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VOL. 40 | NO. 13 | Friday, March 25, 2016

Dodging a disaster with Volkswagen?

VW, East Tennessee suppliers seem confident scandal, slump will fade

Next month will mark five years since the first Passat rolled off the assembly line at Chattanooga’s Volkswagen plant. Most anniversaries are a cause for celebration.

Scandal's potential ‘punishment’ fits VW’s long-term plan for electric cars

As part of its punishment for the emissions scandal, the EPA could also require VW to make electric or hybrid vehicles in Tennessee, according to several recent reports in the German press.

Volkswagen gets a month for plan on diesel emissions fix

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Volkswagen and government regulators must present a detailed plan within a month on getting nearly 600,000 diesel cars to comply with clean air laws or risk the possibility of a trial this summer over an emissions cheating scandal, a federal judge said Thursday.

SAM STOCKARD: VIEW FROM THE HILL

Senate poised to do real damage via de-annexation

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland makes a persuasive argument against de-annexation legislation now being considered by the state Legislature, providing a long list of figures to show it would devastate the Bluff City.

Local Weather
Currently
Nashville, TN
52.0°F
Overcast
Wind: Calm mph
Humidity: 93%

EVENTS

2nd annual Women’s Leadership Forum and Networking Luncheon. Rochelle Kopp, a leading authority on Japanese corporate culture and managing principal of Northern California-based Japan Intercultural Consulting, will keynote and moderate a panel of distinguished local political leaders that includes Beth Harwell, speaker of the Tennessee House, Mayor Megan Barry and Mina Johnson, who represents the Metro Council’s 23rd district. The panel will discuss “Leadership Firsts: Accelerating Change, Advancing Opportunity.” Wednesday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Cheekwood Botanic Garden and Museum of Art’s Massey Botanic Hall. Information: www.jastn.org

more events »

LEGISLATIVE PROFILE

State-level control of schools drives much of Dunn’s agenda

Knoxville Republican state Rep. Bill Dunn says he believes in putting up “guardrails” to keep Tennesseans from getting off track.

TIM GHIANNI: STREET LEVEL

Famous guitars get new life in Berry Hill

Country, rock stars trust Glaser’s healing touch

It wouldn’t have surprised me to hear Vince Gill’s intricate fingerings of “For What It’s Worth” (my favorite Vince solo) or “Oklahoma Borderline” (Chet Atkins’ favorite) when I stepped inside the door of the non-descript complex that houses Joe Glaser’s guitar repair, resuscitation and rebirthing center.

RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK

Nashville’s homeless: 2 groups with vastly different problems

As Nashville and the surrounding counties continue to flourish, the homeless population also is expanding.

REAL ESTATE

Top Middle Tennessee residential transactions for February 2016

Top residential real estate sales, February 2016, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

Average US rate on 30-year mortgage falls to 3.71 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates declined this week after three straight weeks of increases. The decline could be a spur to prospective buyers as the spring home buying season gets started.

NEWSMAKERS

Gustafson joins Patterson Intellectual Property Law

Megan Gustafson, Ph.D., has joined Patterson Intellectual Property Law, as an associate. Gustafson is a registered patent attorney with six years of experience.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

Outlander’s value pricing reflected in some details

The nicely styled Mitsubishi Outlander, the only compact SUV with standard third-row seats, is attracting more buyers after starting prices were reduced for the 2016 model year.

GUERRILLA MARKETING

Be a rock star by giving clients great performance

Being a business professional is much like being a rock star: If you make great music, your audience is going to like you.

CAREER CORNER

That secret online resume hack? It doesn’t really exist

There seems to be a rumor about job searching floating around. Have you heard? Finding a job is easy.

I SWEAR

Who said that? Some old saying not really so old

I wrote a couple of columns in October 2008 that, taken together, set forth a quotation and then endeavored to correctly identify the source thereof.

STATEWIDE

Haslam to announce 3-year plan for Tennessee road projects

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is releasing his plan for road construction in Tennessee on Thursday.

STATE LEGISLATURE

Ad campaign targets Harwell, others over counseling bill

NASHVILLE (AP) - A coalition of groups has launched an ad campaign against House Speaker Beth Harwell and other lawmakers over a controversial bill that would allow counselors to refuse to treat patients on the basis of "sincerely held religious beliefs."

