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VOL. 36 | NO. 30 | Friday, July 27, 2012

Charter schools as a west side alternative

Great Hearts Academy, tennis star Andre Agassi’s group reflect shift toward serving a more affluent demographic

There was a time when Nashville’s push for charter schools centered on low- and modest- income neighborhoods and the need to rescue children from failing schools.

Plaster ‘jumps’ back into familiar Sports Night radio role

George Plaster wondered if his radio career in Nashville might be finished, even after his six-month non-compete had expired.

Local authors tackle post-college job hunt

The twin perils of debt and unemployment stalk most college graduates today, so some new thinking might be in order when it comes to the job search.

Nashville restaurant legend 'Hap' Townes dies

James Beverly "Hap" Townes, who served such legends as Johnny Cash, Chet Atkins, Mickey Mantle and Reggie Jackson at his namesake "meat-and-three" just beyond the Greer Stadium outfield wall, has died.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
A Few Clouds
Wind: from the Southwest at 10.4 gusting to 20.7 mph
Humidity: 30%


Interactive Media Meet-up. Like-minded Nashville Area Chamber of Chamber members meet Friday to discuss trends, challenges, ideas and thoughts. These topic-driven meetings give members the opportunity to develop connections with colleagues while learning about trends and applications in web and mobile technology. 8:30- 9:30 a.m., Goodwill Industries of Middle TN, Inc., 937 Herman Street, Lifsey Building, Room 120, Nashville. Information: nashvillechamber.com, 743-3115.

more events »


Money really does grow on trees

I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree, or so the Joyce Kilmer poem goes. Yet, when homebuyers have their homes inspected prior to the closing, they seldom have the trees inspected. Every other aspect of the home is inspected and re-inspected these days.


Meharry doctor to lead National Medical Association

Dr. Rahn Kennedy Bailey, associate professor and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Meharry Medical College, will be installed as president of the National Medical Association (NMA) on July 31 during the NMA 2012 annual convention and scientific assembly in New Orleans.


Decode prospects’ secret language

Let’s face it. Prospects have a language of their own. Sometimes they say one thing when they really mean another. Shocking, right? The language differences between sellers and buyers are akin to those between men and women – often worlds apart. Fortunately, prospects have a few go-to responses that, once decoded, will put you on an even playing field.


3-step process links business, surgery

It is my understanding that if you want to master a surgical procedure you follow a relatively simple three-step process: you hear about it, you see it, and you do it.


V scores a victory with I’ll Fly Away

Years ago, V Jeffers of Portland, Ark., became fascinated with the Monarch Butterfly, the most recognizable of non-detested insects.


Peachy keen facts about a summer treat

Everyone knows a “rose is a rose is a rose, is a rose is a rose,” but when is it not? When it’s a peach. If you don’t already know, peaches are from the Rose family (Prunus) and are classified as a “stone fruit” or “drupe.”


Paisley, Underwood to host CMAs for 5th time

NASHVILLE (AP) - Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley are hosting the Country Music Association Awards for a fifth time.


Justices revised conduct rules before implementing

NASHVILLE (AP) - A provision the Tennessee Supreme Court initially included in an overhaul of conduct rules for state judges was changed before the code took effect.

Voters to decide key primary contests in Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) - Months of bruising primary campaigns seemed to be taking their toll on voter morale on Election Day.

Teacher licensing standards being revised in Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Department of Education is revising teacher licensing standards.

Fred's July revenue figure rises

MEMPHIS (AP) — Discount-store operator Fred's Inc. said Wednesday that a key revenue figure edged up in July, boosted by markdowns aimed at increasing customer traffic. The company also raised its earnings guidance for the second quarter, citing a tax settlement with the state of Tennessee.


Immigrants prove big business for prison companies such as CCA

MIAMI (AP) — The U.S. is locking up more illegal immigrants than ever, generating lucrative profits for the nation's largest prison companies, and an Associated Press review shows the businesses have spent tens of millions of dollars lobbying lawmakers and contributing to campaigns.

