» Subscribe Today!
The Power of Information
The Ledger - EST. 1978 - Nashville Edition
Skip Navigation LinksHome
VOL. 39 | NO. 40 | Friday, October 2, 2015

Will Pinkston loves a good fight

What drives his public battles with old friends, charter school ‘zealots’

Bulldog or bully. Metro School Board member Will Pinkston draws both labels as Nashville debates education issues and elects its top leaders.

Pinkston sees new Nashville in his old neighborhood

Metro School Board member Will Pinkston feels at home at La Hacienda Mexican restaurant on Nolensville Road. It’s still home, even after going through dramatic cultural shifts over two decades.


Keep an open mind on holding open houses

As long as there has been residential real estate, there has been the open house debate. Many owners demand them, while others forbid them, detesting the thought of strangers, or even worse, friends, might wander through their homes, rifling through the personal effects of the homeowners while those owners are banished to the Netherlands for two hours.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Wind: Calm mph
Humidity: 78%


Downtown Employee Appreciation Week. The week will be dedicated to celebrating the more than 55,000 downtown employees with a series of activities throughout the central business district. Coffee, food, prizes, music, games and more. To take advantage of these perks, please fasten a paper clip to your collar, lapel or pocket to receive giveaways and discounts. Work ID cards and business cards are also acceptable. Activities include:

more events »


Top Middle Tennessee commercial real estate transactions for August 2015

Top commercial real estate transactions, August 2015, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

Average US rate on 30-year mortgages eases to 3.85 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates eased slightly this week, continuing at low levels that could entice potential homebuyers.


Saving souls takes toll on pastors’ health

The first time I thought about what it takes to be a church pastor was when mine took a three-month sabbatical after a decade in Downtown Presbyterian’s pulpit.


Three games in, how much better are Titans?

At some point, the Tennessee Titans have to grow up. After blowing an opportunity to take the early lead in the AFC South by letting it slip away against the Indianapolis Colts last Sunday, the Titans now head into their bye week on a downturn with two consecutive losses.


Heat really on for Jones against Arkansas

It’s been a long week for Tennessee football coach Butch Jones. Kickoff can’t come soon enough for Jones and his staff Saturday night when the Vols (2-2, 0-1 SEC) play host to Arkansas (1-3, 0-1) at Neyland Stadium.


Barry fills key positions for new administration

Mayor Megan Barry has announced key hires in the positions of law director, executive assistant, senior advisor, and press secretary within her administration.


At 50, Mustang convertible is current, classic

At the age of 50, the Ford Mustang has accomplished the ultimate goal: To be current and ageless, and appealing to young and old alike.


Sales teams create advocates

Now more than ever, the line between the marketing department and the sales team has been blurred.


Double-spacers, you’re showing everyone your age

There’s something you may be doing every day that’s making you look old. And you probably have no idea what it is. It’s not your clothes, your hairstyle or the AOL email address you’re using (although those aren’t helping either).


Five fall trips to consider, from Seattle to Miami

Fall is a beautiful time of year, and a great season for travel. Not only is the weather conducive, the prices associated with shoulder season are, too. And as a traveling parent, I’m thankful for a weeklong fall break, giving us the chance to travel as a family during October.


Sometimes it’s best to admit the well is dry

Nothing. That’s what I’ve got today. It happens.


Gannett Co. acquires Knoxville, Memphis newspapers, others for $280M

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Gannett Co. has reached an agreement to acquire newspaper company Journal Media Group for $280 million, giving the media giant control of publications in more than 100 local markets in the U.S., company officials announced Wednesday evening.

Tennessee AFL-CIO Labor Council elects new president

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee AFL-CIO Labor Council has a new president.

Audit recommends changes to prison assault reporting

NASHVILLE (AP) — An audit of Tennessee prisons is recommending the Correction Department change the way it classifies assaults.


Rutherford County chief officer suspended amid ethics probe

MURFREESBORO (AP) — Rutherford County Chief Administrative Officer Joe Russell has been suspended for 10 days without pay after records showed he used his work email to conduct business unrelated to his job.


