VOL. 36 | NO. 47 | Friday, November 23, 2012
Shop Small Saturday boosts independents
Hundreds of merchants throughout Middle Tennessee have embraced the second annual Small Business Saturday, adding their own incentives and putting their faith in predictions that sales will be up 80 percent compared to last year.
Franklin’s downtown brick-and-mortar storefronts buzz with the sounds of local families, international visitors and curious shoppers checking out the shops, restaurants and a richness in character they might not find in their own downtown.
When Dennis Hollimon and Frank Cole were scouting Nashville locations for an outpost of Memphis-staple Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, they must have looked at nearly 60 spots, none quite right for their needs.
So Nashville has been picked up for a full season. While I leave entertainment reporting to my pal Brad Schmitt, the show, along with a number of other developments, must have Chamber of Commerce President Ralph Schulz, Mayor Karl Dean, his director of Economic and Community Development, Matt Wiltshire, along with Butch Spyridon, overcome with giddiness.
When the Tennessee Titans reported back to Baptist Sports Park on Monday, they probably couldn’t help but take a glance at the AFC standings.
Nashville-Davidson County Circuit Court Clerk Richard Rooker has received the Outstanding State Court Clerk Award at a recent conference of the County Officials Association.
With social media networks flying past some once unthinkable records, including surpassing 1 billion users across all major platforms, it’s not surprising that we’ve witnessed some significant brand blunders as users figure out how to properly utilize these tools.
SMART STUFF 4 WORK
“For anything to change, someone has to start acting differently.” I ran across that statement a couple of years ago in a book titled “Switch, How to Change Things When Change is Hard” by Chip and Dan Heath. I love such simple, clarifying statements.
For whatever reason, the other day I found myself reviewing some missives that are pretty old. And, as usually happens, one really jumped out at me.
KAY'S COOKING CORNER
Question: Why do jack-o-lanterns have stupid looks on their faces?
NASHVILLE (AP) - Some Tennessee players of the Powerball lottery won't come away empty-handed, including two who can claim prizes of $1 million apiece.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Senate Democrats have re-elected Sen. Jim Kyle of Memphis as minority leader and Sen. Lowe Finney of Jackson as caucus chairman.
NASHVILLE (AP) - A tax expert is warning state officials that Tennessee would be among the hardest-hit states if federal officials don't resolve the so-called fiscal cliff.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Five projects across the state have been awarded grants totaling $127,500 to fund green infrastructure and low-impact development projects.
LEBANON (AP) - Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. said Thursday its fiscal first-quarter net income fell 3 percent, pulled down by severance costs and expenses related to a proxy fight with one of its largest shareholders.
NASHVILLE (AP) — The Sierra Club has filed a lawsuit against the Tennessee Valley Authority over a Freedom of Information Act request for documents relating to the utility's plan to spend nearly $1 billion to reduce emissions at its coal-fired plant in Gallatin.
LOCKPORT, N.Y. (AP) — General Motors executives will give the media a tour of one of the company's western New York plants to unveil a new environmental program.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages stayed close to record lows this week, a trend that has made home buying more affordable and helped the housing market recover.
WASHINGTON (AP) — An index measuring the number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes in October jumped to nearly its highest level in almost six years. Steady job gains and record-low mortgage rates have made home buying more attractive.
DEARBORN, Mo. (AP) — The search is on for the country's newest multimillionaires, the holders of two tickets that matched all six numbers to claim a record $588 million Powerball jackpot.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 393,000 last week. It was the second straight drop after Superstorm Sandy had driven applications much higher earlier this month.
NEW YORK (AP) — Optimism that a budget deal will be reached in Washington helped lift the stock market in early Thursday trading. A pair of economic reports also brightened the mood.
NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil is up by more than $2 a barrel on optimism that a deal to avert a so-called fiscal cliff will be reached before year's end.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew at a 2.7 percent annual rate from July through September, much faster than first thought. The strength is expected to fade in the final months of the year because of uncertainty about looming tax increases and government spending cuts.
NEW YORK (AP) — The future of Twinkies is virtually assured.
NEW YORK (AP) — Hostess Brands Inc. plans to ask for a judge's approval Thursday to give its top executives bonuses totaling up to $1.8 million as part of its wind-down plans.
NEW YORK (AP) — Black Friday was no match for Sandy.
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — The owner of a Bangladesh clothing factory where a fire killed 112 people says he was never informed the facility was required to have an emergency exit, a sign of how far removed the leaders of the nation's garment industry are from issues of worker safety.