Natural gas line erupts in Nashville, no injuries

NASHVILLE (AP) - A few hundred Nashville residents were told to leave their homes after a natural gas line ruptured in a neighborhood.


GM profit falls 41 percent on weakness in Europe

DETROIT (AP) — A big loss in Europe dragged down General Motors' second-quarter profit.


US rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 3.55 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — The average U.S. rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage rose this week after falling to new record lows in each of the past 13 weeks.

US factory orders fell 0.5 percent in June

WASHINGTON (AP) — Companies placed fewer orders with U.S. factories in June from May, signaling further weakness with manufacturing.

Shoppers' spending a bright note for economy

NEW YORK (AP) — Shoppers showed some spending muscle in July, once summer clearance sales and the hottest July in 50 years got them in the mood.

US unemployment aid applications rise to 365,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits rose last week, though the data was likely skewed higher by seasonal factors.

ECB's Draghi: Bank may intervene on bonds

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said Thursday the bank would make a new effort to buy government bonds to drive down the high borrowing rates squeezing the continent's indebted governments. And he urged leaders of the 17 countries that use the euro to use their bailout fund to do the same.

With no concrete action in Europe, stocks slump

NEW YORK (AP) — The European Central Bank on Thursday laid some of its game plan for tackling the continent's debt crisis, but markets wanted much more.

Oil prices drop below $88

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil is falling after the head of the European Central Bank disappointed investors by failing to take immediate action to prop up the eurozone economy.

Half of US counties now considered disaster areas

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Nearly 220 counties in a dozen drought-stricken states were added Wednesday to the U.S. government's list of natural disaster areas as the nation's agriculture chief unveiled new help for frustrated, cash-strapped farmers and ranchers grappling with extreme dryness and heat.

Sony's loss grows, cuts earnings forecast

TOKYO (AP) — Sony's red ink worsened in the April-June quarter and it lowered its full-year earnings forecast as it battles a strong yen and declining sales of liquid crystal display TVs and video game machines.


Gov't report: Tax cheats getting paid by Medicaid

WASHINGTON (AP) — Thousands of Medicaid health care service providers still got paid by the government even though they owed hundreds of millions of dollars in federal taxes, congressional investigators say. A legal technicality is making it harder for the IRS to collect.

Senate fails to approve cybersecurity legislation

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate failed Thursday to pass legislation to protect the U.S. electrical grid, water supplies and other critical industries from cyberattack and electronic espionage despite dire warnings from top national security officials about the potential for devastating assaults on American computer networks.

House to take up livestock disaster relief bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House is taking up legislation to help drought-stricken livestock producers in one of its final acts before adjourning for the August recess.


GOP lawmaker regrets forwarding Obama email

NASHVILLE (AP) - A Republican state lawmaker has apologized for circulating an email that spreads a rumor that President Barack Obama is planning to stage a fake assassination attempt to stop the November election.


Haslam appoints members to regulatory authority

NASHVILLE (AP) — Earl Taylor has been named the new executive director of the Tennessee Regulatory Authority, which is responsible for setting rates and service standards for privately owned utilities.

Mednax buys East Tennessee physician group

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Mednax Inc. said Monday it has acquired a Knoxville-based physician group that provides anesthesia services across the eastern portion of Tennessee.


Baptists' top ethics official announces retirement

NASHVILLE (AP) — Richard Land, the highly visible top ethics official for the Southern Baptist Convention, announced Tuesday that he would retire next year.

300 Gaylord workers get separation notices

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gaylord Entertainment has issued separation notices to 310 employees pending shareholder approval of a deal to sell its hotel brand and the rights to manage its four hotels to Marriott International, Inc. for $210 million.


State Route 840 to be completed in November

FRANKLIN (AP) - (AP) - Tennessee's top transportation official says that a road construction project that has been on the books since 1986 will finally be completed in November after years of construction and environmental delays.


Tennessee VW workers to put in 4 weekly 10-hour shifts

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — Volkswagen is boosting production at its sole U.S. plant, though employees will have to spend fewer days a week to achieve that expansion.

