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VOL. 38 | NO. 8 | Friday, February 21, 2014

Music City a crossover hit as a high-tech hub

Same creative spirit drives two Middle Tennessee industries

Is there anything Nashville can’t do? One of the most recent accolades making the rounds on social media is the city’s status as a tech town, and it’s not hard to see why.

Nashville no 'shoo-in' for high-speed Google Fiber

When it comes to the Internet, faster is better. And it’s possible that next year those annoying spinning wheels, stalled video streams and slow-to-load websites could be a thing of the past.

Local entrepreneurs eye net neutrality battle

Net neutrality has been in the news for years, but talk has really ramped up since September, when Verizon challenged the Federal Communications Commission’s rules of net neutrality of the 2010 Open Internet Order.

Broadband access seen as job creation tool

It’s hard to imagine, with the proliferation of wireless connectivity, personal devices and constant data exchange, but there are Tennesseans who don’t have access to the Internet and don’t think the Internet has anything to offer them.

More businesses using high-speed connections

Connected Tennessee hopes to see broadband adoption and use continue to rise among Tennessee businesses, which have $31 billion in annual online sales.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Wind: from the Southwest at 10.4 gusting to 17.3 mph
Humidity: 33%


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.

more events »


Watson says his stance on VW union vote ‘misconstrued’

State Sen. Bo Watson, a Republican from Hixon, has been showing up in the national media lately, thanks to his public statements against unionization effort at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga.


GOP loves local control, except when it doesn’t

Our limited-government Republicans in the General Assembly seem to have forgotten their own core beliefs.


Restaurants feeding our demand for Yankee (Yankee?) pot roast

Sometimes, in a new relationship, the cook will try to show off in the kitchen.


Good news, bad news in hunt for mortgages

Good news for those with minimum cash and earning less than $48,840, as well as those with tons of cash and gigantic income levels, from Cory Owen at Regions Bank. Owen announced the Regions Affordable 100 percent program recently when speaking to a group of Realtors.


Top Midstate residential real estate transactions for January 2013

Top January 2013 residential real estate transactions for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

Midstate Real Estate trends for January 2014

January 2014 real estate trends for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford and Wilson counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.


Former Titan Sanders offers support for gay player

The decision last week by former University of Missouri linebacker Michael Sam to reveal himself as, potentially, the first openly gay player to play in the NFL created plenty of conversation and provoked plenty of emotion.


Battle of Franklin Trust selects Jacobson as CEO

The Battle of Franklin Trust has appointed longtime employee Eric A. Jacobson as its chief executive officer.


Keywords losing luster with Google

There is certainly a complex day-to-day science to ranking consistently well with the search engines. Unless you’ve made it your life’s work to stay abreast of the ever-changing algorithms, your best bet is to stick to the basics.


Yellen says all the right things after taking over Fed

For the first time since 2006, someone not named Ben Bernanke testified before the House Financial Services Committee as chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Dr. Janet Yellen officially assumed the post on Feb. 3.


Wonder if Sisyphus lost weight rolling his boulder?

I read in the paper about some folks who’ve done well with weight loss and fitness resolutions. They attribute their success to posting goals, activities and results on Facebook. “Got up at 4, started running at 4:30, did three miles. Tomorrow, five.” That kind of thing.


To burn or to blacken? That is the question

Last week, hubby and I decided to take a break from the cold and head for the ocean. We didn’t have long, so we decided the closest place would be Orange Beach, Ala.


Bill passes Senate to protect outdoorsmen from drones

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal that would prohibit the use of drones to conduct video surveillance of outdoorsmen in Tennessee without their permission has passed the Senate.

State Rep. Mike Turner to retire

NASHVILLE (AP) - House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner says he will not seek re-election.


Gathering to connect faith groups, legal help

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Tennessee Supreme Court's Access to Justice Commission is inviting faith-based organizations and pro bono lawyers to a statewide gathering to discuss helping low-income Tennesseans with civil legal problems.


Obama seeks more federal spending to train doctors

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will ask Congress to approve spending more than $5 billion on medical training to turn out some 13,000 primary care providers over the next 10 years.

Tennessee State University hosts health care enrollment fair

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee State University is hosting a fair on Saturday to educate people about the new federal health care law and allow them to sign up for health insurance.


Yellen: Fed monitoring recent weaker economic data

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen noted Thursday that some recent economic data have pointed to weaker-than-expected gains in consumer spending and job growth. She said the Fed will be watching to see whether the slowdown proves only a temporary blip caused by severe winter weather.

Freddie Mac posts $8.6B profit in 4Q

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mortgage giant Freddie Mac posted net income of $8.6 billion for the October through December period, its ninth straight profitable quarter. Earnings were boosted by the continued rise in home prices, which reduced the amounts the company had to set aside to cover losses on mortgages.

