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VOL. 39 | NO. 39 | Friday, September 25, 2015

From Banner to bankruptcy

IRS accepts $175K of $13.5M owed in final disposition of Simpkins case

More than 17 years after the Nashville Banner ceased publication, another chapter in the story – perhaps the last – has been written in Winchester’s Eastern District bankruptcy court with the final disposition of Irby C. Simpkins Jr.’s Chapter 7 case.


Bipartisan outcry kills bill to charge for public records

People of every political stripe across Tennessee are raising in protest to legislation allowing government to charge fees for inspection of public records.


Faithful bid farewell to Melrose Sylvan Park Restaurant

Anyone wishing to dine like Eddy Arnold or Jerry Reed has just a few days left to enjoy what for years was among their favorite spots.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Wind: East at 3.5 mph
Humidity: 81%


Real Estate Investors Network. Davidson County Lunch. Join active, experienced investors to discuss deals you’d like to sell or buy, as well as discuss real estate trends and topics of interest with seasoned pros. Today, 11:15 a.m., Anatolia’s Restaurant, 48 White Bridge Rd, Nashville. Information: www.rein.org. Additional October opportunities:

more events »


In the money: $1 million-plus home sales take off

It was reported in this column on August 11 that $1 million-plus homes in Davidson County were lagging behind the previous year and sales of $2 million-plus were few and far between. What a difference a month makes.


Mariota’s toughness an edge as Colts come calling

Two games in, it is still a bit too early to declare Marcus Mariota the franchise savior for the Tennessee Titans.


Despite rhetoric, Florida game critical for Jones

Tennessee’s Butch Jones will coach the biggest game of his three-year tenure with the Vols – and probably the biggest of his entire coaching career – at Florida on Saturday.


Burr & Forman adds partner, continues expansion

Burr & Forman LLP has added C. Tucker Herndon as partner in its Nashville office, building upon the firm’s continued expansion in Middle Tennessee. Herndon’s arrival follows the addition of 15 attorneys in early 2015 to its Nashville office, which has more than doubled its attorney count to 26 attorneys.


Acura’s least expensive sedan gets a makeover

Acura’s least expensive sedan, the ILX, has luxurious upgrades for 2016, including a quieter interior, a handsome LED-accented exterior and improved performance - all at a reasonable price.


Would you keep going to work if you didn’t have to?

It’s a sad fact of life: Your boss expects you to work.


Sales, marketing must work together for success

Most companies have historically used marketing to drive brand awareness and generate sales leads, relying on seasoned sales teams to close these deals by identifying the prospect’s needs, recommending strategic solutions and creating a sense of urgency.


Brady case deflates commissioner’s authority

Court’s in recess, and there goes the judge. In New England, the Patriots again start the season as the Tom Brady Bunch. In New York NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has crow for breakfast. Case closed.


Translate academic resume for the corporate world

Over time, one theme keeps coming up in the questions I receive from readers. After spending years going to school to receive a master’s or doctoral degree, many recent graduates find themselves with a long resume.


Internet a game-changer for recipes, more

Social media has taken over the food business. Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook have thousands of recipes, copycat recipes, tips and food-hacks.


Barry delays city's local-hire law

NASHVILLE (AP) — Nashville's new mayor has delayed implementation of the city's new local hiring requirement approved by Nashville voters.


EPA: Tractor Supply Co. ATVs didn't meet clean air rules

WASHINGTON (AP) — Brentwood-based Tractor Supply Company Inc. has reached a settlement with federal regulators over the illegal sale of 28,000 off-road vehicles and small engines that failed to meet Clean Air Act requirements.


Administration backs high court review of contraception case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is acknowledging that the Supreme Court should step into the latest battle over the president's health law.


Average US rate on 30-year mortgages eases to 3.85 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates eased slightly this week, continuing at low levels that could entice potential homebuyers.

US construction spending up 0.7 percent in August

WASHINGTON (AP) — Spending on U.S. construction projects rose in August to the highest point in more than seven years, fueled by home building and government projects.


GM plans $5.5B in cost cuts to help finance new mobility

MILFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — General Motors plans to cut $5.5 billion in manufacturing, purchasing and administrative costs during the next three years, helping to finance a big push into autonomous cars and car- and ride-sharing services.

