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VOL. 39 | NO. 22 | Friday, May 29, 2015

Tennessee’s most powerful politician

Ramsey uses ‘system’ to reshape state’s political landscape

Senate Speaker and Lieutenant Gov. Ron Ramsey laughs at the notion he’s changed since being elected to the Legislature 23 years ago, that he’s lost touch with the common man or become “arrogant” as lieutenant governor of Tennessee.

Ramsey: No Medicaid expansion until 2017

The Tennessee legislative session ended in late April, giving itself a little more than two and a-half months to handle the state’s business. That’s plenty of time, according to Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey.

BEYOND BELIEF

Swinging church? Courts to have last laugh

It’s official: No sex clubs are allowed outside of industrial areas or within 1,000 feet of a home, church or school in Metro Nashville.

Local Weather
Currently
Nashville, TN
51.0°F
Overcast
Wind: West at 6.9 mph
Humidity: 71%

EVENTS

Walk of Fame Park Reopening with Loretta Lynn & Jack White. Grammy-winning artists Loretta Lynn and Jack White will be inducted into the Music City Walk of Fame and will join Mayor Karl Dean in the official ribbon-cutting of the newly renovated Walk of Fame Park. Today, 1 p.m. Free and open to the public.

more events »

REALTY CHECK

Finding dream house becomes a nightmare

As has been documented, there are more buyers than sellers these days, hence more demand than supply.

UT SPORTS

Clarksville star can’t wait to be part of Lady Vols

Haley Bearden will watch every pitch this weekend as the University of Tennessee softball team pursues its ultimate goal in the NCAA Women’s College World Series.

NEWSMAKERS

Latin American Chamber announces new board

The Tennessee Latin American Chamber of Commerce has selected five new board members, as well as a new team of executive leadership, led by chairman of the board and TLACC President Marcela Gómez.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

Chevy electric’s price Sparks a run on sales

It took a price cut to generate a run on Chevrolet’s 2015 Spark EV, with savvy car buyers realizing the lower price and federal electric vehicle tax credit can make for a super deal.

BUSINESS BOOK REVIEW

A book with a view: Insider’s stories of hotels

Your reservations have been made. In today’s business environment, a work-trip is a treat and you’re determined to make the most of this one. Booking a nice hotel was the first step but, aside from amenities, did you ever consider the hotel itself? Or the industry as a whole? Read “Hotel Life” by Caroline Field Levander & Matthew Pratt Guterl, and you will…

GUERRILLA MARKETING

Dealing with millennials can take some finesse

Roughly 75 million strong, millennials are on a course to soon surpass their baby boomer parents as our nation’s largest living generation.

THE WORLDLY INVESTOR

Economic factors merit concern. But don’t worry

There are factors conspiring in the market’s industrial kitchen right now that might lead to a fit of indigestion for investors. This week, we will look at the three main ingredients and discuss how to medicate.

CAREER CORNER

Practice common-sense email etiquette

In the past two decades, the way we communicate has completely changed.

I SWEAR

Family name traced all the way back to 1800

My great-great-great-great grandfather Elijah Fleming had eight kids and no middle name.

KAY'S COOKING CORNER

Check the calorie, fat numbers on these dishes

I received a magazine offer from Nutrition Action. Being a food editor, I’m always receiving mail from various food magazines and emails about new restaurants, cookware, food, etc. They all ask me to write about their openings, their books and articles, or the chefs. I, however, want to retire. Wishful thinking, I’m afraid.

STATEWIDE

Pilot Flying J reviewing wine sales at Tennessee truck stops

KNOXVILLE (AP) — The truck stop chain owned by the family of Gov. Bill Haslam is reviewing whether to offer wine and high-alcohol beer at its Tennessee stores under a new state law.

MIDSTATE

Leading bakery products producer to build new Lebanon plant

NASHVILLE (AP) - A leading bakery products producer is investing $103 million to open a new manufacturing facility in Wilson County that's expected to create 147 jobs.

TECHNOLOGY

Google founder defends accident records of self-driving cars

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google co-founder Sergey Brin says he sees little reason to release the accident reports involving the Internet company's self-driving cars because he believes there's nothing new in documents withheld to protect the privacy of other motorists.

