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VOL. 36 | NO. 37 | Friday, September 14, 2012

Whiskey Town

Distilleries are popping up like, well, ‘Popcorn,’ giving Nashville another hot, trendy export

A dead moonshine legend, a former state legislator and a 25-year-old English lit major with a blue highlight punctuating blond hair are key ingredients in a spirited “all for one, one for all” growth industry that’s being mashed, cooked, distilled and bottled in a trio of non-descript Nashville warehouses.

‘Popcorn’ is gone but his legacy lives on

When Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton rigged the exhaust pipe of his green Fairlane so the carbon monoxide would kill him, he ended a life but not a legend.

‘Brown goods’ celebrated at first Whiskey Festival

Nashville Whiskey Festival founder Paul Patel says you only have to look at the color of the liquid in cocktail glasses around town to know why his event will be successful.

Luring visitors becomes a group effort for Midstate convention, visitors bureaus

Some people come here for the area’s Civil War battlegrounds and other historical sites. Others are on hand for the CMA festival or the country music scene in general. And then there are the tourists who come for fishing tournaments and other outdoor recreation.

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


Free Legal Seminars at People’s Law School. Today's class covers “What to Do If You Owe Money or Returns to the IRS: Instructors will focus on questions and problems associated with taxes and the IRS.” Individuals can register for one or several classes through Nov. 15 on a variety of topics, including:

more events »

Wilson County Commission opts to defund tourism agency

The Wilson County Commission’s has voted to eliminate funding for its convention and visitors bureau.

Funky to formal, area offers a variety of party venues

A 400-person wedding, a bachelorette party, the latest No. 1 hit … 5 o’clock. Nashville is a town that will use any excuse to party. But it can’t be just any kind of party. It has to be a Nashville party, one that really shows off the personality of the area.

Walk, ride, glide through Midstate history

The irony was inescapable. Bill Demain found himself in Nashville, at the epicenter of country music, and nowhere could he find anyone making a living talking about the roots of the genre and pointing out its landmarks.


Interest rates, confidence spur 27% jump in Midstate home sales

Consumer confidence is rising, workers aren’t as worried about losing their jobs, European investors are buying U.S. Treasury securities and driving down mortgage interest rates, and home prices are as affordable as they’ve ever been.

Real estate trends for August 2012

August 2012 real estate trends for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford and Wilson counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.


No status quo: Cities can either grow or falter

I suffer from yoyo-itis, meaning I am prone to rapid weight gain (RWG). For years, after following a regimen of diet and exercise that allows the scale to switch from foe to friend, I watch as the machine commits treason as fast food quickly works its way into the ever expanding belly. In short, if I’m not losing weight, I’m gaining weight.


Two Hall of Fame offensive linemen can’t get run game going?

Everybody has a theory, but I’m not sure anybody really has an answer for the Tennessee Titans ailing running game.


Leadership Middle Tennessee selects new class

Thirty-four community and business leaders from the Middle Tennessee region have been selected for membership in the 2013 Class of Leadership Middle Tennessee, Inc., a regional leadership institute encompassing the 10-county area involved with Partnership 2020.


Three secrets to closing more business

Considering how hard salespeople have to work to land a meeting with a prospective customer, it’s surprising how little effort is typically put into the follow-up with that prospect after the meeting. The result is lost opportunity and the need to work harder than necessary to meet sales targets.


Backstop may ease Europe’s fiscal woes

Our most recent musings in this space have focused on the political and fiscal dynamics here at home.


Behave yourself more productively

Let’s talk about a zero-cost strategy that can significantly improve the productivity and job satisfaction of your employees. The strategy involves understanding four major behavior modes referred to as the Stern Parent, Adapted Child, Adult and Natural Child.


Lawyers not immune to courtroom confusion

Thanks for the cards and letters regarding how much you enjoyed the past few weeks’ return to our roots – our roots being quotations from “the record,” that large, vague compendium of things people have actually said or written in court proceedings.


How much better can it get?

