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VOL. 35 | NO. 52 | Friday, December 30, 2011

Turning tweets into gold

Is Twitter an effective music industry marketing tool or simply fun?

Blake Shelton says he is so drunk. How drunk is he?

Sperry’s offers old charm, new touches

Years ago Frank and Julie Boehm carved their initials into the tabletop of their booth at Sperry’s Restaurant in Belle Meade. Married 25 years, you can’t see the etching anymore but you can still catch the couple in that same booth two or three nights a week at the Nashville institution. It’s their favorite spot, and has been since they first started dating.

Like to grill a Sperry’s steak or chop at home?

Sperry's owner Al Thomas’ latest service is the home delivery of the same beef served in his signature restaurant.


Young recycler helps launch, maintain family business

Adjusting your lifestyle to accommodate your children is a struggle every parent goes through. And though it can be especially difficult when your child is telling you how to fix what it is you are doing wrong, it is hard to ignore when they are right.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Mostly Cloudy
Wind: West at 5.8 mph
Humidity: 69%


The South Through Eight Lenses & A Code. The Arts Company presents a two-month celebration of photography, featuring eight photographers from the South Light Salon. The exhibition, scheduled for Jan. 7-Feb. 24, will be accompanied by Festival of Salon Saturdays at The Arts Company designed to expand the gallery experience through poetry, film, photography, QR codes, and multiple events hosted by art photographers and special guests. Visitors are encouraged to use smart phones and plan to scan the artwork through the 21st-Century technology of QR Codes. The exhibition will open during First Saturday Art Crawl on Jan. 7. Information: theartscompany.com.

more events »


Insurance the latest obstacle for home buyers

Residential real estate in Nashville has rebounded, as evidenced by the fact that there were more homes sold in 2011 than in 2010. This phenomenon has given hope to more than 300 area residents who have obtained real estate licenses and joined the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors in the past 12 months.


Hasselbeck’s leadership, skills make him Titans' MVP

There is still one game left on the Titans schedule, but since we are at the end of 2011 it’s not too early to go ahead and hand out team superlatives for this season.


Waller Lansden’s Trost named top tax lawyer

State Tax Notes recently named Charles A. Trost of Nashville-based Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP, one of the country’s Top 10 Tax Lawyers of 2011. Trost serves as counsel for Waller Lansden and is a former Commissioner of Revenue of the state of Tennessee.


Cross-selling strategies: Why they often fail

Cross selling is the practice of increasing revenue from existing customers by selling them additional products or services. It can be conducted at the time of the initial sale and over the lifetime of that relationship.


Thanks, but no thanks, thank you

I bet more than one of you readers out there heard an upstream relative say to you when you were a kid, “What do you say?” This, of course, was an effort to get you to remember to say the two magic words, “thank you.”


Make the most of your 2012 resolutions

It’s a new year, which means it is time for fresh starts, new goals, and total re-evaluations of your life and habits. In other words, time for those dreaded New Year’s Resolutions!


Plant management failed to act before accidents

NASHVILLE (AP) - Officials at a Gallatin iron dust factory where five people died in accidents last year were aware that the dust could explode but did little to mitigate the dangers, a federal investigative agency has concluded.

Hickory Hollow Macy's closing

CINCINNATI (AP) — Macy's Inc. says it will close five Macy's and four Bloomingdale's stores that are underperforming -- including the Macy's at Hickory Hollow Mall.

Maury County eyes industry near I-65

COLUMBIA (AP) — Officials in Maury County hope to lure industry along Interstate 65.


Haslam airs plan to fight drugs, gangs, violence

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Haslam administration has launched a coordinated fight against drug abuse, gangs and violent crime in Tennessee.

Tenn. lawmakers mum on congressional redistricting

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republicans appear in no hurry to reveal their plans for reshaping Tennessee's congressional districts.

9,500 photo IDs issued for voting purposes

NASHVILLE (AP) — The state has issued about 9,500 photo IDs since July 1 as Tennesseans prepare to comply with a new law.


New year starts with hopeful outlook on hiring

WASHINGTON (AP) — The job market is looking a little brighter at the start of the new year.

Rate on 30-year mortgage down to record 3.91 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — 2012 looks to be another year of opportunity for the few who can afford to buy or refinance a home.

US service firms grew at faster pace in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. service companies grew at a faster pace in December, helping the economy end 2011 on a stronger note.

Holiday discounts crimp retailers' profits

NEW YORK (AP) — Many retailers delivered solid sales gains for December, but heavy discounts needed to get shoppers to buy exacted a high price, clouding the holiday shopping season.

