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VOL. 35 | NO. 46 | Friday, November 18, 2011

Payday loans go mainstream

Big banks looking for fresh revenue sources

What’s the next big thing for big banks? Payday loans.

Lakewood 'speed trap' gone but ticket troubles live on

When Davidson County absorbed the city of Lakewood in May, it also inherited a headache – Lakewood’s unpaid traffic tickets.


Hard to get excited about ‘1% off’ housing sale

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) held its annual conference last week in Anaheim. The conference consists of a various factions from exhibitors to motivational speakers to meetings on governmental affairs. The overall mood of those in attendance was somber, but confidence that things are better.

Top residential real estate transactions for October 2011

Top residential real estate transactions for October 2011 from Chandler Reports

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Wind: Variable at 3.5 mph
Humidity: 84%


Nashville Auto Show. Attendees can get a jump-start on researching their next new vehicle purchase Friday-Sunday at the Nashville Convention Center, while also viewing concept cars. Free passes while supplies last at area new car dealers, MAPCO stores, Food Lion supermarkets and UPS Stores. Details: Nashville-AutoShow.com.

more events »


Vanderbilt? Favored in Knoxville? Really?

I’ll admit it, I haven’t paid as much attention to the Tennessee-Vanderbilt rivalry as I used to.


Nashville Kiwanis Club elects 2011-12 board

The Kiwanis Club of Nashville, founded in 1916, has elected its officers for 2011-2012.


You want to be your own boss, but should you?

You’re not going to do it anymore.


Poems are good, but forewords are fantastic

Unlike a day, a year, a month or a season,


Leave it to a shower to ‘punch’ up recipes

We spent a weekend in Memphis this past month with our daughter April and her family, along with other family members and friends celebrating our soon-to-be-here grandson with a baby shower. He is expected somewhere around Dec. 1, just in time for that nice little tax write-off!


Vanderbilt raises pay after 'living wage' campaign

NASHVILLE (AP) - The union representing workers at Vanderbilt University says the base pay for workers is now above the poverty line.

Jack Daniel's funds travel expenses for soldiers

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee whiskey maker Jack Daniel's is donating more than $100,000 to pay for plane tickets and travel funds for soldiers at Fort Campbell, Ky., to spend the December holiday season with their families all over the country.

State officials put off Occupy Nashville portable toilet requests

NASHVILLE (AP) - Public records show top state officials put off requests for portable toilets for Wall Street protesters several days before Gov. Bill Haslam cited unsanitary conditions as one of the reasons for a curfew that led to 55 arrests.

Occupy protests cost cities at least $13M; $4,500 in Nashville

NEW YORK (AP) — During the first two months of the nationwide Occupy protests, the movement that is demanding more out of the wealthiest Americans cost local taxpayers at least $13 million in police overtime and other municipal services, according to a survey by The Associated Press.

Glance: Occupy protests' cost to 18 US cities

In the first two months of the nationwide Occupy protests, the movement that is demanding more out of the wealthiest Americans has cost local taxpayers at least $13 million in police overtime and other municipal services, such as cleanup and sanitation, according to a survey conducted by The Associated Press. The AP gathered figures from 18 cities with active protests, focusing on costs through Nov. 15. Here they are, in descending order by cost:

Dinosaur exhibit coming to Nashville Zoo next year

NASHVILLE (AP) — A dinosaur exhibit has been announced at the Nashville Zoo beginning next spring.


Rate on 30-year fixed mortgage falls to 3.98 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage hovered above its record low for a fourth straight week. But cheap mortgage rates have done little to boost home sales or refinancing.

Economy gets mixed batch of news ahead of holidays

WASHINGTON (AP) — At the start of the critical holiday shopping season, the economy received a dose of mixed news Wednesday.

Groupon's shares fall below IPO price

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Groupon Inc.'s stock fell below its initial public offering price for the first time as investors reassess the challenges facing the still-unprofitable online deals company in a shaky economy.

Stock futures falling ahead of economic data

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock futures are falling on worries about global economic growth.

Consumer spending up slight 0.1 percent in October

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumers barely increased their spending in October but their incomes rose by the most in seven months. The rise in take-home pay could boost spending during the upcoming holiday shopping season.

Slightly more in US seek unemployment benefits

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits ticked up slightly last week after two months of steady declines.

US October durable goods orders fell 0.7 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. business orders for long-lasting manufactured goods fell for a second straight month in October. While much of the weakness came from a big drop in demand for commercial aircraft, a key category that tracks business investment spending fell by the largest amount since January.

