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VOL. 38 | NO. 10 | Friday, March 7, 2014

For those who dare to ‘think different’: Budding entrepreneurs find a friend in Burcham

Michael Burcham accepted his Kiwanis Club’s 2013 Nashvillian of the Year award with a moving and resonant speech that was less about his own accomplishments than about creating opportunities for those who are marginalized by society.

Burcham: ‘Daily Show' embarrassments bad for Tennessee businesses

In his Q and A with Nashville Ledger, serial entrepreneur and business visionary Michael Burcham takes the Tennessee’s state legislature to task for hurting the state’s business climate with closed-mindedness, bigotry and backwards thinking.

Entrepreneur Center helps get tech ideas off the ground

In June 2013, the Nashville Entrepreneur Center opened the doors to a spacious complex in the Trolley Barn complex of Rolling Mill Hill. It was the culmination of efforts dating back to 2007 to create a storefront where would-be entrepreneurs can develop their startup business ideas under the mentorship of experienced businessmen and women.

Luring Google Fiber might depend on NES lowering fees

Can Google afford Nashville? The tech giant wants to offer its superfast fiber network – 100 times faster than average broadband speeds – in Nashville and eight other metropolitan areas across the U.S., in addition to the three it already serves.

Businesses might have long wait for Google's 100x speed

Can’t wait to get Google Fiber for your business? You’re probably at the back of the line. Even if Google does bring its service here, its first priority is residential customers.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Mostly Cloudy
Wind: East at 10.4 mph
Humidity: 50%


Real Estate Investors Network Real Estate Investors Network. Wholesaling Subgroup. Network with wholesalers and buyers of single-family and multi-family real estate. Topics include: deal pitches, deal analysis, deal-finding and marketing tips and tricks, measuring progress, where to get money to fund deals, contract clauses, and more to help you do better deals. Thursday, 6 p.m., Rein Education Center, 4525 Harding, STE 200, Nashville. Information: reintn.org. Additional opportunities:

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Cato’s app connects teens to teachers, employers

Hal Cato spent 10 years as CEO of the Oasis Center, a community center for at-risk teens. When he announced that he was leaving in 2011, Nashvillians knew that Oasis Center and the community were losing a great asset.

Southern/Alpha shares region’s tech successes

While many outsiders would likely be astonished, Nashville in recent years has emerged as a Southern pacesetter in the world of startups.


Like 2006 all over again: Area Realtors celebrate big successes of 2013

The Greater Nashville Association of Realtors (GNAR) celebrated the wonderment of 2013 with its Award of Excellence Gala Saturday night at the Hilton. With an announced crowd of 575 in attendance and more than 175 award winners, the event was reminiscent of 2006 when 226 won awards and over 600 poured into the Renaissance Hotel.


Secrecy is sacrosanct in Haslam administration

Phil Bredesen’s first act as governor was to issue an executive order requiring his cabinet officials, including himself, to disclose their yearly income.


Durham: Having a supermajority not always as simple as it sounds

When someone first mentioned to freshman state Rep. Jeremy Durham that there would be a new seat in Williamson County, he thought he was being asked to suggest someone, not run.


Barge Waggoner’s Higgins honored as top engineer

Bob Higgins, president and CEO of Barge, Waggoner, Sumner and Cannon, Inc., has been named 2014 Engineer of the Year by the Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers.


In business, failure isn’t a four-letter word

You were at work, but nothing was working. You knew there were problems with that big project, but you moved forward anyhow. Made contingency plans. Asked experts. You became obsessed.


Fresh off the Vine: Six seconds to an effective strategy

Given the increasingly shorter attention span of today’s Web user, it’s no wonder Twitter’s looping video app – Vine – is crawling its way into brand marketing strategies across the globe.


Even the best legal TV shows can be held in contempt

The phrase “civil war” is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms. And, of course, it’s generally used to refer to open hostilities between factions that occupy a common geographical sphere.


No cats harmed in making these biscuits

Hubby and I are at a newspaper convention in San Antonio. We were looking forward to a break from the wet, cool weather at home, but so far, we’ve had one foggy, wet day after another.


Pritchard's Distillery strikes distribution deal

NASHVILLE (AP) — Pritchard's Distillery has struck a deal with Aveniu Brands to market and distribute its spirits.


Grand Ole Opry House celebrates 40th anniversary

NASHVILLE (AP) — Country music's most famous radio show, WSM-AM's "Grand Ole Opry," has been on air since 1925, but the show didn't find a permanent home until the Grand Ole Opry House opened 40 years ago.


Resolution expresses regret for Trail of Tears

NASHVILLE (AP) - A resolution that expresses regret for the Removal Act of 1830 and the Trail of Tears has been approved in the House.

