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VOL. 38 | NO. 3 | Friday, January 17, 2014

Keeping school money at home: Georgia county finds charter success without outside operators

Georgia’s Hall County, touted as having the fastest-growing charter school population in the nation last year, didn’t earn its title by approving new schools to be operated by private companies.

Squeezing private profits from public schools

Charter schools were intended as small public alternatives with unique learning methods for children stuck in failing schools. But dollar signs have transformed those boutique-type schools into big business commodities with profit streams available to operators – even in states like Tennessee that do not allow for-profit charter schools.

New rules open more options for charters

A change in guidelines for charter school proposals in Metro Nashville is likely to trigger some adjustments in the city’s educational landscape, a charter school official says.

‘Bizarre’ host praises diversity of city’s food

When Andrew Zimmern, host of the Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods” and “Bizarre Foods America,” visited Nashville recently to shoot an episode of the show, the chef and three-time James Beard Award winner stopped by several Nashville favorites such as The Silly Goose, Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint, Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack and Arnold’s Country Kitchen.

Murfreesboro 'reality' family finds its Bravo audience

A blended family of Murfreesboro millionaires joined Bravo TV’s reality lineup in November and recently ended its first season averaging 2 million viewers per episode.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Partly Cloudy
Wind: South at 3.5 mph
Humidity: 79%


Young Professionals Networking Event. The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce event offers an opportunity to mix, mingle and network with other young professionals. Thursday, 5-7 p.m., Loews Vanderbilt Hotel’s Mason Bar, 2100 West End Avenue, Nashville. Information: nashvillechamber.com, 743-3063.

more events »


Agents, buyers await arrival of new condos

The numbers from the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors (GNAR) for 2013 are in, and sales were up 18 percent compared to 2012. Pending sales, normally a solid indicator of things to come, are up as well.


Top Midstate residential real estate transactions for 2013

Top 2013 residential real estate transactions for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.


Whisenhunt the right choice to rebuild fan excitement

The Tennessee Titans made the only sensible move they could make in hiring Ken Whisenhunt. With the hire, the Titans have not only managed to land a head coach with solid credentials – if you can take the Arizona Cardinals to the Super Bowl, then you’ve performed enough miracles to earn sainthood – they’ve also re-energized a fan base that, quite frankly, had eroded nearly to the point of not caring.


GNAR names Springer chief executive officer

The Greater Nashville Association of Realtors has appointed Jarron Springer, current president of the Tennessee Grocers & Convenience Store Association, as its new chief executive officer, effective Feb. 1.


Learning from a fellow traveler’s job-search blues

You haven’t had to hit the alarm for quite a few months now.


Your biggest competitor is prospect indecision

Ask anyone in business about their biggest competition, and they’ll likely offer the name of a rival company.


Consider selling momentum, buying contrarian

The S&P 500 has been the world’s performance bell cow since the great recession on the relative strength of the U.S. economic recovery.


There’s probably a legal argument in there somewhere

“Ladies and gentlemen, if he who made the sun and the moon and hung the stars on high could be merciful and just, then so can you.” Thus began the closing argument of a defense attorney.


A bard by another definition is quite tasty

It’s a new year. I think it’s time for learning some new cooking terms – in a manner of speaking. The more advanced our modern cooking and terminology becomes, the farther away we get from what our ancestors dished up. So this is a glimpse of the past. But don’t think this will be boring, or something you’ve heard before.


Supermarket wine bill up for key votes next week

NASHVILLE (AP) - The full Senate is scheduled to vote next week on a proposal to allow wine to be sold in Tennessee supermarkets, while a House committee that killed last year's version is set to consider reviving the measure.

Republicans discuss new voucher bill with governor

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican state lawmakers have proposed a school voucher bill they hope will be acceptable to Gov. Bill Haslam, who has repeatedly said he favors a more limited version of the program that gives parents another option for educating their children.


Attorney general appeals discrimination ruling

NASHVILLE (AP) — The state attorney general's office is appealing a ruling by a Nashville judge that the seven-man, two-woman makeup of a state commission is discriminatory and makes the commission invalid.


Barra to keep GM plans in place, but accelerate

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co.'s new CEO Mary Barra says she will largely keep in place the plans of her predecessor, from a restructuring in Europe to a focus on improving profit margins. But she hopes to accelerate that progress.