Eurozone recession signals mounting

LONDON (AP) — Any hopes that the 17-country eurozone will avoid sliding back into recession in the wake of a debt crisis that's shown alarming signs of spreading to the bigger economies appeared to have been dashed Wednesday.

Baseball contract limits tobacco use

WASHINGTON (AP) — Baseball's new labor deal will limit the use of smokeless tobacco by players, but not ban it during games, as some public health groups had sought.


Fed announces third round of bank stress tests

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve announced on Tuesday that it will conduct a third round of stress tests to determine if major U.S. banks can withstand a downturn in the economy.

Economy could suffer if tax cut, jobless aid end

WASHINGTON (AP) — A tax cut that reaches 160 million Americans and government aid for the long-term unemployed will expire at the end of the year — sucking $165 billion out of the economy next year — unless Congress takes action.

FACT CHECK: Hyperbole on terror interrogations

WASHINGTON (AP) — Michele Bachmann did not intend to be taken literally when she told the Republican presidential debate Tuesday that civil-liberties activists have taken over the interrogation of terrorists from the CIA. But even as a rhetorical point, it didn't hold water.

Analysis: Gingrich gambles in bid to catch Romney

WASHINGTON (AP) — Newt Gingrich, a political gambler his whole life, is banking on unorthodox stands on immigration, Social Security and other issues to propel him past Mitt Romney in the Republican presidential contest.


Motorists can expect crackdown during long weekend

NASHVILLE (AP) - About 900,000 people are projected to travel by car over the long holiday weekend in Tennessee and a special law enforcement crackdown will be in effect against traffic violators.

Jack Daniel's officials toast defeat of tax

NASHVILLE (AP) - Jack Daniel's officials are toasting the defeat of a proposal to tax whiskey at its celebrated Tennessee distillery.


Cracker Barrel fiscal 1Q earnings rise slightly

LEBANON (AP) - Restaurant operator Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc.'s fiscal first-quarter earnings inched up slightly, helped by new store growth that balanced declines in revenue from stores and restaurants open at least a year.

Nashville Habitat earns environmental award

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity has earned the Energy Star Sustained Excellence award from the Environmental Protection Agency.


FDIC: Bank earnings hit highest level in 4 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — Bank earnings rose over the summer to their highest level in more than four years, while the number of troubled banks fell for the second straight quarter, federal regulators reported Tuesday.

Economy grew at 2 percent rate in third quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew more slowly over the summer than the government had earlier estimated because businesses cut back more sharply on restocking of shelves.

Stocks slide as government lowers growth estimate

NEW YORK (AP) — A downward revision of U.S. economic growth in the third quarter sent stocks lower Tuesday. Higher borrowing costs for Spain also renewed worries about Europe's debt crisis.

October home sales rose 1.4 percent but still weak

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans who bought previously occupied homes rose slightly last month but remained at depressed levels. And more deals are being canceled at the last minute, a sign that even those who are looking to buy are worried about the housing market.

Ex-AIG CEO's company suing government over bailout

WASHINGTON (AP) — A company run by the former CEO of American International Group Inc. is suing the government for $25 billion in damages over its taxpayer bailout of the big insurer.

Oil near $98 ahead of US crude supply data

SINGAPORE (AP) — Oil prices rose to near $98 a barrel Tuesday in Asia as traders looked to the latest U.S. crude supply reports for signs demand may be improving.


Bush tax cut debate dooms deal to cut deficit

WASHINGTON (AP) — A long-running war between Democrats and Republicans over Bush-era tax cuts doomed the debt supercommittee's chances of reaching a deal. Efforts to overhaul the tax code may await the same fate as both parties gear up to make taxes a central issue in 2012 elections.

Debt-reduction 'supercommittee' hid in plain sight

WASHINGTON (AP) — The deficit-reduction supercommittee failed to go big or even small. But it did succeed in conducting virtually all of its negotiations in private.

Defense hawks insist on sparing military from cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress' defense hawks insist the military should be spared from automatic cuts triggered by the failure of the supercommittee to reach a deal on reducing the deficit.

A glance at automatic spending cuts for 2013

The Budget Control Act passed last August stipulates that failure of the supercommittee and Congress to act on further deficit reduction will trigger across-the-board cuts of $1.2 trillion in both defense and non-defense programs, starting in 2013. Here is a general look at how those cuts may play out through 2021 (some savings would occur after 2021):


GM to make Equinox in TN, add 2nd vehicle for 2015

SPRING HILL (AP) - General Motors announced Monday it will start building the Chevrolet Equinox at its idled Tennessee plant and will also make midsized vehicles there in the future.

Gallatin metals plant fined $80K after 3 killed

NASHVILLE (AP) - An investigation into a May explosion and fire that killed three workers at a Gallatin metal powders factory found that a hydrogen gas leak came from a pipe that was not normally meant to be pressurized.


