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VOL. 38 | NO. 48 | Friday, November 28, 2014

New life for ‘zombie subdivisions’

Recession left many families living in unfinished wastelands

When the Smiths moved into a brand new home right before Christmas 2007, they had no idea that construction in their Antioch area subdivision would soon stop cold – and stay stopped for four years.

Labor, land shortage means rising Middle Tennessee home prices

A shortage of ready-to-build lots and skilled tradespersons – plus caution among builders – mean fewer homes will be built and home prices will rise, those in the industry are saying.

Edison Park finds ally in Habitat for Humanity

This Thanksgiving marks two years that Aisha Lbhalla, her husband and their two young sons have lived in Edison Park.

Eat, drink and walk off the calories as you go

There are three things you can count on if you take a walking food tour in East Nashville with – the appropriately named – Walk Eat Nashville:

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Wind: West at 6.9 mph
Humidity: 59%


61st annual Nashville Christmas Parade. Festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. with the lighting of the Mayor’s Tree in the Public Square. Following fireworks, the parade will start at 7 p.m. Friday at the top of Woodland Street Bridge at Union. It will continue down Second Ave. and turn onto Broadway, continuing to Ninth Ave. “Nashville” actor Eric Close will serve as grand marshal.

more events »


Treat your visitors to these dining treats

Having been busy lately on a cookbook project, I haven’t been able to visit restaurants as often. So after my deadline, I worked on making up for lost time by hitting five restaurants in a couple of weeks.


Appraisals trail amount Middle Tennessee buyers willing to pay

There are a few hot topics from the real estate world this week, the first being that appraisers seem to have hit the wall on the rampant price inflation.


Top Middle Tennessee commercial transactions for October 2014

Top October 2014 commercial real estate transactions for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.


Titans have little to be thankful for with this turkey

It is the time of year that we pause to give thanks for all that we have in our lives.


Dobbs the latest in line of dual-threat UT quarterbacks

If the University of Tennessee’s football team gains bowl eligibility with a victory Saturday at Vanderbilt, it can look back to a quarterback change Oct. 25 against Alabama as a pivotal point in the season.


Levy leaves Belmont to launch consulting firm

Claudia Levy, the former Belmont University College of Law director of career services, has launched Levy Legal Consulting, LLC, where she will provide strategic counsel to lawyers and law firms in the areas of attorney recruitment, business development, career counseling and more.


Hate your work? Time to go play

You can’t imagine being at your job much longer.


Hyundai Sonata: Luxury touches, low price

The Hyundai Sonata sedan, poised to set a new U.S. sales record this year, feels like a more premium car for 2015 and adds interior room, improved ride, more standard equipment and new, luxury-car features.


Mobile dependency opens opportunities

The average consumer typically has at least one mobile device within arms reach at any given time throughout the day.


Doing everything right is still no guarantee

I meet people every day who are down on their luck. They’ve applied for job after job online and nothing is clicking. They’ve had a few phone interviews and even an in person interview or two. Their resume seems virtually flawless. They’re actively engaged in LinkedIn and regularly attending networking events.


Quotations fly in Shakespeare elevator challenge

The main character in this column is the Bard himself, Willie Shakespeare. So, if you’re anti-poetry, see ya!


Diet-busting dishes and history in Baltimore

Hubby and I always attend the American Court and Commercial Newspaper Conferences, and they’re usually held in interesting cities we’ve never been to before. This year it was Savannah, and last year Baltimore.


Obama to speak in Nashville on immigration

NASHVILLE (AP) - President Barack Obama is traveling to Nashville to speak about his executive actions on immigration.

Dollar General misses Street 3Q forecasts

GOODLETTSVILLE (AP) - Dollar General Corp. reported third-quarter results Thursday that missed Wall Street expectations, and said it is still committed to buying rival discount retailer Family Dollar, which has already agreed to be bought by Dollar Tree. Dollar General said it plans to give an update on its Family Dollar bid this month.


Haslam to attend college summit at White House

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam is participating in a college summit at the White House.


