VOL. 41 | NO. 11 | Friday, March 17, 2017
SAM STOCKARD: VIEW FROM THE HILL
Often dull, but never boring. They might even make you break out into song. Halfway through the 2017 session, the General Assembly could be accused of lacking sharpness or sensibility, but what it lacks in luster it makes up for with lots of political song and dance.
DAVID CLIMER: OUT OF LEFT FIELD
Phillip Fulmer’s was notorious during his glory years as Tennessee’s football coach for maintaining staff stability.
RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK
Nashville-area home sales increased by 9.3 percent in February compared to the same period in 2016, Greater Nashville Realtors statistics show.
Top residential real estate sales, February 2017, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose this week for a second straight week, posting new highs for the year. The markets were anticipating an increase in a key interest rate by the Federal Reserve, which the Fed announced Wednesday.
John Fahner, formerly a partner at Inscoe and Fahner PLLC, has joined Kennedy and Associates.
BEHIND THE WHEEL
Volvo’s least expensive SUV, the XC60, is updated for 2017 with all fuel-efficient four-cylinder turbocharged engines and simpler trim levels for easier buyer choices.
The secret to a successful sales team – or any type of team, for that matter – is its ability to perform when the pressure is on. That can only happen when the team is able to have open, non-defensive dialogue about tough issues.
Today’s job market is tough. If you’re trying to find a new job – or get a promotion at your current job – you can probably relate.
NASHVILLE (AP) — A bill to require Tennessee school buses to be fitted with seat belts by July 2023 is advancing in the House.
NASHVILLE (AP) — A bill that would let immigrant students who are in the country illegally pay in-state college tuition advanced in the Tennessee Legislature on Wednesday.
NASHVILLE (AP) — For Republican gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd, it made perfect sense to make two stops at community and technical colleges during his campaign announcement tour last week.
NASHVILLE (AP) — A former Nashville employee has sued the city claiming she was fired over a social media post supporting President Donald Trump.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans responded to higher mortgage rates by snapping up new homes in February at the fastest pace since July.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates slid this week from their highest levels of 2017.
NEW YORK (AP) — ABC News says three of its Twitter accounts were hacked Thursday morning and sent out profanity-filled tweets to its millions of followers.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Showdown day at hand, Republicans remained short of votes Thursday for their showpiece health care overhaul, hoping for President Donald Trump to close the deal with balky conservatives at a White House meeting.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The conservative Koch network is promising to spend millions of dollars to defeat the health care overhaul backed by President Donald Trump and top House Republicans.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The GOP's long-promised legislation to repeal and replace "Obamacare" stood on the brink just hours before Republican leaders planned to put it on the House floor for a showdown vote. Short of support, GOP leaders looked to President Donald Trump to close the deal with a crucial bloc of conservatives, in the first major legislative test of his young presidency.
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans' health care bill provides massive tax cuts to the wealthy while increasing taxes for many lower income families, adding to America's big income gap between the rich and everyone else.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Middle-age white Americans with limited education are increasingly dying younger, on average, than other middle-age U.S. adults, a trend driven by their dwindling economic opportunities, research by two Princeton University economists has found.
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are mostly higher Thursday as bank stocks recover some ground thanks to an upturn in bond yields, which will make lending money more profitable. Google's parent company, Alphabet, leads technology stocks lower as a number of companies say they will stop advertising on YouTube.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A new Federal Reserve survey has found that children who grew up in poverty were twice as likely to struggle with financial challenges later in life, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said Thursday.
WASHINGTON (AP) — More people sought U.S. unemployment benefits last week, but applications are still at a low level that points to a healthy job market.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Treasury Department agents have recently obtained information about offshore financial transactions involving President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, as part of a federal anti-corruption probe into his work in Eastern Europe, The Associated Press has learned.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Anthony Scaramucci announced to the world in January that he would be leaving Wall Street for the White House to become President Donald Trump's top public liaison. Not long after, Scaramucci was told by Trump's chief of staff that the sale of his hedge fund — a deal that includes a well-known Chinese conglomerate — raised too many ethics issues for him to start work immediately.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia's new tax on sweetened beverages is exceeding expectations.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22
Legislation restricting restroom use at public schools for transgender students got flushed Wednesday.