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner met with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner on Thursday and accused Democrats afterward of failing to outline specific cuts to avert the "fiscal cliff" that threatens to send the economy into recession.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate bill to protect the privacy of electronic communications won't keep federal agents from combing through your inbox if they believe a crime has been committed, legal experts say. Federal and state authorities still will have a robust set of tools to track down lawbreakers even as these officials oppose changes supported by a broad coalition of technology companies and public interest groups.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 28
NASHVILLE (AP) - A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit by a group of Catholic nonprofits in Nashville that challenged a provision of the new federal health care law.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee State University's new president said troubles at her alma mater, including accusations of grade fixing, can be resolved by creating a sense of unity along with better communication.
Middle Tennessee has accepted an offer to join Conference USA and is leaving the Sun Belt, a person familiar with the situation said Wednesday.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A Tennessee hunter featured in cable television shows admits he illegally killed a trophy deer in Kansas.
DETROIT (AP) — The Fiat 500 is getting bigger and going electric.
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks gained on signs that lawmakers are edging toward a deal that would help the U.S. avoid the "fiscal cliff."
The price of oil fell Wednesday as traders looked for signs of progress in negotiations over U.S. budget issues.
DALLAS (AP) — Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar, who wrote more than 30 books on living a balanced life, has died in Texas. He was 86.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A pickup in consumer spending and steady home sales helped lift economic growth in October and early November in most parts of the United States, according to a Federal Reserve survey released Wednesday. The one exception was the Northeast, which was slowed by Superstorm Sandy.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Unemployment rates declined last month in more than half of the 372 largest U.S. cities, further evidence of steady improvement in the job market.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. sales of new homes fell slightly in October and September sales were slower than initially thought. The October sales pace was dragged lower by steep declines on the East Coast, partly related to Superstorm Sandy.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration put a temporary stop to new federal contracts with British oil company BP on Wednesday, citing the company's "lack of business integrity" and criminal proceedings stemming from the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010.
CHICAGO (AP) — As Americans went on a ticket-buying spree, the Powerball jackpot rose to $550 million Wednesday, enticing many people who rarely, if ever, play the lottery to purchase a shot at the second-largest payout in U.S. history.
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — So you just won the $500 million Powerball jackpot, the second highest in lottery history. Now what?
NEW YORK (AP) — Published reports say a hedge fund company is warning its investors that regulators may bring civil charges against the company in an insider trading case.
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Amid the ash, broken glass and melted sewing machines at what is left of the Tazreen Fashions Ltd. factory, there are piles of blue, red and off-white children's shorts bearing Wal-Mart's Faded Glory brand. Shorts from hip-hop star Sean Combs' ENYCE label lay on the floor and are stacked in cartons.
Costco plans a special dividend of $7 per share next month in addition to the regular quarterly dividend the wholesale club operator pays shareholders.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Two of President Barack Obama's chief negotiators will meet on Thursday with congressional leaders to gauge prospects for a deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff."
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will host his former political rival Mitt Romney for a private lunch at the White House Thursday, their first meeting since the election.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the financially struggling U.S. Postal Service says the agency must be allowed to ease the terms of prepayments into a retiree health care fund and eliminate general mail delivery on Saturday.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Deep divisions among Senate Democrats over whether cuts to popular benefit programs like Medicare and Medicaid should be part of a plan to slow the government's mushrooming debt pose a big obstacle to a deal for avoiding a potentially economy-crushing "fiscal cliff," even if Republicans agree to raise taxes.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 27
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Black Keys told a federal judge the band has settled copyright infringement lawsuits against Pizza Hut and The Home Depot claiming misuse of their music in commercials.
NASHVILLE (AP) - The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington on Tuesday filed a congressional ethics complaint against Republican U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, accusing the Jasper physician of lying when confronted about an affair with a patient.
NASHVILLE (AP) - Attorneys for the Corrections Corporation of America on Tuesday told members of the state Court of Appeals that the company should not have to turn over copies of its legal settlements to the public.
NASHVILLE (AP) - The Tennessee Board of Regents has voted unanimously to approve alumna Glenda Baskin Glover as the next president of Tennessee State University in Nashville.
DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is giving its Chevrolet Spark a jolt of electricity.
ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed will join Gov. Nathan Deal and representatives from the Porsche company to break ground on the company's new North American headquarters in Hapeville.
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks slumped on Wall Street Tuesday after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he was frustrated by the lack of progress in talks over the U.S. budget impasse in Washington.
