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VOL. 40 | NO. 51 | Friday, December 16, 2016

'We always believed in Coach Mason'

After weathering fan doubts, head-scratching losses, VU coach finds redemption

"I spent the last 24 months driving past this orange mailbox, and I wanted to hit it every day. Every day. Sometimes I’d swerve and I’d pull back and just keep going. Now I don’t have to hit it. I just wave at it.”

Longtime fan Wyatt judges Mason’s progress as coach

You might not know this, but Vanderbilt football coach Derek Mason has a lot in common with Nashville Criminal Court Judge Randall Wyatt.

Mason promises tattoo if Commodores win bowl

Ardent Vanderbilt football fan Mike Harris patiently waited in line for nearly a half hour to spend a few minutes talking with Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason.

The Mason file

Mason became Vanderbilt’s 28th head coach in January 2014, coming to Nashville after serving as associate head coach and Willie Shaw Director of Defense for the 2013 Pacific-12 champion Stanford Cardinal.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
A Few Clouds
Wind: from the North at 10.4 gusting to 20.7 mph
Humidity: 27%


Holiday Lights at Cheekwood. Featuring one million lights illuminating gardens. 5-10 p.m. daily through Jan. 3. Closed on Mondays and Christmas Day. Fee: Non-member advance, $20 adult, $15 ages 3-17. Advance member pricing: $15 adult, $10 ages 3-17. Parking $5. 1200 Forrest Park Drive, Nashville. Information: https://cheekwood.org/tickets

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Faison’s folly? A conservative pushing marijuana in Tennessee

By just about any measure, state Rep. Jeremy Faison is a hard-core conservative. But when it comes to the cannabis plant, the East Tennessee legislator is ready to fire up the General Assembly with a move to liberalize the state’s pot law.


Legendary Orbison poised for posthumus comeback

“Dum-dum-dum-dumdy-doo-wah ….” Probably not a pretty sound, but that’s what I was singing – “Only the Lonely” – when I pulled my ancient Saab into a visitor’s spot in the parking lot outside the building named for Nashville’s most-celebrated rock star, a kind man with a voice that soared from baritone to tenor as he sang of heartache, loss and, very seldom, life’s triumphs.


Land rush: Buyers in frenzy ahead of higher interest rates

With the imminent rise in the mortgage interest rates looming on the horizon, Nashville area buyers rushed into the ever-shrinking inventory of houses and condominiums in October and purchased thousands of homes.


Top Middle Tennessee residential transactions for Nov. 2016

Top residential real estate sales, November 2016, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.


Time to expand college football playoffs to 8 teams

When it comes to college football, I tend to be a traditionalist. That doesn’t mean I yearn for the days of leather helmets and quick kicks.


Winning with ‘bad’ Mariota a good sign for Titans

The Titans had been riding the gifted right arm of Marcus Mariota for about two months.

Titans at Chiefs: What to watch

First down: Different game, same plan. The Titans’ run-first plan on offense worked against the Broncos, and it could be their M.O., again this week against the Chiefs, who have a talented defense just like the Broncos but can be vulnerable against the run. The Titans will, however, need more from Marcus Mariota than they got against Denver.


McCarver named COO for Vanderbilt Adult Hospital

Scott McCarver, associate operating office for Vanderbilt University Adult Hospital and Clinics, has been named chief operating officer for the Vanderbilt University Adult Hospital.


New QX30 SUV based on Mercedes GLA platform

Nissan’s luxury brand Infiniti adds a third SUV this year with the compact QX30, which rides and looks more like a small hatchback.


Brand dissonance could help your business stand out

The primary reason most advertising fails is that the message sounds remarkably similar to other competitors in the marketplace.


Big cities are great but not always the best place to work

One of the first things every job seeker considers is what city to live in next, and a list of questions comes up when evaluating options:


Order up: One ham biscuit, hold the biscuit

In the mid-1970s, Susan and I went into a fast food restaurant. We sat down, and the chair that she sat in, one of those glued-to-the-floor models that was prevalent at that time, just sorta slowly came loose from the floor and fell over.


California puts brakes on Uber's self-driving car rollout

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California has put the brakes on Uber's weeklong experiment with using self-driving cars on the streets of San Francisco.

Honda, Google in talks on self-driving vehicle partnership

DETROIT (AP) — Honda is in talks with Google to install the tech company's self-driving technology in Honda vehicles.


US economy grew at strong 3.5 pct. annual rate last quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew at a 3.5 percent annual rate in the July-September quarter, the fastest pace in two years and more than the government had previously estimated. But the growth spurt isn't expected to last.

Stocks slip further as retailers lead US indexes lower

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are lower Thursday morning as retailers slide. Bed Bath & Beyond is down after posting weak sales, while e-commerce company Alibaba is down after regulators again sanctioned the company for sales of counterfeit goods. Without a lot of major news before the holidays, investors are scrutinizing a handful of company earnings. Software company Red Hat is falling after reporting weak results.

US business investment rose in November for 2nd month

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. businesses stepped up their spending on industrial machinery, steel, and other big-ticket items last month, a sign that one of the economy's weak spots may be improving.