NASHVILLE (AP) — A voucher bill that would let parents use taxpayer money to spend on private schools has failed to get enough votes to move forward in the state Senate.
NASHVILLE (AP) — A bill that would allow school systems to deduct up to 10 percent of teachers' unions dues from payroll has passed in a House education subcommittee.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to boost transportation funding through Tennessee's first gas tax hike since 1989 survived a key House committee vote on Tuesday.
NASHVILLE (AP) — A panel of Tennessee lawmakers has advanced bills to allow the use of silencers, let boaters bring their loaded guns on board, and permit off-duty law enforcement officers to bring guns into ticketed events at sports stadiums and other venues.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Putting everything on the line, President Donald Trump tried to sway wavering House Republicans on Wednesday some 24 hours before a climactic vote on a GOP health care overhaul. Hard-line conservatives were unpersuaded, insisting the leadership lacked the votes and should start over.
CHICAGO (AP) — Workers dreaming of early retirement are getting the jitters as Washington debates replacing the Obama-era health care law with a system that could be a lot more expensive for many older Americans.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans retreated from buying existing homes in February, a pullback after sales in January had surged to the fastest pace in a decade. But over the past 12 months, sales are up solidly.
BOSTON (AP) — The former head of a Massachusetts pharmacy was acquitted Wednesday of murder allegations but convicted of racketeering and other crimes in a meningitis outbreak that was traced to fungus-contaminated drugs and killed 64 people across the country.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is siding with hundreds of former workers at a New Jersey trucking company who said they were unfairly denied a claim for lost wages after the company filed for bankruptcy protection.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is siding with the leading maker of cheerleading uniforms in a patent dispute with a smaller rival.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google Maps users will soon be able to broadcast their movements to friends and family via the app — the latest test of how much privacy people are willing to sacrifice in an era of rampant sharing.
NEW YORK (AP) — After a shaky start, U.S. stocks finished mostly higher Wednesday as technology and industrial companies rose. Banks fell with interest rates as the market came off its biggest loss in five months.
NEW YORK (AP) — Sears, a back-to-school shopping destination for generations of kids, has said that after years of losing money that there is "substantial doubt" it will be able to keep its doors open. But it also insisted that its actions to turn around its business should help reduce that risk.
BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union is proposing new rules to make antitrust authorities in the bloc's member countries more effective.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin a decade ago and proposed an ambitious political strategy to undermine anti-Russian opposition across former Soviet republics, The Associated Press has learned.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is distancing itself from former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, saying his secret work for a Russian billionaire detailed in an Associated Press report happened during "the last decade."
WASHINGTON (AP) — Here are findings from The Associated Press' reporting on U.S. President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort's work for a Russian oligarch with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is taking credit for persuading TransCanada Corp. to withdraw a hefty lawsuit against the U.S. government over the previous administration's rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline. But the Canadian company says its bid for compensation for the stalled project is merely suspended, as it has been for weeks.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the Labor Department said Wednesday he won't allow potential political pressure from the administration to influence his hiring decisions and regrets he let that happen on his watch at the Justice Department.
TUESDAY, MARCH 21
NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to boost transportation funding through Tennessee's first gas tax hike since 1989 has survived a key House committee.
Despite a packed room of Memphis-area people opposed to vouchers for public school students, a House Education Committee advanced a pilot program targeting low-income children in the Shelby County Schools system’s low-performing schools.
MEMPHIS (AP) — The Shelby County Commission has decided against naming an interim replacement for a Republican state House member who resigned amid a sexual harassment investigation.
NASHVILLE (AP) — The state Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to take up a host of gun bills on Tuesday, including a proposal to eliminate the need for Tennesseans to obtain state-issued permits to carry handguns in public.
NASHVILLE (AP) — State Sen. Mae Beavers, the sponsor of a bill seeking to require students to use restrooms and locker rooms of the sex on their birth certificates, says she is exploring a bid for Tennessee governor.
NASHVILLE (AP) — A former Tennessee GOP leader said state House Speaker Beth Harwell told her she is running for governor, but the Nashville Republican responded Monday that she will make her decision after state lawmakers go home for the year.
