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VOL. 37 | NO. 3 | Friday, January 18, 2013

Jesus gets a makeover

Brentwood’s Jericho Books is leading a national trend to shape the future of the evangelistic movement. It’s also giving a boost to Middle Tennessee’s publishing industry.

Nashville has long been known as a national hub for mainstream religious publishing. It may also become known for Christian writers, publishers and literary agents who challenge the status quo of their religious elders.

Controversy, fans lift shunned Tennessee writer

Rachel Held Evans calls herself an evangelical, but she also uses words such as ‘feminist’ and ‘progressive’ to describe various aspects of her spirituality. Hardly a dyed-in-the-wool liberal, Evans says Al Gore makes her nervous and confesses voting for a pro-choice candidate makes her feel uncomfortable.

Cokesbury rides trend away from bookstores

The Internet age is forcing a big change at the United Methodist Publishing House, a historic Nashville-based religious publisher that dates back to 1789.

Nashvillian finally finds his calling via blog

When Jeff Goins sat at his computer two years ago to blog about his mission trips, he had no idea the whirlwind he was about to stir.

Forbes serves up honor for restaurateur brothers

Ask Middle Tennessee foodies to list their favorite restaurants, and chances are that at least one will be owned by Strategic Hospitality.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Mostly Cloudy
Wind: Northeast at 3.5 mph
Humidity: 47%


YP Nashville Connect. Networking event Thursday to help young professionals figure out where they can get connected and involved in the Nashville area. Display booths will be staffed by members of more than 25 young professional organizations that are a part of YP Nashville. 5-7 p.m., Houston Station, 434 Houston Street, Nashville. Information: nashvillechamber.com, 743-3063.

more events »


Big year for Midstate home sales, prices

Remember the days before the housing market tumbled in 2007, back when it was possible to attend a social gathering and not hear a conversation about foreclosures, sub-prime loans or short sales?

Midstate real estate trends for 2012, December 2012 and fourth quarter 2012

2012 real estate trends for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford and Wilson counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

Top Midstate residential real estate transactions for 2012

Top 2012 residential real estate transactions for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.


How ‘fiscal cliff’ deal affects homeowners

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) released its assessment of how the H.R. 8, legislation that averted the “fiscal cliff,” will affect homeowners. In a section that NAR refers to as “Real Estate Extenders” there are four categories:


Off-field Britt a bad investment

Kenny, Kenny, Kenny. I can just picture Titans coach Mike Munchak shaking his head and mumbling that to himself over the latest alleged incident involving the Tennessee receiver.


Brock is president, CEO of Launch Tennessee

Launch Tennessee, a public-private partnership focused on supporting the creation and development of high-growth companies in Tennessee, has named Charlie Brock as the organization’s new president and chief executive officer and Stuart McWhorter as the organization’s new vice chair.


No quick fixes for breaking bad habits

This year, you’re really going to do it.


Your online reputation could be killing your business

A whopping 70 percent of consumers globally report trusting online reviews from strangers when making purchase decisions, according to Nielsen’s most recent Global Trust in Advertising study. In fact, four out of five consumers say they reverse their purchase decisions based on negative online reviews, according to a Cone study of online trends.


Three keys to determining stock success

Forecasting 2013 The fiscal cliff episode proved bullish for stocks. Fearful asset owners facing tax code uncertainty pulled outsized income and capital gains into 2012.


One secret of 'The Secret'

Several years ago a short video went viral and spread the word throughout the land that you could pretty much have anything you want in life, including health, wealth and happiness, if you simply ask the universe for it in the right way. In a nutshell, it was yet another of the periodic Wallace Wattle-like rediscoveries of the power of positive thinking and creative visualization. In this case, the discovery was categorized as a so-called “Secret” that you too could gain access to for the price of the video.


Yes, a tree falling in your yard makes a loud noise

Last week’s column concluded with Susan and me in a hotel room in a neighboring city, to which we’d journeyed in a roundabout way to escape a cold, dark house on my birthday. We and 200,000 others were without electricity.


