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VOL. 40 | NO. 17 | Friday, April 22, 2016

Robots are taking Tennessee’s jobs

Here’s how the state is helping train the next generation to adapt

MTSU student Nathan Simpkins found the perfect major when the university started its mechatronics engineering program in 2013, a pursuit practically guaranteeing him a high-paying job in an increasingly automated manufacturing industry.

SAM STOCKARD: VIEW FROM THE HILL

Insure Tennessee: In like a lion, out with a committee

What started with a roar is ending with a whimper. On the first day of the 2016 legislative session, dozens of Insure Tennessee supporters rallied, shouted and sang songs outside the House chamber.

DAVID CLIMER: OUT OF LEFT FIELD

Summitt’s legacy tarnished? Don’t be ridiculous

When Tyler Summitt resigned as women’s basketball coach at Louisiana Tech due to what was termed an “inappropriate relationship,” those in a rush for judgment suggested it tarnished his mother’s legacy.

Local Weather
Currently
Nashville, TN
32.0°F
Light Snow
Wind: from the West at 8.1 gusting to 19.6 mph
Humidity: 79%

EVENTS

An Insiders’ View – the New Vision for the Tennessee State Museum. The new Tennessee State Museum will be part museum, part virtual-reality experience, and part machine, serving as a hub to virtually connect schools and museums to programming and events. The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting this “insider’s view” of the project. Thursday, 7:45-9 a.m., 211 Commerce Street, Suite 100. Information: nashvillechamber.com, 743-3063

more events »

TERRY McCORMICK: TENNESSEE TITANS

Titans increase odds for draft success with trade

Jon Robinson has played his trump card and might have ended much of the suspense Titans fans were anticipating in this year’s draft.

RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK

Rules still apply to ‘sophisticated buyers’

It happened again today. A real estate broker representing a buyer called a listing agent and prefaced the conversation with “I have a very sophisticated buyer.” Will this ever end?

REAL ESTATE

Top Middle Tennessee commercial transactions for March 2016

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

Top Davidson County lenders for March 2016

A look at Davidson County’s top lenders based on total number of all loans, commercial and residential. Only loans that have the actual Lender name listed on the trust deed filing are included.

US mortgage rates remain low as home-buying season starts

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates stayed near 2016 lows this week, potentially good news for the housing market as the spring home-buying season begins.

NEWSMAKERS

Moore named Nashville Bar fellow

Margaret Moore, member at Wiseman Ashworth Law Group, has been named a fellow of the Nashville Bar Foundation. Fellows are selected by their colleagues in honor of significant contributions to the community.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

Last Scion-branded iA sedan is inexpensive, sporty

The Scion brand is going away, but there’s still time to get a 2016 iA, an inexpensive sedan with impressive handling, top fuel mileage and surprising standard features.

BUSINESS BOOK REVIEW

Trick your brain into being more productive

Your co-worker might have super powers. He does more in a morning than you do in a day and a-half.

GUERRILLA MARKETING

Making a great impression – in the blink of an eye

In “Blink: The Power to Think Without Thinking,” acclaimed author Malcolm Gladwell addresses first impressions. His book doesn’t come from the angle of how to make great first impressions – a genuine smile, firm handshake, pressed clothing and all those tips we’ve turned into habits over the years.

CAREER CORNER

Employers want to know what you can do on Day 1

A friend called me recently with a question I was not expecting: “Why is it that all the resumes I get from recent college graduates are packed with their leadership experience? I don’t care about that. I want to know what they can really do for my company, workwise. What are their skills?”

I SWEAR

What? Rudolph never lived at the North Pole?

This column is about Rudolph, the reindeer with the red nose. Or, rather, the literature via which he was created. I heard that it all started in a department store. Could this be true?

KAY'S COOKING CORNER

Breakfast the healthiest meal? That depends

According to researchers (the people who test hundreds of other people to tell us what is best for us, even though we might never be tested, nor will we ever know anyone who was tested), breakfast is the healthiest and best meal for us in the day.

