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VOL. 39 | NO. 7 | Friday, February 13, 2015

Common Core is working – so let's kill it

Common Core determines what Tennessee’s K-12 students should know and when they should learn it, yet like many other issues it has become a political pariah, especially for the state’s Republican leaders.

Resolution calls for end to fed ‘imposition’

Saying the feds are guilty of intruding in local schools, state Sen. Bill Ketron is seeking passage of a resolution designed to end what he calls overreach by the U.S. Department of Education.

Insure Tennessee fails to win sound bite test

Fresh off a resounding November re-election victory, Gov. Bill Haslam ran smack dab into the reality of Tennessee politics: The Republican Party abhors anything connected to President Barack Obama.

Ready.Fund.Grow! offers help for women-owned, small businesses

Small and women-owned businesses will have new sources of capital and know-how in 2015, thanks to a new initiative, Ready.Fund.Grow!, being developed by Pathway Lending and the Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC), along with a new Women’s Business Center which will be operated by Pathway Lending.

Local Weather
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Wind: South at 8.1 mph
Humidity: 79%

EVENTS

Music Tech & Futures Summit. The interactive conference, organized by Innovation Enterprise, will bring together pioneers within the music industry to discuss optimizing digital music and enhancing benefits within a high tech industry. The two-day conference will address topics such as the future of the record label, sharing music and its importance to the industry, data decisions through song placement and platforms vs. publishers. International Events Director at Innovation Enterprise Nathan Meyer said Nashville was the obvious choice to host the event. Speakers include executives from Kobalt Music, Deezer, Downtown Records, Viacom, ASCAP and iHeart Radio. Conference sessions will run Thursday and Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., with multiple face-to-face networking opportunities with industry leaders. Online videos of all sessions, with integrated slides and audio, will be made available to all attendees after the event. Information and registration: http://bit.ly/1tt7MmL.

more events »

STREET LEVEL

Dr. Phil delivers hockey therapy to the masses

Dr. Phil toys with me as he allows me to work my center and left wing to get the puck tantalizingly close to his net.

REALTY CHECK

1212 makes statement with $44.45M in January sales

What a difference a boom makes. In 2008, when the Icon condos in the Gulch were beginning to close, the developer was under scrutiny. Some doubted the veracity of his reported sales figures.

REAL ESTATE

Top January 2015 residential real estate transactions

Top January 2015 residential real estate transactions for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

Average US rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 3.69 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose this week yet remained near historically low levels.

NEWSMAKERS

Waller adds 11, expands practice groups

Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP has added 11 new attorneys to the following practices:

UT SPORTS

Jones, Vols make honor roll with recruiting class

KNOXVILLE – Butch Jones has done it again.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

Smyrna-made Nissan Rogue’s good reviews defy its name

Despite its name, there’s nothing too rogue about Nissan’s compact Rogue sport utility vehicle.

FAMILY TRAVEL

No surprises in top domestic destinations

Best Beaches, Best Luxury Hotels, Top 10 Islands to Visit, Top 10 Cities for Kids, Top Five Destinations for Seafood – travel lists can be so exhausting.

BUSINESS BOOK REVIEW

Live at the Improv: Making your business a success

For weeks now, your top client has been dancing around a decision.

GUERRILLA MARKETING

Taking charge of your business’ online reviews

In a perfect marketing world, consumers would trust what a company is selling, believing the maxim “You get what you pay for.”

CAREER CORNER

Being creative (bending rules) might get you the job

It should be no surprise that applying online can be a long, difficult process. You’re often left wondering if anyone has read your resume, or if they even know you exist at all.

I SWEAR

Where to draw the boundary for appropriateness?

Charlie Hebdo promotes itself as having a viewpoint that reflects “all components of left wing pluralism.” Its business is satire. It skewers Jews, Catholics, Protestants and Muslims. It has twice been attacked by terrorists. The attack in 2011 didn’t kill anyone.

KAY'S COOKING CORNER

Tutti bread might sound frutti but it isn’t

There were several occasions in January when friends and church members took food to someone’s house, due either to illness or a death in the family.