NASHVILLE (AP) — U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is scheduled to come to Nashville for a campaign fundraiser.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Tuesday limited the president's power to temporarily fill vacant government posts while nominations are tied up in partisan political fights.
MEMPHIS (AP) — A state board on Monday dropped disciplinary charges against the top prosecutor in Memphis arising from a murder case she handled.
NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Hospital Association has released a report saying the impact of rural hospitals is nearly $1 billion to the state's economy.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican leaders hope that the latest changes to their health care bill win enough votes to drive the legislation through the House later this week. It's looking tight.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Time for talk running out, President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned wavering House Republicans that their jobs were on the line in next year's elections if they failed to back a GOP bill that would overhaul Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.
MEMPHIS (AP) — A group of protesters is calling for Republican U.S. Rep. David Kustoff to vote against the GOP-led plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
NEW YORK (AP) — Wells Fargo plans to upgrade all 13,000 of its ATMs next week to allow customers to access their funds using their cellphones instead of traditional bank cards.
NEW YORK (AP) — Apple is refreshing and cutting prices on two of its iPads, but held back on updating its higher-end tablets.
NEW YORK (AP) — An organization affiliated with Google is offering tools that news organizations and election-related sites can use to protect themselves from hacking.
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks took their biggest loss in five months Tuesday as a health care bill backed by President Donald Trump ran into trouble in Congress, which raised some questions about his agenda of faster economic growth spurred on by lower taxes and cuts in regulations.
NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart is launching an incubator lab focused on projects in robotics, virtual and augmented reality, and artificial intelligence as it aims to compete more aggressively with Amazon.
BEIJING (AP) — An American business group appealed to China on Tuesday to ease import restrictions on agricultural goods including genetically modified seeds and other biotechnology, highlighting complaints Beijing blocks market access despite its vocal support for free trade.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump White House is instructing Cabinet heads and agency officials what to tell and not tell Congress about the last week's proposed budget.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government, citing unspecified threats, is barring passengers on nonstop, U.S.-bound flights from eight mostly Middle Eastern and North African countries from bringing laptops, tablets, electronic games and other devices on board in carry-on bags.
MONDAY, MARCH 20
One of the nation’s most conservative anti-tax groups is supporting a plan by Sen. Mark Norris to offset fuel-tax increases with a reduction in the state’s grocery tax and nix a proposal to tie rates to the Consumer Price Index.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has rejected appeals from three Tennessee death-row inmates who say they should not be executed because they are intellectually disabled.
NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court is kicking off a weeks-long event that will help people across the state get free legal advice.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government is barring passengers on Royal Jordanian Airlines flights from bringing laptops, iPads, cameras and other electronics in carry-on luggage on certain U.S.-bound flights starting Tuesday, the airline said in a tweet Monday.
CLAXTON, Ga. (AP) — Talmadge Yarbrough had just sat down at his desk and opened a box of pecans when he let out a gasp that could have been his last breath. He'd gone into cardiac arrest in his office, a co-worker called 911, and an ambulance drove him two miles to the small hospital that serves this rural community in southeast Georgia.
NEW YORK (AP) — After an early-afternoon slump, U.S. stocks finished mostly lower Monday in a quiet day of trading. Banks fell along with bond yields as stocks declined for a third straight day.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Jeff Jones, president of the embattled ride-hailing company Uber, has resigned just six months after taking the job, the company confirmed Sunday.
LONDON (AP) — Britain's government will begin the process of leaving the European Union on March 29, starting the clock on the two years in which to complete the most important negotiation for a generation.
LONDON (AP) — The British government announced Monday that it will formally begin its exit from the European Union on March 29. Prime Minister Theresa May will invoke Article 50 of the key EU treaty, the official start of the two-year divorce process.
WASHINGTON (AP) — FBI Director James Comey confirmed Monday that the bureau is investigating possible links and coordination between Russia and associates of President Donald Trump as part of a broader probe of Russian interference in last year's presidential campaign.
WASHINGTON (AP) — There was no wiretap of Trump Tower, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said Monday, contradicting an assertion from President Donald Trump. But he said that other forms of surveillance of Trump and his associates have not been ruled out.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Jermaine Anderson keeps going back to the same memory of Donald Trump, then a candidate for president of the United States, referring to some Mexican immigrants as rapists and murderers.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Monday accused Democrats of making up allegations that Russia interfered in last year's election, and said Congress and the FBI should be going after media leaks instead.
