VOL. 41 | NO. 13 | Friday, March 31, 2017
SAM STOCKARD: VIEW FROM THE HILL
This year’s marijuana bills are a mixed bag. Rep. Jeremy Faison is sending his medical marijuana legislation to a task force, as opposed to “summer study,” typically considered the trash heap for unwanted bills.
The Oscars were held in Los Angeles earlier this year, but it’s likely the team from Planet H2O didn’t see the telecast.
Training judges on how to taste water would seem, at first blush, to be an uncomplicated task. Arthur Von Wiesenberger would politely beg to differ.
RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK
For years, properties in the Green Hills area were second only to Belle Meade in value. In the late 1980s, when home buyers began to place premiums on historical properties, the areas around Whitland, Richland and Central saw property prices increase. Cherokee Park enjoyed some appreciation as a result of this trend and later in the 1990s Belmont joined the band wagon
DAVID CLIMER: OUT OF LEFT FIELD
It looks like Butch Jones isn’t the only University of Tennessee coach on the hot seat.
Dr. Kevin D. Rome, Sr., president of Lincoln University of Missouri, has been selected by the Board of Trustees as the 16th president of Fisk University.
BEHIND THE WHEEL
Kia’s compact Forte sedan retains its value-for-the-money status for 2017 while adding refined new styling, upgraded seat fabric, more features and a new, fuel-efficient engine.
Public relations departments are like fire departments. PR folks would much rather prevent your organizational fire than put it out.
I’ve met a number of people lately who have said something that’s surprised me, that they aren’t sure if college is really worth it.
NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Historical Commission has come out against a plan to exhume the body of former President James K. Polk from the grounds of the state Capitol and move it 50 miles away.
NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee bill that would outlaw and block funding for immigrant-protecting sanctuary cities is dead for the year.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week for a third straight week, approaching their low points for the year.
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are wavering Thursday morning after a sharp drop late in the previous day. Energy companies are rising with the price of oil and retailers are up after a series of strong sales reports. Later, President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, will start a two-day meeting.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, a sign of the job market appears to be increasingly secure for workers.
HONG KONG (AP) — Asia's developing economies will see steady growth this year and the next, though the evolving policies of President Donald Trump's administration are a major uncertainty, the Asian Development Bank said in a report Thursday.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate showdown is at hand over President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, and it could change the Senate and the court for years to come.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Most Americans oppose funding President Donald Trump's wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, according to poll released Thursday by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The president gets higher marks for efforts to boost defense spending and beef up the border patrol.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats had hoped the one big policy area they could find common ground with President Donald Trump on was infrastructure, but they don't like what they're hearing from administration officials about the transportation portion of the plan that's still in the works.
WASHINGTON (AP) — An FBI investigation and congressional probes into the Trump campaign and contacts with Russia continue to shadow the administration, each new development a focus of White House press briefings and attention on Capitol Hill.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Faced with mounting opposition within the Republican Party, a powerful House committee chairman says he is making significant changes to a proposed tax on imports.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 5
NASHVILLE (AP) — Country star Alan Jackson, actor-singer-guitarist Jerry Reed and songwriter Don Schlitz will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Nashville Public Television’s Board of Directors has announced the retirement of NPT’s President & CEO, Beth Curley and promoted Kevin Crane, NPT’s Vice President of Content and Technology to be the next President & CEO effective July 6, 2017.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Nashville authorities have rescued more than 40 birds in a suspected cockfighting operation.
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Susana Martinez is scheduled to return to New Mexico after a quick trip to Tennessee.
NASHVILLE (AP) — House Speaker Beth Harwell is working on an 11th-hour effort to make sweeping changes to the funding mechanism of Gov. Bill Haslam's transportation plan in order to eliminate any increases in Tennessee's tax on gasoline.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers have advanced a proposal to eliminate jail time for carrying a gun in public without a state-issued permit.
NASHVILLE (AP) — A bill that would require seat belts on new school buses in Tennessee continues to advance in the Legislature, but lawmakers remain skeptical about the restraints.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam's road funding proposal that would include the state's first gas tax hike since 1989 is advancing to its final standing committee in the House before a full floor vote.
NASHVILLE (AP) — A plan by Democrats to expand the Medicaid program in Tennessee appeared dead Wednesday after the sponsor of the measure pulled the bill.
NASHVILLE (AP) — After previously voting the bill down, a House panel has advanced legislation to amend the state constitution to say that God is the source of Tennesseans' liberties.
