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VOL. 40 | NO. 8 | Friday, February 19, 2016

Underwood’s drive: Restore the ‘euphoria’ of winning

‘I want that back for our employees, our owners and our fans’

Marcus Mariota may be the face of the Tennessee Titans, but Steve Underwood is the voice. As president/CEO of the franchise, his is the final word at Saint Thomas Sports Park.

Underwood: No sale, Titans will exercise 10-year stadium extension

In case you were wondering, no, the Tennessee Titans are not for sale.

Titans see no need to replace Nissan Stadium

Since the facility now known as Nissan Stadium opened in 1999, more than half of the stadiums in the NFL have been replaced or undergone major renovation.


Universities or Legislature: Who's to blame for rising higher-ed costs

When figures are presented detailing a 456 percent increase in tuition and fees at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville over the last 20 years, the result is usually some serious sticker shock.

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


Why Tennessee Finally Matters: A 2016 Presidential Primary Preview. Join the Nashville Chamber of Commerce and Mercury for a bipartisan discussion and Q&A about the 2016 presidential primaries and the impact the next president and Congress will have on the business and health care environment internationally, domestically and in Nashville. Panelists are John Greer, the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of Political Science, co-director of the Vanderbilt Poll, and vice provost of academic and strategic affairs for Vanderbilt University; Vin Weber, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1981 to 1993 representing Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District; Erick Mullen, a Washington insider, having spent the past 25 years on Capitol Hill and on the campaign trail for top Democrats such as Hillary Clinton, Sen. Chuck Schumer and former Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Wes Clark. Thursday, 7:30-9:30 a.m., Baker Donelson Special Event Center, 211 Commerce Street, Nashville. Information: nashvillechamber.com, 743-3063

more events »


Segregation’s lessons helped shape Gilmore’s political career

State Rep. Brenda Gilmore’s passion for issues related to women, children and families – reaching out to those on society’s fringes – may well stem from her experience during desegregation.


Prices rise for the few houses being offered

January sales data for the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors show unit sales 9.7 percent higher than January 2015.


Top Middle Tennessee commercial transactions for January 2016

Top commercial real estate sales, January 2016, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

Middle Tennessee real estate trends for January 2016

January 2016 real estate trends for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford and Wilson counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

Average US rate on 30-year mortgage remains at 3.65 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates were unchanged this week, but remained at historically low levels amid worries about the global economy.


Titans must fix secondary with draft, free agents

Last week, we examined the offensive side of the football and what needs to be fixed and/or upgraded as the Tennessee Titans to begin a climb back toward respectability – or at least being able to call themselves an NFL team with a straight face.


Callahan breaks down UT’s ‘pretty impressive’ recruiting class

Tennessee football coach Butch Jones keeps his pulse on recruiting year-around, along with his SEC counterparts and other FBS coaches.

Tennessee head coaches defend school

KNOXVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's head coaches held a rare joint press conference Tuesday to say an unfair picture of the athletic department is being portrayed, two weeks after the school was sued over its handling of sexual assault complaints made against student-athletes.

Tennessee's 31-year run in the women's poll is over

Tennessee's 31-year run in the Top 25 is over. The Lady Vols streak of 565 consecutive weeks in The Associated Press women's basketball poll ended Monday as Tennessee fell out of the Top 25. The streak started Feb. 17, 1985.


Neal & Harwell’s Flint selected as LCLD Fellow

Chandra N.T. Flint, member at Neal & Harwell, PLC, has been selected as a member of the 2016 class of fellows, participating in a landmark program created by the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity to identify, train, and advance the next generation of leaders in the legal profession.


Q3 SUV delivers affordable Audi prestige

With a turbo-charged engine and a price tag that starts at under $35,000, the 2016 Q3 SUV delivers a fun and nimble ride along with Audi prestige.


Defeating the bully in the next cubicle

Sometimes, you feel like you’re back in sixth grade.


Don’t let brainstorming sessions be a brain drain

I always cringe when I get a calendar request with “Brainstorm” in the subject line.


