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VOL. 38 | NO. 7 | Friday, February 14, 2014

Grand new grub: Top chefs, hot restaurants are drawing a new breed of tourist to Music City

Sure, most tourists come to Nashville for the music. But the city’s burgeoning culinary scene is starting to attract visitors more attuned to their palates than their ears.

Challenge: Getting locals to explore downtown

When Wills and Camille Morgan, a 70-something couple from Belle Meade, came to the Music City Center recently for an antiques convention, they didn’t plan on sticking around too long.

Williamson County seeks its own tourism identity

Williamson County now ranks sixth in terms of visitor spending in Tennessee, taking advantage of being so close to the tourist behemoth that nearby Nashville has become.

LGBT travelers offer Middle Tennessee a lucrative demographic

The secret’s out. Nashville’s a magnet for all who love music, sports, great food and, of course, the ABC hit musical drama that shares the city’s name.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Mostly Cloudy
Wind: Southwest at 11.5 mph
Humidity: 47%


People’s Law School. A free program that provides an overview of common civil legal issues. Taught by Legal Aid Society attorneys and volunteer attorneys, the weekly, one-hour classes are 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays at Wright Middle School, 180 McCall St., and at Cohn Learning Center, 4805 Park Ave. Registration information: 298-8050, www.nashville.gov/Nashville-Community-Edcuation.aspx.

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Spyridon: For Downtown Nashville, it’s all about more hotel space

When he watched the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Music City Center in May 2012, Butch Spyridon was ready to exhale.

Downtown Nashville eating tour hits sweet spots

Lower Broadway wasn’t always a tourist destination. Even locals wouldn’t be caught there after dark 20 years ago. Today it’s a different story, with the new convention center bringing year-round business to downtown’s many bars and restaurants.


Haslam's free community college tuition plan actually punishes high achievers

During the State of the State on Feb. 3, Gov. Haslam laid out his plan for all graduating seniors to attend community college and college of applied technology for free. He called it the Tennessee Promise.


Coley becomes national voice in fight against sex trafficking

You may not know it, but human trafficking is a problem in Tennessee. It’s such a problem that Rep. Jim Coley (R-Bartlett), chairmen of the House Civil Justice Subcommittee, has dedicated his career in office to fight against the crime in his home state.


Are you really bidding against yourself?

“I am not going to bid against myself.” That’s a popular sentence these days, and a growing number of real estate buyers and sellers delight in their utterance of this proclamation.


Better Midstate talent pool a boon to UT recruiting

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a recruiting guru, nor do I play one in this newspaper column.


Bass, Berry & Sims names new leadership

W. Brantley Phillips, Jr. has been elected to serve on the executive committee of Bass, Berry & Sims PLC.


Personal branding can actually limit future sale of your company

Many of the top-performing CEOs in the world, as determined by Harvard Business Review, are names that aren’t exactly fodder for dinner conversation.


Muddling through an atypical recovery

Last week’s December jobs number was billed as an economic tiebreaker after a string of mixed data.


Recovery in the cards after quick trip to Vegas

Last year, I injured my left ring finger. Despite treatment, it got worse. By year’s end, it was popping each time I opened my hand. And hurting like crazy when I squeezed my hand shut. My family doc diagnosed “trigger finger” and assured me minor surgery could fix it.


Elton John, Kanye among Bonnaroo headliners

NASHVILLE (AP) — The eclectic trio of Elton John, Kanye West and Jack White will headline this summer's Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival.


Tennessee House passes supermarket wine sales bill

NASHVILLE (AP) - A years-long effort to allow wine to be sold outside of Tennessee liquor stores easily cleared what was expected to be its toughest hurdle on Thursday when the state House overwhelmingly approved the measure.


Belcourt Theatre selling tickets to Oscar Party

NASHVILLE (AP) — Movie buffs and fans of the independent cinema can watch this year's Academy Awards ceremony in style and support Nashville's historic Belcourt Theatre at the same time.


Gauge of US economy's health up 0.3 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — A measure of the U.S. economy's health posted a moderate gain in January, suggesting that the economy will continue to expand in the first half of this year.

US applications for jobless benefits drop to 336k

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits fell a slight 3,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 336,000, a sign that layoffs remain low.