Senate decries 'radical agenda' of UT's Sex Week

NASHVILLE (AP) - The state Senate has passed a resolution directing the University of Tennessee to require parents to opt in to allowing student fees to go toward events deemed "controversial or objectionable."

Bill shields school religious displays from suits

NASHVILLE (AP) - Legislation that would protect schools from lawsuits for allowing traditional winter celebrations and religious displays has been approved in the House.

Bill to dial back Common Core standards fails

NASHVILLE (AP) — A proposal to dial back the implementation of Tennessee's Common Core standards has failed this session.


Judge: Some records in Vandy rape case are public

NASHVILLE (AP) — A judge ruled late Wednesday that some records in the rape case against four former Vanderbilt football players should be released to a media group that argued the public has a right to them.

2 well-known attorneys charged with extortion

NASHVILLE (AP) — Two well-known Middle Tennessee attorneys have been charged with extortion after being accused of having a client arrested when she didn't give in to pressure to pay them more in legal fees.


Volkswagen gives cautious outlook for rest of year

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — German automaker Volkswagen gave a cautious outlook for the year ahead Thursday after announcing a modest rise in 2013 earnings.

GM excluded crash deaths from ignition inquiry

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors excluded the Saturn Ion from a Feb. 13 recall for faulty ignition switches after engineers inexplicably failed to look at fatal crashes involving the compact car.


3 Fed nominees signal support for current policy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Three nominees for the Federal Reserve's board are expressing their support for the Fed's efforts to bolster the U.S. economy. Their comments suggest that the Fed's low-interest-rate policies will continue if they win confirmation.

Applications for US jobless aid dip to 3-month low

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits dropped 9,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 315,000, a sign the job market is picking up after a winter slump.

US retail sales rebounded 0.3 percent in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. retail sales bounced back in February after suffering a steep decline during a bitterly cold January. Shoppers spent more on autos, clothing and furniture.

Average US 30-year mortgage rate up to 4.37 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose last week but remained close to historically low levels.

Amazon hikes Prime membership to $99 per year

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon is raising the price of its popular Prime membership to $99 per year, an increase of $20.

US stocks give up an early gain and turn lower

The Dow Jones industrial average was headed for its fourth loss in a row Thursday afternoon. Stocks had opened higher on better news about retail sales and the U.S. job market, then turned lower in late morning trading.

Oil back above $98 after China jitters

The price of oil rose above $98 per barrel on Thursday after plunging the day before on concern China's economic slowdown is deepening.


Legal battle brews for town wanting to change name to Rocky Top

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A former coal mining town's effort to revive its fortunes by changing its name to Rocky Top has hit a snag.

Panel member: Politics affect decisions on judges

NASHVILLE (AP) - A leading conservative member of the commission that evaluates Tennessee's appellate judges says the panel was influenced by partisan politics in deciding whether a judge on the state's highest court was fit to serve.


UT president says school can't ban Sex Week event

NASHVILLE (AP) - University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro is urging lawmakers not to pursue legislation that would penalize the school over its student-run Sex Week.

Senators consider swinging support to AG election

NASHVILLE (AP) - Senate Minority Leader Jim Kyle says he may swing his support behind a proposed constitutional amendment calling for the popular election of the state's attorney general.

Bill to prohibit teacher licensure rules

NASHVILLE (AP) — Legislation that would prohibit student test scores from being tied to teacher licensing has passed a key House panel.

Bill makes changes to State Textbook Commission

NASHVILLE (AP) — A proposal that makes changes to the process for selecting books for state schools is advancing in the House.

Bill OKs for-profit entities to manage charters

NASHVILLE (AP) — Legislation that would permit a charter school to be operated by a for-profit entity is advancing in the House.


GM to offer loaner cars, cash to small-car owners

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is offering free loaner cars and $500 toward a new GM vehicle to more than a million owners of compact cars that are being recalled for a deadly ignition switch defect.

California pushes to finish driverless car rules

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California is trying to do something unusual in this age of rapidly evolving technology — get ahead of a big new development before it goes public.


Herbalife facing FTC inquiry; shares plunge

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Herbalife Ltd. says that it is facing an inquiry from the Federal Trade Commission.

NY comptroller: Average Wall St. bonus over $164K

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The average bonus paid to securities industry employees in New York City grew 15 percent last year to more than $164,000, the largest average Wall Street bonus since the 2008 financial crisis and the third highest on record, New York's state comptroller reported Wednesday.

US stocks turn mixed after a weak start

U.S. stocks are finishing mixed after a listless day as traders continue to worry about slowing growth in China and tensions in Ukraine.