NASHVILLE (AP) — A bill that would require seat belts on Tennessee school buses narrowly advanced Tuesday as a child injured in a deadly Chattanooga bus crash watched.
NEW YORK (AP) — YouTube TV, Google's new streaming package of about 40 television channels, is the tech industry's latest bid to get cable-shunning millennials to pay for live TV over the internet. It offers intriguing advantages over rivals, but it remains hobbled by a limited channel selection.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House on Wednesday talked up progress with Republicans on resuscitating the GOP health care bill, but offered no timeline on rewriting a measure that could win House approval.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Most young Americans want any health care overhaul under President Donald Trump to look a lot like the Affordable Care Act signed into law by his predecessor, President Barack Obama.
CHICAGO (AP) — Companies cannot discriminate against LGBT employees in the workplace because of their sexual orientation, a federal appeals court said, in a ruling that a gay rights group called a "game changer."
NEW YORK (AP) — A big rally in U.S. stocks evaporated Wednesday as the Federal Reserve appeared to struggle with questions related to inflation and government policy and suggested it might start trimming its balance sheet later in the year.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve officials last month discussed the possibility of reducing their enormous portfolio of bond holdings later this year, sooner than many investors have been expecting.
NEW YORK (AP) — More advertisers fled Bill O'Reilly's show on Wednesday, with drugmaker Pfizer and real estate company Coldwell Banker among the latest to distance themselves.
HIRING SURGE: Small businesses kicked up their hiring last month, adding a robust 118,000 jobs, up from a revised 87,000 in February, according to payroll provider ADP. The company's small business customers, those with up to 49 employees, have hired an average 93,000 workers each month this year, up from an average 61,000 in 2016.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A new report suggests that people living in urban minority neighborhoods could be paying as much as 30 percent more for car insurance, but an industry group says the report's findings are flawed.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. private businesses added the most jobs in more than two years last month, a private survey found, a third straight month of robust gains.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Panera is being acquired by Europe's JAB Holding Co. for more than $7 billion.
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Top Greek and European officials indicated Wednesday that it's possible to reach a breakthrough in the country's difficult bailout talks over the next two days. Greece's prime minister said that if a deal on paying Athens the next bailout installment fails to materialize, the eurozone should hold a special summit.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has removed chief strategist Steve Bannon from the National Security Council, reversing an earlier, controversial decision to give Bannon access to the high-level meetings.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A Democratic senator yielded the Senate floor Wednesday morning after talking through the night to highlight his party's opposition to President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch.
TUESDAY, APRIL 4
Grammy-nominated country artist Chris Young will headline Nashville’s July 4 celebration, which will take place near Riverfront Park with a stage on Broadway, the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp announced today.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Justin Timberlake will headline the next Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival and he's lured some big names to join him, including Eddie Vedder, Ryan Adams, The Avett Brothers, Mavis Staples and Gary Clark Jr.
Despite objections to a pharmaceutical reporting requirement, a House committee this morning passed legislation designed to make oral chemotherapy medication more affordable.
Legislation enabling state lawmakers to raise campaign funds during even-year session recesses evolved into a markedly different sort of bill this week: one allowing significant contribution increases for Senate candidates.
NASHVILLE (AP) — The latest effort to end Tennessee's open primary system has been withdrawn for the year.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican Rep. Jerry Sexton is once again berating his colleagues on the House floor about what he calls rules violations and manipulations to advance Gov. Bill Haslam's transportation funding proposal that would include the state's first gas tax hike since 1989.
NASHVILLE (AP) — The Senate on Monday passed a bill that could make it easier for rural areas in Tennessee to get access to high-speed internet. However, a last-minute amendment tacked on to the bill would not require the internet to be so speedy.
NASHVILLE (AP) — A push to offer in-state college tuition rates to students whose parents brought them into the country illegally is picking up unlikely momentum from some Republicans in Tennessee, a deeply conservative state that voted overwhelmingly for President Donald Trump and his tough stance on immigration.
NASHVILLE (AP) — A new plan released by the Tennessee Department of Education will make schools more accountable and give parents a better idea of how to evaluate their neighborhood schools.
MEMPHIS (AP) — A federal judge has struck down a law regulating outdoor advertising in Tennessee, citing it as an unconstitutional restriction of free speech.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Facebook has lost a legal fight against a New York City prosecutor who sought search warrants for hundreds of user accounts.
NASHVILLE (AP) — A legal fight over the estate of actor-politician Fred Thompson has ended.
