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VOL. 35 | NO. 49 | Friday, December 9, 2011

Hot 'hoods

Homeowners, developers gamble on Nashville's 'emerging neighborhoods'

Jen Trail and Jason Howes had their hearts set on finding a home in a hot neighborhood close to downtown Nashville.

Looking for next hot spot? Location is still the key

What does it take for a scruffy area of town to morph into an emerging neighborhood that potential home owners and investors watch closely?

Angel Tree requests jump, help needed

For nearly 30 years, people in Nashville have been able to pluck an angel from a tree at their local mall and buy a gift for the child on the back. Some are teenagers who know this may be the only toy they get this year. Others are toddlers who have yet to realize the significance of their name and parent’s request on the back of the small slip of paper.


Well-prepared Berke reaps praise from both parties

State Sen. Andy Berke says he had no expectations of what public office would be like when he was elected in 2007.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Mostly Cloudy
Wind: Northwest at 3.5 mph
Humidity: 51%


Leadership Health Care Networking. Network with Nashville’s emerging health care industry professionals at the Leadership Health Care (LHC) Holiday and Awards Reception on today, 5-7 p.m., Vanderbilt Loews Hotel. An initiative of the Nashville Health Care Council, LHC provides educational and networking programs to more than 650 individual members. Information: leadershiphealthcare.com.

more events »


Rookie McCarthy stakes claim at linebacker

OK, I realize heaping praise on any rookie is always dangerous territory.


Top residential real estate transactions for November 2011

Top residential sales for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford and Wilson counties for November 2011 compiled by Chandler Reports.


The seller still holds the keys

Clichés exist because the same occurrences repeat themselves ad infinitum and have for years. In real estate, three overused expressions have regained prominence in this market that baffles buyers and sellers alike. They both apply to the same scenario.


AXA Advisors select Hart as executive VP

T. Scott Hart has been named executive vice president of AXA Advisors, LLC’s Tennessee office based in Franklin, part of the company’s National Division. In this new role, Hart has overall responsibility for the office and its more than 60 financial professionals working in Tennessee. He will also focus on recruiting, training and developing individuals who want to grow as entrepreneurial financial professionals.


Facing a ticket? Make them laugh

The young man had been clocked on radar at 113 mph at 4:30 in the a.m. The pursuing police officer testified that he caught up to the driver only after he had pulled over into the parking lot at an IHOP. Asked why he was driving so fast, the subject replied, “My girlfriend called me and said that she wanted some waffles and she wanted ’em NOW!”


Good brittle not such a hard nut to crack

I have already written an article on peanuts – you remember, it was all about how George Washington Carver discovered the many uses of peanuts after the Civil War, one of them being peanut butter.


Feeder bus fares into Nashville going up 50 cents

NASHVILLE (AP) - Express fares on regional buses that carry commuters into and out of Nashville to surrounding communities are going up 50 cents effective Jan. 6.

Southern Baptist bookstore recalls pink Bibles

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Southern Baptist Convention's bookstores are recalling pink Bibles, saying some of the money raised through their sale was being given to Planned Parenthood.


Ramsey floats special session on health care law

NASHVILLE (AP) - Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey on Thursday floated the idea of holding a special legislative session next winter if it's still necessary for Tennessee to come into line with requirements set by President Barack Obama's health care law.

Analyst: Full TN job recovery could take 5 years

NASHVILLE (AP) — A University of Tennessee analyst says it could take up to five years before the state completely recovers all the jobs lost since the beginning of the recession.

TVA says fuel cost 3.1 percent lower in January

KNOXVILLE (AP) — A 3.1 percent decrease in the Tennessee Valley Authority's fuel cost will bring down average residential electric bills in January by between $2 and $4.

Drought relief sought for farmers in 14 counties

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam has asked federal officials for a natural disaster designation for 14 counties due to excessive heat and drought during the summer and fall.

