLATURE

GOP's Bailey appointed to fill Tennessee House seat

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican businessman and farmer Paul Bailey has been appointed by the White County Commission to succeed Democratic state Rep. Charles Curtiss in the General Assembly.

COURTS

Panel sets deadline for chancery court applicants

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Governor's Commission for Judicial Appointments has set a Jan. 17 deadline for applications to fill a chancery court vacancy in the 24th Judicial District covering Benton, Carroll, Decatur, Hardin and Henry counties.

NATIONAL BUSINESS

US stocks rally, breaking a three-day slump

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks rallied Tuesday, ending a slump that had ushered in the New Year.

Gartner: PC, mobile shipments to hit 2.5B in 2014

NEW YORK (AP) — Research firm Gartner expects worldwide shipments of computers and mobile devices to reach 2.5 billion units this year, up nearly 8 percent from 2013.

US home prices tick up 0.1 percent in November

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices barely rose in November from the previous month and year-over-year gains slowed, reflecting declines in sales in the fall.

US trade deficit declines to $34.3B billion

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit fell in November to its lowest level in four years, an encouraging sign for economic growth. Gains in energy production and stronger sales of American-made airplanes, autos and machinery lifted exports to an all-time high.

JPMorgan to pay over $2.5 billion in Madoff fraud

NEW YORK (AP) — JPMorgan Chase & Co., already beset by costly legal woes, will pay over $2.5 billion for ignoring obvious warning signs of Bernard Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme, authorities said Tuesday.

Yellen faces challenges as Fed trims bond buys

WASHINGTON (AP) — Janet Yellen will take the helm of a Federal Reserve facing a significantly different economic landscape than the one that dominated Ben Bernanke's tenure as chairman, confronting her with different decisions as well.

Oil prices boosted by US cold snap

The price of oil rose to near $94 a barrel Tuesday as unusually cold weather in the U.S. was expected to fuel demand in the world's largest market for energy.

NATIONAL POLITICS

New prospects in 2014 for an immigration overhaul

WASHINGTON (AP) — His agenda tattered by last year's confrontations and missteps, President Barack Obama begins 2014 clinging to the hope of winning a lasting legislative achievement: an overhaul of immigration laws.

Unemployment benefits bill clears hurdle

WASHINGTON (AP) — White House-backed legislation to renew benefits for the long-term unemployed unexpectedly cleared an initial Senate hurdle on Tuesday, clearing the way for bipartisan negotiations in the opening days of an election-year session of Congress.

Lawmakers put finishing touches on spending bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Funding for implementing the new health care law and other sticking points remain, but negotiators reported significant progress Tuesday on a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September.


MONDAY, JANUARY 6
STATEWIDE

Cold weather hits across Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) - Frozen roads and chilled citizens were big concerns for Tennessee officials as arctic air blew through the state over the weekend.

Traffic deaths in Tennessee down in 2013 to 988

NASHVILLE (AP) — Preliminary figures from the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security show the state had 988 traffic fatalities in 2013. That's only the fourth time in 50 years the number has dipped under 1,000.

REGION

TVA preps for electric spike amid cold weather

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Tennessee Valley Authority says it is preparing for heavy electric demand because of the arctic weather blowing into the state.

HEALTH CARE

Roberts refuses to grant Obamacare emergency stay

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has refused a group of doctors' request to block implementation of the nation's new health care law.

US marks 4 straight years of slowing health costs

WASHINGTON (AP) — Even as his health care law divided the nation, President Barack Obama's first term produced historically low growth in health costs, government experts said in a new report Monday.

AUTO INDUSTRY

GM to outfit Chevy vehicles with 4G from AT&T

LAS VEGAS (AP) — GM says it will start outfitting most Chevrolet vehicles with 4G cellular capabilities in partnership with AT&T. The technology will let drivers make phone calls and allow passengers to surf the Web without burning through the voice and data limits on their phone plans.

Corvette will let owners record, share drives

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette will have a new system that lets owners record their drives and share the video with friends.

NATIONAL BUSINESS

A weak start to 2014 continues for stock market

NEW YORK (AP) — The Standard & Poor's 500 index notched its worst start to a year in almost a decade Monday, closing lower for the third straight trading day.

Crude oil price dips slightly

The price of oil slipped again Monday following a weeklong plunge.

US factory orders up on planes, business spending

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factories orders climbed in November, led by a surge in aircraft demand. And businesses stepped up spending on machinery, computers and other long-lasting goods, a sign of investment that could fuel economic growth.

US services index slips on sharp fall in orders

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. service companies expanded at a steady but slightly slower pace in December as sales dipped and new orders plunged to a four-year low. The report suggests economic growth may remain modest in the coming months.

T-Mobile to buy spectrum licenses from Verizon

BELLEVUE, Wash. (AP) — T-Mobile has reached deals to buy spectrum licenses from Verizon Wireless for $2.37 billion in cash.