Human contact beats online form

One of the top things that stops us in our job-seeking tracks is the online application process. We submit resume after resume and never hear anything back.


Even a judge is never sure what a judge will do

In October last year – just as I was preparing to teach Kafka’s “The Trial” for about the 12th time – I received a missive from, of all places, the United States District Court. Guess what, it said (though, this is a paraphrase), you are being called to jury duty.


‘Comfy’ foods a perfect way to beat the chill

All the snowy, cold weather we’ve had left me in search of warm, cozy recipes. And just watching the news of all the blizzards in the rest of the States leaves me bundled up by the fire.


Kenny Chesney, Carrie Underwood to perform at ACM Awards

NASHVILLE (AP) - Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Florida Georgia Line and Cam will perform at the 51st annual Academy of Country Music Awards.


Haslam endorses Marco Rubio

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam on Thursday endorsed Marco Rubio for the Republican presidential nomination, hoping to give the Florida senator a boost in the state's Super Tuesday primary next week.

Chattanooga votes to evict housing tenants who don't work

NASHVILLE (AP) - Public Housing residents living in Chattanooga's newer, more high-end sites face eviction if they don't work, attend school or perform volunteer work for at least 30 hours a week.


Two deaths, Canadian probe cause huge Toyota SUV recall

DETROIT (AP) — An investigation by Canadian safety regulators into a crash that killed two people touched off a global recall of nearly 2.9 million Toyota SUVs, according to U.S. government documents posted on Thursday.


Average US rate on 30-year mortgage falls to 3.62 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week as anxiety over the global economy persisted. Long-term rates resumed their decline after being unchanged last week following six straight weeks of easing.


Applications for US jobless benefits rise to still-low level

WASHINGTON (AP) — More people sought U.S. unemployment benefits last week, though the figure remained at a low level that suggests layoffs aren't widespread.

US durable goods orders jumped in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to U.S. companies for long-lasting manufactured goods advanced in January at the strongest pace in 10 months. Moreover, a key category that tracks business investment surged by the largest amount in 19 months.

US stocks are little changed in early trading

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks were little changed in morning trading Thursday as investors continued to watch the price of oil, which was moving lower. Salesforce.com jumped after the company reported strong fourth-quarter results and raised its full-year forecast.

Apple's Cook: Complying with FBI demand 'bad for America'

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple CEO Tim Cook said Wednesday that it would be "bad for America" if his company complied with the FBI's demand for help unlocking an encrypted iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters.


White House steps up aid for financially ailing Puerto Rico

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says it will step up support for financially ailing Puerto Rico by speeding access to almost $400 million for roads and other public works projects — hoping to spur economic development.


Tennessee designates Barrett as official state rifle

NASHVILLE (AP) - While Tennessee lawmakers balked last year at making the Holy Bible the official state book, they showed little hesitance Wednesday in designating an official state rifle.

Supermarket wine bill derailed over liquor store cap

NASHVILLE (AP) — A legislative disagreement over protecting liquor stores from competition means Tennesseans looking to buy wine at their local supermarket will likely have to wait a little longer for the shelves to be stocked.

Bill to end newspaper notice requirement fails in Senate

NASHVILLE (AP) — A proposal to allow legal notices to be published online instead of in printed newspapers has failed in a Senate committee.


Sportscaster's father says Erin Andrews a 'shell' of herself

NASHVILLE (AP) - The father of sportscaster Erin Andrews said Wednesday that his daughter is a shell of her former self after a stalker made secret nude recordings of her and posted the material on the Internet.

Page sworn in to Tennessee Supreme Court in secret ceremony

NASHVILLE (AP) — After a joint convention of the Tennessee General Assembly completed its first ever confirmation vote for new state Supreme Court Justice Roger A. Page, the jurist told a reporter he expected it would be a few months before he was sworn in to the bench.


Study: Lexus, Porsche and Buick are most dependable

DETROIT (AP) — Lexus, Porsche and Buick are the most dependable vehicle brands based on the number of problems reported by owners, according to a study released Wednesday by the consulting firm J.D. Power.

