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VOL. 42 | NO. 5 | Friday, February 2, 2018

Tennessee finds itself locked into a bad deal

Strange bedfellows collaborate to oppose for-profit prisons

State Rep. John Ray Clemmons makes no secret about his disdain for private prisons in Tennessee.

Harwell: Tennesseans 'deserve' medical marijuana option

House Speaker Beth Harwell is supporting medical marijuana legislation, saying she believes Tennesseans “deserve” an option to dangerous opioids.

Legislators file 4 bills to protect Civil War monuments

Legislative battles are looming over a spate of bills designed to hammer Memphis and any other cities accused of violating the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act.


Rotating Forrest bust out of Capitol gains momentum

Confederate Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest’s days in the State Capitol could be numbered.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Mostly Cloudy
Wind: West at 4.6 mph
Humidity: 75%


Sound Smart, Play Smarter! Local & national sportscasters and commentators share the tricks, techniques, and unwritten rules every sports fan needs. Gary Belsky discusses the book, “Up Your Game.” Event moderated by Rudy Kalis. Gordon Jewish Community Center, 801 Percy Warner Blvd., Nashville. 7 p.m.

more events »

A long-shot solution for guns in Cordell Hull

State Rep. Joe Towns was like a lot of other legislators when he arrived at the renovated Cordell Hull Building for the start of the 2018 legislative session.

Anti-abortion ‘heartbeat’ bill now focuses on ultrasound

One attempt to severely restrict abortions fell by the wayside this week in the state Legislature, but another measure is being introduced to defund abortion clinics in Tennessee.


Self-driving semis cut costs, eliminate jobs

Rep. Pat Marsh had never heard of platooning before he was approached by Peloton Technology with claims that the technology it offers could give trucks fuel savings of more than 7 percent overall per year.

Top truck bottleneck list shows 9 in Tennessee

The American Transportation Research Institute released its annual list highlighting the most congested bottlenecks for trucks in the U.S., including nine in Tennessee.


Banker/singer Howard a hit in business, on stage

Frank Howard sits in a chair while a woman he thinks is Vietnamese works on his feet.


Unmarried couples beware when purchasing a home

“Love and marriage, love and marriage” and so the song goes, but it makes no mention of home ownership, nor is there any mention of divorce. The number of marriages peaked in the United States in the period following the end of World War II. I suppose there was quite a bit of catching up as the number rose 33 percent over the next year.


Vrabel will face vastly improved AFC South

In case you haven’t noticed the stakes have been raised considerably in the AFC South for 2018.


Five players to watch as Nashville SC takes shape

Over the last several months, Nashville SC’s staff has scoured this country and beyond in search of soccer talent.


Bass, Berry & Sims elects new members

Bass, Berry & Sims PLC has elected six new members in the firm, including four in Nashville. They are:


Tennessee areas get AT&T internet expansion

AT&T has expanded internet access in communities throughout Tennessee.


Cool rides for less: 15 used cars for less than $15K

Depreciation may be the bane of new-car buyers, but it’s also the reason so many shoppers buy used. We scoured our annual Edmunds New Car Buying Guides from years past to see what cars we loved back in the day can now be had for $15,000 or less. For each vehicle, we’ve provided a range of years offering the best selection and value. In certain cases, getting an even older model is a viable option, too.


Fewer pre-release teasers for this year’s Super Bowl ads

In another record-breaking year, with ad costs exceeding $5 million per 30-second spot, big brands are once again putting it all on the line. Some will score big and others will be answering to their boards about their multimillion-dollar blunders.


People hire people: Online applications not enough

If you’re looking for a job, there’s a good chance you’re applying online. And chances are good that applying online is your go-to option. It makes sense.


Blackburn reserves $1M in TV ad time before Senate primary

NASHVILLE (AP) — A top adviser to U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn's Senate campaign says the Republican has reserved nearly $1 million for a statewide TV advertising buy before the Aug. 2 primary.


