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VOL. 39 | NO. 48 | Friday, November 27, 2015

Vanishing bees pose big threat to economy

Honeybee pollination in Tennessee alone worth $119M annually

Dave Hackenberg, a beekeeper in Florida, discovered 400 of his over 2,000 beehives had been abandoned during the winter.

Nashvillian continues lifelong fascination with all things bees

Joel White’s fascination with bees began in 1975 when one of his college coaches took him out to some apiaries to show him around.

Queens, workers, drones: Types of bees and what they do

For honeybees, it’s all about the queen, and long may she reign.

Homeowners can do their part for bee health

Honeybee decline is on the rise, but there’s something Tennesseans can do about it, right in their own back (or front) yards.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Mostly Cloudy
Wind: Southwest at 5.8 mph
Humidity: 57%


Franklin Tree Lighting Ceremony. The Freedom Intermediate School Honors Choir, the Centennial High School Chamber Choir, Music City Strings and other surprise guests will make an appearance at this year’s event, which is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. today. The downtown Franklin Square will be closed for this event so attendees can view the movies and lights projected on the buildings and walk to the tree without worry of traffic. The square will be closed from 5:45-90 p.m.

more events »


If fear is the goal, terrorists have won in Tennessee

The terrorists who struck Paris three weeks ago succeeded in more than killing and wounding hundreds of people. Their attack is pitting Americans against each other in how to respond, and Tennessee politicians are no exception.


Shop a safe haven for barber, his customers

Mister T puts a straight razor to the busboy’s throat. “I like it here because of the comfortability,” says Larry Johnson, 32, the busboy, as Mister T finishes his surgically precise separation of whiskers from neck and chin.


Real estate world will miss Belmont, 12South pioneer Jenkins Hardin

Every now and then, someone comes along who is destined for greatness. This trait is evident in many people, even in their youth, and these characteristics follow them throughout their lives.


Top Middle Tennessee commercial real estate transactions for October 2015

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

Average US rate on 30-year mortgage slides to 3.95 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates slipped this week after they climbed recently expectations that the Federal Reserve may soon raise its key short-term interest rate.

US new-home sales rebound in October after September plummet

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of new homes recovered in October after suffering a steep drop in September, returning to this year's trend of an improving market for real estate developers and builders.


Learning from a citizen’s fight for public records

At a cost of about three or four college educations at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Sumner County’s school officials and school board just got educated about the state’s public records law.


Mularkey’s choice: Build resume or build for future

Mike Mularkey finds himself in a tough situation. The Titans head coach, who took over after Ken Whisenhunt was fired three games ago, knows he needs to win some games down the stretch to better enhance whatever chance he might have of being named permanent head coach.


Can VU pull off one more SEC win against Vols?

Tennessee football fans already are talking about their bowl destinations for the Christmas holidays.


Belmont’s Littlejohn named Professor of the Year

Belmont’s Ronnie Littlejohn, professor of philosophy and director of the University’s Asian Studies program, has been named as the 2015 Tennessee Professor of the Year, an award selection determined by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).


Escape updates communications for 2016

The Ford Escape gets better for 2016 with a new, easy-to-operate version of its Sync onboard communications and control system that’s quicker to respond and more user-friendly.


Beacon of hope in rise of proximity marketing

With 2016 just around the corner, it’s the right time to consider emerging marketing trends that could benefit your company’s growth strategy.


Poet’s indescretions lead down meandering path

Last week we noted that American poet Ezra Pound wrote a historical two-line poem in 1913. While establishing himself as a leader in the movement that gave us stream-of-consciousness fiction, free-verse poetry, atonal music and abstract art. And years before being indicted for treason.


Holiday weight loss advice: Forget about it

I hardly ever dream, and when I do, I hardly ever remember them. Usually, when I lay my head down on my pillow and close my eyes, that’s all. It’s all over until the next morning.


Dollar General 3Q profit beats Street, sales increase

GOODLETTSVILLE (AP) — Dollar General's third-quarter profit topped expectations on strong sales of candy and snacks, though revenue, while up, fell a bit short of projections.


