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VOL. 37 | NO. 5 | Friday, February 1, 2013

Unplugged: Summer of adventure awaits

Summer camps have a way of taking you back to a bygone era when lanyards and bunkmates ruled over texting and Facebook.

Classic camps still hold appeal

The longer a camp has been around, the more time it has had to create its own community, its own particular Middle Tennessee experience.

Special camp experiences fit special needs

As a nurse who worked in Vanderbilt Hospital’s burn unit for 10 years, Rebekah Lemley helped families deal with life-changing tragedy.

School-based camps: From crime scenes to stolen bases

Remember when summer camp meant swimming, softball and a few wienie roasts ’round the fire? The times, they are a changin’.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
A Few Clouds
Wind: Northeast at 9.2 mph
Humidity: 50%


Social Media and the Artist. The Arts Council of Williamson County’s Brown Bag Lunch Bunch will feature a round table discussion on social media and the arts. Speakers are Deborah Gall & Autumn Bethea. Friday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Williamson County Public Library, 1314 Columbia Pike, Franklin.

more events »

It pays to compare activities, camp costs

From a free experience to a price tag of $1,000-plus, camp in Middle Tennessee varies greatly in price, depending on the type of experience you want for your child.


Smells like victory? No, more like sweaty socks

While showing a home this week, the client and buyer’s agent noted the house had the aroma of belonging to a single man. Oddly enough, that was the case. Many such homes exude a definite fragrance.


Top residential real estate transactions of December 2012

Top December 2012 residential real estate transactions for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.


VU’s Williams named chair of The Sports Fund

The Sports Fund, an initiative of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, has added David Williams II as its advisory board chair.


Better state credit ratings a pressing issue for Henry

State Sen. Douglas Henry (D-Nashville), the longest-serving member of the General Assembly that convened this month, looks ahead with a simple, focused determination.


Super Bowl sure thing: Clever ads

The victory of the Ravens or the 49ers won’t be all people are talking about after the Super Bowl.


Setting a goal for a life well-lived

Lately I’ve talked with several people who were struggling with the question, “What is the goal of life?”


‘Judge-sicle’ murder mystery thrills to the end

How could I not read “Airtight,” the latest David Rosenfelt novel? How could I not?!


Mexican lasagna much easier than Italian

Tired of the cold weather? I am. I’m ready for spring, for flowers, green grass and a clean car. However, I still have a while before all of that becomes reality.


Haslam denies state lost DCS case

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam denies the state lost a case in which the Tennessee Department of Children's Services must provide the public records of children who died or nearly died after the agency investigated reports they had been abused or neglected.

Ramsey: Senate delays bill to ban Medicaid growth

NASHVILLE (AP) - Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey says fellow Republican Sen. Brian Kelsey has agreed to delay consideration of a bill seeking to ban the state from participating in Medicaid expansion under the federal health care overhaul.

Parking lot guns bill to be up in Senate on Monday

NASHVILLE (AP) - A bill seeking to guarantee people with handgun-carry permits can store firearms in their vehicles no matter where they are parked is expected to be on the Senate floor early next week.


White Bluff chosen for Tennessee Downtowns program

NASHVILLE (AP) — State economic development officials have chosen six communities -- including White Bluff -- to participate in the Tennessee Downtowns program.

2012 sales rise for Ky. bourbon, Tennessee whiskey

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky bourbon and Tennessee whiskey had another sales spike in 2012, led by pricier premium brands that lifted revenue above $2 billion.


US rate on 30-year mortgage steady at 3.53 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The average U.S. rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage was unchanged this week near historic lows, while the average rate on the 15-year loan fell. Low mortgage rates could help strengthen the housing recovery.

Retailers report strong January sales

NEW YORK (AP) — The devil is in the deals.

US unemployment aid applications decline to 366K

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, indicating companies continue to hire at a modest but steady pace.

US productivity fell at 2 percent rate in fourth quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. worker productivity shrank in the final three months of 2012 although the decline was caused by temporary factors.

Stocks retreat as weak earnings provide no joy

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks slumped on Wall Street Thursday, suggesting that the rally which has pushed indexes close to record levels may have run its course.

Oil prices fall on ECB chief's comments on euro

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil fell below $96 per barrel Thursday after the head of the European Central Bank expressed concern over a recent rise in the euro.


Tennessee Supreme Court to hear arguments on voter ID

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's Supreme Court was asked Wednesday to decide whether the state's voter ID law deprives people of the right to vote or if it's a necessary safeguard to prevent election fraud. And in a related issue, the court must determine whether a city-issued library card with a photo can be used as identification to vote.


Lawmakers want more meetings with DCS

NASHVILLE (AP) - State lawmakers told the interim commissioner of the embattled Department of Children's Services on Wednesday that they want to be made aware of the agency's challenges so they can help address its problems.

