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VOL. 38 | NO. 15 | Friday, April 11, 2014

Are nonprofit charter schools a myth? Big tax breaks, revenue shifting fuel growing charter school industry

Even though a plan to allow for-profit charter school management companies in Tennessee is dead for the current legislative session, the “Educational Industrial Complex” is still cranking out profits, says the professor who coined the phrase.

Rocketship alters course as scores drop

Rocketship Education, a charter school company known for pioneering the use of computers to boost the academic achievement of low income students, is dumping a controversial online teaching program before it opens a school in Nashville, company officials say.

Charter company dumps plan to redirect funds

A national charter school group tapped to open schools in both Nashville and Memphis is dumping plans to syphon money from its schools here and in California to finance expansion into other states, a company official says.

Predators onboard with plan to recycle butts

When the Nashville Clean Water Project approached the Nashville Predators about recycling cigarette butts – an innovative program that would turn piles of stinky, discarded butts into something more useful – it was a no brainer for the NHL franchise.

Local Weather
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International Business Council Luncheon. "Reforming Reform in China: The State, Markets and Foreign Enterprises” is the topic for today. Dr. Ken DeWoskin, chairman of the Deloitte China Research and Insight Center, and Chris Cooper, Americas leader, Deloitte Chinese Services Group, will share their points of view on useful questions and best answers in regards to China, ranging from general economic, regulatory, and market trends through sector and M&A activities, reform promises and prospects, and MNC strategic responses. 11:30 a.m.-noon, registration and networking. Noon-1 p.m., program and lunch. Baker Donelson Event Space, 211 Commerce Street, Nashville.

more events »


Passion for cooking fuels 14-year-old chef

Sarah Worley of Biscuit Love Truck met 14-year-old Charlie Hilly at a career fair, and took note when the high school student told her he had an idea that would someday put her out of business.

Latest on curbside cuisine

As if teaming with teenagers for out-of-the-food truck-box events weren’t enough, street food hawkers of Nashville have been busy keeping it fresh in other ways this season.


Spring thaw brings surge in home sales

Although peppered with relapses, the freeze had ended – finally. Those who saw the thaw coming and placed their homes on the market have reaped rewards, as sales are aflutter and the information is being tweeted by Realtors.


Top Midstate residential real estate transactions for March 2014

Top March 2014 residential real estate transactions for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

Midstate Real Estate trends for first quarter 2014

First quarter 2014 real estate trends for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford and Wilson counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.


$300M for VW union fight, nothing for teachers

In February, Gov. Bill Haslam stood in front of a joint session of the General Assembly to deliver his annual State of the State address, proclaiming the state has “set a goal to be the fastest-growing state in the country when it comes to paying our teachers, so more than $63 million is included [in the budget] for teacher salaries.”


Early politics extremely local for Nashville representative

Some people are born into politics; others grow into a political career. For Rep. Sherry Jones, it was a little bit of both.


Austin joins Regions as sr. VP, wealth advisor

Regions has hired Brian C. Austin to the position of senior vice president and wealth advisor for Nashville and Middle Tennessee. In this role, Austin will focus on total wealth management for high-net worth individuals and families, providing solutions for multidimensional personal and business finances.


‘Stuckified?’ Here’s how to stop procrastinating

You’re hoping someone has a match.


Come in from the cold with a better sales pitch

Sales reps dread it, due to the anxiety and rejection that too often accompany it.


Renewing Our Vows

Last week, U.S. indices ascended briefly back into record territory on supportive comments from global powerbrokers.


So, coach, just what is a ‘constant denominator?’

On the day after a certain university’s basketball team hung in there and won a game, a sports-oriented radio station repeatedly aired an excerpt of an interview with the winning head coach.


Deconstructing a great chicken salad

Not long ago, I made an emergency trip to Grand Junction, Colo., where my younger sister lives, to comfort her and her family during a surgery she was having.


Lawmakers vote to delay Common Core testing

NASHVILLE (AP) - The testing component of Tennessee's Common Core education standards would be delayed a year under legislation headed to Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's desk.

