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VOL. 43 | NO. 8 | Friday, February 22, 2019

Sticking to the script

Early actions reflect campaign emphasis on vocational education, lifting rural economies

Bill Lee the governor sounds a lot like Bill Lee the candidate as he works to implement the policies he brought to Tennessee voters since the Republican businessman announced that he would seek the state’s top job.

Lee's executive orders fit trend for new administrations

In his first week as Tennessee’s 50th governor, Bill Lee issued four executive orders, the first cementing his commitment to the 15 rural Tennessee counties that are economically distressed. Others addressed ethics, transparency and nondiscrimination in employment.

Lee says he regrets wearing Confederate uniform

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee was 17 when he joined the Kappa Alpha fraternity at Auburn University, which every spring held an "Old South" party where he and other members dressed in Confederate uniforms.

JOE ROGERS: MY TAKE

State’s Official Waste of Time? Naming official favorites

The issue before the House subcommittee was whether the annual Robert Spicer Memorial Buck Dance Championship in Dickson County should become the official buck dancing competition of the State of Tennessee.

Local Weather
Currently
Nashville, TN
75.0°F
Overcast
Wind: Southwest at 4.6 mph
Humidity: 82%

EVENTS

First Friday: Your Small Business Resource. Topic: Company Culture. Speaker: Clair Marshall Crowell, Chief Operations Officer, A. Marshall Hospitality. E|Spaces, 1550 W. McEwen Drive, Suite 300. Friday, 7:30-9 a.m. Free. Information 

more events »

TIM GHIANNI: STREET LEVEL

‘Bike Man’ has better path for Edgehill kids

The guy cops say “has a good heart” figures that if the five jailed kids had bicycles they might not be charged with murder. And musician Kyle Yorlets, not far removed from being a kid himself, might not have been gunned down for refusing to fork over his car keys.

RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK

Restaurants, homes for sale have predictable death spiral

As Nashville evolved into the ‘It City,” the only sector that proliferated more than real estate – with its tall, tall skinny houses, apartment buildings and condos – was the restaurant industry.

REAL ESTATE

Top Middle Tennessee commercial sales for January 2019

Top commercial real estate sales, January 2019, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

Average US mortgage rates lowest in more than a year

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. long-term mortgage rates dipped this week to the lowest average in more than a year, providing a possible boost to the start of the Spring homebuying season in March.

SPORTS

Belmont's Windler building highlight reel of ‘crazy plays’

Picking the best wow moment for Dylan Windler is difficult because there have been so many. There was Feb. 9 when the Belmont forward scored a career-high 41 points in a win at Morehead State.

Rick Byrd wins 800th career game; Belmont beats E. Illinois

NASHVILLE (AP) — Rick Byrd won his 800th career game as Belmont rolled past Eastern Illinois 99-58 on Thursday night.

Mathews’ choice of sports paying dividends for Lipscomb

Garrison Mathews was a good player at Franklin High School. Turns out, he was just getting started.

NEWSMAKERS

Reliford joins Neal & Harwell

Attorney Mozianio “Trey” S. Reliford has joined Neal & Harwell, PLC, as an associate. He has experience in the areas of complex white collar and regulatory defense, securities, antitrust, employment and intellectual property law.

BRIEFS

Adams Keegan expands operations in Nashville

Adams Keegan, a national managed HR, payroll and benefits provider, has expanded its presence in Nashville by opening a new office near Vanderbilt University at 210 25th Avenue North. The company also has hired Jeff Young as business development manager.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

Mistakes you’ll want to avoid when buying a new car

Car shoppers often see themselves as targets of opportunity for dealerships and their salespeople. And while a few dealerships do engage in shenanigans, some damage can be self-inflicted.

PERSONAL FINANCE

You might be picking the wrong money goals for retirement

Setting smart, achievable goals is important if you want to take charge of your financial life. But many of us are surprisingly bad at choosing the goals that actually matter most to us.

CAREER CORNER

Want your ‘child’ to get a job? Butt out of the process

I could write a book about the information I’m about to share. If you’re a parent with an adult child, this is for you.

GUERRILLA MARKETING

3 steps to keep ahead of Google’s ever-changing algorithm

Google is the Big Kahuna of search engines. It processes more than 3.5 billion searches a day and 1.2 trillion searches worldwide each year, according to Internet Live Stats.

STATEWIDE

Great Smoky Mountains announces new chief ranger

GATLINBURG (AP) — The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has selected a new chief ranger.