Culinary pioneer, early TV cook Phila Hach dead at 89

NASHVILLE (AP) - Phila Hach, a culinary pioneer from Tennessee who had the first televised cooking show in the South, has died.


2-day union vote starts today at Volkswagen's US plant

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — Union voting gets underway for skilled-trades workers at the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee on Thursday.


Nielsen: Smartphones and the Internet are eating our TV time

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The use of Internet-ready devices like smartphones has seriously cut into American's TV-watching time, new Nielsen data shows, potentially undercutting the notion that mobile devices merely serve as "second screens" while people are plopped in front of the set.

Google ups ante, nearly doubles bet on renewable energy

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google is nearly doubling the amount of renewable energy feeding its massive data centers that enable more than 1 billion people to search for information, watch video clips and communicate virtually anytime they want.


Average US rate on 30-year mortgages slips to 3.93 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates edged lower this week for a third straight week.


Yellen signals growing likelihood of a December rate hike

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen tells Congress that economic conditions are falling into place for policymakers to raise interest rates when they meet in two weeks — as long as there are no major shocks that undermine her confidence.

US factory orders rise in Oct., ending streak of declines

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factory orders rebounded in October after two prior monthly declines, helped by rising demand for aircraft, computers and machinery.

Survey: Growth at US services firms slowed last month

WASHINGTON (AP) — A private survey says U.S. services firms grew last month at the weakest pace since May.

US, European stocks fall as ECB falls short of expectations

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks edged lower and European markets fell sharply Thursday after the European Central Bank announced stimulus plans that were less aggressive than investors were expecting.

Applications for US jobless aid rose slightly last week

WASHINGTON (AP) — More people applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, but the levels remain near historic lows that point toward a healthy job market.

ECB expands stimulus, but not as much as expected

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The European Central Bank cut a key interest rate and extended its stimulus program to bolster the 19-country eurozone economy — but the actions underwhelmed investors, who pushed stocks sharply lower.

Yahoo mulls shareholder demand to sell Internet business

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Yahoo's board is considering an activist shareholder's demand to sell the Internet services the company is best known for, a maneuver that might help the company dodge a tax bill of more than $10 billion looming over its holdings in China's Alibaba Group.


Attorney General: Nashville DA won't face criminal charges

NASHVILLE (AP) - Nashville District Attorney Glenn Funk will not face criminal prosecution for accepting a controversial part-time job that allowed him to get a good deal on the state's pension plan and health insurance for him and his family.

Tennessee State University hires campus police consultant

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee State University has hired a consultant to review and make recommendations about the campus police department.

Metro Nashville bans gun shows at fairgrounds

NASHVILLE (AP) - Metro Nashville officials have decided to stop allowing gun shows at the city's fairgrounds until those who operate the events adopt stricter measures.


Bush first with approved delegate list in Tennessee GOP primary

NASHVILLE (AP) - Jeb Bush is the first of 17 candidates appearing on Tennessee presidential primary ballots to submit an approved list delegates.


Jack Daniel's maker misses Street 2Q forecasts

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Brown-Forman Corp. (BF.B) on Wednesday reported fiscal second-quarter profit of $200 million.


2014 US health spending grew at fastest rate of Obama years

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health care spending last year grew at the fastest pace since President Barack Obama took office, driven by expanded coverage under his namesake law and by zooming prescription drug costs, the government said Wednesday.


Things to know about the latest UAW vote at Volkswagen

NASHVILLE (AP) - Nearly 20 months after narrowly losing a union election at Volkswagen's lone U.S. plant in Tennessee, the United Auto Workers are up for another vote affecting a much smaller number of employees.

US auto sales hit 14-year high in November; Nissan up 4%

DETROIT (AP) — November used to be a slow month for U.S. car sales. Not anymore.

UAW exploring new strategies at Volkswagen

NASHVILLE (AP) — Frustrated in past attempts to organize its first foreign automaker in the South, the United Auto Workers union is taking a new approach at Volkswagen's plant in Tennessee.


Yahoo up on report of possible sale of Internet business

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Yahoo are up sharply Wednesday on a report that the company will discuss the sale of its Internet business.


A slump in the price of crude oil sinks energy stocks

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks sank Wednesday as a sharp drop in the price of oil dragged down energy companies. U.S. crude closed below $40 a barrel for the first time since August.