Gather the Peeps for a quick foodie quiz

What better time to “mentally” wipe the slate clean of the old junk that fills our brain and scribble on some new! The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to learn and apply new ideas and habits. Out with the old and in with the new!


Black Keys sue casino owner over commercial song

NEW YORK (AP) — The Black Keys are remaining vigilant when it comes to sound-a-like songs.


Bill targets hotel pay for Capitol-area lawmakers

NASHVILLE (AP) — A bill filed in the state Senate would end an automatic hotel allowance for lawmakers living within 50 miles of the Statehouse.


Tennessee wins federal grant for food safety center

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee is one of five states to receive a federal grant to establish an Integrated Food Safety Center of Excellence.


Vanderbilt University lending iPads to students

NASHVILLE (AP) — The libraries at Vanderbilt University are lending electronic tablets to students, faculty and staff.


Toyota, BMW working on new battery technology

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. and BMW Group are working together on next-generation batteries for green vehicles called "lithium-air" as their collaboration, first announced in late 2011, moves ahead in fuel cells, sports vehicles and other fields.


Measure of future growth up 0.5 pct. in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — A measure of the U.S. economy designed to signal future activity increased in December from November, suggesting growth may strengthen in early 2013.

Netflix stocks soars 37 pct after strong 4Q report

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Netflix stock is on its way to its biggest one-day gain since the video subscription service went public more than a decade ago.

Apple shares plunge as growth appears to stall

NEW YORK (AP) — Apple shares plunged Thursday after the company reported quarterly results that point to growth slowing after five blowout years.

US rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 3.42 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose this week but remained near record lows, keeping home buying more affordable.

Obama picks top white-collar crime prosecutor for SEC job

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will nominate Mary Jo White to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, tapping an attorney with broad experience in prosecuting white-collar crimes to lead an agency that has a central role in implementing Wall Street reform.

US jobless claims drop to 5-year low of 330,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell last week to the lowest level in five years, evidence that employers are cutting fewer jobs and may step up hiring.

Apple's sales slowdown tugs Nasdaq index lower

NEW YORK (AP) — A sharp drop in Apple's stock is pulling the Nasdaq down with it after the tech giant predicted weaker sales. Other market indexes were mixed.

Oil gets boost from China, US economic reports

The price of oil rose Thursday on positive economic news from the U.S. and China.

Practically human: Can smart machines do your job?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Art Liscano knows he's an endangered species in the job market: He's a meter reader in Fresno, Calif. For 26 years, he's driven from house to house, checking how much electricity Pacific Gas & Electric customers have used.

Imagining a future when machines have all the jobs

WASHINGTON (AP) — Martin Ford saw it everywhere, even in his own business.

Why Geithner's Treasury leadership proved divisive

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has saluted the outgoing Timothy Geithner as one of the best U.S. Treasury secretaries ever. He's surely been among the most contentious.

Burger King drops supplier linked to horsemeat

LONDON (AP) — British and Irish burger fans could face a Whopper shortage. Burger King says it has stopped buying beef from an Irish meat processor whose patties were found to contain traces of horsemeat.


Congress charts new collision course over deficit

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's sharp disagreements over taxes and spending are on a re-routed collision course, as Senate Democrats launch a plan that includes new taxes and House Republicans vow to speed up their plan to balance the federal budget with spending cuts alone.

53 senators urge approval of Keystone XL pipeline

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than half the Senate on Wednesday urged quick approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, ramping up pressure on President Barack Obama to move ahead with the project just days after he promised in his inaugural address to respond vigorously to the threat of climate change.


Dollar General to open 635 stores, add 6,000 jobs

GOODLETTSVILLE (AP) - Dollar General, the Goodlettsville-based chain of discount retail stores, announced it would open 635 new stores this year and add 6,000 new jobs.


Country star McGraw focus of ACM concert special

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tim McGraw will be the focus of this year's Academy of Country Music concert special.


