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VOL. 36 | NO. 3 | Friday, January 20, 2012

Urban Plowboys

Metro just made it legal to expand your backyard farm. Here's how, and why you should

Raised in L.A., Carrie Wilkins never thought she would have chickens running around her backyard. But when a stray hen made a nest behind the family garbage can, it was the beginning of a new way of life for her and her family.

A few questions and answers about urban farming

Nashville’s new featherd neighbors bring many questions, including:

Sports agent law doubles the number of state registrations

An increase in college sports scandals prompted Tennessee to broaden its definition of an athlete agent last year, resulting in an increase in the number of people seeking athlete agent licenses.


Realtors won’t cross road for chicken rights

So, Nashvillians can raise chickens in their yards now. Now that is progress. If the chicken does, in fact, cross the road and wander into a bar, one of the customers can shoot it as it is legal to have weaponry in such establishments. Since it is unlikely that the chicken would have a photo ID, it would not be able to vote in an election. All legislated.

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


Women In Business Summit. Featured sessions and speakers at Thursday event include: Jaynee Day, Second Harvest Food Bank, on how she has used creative thinking to build an award-winning charity; Business owners Yvonne Collier, Erin Richardson and Beth Courtney discussing how they took family businesses and recreated them to reach higher levels of success; Selling your business, with Beth Franklin and Thelma Kidd; Franchising: How, when, why, what to do and what not to do with Gina Butler, Debbie Gordon and Rusty Powell; How to Grow Your Business with Eileen Katcher, Susan DePue and Sheila Hearn; How to Find Your Bliss with Marjorie Feltus-Hawkins, Sherry Deutchmann and Rhonda Marco.

more events »


Residential Home Sales, December 2011

Residential home sales for Davidson, Williamson, Wilson and Rutherford counties, as collected by Chandler Reports.


Janet’s Planet creator seeks expanded orbit

When Janet Ivey was a student in Miss Ernestine Yarbrough’s fifth-grade class in Covington, she was already interested in academics. But the way her teacher was able to combine other lessons like spelling and social studies into a more technical curriculum like science really stuck with her.


Local colleges on way to breakout basketball seasons

If you’re consumed by the NFL football playoffs or the Predators’ early-season success, you might not realize there is some pretty good college basketball being played in and around Middle Tennessee.


Economic Council selects Qualls-Brooks

The Tennessee Economic Council on Women has named Phyllis Qualls-Brooks its executive director.


Want to save America? Start spending!

The bill for the holiday spending spree came the other day, delivered by an industrial-sized forklift.


Rosenfelt’s novels worth a read

Last July I wrote of Robert Harris’s Imperium and Conspirata, novels about the life of Cicero. The third of Harris’s trilogy on the Roman lawyer and consul is slated for release this year.


Too much of a good thing can be a rush

Eating breakfast in a hotel restaurant during a recent trip to Dallas, I was torn between the banana crepes, which I ordered, and the French toast. But after seeing a plate of French toast someone else had ordered, I quickly marked that off the list.


Kenny Chesney leads ACM Awards nominations with 9

NASHVILLE (AP) - Kenny Chesney's steamy duet, "You and Tequila" with Grace Potter, continues to radiate heat.

Kellie Pickler grows up, gets personal on album

NASHVILLE (AP) — Kellie Pickler wants you to know she's a traditional gal — and she's making it very clear with her new album, "100 Proof."

Courtroom battle splits Garth Brooks' Oklahoma hometown

YUKON, Okla. (AP) — A water tower proudly proclaims that this is the hometown of country music star Garth Brooks. The main road through town? Garth Brooks Boulevard. So when the singer was awarded $1 million this week after suing the local hospital — whose logo is on a slightly larger water tower across town — residents felt torn.


Lawmakers promote camping ban on public property

NASHVILLE (AP) - Lawmakers concerned about the Occupy Nashville encampment next to the state Capitol are promoting a bill that would criminalize camping on public property across the state.

Tenn. lawmakers receive training on ethics laws

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee lawmakers were being reminded Thursday of what they can and can't do under the state's ethics laws.


Dual agriculture conferences under way here

NASHVILLE (AP) - Meetings about agritourism and horticulture are being held together in Nashville through Saturday.


New-home purchases fall, 2011 worst ever for sales

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer people bought new homes in December, making 2011 the worst sales year on record.

Dow approaches highest level since 2008 crisis

The Dow Jones industrial average rose above its highest closing price since the financial crisis Thursday morning but the rally quickly fizzled, leaving stocks slightly lower in afternoon trading.

Economic gauge shows 0.4 percent December gain

WASHINGTON (AP) — A gauge of future economic activity posted an increase in December, providing evidence the economy was gaining strength as the year ended.

