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VOL. 41 | NO. 21 | Friday, May 26, 2017

440 fast track

Work on pothole-plagued stretch to begin in 2018

Now that the ink has dried on the IMPROVE Act, the state law that raises additional funds for transportation projects, the real work begins – building roads, fixing bridges, easing traffic and boosting safety.

Asphalt or concrete? 440 questions remain

It’s entirely possible that when Nashville Mayor Megan Barry said this month she was “thrilled” that the state had listed I-440 repairs as a top priority, thousands of Midstate residents fist-bumped in agreement.

Midstate road, bridge projects

Road and bridge projects scheduled for the next 12 to 14 years under the IMPROVE Act, the recently passed state law that raises revenue for infrastructure projects. Some projects that span more than one county might not be shown.


Unwilling private sector gives park workers a victory

Two state parks are celebrating victories in an atmosphere of uncertainty created by the governor’s penchant for privatizing state functions.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Wind: Southeast at 6.9 mph
Humidity: 53%


Taste of Gallatin. This event showcases restaurants, caterers, groceries, and other businesses in the Gallatin area. Gallatin Civic Center, 210 Albert Gallatin Ave. Thursday, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Fee: Adults $15 in advance, $20 at the door, Child $5. Tickets go on sale May 8 at the Gallatin Area Chamber of Commerce and Perkins Drugs & Gift Shop. Information: 452-4000.

more events »


Behind-the-scenes guardians of Nashville’s heroes

A volley of gunshots slightly interrupts my calm as I stand on one of my favorite knolls in the Nashville National Cemetery.


And in the end, who has to pay for new plumbing?

I was a big fan of the Beatles, as some may know, for most of my life. Then I had read hundreds of books and wrote a couple about the lads from Liverpool. Now, I am a historian and have a radio show to prove it. The intro to the show identifies me as a historian, so I must be.


Average US 30-year mortgage rate falls to 3.95 pct, 2017 low

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week to their lowest levels of the year. The benchmark 30-year rate dipped below the key 4 percent mark.


Next man up: Character carries Preds to Cup finals

Just five games into this history-making hockey season, the Nashville Predators faced an early character test.

Penguins take 2-0 Stanley Cup lead with 4-1 win vs Predators

PITTSBURGH (AP) — By coach Peter Laviolette's math, the Nashville Predators have been pretty good for all but 10 minutes of the Stanley Cup Final.


Wide Receiver U? That’s so 20 years ago

At the 2015 SEC Media Days, Tennessee coach Butch Jones referred to his school as “the original Wide Receiver U.”


Honda adds five-door Civic hatchback for 2017

Honda has brought its first five-door Civic hatchback to the U.S. from England, and it comes with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the passenger room of a sedan and SUV-like cargo space.


No deal beats a bad deal. Don’t get burned

Suppose you have 10 ounces of red dye and your associate has 10 ounces of yellow dye. The assignment is for each of you to create 10 ounces of the perfect shade of orange. The fair solution: exchange five ounces of each color.


Alan Jackson to perform free concert for hockey fans

NASHVILLE (AP) — Legendary country singer Alan Jackson is going to play a free outdoor concert in Music City in advance of the Nashville Predators first home game in the 2017 Stanley Cup Final.


Dollar General's net sales up 6.5% in Q1

GOODLETTSVILLE — Dollar General Corporation today reported Net sales increased 6.5 percent to $5.61 billion in the 2017 first quarter compared to $5.27 billion in the 2016 first quarter.


Nissan US sales up 3 pct; May could bring 1st gain of year

DETROIT (AP) — Nissan and its Infiniti luxury brand reported that sales rose 3 percent last month, an early sign that May sales could beat analysts' expectations of only a tiny gain.

Investors pick Tesla's promise over GM's steady profits

DETROIT (AP) — When General Motors CEO Mary Barra introduced the Chevrolet Bolt at the CES gadget show last year, she took a shot at Tesla.