Nissan settles with gov't over deceptive pickup ad

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nissan went too far with a TV commercial that depicts its Frontier pickup truck powering up a sandy hill to save a struggling dune buggy, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Toyota world's top selling car maker for 2nd year

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota remained the top-selling automaker for a second year in a row, beating U.S. rival General Motors by some 270,000 vehicles in 2013, and set an ambitious target to sell more than 10 million vehicles this year.


Poll finds drop in uninsured rate

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's uninsured rate dropped modestly this month as the major coverage expansion under President Barack Obama's health care law got underway, according to a closely watched survey released Thursday.


Study: Climbing income ladder hasn't grown harder

WASHINGTON (AP) — Young Americans from low-income families are as likely to move into the ranks of the affluent today as those born in the 1970s, according to a report by several top academic experts on inequality.

Gauge of US economy's health rises 0.1 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — A measure of the economy's health rose modestly in December, suggesting that growth will remain steady early this year.

US home sales edged up 1 percent in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of existing U.S. homes edged up slightly in December, helping to lift sales for the year to the highest level in seven years.

Weekly applications for US jobless aid mostly flat

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits ticked up 1,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 326,000, a level consistent with steady job gains.

Stocks fall on US earnings, weak China report

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are falling broadly Thursday after several companies issued disappointing earnings and forecasts. Investors also worried about a slowdown in China after a survey suggested that manufacturing in the world's second-largest economy was contracting.

Oil prices stall following lackluster China data

The price of oil hovered around $96 a barrel Thursday, with gains capped by lackluster economic data from China and a report of rising U.S. stockpiles of crude.

Average US rate on 30-year loan at 4.39 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates for fixed mortgages changed little this week.

On charm offensive, Iran leader sets lofty goals

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — In a charm offensive to the global political and business elite, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani set lofty ambitions for his country, including becoming one of the world's top 10 economies.

Nokia sees smartphone sales, profits plunge in Q4

HELSINKI (AP) — The Nokia handsets business that Microsoft is due to take over saw sales continue to slide in the fourth quarter as its Lumia smartphones failed to draw business away from larger competitors like Apple and Samsung.

Lenovo buys part of IBM server business for $2.3B

BEIJING (AP) — China's Lenovo Group is buying IBM's server business for $2.3 billion, expanding a product line-up dominated by PCs, tablets and smartphones.

Netflix adds 2.3M more US subscribers in banner 4Q

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Netflix's fourth-quarter earnings soared six-fold as the Internet video service added another 2.3 million U.S. subscribers to burnish its status as one of the world's most popular entertainment outlets.

FDA says it is studying caramel coloring in soda

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration says it is conducting new studies of the safety of caramel coloring in soft drinks and other foods, even though previous research has shown no identifiable health risk.


Government panel urges end to phone data spying

WASHINGTON (AP) — A sharply divided government task force that reviewed the National Security Agency's surveillance program for four months has urged President Barack Obama to shut down the agency's bulk collection of phone data and purge its massive inventory of millions of Americans' calling records, The Associated Press has learned.


Panel rejects campus voter ID legislation

NASHVILLE (AP) — Legislation that would let students at public colleges and universities use their campus identification card to vote is dead this session.


New regulations sought for child car seats

WASHINGTON (AP) — Child car seats would for the first time have to protect children from death and injury in side-impact crashes under regulations the government is proposing, The Associated Press has learned.

Subcompact cars fare poorly in new crash tests

DETROIT (AP) — Subcompact cars fared poorly in new crash tests performed by an insurance industry group.


Stocks little changed as investors assess earnings

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are little changed after a mixed batch of company earnings.

New 39.6 percent tax bracket for wealthiest people

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new top tax rate, higher Medicare taxes and the phaseout of deductions and exemptions could mean higher tax bills for wealthier Americans this year. Legally wed same-sex couples, meanwhile, may find the true meaning of the marriage penalty.

Icahn says his Apple investment has crossed $3B

NEW YORK (AP) — Activist investor Carl Icahn says he has purchased $500 million worth of Apple stock in the past couple of weeks to bring his total holdings in the company to more than $3 billion.

At Davos, push for climate relief, clean energy

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — Leaders gathered in the Swiss ski resort of Davos are pushing for nations worldwide to shift to cleaner energy sources as the best way to contain global warming and re-energize the global economy.

Oil above $95 amid hopes for global growth

The price of oil rose above $95 a barrel on Wednesday amid expectations for solid demand and weaker supply, particularly in Asia and Europe.

Experts: Target hackers will be tough to find

NEW YORK (AP) — It doesn't surprise experts that some debit and credit card numbers stolen from Target's computer systems may have surfaced among nearly 100 fake credit cards seized by police in Texas this week.