Measure to allow electric chair in Tennessee goes to Haslam

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee could electrocute death row inmates if lethal injection drugs are unavailable under legislation that's headed for Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's desk.

Tennessee lawmakers head into final day of session

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee lawmakers are headed into their final day of the 108th General Assembly on Thursday.


2 House Democrats pressing inquiry into VW union vote

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two House Democrats said Wednesday they are beginning their own inquiry into whether Tennessee state officials may have violated "or otherwise run afoul of" federal law by their alleged conduct ahead of a vote by workers at a Volkswagen factory in Chattanooga, Tenn., that rejected a bid to be represented by the United Auto Workers union.


Applications for US jobless aid edge up to 304,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits last week rose 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 304,000. Jobless claims continue to be near pre-recession levels despite the slight increase.

Stocks drift after Google, IBM earnings disappoint

Major U.S. stock indexes drifted between gains and losses in morning trading Thursday amid a crop of disappointing corporate earnings. Google, IBM and insurers UnitedHealth and WellPoint were among the big market decliners.

Oil price flat as supplies offset Ukraine jitters

Oil flat-lined Thursday as the upheaval in Ukraine continued to cancel out a big increase in U.S. oil supplies.

Average US 30-year mortgage rate falls to 4.27 pct

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell this week for the second straight week as the spring home-buying season begins.

Tiny power plants hold promise for nuclear energy

PARIS (AP) — Tiny nuclear power plants that could be far cheaper to build than their behemoth counterparts could herald the future for an energy industry that has come under scrutiny since the Fukushima disaster.


House OKs report to delay Common Core testing

NASHVILLE (AP) - The state House has voted to adopt the report of a special committee that recommends the testing component of Tennessee's Common Core education standards be delayed a year.

Bill to make changes to Hall tax fails

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal to make changes to the state's Hall tax has failed this session.

House passes bill to allow electric chair in Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee could electrocute death row inmates if lethal injection drugs are unavailable, under legislation what won approval Wednesday in the state House.

House rejects stricter version of anti-meth bill

NASHVILLE (AP) - The House on Wednesday refused to go along with the Senate version of Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to set tighter annual limits on the amount of cold and allergy medicines used to make meth that can be bought without a prescription.

Bill passes that would help felons get jobs

NASHVILLE (AP) - It took five weeks, dozens of applications and one rejection after another for convicted felon Jennifer Cunningham to find a low-paying job in a restaurant. The Spencer, Tenn., woman is hoping that a bill that was just passed in the legislature might give her the opportunity for a better job in the future.

Senate wants schools to recite Tennessee flag salute

NASHVILLE (AP) — The recitation of a little-known "Salute to the Flag of Tennessee" in the state Senate is often met with confusion with visitors to the upper chamber of the General Assembly.

Lawmakers pass Haslam free tuition plan

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam's signature proposal to create a program that would cover tuition at two-year colleges for any high school graduate is headed to his desk after passing the House on Tuesday.


Haslams host 4th annual Easter Egg Roll

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam and first lady Crissy Haslam are hosting their 4th annual Easter Egg Roll at the Tennessee Residence on Wednesday.


Court to weigh challenge to ban on campaign lies

WASHINGTON (AP) — Negative campaigning and mudslinging may be a fact of life in American politics, but can false accusations made in the heat of an election be punished as a crime?


Ford to offer 50th anniversary Mustang

NEW YORK (AP) — Ford is building a limited-edition Mustang GT to honor the pony car's 50th anniversary.

GM to ask bankruptcy court for lawsuit protection

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors revealed in court filings late Tuesday that it will soon ask a federal bankruptcy judge to shield the company from legal claims for conduct that occurred before its 2009 bankruptcy.


US stocks rise, extending gains into third day

Stocks are higher for a third day in a row after more U.S. companies report solid earnings and on encouraging news about China's economy.

Oil flat near $104 despite huge stock build

Oil rose one penny Wednesday as worries about upheaval in Ukraine canceled out a huge increase in U.S. oil supplies.

