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VOL. 38 | NO. 4 | Friday, January 24, 2014

Tony Giarratana: Having fun, taking risks, reshaping Nashville's skyline

Nashville’s skyline has barely changed since 2008, the year Pinnacle Tower was completed. That’s too long for Tony Giarratana.

Giarratana: ‘It’s easy to get excited’ about audacious plans

Tony Giarratana is preparing to launch a half-dozen or more apartment, office and mixed-use developments in downtown, Midtown and SoBro. He recently discussed his projects, past and present, and why he is willing to take such big risks, with Nashville Ledger contributor Bill Lewis.

Success brewing quietly in Wilson County

What do Starbucks coffee, a hot tub and an ostomy bag have in common? No, it’s not the setup to an inappropriate joke. It’s an economic development question.

Lack of office space slows Sumner’s momentum

For businesses considering a geographic change, Hendersonville is a natural fit with its proximity to Nashville and access to all of the perks of the ‘It City.’

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Wind: West at 4.6 mph
Humidity: 84%


People’s Law School. A free program that provides an overview of common civil legal issues. Taught by Legal Aid Society attorneys and volunteer attorneys, the weekly, one-hour classes are 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays at Wright Middle School, 180 McCall St., and at Cohn Learning Center, 4805 Park Ave. Registration information: 298-8050, www.nashville.gov/Nashville-Community-Edcuation.aspx. Topics and dates include:

more events »

Redevelopers of Nashville's old convention center listen to market

Ever since ground was broken on the Music City Center, the fate of its predecessor, the Nashville Convention Center, has been in flux. And settled. And in flux again.

Top Midstate commercial real estate transactions for 2013

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


Put the electronics down, get some sleep

The Inman News Service holds two conferences each year for Realtors called Inman Connect, one in New York in January and another in San Francisco each July. These conferences are well-attended by Realtors from all over the country and feature panels composed of founders, CEOs and presidents from many of the top companies, giving the attendees a look into the future of all things real estate.


Mason gets to sell what few prior VU football hires could

New Vanderbilt football coach Derek Mason will face something that no other Commodores coach has faced in the last half century – high expectations.


Sherrard & Roe adds Schott as a member

Attorney Carolyn Schott has joined the law firm of Sherrard & Roe, PLC, as a member.


Straight to the top: How to persuade CEOs to purchase

CEO-level sales calls are to salespeople what marathons are to runners. Neither is for the faint of heart, but with risk sometimes comes great reward.


What to Expect When You’re Expecting

S&P 500 corporate earnings in 2013 likely grew about 6 percent. The S&P 500 price index, however, grew 29.6 percent. The difference between the growth in earnings and the growth in the price index amounts to P/E expansion.


It’ll be interesting to see where this bridge leads

“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”


Instant replay: Classic Super Bowl grub

Every year around Super Bowl time, I start searching the TV, Internet, cookbooks and newspapers, anything I can put my hands on to find new or interesting recipes for your upcoming Super Bowl party.


Tennessee Senate passes supermarket wine bill 23-8

NASHVILLE (AP) - Local governments could hold votes on whether to allow wine sales in supermarkets and convenience stores, under a bill the state Senate passed on Thursday.


Obama: Job training must reflect changing economy

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — Stressing the need to train workers for jobs of the future, President Barack Obama kicked off a government-wide review of federal job-training programs Thursday and pledged to expand the ones that work best.


Report gives Tennessee high marks for teacher policy

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee is among three states receiving high marks for their teacher policies.


US economy grew at 3.2 percent rate in Q4

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew at a 3.2 percent annual rate in the October-December quarter on the strength of the strongest consumer spending in three years, an encouraging sign for 2014.

Fewer signed contracts to buy US homes in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans signed contracts to buy previously occupied homes in December, suggesting a slowdown in real estate. Pending home sales fell to the lowest point since October 2011.

Applications for jobless benefits rise to 348,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — Weekly applications for U.S. unemployment benefits rose 19,000 last week to 348,000, the highest in about a month. But the broader trend in applications remains low.

US stocks move higher, helped by Facebook, GDP

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks were sharply higher Thursday, erasing most of Wednesday's losses, as investors cheered strong earnings from Facebook and an encouraging report that the U.S. economy grew at a robust annual rate of 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter.

Average US rate on 30-year loan at 4.32 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates for fixed mortgages slipped this week as new data showed a decline in home prices in November and a drop in new homes sales last month.

Oil flat as Fed offsets heating oil supply drop

The price of oil was little changed Thursday after a big drop in heating oil supplies was offset by the Federal Reserve's decision to further reduce its stimulus.