Honda plans no Takata rescue, bullish on green vehicles

TOKYO (AP) — Honda's president is sticking to its stance that the Japanese automaker plans no independent financial bailout for supplier Takata, which is embroiled in a massive recall crisis over air-bag inflators that may explode.


Apple: Congress, not courts, must decide

WASHINGTON (AP) — Apple Inc. will tell a federal judge this week in legal papers that its fight with the FBI over accessing a locked and encrypted iPhone should be kicked to Congress, rather than decided by courts, The Associated Press has learned.

Facebook's 'like' button gets 'angry' and 'sad' as friends

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook's "like" button isn't going away, but it's about to get some company.

Uber launches motorcycle ride-hailing service in Bangkok

BANGKOK (AP) — Smartphone ride-hailing service Uber is placing a bet on motorcycles in the Thai capital, adding motorbike rides to its arsenal of on-demand services.


US new-home sales tumble in January, big decline in West

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans stepped back from buying new homes in January, as purchases plunged sharply in western states where prices are typically higher.


Stocks erase an early loss and manage modest gains

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market reversed steep declines and ended slightly higher on Wednesday, thanks in part to a pickup in the price of crude oil.

Target swings to profit, comparable-store sales rise again

NEW YORK (AP) — Target is swung back to a profit for the fourth quarter and it's reporting its sixth consecutive quarter of rising comparable-store sales.


Haslam questions need to put cap on liquor store ownership

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican Gov. Bill Haslam said Tuesday that he is unsure of the need to restore limits on liquor store ownership that existed before a new state law to allow wine to be sold in supermarkets.

Haslam takes issue with lawmakers ordering refugee lawsuit

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam on Tuesday took issue with a move by fellow Republicans in the Legislature to order the state attorney to sue the federal government over the refugee resettlement program in Tennessee.


Emkes named chairman of Corrections Corporation of America

NASHVILLE (AP) - Corrections Corporation of America has named Mark Emkes, a former CEO of Nashville-based Bridgestone Americas, as the private prison operators' new chairman.

Sportscaster's lawyer describes shock over nude photos

NASHVILLE (AP) - An attorney for sportscaster and TV personality Erin Andrews told a jury Tuesday that Andrews felt horror, shame and humiliation when she discovered that someone had secretly filmed her nude and posted the video on the Internet.


GOP leaders mum on endorsements in Tennessee primary

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee's Republican leaders are keeping any presidential primary endorsements to themselves as the state wraps up the final day of early voting on Tuesday.

Today is last day of early voting for Tennessee primary

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tuesday is the last day of early voting for Tennessee's presidential primary on March 1.

Application period opens for Tennessee Educator Fellowship

NASHVILLE (AP) - The State Collaborative on Reforming Education says it is accepting applications for the Tennessee Educator Fellowship class of 2016-2017.


Country music producer accused of domestic violence

NASHVILLE (AP) — Country music producer Tony Brown has been arrested and charged with domestic assault after being accused of beating up a female family member.

Country singer Sonny James dies at age 87

NASHVILLE (AP) - Country singer Sonny James, who recorded romantic ballads like "Young Love" and turned pop songs into country hits, has died. He was 87.


Bill Gates sides against Apple in FBI iPhone-unlocking case

LONDON (AP) — Bill Gates is siding against Apple — and many other technology companies — in saying the firm should help the U.S. government to hack into a locked iPhone as part of an investigation into the San Bernardino shooting.


Rent prices are still climbing, just not as fast as before

WASHINGTON (AP) — Home rental price growth slowed down in January — as even sizzling markets such as the San Francisco Bay Area, Denver and Portland are cooling.

US home sales climbed in January despite weaker economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home sales crept upward in January, a sign that demand for housing remains strong amid signs of slower growth across the broader economy.

US home prices rise at a solid clip in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices increased at a solid clip in December, helped by a healthy job market and low mortgage rates.