Navy duty leads Lundberg to miss rest of legislative session

NASHVILLE (AP) - State Rep. Jon Lundberg, a captain in the Navy Reserve, will miss the remainder of the legislative session after being called up for duty at the Pentagon.

Bill to have lawmakers fill US Senate vacancies fails

NASHVILLE (AP) - A bill to have state lawmakers fill U.S. Senate vacancies has been defeated.

Haslam remains opposed to making Bible official state book

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam said Wednesday that he remains opposed to a renewed effort to make the Holy Bible the official state book of Tennessee.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Affordable Model 3 is Tesla's biggest test yet

DETROIT (AP) — Tesla Motors built its reputation making sporty, sexy and very expensive electric cars. It's staking its future on something more affordable.

REAL ESTATE

Average US rate on 30-year mortgage steady at 3.71 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates were unchanged to slightly higher this week after declining the previous week.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US applications for jobless aid rise, but still near lows

WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, but applications still stayed near historic lows that point to a stable job market.

Tranquil start to last trading day of stormy quarter

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are slightly higher Thursday morning, a tranquil start to the last trading day of what has been a stormy first quarter. Energy companies are rising the most as the price of oil edges upward. The gains are adding to a strong March that wiped away steep losses from the start of the year.

McDonald's adding 1,500 outlets in China, S.Korea, Hong Kong

BEIJING (AP) — McDonald's Corp. said Thursday it plans to open 1,500 new restaurants in China, South Korea and Hong Kong as it looks to faster-growing markets to help drive a global turnaround.

Argentine Congress approves deal to end debt standoff in US

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — After 13 hours of debate, Argentina's Senate voted early Thursday to overwhelmingly approve a deal with creditors in the U.S., putting an end to a years-long dispute that made the South American nation a hard place to do business and kept it from accessing desperately needed financing.

California lawmakers weigh nation's highest entry level wage

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California state lawmakers are poised to enact the nation's highest statewide minimum wage on Thursday, with gradual increases to $15 by 2022.


WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30
STATE LEGISLATURE

Bill to allow de-annexation votes killed in Senate committee

NASHVILLE (AP) - A Tennessee Senate committee has voted to kill a legislative proposal seeking to allow communities to hold elections to reverse annexation by cities.

EPA drops $177K complaint against Tennessee Rep. Andy Holt

NASHVILLE (AP) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has dropped a complaint seeking $177,500 in fines from a state lawmaker for discharging waste from his northwestern Tennessee hog farm without a permit.

Senate to vote on making Bible official book of Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) — A contentious bill seeking to declare the Holy Bible the official book of Tennessee is headed back for a vote in the full state Senate.

STATEWIDE

Longtime TennCare Director Darin Gordon retiring in June

NASHVILLE (AP) - TennCare Director Darin Gordon, who spearheaded Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's unsuccessful Insure Tennessee proposal, announced Wednesday that he is stepping down after 10 years in charge of the state's expanded Medicaid program.

'Sham' cancer charities agree to $76M judgment, dissolution

NASHVILLE (AP) - Two Tennessee-based cancer charities labeled "shams" by the Federal Trade Commission have settled a massive fraud case, along with their president, by agreeing to a $75.8 million judgment and the dissolution of the businesses.

Workshop set to help Tennesseans find World War I ancestors

NASHVILLE (AP) — A workshop is planned this week at the Tennessee State Library and Archives to help people learn more about ancestors who fought during World War I.

TECHNOLOGY

Apple remains in dark on how FBI hacked iPhone without help

WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI's announcement that it mysteriously hacked into an iPhone is a public setback for Apple Inc., as consumers learned that they can't keep the government out of even an encrypted device that U.S. officials had claimed was impossible to crack. Apple, meanwhile, remains in the dark about how to restore the security of its flagship product.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Another gain for US stocks, led by banks and tech companies

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks rose Wednesday as technology companies traded higher for the second day in a row and consumer companies gained steam as cruise lines rose. The beleaguered financial sector recovered some of its losses from earlier this year.

Survey: US companies added strong 200,000 jobs in March

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. companies added a solid 200,000 jobs in March, buoyed by strong gains in construction, retail and shipping, according to a private survey.