Microsoft tries to win mobile friends

Looking for a new app for making "to-do" lists on your Apple or Android phone? You could use Apple's Reminders or Google's Keep. But Microsoft is hoping you'll try Wunderlist, created by a German tech startup that Microsoft bought this week.

REAL ESTATE

Average US rate on 30-year mortgage stays at 3.87 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates were flat to slightly lower this week, remaining near their highest levels so far this year.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

IMF: Fed should delay interest rate hike to 2016

WASHINGTON (AP) — The International Monetary Fund urged the Federal Reserve to wait until the first half of 2016 to start raising short-term interest rates because the U.S. economy remains subpar.

US productivity fell in first quarter while labor costs up

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. worker productivity declined more sharply in the first three months of the year than previously thought while labor costs rose more quickly.

US unemployment aid applications drop to 276,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, a sign that job cuts remain low as employers are confident enough in the business outlook to hold onto their staffs.

US stocks head lower following losses in European markets

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks followed European markets lower on Thursday as a deadline approached in Greece's debt talks. Greece remained stuck in negotiations with its creditors over releasing more emergency funds ahead of a debt payment due Friday.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Obama has yet to sell House Democrats on his trade agenda

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's make-or-break push for expanded trade is meeting stiff resistance from fellow Democrats in the House, the very lawmakers who helped him claim crucial wins on health care and other issues.


WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3
STATEWIDE

Mandated markups on cigarettes, wine, milk in Tennessee decried as hidden tax hike

NASHVILLE (AP) - Under a new state law, Tennessee retailers will have to charge smokers at least 15 percent more than the wholesale cost. The surcharge is theirs to keep.

HEALTH CARE

GOP-controlled House backs state medical marijuana laws

WASHINGTON (AP) — The GOP-controlled House voted Wednesday to prevent the federal government from blocking state laws that permit the use of medical marijuana.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Volvo incentives package could cost South Carolina $87M more

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The incentives package that brought Volvo to South Carolina could cost taxpayers an additional $87 million if the state pays for promised infrastructure improvements entirely the way Gov. Nikki Haley wants.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Encouraging economic news gives US stocks a modest bump

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are closing modestly higher as investors welcome encouraging news about the job market.

Los Angeles closes in on approving $15 minimum wage

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The City Council voted 13-1 on Wednesday to raise the minimum wage in Los Angeles to $15 an hour by 2020, but a second vote is required for final approval because the tally was not unanimous.

Fed sees moderate economic growth around country this spring

WASHINGTON(AP) — The U.S. economy was growing at a moderate pace in most regions of the country in April and May, as consumers ramped up spending at retailers and auto dealers, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday.

Growth in US services firms slowed in May to 12-month low

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. service firms grew in May at the slowest pace in a year, as both new orders and hiring slipped.

Harvard gets biggest gift ever: $400M from Wall Street alum

BOSTON (AP) — Harvard University has received its biggest gift in school history — a $400 million donation from a prominent Wall Street investor.

Working 9-to-5 becoming a less popular way to make a living

NEW YORK (AP) — If you want an income, or you're an employer looking for help, it may be time to scrap the idea of the traditional 9-to-5 arrangement.

Survey: US business hiring picks up in May to 201,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. companies stepped up hiring in May, a private survey found, evidence that employers remain confident in the economy even after it contracted at the start of the year.

US trade deficit drops sharply to $40.9 billion in April

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit declined sharply in April as exports posted a modest gain and imports fell, raising hopes that trade's drag on economic growth will ease in the current quarter.

Global watchdog warns on economic growth, cuts US forecast

PARIS (AP) — The world economy risks being bogged down in a low growth spiral unless measures are taken to spur demand and incite businesses to boost their stubbornly sluggish investments.

ECB keeps rates on hold, markets look to Draghi comments

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The European Central Bank kept its key interest rate on hold Wednesday, as expected, leaving investors to look ahead to President Mario Draghi's comments due later, particularly for any news about Greece.


TUESDAY, JUNE 2
NASHVILLE AREA

Dollar General 1Q profit tops Street, key sales metric rises

GOODLETTSVILLE (AP) — Dollar General's fiscal first-quarter profit topped Wall Street's expectations, and a key sales measurement rose thanks to better traffic and shoppers spending more per transaction.

