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VOL. 39 | NO. 3 | Friday, January 16, 2015

Tennessee auto industry hits the accelerator: Nissan, GM, VW find ‘best employees’ here

Five years after the Great Recession rocked the nation and nearly destroyed auto manufacturing in Tennessee, the Midstate’s industry is booming again.

UAW ‘considers itself a partner’ with GM

General Motors’ Spring Hill plant is firmly entrenched with the United Auto Workers.

UT, Vanderbilt have roles in public/private auto partnership

The U.S. government also is showing its faith in Tennessee’s auto industry.


Millennial challenge: Do I rent or do I own?

Mike Smalling is a mortgage loan originator with F&M Mortgage and is a lifer in mortgage lending. He recently penned a book entitled “Your Mortgage Matters,” and the work provides information for those new to home buying, as well as those that have bought and sold numerous homes.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Mostly Cloudy
Wind: from the Southwest at 10.4 gusting to 23.0 mph
Humidity: 59%


Old Timers Banquet. Former Atlanta Braves star Dale Murphy will be the featured speaker at the 77th annual Old Timers banquet, scheduled for the Nashville Airport Marriott. Chris Mercado, head coach of the South Nashville team that was one of eight teams to represent the U.S. during the 2014 Little League World Series, will be honored as the “Mr. Baseball” selection. Banquet tickets are $60 each and may be purchased from any Old Timers board member, Hit after Hit, the Nashville Sounds at Greer Stadium, and Nashville Sporting Goods. Doors open at 5:30 and the banquet begins at 6:30 p.m. Information: www.otbaseball.com.

more events »


Middle Tennessee Real Estate trends for December 2014

December 2014 real estate trends for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford and Wilson counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

Middle Tennessee Real Estate trends for fourth quarter 2014

Fourth quarter 2014 real estate trends for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford and Wilson counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

Middle Tennessee Real Estate trends for 2014

2014 real estate trends for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford and Wilson counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.


Big hit and some misses from 2014 early enrollees

KNOXVILLE – Recruiting is anything but an exact science. Experts are everywhere. Star ratings rise and fall. Player projections are widely varied.


Borchetta to receive Music Business Association honor

Big Machine Label Group President and CEO Scott Borchetta will receive the Music Business Association’s (Music Biz) Presidential Award for Outstanding Executive Achievement during the Music Biz 2015 Awards Luncheon on May 14.


Lincoln joins compact SUV segment with 2015 MKC

The 2015 Lincoln MKC like that driven by actor Matthew McConaughey in commercials is a comfortable haven whose interior is so quiet it invites contemplative thoughts - and not just by McConaughey.


How to deal with a prospect’s stalling tactics

Those in sales inevitably face stall tactics designed to prevent prospects from either having to make a decision or having to tell you no.


The Currency war is on! Here are the players

War sounds scary. In the traditional sense, war evokes casualties and loss. For investors, currency wars simply convey economic redistribution.


Probably not a job at the end of this rainbow

When I visited Dublin, Ireland, in 2013, I was surprised at what I found. It’s a European city that in some ways reminded me of home.


Life is like a (2 words, 15 letters. Begins with ‘c’)

“Life’s a puzzle. Let’s fill in the blanks.” That’s the title of a speech I’ve been giving of late. Without being too literal, I find parallels between crosswords and everyday existence.


Induction cooking finds reluctant convert

Hubby and I are starting out the new year with a move. Hopefully, and God-willing, our last move until we go to our Eternal home.


Family Dollar shareholders approve Dollar Tree takeover

NEW YORK (AP) — Family Dollar shareholders have voted to approve a takeover bid from rival Dollar Tree.


Tennessee sets uniform 911 fee for landlines, mobile

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennesseans getting their first bills of 2015 will soon see new charges for 911 services.


Low gas prices, incentives change math for electric cars

DETROIT (AP) — Drivers trying to calculate whether it's practical to own an electric car are facing a new math.


Reports: Google planning to sell wireless phone service

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google is planning to sell wireless phone service directly to consumers using the networks of Sprint and T-Mobile, according to reports published Wednesday.

Microsoft shows off Windows 10 and 'HoloLens'

REDMOND, Wash. (AP) — Microsoft on Wednesday took the wraps off a new version of Windows — and a new wearable 3D gadget it calls the HoloLens.


Average rate on 30-year mortgage falls to 3.63 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell for the fourth straight week, with the benchmark 30-year rate again marking its lowest level since May 2013. The average for a 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, slipped further below 3 percent.


Applications for US unemployment benefits fall

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week for the first time in a month, a sign that layoffs remain low and hiring is probably still healthy.