Safety net hospitals worried about possible cuts

NASHVILLE (AP) — TennCare could be in big trouble if Congress decides to decrease or stop providing matching money for provider fees.


The supercommittee sell-off: Dow loses almost 250

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market was not exactly surprised that a so-called supercommittee in Congress failed to reach a deal to cut the federal budget deficit. But since summer, investors have sold at the first hint of trouble.

Oil prices fall on fears of slow economic growth

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil prices fell Monday on fears that the world economy will weaken and push down demand for crude.


Panel set to fail to cut deficit $1.2 trillion

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's just about over for a special deficit-reduction supercommittee, which appears set to admit failure on Monday in its quest to sop up at least $1.2 trillion in government red ink over the coming decade.

Congress may try blocking cuts if debt panel fails

WASHINGTON (AP) — Failure by Congress' debt-cutting supercommittee to recommend $1.2 trillion in savings by Wednesday is supposed to automatically trigger spending cuts in the same amount to accomplish that job.

Obama to sign bill for vets, contractors

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama plans to sign a bill into law Monday that represents a rare patch of common ground for Democrats and Republicans — helping veterans find work.


Panel faults judge's membership in segregated Belle Meade Country Club

WASHINGTON (AP) — A panel of federal judges said Thursday that a bankruptcy judge's membership in Nashville's Belle Meade Country Club, which has no women or blacks as full-fledged members violates the judiciary's code of ethics.

Federal judge extends injunction on Occupy Nashville curfew policy

NASHVILLE (AP) — While Occupy Wall Street camps across the country are being evicted, Nashville protesters are staying put, at least for the time being.

Fandango debuts mobile phone tickets for movies in Nashville

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Online ticket seller Fandango said Thursday that customers heading to see movies on more than 1,000 screens owned by Regal Entertainment Corp. no longer have to print out tickets - as long as they have a cellphone with a screen.


Warmer, but wetter winter expected in Tenn.

NASHVILLE (AP) — The winter weather outlook in Tennessee is for slightly warmer than normal temperatures and precipitation that is a bit above average.

State offering energy management workshops

NASHVILLE (AP) - The state is offering energy management workshops for K-12 schools in the next few weeks in Jackson, Knoxville and Murfreesboro.

October Tennessee unemployment down to 9.6 percent

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee's October unemployment rate of 9.6 percent dropped slightly from the previous month.

Democrat Eric Stewart announces bid for US House

NASHVILLE (AP) - State Sen. Eric Stewart announced Thursday that he will seek to reclaim one of three congressional seats lost by Tennessee Democrats last year.


Leading indicators rise 0.9 percent in October

WASHINGTON (AP) — A gauge of future economic activity rose at solid pace in October, offering hope that the economy may see stronger growth in coming months.

Stocks end little changed as Europe worries ease

Stocks finished about where they started Friday as investors balanced positive signs for the U.S. economy with a looming deadline for a deficit-cutting committee in Congress. Steep declines earlier in the week left the market with its worst weekly loss since September.

Why that corporate cash pile isn't so impressive

NEW YORK (AP) — Hardly a day goes by without some politician or pundit pointing out that companies are hoarding cash — roughly $3 trillion of it. If only they would spend it, the thinking goes, the economy might get better.

Slow improvement in job market

WASHINGTON (AP) — Little by very little, the job market is getting better.

Gap's 3Q profit down 36 percent

NEW YORK (AP) — Gap Inc. said Thursday that its third-quarter profit fell 36 percent, confirming the challenges the clothing company faces heading into the holiday shopping season.

Rate on 30-year mortgage ticks up to 4 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The average rate on the 30-year mortgage stayed near 4 percent for the third straight week, just above the record low. But cheap mortgage rates have done little to boost home sales or refinancing.


New deficit deal proving elusive as deadline nears

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans and Democrats on Congress' deficit-reduction supercommittee have resumed face-to-face meetings after more than a week of backbiting and stalemate.

Debt, elections prod GOP to ease anti-tax stance

WASHINGTON (AP) — The GOP's image as a rigidly anti-tax party is softening. Spurred by federal debt worries in Congress, the shift conceivably could reshape the Republican Party's brand ahead of the 2012 elections, forcing tough decisions by its presidential candidates.

A GOP debt plan would hit some popular tax breaks

WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions of taxpayers who take advantage of deductions for mortgage interest, charitable donations and state and local taxes would be targeted for potential tax hikes under a GOP plan to raise taxes by $290 billion over the next decade to help reduce the nation's deficit.

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