WASHINGTON (AP) — American consumers are growing more confident about the job market, companies are ordering more equipment and home prices are rising in most major cities.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The historic Powerball jackpot boosted to $500 million on Tuesday was all part of a plan lottery officials put in place early this year to build jackpots faster, drive sales and generate more money for states that run the game.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Home prices increased in September in most major U.S. cities, more evidence of a housing recovery that is providing a lift to the fragile economy.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. companies in October increased their orders of machinery and equipment that signal investment plans by the largest amount in five months, a hopeful sign for future economic growth.
Oil prices fell Tuesday as traders remained unsure whether positive U.S. economic news signals an increase in fuel demand.
BERLIN (AP) — Google is launching a new campaign in Germany to protest against possible copyright restrictions being discussed in the country's Parliament.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — ConAgra Foods is buying the private-label food maker Ralcorp for about $5 billion, which will make it North America's biggest manufacturer of cereals, crackers and other packaged foods sold under store brands.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama plans to make a public case this week for his strategy for dealing with the looming fiscal cliff, traveling to the Philadelphia suburbs Friday as he pressures Republicans to allow tax increases on the wealthy while extending tax cuts for families earning $250,000 or less.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The leadership of the Securities and Exchange Commission will change next month. Its approach to regulation probably won't.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A freshman GOP senator is jumping into the debate on how to avoid a "fiscal cliff" of tax hikes and automatic spending cuts, advocating a mix of tax increases with curbs on Social Security and Medicare benefits.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 26
NASHVILLE (AP) - Members of the House Republican caucus have nominated Speaker Beth Harwell for another term in charge of the chamber but ousted Rep. Judd Matheny from the No. 2 slot.
NASHVILLE (AP) — With most of the harvest completed in Tennessee, farmers lament the loss of corn, but say timely rains that began in midsummer saved most other crops.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam and first lady Crissy Haslam are preparing to light the Christmas tree at the Tennessee Capitol.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has chosen Elisse Walter, one of five members of the Securities and Exchange Commission, to become chairman of the agency. Chairman Mary Schapiro will leave next month after a tumultuous tenure in which she helped lead the government's regulatory response to the 2008 financial crisis.
NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street came back to work after the Thanksgiving weekend and faced leftover worries about the "fiscal cliff" and the European debt crisis. Stocks retreated after one of their best weeks of the year.
NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook's stock is climbing after an upgrade from an analyst who believes Wall Street is underestimating the company's potential to grow revenue.
Oil fell below $88 per barrel on Monday after a slow day of trading.
NEW YORK (AP) — Bye-bye Black Friday. So long Small Business Saturday. Now, it's Cyber Monday's turn.
WASHINGTON (AP) — White House economists warned Monday that the uncertainty of a potential hike in taxes next year for middle class taxpayers under the looming fiscal cliff could hurt consumer confidence during the crucial holiday shopping season.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A big coalition of business groups says there must be give-and-take in the negotiations to avoid the "fiscal cliff" of massive tax increases and spending cuts. But raising tax rates — a White House priority — is out of the question, the group adds.
NEW YORK (AP) — McGraw-Hill is selling its education business to private equity firm Apollo Global Management for $2.5 billion.
NEW YORK (AP) — A former hedge fund portfolio manager charged in one of the biggest insider trading cases in history was due in a New York federal court after an investigation that touched on the activities of one of the nation's wealthiest financiers.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A new report says states can receive more than $9 in federal money for every dollar they spend to cover low-income residents under President Barack Obama's health care law.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23
NASHVILLE (AP) - A Hungarian woman has pleaded guilty for her role in an international fraud scheme in Tennessee.
NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee health officials will start contacting hundreds of people who received steroid injections for back pain from a pharmacy linked to a fungal meningitis outbreak to warn them about another infection.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumers are optimistic the unemployment rate will drop over the next 12 months, boosting their confidence to the highest level in five years.
The stock market enjoyed some Black Friday cheer, rising sharply as shoppers braved the annual post-Thanksgiving rush. Major stock indexes closed one of their best weeks of the year.
NEW YORK (AP) — Oil prices climbed Friday after Israeli troops fired on crowds in Gaza surging toward the border fence, killing one Palestinian.
CHICAGO (AP) — Feeling the pinch of the sluggish economic recovery, many Americans setting out on the nation's annual Thanksgiving migration sacrificed summer vacations, relied on relatives for airfare or scoured the Web for travel deals to ensure they made it home.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A measure of the U.S. economy intended to signal future activity rose only slightly last month, suggesting growth could stay weak.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell to fresh record lows this week, a trend that is boosting home sales and aiding the housing recovery.