US consumer prices rose 0.1 percent last month

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer prices barely rose last month as a sharp increase in energy costs was offset by cheaper clothing, cars and air fares. The figures indicate inflation remains mild.

Stocks rise after US report offsets China weakness

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks rose Thursday after a survey showed that U.S. manufacturing expanded at the fastest pace in almost four years. The report helped offset a weak survey on Chinese manufacturing.

Average 30-year US mortgage rate up to 4.33 pct

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose this week but remained near historically low levels.

Oil below $103 as Chinese factory activity drops

Oil prices slipped below $103 a barrel Thursday after a report indicated that manufacturing in China, the world's second-biggest economy, shrank again in February.

Stores can see where you go by tracking your phone

WASHINGTON (AP) — Should shoppers turn off their smartphones when they hit the mall? Or does having them on lead to better sales or shorter lines at the cash register?

WhatsApp: A $19 billion bet for Facebook

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook is placing a $19 billion bet on reaching its next billion mobile users with the acquisition of WhatsApp, a popular messaging service that lets people send texts, photos and videos on their smartphones.


Officials: Obama drops budget cost-of-living trims

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama's upcoming budget proposal will not include his past offer to accept lowered cost-of-living increases in Social Security and other benefit programs. Those had been a central component of his long-term debt-reduction strategy.


Google aims to provide broadband in Nashville, 33 other cities

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google is planning to offer high-speed Internet service in Nashville and 33 other cities scattered across eight states in an ambitious expansion aimed at providing formidable competition to cable and telecommunication providers.


Mississippi police: 3 Doors Down bassist arrested on DUI

D'IBERVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Todd Harrell, a founding member and bassist for 3 Doors Down facing a vehicular homicide case in Tennessee, was arrested Tuesday night on a DUI charge in Mississippi, according to police.


Lawmakers seek compromise on school voucher bill

NASHVILLE (AP) - Lawmakers trying to decide on a limited school voucher program in Tennessee or a broader one say they're close to reaching an agreement on legislation.

Wedding services bill dead this session

NASHVILLE (AP) — A proposal to protect wedding-related businesses from lawsuits if they refuse to provide services to same-sex couples is dead for the session after being withdrawn from a Senate committee on Tuesday.


Tesla's shares soar on results, sales outlook

PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) — Tesla Motors' stock is soaring after the electric car maker reported strong sales and improved profit margins for the fourth quarter.

ECD chief: UAW no deal breaker for West Tennessee site

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee officials promoting a 6-square-mile "mega site" outside Memphis say it would be ideally suited for a new auto assembly plant - even if its workers are represented by the United Auto Workers union.


FCC won't appeal ruling on Internet neutrality

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Communications Commission says it won't appeal a court decision that struck down rules it designed to ensure that the transmission of all Internet content be treated equally. The agency says it will fashion new rules.

Fed minutes point to continued paring of stimulus

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve officials agreed at their January meeting that further gradual reductions in their stimulus would be appropriate as long as the economy keeps improving.

LinkedIn gives members more room to share insights

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — LinkedIn is hoping to unleash more wisdom on its professional networking service by giving its 277 million accountholders more space to share their experiences and insights.

US housing construction down 16 percent in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home construction fell in January for a second month but the weakness in both months reflected severe winter weather in many parts of the country. The expectation is that housing will deliver another year of solid gains, helped by an improving economy.

US producer prices rose slight 0.2 percent in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — The cost of producing goods and services in the United States rose slightly in January, with higher food prices partly offset by cheaper gas. Overall, inflation remains mild.

Stocks slip as Fed rate talk spooks some investors

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks fell Wednesday as investors were left uneasy by news that Federal Reserve policymakers were willing to start raising short-term interest rates sooner than previously expected.

Oil up over $103 on winter demand, supply concerns

The price of oil rose 1 percent to close above $103 a barrel Wednesday, driven by severe winter weather in the U.S. and supply concerns.

Signet Jewelers buying Zale for about $690M

DALLAS (AP) — Two diamond sellers are getting engaged.


Obama's N. American agenda hits congressional drag

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama headed into a summit Wednesday with Mexican and Canadian leaders eager to engage on issues of trade and other neighbor-to-neighbor interests, even as Congress is pushing back against some of his top cross-border agenda items.

