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VOL. 40 | NO. 12 | Friday, March 18, 2016

It’s good to be a construction worker in Middle Tennessee

Cranes fill the sky as builders push to meet demand for office space

Sitting in the Nashville region’s frustrating traffic, it’s hard not to compare the construction cranes dotting the skyline and creating roadway delays in almost every direction to vultures circling overhead.

Relocations Lyft Nashville's office market

If you’re wondering what’s driving Nashville’s booming office real estate market, take a look at Lyft.

Rutherford, Williamson mirror Nashville's commercial construction boom

While Nashville and Williamson County grab much of the attention for commercial development in the Midstate, Rutherford County’s also on a roll.

New industry, housing spur Midstate growth

The bitter taste of Hemlock Semiconductor’s abandonment of plans to build a billion-dollar plant in Montgomery County has been sweetened somewhat, one of many in the commercial real estate market in Nashville’s surrounding counties.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Wind: Variable at 3.5 mph
Humidity: 55%


Business Studio Workshop: Sales, Strategy and Customer Management. The third installment of our “Business Growth Series” is designed for established small businesses looking to better understand their customers and develop new strategies to attract and retain new customers. Joel and Julie Fay of Sandler Training will lead this workshop to help you take a positive step to grow businesses. Thursday, 3-5 p.m., Refinery Nashville, 438 Houston Street, Suite 263, Nashville. Information: nashvillechamber.com, 743-3053.

more events »


Bipartisan skeptics doubt Haslam’s outsourcing plans

Poor timing and questionable numbers: That’s how legislators are viewing a business justification plan for outsourcing facilities management across Tennessee.


‘I’m the steak’ Norris carries Haslam’s agenda, except ...

Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris refers to himself as a “meat and potatoes” legislator. The four-term Republican senator from Collierville, a self-described policy wonk, is considering a run for governor in 2018. But if the race boils down to charisma, he says the media will have to determine if he has enough to win the top office.


What do today’s buyers want? Finished product

As homeowners prepare their homes for the spring selling season, they ponder what improvements should be made in order to make their homes more sellable, in particular what expenditures will deliver the most return for the cash invested.


Top Middle Tennessee commercial transactions for February 2016

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

Average US rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 3.73 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose this week for the third straight week. Long-term rates have reversed the upward trend that took hold at the start of the year amid economic anxiety and market turbulence.


Titans fans get rare taste of offseason excitement

For the first time in forever … Is it OK to borrow the line from the song in the Disney movie “Frozen” in order to get my point across about the Tennessee Titans? For the first time in forever, it seems, the “frozen” Titans fan base actually seems to be excited about where the team could be heading.


Bone is now president, CEO of Bone McAllester Norton

Charles Robert Bone has been elected president and CEO of Bone McAllester Norton PLLC, Nashville’s sixth-largest law firm. He succeeds the late founding member, Mike Norton.


Honda Fit: A subcompact big on cargo space, legroom

The 2016 Honda Fit is a satisfying little hatchback that pairs the cargo space of an SUV and more backseat legroom than many sedans with the fuel efficiency of a subcompact, at up to 41 mpg.


Moving your business from ordinary to extraordinary

We live in a world of stiff competition with so much noise competing for consumer attention that it can be painfully difficult for brands to get noticed and stand apart from their competition.


Make your own good fortune by putting in the work

During the week of St. Patrick’s Day, luck is on our minds.


Udall was a master at mangling common phrases

A correspondent wrote that strategerie has been a favorite word in her family ever since some world leader uttered it a few years back. She listed some other items that were attributed to the same guy:


Bill to allow guns bans in ticketed venues fails in House

NASHVILLE (AP) — A bill seeking to allow Tennessee cities to ban guns from being carried at ticketed events has failed in a House subcommittee.

Transgender restroom bill advancing in Tennessee Senate

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Senate is advancing a bill to require transgender students to use bathrooms that match their sex at birth, while House members are seeking to revive the measure that was defeated earlier in the week.

Bill to allow clergy to refuse gay marriage fails in House

NASHVILLE (AP) — A bill seeking to underscore the right of Tennessee clergy to refuse to perform marriages based on religious convictions has failed in the House.


Average US rate on 30-year mortgage falls to 3.71 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates declined this week after three straight weeks of increases. The decline could be a spur to prospective buyers as the spring home buying season gets started.