Tennessee Volkswagen plant powers up solar park

NASHVILLE (AP) - German automaker Volkswagen on Wednesday flipped the on switch for a new solar park at its Tennessee assembly plant.


Judge orders disclosure of some DCS records

NASHVILLE (AP) - A Nashville judge has ruled that the Tennessee Department of Children's Services must provide records to the public of children who died or nearly died after the agency investigated reports they had been abused or neglected.

Corker, Alexander named to top GOP committee posts

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's U.S. senators have been named the top Republican members of two key committees.


Insurer WellPoint's 4Q profit jumps 38 percent

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — WellPoint Inc.'s fourth-quarter earnings jumped 38 percent compared to the final quarter of 2011, when the nation's second largest health insurer incurred a big hit from its Medicare Advantage business.


IBM's results lift Dow average to a 5-year high

NEW YORK (AP) — Strong earnings from tech giants nudged the stock market to a five-year high Wednesday. Investors drew encouragement from a vote by the House of Representatives to let the government keep paying all of its bills for another four months.

Oil drops 1.5 percent; gains could be tapering off

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil declined the most this year Wednesday on reports that the amount of oil moving through a key pipeline to the Gulf Coast had been cut in half.

Unions suffer sharp decline in membership

WASHINGTON (AP) — Union membership plummeted last year to the lowest level since the 1930s as cash-strapped state and local governments shed workers and unions had difficulty organizing new members in the private sector despite signs of an improving economy.

IMF sees modest 2013 improvement for world economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — The International Monetary Fund is projecting a modest rise in global economic growth for 2013, but also warning that problems in the eurozone and the United States could derail momentum.

AP IMPACT: Recession, tech kill middle-class jobs

NEW YORK (AP) — Five years after the start of the Great Recession, the toll is terrifyingly clear: Millions of middle-class jobs have been lost in developed countries the world over.

Big bankers defend against critics amid crisis

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — Leading bankers at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, are on the defensive amid demands to regulate their industry more closely following the financial crisis that battered the global economy.

Final Keystone pipeline decision still months away

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman's approval of a revised route for the Keystone XL oil pipeline puts the long-delayed project back in the hands of the federal government.


House votes to defuse debt limit crisis

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House overwhelmingly passed a bill Wednesday to permit the government to borrow enough money to avoid a first-time default for at least four months, defusing a looming crisis setting up a springtime debate over taxes, spending and the deficit.

House GOP seeks to defuse debt crisis

WASHINGTON (AP) — With tacit support from President Barack Obama, House Republicans are moving to try to defuse a potential debt crisis with legislation to prevent an economy-rattling fiscal crisis for at least three months.

Expiring credits, deductions extended by Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — Taxpayers preparing to file their 2012 returns can breathe a collective sigh of relief.


Ke$ha: The all-American girl at charity concert

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ke$ha is an all-American girl — or at least she was following Inauguration Day at a concert Monday night.


Drivers can renew Tennessee licenses at kiosks

NASHVILLE (AP) — The state is opening self-service kiosks that will allow drivers to renew or replace their driver licenses and state identification cards that will hopefully reduce lines and wait times.

Haslam holds no public events before budget speech

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam has no public events scheduled this week as he prepares to deliver his annual State of the State address.


Attorneys want state conservatorship law changes

NASHVILLE (AP) - The state lawyers group is recommending changes in state law governing conservatorships.


Google's 4Q earnings rise 7 percent; stock rises

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google's fourth-quarter earnings rose 7 percent as online advertisers spent more money in pursuit of holiday shoppers.

Can Apple maintain its shine?

NEW YORK (AP) — For many investors, Apple's best days are behind it. Competitors are catching up, they believe, and the latest iPhone is stumbling.

Reports: Microsoft may invest in Dell buyout

NEW YORK (AP) — Microsoft has joined the negotiations to buy struggling computer maker Dell, according to media reports.

CEOs head to Davos more pessimistic about 2013

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — As high-powered CEOs flock to the snowy Swiss resort of Davos, they are loaded down with baggage — not just skis and iPads but concerns about the global economy, public mistrust, disappearing jobs and a heap of other challenges.

