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VOL. 38 | NO. 26 | Friday, June 27, 2014

Life’s a blast for nation’s fireworks leader: Tennessee man behind top 10 July 4th shows, including Nashville’s

Lansden E. Hill Jr. grew in the 1950s in East Tennessee tobacco country. After the tobacco was cut and sold in November, and the men had a little pocket money, Hill’s neighbor would order Roman candles and firecrackers through the mail.

Nashville fireworks show by the numbers

The 2014 Fourth of July fireworks show for Nashville will be the biggest and longest ever, producers say. Here it is, by the numbers:

Independence Day fireworks shows across Middle Tennessee

Nashville throws a heck of a party to celebrate the Fourth of July, and fireworks are just one part of the big show.

Meeting the demand for home health care

For seniors no longer capable of everyday household tasks, as well as those with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, the answer used to be short and not sweet: Time for a nursing home.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Mostly Cloudy
Wind: Northeast at 3.5 mph
Humidity: 47%


Meet the Nashville Emerging Leader Awards Finalists. The Nashville Emerging Leader Awards recognize Nashville’s young professionals for significant accomplishments in their chosen career fields, as well as their commitment and contribution to the community. The reception and networking event honors the finalists of the 2014 NELAs. Wednesday, 5:30-7 p.m., Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art, Massey Hall, 1200 Forrest Park Drive, Nashville. Information: Nashvillechamber.com, 743-3063.

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Kurdish restaurateur lives the American dream, fears for those left behind

After double-checking the 25 half-pound lamb shanks roasting at 500 degrees for five hours, Hikmat Gazi steps from the Shish Kabob kitchen, eyes growing fierce as he sits down to attack jihadists.


Selling or staying, having a home inspection is a good idea

John Watkins of Nashville Home Inspections performs radon tests on many of the homes he inspects and offers the opportunity to all buyers to have the homes undergo the tests. When he sends the results, he provides the following information:


Top Midstate commercial real estate transactions for May 2014

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


Burnstein elected Waller chairman

Waller law firm has elected Matthew R. Burnstein chairman of the firm. Effective August 1, 2014, Burnstein will succeed John Tishler, who will assume the role of chairman emeritus and resume his bankruptcy and restructuring practice at Waller.


All about trust: 9 steps to better customer relationships

Buyers want to trust the salesperson they’re buying from before they part with their hard-earned money.


Calm amidst the ‘storm’

The S&P 500 continues to inch ever so closer to the 2,000 mark, while volatility measures remain historically low. Furthermore, there have been 43 consecutive days where the S&P 500 has registered a daily return mark within the -1 percent to +1 percent band.


What’s the connection between ‘civic,’ ‘citizen?’

I type in the word civics at OneLook Dictionary Search. Giving credit to “MacMillan Dictionary,” the site gives me “a school subject in which you study how government works and what people’s rights, duties and responsibilities are as citizens.”


Blond to brown: How to make a proper roux

Not long ago, I felt a close friend of mine needed some cheering up, so I took her a bouquet of flowers as a little pick-me-up.


Alexander raises more than $900K, launches new ad

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander has raised more than $900,000 in the second quarter and has more than $3.4 million on hand in the final weeks before the primary.

Founder of country's oldest commune dies

NASHVILLE (AP) - Stephen Gaskin, a visionary who established one of the country's oldest surviving communes, located in rural Middle Tennessee, has died. He was 79.


Haslam makes appointment to 10th Judicial District

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam has appointed Stephen Crump district attorney general for the 10th Judicial District.


New Ford CEO gets $5.25M pay package, plus options

DETROIT (AP) — New Ford CEO Mark Fields will get a pay package worth $5.25 million this year as he takes over for the retiring Alan Mulally.


NSA's Internet monitoring said to be legal

WASHINGTON (AP) — The first time the bipartisan Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board dissected a National Security Agency surveillance program, it found fundamental flaws, arguing in a January report that the NSA's collection of domestic calling records "lacked a viable legal foundation" and should be shut down.


Stocks close at all-time highs as hiring surges

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed at their latest all-time highs Wednesday following news that business hiring surged in June, adding to evidence that the U.S. economy is picking up momentum.

Oil declines, despite bullish oil inventory data

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil slipped Wednesday despite a report from the U.S. Department of Energy that showed stockpiles of crude fell more than expected last week.

Yellen sees little threat to financial stability

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Wednesday that she doesn't see a need for the Fed to start raising interest rates to defuse the risk that extremely low rates could destabilize the financial system.