Funds preserve parts of 5 Tennessee Civil War battlefields

NASHVILLE (AP) — Five Civil War battlefields are receiving nearly $2.5 million in preservation funding from two Tennessee commissions.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Tokyo court says lawyers again seeking Ghosn release on bail

TOKYO (AP) — Lawyers for Carlos Ghosn, the former Nissan Motor Co. chairman detained for more than three months in Japan, requested his release on bail Thursday, the Tokyo District Court said.

BMW, Daimler team up on automated driving technology

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — BMW and Daimler announced Thursday they will work together on developing the automated driving technology expected to transform the industry in the years ahead as automakers try to fend off competition from tech companies such as Uber and Waymo.

TECHNOLOGY

Experts: US anti-Huawei campaign likely exaggerated

Since last year, the U.S. has waged a vigorous diplomatic offensive against the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, claiming that any nation deploying its gear in next-generation wireless networks is giving Beijing a conduit for espionage or worse.

EDUCATION

DeVos to pitch federal tax credit for 'educational freedom'

The Trump administration is proposing a federal tax credit for donations made to groups offering scholarships for private schools, apprenticeships or other educational programs.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US economic growth slows to 2.6 percent rate in Q4

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy slowed in the final three months of last year to an annual growth rate of 2.6 percent, the slowest pace since the beginning of 2018, as the government shutdown and other factors took a toll on growth. Economists believe growth has slowed even more in the current quarter.

Cyprus: ExxonMobil finds 3rd biggest gas deposit in 2 years

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — ExxonMobil has made the world's third-biggest gas find in the last two years off the cost of Cyprus, the country's government said Thursday.

J.C. Penney closes more stores as sales deteriorate

NEW YORK (AP) — J.C. Penney is closing more stores after a weak holiday sales season.

Amazon ups its anti-counterfeit game

Amazon, which has wrestled with counterfeit products on its site for years, has developed a fleet of tools that allow sellers to remove items from Amazon.com themselves and to prevent fake goods from making it to the site at all.

British Airways makes big order for Boeing jets

MADRID (AP) — The parent company of British Airways is buying up to 42 Boeing 777 long-haul passenger jets in a multi-billion dollar deal.

Moscow court orders prominent US investor to remain in jail

MOSCOW (AP) — A Moscow court has rejected an appeal by a prominent U.S. foreign investment manager and ordered him to remain in jail for at least the next month-and-a-half in connection with an embezzlement probe.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Cohen returns to Capitol Hill after slamming Trump as liar

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a damning depiction of Donald Trump, the president's former lawyer cast him as a racist and a con man who used his inner circle to cover up politically damaging allegations about sex and who lied throughout the 2016 election campaign about his business interests in Russia.

No deal: Trump, Kim summit collapses over sanctions impasse

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Talks between President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un collapsed Thursday after the two sides failed to bridge a standoff over U.S. sanctions, a dispiriting end to high-stakes meetings meant to disarm a global nuclear threat.

The lunch that never was: Trump's North Korea summit falters

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — The table was set, with flowers in vases and menus tucked inside white napkins. Water glasses were filled. Wicker fans provided a cool breeze.

Trump: I don't think NK's Kim had role in US student's death

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — President Donald Trump says he doesn't think North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was involved in the mistreatment of American college student Otto Warmbier, who died after being detained in the North.

Cohen's damning testimony about Trump alleges lie after lie

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a damning depiction of Donald Trump, the president's former lawyer cast him as a racist and a con man who used his inner circle to cover up politically damaging allegations about sex and who lied throughout the 2016 election campaign about his business interests in Russia.

Analysis: Cohen hearing stokes touchy topic of impeachment

WASHINGTON (AP) — Michael Cohen's testimony is just the beginning.


WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 27
MIDSTATE

Icee Company establishing headquarters in La Vergne

MURFREESBORO (AP) — A national frozen beverage company is moving its corporate office from California to Tennessee.

STATEWIDE

Tennessee among 8 states in broadband mapping project

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee will be among eight states in a new project to expand and update a national broadband map.

NASHVILLE AREA

Nashville DA apologizes for Confederate flag yearbook photo

NASHVILLE (AP) — Nashville's top prosecutor has apologized for posing with a Confederate flag in a Kappa Alpha fraternity group photo in his 1982 college yearbook.

Nashville's Music City Center collects and reuses rainwater

NASHVILLE (AP) — Record rainfall in Nashville is good news at the Music City Center, where the water is collected for irrigation and toilets.

