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VOL. 40 | NO. 5 | Friday, January 29, 2016

Ready to cut the cord on cable/satellite?

You might be able to get all your TV favorites for less. Here’s how

If you’ve resolved to lower your bills this year, you might want to look at your TV screen. No, not for help from Dave Ramsey or Suze Orman, but at the cable connected to it.

Cutting cable/satellite: Here’s how to build your system

Are you ready to cut the coax and enter the wild world of cable-free content? Here’s how to build your own TV service a la carte.

How much bandwidth do you really need?

As Americans move more of their life online, they’re also looking for higher Internet speeds that are best provided by the cable and fiber networks that cable companies like Comcast own – although most don’t need the much-hyped gigabit speed Internet service that Comcast currently offers in Tennessee and Google will offer in Nashville when it finishes building its Google Fiber network.

Comcast loses fewest TV customers in 8 years

NEW YORK (AP) — Comcast is trumpeting its best year for traditional TV services in nearly a decade, even though it continues to lose TV subscribers.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Light Rain Fog/Mist
Wind: South at 11.5 mph
Humidity: 93%


Opening Day Lecture: Treasures from the House of Alba. Join Mark A. Roglán, PhD, the Linda P. and William A. Custard Director of the Meadows Museum, for a lecture exploring the historic and cultural legacy of the Alba family and the formation of its storied art collection, including renowned portraits by Francisco Goya. “Treasures from the House of Alba: 500 Years of Art and Collecting” are on view in the Frist Center’s Ingram Gallery through May 1. Friday, 6:30 p.m. Information: http://fristcenter.org/calendar/detail/opening-day-lecture-treasures-from-the-house-of-alba

more events »


Complex path to higher-ed reform

Only half a year after taking on the presidency of Motlow State Community College, Anthony Kinkel is trying to keep his eye on the pea.


Cutting taxes, school choice, tort reform drive Sen. Kelsey

State Sen. Brian Kelsey calls himself “a proud conservative who likes to get results.”


White the driving force in RealTracs’ success

Realtracs is having a birthday. Number 20, in fact. Realtracs was formed as Middle Tennessee Regional Multiple Listing Service or MTRMLS, hence the name Realtracs.


Top Middle Tennessee residential transactions for December 2015

Top residential real estate sales, December 2015, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

Top Davidson County lenders for December 2015

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

Average US rate on 30-year mortgage falls to 3.79 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week for a fourth straight week amid persisting turmoil in stock markets and global economic worries.


Titans coaching staff turns a grayer shade of blue

If experience is the best teacher, the Tennessee Titans’ young roster is headed to school – old school, that is.


Bertelkamp made right call in going with the Vols

Bert Bertelkamp would be the first to tell you he’s pulling for Tennessee when calling basketball games as color commentator for the Vol Network.


Citizens want fewer obstacles to information

Nearly 40 new bills have been filed in the Legislature in recent weeks that would make changes to citizen access to government records or meetings.


Patterson welcomes Bowers as COO

Patterson Intellectual Property Law, P.C. has added John D. Bowers as chief operating officer, replacing longtime COO Jim Roberts, who is retiring.


Popular Civic gets successful overhaul for 2016

The Civic has been a best-seller in America for decades, but that didn’t stop Honda from overhauling the sedan for 2016. The results: more room, features and power than ever, including the option of Honda’s first turbo engine in a U.S. model.


Busy entertainer/author Rhimes finds time for ‘yes’

For far too long, you’ve been holding back. Opportunities have presented themselves, and you’ve passed on them.


Still calling it digital marketing? Drop the ‘digital’

Of all the trends impacting marketing planning in 2016, many marketers believe the most crucial of all is the seamless integration of digital and traditional strategies.


Expert in one field not always top in another

How many things have you truly mastered? For example, you must know how to cook to survive day to day. But, is your food the quality of a professional chef?


10 years later, ‘Wordplay’ still a great movie

Ten years ago, Susan and I flew out to Park City, Utah, for our first (and probably only) Sundance Film Festival. “Wordplay,” the award-winning documentary about the crossword puzzle industry, was having its world premiere on Jan. 21, 2006.


Not sure an Almond Joy smoothie is healthy

My weight loss attempts, no matter how many pounds, have not been very successful so far – or ever. I guess I can say I’ve done all right if my goal was two pounds; however, I did have a bit more in mind.


Country legend Merle Haggard cancels February shows

NASHVILLE (AP) - Country legend Merle Haggard has canceled his shows in February due to health issues caused by pneumonia in both lungs.