Jurors begin deliberations in Pilot Flying J rebate case

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — Jurors have begun considering evidence in a federal trial of former employees of the truck stop chain Pilot Flying J. The employees are accused of conspiring to defraud customers in a rebate scam.


James van Riemsdyk score SO winner, Leafs beat Predators 3-2

TORONTO (AP) — James van Riemsdyk and Frederik Andersen gave the Toronto Maple Leafs a full two points in the standings.


Nissan sales suffer over scandal, but US tax reforms help

TOKYO (AP) — A perk from U.S. tax reforms is helping lift Nissan's fiscal third quarter profit, although costs had to be earmarked and sales were dented by news of improper vehicle inspections at its plants in Japan.

Nissan, other Japanese investors to meet with UK leader

LONDON (AP) — Nissan, Toyota and other Japanese companies will be discussing their investments in Britain during a meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May and Treasury chief Philip Hammond.


Twitter turns first profit ever, but problems remain

NEW YORK (AP) — Twitter beat Wall Street's cautious expectations with its first quarterly profit in history, but that isn't going to solve the company's broader problems any time soon.

Kale to go: Amazon to roll out delivery at Whole Foods

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon delivery is coming to Whole Foods. The online retailing giant plans to roll out two-hour delivery at the organic grocer this year to those who pay for Amazon's $99-a-year Prime membership.

Jim Carrey says users should yank their Facebook accounts

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Delete your account. That's what Jim Carrey says Facebook users should do, as the actor looks to pull the mask off fake news.


Losses for US stocks continue as industrials and banks slide

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are lower Thursday morning as losses from the previous day continue. Major indexes are off about 1 percent. Banks, industrial and technology companies are faring the worst. Companies including Hanesbrands, Yelp and Roomba maker iRobot are down sharply following disappointing quarterly reports, but Twitter is soaring after it reported a quarterly profit for the first time. Bond prices are falling and yields are rising.


Senate leaders' budget deal faces opposition in both parties

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate leaders hope to approve a budget deal Thursday to keep the government operating past midnight amid opposition from Democratic liberals and tea-party Republicans. The agreement would shower the Pentagon and domestic programs with an extra $300 billion over the next two years.

AP FACT CHECK: Climate science undercuts EPA chief's view

WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the Environmental Protection Agency is again understating the threat posed by climate change, this time by suggesting that global warming may be a good thing for humanity.


Council OKs probe of public-funds use in mayor's affair

NASHVILLE (AP) — Metro council will appoint a special committee to investigate whether there was improper use of public money during Mayor Megan Barry's extramarital affair with the former head of her security detail.


Appeals court says Tennessee's $250 DUI fee unconstitutional

KNOXVILLE (AP) — An appeals court has ruled that a state law that gives a $250 fee to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for each DUI conviction obtained using a blood or breath test is unconstitutional.

Defense closing arguments presented in Pilot rebate case

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — A defense lawyer representing the former president of Pilot Flying J truck stop chain has made his closing arguments in a case in which four former employees of the chain are accused of conspiring to defraud customers in a rebate scam.


AP count: Nearly 11.8M enroll for Obama health law in 2018

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 11.8 million Americans have signed up for coverage this year under former President Barack Obama's health care law, about 3 percent less than last year. That's according to a new tally by The Associated Press.


Russian hackers hunt hi-tech secrets, exploiting US weakness

WASHINGTON (AP) — Russian cyberspies pursuing the secrets of military drones and other sensitive U.S. defense technology tricked key contract workers into exposing their email to theft, an Associated Press investigation has found.

SpaceX's big new rocket blasts off, puts sports car in space

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX's big new rocket blasted off Tuesday on its first test flight, carrying a red electric sports car aiming for an endless road trip past Mars.


Stocks rally, wobble, then end lower as turbulence continues

NEW YORK (AP) — It was another shaky day on Wall Street as indexes rallied in the morning, bobbed up and down for much of the day, then sank in the last few minutes of trading. Energy companies dropped along with oil prices and technology companies also declined.