Men's Wearhouse boosts bid for Jos. A. Bank

FREMONT, Calif. (AP) — Men's Wearhouse is raising its offer for Jos. A. Bank Clothiers to about $1.61 billion and taking the bid directly to its rival's shareholders. It also plans to nominate two people to the Jos. A. Bank board.

Wave of wearable gadgets expected at CES event

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Will 2014 be remembered as the year wearable computing took off?

NATIONAL POLITICS

Senate ready to OK Yellen to lead Federal Reserve

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate appeared ready Monday to confirm Janet Yellen as the first woman to lead the Federal Reserve, elevating an advocate of fighting unemployment and a backer of the central bank's efforts to spur the economy with low interest rates and massive bond purchases.

Obama eyes modest momentum on Capitol Hill in 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama gets back to work this week eager to test whether a modest budget deal passed in the waning days of 2013 can spark bipartisan momentum on Capitol Hill. As he opens his sixth year in office, he also faces legacy-defining decisions on the future of government surveillance programs and the American-led war in Afghanistan.

Fed chair, unemployment on tap as Congress returns

WASHINGTON (AP) — Back to work on Monday, Congress faces a hefty list of unfinished business and a politically driven agenda in an election year that will determine control of the House and Senate.


FRIDAY, JANUARY 3
STATE LEGISLATURE

Tennessee Rep. Charles Curtiss resigns seat

NASHVILLE (AP) - Democratic State Rep. Charles Curtiss has stepped down after serving as a Tennessee lawmaker for 19 years.

STATEWIDE

Sara Kyle says she won't run for governor

NASHVILLE (AP) - After exploring a potential run for governor, Memphis Democrat Sara Kyle has announced that she won't make a bid for the office.

Haslam warns of spending cuts as budget grows

NASHVILLE (AP) - Another state spending plan, another set of dire predictions of budget cuts.

COURTS

Court reinstates antitrust suit against Dean Foods

NASHVILLE (AP) - A federal appeals court has reinstated a lawsuit that claims Dean Foods conspired with another milk processor and a dairy cooperative to reduce competition in the milk industry.

AUTO INDUSTRY

2013 auto sales best in 6 years; Nissan up 9.4 pct.

DETROIT (AP) — December U.S. auto sales slowed a bit from the brisk pace earlier this year, but automakers still were on target to finish 2013 with the best numbers in six years.

Chrysler sales up 6 pct. as 2013 finishes strong

DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler finished 2013 with a 9 percent sales increase, posting its best annual numbers in six years as the auto industry's recovery hit full stride.

HEALTH CARE

Skimpy health law plans leave some 'underinsured'

WASHINGTON (AP) — For working people making modest wages and struggling with high medical bills from chronic disease, President Barack Obama's health care plan sounds like long-awaited relief. But the promise could go unfulfilled.

Government: Birth control mandate should not be blocked

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration says a Supreme Court justice should stop blocking the new health care law's requirement that some religion-affiliated organizations provide health insurance that includes birth control.

Confusion, relief mark start of new health reforms

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The new year brought relief for Americans who previously had no health insurance or were stuck in poor plans, but it also led to confusion after the troubled rollout of the federal health care reforms sent a crush of late applications to overloaded government agencies.

NATIONAL BUSINESS

An early gain fades on Wall Street; GM slumps

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market is continuing to have a sluggish start to the New Year.

Crude extends plunge, ends below $94

The price of oil extended a week-long plunge Friday, falling 1.6 percent to below $94 a barrel, as a rebounding U.S. economy drove the dollar higher and signs continue to emerge that there is an ample supply of crude worldwide.

Will surge of older workers take jobs from young?

CHICAGO (AP) — It's an assertion that has been accepted as fact by droves of the unemployed: Older people remaining on the job later in life are stealing jobs from young people.

Government might deregulate corn, soybean seeds

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The federal government on Friday proposed eliminating restrictions on corn and soybean seeds that are genetically engineered to resist a common weed killer, a move welcomed by many farmers but worrisome to scientists and environmentalists who fear it could invite growers to use more chemicals on crops.

Watchdog advises ending early look at jobs data

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Labor Department watchdog has recommended ending a practice that allows reporters to review a key unemployment report before it is made public.

Original Cheerios to go GMO-free

NEW YORK (AP) — General Mills says some Cheerios made without genetically modified ingredients will start appearing on shelves soon.

Snapchat aims to make app more secure

NEW YORK (AP) — Snapchat says it plans to put out a more secure version of its application following a breach that allowed hackers to collect the usernames and phone numbers of some 4.6 million of its users.

Factory, construction growth boost 2014 outlook

WASHINGTON (AP) — Expectations are rising for a stronger U.S. economy in 2014 after reports Thursday showed solid growth in manufacturing and construction spending at the end of last year.

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