US home rental cost growth is slowing

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. renters saw their monthly leases rise at a significantly slower pace in February, a sign that new construction may be starting to limit housing costs for apartment dwellers.


Volkswagen set to provide update on fix for diesel vehicles

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Attorneys for Volkswagen are expected to reveal where the company stands on a fix to bring nearly 600,000 diesel cars into compliance following an emissions cheating scandal.


More Americans seek jobless aid, yet applications still low

WASHINGTON (AP) — More people sought U.S. unemployment aid last week, but applications are still at a low level consistent with steady job growth.

US durable goods orders drop 2.8 percent in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting manufactured goods fell in February with a key category that tracks business investment dropping by the largest amount since December.

Financial stocks lead an early decline on Wall Street

U.S. stocks moved broadly lower in early trading Thursday, led by a slide in financial and energy stocks as the price of oil and other commodities fell. Investors were poring over the latest batch of company earnings and economic news, including government data indicating that orders for long-lasting manufactured goods fell more than expected last month.


Stapleton, Ballerini, Old Dominion pick up ACM newcomer wins

NASHVILLE (AP) — Grammy-winning country singer Chris Stapleton, Kelsea Ballerini and country band Old Dominion have picked up their first awards from the Academy of Country Music.


Fetal assault bill fails, law will be discontinued

NASHVILLE (AP) - A law allowing assault charges to be filed against new mothers for prenatal drug use will be removed after failing in the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee.

Bill to require background checks for buying guns killed

NASHVILLE (AP) - A House subcommittee on Wednesday shot down a bill to require background checks for all gun purchases in Tennessee.

Legislature to take up controversial de-annexation bill

NASHVILLE (AP) — Lawmakers could soon be voting on a controversial municipal de-annexation bill that could ultimately wind up shrinking the size of several Tennessee cities.


Western US homebuyers push up sales of new homes in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. homebuyers in the West accounted for all of February's increase in sales of new houses, possibly signaling uncertain growth prospects for the broader real estate market heading into the spring buying season.


March is a good month to find deals on Japanese cars

DETROIT (AP) — If you're in the market for a Japanese car, March is a good time to buy.

Automakers say electrics, hybrids no longer just gas-sippers

NEW YORK (AP) — When Toyota aired a Super Bowl television ad featuring a surprisingly quick Prius gas-electric hybrid eluding police, it marked a turning point for the auto industry.


Will Americans like Blendle, the iTunes for news?

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans pay to download music. They pay for TV episodes. Will they pay a few cents for news articles to escape ads and bypass subscription requirements?

How the FBI might hack into an iPhone without Apple's help

NEW YORK (AP) — For more than a month, federal investigators have insisted they have no alternative but to force Apple to help them open up a phone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters.


Stocks slip, led by energy and materials companies

Falling prices for oil and other commodities pulled U.S. stocks modestly lower on Wednesday, nudging the Standard & Poor's 500 index slightly into the red for the year and putting it on course to snap a five-week winning streak.

Security beefed up across world after Brussels attacks

MOSCOW (AP) — Authorities in Europe and across the world tightened security at airports, railway stations, government buildings and other key sites after deadly attacks Tuesday on the Brussels airport and its subway system.


House kills bill requiring rear-facing car seats up to age 2

NASHVILLE (AP) - The state House Transportation Committee on Tuesday voted to kill a bill seeking to raise the mandatory age for toddlers to ride in rear-facing car seats from 1 to 2.

Bill: Swap UT diversity money for 'In God We Trust' stickers

NASHVILLE (AP) - A bill advancing in the state House would redirect money from the University of Tennessee's diversity office to pay for "In God We Trust" decals for law enforcement vehicles.

Transgender bathroom bill dies in subcommittee

NASHVILLE (AP) - A bill that would require transgender students to use bathrooms that match their sex at birth failed in Tennessee on Tuesday.

Gun safety bill named after 8-year-old victim defeated

NASHVILLE (AP) - A Tennessee House committee has defeated a gun safety bill named after an 8-year-old girl who was fatally shot by an 11-year-old boy after she and her sister refused to let him see their puppies.

Bill to end Tennessee motorcycle helmet law fails in Senate

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal to allow motorcyclists to ride Tennessee roads without safety helmets has been defeated in a Senate committee.


