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VOL. 36 | NO. 23 | Friday, June 8, 2012

'We've got something special here'

Manchester embraces Bonnaroo, looks to expand musical brand

MANCHESTER – Coffee County Mayor David Pennington might enjoy a Bonnaroo Burger at his family’s landmark restaurant, but he probably won’t be spending much time with Flogging Molly, The Beach Boys, Alice Cooper or others performing for the 80,000 sometimes-mud-encased or sweat-drenched masses huddled at Great Stage Park this week.

The new Austin? Manchester has a dream

MANCHESTER --Ryan French looks at his hometown of 10,000 nestled along Interstate 24 in southern Middle Tennessee and he sees Austin, Texas.

Carr defends employment verification

Some information circulating about the Tennessee Lawful Employment Act (TLEA), with which many employers had to comply by Jan. 1, may be creating the impression that the new law has no teeth in ensuring that only legal workers are being hired.


Didn’t Randy Newman sing about short sales?

Short sales stink. They’re tough on the lenders, the buyers, the sellers and the Realtors. And it could get worse – or better. It depends.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Wind: Calm mph
Humidity: 89%


The Health Care Council and Bipartisan Policy Center Present Transformation through Innovation Forum, present the finale of the Health Care Reform Series addressing the dynamic intersection of health care information technology (HIT) and health care policy and its potential to drive positive outcomes in health care delivery. 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Embassy Suites Nashville- South/Cool Springs, 820 Crescent Centre Drive. Deadline to register is June 12. Information: healthcarecouncil.com.

more events »


Corizon announces new mental health officer

Corizon, a Brentwood-based provider of correctional healthcare solutions, has promoted Joe Pastor, M.D., to chief mental health officer.


Page 1 is critical for your Google listing

We all know intuitively that a strong search engine ranking can impact traffic to your website, but just how “make or break” is it? A whopping 75 percent of people don’t click past the first page of search results, and the top three results on page one, excluding paid ads, account for 60 percent of the clicks according to Sitepoint.com.


May declines reflect global expectations

May came to a merciful end last week, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average had its biggest monthly decline in two years, retreating by 6 percent. While those returns are discomforting, the real pain was felt outside of our borders.


Your reputation is on the line

It may be just your imagination, but the phone isn’t ringing as much as it used to.


SNL star rocks Bossy Pants

After reading the 2009 novel that I dissed a bit last week, I read Tina Fey’s 2011 autobiographical Bossy Pants. Superb, stellar, well-written. Educational, insightful, witty and fun! What more could I ask?


I give up! Please, no more Food Network!

Every time I visit my hairdresser to get my hair trimmed (and gray covered), she turns her TV to Food Network. She knows I write about, cook and eat a lot of food, and have been cooking since I was able reach the stove by standing on a chair alongside my mom and granny. Well, maybe some of that is a little exaggerated, but some of it is true.


Keep a grip on reality

Business owners who lose touch with reality usually end up going out of business. So let’s chat a bit about reality this week. Among a group of people, the most successful person is usually the one whose viewpoint or image of reality is most closely related to reality. But why would someone’s image of reality deviate from reality in the first place? It’s easy to understand how that can happen if you understand how the brain creates images of reality.


Whirlpool drops appeal in Tenn. harassment case

NASHVILLE (AP) - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says Whirlpool Corp. has agreed to drop its appeal of a $1 million judgment for failing to stop racial and sexual harassment at a Middle Tennessee plant.

Michelle Obama to address AME Church conference

NASHVILLE (AP) — First Lady Michelle Obama will give the keynote address to the nation's oldest black religious denomination at the general conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Nashville on June 28.

Southern Baptists see continued membership decline

NASHVILLE (AP) — The nation's largest Protestant denomination continues to see a decline in membership.


Tenn. jobless rate increases slightly in May

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee's unemployment increased slightly in May, the first increase in two years.

Huffman: Department preparing evaluation report

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee education officials are considering changes to the state's new teacher evaluation system, and those changes may be similar to those suggested in a recent study requested by the governor, the education commissioner said Thursday.


Campfield to remain in his NY school hall of fame

NASHVILLE (AP) - The board of education in Tennessee state Sen. Stacey Campfield's hometown in upstate New York won't remove the Knoxville Republican from its hall of fame over complaints about his comments about gays and AIDS.


Stanford gets 110 years for role in $7B swindle

HOUSTON (AP) — Former jet-setting Texas tycoon R. Allen Stanford, whose financial empire once spanned the Americas, was sentenced Thursday to 110 years in prison for bilking investors out of more than $7 billion over 20 years in one of the largest Ponzi schemes in U.S. history.

