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VOL. 35 | NO. 51 | Friday, December 23, 2011

There's a local app for that

From a quick blood-alcohol test to business and games, Nashvillians get creative

The middle of a DUI test seems an unlikely time and place to come up with the next great smartphone app. But inspiration struck Clay Bradley as his eyes followed the light the officer moved slowly from side to side.

Bowl games improve the freebies

Showering college football bowl participants with gifts has become a big business.

What Vanderbilt players get at the Liberty Bowl

Although Vanderbilt University football players won’t get the suite treatment, they’ll hardly leave Memphis empty handed.

GREEN BUSINESS

Helping buildings operate at their peak

Most people don’t hear the word “conditioning” and immediately think of buildings and construction. But just as a trainer can help athletes reach their potential, James Qualk helps buildings operate at peak efficiency.

Local Weather
Currently
Nashville, TN
43.0°F
Light Rain Fog/Mist
Wind: North at 11.5 mph
Humidity: 89%

EVENTS

Franklin American Mortgage Bowl Coaches Luncheon. Fans have a chance to interact with SEC and ACC student-athletes and coaches including an opportunity to have a Q&A session with both head coaches from the participating schools. The event is open to the public but RSVP is required. Wild Horse Saloon, today at 11:30 a.m. Information: generalinfo@nashvillesports.com.

more events »

REALTY CHECK

What would the Beatles do? Sell it, by George

In all things music, there is always a Nashville connection. And in all things anything, there is always a Beatle connection, especially as it pertains to the selling of residential real estate.

TERRY McCORMICK

Reality check: Titans aren’t a playoff team

It was right there for the taking.

NEWSMAKERS

Bellevue Chamber names executive director

Veteran journalist Vincent Troia has been named executive director of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, tasked primarily with growing membership for the 35-year-old organization.

GUERILLA MARKETING

Know what’s in store before launching blog

To blog or not to blog? Though certainly not as life or death as Shakespeare’s variation, it’s an interesting question faced by countless business owners and marketing professionals every day.

THE WORLDLY INVESTOR

Turn off Euro pop, enjoy some golden oldies

The pendulum swings regarding Europe’s fate continue to relentlessly influence daily market direction. With the European debate drowning out all other market news, relevant economic releases and corporate earnings results have gone unheard. This week, let’s turn off the European pop and listen to some golden oldies.

I SWEAR

Too much drama at the Christmas pageant

Again it is the time of year that reminds me of Christmas programs, such as the one recounted by John Irving in A Prayer for Owen Meany.

KAY'S COOKING CORNER

Potluck lets guests share party spotlight

’Tis the season for potlucks!

NASHVILLE AREA

Sears to close two Midstate stores

The Hickory Hollow Sears and the Hendersonville Kmart are on the initial list of 79 stores to be closed by Sears Holdings Corporation, which announced this week it will close up to 120 locations.

Nashvillians cross their fingers over countdown

NASHVILLE (AP) — Midnight kisses in Nashville had to wait last New Year's Eve. Champagne toasts were delayed.

Suit claims immigration policy made in secret

NASHVILLE (AP) - A lawsuit filed in Nashville claims a new policy that instructs Tennessee jailers on how to investigate the immigration status of detainees is illegal because it was crafted in secret.

STATEWIDE

Tennessee state parks celebrating 75th anniversary

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee state parks will commemorate their 75th anniversary with a series of hikes early in the new year.

NATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks up on new home deals, job growth prospects

NEW YORK (AP) — Better news on the job market and home sales sent stocks higher on Wall Street.

Contract signings for US homes up in November

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes in November rose to the highest level in a year and a half.

Fixed mortgage rates end year above record lows

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fixed mortgage rates rose slightly this week off their record lows. The year ends much like it began, with few people able to take advantage of the best rates in history.

Unemployment claims rise after steady declines

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking unemployment benefits rose last week after three weeks of decline.

Amazon says 2011 'best holiday ever' for Kindle

SEATTLE (AP) — Online retailer Amazon says 2011 was the best holiday ever for its Kindle-brand e-readers and tablet computers.

Bargain hunters divided holiday shopping into two seasons

NEW YORK (AP) — The holiday shopping season turned out to be two seasons: the Black Friday binge and a last-minute surge.

AP-GfK Poll: In 2012, it can only get better

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans are hopeful for what 2012 will bring for their families and the country, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll, though most say 2011 was a year they would rather forget.

Stanford archives offer window into Apple origins

PALO ALTO, Calfornia (AP) — In the interview, Steve Wozniak and the late Steve Jobs recall a seminal moment in Silicon Valley history — how they named their upstart computer company some 35 years ago.

Oil hovers below $100 after US supplies soar

Oil prices hovered below $100 a barrel Thursday, with a report showing a jump last week in U.S. crude supplies countering concerns about Iran's threat to block a key Middle East oil shipping route.


WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 28
NASHVILLE AREA

I-65 work south of Nashville is halfway done

FRANKLIN (AP) — A project adding four lanes to the heavily traveled Interstate 65 south of Nashville is halfway done.

NATIONAL BUSINESS

Morgan Stanley to cut 580 jobs in New York

NEW YORK (AP) — Of the 1,600 job cuts announced earlier this month by Morgan Stanley, 580 will be at its home base in New York.

Last-minute holiday shopping gives lift in finale

NEW YORK (AP) — The holiday shopping season turned out to be two seasons split by a big lull.

Stocks slide; S&P 500 turns negative for year

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are closing lower after Europe's central bank reported that its overnight deposits hit another record, the latest sign of worry among European lenders.