Stocks end lower on Wall Street as commodities prices fall

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks fell broadly on Tuesday as commodity prices retreated. Crude oil sank more than 4 percent. Investors remained worried about growth in China as the country cut the value of its currency against the dollar yet again.

Saudi oil minister says market should handle low prices

HOUSTON (AP) — Saudi Arabia's oil minister says production cuts to boost oil prices won't work, and that instead the market should be allowed to work even if that forces some operators out of business.

Consumer confidence falls to 92.2 in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer confidence fell in February to the lowest level in seven months as worries about a slowing economy and tumbling stock prices took a toll.

Global winds chill business optimism in Europe

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Business confidence fell in Germany and France this month, increasing concern that global market turmoil may be weighing on the economy of the 19-member euro currency union.

Amid coal market struggles, less fuel worth mining in US

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Vast coal seams dozens of feet thick that lie beneath the rolling hills of the Northern Plains once appeared almost limitless, fueling boasts that domestic reserves were sufficient to power the U.S. for centuries.

Home Depot wraps up big year with another big quarter

ATLANTA (AP) — Home Depot reported better-than-expected profit and revenue in the fourth quarter and comparable-store sales jumped as the company continues to ride a sustained recovery in the housing market.


Senate votes to direct AG to sue over refugee settlement

NASHVILLE (AP) - The state attorney general would be directed to mount a legal challenge to the federal refugee resettlement program in Tennessee under a resolution approved by the Senate on Monday.


Naked man arrested at Nashville airport

NASHVILLE (AP) — A naked man has been arrested at Nashville International Airport — and airport officials say he is a repeat offender.


Nashville, Chattanooga and Memphis best for female-led firms

NASHVILLE (AP) - Nashville and Chattanooga have been ranked the two best cities in the country for women-owned businesses, and Memphis comes in at No. 4 in a nationwide analysis released Monday. The rankings come from financial website WalletHub, which looked at the business climate for female-led firms in the 100 most-populated areas in the country.

Tennessee teams with USDA to combat SNAP trafficking

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee officials are teaming with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in a renewed effort to combat trafficking of SNAP benefits.


Jury selection begins in sportscaster Erin Andrews' $75 million lawsuit

NASHVILLE (AP) — Jury selection begins Monday in the trial involving sportscaster and TV host Erin Andrews, who filed a $75 million lawsuit against the franchise owner and manager of a luxury hotel and a man who admitted making secret nude recordings of her in 2008.


Tennessee celebrating drop in sleep-related infant deaths

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee first lady Crissy Haslam and the state's health commissioner are headlining events to celebrate the success of a statewide initiative to reduce sleep-related deaths among infants.


Verizon to buy fiber-optic business for about $1.8 billion

NEW YORK (AP) — Verizon says it will pay $1.8 billion to buy the fiber-optic network business of XO Communications, in a deal that the wireless phone company said would boost the networks of its customers.

Experts: The FBI's iPhone-unlocking plan for Apple is risky

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — In its battle with Apple over an extremist's iPhone, the FBI says neither the company nor anyone else has anything to fear. Although they want to compel assistance from Apple to unlock a phone used by San Bernardino mass shooter Syed Farook, officials say the techniques they propose are limited in scope and pose no risk to the privacy of other iPhone users.

Zuckerberg to press on with Internet access despite setback

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg vowed Monday to press on with his 3-year-old effort to bring the developing world online, even after Indian regulators banned one of the pillars of the campaign.


Ford CEO looks to autonomous cars, sharing economy

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Ford CEO Mark Fields says the 112-year-old company is tripling its investment in new technologies that will ultimately lead to self-driving vehicles — but will make sure to keep making cars for drivers who want to keep their hands on the wheel.


Oil prices lift the market again as energy stocks rally

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks jumped Monday as the price of oil surged again, lifting energy stocks as well as mining and chemicals companies. Indexes in Europe and Asia also rose as investors hoped for stimulus to strengthen the economies of those regions and boost sales of energy, building materials and other goods.