A few of our out-of-town relatives came for a short visit during the Labor Day weekend, which prompted a lot of cooking and eating.


Fidelity buys majority of J Alexander's shares

NEW YORK (AP) — Fidelity National Financial Inc., a Florida-based title insurer which also has a stake in restaurant brands including Bakers Square and O'Charley's, said Thursday that it acquired majority control of J. Alexander's Corp.


More help announced for farmers

NASHVILLE (AP) - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced almost $12 million in additional drought aid.

TEMA unveils iPhone, iPad version of readiness app

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennesseans can download a new app for their iPhones and iPads called ReadyTN, a preparedness program developed by the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency.


Stock prices reduced US household wealth in Q2

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans' wealth dipped about 0.5 percent in the April-June quarter as a drop in stock prices more than offset a gain in home values.

Wal-Mart will stop selling Amazon.com Kindles

NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is phasing out the sale of Amazon.com's Kindle Fire tablet and Kindle e-readers, the second major retailer to stop offering the items in six months.

Kroger adds clothing to shopping list in Ohio

NEW YORK (AP) — Add a pair of blue jeans to the grocery list.

US unemployment claims fell last week to 382,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell only slightly last week to a seasonally adjusted 382,000. The level suggests hiring remains weak.

Has US economy bottomed out? Census suggests yes

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy is showing signs of finally bottoming out: Americans are on the move again after record numbers had stayed put, more young adults are leaving their parents' homes to take a chance with college or the job market, once-sharp declines in births are leveling off and poverty is slowing.

US stocks follow global markets lower

NEW YORK (AP) — A batch of worrying economic figures tugged stock markets down Thursday. Measures of manufacturing and business activity in both China and Europe slumped.

Oil steadies around $92 after 3-day slide

The price of oil is steady around $92 a barrel Thursday after three days of losses. But weak economic data from Europe, China and Japan are reinforcing expectations of lower oil demand.

Measure of future US activity fell in August

WASHINGTON (AP) — A measure of U.S. economic activity declined in August for the second time in three months, suggesting the economy remains weak.

Rate on 30-year mortgage falls to record 3.49 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The average U.S. rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage touched its record low this week and the rate on 15-year mortgage hit a new record.

US demanding harsh penalties for price fixers

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The U.S. Department of Justice is demanding that a "remorseless" Taiwanese company pay a $1 billion fine and two former top executives each serve 10 years in prison for their roles as central figures in what prosecutors called the most serious price-fixing cartel ever prosecuted by the U.S.


Who are Mitt Romney's 47 percent? A breakdown

WASHINGTON (AP) — Just which 47 percent of Americans was Mitt Romney talking about? It's hard to say. He lumped together three different ways of sorting people in what he's called less-than-elegant remarks.

Obama boosted by upbeat housing reports, new polls

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fresh signs of a national housing rebound and growing support in public opinion polls boosted President Barack Obama's bid for a new term in the White House on Wednesday as Republican rival Mitt Romney struggled to quell his video controversy.

Tax penalty to hit nearly 6M uninsured people

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 6 million Americans — significantly more than first estimated— will face a tax penalty under President Barack Obama's health overhaul for not getting insurance, congressional analysts said Wednesday. Most would be in the middle class.

Jobs bill for vets bogs down in Senate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans blocked legislation Wednesday that would have established a $1 billion jobs program putting veterans back to work tending to the country's federal lands and bolstering local police and fire departments.


Haslam says fining Nashville schools only choice

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam acknowledges that a $3.4 million fine on Nashville's public school system will affect students, but insists that the fault lies with school board members who refused to approve a charter school.

DOJ: HCA settles complaint for $16.5M

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Justice Department and HCA have reached a $16.5 million settlement over violations of federal laws that restrict financial relationships between hospitals and physicians.

Nashville public hospital may end inpatient care

NASHVILLE (AP) - The public hospital in Nashville might stop all hospitalizations and specialize on outpatient and clinical services.