FedEx 2Q soars on strong online holiday sales

NEW YORK (AP) — FedEx nearly doubled its second-quarter net income, the company said Thursday, as strong sales boosted deliveries to homes.


Average 30-year loan rate ties record: 3.94 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage fell back down to 3.94 percent, the record low set earlier in the fall.

FedEx earns, drop in claims push stocks higher

NEW YORK (AP) — Strong earnings from FedEx and a sharp drop in claims for unemployment benefits are sending stocks higher in early trading.

Top retail trade group upgrades holiday forecast

NEW YORK (AP) — With the final Christmas countdown begun, the nation's largest retail trade group has upgraded its holiday sales forecast reflecting growing optimism that much more spending is to come.

Job market brightens as unemployment claims sink

WASHINGTON (AP) — The outlook for the U.S. job market is looking brighter.

Wholesale prices up a modest 0.3 pct. last month

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wholesale prices rose a modest 0.3 percent last month as U.S. companies paid more for such items as food and pharmaceuticals. But energy prices barely rose, keeping inflation in check.

Scheduled home auctions hit 9-month high in Nov.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Fewer U.S. homes entered the foreclosure process or were taken back by banks in November, reflecting a seasonal pullback in foreclosure activity by lenders and mortgage servicers.

Wall Street futures modestly higher

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks futures are up modestly as FedEx Corp.'s earnings beat expectations and ahead of several economic reports.


Census shows 1 in 2 people are poor or low-income

WASHINGTON (AP) — Squeezed by rising living costs, a record number of Americans — nearly 1 in 2 — have fallen into poverty or are scraping by on earnings that classify them as low income.

Research shows hands-free phones just as risky

WASHINGTON (AP) — When someone is talking to you, your brain is listening, processing and thinking about what's being said — even if you're in the driver's seat trying to concentrate on traffic.

Plan would lift wages of home care workers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is seeking to extend minimum wage and overtime rules to cover home health care workers.

Defense bill nears passage in Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — A massive defense bill is on the brink of final passage after the Obama administration and Congress resolved a fierce struggle over the president's ability to prosecute terrorist suspects in the civilian justice system.

Senate leaders hope deal near on payroll tax cut

WASHINGTON (AP) — Shifting from confrontation to cooperation, Senate leaders of both parties expressed optimism Thursday that agreement was near on extending this year's payroll tax cut, renewing unemployment benefits and averting a federal shutdown.

House GOP unveils $1 trillion spending bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans have unveiled a massive $1 trillion-plus yearend spending package despite a plea from the White House for additional talks over a handful of provisions opposed by President Barack Obama.


45 companies involved in job fair for military

SMYRNA (AP) - Forty-five companies will participate in a job fair Thursday in Smyrna for National Guard members, reservists, spouses and all veterans.


AP Interview: Haslam reflects on 1st year

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam took on teachers and lawyers to win battles to toughen tenure and cap lawsuit damages since his January inauguration, but he didn't have as much success uprooting Occupy protesters.

TN Funding Board approves $20M in business grants

NASHVILLE (AP) - The State Funding Board has approved $20 million worth of infrastructure and jobs training grants for seven projects around Tennessee.

Elections officials helping disability coalition

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Tennessee Division of Elections is helping the Tennessee Disability Coalition with a project aimed at improving ballot access.


NFL renews television deals with CBS, Fox and NBC

NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL has renewed its television deals with CBS, Fox and NBC for nine years through the 2022 season.

Delta Air Lines predicts 2011 profit of $800M

NEW YORK (AP) — Delta Air Lines Inc. says it expects an $800 million profit this year, and it will be solidly profitable in 2012.

Research firm: Holiday buyers willing to spend

NEW YORK (AP) — Shoppers are again doing some holiday shopping after taking a break following their spree over the Thanksgiving weekend, according to data from research firm ShopperTrak.

Crop insurance rates skyrocket after summer floods

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Midwestern farmers who saw their land swamped by summer flooding may be socked again with steep increases in their crop insurance premiums, the expensive result of the failure to fix broken levees before the winter snow and next spring's rains.