Parking lot guns bill advances to full Senate vote

NASHVILLE (AP) — A bill seeking to guarantee people with handgun-carry permits to store firearms in their vehicles no matter where they are parked was advanced to a full Senate floor vote Thursday despite reservations voiced by the business community and Republican Gov. Bill Haslam.

Bill to allow governor to select appellate judges

NASHVILLE (AP) — A proposal to amend the state constitution to allow the governor to appoint appellate judges is headed for a vote on the Senate floor.

Saltsman hired to promote school vouchers in Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Washington-based American Federation for Children has hired Republican operative Chip Saltsman to promote school vouchers in Tennessee.


Vandy study: Prison sentence reduces lifespan

NASHVILLE (AP) — A recent study by a Vanderbilt University researcher shows that for every year a person spends behind bars, life expectancy decreases two years.


TVA reports $2.58B in revenues in 1st quarter 2013

KNOXVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Valley Authority reported a net loss of $245 million on operating revenues of $2.58 billion in the first quarter of fiscal year 2013 as electricity sales were flat and fuel expenses increased.


Dell's founder strikes deal to turn it around

NEW YORK (AP) — It's easy to forget now, but Michael Dell was the Mark Zuckerberg of his day.

Postal Service to cut Saturday mail to trim costs

WASHINGTON (AP) — Apparently trying an end-run around an unaccommodating Congress, the financially struggling U.S. Postal Service says it will stop delivering mail on Saturdays but continue to disburse packages six days a week.

Stocks erase losses and end near breakeven level

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock indexes are ending near the breakeven point on Wall Street, recovering from an early loss.

Oil recoups early losses; pump price up to $3.55

NEW YORK (AP) — A government report showing a smaller-than-expected increase in U.S. crude supplies led to a turnaround in the price of oil Wednesday.

Monopoly fans vote to add cat, toss iron tokens

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (AP) — Scottie dog has a new nemesis in Monopoly after fans voted in an online contest to add a cat token to the property trading game, replacing the iron, toy maker Hasbro Inc. announced Wednesday.


Analysis: Obama, GOP disagree, again, on spending

WASHINGTON (AP) — After two tumultuous years of budget brinkmanship, President Barack Obama and Republicans in Congress finally agree on something — namely, that a previous 10-year pact to cut $1 trillion across the board was such a bad idea it must be stopped before it starts.


Attorneys file response in public notice dispute

MURFREESBORO (AP) - Attorneys say the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County government should not be exempt from giving notice of public meetings under religious land use laws.


HCA 4Q profit sinks; tops Wall Street expectations

HCA Holdings Inc.'s fourth-quarter earnings plunged compared to the final quarter of 2011, when the hospital operator booked a big acquisition gain, but results from the most recent quarter topped analyst expectations.


Tennessee child agency head quits as deaths questioned

NASHVILLE (AP) - The commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Children's Services resigned Tuesday amid scrutiny of how her agency was handling cases of children who died after investigations of abuse and neglect.


GOP senators huddle with Haslam before gun vote

NASHVILLE (AP) - Speaker Ron Ramsey and Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee met with Gov. Bill Haslam for nearly an hour before heading to a meeting to vote on a bill seeking to allow handgun carry permit holders to store firearms in the vehicles no matter where they are parked.

Senate panel sends income tax ban to floor vote

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Senate Finance Committee has advanced a proposed constitutional amendment to explicitly ban a state income tax to a full floor vote.


McGraw hits the road with 'Two Lanes of Freedom'

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tim McGraw is free. The country star has moved on from a troubling label, quit drinking and grown up a bit, and all that has given McGraw a new energy he says you can hear on his latest album, "Two Lanes of Freedom."


Toyota raises annual forecasts on profit rise

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. raised its fiscal year profit forecast Tuesday to triple what it eked out for the disaster-struck previous year, as the world's top automaker continued on a comeback roll as sales surged, especially in the U.S.

Mercedes sales grow outside home market Germany

BERLIN (AP) — Automaker Mercedes-Benz says it sold 94,895 vehicles in January — a year-on-year surge of 9.2 percent.


Dell to go private in $24.4B deal led by founder

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Slumping personal computer maker Dell is bowing out of the stock market in a $24.4 billion buyout that represents the largest deal of its kind since the Great Recession dried up the financing for such risky maneuvers.

Disney's earnings dip, still top analyst forecasts

BURBANK, Calif. (AP) — Disney won over more fans on Wall Street with its latest quarterly performance, despite a slight drop in its earnings.

US home prices rose last year by most in 6.5 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices jumped by the most in 6 ½ years in December, spurred by a low supply of available homes and rising demand.

Gun background checks drop by 10 percent in Jan.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of federal background checks for firearm sales declined unexpectedly last month following a surge toward the end of the year as Washington considered new gun control measures.