Beacons pop up in stores ahead of holidays

NEW YORK (AP) — From American Eagle to Apple Stores, beacons are popping up everywhere. Are they a shopper's best friend or another pesky Big Brother monitoring our every move?

Experts see Korean parallels in Sony hack

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Some cybersecurity experts say they've found striking similarities between the code used in the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment and attacks blamed on North Korea which targeted South Korean companies and government agencies last year.


Average US 30-year loan rate falls to 3.89 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates fell for the fourth straight week, a continuing boon for potential homebuyers.


US unemployment aid applications fall to 297,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits slipped below 300,000 last week, after having spiked above that level in the prior week for the first time in nearly three months.

Stocks recover losses on ECB stimulus speculation

NEW YORK (AP) — After being lower most of the morning, U.S. stocks were trading flat in Thursday afternoon trading after media reports said European Central Bank officials are considering a large stimulus package for next month. The reports followed comments from ECB President Mario Draghi, who said the bank was holding off on making any large moves until 2015.

Barnes & Noble, Microsoft end Nook deal

NEW YORK (AP) — Bookseller Barnes & Noble said Thursday it is ending its commercial agreement with Microsoft for its Nook e-book reader ahead of its planned Nook spinoff.

LL Bean struggles to meet demand for iconic boot

LEWISTON, Maine (AP) — Whether it's "lumberjack chic" or old-school utility, demand for L.L. Bean boots is surging — so much so that some customers will have to wait until February to get their holiday purchases.


Advocates urge swift Senate vote on disability aid

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supporters of legislation that would allow Americans with disabilities to open tax-free savings accounts to pay for long-term expenses are urging a swift vote in the Senate after the House overwhelmingly passed the bill.


Underwood joins country artists with fashion line

NASHVILLE (AP) — Carrie Underwood donned more than 10 different dresses for this year's CMA Awards, but when it's time to get to sweaty in the gym, the country star was at a loss for what to wear.

CMT honors country's top acts, past and present

NASHVILLE (AP) — CMT honored a diverse group of country musicians reflecting the wide range of styles the genre has embraced, from country rocker Jason Aldean, guitar slinger Keith Urban and fiery singer Miranda Lambert, and then capped it all with a special tribute to country legend Merle Haggard.


Poll: Tennesseans approve of Haslam, Legislature, compromise

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennesseans approve of their elected officials but want them to work with members of the other party, even if it means compromising on some of their values and priorities, according to a new poll from Vanderbilt University.

Head of NEA supports higher Tennessee teacher pay

NASHVILLE (AP) - The head of the National Education Association said Wednesday that she supports increased pay for Tennessee teachers because it's necessary to take care of their families, as well as pay off college loans they used to get into the profession.

Teachers' union seeks 6 percent pay increase

NASHVILLE (AP) — The state's largest teachers' union is calling on Gov. Bill Haslam to increase teachers' pay by 6 percent this year.


Honda to expand air bag recall nationwide

WASHINGTON (AP) — Under pressure from federal regulators, Honda is expanding a recall of driver's side air bags to all 50 states.

Takata: Evidence doesn't support national recall

WASHINGTON (AP) — A defiant Takata Corp. told a U.S. safety agency that its demand for a nationwide air bag recall isn't supported by evidence, and the government doesn't have authority to tell a parts maker to do a recall.


Americans watch less TV, stream more, report shows

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans are turning away from live TV on the tube and tuning in to streaming services, a Nielsen report says.


US stocks extend record run ahead of jobs report

NEW YORK (AP) — A batch of good news on the economy Wednesday pushed the stock market to new highs.

US services firms growing more quickly

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. services firms expanded at a faster pace in November, a signal that overall economic growth should remain robust.

Survey: US companies added 208,000 jobs last month

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. businesses hired at a solid pace last month, according to a private survey, a signal that Friday's November jobs report from the government will likely also show strength.

US productivity grew at 2.3 percent rate in 3Q

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. workers' productivity increased in the July-September quarter at a slightly faster pace than previously estimated while labor costs declined for a second straight quarter.