Proposed supermarket wine deal draws criticism

NASHVILLE (AP) — A proposed deal to allow supermarket wine sales in Tennessee is drawing criticism for trying to exclude big box retailers and convenience stores.


State of emergency declared as freeze hits Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam has declared a state of emergency in order to lift restrictions on the transportation of propane in Tennessee as subfreezing temperatures hit the state.

Educator: Diversity not a requirement of charters

NASHVILLE (AP) - The head of an initiative to turn around Tennessee's lowest performing schools is being criticized for stating that charter schools shouldn't be responsible for diversity.


Cracker Barrel to hold special meeting in April

LEBANON (AP) - Cracker Barrel says it will hold a special meeting in April so that it can avoid having one of its activist shareholders seek a special meeting.


Online book renter moving to Brentwood

MURRAY, Ky. (AP) — An online college textbook rental company is in the process of moving its executive management team to Brentwood from Murray, Ky.

Vanderbilt to offer private school master's

NASHVILLE (AP) — Vanderbilt University is launching a new master's degree in education for private school leadership.

US Ag Deputy Sec. Harden to visit TSU today

NASHVILLE (AP) — U.S. Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden is scheduled to visit two Tennessee universities this week to discuss the need for Congress to pass a comprehensive food, farm and jobs bill.


Law affects those with insurance thru work too

The health care overhaul's reach stretches far beyond the millions of uninsured Americans it is expected to help. It also could touch everything from the drug choices to doctor bills of people who have insurance through work.


Consumer spending likely to boost growth in 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hopes are rising that consumers will drive stronger growth in 2014 after they stepped up spending at the end of last year in the United States and Europe.

Mixed earnings hold back US stocks

NEW YORK (AP) — The Standard & Poor's 500 index logged a small gain Tuesday on a mixed day for the stock market.

Oil rises on outlook for higher demand

The price of oil rose Tuesday after China's central bank injected credit into the financial system to offset concerns about slower economic growth, and experts raised their forecast for global crude demand.

Higher-income Americans hit hardest by tax changes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Higher-income Americans and some legally married same-sex couples are likely to feel the biggest hits from tax law changes when they file their 2013 returns in the next couple of months. Taxpayers also will have a harder time taking medical deductions.

Survey finds CEOs more confident on global economy

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — With the worst of the global financial crisis behind them, CEOs are ready to move on from the fight for survival their businesses have been in for the past few years, a survey found Tuesday.

Vatican monsignor arrested for money laundering

VATICAN CITY (AP) — A Vatican monsignor already on trial for allegedly plotting to smuggle 20 million euros ($26 million) from Switzerland to Italy was arrested Tuesday in a separate case for allegedly using his Vatican bank accounts to launder money.

Verizon 4Q net income reaches $5.07B

NEW YORK (AP) — Verizon says it posted fourth-quarter net income of $5.07 billion, helped by the continued addition of more wireless devices to its network.

Delta 4Q profit rises after traffic, fare gains

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Delta is reporting better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit as fares and traffic rose.


Grocery wine bill negotiations near breakthrough

NASHVILLE (AP) - After years of bitter legislative fights over efforts to allow Tennessee grocery stores to sell wine, groups representing liquor stores and supermarkets are nearing an agreement that would give the measure its best ever chances of becoming law.


Eddie George tears up turf on new reality show

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) - Eddie George was too busy charging through defenses as an NFL running back to stop and inspect the stadium turf. Now retired, he's turning a critical eye to home building and design as a judge on a new reality television show.


World stocks lackluster as China growth slows

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — World markets were lackluster Monday amid concerns about slowing economic growth in China and more poor earnings from banks. Wall Street was closed for a holiday.

Crude oil falls below $94 as China growth slows

The price of oil fell below $94 a barrel Monday after a report showed China's economic growth declined in the last quarter of 2013.

Survey finds distrust in government growing

LONDON (AP) — Trust in elected leaders has fallen sharply, a global survey revealed Monday, citing the protracted budget battle in Washington that nearly saw the U.S. default on its debts and Europe's stuttering response to its debt crisis as key reasons for the drop.

China's economy grows 7.7 percent in 2013

BEIJING (AP) — China's economic growth decelerated in the final quarter of 2013 and appears set to slow further, adding to pressure on its leaders to shore up an expansion as they try to implement sweeping reforms.