US auto sales jump last month at Nissan, GM, Ford, Fiat Chrysler

Major automakers booked double-digit sales gains last month in the U.S. market, helped by strong growth from key brands like Jeep and a later Labor Day holiday.

United Auto Workers reject contract deal with Fiat Chrysler

DETROIT (AP) — United Auto Workers union members have rejected a proposed contract with Fiat Chrysler in a rebuke of union leaders who had praised the deal.

VW plant cuts shift, financial arm freezes hiring

BERLIN (AP) — A Volkswagen engine factory said Wednesday it has dropped one shift a week and the company's financial services division imposed a temporary hiring freeze as the world's largest automaker grapples with an emissions-rigging scandal.


Applications for US jobless aid rise, but remain near lows

WASHINGTON (AP) — Applications for unemployment benefits rose last week, but Americans are seeking jobless aid at historically low levels consistent with a healthy job market.

A sluggish start for US stocks following a rough quarter

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks headed lower Thursday, a day after the market wrapped up its worst quarter in four years.

ConAgra cuts 1,500 jobs; moving HQ from Omaha to Chicago

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — ConAgra is cutting about 1,500 jobs, or approximately 30 percent of its global, office-based workforce, and moving its headquarters to Chicago from Omaha, Nebraska.


Senators reach deal to reduce prison time for some offenders

WASHINGTON (AP) — Some non-violent drug offenders could get reduced prison sentences under a bipartisan Senate package that would overhaul the criminal justice system and encourage rehabilitation.

House to vote on defense bill that Obama threatens to veto

WASHINGTON (AP) — The defense policy bill is one of the few bipartisan measures in Congress that has readily become law for more than a half-century. Not so fast this year, as President Barack Obama threatens to veto the bill moving through the House amid a bitter dispute about government spending.


VW: 'Nothing has changed' at Tennessee plant despite scandal

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — Inside Volkswagen's only U.S. assembly plant there's little hint of the diesel emissions cheating scandal embroiling the German automaker around the world. Sparks fly off robotic welding arms, new versions of the Passat sedan roll off the line and workers install equipment to build a new SUV billed as a key to reviving the company's growth prospects in America.

UAW workers appear to have rejected Fiat Chrysler contract

DETROIT (AP) — It appears that United Auto Workers union members have voted down a four-year contract deal with Fiat Chrysler.

VW just the latest in long history of cheating car companies

WASHINGTON (AP) — In stock car racing, there's an old adage: If you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin'. You could say the same sometimes for auto makers up against stricter environmental rules.

Tesla's first SUV, the Model X, is finally hitting the road

FREMONT, Calif. (AP) — Electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors has mastered the sporty two-seater and the elegant sedan. Now, it wants to conquer the family hauler.


New TiVo DVR will skip through entire commercial break

NEW YORK (AP) — TiVo wants to help you skip TV commercials. With one press of a button on the remote, TiVo's new digital video recorder will skip the entire commercial break.


Root of investor anxiety: Uncertainty about China and Fed

Fears about China's slowdown and a coming U.S. interest rate hike have sent global stock markets into a fidgety freefall.

A big gain for stocks at the end of a turbulent quarter

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks rose across the board Wednesday following big gains in Asia and Europe, a buoyant end to the worst quarter for the market in four years.

Survey: US businesses added jobs in September at solid pace

WASHINGTON (AP) — Buoyed by strong consumer spending and steady home sales, U.S. businesses added jobs at a healthy pace in September, according to a private survey.

40 percent of millennials pay for print, online news

NEW YORK (AP) — In a world flush with free information, some young people are still willing to shell out for news they read.

IMF chief says global economy likely to be weaker this year

WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the International Monetary Fund said Wednesday that global growth will likely be weaker this year as the world economy confronts a host of problems, including a refugee crisis in Europe, an economic slowdown in China and a pending rise in U.S. interest rates.

WTO cuts forecast for trade growth in 2015

GENEVA (AP) — Slumping imports in China, currency market swings and falling commodities prices have led the World Trade Organization to cut its forecast for global trade in 2015 by half a percentage point.

Target to match online prices with online rivals

NEW YORK (AP) — Starting Thursday, Target will now match its online prices with more than two dozen online competitors including Amazon.com and Walmart.com.