Exxon's 4Q profit dips 16 percent to $8.35 billion

Exxon Mobil's profit fell 16 percent from last year as the company produced slightly less oil and gas. But it still made more than $8.3 billion in three months.

Shell to stop drilling in Alaska in 2014

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Shell, Europe's largest oil company, will stop drilling for oil in Alaska this year as it cuts back on investments and tries to reverse a steep drop in earnings.

Harley-Davidson 4Q earnings up 6.8 percent

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Harley-Davidson's fourth-quarter earnings rose 6.8 percent as motorcycle sales continued to rise worldwide.


House leaders to outline immigration principles

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republican leaders plan to outline broad immigration principles, including legalization for the 11 million immigrants living here illegally, to the GOP rank and file as they look to revive long-stalled efforts to overhaul the nation's immigration system.


Beretta announce new Gallatin firearms plant

NASHVILLE (AP) — Italian gun maker Beretta said Wednesday that Tennessee's support for gun rights was a major factor in its decision to build a manufacturing and research facility in the Nashville suburb of Gallatin.


Lambert, McGraw lead ACM nominations with 7 each

NASHVILLE (AP) - Miranda Lambert and Tim McGraw are the top nominees for this year's Academy of Country Music Awards.

12 artists inducted into Musicians Hall of Fame

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Musicians Hall of Fame inducted 12 new members across the genres, including bluesman Buddy Guy, British rock guitarist Peter Frampton and pedal steel player and country singer Barbara Mandrell.


Guns-in-parks bill headed to full Senate

NASHVILLE (AP) — A proposal that seeks to do away with local government's power to decide whether to allow firearms in public parks advanced to a full Senate vote on Tuesday despite opposition from the governor.


Applications open for Tennessee Supreme Court vacancy

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Governor's Commission for Judicial Appointments is now taking applications to fill an upcoming vacancy on the state Supreme Court.


TDEC announces energy education camps for teachers

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation says applications are now available for energy education camps for teachers.


Big impact on income gap is health law's new angle

WASHINGTON (AP) — Maybe the health care law was about wealth transfer, after all.


'Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' to be company's new name

DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler and Fiat will be known as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV as they move forward together as a single company.

Tax benefits drive up Chrysler 4Q net earnings

DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler and Fiat will be known as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV as they move forward together as a single company.


Facebook 4Q earnings, revenue grow sharply

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook says its earnings and revenue continued to grow in the latest quarter, surpassing Wall Street's expectations on both fronts as it expanded the number of users and the amount of money it makes on mobile ads.

Fed to reduce pace of bond buying by another $10B

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve is pushing ahead with a plan to shrink its bond-buying program because of a strengthening U.S. economy. It's doing so even though the prospect of reduced Fed stimulus and higher U.S. interest rates has rattled global markets.

Stocks slide on weak earnings, Fed's stimulus cuts

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are sharply lower following weak earnings from several U.S. companies, more trouble in emerging markets and economic stimulus cuts from the Federal Reserve.

Oil flat as Fed offsets heating oil supply drop

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil was flat Wednesday as a big drop in heating oil supplies was offset by a decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve to further reduce its stimulus program.

Wage hike for federal contract workers limited

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's plan to raise the minimum wage for federally contracted workers is winning praise from unions and labor activists, but it could take a year or more before any hikes take place and the impact may not be as widespread as some advocates had hoped.

Q&A about Obama's push to raise minimum wage

WASHINGTON (AP) — Relatively few Americans — less than 5 percent of hourly workers — toil for the minimum wage today.


Farm bill passes House after years of disagreement

WASHINGTON (AP) — After years of setbacks, a nearly $100 billion-a-year compromise farm bill cleared the House on Wednesday despite strong opposition from conservatives who sought a bigger cut in food stamps.

State of the Union analysis: A narrow path for Obama's ambitions

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's year of action could amount to a lot of running in place.

FACT CHECK: Obama and Medicare premiums

WASHINGTON (AP) — It seems to be something of an occupational hazard for President Barack Obama: When he talks about his health care law, he's bound to hit a fact bump sooner or later.

Republicans unimpressed with Obama's speech

WASHINGTON (AP) — At the dawn of an election year, congressional Republicans responded swiftly and sharply to President Barack Obama's State of the Union vow to act on his own if lawmakers won't cooperate on "creating new jobs, not creating new crises" in a nation with a yawning income gap.


Wine in supermarkets bill advancing in House

NASHVILLE (AP) - The House committee that killed last year's version of a bill to allow wine sales in Tennessee grocery stores on Tuesday overwhelmingly voted in favor of giving cities the ability to hold referendums on the proposal.