Why investors' fear of high inflation is probably overblown

WASHINGTON (AP) — The past week's stomach-churning stock market losses were ignited by a sudden and contagious fear of surging inflation and higher interest rates. Many investors worried that inflation would send borrowing rates up and sap corporate profits, stock prices and the U.S. economy.

US consumers boosted borrowing by $18.4 billion in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — American consumers stepped up their borrowing by $18.4 billion in December, a solid performance that followed a massive gain the previous month.

Casino mogul Steve Wynn resigns amid sex misconduct claims

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Facing investigations by gambling regulators and allegations of sexual misconduct, billionaire casino mogul Steve Wynn has stepped down as chairman and CEO of the resorts bearing his names.

Los Angeles Times sold to local billionaire for $500 million

The Los Angeles Times is being sold to a local billionaire for $500 million, ending its strained tenure under the owner of the Chicago Tribune.


Big budget deal in Senate hailed as 'genuine breakthrough'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate leaders announced Wednesday they have sealed agreement on a two-year budget pact that would shower both the Pentagon and domestic programs with almost $300 billion above existing limits, giving wins to both GOP defense hawks and Democrats seeking billions for infrastructure projects and combatting opioid abuse.

Pentagon says Trump ordered Washington military parade

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has asked the Pentagon to plan a grand parade of the U.S. armed forces in Washington this year to celebrate military strength, officials said Tuesday.

Trump continues to paint immigrants as criminals

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is continuing his habit of painting immigrants as criminals, highlighting gang connections, calling family reunification a national security threat and bemoaning the death of a pro football player involved in a car accident with a man living in the country illegally.


Female songwriters in Nashville say 'Time's Up'

NASHVILLE (AP) — Female musicians in Nashville have long complained about the lack of representation on country radio, but now a collective of female songwriters are singing "Time's Up."


Mayor's office: Taxpayer dollars not used to support affair

NASHVILLE (AP) — Nashville Mayor Megan Barry believes she and the former head of her security detail never attempted to use taxpayer dollars to support their extramarital affair, a spokesman said Monday.


Tennessee bill would exempt gun safes from state sales tax

NASHVILLE (AP) — Democratic and Republican lawmakers in Tennessee are pushing legislation to exempt gun safes from the state's sales tax.


Tennessee officials announce $400k in agriculture grants

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee officials have announced more than $400,000 in grants to help new and expanding agriculture and food businesses, particularly in rural counties.


Titans add Williams, Carter, Dews to coaching staff

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans have hired Terrell Williams as defensive line coach, Keith Carter as offensive line coach and Tony Dews as running backs coach.

Josi scores in OT to rally Predators past Islanders, 5-4

NEW YORK (AP) — The Nashville Predators trailed in the third period even though they seemed to have had the better chances. They stuck with it and pulled out another big win to keep rolling along.


Closing arguments begin in Pilot Flying J trial

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — Emails, recordings and testimony prove that four former employees of the truck stop chain Pilot Flying J conspired to defraud customers in a fuel rebate scam that has already resulted in more than a dozen guilty pleas, a prosecutor said Monday.


Without accounting loss, GM posts record full-year profits

DETROIT (AP) — A $7.3 billion accounting charge pushed General Motors into a $3.9 billion net loss for 2017, but without the expense the company posted record per-share earnings.


Dow turns 567 point loss into 567 point gain as stocks rally

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks rallied Tuesday as a late surge helped them regain almost half their losses from the day before, when they had their biggest plunge in 6 ½ years. That came at the end of a day of huge swings for the market.

Investors lose big on products that bet against volatility

NEW YORK (AP) — A popular Wall Street instrument used to bet against market volatility has blown up in investors' faces.

