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VOL. 37 | NO. 8 | Friday, February 22, 2013
THE AUTOMOTIVE ISSUE

Can the new Corvette save GM?

Bowling Green, Spring Hill workers build muscle car for new generation

It looks part Ferrari, part Batmobile. But can this superhero save GM?

New Stingray set for 2 public showings

Car enthusiasts in Middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky have two chances to see the 2014 Corvette Stingray in the next few months, both at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky.

Bowling Green's Corvette plant by the numbers

The Bowling Green Assembly Plant is the only place in the world where Corvettes are made and has been since 1981, two years after GM bought the plant from Chrysler.

Smyrna, Spring Hill grow along different paths with auto industry

Smyrna and Spring Hill, Tennessee towns with crucial ties to the automobile industry, are seeing a surge in economic prosperity as the auto plants add more and new projects.

Local Weather
Today
Nashville, TN
53°F
Fair
Wind: 0 mph
Humidity: 86%

EVENTS

24th annual Nashville Lawn & Garden Show. The theme for this year’s show is “Jardins du Soleil,” French for “Gardens of the Sun,” and will feature gardens of internationally inspired designs. The show also offers the opportunity to hear free presentations by horticultural, landscape design and gardening experts. This year’s featured speaker is Frédéric Nancel, operations and events director for the Chateau de Chantilly near Paris, France. Thursday-Saturday, 10-8 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Tennessee State Fairgrounds. Information: nashvillelawnandgardenshow.com.

more events »

MTSU a key player in revolutionizing industry

MTSU professor Charles Perry accumulates patents like a kid collecting baseball cards.

Economy, hybrids drive increase in new-car sales

The period between 2008 and 2010 wasn’t the best time to be selling cars, new or used, in Middle Tennessee. But for those dealers who adjusted their inventories, worked with customers and just held on, good times appear to have arrived again.

Luxury, exotic cars find home in Midstate

When he’s not working as an emergency room physician at Northcrest Medical Center in Springfield or spending time with his family in Brentwood, Jasbir Dhillon is likely to be found behind the wheel of a rare foreign car.

Lawn & Garden Show gets French accent

The 24th annual Nashville Lawn and Garden Show will blend French history, gardens and architecture along with its many floral and landscaping exhibits, displays and galleries, bringing an international flavor to the annual Middle Tennessee event.

LEGISLATIVE PROFILE

Cutting taxes, halting Medicaid expansion drive Casada agenda

State Rep. Glen Casada, (R-Franklin), the Republican caucus chairman of the state House, is part friend and part cajoler to the 70 representatives with whom he serves.

REALTY CHECK

Klein’s contributions to GNAR immeasurable

The Greater Nashville Association of Realtors(GNAR) membership was stunned last week after CEO Don Klein announced to his broad of directors that he would be leaving the association with the expiration of his current contract at the end of the year.

NEWSMAKERS

FirstBank president adds CEO to nameplate

FirstBank’s board of directors has appointed Chris Holmes chief executive officer, one year after naming him president of the third-largest bank headquartered in Tennessee.

GUERRILLA MARKETING

Marketing strategies to avoid

Marketing opportunities change so rapidly these days that it can be tough to keep up. If you’re unsure whether your brand is setting the pace or falling behind, take a look at the following marketing strategies to avoid in 2013.

THE WORLDLY INVESTOR

Quiet period could lead to frisky phase

Buyer Intent Building By some analysis, the last two weeks have exhibited the lowest stock market volatility since 1986.

SMART STUFF 4 WORK

The before and after of buying

When you spend several years selling, delivering and supporting a product or service, you naturally learn quite a bit about the logical questions someone should ask when they are contemplating buying the product or service you are selling.

I SWEAR

Is anything afloat a boat? Supreme Court weighs in

If it looks like a boat and floats, it might not be a boat. So held the Supreme Court in mid-January.

STATE LEGISLATURE

House sends parking lot guns bill to governor

NASHVILLE (AP) - The House has voted to send to the governor's desk a bill to allow the state's nearly 400,000 handgun carry permit holders to store firearms in their vehicles no matter where they are parked.

Concussion policy bill passes Senate 30-0

NASHVILLE (AP) - Schools and other organizations with youth athletic programs would be required to adopt concussion policies under a proposal that passed the Senate on Thursday.

Bill to require proof of immunization

NASHVILLE (AP) — Legislation that would require incoming students at public higher education institutions to show proof of immunization against meningitis is expected to be on the Senate floor Thursday.