Titans' Delanie Walker hosts free youth football camp

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker and his teammates are hosting a free youth football camp in Nashville.

STATEWIDE

Chattanooga TV station won't run ad promoting gay marriage

NASHVILLE (AP) - A Chattanooga television station won't run an advertisement in support of gay marriage.

First Tennessee to pay $212.5 million for bad mortgage loans

MEMPHIS (AP) — First Tennessee Bank has agreed to pay the U.S. government $212.5 million after admitting to making bad mortgage loans that left taxpayers footing the bill.

Paper manufacturer invests $270M in McMinn Co. expansion

NASHVILLE (AP) — A global paper products manufacturer is investing $270 million to expand its current operations in McMinn County and create more than 100 jobs.

AUTO INDUSTRY

A May to remember: US auto sales breeze past forecasts

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. auto sales were stronger than expected in May, boosted by Memorial Day promotions and strong demand for new SUVs.

Tesla Motors co-founder wants to electrify commercial trucks

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Twelve years ago, Ian Wright and some fellow engineers launched Tesla Motors, a Silicon Valley company that has helped jumpstart the market for electric cars.

Ford keeps plants running longer for third consecutive year

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford will shorten the traditional summer shut-down at some of its plants for the third consecutive year to meet rising demand.

HEALTH CARE

Many health insurers go big with initial 2016 rate requests

Dozens of health insurers say higher-than-expected care costs and other expenses blindsided them this year, and they're going to have to hike premiums for individual policies well-beyond 10 percent for 2016.

Concerns remain for 'Viagra for women' twice rejected by FDA

WASHINGTON (AP) — The makers of a pill intended to boost sexual desire in women will try again this week to persuade regulators that the drug warrants approval after two rejections.

REAL ESTATE

San Francisco leaders to vote on luxury condo moratorium

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Check out rental sites for San Francisco, especially the trendier parts: Well over $3,000 a month for a one-bedroom flat and nearly $5,000 for two bedrooms.

More older Americans are being buried by housing debt

WASHINGTON (AP) — Al and Saundra Karp have found an unconventional way to raise money and help save their Miami-area home from foreclosure: They're lining up gigs for their family jazz band.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US factory orders slump in April; 8th decline in 9 months

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factory orders tumbled in April, a sign that manufacturers are struggling amid a stronger dollar and cheaper oil.

Stocks drop as energy gains are offset by utilities slump

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market remains stuck in a rut. On Tuesday, U.S. stocks ended the day with a slight loss as gains for the energy sector were offset by a slump in utilities.

Shopify says Pinterest will have 'buyable pins'

NEW YORK (AP) — Pinterest users will be able to buy items they like using a new type of pin, e-commerce company Shopify said Tuesday.


MONDAY, JUNE 1
NASHVILLE AREA

Tune Airport closing 2 months for renovation

NASHVILLE (AP) — John C. Tune Airport in Nashville is closing for two months for renovations and airfield reconstruction projects.

STATEWIDE

Scholarship to be used by 20K+ at community, tech colleges

NASHVILLE (AP) - More than 20,000 Tennessee Promise students plan to use the scholarship to attend a community or technical college in the fall.

26 teachers selected for Tennessee Educator Fellowship

NASHVILLE (AP) — The State Collaborative on Reforming Education recently selected 26 teachers for the new class of the Tennessee Educator Fellowship.

COURTS

High court throws out conviction for Facebook threats

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday threw out the conviction of a Pennsylvania man convicted of making threats on Facebook, but dodged the free speech issues that had made the case intriguing to First Amendment advocates.

Justices rule for Muslim denied job over headscarf

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Monday for a Muslim woman who did not get hired after she showed up to a job interview with clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch wearing a black headscarf.

REAL ESTATE

US construction jumped 2.2 percent in April

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. construction spending climbed in April to the highest level in more than six years, fueled by healthy gains in housing, government spending and non-residential construction.

AUTO INDUSTRY

GM to invest $119M for components production in Michigan

WYOMING, Mich. (AP) — General Motors Co. plans to invest $119 million in tools and equipment to support production of future vehicle components in western Michigan.

