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VOL. 37 | NO. 52 | Friday, December 27, 2013

Bitcoin payments take Flyte: Online currency gains a foothold here as popular restaurant, other businesses cash in

When Flyte World Dining announced it would be add Bitcoin as a payment option, there were two responses: Tech types were intrigued, and everyone else wondered “what’s a Bitcoin?”

We take Bitcoins

A sampling of the growing number of Middle Tennessee businesses accepting bitcoins:

Fashion guru Libby Callaway: Why Nashville tops New York

Libby Callaway breezed into Barista Parlor on a recent Thursday wrapped in an oversized Michaele Vollbracht scarf that she picked up at a vintage shop in Kansas City.

MTSU recruiting emphasis: Get students focused on degrees

Even as it posts record enrollment, Middle Tennessee State University knows it must still compete with other schools here and elsewhere for top-notch students.

Churchill Mortgage shifts partial ownership to employees

In a move designed to give employees more of a stake in the company while also ensuring a smooth exit for founder Mike Hardwick, Churchill Mortgage and its parent company, Churchill Holdings Inc. have become an employee-owned company.

Local Weather
Today
Nashville, TN
45°F
Partly Cloudy
Wind: 0 mph
Humidity: 93%

EVENTS

First Saturday Art Crawl. The monthly visual arts event is presented by 5th Avenue of the Arts and takes place in that historic entertainment district of downtown Nashville. On the first Saturday of every month, 6 p.m.-9 p.m., an alliance of art galleries and museums collectively invite the public to explore the vibrant Nashville downtown art scene. More than 20 art venues participate. Admission free. Information: www.nashvilledowntown.com/play/first-saturday-art-crawl.

more events »

Shared office space more than a desk, phone

Kailey Faber didn’t have a clear career path in mind after graduating from Belmont University in 2009 with a major in religion and a minor in business.

LIGHT sculpture to remain at Cheekwood

Cheekwood has announced that one of the most popular pieces from the recently closed “LIGHT” exhibit will remain on display in the Cheekwood Mansion for the next three years.

REALTY CHECK

New regulations put pressure on lenders

New Year’s resolutions are always good fodder for conversation this time of year, with many lenders sharing the same resolution.

TERRY McCORMICK

Have Titans ever had a legitimate difference maker?

In looking at where the Tennessee Titans franchise has gotten off the tracks, it is easy to point fingers at a variety of possible culprits.

NEWSMAKERS

Baker Donelson adds 2 to tax department

Veteran tax attorneys Steven K. Wood and Julie A. Boswell are joining Baker Donelson’s Nashville office as members of the firm’s tax department.

BUSINESS BOOK REVIEW

Alternatives to yelling at rude co-workers

The lady in the next cubicle over is making you almost speechless.

GUERRILLA MARKETING

WestJet soars with viral Santa video

Canadian airline WestJet created a viral marketing sensation this holiday season, the second installment in what the brand has proclaimed an annual tradition.

I SWEAR

Shepherd gets the hook for colorful language

It’s the time of year again for holiday programs.

KAY'S COOKING CORNER

A trifle to go with your Weekly Reader

I can hardly believe it’s almost 2014. As the old adage goes, “time flies when you’re having fun.” This has never been more true for me. Time is flying, and I’m having fun.

STATEWIDE

Tennessee's prevailing wage law rescinded as of Jan. 1

NASHVILLE (AP) — As of Jan. 1, most government building projects in Tennessee no longer have to pay the prevailing wage.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Fiat stock soars on Chrysler deal but unions worry

ROME (AP) — Shares in Fiat soared on Thursday on the news the Italian automaker will take full ownership of Chrysler, but some Italian unions worried what the deal will mean for jobs and investments in the country.

Ford to unveil solar hybrid concept car at CES

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Ford plans to unveil at this month's International CES gadget show a solar-powered concept car that offers the same performance as a plug-in hybrid but without the need for a plug.

Texting, dialing while driving raises crash risk

A sophisticated, real-world study confirms that dialing, texting or reaching for a cellphone while driving raises the risk of a crash or near-miss, especially for younger drivers. But the research also produced a surprise: Simply talking on the phone did not prove dangerous, as it has in other studies.