Parks department to recommend Nashville stadium's demolition

NASHVILLE (AP) — Nashville Metro Parks & Recreation Director Tommy Lynch says his department is recommending the demolition of a 1970s-era, city-owned, former minor league baseball stadium.


Haslam visits VW Chattanooga plant to encourage workers

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam said he visited Volkswagen's Chattanooga plant on Wednesday to let its workers know the state is on their side amid an emissions cheating scandal involving the German automaker that he says has nothing to do with them.

German vice chancellor backs VW workers, urges active probe

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's vice chancellor traveled to Volkswagen's hometown on Thursday to send a message of support to the automaker's employees, and urged the company to be pro-active in its efforts to clear up its emissions-rigging scandal.

Fiat Chrysler avoids strike with new tentative contract

DETROIT (AP) — Fiat Chrysler has avoided an expensive strike at its U.S. plants after reaching a tentative labor agreement with the United Auto Workers union.


'Harry Potter' e-books come to life in new Apple edition

NEW YORK (AP) — You don't need to be a wizard to see the "Harry Potter" books come to life.

Amazon challenges Etsy with Handmade at Amazon

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon is launching its site for handcrafted goods called Handmade at Amazon on Thursday, hoping to capitalize on shoppers' appetite for homemade goods ahead of the holiday season.


Average US rate on 30-year mortgages falls to 3.76 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell sharply this week amid concern over a labor market that has shown recent signs of weakness.


Holiday sales seen rising 3.7 percent

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans are expected to spend at a slower pace than last year during the crucial winter holidays, weighed down by sluggish wage growth and other factors, according to the nation's largest retail industry trade group.

Drop in applications for US unemployment benefits last week

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, as employers hold onto workers despite a recent slowdown in hiring because of global pressures weighing on the U.S. economy.

Stocks open modestly lower after a weeklong rally

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock are slightly lower in early trading Thursday as investors wait for the release of the minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest meeting.


House GOP to vote for new speaker, but won't be last word

WASHINGTON (AP) — Divided House Republicans are meeting to vote on a new speaker as the front-runner, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, faces a fresh challenge from the hard-line conservatives who forced outgoing Speaker John Boehner to resign.

Clinton joins Democrats against Pacific trade deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton has joined her Democratic presidential rivals in opposing President Barack Obama's Pacific trade deal, delivering a major blow to a Democratic president as she works to court her party's liberal base.


New campaign aims to curb illegal gun purchases in Nashville

NASHVILLE (AP) - A new advertising campaign in Nashville aims to cut down the number of illegal firearms purchases.


Affidavit: Nashville lawyer stole settlements worth $280K

NASHVILLE (AP) - A Nashville personal injury attorney has been accused of stealing more than $280,000 from his clients' settlement checks.

Retired Criminal Appeals Court judge to teach law at Belmont

NASHVILLE (AP) — A recently retired Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals judge has been appointed to the faculty of Belmont University College of Law in Nashville.


Board of Education chair reappointed to national board

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee State Board of Education Chair B. Fielding Rolston has been reappointed to serve a second four-year term on the National Assessment Governing Board.


Pandora buying Ticketfly for $450M, entering ticket sales market

NEW YORK (AP) — Streaming music company Pandora says it will buy Ticketfly for $450 million in a move that takes the company into ticket sales and event marketing.

Johnny Cash, Miranda Lambert, Steve Cropper get stars

NASHVILLE (AP) — Country stars Miranda Lambert and the late Johnny Cash, along with famed blues musician Steve Cropper, were honored Tuesday for helping to build Music City's reputation as a home for artists of any genre.


Senate panel probing VW's use of tax credits

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Finance Committee opened a probe Tuesday into Volkswagen's use of a federal tax credit intended for fuel-efficient cars as the company's emissions-rigging scandal widened.

VW, with limited DC lobbying footprint, braces for Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — When Volkswagen's top American executive heads to Capitol Hill this week, he probably won't be able to count on longtime allies among the lawmakers investigating the company's emissions cheating scandal.

VW CEO: Emissions fixes could take until end of next year

WOLFSBURG, Germany (AP) — Volkswagen said a recall of cars with software that can be used to evade emissions tests could start in Germany in January and last until the end of next year.