US home sales jump to highest since May 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. sales of previously occupied homes jumped in August to the highest level in more than two years, adding momentum to the housing recovery.

US housing starts rose 2.3 percent in August

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. builders started work on more homes in August, driven by the fastest pace of single-family home construction in more than two years. The increase points to steady progress in the housing recovery.

Encouraging reports about housing lift stocks

U.S. stocks are closing higher after a pair of encouraging reports about the housing market.

Oil's slide continues, hits 6-week low below $92

Oil prices fell on Wednesday for the third day in a row as traders realized that a recent run-up to $100 may have been overdone.

Gates, Buffett again top Forbes' billionaires list

NEW YORK (AP) — Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates remains the nation's richest man by far, as the tech and philanthropy giant took the top spot on the Forbes 400 list for the 19th year running, with a net worth of $66 billion.

Groupon launches payments service in US

NEW YORK (AP) — Groupon launched a new payment service Wednesday that allows businesses to run credit cards using an iPhone or iPod Touch, the latest company to seek a portion of that growing market.

Japan's central bank joins Fed in easing policy

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's central bank expanded its monetary easing by 10 trillion yen ($126 billion) Wednesday, moving to nurture the country's feeble economic recovery and cushion its exporters from the yen's rise.

Macy's NYC flagship getting $400M makeover

NEW YORK (AP) — A $400 million makeover is giving New York's iconic Macy's store a sleek, new 21st-century style.


Pot could be tax windfall, but skeptics abound

DENVER (AP) — A catchy pro-marijuana jingle for Colorado voters considering legalizing the drug goes like this: "Jobs for our people. Money for schools. Who could ask for more?"

FDA urged to set standards for arsenic in rice

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer groups are pressuring the Food and Drug Administration to set federal guidance on allowable levels of arsenic in rice, prompting the agency to study the issue and consider possible new standards.


Tennessee to announce new college savings plan

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee officials are expected to announce a new college savings plan.

Study examines first-year earnings of Tennessee grads

NASHVILLE (AP) — A new study examines the average first-year earnings of graduates from two-year and four-year institutions across Tennessee.


GOP opens second office in Rutherford County

MURFREESBORO (AP) — The Rutherford County Republican Party is opening a second county office in Smyrna this week in preparation for the general election campaign.

Hundreds become US citizens on Constitution Day

MURFREESBORO (AP) — Hundreds of people became naturalized U.S. citizens during a ceremony Monday afternoon at Middle Tennessee State University on the anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution.


Nashville to lose $3M for rejecting charter school

NASHVILLE (AP) - The state Department of Education announced Tuesday it will withhold $3.4 million from the public school system in Nashville over a rejected charter school application.

Shaun White: 'Truly sorry for my poor behavior'

NASHVILLE (AP) - Olympic snowboard champion Shaun White apologized Tuesday for "unwise choices," saying he got "carried away" after police accused him of pulling a hotel fire alarm that forced guests to evacuate.


Fiat to meet gov't on strategy amid closure fears

ROME (AP) — Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne will meet Saturday with Italian Premier Mario Monti to discuss the automaker's "strategic prospects" amid increasing fears about possible plant closures in Italy.

WHY IT MATTERS: China's auto parts industry

The issue: The U.S. government has challenged Chinese policies it says improperly subsidize exports of auto parts in violation of World Trade Organization free trade rules. The issue is politically sensitive at a time when Western governments are trying to boost exports, especially of higher-value industrial goods, to cut high unemployment. China is the world's biggest auto market but rapid sales growth is slowing, increasing pressure on Beijing to avert the loss of manufacturing jobs.

Ford hopes new Fusion will be its Camry killer

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford hopes the redesigned 2013 Fusion will finally be its Camry killer.


Apple shares hit $700 for first time

NEW YORK (AP) — Apple's stock reached $700 for the first time on Tuesday, the day after it announced that orders for its iPhone 5 topped 2 million in the first 24 hours.