High court seems sympathetic to Puerto Rico in debt case

WASHINGTON (AP) — Four liberal justices on a short-handed Supreme Court seemed sympathetic to arguments that Puerto Rico officials should be allowed to restructure the debt of its financially struggling public utilities.

High court's tie vote upholds loan bias ruling

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued its first tie vote since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, leaving in place a lower court ruling that barred two Missouri women from suing a bank for loan discrimination.

Justices uphold $5.8 million award against Tyson Foods

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has ruled for more than 3,000 workers at a Tyson Foods Inc. pork-processing plant in Iowa in a pay dispute with the company.


Survey: Nashville ranked in top 20 of most congested cities

NASHVILLE (AP) — A new survey says Nashville has some of the biggest traffic snarls in the nation and the congestion is only getting worse. Knoxville, however, was ranked as having one of the smoothest commutes in major cities in the country. The survey was conducted by TomTom, the technology company that makes GPS-navigation devices.

Nashville Airport expected to be busy

NASHVILLE (AP) — Nashville airport officials are warning travelers to be prepared for a heavy increase in the number of passengers flying out of Music City this week.


Kentucky's AG sues Volkswagen for emissions-rigging scheme

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear sued Volkswagen on Tuesday, claiming the German automaker's diesel emissions cheating scheme violated the state's consumer protection law.


FDA adds strongest warning to widely-used painkillers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health regulators will bolster warning labels on the most widely used prescription painkillers, part a multi-pronged federal effort to reverse an epidemic of abuse and death tied to drugs like Vicodin and Percocet.

Disputed health law rule would broaden transgender rights

WASHINGTON (AP) — Big companies are pushing back against proposed federal rules they say would require their medical plans to cover gender transition and other services under the nondiscrimination mandate of President Barack Obama's health care law.


FBI: Attacker's phone possibly accessible without Apple help

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The government has been adamant for weeks: FBI investigators need to unlock an encrypted iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino attackers, and Apple Inc. was the only one that could do it.


US indexes mostly fall; travel companies drop after attacks

U.S. stock indexes closed mostly lower Tuesday as airlines, cruise companies and travel booking sites fell following the deadly bombings in Belgium.

Airports increase security after Brussels attacks

MOSCOW (AP) — Authorities in Europe and beyond tightened security at airports, on subways, at the borders and on city streets after deadly attacks Tuesday on the Brussels airport and its subway system.


In Cuba, Obama calls for burying 'last remnant' of Cold War

HAVANA (AP) — Capping his remarkable visit to Cuba, President Barack Obama on Tuesday declared an end to the "last remnant of the Cold War in the Americas" and openly urged the Cuban people to pursue a more democratic future for this longtime communist U.S. neighbor.


Tennessee health activists turn up heat on House speaker

NASHVILLE (AP) — Activists who want the state Legislature to expand Medicaid benefits to Tennesseans who lack health coverage are turning up the heat on House Speaker Beth Harwell.

Tennessee Republican leaders want McNally to replace Ramsey

NASHVILLE (AP) — Leading Senate Republicans are discussing plans to make Sen. Randy McNally of Oak Ridge the new lieutenant governor of Tennessee.


Report: Automation may replace millions of jobs in Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) — A report released by the state of Tennessee suggests that up to 1.4 million people are at risk of losing their jobs to automation.

College campus crimes in Tennessee drop 7 percent in 2015

NASHVILLE (AP) — State statistics show a 27 percent increase in forcible sexual offenses on Tennessee college campuses last year.


US home sales slump in February; supply shortage hits market

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans retreated from home-buying in February, reversing months of prior gains as low inventories push up prices to levels that restrict sales.


Judge asks US to defend secrecy of Trump associate's history

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge has asked the Obama administration to shield from public disclosure court records related to the once-secret criminal history of a former Donald Trump business partner.


Health insurance gains due to Obama's law, not economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — There's growing evidence that most of the nation's dramatic jump in health care coverage is due to President Barack Obama's law, and not the gradual economic recovery.

FDA moves to ban powdered surgical gloves

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health officials are moving to ban most surgical gloves made with powder, a feature designed to make them easier to wear, but which actually poses health risks to patients.