Fed survey: Growth picks up across most of US

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Federal Reserve survey shows economic growth picking up across most of the United States over the past two months as bitter winter weather subsided.

Yellen: Fed stimulus still needed for job market

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Wednesday that the U.S. job market still needs help from the Fed and that the central bank must remain intent on adjusting its policy to respond to unforeseen challenges.

Why high oil prices are actually good for airlines

NEW YORK (AP) — Airline executives frequently complain about fuel costs. But the truth is higher prices actually have been good for business.

US factory output extended solid gains in March

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factory output rose further last month, extending strong growth from February after harsh weather had caused production to tumble in January. Manufacturers produced more furniture, clothing, chemicals and aerospace products.

US home building up in March after frigid winter

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S home construction rose moderately in March as builders resumed work at the end of a frigid winter. But applications for building permits slid, clouding the outlook for future construction.

CSX railroad expects modest 2014 profit growth

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — CSX railroad expects to deliver modest profit growth this year, but the impact of the severe winter will linger into the second quarter.

Bank of America posts loss, hurt by legal expenses

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Bank of America said Wednesday that it swung to a loss in the first quarter, hurt by $6 billion in legal expenses.


Obama, Biden to announce $600M for job grants

OAKDALE, Pa. (AP) — Striving to show action on jobs, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are trumpeting $600 million in new competitive grants to spur creation of targeted training and apprenticeship programs that could help people land well-paying jobs.


Tennessee Senate approves governor's anti-meth bill

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam's anti-methamphetamine legislation has been approved by the Senate.

Panel makes Common Core compromise proposal

NASHVILLE (AP) — A special committee of lawmakers on Tuesday recommended that the testing component of Tennessee's Common Core education standards be delayed for one year.

Tennessee House votes to express regret for slavery

NASHVILLE (AP) - The state House has voted to express "profound regret" for slavery and segregation in Tennessee, but stopped short of an outright apology.

Parent trigger legislation fails this session

NASHVILLE (AP) - A bill seeking to make it easier for parents to convert struggling public schools into charter schools failed in a House subcommittee on Tuesday even though its sponsor says it's another tool to reform education in Tennessee.

State Textbook Commission bill advancing in House

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal that makes changes to the process for selecting books for public schools is headed for a full House vote.

Override of local bans of guns in parks fails

NASHVILLE (AP) - A bill seeking to do away with city and county governments' power to ban firearms in parks, playgrounds and ball fields has failed for the year.

Haslam voucher proposal fails this session

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to create a program that gives parents the option to move a child from a failing public school to a private school has once again failed to pass.

Strong beer sales bill headed to governor's desk

NASHVILLE (AP) — A bill to allow stronger beer to be sold in Tennessee supermarkets and convenience stores is headed for Gov. Bill Haslam's desk.

Open gun carry bill defeated in Tennessee House panel

NASHVILLE (AP) — A bill seeking to allow Tennesseans to openly carry firearms in public without permits was overwhelmingly defeated a House subcommittee on Monday night.

Senate approves Haslam's free tuition plan

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam's signature proposal to create a program that would cover tuition at two-year colleges for any high school graduate is a step closer to the governor's desk.

Senate resolution honors MTSU president

NASHVILLE (AP) — Middle Tennessee State University President Sidney McPhee was honored by the state Senate for an award he received in Beijing.


Tennessee revenues show improvement, but still short

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee revenue collections are showing signs of improvement, but are still well below expectations.

Supreme Court Building, 4 other sites added to National Register of Historic Places

NASHVILLE (AP) — Five Tennessee sites have been added to the National Register of Historic Places.


Court upholds EPA emission standards

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the Environmental Protection Agency's emission standards for hazardous air pollutants from coal- and oil-fired power plants.


Stocks end higher, extending a modest rally

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks managed to close with modest gains on Wall Street after a day of up-and-down trading.

Oil falls ahead of Ukraine meeting, US supply data

The price of oil fell Tuesday ahead of talks aimed at defusing tensions over Ukraine and the latest report on U.S. oil supplies.

