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VOL. 38 | NO. 25 | Friday, June 20, 2014

Taming the sun’s energy for affordable housing: Vanderbilt, MTSU, Habitat for Humanity partner to expand solar’s reach

What some local college students are building today could be the high-efficiency housing solution of the future for the area’s low- and middle-income families.

TVA’s evolving rules bring turmoil to solar industry

Gary Wolf is chasing the sun from Tennessee to Belize. The owner of SunDog Solar Energy installation company in Nashville says the changes Tennessee Valley Authority made to their Generation Partners renewable energy program means a small rooftop solar company like his can’t survive in Tennessee.

Solar research fuels future applications

No matter what is happening with today’s ups and downs in solar production and distribution, research is moving right along at Tennessee’s universities.

Demand, talent draw TV, film industry to Middle Tennessee

Lately, most conversations regarding film and television production in Middle Tennessee have focused on the TV show “Nashville” and the efforts to keep it filming here.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Partly Cloudy
Wind: from the North at 10.4 gusting to 19.6 mph
Humidity: 24%


Vanderbilt Victory Celebration. Fans, players and coaches will celebrate Vanderbilt's College World Series championship tonight at 6 at the school's soccer/lacrosse field, with access on the east side of McGugin Center. Parking is available in the Medical Center lots located at the corner of Natchez Trace and Jess Neely Drive. The team is expected to return to McGugin Center around 1:30 p.m. today.

more events »


Finding a college condo like a course in futility

The summer of 2014 may go down in the real estate annals as the most difficult time in the city’s history for a person to purchase residential real estate.


Midstate Real Estate trends for May 2014

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

Top Midstate residential real estate transactions for May 2014

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


Onlife Health names Redman vice president

Onlife Health, Inc., a national wellness company based in Brentwood, has named Matthew Redman vice president of account management. In this position, Redman will be responsible for all facets of sales and account management for current Onlife Health clients.


5 steps to grow your email list

One of the most cost-effective strategies for driving Web traffic and generating online leads is email marketing. Unfortunately, most small and mid-sized companies have an email database filled mostly of current clients, business partners and other friends of the firm.


What in the world could go wrong?

The most commonly cited indicator of complacency, the VIX or volatility index, recently hit a low of 10.73, a level not seen since early 2007.


Right city, clearly the wrong actress

When I wrote about the 2014 Little Rock Film Festival, I reviewed, in three paragraphs, “I Believe in Unicorns.”


HCA executive taking leave to help VA acting chief

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Nashville health care executive has been named as a special adviser to Department of Veterans Affairs Acting Secretary Sloan Gibson.


Ex-US Sen. Howard Baker Jr. dies

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former U.S. Sen. Howard Baker Jr., who asked what President Richard Nixon knew about Watergate, has died. He was 88.

Gingrich endorses Alexander in GOP Senate primary

NASHVILLE (AP) - Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is siding with U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander in Tennessee's Republican primary, which includes a tea party challenger.

Last-minute challenge to town's Rocky Top name-change

NASHVILLE (AP) - A federal judge will hear a last-minute request to stop the East Tennessee town of Lake City from changing its name to Rocky Top.

TSEA names Bryan Merritt new president

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee State Employees Association has elected Bryan Merritt to be its new president.


Vanderbilt holding CWS title celebration on campus

NASHVILLE (AP) - Vanderbilt will be celebrating its College World Series title during a Thursday night event on campus at the school's soccer/lacrosse stadium.

Governors to convene in Nashville for NGA meeting

NASHVILLE (AP) — Governors from across the nation will convene in Nashville next month.


High court rebukes Obama on recess appointments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Thursday limited the president's power to fill high-level vacancies with temporary appointments, ruling in favor of Senate Republicans in their partisan clash with President Barack Obama.

High court voids 35-foot abortion clinic buffer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has struck down a 35-foot protest-free zone outside abortion clinics in Massachusetts.


Consumer spending in May was disappointingly weak

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumers stepped up their spending only modestly in May, a disappointment to economists who said the weaker-than-expected gain will likely mean less of an economic rebound in the April-June quarter.