Customer-friendly upgrades for gov't health insurance site

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government's health insurance website is getting long-awaited upgrades that should help consumers find out whether their doctors and medications are covered, and get a better estimate of costs.


An up-and-down day for stock market ends with a solid gain

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks posted solid gains in a quiet session Wednesday, helped by advances in health-care and industrial companies.

US consumer borrowing climbs to new record in August

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer borrowing advanced at a solid pace in August, as Americans took out more auto and student loans.

AB InBev ups its offer for SABMiller to create beer giant

BRUSSELS (AP) — Anheuser-Busch InBev sweetened its offer for SABMiller to more than 68 billion pounds ($104 billion) on Wednesday as the Belgium-based brewer seeks to create a global beer behemoth.

Vietnam seems big winner in US-anchored Pacific trade deal

HONG KONG (AP) — An ambitious Pacific Rim trade deal anchored by the U.S. promises to boost the economies of its 12 participating countries by opening their markets to one another, but not all the gains will be spread evenly.

JetBlue plants a seed with farm-to-tray-table concept

NEW YORK (AP) — JetBlue Airways is trying to bring a little bit of country to the city — opening its own "farm" at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.


Vote on loosening emissions testing awaits Tennessee lawmakers

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers are set to vote on loosening vehicle emissions testing requirements as soon as they return in January, undeterred by Volkswagen's recent admission that it had been gaming the tests already in place.


Judge: Non-teaching staff can be axed without appeal

NASHVILLE (AP) — A judge has ruled that Nashville Metro's director of schools has the power to dismiss non-teaching employees without giving them an appeals hearing.


Lawsuit claims probation company extorts money from indigent

NASHVILLE (AP) — A federal judge has issued a restraining order preventing two Rutherford County men from being arrested because they cannot pay court fines.


Haslam says long-term plan needed for road project backlog

MURFREESBORO (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam says a long-term revenue plan is needed to address Tennessee's growing list of unfunded road projects.

Seniors can apply until Nov. 2 for free tuition program

NASHVILLE (AP) — There's less than a month left for high school seniors to apply for Tennessee promise, the governor's free tuition program.


UAW threatens strike in contract talks with Fiat Chrysler

DETROIT (AP) — The United Auto Workers union is threatening to go on strike against Fiat Chrysler after its membership rejected a tentative contract deal with the company.

VW employee chief: 'Pain' coming, no immediate effect on jobs

WOLFSBURG, Germany (AP) — Volkswagen's new CEO has told more than 20,000 workers that overcoming its emissions-rigging scandal will "not happen without pain" and that the company will have to review its investment plans.

For Volkswagen, costs of scandal will be piling up

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — For Volkswagen, the cost of its cheating on emissions tests in the U.S. is likely to run into the tens of billions of dollars and prematurely end its long-sought status as the world's biggest carmaker.

Toyota shows self-driving technology being readied for 2020

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota unveiled its vision for self-driving cars in a challenge to other automakers as well as industry newcomer Google Inc., promising to start selling such vehicles in Japan by 2020.


Study cites cybercrime's rising costs to corporations

NEW YORK (AP) — Cybercrime costs are climbing for companies both in the U.S. and overseas amid a slew of high-profile breaches, according to research released Tuesday.


NY comptroller: Wall Street profits hit $11.3B in 6 months

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The securities industry in New York City tallied $11.3 billion in profits during the first half of 2015, higher than in the past three years, while also adding jobs last year for the first time since 2011, the state comptroller reported Tuesday.

A rally in energy stocks doesn't lift broader market

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks paused Tuesday, closing moderately lower after five straight days of gains. DuPont and energy companies rose sharply, but the overall market was weighed down by health-care stocks, especially biotechnology companies.

FAA proposes nearly $2 million fine against drone operator

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday proposed a record $1.9 million fine against an aerial photography company for flying drones in crowded New York and Chicago airspace without permission.

Top EU court rules data sharing pact with US invalid

LUXEMBOURG (AP) — Europe's top court ruled Tuesday that data stored on U.S. servers isn't safe because of government spying, a giant blow to companies such as Facebook that might need to change the way they handle private data from Europe.