TECHNOLOGY

Google tries to demystify privacy controls with new approach

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google is making its privacy controls easier to find and understand in an attempt to make the more than 1 billion users of its digital services more comfortable about the personal information that they give the Internet's most powerful company.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US manufacturing growth accelerates for 1st time in 6 months

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. manufacturing growth accelerated in May for the first time in six months, propelled by more new orders and an increase in hiring.

US stocks gain broadly after Intel deal for chip designer

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are closing modestly higher after some encouraging economic reports and a big acquisition in the semiconductor industry.

US consumer spending flat in April as income, savings rise

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumers held back from spending more in April, deciding instead to channel income gains into savings.

NATIONAL POLITICS

French minister: 2015 climate deal must avoid US Congress

BONN, Germany (AP) — The global climate agreement being negotiated this year must be worded in such a way that it doesn't require approval by the U.S. Congress, the French foreign minister said Monday.

Obama's trade agenda faces tough battle heading into House

WASHINGTON (AP) — After several near-death experiences in the Senate, the trade agenda that President Barack Obama is pushing as a second term capstone faces its biggest hurdle yet in the more polarized House.


FRIDAY, MAY 29
NASHVILLE AREA

Nashville event seeks to support, improve public schools

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Nashville Public Education Foundation is hosting an event on Saturday to discuss ways to support and improve public schools.

Dollar General promotes Vasos as new chief executive officer

NASHVILLE (AP) — Discount retailer Dollar General has named a new chief executive officer.

STATEWIDE

Haslam replaces curated daily news summary with Web feed

NASHVILLE (AP) — For decades, the Tennessee governor's office has assembled a carefully curated daily summary of political and government news from around the state. No longer.

Republicans Bush, Santorum making Tennessee stops

NASHVILLE (AP) — A declared Republican presidential candidate and a likely one are making Tennessee appearances in the coming days.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Analyst: GM might need to consider merger or big partnership

NEW YORK (AP) — General Motors may need to consider big strategic changes like a merger or partnership with a competitor, a Morgan Stanley analyst said Thursday.

REAL ESTATE

Pending US home sales jump to strongest level in 9 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans signed contracts to buy homes in April at the fastest pace in nearly nine years, evidence that steady job growth is strengthening the real estate market.

Average US rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 3.87 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose this week to their highest level so far this year as new data showed strength in the housing market.

TECHNOLOGY

Google offers unlimited free storage of photos, videos

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google is willing to store and organize all of the world's digital photos and videos for free.

Google unveils Android's latest technological tricks

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google's next version of its Android operating system will boast new ways to fetch information, pay merchants and protect privacy on mobile devices as the Internet company duels with Apple in the quest to make their technology indispensable.

FCC head seeks to narrow 'digital divide' with new proposal

NEW YORK (AP) — The head of the Federal Communications Commission is proposing that the government agency expand a phone subsidy program for the poor to include Internet access.

COURTS

Tennessee Supreme Court hears arguments before students

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Tennessee Supreme Court heard arguments on Thursday before a gallery filled with hundreds of high school girls.

Administration asks judge to toss House health care suit

WASHINGTON (AP) — Obama administration attorneys urged a federal judge Thursday to throw out a politically charged lawsuit by House Republicans over the president's health care law, but encountered plenty of skeptical questions.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks end week lower following disappointing economic data

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks sank Friday following news that the U.S. economy shrank in the first three months of the year.

US consumer sentiment drops in May

WASHINGTON (AP) — A weak U.S. economy pulled down consumer sentiment in May.

US economy fell at 0.7 pct. rate in winter but is rebounding

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy shrank at a 0.7 percent annual rate in the first three months of the year, depressed by a severe winter and a widening trade deficit.

The top 10 highest-paid female CEOs

NEW YORK (AP) — Female CEOs are outpacing their male colleagues in pay, although they remain vastly outnumbered in the top echelons of American companies.

Why a shrinking US economy last quarter isn't cause for fear

WASHINGTON (AP) — Another first quarter of the year. Another reversal for the U.S. economy. Another expectation of a rebound to come.

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