Things to know on Chicago's new $13 minimum wage

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago's minimum-wage workers will earn $13 an hour by 2019 under a plan the City Council approved overwhelmingly on Tuesday. Pushed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the change makes the nation's third-largest city the latest to raise its rate. Still, opponents worry about the impact on business.


Bipartisan bill to widen federal help for disabled

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is poised to allow Americans with disabilities to open tax-sheltered bank accounts to pay for certain long-term expenses — the broadest legislation to help the disabled in nearly a quarter-century.

House plans to extend tax breaks through December

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House is moving Wednesday to extend a massive package of expired tax breaks through the end of the year, adding about $42 billion to the budget deficit over the next decade.


Rolling Stones' sax player Bobby Keys dies in Franklin

NASHVILLE (AP) - Saxophonist Bobby Keys, a lifelong rock 'n' roller who toured with Buddy Holly, played on recordings by John Lennon and laid down one of the all-time blowout solos on the Rolling Stones' "Brown Sugar," has died. He was 70.


Officials say cuts to Safety Department would eliminate 70 troopers

NASHVILLE (AP) - State law enforcement officials say the safety of motorists traveling Tennessee's highways would be jeopardized if the Safety and Homeland Security Department has to cut 7 percent of its budget.

Tennessee spends millions to save emails for lawsuits

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee is spending millions of dollars to save emails that could potentially become evidence in lawsuits.


Tennessee lawmakers get raise in pay, allowances

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee lawmakers can look forward to a nearly $700 increase in their annual salaries and $10 bump in their daily allowance for expenses.


Automakers expand passenger air bag recalls

DETROIT (AP) — Under pressure from U.S. safety regulators, automakers are expanding recalls or adding them to fix potentially faulty passenger air bags in high-humidity states.

Feds: Mercedes violated labor law at Alabama plant

The National Labor Relations Board has upheld a ruling that Mercedes violated federal labor laws by stopping United Auto Workers union supporters from handing out literature inside its Alabama plant.

Promotions, gas prices boost US auto sales

DETROIT (AP) — American shoppers passed on the malls and headed to the car dealerships over Thanksgiving weekend.


US construction spending climbs 1.1 pct in October

WASHINGTON (AP) — Newly built homes and schools boosted U.S. construction spending in October to the highest level since May.

CoreLogic: US home prices accelerated in October

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices rose at a faster year-over-year pace in October than in September, snapping a seven-month slowdown.


More US CEOs plan to boost hiring in next 6 months

WASHINGTON (AP) — Chief executives at the largest U.S. companies expect sales to keep growing in the next six months and also plan to step up hiring.

Energy companies lead an advance in US stocks

NEW YORK (AP) — Energy and health-care companies led major stock indexes higher on Tuesday, even as crude oil resumed its slide. General Motors rose after reporting stronger sales, and Biogen, a biotech company, soared following news that its drug for Alzheimer's disease showed promise.


House GOP preparing vote on tax breaks

WASHINGTON (AP) — Struggling to reach a long-term agreement, House Republicans plan to vote on a one-year extension of temporary tax breaks affecting millions of businesses and individuals.


House Dems elect Fitzhugh, Stewart to leadership

NASHVILLE (AP) - House Democrats have re-elected Rep. Craig Fitzhugh of Ripley as minority leader and named Rep. Mike Stewart of Nashville as caucus chairman.


Haslam: Education, economic commissioners to be named soon

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam says he plans to name new commissioners for economic development and education by the first of the year.

Haslam to hold 4 days of budget hearings this week

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam is holding four days of budget hearings this week as his administration prepares its annual spending proposal to be delivered to Tennessee lawmakers in January.

Officials urge protection against identity theft

NASHVILLE (AP) — State safety officials are urging Tennesseans to protect themselves against identity crimes this holiday season.


Amazon's new robot army is ready to ship

TRACY, California (AP) — A year ago, Amazon.com workers like 34-year-old Rejinaldo Rosales hiked miles of aisles each shift to "pick" each item a customer ordered and prepare it for shipping.

Gift Guide: How to choose a new cellphone

NEW YORK (AP) — Now is a good time to get a smartphone. The latest devices hit shelves in time for the holiday shopping season, and there's likely to be a lull in new releases until next spring. So why wait?