SPORTS

Predators edge Ducks 2-1 in Game 7, advance to 2nd round

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Pekka Rinne and the Nashville Predators clung to a small lead for two full periods, scrambling and dodging and stopping everything the Anaheim Ducks could throw at them.

MIDSTATE

MTSU names veterans' center for Charlie and Hazel Daniels

NASHVILLE (AP) - Middle Tennessee State University has named a new support center for military veterans who are students there in honor of country music singer Charlie Daniels and his wife, Hazel.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Volkswagen CEO apologized in person to Obama over scandal

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Volkswagen's CEO says he apologized in person to U.S. President Barack Obama for the carmaker's emissions scandal, in which it rigged its cars to cheat on diesel engine pollution tests.

VW to spend up to $8.8 billion on diesel buybacks, fixes

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Volkswagen said Thursday it had set aside 7.8 billion euros ($8.8 billion) to buy back or fix diesel-powered cars that had been rigged to cheat in emissions tests.

REAL ESTATE

Average US rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 3.66 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose this week, lifting from their 2016 lows but remaining historically low during the spring home-buying season.

TECHNOLOGY

Smartphone health: Apple releases software for medical apps

CUPERTINO, California (AP) — Apple is edging its way a little further into health care with the release of new iPhone apps that patients can use to manage their own medical conditions — from diabetes to pregnancy and even depression.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US GDP growth slowed to 0.5 percent rate in first quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy inched forward at the weakest pace in two years from January through March, as consumer spending growth slowed, business investment plunged and exports declined further.

Applications for US jobless aid rise from 4-decade low

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits climbed last week, but remained near the lowest level in four decades, a sign that the slumping economy isn't boosting layoffs.

Big deals and gains for tech stocks lead US indexes higher

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are mostly higher Thursday morning as a handful of companies jump on deal news. Facebook and PayPal are leading technology stocks higher after they announced strong first-quarter results. The U.S. government said the economy slowed a little more than expected in the first three months of this year.

Comcast buying DreamWorks Animation for about $3.55B

NEW YORK (AP) — Comcast is buying DreamWorks Animation for approximately $3.55 billion.


WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27
REGION

Slight risk of severe weather in mid-South region

NASHVILLE (AP) — Weather officials say much of West Tennessee and parts of northern Mississippi and eastern Arkansas are facing a slight risk of severe weather.

COURTS

Tennessee AG to appeal recount order on abortion amendment

NASHVILLE (AP) — The office of Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery announced on Tuesday that it is going to appeal a federal judge's ruling requiring a recount of a 2014 vote that made it easier to restrict abortions in the state.

STATE LEGISLATURE

Haslam signs religious counseling bill into law

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's Republican governor said Wednesday that he signed a bill into law that allows mental health counselors to refuse to treat patients based on the therapist's religious or personal beliefs.

Speaker Harwell's health care task force holds first meeting

NASHVILLE (AP) — Members of a health care task force assigned with proposing alternatives to Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's Insure Tennessee plan on Tuesday stressed their desire to include "circuit breakers" to prevent out-of-control costs.

EDUCATION

State abruptly cancels contract with TNReady creator

NASHVILLE (AP) — The state of Tennessee on Wednesday abruptly terminated a $107.7 million contract with a testing company following repeated failures with the rollout of the new assessment called TNReady.

Career education making a comeback in US high schools

ANTIOCH, Calif. (AP) — There was an emergency in Room 14. Three girls injured, one with a broken thighbone and maybe something more serious. Snapping on sterile gloves and kneeling before the worst-off patient, two 17-year-olds went to work.

HEALTH CARE

Anthem voices optimism on ACA exchange growth prospects

Health insurer Anthem aims to pull a small profit this year from the Affordable Care Act's public insurance exchanges, and its CEO said Wednesday he's "really glad" to be serving nearly 1 million people in this still-developing market.

REAL ESTATE

Number of contracts to buy homes at highest level since May

WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans signed contracts to buy homes in March as the spring home buying season got underway.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Unfair labor practices complaint filed against Volkswagen

NASHVILLE (AP) - The National Labor Relations Board on Wednesday filed an unfair labor relations complaint against Volkswagen for the German automaker's refusal to bargain with the United Auto Workers union at its lone U.S. assembly plant in Tennessee.