Stocks rebound on home prices, earnings; Dow closes up 99

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market bounced back Tuesday following a surge in U.S. home prices and signs of recovery in Europe's economy. Strong earnings reports also helped power the gains.

Business, unions negotiating guest worker program

WASHINGTON (AP) — Business leaders and labor union officials are delving into high-stakes negotiations over a particularly contentious element of immigration reform — a guest worker program to ensure future immigrants come here legally.

BP profit drops 79 percent in Q4 due to settlement

LONDON (AP) — Oil and gas giant BP's profit fell nearly 80 percent in the fourth quarter in results released Tuesday, dragged down by payouts related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

US service firms grew more slowly in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — Growth at U.S. service companies slowed slightly in January behind weaker new orders and business activity. But hiring improved, a bright sign for the economy.

Oil gains on economic news; pump prices rise again

NEW YORK (AP) — Gas pump prices rose again Tuesday, bringing the increase for the year to about a quarter a gallon. Oil gained slightly.

US sues S&P over pre-crisis mortgage ratings

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government is accusing the debt rating agency Standard & Poor's of fraud for giving high ratings to risky mortgage bonds that helped bring about the financial crisis.


Obama seeks to avoid sequester with short-term fix

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is asking Congress for a short-term deficit reduction package of spending cuts and tax revenue that will delay the effective date of steeper automatic cuts now scheduled to kick in on March 1. Obama said the looming cuts would be economically damaging and must be avoided.

President signs bill averting government default

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill raising the government's borrowing limit, averting a default and delaying the next clash over the nation's debt until later this year.


Sponsor of parking lot guns bill says he misspoke

NASHVILLE (AP) - The main House sponsor of a bill seeking to guarantee handgun permit holders the right to store firearms in their vehicles says he misspoke when he suggested that he routinely breaks the law.


Airlines submit bids to provide flights from Macon

MACON, Ga. (AP) — Four airlines are vying for the chance to provide passenger flights from Macon's airport to Atlanta and possibly other cities, including Nashville.


Haslam may not be given choice on Medicaid growth

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam wants more answers from the federal government before he decides whether Tennessee should expand its Medicaid rolls as part of the national health care overhaul. But his Republican colleagues in the Legislature may not let him get to that point.

Officials warn of storm damage repair scams

NASHVILLE (AP) — The state Consumer Affairs Division is warning Tennesseans to beware of scams when seeking to repair damage from recent tornadoes, winds, ice and flooding.


S&P expects gov't lawsuit over mortgage ratings

WASHINGTON (AP) — Standard & Poor's says the government plans to file a civil lawsuit alleging wrongdoing by the agency when it gave high ratings to mortgage debt securities that later plunged in value and fueled the 2008 financial crisis.

Gannett posts lower 4Q net income

MCLEAN, Va. (AP) — Gannett Co. reported a 12 percent decline in its fourth-quarter net income Monday, largely because of restructuring expenses and a tax benefit that boosted the previous year's results. But revenue increased 9 percent thanks to robust political advertising, increasing digital subscriptions and an extra week in the quarter.

US factory orders up 1.8 percent in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factory orders increased in December even though companies trimmed their orders for goods that signal investment plans.

Stock market has worst day this year; Dow off 129

The stock market is closing out its worst day so far this year, bringing the Dow average back below 14,000.

Oil falls to near $96 after weeks of strong gains

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil prices fell to nearly $96 a barrel Monday on signs that the U.S. and Iran may restart talks about Iran's nuclear program.

10 Super Bowl ads that stood out

In a nail biter, the Baltimore Ravens topped the San Francisco 49ers during the Super Bowl XLVII, during which a half-hour long blackout added to the drama. But in between plays there were 10 ads that stood out. Here are the ads that will be the buzz around the water cooler — and on social media sites — on Monday.

FAA mandates safety checks for older Piper planes

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration is requiring inspections on tens of thousands of older model Piper airplanes to check cables that control tail surfaces.

Proposed agreement squashes US, Mexico tomato war

WASHINGTON (AP) — A proposed agreement on fresh tomatoes imported from Mexico would strengthen anti-dumping enforcement and reset minimum wholesale prices, the Commerce Department said.


Analysis: Economy, military shape US Iran strategy

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama may have to decide this year whether to use military force to fulfill his vow to prevent Iran from being able to build nuclear weapons, foreign policy experts say.


Kraft suing Cracker Barrel restaurants over name

NEW YORK (AP) - Kraft Foods is suing Cracker Barrel Old Country Store over the restaurant chain's plans to use the "Cracker Barrel" name on packaged ham, bacon and other foods.

Schrader Electronics expanding in Springfield

NASHVILLE (AP) - State officials say auto valve and sensor maker Schrader Electronics is expanding its facility in Springfield and adding 76 manufacturing jobs.


Nashville adding taxis for convention center open

NASHVILLE (AP) - Hailing a taxi in Nashville is about to get easier.

