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VOL. 40 | NO. 15 | Friday, April 8, 2016

I-440: An $8 million ‘cheap fix’ gone bad

State says never again to pothole-laden grooved concrete

Author and photographer Jerry Park clocked many miles crossing the state in his Ford Flex while working on his book Slow Roads Tennessee: A Photographic Journey Down Timeless Byways.

I-440 one of many projects on unfunded backlog

When Governor Haslam released his list of proposed road projects for the 2016-2017 fiscal year, replacing the pavement and improving the safety of I-440 was on the list with an estimated price tag of $50 million.

Middle Tennessee road projects awaiting funding

Middle Tennessee road projects included in the $6.1 billion TDOT backlog


Tennessee lawmakers lure us in with momentary sanity, and then ...

Just when it appears the Tennessee Senate is made up of sensible people – as evidenced by the killing of de-annexation legislation – the body is changing course with a Bible-thumping measure.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Partly Cloudy
Wind: Northeast at 9.2 mph
Humidity: 32%


Small Business Workshops. Volunteer State Community College hosts this free series of workshops. Registration is required. April 12, 4-6 p.m. Topic: Starting a Small Business. Provides basic information on starting a small business. April 14, 2-4 p.m. Topic: How to Deal with Contracts and Employees. April 20, 9-11 a.m. Topic: Is Franchise Ownership a Viable Career Option? 1480 Gallatin Pike, Building 300. Information: www.tsbdc.org

more events »


Time for Strunk to become Titans' most valuable player

Quick question about the Titans: Who has the most to prove?


5 stages of grief in letting go of the ‘perfect’ house

In real estate transactions involving the sale of a person’s primary residence – especially homes that have housed that person’s family for many years – there are emotions that run parallel to the stages of grief or loss.


Back to Cuba? No, Martinez happy in Nashville

When Chuchi hugs me after his black beans and rice, I mentally thank Barack Obama (I’ll get back to him much later) for leading me to one of Nashville’s most urban intersections, where I sit at an alfresco café table, watching the traffic whip by and listening to sirens and parking-lot conversation conducted, for the most part, in a foreign language.


Youth in Government conference set for Capitol

More than 1,500 high school students will gather at the Tennessee State Capitol April 7-10 and 14-17 as part of the 63rd annual Tennessee YMCA Youth in Government (YIG) conferences.


Morin is new CEO, president of Ingram Content Group

Ingram Content Group has selected Shawn Morin, formerly president and chief operating officer, as chief executive officer and president, effective immediately. John R. Ingram will continue to be active as chairman of the company.


Chrysler 200 combines value, sporty handling

With a starting retail price of about $23,000, the 2016 Chrysler 200 combines value with the power and sporty sounds that Detroit is known for.


Three sure-fire ways to guarantee sales failure

In the world of sales, we are conditioned to live life by the month. We are driven by monthly sales goals and monthly paychecks.


Going to job fair not such a bad idea

Yesterday, I found myself saying something I often say this time of year: “One of my all-time favorite things is to go to a job fair!”


Writing a check on side of a cow? Udder nonsense

The vicinity of April Fool’s Day is an apt time to reflect on a tale often told to first-year law students. In contracts class, perhaps.


Skip the movie popcorn, enjoy some seafood

This month, hubby and I went on a short vacation, and when we returned my three grandchildren, who live in Tennessee, were on spring break and came to spend the week with us.


Titans agree to trade No. 1 overall draft pick to Rams

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans agreed Thursday to trade the No. 1 overall pick in this month's NFL draft to the Los Angeles Rams.


Tennessee lawmakers plan to pass annual budget today

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee lawmakers are planning to vote Thursday on the state's nearly $35 billion spending plan for the budget year beginning July 1.


Tennessee Supreme Court case records available to be ordered

NASHVILLE (AP) — Records of Tennessee Supreme Court cases that were previously only available by visiting Nashville can now be requested online.


Former bank employee admits to stealing more than $130,000

NASHVILLE (AP) - Federal prosecutors say a former bank employee has admitted to embezzling more than $130,000 in a fraudulent loan scheme.


Average US rate on 30-year mortgage slips to 3.58 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates edged down this week to their lowest levels of the year, offering a continued incentive for purchasing during the spring home-buying season.


Report: US medicine spending up 8.5 percent 2015

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — U.S. spending on prescription drugs rose 8.5 percent last year, slightly less than in 2014, driven mainly by growing use of ultra-expensive new drugs and price hikes on other medicines.