US homebuilder confidence surges to 6-year high

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Confidence among U.S. homebuilders rose this month to its highest level in six years and many expect the housing recovery will strengthen in the next six months.

Stocks mixed after FedEx gives a glum outlook

Glum economic news from FedEx left stocks mixed on Tuesday.

Oil falls below $96 on economic worries

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil fell for a second day, as a major shipping company gave investors reason to question the strength of oil demand.

Broadest US trade deficit fell in Q2 to $117.4B

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. current account trade deficit narrowed in the April-June period, pushed lower by an increase in American exports and cheaper oil imports.

FedEx says economy is stalling, cuts outlook

NEW YORK (AP) — FedEx Corp. says the global economy is stalling, and it's going to get worse next year.

Walgreen finishes $438M deal for drugstore chain

DEERFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Walgreen Co. has completed its $438 million purchase of a regional drugstore chain that operates in several states under the USA Drug, Super D Drug and Med-X names.


State bar holds hearings on conservatorship issues

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Bar Association is planning public hearings across the state this fall to look for ways to improve the state's conservatorship law.


Naturalization ceremony comes to MTSU

MURFREESBORO (AP) — Middle Tennessee State University is celebrating Constitution Day by hosting a naturalization ceremony for 300 new citizens, including two MTSU students.


US stocks slip; Apple hits new high

NEW YORK (AP) — After surging over four days to near pre-recession highs, stocks slipped further from that goal Monday following a new sign of a slowdown in the U.S. economy and worries over Europe's struggle to keep its currency union intact.

Oil takes sudden plunge, loses 2.4 percent

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil plunged suddenly Monday afternoon, dropping more than $4 per barrel at one point in a dramatic end to an otherwise quiet trading day in New York,

Lowe's withdraws buyout bid for Canada's Rona

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Home-improvement company Lowe's is withdrawing its buyout bid for Rona Inc., saying that the Canadian home-improvement company's board does not seem to want to engage in talks.

Apple: iPhone 5 orders topped 2M in 24 hours

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — Orders for the iPhone 5 topped 2 million in their first 24 hours, more than double the amount of its predecessor over the same period.

Shell: Won't hit oil in Alaska this year

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Royal Dutch Shell PLC said Monday it will no longer seek oil off the coast of Alaska this year after suffering several setbacks.

Complaints about automated calls up sharply

WASHINGTON (AP) — So much for silence from telemarketers at the cherished dinner hour, or any other hour of the day.


Obama launches new China trade action

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is launching a new trade enforcement case against China as he seeks an advantage over Republican rival Mitt Romney on an economic issue that has become a flashpoint in the presidential campaign.

GOP focuses on monthly jobs report, but do voters?

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government's monthly jobs report has become Washington's most anticipated and studied economic indicator, pounced upon by politicians, economists and journalists for snap judgments as the presidential election nears. But in the real world, most everybody else just looks around and figures things out for themselves.


Nashville election officials nix electronic books

NASHVILLE (AP) - Davidson County election officials have backed away from using electronic poll books in the November election.

Nashville to get 4 electric buses for downtown

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff announced that $3 million is being awarded to Nashville to replace four hybrid buses with zero-emissions electric buses that will serve downtown riders.


Tennessee general fund collections fall $6M short

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee's tax collections have fallen short of projections in the first month of the budget year.

Mentally challenged Knoxville woman denied vote

NASHVILLE (AP) - A 60-year-old Knoxville woman who has voted in every election since she registered at age 18 was stopped from casting a ballot in the Aug. 2 primary.


Rep. Todd pleads not guilty to gun, DUI charges

NASHVILLE (AP) - State Rep. Curry Todd is pleading not guilty to drunken driving and gun charges.


Attorney oversight board gets interim counsel

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court announced that James "Tony" Vick will serve as the interim chief disciplinary counsel for the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility.


Carlile hopes to inspire with same-sex marriage

NASHVILLE (AP) - For years, acclaimed singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile kept her personal life exactly that - personal. As other gay entertainers made pronouncements about their relationships, Carlile, while not hiding her sexuality, kept the public focus on her music.