China slaps anti-dumping duties on US-made cars

SHANGHAI (AP) — China has imposed duties on imports of some U.S.-made vehicles, claiming damage from foreign automakers due to dumping and subsidies in the latest round of trade friction between the two countries.

US stocks slide lower as euro worries persist

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are slipping early Wednesday as worries over Europe hang over financial markets. Energy companies fell hard as oil dropped 3 percent.

IEA warns high oil prices threaten global economy

SINGAPORE (AP) — High oil prices threaten to worsen a global economic slowdown and crude producers should consider boosting output, the chief economist for the International Energy Agency said Wednesday.

Exchange exec challenges Corzine on missing money

WASHINGTON (AP) — A financial-exchange executive said Tuesday that Jon Corzine might have known that MF Global tapped clients' money to lend to a European affiliate of the firm.


A look at the $662 billion defense bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — A look at the $662 billion defense bill that would authorize funds for military personnel, weapons systems, national security programs in the Energy Department and the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan:

Analysis: 2.5M young adults gain health coverage

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of young adults lacking medical coverage has shrunk by 2.5 million since the new health care overhaul law took effect, according to a new analysis the Obama administration is to release Wednesday.

No cellphones, no texting by drivers, US urges

WASHINGTON (AP) — Texting, emailing or chatting on a cellphone while driving is simply too dangerous to be allowed, federal safety investigators declared Tuesday, urging all states to impose total bans except for emergencies.

Senate set to vote on balanced budget amendments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress will try again to force itself to mend its profligate spending habits when the Senate votes on proposals to amend the Constitution to require a balanced budget every year.

Poll: Republicans shrug at Romney's business past

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mitt Romney says his business background makes him a better presidential candidate than Newt Gingrich, who has spent decades in Washington. But the argument is not moving Republicans his way, underscoring Romney's challenge in finding a way to stem Gingrich's rise three weeks before the Iowa caucus, a new Associated Press-GfK poll finds.


CMA donates $10M to Country Hall of Fame expansion

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Country Music Association is giving $10 million to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's $75 million expansion campaign.

Nashville study backs rapid transit buses

NASHVILLE (AP) — A study recommends Nashville dedicate rapid-transit bus lanes instead of building a trolley system along a busy east-west corridor.


Tenn. GOP leaders press for Hall, estate tax cuts

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican leaders in the General Assembly plan to forge ahead with efforts to reduce the state's inheritance and Hall income taxes despite Gov. Bill Haslam's concerns that Tennessee's economic situation isn't healthy enough to make up for the lost revenues.

Haslam: Allow locals to set living wage standards

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam said Monday he wants to leave it up to local governments to decide whether to set their own wage requirements for contractors.

State museum to display Emancipation Proclamation

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Tennessee State Museum plans to put the Emancipation Proclamation on display in 2013.

State upgrading radio system for troopers

NASHVILLE (AP) - The state has announced an agreement with Motorola Solutions Inc. for a statewide radio system for state troopers.


Fed says economy is healthier; takes no new steps

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve on Tuesday portrayed the U.S. economy as slightly healthier and held off on any new steps to boost the economy.

Retail sales are helping economy grow consistently

WASHINGTON (AP) — Economic growth is picking up in the final three months of the year, fueled by higher consumer spending, rising business stockpiles and modest increases in hiring.

Stock gains fade as Fed warns of market strains

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock indexes are closing lower after the Federal Reserve held off on any new steps to boost the economy. The Fed cautioned that strains in global financial markets still pose a danger, a nod to Europe's debt crisis.

Southwest orders 208 Boeing 737s valued at $19B

NEW YORK (AP) — Southwest Airlines is placing an order for 208 Boeing 737s with a value of nearly $19 billion.