Applications for US jobless aid jump to still low 275,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans sought unemployment aid last week, but the number of applications remains at a low level that suggests companies are still hiring.


Trump picks China hawk to lead new White House trade council

WASHINGTON (AP) — In another sign that he intends to shake up relations with China, President-elect Donald Trump named economist Peter Navarro to lead a newly created White House council on trade.


Haslam recommends Flora Tydings to head Board of Regents

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam is recommending Chattanooga State Community College President Flora Tydings as the next chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents system.


M. Lee Smith, publisher of Tennessee Journal, dies at 74

NASHVILLE (AP) - M. Lee Smith, an influential political adviser and newsletter publisher who once broke the news that a Tennessee governor had hired a convicted double-murderer as a state photographer, has died. He was 74.


Haslam says GOP colleagues seek delay on road funding plan

NASHVILLE (AP) — While Gov. Bill Haslam says he's ready to unveil his plan to boost road funding in Tennessee, he says he's putting off making any proposal public until fellow Republicans in the Legislature have time to explore their own funding ideas.


Existing US home sales reach highest since February 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans bought homes in November in the fastest pace in nearly a decade. But rising mortgage rates, a deepening shortage of houses and higher prices are likely to weigh on the market next year.


Volkswagen deal gives some diesel car owners buyback option

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Volkswagen reached a deal that will give at least some owners of the remaining 80,000 diesel vehicles caught in the company's emissions cheating scandal the option of a buyback and provide compensation to all of them on top of any repurchase or repairs, U.S. regulators and a federal judge said Tuesday.


Not today: Dow still short of 20,000 as health stocks skid

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks finished slightly lower Wednesday as health care companies continued to struggle. Energy companies rose as the price of natural gas surged on the first day of winter.

Goldman ordered to pay $120M to settle manipulation charges

WASHINGTON (AP) — Goldman Sachs has been ordered to pay $120 million to settle federal regulators' charges that it deliberately manipulated a global benchmark for interest-rate swaps to its advantage.

Feds: Pension exec moved $2B for coke, hookers, other bribes

NEW YORK (AP) — A former top official at the country's third-largest pension fund and two broker-dealers were charged Wednesday in what a federal prosecutor described as a classic bribery scheme that steered $2 billion in trades in exchange for drugs, prostitutes, vacations and U.S. Open tennis tickets.


Report: 6 officers in students' arrests violated policy

MURFREESBORO (AP) - Six of the 10 officers involved in arresting elementary students at a school in Tennessee violated their department's policies, an internal police investigation determined.


Census estimates show Tennessee has grown in past year

NASHVILLE (AP) - Census estimates show Tennessee's population has grown in the past year by about 56,000 people.

USDA: Drought makes 46 Tennessee counties disaster areas

NASHVILLE (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated nearly half of Tennessee's counties as primary natural disaster areas because of damage and losses caused by drought conditions.


TSU receiving $2M career development grant

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee State University plans to enhance student career development initiatives with a $2 million grant that is part of the United Negro College Fund Career Pathways Initiative.


State high court upholds death sentence for Tennessee man

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court has upheld a death sentence for a man convicted of murdering a young couple.


Volkswagen reaches deal on final cars in emissions scandal

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Volkswagen reached a deal with U.S. regulators and attorneys for car owners for the remaining 80,000 diesel vehicles caught in the company's emissions cheating scandal, a federal judge announced Tuesday.


Report: DEA records show W. Va. flooded with painkillers

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Drug wholesalers shipped 780 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills to West Virginia in just six years, a period when 1,728 people fatally overdosed on these two painkillers, according to an investigation by the Charleston Gazette-Mail.


Shares close higher on Wall Street

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks set new records Tuesday as big gains by banks and travel companies propelled the Dow Jones industrial average ever closer to the symbolic 20,000 level, which remained just out of reach.

Disney among 6 retailers stopping on-call shift scheduling

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Disney and Aeropostale are among six retailers that have agreed to stop using on-call shift scheduling following an inquiry by a coalition of nine attorneys general.

Walgreens, Rite Aid selling 865 stores to Fred's in $9.4B deal

Walgreens and Rite Aid will sell 865 stores to rival retailer Fred's for $950 million, potentially removing the final roadblock thwarting a tie up between the nation's largest and third-largest drugstore chains.


Tennessee electors unanimously vote for Trump for president

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee's 11 presidential electors on Monday cast their ballots for Republican Donald Trump amid protesters demanding they stray from their legal obligation to support the candidate who carried the state.


GM to temporarily close 5 factories; Spring Hill spared

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors will temporarily close five factories next month as it tries to reduce a growing inventory of cars on dealer lots.

Volkswagen faces deadline in possible emissions scandal deal

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Volkswagen faced a Monday deadline to tell a federal judge whether it had reached a deal with U.S. regulators and attorneys for car owners on the remaining 80,000 diesel vehicles that cheated on emissions tests.


Medicare outpatients risk higher bills for some procedures

WASHINGTON (AP) — You pay less for outpatient treatment than for a hospital admission, right? Not necessarily in the topsy-turvy world of Medicare billing, according to a government report.