Applications for US unemployment benefits dip

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits declined last week, the latest evidence that a sharp economic slowdown earlier this year hasn't caused employers to cut jobs.

Average US 30-year mortgage rate falls to 4.14 pct

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages declined this week, hovering near historically low levels.

Stocks, led by decline in bank stocks

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are moving lower on Wall Street, led by a decline in banks.

Global oil under $114 as Iraq supply worries ease

The price of global crude dipped under $114 Thursday as fears diminished somewhat over supply disruptions from Iraq while U.S. oil extended gains on looser U.S. export controls.

Ikea raises hourly pay for US retail workers

NEW YORK (AP) — Ikea's U.S. division is raising the minimum wage for thousands of its retail workers, pegging it to the cost of living in each location, instead of its competition.

More drivers on road for July 4 weekend

NEW YORK (AP) — Highways will be packed once again this July Fourth weekend, with 41 million Americans expected to travel at least 50 miles or more.

FAA eyes lower building height limit near airports

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government wants to dramatically reduce the allowable height of buildings near hundreds of airports — a proposal that is drawing fire from real estate developers and members of Congress who say it will reduce property values.

Alcoa to spend $2.85B on jet engine parts maker

NEW YORK (AP) — Alcoa is delving deeper into the aerospace industry, spending nearly $3 billion to acquire the British jet engine component company Firth Rixson.

After Aereo, what's next for Internet TV?

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Supreme Court shot down Aereo's business model this week, but that doesn't mean customers' desire for a better TV experience is gone.


Justices rule for broadcasters in fight with Aereo

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a startup Internet company has to pay broadcasters when it takes television programs from the airwaves and allows subscribers to watch them on smartphones and other portable devices.

'Get a warrant' to search cellphones, Justices say

WASHINGTON (AP) — In an emphatic defense of privacy in the digital age, a unanimous Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that police generally may not search the cellphones of people they arrest without first getting search warrants.

Bell holds hearing over chief justice complaint

NASHVILLE (AP) - A Republican panel has spent four hours questioning top judicial officials in an inquiry over the handling of a complaint against the chief justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court.


TSU president gets award from accounting group

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover has been honored by the National Association of Black Accountants.


Eyes on you: Experts reveal police hacking methods

LONDON (AP) — Law enforcement agencies across the globe are taking a page out of the hacker's handbook, using targets' own phones and computers to spy on them with methods traditionally associated with cybercriminals, two computer security groups said Tuesday.

Google shows off Android Auto, wearables

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Some 1 billion people are now using Android devices, Google said as the company kicked off its two-day developer conference Wednesday in San Francisco.


Stocks edge higher despite economic data

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. stock market inched modestly higher Wednesday, recovering more than half of what it lost the day before, as investors were able to set aside two disappointing economic reports.

US economy shrank at steep 2.9 percent rate in Q1

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy shrank at a steep annual rate of 2.9 percent in the January-March quarter as a harsh winter contributed to the biggest contraction since the depths of the recession five years ago. But the setback is widely thought to be temporary, with growth rebounding solidly since spring.

Orders for US durable goods drop 1 percent in May

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders for U.S. durable goods tumbled 1 percent in May as demand for military equipment fell sharply. But excluding defense-related goods, orders actually rose, and orders in a key category that signals business investment also increased.

Oil fluctuates as traders eye Iraq, US output

The price of crude oil fluctuated on Wednesday as investors monitored the turmoil in Iraq and weighed a report claiming U.S. export controls would be loosened.

Barnes & Noble wants to separate retail, Nook

NEW YORK (AP) — Barnes & Noble is going to split its retail and Nook Media businesses into two separate public companies as it looks to boost shareholder value.


Officials: Sanctions on Russia could be delayed

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sanctions aimed at key economic sectors in Russia because of its threatening moves in Ukraine might be delayed because of positive signals from Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to Obama administration officials.


Exhibit highlights 19th century black lawmakers

NASHVILLE (AP) - A new exhibit at the Tennessee State Library and Archives highlights the challenges and achievements of 19th century African-American lawmakers.