US home sales dip in Dec.; 2012 best in 5 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. sales of previously occupied homes dipped in December from November, in part because of a limited supply of available homes. But for all of 2012, sales rose to their highest level in five years,

Wal-Mart warns suppliers on stricter measures

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is alerting its global suppliers that it will immediately drop them if they subcontract their work to factories that haven't been authorized by the discounter.

US stocks rise as tech, industrial earns roll in

Strong earnings reports from big U.S. companies helped push the Dow Jones industrial average to its eighth gain in nine sessions Tuesday.

Oil rises above $96; US pump prices avg. $3.31

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil closed at a four-month high Tuesday as global economic reports point to improving conditions.

Delta Air Lines clings to $7M profit in 4Q

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Delta Air Lines said Tuesday that its fourth-quarter profit was nearly wiped out by Superstorm Sandy and special charges.

Verizon Communications 4Q loss widens

NEW YORK (AP) — Verizon Communications' fourth-quarter loss widened, dragged down by restructuring, pension and Superstorm Sandy costs. The company activated a record number of new devices on its contract-based plans during the period.

J&J 4Q profit jumps on higher sales, lower charges

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — Higher sales helped Johnson & Johnson post a much bigger fourth-quarter profit than a year ago, when a slew of charges depressed results.

DuPont reports 4Q earnings dropped

DOVER, Del. (AP) — Chemical and bioscience company DuPont Co. says weakness in its performance chemicals and electronics and communications businesses, coupled with costs associated with growth initiatives, led to a sharp drop in fourth-quarter income.


White House: Obama wouldn't block GOP debt bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says a House Republican bill to extend the government's borrowing authority for three months still faces concerns in Congress but press secretary Jay Carney says that if it reaches President Barack Obama's desk, "he would not stand in the way of the bill becoming law."

Obama stands his ground on fiscal debates

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama devoted one word — "deficit" — to the issue that brought Washington to the brink of fiscal crises time and again during his first term.


Rural businesses may be key to short line survival

NASHVILLE (AP) - The survival of short line railroads in the state may depend on small manufacturers and Tennessee farmers, who still use the older tracks and trains to move products in and out of rural areas.

Tennessee politicians hope gun bill won't hurt VW chances

NASHVILLE (AP) — Efforts to land the assembly of another Volkswagen model in Tennessee have been kicked into high gear following the German automaker's unveiling of its CrossBlue SUV prototype at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last week.


Glimmer of hope in US debt talks buoys markets

LONDON (AP) — Hopes that U.S. politicians will be able to reach a deal on raising the government's debt limit, avoiding the risk of a disastrous default, supported global markets on Monday, when Wall Street will remain closed for a holiday.

Oil price dips, trading muted on US public holiday

The price of crude oil slipped closer to $95 a barrel on Monday, with energy investors keeping to the sidelines as U.S. markets were closed for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Public trust in government, business leaders falls

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Public trust in business, government and media leaders has fallen in the wake of financial and political scandals, according to a new global survey.

Boeing investigation turns to battery maker

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese and U.S. investigators began a probe Monday into the maker of the lithium ion batteries used in Boeing's grounded 787 jets.

Hostess union hires investment bank

NEW YORK (AP) — The pension fund for one of Hostess Brands' unions has hired an investment bank to represent workers and pensioners as the maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread sells off its brands.


Term II: US must help poor, elderly, Obama says

WASHINGTON (AP) — Declaring "our journey is not complete," President Barack Obama took the oath of office for his second term before a crowd of hundreds of thousands Monday, urging the nation to set an unwavering course toward prosperity and freedom for all its citizens and protect the social safety net that has sheltered the poor, elderly and needy.

Analysis: Optimistic Obama faces tough to-do list

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's a good thing President Barack Obama considers himself a congenital optimist.

GOP wants budget; Schumer warns they will get one

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats are looking to make new revenue part of the Senate's first budget in almost four years, which will be released soon after the start of President Barack Obama's second term.