Big dividend payers lead indexes higher in quiet trading

NEW YORK (AP) — With the Christmas holiday and the end of 2016 coming into view, U.S. stocks edged higher Monday as bond yields dropped and investors who sought income moved money into phone company and real estate stocks.

Feds: Fund execs lied after oil rig blast hurt investments

NEW YORK (AP) — Hedge fund executives were charged Monday in a $1 billion fraud case linked to an oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico that killed three workers and injured several others.

Poker pro, friend must repay $10.1M to Borgata in cards case

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Poker pro Phil Ivey and a companion must return more than $10 million they won from an Atlantic City casino while playing cards that were arranged in a certain way to give the players an edge.

'Rogue One' soars to second-best December debut with $155M

LOS ANGELES (AP) — "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" soared to the top of the weekend box office as expected, scoring the second-best December opening ever with $155 million in estimated ticket sales.


Feds issue grand jury subpoenas in Jeremy Durham probe

NASHVILLE (AP) - Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed witnesses to testify before a grand jury looking into possible charges against former state Rep. Jeremy Durham.


Tennessee electors pledge strong support for Donald Trump

NASHVILLE (AP) - A flood of emails, phone calls and letters isn't expected to influence the decisions of Tennessee's 11 members of the Electoral College when they cast their ballots Monday at the state Capitol.

Haslam bid to require online sales tax clears 1st hurdle

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's efforts to require more online retailers to collect Tennessee sales taxes has cleared its first major hurdle in the Legislature.

Davenport becomes 1st female chancellor of UT-Knoxville

NASHVILLE  (AP) — The University of Tennessee's Board of Trustees on Thursday unanimously approved the appointment of Beverly Davenport as the first female chancellor of the public university system's flagship campus in Knoxville.


Diesel scandal can't keep Volkswagen sales down

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Volkswagen's sales just keep going up despite its scandal over cars that cheated on diesel emissions tests.

Volkswagen to update judge on last cars in emissions scandal

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal judge on Friday planned to hear whether Volkswagen, U.S. regulators and attorneys for vehicle owners had reached a deal for the remaining 80,000 cars caught up in the company's emissions cheating scandal.

California, Uber still negotiating self-driving car legality

Negotiations over whether Uber must stop its newly launched self-driving car service in San Francisco have concluded without a clear resolution, according to California transportation regulators.


US home construction fell in November after October surge

WASHINGTON (AP) — Builders pulled back on constructing homes in November, after ground breakings surged in October to the strongest pace in more than nine years.

Rates surging 5 weeks post-election; will home sales weaken?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mortgage rates are still surging five weeks after Donald Trump's election victory. Will higher rates weaken prospective buyers' confidence next year and dampen home sales?

US homebuilder confidence hits highest level since 2005

U.S. homebuilders' confidence soared this month to the highest level in 11 years, reflecting heightened expectations of better sales now and well into 2017.

US average 30-year mortgage rate rises to 4.16 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates climbed for the seventh straight week following Donald Trump's election victory, again marking new highs for the year.


Facebook finally gets serious about fighting fake news

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook is taking new measures to curb the spread of fake news on its huge and influential social network, focusing on the "worst of the worst" offenders and partnering with outside fact-checkers to sort honest news reports from made-up stories that play to people's passions and preconceived notions.

Yahoo's big breach helps usher in an age of hacker anxiety

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Yahoo has become the worst-case example of an unnerving but increasingly common phenomenon — massive hacks that steal secrets and other potentially revealing information from our personal digital accounts, or from big organizations that hold sensitive data on our behalf.


Weak tech, bank stocks pull indexes back from record highs

NEW YORK (AP) — Falling technology and financial stocks pulled U.S. indexes back from the edge of record highs on Friday. Bond yields gave up some of their big gains from the last few days, and the dollar downshifted from its sharp climb against other currencies.

Stores push deals, hope to lure shoppers for holiday stretch

NEW YORK (AP) — Stores are pushing deals and incentives like free shipping for the final week of the holiday shopping season, as new numbers show people are so far spending at a bit of a slower pace than last year.

Fed has 8 biggest US banks shift loss burden to investors

WASHINGTON (AP) — The eight biggest U.S. banks will be required to build new cushions against losses that would shift the burden to investors. The action by the Federal Reserve was the latest bid by regulators to reduce the chances of future taxpayer bailouts.


FCC Chairman Wheeler to resign on Inauguration Day

NEW YORK (AP) — The head of the Federal Communications Commission, which regulates broadcasters, phone and cable companies, says he will step down in January as President-elect Donald Trump takes office.

Trump picks Montana Rep. Zinke for interior post

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump has officially chosen Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke to serve as his interior secretary.

US gas prices jump 6 cents over 2 weeks to $2.26 a gallon

CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) — The average price of regular-grade gasoline has jumped 6 cents nationally over the past two weeks, to $2.26 a gallon.

Yellen to college grads: Best job market in nearly a decade

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Monday that college graduates are entering the strongest job market the country has seen in nearly a decade, and their degree is more important than ever.

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