Retailers report solid finale to holidays

NEW YORK (AP) — Many retailers are reporting solid sales gains for December, capping a decent holiday season, but shoppers bent on discounts exacted a high price.

Europe worries Wall Street again, and stocks fall

Stocks steadily gained ground Thursday after falling sharply at the open. Investors weighed renewed concern about Europe against the latest encouraging report about the U.S. job market.

Fewer people sought unemployment aid last week

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell further last week, ending the year on a three-month run of declines that point to stronger hiring in 2012.

AP Source: GM to call back 8,000 Chevy Volts

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors will strengthen the structure around the batteries in its Volt electric cars to keep them safe during crashes, a person briefed on the matter said Thursday.

Fiat gets another 5 percent of Chrysler

DETROIT (AP) — Fiat has added 5 percent to its majority ownership of Chrysler.


5 days from next contest, rivals race for money

WASHINGTON (AP) — As they try to derail Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, his challengers face an urgent task: raising enough cash to compete.

Obama unveiling strategy for slimmed-down military

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is putting his personal stamp on a rejiggered Pentagon strategy for absorbing hundreds of billions of dollars in defense budget cuts, marking a turning point in U.S. security policy after a decade of war.

White House announces summer jobs initiative

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is looking to boost summer job prospects for kids.


House redistricting plan draws 5 black lawmakers into 3 seats

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican plans for Tennessee legislative redistricting released Wednesday would draw five black House members into three seats and place the top Senate Democrat into the same district as a GOP incumbent.

Senate plan places Kyle, Republican in same district

NASHVILLE (AP) - Senate Republicans have released a redistricting proposal that would place Senate Democratic Leader Jim Kyle of Memphis into the same district as a GOP incumbent.

New rules bar political donations from TN judges

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee judges will no longer be able to make political contributions under new rules adopted by the state Supreme Court.

Christian activist Fowler makes stand on bullying

NASHVILLE (AP) - Conservative activist David Fowler of Signal Mountain favors legislative efforts to discourage student bullying but his group disagrees with providing special consideration for gay students.

Teacher ratings vary widely by district

Under the state's new teacher evaluation system, observations by principals make up half of their scores, but a first glimpse at those observation scores shows they are all over the map.


Nissan's sales up 14.7% in 2011

FRANKLIN (AP) - Nissan North America Inc. said Wednesday its sales rose 14.7 percent in 2011, boosted by strong demand for its high-volume car and crossover models.

Backyard chicken bill moves forward in Nashville

NASHVILLE (AP) - A bill that would allow urban residents in Nashville to keep chickens in their backyards has moved a step closer to approval after a colorful public hearing in which supporters donned yellow hats and shirts and presented the council members with Peeps marshmallow candies.


Americans bought more cars and trucks last year

DETROIT (AP) — Americans bought more cars and trucks last year, inspired by easier credit, an improved economy and the desire to replace aging vehicles that got them through the Great Recession.

Factory orders rise, but business investment slips

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders for factory-made goods that signal business investment plans fell for a second straight month, part of a mixed report on manufacturing in November.

Mall trade group: Post-Christmas shopping helped sales surge

NEW YORK (AP) — A flurry of post-Christmas bargain shopping helped drive sales higher in the last week of December, according to a report Wednesday from a shopping mall trade group. Increased gift card use, mild weather and a federal holiday on Monday all contributed.

Stock market ends mixed a day after big gains

Stocks barely budged Wednesday, letting investors hold on to their gains from a strong opening to the year a day earlier.

Oil price stays around $103 per barrel

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil prices were little changed Wednesday as traders booked profits after a 4-percent surge at the start of the year.

Yahoo names PayPal exec as its CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — Yahoo Inc. has named Scott Thompson, president of eBay Inc.'s PayPal division, as its new CEO, the fourth one in less than five years for the struggling Internet company.


Using recess power, Obama putting Cordray in job

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a defiant display of executive power, President Barack Obama on Wednesday will buck GOP opposition and name Richard Cordray as the nation's chief consumer watchdog. Outraged Republican leaders in Congress suggested that courts would determine the appointment was illegal.

Analysis: Iowa win helps Romney, but lacks luster

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mitt Romney's whisker-thin Iowa caucus victory was underwhelming in scope and anti-climactic in its finality. But it moves him closer to the Republican presidential nomination chiefly because of who finished fourth and fifth.

Iowa GOP voters see Romney as best Obama opponent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won strong support Tuesday from Republicans seeking a candidate who can topple President Barack Obama in November's elections and from those most concerned about the weak economy, according to an entrance poll of GOP voters attending Iowa's presidential caucuses.