Uber posts $708M loss as revenue grows; finance head quits

HONG KONG (AP) — Ride-hailing giant Uber has reported another multimillion dollar loss even as its revenues grow.


Average US 30-year mortgage rate slips to 3.94 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates were flat to slightly lower this week, as the key 30-year rate marked a new low for the year.

Construction spending fell 1.4 percent in April

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. construction fell in April by the largest amount in a year, reflecting weakness in homebuilding, non-residential construction and government projects.


Stocks climb, S&P 500 touches record after better jobs data

NEW YORK (AP) — Yet another sign that the job market continues to improve is driving stocks and bond yields higher on Thursday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index is on track for its first up day in three and is close to its record high.

Private Survey: Companies added a solid 253,000 jobs in May

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. private businesses added a robust 253,000 jobs in May, a private survey found, a sign that employers expect economic growth to keep plowing ahead.

US jobless claims rose to 248,000 last week

WASHINGTON (AP) — More people sought U.S. unemployment benefits last week, the second straight week of increases, though levels remain historically low.


World leaders reaffirm commitment to fighting climate change

BERLIN (AP) — World leaders pledged Thursday to keep up the fight against global warming and urged Donald Trump to be part of that effort, hours before the U.S. president was due to announce whether he would pull out of the Paris climate accord.

Trump to announce decision on climate change Thursday

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will announce his decision on whether to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord during a Rose Garden event Thursday afternoon.

White House grants 14 ethics waivers to staff

WASHINGTON (AP) — Michael Catanzaro, a former oil and gas lobbyist, can help shape the Trump administration's energy policies. Shahira Knight can weigh in on retirement matters even though she previously worked for Fidelity, a financial company specializing in retirement services.


Penguins wary, Predators confident as Game 2 looms

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The winning team went nearly two full periods without a shot. The hottest goaltender in the playoffs was only tested 11 times in 58 minutes — and lost.

Catfish tosser says he was 'dumb redneck with a bad idea'

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A Tennessee man is calling himself a "dumb redneck with a bad idea" after police filed charges against him for throwing a catfish onto the rink in Pittsburgh during the opening of the Stanley Cup Final.


Country stars to honor Gregg Allman at CMT Awards

NASHVILLE (AP) — Country's biggest stars will pay tribute to Southern rocker Gregg Allman at the CMT Music Awards with performances from Jason Aldean, Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker and more.


Volkswagen staffing agency hiring 200 workers in Tennessee

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — A staffing agency for the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee is holding job fair to hire more than 200 production workers at the factory.


Kellogg to close Memphis plant, idle 172 workers

MEMPHIS (AP) — Kellogg Co. says it plans to shut down a distribution plant in Memphis and lay off 172 workers.

Report on response to Tennessee wildfires expected in July

KNOXVILLE (AP) — The National Park Service says it expects to release a review in mid- to late July of its response to a November wildfire in Great Smoky Mountains National Park that turned deadly.


Amid Trump orders, Nashville mulls sanctuary city-like rules

NASHVILLE (AP) — Nashville officials are proposing sanctuary city-like standards in response to President Donald Trump's policies on immigration.

Nashville police taking applications for teen driving class

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Nashville Police Department is once again offering a free driver awareness class for teenagers that will be taught by police officers.


GOP health plan could be costly for those with coverage gaps

NASHVILLE (AP) — As a thyroid cancer survivor battling nerve damage and other complications, Lisa Dammert was in such dire financial straits in 2014 that she and her husband did the unthinkable: They let their health insurance lapse for a while.


US pending home sales fell again in April

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans retreated from signing contracts to buy homes in April for the second straight month, a possible sign that a declining number of homes on the market are stifling sales during the traditional spring buying season.


US stocks slide further as banks and energy companies sink

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes edged lower for the second day in a row Wednesday as a sharp drop for banks and a rare loss for technology companies canceled out gains for drugmakers and consumer-focused companies.