New generation GPS satellite starts tests in US

DENVER (AP) — A $5.5 billion upgrade to the Global Positioning System moved a step closer to launch this week when a prototype arrived at a Lockheed Martin complex in Colorado to begin months of tests.

Facebook aims to help prevent suicide

MENLO PARK, Calif. (AP) — Facebook is making it easier for people who express suicidal thoughts on the social networking site to get help.


GOP embraces showdown over oil pipeline, tax cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sensing a political opening, congressional Republicans are moving toward a high-stakes showdown with President Barack Obama over a plan to link fast-tracked approval of an oil pipeline to a measure renewing a payroll tax cut.

Can't raise taxes? Hike Medicare premiums instead

WASHINGTON (AP) — Raising taxes on millionaires may be a non-starter for Republicans, but they seem to have no problem hiking Medicare premiums for retirees making a lot less.

Republicans plan House OK of payroll tax cut bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans are girding to push a bill through the House that would continue a payroll tax cut for 160 million workers, but has drawn White House and Democratic objections because it would also force work on a controversial oil pipeline.


Court hearing over seized Gibson wood delayed

NASHVILLE (AP) - A federal court hearing over wood seized from Gibson Guitar Corp. has been pushed back from Monday to Jan. 30.

Hundreds wait in cold to apply for Nissan jobs

MURFREESBORO (AP) - The bitter-cold weather hasn't stopped hundreds of Middle Tennessee residents from standing outside for hours waiting to apply for open positions at Nissan North American.


Newspaper finds Haslam overstated tax rate

NASHVILLE (AP) - A newspaper investigation reveals that Gov. Bill Haslam, who has never revealed all the sources of his income, has overstated his personal income tax rate in his limited financial disclosures.

FedEx projecting busiest day ever on today

MEMPHIS (AP) — FedEx expects to have its busiest day ever Monday with a projected 17 million shipments globally, almost double the usual daily amount.


Home sales figures from 2007-10 to be lowered

WASHINGTON (AP) — National U.S. home sales figures will be lowered dating back to 2007 after the private trade group that collects the figures says the numbers were too high.

Bad economy? Farmers have one of best years ever

ST. LOUIS (AP) — An Illinois farmer made so much money this year he made loan payments on one tractor a year in advance and exchanged some older ones for newer models. An Iowa farmer upgraded his combine and also paid off debt, while an elderly Oregon farmer poured into retirement funds a bundle of his $2 million take from a well-timed sale of much of his turf and equipment.

Occupy protesters seek to shut West Coast ports

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Anti-Wall Street protesters along the West Coast joined an effort Monday to blockade some of the nation's busiest ports from Anchorage, Alaska, to San Diego, with the thought that if they cut off the ports, they cut into corporate profits.

US stocks fall on euro crisis fears, despite pact

Stocks plunged Monday after two big rating agencies criticized a fiscal pact hatched at last week's summit of European leaders aimed at ending the region's debt crisis.

Fed nearing a plan to clarify direction of rates

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve under Ben Bernanke has gone further than ever to explain its policies to the public. It's ready to go further still.


High court to look at state immigration laws

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court agreed Monday to rule on Arizona's controversial law targeting illegal immigrants, setting the stage for an election-year decision on an issue that is already shaping presidential politics.

FACT CHECK: Plenty to question in GOP debate

WASHINGTON (AP) — When Michele Bachmann accused Newt Gingrich in the latest Republican debate of once supporting a cap-and-trade program to curb global warming, he huffily denied it and told her she should get her facts straight.


Art history abounds in disputed Fisk collection

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) - The Alfred Stieglitz Collection at the heart of a legal dispute between the Tennessee attorney general and Fisk University is a treasure trove of works for students of art and American art history, those familiar with it say.

Fisk receives $435K grant for science research

NASHVILLE (AP) — Fisk University of Nashville has received a $435,000 grant for science research.


Tenn. sales tax collections up 5.2 percent in November

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee sales tax collections were up 5.2 percent in November, and the state's general fund revenues have exceeded expectations by $69 million since the beginning of the budget year.