No shutdown: House approves bill to keep government open

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is sending legislation to President Barack Obama that would head off the threat of a government shutdown at midnight Wednesday.


Judge rules against Hooker in bid for legalizing assisted suicide

NASHVILLE (AP) - A Nashville judge has ruled against John Jay Hooker, who is terminally ill and wants to die by assisted suicide.


Nonprofit donates $50K to MTSU veterans center

MURFREESBORO (AP) - A nonprofit co-founded by country music legend Charlie Daniels has donated $50,000 to help equip a new veterans center at Middle Tennessee State University.


Votes this week will decide fate of Fiat Chrysler-UAW deal

DETROIT (AP) — The next two days will be critical in deciding the fate of a new four-year contract between Fiat Chrysler and the United Auto Workers.

Tesla's first SUV, the Model X, is finally hitting the road

FREMONT, California (AP) — Tesla Motors' first SUV is finally on the road. Tesla will officially unveil the Model X Tuesday night at its California factory.

Google's driverless car drivers ride a career less traveled

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — Fresh out of college, Brian Torcellini dreamed about getting a job writing about surfing.

VW details brands affected by scandal; fix due in Oct

BERLIN (AP) — Volkswagen's commercial vehicles and cars from its Spanish unit SEAT are among the 11 million fitted with a diesel engine that can cheat on emissions tests, the company said Tuesday.

At a glance: Which VW brands are involved in the scandal

BERLIN (AP) — Volkswagen says that 11 million diesel vehicles from several of its 12 brands are fitted with a system that can help them cheat through emissions tests.


US home prices rise steadily in July, lifted by higher sales

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices rose at a solid pace in July, as would-be buyers competed for a diminished supply of available housing.


Stocks end mixed after an up-and-down day

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are closing mixed as the market stabilizes a day after a big drop.

Consumer agency cites problems with student loan servicing

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says borrowers are reporting widespread problems with the companies servicing their student loans.

Amazon tests Uber-like service for deliveries

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon is testing an Uber-like service for delivering its one-hour Prime Now packages that will enlist people to deliver packages for Amazon with their own cars.

Major companies form group to push for LGBT rights globally

NEW YORK (AP) — A dozen corporations, including Google Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Coca-Cola Co., are joining a new coalition to push for LGBT rights in the workplace in places beyond the U.S. and Western Europe.

US consumer confidence rises again in September

WASHINGTON (AP) — American consumers were feeling more confident again this month, good news for the U.S. economy.

Big utilities enter market for small rooftop solar

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Traditional power companies are getting into small-scale solar energy and competing for space on your rooftop.


Big Senate vote propels stopgap spending bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is set to pass a spending bill to prevent the government from shutting down this week over the opposition of the most conservative Republicans in the chamber.

EPA set to tighten smog limits as business gears for fight

WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing a court-ordered deadline, the Obama administration is preparing to finalize stricter emissions limits on smog-forming pollution linked to asthma and respiratory illness.

FACT CHECK: Math in Trump's tax plan doesn't always add up

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump touts his tax overhaul plan as a boon for middle-income Americans, but it would also be likely to help the wealthy — including people like himself.


Lyft to locate new operations, employ 380 in Nashville

The San Francisco-based mobile app and transportation company will invest $5.1 million and create 380 new jobs in Davidson County.

Nexstar offers about $1.9B in cash, stock for WKRN Channel 2 owner

Nexstar Broadcasting, attempting to drive to wedge between Media General and Meredith Corp., offered nearly $1.9 billion to buy Media General on Monday.

Prominent educator, author to speak at TSU on Tuesday

NASHVILLE (AP) — A prominent educator and author known for engaging educators in dialogue about improving schools for urban children will speak at Tennessee State University in Nashville on Tuesday.


Tennessee pre-K study: Benefits fade in early elementary grades

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam said Monday that he's still supportive of Tennessee's pre-kindergarten program despite a study that shows academic gains made by some of the children enrolled fade in early elementary grades.

Haslam opens door to gas tax delay but warns of backlog

MURFREESBORO (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is opening the door to putting off a gas tax increase in an election year, but warns that officials need to stop "kidding ourselves" about Tennessee's growing list of unfunded road projects.