Trader Joe's settles cookie lawsuit with Pepperidge Farm

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A clash over chocolate-filled cookies has culminated in Trader Joe's settling a lawsuit filed by Pepperidge Farm.

Report: Boeing job cuts in Washington state could hit 10%

SEATTLE (AP) — The Boeing Co. is reportedly taking steps to eliminate 10 percent of its workforce in Washington state.


TUESDAY, MARCH 29
MUSIC INDUSTRY

Country icon Merle Haggard cancels April concerts

NASHVILLE (AP) - Country icon Merle Haggard has canceled his April concert dates as he recovers from a recurring bout of double pneumonia.

Daniels, Travis & Foster to join Country Music Hall of Fame

NASHVILLE (AP) - Fiddler Charlie Daniels, singer Randy Travis, and producer and label owner Fred Foster are joining the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Female country acts take center stage at ACM festival

NASHVILLE (AP) - Sometimes when Carrie Underwood steps out onto the stage at a country music festival, she might be the sole female artist to perform.

SoundCloud expands into mainstream with paid streaming plan

LOS ANGELES (AP) — SoundCloud is entering paid music streaming, hoping to turn its huge community of cover singers, dubstep remixers and wannabe stars into a bigger source of revenue.

STATE LEGISLATURE

Proposal to seal police body cam footage is dead

NASHVILLE (AP) - A controversial proposal that would have sealed off police body camera footage from the public is dead for the year.

GOP lawmaker questions Haslam's secret $30M development deal

NASHVILLE (AP) - A state senator on Tuesday questioned fellow Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to earmark $30 million for an undisclosed economic development project in Tennessee.

Haslam seeks $12M for 'Nashville,' 'Million Dollar Quartet'

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam is proposing to spend $8 million to keep the ABC television show "Nashville" in the Tennessee capital.

House OKs increasing penalties for texting while driving

NASHVILLE (AP) - The state House has narrowly passed a bill to increase penalties for texting while driving in Tennessee.

Effort renewed to make Bible official book of Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) - The state Senate sponsor of a proposal to designate the Holy Bible the official book of Tennessee is trying to persuade colleagues to revive the effort.

New Haslam spending proposed for roads, TennCare, schools

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday proposed new spending on Tennessee roads, TennCare and schools.

COURTS

Justices seem to seek compromise in birth control case

WASHINGTON (AP) — A seemingly divided Supreme Court is exploring a possible compromise ruling in the dispute between faith-based groups and the Obama administration over birth control.

Tied 4-4 after Scalia's death, high court gives unions a win

WASHINGTON (AP) — In the clearest sign yet of the impact of Justice Antonin Scalia's death, conservative opponents of labor unions on Tuesday lost a high-profile Supreme Court dispute they once seemed likely to win.

Judge awards $2 million in fees in same-sex marriage case

NASHVILLE (AP) — A federal judge has awarded more than $2 million to attorneys who helped gay couples in Tennessee win a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows same-sex marriage.

AUTO INDUSTRY

FTC sues VW over false 'Clean Diesel' advertising claims

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal consumer watchdog sued Volkswagen on Tuesday, charging the company made false claims in commercials promoting its "Clean Diesel" vehicles as environmentally friendly.

REAL ESTATE

US home prices rise faster than incomes in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices climbed at more than double the rate of incomes in January, a trend that could ultimately create affordability challenges for buyers.

TECHNOLOGY

US hacks iPhone, ends legal battle but questions linger

WASHINGTON (AP) — The extraordinary legal fight pitting the Obama administration against technology giant Apple Inc. ended unexpectedly after the FBI said it used a mysterious method without Apple's help to hack into a California mass shooter's iPhone.

Apple vs. FBI: What Happened?

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple's legal standoff with the FBI ended Monday, but experts say the issues behind it will come up again, as more tech companies take measures to guard their customers' messages, photos, business records and other files.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Reassurances from Fed on interest rates send stocks higher

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed at their highest level of the year Tuesday as investors welcomed the latest signal from the Federal Reserve that it will move slowly to raise interest rates. Big names including Apple and Microsoft led technology stocks higher as the market made its biggest gain in two weeks.