MUSIC INDUSTRY

Belmont study will replicate acoustics of Music Row studios

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Belmont professor has received a $350,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for a study that seeks to digitally replicate the acoustics of historic structures, including Music Row studios.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Bill limiting oversight panels heads to Tennessee House

NASHVILLE (AP) — A bill limiting the powers of community oversight boards to investigate police misconduct claims is headed to the Tennessee House floor.

Tennessee seeks to overhaul Medicaid with block grants

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Republican lawmakers who have long balked at taking millions in federal dollars to expand Medicaid advanced a plan Wednesday that would overhaul how the state provides health care to its lower-income and disabled residents.

Bill mandating lockable opioid vials stalls

NASHVILLE (AP) — A proposal to require opioids and other addictive medications to be dispensed in lockable vials has been spiked in the Tennessee Legislature.

GOP leader orders removal of accused lawmaker protesters

NASHVILLE (AP) — A top Tennessee Republican on Tuesday asked troopers to escort a handful of protesters out of a legislative hearing after the group held signs and asked committee members if they approved of a lawmaker who's accused of sexual misconduct chairing the panel.

Tennessee bill to nix 1 death penalty court review advances

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee bill to eliminate one state court's review of death sentences is headed to the Senate floor.

PREDATORS

Bozak, Binnington send Blues to 2-0 win over Predators

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Vladimir Tarasenko called it an "accident" but it paid big dividends for the St. Louis Blues.

REAL ESTATE

US pending home sales rebounded 4.6 percent in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans signed contracts to buy homes in January as lower mortgage rates appeared to give the real estate market a boost.

COURTS

Tennessee man accused of dipping testicles in customer's salsa

MARYVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee man was jailed on felony charges after appearing to dip his testicles into a container of salsa that a customer had ordered online.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Volvo's Polestar unveils electric car touted as Tesla rival

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Volvo's electric performance brand Polestar is unveiling a battery-powered compact car touted as a rival to Tesla's Model 3.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks shake off an early loss, end mixed

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks recovered most of an early loss and drifted to a mixed finish on Wall Street as gains for banks and industrial companies were offset by losses elsewhere in the market.

Powell says Fed likely to end bond trimming by end of 2019

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday that the Fed is close to announcing a plan to end the reduction of the size of its massive bond portfolio, which looks likely by the end of the year.

US official: Much work remains to reach US-China trade deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S.-China trade agreement is far from completion and will require much more work, particularly on enforcement, the U.S. official negotiating the pact told a House panel Wednesday.

Survey: American companies worry US-Chinese ties will worsen

BEIJING (AP) — American companies want President Donald Trump's negotiations with Beijing to win them real improvements in their access to Chinese markets, not just a smaller overall U.S. trade deficit, a business group said Tuesday.

A very merry Christmas at Best Buy with sales booming

NEW YORK (AP) — Best Buy put up some big holiday sales numbers Wednesday, more evidence that Americans are willing and able to spend on gadgets and big TVs.

Lowe's swings to 4Q loss on charges, anemic housing market

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Lowe's swung to a loss in its fourth quarter, weighed down by sizeable one-time charges and a lethargic housing market.

May says Brexit still on course as chances of delay rise

LONDON (AP) — Prime Minister Theresa May insisted Wednesday that Britain will leave the European Union on schedule next month, amid signs that her promise to give Parliament a vote on delaying Brexit was boosting support for her unpopular EU divorce deal.

Before meeting Kim, Trump oversees big Vietnamese plane deal

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — President Donald Trump and Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong presided over the signing of several trade deals in Hanoi on Wednesday, including agreements to sell the booming Southeast Asian country 110 Boeing planes worth billions of dollars.

House OKs Democrats' bill blocking Trump emergency on wall

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats have ignored a veto threat and passed legislation that would stymie President Donald Trump's bid for billions of extra dollars for a U.S.-Mexico border wall. The move has escalated a clash over whether he has abused his powers to advance the signature pledge of his 2016 campaign.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Russia, hush money, lies: Takeaways from Cohen's testimony

WASHINGTON (AP) — Michael Cohen told Congress a lot— and much of it wasn't good for Donald Trump.

Judge orders Texas not to purge voters after botching list

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Saying there is no evidence of widespread election fraud in Texas, a federal judge Wednesday blocked the removal of any registered voter after state Republican leaders loudly but wrongly questioned the U.S. citizenship of tens of thousands of people.