Fed survey finds tight labor markets, rising wages

WASHINGTON (AP) — The economy kept growing in April through late May, with more regions citing worker shortages across a widening range of occupations, the Federal Reserve reported Wednesday.


What's behind the German trade surplus angering Trump?

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — President Donald Trump keeps criticizing Germany's trade surplus with the United States. Germans say their products are just better and people want to buy them.

Trump resisting pressure from Europe, pope on climate deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is expected to withdraw the United States from a landmark global climate agreement, a White House official said Wednesday, though Trump and aides were looking for "caveats in the language" related to the exit and had not made a final decision.

Trump's cellphone diplomacy raises security concerns

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has been handing out his cellphone number to world leaders and urging them to call him directly, an unusual invitation that breaks diplomatic protocol and is raising concerns about the security and secrecy of the U.S. commander in chief's communications.

Poll: Trump promises unfulfilled by House GOP health bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has called the House-passed health care bill a "great plan," but a new poll finds that three out of four Americans do not believe it fulfills most of his promises.

Arrested, missing China activists spark criticism of Trump

SHANGHAI (AP) — The arrest and disappearance of three labor activists investigating a Chinese company that produces Ivanka Trump-branded shoes in China prompted a call for her brand to cease working with the supplier and raised questions about whether the first family's commercial interests would muddy U.S. leadership on human rights.

AP Source: Flynn agrees to provide some requested documents

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn will provide documents to the Senate intelligence committee as part of its probe into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election, The Associated Press has learned.


Preds encouraged despite Game 1 loss in Stanley Cup Final

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The first period of their first Stanley Cup Final game was a rough one for the Nashville Predators. They had a goal waved off. They fell behind 3-0 and looked overmatched at times.

Guentzel's goal lifts Penguins by Predators 5-3 in Game 1

PITTSBURGH (AP) — This is what the Pittsburgh Penguins do. They find a way. Even on nights when they blow a three-goal lead, they go an entire period (and then some) without registering a single shot and the opponent is fresher, quicker and, for long stretches, demonstrably better.


Country stars to be honored in ACM TV special

NASHVILLE (AP) — George Strait, Dolly Parton, Kelsea Ballerini, Eric Church, Reba McEntire, Toby Keith, Willie Nelson and Shel Silverstein will be honored by the Academy of Country Music during a television special.


Poll: 2 in 3 Tennessee voters favor immigrant tuition break

NASHVILLE (AP) — About two out of three registered voters in the state think Tennessee students whose parents brought or kept them in the country illegally should be eligible for in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities, according to a poll released by Vanderbilt University on Tuesday.

Haslam signs bill reducing costs of wiping criminal records

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam has signed a law that will make it easier for people convicted of mostly low-level offenses to get their criminal records wiped clean.


Green puts off public announcement of gubernatorial plans

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican state Sen. Mark Green says he has made up his mind about whether to rejoin the governor's race in Tennessee, but he doesn't want to make his decision public until later this week.

Urban forestry proposals being accepted through June 23

NASHVILLE (AP) — Groups interested in submitting urban forestry tree planting project proposals may do so through June 23.


Murfreesboro, MTSU explore joint policing effort

MURFREESBORO (AP) — Following a spate of crimes at nearby apartment complexes, a proposed plan would allow the Middle Tennessee State University police department to work off-campus at the request of the Murfreesboro Police Department.


Teacher who ran away with teen student to plead not guilty

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee teacher who led police on a nationwide manhunt after running away with a 15-year-old student says he will plead not guilty to federal charges.


US home prices rising 2 times faster than wages

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices climbed in March at the strongest rate in nearly three year as a dwindling supply of houses for sale is causing prices to significantly outpace income growth.


Banks pull stocks away from records as 7-day streak ends

NEW YORK (AP) — A seven-day winning streak for stocks came to a quiet end Tuesday as banks, especially smaller ones, dropped along with bond yields and interest rates. Energy companies also sank.