FRANKLIN (AP) — A Williamson County jury has convicted a man of human trafficking in what's believed to be the first trial of its kind in the county.
DETROIT (AP) — Passenger car sales plummeted again in March, dragging U.S. auto sales to their third straight monthly decline, a strong indication that years of sales growth have come to an end.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Most people who search on Google, share on Facebook and shop on Amazon have never heard of Sir Tim Berners-Lee. But they might not be doing any of those things had he not invented the World Wide Web.
WASHINGTON (AP) — White House officials made a new offer to conservative House Republicans late Monday on the GOP's failed health care bill, hoping to resuscitate a measure that crashed spectacularly less than two weeks ago.
Stocks are closing little changed on Wall Street as gains in energy companies are canceled out by losses in banks and other parts of the market.
Bill O'Reilly's top-rated Fox News show may be starting to feel a financial sting after allegations that he sexually harassed several women.
NEW YORK (AP) — A Fox News contributor came forward to level more sexual-harassment allegations against deposed chief executive Roger Ailes on Monday, two days after it was revealed the network's most popular on-air personality, Bill O'Reilly, has settled multiple complaints about his own behavior with women.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The newspaper chain owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is eliminating nearly 300 jobs to cut costs because of declining advertising and circulation revenue.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The IRS says it is once again using private debt collectors to go after tax delinquents. The resumption of the program comes amid a wave of telephone scams in which fake IRS agents try to con innocent taxpayers out of their money.
NEW YORK (AP) — Equal Pay Day is being held Tuesday to highlight wage discrimination against women. Activists are holding rallies around the country. Here's what you need to know:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to U.S. factories rose in February amid a surge in demand for commercial aircraft, but a key category that tracks business investment spending slipped for the first time in five months.
SAN DIEGO (AP) — One potential bidder on President Donald Trump's border wall with Mexico wanted to know if authorities would rush to help if workers came under "hostile attack." Another asked if employees can carry firearms in states with strict gun control laws and if the government would indemnify them for using deadly force.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit declined sharply in February as imports from China fell by a record amount and American exports rose for a third straight month.
MONDAY, APRIL 3
Legislative Democrats are calling on Republicans to join them in passing a slate of bills to combat Gov. Bill Haslam’s outsourcing plans for everything from state parks to facilities management at universities.
NASHVILLE (AP) — A newspaper analysis has found that Tennessee lawmakers drew thousands of dollars from their campaign funds for expenses that may have been covered by their allowances for meals, travel and housing when they are serving at the state Capitol.
NASHVILLE (AP) — The Republican leader in the Tennessee House says he will donate sleeping bags sent in protest over his efforts to allow lawmakers living within 50 miles of the Capitol to be reimbursed for occasional hotel stays in Nashville.
NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Senate has voted to let people use silencers on guns for the sake of hearing and bring guns on their boats.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is headed for a tense showdown over President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee that could have far-reaching consequences for Congress, the high court and the nation.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A deeply divided Senate panel favorably recommended Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch on Monday, sending the nomination to the full Senate for what is expected to be a partisan showdown — and eventual confirmation.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a Hendersonville-based company that provides therapy services for kids with autism has agreed to pay $20,000 to settle claims that it fraudulently billed a military health program.
NASHVILLE (AP) — A plan by a Tennessee nonprofit to house the homeless by building a village of micro homes near a church has prompted some neighbors to picket in protest.
NASHVILLE (AP) — The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville has turned 50.
GATLINBURG (AP) — For Lisa and Kevin McCarter, who lost their Gatlinburg home to the wildfire, reasons to celebrate have been scarce.
DETROIT (AP) — Passenger car sales continued to plummet last month and were a drag for many automakers, even with offers of some very juicy discounts.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. developers ramped up construction spending in February to the largest amount in nearly 11 years, led by more building of homes, highways and schools.
WASHINGTON (AP) — With prospects in doubt for repealing "Obamacare," some Republicans say the Trump administration can rewrite regulations and take other actions to undo much of the health care law on its own.
NEW YORK (AP) — Federal regulators are relaxing one of the conditions imposed on Charter when it absorbed Time Warner Cable after smaller cable companies complained about greater competition in their territories.
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks started the second quarter with a thud Monday after car makers reported disappointing March sales, a possible warning about other types of spending. But a late recovery helped stocks avoid bigger losses.
NEW YORK (AP) — If you're driving for Uber or renting out a room through Airbnb to make some extra cash, don't forget — you likely need to pay taxes on what you earned, even if it's a part-time gig.