Bill seeks private transportation partnerships in Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) - A bipartisan legislative proposal would clear the way for public-private partnerships on transportation projects in Tennessee.


Nonprofit: water quality enforcement orders down 93 percent

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Clean Water Network has released a report showing the state issued 93 percent fewer enforcement orders against water polluters in 2015 than it did in 2007.

Officials warn against impaired driving on Sunday

NASHVILLE (AP) — State officials are urging Tennesseans to be careful about driving impaired on Super Bowl Sunday. Many people will be driving to bars or to Super Bowl parties to watch football's biggest game.


Average long-term US mortgage rate falls fifth straight week

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell for the fifth straight week amid volatility in world financial markets.


US stocks move higher in early trading; crude oil recovers

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are moving higher in early trading, adding to their gains from a day earlier. Oil companies rose more than the rest of the market as the price of crude continued to recover. The dollar continued to fall against other currencies. Investors are preparing for Friday's U.S. monthly jobs report, which could go a long way to determining whether the Federal Reserve raises interest rates again next month.

US productivity fell at sharp 3 percent rate in Q4

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. productivity fell sharply in the final three months of 2015, closing out a fifth straight year of weak gains in worker efficiency.

Orders to US factories fell sharply in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to U.S. factories fell sharply in December, closing out a year in which demand for American manufactured goods retreated for the first time in six years.

Applications for US jobless aid rise, but levels still low

WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, but applications stayed near historically low levels in a positive sign for the job market.

Tribune Publishing gets $44.4M from Chicago investor

CHICAGO (AP) — Tribune Publishing is getting a $44.4 million cash boost from an investor in Chicago who will become the nonexecutive chairman of the company that owns the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times.

Europe's top economic authorities warn of risks to growth

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Europe's top economic authorities warned Thursday of the dangers to the region from the slowdown in China, weak inflation and heightened geopolitical uncertainties.


Rural broadband supporters call for change in Tennessee law

NASHVILLE (AP) - Rural lawmakers on Wednesday compared the dearth of broadband connections in their areas to being bypassed by electrification more than 80 years ago.

Bill aims at blocking gas compressor near Tennessee parks

NASHVILLE (AP) — Two lawmakers have filed a bill seeking to stop a natural gas compressor from being built in a Nashville community.


North America, China power GM to record $9.7b annual profit

DETROIT (AP) — If you're an automaker, especially one from Detroit, conditions probably aren't going to be better for you to make a lot of cash.

Toyota discontinues Scion after years of slumping sales

DETROIT (AP) — Toyota is killing its Scion brand after years of slumping sales. Beginning in August, 2017 model-year Scion vehicles will be rebadged as Toyotas.

VW submits fix for 3.0-liter diesels to California officials

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Volkswagen Group of America submitted its proposal Tuesday to bring Porsches, Audis and Volkswagen cars with six-cylinder, 3.0-liter diesel engines up to California's air quality standards after state regulators found the vehicles were programmed to emit cleaner emissions on government treadmill tests than on the real road.


US stocks stage a late turnaround, led by the energy sector

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks staged a rapid comeback in late-afternoon trading to close solidly higher Wednesday, helped by a surge in the price of oil and a decline in the U.S. dollar.

Sumner Redstone resigns as chair of CBS

NEW YORK (AP) — CBS says media mogul Sumner Redstone has resigned as chair of the company's board, replaced by the company's CEO, Leslie Moonves.

Wells Fargo to pay $1.2 billion to settle home loan case

NEW YORK (AP) — Wells Fargo said it has agreed to pay $1.2 billion to settle a government lawsuit related to its Federal Housing Administration home mortgage program.

Survey: US employers added a solid 205K jobs in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. businesses added a solid 205,000 jobs last month, lifted by robust gains in services and construction and extending a streak of steady hiring, according to a private survey.

Survey: Growth at US services companies slowed in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — A private survey says U.S. services companies grew in January at the slowest rate in nearly two years, as global economic challenges are showing some signs of spreading to consumers.

Home Depot to hire more than 80,000 workers for busy spring

NEW YORK (AP) — Home Depot is on a hiring spree. The nation's largest home improvement chain, based in Atlanta, said Wednesday it's hiring more than 80,000 workers nationwide for its busy spring season, the same level as in recent years.


Lawmakers propose bill to privatize air traffic control

WASHINGTON (AP) — Responsibility for the nation's air traffic control operations would shift from the government to a private, nonprofit corporation under legislation introduced Wednesday as part of an overhaul of how Washington oversees the aviation system.


Voucher bill scheduled for Monday vote in Tennessee House

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal to create a limited school voucher program has been scheduled for a Monday floor vote in the state House.