Anti-affirmative action bill fails this session

NASHVILLE (AP) — The sponsor of a proposal to eliminate affirmative action initiatives from higher education institutions in Tennessee said fellow Republicans who contributed to the failure of his bill on Wednesday could face repercussions in next year's election.

Parking lots not trouble-free for gun carry permit holders

NASHVILLE (AP) - It was after 2 a.m. when David Aller was thrown out of the Klub Cirok Nightclub & VIP Lounge for fighting. That's when police say the 26-year-old man retrieved a loaded handgun from his car in the club parking lot and returned to threaten patrons.

STATEWIDE

Smokies bring $818 million in tourist spending

GATLINBURG (AP) — A National Park Service analysis shows visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park spent $818 million in communities surrounding the Smokies.

NATIONAL BUSINESS

US rate on 30-year mortgage declines to 3.51%

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages moved closer to historic lows this week, a trend that has helped drive a rebound in home sales.

Weekly US unemployment aid claims drop to 344K

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell 22,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 344,000, evidence that the job market may be picking up.

US economy grew at 0.1 percent rate in 4th quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew at a 0.1 percent annual rate from October through December, the weakest performance in nearly two years. But economists believe a steady housing rebound, stronger hiring and solid spending by consumers and businesses are pushing economic growth higher in the current quarter.

After 2 days of big gains, stocks turn mixed

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market on Thursday plodded rather than soared, flicking between small ups and downs after two days of triple-digit gains.

Smart watches gain interest and popularity

PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) — On a sunny day at a picnic table in Silicon Valley, Eric Migicovsky glanced down at his wristwatch. He wasn't checking the time, he was checking his email. Glancing up, he grinned. The message was from yet another journalist.

BP exec back on the stand in oil spill trial

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Another BP executive was expected on the witness stand Thursday to face more questions from attorneys for the U.S. government, which is trying to prove the oil company is mostly to blame for a deadly explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig that led to a massive oil spill.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Senate Democrats, GOP to stage votes on rival cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — Across-the-board spending cuts all but certain, Republicans and Democrats in the Senate are staging a politically charged showdown designed to avoid public blame for any resulting inconvenience or disruption in government services.

Republican losses obscure US drift to right

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican angst over presidential election losses obscures the fact that many conservative ideals have prospered for decades.


WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 27
NASHVILLE AREA

Nashville adding 20 sirens, changing sound

NASHVILLE (AP) - Emergency management officials in Nashville say tornado sirens will soon sound different and there will be more of them.

STATE LEGISLATURE

Senate rejects ban on feds enforcing gun laws

NASHVILLE (AP) - A bill seeking to make it a crime to enforce federal firearms laws in Tennessee has failed in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Senate to vote on lifting switchblade ban in Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Senate Judiciary has voted to send a bill to lift Tennessee's ban on switchblades to a full floor vote.

Tennessee voucher plan advances in House

NASHVILLE (AP) - A measure to create a school voucher program in Tennessee passed a key House subcommittee Tuesday, touted by supporters as an option for parents trying to provide a better education to children.

STATEWIDE

Tennessee child death rate down 20 percent in 5 years

NASHVILLE (AP) - The death rate for children in Tennessee dropped by 20 percent over the five years between 2007 and 2011.

AUTO INDUSTRY

UAW meets with Nissan auto workers in Smyrna

NASHVILLE (AP) - The United Auto Workers Union is laying the groundwork for a possible third union representation vote at the Nissan plant in Smyrna.

NATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks surge on housing; Dow nears record

NEW YORK (AP) — The Dow came within 100 points of its all-time high Wednesday after rising sharply for a second straight day.

Oil gets small boost from US supply report

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil prices found little momentum Wednesday, even amid more signs of an improving U.S. economy.

Apple CEO promises investors 'great stuff' to come

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — Apple CEO Tim Cook sought to assure shareholders Wednesday that the company is working on some "great stuff" that may help reverse a sharp decline in its stock price.

Bernanke defends Fed's low-interest-rate policies

WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing criticism from Republican lawmakers, Chairman Ben Bernanke stood behind the Federal Reserve's low-interest-rate policies Wednesday and sought to reassure Congress that the central bank has a handle on the risks.

US pending home sales rise to highest since 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) — A measure of the number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes rose in January from December to the highest level in more than 2 ½ years. The increase suggests sales of previously occupied homes will continue rising in the coming months.