AP Interview: Haslam says not time for tax cuts

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam says he doesn't plan to eliminate Tennessee's estate tax and Hall income tax despite efforts by several Republican lawmakers to kill the measures because they believe they're hurting the state's economic development.

TDOT increases winter weather budget

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Tennessee Department of Transportation has increased its winter weather budget by nearly $1 million to $15.5 million.

Tenn. comptroller wants school funding formula fix

NASHVILLE (AP) - State Comptroller Justin Wilson says Tennessee's school funding formula is fraught with complexity and a lack of transparency that could lead to either inadvertent or intentional errors in distributing state money.

Petition drive Saturday against voter ID law

NASHVILLE (AP) — The group Tennessee Citizen Action is sponsoring a petition drive Saturday against the state's new voter ID law.

Profits up for Jack Dainel's parent company

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Brown-Forman Corp. on Thursday said fiscal second-quarter profit rose 2 percent, helped by sales gains for its flagship Jack Daniel's whiskey as the liquor maker spent more to market its new flavored concoctions.

Tennessee solar study says need to stay aggressive

KNOXVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's solar and related industries provide more than 6,400 jobs in a growing green economic sector, but the state needs to stay aggressive in supporting and pursuing the ventures, a report released Thursday shows.


Trade deficit shrinks for fourth straight month

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in October to its lowest point of the year after Americans bought fewer foreign cars and imported less oil.

Stocks gain as Europe moves closer to budget pact

A deal to forge stronger ties between most of Europe's economies sent stocks sharply higher Friday afternoon as hopes grew that the region is close to resolving its debt crisis. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 178 points.

Ford to recall Fusion, Milan sedans to fix wheels

DETROIT (AP) — Ford is recalling more than 128,000 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan sedans from the 2010 and 2011 model years because the wheels can fall off the cars.

Small corn surplus likely to keep food prices high

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The U.S. government barely changed its estimate for next year's corn surplus, which is expected to stay small and keep high food prices high.

Corzine blames predecessors for MF Global's fall

WASHINGTON (AP) — Summoned by Congress, Jon Corzine embraced a bold strategy Thursday to distance himself from MF Global's fall and $1.2 billion in missing clients' money:

Lack of ECB bond-buying plan sends stocks lower

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are closing sharply lower after the head of the European Central Bank said there were no plans for large-scale government bond purchases, as many in the markets had hoped.

Hiring outlook brightens as jobless claims fall

WASHINGTON (AP) — A steady decline in the number of Americans applying for weekly unemployment benefits is the latest signal that the U.S. economy has strengthened and businesses may be poised to step up hiring.

US household wealth takes biggest hit since 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans' wealth last summer suffered its biggest quarterly loss in more than two years as stocks, pension funds and home values lost value.

Ford to resume paying dividend

DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. said Thursday it will resume paying a dividend in March, more than five years after it halted payments because of financial problems.

Exxon Mobil predicts surge in hybrid vehicles

NEW YORK (AP) — Exxon Mobil Corp. expects to see more and more hybrids on the world's roads, with gas-sipping models like the Toyota Prius making up half of all vehicles by 2040.


Obama, GOP skirmish on payroll tax cut both favor

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama vowed to delay Congress' year-end vacation as well as his own Thursday for "as long as it takes" to extend Social Security payroll tax cuts and long-term jobless benefits, his second challenge in as many days to conservative Republicans.

More drivers texting at wheel, despite state bans

WASHINGTON (AP) — For all the criticism and new legal bans, texting by drivers just keeps increasing, especially among younger motorists.

GOP blocks Obama nominee to head financial agency

WASHINGTON (AP) — The battle over the future of a new financial watchdog office escalated Thursday with Senate Republicans blocking confirmation of the man President Barack Obama named to head the office and Obama countering by holding out the possibility of appointing the nominee when Congress is on recess.

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