Exxon Mobil deal hikes tension in northern Iraq

BAGHDAD (AP) — An oil exploration deal between U.S. oil giant Exxon Mobil and Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region is fueling political tensions in a country where a post-U.S.-troop withdrawal spike in violence and political turmoil is clouding the climate for foreign investments sorely needed by Iraq.

Official: Gulf states ready to offset Iran oil

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Gulf Arab nations are prepared to offset any potential loss of Iranian oil in the world market, a senior Saudi oil official said as Iranian officials stepped up their rhetoric Wednesday about shutting off a key supply route.


TUESDAY, DECEMBER 27
STATEWIDE

Haslam, Harwell hesitant on drug-testing proposal

NASHVILLE (AP) — Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey expects Tennessee will put in place a law that requires drug tests for people drawing government assistance or workers' compensation. Other high-ranking Republicans aren't so sure.

NASHVILLE AREA

Vanderbilt researcher: Disposable income key to election

NASHVILLE (AP) — With the 2012 presidential election looming, a Vanderbilt University political scientist says the one key factor is the disposable income of voters.

NATIONAL BUSINESS

Consumer confidence index surges in December

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans are gaining faith that the economy is on the upswing. The monthly Consumer Confidence Index surged to the highest level since April and is approaching a post-recession peak.

Survey: Home prices down in most major US cities

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices fell in most major cities for the second straight month, further evidence that the housing recovery will be bumpy.

Holiday season gives birth to 4 new types of shoppers

Four new types of American shoppers have emerged this holiday season. There's the bargain hunter who times deals. The midnight buyer who stays up late for discounts. The returner who gets buyer's remorse. And the "me" shopper who self-gifts.

Sears to close 100 to 120 Kmart, Sears stores

NEW YORK (AP) — Sears Holdings Corp. plans to close between 100 and 120 Sears and Kmart stores after poor sales during the holidays, the most crucial time of year for retailers.

AP survey: Economy to pick up but still vulnerable

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy will grow faster in 2012 — if it isn't knocked off track by upheavals in Europe, according to an Associated Press survey of leading economists.

Stocks barely changed in light holiday trading

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks ended barely changed in light trading Tuesday amid mixed economic news. Consumer confidence surged to an eight-month high, but home prices dropped in major cities. Sears plummeted after reporting that it would close more than 100 stores around the country.


FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23
STATEWIDE

Haslam: Insurance exchange delay could be costly

NASHVILLE (AP) - Governor Bill Haslam says delay in setting up a state health insurance exchange could make Tennessee miss out on federal grants to help pay for it.

Haslam wants to put off estate tax cut over cost

NASHVILLE (AP) - According to projections by Gov. Bill Haslam's administration, increasing Tennessee's estate tax exemption by $500,000 would cost the state about $23 million in lost revenues

NASHVILLE AREA

Young Buck could lose name in bankruptcy case

NASHVILLE (AP) - Rapper Young Buck could lose his name and other assets in a bankruptcy case that the rapper says is frustrating his attempts to sign with a new record label.

Second-stage companies to help economic recovery

NASHVILLE (AP) — The president of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce says second-stage companies will drive economic recovery.

Occupy protesters sue over free speech, force

Most major Occupy encampments have been dispersed, but they live on in a flurry of lawsuits in which protesters are asserting their constitutional rights to free speech and assembly and challenging authorities' mass arrests and use of force to break up tent cities.

Occupy Nashville tent near gov's office overnight

NASHVILLE (AP) - At least one member of Occupy Nashville set up a tent not far from the governor's office at the state Capitol overnight.

Amazon finalizes deal to open 2 centers in Tenn.

NASHVILLE (AP) — With Amazon and Tennessee in agreement over the collection of sales taxes, the online retailer on Thursday finalized its plans to open two new distribution centers in Murfreesboro and Lebanon that are expected to create 1,300 new jobs.

NATIONAL BUSINESS

New-home sales up in Nov. but 2011 figures dismal

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans bought slightly more new homes in November, but 2011 will likely end up as the worst year for sales in history.

Spending and incomes show weak November gains

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumers spent at a lackluster rate in November as their incomes barely grew, suggesting that Americans may struggle to keep spending more into 2012.

Durable goods orders up, but core demand is weak

WASHINGTON (AP) — Companies' demand for long-lasting manufactured goods rose by the largest amount in four months in November, driven by a jump in orders for planes.

Stocks close higher; S&P turns positive for 2011

Stocks closed higher Friday after a quiet, pre-holiday session that turned the S&P 500 index positive for the year.

Average 30-year mortgage rate a record 3.91 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage fell to a record 3.91 percent this week, the third time this year that rates have hit new lows.

Should you refinance your mortgage? Here's a guide

WASHINGTON (AP) — Never have average rates on long-term fixed mortgages been as low as they are now: 3.91 percent for a 30-year home loan and 3.21 for a 15-year loan.

Toyota aims to sell 8.48 million vehicles in 2012

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota is aiming for a comeback, targeting record global sales of 8.48 million vehicles in 2012 and an even bigger number in 2013, after being battered this year by the March disaster in Japan and flooding in Thailand.

Netflix CEO's stock options slashed after bad year

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Netflix CEO Reed Hastings will pay a $1.5 million penalty for blunders that alienated the video subscription service's customers and pulverized its stock.

NATIONAL POLITICS

House passes payroll tax cut for Obama's signature

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress on Friday approved a two-month renewal of payroll tax cuts for 160 million workers and unemployment benefits for millions, handing President Barack Obama a convincing victory for his jobs agenda.

Analysis: GOP's struggle on taxes gives Dems hope

WASHINGTON (AP) — For all his problems with the economy, President Barack Obama is getting unexpected help from a Republican Party that seems incapable of capitalizing on its advantages.

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