Stocks rise on Wall Street on hopes for Fed action

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market headed higher Thursday after a tame inflation reading and another weak jobs report raised expectations that the Federal Reserve is closer to offering more support for the U.S. economy.

US rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 3.71 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average rates on fixed mortgages rose this week, the first increase in seven weeks. But mortgage rates remain near historic lows, boosting prospects for home sales this year.

Cheaper gas lowers measure of US consumer prices

WASHINGTON (AP) — A measure of U.S. consumer prices fell in May by the most since December 2008 as gas costs dropped sharply. Outside food and energy, prices rose modestly.

US unemployment aid applications rise to 386K

WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans sought unemployment aid last week, suggesting hiring remains sluggish.

May sees pickup in homes facing foreclosure risk

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lenders initiated foreclosure proceedings against more U.S. homeowners in May, setting the stage for increases in home repossessions and short sales — scenarios that could further weigh down home values in coming months.

Oil searches for direction as OPEC ministers meet

The price of oil is struggling for direction as OPEC ministers debate how much oil to produce while global economic growth is slowing.

Kroger raises outlook on strong 1Q results

NEW YORK (AP) — The Kroger Co. is forecasting a rosier year after the company's customer-loyalty programs helped boost net income in the first quarter.

Government expands probe of Jeep gas tank fires

DETROIT (AP) — Government safety regulators have expanded an investigation into gas tank fires in older-model Jeep Grand Cherokees.

Spain borrowing rates soar after Moody's downgrade

MADRID (AP) — Spain's borrowing rates have hit a high not seen since the country joined the euro in 1999 after a credit ratings agency downgraded the country's ability to pay down its debt.

Italian borrowing rates skyrocket in bond sale

MILAN, Italy (AP) — Italy's borrowing costs on its three-year bonds skyrocketed Thursday to their highest level since December, as concerns about Spain and the state of Europe's economy continued to pummel the country's financial markets.

Nokia to cut 10,000 jobs by end of 2013

HELSINKI (AP) — Nokia Corp. will lay off 10,000 jobs globally and close plants by the end of 2013, the company said Thursday, in a further drive to save costs and streamline operations.


Republicans, Democrats at odds on energy issues

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans and Democrats seem to be living on different planets when it comes to how to meet U.S. energy needs.


Former music royalties executive Preston dies in Nashville

NASHVILLE (AP) - Frances Williams Preston, who worked with top songwriters as president of the royalties company Broadcast Music Inc., died Wednesday. She was 83.


Dell eyes more than $2B in cuts over 3 years

NEW YORK (AP) — Computer maker Dell Inc. is planning more than $2 billion in cost cuts over the next three years as its looks to transform its business so it can keep pace in the highly competitive technology sector.

Southern Baptists set to elect 1st black president

NASHVILLE (AP) - Four months ago, two African-American pastors stood in a hallway of the Southern Baptist Convention's Nashville headquarters looking at a row of white faces.


Judge blocks occupancy certificate for new mosque

MURFREESBORO (AP) - A Murfreesboro judge has blocked local officials from issuing an occupancy certificate for a new mosque.


Anti-Muslim group attacks Tenn. economic official

NASHVILLE (AP) - A group that has attacked the construction of a mosque in Murfreesboro is now taking aim at a recent hire by Gov. Bill Haslam based on her religion.

TN drug courts moved to Mental Health department

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam has issued an executive order to make the management of state drug courts the responsibility of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

Tuition increases recommended for Tennessee colleges

NASHVILLE (AP) — Some Tennessee college students this fall could see an increase in tuition and fees of more than 7 percent that was recommended Tuesday by the finance committee of the state Board of Regents.

Tennessee recognized for economic development

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee has been ranked among the best in economic development by a national publication.


US stocks end lower as Europe teeters; Dow off 77

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S stocks skidded Wednesday as a looming election in Greece and the broader debt maelstrom in Europe provided an ominous backdrop.

US companies boosted stockpiles 0.4 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. companies increased their stockpiles at a faster rate in April, despite modest growth in sales.

US retail sales dropped 0.2 percent in May

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans barely increased their spending at retail businesses in April and May, constrained by weak job creation and paltry wage increases.

Oil prices fall on retail sales, inventories

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil prices fell Wednesday as negative U.S. economic news trumped a report showing a decline in the nation's oil and gasoline supplies.

Saudi-Iran rivalries high ahead of OPEC meeting

VIENNA (AP) — OPEC ministers are coming into a meeting deeply divided over how much crude to pump, with Saudi Arabia keen to keep a lid on prices, rival Iran pushing to cut production and Iraq expected to back Iran, its longtime foe under Saddam Hussein.