Applications for US jobless benefits rise to 348K

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people applying for U.S. unemployment benefits rose 14,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 348,000, though the broader trend in applications remained stable.

Orders for US durable goods fell 1 percent in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — American businesses ordered fewer durable manufactured goods in January, cutting demand for planes, autos and machines. But a key category that reflects business investment rebounded on the strength of demand for electronics and fabricated metals.

US stocks waver between small gains and losses

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks were moving between small gains and losses in morning trading Thursday as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen addressed the Senate Banking Committee. Investors were also looking over quarterly results from several U.S. retailers and other companies. Best Buy and J.C. Penney were among the early gainers.

Oil prices drop in Asia on demand expectations

Oil prices fell in Asia on Thursday as expectations for reduced demand due to warmer weather outweighed a smaller-than-expected increase in U.S. oil supplies.

Average 30-year US mortgage rate up to 4.37 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose for a third straight week as new data showed a surprisingly strong pace of new-home sales last month. Rates still remain near historically low levels.

New food labels would highlight calories and sugar

WASHINGTON (AP) — Those "Nutrition Facts" labels that are plastered on nearly every food package found in grocery stores are getting a new look.

Video from science community supports spending on federal research

WASHINGTON (AP) — A group of science, higher education and business organizations concerned about cuts in federal research dollars are hoping a new video focusing on what it describes as the "innovation deficit" will go viral.


Senate heads toward showdown vote on veterans bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Democratic bill enhancing health care, education and job-training benefits for veterans faces an uphill climb as the Senate approaches a showdown vote on the $21 billion legislation.

Analysis: Tax overhaul bill headed for the shelf

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ordinarily, the late-winter introduction of major legislation by the chairman of a powerful committee might signal a major push in Congress for an election-year accomplishment.


Haslam says citizenship required for tuition plan

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican Gov. Bill Haslam says legislative efforts to make children of people living in the country illegally eligible for in-state tuition "have some merit," but that he has no plans to change his own free tuition proposal to include those same students.


Supreme Court allows Stanford Ponzi scheme suits

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that victims of former Texas tycoon R. Allen Stanford's massive Ponzi scheme can go forward with class-action lawsuits against the law firms, accountants and investment companies that allegedly aided the $7.2 billion fraud.

Bar association releases handbook for seniors

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Bar Association has released a handbook to help the state's senior citizens better understand things like federal and state benefits and new health care laws.


US safety agency likely probing GM recall response

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. government's auto safety watchdog likely is looking into whether General Motors was slow to report problems that led to 13 deaths and a massive recall of small cars.


Solid new-home sales lift hopes for housing market

WASHINGTON (AP) — A surprisingly strong pace of new-home sales last month has boosted hopes that the spring buying season will be solid enough to lift the overall economy.

Stocks eke out modest gains; S&P 500 shy of record

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market is closing slightly higher as investors respond to an increase in new home sales and earnings gains at major retailers.

Oil prices rise as market awaits US inventory data

The price of oil edged above $102 a barrel Wednesday as investors tried to assess the strength of U.S. demand with the approach of warmer weather.

Big changes ahead for frequent fliers on Delta

ATLANTA (AP) — Delta Air Lines is making fundamental changes to its frequent flier program and will reward those who buy its priciest tickets, as opposed to those who fly the most miles.

Data breach costs take toll on Target profit

NEW YORK (AP) — Target Corp. will be feeling the financial pain for a while from the theft of credit card numbers and other information from millions of its customers.


Senators look for e-cigarette marketing limits

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Several U.S. senators are co-sponsoring a bill that would curb electronic cigarette marketing while the fast-growing industry awaits federal regulation.

GOP tax plan lowers rates, repeals popular breaks

WASHINGTON (AP) — A sweeping House Republican plan to overhaul the nation's tax laws would wipe out a slew of popular tax breaks to help pay for lower overall tax rates, a politically risky move in an election year that drew quick opposition Wednesday.

Boehner won't promise vote on tax overhaul in 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans are unveiling a massive plan to overhaul the nation's tax system. But don't expect quick action by Congress.

Obama seeking $300 billion for roads, railways

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is asking Congress for $300 billion to update the nation's roads and railways.


Bill seeks to do away with Common Core standards

NASHVILLE (AP) — A petition with more than 9,000 signatures supporting Tennessee's Common Core standards was released Tuesday amid efforts by some lawmakers to do away with them.

Ex-speaker pays $100 to replace broken microphone

NASHVILLE (AP) - Former House Speaker Kent Williams said Tuesday he paid $100 to replace a microphone that he tossed aside when his comments were cut off last week.