World Bank head warns of weak economy, bemoans tax evasion

WASHINGTON (AP) — The president of the World Bank on Thursday lamented the weak state of the global economy and warned that the kind of tax evasion exposed in the Panama Papers investigation is fueling poverty around the world.

US stocks edge mostly lower in late morning trading

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are edging mostly lower Thursday morning. Tech stocks are falling after dour projections from Seagate Technology. Strong first-quarter results from Delta are giving airlines a boost.

US applications for jobless aid drop, matching 1973 level

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits plunged last week, matching a March figure that was the lowest level since 1973.

US consumer prices rise modestly in March

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer prices rose a modest 0.1 percent in March as a drop in grocery prices offset higher energy costs.

Bank of America profit drops 18 percent on weak trading unit

NEW YORK (AP) — Bank of America's first-quarter profit fell more than 18 percent from a year earlier, hurt by weak performance in its trading unit.


Education resolution to amend Tennessee Constitution fails

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal to add an amendment to the state constitution that would give the Tennessee Legislature full discretion to determine the funding and eligibility of public schools has failed.

Business leaders sign letter opposing bathroom law

NASHVILLE (AP) — The chief executives of Williams-Sonoma, Hilton Worldwide, T-Mobile and dozens of other major corporations have signed a letter asking Tennessee lawmakers to reject a transgender bathroom bill, saying it is discriminatory.

Country artists condemn LGBT laws, but labels silent

NASHVILLE (AP) - Several country music artists and songwriters have condemned proposed laws that critics say discriminate against LGBT people, but anyone looking for reaction from the record labels and production companies on Nashville's Music Row has heard only the sound of silence.

Marijuana referendum bill dies

NASHVILLE (AP) — A bill that would have allowed Tennesseans to weigh in on whether to decriminalize possession of low-level amounts of marijuana has failed in the Legislature.


Maury, 7 other counties chosen for industrial development program

NASHVILLE (AP) — Economic development officials say eight counties have been chosen to participate in a state program that evaluates properties for future industrial use.


Hankook Tire moving North American headquarters to Nashville

NASHVILLE (AP) — South Korean tiremaker Hankook announced Wednesday that it is relocating its North American headquarters from New Jersey to Tennessee.

Nation of Islam leader to speak in Nashville this week

NASHVILLE (AP) — Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan is speaking in Nashville this week during a conference at Tennessee State University.


National Labor Relations Board declines VW's union challenge

NASHVILLE (AP) - The National Labor Relations Board on Wednesday declined to take up Volkswagen's challenge of a union vote at its lone U.S. assembly plant in Tennessee.

Volkswagen to cut managers' bonuses following diesel scandal

BERLIN (AP) — Volkswagen said Wednesday that its top managers' bonuses will be cut significantly, citing the need to send a "signal" on executives' pay following the automaker's diesel emissions scandal.

Demand for the new Tesla is wild, but limited to tech fans

DETROIT (AP) — Demand for Tesla's new Model 3 has been eye-popping, with consumers pre-ordering about $13.7 billion worth of the electric sedans nearly two years before they go on sale.


US stocks jump as JPMorgan gives banks a big boost

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks climbed again Wednesday as quarterly results from JPMorgan Chase gave banks a big lift. Economic news from China powered industrial and technology companies in the U.S. and stock exchanges overseas.

About 39K Verizon workers strike amid contract dispute

NEW YORK (AP) — About 39,000 Verizon landline and cable workers on the East Coast walked off the job Wednesday morning after little progress in negotiations since their contract expired nearly eight months ago.

Some big US banks have 6 months shape up plans

WASHINGTON (AP) — Five of the biggest U.S. banks have six months to get their disaster plans in shape. That's the message regulators issued Wednesday after giving the banks failing grades for the strategies they would deploy if they tumbled into bankruptcy.

US retail sales fall in March as Americans buy fewer cars

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. retail sales fell last month as Americans cut back on their car purchases, the latest sign that consumers are reluctant to spend freely.

US producer prices fall 0.1 percent in March

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. producer prices fell in March for the fifth time in the past eight months, reflecting a drop in food prices which offset the biggest increase in energy prices in 10 months. Even with the increase in energy, inflation remained at modest levels.

Napster co-founder bankrolls project to speed cancer work

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A project to speed development of cancer-fighting drugs that harness the immune system has academic and drug industry researchers collaborating and sharing their findings like never before.