Nashville DA says grand jury foreman was felon

NASHVILLE (AP) — Nashville's top prosecutor said Thursday he is expecting a flood of appeals after it was discovered that a 2011 grand jury foreman was a felon and ineligible for jury service under state law.


State board discusses more pharmacy regulation

NASHVILLE (AP) - Members of the Tennessee Board of Pharmacy discussed several options Thursday to increase oversight of sterile compounding pharmacies after last year's deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis that has sickened hundreds of people across the country.

Widower of meningitis victim sues clinic

NASHVILLE (AP) — The husband of a Nashville woman who died in last year's fungal meningitis outbreak after receiving injections has sued the clinic that gave the shots.


Proposal seeks to block state Medicaid expansion

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee Senate Republicans are proposing legislation that seeks to prevent expansion of the state Medicaid program under provisions of President Barack Obama's health care law.

Haslam would sign supermarket wine bill if passed

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam said Thursday that he would sign a bill seeking to allow wine to be sold in Tennessee supermarkets and convenience stores into law if lawmakers approve it this year.

Supporters want voters to decide supermarket wine

NASHVILLE (AP) - Supporters of a perennial legislative proposal to allow supermarkets and convenience stores to sell wine expressed confidence Thursday that their latest effort could succeed where previous ones failed.

Supermarket wine bill excludes high-alcohol beer

NASHVILLE (AP) — A proposal to allow supermarkets and convenience stores to stock wine would continue to limit sales of high-alcohol beer and fortified wines to liquor stores.


US automakers, Toyota report big sales gains; Nissan up 2%

DETROIT (AP) — American consumers ignored tax increases and tromped through the winter chill to buy new cars and trucks at an unusually strong pace last month.


Dow ends above 14,000 for 1st time since Oct 2007

NEW YORK (AP) — The Dow stock market index closed above 14,000 for the first time since before the financial crisis rocked the world economy.

US construction spending up 0.9 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Spending on U.S. construction projects rose in December, ending a year in which construction activity increased for the first time in six years.

Measure of US manufacturing jumps in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. manufacturing activity grew at a faster pace in January, driven by an increase in new orders and more hiring at factories.

US gains 157K jobs; jobless rate rises to 7.9 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. job market is proving sturdier than expected at a time when the economy is under pressure from Washington gridlock and the threat of government spending cuts.

Endowment returns flat for universities

After two strong years, college and university endowments lost ground slightly during the fiscal year ending last June 30, with their investments declining 0.3 percent on average, according to a new study.

Oil up on US jobs report; gas jumps most in 2 yrs

NEW YORK (AP) — Commuters and day-trippers may do a double-take at the gas station after the biggest one-day pop in pump prices in nearly two years.

Ready to rumble: Super Bowl fans get in the game

NEW YORK (AP) — You don't have to be a football player to be a part of the action on Super Bowl Sunday.

5 Super Bowl ads that enlist viewer help

Advertisers are finding new ways to get viewers into the game during Super Bowl XLVII, which airs on CBS on Sunday. Here are 5 campaigns that enlist viewer help in one form or another.

10 spots to look out for during Super Bowl Sunday

Celebrities, humor, babies and cute animals will once again rule the commercial breaks on Sunday during Super Bowl XLVII, advertising's biggest showcase, when more than 111 million people are expected to tune in. Marketers have spent millions and pulled out all the stops to 'wow' viewers this year.

Gasoline prices get early start on spring surge

NEW YORK (AP) — Gasoline prices are getting an early start on their annual spring march higher.

Obama decides not to extend term of jobs council

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is letting his jobs council expire, cutting off one source of input from business leaders while unemployment remains stubbornly high.

Union agrees to back off Wal-Mart protests

Labor groups say they will end most of their picketing of Wal-Mart stores as part of a settlement with the National Labor Relations Board.


White House: Hagel will win Senate confirmation

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House on Friday dismissed criticism of Chuck Hagel's hesitant congressional testimony and insisted that it expects the Senate to confirm him as defense secretary.

GOP senators vow to block consumer office nominee

WASHINGTON (AP) — Renewing a three-year-old fight over bank oversight, Senate Republicans said Friday they will oppose President Barack Obama's nominee to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau unless the office created after the 2008 Wall Street financial meltdown is significantly changed.

Obama offers faith groups new birth control rule

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration on Friday proposed a work-around for religious nonprofits that object to providing health insurance that covers birth control.

Republicans face a balancing act on immigration

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans face a delicate balancing act as they embrace an unprecedented shift in their views on immigration reform — and no one better exemplifies the potential risks and rewards than Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.

US consumer debt up in Dec. on student, auto loans

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans stepped up borrowing in December to buy cars and attend school. But they cut back sharply on credit card use, continuing a trend that could hold back growth this year.

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