Yellen stresses that Fed foresees gradual pace of rate hikes

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Tuesday that the Fed still envisions a gradual pace of interest rate increases in light of global pressures that could weigh on the U.S. economy.

A rebounding stock market helps lift US consumer confidence

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumers are feeling more confident in March, with a rebounding stock market brightening their outlook.

California's $15/hour wage could help workers, cost jobs

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A political deal to raise California's minimum wage to a nation-leading $15 an hour could help some workers cope with the state's crushing cost of living but also deprive other low-wage earners of jobs altogether, economists said as Gov. Jerry Brown and other leaders touted what would be a landmark agreement.


MONDAY, MARCH 28
STATE LEGISLATURE

Tennessee legislation would seal police body cam footage

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal that would seal police body camera footage from the public is gaining traction in the legislature as open records and civil rights advocates cry foul.

Bill to cap liquor store ownership headed to Haslam's desk

NASHVILLE (AP) - The House passed a bill Monday to impose a cap on liquor store ownership in Tennessee, sending the measure that some Republicans derided as contrary to free market principles to Gov. Bill Haslam's desk.

HEALTH CARE

Federal officials, advocates push pill-tracking databases

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's top health officials are stepping up calls to require doctors to log in to pill-tracking databases before prescribing painkillers and other high-risk drugs.

REAL ESTATE

Number of contracts to buy homes at highest point since July

WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans signed contracts to buy homes in February, with purchases surging in the Midwest ahead of the traditional spring buying season.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US consumer spending posts scant February increase

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer spending posted a tiny gain for the third straight month in February while income growth slowed sharply.

Survey: Economists more pessimistic on growth this year

NEW YORK (AP) — Business economists are more pessimistic, predicting weaker growth in corporate profit and the economy than they were late last year, a survey found.

Stocks edge higher, led by media companies and retailers

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed mostly higher in quiet trading, led by gains in consumer companies.

Saudi land purchases fuel debate over US water rights

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Saudi Arabia's largest dairy company will soon be unable to farm alfalfa in its own parched country to feed its 170,000 cows. So it's turning to an unlikely place to grow the water-chugging crop — the drought-stricken American Southwest.


FRIDAY, MARCH 25
STATE LEGISLATURE

Legislature passes public records law

NASHVILLE (AP) — The state Legislature has passed a bill that will require nearly every government office across Tennessee to tell citizens how they can get public records.

Randy McNally announces bid for speaker of Tennessee Senate

NASHVILLE (AP) - Longtime state Sen. Randy McNally plans to run for Senate speaker after this year's elections.

Bill seeking to strip UT diversity office funding withdrawn

NASHVILLE (AP) - A bill seeking to strip funding from University of Tennessee's diversity office has been withdrawn in the Senate.

Tennessee Senate passes bill to make lawsuit losers pay

NASHVILLE (AP) — The state Senate passed a bill that would force people who sue state employees or elected officials to pay legal fees if they fail in a lawsuit.

House passes Haslam's shakeup of Tennessee college boards

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to remove four-year public universities from the Board of Regents system and give them their own boards won approval Thursday in the Tennessee House.

NASHVILLE AREA

Dollar General to add nearly 2,000 stores by fiscal 2017

NEW YORK (AP) — Dollar General Corp. keeps steamrolling ahead. The chain, based in Goodlettsville, said that it plans to add about 2,000 stores over the next two years, bringing its total count to more than 14,000 stores.

HEALTH CARE

FDA outlines standards for anti-abuse generic painkillers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal officials are encouraging generic drugmakers to reformulate their painkillers to make them harder to abuse, the latest in a string of steps designed to combat abuse of highly-addictive pain drugs like codeine and oxycodone.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US grew slightly more in 4th quarter than earlier estimated

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew at a slightly faster rate in the fourth quarter than previously estimated, boosted by stronger consumer spending. Consumers may be providing more lift to the economy in the current January-March period.

Asian stocks mostly higher in quiet holiday trading

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The few Asian stock markets that were trading Friday mostly advanced, with shares in Tokyo and Shanghai up and Seoul stocks slightly lower. Financial markets in Europe, the United States and most of Asia were closed for the Good Friday holiday.

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