Peabody, largest US coal miner, seeks bankruptcy protection

NEW YORK (AP) — Peabody Energy, the nation's largest coal miner, has filed for bankruptcy protection as a crosscurrent of environmental, technological and economic changes wreaks havoc across the industry.


GOP House under Speaker Ryan set to blow budget deadline

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans are about to blow through a statutory deadline to pass an annual budget, a major embarrassment for Speaker Paul Ryan that raises questions about his stewardship of the House despite his high profile on the national stage.

House GOP tries to find consensus on help for Puerto Rico

WASHINGTON (AP) — A House committee chairman says lawmakers must act quickly to help Puerto Rico manage its $70 billion debt as multimillion-dollar payments to creditors loom.


Adele has best-selling album as global music revenue rises

LONDON (AP) — Adele had the world's best-selling album last year, a global smash that helped music revenues record their first significant growth since the dawn of the digital age two decades ago.


Gov. Haslam to decide on Bible bill by end of this week

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican Gov. Bill Haslam says he won't wait the full 10 days to decide whether to sign or veto a bill seeking to make the Bible the official book of Tennessee.

Harwell touts health care initiative; Dems call it 'charade'

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell on Tuesday touted a new initiative to improve health care access in the state, but Democrats quickly derided it as an election-year "charade" to deflect criticism of lawmakers who rejected the governor's Insure Tennessee proposal.

Transgender bathroom bill delayed amid financial questions

NASHVILLE (AP) — The sponsor of a Tennessee transgender bathroom bill told a Senate committee Tuesday that he has to consider a state attorney general's opinion before going forward. The move came the same day the White House called the proposal "mean-spirited."

Bill seeks to halt gun carry permits for ex-police with DUIs

NASHVILLE (AP) - State Rep. Curry Todd, a retired Memphis police officer who has pleaded guilty to drunken driving and gun charges, is speaking out against Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to keep retired law enforcement officers with DUI convictions from being able to carry firearms in public.

Bill to let counselors deny services on the way to governor

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee bill that would allow mental health therapists to turn away patients based on the counselors' religious beliefs and personal principles passed Monday and is on its way to the governor.


Courts will make it easier to wipe criminal records

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee courts are going to make it easier for people who have been arrested but never convicted of a crime to have their criminal records wiped clean.


Mayor Barry devotes $10M to affordable housing plan

NASHVILLE (AP) — Nashville's mayor has announced she will devote $10 million in city money to affordable housing projects.

Children make donation Tennessee State in parents' honor

NASHVILLE (AP) — The children of a couple who met at Tennessee State University in the 1930s have donated $250,000 to the schools in their parents' honor.


Facebook shows new ways to chat, stream video

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook says people who use its Messenger chat service will soon be able to order flowers, shop for shoes and talk with a variety of businesses by sending them direct text messages.


US stocks close rise broadly higher led by gains in the energy sector

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks posted solid gains on Tuesday, led by gains in energy companies after news reports said Saudi Arabia and Russia were working toward an agreement to cut oil production. Investors also worked through the initial batch of earnings from the first quarter of the year.

NCAA Tournament deal with CBS, Turner extended through 2032

NEW YORK (AP) — With eight years left on their deal to broadcast the NCAA Tournament, CBS and Turner are tacking on another eight.

Ortho to drop chemicals linked to bee declines

DENVER (AP) — Garden-care giant Ortho said Tuesday it will stop using a class of chemicals widely believed to harm bees.


With new monument, Obama and Dems seize on Equal Pay Day

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama and other Democrats on Tuesday seized on Equal Pay Day — a symbolic event dramatizing how much longer it takes a woman to earn as much as a man — to court women voters and call out Republicans for inaction on the issue.


Tennessee AG: Transgender bathroom bill could be costly

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's attorney general says a transgender bathroom bill that is moving through the state Legislature could put the state's federal education funding at risk. If he's right, it could jeopardize more than $1.2 billion in federal money for K-12 and higher education.


Children's Services finally meets goals of long-running suit

NASHVILLE (AP) - After 15 years of federal oversight, the Tennessee Department of Children's Services has finally met all of the goals set out after a 2001 settlement over its treatment of foster care children.

State Library and Archives collecting World War I records

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Tennessee State Library and Archives is planning to collect digital records of how World War I affected Tennesseans.