Oil drops below $99 on China slowdown jitters

The price of oil dropped below $99 a barrel Wednesday as the possibility of a deeper economic slowdown in China fed expectations of weaker demand.

Airlines lower forecast for record 2014 profit

GENEVA (AP) — The global airlines industry still expects a record profit for 2014, just not quite as high as previously forecast due to the impact of rising jet fuel prices, officials said Wednesday.

Agency suing American Airlines over tax incentives

CHICAGO (AP) — The agency that oversees public transportation in Chicago is suing American Airlines for falsely claiming to buy "vast amounts of jet fuel" from a small office in a rural community to avoid paying tens of millions of dollars in taxes in the nation's third-largest city, where the actual work is done.


Official: Obama to push for more overtime pay

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will direct the Labor Department to strengthen overtime pay protections for millions of workers, a White House official said.


Tennessee health care sign-ups reach 78K in February

NASHVILLE (AP) - The number of Tennesseans singing up for coverage under the federal health insurance exchange reached nearly 78,000 through February.


Panel advances parent trigger bill in House

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal that would allow parents to decide the fate of a struggling school is advancing in the House.

Workers seek higher minimum wage

NASHVILLE (AP) - A coalition of close to 200 workers rallied on the steps of the state Capitol on Tuesday to speak out on issues ranging from increasing Tennessee's minimum wage to supporting public schools.

Bill to block Nashville Amp project worries Haslam

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam on Tuesday raised concerns about efforts by fellow Republicans in the state Legislature to block a dedicated bus lane project through Nashville.

Common Core bill passes House 81-9

NASHVILLE (AP) — Legislation that would require any data collected under Tennessee's Common Core standards only be used to track the academic progress and needs of students has passed the House.

Fiscal Review Committee bill delayed in House

NASHVILLE (AP) — A proposal that would change the time frame the Legislature's Fiscal Review Committee has to provide a fiscal analysis of a bill has been delayed.

Bill gives students free religious expression

NASHVILLE (AP) — Legislation that would allow a student to express a religious belief in a school assignment has passed the House.


More Tennesseans filing taxes electronically

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Internal Revenue Service says Tennesseans are e-filing tax returns in record numbers.


Panel to discuss selection of appellate judges

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Vanderbilt Law School is hosting a public session later this month to discuss how state appellate court judges are selected in Tennessee and how that process might be improved.


US House committee investigating GM recall

DETROIT (AP) — A congressional committee is investigating the way General Motors and a federal safety agency handled a deadly ignition switch problem in compact cars.

California mulls how to regulate 'driverless cars'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California's Department of Motor Vehicles is wading into the complex question of how to regulate the use of cars that rely on computers — not people — to drive them.


US stocks end slightly lower for a second day

Without any big economic news or blowout company earnings to respond to, investors found little to get excited about Tuesday and sent the stock market lower for the second day in a row.

A bid of $1.8 billion suits Jos A Bank just fine

NEW YORK (AP) — Looks like the best suitor won. After an extended chase that included overtures on both sides, Men's Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank will combine to create the nation's fourth largest seller of men's wear.

US employers posted more open jobs in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers advertised slightly more jobs in January than in December, a sign that hiring should remain steady in coming months.

US wholesaler sales fall 1.9 percent in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. wholesale businesses in January suffered their steepest sales drop in nearly five years, yet they continued to increase their stockpiles. This suggests that companies expect the economy to rebound after experiencing an abrupt winter slowdown.

Oil falls below $101 as crude stocks seen rising

The price of oil dropped below $101 a barrel Tuesday on expectations U.S. crude stocks rose last week.

More choices, more rides bring transit renaissance

LOS ANGELES (AP) — With more trains and buses to take, and the appeal of using travel time for pursuits other than dodging traffic, Americans are taking greater advantage of a renaissance in public transit, according to a new report.

Public transit ridership mostly down in Tennessee

Despite growing national figures, most Tennesseans aren't using public transit as much as they did last year, according to new ridership numbers.


Democrats clock all-nighter with climate talk

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic senators clocked an all-nighter, working in shifts into Tuesday morning to warn of the devastation from climate change and the danger of inaction.


Lawsuit challenges use of student test scores

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee's largest teachers' union is suing the Knox County Board of Education, claiming the student test scores used to assess a teacher's performance were flawed and cost her a bonus.


Singer Mel Tillis recovering from heart surgery

NASHVILLE (AP) - Country Music Hall of Fame singer Mel Tillis is recovering in Nashville after heart surgery over the weekend.


Bill shields school religious displays from suits

NASHVILLE (AP) — The state House is scheduled to take up legislation Monday evening that would protect schools from lawsuits for allowing traditional winter celebrations, or religious displays.