Apple sells 13 million new iPhones in 3 days

NEW YORK (AP) — Apple says it sold more than 13 million iPhone 6s and 6s Plus phones in the three days since its iPhone launch, topping last year's early sales mark.


Takata air bag recalls could expand to 7 more companies

DETROIT (AP) — Seven more companies including electric car maker Tesla Motors could be facing recalls because they use air bag inflators made by Takata Corp., according to letters they received last week from U.S. safety regulators.

German prosecutors investigate former VW boss

BERLIN (AP) — German prosecutors on Monday opened an investigation against former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn to establish what his role was in the emissions-rigging scandal that has shaken the world's largest automaker.


US pending home sales fall in August

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans signed contracts to buy homes in August, as pending sales slumped amid broader concerns about the U.S. stock market and global economy.


US stocks fall sharply on China growth worries

NEW YORK (AP) — Ongoing worries about the health of the Chinese economy and another big sell-off in drugmakers pushed the stock market back toward its lowest level of the year.

Shell move dims oil prospects, delights environmentalists

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Royal Dutch Shell has abandoned its long quest to become the first company to produce oil in Alaska's Arctic waters, darkening the nation's long-term oil prospects and delighting environmental groups that tried to block the project.

US consumer spending up 0.4 percent in August

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer spending rose at a healthy rate in August, while income growth slowed after a big jump in July.

Whole Foods to cut about 1,500 jobs over next 8 weeks

NEW YORK (AP) — Grocery chain Whole Foods is cutting about 1,500 jobs over the next eight weeks as it looks to lower prices and keep up with competition.

Alcoa splitting into 2 companies

NEW YORK (AP) — Alcoa will split into two independent companies, separating its bauxite, aluminum and casting operations from its engineering, transportation and global rolled products businesses.


Republican megadonor urges talk on climate change solutions

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican businessman Jay Faison says his party should stop fighting science and start talking solutions to climate change. He has $175 million to invest in politics and policy to help inspire them. And if that's not enough, he's commissioned a survey, released Monday, that he says shows voters agree.

Boehner says he'll get lots done in last month as speaker

WASHINGTON (AP) — Speaker John Boehner says he's determined to clean up some of the mess of a politically gridlocked Congress in his final month before his successor takes over.

Trump unveils tax plan that would lower taxes for millions

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump is calling for an overhaul of the tax code that would eliminate income taxes for millions of Americans, while lowering them for the highest-income earners and business.

Senate set to act on stopgap spending bill to avoid shutdown

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is expected to approve easily legislation that would keep the government open past a Wednesday deadline as its top Republican leaders stare down a right wing that's angry that party leaders aren't fighting harder to take away taxpayer funding from Planned Parenthood.


No buyers to preserve office of Elvis Presley's manager

NASHVILLE (AP) — The longtime headquarters of Elvis Presley manager Col. Tom Parker has been named to a list of endangered Nashville properties.

Titans holding charity drive for school supplies Sunday

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Tennessee Titans will be collecting donations of school supplies before their home opener Sunday with the Indianapolis Colts.


Tenn. takes steps to utilize federal water-system funds

NASHVILLE  (AP) — A recent analysis shows Tennessee has more than $30 million in unspent funds from a federal aid program for improving the nation's drinking water systems.


VW taps head of Porsche to be new CEO amid emissions scandal

BERLIN (AP) — Volkswagen's board appointed the head of its Porsche unit as CEO on Friday, handing longtime company insider Matthias Mueller the task of trying to lead the world's top-selling automaker past a growing emissions scandal.

VW seeks new CEO to help it recover from scandal

BERLIN (AP) — Volkswagen's supervisory board is meeting Friday to discuss who to name as CEO after Martin Winterkorn quit the job this week over an emissions-rigging scandal that's rocking the world's top-selling automaker.

EPA says will 'aggressively' test other models after VW

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — The top U.S. environmental regulator says she wants to make sure Volkswagen's use of software in its vehicles to evade U.S. auto emissions limits was a "one-off," and other models will be tested aggressively to determine if other carmakers are trying to defeat pollution tests.

EPA to change diesel tests to thwart VW-like cheating

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency said Friday that it will launch sweeping changes to the way it tests for diesel emissions after getting duped by clandestine software in Volkswagen cars for seven years.