Nashville Health Department offering mosquito inspections

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Nashville Metro Public Health Department is offering its 12th annual Backyard Inspection Day to help residents find out how to reduce the mosquito population.


Obama to meet with Fed chair Yellen to discuss US economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — With the U.S. economy improving, President Barack Obama will meet with the chairwoman of the Federal Reserve to discuss the longer-term economic outlook.

US stock indexes waver ahead of company earnings reports

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks gave up an early gain and closed slightly lower as investors hold dim expectations for company earnings.

US, Goldman Sachs reach $5B settlement over risky mortgages

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department on Monday announced a roughly $5 billion settlement with Goldman Sachs over the sale of mortgage-backed securities leading up to the 2008 financial crisis. The government accused the bank of misleading investors about the quality of its loans.

World Bank: East Asian growth to remain over 6 pct in 2016

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Growth in developing East Asia and the Pacific is expected to remain resilient despite the slowdown in China and a gloomy global outlook, the World Bank said Monday.

UK's Daily Mail in early talks over bid for Yahoo

The owner of Britain's Daily Mail newspaper and media group is in early talks over a bid for the ailing U.S. internet company Yahoo.


MTSU Center receives grant to digitize live bluegrass recordings

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) - The Grammy Foundation has awarded a nearly $20,000 grant to a university music center to digitize a historical collection of live bluegrass audio recordings.


Tennessee lawmaker exiled over 'continuing risk' to women

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee lawmaker is effectively being quarantined from lawmakers, lobbyists and interns after the state's attorney general determined that he could pose a risk to "unsuspecting women" at the state Capitol complex.

Timeline: Rep. Jeremy Durham exiled from Legislative Plaza

A timeline of state House Majority Whip Jeremy Durham, who has been moved out of the legislative office complex amid an attorney general's investigation into inappropriate conduct toward women:


Feds approve Gannett $280M purchase of Journal Media Group

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Federal regulators have approved media company Gannett's purchase of newspaper company Journal Media Group for $280 million.


Experts caution self-driving cars aren't ready for roads

WASHINGTON (AP) — Self-driving cars are more likely to hurt than help public safety because of unsolved technical issues, engineers and safety advocates told the government Friday, countering a push by innovators to speed government approval.

Orders for lower-price Tesla reach 325,000

DETROIT (AP) — Tesla Motors says worldwide orders for its new lower-priced Model 3 electric car have hit 325,000.


Average US rate on 30-year mortgage falls to 3.59 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates slid this week to their lowest level since February 2015, luring prospective purchasers during the spring home-buying season.


Stock indexes manage tiny gains, led by the energy sector

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed slightly higher on Wall Street, led by energy companies as the price of crude oil turned sharply higher.

US wholesale stockpiles post biggest drop in almost 3 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Commerce Department says U.S. wholesale businesses reduced their stockpiles for the fifth straight month in February, while their sales dropped for the fourth straight month.

Cost of mailing a letter drops to 47 cents beginning Sunday

WASHINGTON (AP) — The cost of mailing a letter is going down. Beginning Sunday, the price of a first-class stamp drops two cents, to 47 cents.

Why few Americans in Panama Papers? Lawyer doesn't want them

PANAMA CITY (AP) — Rich and influential people around the globe have found themselves under siege since a major data leak revealed their ties to secretive financial accounts and shell companies in low-tax havens used to hide wealth.

US cites Chinese Internet filters as trade barrier

BEIJING (AP) — The American government has cited Chinese Internet controls as a trade barrier in a report that comes as Beijing tries to block its public from seeing news online about the finances of leaders' families.

EU threatens to sanction tax havens like Panama

BERLIN (AP) — The European Union has threatened to sanction countries like Panama if they continue to refuse to cooperate fully to fight money laundering and tax evasion, after a leak of data showed the tiny country remains a key destination for people who want to hide money.

Feds: Payday lender charged 700 percent interest on loans

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The head of a payday lending enterprise accused of charging as much as 700 percent interest on short-term loans has been indicted on federal racketeering charges in Philadelphia.

4 Fed leaders to share thoughts on central bank's influence

WASHINGTON (AP) — Their words move markets. Their plans stir speculation. Their tenures spark debate.


Democrats block SEC nominees over political money fight

WASHINGTON (AP) — Opposition from top Senate Democrats has stalled two of the president's nominees to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Senate refuses to stop airlines from shrinking seat sizes

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate refused Thursday to come to the aid of airline passengers squeezed by the ever-shrinking size of their seats.

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