HEALTH CARE

Health overhaul benefits take effect with new year

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — After a troubled rollout, President Barack Obama's health care overhaul now faces its most personal test: How will it work as people seek care under its new mandates?

NATIONAL BUSINESS

US manufacturing expands at solid pace in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. manufacturing grew at a healthy pace in December as factories stepped up hiring and received more orders. The expansion suggests solid growth at the end of the year.

US construction spending up 1 percent in November

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. construction spending rose in November at the strongest pace in more than four years, driven by solid gains in home construction and commercial projects.

Weekly US unemployment benefit claims fall to 339K

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dipped 2,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 339,000, evidence that layoffs are low and hiring will likely remain steady.

US stocks fall on first day of 2014

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. stock market got 2014 off to a weak start Thursday. Major indexes fell after ending last year at record levels. Trading has been quiet this week with many investors on vacation.

Oil price falls below $98 as dollar strengthens

The price of oil fell below $98 a barrel Thursday amid reduced trading volumes and the impact of a strengthening dollar.

Average US rate on 30-year loan at 4.53 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates for fixed mortgages edged higher this week for the third straight week but remained low by historical standards.

Macy's, Martha Stewart Living reach settlement

NEW YORK (AP) — Macy's and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia say they have settled a breach-of-contract lawsuit involving J.C. Penney.

Legal weed sales bring long lines to Colorado

DENVER (AP) — Long lines and blustery winter weather greeted Colorado marijuana shoppers testing the nation's first legal recreational pot shops Wednesday.


TUESDAY, DECEMBER 31
STATEWIDE

Businesses encouraged to support LGBT community

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Equality Project is starting a new initiative to encourage business to show support for the state's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

Tennessee lottery CEO gets award named for her

NASHVILLE (AP) — The president and CEO of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corp. is being recognized by a leading lottery trade organization with an award named after her.

HEALTH CARE

Obama's tarnished health care law at a crossroads

WASHINGTON (AP) — All things good, bad and unpredictable converge with the new year for President Barack Obama's health care overhaul as the law's major benefits take effect, along with an unpopular insurance mandate and a risk of more nerve-wracking disruptions to coverage.

NATIONAL BUSINESS

US stocks move higher on the last day of 2013

NEW YORK (AP) — The Standard & Poor's 500 index is closing out its best year since 1997 as traders wrap up a record-setting year on Wall Street.

Oil ends the year at $98 a barrel

The price of oil retreated from its recent high to end the year at $98.42 Tuesday.

Apple: We had no role in NSA's alleged iPhone hack

LONDON (AP) — Apple Inc. says it played no role in the National Security Agency's alleged efforts to hack the iPhone, explaining that it was unaware of a recently revealed program apparently aimed at turning the best-selling smartphone into an improvised listening device.

Target reveals gift card snafu

NEW YORK (AP) — Target is getting hit with another lump of coal this holiday season. The nation's second-largest discount retailer said Tuesday that an unidentified number of gift cards sold over the holidays were not properly activated.

US consumer confidence rises on better job outlook

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer confidence jumped this month on a better outlook for hiring and growth, supporting other signs that show the economy could accelerate in 2014.

US home price gains slow in October from September

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices rose in October from the previous year at the fastest pace in almost eight years. But price gains slowed in most U.S. cities from September to October, suggesting the increases are leveling off.

At 20 years, NAFTA hasn't closed Mexico wage gap

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Looking around a Mexico dotted by Starbucks, Wal-Mart and Krispy Kreme outlets, it's hard to remember the country before the North American Free Trade Agreement, which has dramatically expanded consumer choice and trade since it took effect 20 years ago on Jan. 1.

Netflix tests new price tiers for video service

Netflix is testing new price plans for streaming video as it tries to lure more viewers.


MONDAY, DECEMBER 30
MIDSTATE

Cracker Barrel says it won't consider a sale

LEBANON (AP) - Cracker Barrel says it won't consider selling itself, rejecting a push from its biggest shareholder.

STATEWIDE

Amazon sales tax law among those taking effect

NASHVILLE (AP) - A law that could boost the state's revenue is among those taking effect on Jan. 1, as are statutes that govern concussions in school-age athletes and workforce development.