Orders jump for most US long-lasting factory goods

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders for U.S. factory goods that signal business investment plans jumped last month by the most in more than a year, suggesting companies are confident about their business prospects.

Hostess sale of Wonder bread nears completion

NEW YORK (AP) — Wonder bread is one step closer to returning to school lunchboxes.

Judge watches videotape of ex-BP CEO's testimony

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The judge in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill trial has watched videotaped testimony from former BP chief executive Tony Hayward.

Wireless connections creep into everyday things

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — A car that tells your insurance company how you're driving. A bathroom scale that lets you chart your weight on the Web. And a meter that warns your air conditioner when electricity gets more expensive.

Target 4Q hurt by Canada investment, weak holiday

NEW YORK (AP) — Target is setting its bulls-eye on Canada in 2013.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Obama, top lawmakers to meet as cuts kick in

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House conceded Wednesday that efforts to avoid automatic budget cuts are unlikely to succeed before they kick in and is initiating new talks with congressional leaders to confront seemingly intractable tax-and-spend issues.

Wary of crises, Americans tune out budget cut talk

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is pulling out all the stops to warn just what could happen if automatic budget cuts kick in. Americans are reacting with a collective yawn.

Unions aim to soften impact of cuts on workers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal employee labor unions are trying to soften the blow for more than 1 million government workers who may be forced to take unpaid time off if mandatory budget cuts kick in this week.


TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26
MUSIC INDUSTRY

Music, movie industry to warn copyright infringers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Internet users who illegally share music, movies or TV shows online may soon get warning notices from their service providers that they are violating copyright law. Ignore the notices, and violators could face an Internet slow-down for 48 hours. Those who claim they're innocent can protest — for a fee.

For 1st time since 1999, music revenues inch up

LONDON (AP) — More than a decade after online file swapping tipped the music industry into turmoil, record executives may finally be getting a sliver of good news.

STATE LEGISLATURE

Supermarket wine bill clears panel by single vote

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal to allow wine to be sold in Tennessee supermarkets and convenience stores scored its first legislative victory on Tuesday after years of frustration.

Bill would allow third party to resolve rate issues

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee lawmakers are proposing a bill that would allow a third party to settle rate disputes between cable companies and utility pole owners.

House votes to halt renaming of Confederate parks

NASHVILLE (AP) — The House on Monday voted to approve a bill to bar local governments from renaming parks or monuments honoring Tennessee's military figures — a move the sponsor says is aimed at preventing shifting views and changing "demographics" from erasing memorials to historical figures from the Civil War and other conflicts.

Opponents of supermarket wine decry referendums

NASHVILLE (AP) — Opponents of a proposal to allow communities to hold referendums on whether to allow wine to be sold in grocery stores argued Monday that the votes could do more harm than good.

Bill to prevent abuse of public assistance

NASHVILLE (AP) — A proposal that aims to prevent the misuse of public assistance benefits has passed the Senate.

HEALTH CARE

Minnie Pearl Cancer Foundation updates name

NASHVILLE (AP) - A Nashville-based cancer information organization is updating its image, long tied to country comic Sarah Cannon's character Minnie Pearl.

COURTS

Court reinstates damages in assisted living death

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court has reinstated a jury verdict against the management company of a Shelbyville assisted living center in a case involving the death of an 83-year-old woman.

NATIONAL BUSINESS

Home Depot leads Dow average higher

NEW YORK (AP) — A jump in home sales and strong earnings from Home Depot helped the Dow claw back more than half of its losses from Monday. Improving consumer confidence also brought back buyers to the market.

Oil ends lower on Italy elections, crude supplies

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil was lower Tuesday as investors weighed the implications of political uncertainty in Italy, the latest assessment of the economy from the head of the Federal Reserve and prospects for growing US crude supplies.

Suits: More water, less buzz in Bud, Michelob beer

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Beer lovers across the country have filed $5 million class-action lawsuits accusing Anheuser-Busch of watering down its Budweiser, Michelob and other brands.

Poll: 87 percent say never OK to cheat on taxes

WASHINGTON (AP) — With tax season in full swing, a newly released poll says an overwhelming majority of adults don't believe it is ever OK to cheat on their income taxes, with most citing personal integrity as the biggest reason why.

Apple to hand out iTunes credits in settlement

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Apple has agreed to give more than $100 million in iTunes store credits to settle a lawsuit alleging that the iPhone and iPad maker improperly charged kids for playing games on their mobile devices.

US new-home sales jump to highest in 4½ years

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. new-home sales jumped in January from the previous month to the highest level since July 2008, a sign that the housing recovery is accelerating.