Stocks rise, euro falls after Europe unveils stimulus plan

NEW YORK (AP) — A plan to support Europe's sagging economy rippled through markets in Europe and the U.S. on Thursday. The pledge by the European Central Bank to buy 1.1 trillion euros in bonds, lifted stock markets, pushed up government bonds and drove the euro to new lows.

Macau ranks No. 1 in economic performance among world cities

WASHINGTON (AP) — Macau, the Chinese territory known for casino gambling, outperformed the rest of the world's major cities economically last year, according to a report out Thursday.

American Express to cut more than 4,000 jobs

NEW YORK (AP) — American Express said Wednesday it plans to cut more than 4,000 jobs this year, about 6 percent of its total workforce.


Lew says Congress should turn efforts toward business taxes

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is pushing Congress to simplify federal business taxes after Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said Democrats and Republicans are too far apart to agree on sweeping changes to taxes paid by individuals and families.


Cancellations follow news of norovirus at Opryland Hotel

NASHVILLE (AP) - At least one conference has been cut short and another canceled after an outbreak of norovirus at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville.


Forbes: Haslam now country's richest elected official

NASHVILLE (AP) - Forbes Magazine says Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is now the country's richest elected official, citing a rush to the pumps at the family-owned Pilot Flying J truck stop chain due to tumbling fuel prices.

Alexander elected to chair Senate appropriations panel

NASHVILLE (AP) — U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander has been elected to chair the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development.


Toyota remains top in global vehicle sales, beats VW, GM

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. stayed at the top in global vehicle sales in 2014, taking that auto industry crown for the third year straight, but was less upbeat about this year.

Volkswagen eyes downtown Chattanooga welcome center

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — Volkswagen is eying a prime riverfront location in downtown Chattanooga for a new $12 million welcome center.


US home construction up 4.4 percent in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — Construction of new homes rebounded in December, helping to push activity for the entire year to the highest level since the peak of the housing boom nine years ago.


EBay to cut 2,400 jobs, spin off or sell enterprise unit

NEW YORK (AP) — EBay plans to cut 2,400 jobs, or 7 percent of its staff, in the first quarter to simplify its structure and boost profit ahead of a planned separation of its business.

Microsoft to show off more Windows 10 features

REDMOND, Washington (AP) — Microsoft will use an event Wednesday to offer a wider glimpse of the next version of Windows.


US stocks rise on expected European stimulus, higher oil

NEW YORK (AP) — Another choppy day on Wall Street ended with stocks broadly higher on hopes of new stimulus measures for Europe's weak economy and a sharp rise in oil prices.

S&P settles with SECS, 2 states over misconduct charges

NEW YORK (AP) — Standard & Poor's agreed on Wednesday to pay the U.S. government and two states more than $77 million to settle charges tied to its ratings of mortgage-backed securities.

Melvin Gordon, CEO who built empire from Tootsie Rolls, dies

CHICAGO (AP) — Melvin Gordon, who helped turn the enduring popularity of the humble Tootsie Roll into a candy empire, has died. He was 95.

Some oil recovered from broken pipeline after spill into Yellowstone River

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Workers recovered about 10,000 gallons of oil from a ruptured pipeline that spilled crude into the Yellowstone River and contaminated a Montana city's drinking water.

DAVOS WATCH: Global leaders tackle uncertain outlook

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — The World Economic Forum kicks off in the Swiss ski resort of Davos with the stated goal of "improving the state of the world." In practice, it's a networking event that brings together 2,500 heads of state, business leaders, philanthropists and artists. Here are some glimpses of the event:

UnitedHealth earnings rise 6 pct, top Wall St. expectations

UnitedHealth topped Wall Street expectations for the fourth quarter, and the nation's largest health insurer brought an optimistic vibe for the new year as it detailed final results from 2014.


House approves bill to fast track natural gas pipelines

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-controlled House has easily passed a bill designed to expedite the approval of natural gas pipelines.

Havana talks start after promises by Obama, Cuban caution

HAVANA (AP) — The highest-level U.S. delegation to Cuba in decades kicked off two days of negotiations Wednesday after grand promises by President Barack Obama about change on the island and a somber warning from Cuba to abandon hopes of reforming the communist government.

Analysis: Obama seizes on recovery, bets on staying power

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's State of the Union address marked a sweet spot in his presidency when economic signs and his own personal approval are on the rise. He made sure to capitalize, taking credit for policies he said raised the country out of its recession.

Obama challenges Republicans in State of Union speech

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says it's time to turn the page after years of economic hardship at home and wars overseas. But Republicans in charge of Congress say the voters already took care of that last November — and they're the proof.


Speaker Harwell shuffles House committee assignments

NASHVILLE (AP) - Two chairmen and an internal challenger have been moved out of leadership positions by Republican state House Speaker Beth Harwell.


Comptroller's report says state fuel taxes inadequate

NASHVILLE (AP) - A report from the state comptroller's office says Tennessee's fuel taxes are inadequate.