Rep. Curry Todd pleads guilty to DUI, gun charges

NASHVILLE (AP) - State Rep. Curry Todd pleaded guilty Friday to drunken driving and gun charges and was sentenced to 48 hours in jail and the loss of his firearm for a year.


National wildlife refuge proposed for Franklin County

NASHVILLE (AP) - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to create a new national wildlife refuge in Middle Tennessee.


Commissioner not surprised at more traffic deaths

NASHVILLE (AP) — State safety officials say they aren't surprised that traffic fatalities were up statewide in 2012.

Unemployed in Tennessee at lowest point since 2008

NASHVILLE (AP) — The number of unemployed Tennesseans is at its lowest point since the economic meltdown of 2008.

Foreclosure settlement claims are due today

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Attorney General's office says Friday is the last day for Tennesseans to file a claim form to receive a payment under the national mortgage settlement.


Lawson: Nashville was leader in nonviolent sit-ins

NASHVILLE (AP) - Civil rights leaders say Nashville's lunch counter sit-ins were instrumental in ensuring that student demonstrators across the south would embrace nonviolence.

TN woman charged with stealing from VA grants

NASHVILLE (AP) - Federal prosecutors have charged a woman in Nashville with taking money from Veterans Affairs grants that she said was to be used for housing for homeless veterans.


Fiat and Mazda seal deal to build new roadster

Fiat and Mazda have signed a final agreement to jointly produce convertible two-seater Alfa Romeo and Mazda sports cars.

Toyota settles in case of 2 killed in Utah crash

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. has settled with family members of two people killed in a sudden-acceleration crash in Utah as part of a lawsuit that was to go to court next month and serve as a test case for a group of hundreds more that are pending.


Transcripts show Fed underestimated crisis in 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve officials in 2007 underestimated the scope of the approaching financial crisis and how it would tip the U.S. economy into the worst recession since the Great Depression, transcripts of the Fed's policy meetings that year show.

Surge in home construction likely to continue

WASHINGTON (AP) — The aftermath of the housing bust forced many homebuilders to dramatically scale back construction on new homes to avoid the risk of ending up saddled with a trove of newly built, yet unsold properties.

Wall Street clocks third straight week of gains

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are closing higher on Wall Street, closing out a third straight week of gains.

Oil little changed, investors weigh global economy

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil remained at a four-month high Friday after new data showed China's economy rebounded and a global demand forecast rose.

GE earnings rise on emerging market growth

NEW YORK (AP) — General Electric Co.'s net income rose 8 percent in the fourth quarter as earnings at all of the conglomerate's industrial segments improved due to growth in developing economies.

Morgan Stanley climbs after swinging to a profit

NEW YORK (AP) — Profits roared back at the investment bank Morgan Stanley in the fourth quarter, reversing a loss in the same period a year ago, when its results were weighed down by a costly legal settlement.

US home construction in 2012 highest in 4 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. builders started work on homes in December at the fastest pace in 4 ½ years and finished 2012 as their best year for residential construction since the early stages of the housing crisis.

US jobless aid applications fall to 5-year low

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid plummeted to a five-year low last week, a hopeful sign the job market may be improving. But much of the decline reflects seasonal volatility in the data.

US rate on 30-year mortgage dips to 3.38 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The average U.S. rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage inched closer to its record low this week, helping to keep home buying more affordable.

GOP official: House to vote to lift debt limit

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-controlled House will vote next week to permit the government to borrow more money to meet its obligations, a move aimed at heading off a market-rattling confrontation with President Barack Obama over the so-called debt limit.


Hagel pick test of Senate on presidential choices

WASHINGTON (AP) — In the middle of a bitter fight over a Republican president's nominee for defense secretary, a former White House occupant pleaded with senators to give the president his choice for the Pentagon job.

AP sources: New nonprofit to promote Obama agenda

WASHINGTON (AP) — In an unprecedented move, President Barack Obama's vaunted political organization is being turned into a nonprofit group — funded in part by corporate money — to mobilize support behind the president's second-term agenda.

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