Fed says more consumer spending, housing boost US growth

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve says the U.S. economy grew at a modest pace this fall, lifted by higher consumer spending and more home sales and construction.

Record Cyber Monday spending tops $3 billion

NEW YORK (AP) — Shoppers spent more than $3 billion online this "Cyber Monday," making it the biggest online shopping day ever.

Yellen says economy on track ahead of expected rate hike

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Wednesday indicated that the U.S. economy is on track for an interest rate hike this month, but she said the Fed will need to review incoming data before making a final decision.

CSX cuts outlook, again, as appetite for coal fades

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — For the second time this year, CSX railroad has cut its annual outlook as the nation's appetite for coal deteriorates further.

Survey: US businesses hired at healthy pace last month

WASHINGTON (AP) — American businesses stepped up hiring last month, led by strong gains in retail, finance and other service industries, a private survey found.

US productivity grows at 2.2 percent rate in third quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. productivity this summer grew at a faster rate than first thought, though it still lagged the pace set in the spring. Labor costs were also revised up, but the modest upward pace does not raise concerns about inflation.


How climate negotiations proceed: just like an action movie

LE BOURGET, France (AP) — With world leaders back home, it's time for the hardcore negotiators to work on the more mundane guts of a climate deal, and they are being told to quicken their pace.


GOP state Rep. Leigh Wilburn resigns from Tennessee House

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican state Rep. Leigh Wilburn of Somerville is resigning from the Tennessee General Assembly just one year into her first term.


Kasich makes fundraising stops in Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican presidential candidate John Kasich said Tuesday that his visit to Tennessee is aimed at avoiding having to scramble for support in the state's March 1 primary if he emerges as a strong contender from the earliest contests.

Haslam seeks autonomy for 6 public universities in Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is proposing to grant more autonomy to six public universities and focus the Tennessee Board of Regents' efforts on the state's 40 community and technical colleges.

Intellectual disabilities program to cost $19 million

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam said Tuesday that a program to help people with intellectual disabilities find jobs makes sense, but he wants to learn more about it before investing $19 million.

8 Tennessee lawmakers sign on as Marco Rubio delegates

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio's list of Tennessee delegates includes former U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, state House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick and state Sens. Brian Kelsey and Jack Johnson.


UnitedHealth CEO terms ACA exchange growth a 'bad decision'

UnitedHealth CEO Stephen Hemsley offered a mea culpa Tuesday for his company's decision to dive deeper into the Affordable Care Act's public insurance exchanges, a move that ultimately forced the nation's largest health insurer to cut its earnings forecast.

BlueCross BlueShield splits from Vanderbilt Medical Center

NASHVILLE (AP) — A branch of the insurance company BlueCross BlueShield has split from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, forcing thousands of senior citizens to act quickly or lose medical coverage.


Tennessee AG says state can't refuse Syrian refugees

NASHVILLE (AP) — State Attorney General Herbert Slatery says in a legal opinion that federal law prevents Tennessee from refusing entry of Syrian refugees.


Volkswagen brand US sales fall nearly 25 percent in November

DETROIT (AP) — Volkswagen's emissions-cheating scandal took a serious bite out of the company's U.S. sales last month.

Volkswagen to appeal ruling allowing 'micro' union at plant

NASHVILLE (AP) - Volkswagen on Tuesday informed workers at its lone U.S. plant in Chattanooga that it is appealing a decision to allow the United Auto Workers union to seek collective bargaining rights for a small group of skilled workers.

Nissan, GM, Fiat Chrysler sales up in November, Ford flat

DETROIT (AP) — November used to be a slow month for U.S. car sales. Not anymore.

A new union election at VW, this time without the furor

NASHVILLE (AP) — A new union vote is scheduled for this week at the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee, but so far it's been largely devoid of the public threats, promises and handwringing that surrounded last year's election at the factory.

RV industry completes turnaround after stalling in recession

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — After a long, bumpy ride, production of RVs has just about returned to where it was before the Great Recession put sales in the slow lane.