'Racist,' 'conman': Cohen assails Trump before Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a damning depiction of Donald Trump, the president's former lawyer on Wednesday cast him as a racist and a con man who used his inner circle to cover up politically damaging allegations about sex, and lied throughout the 2016 election campaign about his business interests in Russia.

Cohen threatened Trump's schools not to share grades, scores

Leading up to the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump directed his personal attorney at the time to threaten legal action against the colleges and high school he attended if they publicly released his grades or standardized test scores, the attorney, Michael Cohen, told Congress on Wednesday.

Political operative arrested in North Carolina scandal

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The political operative at the center of an election fraud scandal that has engulfed a North Carolina congressional race was arrested Wednesday on charges of illegal ballot handling and conspiracy. Four people working for him were also charged.

Trump, Kim share smiles, dinner before nuke talks

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un, leaders of two nations with a long history of hostility, opened their second summit Wednesday with smiles, hopeful talk and a friendly dinner that set the stage for the much more difficult talks to come about curbing North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's prepared remarks to Congress

The prepared testimony of Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer, as obtained by The Associated Press before his appearance Wednesday:

What to Watch: Cohen's testimony could deal damage to Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — There'll be much talk of a "rat," hush money for onetime paramours and the 2016 presidential campaign.

Summit Day 1: What happened at Trump-Kim meeting II?

Perhaps the sheer mind-bending spectacle of seeing North Korea's secretive, dynastic leader Kim Jong Un together with the mercurial U.S. President Donald Trump on the world stage for the first time, smiling and pressing the flesh, can never be replicated.


TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26
NASHVILLE AREA

Southern Baptist group clears churches of mishandling abuse

NASHVILLE (AP) — Southern Baptist officials have cleared seven churches accused of covering up sexual abuse just days after a top leader called for greater scrutiny following a joint newspaper investigation that revealed allegations of rampant sexual misconduct within the largest coalition of Baptist churches in the country.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Bill would change how NES discontinues service

NASHVILLE (AP) — One of Tennessee's largest public electric utilities could discontinue a customer's service more easily under a bill headed to the House floor.

Lee proposes $15M more for mental health

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee is proposing an additional $15 million-plus for three initiatives that focus on mental health treatment and suicide prevention.

Abortion: Tennessee lawmakers advance fetal heartbeat bill

NASHVILLE (AP) — A bill that would ban most Tennessee women from obtaining abortions once a fetus' heartbeat is detected cleared a key hurdle Tuesday, advancing for a full House vote in the GOP-dominated Legislature.

Tennessee bill would limit tobacco, vape sales to 21 and up

NASHVILLE (AP) — Several Tennessee lawmakers are pushing to increase the minimum age to buy tobacco or vaping products from 18 to 21.

Lawmakers get hints of Lee's legislative agenda

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers got a brief look at Gov. Bill Lee's legislative agenda, which proposes to reform criminal justice and to loosen some licensure regulations.

COURTS

Head of 3-state drug ring sentenced to federal prison

MEMPHIS (AP) — Federal prosecutors say the head of a drug ring that worked in parts of Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee has been sentenced to 25 years in prison.

PREDATORS

Boyle scores as Predators beat Oilers 3-2 in shootout

NASHVILLE (AP) — Playing hours after the NHL trade deadline isn't easy, and a pair of late deals left the Nashville Predators short a couple of forwards — forcing coach Peter Laviolette to use a defenseman on his fourth line.

REAL ESTATE

US home prices rise at slower pace for 9th straight month

WASHINGTON (AP) — US home price gains slowed for the ninth straight month in December, reflecting weaker sales and higher mortgage rates that have since declined.

US housing starts plummeted 11.2 percent in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of homes being built in December plunged to the lowest level in more than two years, a possible sign that developers are anticipating fewer new houses to be sold this year.

HEALTH CARE

Senators draw on own experiences to chastise drug companies

WASHINGTON (AP) — Channeling the ire of constituents and drawing from personal experience, senators chastised drug company executives Tuesday over the high cost of prescription medications, while the CEOs warned that government price controls could stifle breakthroughs on diseases like Alzheimer's.

AUTO INDUSTRY

UAW sues General Motors to stop plant closings in 3 states

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — The United Auto Workers has sued General Motors from closing three plants in Ohio, Michigan and Maryland, claiming the union's current contract forbids the company from idling them, according to the suit filed Tuesday.