Quits rise at fastest pace in 17 years, signaling higher pay

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. companies posted the fewest open jobs in seven months in December, yet the number of Americans quitting their jobs rose to a 17-year high, a mixed reading on the job market.

Investors must make sense of a sudden drop in stock market

Stumble, fall or crash? Investors may be wondering what to make of the dramatic sell-off in the stock market after months of tranquility. A slide that started early last week led to a sharp dive in markets Friday and Monday. The combined two-day drop represented a 6.3 percent decrease in the Standard & Poor's 500 index that undid the market's gains for the year.

Despite Trump's tough talk, trade gap widens to 9-year high

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to overturn U.S. trade policy and bring down the country's massive, persistent trade deficits.


GOP lawmakers take aim at cancer research group over Roundup

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican lawmakers are threatening to cut off U.S. funding for the World Health Organization's cancer research program over its finding that the herbicide Roundup is probably carcinogenic to humans.

Trump aide: Some immigrants 'too lazy' to sign up for DACA

WASHINGTON (AP) — Some immigrants may have been "too afraid" or "too lazy" to sign up for the Obama-era program that offered protection from deportation, White House chief of staff John Kelly said Tuesday as he defended President Donald Trump's proposal aimed at breaking the impasse on immigration.

White House to release infrastructure principles on Monday

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is expected to release Monday his $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan, a top administration priority in 2018 that will rely heavily on state and local governments, as well as private investors.

House GOP plans stopgap spending bill with Pentagon funding

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate leaders closed in on an agreement Tuesday to award whopping spending increases to both the Pentagon and domestic federal programs as well as long-sought disaster relief money and, perhaps, action to increase the government's borrowing cap.

House committee votes to release Democrats' classified memo

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House intelligence committee's probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election spun further into charges and counter-charges among angry U.S. lawmakers and President Donald Trump as the panel voted to release a second classified memo about whether the FBI and Justice Department conspired against him.


Federal utility appeal: Judge wrongly ordered ash cleanup

NASHVILLE (AP) — An appeal by the nation's largest public utility says a federal judge abused his discretion by ordering a massive coal ash cleanup at a Tennessee power plant.


NHL suspends Predators' Forsberg 3 games for hit on Vesey

NEW YORK (AP) — The NHL has suspended Nashville Predators forward Filip Forsberg for three games for a late hit on Rangers forward Jimmy Vesey.


$300M health care system cost to protect religious rights

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's new effort to protect the rights of health workers who object to participating in abortions and other procedures will cost the health care system more than $300 million to set up, according to a government estimate.


Nissan plans 20 electric models for China through 2022

BEIJING (AP) — Nissan and a Chinese partner announced plans Monday to develop 20 electric vehicles as part of a $10 billion, five-year investment program, adding to efforts by global automakers to create commercially competitive electrics for the biggest auto market.


Dow plunges 1,175 points in worst day for stocks since 2011

NEW YORK (AP) — The Dow Jones industrial average plunged more than 1,100 points Monday as stocks took their worst loss in six and a half years. Two days of steep losses have erased the market's gains from the start of this year and ended a period of record-setting calm for stocks.

US economy still fundamentally strong despite falling stocks

WASHINGTON (AP) — A wave of fear about inflation and higher interest rates has sent stock prices tumbling and raised concerns about corporate profits. Yet the rush of anxiety has obscured a fundamental fact about the U.S. economy: It's healthy.

US services firms record strongest performance since 2005

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. services sector boomed in January, registering the best performance since 2005 and delivering more evidence of American economic strength.

Powell sworn in as 16th chairman of Federal Reserve

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jerome Powell has been sworn in as the 16th chairman of the Federal Reserve in a brief ceremony in the Fed's board room. In a short video message, Powell pledged to "support continued economic growth, a healthy job market and price stability."

Amazon to pay France $250 million in back taxes

PARIS (AP) — Online retailer Amazon has reached a deal with French authorities to pay about $250 million in back taxes.