HEALTH CARE

TennCare awards managed care contracts

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Bureau of TennCare has awarded managed care contracts to AmeriGroup, BlueCare Tennessee and UnitedHealthcare. The contracts were signed Friday and take effect on Jan. 1, 2015. They last for three years with a possible one-year extension.

Federal health care sign-ups pass 1 million mark

HONOLULU (AP) — The government's rehabilitated health insurance website has seen a December surge in customer sign-ups, pushing enrollment past the 1 million mark, the Obama administration says.

NATIONAL BUSINESS

Home electricity use in US falling to 2001 levels

NEW YORK (AP) — The average amount of electricity consumed in U.S. homes has fallen to levels last seen more than a decade ago, back when the smartest device in people's pockets was a Palm pilot and anyone talking about a tablet was probably an archaeologist or a preacher.

Signed contracts to buy US homes level off

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy existing homes in November was essentially unchanged from October, suggesting sales are stabilizing after several months of declines.

Stocks barely budge in quiet end-of-year trading

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market ended a quiet Monday mostly where it began as investors shut their books for what has been an extraordinary year on Wall Street.

Crude oil stays near $100 a barrel in thin trading

The price of oil retreated slightly in thin trading Monday to close below $100.

The world braces for retirement crisis

WASHINGTON (AP) — A global retirement crisis is bearing down on workers of all ages.

How the notion of retirement for workers took root

WASHINGTON (AP) — Work until you die — or until you can't work anymore.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Congress letting 55 tax breaks expire at year end

WASHINGTON (AP) — In an almost annual ritual, Congress is letting a package of 55 popular tax breaks expire at the end of the year, creating uncertainty — once again — for millions of individuals and businesses.


FRIDAY, DECEMBER 27
STATEWIDE

Almost half of Tennessee's tax preparers haven't renewed ID numbers

NASHVILLE (AP) - Close to half of Tennessee's tax preparers have not yet renewed their preparer tax identification numbers, and the current numbers expire on Tuesday.

Gilmore elected to Women in Government leadership

NASHVILLE (AP) — Rep. Brenda Gilmore has been elected a state director for a group advocating for women serving in state legislatures.

Highway Patrol plans 'no refusal' enforcement

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Highway Patrol plans a "no refusal" enforcement campaign in several counties across the state during the New Year's Eve holiday period.

COURTS

Haslam makes appointment to appeals court

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam has appointed Crockett County lawyer Brandon O. Gibson to the western section of the Tennessee Court of Appeals.

HEALTH CARE

Obama reversal on health plan gets mixed reviews

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — President Barack Obama's decision a month ago that allowed people to keep insurance policies once slated for cancellation under the federal health overhaul has received a mixed response from insurers, state regulators and consumers.

NATIONAL BUSINESS

1.3 million losing unemployment benefits Saturday

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 1 million Americans are bracing for a harrowing, post-Christmas jolt as federal unemployment benefits come to a sudden halt this weekend.

Stocks end flat on Wall Street in quiet trading

NEW YORK (AP) — An early gain faded by the close of trading on Wall Street as the market flattened out after six days of increases.

Online shopping grows, with some growing pains

Americans waited until the last minute to buy holiday gifts, but retailers weren't prepared for the spike.

Oil closes above $100 on upbeat economic outlook

Oil prices closed above $100 a barrel Friday, the first time it crossed that threshold since October.

McDonald's closes employee website amid criticism

McDonald's Corp. has shut down a website intended to provide employees with work and life guidance after it generated negative publicity for the fast-food company.

Closing the chapter: 2013 lessons for investors

NEW YORK (AP) — Successful stock investors followed some simple advice this year: Don't worry, be happy.

Bye bye, bile? Websites try to nix nasty comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Mix blatant bigotry with poor spelling. Add a dash of ALL CAPS. Top it off with a violent threat. And there you have it: A recipe for the worst of online comments, scourge of the Internet.

Average US 30-year mortgage rises to 4.48 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates for fixed mortgages crept higher this week but remained low by historical standards.

Delta to honor extremely cheap mistake fares

NEW YORK (AP) — Some lucky fliers capitalized on a computer glitch Thursday and scored some really cheap flights on Delta Air Lines.

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