Stocks end lower as traders sell blue chips

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market had its biggest decline in two weeks Tuesday, led by a sell-off in blue-chip bank and energy stocks. Homebuilders rose after the government reported sales of new homes rose in May to the highest level in six years.

Oil price steady as investors eye Iraq conflict

The price of oil was steady Tuesday as investors monitored the insurgency roiling Iraq for any signs it could affect its oil production and exports.

Who put sleeping pills into Wall Street's water?

NEW YORK (AP) — Is the lack of fear on Wall Street something to fear?

Why a grim US economic picture is brightening

WASHINGTON (AP) — When the government updates its estimate Wednesday of how the U.S. economy fared last quarter, the number is pretty sure to be ugly. Horrible even.

US new home sales rocket higher in May

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of new U.S. homes rose in May to the highest level in six years, providing the strongest signal yet that housing is recovering from a recent slowdown.

US consumer confidence reaches a 6-year high

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumers are more confident about the economy than they have been in more than six years.

US home prices rise at slowest pace in 13 months

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices rose in April from a year ago at the slowest pace in 13 months, reflecting a recent drop-off in sales.

What wealth gap? Danish welfare narrows disparity

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — This is what it's like to live in Denmark, a nation with a narrower wealth gap than almost anywhere else: You've been jobless for more than a year. You have no university degree, no advanced skills. You have to pay a mortgage. And your husband is nearing retirement.

Money men tally cost of climate change

NEW YORK (AP) — Climate change is likely to exact enormous costs on U.S. regional economies in the form of lost property, reduced industrial output and more deaths, according to a report backed by a trio of men with vast business experience.

Ex-UK tabloid editor convicted of phone hacking

LONDON (AP) — Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson was convicted of phone hacking Tuesday, but fellow editor Rebekah Brooks was acquitted after a months-long trial centering on illegal activity at the heart of Rupert Murdoch's newspaper empire.


US: Looking at all options in immigration surge

WASHINGTON (AP) — Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told Congress Tuesday he would consider "every conceivable, lawful option" to deal with a continuing flood of immigrants crossing the U.S. border illegally in southern Texas.

Archivist: IRS didn't follow law with lost emails

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Internal Revenue Service did not follow the law when it failed to report the loss of records belonging to a senior IRS executive, the nation's top archivist told Congress Tuesday.


Auto parts company expanding in Portland

NASHVILLE (AP) — State officials say automotive components manufacturer Hatch Stamping Co. plans a new manufacturing facility in Portland.


Grand Ole Opry member Jimmy C. Newman dead at 86

NASHVILLE (AP) — Grand Ole Opry member Jimmy C. Newman, known for mixing Cajun and country music, has died.


Nissan, BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Toyota all join airbag recall

DETROIT (AP) — A recall of defective air bags is spreading to more manufacturers.


Court raises bar for securities class action cases

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday made it tougher for investors to join together to sue corporations for securities fraud, a decision that could curb the number of multimillion dollar legal settlements companies pay out each year.

Justices limit existing EPA global warming rules

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday placed limits on the sole Obama administration program already in place to deal with power plant and factory emissions of gases blamed for global warming.


US stocks close below records; FMC falls

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes are closing slightly below the record levels they hit last week as investors assess a batch of corporate news.

Oil falls as market eyes situation in Iraq

The price of oil fell Monday as traders waited to see if an insurgency in Iraq would affect the country's oil production and exports.

Sales of US existing homes up 4.9 percent in May

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of previously owned U.S. homes posted the best monthly gain in nearly three years in May, providing hope that housing is beginning to regain momentum lost over the past year.

Ni hao, y'all: US hinterlands woo Chinese firms

PINE HILL, Ala. (AP) — Burdened with Alabama's highest unemployment rate, long abandoned by textile mills and furniture plants, Wilcox County desperately needs jobs.

Iraq upheaval threatens oil development plans

BAGHDAD (AP) — The turmoil in Iraq has thrown the OPEC member's ambitious plans to boost oil production into doubt, threatening to crimp its most vital economic lifeline.


Obama encouraging family-friendly work policies

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama said Monday that the United States should join the rest of the industrialized world and offer paid leave for mothers of newborns.