Consumer confidence slips in May but still at high level

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumers were slightly less confident in May for the second straight month, but they remain bullish by historical measures.

US consumer spending, incomes grew solidly in April

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans increased their spending in April at the fastest pace in four months, bolstered by a solid gain in incomes. The strong results underscored expectations that the economy is poised to rebound after a lackluster start to the year.

It's primetime at Amazon.com as shares hit $1,000

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon, the internet goliath that revolutionized the way much of the world buys books, toilet paper and TVs, hit a new milestone Tuesday. Its stock surpassed the $1,000 mark for the first time.

Wal-Mart works to close gap between itself and Amazon

HOBOKEN, N.J. (AP) — Even after an online spending spree, it may be hard for Wal-Mart to escape the Amazon in the room.


Mystique vs. mayhem in unlikely Stanley Cup Final

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The dynasty that once appeared so certain is again in the offing for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Top 10 Predator moments (so far) of 2017

With the Predators preparing for their first trip to the Stanley Cup Final, it’s difficult to recall that this team began the playoffs with very few expectations six weeks ago.


Newly insured fret over gains made under US health care law

Dawn Erin went nearly 20 years without health insurance before the Affordable Care Act, bouncing between free clinics for frequent and painful bladder infections.


World shares muted as investors await raft of economic data

HONG KONG (AP) — World stock markets were listless Monday as investors look to a raft of economic data this week and as holidays in several key markets crimped trading volume.

Get ready for busy travel season; airlines could set record

DALLAS (AP) — If you're planning a big vacation trip this summer, move over. You're going to have lots of company.


Trump eyes White House overhaul, outside lawyers and PR team

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is considering overhauling his White House staff and bringing back top campaign strategists, frustrated by what he views as his team's inability to contain the burgeoning crisis involving alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

AP FACT CHECK: A rash of Trump statements under scrutiny

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has reopened his Twitter spigot now that his foreign trip is over, so brace yourself. The intensifying investigations into Russian interference in the election and the potential involvement of associates have reached his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and appear to have caught the president in a bare-knuckled mood.


NHL royalty vs. the rowdy neighbors in Stanley Cup Final

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Penguins kept getting by even as their star players kept skating off the ice in pain. Even as the targets on their back as Stanley Cup champions kept getting bigger. Even as Columbus and Washington and Ottawa kept pushing and prodding, poking and pinching.


Nashville overtakes Memphis as Tennessee's largest city

NASHVILLE (AP) — Newly released figures indicate Nashville has overtaken Memphis as Tennessee's largest city.

US Senate votes to name courthouse after actor Fred Thompson

NASHVILLE (AP) — The U.S. Senate has voted to name Nashville's new federal courthouse after former Sen. Fred Thompson, the late actor who appeared in at least 20 movies and in the TV series "Law & Order."


Haslam signs NRA-backed metal detector gun bill

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam has signed a bill that requires cities and counties in Tennessee to buy metal detectors, hire security guards and check bags at many public buildings, parks and buses, or let handgun permit holders bring in their guns.


GOP field for Tennessee governor soon to become more crowded

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — Businessman Randy Boyd will happily talk at length about his role in creating Tennessee's free community college tuition program and his plans to attract more companies to the state and cut regulations to keep others from leaving.

Firm signs contract in Tennessee campus outsourcing push

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee has entered into a five-year contract with real estate giant Jones Lang LaSalle as part of Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's plan to outsource jobs on college campuses and other state-owned properties to the private sector, state officials announced Friday.

Tennessee tax preparer sentenced to 1 year in tax fraud

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee tax preparer was sentenced to a year and a day in prison for filing fraudulent tax returns with phony deductions worth $443,600.