Nissan, Chrysler report double-digit sales jumps

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors and Ford lost ground to Japanese automakers last month as their rivals made a strong comeback from last year's earthquake.

BMW earnings fall 28 percent

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — German luxury automaker BMW AG said earnings fell 28 percent in the second quarter due to higher costs for staff and investments in new technology and warned that a worsening of Europe's debt crisis or a slowdown in China could hurt its business.


Fed says US economy has slowed, takes no new steps

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that the U.S. economy is losing strength and repeated a pledge to take further steps to boost growth if hiring remains weak.

On a chaotic day, Fed, glitches push stocks lower

NEW YORK (AP) — There was more than one story line playing out in the stock market Wednesday.

US manufacturing sector shrank for second month

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. manufacturing shrank for the second straight month in July, further evidence of an economy growing at a sluggish pace.

US construction spending rose 0.4 percent in June

WASHINGTON (AP) — Another strong gain in homebuilding pushed U.S. construction spending up for a third straight month in June.

Private survey: US economy added 163K jobs in July

WASHINGTON (AP) — A private survey shows U.S. businesses kept hiring at a modest pace in July, suggesting the job market could be improving after three sluggish months.

Fed wraps up meeting as markets await action

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve concludes its two-day policy meeting Wednesday with a big question looming: Will it take some new action to jolt the U.S. economy out of its slump?

Oil prices rise on surprise supply drop

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil climbed to near $89 per barrel Wednesday after the government said supplies have dropped more than analysts expected.

CEO says NBC set to 'break even' on Olympics

NEW YORK (AP) — Viewer excitement about the Olympics is translating into gold for NBC: The broadcaster now expects to break even on the London Games rather than take a loss.

'Battleship' dud hits Comcast earnings in 2Q

NEW YORK (AP) — "Battleship" failed to sink Comcast's second-quarter earnings as strong results from cable operations overcame weak returns from the box-office flop.

Harley-Davidson 2Q profit up 30 pct on US demand

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Harley-Davidson Inc. says its second-quarter net income jumped 30 percent on higher U.S. demand for motorcycles.

YouTube selects 10 shorts films for Venice Fest

NEW YORK (AP) — YouTube's inaugural film festival has selected 10 short films that it will send to the Venice Film Festival.


House heading toward election-year tax showdown

WASHINGTON (AP) — An election-year tax faceoff between Democrats and Republicans in the GOP-controlled House is heading toward a predictable outcome Wednesday.

Defense official: Cuts hit warfighters, weapons

WASHINGTON (AP) — Warfighters heading to Afghanistan would receive less training while the Navy would be forced to buy fewer ships if lawmakers fail in the next five months to come up with an alternative deficit-reduction plan, a Pentagon official said Wednesday.

Bill to cut Senate confirmations gets final action

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House gave final congressional approval Tuesday to a bill that would save the slow-paced Senate some time by eliminating the need for confirming nominees to some 170 executive branch jobs and 3,000 military officer positions.


Jamey Johnson salutes songwriter with duets album

NASHVILLE (AP) — Jamey Johnson sang at Hank Cochran's bedside in the hours before his death. Now he's showing his love for the legendary songwriter again.

Toby Keith postpones concert date after surgery

NASHVILLE (AP) — Surgery has briefly sidelined country star Toby Keith.


Prison officials meeting in Nashville this week

NASHVILLE (AP) — About 100 correctional professionals from across the country are meeting this week in Nashville.


Honda's profit quadruples on disaster recovery

TOKYO (AP) — Honda's quarterly profit quadrupled to 131.7 billion yen ($1.7 billion) as the Japanese automaker bounced back from last year's natural disasters with more vehicles sold across all key regions except for Europe.


Will central banks rescue US, European economies?

WASHINGTON (AP) — The world's top central bankers have said they're willing to rescue the economies of Europe and the United States. This week we'll find out if they are ready to act.

Stocks slip ahead of crucial Fed, ECB meetings

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks ended slightly lower Tuesday as investors held back ahead of three critical events this week: policy meetings at both the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank and a closely watched report on jobs in the U.S.