US home prices post healthy gain in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices rose at a healthy pace in December compared with a year ago, driven higher by rising sales and a smaller supply of available homes.

Consumer confidence rebounds in February

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans' confidence in the economy rebounded in February, reversing three straight months of declines as shoppers began adjusting to a payroll tax hike last month.

US 4Q bank earnings up 37 pct.; highest in 6 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — Profits at U.S. banks jumped almost 37 percent from October through December, reaching the highest level in six years as banks continued to step up lending.

AP survey: US budget impasse holding back economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — The political standoff over the U.S. budget is slowing the U.S. economy — more so than any hesitance by Americans to spend freely.

Bernanke signals continued support for low rates

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ben Bernanke sent a message Tuesday to Congress: The Federal Reserve's low-interest-rate policies are giving crucial support to an economy still burdened by high unemployment.

JPMorgan to trim 4,000 jobs, many in consumer bank

NEW YORK (AP) — JPMorgan is trimming about 4,000 jobs, or about 1.5 percent of its work force, becoming the latest big bank to shrink its staff.

Macy's profit beats Wall Street expectations

NEW YORK (AP) — Macy's reported a fourth-quarter profit that beat Wall Street expectations as its strategy of tailoring merchandise to local markets paid off during the holiday season.

Home Depot 4Q results top Street, OKs $17B buyback

ATLANTA (AP) — Home Depot's fiscal fourth-quarter net income surged 32 percent, beating expectations with help from strong U.S. sales and an extra week of shopping.

TransUnion: Late auto-loan payments rose in 4Q

LOS ANGELES (AP) — More Americans fell behind on their auto loan payments in the last three months of 2012, a time of the year when some borrowers' financial obligations temporarily take a backseat to spending on holiday shopping.

NATIONAL POLITICS

US Senate panel backs Lew nomination for Treasury

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Finance Committee has approved President Barack Obama's choice of Jacob Lew to be Treasury secretary.

Obama says no smart way to let budget cuts kick in

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) — No progress to report in efforts to stave off looming government-wide spending cuts, President Barack Obama on Tuesday singled out for praise the few Republicans who say they're open to aspects of his approach, seeking to turn up the heat on GOP leaders ahead of Friday's deadline.


MONDAY, FEBRUARY 25
STATEWIDE

Tennessee treasurer seeks to reform pension plan

NASHVILLE (AP) - State Treasurer David Lillard says he's proposing legislation to reform Tennessee's retirement plan for public employees to ensure its longevity.

Quiz measures knowledge of Tennessee Sunshine Law

NASHVILLE (AP) — Can a government office refuse to turn over public documents? When can elected officials hold meetings that are closed to the public?

STATE LEGISLATURE

Tennessee lawmakers to decide fate of supermarket wine

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers are poised to decide this week whether a proposal to allow supermarket wine sales moves ahead or withers on the vine.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Feds to probe Ford cars and SUVs for stalling

DETROIT (AP) — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it will investigate problems with stalling or surging engines in nearly 725,000 Ford cars and SUVs.

NATIONAL BUSINESS

Int'l Herald Tribune to be rebranded International New York Times

NEW YORK (AP) — The International Herald Tribune, one of the most enduring brands in journalism history, is getting a new name: The International New York Times.

Economists predicting moderate growth in 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — Business economists expect 2013 will be another year of sub-par growth for the U.S. economy, reflecting uncertainty stemming from the budget battles in Washington and Europe's on-going debt problems. But they think the economy will improve as the year progresses and by 2014 will grow at the fastest pace in nine years.

Stocks drop as Italy heads for political disarray

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks had their worst drop in more than three months as the prospect of political paralysis in Italy raised the specter of Europe's debt crisis flaring up again.

Pump prices level off after big surge; oil steady

Pump prices leveled off over the weekend, breaking a monthlong string of daily increases that boosted the cost of driving.

Barnes & Noble chair wants to buy retail business

NEW YORK (AP) — Barnes & Noble founder and chairman Leonard Riggio has told the book seller he is going to try to buy the company's retail business.

Macy's CEO testifies in fight over Martha Stewart

NEW YORK (AP) — Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren testified on Monday that he hung up on home diva Martha Stewart after she called to inform him on Dec. 6, 2011 that the company that bears her name had inked a deal with J.C. Penney to open shops within most of the chain's stores. He hasn't spoken to her since, even though the two used to be good friends.