Fiat Chrysler: $4.5B plan would add 6,500 Detroit-area jobs

DETROIT (AP) — Fiat Chrysler on Tuesday announced a $4.5 billion plan that includes building the first new auto assembly plant in Detroit in almost three decades and increasing its workforce in the area by about 6,500 jobs, an investment officials touted as an uncommon opportunity to revive the region's economy.

Legal experts: Musk conduct unlikely to bring harsh penalty

DETROIT (AP) — For about four months, Elon Musk behaved, adhering to the terms of a court settlement that required his prolific posts on Twitter to be approved by a lawyer if there were a chance they could mislead investors.

ENVIRONMENT

US keeps air pollution standard established under Obama

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. environmental regulators on Tuesday announced they are leaving intact an air quality standard for power plant pollution that can worsen asthma in children, despite calls by health advocates for a tougher standard.

EPA defends enforcement record, despite drop in penalties

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency's enforcement chief on Tuesday defended the Trump administration's work, despite a report by her own agency showing that civil and criminal crackdowns on polluters have dropped sharply in the past two years.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US stock indexes end slightly lower after wobbly day

U.S. stock indexes capped a day of wobbly trading with slight losses Tuesday, erasing some of their modest gains from a day earlier.

US appeals court clears AT&T's $81B purchase of Time Warner

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court on Tuesday cleared AT&T's takeover of Time Warner, rejecting the Trump administration's claims that the $81 billion deal will harm consumers and reduce competition in the TV industry.

Fed's Powell predicts solid but slower growth in 2019

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told Congress on Tuesday the U.S. economy should keep expanding at a solid, though somewhat slower pace this year. But he warned of growing risks, including a global slowdown, volatile financial markets and uncertainty about U.S. trade policy.

US consumer confidence rebounds in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — American consumers were feeling more confident this month after a rally in the stock market and an end to partial shutdown of the federal government.

US suffers setbacks in effort to ban Chinese tech company

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — The U.S. government's fight to ban Chinese tech giant Huawei from next-generation internet networks appears to be flagging.

Macy's announces multi-year restructuring plan

NEW YORK (AP) — Macy's announced a multiyear money-saving restructuring program that it says will shrink its management structure and make the department store more nimble in a fiercely competitive environment.

Another ceasefire: Can the US and China end their trade war?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Relief swept across world financial markets Monday after President Donald Trump pushed back a March 2 deadline in a trade dispute with China.

Home Depot sales cool along with real estate market

ATLANTA (AP) — Strains in the nation's housing sector emerged in the aisles of Home Depot, a store with a reputation for consistently delivering surprises to the upside for its investors.

Brexit: Parliament to decide between no deal and delay

LONDON (AP) — Britain's bumpy journey out of the European Union took a major turn Tuesday, as Prime Minister Theresa May handed the steering wheel to Parliament, giving lawmakers the power to slam on the brakes and divert Britain away from a disruptive and chaotic Brexit.

Huawei exec pokes fun at US spying, Snowden at tech show

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — A top executive at Chinese tech supplier Huawei poked fun at U.S. intelligence on Tuesday as he sought to reassure people attending the world's biggest mobile industry fair that the company's technology is secure.

NATIONAL POLITICS

House poised to reject Trump's emergency order for wall

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats were poised Tuesday to ram legislation through the House blocking President Donald Trump from steering billions of extra dollars to his Southwest border wall, as top Republicans worked to keep GOP defections low enough to ensure that his inevitable veto would stand.

Lawmakers, first responders sound alarm on 9/11 fund

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 17 years after the 9/11 attacks, first responders and their advocates were back at the Capitol Monday urging Congress to ensure that a victims' compensation fund does not run out of money.

House committee to vote on approving Trump admin subpoenas

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats are laying the groundwork to subpoena Trump administration officials over family separations at the southern border.

Cohen expected to claim lying, racism and cheating by Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, is expected to give a behind-the-scenes account of what he will claim is Trump's lying, racism and cheating, and possibly even criminal conduct, when he testifies publicly before a House committee on Wednesday, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

Trump, Kim in Hanoi for second round of nuclear talks

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — After long journeys to Vietnam, U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are in place for their second summit Wednesday to address perhaps the world's biggest security challenge: Kim's pursuit of a nuclear program that stands on the verge of viably threatening targets around the planet.


MONDAY, FEBRUARY 25
PREDATORS

Predators add Granlund, Simmonds to roster at trade deadline

NASHVILLE (AP) — David Poile insisted he would have been just fine if adding Brian Boyle earlier this month was Nashville's final deal this season.