US homebuilder confidence edges up in April

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. homebuilders' confidence in the housing market rose modestly in April but remained at low levels for the third straight month, constrained by tight credit for home buyers and a shortage of workers and available land.

Yellen signals more aggressive stance toward banks

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve may be about to turn more aggressive in its regulation of the financial system.

US consumer prices rose just 0.2 percent in March

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lower U.S. gasoline prices kept consumer inflation in check last month, helping offset higher costs for food and clothing.

Coca-Cola's 1Q profit dips, but more drinks sold

NEW YORK (AP) — Coca-Cola's first-quarter profit fell nearly 8 percent as the world's biggest beverage maker faced a stronger dollar and made structural changes abroad.


Obama to faith leaders: No immigration fix planned

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has told religious leaders that he has no plans to make unilateral changes to the nation's immigration laws.


Measure changes way charter schools authorized

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal that changes the way certain charter schools are authorized is headed to the governor for his consideration.

Sponsor says he would raise money for open carry

NASHVILLE (AP) - The House sponsor of a bill seeking to do away with permit requirements to openly carry is offering to raise the estimated $100,000 cost from private sources.

Lawmakers look to wrap up session this week

NASHVILLE (AP) — State lawmakers are hoping to wrap up the 108th General Assembly as early as Tuesday.

Lawmakers discuss Common Core compromise proposal

NASHVILLE (AP) — State lawmakers are considering compromise legislation that would delay the testing component for Tennessee's Common Core education standards for one year.


Report projects health care costs to dip slightly

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Affordable Care Act's health insurance subsidies will cost a little less than previously thought, according to a new report released Monday.

Sebelius: Health care launch 'terribly flawed'

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration's timeline for having ready the new health care law's online sign-up system "was just flat out wrong," outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in an interview that aired Sunday.


US stocks gain following a pickup in retail sales

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are closing higher, clawing back some of the ground they lost last week, as investors were encouraged by solid earnings from Citigroup and a pickup in retail sales last month.

Oil price rises past $104 amid Ukraine tensions

The price of oil rose Monday on the prospect of higher demand in the U.S. and escalating tensions in Ukraine.

Study shows increase in online information thefts

NEW YORK (AP) — The number of Americans who say they've had important personal information stolen online is on the rise, according to a Pew Research Center report released Monday.

Is hot market for IPOs cooling?

NEW YORK (AP) — A hot market for initial public offerings may soon face a cooler reception from investors.

Twitter CEO, co-founders not selling stock

NEW YORK (AP) — Twitter says its CEO Dick Costolo and co-founders Jack Dorsey and Evan Williams have no plans to sell any of their shares when the company's post-IPO lock-up expires on May 5.

US retail sales up strong 1.1 percent in March

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. retail sales in March rose by the largest amount in 18 months, led by strong gains in sales of autos, furniture and a number of other products.

World trade predicted to improve next year

GENEVA (AP) — The World Trade Organization predicts global commerce will grow 5.3 percent next year, an improvement that would bring it back in line with its 1993-2013 historic average.

Politics test Silicon Valley's Russian ties

SAN MATEO, Calif. (AP) — Entrepreneurs and investors say Silicon Valley's fast-growing financial ties with Russia's tech sector are being slowed down by current political tensions between the White House and the Kremlin.

Cost of fighting global warming 'modest,' says UN panel

BERLIN (AP) — The cost of keeping global warming in check is "relatively modest," but only if the world acts quickly to reverse the buildup of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere, the head of the U.N.'s expert panel on climate change said Sunday.


Open gun carry sponsor moves for full House vote

NASHVILLE (AP) - The House sponsor of a bill seeking to remove permit requirements to carry guns openly in Tennessee wants to bypass committees and hold a full floor vote on the measure.

Lawmakers look to wrap up session early next week

NASHVILLE (AP) — Now that lawmakers have passed an annual spending plan — the lone major piece of legislation the state constitution requires them to approve each year — they are hoping to wrap up the 108th General Assembly as early as Tuesday.