More seek unemployment aid, but trend is positive

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking unemployment benefits rose last week to a seasonally adjusted 377,000, up from a nearly four-year low the previous week. But the longer-term trend is pointing to a healthier job market.

Durable goods orders rise as business ups spending

WASHINGTON (AP) — A rebound in business spending on machinery and equipment lifted orders for long-lasting manufactured goods in December, offering more evidence that the U.S. economy is gaining momentum at the start of the year.

Caterpillar 4Q profit rises, tops Wall St. view

PEORIA, Illinois (AP) — Caterpillar says its fourth-quarter profit jumped 60 percent, boosted by a steep increase in global demand.

United Continental posts $138M 4Q loss

The parent company of United and Continental airlines says it lost $138 million in the fourth quarter because of the costs of integrating the two airlines.

AT&T posts 4Q loss on charges, revenue increases

NEW YORK (AP) — AT&T is reporting a fourth-quarter loss due to some hefty charges, but strong smartphone sales led to the company's best-ever quarter in activations.


Obama turns attention to energy in key states

LAS VEGAS (AP) — President Barack Obama was returning Thursday to two western states key to his re-election, Nevada and Colorado, promoting his energy agenda while grabbing some of the political spotlight ahead of his Republican rivals.

Rubio: Immigration not only issue for Hispanics

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Hispanic-American U.S. senator from Florida who's considered a rising star in the Republican Party says too much is being made of the significance of immigration to his community.

US to unveil new forest rules

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration says new rules to manage nearly 200 million acres of national forests will protect watersheds and wildlife while promoting uses ranging from recreation to logging.

Politics of defense cuts: emphasize the positive

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon is preparing to tighten its belt, but with an election-year battle looming in Congress and on the presidential campaign trail, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta wants to stress the positive: Parts of the budget devoted to reshaping the military to fit a new global strategy will actually get fatter, he says.


State audit finds fee charged for weddings

NASHVILLE (AP) - A state audit of the Davidson County clerk's office has found Clerk John Arriola required employees to collect a $40 fee to perform civil marriages.


Proposal to change the way Tenn. judges selected

NASHVILLE (AP) - The state's top Republicans want to place a ballot measure before Tennessee voters to eliminate any constitutional questions about the current system for appointing judges.

Matt Shepard's dad disturbed by Tenn. bills

NASHVILLE (AP) - The father of slain gay college student Matthew Shepard said Wednesday he is disturbed by legislation in Tennessee that would ban public schools from teaching about gay issues


Stocks close higher on Fed promise of low rates

The stock market bounced to its highest close since last spring Wednesday after the Federal Reserve pledged to keep interest rates near zero for almost three more years.

Fed: Slightly lower growth, unemployment in 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve has downgraded its outlook for U.S. economic growth this year but is slightly more optimistic about the unemployment rate.

Sales contracts for homes dip from 19-month high

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes fell in December after hitting the highest level in a year and a half.

J.C. Penney dumps sales, goes to permanent discounts

NEW YORK (AP) — J.C. Penney is permanently marking down all of its merchandise by at least 40 percent so shoppers will no longer have to wait for a sale to get the lowest prices in its stores.

Delta 4Q profit soars on higher fares, demand

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Delta Air Lines' fourth-quarter net income rose sharply, as higher fares offset a bigger fuel bill.

Boeing 4Q profit up as plane deliveries take off

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Quicker deliveries of Boeing's commercial airplanes helped it report a 20-percent jump in fourth-quarter profits, and offset sluggish growth in its defense business.

Toyota global sales forecast rises on green demand

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota raised its global sales target for this year to 8.58 million vehicles, up 21 percent from the previous year, as incentives for ecological cars lift demand in Japan.

Pharma's niche focus spurs US aid for antibiotics

WASHINGTON (AP) — The pharmaceutical industry won approval to market a record number of new drugs for rare diseases last year, as a combination of scientific innovation and business opportunity spurred new treatments for diseases long-ignored by drug companies.


Obama to Republicans: Game on

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama delivered an election-year broadside to Republicans: Game on.

Obama praises Special Forces for hostage rescue

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Wednesday praised U.S. Special Operations Forces who rescued two hostages, including an American aid worker, from pirates in Somalia during an early morning raid.

US: 'Serious' questions on oil pipeline bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. State Department says a Republican bill that would strip President Barack Obama of his authority to decide on a Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline raises "serious" legal questions.

Gingrich says $1.65M contract wasn't for lobbying

WASHINGTON (AP) — Newt Gingrich says he never lobbied for Freddie Mac even though he was a consultant to the government-backed mortgage company's chief lobbyist.


Lawmakers try to keep Taft youth center open

NASHVILLE (AP) - Several state lawmakers want the commissioner of the Department of Children's Services to reconsider a proposal to close a juvenile detention center in Bledsoe County.