US construction spending rises to highest level in 8 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. construction spending jumped in October, fueled by solid gains in home building and the largest increase in federal construction in nine years.


Stocks advance in solid start to December trading

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks started off December on a strong note, helped by improving economic data from Japan and Europe as well as hopes that the European Central Bank will expand its stimulus program. Trading remained relatively quiet ahead of the release later this week of the U.S. government's monthly jobs survey and a Federal Reserve meeting later this month.

US factory activity drops in November; first decline in 3 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factory activity plummeted last month to the lowest level in more than six years, with a stronger dollar and low oil prices cutting new orders and hurting production.

Group funded by Coca-Cola to fight obesity disbanding

NEW YORK (AP) — A nonprofit funded by the Coca-Cola Co. to combat obesity is disbanding following revelations about the beverage maker's involvement with the group.

Appalachia grasps for hope as coal loses its grip

WELCH, W.Va. (AP) — The seams of coal in some of Eddie Asbury's mines in McDowell County are so thin workers can barely squeeze down them. They enter on carts nearly flat on their backs, the roof of the mine coursing by just a few inches in front of their faces. They don't stand up all day.


Obama says parts of climate deal must be legally binding

Parts of a global climate agreement being hammered out in Paris should be legally binding, President Barack Obama said Tuesday. The declaration was a boost to climate negotiators seeking a tough accord and a challenge to Republican senators, many of whom don’t believe that global warming is real.

From racing to rum, things to know about year-end tax breaks

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's December, when Congress typically passes a last-minute package of temporary tax breaks, sparing millions of businesses and individuals from unwanted tax increases just weeks before the start of filing season.


Country Music Hall celebrates millionth visitor in 2015

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville says it will celebrate its millionth visitor in 2015 in a ceremony later this week.


Haslam to hear from 26 state agencies before crafting budget

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam is kicking off a week of budget hearings at the state Capitol on Monday.

Fines going up for those who don't wear seat belts

NASHVILLE (AP) — Fines for not wearing seat beats in Tennessee will more than double at the beginning of next year.


US pending home sales edge up in October

WASHINGTON (AP) — Slightly more Americans signed contracts to buy homes in October, a modest rebound after two prior monthly declines. The figures add to evidence that the housing market has lost some of its momentum after rapid sales growth earlier this year.


Fed moves to bar bailouts of failing firms

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve officials have moved to prevent the central bank from bailing out failing companies, a power it exercised during the 2008 financial crisis.

Signs of weak holiday spending send retail stocks lower

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed modestly lower on Monday, as traders returned from the Thanksgiving holiday to focus on the early signs of how the holiday shopping season may turn out and where interest rates may go in the U.S. and Europe.

EPA boosts amount of ethanol in gasoline supply

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is boosting the amount of corn-based ethanol and other renewable fuels in the U.S. gasoline supply despite sustained opposition by an unusual alliance of oil companies, environmentalists and some GOP presidential candidates.

Cyber Monday sales still on top, but losing some luster

NEW YORK (AP) — Retailers are rolling out online deals on so-called "Cyber Monday." But now that shoppers are online all the time anyway, the 10-year-old shopping holiday is losing some of its luster.

'12 Days of Christmas' items top $34K, up 0.6 percent

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Lords a-leaping is the U.S. economy slow to recover!


McCarthy predicts no gov't shutdown over Planned Parenthood

WASHINGTON (AP) — A top House leader predicted Monday that Washington will avoid stumbling into a government shutdown next week over a tea party-backed drive to take away Planned Parenthood's funding.

Congress returns to looming deadlines on budget, highways

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers are returning to Capitol Hill to wrap up work on the budget, highway spending and taxes, an end-of-the-year stretch that will test the standing of Republican leaders like House Speaker Paul Ryan with the GOP's tea party wing and its anti-establishment presidential candidates.


US stocks make small gains before holiday; HP tumbles

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are closing mostly higher in light trading ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S.

NY court hears arguments on fantasy sports

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York court is hearing arguments over the legality of the country's two biggest daily fantasy sports companies.

More optimism among middle class buoys US consumer sentiment

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans were more optimistic about their incomes and personal finances this month, particularly among lower and middle-class households, lifting consumers' outlook.

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