AT&T snags OnStar wireless contract from Verizon

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — AT&T Inc. is scoring a win over rival Verizon Wireless as it takes over the contract to supply wireless connections to cars with General Motors' OnStar service.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Obama urges Congress to compromise on cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing an end of the week deadline, President Barack Obama said Monday that Congress can avert sweeping across-the-board cuts with "just a little bit of compromise," as he sought to stick lawmakers with the blame if the budget ax falls.

White House details budget fallout amid blame game

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House has detailed the potential fallout in each state from budget cuts set to take effect at week's end, while congressional Republicans and Democrats keep up the sniping over who's to blame.


FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22
MUSIC INDUSTRY

McCready's funeral set for Tuesday in Florida

NASHVILLE (AP) — Mindy McCready's funeral has been scheduled for Tuesday in her hometown of Fort Myers, Fla.

COURTS

German home-school parents appeal asylum ruling

NASHVILLE (AP) — A couple who fled Germany with their five children over fears they would lose custody for not sending them to school has asked a federal appeals court to grant them asylum in the U.S.

NASHVILLE AREA

Flying routine for Georgia doctor, staff killed in crash

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) - With four medical clinics across the Southeast, commuting by private plane was a routine day at work for Dr. Steven Roth and his surgical staff.

NTSB: Plane aborted landing, hit utility pole

THOMSON, Ga. (AP) — A small private jet carrying a surgeon and members of his clinic staff aborted its landing at a Georgia airport before it hit a 60-foot utility pole and crashed in a flaming wreck, killing five people onboard and injuring two, federal authorities said Thursday.

Nashville, Memphis airports get quicker security checks

NASHVILLE (AP) — Nashville International Airport and Memphis International Airport have been chosen to participate in the Transportation Security Administration's expedited security screening program.

Fishermen voice outrage over dam restrictions

NASHVILLE (AP) - Anglers in Tennessee and Kentucky are voicing their outrage over a plan by the Army Corps of Engineers to stop them from fishing in the tailwaters of dams on the Cumberland River.

STATE LEGISLATURE

Senate approves judicial selection amendment

NASHVILLE (AP) - The state Senate on Thursday approved a proposed constitutional amendment to give lawmakers the power to refuse the governor's appointments to appeals courts in Tennessee.

AUTO INDUSTRY

SRNL, Ford study powering cars with natural gas

AIKEN, S.C. (AP) — Scientists at a lab at the Savannah River Site are studying ways to power vehicles using natural gas.

NATIONAL BUSINESS

Unemployed complain they need a job to find a job

NEW YORK (AP) — Help wanted. Qualifications: Must already have a job.

Judge blocks shareholder vote on Apple proposal

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge is blocking Apple from conducting a shareholder vote on a package of governance proposals, handing a victory to a rebel investor who is trying to persuade the company to share more of its cash with its investors.

Dow bounces from 2-day slide to a 3-digit gain

Strong earnings from big U.S. companies pushed the Dow Jones industrial average to a rare triple-digit gain Friday, but the S&P 500 index still posted its first weekly loss of the year.

Oil levels off after 2 days of steep losses

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil was little changed Friday after a 5 percent fall over the last two days. The drop in crude showed signs of slowing the upward spiral of gas pump prices as well, at least temporarily.

EU says eurozone economy to shrink again in 2013

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union predicted Friday that the economy of the 17 member countries that use the euro will shrink again in 2013 even though it will see its fortunes improve in the second half of the year.

US rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 3.56 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The average U.S. rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage rose this week but remained near historic lows. Low mortgage rates have helped support the slowly recovering housing market.

5 big US banks have cut mortgage debt by $19B

WASHINGTON (AP) — Five of the biggest U.S. banks have cut struggling homeowners' mortgage balances by $19 billion, part of a total $45.8 billion in relief provided under a landmark settlement over foreclosure abuses.

Wal-Mart outlook wary even as profit rises

NEW YORK (AP) — As the fortunes of many Americans go, so goes Wal-Mart.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Government downsizes amid GOP demands for more cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans and other fiscal conservatives keep insisting on more federal austerity and a smaller government. Without much fanfare or acknowledgement, they've already gotten much of both.

Labor, business agree to principles on immigration

WASHINGTON (AP) — Business and labor groups announced agreement Thursday on the principles of a key priority for a comprehensive immigration bill: a new system to bring lower-skilled workers to the U.S.

Obama calls Boehner, McConnell as budget cuts loom

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has called House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell about the looming spending cuts set to kick in on March 1.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0