Unions angered by Postal Service's Staples outlets

WASHINGTON (AP) — The opening of Postal Service retail centers in dozens of Staples stores around the country is being met with threats of protests and boycotts by the agency's unions.


Some Obama spy changes hampered by complications

WASHINGTON (AP) — Several of the key surveillance reforms unveiled by President Barack Obama face complications that could muddy the proposals' lawfulness, slow their momentum in Congress and saddle the government with heavy costs and bureaucracy, legal experts warn.


Senate Minority Leader Kyle to run for chancellor

NASHVILLE (AP) — Senate Democratic leader Jim Kyle has announced he will run to fill a vacancy in the chancery court in Memphis.

Haslam to bring back school voucher bill

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican Gov. Bill Haslam said Thursday he will support a school voucher bill this legislative session that's similar to a limited measure he proposed last year, even though other GOP lawmakers say they'd like to see something a little broader.

Haslam announces anti-meth proposal in Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam on Thursday proposed legislation that would require a prescription to obtain more than a 20-day supply of cold medicines used to make methamphetamine.


USDA expanding poverty-reduction initiative

NASHVILLE (AP) - Counties in Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisiana and West Virginia are joining a federal program designed to help persistently poor rural communities take advantage of government resources.


Film festival to begin accepting submissions

NASHVILLE (AP) - The International Black Film Festival of Nashville will begin accepting entries for this year's film festival on Wednesday.


Panel gives reprieve to 2 appellate judges

NASHVILLE (AP) — A panel that helps decide whether appeals court judges can keep their jobs has voted to give 22 members of the state appeals courts and Supreme Court positive recommendations. That means they will stand for simple yes-no retention votes in the August election.


Health care website passed recent security test

WASHINGTON (AP) — Cybersecurity concerns over President Barack Obama's health care website have been cleared up through testing, a government security professional who initially had qualms about the system assured lawmakers Thursday.


US employers advertise most jobs since March 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers advertised more jobs in November and more Americans quit, positive signs for millions who are unemployed and looking for work.

US factory output rises for fifth straight month

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factory output rose for a fifth straight month in December, as manufacturers cranked out more cars and trucks, appliances and processed food. The gains suggest factories gave economic growth a strong boost at the end of the year.

US homebuilding dips, but year best since '07

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home construction slowed in December but ended 2013 with the best showing since the housing bubble burst.

Target breach appears to be part of broader scam

NEW YORK (AP) — The security breach that hit Target Corp. during the holiday season appears to have been part of a broader and highly sophisticated scam that potentially affected a large number of retailers, according to a report published by a global cyber intelligence firm that works with the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security.

Stocks mostly lower on weak earnings; UPS slips

NEW YORK (AP) — Weak earnings from big U.S. companies are nudging the stock market lower.

Oil price holds near $94

The price of oil rose slightly Friday and finished the week 2 percent higher on signs of rising demand in the U.S., the world's biggest oil consumer.

GE profit rises 5 pct in 4Q

NEW YORK (AP) — General Electric Co. says its net income rose 5 percent in the fourth quarter on rising profits from the sale of aircraft engines, oil and gas drilling equipment and appliances.

Airfares continue to rise, up 12 percent since '09

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of flying continues to climb, with the average domestic roundtrip ticket, including tax, reaching $363.42 last year, up more than $7 from the prior year.

Bernanke likens '08 financial crisis to car crash

WASHINGTON (AP) — In his final public appearance as chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke took a moment to reflect on the 2008 financial crisis and compared it to surviving a bad car crash.

Average US rate on 30-year loan at 4.41 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates for fixed mortgages declined this week, edging closer to historically low levels.

Best Buy holiday sales fall, shares skid

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Best Buy said Thursday it had disappointing sales during the holiday shopping season, raising concerns about the consumer electronic retailer's ability to turn around its business.


Obama proposes new limits on NSA phone collections

WASHINGTON (AP) — Seeking to calm a furor over U.S. surveillance, President Barack Obama on Friday called for ending the government's control of phone data from hundreds of millions of Americans and immediately ordered intelligence agencies to get a secretive court's permission before accessing such records. Still, he defended the nation's spying apparatus as a whole, saying the intelligence community was not "cavalier about the civil liberties of our fellow citizens."

Senate easily passes $1.1 trillion spending bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress sent President Barack Obama a $1.1 trillion government-wide spending bill Thursday, easing the harshest effects of last year's automatic budget cuts after tea party critics chastened by October's partial shutdown mounted only a faint protest.

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