US trade deficit widens to $48.3 billion in August

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit jumped sharply in August as exports fell to the lowest level in nearly three years while imports increased, led by a surge in shipments of cellphones from China.


Obama begins selling trade agreement to Congress, public

WASHINGTON (AP) — Negotiations over the complex trade deal took more than five years. On Tuesday, President Barack Obama began what may be a similarly difficult task — selling the Trans-Pacific Partnership to Congress and the American public.


Report: Middle Tennessee transit lags behind demand

NASHVILLE (AP) — A recently released report says that if predictions of population and job growth for Middle Tennessee are accurate, the region's current transportation network is lagging far behind the increasing demand for services.


Supreme Court declines to review insider trading case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court said Monday it won't hear the Obama administration's appeal of a lower court ruling that made it tougher to prosecute people for trading on leaked inside information.

Familiar, divisive social issues on Supreme Court agenda

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court's new term began Monday with no cross words between the justices, although a steady stream of divisive social issues awaits them in the coming months.

Northwest Tennessee judge selected as new senior judge

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court has selected a former northwest Tennessee Circuit Court judge to serve as a new senior judge, presiding over cases across the state.


Reports: VW investigation focusing on development managers

BERLIN (AP) — As the U.S. Congress prepares to question Volkswagen officials in Washington over its manipulation of American emissions tests, German media are reporting the company itself is focusing on three development managers who have been suspended.

AP analysis: VW evasion likely led to dozens of deaths

WASHINGTON (AP) — Volkswagen's pollution-control chicanery has not just been victimless tinkering, killing between five and 20 people in the United States annually in recent years, according to an Associated Press statistical and computer analysis.


Top economies move toward crackdown on corporate tax dodging

PARIS (AP) — Dozens of world economies are close to adopting sweeping changes to international tax rules that could end tax-dodging by powerful multinationals — practices believed to deprive governments of up to $240 billion every year.

US stocks end sharply higher; GE leads gains in industrials

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks rallied in the U.S. and overseas Monday after last week's gloomy jobs report led investors to expect that the Federal Reserve will wait even longer before making its first interest rate increase since the financial crisis.

US, states announce settlement with BP over gulf oil spill

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department and five states on Monday announced a $20 billion final settlement of claims arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

United States, 11 Pacific Rim countries reach trade deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — Having hammered out an ambitious trade deal with 11 Pacific Rim countries, the Obama administration now faces a potentially tougher task: selling the deal to a skeptical Congress.

US services growth slows in September as orders plunge

WASHINGTON (AP) — Growth in the U.S. services sector slowed in September as sales fell and new orders plunged, evidence that stock market volatility may have hit consumer confidence and limited spending.

A multigenerational hit: Student debt traps parents and kids

WASHINGTON (AP) — A college degree practically stamped Andres Aguirre's ticket to the middle class. Yet at age 40, he's still paying the price of admission.

Bernanke: Wall St execs should have gone to jail for crisis

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says some Wall Street executives should have gone to jail for their roles in the financial crisis that gripped the country in 2008 and triggered the Great Recession.

American Apparel files for Ch. 11 bankruptcy protection

NEW YORK (AP) — American Apparel has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection almost a year after ousting founder Dov Charney, who is now locked in a contentious a legal fight with the retailer.


House GOP in turmoil with new uncertainty in speaker race

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans are in upheaval as their front-runner for speaker faces fresh opposition and conservatives push to postpone leadership elections.


Ramsey urges 'fellow Christians' to get handgun permits

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee's lieutenant governor said in a Facebook posting on Friday that his "fellow Christians" should consider getting a handgun carry permit after a gunman killed nine people at a local community college in southern Oregon.


Public input sought on Nashville homeless camps

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Metro Homelessness Commission is accepting public input on the future of homeless encampments in Nashville.


Schools in Williamson, Rutherford recognized for high student performance

NASHVILLE (AP) - Six Tennessee schools have been recognized nationally for exceptional student performance.