STATE LEGISLATURE

Tennessee House cancels rest of week due to ice, snow

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee House of Representatives has canceled committee meetings and its Thursday floor session amid icy and snowy conditions around the state.

MIDSTATE

UT Ag to auction performance-tested bulls

SPRING HILL (AP) — The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture will auction performance-tested bulls at the Junior Bull Test Sale on March 12.

REAL ESTATE

Average US rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 3.76 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates have risen for a second straight week yet remained near historically low levels.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Gauge of US economy posts slight 0.2 percent January gain

WASHINGTON (AP) — An index designed to predict the future health of the U.S. economy rose in January by the smallest amount in five months, indicating the economy's momentum may have slowed a bit.

Applications for US unemployment aid plummet to 283,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell sharply last week, a sign that a recent string of strong job gains may continue.

US stocks open lower as oil slides

NEW YORK (AP) — Most US stock indexes sagged Thursday morning as the price of oil slumped for a second day and pulled down energy stocks. Crude is falling on reports that supplies remain abundant.

Poll: Most Americans favor a higher minimum wage

WASHINGTON (AP) — Most Americans support increasing the minimum wage, as well as requiring employers to provide paid sick leave and parental leave, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll.

White House: Higher wages needed to make up for stagnation

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's top economists say that even as the U.S. has managed to kick start a lasting and growing recovery, modest wage gains are far from making up for decades of paycheck stagnation for middle-class workers.

Nearly 40 percent of Wal-Mart's US workers to get pay raises

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is spending $1 billion to make changes to how it pays and trains U.S. hourly workers as the embattled retailer tries to reshape the image that its stores offer dead-end jobs.


WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 18
COURTS

Tennessee attorney general: Constitutionality of abortion laws unclear

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Tennessee attorney general's office says it's unclear whether abortion restrictions struck down by the state Supreme Court 14 years ago would be upheld today.

NASHVILLE AREA

Morning winter storm update from Mayor's Office

Mayor Karl Dean continued to urge residents and visitors to be cautious as they go about their business Wednesday morning and warned about expected record-low temperatures in the next few days.

Nashville mayor's initiative seeks to help students succeed

NASHVILLE (AP) — Nashville Mayor Karl Dean says enrollment is now open for the 2015 Mayor's Summer Scholars Academy.

MIDSTATE

More snow in Tennessee leads to slick roads

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency says the state remains in a state of emergency as it deals with more snow, subfreezing temperatures and slick roads.

STATE LEGISLATURE

Doctors' group to visit state Capitol on March 3

NASHVILLE (AP) — Doctors from across Tennessee will visit the state Capitol on March 3.

Tennessee lawmakers to return to work after weather delay

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers are looking to get back to work Wednesday after winter weather canceled meetings earlier in the week.

MUSIC INDUSTRY

Gospel Music Association to hold honoring event on May 5

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Gospel Music Association will hold its second annual hall of fame and honors ceremony on May 5 at Lipscomb University in Nashville.

HEALTH CARE

White House: Health law sign-ups top 11M

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 11 million people signed up for subsidized private health insurance under President Barack Obama's law this year, the White House announced Tuesday evening.

TECHNOLOGY

Review: Freedom! These smartwatches leave the phone behind

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — Strap on the Samsung Gear S or the Sony SmartWatch 3 if you want to take a jog on the beach or head out for a bike ride without your phone clunking along.

REAL ESTATE

Home construction slips in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. homebuilders slowed the pace of construction in January, breaking ground on fewer single-family houses ahead of the spring buying season.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Fed officials in no hurry to raise rates

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve officials struggled last month to assess when economic data might prompt them to raise interest rates from record lows — and how best to convey their intentions to investors.

US stock market ends mostly lower

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. stock market edged mostly lower on Wednesday, easing back from its latest all-time highs.

US factory output rose a modest 0.2 percent in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factory production edged up last month as manufacturers cranked out more computers, clothing, steel and other metals, offsetting declines in autos and aerospace.

For many in US, cash saved at gas pump is staying in pockets

WASHINGTON (AP) — In recent months, the stage seemed set for American consumers to do what they've traditionally done best: Spend money — and drive the economy.