Report: Tennessee opioid overdose deaths mostly white, male

NASHVILLE (AP) — A new report on drug overdose deaths as of 2015 in Tennessee says that the fatalities are primarily white, mostly male and increasingly less likely to have prescriptions for the drugs.


Flood of off-lease used cars push prices down, upend market

DETROIT (AP) — In 2014, Infiniti leased more than 28,000 Q50 luxury sedans for as little as $329 per month in a growing U.S. market. The leases accounted for more than three-quarters of Q50 sales.


Insurers continue to hike prices, abandon ACA markets

People shopping for insurance through the Affordable Care Act in yet more regions could face higher prices and fewer choices next year as insurance companies lay out their early plans for 2018.


US stocks stand still after 6-day push to record highs

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are little changed Friday afternoon in quiet trading ahead of the Memorial Day holiday. Household goods companies are rising as beauty products makers Ulta and Coty climb. Technology companies, which have led the market's recent rally, are slightly lower. Indexes remain near record highs following a six-day winning streak.

US durable goods orders fell for first time in 5 months

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. orders for long-lasting manufactured goods dropped in April for the first time in five months, and a key category that tracks business investment went nowhere for the second straight month.

US growth in Q1 revised up to 1.2 pct. but still weak

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy started 2017 out with a whimper, but it wasn't quite as weak as first thought. The government revised up its January-March growth reading to a rate of 1.2 percent — better than an earlier estimate of 0.7 percent but well below President Donald Trump's ambitious growth targets.

CEO pay by the numbers: How big were last year's raises?

The typical big-company CEO raked in $11.5 million last year in salary, stock and other compensation, according to a study by executive data firm Equilar for The Associated Press. That's an 8.5 percent raise from a year earlier, the biggest in three years.

First to board or join the horde; is elite travel worth it?

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Summer travelers may well find themselves stuck in long security lines and squeezed into cramped seats. For frequent travelers, or those who can and want to pay extra, perks are available including upgrades to first-class seats, airport lounges and free food.

Retailers cheer GOP retreat on ending debit card fees limit

WASHINGTON (AP) — Restaurants, grocers and other businesses celebrated on Thursday as House Republicans backed off efforts to eliminate the cap on fees that banks can charge retailers when customers use a debit card.

OPEC and other nations set to extend output cuts

VIENNA (AP) — OPEC and other oil nations meeting Thursday were set to extend their production cuts in an effort to shore up prices. But the intended impact could be short-lived.

Sears revenue continues decline amid tough landscape

NEW YORK (AP) — Sears' extended decline in sales persisted during the first quarter and the storied retailer vowed additional spending cuts to offset its slowing business.


White House adviser: Coal doesn't 'make that much sense anymore'

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has vowed to revive the coal industry and regularly promises to "put our miners back to work." But one of his top White House advisers apparently does not share Trump's affinity for coal.

Trump ruffles feathers by calling Germans "bad" _ on trade

Trump criticizes German trade surplus, again

Gianforte apologizes to reporter after winning US House race

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — Republican multimillionaire Greg Gianforte won Montana's only U.S. House seat on Thursday despite being charged a day earlier with assault after witnesses said he grabbed a reporter by the neck and threw him to the ground.

Trump plan to sell off half of oil stockpile sparks debate

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's proposal to sell nearly half the U.S. emergency oil stockpile is renewing debate about whether the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is still needed amid an ongoing oil production boom that has seen U.S. imports drop sharply in the past decade.

22 GOP senators want US to pull out of Paris climate accord

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and 21 other Republicans on Thursday urged President Donald Trump to follow through on his campaign pledge to pull out of the Paris climate accord.

GOP candidate for US House charged with assaulting reporter

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — The Republican candidate in the nationally-watched election Thursday for Montana's sole congressional seat has been charged with misdemeanor assault for allegedly grabbing a reporter by the neck and throwing him to the ground.

US factories report faster growth in May

WASHINGTON (AP) — American factories grew at a slightly faster pace in May, another sign that manufacturing remains healthy.

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