Lawmakers approve $32.4B spending plan

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers on Thursday approved the state's $32.4 billion spending plan for the budget year beginning in July after failed attempts to increase the pay of teachers and state employees.

Senate approves Haslam's school voucher bill

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Senate has approved Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to create a school voucher program in Tennessee.

Senate goes with House version of 'In God We Trust' bill; Campfield miffed

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Senate has voted to overrule the sponsor of a bill that originally sought to require the phrase "In God We Trust" to be painted behind the speaker's podiums in the state Capitol.


Nashville Habitat, Nissan among Energy Star awards

NASHVILLE (AP) - Four groups in Tennessee have been awarded 2014 Energy Star awards from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Department.


Sebelius, a lightning rod for critics, resigns

WASHINGTON (AP) — For five years, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has been a lightning rod for critics of President Barack Obama's health care law. But with sign-ups exceeding expectations and a new face soon to be in charge at HHS, the White House is eager to see if the poisonous atmosphere might give way to more pragmatic efforts aimed at fixing problems with the nation's newest social program.


Once-soaring tech stocks sink in sobering comedown

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The stock market's laws of gravity are inflicting pain on its highest fliers.

Technology stocks falling for 2nd day in a row

NEW YORK (AP) — Technology stocks are dropping for a second day in a row as investors flee highflying Internet and biotechnology companies. Weaker earnings at JPMorgan Chase are dragging bank stocks lower in late afternoon trading, helping to push all three major indexes lower.

US producer prices rise 0.5 percent in March

WASHINGTON (AP) — The prices companies receive for their goods and services jumped in March led by gains for food, clothing, jewelry and chemicals.

Oil extends losses on China slowdown signs

The price of oil fell further on Friday as recent signs of sputtering economic growth in China suggested demand for crude could weaken.

Savers beware: Fees may be shrinking your 401(k)

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's the silent enemy in our retirement accounts: High fees.

JPMorgan's first-quarter profit falls 20 percent

NEW YORK (AP) — JPMorgan Chase, the biggest U.S. bank by assets, said Friday its first-quarter earnings fell 20 percent, driven by a decline in investment banking and mortgage lending.

Wells Fargo's earnings rise 14 percent

First-quarter profit for Wells Fargo & Co., the biggest U.S. mortgage lender, surged 14 percent in the latest quarter as the bank continued to trim its losses on soured loans.

US Internet ad revenue surpasses broadcast

NEW YORK (AP) — For the first time, U.S. Internet advertising revenue has surpassed that of broadcast television thanks to sharp growth in mobile and digital video ads.

US budget deficit falls in March to $37 billion

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government's budget deficit shrank to just $37 billion in March from $107 billion in the same month last year, the latest sign of improvement in the nation's finances. The deficit was the lowest for the month of March in 14 years.

NY judge sentences SAC Capital in $1.8B fraud deal

NEW YORK (AP) — The once high-flying hedge fund SAC Capital was sentenced on criminal fraud charges Thursday under a $1.8 billion deal that prosecutors say included the largest criminal fine ever imposed in an insider trading case.

Energy regulator: Steps underway to protect grid

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top federal energy regulator said Thursday that her agency is taking steps to improve handling of classified national security information, following a report that officials improperly allowed widespread access to a document that outlined specific physical threats to the nation's electric grid.

IMF official: Bold actions needed for recovery

WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the International Monetary Fund said Thursday the global economy is finally turning the corner after a deep recession but the recovery remains too weak.


House passes Ryan budget with big cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans rallied behind a slashing budget blueprint on Wednesday, passing a non-binding but politically charged measure that promises a balanced federal ledger in 10 years with sweeping budget cuts and termination of health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Pelosi: Race has role in GOP immigration stance

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday blamed racial issues for the GOP's failure to act on comprehensive immigration legislation.

11 Senate Democrats to Obama: Approve Keystone XL

WASHINGTON (AP) — Eleven Senate Democrats, including six who face contested re-election races this year, urged President Barack Obama on Thursday to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline by the end of May.

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