MUSIC INDUSTRY

Bluegrass and country vocalist Mac Wiseman dead at 93

NASHVILLE (AP) — A funeral home says bluegrass and country vocalist Mac Wiseman, known for his high tenor and songs like "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" and "Jimmy Brown the Newsboy," has died at the age of 93.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Speaker's office 'not aware' he met with lawmaker's accusers

NASHVILLE (AP) — The chief of staff of a top Tennessee Republican says he is "not aware" of the elected official meeting with three women who have accused a separate lawmaker of sexual misconduct.

STATEWIDE

Foreign companies again invest more than $1.5B in Tennessee

MURFREESBORO (AP) — Middle Tennessee State University's Business and Economic Research Center says foreign companies have again invested more than $1.5 billion in Tennessee.

COURTS

Technology helps San Francisco erase 8,000 pot convictions

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Over 8,000 marijuana-related convictions were erased or reduced using a technological approach that prosecutors nationwide should adopt to address a growing backlog of criminal cases eligible for modification, San Francisco's district attorney announced Monday.

Supreme Court: Judges can't rule from beyond the grave

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal judges can't rule from beyond the grave, the Supreme Court said Monday.

High-stakes trial over Roundup cancer claim to begin

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A jury in federal court in San Francisco will decide whether Roundup weed killer caused a California man's cancer in a trial starting Monday that plaintiffs' attorneys say could help determine the fate of hundreds of similar lawsuits.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US stocks close higher after Trump postpones tariff increase

Stocks closed modestly higher Monday after shedding most of the gains from an early rally spurred by the Trump administration's decision to hold off on increasing tariffs on imported Chinese goods.

Yellen critical of Trump's grasp of economic policy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says she doubts that President Donald Trump has a good grasp of economic policy or even knows the Federal Reserve's mandates.

Worker visas in doubt as Trump immigration crackdown widens

NEW YORK (AP) — Immigrants with specialized skills are being denied work visas or seeing applications get caught up in lengthy bureaucratic tangles under federal changes that some consider a contradiction to President Donald Trump's promise of a continued pathway to the U.S. for the most talented foreigners.

Survey: Half of business economists see recession by 2020

WASHINGTON (AP) — Roughly half the nation's business economists say they think the U.S. economy will slip into recession by the end of next year, and three-fourths envision such a downturn beginning by the end of 2021.

UK's main opposition takes step to backing new Brexit vote

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) — Britain's main opposition party took a big step Monday toward backing a second Brexit referendum amid rising concerns the country could crash out of the European Union next month without a deal.

Average US price of gas jumps 10 cents per gallon, to $2.44

CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) — The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline is up 10 cents a gallon (3.8 liters) over the past two weeks, to $2.44.

Consumer goods companies preparing for climate change impact

BERLIN (AP) — Companies behind some of the best-known consumer products — from soaps to sodas — are beginning to factor climate change into their business equation, according to a report published Monday.

Buffett praises potential successors, but no plans to retire

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Warren Buffett says two potential successors earned roughly $18 million each last year managing Berkshire Hathaway's dozens of operating companies.

GE sells biopharma unit for $21 billion

BOSTON (AP) — General Electric is selling its biopharma business to Danaher Corp. for $21.4 billion as it continues to sell off chunks of a once sprawling conglomerate.

US investor's firm appeals to Putin over jailing

MOSCOW (AP) — The firm managed by jailed U.S. investor Michael Calvey appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday to take "personal control" of a fraud case against him and his colleagues.

NATIONAL POLITICS

White House fires opening shot in budget skirmish

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is firing an opening shot in an upcoming fight with Capitol Hill Democrats over spending on domestic agencies that face sharp budget cuts without a new 2020 budget deal.

Trump's company says it donated nearly $200k to US Treasury

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump's company says it has donated nearly $200,000 to the U.S. Treasury to make good on its promise to hand over profits from foreign governments using its properties.

Trump tamps down expectations as he heads to Kim summit

WASHINGTON (AP) — Redefining success, President Donald Trump heads into his second meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong Un determined to tamp down expectations that he'll gain a roadmap to denuclearization. Yet he's still eager to claim an attention-grabbing victory to offset the political turmoil he faces at home.

Democrats ready to fight to make Mueller report public

WASHINGTON (AP) — A top House Democrat has threatened to call special counsel Robert Mueller to Capitol Hill, subpoena documents and sue the Trump administration if the full report on Mueller's Russia investigation is not made public.