CMA provides musical instruments to NY school

NASHVILLE (AP) — A gift from the Country Music Association is helping elementary students make music in Bronx, N.Y.


Apple stops taking iPhone 5 orders

NEW YORK (AP) — Delivery times climbed quickly as Apple Inc. started taking orders for the iPhone 5 on Friday, suggesting strong demand.

Stocks higher for 2nd day after Fed action

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are closing higher, propelled for a second day by the Federal Reserve's plans to try to energize the economy.

NYSE paying $5M fine to settle charges on data

WASHINGTON (AP) — The New York Stock Exchange is paying $5 million to settle federal civil charges that it gave some customers an unfair head start by providing them with trading data ahead of the wider public.

Oil breaks $100 after Fed vows action on economy

Oil rose for a second day on the back of the Federal Reserve's aggressive plan to boost the U.S. economy. More gains are expected, but that might not translate into a spike in prices at the gas station.

Kodak postpones bankruptcy auction on patents

NEW YORK (AP) — Kodak is postponing indefinitely an auction of its imaging patent portfolios.

Fed's bold plan still might not jolt slow economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — No sooner did the Federal Reserve unveil a bold plan Thursday to juice the U.S. economy than it dangled the prospect of doing even more.

US business stockpiles grew 0.8 pct. in July

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. companies restocked their shelves in July at the fastest pace since January while their sales increased. The combination could boost economic growth.

SEC ends one investigation into Avon Products

NEW YORK (AP) — Avon Products Inc.'s legal woes may finally be on the wane.

US industrial production fell 1.2 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. industrial production fell in August by the largest amount in more than three years as factories produced fewer cars and other manufactured goods and Hurricane Isaac triggered shutdowns along the Gulf Coast.

Higher gas costs drive up US consumer prices

WASHINGTON (AP) — More expensive gas drove up consumer prices in August by the most in three years. But outside energy, inflation was tame.

Gas prices, cars push US retail sales up 0.9%

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. retail sales rose in August from July because consumers paid higher gas prices and bought more cars and trucks. They were more cautious elsewhere, suggesting the weak economy has made many selective about spending.

Fed cuts 2012 growth forecast, raises next 2 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve has lowered its growth forecast for this year but is more optimistic about the next two years. The brighter outlook likely reflects a series of bold stimulus measures that the Fed launched Thursday aimed at boosting the sluggish economy.

Bernanke: No specific target for bond purchases

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve does not have a specific economic target for its new stimulus program, Ben Bernanke said Thursday. He said the Fed will keep buying bonds until it sees more jobs, lower unemployment and stronger growth.

Average on 30-year US mortgage stays at 3.55 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage held steady this week, staying slightly above the lowest level on record. Low mortgage rates have aided a modest housing recovery.

Microsoft finds malware on new computers in China

WASHINGTON (AP) — A customer in Shenzhen, China, took a new laptop out of its box and booted it up for the first time. But as the screen lit up, the computer began taking on a life of its own. The machine, triggered by a virus hidden in its hard drive, began searching across the Internet for another computer.


Administration warns of 'destructive' budget cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — A White House report issued Friday warns that $109 billion in across-the-board spending cuts at the start of the new year would be "deeply destructive" to the military and core government responsibilities like patrolling U.S. borders and air traffic control.

Romney: 'Middle-income' is $200K to $250K and less

BOSTON (AP) — Mitt Romney is promising to reduce taxes on middle-income Americans.

Shutdown averted but 'fiscal cliff' awaits

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is moving to quash the threat of a government shutdown, but the prospect of a one-two punch of tax increases and slashing, automatic spending cuts will still confront lawmakers when they return to Washington after Election Day.

Ryan to vote for budget larger than he prefers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Paul Ryan on Thursday went along with a stopgap spending bill that avoids a government shutdown but carries a price tag $19 billion higher than the budget he wrote.

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