Ram truck ad using MLK speech draws backlash

NEW YORK (AP) — A Ram truck ad that used a speech by Martin Luther King, Jr., is drawing a backlash.

Trump era throws wrench into grad students' hopes for unions

NEW YORK (AP) — Graduate teaching assistants at private universities had high hopes 18 months ago when a federal labor board ruled that they had a right to collective bargaining, but after the election of President Donald Trump, some schools are taking another shot at halting the burgeoning unionization movement.


Trump calls Democrats not applauding him 'un-American'

BLUE ASH, Ohio (AP) — President Donald Trump accused Democrats on Monday of being "un-American" and perhaps even "treasonous" for refusing to cheer positive news during his State of the Union address, as he turned an appearance arranged to promote new tax cuts into a session bashing the political opposition.

Bipartisan immigration bill surfaces, Trump knocks it down

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan immigration proposal has surfaced in the Senate, only to be quickly knocked down by President Donald Trump via Twitter on Monday.

Era of trillion-dollar budget deficits is making a comeback

WASHINGTON (AP) — The era of trillion-dollar budget deficits is about to make a comeback — and a brewing budget deal could mean their return comes just next year.

Democratic, GOP lawmakers: Memo doesn't clear Trump in probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump was wrong to assert that a GOP-produced classified memo on FBI surveillance powers cleared him in the Russia investigation, Democratic and Republican lawmakers said.


Haslam announces juvenile justice, college bills

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has introduced bills to introduce credit-hour requirements for scholarships at higher education institutions, reform the juvenile justice system and shrink the University of Tennessee's board.


Tennessee governor's race: Black most donors; Harwell most cash

NASHVILLE (AP) — In the most recent fundraising period of the Tennessee governor's race, U.S. Rep. Diane Black raised the most from donors, with more than $1.7 million, and state House Speaker Beth Harwell ended with the flushest bank account, topping $5 million.

Black to run Super Bowl pregame 'stand for the anthem' ad

NASHVILLE (AP) — In her bid for governor, Republican Rep. Diane Black will run an ad during the Super Bowl pregame show saying "it's too bad that the league doesn't respect the patriotism of our national anthem."


Rinne, Forsberg lead Predators over Kings 5-0

NASHVILLE (AP) — After welcoming Filip Forsberg back to the lineup, the Predators looked like the team that made it to the Stanley Cup Final last season.

Big money: SEC doles out $40.9 million to each member school

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The Southeastern Conference distributed an average of $40.9 million to its member schools in the last fiscal year.

Vols' Barnes used his own money to boost assistant's salary

KNOXVILLE (AP) — Tennessee says men's basketball coach Rick Barnes inadvertently committed a minor NCAA violation by paying money out of his own pocket to supplement the salary of one of his assistant coaches.


Builders up spending by 0.7 pct; signs of pressure emerge

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. builders pushed construction spending up 0.7 percent in December to a record high, though it was the weakest performance since they began to emerge from the financial crisis.

Long-term US mortgage up again as lending standards tighten

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose for the fourth straight week as lending standards continue to tighten. The rates on 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages and five-year adjustable-rate mortgages hit the highest level since 2011.


Nissan bucks trend with 10% sales jump in January

January US auto sales up 1 pct., but full-year drop expected


Jury likely to deliberate next week in Pilot Flying J trial

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — Defense lawyers have rested their case in the federal trial involving four former Pilot Flying J employees facing charges in a scheme to shortchange trucking customers on fuel rebates.


Cancer from cellphones? New studies say no need to hang up

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two government studies that bombarded rats and mice with cellphone radiation found a weak link to some heart tumors, but scientists and federal regulators say don't worry — it is safe to use your device. They still do.


US stocks swoon, sending Dow down more than 650 points

U.S. stocks slumped Friday, pulling down the Dow Jones industrial average by more than 650 points and handing the market its worst week in two years.