GM to make investments, add 800 jobs in Spring Hill

SPRING HILL (AP) - General Motors announced Wednesday that it is spending $790 million to build a new high-efficiency engine at its plant in Spring Hill, creating nearly 800 jobs.

Germany to subsidize electric cars to help own auto industry

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's auto industry risks being overtaken by foreign competitors unless it receives greater domestic support, the country's economy minister said Wednesday, announcing a 1 billion euro ($1.13 billion) plan to subsidize electric cars that are seen as the technology of the future.

Ford, UAW renew relationship with state job safety agency

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co. and the United Auto Workers say they have renewed a relationship with a state workplace safety agency that's helped cut on-the-job injuries and absences.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US stocks rise, shaking off tech slump, after Fed stands pat

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks rose Wednesday after the Federal Reserve left its key interest rate unchanged, as investors expected. Energy companies climbed again as the price of oil came close to a six-month high. Technology stocks were battered following weak results from Apple and Twitter.

Fed keeps key rate unchanged; no hint on timing of next hike

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve kept a key interest rate unchanged Wednesday against the backdrop of a slowdown in U.S. and global growth and provided no hint of when its next rate hike may occur.

US targets 11 countries for lax copyright protection

WASHINGTON (AP) — China, Russia and India are among 11 countries targeted by the Obama administration for leaving American producers of music, movies and other copyrighted material open to rampant piracy.


TUESDAY, APRIL 26
STATE LEGISLATURE

Speaker Harwell's health care task force has first meeting

NASHVILLE (AP) - A task force appointed by Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell to come up with a plan to expand access to health care in Tennessee has met for the first time.

Tennessee senator wants abortion ruling appealed

NASHVILLE (AP) - State Sen. Randy McNally is asking the attorney general to fight a court ruling requiring a recount of a 2014 vote that made it easier to restrict abortions in Tennessee.

NASHVILLE AREA

Security at Nashville bus terminal increased after 4 shot

NASHVILLE (AP) - Nashville police are increasing security at a downtown bus terminal in the aftermath of shootings that wounded four teenage boys.

Harry's Fresh Foods to upgrade Nashville facility, hire 300

NASHVILLE (AP) - Harry's Fresh Foods is adding a production facility in Nashville that the company says will lead to the creation of 302 new jobs.

MUSIC INDUSTRY

Kid Rock mourns assistant who died in ATV accident

NASHVILLE (AP) - Kid Rock said in a statement he's devastated about the death of his personal assistant who was killed in an ATV accident at the singer's home in Nashville, Tennessee.

COURTS

Sportscaster Erin Andrews settles court case, ends appeals

NASHVILLE (AP) — Sportscaster and TV host Erin Andrews on Monday settled with two hotel companies that were found partially to blame for a stalker posting secretly-recorded nude video of her on the Internet.

REAL ESTATE

US home prices rise at solid pace, even with flat sales

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices continued their steady upward march in February as buyers competed for a limited number of available properties.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Ford investing $1.6B in 2 US plants

DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. is spending $1.6 billion to upgrade two U.S. plants for new products.

Fiat Chrysler earnings soar on North American performance

MILAN (AP) — Carmaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles says its first-quarter earnings soared on the back of a strong performance in North America.

Mitsubishi Motors says false mileage tests done since 1991

TOKYO (AP) — Mitsubishi Motors Corp., the Japanese automaker that acknowledged last week that it had intentionally lied about fuel economy data for some of its models, said an internal investigation found such tampering dated back to 1991.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Apple reports iPhone sales down, 1st revenue drop since 2003

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple says quarterly revenue fell for the first time in more than a decade, as iPhone sales fell compared with a year ago. That's putting more pressure on the world's most valuable public company to come up with its next big product.

US stocks mostly trade higher as energy sector rises

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks finished mostly higher Tuesday in another cautious day of trading. Energy companies climbed in tandem with the price of oil, but technology companies fell.

US consumer confidence slips in April

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumers were feeling a little less confident in April, even though the stock market was rebounding from its February lows.