Court rules for landowner in trail dispute

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has sided with a Wyoming property owner in a dispute over a bicycle trail that follows the route of an abandoned railroad. The decision could force the government to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to compensate landowners.


GOP fundraiser Welch dies at 80

NASHVILLE (AP) — Ted Welch, a prolific fundraiser in Tennessee Republican politics for four decades, has died. He was 80.


Administration drops proposed Medicare changes

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration says it's pulling the plug on proposed changes to the Medicare prescription program that ran into strong opposition on Capitol Hill.

Health law cited as US uninsured rate drops

WASHINGTON (AP) — The share of Americans without health insurance is dropping to the lowest levels since President Barack Obama took office, but sign-ups under his health care law lag among Hispanics — a big pool of potential beneficiaries.


US stocks slip on signs of weakness in China

U.S. stocks are closing slightly lower following disappointing economic news from China and Japan.

Oil falls to around $101 after China data

The price of oil sunk to around $101 on Monday after a surprise drop in China's exports suggested demand for crude could weaken.

Sbarro again files for Ch. 11 reorganization

NEW YORK (AP) — Sbarro has filed for Chapter 11 reorganization for the second time in three years.

Americans riding public transit in record numbers

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Americans are boarding public buses, trains and subways in greater numbers than any time since the suburbs began booming.


Obama economists: Rosier picture if budget passed

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's top economists say the nation is on track to make economic progress over the next two years, but say it would do even better if Congress would enact the additional spending he proposed in his most recent budget. A divided Congress in an election year is not likely to heed that call.


Vince Vaughn brings comedy festival to Nashville

NASHVILLE (AP) - Actor Vince Vaughn is bringing a new comedy festival to Nashville this spring with live tapings and stand-up acts to be held at the city's music venues.

FBI investigating CCA

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - The FBI has taken over the Idaho criminal investigation into private prison company Corrections Corporation of America.


Fire officials urge inspection of smoke alarms

NASHVILLE (AP) - The state fire marshal's office is asking Tennessee residents to inspect their smoke alarms when they change their clocks this weekend.


Mohawk Industries to build $180M tile plant in Dickson County

DICKSON (AP) — Mohawk Industries says it will build a $180 million tile plant in Dickson County, creating 320 new jobs over the next four years.


Senate passes Medicaid legislative approval bill

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Senate on Thursday voted to require Gov. Bill Haslam to secure legislative approval for any potential deal to expand Medicaid in Tennessee despite the Republican governor's repeated assurances that he would first seek their OK for any arrangement.


Obama to Latinos: Last call for health care signup

WASHINGTON (AP) — Issuing a last call for health care, President Barack Obama assured Latinos on Thursday that signing up for new insurance exchanges won't lead to deportation for any relatives in the U.S. illegally.


Job gain despite winter blast lifts economic hopes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Brutal winter weather snarled traffic, canceled flights and cut power to homes and factories in February. Yet it didn't faze U.S. employers, who added 175,000 jobs, far more than the two previous months.

US trade deficit rose to $39.1 billion in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit widened slightly in January as a rise in imports of oil and other foreign goods offset a solid increase in exports.

US stocks muddled as Ukraine tensions fester

NEW YORK (AP) — One positive report on the economy was not enough to make investors more confident.

Oil rises on solid gain in US hiring; gasoline up

The price of oil crept up to near $102 a barrel Friday after a solid increase in U.S. employment and a decline in the dollar.

US consumer borrowing up $13.7 billion in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumers increased their borrowing in January on autos and student loans but cut back on their credit card use.

Man credited with creating bitcoin denies it

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto said Thursday that he is not the creator of bitcoin, adding further mystery to the story of how the world's most popular digital currency came to be.

Staples to close 225 stores as sales move online

Staples has become the second major chain to announce the mass closing of stores this week, providing the latest evidence of how the retail landscape is being remade by shifts in American shopping habits.

Average US 30-year mortgage rate slips to 4.28 pct

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell after three weeks of increases, edging closer to historically low levels.

Stock and housing gains put US net worth at record

WASHINGTON (AP) — A surging stock market and rebounding home prices boosted Americans' wealth to a record in the final three months of last year, though both trends have slowed so far in 2014.

Girl Scouts asked to end partnership with Barbie

NEW YORK (AP) — A few weeks after her foray into the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, Barbie is entangled in controversy again, this time over her ties with the Girl Scouts.

Target exec's departure puts spotlight on CIOs

NEW YORK (AP) — The departure of Target's chief information officer in the wake of the company's massive pre-Christmas data breach highlights the increased pressure facing executives who are charged with protecting corporate computer systems from hackers whose attacks are on the rise and becoming more sophisticated.

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