US wholesale prices drop 0.8 percent in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. wholesale prices fell by a record amount in January, led by the biggest drop in gasoline prices in six years.


TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 17
NASHVILLE AREA

Afternoon winter storm update from Mayor's Office

More snow and dangerously cold temperatures will threaten Nashville over the next few days, promising to continue to make commutes hazardous and posing serious dangers to anyone caught outside.

STATEWIDE

More than 60,000 Tennesseans without power

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency reports more than 60,000 customers are still without power.

State of emergency declared as road conditions deteriorate

NASHVILLE (AP) — A state of emergency has been declared as a winter storm making its way across Tennessee has led to poor road conditions and major traffic problems.

Education commissioner begins tour to connect with teachers

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Education Commissioner Candace McQueen plans to connect with at least 10,000 teachers by the end of the calendar year.

STATE LEGISLATURE

Tennessee lawmaker operated hog farm without proper permits

NASHVILLE (AP) - A Republican lawmaker from northwestern Tennessee operated his hog farm without proper state permits, and an inspector said he was discouraged by upper management from enforcing violations.

Tennessee Legislature closed Tuesday due to inclement weather

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Legislature will be closed Tuesday because of inclement weather.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Anti-UAW group qualifies under Volkswagen labor policy

NASHVILLE (AP) — A group opposed to the United Auto Workers union has qualified for the bottom tier of a labor policy at Volkswagen's assembly plant in Tennessee.

HEALTH CARE

After lobbying push, drugmaker resubmits women's sex pill

WASHINGTON (AP) — The makers of a twice-rejected pill designed to boost sexual desire in women are hoping a yearlong lobbying push by politicians, women's groups and consumer advocates will move their much-debated drug onto the market.

COURTS

US to appeal ruling blocking Obama immigration plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department will appeal a federal judge's ruling that temporarily blocked President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration, the White House said Tuesday.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Why refinery strike has had little bite at gas pump

NEW YORK (AP) — Gasoline prices can spike for all kinds of reasons that make skeptical drivers roll their eyes: "tension" in the Middle East, a refinery suddenly shuts down for maintenance, or the annual springtime switch to summer blends of gasoline.

US homebuilder confidence slides in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. homebuilders say sales prospects and buyer traffic fell slightly this month.

US stocks edge higher, bringing market back to record

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks closed slightly higher Tuesday as investors continued to monitor talks between Greece and its creditors in hopes that a deal will be reached to keep the country from falling out of the eurozone.

Hackers' $1 billion bank theft may still impact consumers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The hacker gang that looted as much as $1 billion worldwide from banks was unusual: It stole directly from the banks, instead of ripping off their customers.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Pelosi leads House Democrats visiting Cuba

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi led a delegation of Democrats from her chamber on a visit to Cuba on Tuesday that her office said was aimed at further improving U.S. relations with the island nation.


MONDAY, FEBRUARY 16
MIDSTATE

Forecasters urge motorists to stay off Tennessee roads

NASHVILLE (AP) - Weather forecasters are urging motorists across most of Tennessee to stay off roads unless it's an absolute emergency.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Report: Apple has hundreds working on electric car project

NEW YORK (AP) — You've heard of the iPhone and iPad. How about the iCar?

HEALTH CARE

Democrats seek relief from health law penalties

WASHINGTON (AP) — The official sign-up season for President Barack Obama's health care law may be over, but leading congressional Democrats say millions of Americans facing new tax penalties deserve a second chance.

Flurry of sign-ups at health law deadline; web glitch fixed

WASHINGTON (AP) — After a computer glitch got patched up, supporters of President Barack Obama's health care law were out in force Sunday trying to get uninsured people signed up by the official deadline for 2015 coverage.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Europe stocks wary on Greece, Asia up on Japan recession end

LONDON (AP) — European stocks edged lower on Monday as investors were skeptical that Greece and its European creditors would find a quick deal to solve the country's debt problems. Asian stocks, however, closed higher after Japan emerged from recession.