House GOP elects Timothy Hill to replace Durham as whip

NASHVILLE (AP) - The House Republican Caucus has elected Rep. Timothy Hill to succeed Jeremy Durham as majority whip.


Harwell: Durham scandal won't affect gubernatorial decision

NASHVILLE (AP) - House Speaker Beth Harwell said Tuesday that the scandal surrounding a Republican lawmaker who has gone on hiatus amid sexual harassment allegations shouldn't damage her prospects as a serious gubernatorial candidate in Tennessee.

Gov. Bill Haslam presents $34.8B Tennessee spending plan

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam in his annual State of the State address proposed what he called Tennessee's largest investment in public education without a tax increase in the state's history.


Nashville mayor revokes Election Commission's credit card

NASHVILLE (AP) — Nashville Mayor Megan Barry has revoked the credit card privileges of the Davidson County Election Commission and ordered an audit of all charges paid with tax dollars.


Yahoo to cut 1,700 workers as CEO tries to save her own job

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Yahoo is laying off about 1,700 employees and shedding some of its excess baggage in a shake-up likely to determine whether CEO Marissa Mayer can save her own job.


January auto sales expected to fall after snowstorm; Nissan up 1.6%

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. auto sales were expected to fall in January because of the East Coast snowstorm, but analysts say demand remains strong and buyers will likely head back into dealerships this month.


Stocks sink, weighed down by another drop in price of oil

NEW YORK (AP) — Another steep drop in the price of oil weighed on global markets Tuesday. Investors remained deeply concerned about the global economy following this week's disappointing Chinese and U.S. manufacturing data.

Super Bowl ads this year might be a snooze

NEW YORK (AP) — No GoDaddy. Not a bikini in sight. Service messages instead of crotch or fart jokes. As the Super Bowl turns 50 and faces middle age, will this be the year that advertisers stick to — gasp — good taste?

Alphabet comes before Apple as world's most valuable company

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Alphabet now comes before Apple atop the list of the world's most valuable companies.

Exxon beats 4Q profit forecasts

IRVING, Texas (AP) — Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) on Tuesday reported fourth-quarter profit of $2.78 billion.


Obama, GOP leaders meet as campaign din hinders compromise

WASHINGTON (AP) — Searching for potential compromise, President Barack Obama is bringing the Republicans who run the House and Senate to the White House to try to hash out an agenda for his final year, even as his top legislative priorities appear to be losing steam.

Cruz, Rubio eye NH momentum as Dems gird for long fight

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — A victorious Ted Cruz and buoyant Marco Rubio emerged from Iowa with compelling claims to the outsider and mainstream mantles in the fractured Republican primary, as the presidential race shifted overnight to New Hampshire. Democrats were girding for a protracted slugfest between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, locked in a virtual tie.


Eric Church, Chris Stapleton lead ACM nominations

NASHVILLE (AP) - Eric Church and Chris Stapleton lead the nominees for the 51st annual Academy of Country Music Awards with five nominations each, including male vocalist and album of the year.

Nominees for the 51st annual Academy of Country Music Awards

NASHVILLE (AP) - Nominations announced Monday for the 51st annual Academy of Country Music Awards:


Haslam calls for 'thoughtful' spending of Tennessee surplus

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican Gov. Bill Haslam says his sixth annual State of the State address will focus on what he calls a "thoughtful" approach to spending a surplus in Tennessee revenues.

Today is voter registration deadline for March 1 primary

NASHVILLE (AP) — The voter registration deadline for Tennessee's primary election has arrived.


Insurer Aetna lays out concerns about ACA exchange business

Aetna has joined other major health insurers in sounding a warning about the Affordable Care Act's public insurance exchanges.


US construction spending hit 8-year-high in 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. construction spending rebounded slightly in December, helping push total spending for 2015 to the highest level in eight years.


US stocks edge mostly lower as energy prices plunge again

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are closing mostly lower after another steep drop in oil and natural gas prices pulled energy companies down.

Vice chair: Global concerns led Fed to keep rates unchanged

WASHINGTON (AP) — A top Federal Reserve official said Monday that increased concerns about the global economic outlook led the central bank to leave a key interest rate unchanged last week.

US manufacturing weakens in line with China factory slowdown

WASHINGTON (AP) — Factory activity in the world's two biggest economies — the United States and China — slowed in January, a discouraging trend for the global economy.

US consumer spending flat, savings rate at 3-year high

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumers kept their spending flat in December and instead boosted their savings rate to the highest level in three years.