Trade bills divide Obama, fellow Dems

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says it will continue to press Congress for "fast track" authority to speed approval of trade deals even as election-year politics makes the task harder.

Minimum wage report puts Democrats on defensive

WASHINGTON (AP) — A report by Congress' nonpartisan budget analysts seems to have thrown Democrats onto the defensive after it concluded that the party's drive to boost the federal minimum wage could cost a half-million jobs by 2016.


Kentucky panel approves marker for Grandpa Jones

HENDERSON, Ky. (AP) - The Kentucky Historical Society has approved a proposed highway marker to honor country music entertainer Louis "Grandpa" Jones at his birthplace.


Bill would make daylight saving time permanent in Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) - A bill pending in the Tennessee legislature would have the state adopt a uniform time system.


Jon Meacham guest at Lipscomb series

NASHVILLE (AP) — Historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham is being hosted by Lipscomb University Thursday for the school's conversational series Now that You Ask.


Obama wants more fuel-efficient trucks on US roads

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (AP) — Drawing a link between reduced fuel consumption and climate change, President Barack Obama said Tuesday that his administration will issue tougher fuel-efficiency standards for delivery trucks by March 2016.


US homebuilder confidence sinks in February

U.S. homebuilders' confidence in the housing market declined sharply this month as the severe weather battering much of the nation keeps many would-be buyers at home.

Stocks close higher after holiday; Coca-Cola falls

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are ending mostly higher on Wall Street as traders get back to work after a long holiday weekend.

US cold, Chinese growth help lift oil above $102

The price of oil closed above $102 a barrel Tuesday on expectations that cold weather in the U.S. and steady Chinese growth will underpin demand.

Coca-Cola's profit slips as US soda sales lag

NEW YORK (AP) — Coca-Cola says its fourth-quarter profit fell as the world's biggest beverage maker once again sold less soda in North America.

Olympians tiptoe around sponsorship ban

SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Want to see the glasses and goggles that aerials skier Lydia Lassila and snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis wore at the Sochi Olympics? If you go to the website of the company that manufactures their eyewear, you might be in for a shock.


Budget office: Wage hike would lift pay, cost jobs

WASHINGTON (AP) — Boosting the federal minimum wage as President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats are proposing would increase earnings for more than 16.5 million people by 2016 but also cut employment by roughly 500,000 jobs, Congress' nonpartisan budget analyst said Tuesday.

Obama, fellow Dems are at odds on big trade bills

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama wants to put major emerging trade deals with Europe and Asia on a "fast track" to congressional passage. But with midterm elections looming, many fellow Democrats are working to sidetrack them instead.


Wedding services bill sparks opposition

NASHVILLE (AP) - Two Tennessee lawmakers have proposed a bill that would protect wedding-related businesses from lawsuits if they refuse to provide services based on religious beliefs.


NIH gives Vanderbilt $1.4 for AIDS research

NASHVILLE (AP) - The National Institutes of Health has given Vanderbilt University a $1.4 million grant to continue its research into the treatment and the development a vaccine to prevent the virus that causes AIDS.


After UAW defeat, can GOP fulfill promise of jobs?

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — Republicans fighting a yearslong unionization effort at the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee painted a grim picture in the days leading up to last week's vote. They said if Chattanooga employees joined the United Auto Workers, jobs would go elsewhere and incentives for the company would disappear.


Market focus on Italy's change of government

LONDON (AP) — Global markets were steady on Monday as investors sought clarity over Italy's political and economic future and took to the sidelines as Wall Street remained shut for a holiday.

Oil price above $100 on US heating fuel demand

The price of oil extended gains above $100 a barrel Monday as the cold weather in the United States increased demand for heating fuels and solid Chinese credit numbers eased concerns over the world's second-biggest economy.

Reporting based on NSA leaks wins Polk Award

NEW YORK (AP) — Four journalists who reported on the extent of the National Security Agency's secret surveillance based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden are among the winners of the 65th annual George Polk Awards in Journalism.


White House: Stimulus bill was good for economy

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) — The White House says a costly spending bill President Barack Obama signed into law five years ago Monday was good for the economy and helped the U.S. avoid another Great Depression.