Gas back to $3.50 a gallon after 5% jump in July

Gasoline is at $3.50 per gallon for the first time this summer after a sharp run-up in July.

Oil prices fall as stimulus hopes fade

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil prices fell Tuesday as hopes faded for a new round of economic stimulus in the U.S.

Gov't bars Fannie-Freddie from reducing principal

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal regulator is standing by its decision to bar Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from reducing principal for borrowers at risk of foreclosure, resisting pressure from the Obama administration.

US consumers more confident in the economy in July

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans breathed a bit easier about the economy in July, as a better outlook on short-term hiring and lower gas prices offset lingering worries about poor income growth.

Home prices rose in all major US cities in May

WASHINGTON (AP) — Home prices rose in May from April in every city tracked by a leading index, a sign that increasing sales and tight inventories are supporting a modest housing recovery.

US consumer spending flat, income up 0.5 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans spent no more in June than they did in May, even though their income grew at the fastest pace in three months.

Fed could be moving to more bond buying

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve appears to be moving toward announcing some new step to try to energize the troubled U.S. economy. The question is whether it will do so after its policy meeting this week.

Eurozone unemployment at record high in June

LONDON (AP) — The number of people unemployed across the 17 countries that use the euro hit a record high in June, official figures showed Tuesday, in a stark reminder that Europe's debt crisis has ramifications beyond the financial markets.


Obama orders new sanctions on Iran

WASHINGTON (AP) — Seeking to ratchet up pressure on Iran, President Barack Obama on Tuesday ordered new sanctions on Iran's energy sector and on foreign banks in China and Iraq that the U.S. says help the Islamic republic evade international penalties.

Reid, Boehner announce stopgap spending pact

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top Republican and Democrat on Capitol Hill have announced an agreement to keep the government running on autopilot for six months when the current budget year ends on Sept. 30.

House, Senate negotiators back new Iran sanctions

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is pressing ahead with a new package of crippling sanctions on Iran, expanding on financial penalties and targeting Tehran's energy and shipping sectors in the hope that economic pressure undercuts its suspected nuclear weapons program.

Republicans block confirmation of Oklahoma judge

WASHINGTON (AP) — Carrying out their threat to block appeals court nominees as the fall elections approach, Senate Republicans on Monday blocked confirmation of a U.S. appeals court nominee from Oklahoma despite his bipartisan support.


Police: Titans player dies in apparent suicide

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Hours after sending a gracious yet puzzling middle-of-the-night text message to a former college coach, police say Tennessee Titans receiver O.J. Murdock died in an apparent suicide.


Tennessee Democrats hoping to win some seats in Legislature

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee Democrats are looking at Thursday's primary as a critical step in the rebuilding urged by an internal analysis last year.

Highway Patrol accepting applications for academy

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Tennessee Highway Patrol is accepting applications for the fall session of the Citizens Trooper Academy.


Geithner meeting German finance minister, Draghi

BERLIN (AP) — U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was meeting his German counterpart and the head of the European Central Bank on Monday following a flurry of pledges to save the euro that raised expectations of decisive action soon. Germany, however, appeared to downplay those hopes.

Stock indexes drift lower, ending a two-day rally

NEW YORK (AP) — A two-day rally that sent stocks soaring last week fizzled out Monday.

Natural gas resumes 3-month surge on hot weather

NEW YORK (AP) — As the temperature keeps rising, so does the price of natural gas.

Chrysler posts $436M second-quarter profit

DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler's almost total reliance on North America used to be a huge weakness, one that sent the company into bankruptcy protection.

IPhone appeal dims as Samsung shines

NEW YORK (AP) — The latest iPhone looks much the same as the first iPhone, which came out more than five years ago. That hasn't been a problem for Apple — until, now.


Candidates look overseas for campaign cash

WASHINGTON (AP) — In the hunt for campaign money, no distance is too far to travel, especially when the race between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney is tight and likely to stay that way into the fall.