House votes to condemn organizers of UT Sex Week

NASHVILLE (AP) - The House has voted to condemn the student organizers of a weeklong program about sex at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Groups to hold protests at Legislative Plaza

NASHVILLE (AP) — The American Baptist College's affiliate of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference is leading a series of protests this week at the Legislative Plaza in Nashville.

Bill shields school religious displays from suits

NASHVILLE (AP) — A proposal that would protect schools from lawsuits for allowing traditional winter celebrations, or religious displays, has passed the Senate.


High risk for Tennessee health care computer security

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee was among the more than two-thirds of states rated as "high risk" for security problems related to its computers tapping into the federal health insurance exchange system.

Haslam asks feds for Medicaid counterproposal

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam said Monday he has asked U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to make a counterproposal to Tennessee's efforts to carve out a special deal for Medicaid expansion.


Consumer Reports names Tesla Model S its top pick

DETROIT (AP) — The Tesla Model S electric sedan is Consumer Reports' top pick in this year's automotive rankings.

Late-payment rate on US auto loans rose in 4Q

LOS ANGELES (AP) — U.S. car owners are carrying higher auto loan balances but still making timely monthly payments.


600-plus business groups press for immigration

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 600 business organizations, from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to Apple to McDonald's, have sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner pressing him to move on immigration legislation this year.

Stocks end lower after an up-and-down day

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks were unable to find any momentum on Tuesday.

Oil and natural gas fall on weather forecasts

Oil and natural gas fell Tuesday as weather forecasts backed off previous predictions of unusually cold temperatures in March and April.

US consumer confidence dips slightly in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer confidence fell slightly in February over concerns about the near-term outlook for business conditions and jobs.

US home prices dip for second straight month

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices fell for the second straight month in December as brutally cold weather, tight supply and higher costs slowed sales.

JPMorgan to cut 8,000 jobs this year

JPMorgan Chase plans to eliminate a total of 8,000 jobs this year as its mortgage business shrinks and as the giant bank aims to control costs at its branches.

Major bitcoin exchange said to be insolvent

TOKYO (AP) — One of the world's largest bitcoin exchanges has seemingly disappeared, delivering a severe blow to the virtual currency as it struggles to gain legitimacy.

BlackBerry announces new phones, services

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — BlackBerry will release a low-cost phone in Indonesia in April and plans a broader release of a phone that restores a beloved row of control keys with a track pad.


Obama tells Pentagon to plan for Afghan pullout

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has ordered the Pentagon to plan for a full American withdrawal from Afghanistan by the end of this year should the Afghan government refuse to sign a security agreement with the U.S, the White House said Tuesday.

GOP tax plan lowers rates, imposes surtax on rich

WASHINGTON (AP) — An election-year plan by House Republicans to simplify the tax code would cut income tax rates but impose a new surtax on some high-income families.

Vets benefits bill should win initial Senate vote

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate seemed ready Tuesday to vote preliminary approval of a sprawling Democratic bill expanding health, education and other benefits for veterans. But the election-year measure faced conservative opposition and an uncertain fate as Republicans try to make it smaller and find ways to pay for it.

Congress skeptical about plan to shrink military

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration's push for a smaller, nimbler military must now face the scrutiny of a Congress that has spent years battling the Pentagon's vision for a new security strategy.


2 plead guilty in Nissan fraud scheme

NASHVILLE (AP) — Two California residents have pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder money derived from a scheme to defraud Franklin-based Nissan North America.

Detroit automakers worry about UAW money struggles

DETROIT (AP) — The United Auto Workers' membership and dues are down sharply from just six years ago. In another sign of weakness, the union suffered a stunning defeat this month when it tried to organize a Tennessee factory run by labor-friendly Volkswagen.


Supreme Court seems divided in climate case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court appeared divided on Monday over the sole Obama administration program already in place to limit power plant and factory emissions of gases blamed for global warming.


Governors: 'Obamacare' here to stay

WASHINGTON (AP) — The explosive politics of health care have divided the nation, but America's governors, Republicans and Democrats alike, suggest that President Barack Obama's health care overhaul is here to stay.


Stocks end higher but fall short of record high

NEW YORK (AP) — The Standard & Poor's 500 index has fallen short of an all-time closing high, but still ended higher following another batch of corporate merger news.

Oil rises, but natural gas sinks in volatile trade

The price of oil rose Monday as another cold spell for the Midwest and Northeast was expected to boost demand for heating oil at a time when many refineries are undergoing seasonal maintenance.

Getting a clearer picture on Netflix-Comcast deal

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — After years of bickering, Netflix and Comcast are finally working together to provide their subscribers with a more enjoyable experience when they're watching movies and old television shows over high-speed Internet connections.