Officials expected cold to dislodge Occupy protest

NASHVILLE (AP) - Some law enforcement officials expected bad weather would eventually disperse Occupy Nashville protesters encamped on the plaza across the street from the state Capitol, according to emails obtained by The Associated Press.


New Tenn. photo ID law could face challenge

NASHVILLE (AP) - A requirement that Tennessee voters show photographic identification could be challenged in a lawsuit.

Photo ID, anti-immigration measures among new laws

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennesseans will be required to have photo identification in order to vote and state employers will have to make sure their employees are legally authorized to work in the U.S. under new laws that take effect Jan. 1.


Manufacturing grows at fastest pace in 6 months

WASHINGTON (AP) — Manufacturing grew in December at the fastest pace in six months and hiring at U.S. factories picked up. The data helped bolster the view that the economy gained momentum at the end of last year.

November construction spending rose 1.2 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Construction spending jumped in November as builders spent more on single-family homes, apartments and remodeling projects.

Wall Street's happy new year: Dow up almost 180

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market got a big jump on a better year.

Oil begins 2012 with a bang, prices up 4 pct.

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil prices soared Tuesday as tensions grew over key Persian Gulf oil shipments.


Obama, Congress begin 2012 in oil pipeline dispute

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama and Congress are starting the election year locked in a tussle over a proposed 1,700-mile oil pipeline from Canada to Texas that will force the White House to make a politically risky choice between two key Democratic constituencies.

Analysis: GOP race has yet to fully test Romney

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mitt Romney's surprisingly easy rise to the top of Iowa presidential polls, aided by his GOP rivals' in-fighting, masks vulnerabilities he will have to confront eventually.

Obama readying for re-election bid after vacation

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will waste little time getting back in front of voters following a 10-day Hawaiian vacation spent largely out of the spotlight.


4 GOP candidates have no Tenn. delegates

NASHVILLE (AP) - There are nine Republican presidential candidates on Tennessee's primary ballot, but four of them have no committed delegates to the party's nominating convention.

Tennessee traffic deaths fewest since 1962

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee traffic fatalities declined sharply this year, reaching their lowest figure in 49 years.


Tent set on fire at Nashville protest, no injuries

NASHVILLE (AP) - Police arrested a man for setting fire to a tent belonging to one of the protesters at the Occupy Nashville encampment near the state Capitol.

Vanderbilt students rolling into Iowa caucuses

NASHVILLE (AP) - Vanderbilt University students will be heading to Iowa for the caucus meetings and will be teaming up to support a favorite candidate or just observe the first voting of the 2012 presidential election.

Sears to close two Midstate stores

The Hickory Hollow Sears and the Hendersonville Kmart are on the initial list of 79 stores to be closed by Sears Holdings Corporation, which announced this week it will close 120 locations.


Markets in Europe, Asia end 2011 down but US up

LONDON (AP) — Stock markets around the world were seeing out 2011 fairly positively Friday, but many are still posting big declines for the year in the wake of Europe's debt crisis, a faltering U.S. economy and signs that China's economy is no longer sizzling.

On 10th anniversary, euro takes blame for economy

PARIS (AP) — Just three years ago, the euro was being praised as the can-do currency that had delivered unprecedented prosperity in Europe.

Eurozone faces tough hurdles early in 2012

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — After a turbulent 2011, the 17 countries that use the euro will be quickly confronted in the new year with major hurdles to solving their government debt crisis, just as the eurozone economy is expected to sink back into recession.

Stocks slip on the last trading day of 2011

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market is set to end a tumultuous year more or less where it started.

Oil price to end 2011 near $100 a barrel

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil will finish 2011 about 8 percent higher, after concerns about tighter global supplies dominated energy markets throughout the year.

Contract signings for US homes up in November

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

Fixed mortgage rates end year above record lows

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fixed mortgage rates rose slightly this week off their record lows. The year ends much like it began, with few people able to take advantage of the best rates in history.


DC ordered to pay $1M in historic gun case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The District of Columbia has been ordered to pay more than $1 million in attorneys' fees as a result of a historic gun case that was ultimately decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Homeland Security launches hot line for jailed immigrants

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Homeland Security Department is launching a hot line for people jailed on immigration charges who believe they are victims of crime or may be U.S. citizens.

Majority of Hispanics oppose US deportation policy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fifty-nine percent of Hispanics oppose President Barack Obama's increased deportations of illegal immigrants, according to a new poll showing a weak spot in their otherwise broad support for the president in next year's election.

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