Trump goes after Spike Lee after Oscars speech

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is going after director Spike Lee, who used his Oscar acceptance speech to urge mobilization for the 2020 election.

AP FACT CHECK: Trump's repeated fabrications on voting fraud

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is spreading tall tales about election fraud.


FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22
VANDERBILT SPORTS

New Vandy AD extends contracts for Mason, other coaches

NASHVILLE (AP) — New Vanderbilt athletic director Malcolm Turner has extended the contract of football coach Derek Mason after the Commodores reached their second bowl game in three seasons.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Tennessee awards $1.9M in landfill reduction grants

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee environmental officials have awarded $1.9 million waste reduction grants for community projects across the state.

Lee proposes $40M to improve school safety

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee says his upcoming budget proposal will include $40 million to improve school safety.

Tennessee Republican defends accused lawmaker appointment

NASHVILLE (AP) — A top Tennessee Republican has gone on the defensive after detailing what he would do if he were sexually assaulted as he fielded questions on appointing a lawmaker accused of sexual misconduct to oversee an education committee.

PREDATORS

Predators beat Kings 2-1, move back atop Central Division

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Nashville Predators know it's time to show they can be consistent period to period and game to game.

TOURISM

Great Smoky Mountains National Park sees record visitation

GATLINBURG (AP) — The Great Smoky Mountains National Park saw a record number of visitors in 2018.

MUSIC INDUSTRY

Kristofferson, Dolly producer Fred Foster dead at age 87

NASHVILLE (AP) — Nashville producer Fred Foster, who produced some of Roy Orbison's most popular records and was the first to produce records from Kris Kristofferson and Dolly Parton, has died. He was 87.

COURTS

Lawmaker: Student in T-shirt lawsuit didn't go on field trip

NASHVILLE (AP) — A lawmaker accused of sexual misconduct is asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a student alleging school officials wrongly distributed T-shirts promoting the Republican.

Google to end forced arbitration for all worker disputes

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google said Thursday it will no longer require that its workers settle disputes with the company through arbitration, responding to months of pressure from employees.

Workers sue US immigration authorities over Tennessee raid

NASHVILLE (AP) — Seven Latino workers are suing federal immigration authorities over a raid at an eastern Tennessee meatpacking plant that ended in the arrests of about 100 people.

4 ex-Pilot Flying J workers get probation in fraud plot

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — Four former account representatives from nation's largest fuel retailer will serve probation for their roles in a plot to cheat trucking companies.

14 apply for Tennessee Court of Appeals vacancy

NASHVILLE (AP) — Fourteen people have applied for consideration to be appointed to the Tennessee Court of Appeals in the Western Division.

REAL ESTATE

US home sales tumbled 1.2 percent in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home sales fell 1.2 percent in January to their worst pace in more than three years, as persistent affordability problems have put a harsh chill in the real estate market.

TRANSPORTATION

Smile: Some airliners have cameras on seat-back screens

Now there is one more place where cameras could start watching you — from 30,000 feet.

Report: Commercial flight fatalities tick up, but remain low

BERLIN (AP) — A leading airline trade group says fatal commercial flight accidents increased in 2018 from a record low set in 2017.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Volkswagen CEO expects stiffer headwinds after 'decent' 2018

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Volkswagen says it increased operating earnings and sales last year despite troubles getting vehicles certified under new European emissions tests.

EU says it's ready to hit back if US imposes car tariffs

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A European Union official says "there is full support" from member states to hit back if U.S. President Donald Trump imposes tariffs on cars and car parts.

BMW, Daimler: You can trust us with car-sharing data

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Automakers Daimler and BMW say that trustworthy handling of personal data will be a key competitive advantage in their new joint venture that offers app-based services like free-floating car-sharing in big cities.

White House ends California talks on mileage dispute

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration on Thursday broke off talks on vehicle mileage standards with California, increasing the chances of a court battle that threatens to unsettle the auto industry.

MEDIA

USA Today editor apologizes for yearbook blackface photo

PHOENIX (AP) — The editor of USA Today apologized Thursday for an image portraying blackface that was published in the Arizona State University yearbook on her watch.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks climb, giving S&P 500 its 4th straight weekly gain

Technology and health care companies led U.S. stocks higher Friday, giving the benchmark S&P 500 its fourth straight weekly gain.

Cuomo says losing Amazon HQ 'greatest tragedy' of his tenure

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo again blasted fellow Democrats on Friday over Amazon's backing out of a deal to put one of its second headquarters in New York City, calling the internet retailer's rejection the "greatest tragedy" he has seen since he's been in government.