Zuckerberg takes long view with WhatsApp, Internet

NEW YORK (AP) — Mark Zuckerberg, known for his outsized ambitions for Facebook, is applying a similar long-term vision to bringing the Internet to the billons of people around the world who don't already have access.

EBay responds to Icahn, says it's sticking with PayPal

NEW YORK (AP) — EBay and activist shareholder Carl Icahn are continuing their war of words over PayPal.

NABE economists divided on timing of Fed pullback

WASHINGTON (AP) — Business economists are almost equally divided over whether the Federal Reserve will pare its bond purchases at the current pace through year's end or pause to let the economy recover further.

Many new phones coming, but Samsung hogs limelight

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Sony unveiled a new waterproof phone that can take ultra-high-definition video. Nokia introduced three Android smartphones aimed at emerging markets. And Lenovo announced one with an all-glass exterior.

Men's Wearhouse lifts takeover bid for Jos A Bank

NEW YORK (AP) — Will they or won't they? Shares of Men's Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank jumped on Monday after Men's Wearhouse said it was boosting its takeover offer yet again — spurring hopes that the months-long saga might finally be coming to an end.


Hagel to propose big cuts in Army in 2015 budget

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel is recommending shrinking the Army to its smallest size in decades in an effort to balance defense needs with budget realities, according to defense officials.

Holder urges congressional action on data breaches

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Eric Holder is urging Congress to require businesses to quickly alert consumers and law enforcement agencies in the wake of significant data breaches like the ones at discount retailer Target and at Neiman Marcus.

Obama looks to governors for help with economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — His domestic priorities stalled in a divided Congress, President Barack Obama is looking for allies among America's governors.


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.


Tennessee Emergency Management Agency head to retire

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Emergency Management Agency director Jim Bassham is retiring in April.

John D. Stites appointed to Board of Regents

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam has appointed John D. Stites of Cookeville to the Tennessee Board of Regents.


Tennessee Supreme Court: Passing field sobriety tests doesn't matter

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled that police may still have grounds to arrest people for DUI even if they pass field sobriety tests.

27 liberal groups oppose Obama judicial nominee

WASHINGTON (AP) — Twenty-seven liberal groups are pressuring Senate Democrats to reject one of President Barack Obama's judicial nominees.


UAW appeals Volkswagen workers' rejection in Chattanooga

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United Auto Workers is challenging last week's vote by workers at the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee rejecting the UAW to represent them.

Bhutan, Nissan partner on electric cars

TOKYO (AP) — The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has tapped Nissan Motor Co. to supply electric cars for its taxis and government fleet, hoping to reduce reliance on imported oil.

Mexico to trump Japan as No. 2 car exporter to US

CELAYA, Mexico (AP) — Mexico is on track to become the United States' No. 1 source of imported cars by the end of next year, overtaking Japan and Canada in a manufacturing boom that's turning the auto industry into a bigger source of dollars than money sent home by migrants.


An early gain fades for US stocks; S&P 500 slips

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are ending broadly lower as investors assess corporate earnings reports, leaving the Standard & Poor's 500 index down slightly for the week.

Cellphone calls on planes? Don't ask the feds

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government can't seem to make up its mind about whether people should be allowed to make cellphone calls on passenger planes. Even as one federal agency considers allowing the calls, another now wants to make sure that doesn't happen.

US home sales plunged 5.1 percent in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of existing U.S. homes plummeted in January to the worst pace in 18 months. Cold weather, limited supplies of homes on the market and higher buying costs held back purchases.

To raise or not to raise wages?

NEW YORK (AP) — Gap's decision this week to raise the hourly wages of workers at its stores nationwide puts pressure on other major U.S. retailers to do the same.

Fannie earns $6.5B in 4Q; repaying US bailout

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fannie Mae posted net income of $6.5 billion from October through December, its eighth straight profitable quarter. Fannie will have repaid its full government bailout after paying its fourth-quarter dividend.

Crude oil steady as US cold underpins demand

The price of oil was little changed Friday, underpinned by demand stemming from arctic weather in the U.S.

Wealth gap is widest in some affluent US cities

WASHINGTON (AP) — The gap between the wealthy and the poor is most extreme in several of the United States' most prosperous and largest cities.

Wal-Mart offers weak outlook on sales shortfall

NEW YORK (AP) — Much like its low-income shoppers, Wal-Mart can't seem to catch a break as the U.S. economy rebounds.

Auto accident rates improving for older drivers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Safety researchers expressed concern a decade ago that traffic accidents would increase as the nation's aging population swelled the number of older drivers on the road. Now, they say they've been proved wrong.

Number of US farms declines, farmers getting older

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of U.S. farms is declining even as the value of their crops and livestock has increased. That comes from a new government census of America's agriculture.


Obama budget to drop 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.

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