Jurors to hear Steve Jobs testimony at Apple trial

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — After nearly a decade in legal wrangling, a billion-dollar class-action lawsuit over Apple's iPod music players heads to trial on Tuesday in a California federal court. A key witness will be none other than the company's legendary late founder Steve Jobs, who will be heard in a videotaped deposition.

Supreme Court to consider Facebook threats case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is weighing the free-speech rights of people who use violent or threatening language on Facebook and other social media.

Ex-UPS driver's pregnancy bias claim at high court

WASHINGTON (AP) — Peggy Young only has to look at her younger daughter to be reminded how long she has fought United Parcel Service over its treatment of pregnant employees, and why.


Death toll from GM ignition switches rises to 36

DETROIT (AP) — At least 36 people have died and 44 have been seriously injured in crashes involving General Motors cars with defective ignition switches.


US factory growth slips in Nov. but still healthy

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factories were slightly less busy in November, as production and hiring slowed, though the level of activity remained strong.

Cyber Monday gears up to get online shoppers hyped

NEW YORK (AP) — Retailers rolled out discounts and free shipping deals on Cyber Monday, with millions of Americans are expected to log on and shop on their work computers, laptops and tablets after the busy holiday shopping weekend.

Stocks slip after retail sales weaken, China slows

NEW YORK (AP) — Mounting signs of weakness in the global economy and a poor start to the holiday shopping season knocked the stock market lower on Monday.

LGBT baby boomers face tough retirement hurdles

NEW YORK (AP) — For Kathy Murphy, the difference between being gay or straight is $583 a month.

Financial tips for same-sex couples

NEW YORK (AP) — Gay and lesbian individuals are less prepared financially for retirement than their straight counterparts, according to an exclusive analysis by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.


House nearing vote on 1-year package of tax breaks

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans are moving to pass a one-year extension of temporary tax breaks affecting millions of businesses and individuals.

Congress crams unfinished agenda into final days

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lame-duck lawmakers return to Washington on Monday facing a stacked agenda and not much time to get it all done before the new Congress convenes in January and a Republican takeover is complete.


Hargett staffer reserved website for governor's race

NASHVILLE (AP) — A political consultant hired to work in Secretary of State Tre Hargett's office reserved a website in the event his boss decided to run for governor.


US agency threatens to act against air bag maker

DETROIT (AP) — A dispute between U.S. safety regulators and air bag maker Takata Corp. escalated Wednesday when the government threatened fines and legal action if the company fails to admit that driver's side air bag inflators are defective and agrees to a nationwide recall.


Health insurance sign-ups coming to shopping malls

CHICAGO (AP) — The Obama administration will promote health insurance coverage at shopping malls starting on Black Friday and continuing through the busiest shopping days of the holiday season, officials announced Wednesday. They said more than 462,000 people selected a private insurance plan in the first week of 2015 enrollment through the online marketplace HealthCare.gov.


Weak consumer, business demand may slow US growth

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumers and businesses spent cautiously last month, a sign that strong growth during the spring and summer may decelerate in the final three months of the year.

Stock indexes close further into record territory

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are closing with slight gains, just enough to push the market further into record territory.

Holiday travelers greeted by cheap gas, storms

Some holiday travelers are giving thanks for the cheapest gas prices in years. But that's cold comfort to those beating a path through stormy weather, including a nor'easter affecting a wide swath of the East Coast.

US 30-year mortgage rates slip to 3.97 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates ticked down for the third straight week, a positive trend for potential homebuyers.

Saudis suggest no need for OPEC output cut

VIENNA (AP) — Top OPEC producer Saudi Arabia suggested Wednesday there is no need for the cartel to cut its output ceiling despite a plunge in prices that has poorer members of the organization hurting.

Senators to NFL: Drop 'blackout' rule or we might

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senators from both parties are urging the National Football League to get rid of a rule that bars home games from being televised in a local market if they have not sold out.


HealthCare.gov average premiums going up in 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) — Many HealthCare.gov customers will face higher costs next year, the Obama administration acknowledged Thursday in a report that shows average premiums rising modestly.

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