WASHINGTON (AP) — It's poker night in a row house in Oxford, England, and Neil Gorsuch, deep in studies for yet another degree, is feeling down. His housemates decide he needs a girlfriend.
FRIDAY, MARCH 17
NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's general fund tax collections were $8.4 million above projections in February, bringing the state's surplus revenues to $491 million through the first seven months of the budget year.
MEMPHIS (AP) — Ten candidates have registered to run for a state House seat vacated when former Republican state Rep. Mark Lovell resigned amid a sexual harassment investigation.
NASHVILLE – While state lawmakers recognized the historical significance of President Donald Trump visiting the home of President Andrew Jackson in Hermitage Wednesday, the review is mixed on comparisons between the two as well as the Jackson legacy.
NASHVILLE – Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris expressed reservations today about legislation allowing tax dollars to be used to send low-income students in struggling public schools to private schools.
NASHVILLE (AP) — People could carry loaded guns on their boats in a bill approved by the Tennessee House of Representatives.
NASHVILLE (AP) — The Nashville police department has requested $50.1 million so that all 1,400 of the city's officers can wear body cameras and all police cruisers will be fitted with dash cams.
NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court has made a decision that could make it easier for a divorced parent to move out of state with the kids, even if the other parent objects to the children relocating.
CHATTANOOGA (AP) — The Tennessee Valley Authority is planning to auction off much of the land on which it was first created in 1933.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he wants people to know he's "100 percent behind" the House Republican health care bill.
WASHINGTON (AP) — What goes on the chopping block: Research into cancer or Alzheimer's? A Zika vaccine or a treatment for superbugs?
WASHINGTON (AP) — Health secretary Tom Price prodded divided Republicans on Friday to "get together and collaborate" on a health care overhaul as GOP leaders hoped to push the legislation through the House next week.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Budget Committee voted narrowly Thursday to advance the troubled Republican health care bill, with defections by three GOP conservatives underscoring the obstacles party leaders face in maneuvering to avoid a stinging setback to their showpiece legislation.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Republican health care plan backed by President Donald Trump provides billions of dollars in tax cuts for wealthy families and insurance companies, but it hits older Americans hard with higher insurance premiums and smaller tax credits.
BERLIN (AP) — Volkswagen says its global deliveries were down 0.9 percent in February compared with a year earlier as lower sales in China and western Europe outweighed improved performances in the continent's east and the United States.
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks limped to the finish line in another winning week, with indexes turning in a mixed performance on Friday.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factories cranked out more autos, steel and computers in February, the sixth straight monthly increase in manufacturing output.
BADEN-BADEN, Germany (AP) — U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin headed into a tussle over free trade Friday at a summit that will help set the tone for the global economy.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Employers posted more open positions in January compared with December and the number of Americans quitting jumped, trends that could push up wages.
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to get tough on trade partners like China, Mexico and Germany. Now his Treasury chief, Steven Mnuchin, will get his first opportunity to confront them all in one room.
LONDON (AP) — A spokesman for Britain's prime minister says the White House has promised that it won't repeat a claim that U.K. spies snooped on U.S. President Donald Trump.
WASHINGTON (AP) — If President Donald Trump wanted a close working relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, he had a funny way of showing it during his presidential campaign.
NEW YORK (AP) — The Trump administration's budget proposal for the next fiscal year would cut Small Business Administration funding by 5 percent, eliminating some Obama administration programs aimed at creating jobs.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats predictably slammed President Donald Trump's Thursday budget request, which mixed increases for the military and border security with remarkable austerity for many domestic programs. Perhaps more telling, however, was the reaction from Republicans, who gave it polite praise or none at all.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Military spending would get the biggest boost in President Donald Trump's proposed budget. Environmental programs, medical research, Amtrak and an array of international and cultural programs — from Africa to Appalachia — would take big hits, among the many parts of the government he'd put on a crash diet.
GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — Rejecting arguments from the government that President Donald Trump's revised travel ban was substantially different from the first one, judges in Hawaii and Maryland blocked the executive order from taking effect as scheduled on Thursday, using the president's own words as evidence that the order discriminates against Muslims.