LifePoint Hospitals reports flat 2Q earnings

BRENTWOOD (AP) - LifePoint Hospitals Inc. reported flat second-quarter earnings, as an increase in salaries and benefits along with other operating expenses, countered revenue growth for the rural hospital chain.


Diocese of Nashville marking 175th anniversary

NASHVILLE (AP) — Roman Catholics begin a yearlong celebration Saturday marking the 175th anniversary of the Diocese of Nashville.


State gets $2 million in drug case settlement

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee will receive approximately $2 million as part of a national agreement to resolve a false claim pricing case with McKesson Corp.

More than 220,000 Tennesseans vote early

NASHVILLE (AP) - More than 220,000 Tennesseans have voted early or absentee by mail for the Aug. 2 election.

TBI probing whether voters turned away in Rhea

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is probing whether Rhea County election officials illegally turned away voters they thought were Democrats.


Ford to recall 485,000 small SUVs to fix throttles

DETROIT (AP) — Ford is recalling nearly 485,000 Escapes and Mavericks to fix sticking gas pedals that can cause crashes.


Dow blows past 13,000 on hope for action in Europe

NEW YORK (AP) — Faced with Facebook, Starbucks and Angela Merkel, the market chose to focus on Merkel.

Court leaves ruling against big tobacco intact

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court on Friday left intact a court judgment that ordered tobacco companies to do corrective advertising about the dangers of smoking.

Management shake-up at JPMorgan; Zames is COO

NEW YORK (AP) — JPMorgan Chase has appointed Matt Zames and Frank Bisignano as co-chief operating officers in a broad reshuffling of top management at the bank.

US economic growth slowed to 1.5 pct. rate in Q2

WASHINGTON (AP) — High unemployment isn't going away — not as long as the economy grows as slowly as it did in the April-June quarter.

Apple buying AuthenTec for about $356 million

NEW YORK (AP) — Apple has agreed to buy fingerprint reader AuthenTec Inc. for approximately $356 million as the company known for iPhones and iPads looks to strengthen its digital security capabilities.

Few think sluggish US economy will strengthen soon

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. economy that plodded along in the first three months of the year likely grew even less in the April-June quarter. And most economists no longer think growth will strengthen much in the second half of 2012.

Gov't: Great Recession bit less weak than thought

WASHINGTON (AP) — Here's a small consolation: The Great Recession wasn't quite as horrendous as previously thought.

Oil rises on expectations for economic stimulus

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil climbed for a fourth day on expectations of more efforts by government officials and central bankers to help the global economy.

Delta to shut down regional carrier Comair

NEW YORK (AP) — Delta Air Lines said Friday it will close its regional carrier Comair at the end of September as it switches more of its flying to bigger jets.

Facebook shares sink to new low after 2Q results

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook's stock hit a new low Friday after it reported lukewarm second-quarter results and didn't give an outlook for the coming months.

WGBH Boston acquires Public Radio International

BOSTON (AP) — Boston public media station WGBH, the producer of such marquee PBS shows as "Nova" and "Frontline," has acquired Minneapolis-based Public Radio International, the companies said Thursday.


House leaders: Drought bill may come up next week

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republican leaders said Thursday they expected to take up legislation next week to help farmers and ranchers, particularly livestock producers, hit by the drought that has parched much of the nation.

Little to be accomplished on taxes before elections

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has debated, sniped and voted on the politically fraught issue of tax cuts, and next week the House is likely to do it all over again. Still, Americans won't know until after the November elections how much more of their paychecks will go to the government next year.

Gov't stepping up fight against health care fraud

WASHINGTON (AP) — Stepping up their game against health care fraud, the Obama administration and major insurers announced Thursday they will share raw data and investigative know-how on a scale not previously seen to try to shut off billions of dollars in questionable payments.

Hill leaders might punt spending bills to next year

WASHINGTON (AP) — With the agenda for a postelection lame duck session of Congress already stacked high, congressional leaders are considering lightening the load by punting much of the remaining budget work of Congress to next year.

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