WASHINGTON (AP) — American factories expanded for the seventh straight month in March but at a slightly slower pace than they did in February.
NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook and Mozilla are among the companies and organizations launching a $14 million fund to promote news literacy and increase trust in journalism.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The flow of oil from an underwater pipeline leak discovered in Alaska's Cook Inlet over the weekend has been stopped, although it's not yet known how much crude poured into the water posing a threat to wildlife.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Interior Department is scrapping an Obama-era rule aimed at ensuring that coal companies don't shortchange taxpayers on huge volumes of coal extracted from public lands, primarily in the West.
WASHINGTON (AP) — After their humiliating loss on health care, Republicans in Congress could use a quick victory on a big issue. It won't be an overhaul of the tax code.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump took steps on coal regulation and broader energy policy during a week also marked by shadow-boxing over health care and Russian intrigue. False advertising and rhetorical feints went into the mix.
FRIDAY, MARCH 31
NASHVILLE (AP) — Christian music singer Amy Grant and Nashville philanthropist Martha R. Ingram will be honored with stars on the Music City Walk of Fame next month in Tennessee.
Saying free market forces should control development, state Rep. Glen Casada pushed a measure through the House Thursday targeting a Nashville ordinance placing affordable housing requirements on developers.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Tempers are flaring in the Tennessee House over Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to boost transportation funding through the state's first fuel tax hike in decades.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee is being sued by two trade groups seeking to block a requirement to collect state sales taxes for online purchases.
KNOXVILLE (AP) — Knoxville's Solid Waste Management Facility will remain closed Friday as crews work to dispose of toxic chemicals that were accidentally brought there.
KNOXVILLE (AP) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd is donating $5 million to the zoo in his hometown of Knoxville.
SHELBYVILLE (AP) — In Rep. Scott DesJarlais' district, some residents are cheering the demise of the revised national health care law bitterly opposed by the House Freedom Caucus, of which DesJarlais is a member.
KNOXVILLE (AP) — Former Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs has been selected as a Torchbearer, which is billed as the highest student honor given out by the university.
SAN DIEGO (AP) — A judge on Friday approved an agreement for President Donald Trump to pay $25 million to settle lawsuits over his now-defunct Trump University, ending nearly seven years of legal battles with customers who claimed they were misled by failed promises to teach success in real estate.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's plan to kill Obamacare died last week. Or maybe it didn't.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week for a second straight week, slipping further from their highest levels of the year reached two weeks ago.
NEW YORK (AP) — Twitter has found more creative ways to ease its 140-character limit without officially raising it.
DETROIT (AP) — Volkswagen is paying more than $157 million to 10 states to settle environmental lawsuits over the company's diesel emissions-cheating scandal.
Wall Street closed out a solid quarter Friday with a day of listless trading that ended on a soft note.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumers increased their spending at the weakest pace in six months, while the 12-month rise in consumer prices was the largest in nearly five years.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew at a slightly faster rate in the fourth quarter than earlier estimates, as consumers ramped up spending that's expected fuel growth throughout 2017.
NEW YORK (AP) — Coming soon to McDonald's: Fresh beef.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Reluctant state senators on Monday passed an emergency budget extension proposed by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sidestep the looming government shutdown resulting from gridlock in Albany.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is facing new questions about political interference in the investigations into Russian election meddling following reports that White House officials secretly funneled material to the chairman of the House intelligence committee.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is in discussions with the House and Senate intelligence committees on receiving immunity from "unfair prosecution" in exchange for agreeing to be questioned as part of ongoing probes into possible contacts between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and Russia, his attorney says.
WASHINGTON (AP) — As he tries to line up enough votes to block President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, the Senate Democratic leader is strongly warning Republicans against changing Senate rules to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump talked tough on trade on the campaign trail, vowing to renegotiate a slew of major deals and to label China a currency manipulator on "Day One." Now his administration appears to be taking a more cautious approach.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Government shutdown or no shutdown?
WASHINGTON (AP) — A top aide to President Donald Trump is leaving his administration.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Most Americans disapprove of Donald Trump's overall performance two months into his presidency. But they're more upbeat about at least one critical area: his handling of the economy.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A Democratic senator is warning her party it could be politically dangerous to block President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee.
WASHINGTON (AP) — DuPont and Dow have once again postponed their proposed $62 billion merger, saying they expect the deal to close in August.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is talking up his efforts to boost American manufacturing.