Tribune calls Gannett 'erratic,' but still reviewing deal

NEW YORK (AP) — Tribune Publishing said Tuesday in a letter that USA Today owner Gannett was "erratic" and "unreliable" as the two newspaper companies tried to discuss a possible tie-up.

US durable goods orders rebounds, but investment still weak

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting manufactured goods rose in March, but a key category that tracks business investment plans was weak for a second month.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Republicans offer to hike minimum wage this summer

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Republican lawmakers are pushing a bill to hike the minimum wage this summer, but Democrats say it's a ploy to undermine a more ambitious minimum wage increase on the November state ballot.


MONDAY, APRIL 25
STATEWIDE

CEO: No guarantee on delivery of tests

NASHVILLE (AP) — The president of a North Carolina-based testing company said Monday that he can't guarantee all students in Tennessee will receive the test on time.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Volkswagen to appeal ruling allowing UAW vote in Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) - Volkswagen on Monday announced plans to appeal a National Labor Relations Board ruling that upheld a unionization vote among a portion of workers at the German automaker's lone U.S. assembly plant in Tennessee.

US ends Honda probe for failing to report deaths, injuries

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. government has closed an investigation into Honda's failure to report deaths and injuries, saying that the company has met all of its obligations.

COURTS

Abortion rights' advocate looks to amendment recount

NASHVILLE (AP) — An amendment to the Tennessee Constitution that would place greater restrictions on abortions is likely to be tossed out now that a judge has ordered a recount of the 2014 ballot approving it, the lead plaintiff in a federal lawsuit challenging the results said Monday.

Court: Law doesn't bar suits against cigarette manufacturers

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut's highest court has ruled that lawsuits against cigarette manufacturers aren't prohibited by an exemption in liability law, bolstering the case of a smoker who got cancer and won a $28 million judgment against a tobacco company.

Public to be heard on indigent legal representation

NASHVILLE (AP) — A task force studying how lawyers are compensated for work with defendants who are unable to afford legal counsel will be holding sessions in West Tennessee this week to hear from the public.

HEALTH CARE

Saint Thomas Health to relaunch heart transplant program

NASHVILLE (AP) - Saint Thomas Health is expected to relaunch its heart transplant program that ended four years ago in the coming six months.

REAL ESTATE

US new-home sales fall in March for third straight month

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans stepped back from buying new homes in March, the third straight monthly decline as sales plunged sharply in the Western states.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Justice Department approves deal to create new cable giant

NEW YORK (AP) — The Justice Department has approved Charter's bid to buy Time Warner Cable and create another cable giant.

Fed will likely keep rates unchanged in face of global slump

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. job market is healthy. The stock market is up. Home prices are rising. Yet as the Federal Reserve prepares to meet this week, it seems in no mood to resume raising interest rates from ultra-lows.

US stocks slip as energy companies fall with oil prices

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks slipped in quiet trading Monday as energy companies dropped with the price of oil. Metals and chemicals companies also fell. Company earnings remain weak, and Xerox and drugmaker Perrigo tumbled after reporting disappointing results and cutting their forecasts for the year.

USA Today owner Gannett bids for LA Times publisher Tribune

NEW YORK (AP) — Newspaper publisher Gannett wants to buy Tribune Publishing for more than $388 million, in a deal that would give the owner of USA Today control of the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and several other newspapers.

IMF expects $500B revenue loss for Mideast oil exporters

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Oil exporting countries in the Middle East lost a staggering $390 billion in revenue due to lower oil prices last year, and should brace for even deeper losses of around $500 billion this year, the International Monetary Fund said Monday.

Companies eye partnership deals to counter low growth

LONDON (AP) — With global economic growth slowing, inflation staying low and digital innovation generating uncertainty, companies are increasingly looking at partnership deals with other firms, even competitors, to boost revenues, consulting firm EY said Monday.

NATIONAL POLITICS

AP Explains: GOP battles bailout perception on Puerto Rico

WASHINGTON (AP) — Debt-ridden Puerto Rico faces a $422 million bond payment deadline Sunday with no sign Congress will act in time to help.