Big pay gains for US workers contribute to Wall St. sell-off

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pay raises, the U.S. economy's Achilles' heel in its long recovery from the Great Recession, finally showed signs of accelerating last month — a trend that fanned inflation fears and sent bond yields rising and stocks sinking.

Wages up by most in 8 years as US adds a robust 200K jobs

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers added a robust 200,000 jobs in January, and wages rose at the fastest pace in more than eight years, encouraging trends that suggest that the economy may accelerate this year.

Where Americans found jobs: Construction and health care

WASHINGTON (AP) — Construction companies posted a stellar month of hiring in January, fueled by demand for homes and renovations. The sector added 36,000 jobs as residential builders and contractors ramped up business. Over the past year, construction companies have been among the strongest sectors for job growth.

Amazon's quarterly profit tops $1 billion for first time

NEW YORK (AP) — It was a prime holiday season for Amazon: The online retailer's quarterly profit soared past $1 billion for the first time in its more than 20-year history as it sold more voice-activated gadgets, enlisted new Prime members and benefited from its recent purchase of Whole Foods.

Broad global economic growth powers international fund flows

As the U.S. stock market climbs further into record territory, investors are increasingly putting money on a relatively less expensive alternative: funds that own international equities.

Another round: American whiskey makers toast strong sales

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — American whiskey makers toasted another round of robust sales in 2017, stirred increasingly by consumers' thirst for the priciest spirits — mixed in cocktails or sipped straight up.

3 major entertainment firms merge into new venture, Valence

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Three major entertainment industry companies are merging into a new company that will combine film and television production, publishing and hosting of live events.


Fired FBI director Comey slams GOP memo: 'That's it?'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former FBI Director James Comey scorned the memo that was released by House Republicans after being declassified Friday by President Donald Trump, saying it doesn't add up to much. "That's it?" Comey said on Twitter.

White House declassifies partisan memo on Russia probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House on Friday declassified a partisan and bitterly disputed memo on the Russia investigation, clearing the way for House Republicans to release allegations of what they say is FBI misconduct.

Senator seeks documents on Russia money links to the NRA

WASHINGTON (AP) — A top Democrat is seeking documents from the National Rifle Association and the Treasury Department following reports of an FBI investigation into whether a Russian central banker funneled money to the group during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump: FBI, DOJ have 'politicized' probe in favor of Dems

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump, dogged by an unrelenting investigation into his campaign's ties to Russia, lashed out Friday at the FBI and Justice Department as politically biased and prepared to release a classified memo that Republicans say would reveal abusive FBI surveillance tactics.

Q&A: How a secret GOP memo became a bitter point of conflict

WASHINGTON (AP) — In the two weeks since the #Releasethememo hashtag first sprouted on Twitter, a secret congressional report on the Russia investigation has gone from an obscure, classified document to a bitter point of conflict between not only Democrats and Republicans but also the White House and the FBI.

James Comey defends FBI, takes aim at 'weasels and liars'

WASHINGTON (AP) — As President Donald Trump clashes with the FBI over the planned release of a classified memo, former director James Comey has stood up for the bureau's position against the document's disclosure and taken aim at unnamed people he calls "weasels and liars."

Reaction to Trump's immigration offer casts doubt on a deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's State of the Union offer of a "down-the-middle compromise" on immigration did nothing to move Republicans and Democrats closer to a deal, as Democrats accused the president of lacing his speech with racially charged remarks and Republicans dug in on their demands.

FBI in public fight with Trump over releasing Russia memo

WASHINGTON (AP) — As a public clash between President Donald Trump and the FBI simmered, the White House said Thursday a separate dispute with House Democrats over edits made to a classified memo on the Russia investigation won't affect the timeline of a national security and legal review of the document.

Attorneys general urge offshore drilling plan's cancellation

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The top lawyers for a dozen coastal states want the U.S. Interior Department to cancel the Trump administration's plan to expand offshore drilling, warning it threatens their maritime economies and natural resources.

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