Airlines restore tiny perks, like pretzels, to pacify fliers

NEW YORK (AP) — After 15 years of near austerity, U.S. airlines are restoring some small perks for passengers crammed into coach.

China company accused of fleecing investors of $7.6 billion

BEIJING (AP) — Police arrested the maverick founder of China's largest online finance business on suspicion of fleecing 900,000 investors of $7.6 billion, in what could be the biggest financial fraud in Chinese history.

Banks reach $154.3 million settlement on "dark pool" fraud

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two major global banks, Barclays and Credit Suisse, are paying a combined $154.3 million to settle government investigations that they misled clients about being able to safely trade on their "dark pool" financial exchanges, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the New York Attorney General's office said Sunday.

Iran: $100B in assets 'fully released' under nuclear deal

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran said Monday it now has access to more than $100 billion worth of frozen overseas assets following the implementation of a landmark nuclear deal with world powers.


DA: Nashville councilman lied about source of bail money

NASHVILLE (AP) - Prosecutors say that Metro Nashville Councilman Loniel Greene Jr. lied in court when he got a man out of jail earlier this month.


Haslam: Surplus gives chance to 'reshape' Tennessee budget

NASHVILLE (AP) - While state lawmakers come up with competing plans to carve up a projected budget surplus, Republican Gov. Bill Haslam hopes to seize the initiative at his annual State of the State address on Monday.

Durham taking leave from Tennessee House calls to resign

NASHVILLE (AP) — State Rep. Jeremy Durham is taking a leave of absence from the Tennessee General Assembly amid calls for his resignation and the Senate speaker's allegation on Thursday that he had an affair with another lawmaker.

Haslam, lawmakers see need to clear pending records requests

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam and two top Tennessee lawmakers say they recognize the need to clear a backlog of hundreds of open records requests.


Monday deadline to register to vote in presidential primary

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennesseans who want to vote in the March 1 presidential primary must register to vote by Monday.


Nissan to recall Altimas for third time to fix hood latches

DETROIT (AP) — Nissan is recalling nearly 930,000 Altima midsize cars worldwide — some for a third time — to fix a latch problem that could let the hood fly open while the cars are moving.

Regulators get input — sort of — on self-driving car rollout

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California regulators deciding how to permit the future rollout of self-driving cars have been told by consumer advocates that their cautious approach was right on, and by companies developing the technology that the current course will delay deployment of vehicles that promise huge safety benefits.

Last Land Rover Defender rolls off production lines in UK

LONDON (AP) — The last Land Rover Defender, the famed 4x4 off-road vehicle that has been made for almost seven decades, has rolled off the production line in Britain.


Fired Wal-Mart worker who claimed discrimination wins $31M

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A jury has awarded more than $31 million in damages to a former Wal-Mart pharmacist in New Hampshire who claimed she was wrongly fired after reporting safety concerns about co-workers dispensing prescriptions.


US stocks jump as Microsoft and other tech stocks rise

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks soared on the last trading day of January, led by big gains in technology companies after Microsoft turned in a strong quarter.

Survey: US consumer confidence slips in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — American consumers lost some confidence this month after the stock market tumbled and the economy showed signs of weakness, the University of Michigan said Friday.

US economy is expected to strengthen after weak 4th quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy struggled to grow in the October-December quarter as consumer spending, business investment and exports slowed. Yet despite global weakness and shrunken oil and stock prices, many economists expect growth to accelerate on the strength of healthy job gains.

US paychecks show little sign of accelerating in 4th quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. paychecks increased moderately in the final three months of last year, yet the gain was little changed from the sluggish post-recession trend.

Fewer people seek US jobless aid, sign of stable job market

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell last week, a sign that employers aren't cutting jobs in response to global economic weakness and sharp stock market drops.

Global slump, high dollar drag US durable goods in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting manufactured goods tumbled in December, with a key category that tracks business investment plans falling for a second straight month.

For the world's most scrutinized body, Barbie has a new look

NEW YORK (AP) — At 57, Barbie is getting a major makeover. The iconic plastic doll, whose small waist and long legs have been criticized for creating unrealistic expectations for girls, will soon be sold with three new bodies — curvy, tall and petite. Barbie will also be more diverse, coming in seven skin tones, 22 eye colors and 24 hairstyles.


US to collect equal pay data from all big employers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is expanding a data collection program aimed at ferreting out abuses of equal pay laws.

AP FACT CHECK: GOP claims on carpet bombs, Kurds and economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican presidential contenders let fly with some inaccuracies when they badmouthed the Obama administration on health care, military readiness and pay for construction workers in their latest debate.

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