Drones rule: Proposed rules for commercial unmanned aircraft

WASHINGTON (AP) — Drone on, the government says. Just not through the night sky. Or close to an airport. Or out of the operator's sight. And probably not winging its way with a pizza or package, any time soon.

Obama sets out privacy rules for government drones

WASHINGTON (AP) — As the U.S. prepares to see more drones aloft in coming years, President Barack Obama is taking steps to ensure that the government respects privacy and civil liberties when it uses the unmanned aircraft to collect information.


FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 13
NASHVILLE AREA

Nashville seeks moratorium on Music Row condo onslaught

NASHVILLE (AP) - The onslaught of high-end condo developments along Nashville's storied Music Row looks to be coming to an end - at least for now.

STATE LEGISLATURE

House majority leader says Tennessee voucher plan has a shot

NASHVILLE (AP) - A top state House lawmaker says he believes a proposal to create a school voucher program in Tennessee may pass this year after failing in the past two legislative sessions.

STATEWIDE

Tennessee Valley Authority nears first large-scale solar buy

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Tennessee Valley Authority has taken steps toward its first large-scale purchase of solar electricity.

HEALTH CARE

As sign-up deadline nears, a new risk for Obama health law

WASHINGTON (AP) — Thousands of people signing up for health insurance this weekend may not realize it, but their coverage under President Barack Obama's law could be short-lived.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Volkswagen now accepting applications for Tennessee academy

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — Volkswagen is now accepting applications for its three-year apprenticeship program at its plant in Chattanooga.

US gov't says nearly 64M vehicles were recalled last year

DETROIT (AP) — Government statistics show that automakers issued 803 recalls totaling almost 64 million vehicles in the U.S. last year, more than double the old record set a decade earlier.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

S&P 500 closes at a record high as energy sector recovers

NEW YORK (AP) — A key U.S. stock index is back at a record high as the energy sector recovers along with the price of oil.

Harvard grads lead IPO class of 2014

NEW YORK (AP) — Harvard is top of the IPO class for 2014. The Ivy League school is the alma mater for seven chief executives who led their companies' IPOs last year. That's more than twice the amount of the next highest schools in the rankings, according to figures from Equilar, an executive compensation data firm.

Cheaper gas lowers US retail sales; spending up elsewhere

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. retail sales fell sharply last month as gas prices plummeted and auto sales slowed. But excluding those volatile categories, Americans stepped up their spending a bit.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Obama asks help dealing with cybersecurity 'wild West'

PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) — Cyberspace is the new "wild West," President Barack Obama said Friday, with everyone looking to the government to be the sheriff. But he said the private sector must do more to stop cyberattacks aimed at the U.S. every day.

House votes to make expired business tax breaks permanent

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House voted Friday to make permanent an expired tax break designed to help small businesses invest in equipment and property, defying a veto threat by the White House.

Frustrated Republicans taste limits of majority control

WASHINGTON (AP) — A month into their newfound control of both chambers of Congress, it wasn't supposed to be like this for Republicans. Instead of advancing a conservative agenda and showing voters they can govern, they are confronting the very real possibility of a shutdown of the Homeland Security Department later this month.

Keystone veto: Can Obama, GOP compromise on anything?

WASHINGTON (AP) — A looming veto by President Barack Obama of a Republican-championed bill foreshadows a key question for the White House: whether the president and Republicans can find areas to work together, even as Obama strikes down many of their top priorities.

House GOP pushes tax cuts despite veto threat over costs

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans are advancing a series of tax cuts this week affecting millions of businesses and individuals, despite White House veto threats over adding more than $300 billion to the budget deficit over the next decade.

Boehner can't rule out Homeland Security Department shutdown

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner left open the possibility Thursday of a potential shutdown at the Department of Homeland Security because of a congressional impasse over immigration.

STATEWIDE

Tennessee to get second wave of snow, ice

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee is expected to get another wave of snow and ice on Friday.

New group spending money to support Common Core

NASHVILLE (AP) - Records show a new group with ties to Gov. Bill Haslam has spent more than $100,000 defending his position on maintaining Tennessee's current education standards.

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