Senate delays vote on latest AG election proposal

NASHVILLE (AP) — The state Senate has put off a vote about a proposal seeking to change the way Tennessee's attorney general gains office.


Task force to study state's funding formula

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam has appointed a task force to study the state's school funding formula.

State AGs investigating for-profit education firms

Attorneys general for more than a dozen states, including Tennessee, have ordered several for-profit education companies to turn over information on the firms' business practices.

Haslam named policy chair of GOP governors group

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has been named policy chairman of the Republican Governors Public Policy Committee.


Ford 4Q profit beats forecasts; revenue up 4 pct.

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co. enjoyed one of the best years in its history in 2013, but the celebration won't last long.


Stocks rise on Wall Street after 3 days of losses

NEW YORK (AP) — Investors' jitters over emerging markets faded on Tuesday and U.S. stocks rose for the first time in four days.

US consumer confidence hits highest since August

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer confidence has risen to its highest point since August on the strength of a brighter view of the job market and business conditions.

US home prices dipped in November on colder weather

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices fell slightly in November as colder weather slowed buying, ending nine straight months of price gains.

US durable goods orders drop 4.3 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Businesses cut back sharply on their orders for long-lasting manufactured goods in December with a key category that signals business investment plans falling by the biggest amount in five months.

Oil above $97 as market eyes Fed, oil supplies

The price of oil rose nearly 2 percent Tuesday, reversing the losses from the previous two sessions.

College endowments have strong year

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's college and university endowments — often used to fund scholarships and professorships — had strong growth last year, according to a report released Tuesday. That's a bit of good news for higher education institutions under pressure to hold down tuition costs amid some enrollment declines.

Comcast gains video subscribers in 4Q

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Comcast Corp. added 43,000 video subscribers in the fourth quarter — the first quarterly gain in six and a half years — as the nation's top cable TV company said that uptake of its X1 set-top box helped it retain customers and boost video-on-demand spending.

Google hopes designer frames will sharpen Glass

NEW YORK (AP) — Google Glass is getting glasses. Google is adding prescription frames and new styles of detachable sunglasses to its computerized, Internet-connected goggles known as Glass.

Apple's 1Q results highlight need for new products

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — It's going to take more than brisk sales of the iPhone and iPad to convince investors that Apple still has the magic touch.


Obama speech to challenge Congress on minimum wage

WASHINGTON (AP) — Challenging lawmakers, President Barack Obama will announce Tuesday night in his State of the Union address that he's raising the minimum wage for new federal contract workers to $10.10 an hour, underscoring a go-it-alone strategy in an election year critical to both parties and the balance of power in Congress.

GM CEO, 'dreamer' to be guests at Obama address

WASHINGTON (AP) — The CEO of General Motors and an immigrant brought to the U.S. illegally as a child will join first lady Michelle Obama to watch President Barack Obama deliver his State of the Union address on Tuesday.

Obama hiking minimum pay for new federal contracts

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will sign an executive order setting the minimum wage for workers under new federal contracts at $10.10 an hour, the White House said Tuesday. The president will announce the increase during his State of the Union address.

Boehner warns Obama about exceeding authority

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner says President Barack Obama likely has the authority to raise the minimum wage for new federal contract workers. But the speaker warned against any other unilateral steps that could encroach on the Constitution.

Farm bill deal would cut food stamps by 1 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Farm-state lawmakers are lobbying colleagues member by member, vote by vote as they push for House passage of a massive, five year farm bill that would make cuts to food stamps and continue generous subsidies for farmers.


Southern Baptist leaders to host sex summit

NASHVILLE (AP) - Southern Baptist Convention leaders are hosting a summit in Nashville that will focus on sex. The topics will range from pornography, teen sex, homosexuality and how pastors can talk to their congregations about human sexuality.

Mayor, Sounds to break ground today at Sulphur Dell

NASHVILLE (AP) — Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and the Nashville Sounds baseball team are hosting a ceremonial groundbreaking for a new minor league ballpark that will return Nashville baseball to its historic home.


Opposing sides in school vouchers debate to speak out

NASHVILLE (AP) - The debate over a school voucher program in Tennessee is heating up with groups for and against speaking out this week at the state Capitol complex.

Audit of Tennessee child welfare agency finds problems

NASHVILLE (AP) - An audit of the Tennessee Department of Children's Services finds that the state child-welfare agency has had numerous problems, including sloppy child-abuse investigations.


Senate to vote on latest AG election proposal

NASHVILLE (AP) — The state Senate is scheduled to take up a measure on Monday that seeks to change the way Tennessee's attorney general gains office.

Minimum wage bills pushed in at least 30 states

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Minimum-wage increase proposals are getting the maximum push from Democrats in statehouses in more than half of U.S. states, highlighting the politically potent income inequality issue this year.