Lawmaker to propose different anti-abortion bills

NASHVILLE (AP) - State Rep. Matthew Hill said Tuesday he's taking two anti-abortion bills off notice and plans to replace them with new measures, possibly by the end of the week.

Bill to strip courts' power to block laws dropped

NASHVILLE (AP) — The sponsor of a proposal to strip state courts of the power to block laws enacted by the Tennessee General Assembly quietly withdrew the bill on Monday after receiving heavy criticism from both sides of the political aisle.

Bill would require students perform hands-on CPR

NASHVILLE (AP) — A proposal to require hands-on CPR practice in high school resuscitation programs has passed the Senate.


Stocks slightly lower on Greece talks worries

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks fell in the United States and Europe on Tuesday as investors worried that a deal to cut Greece's national debt and hold off a possible financial crisis might fall through.

European crisis to slow world economy, IMF says

WASHINGTON (AP) — A recession in Europe will slow the global economy this year, the International Monetary Fund predicted Tuesday, while urging world leaders to focus on growth more than budget cuts.

Macy's sues Martha Stewart Living

NEW YORK (AP) — Macy's Inc. has sued Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. in a bid to block a licensing deal between the housewares company and J.C. Penney Co.

Harley-Davidson posts profit after year-ago loss

NEW YORK (AP) — Iconic motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson says higher sales helped it post a $105.7 million fourth-quarter profit, a reversal from a year-ago loss.

Verizon posts $2B 4Q loss on pension adjustment

NEW YORK (AP) — Verizon posted a large loss for its fourth quarter on an adjustment for the value of its pension plans, but it also saw more people signing contracts for wireless service.

Coach 2nd-quarter net income rises 15 percent

NEW YORK (AP) — Luxury bag maker Coach said Tuesday that strong demand for its luxury handbags during the holidays helped fiscal second-quarter net income rise nearly 15 percent.


Obama to take on economy in State of the Union

WASHINGTON (AP) — Addressing a divided nation amid a determined GOP campaign to take his job, President Barack Obama is preparing to issue a populist cry for economic fairness as he aims to corral the sympathies of middle-class voters 10 months before Election Day.

Analysis: Romney tries pit bull approach in Fla.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mitt Romney spent years building a presidential candidacy based on corporate success, a squeaky clean image and an aura of electability that let him focus on President Barack Obama rather than his GOP rivals.

FACT CHECK: Gingrich flubs history in GOP debate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Newt Gingrich called rival Mitt Romney a "terrible historian" but flubbed his own history in Congress on Monday night when he claimed the nation ran four consecutive budget surpluses during his time as House speaker. Romney attacked Gingrich's financial links to Freddie Mac while ignoring his own.


Ketron says won't seek congressional seat

NASHVILLE (AP) - State Sen. Bill Ketron says he will not seek the new 4th Congressional District seat in Tennessee.

GOP proposals take aim at Tenn. courts

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republicans in the Tennessee Legislature are considering several changes to the judiciary branch, with proposals ranging from how judges are appointed and disciplined to whether the courts should even have the power to overturn laws.

Lawmakers debate halving some scholarships

NASHVILLE (AP) — Psychology student Jay MacDonnchadh says a plan that would cut some students' lottery scholarships in half is a bad idea.


Sen. Rand Paul stopped by Tenn. airport security

NASHVILLE (AP) - U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky was stopped by security at the Nashville airport Monday when a scanner set off an alarm and targeted his knee, although the senator said he has no screws or medical hardware around the joint.

Trial set over country star Jim Reeves' royalties

NASHVILLE (AP) — A trial over how music royalties of the late country singer "Gentleman" Jim Reeves should be split is set to begin this week.


Smokies park looks at future as visits slip a bit

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Great Smoky Mountains National Park remains the busiest of the nation's parks by far, despite a drop in attendance last year.

Sentencing set for 1 of 4 in horse soring case

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — A Shelbyville man who pleaded guilty to being part of a horse soring conspiracy is the first of four defendants going before a Chattanooga federal judge for sentencing.

New distillery to open in Gatlinburg

GATLINBURG (AP) — There's a thirst in the mountains for legal Tennessee moonshine.


$25B nationwide mortgage deal goes to states

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's five largest mortgage lenders have agreed to overhaul their industry after deceptive foreclosure practices drove homeowners out of their homes, government officials said Monday.

Stocks end mixed as Greece negotiates to cut debt

NEW YORK (AP) — The S&P 500 index eked out a tiny gain on a day in which stocks swung between small gains and losses.

BlackBerry maker co-CEOs step down

TORONTO (AP) — BlackBerry maker Research in Motion's co-CEOs, Jim Balsillie, who in 2007 tried to buy the Nashville Predators and move them to Hamilton, Ontario, and Mike Lazaridis, announced they have stepped down as co-CEOs and co-chairmen of the once-iconic company that has struggled to compete in recent years.