Corizon's struggles highlight challenges of inmate care

Months after he landed in Florida's Manatee County Jail, Jovon Frazier's pleas for treatment of the intense pain that radiated from his left shoulder to his elbow were met mostly with Tylenol.


US homebuilder confidence, sales outlook slip in January

U.S. homebuilders are feeling slightly less confident in their sales prospects ahead of the spring homebuying season, traditionally the peak period for home sales.


Supreme Court won't hear dispute over debit card fees

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a challenge from retailers who claim the Federal Reserve allows banks to charge businesses too much for handling debit card transactions.

Judicial candidates' appeals for campaign cash at high court

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is weighing whether candidates for elected judgeships have a constitutional right to make personal appeals for campaign cash.


Netflix reels in 4.3M more subscribers 4Q; stock surges

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Netflix says it hooked another 4.3 million subscribers during the final three months of 2014 as the Internet video service tries to emerge as the leading network for the digital-streaming age.

Yahoo CEO poised to make fateful decision on Alibaba stake

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is facing her biggest business decision since she left Google two-and-a-half years ago to lead its struggling rival: how to manage Yahoo's most valuable asset, a 15 percent stake in Chinese Internet star Alibaba Group worth nearly $37 billion.


New privacy concerns over government's health care website

WASHINGTON (AP) — A little-known side to the government's health insurance website is prompting renewed concerns about privacy, just as the White House is calling for stronger cybersecurity protections for consumers.


Ford Mustang goes global with first shipment to China

DETROIT (AP) — The Ford Mustang is on its way to China. Ford says its first shipload of around 100 Mustangs has left Portland, Oregon, and is headed to China. Shipments to Europe will begin later this year.


US stock market ends slightly higher

NEW YORK (AP) — A late rise in technology stocks helped the U.S. stock market stagger to a tiny gain following a choppy day of trading Tuesday.

Why cheaper jet fuel won't mean lower airfares anytime soon

DALLAS (AP) — Airlines will save billions this year thanks to cheaper jet fuel, but they aren't likely to share the bounty with passengers — not while so many flights are already full.

Survey: CEOs say US more attractive to investors than China

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — Amid growing concerns over the global economy, the United States has overtaken China as the No. 1 investment destination among chief executives around the world, a survey found Tuesday.

IMF cuts growth forecasts, citing sluggish EU, Japan, BRICS

TOKYO (AP) — The International Monetary Fund lowered its forecasts for global growth over the next two years, warning Tuesday that weakness in most major economies will trump gains from lower oil prices. The IMF's report was released as China reported its slowest growth in 24 years.

China's 2014 economic growth slowest in more than 2 decades

HONG KONG (AP) — China's economic growth slowed to 7.4 percent in 2014, the weakest expansion in nearly a quarter century, and is forecast to slip further over the next two years, adding to headwinds for the global economy.


In State of the Union, Obama aims to influence 2016 debate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Key elements of the economic proposals President Barack Obama will outline in his State of the Union address Tuesday appear to be aimed at driving the debate in the 2016 election on income inequality and middle-class economic issues, rather than setting a realistic agenda for Congress.


State archives holds workshop on World War I, Alvin C. York

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee State Library and Archives is holding a free workshop about the World War I documents and photographs available there.

Haslam sworn in to 2nd term as Tennessee governor

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam in his inaugural address on Saturday stressed themes of unity, educational improvement and job creation in what is sizing up a politically difficult second term.


US government investigating Ford trucks for stalling problem

DETROIT (AP) — Federal regulators are investigating whether Ford Motor Co. should expand a 2013 safety recall of diesel trucks.


From car lots to city budgets, cheap oil means change

WASHINGTON (AP) — Cheap oil doesn't only mean cheaper gas in the tank. It means that a car dealer in Illinois is shuffling the inventory of models he'll be selling, that more students in Wisconsin may get school-provided iPads, that some planned projects in a Southern California city will get delayed, and that some expected oilfield hiring in North Dakota and Texas may not happen.

Davos forum founder urges unity against 'dangerous' risks

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — World leaders must do a better job of coordinating their actions if they want to effectively combat the menace of terrorism and the grave risks from conflicts and volatility around the globe, the founder of the World Economic Forum said Monday.

Oxfam: Richest 1 percent sees share of global wealth jump

LONDON (AP) — The richest 1 percent of the population will own more than half the world's wealth by 2016, Oxfam International said in a report released as the World Economic Forum begins in Davos, Switzerland.

China shares dive as regulators clamp down on margin trading

TOKYO (AP) — Chinese shares plunged about 8 percent Monday after the country's securities regulator imposed margin trading curbs on several major brokerages, a sign authorities are worried about the market's big gains. Other markets in Asia and Europe were mostly higher.