Army agrees to end Holston River pollution by mid-2020

NASHVILLE (AP) - The U.S. Army has agreed to a July 2020 deadline for reducing pollution from a Kingsport ammunition plant to safe levels.

Haslam: Hall tax break competes with other budget priorities

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam agrees with fellow Republicans' criticism of the Hall income tax on earnings from stocks and bonds in Tennessee, but argues that the state must balance efforts to do away with the levy with other funding needs in areas like education, roads and health care.

Group says schools stall records request on Islam curriculum

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Christian-based advocacy group says several Tennessee school districts haven't complied with its open records request about Islam curriculum being taught in public schools.


Again? Health care debate expands for 2016

WASHINGTON (AP) — America's health care debate has been called an unhealthy political obsession. But if the 2016 presidential hopefuls have any say, it's about to get bigger.


Nearly two-thirds of UAW members reject Fiat Chrysler deal

DETROIT (AP) — Nearly two thirds of United Auto Workers at Fiat Chrysler voted to reject a proposed contract agreement with the company.

VW's Audi offers online check if vehicle has trick software

BERLIN (AP) — Volkswagen subsidiary Audi says customers in Germany can now go to its website to see if their vehicles are among those installed with software that the company says was used to manipulate U.S. emissions testing.

US regulator missed its best chance to catch VW cheating

CHICAGO (AP) — More than a decade ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency helped develop a technology that ultimately was used by an independent laboratory to catch Volkswagen's elaborate cheating on car emissions tests. But EPA used the technology primarily to test trucks rather than passenger cars because such heavy equipment was a much bigger polluter.

GM warns the Valley: Prepare to compete over driverless cars

MILFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Move that tiny self-driving pod out of the way.

US auto sales jump for Nissan, GM others in August

DETROIT (AP) — Just about everything broke right for the U.S. auto industry in September, as strong consumer demand, easy credit and generous incentives combined for double-digit sales gains at most major automakers.

VW confirms Poetsch to become chairman amid scandal

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Volkswagen has confirmed chief financial officer Hans Dieter Poetsch will become board chairman as the automaker faces a scandal over cars that were equipped to cheat on U.S. government emissions tests.

Auto lender fined $48 million for deceiving customers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Los Angeles-based auto lender Westlake Services faces $48.35 million in cash relief and penalties for deceiving customers and falsely threatening criminal prosecution, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says.


Stock market shakes of an early stumble, ends higher

NEW YORK (AP) — News of slower hiring last month jolted markets early Friday, driving government bonds up and the dollar down. The stock market, after slumping in early trading, finished the day with a solid gain.

Orders to US factories down 1.7 percent in August

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to U.S. factories fell in August by the largest amount in eight months, led by a drop in demand for commercial airplanes and weakness in a key category that tracks business investment spending.

An ailing global economy starts to weigh on US job market

WASHINGTON (AP) — A sagging global economy has finally caught up with the United States.

Wal-Mart HQ cuts with "need to become a more agile company"

NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart laid off 450 workers at its headquarters Friday as the world's largest retailer attempts to become more nimble so that it can better compete with the likes of Amazon.com.

Apart from low unemployment, just how healthy is job market?

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. unemployment rate — now just 5.1 percent — grabs a lot of the attention each month when the government issues its jobs data. Yet the rate doesn't come close to sketching a full picture of the job market.

Bernanke, in new memoir, recalls Lehman's 'surreal' failure

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ben Bernanke recalls the September weekend in 2008 when regulators sought desperately but in vain to save the investment bank Lehman Brothers as a "terrible, surreal moment."


Obama: No more temporary spending bills; budget deal needed

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says he won't sign another temporary government funding bill after the current one expires on Dec. 11.

EPA tightening limits on smog-causing ozone

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration has set a new national ozone standard, tightening limits on the smog-forming pollution linked to asthma and respiratory illness.

House passes defense bill that Obama threatens to veto

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-led House has passed a multibillion-dollar defense policy bill that faces a veto threat from President Barack Obama.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter & RSS:
Sign-Up For Our FREE email edition
Get the news first with our free weekly email
TNLedger.com Knoxville Editon