Forecasters see small pickup in growth for 2012

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A new economic forecast calls for the U.S. economy to make some modest growth strides this year, but not quite enough to significantly reduce the number of jobless Americans looking for work.

Halliburton 4Q profit jumps 50 pct

NEW YORK (AP) — Halliburton is reporting that its net income jumped nearly 50 percent in the final three months of 2011 as rising oil prices sparked new drilling projects.

Study finds tablet, e-book ownership soared

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Tablets and e-readers were a popular gift over the holidays, so much so that the number of people who own them nearly doubled between mid-December and January, a new study finds.


Obama's health overhaul lags in many states

WASHINGTON (AP) — Here's a reality check for President Barack Obama's health overhaul: Three out of four uninsured Americans live in states that have yet to figure out how to deliver on its promise of affordable medical care.


High court: warrant needed for GPS tracking

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that police must get a search warrant before using GPS technology to track criminal suspects.


The curious case of Grammy nominee Linda Chorney

NASHVILLE (AP) - Linda Chorney is the feel-good, do-it-yourself success story of this year's Grammy Awards. Or she's an unworthy impostor who broke the unwritten rules regarding self-promotion for music's top showcase.

Nashville adviser shapes Kansas gov.'s tax plan

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's plan to overhaul Kansas' individual income tax system will help the poor by creating prosperity, according to a Nashville-based former economic adviser to President Ronald Reagan who helped shaped the proposed state policy.

State museum site of TV taping Friday night

NASHVILLE (AP) — A music show for broadcast on Public Broadcasting Service stations nationwide will be taped Friday night at the Tennessee State Museum.

Dolly Parton partners with Gaylord for water/snow park

NASHVILLE (AP) — Dolly Parton plans a water-snow park in Nashville, described as the first of its kind in the country, to join her other tourist attractions in East Tennessee.


Measure banning income tax passes House

NASHVILLE (AP) - Opponents of a proposed constitutional amendment to ban an income tax in Tennessee say it's unnecessary and politically motivated.


Tenn. panel hasn't posted regular meeting notices

NASHVILLE (AP) — A state commission that recently was in court over allegations it crafted an immigration policy in secret hasn't regularly posted notices of upcoming meetings on its website during at least the past two years.

Tenn jobless rate falls 0.4 percent in December

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee's unemployment rate fell 0.4 percent in December to 8.7 percent, the lowest in three years.


Home sales up at end of dismal year, offering hope

WASHINGTON (AP) — Home sales rose in December to the highest pace in nearly a year. The gain coincides with other signs that show the troubled U.S. housing market improved at the end of last year

GE 4Q profit falls, sales miss estimates

NEW YORK (AP) — General Electric Co. said Friday its fourth-quarter earnings fell 18 percent as revenue declined after it sold its stake in the NBC network.

IKEA flatpacks its way through downturn

ZAVENTEM, Belgium (AP) — It takes Mikael Ohlsson five minutes — and the help of one other person — to assemble IKEA's Ektorp sofa.

Google's 4Q disappoints as ad prices sink

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google's moneymaking machine misfired badly in the fourth quarter as its advertising prices fell during the holiday marketing season.

Fewer layoffs, lower inflation give economy a lift

WASHINGTON (AP) — The economy is off to a fast start in 2012.

Stocks trade mixed, driven by earnings, debt talks

NEW YORK (AP) — Microsoft and IBM drove the Dow Jones industrial average up in Friday trading after the tech giants reported stronger earnings than analysts had expected.

Kodak workers, retirees, investors brace for pain

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — Eastman Kodak Co. has a little over a year to reshape its money-losing businesses and deliver a get-out-of-bankruptcy plan.

Microsoft 2Q beats Street despite soft PC market

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Microsoft Corp. battled through a weak PC market to post flat earnings in the final quarter of 2011, boosting sales of servers, Xbox games and its Office productivity software while trimming losses at its Bing search engine.

Apple starts selling interactive iPad textbooks

NEW YORK (AP) — Apple Inc. on Thursday launched its attempt to make the iPad a replacement for a satchel full of textbooks by starting to sell electronic versions of a handful of standard high-school books.

GM retakes title of top-selling global automaker

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. has retaken the title of world's top-selling automaker, selling just over 9 million cars and trucks across the globe.


Obama to press Congress to revisit $1.2T in cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — In its budget submission next month, the Obama administration will rge lawmakers to revisit the failed attempt by a congressional supercommittee to cut the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion, the White House says.

Reid postpones vote on anti-piracy bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Yielding to strong opposition from the high tech community, Senate and House leaders said Friday they will put off further action on legislation to combat online piracy.

Medicare savings ideas have missed the mark

WASHINGTON (AP) — There's some bad news for those looking for easy ways to trim Medicare spending.

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