Target asks customers to leave firearms at home

NEW YORK (AP) — Target is "respectfully" asking its customers to not bring firearms into its stores, even where it is allowed by law.

Survey: US companies added 281,000 jobs in June

WASHINGTON (AP) — A private survey shows U.S. business hiring surged in June, a sign of stronger economic growth.

US factory orders slide 0.5 percent in May

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to U.S. factories fell in May, ending three months of gains.


Dead ahead: A pothole in highway construction aid?

WASHINGTON (AP) — As the summer driving season swings into full gear, states can expect a large pothole in their construction budgets if Congress doesn't reach an agreement quickly on how to pay for federal highway and transit programs, President Barack Obama and his top officials are warning.


Biden to welcome governors to Nashville meeting

NASHVILLE (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden will help kick off the National Governors Association summer meeting in Nashville next week.

Ben Folds rallies against Music Row development

NASHVILLE (AP) — Pianist and rocker Ben Folds rallied opponents of development along Nashville's famous Music Row that could affect the RCA Studio A where he and dozens of musicians have recorded.


Overall, Tennessee students improve on state tests

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee students made gains in the majority of the state's 31 grade and subject-level tests, although some didn't fare too well in reading, according to results released Tuesday.

Lawsuit financing company to leave Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) - A new Tennessee law targeting the practice of financing the costs of lawsuits is leading an Illinois company to leave the state.


Birth control ruling sparks political clash

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans called it a win for religious freedom. The decision of the Supreme Court, they said, is further evidence the country's new health care law is deeply flawed.


FTC: T-Mobile made millions in bogus charges

WASHINGTON (AP) — T-Mobile USA knowingly made hundreds of millions off its customers in bogus charges, a federal regulator alleged Tuesday in a complaint likely to damage the reputation of a household name in wireless communications.


US auto sales surprise with strength in June; Nissan, GM up

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. auto sales grew at the fastest pace in eight years in June, surprising the industry and setting it up for a strong second half of the year.

Chrysler's US sales up 9 percent in June

DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler's U.S. auto sales jumped 9 percent in June on strong sales of the new Jeep Cherokee SUV and other models.

New recalls and questions about auto parts safety

DETROIT (AP) — The ignition switch recalls now engulfing General Motors and Chrysler are raising new questions about the safety of the parts across the American auto industry.


Dow flirts with 17,000 as market sets new highs

NEW YORK (AP) — Evidence that global manufacturing is expanding pushed the stock market to an all-time high on Tuesday.

US construction spending up 0.1 percent in May

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. construction spending barely increased in May as gains in spending on non-residential projects such as office buildings and public construction were largely offset by a big drop in home building.

CoreLogic: US home prices rose more slowly in May

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices rose in May compared with a year earlier, but the gains have slowed.

Oil flat despite US, China factory strength

The price of oil held steady Tuesday despite signs that manufacturing activity grew in the U.S. and China, the world's two biggest oil consumers.


Highway crisis looms as soon as August, US warns

WASHINGTON (AP) — Gridlock in Washington will lead to gridlock across the country if lawmakers can't quickly agree on how to pay for highway and transit programs, the Obama administration warned Tuesday.

Obama to promote fixing bridges, highways

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is mixing a little Fourth of July patriotism with a pitch to fix the nation's bridges and highways.


Justices: Can't make employers cover contraception

WASHINGTON (AP) — A sharply divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that some companies with religious objections can avoid the contraceptives requirement in President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, the first time the high court has declared that businesses can hold religious views under federal law.

White House: Court ruling risks women's health

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says women's health will be jeopardized by a Supreme Court's decision that allows corporations with religious objections to opt out of a requirement that they cover contraceptives.

High court rejects Google appeal in snooping case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has declined to hear Google's appeal of a ruling that it pried into people's online lives through their Wi-Fi systems as part of its drive to collect information for its Street View mapping project.

Court to weigh gov't duty to settle bias claims

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court said Monday it will consider a dispute over the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's duty to try and settle charges of job discrimination before filing lawsuits against employers.

Court: Public union can't make nonmembers pay fees

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court dealt a blow to public sector unions Monday, ruling that thousands of home health care workers in Illinois cannot be required to pay fees that help cover a union's costs of collective bargaining.


Mourners pay respects to Sen. Howard Baker Jr.

KNOXVILLE (AP) — Mourners are paying their respects to former Sen. Howard H. Baker Jr. at the University of Tennessee center in Knoxville that bears his name.

Alexander shows little interest in debating

NASHVILLE (AP) - Lamar Alexander showed little interest Monday in taking up challenger Joe Carr's call for a debate in advance of the Republican Senate primary in August.