John Kerry mocks those who deny climate change

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday called climate change perhaps the world's "most fearsome" destructive weapon and mocked those who deny its existence or question its causes, comparing them to people who insist the Earth is flat.

What can unite liberals and tea partyers? The NSA

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hoyt Sparks says he has no use for liberal Democrats and their "socialistic, Marxist, communist" ways.


Jury sides with Garth Brooks in loan lawsuit

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Nashville jury has sided with country music singer Garth Brooks in a dispute he had with a former employee over $226,000.


New pro basketball league to debut in spring

NASHVILLE (AP) - Attention basketball fans: A new professional basketball league is making its debut this year.


Guns-in-parks: A local or state issue?

NASHVILLE (AP) - A measure to do away with local government's power to decide whether to allow firearms in public parks overwhelmingly passed the Senate on Thursday despite concerns expressed by the governor.


Tennessee enrollment in health exchange up 65 percent

NASHVILLE (AP) — Nearly 60,000 Tennesseans signed up for coverage under the federal health insurance exchange through January, a 65 percent increase since the beginning of year.


TVA board names Alabama attorney chairman

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Valley Authority board of directors has selected Alabama attorney Joe Ritch to serve as its next chairman.


VW workers at Tennessee plant reject union

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — Workers at a Volkswagen factory in Tennessee have voted against union representation, a devastating loss that derails the United Auto Workers union's effort to organize Southern factories.

Corker stands by claim VW will expand if UAW loses

NASHVILLE (AP) — U.S. Sen. Bob Corker on Thursday stood by his statements that Volkswagen is ready to announce it will expand its lone U.S. plant in Chattanooga if workers there reject the United Auto Workers.

5 things to know about the UAW vote at Volkswagen

NASHVILLE (AP) - Employees at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga are voting whether they want to be represented by the United Auto Workers union. With a three-day election wrapping up Friday, here's a look at what's at stake:

Bridgestone agrees to plead guilty

WASHINGTON (AP) — Bridgestone Corp. has agreed to plead guilty in a price-fixing conspiracy and pay a $425 million criminal fine in a Justice Department probe that has swept the automotive parts industry.


New gender options for Facebook users

MENLO PARK, Calif. (AP) — You don't have to be just male or female on Facebook anymore. The social media giant is adding a customizable option with about 50 different terms people can use to identify their gender as well as three preferred pronoun choices: him, her or them.


Government issues roadmap to banks on marijuana business

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government is giving banks a roadmap for doing business with marijuana sellers.

Cold weather causes factory output to drop

WASHINGTON (AP) — Harsh winter weather led to a steep drop in U.S. factory output in January. Manufacturers made fewer cars and trucks, appliances, furniture and carpeting, as the recent cold spell ended five straight months of increased production

S&P 500 index logs its best week of the year

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market closed out its best week of the year on Friday as investors focused on company earnings and brushed off another weak economic report.

Crude oil slips but ends week with slight gain

The price of oil stayed just above $100 a barrel Friday and finished the week with a small gain.

Jos. A. Bank buying Eddie Bauer in $825M deal

Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. is buying the parent company of Eddie Bauer in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $825 million that will help strengthen its men's wear business and diversify its offerings.

Comcast-TWC merger worries, outrages consumers

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Cable subscribers don't give Comcast and Time Warner Cable good grades when it comes to customer satisfaction. So after Comcast announced its $45 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable Thursday, it didn't take long for consumers to start venting their frustrations over high prices, spotty service and fears of a monopoly.

GAO recommends changes for student debit cards

WASHINGTON (AP) — Small fees add up for college students using college-issued debit and prepaid cards, which are often used to draw financial aid, and congressional investigators on Thursday urged greater oversight of their use.

Average 30-year US mortgage rate up to 4.28 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The average U.S. rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage edged up this week to 4.28 percent from 4.23 percent but remains near historically low levels after declining during the five previous weeks.


Suspense in Senate: Debt vote shrouded in secrecy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Financial markets were watching, the retirement accounts of millions of Americans on the line.

Debt limit saves GOP from political showdown

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans' new acquiescence to letting the government pile up more debt with no strings attached paid double political dividends: It spared the GOP another politically debilitating showdown with President Barack Obama and also forced Democrats to cast votes that rivals immediately used against them in this year's midterm elections.

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