FRIDAY, APRIL 22
STATE LEGISLATURE

A look at this legislative session's winners and losers

As the Tennessee General Assembly adjourned for the year on Friday, here is a look at some of the winning and losing legislation from this year's session.

Tennessee lawmakers adjourn without setting veto override session

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee lawmakers adjourned the 109th General Assembly on Friday without scheduling a veto override session.

Legislature votes to reduce, eventually eliminate Hall tax

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Tennessee Legislature on Friday passed a measure that would reduce and eventually eliminate the Hall tax on investment income.

Tennessee lawmakers work toward winding down session Friday

NASHVILLE (AP) - State lawmakers got off to a quick start in January by dismissing a bill seeking to have Tennessee opt out of the U.S. Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling. Then things got complicated.

Legislature votes to strip funding from UT diversity office

NASHVILLE (AP) — State lawmakers voted to send a message that they don't agree with the sexually open and progressive views of the Office for Diversity and Inclusion on the University of Tennessee campus. So the Legislature on Thursday passed a bill stripping it of state funds — a total of nearly $337,000. The money will be used to fund minority scholarships instead.

STATEWIDE

New academic achievement test hits another snag

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee education officials are preparing for the possibility that some students won't be able to take the new achievement tests this year after the latest problem with the assessment, state officials said Friday.

COURTS

Federal judge orders vote recount on abortion amendment

NASHVILLE (AP) - A federal judge on Friday ordered a recount of votes on a 2014 amendment to the Tennessee Constitution that made it easier to put restrictions on abortions.

Nashville judge reprimanded for email to district attorney

NASHVILLE (AP) — A judge has been publicly reprimanded because of contact she had with the district attorney's office about how she would run her court.

Uber settlement keeps drivers as contractors in 2 states

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It will cost Uber up to $100 million and took some significant policy concessions, but the ride-hailing company is forging forward with its thriving business model by keeping its drivers independent contractors, for now.

MUSIC INDUSTRY

Guitarist, singer Lonnie Mack dies at age 74

NASHVILLE (AP) — Guitarist and singer Lonnie Mack, whose instrumental recordings influenced guitar players including Stevie Ray Vaughan, has died in Nashville. He was 74.

Prince, hugely inventive, influential musician, dead at 57

CHANHASSEN, Minn. (AP) — Prince could play guitar like Santana or Jimi Hendrix, sing like James Brown, turn out pop melodies worthy of Motown or lay down the deepest grooves this side of Sly and the Family Stone. But no one could mistake his sound for anyone but Prince.

American Country Countdown Awards to honor Merle Haggard

NASHVILLE (AP) — Singer and songwriter Toby Keith will perform a tribute to the late legend Merle Haggard during the American Country Countdown Awards on May 1.

AUTO INDUSTRY

VW to take $18 billion hit as German carmakers face recall

WOLFSBURG, Germany (AP) — German carmaker Volkswagen capped two grim days for the country's auto industry by revealing its diesel emissions cheating cost it a chunky 16.2 billion euros ($18.2 billion) for 2015 alone — and that's likely only a part of the total bill.

Report: German automakers to recall 630,000 cars

BERLIN (AP) — German news agency dpa is reporting that several of the country's automakers are going to recall a total of 630,000 cars following an investigation into emissions levels.

Daimler emissions investigation overshadows earnings

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — German car, truck and bus maker Daimler AG rebuffed questions about an internal investigation into its emissions certifications as news of the probe sent shares lower Friday.

Volkswagen owners will get a choice: a buyback or repairs

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The owners of nearly half a million polluting Volkswagens in the U.S. will have the option of selling them back to the company or getting them repaired at VW's expense, under a deal announced Thursday by a federal judge.

GM profits more than double on record N. America earnings

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors' first quarter profit more than doubled as all of its business units posted improved numbers including record pretax earnings in North America.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US stock indexes end mixed as investors size up earnings

A rebound in the price of oil and natural gas helped drive sharp gains for energy and financial companies, nudging U.S. stocks mostly higher Friday.