Volvo breaking ground on $500M manufacturing plant in South Carolina

RIDGEVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Volvo is breaking ground on its first factory in North America - a $500 million facility in Berkeley County and about 30 miles northwest of Charleston.

Hyundai recalls 470,000 Sonatas to replace engines

DETROIT (AP) — Hyundai is recalling nearly a half-million midsize cars in the U.S. to replace the engines because a manufacturing problem could cause them to fail.

State leaders try to allay fears about impact of VW scandal

NASHVILLE (AP) — As an emissions cheating scandal engulfs the German automaker Volkswagen, Tennessee officials are trying to soothe fears about the potential impact on the company's Chattanooga factory, the crown jewel of the state's economic development efforts of the last decade.

Germany: VW cars with suspect software in Europe too

BERLIN (AP) — The software at the center of Volkswagen's emissions scandal in the U.S. was built into the automaker's cars in Europe as well, Germany said Thursday, though it isn't yet clear if it helped cheat tests as it did in the U.S.

Sell, sue or stay put: considerations for Volkswagen owners

DETROIT (AP) — If you're driving a diesel-powered four-cylinder Volkswagen, you're stuck with a fun-to-drive machine that's belching unhealthy pollutants from its tailpipe.


Multiple factors cause high prescription drug prices in US

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Sticker-shocked patients increasingly wonder why prices for prescription drugs continue to rise in the U.S.

Audit finds slipshod cyber-security at HealthCare.gov

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government stored sensitive personal information on millions of health insurance customers in a computer system with basic security flaws, according to an official audit that uncovered slipshod practices.

Women urge FDA to pull contraceptive device linked to pain

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than a dozen women who received a metallic birth control implant are urging health regulators to pull the device from the market, citing problems including severe pain, irregular bleeding and weight gain.


Obama issues new China sanctions threat over cybertheft

WASHINGTON (AP) — Somber against a backdrop of grand pageantry, President Barack Obama laid out a fresh threat of sanctions against China for alleged cybercrimes on Friday, even as he and Chinese President Xi Jinping reached an agreement not to conduct or support such hacking. "It has to stop," Obama declared.

Late slump in health care pushes stocks to weekly loss

NEW YORK (AP) — A late slump in health care stocks pushed the market to its third weekly loss this month.

Consumer sentiment falls to lowest level in nearly a year

WASHINGTON (AP) — Worries about the global economy pushed American consumers' spirits to the lowest level in almost a year, the University of Michigan reported Friday.

Economy grew at 3.9 percent rate in April-June quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew at an even faster clip in the spring than previously estimated. But that growth likely slowed in the summer, held back by global headwinds and turbulent financial markets.

Yellen says she expects Fed to raise rates by year's end

WASHINGTON (AP) — Chair Janet Yellen said Thursday that she expects the Federal Reserve to begin raising interest rates from record lows by the end of the year.

Caterpillar says it could cut 10,000 jobs to reduce costs

Caterpillar is planning another round of job cuts that could exceed 10,000 people through 2018, as the construction and mining equipment maker adjusts to downturns in key markets that it serves.


Conservatives rejoice after Boehner's resigns as speaker

WASHINGTON (AP) — The news of House Speaker John Boehner's resignation brought hundreds of religious conservatives to their feet to cheer — and one after another, much of the Republican Party's presidential class joined Friday in their rejoicing.

Boehner sets House on course to avoid shutdown

WASHINGTON (AP) — As one of his last moves as House Speaker, John Boehner set the House on course to avoid a government shutdown by advancing a stopgap spending measure free of a dispute over Planned Parenthood's taxpayer funding.

Speaker Boehner stuns Congress, announces resignation

WASHINGTON (AP) — With Congress in turmoil, House Speaker John Boehner abruptly informed fellow Republicans on Friday that he would resign from Congress at the end of October, stepping aside in the face of hardline conservative opposition that threatens an institutional crisis.

House GOP may opt against shutdown over Planned Parenthood

WASHINGTON (AP) — House GOP leaders have summoned their divided conference for a make-or-break discussion on how to fight taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood without having the battle lead to a government shutdown next week.

Reps. Littleton, White named TN chairs of Fiorina campaign

NASHVILLE (AP) — The presidential campaign of Republican Carly Fiorina has named state Reps. Mary Littleton and Dawn White co-chairwomen in Tennessee.

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