Obama to pitch middle-class economic plan in annual address

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is turning to his biggest television audience of the year to pitch tax increases on the wealthiest Americans and put the new Republican Congress in the position of defending top income earners over the middle class.

Highlights of Obama plan to tax wealthy

The White House says President Barack Obama will propose in his State of the Union address a plan to impose higher taxes on the wealthy and use the revenue to help middle-class families. Congress would have to agree, and lawmakers have rebuffed Obama's earlier proposals to eliminate certain tax provisions and spend the money on road and bridge repair, for example.


House, Senate at odds over who goes first on Medicaid plan

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican leaders in the state House and Senate are at odds about who should go first on taking up Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to extend health coverage to more than 200,000 low-income Tennesseans.

Bill seeks to ban red-light cameras in Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) — A state Republican lawmaker says he plans to file legislation that seeks to ban speeding and red-light cameras in Tennessee.

Governor's administration files teacher evaluation bill

NASHVILLE (AP) — A measure that adjusts the way Tennessee's teachers are evaluated is one of several bills filed by the governor's administration.

Branches of state government join in anti-hunger campaign

NASHVILLE (AP) — Officials from all branches of Tennessee government are joining in a campaign against hunger.


2 PACs fined by state election officials

NASHVILLE (AP) — Two political action committees have been fined by Tennessee officials who say the organizations didn't properly disclose information including donors and expenditures before elections last year.


France sees 19,000 cyberattacks since terror rampage

PARIS (AP) — Hackers have targeted about 19,000 French websites since a rampage by Islamic extremists left 20 dead last week, a top French cyberdefense official said Thursday as the president tried to calm the nation's inflamed religious tensions.


Europe car sales end 6-year slump, grew 5.7 percent in 2014

MILAN (AP) — Europe's automakers' association ACEA has confirmed that the industry's six-year decline ended last year, reporting a 5.7-percent increase in car sales in 2014 to 12.5 million vehicles.


US stock market turns higher in afternoon trading

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil and gas companies fueled a rise in U.S. stocks Friday, setting up the market for its first gain in more than a week.

Swiss franc's staggering ascent to be felt far and wide

LONDON (AP) — A 30 percent swing in a blink of an eye is not uncommon in the stock market. In the world of currencies, it can seem as rare as Halley's Comet.

Buck up, profits down: High dollar dents US company earnings

WASHINGTON (AP) — The victims vary: Fast-food colossus McDonald's. Technology giant Oracle. Medical device maker Cooper Cos.

US consumer prices drop 0.4 percent in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer prices fell in December by the largest amount in six years, reflecting another big monthly decline in gas prices and providing further evidence of falling inflation pressures.

US factory output rises 0.3 percent in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factory production rose in December as manufacturers churned out more furniture, computers and clothing, offsetting a decline in autos.

Funding boom shows power of tech startups, raises concerns

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Venture capitalists poured a whopping $48.3 billion into U.S. startup companies last year, investing at levels that haven't been seen since the heady days before the dot-com bubble burst in 2001.

Postal Service proposes small price increases on postage

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Postal Service on Thursday proposed slight increases for mailing postcards and international letters — but wants to leave first-class "Forever" stamps at their present 49 cents.

Belly up, baby! New Hampshire considers alcohol label change

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Babies and bottles normally get along just fine, unless a picture of that baby happens to be plastered to the front of a bottle of beer being sold in New Hampshire.

Wet Seal files for bankruptcy in effort to stay afloat

NEW YORK (AP) — The Wet Seal Inc., a teen clothing retailer, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in an effort to keep its remaining stores open.

Litany of problems pushes Target into giving up on Canada

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Target is giving up on its money-losing foray into Canada after just two years, closing 133 stores and cutting loose more than 17,000 employees.

Lagarde: High debt and unemployment threaten global growth

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two problems stemming from the 2008 financial crisis — heavy government borrowing and high unemployment — still pose challenges to the global economy and require bold action, the head of the International Monetary Fund said.


Obama tries again to get paid leave for more workers

BALTIMORE (AP) — President Barack Obama launched a fresh push Thursday to bring paid sick and family leave to working parents and other private-sector employees as the White House unveiled proposals that could benefit tens of millions of people. Most require action by the Republican-controlled Congress.

US loosens embargo on Cuba, making trade and travel easier

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is putting a large dent in the U.S. embargo against Cuba as of Friday, significantly loosening restrictions on American trade and investment.

Q&A: US government eases Cuba travel restrictions

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans are one step closer to being able to vacation in Cuba, but don't pack your bathing suit and sunscreen just yet.

Despite low gas prices, gas tax hike appears unlikely

WASHINGTON (AP) — The new Republican-controlled Congress is facing an old problem: where to find the money for highway and transit programs.

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