A look at minimum wage legislation in states

Some minimum wage legislation and initiatives in states around the nation:


GM's Barra promises investment for lossmaking Opel

RUESSELSHEIM, Germany (AP) — New General Motors chief Mary Barra is stressing the company's support for its struggling Adam Opel AG subsidiary in Europe, saying Opel workers will get the job of building a new vehicle at the company's main plant in Germany.


AP-GfK Poll: Negative view of health rollout eases

WASHINGTON (AP) — Memo to the White House: The website may be fixed, but President Barack Obama's new health insurance markets have yet to win over most consumers.


Declines in US stock market moderate

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are slightly lower on Wall Street, moderating their losses after a rout last week.

Oil falls below $96 as parts of US set to thaw out

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil fell below $96 a barrel Monday amid forecasts for moderating temperatures in the U.S. Northeast and anticipation for the next meeting of the U.S. central bank.

Despite market unrest, Fed likely to pare stimulus

WASHINGTON (AP) — Just as Ben Bernanke prepares to turn the chairmanship of the Federal Reserve over to Janet Yellen, global markets are on edge over the prospect that she'll extend a policy he began: a steady pullback in the Fed's extraordinary economic stimulus.

US sales of new homes drop 7 percent in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. sales of new homes fell in December for a second consecutive month but even with the pause at the end of the year, sales for all of 2013 climbed to the highest level in five years.

AP-GfK poll: Credit card breaches not changing people's habits

NEW YORK (AP) — American shoppers say they are very concerned about the safety of their personal information following a massive security breach at Target, but many aren't taking steps to ensure their data is more secure, says a new Associated Press--GfK Poll.

Survey: Businesses more optimistic, but not hiring

Businesses expect their companies to perform better this year but that optimism still isn't translating into a push to hire more workers, according to a new survey from the National Association for Business Economics.

Caterpillar 4Q results, 2014 outlook tops forecast

NEW YORK (AP) — Caterpillar used a combination of cost-cutting and strong sales of construction equipment to deliver a fourth-quarter profit that topped Wall Street estimates and gave the sagging stock market some needed support.

Wealth gap: A guide to what it is, why it matters

WASHINGTON (AP) — From the White House to the Vatican to the business elite in Davos, Switzerland, one issue keeps seizing the agenda: the growing gap between the very wealthy and everyone else.


Haslam has 'major concerns' on guns-in-parks bill

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam says he has "major concerns" about a measure supported by fellow Republicans in the Legislature seeking to do away with local government's power to decide whether to allow firearms in public parks.

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 derailed 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.


Deputies: Former Alexander aide found dead in Md.

A former aide to U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander hanged himself in his parents' basement in Maryland, just weeks after his arrest on child pornography charges, officials said Friday.

Lawless appointed to registry

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Senate Republican Caucus has appointed Thomas W. Lawless to the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance.


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.

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.


Poll: Uninsured rate drops as health law rolls out

WASHINGTON (AP) — It may just be the start of a new trend. The uninsured rate dropped modestly this month as expanded coverage rolled out under President Barack Obama's health care law, a major survey released Thursday has found.


Natural gas soars as cold grips homes, drillers

NEW YORK (AP) — The frigid winter of 2014 is setting the price of natural gas on fire.

Dow drops 318 points on fears of slower growth

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. stock market is swooning as investors fear slower global economic growth.

Oil falls 1st time this week; natural gas jumps

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil slipped a bit Friday, but still finished the week with a gain of more than 2 percent. A sell-off in global equity markets may have weighed on oil traders' sentiments, producing the first losing day of the week.

JPMorgan boosts CEO Dimon's pay to $20 million

NEW YORK (AP) — JPMorgan Chase almost doubled Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon's pay for 2013, rewarding the executive for settling probes against the bank.

Union membership holds steady at 11.3 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's union membership held steady at 11.3 percent last year, but losses among state and government workers suggest an ominous trend for the future of organized labor.

Backers: Report on rail risks boosts Keystone XL

WASHINGTON (AP) — A government warning about the dangers of increased use of trains to transport crude oil is giving a boost to supporters of the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline.

Carl Icahn snaps up another $500M of Apple stock

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Outspoken billionaire Carl Icahn has tossed another bushel of Apple stock into his investment portfolio as he tries to persuade the iPhone maker to buy back more of its own shares.

Apple's Mac still influences, 30 years after debut

NEW YORK (AP) — Look around. Many of the gadgets you see drew inspiration from the original Mac computer.

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.

FDA to revise nutrition facts label

WASHINGTON (AP) — Those nutrition labels on the back of food packages may soon become easier to read.


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.

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