Experts: Toyota, GM settlements window to Volkswagen case

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements and fines over unintended acceleration in Toyotas and faulty ignition switches in General Motors' vehicles provide a glimpse of what consumers and the government might get from Volkswagen for cheating on diesel emissions, legal scholars say.


Apple releases small new iPhone, iPad for business use

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — Apple unveiled a small new iPhone, a new iPad tablet for business use and price cuts for its Apple Watch at a product event Monday. The announcements, which were largely expected, aim to keep up the company's commercial momentum in the face of mounting challenges.


Stocks shake off an early loss and end with slight gains

Major U.S. stock indexes eked out modest gains on Monday, extending the market's winning streak into a fourth day.

Starwood bidding war grabs investors, business travelers

NEW YORK (AP) — The bidding war over the Starwood hotel chain is being closely watched by investors and frequent business travelers. For the leisure crowd, however, who owns their hotel makes very little difference.

Sherwin-Williams buying rival Valspar for $9 billion

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sherwin-Williams, which has long claimed to "cover the Earth" with its paints, is buying rival Valspar for about $9 billion in a move that it says will expand its reach in Asia and Europe.


NY millionaires write to governor in favor of higher taxes

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A group of more than 40 millionaires in New York state have written to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and top lawmakers calling on them to consider raising taxes on the state's wealthiest residents to help address poverty and rebuild failing infrastructure.


Federal appeals court deciding municipal broadband expansion

NASHVILLE (AP) - A federal appeals court is deciding whether to overturn a Federal Communications Commission ruling allowing city-owned broadband services to expand into areas overlooked by commercial providers.

Free speech bill withdrawn after Islamic State comments

NASHVILLE (AP) - A Republican lawmaker on Thursday defended his comments that free speech rights on Tennessee college campuses should apply to everyone - even recruiters for the Islamic State group.


Court: Media can't access police files during criminal case

NASHVILLE  (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled that the public is not entitled to access police records while a criminal case is being prosecuted or during an appeal.


Teen's lawsuit said he was racially bullied at school

NASHVILLE (AP) — An African-American teenager has filed a $300,000 federal lawsuit against the Robertson County Board of Education, saying he suffered repeated harassment and racial bullying but school officials failed to stop it.


Tennessee GOP fundraiser to feature South Carolina governor

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Tennessee Republican Party's annual Statesmen's Dinner fundraiser will feature a keynote speech by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.


No clear path to government-lowered drug prices

WASHINGTON (AP) — Most Americans support it. Virtually all other developed countries already do it. And the two leading presidential candidates: the government should lower drug prices.


Google gives federal plan for self-driving car

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Google wants Congress to create new federal powers that would let the tech giant receive special, expedited permission to bring to market a self-driving car that has no steering wheel or pedals.

Autonomous cars aren't perfect, but how safe must they be?

DETROIT (AP) — As autonomous car technology rapidly progresses, makers of the cars face the difficult question of how safe they must be before they're ready to move people on highways and city streets.

Automakers agree to put automatic braking in cars by 2022

WASHINGTON (AP) — Automatic braking will be standard in most cars and light trucks within six years, and on heavier SUVs and pickup trucks within eight years, according to an agreement that transportation officials and automakers announced Thursday.


Market finishes 5th week of gains, S&P positive for year

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. markets's recovery from a dismal start to the year extended to fifth week after yet another strong gain.

Paris gets sausages and steaks 24/7 from vending machine

PARIS (AP) — With their beloved baguette already available 24 hours a day, it seems only logical that Parisians can now get the Bayonne ham and Basque pate that goes so well with the bread from the first meat vending machine installed in the French capital.

US job market's January stumble likely to prove temporary

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. job market stumbled a bit in January, yet data released Thursday suggests the slowdown was likely temporary.

Americans pony up record $60B keeping pets healthy, happy

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Americans spent just over $60 billion on their pets last year, a record fueled by a big jump in what owners shelled out for services like grooming, boarding and training.

Gas prices jump by 17 cents over past 2 weeks, to $2.02

CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) — The average price of gasoline has jumped by 17 cents over the past two weeks, to $2.02 a gallon for regular grade.

Lawyer: Turing execs warned Shkreli against price hike

WASHINGTON (AP) — The former top lawyer for Turing Pharmaceuticals said Thursday that he and other executives warned Martin Shkreli against the drastic price hike that triggered a national backlash against the company and its 32-year-old CEO.

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