Anti-meth law among those taking effect Tuesday

NASHVILLE (AP) — A law limiting the purchase of cold and allergy medicines used to make illegal methamphetamine is among those taking effect Tuesday, as are statutes that require more disclosure from the Tennessee Department of Children's Services and allow use of the electric chair to execute death row inmates.

Haslam signs agreement to protect dairy industry

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam has signed an agreement with eight other states to protect the dairy industry in the event of an outbreak of hoof and mouth disease.


GM recalls 8.2 million more cars for ignition switches

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors' safety crisis worsened on Monday when the automaker added 8.2 million vehicles to its ballooning list of cars recalled over faulty ignition switches.

GM won't limit ignition switch crash compensation

WASHINGTON (AP) — The attorney overseeing General Motors' compensation to victims of small-car crashes says there's no limit to what the company will pay, provided the crashes were caused by faulty ignition switches. The tally could climb into billions of dollars.


Contracts to buy US homes up sharply in May

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes shot up in May. But the pace of buying this year remains slower than in 2013, in part because of sluggish sales during winter.

Stocks end mixed; S&P closes near all-time high

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market got back on track in the second quarter.

Oil slips on hopes of stabilizing Iraq

The price of oil declined for the third straight day Monday on signs that the insurgency in Iraq has been slowed and may be turned back.


Obama: I'll act on my own on immigration

WASHINGTON (AP) — In the face of an unyielding Congress, President Barack Obama said Monday he will no longer wait for Republicans to act on immigration and will move on his own to make policy changes in what has been a top second-term priority of his presidency.

Obama taps business exec to oversee troubled VA

WASHINGTON (AP) — Seeking to turn around a troubled agency, President Barack Obama will nominate former Procter & Gamble executive Robert McDonald to lead a Veterans Affairs department gripped by reports of treatment delays and cover-ups.


Opry fan who hasn't missed a show in 42 years calling it quits

NASHVILLE (AP) - There's no doubt that 83-year-old Paul Eckhart is a loyal Grand Ole Opry fan: He has not missed a weekend performance in 42 years.


Free HIV testing at Walgreens through Saturday

NASHVILLE (AP) — Several Walgreens locations across the state are offering free HIV testing through Saturday.

Former US Sen. Howard Baker Jr. dies

WASHINGTON (AP) — Howard Baker's question sliced to the core of Watergate: "What did the president know and when did he know it?"

5 things to know about former Sen. Howard Baker

Howard Baker, who became widely known for questioning President Richard Nixon about the Watergate scandal, died Thursday at age 88. Here are five things to know about his career, which spanned several decades and earned him the respect of Republicans and Democrats alike.

Politicians reflect on death of Sen. Howard Baker

Politicians and others across the nation are reacting to the death of former U.S. Sen. Howard Baker, who famously asked regarding the Watergate scandal, "What did the president know and when did he know it?"

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.


Suspicious mail to Legislative Plaza not hazardous

NASHVILLE (AP) - A suspicious substance sent to House Speaker Beth Harwell's office caused the Legislative Plaza to be closed off briefly.


Dollar General CEO Dreiling to retire next year

GOODLETTSVILLE (AP) — Dollar General CEO Rick Dreiling plans to retire from that post next year.

Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium to expand

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Ryman Auditorium, the mother church of country music, is getting a new $14 million expansion that will provide more space for tours, food and beverage services and retail.

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 indoor athletic facility.


Nissan, Daimler to build $1.4 billion Mexico plant

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Automakers Daimler and Renault-Nissan say they will build a $1.36 billion plant to manufacture Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz brand compact vehicles.

Analysts predict slower June sales for GM

DETROIT (AP) — A number of analysts are predicting that General Motors' June U.S. sales will underperform the overall auto industry, putting the company in danger of losing market share at a critical time.

GM recalling nearly 29,000 Cruzes to fix air bags

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. is recalling more than 29,000 Chevrolet Cruze compact cars because metal parts in the air bag assemblies can hit the driver and passengers if the bags are inflated.


High court voids 35-foot abortion clinic buffer

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

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.


Steady job growth boosts US consumer confidence

WASHINGTON (AP) — Strong job growth lifted U.S. consumer confidence this month, as Americans looked past the economy's dismal first quarter performance.

US stocks manage tiny gains, end week lower

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are closing with tiny gains after a late-afternoon turn higher, but still ended the week with a loss.

Oil price steady on quiet day for energy

The price of oil held steady on Friday on a quiet day for energy markets.

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