Fed will be 'patient' in rate hikes amid global growth woes

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve said Friday that in light of a slowing global economy and last year's financial market turmoil, the central bank intends to remain "patient" in determining when to make future changes in its benchmark interest rate.

At Kraft Heinz, a fed investigation and a $15.4B write-down

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Kraft Heinz has disclosed an investigation by federal regulators and will slash the value of its Oscar Mayer and Kraft brands by $15.4 billion.

UK acknowledges key trade deals won't be ready by Brexit day

BRUSSELS (AP) — The British government acknowledged Thursday that trade deals with major countries such as Japan and Turkey will not be in place by the planned Brexit day of March 29, while the European Union's chief said he remains downbeat about Britain avoiding a chaotic departure from the bloc.

US says airfares hit new lows after factoring inflation

The average fare for airline travel within the United States has hit the lowest level since the government started keeping track in 1995, after adjusting for inflation.

US and China resume trade talks as Trump's deadline nears

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration and Chinese negotiators resumed high-level talks Friday aimed at resolving a trade dispute that has escalated uncertainty for corporations, unsettled investors and posed a threat to the global economy.

US stocks decline, breaking S&P 500's 3-day winning streak

Health care and energy companies led U.S. stocks lower Thursday, ending a three-day winning streak for the S&P 500 and giving the benchmark index only its fourth loss this month.

From corn to Apple: What's behind the US-China standoff

WASHINGTON (AP) — To hear the Americans tell it, the Chinese have gone on a commercial crime spree, pilfering trade secrets from seed corn to electronic brains behind wind turbines. China has stripped the arm off a T-Mobile robot, the U.S. says, and looted trade secrets about robotic cars from Apple.

US durable goods orders up 1.2 percent in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket manufactured goods posted a 1.2 percent advance in December, but much of the strength came from a surge in demand for commercial aircraft, a notoriously volatile sector.

Applications for US jobless benefits fell to a low 216,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, a sign that layoffs declined and hiring is likely strong.

European Central Bank concerned by economic slowdown

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Top officials of the European Central Bank worried at their last meeting that the slowdown in economic growth might be "deeper and more broad-based" than previously suspected.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Trump picks Craft as nominee for UN post

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has picked Kelly Craft, the U.S. ambassador to Canada, as his nominee to serve as the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Trump vows veto as Democrats try to block emergency order

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats controlling the House have teed up a vote next week to block President Donald Trump from using a national emergency declaration to fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, accelerating a showdown in Congress that could divide Republicans and lead to Trump's first veto.

AP source: Mueller report not expected next week

WASHINGTON (AP) — A report from special counsel Robert Mueller about the Russia investigation is not expected to be delivered to the Justice Department next week.

Trump sets up abortion obstacles, barring clinic referrals

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration on Friday set up new obstacles for women seeking abortions, barring taxpayer-funded family planning clinics from making abortion referrals. The new policy is certain to be challenged in court.

Mueller to file sentencing memo in Manafort conspiracy case

WASHINGTON (AP) — Special counsel Robert Mueller faces a Friday deadline to weigh in on former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's punishment in one of his two criminal cases.

Trump to let AG decide what to release from Mueller report

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Donald Trump will let his new attorney general decide whether to release the findings of the special counsel's Russia investigation to the public.

White House looking into Acosta role in sex abuse plea deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says it's "looking into" Labor Secretary Alex Acosta's handling of a secret plea deal with a wealthy financier accused of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls

Mueller report looming, new attorney general in hot seat

WASHINGTON (AP) — William Barr has been attorney general for just one week but is on the cusp of staring down what will almost certainly be the most consequential decision of his long career: how much of the special counsel's findings to make public.

Trump ally Stone gets gag order after 'crosshairs' post

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge issued a broad gag order forbidding Roger Stone to discuss his criminal case with anyone and gave him a stinging reprimand Thursday over the longtime Trump confidant's posting of a photo of the judge with what appeared to be crosshairs of a gun.

No-reason absentee voting option starts in Michigan

FLINT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Michigan voters can start casting an absentee ballot without giving a reason.

North Carolina candidate asks for new congressional election

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Republican candidate in the nation's last undecided congressional race abruptly dropped his bid to be declared the winner and instead called for a new election Thursday, after investigators detailed evidence of ballot fraud by political operatives working for him.

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