Nashville soliciting ideas for city encyclopedia

NASHVILLE (AP) - Nashville is planning an online encyclopedia of the city's history and culture, and Mayor Karl Dean's office is holding a series of community meetings to solicit ideas for the site.


Glen Campbell's wife defends his care

NASHVILLE (AP) - Glen Campbell's Alzheimer's disease has progressed to the point where he needs full-time professional care, his wife said Thursday, explaining her decision to place the singer in a long-term care facility and responding publicly for the first time to criticism from Campbell's eldest daughter.


Full TBR board approves tuition hikes

NASHVILLE (AP) — The full board of the Tennessee Board of Regents has voted to increase tuition at its institutions this year.

GOP lawmakers demand education chief's resignation

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam's office is dismissing as a "political stunt" a letter signed by 15 Republican lawmakers demanding the resignation of Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman.


Judge dismisses mosque cemetery lawsuit

MURFREESBORO (AP) - A judge has dismissed a lawsuit over a permit that was issued allowing a Middle Tennessee mosque to build a cemetery on its property.

Rivera nominated US attorney for Middle Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) - President Barack Obama has nominated Acting U.S. Attorney David Rivera of the Middle District of Tennessee to fill the post permanently.

Supreme Court tosses 'abstract' software patent

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Thursday tossed out an Australian company's patent for business software in a decision that clarifies standards for awarding patents, but not as much as some firms had hoped.


Report: Apple smartwatch to come this fall

NEW YORK (AP) — Apple is likely to launch a computerized wristwatch this fall that includes more than 10 sensors to take health measurements and other data, according to a published report.

New push to get girls into computer sciences

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — Diana Navarro loves to code, and she's not afraid to admit it. But the 18-year-old Rutgers University computer science major knows she's an anomaly: Writing software to run computer programs in 2014 is — more than ever — a man's world.

Crime data show iPhone 'kill switch' cuts thefts

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New crime data show Apple's addition of a "kill switch" to its iPhones last September has sharply reduced robberies and thefts, authorities said Thursday.


Stocks manage small gains; Dow, S&P 500 at records

Stocks inched past more milestones Friday, delivering the third consecutive record-high close for the Standard & Poor's 500 index and a new high for the Dow Jones industrial average.

Oil tops $107 as Iraq refinery battle goes on

The price of oil rose Friday and ended the week with a slight gain, as a battle for control of Iraq's biggest refinery remained undecided.

Energetic stock market pushes toward milestones

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. stock market is back to setting records.

Survey: 2M new millionaires in '13, pushing worldwide total to record 13.7M

NEW YORK (AP) — Nearly 2 million people around the world became millionaires last year, a year-over-year increase of 15 percent, as surging stock and home markets lifted the fortunes of the wealthy. The increase raised the number of millionaires to a record 13.7 million.

Starbucks contribution to scholarship overstated

NEW YORK (AP) — It turns out Starbucks isn't contributing any upfront scholarship money to an online college degree program it introduced this week.

Turmoil in Iraq is pushing up US gasoline prices

Violence in Iraq is helping to make gasoline in the U.S. more expensive, depriving drivers of the usual price break between Memorial Day and July Fourth.

Starbucks hiking prices on drinks, bagged coffee

NEW YORK (AP) — Starbucks is raising prices on some of its drinks by 5 cents to 20 cents starting next week, and customers can also soon expect to pay $1 more for the packaged coffee it sells in supermarkets.


Congress to probe how IRS emails could go missing

WASHINGTON (AP) — Eight federal employees connected to the tea party investigation experienced hard drive crashes, resulting in an unknown number of lost emails, Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen told lawmakers Friday in an unusually tense congressional hearing.

GOP Rep. McCarthy elected House majority leader

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans have made the first change in their leadership since Majority Leader Eric Cantor unexpectedly lost a primary election last week. They've elected California Rep. Kevin McCarthy to replace him in the No. 2 job.

House weighs defense bill with Guantanamo limits

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House moved toward passage of a $570 billion defense spending bill that imposes new restrictions on President Barack Obama's handling of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and his attempts to close the U.S. prison.

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