IEA: Slashed spending by drillers could lead to price spike

HOUSTON (AP) — Oil prices will more than double by 2020 as current low prices lead drillers to cut investment in new production and gradually reduce the glut of crude, the head of a group of oil-importing countries said Monday.

High supplies seen capping oil price until early 2017

PARIS (AP) — A glut of oil will keep prices from rebounding until next year, much later than previously forecast, experts at the International Energy Agency said Monday.

US economy growing but faces international headwinds

WASHINGTON (AP) — A report from the president's economic advisers says more Americans gained work and experienced pay raises last year. But it says the United States faced global headwinds that will continue this year.

Lumber Liquidators stock plunges on revised CDC report

NEW YORK (AP) — Lumber Liquidators' stock plunged Monday as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now says people exposed to certain types of the company's laminate flooring were three times more likely to get cancer than the agency previously predicted.

Uber forced to drive defensively, again, after mass shooting

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — As authorities look for the reasons why a Michigan man allegedly embarked on a mass shooting spree over the weekend, the ride-hailing service Uber is addressing his record as a driver with the company.


GOP backers of defense budget hike got millions in donations

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans urging a steep increase in the Pentagon's budget have received $10 million in campaign contributions over the course of their congressional careers from defense contractors that would benefit from higher levels of military spending.


Southwest offers new nonstop service to Charlotte

NASHVILLE (AP) - Officials say Southwest Airlines will begin offering nonstop flights out of Nashville to Charlotte, North Carolina.


Academy of Country Music announces songwriting nominations

NASHVILLE (AP) - Grammy-winner singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton earned two extra nominations from the Academy of Country Music Awards, making him the leading nominee with seven nods.


Unions question Nissan's sponsorship of Olympics in Brazil

CANTON, Miss. (AP) — International unions supporting an effort to unionize Nissan's Mississippi assembly plant are questioning the automaker's sponsorship of the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

GM to invest $148 million in Spring Hill plant

SPRING HILL (AP) - General Motors has announced that it will invest $148 million in its Spring Hill plant to meet the growing demand for popular trucks and SUVs with V-8 engines.


Tennessee mulls higher hurdle to change historical markers

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee House has passed a bill that would make it more difficult to remove statues or rename streets dedicated to historical figures, including a state Capitol bust of a prominent Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan leader.


New council to give parents more of a say in schools

NASHVILLE (AP) — In a move designed to give parents more of a say about what's happening in their kids' schools, the Tennessee Department of Education has formed a new Parent Advisory Council.

Clinton targets African-American issues in Tennessee ads

NASHVILLE (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is targeting African-American voters as part of her first television ad buy in Tennessee.

Tennessee general fund collections beat projections by $400M

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's general fund tax collections have beaten projections by nearly $400 million through the first half of the budget year.


Stocks edge lower again, weighed down by the energy sector

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks fell Friday as the price of oil retreated and pulled energy company shares down, but the market remains on track for its best week of the year. Retail stocks are sliding further after a disappointing report from department store operator Nordstrom.

US consumer prices show signs of acceleration in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer prices were unchanged in January, as the rising costs of housing and health care were largely offset by cheaper oil.

Profit or patriotism? What's driving fight between US, Apple

WASHINGTON (AP) — Apple Inc. and the U.S. government are making their cases before anyone steps into a courtroom over a judge's order forcing Apple to help the FBI hack into an iPhone in a terrorism case.

Global economic growth seen leveling out this year

PARIS (AP) — A leading global policy organization says world economic growth is likely to level out this year and next.

Freddie Mac profit rises on higher interest rates

NEW YORK (AP) — Freddie Mac, the government-controlled mortgage company, said its net income jumped in the fourth quarter on higher interest rates.

Applications for US jobless benefits fall to 3-month low

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking unemployment aid fell last week to the lowest level since November, evidence that stock market turmoil and slow growth overseas haven't caused U.S. businesses to cut jobs.


Obama to raise human rights during historic trip to Cuba

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama said Thursday he'll raise human rights issues and other U.S. concerns with Cuban President Raul Castro during a history-making visit to the communist island nation.

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