Gas prices pull US retail sales down 0.2 percent in May

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. retail sales declined in April and May, pulled down by a sharp drop in gas prices. But even after excluding volatile gas sales, consumers increased their spending only modestly.

US wholesale prices fall by most in nearly 3 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — A steep drop in gasoline costs drove down a measure of U.S. wholesale prices in May by the most since July 2009. But outside the food and energy categories, prices increased moderately.

Pew survey finds China seen as top economic power

BEIJING (AP) — For the first time, people responding to a global survey are more likely to view China and not the United States as the world's leading economic power.

Asian electric car consortium in deal to buy Saab

STOCKHOLM (AP) — An electric carmaking consortium, led by Hong Kong and Japanese investors and chaired by a former Volvo Trucks executive, has penned a deal to buy the better part of bankrupt Swedish automaker Saab, rescuing the ailing brand from insolvency.


Farm bill divides Midwestern and Southern farmers

WASHINGTON (AP) — For once, it's not Democrats battling Republicans. The five-year farm and food stamps bill now being debated in the Senate is a regional fight, pitting rice and peanut growers in the South against corn producers and soybean farmers in the Midwest.

JPMorgan CEO says execs may have pay taken back

WASHINGTON (AP) — JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon told Congress on Wednesday that senior bank executives responsible for a $2 billion trading loss will probably have some of their pay taken back by the company.


Wrestling companies square off in Nashville court

NASHVILLE (AP) - Lawyers for World Wrestling Entertainment have told a Nashville judge the company has not and will not use confidential information from rival Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.


Kenny Chesney, Jonathan Demme team for livestream

NASHVILLE (AP) - And now for something a little bit different: Kenny Chesney and Jonathan Demme are working together.

Zac Brown Band to perform at Home Run Derby

NASHVILLE (AP) - Zac Brown Band is adding some star power to baseball's Home Run Derby at next month's All-Star game festivities.


Planning Commission votes to appeal mosque ruling

MURFREESBORO (AP) - Rutherford County's Planning Commission has voted to appeal a ruling that voided their approval of a new mosque.


Grand jury indicts lawmaker on arrest in October

NASHVILLE (AP) — A grand jury in Nashville has indicted state Rep. Curry Todd, arrested in October on drunken driving and weapons charges.

Todd allowed to keep gun permit despite indictment

NASHVILLE (AP) - State Rep. Curry Todd can keep his handgun carry permit despite being indicted on drunken driving and weapons charges, the state Safety Department said Tuesday.


Summer starts dry in much of the Tennessee Valley

NASHVILLE (AP) - Weather conditions that have dried parts of the Tennessee River valley to drought status are expected to persist across a hotter than usual summer.

Tennessee general fund revenue surplus tops $400M

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee's general fund revenue collections beat expectations by more than $12 million in May, topping $400 million for the budget year so far.

Study: De-emphasize test scores for most teachers

NASHVILLE (AP) — About two-thirds of Tennessee teachers should be allowed to opt for a smaller portion of their evaluations to be based on student testing data, according to a study released Monday.


Hope for Fed help powers US stocks to big gain

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks staged one of their strongest rallies of the year Tuesday, erasing a big decline from the day before, after a Federal Reserve official said he supported more measures to stimulate the economy.

Oil rises ahead of key OPEC meeting

The price of benchmark U.S. oil rose ahead of a key OPEC meeting that could become a showdown between Saudi Arabia and Iran over how much oil the organization is producing.

Investors withdrew from US stock funds in May

BOSTON (AP) — Investors continue to be cautious with their money. May was the third consecutive month that they've withdrawn more cash from U.S. stock mutual funds than they deposited into them. Bond funds attracted new cash for the ninth month in a row.

GM CEO hopeful politicians will prevent recession

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors CEO Dan Akerson says he's cautiously optimistic that U.S. political leaders will agree on an economic package to keep the country from tipping into a recession.

New Internet suffix bids include '.lol,' 'bank.'

NEW YORK (AP) — If Google has its way, people won't need "Google.com" to do searches. They can simply go to ".Google."

Verizon to ditch most phone plans for shared ones

NEW YORK (AP) — Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest cellphone company, is dropping nearly all of its phone plans in favor of pricing schemes that encourage consumers to connect their non-phone devices, like tablets and PCs, to Verizon's network.

Verizon's new sharing plans, by the numbers

With Verizon's new Share Everything plans, subscribers pay for two things: the pool of wireless data they use every month, and the devices they add to the plan.

Airlines, ticket firms battle over booking system

BEIJING (AP) — A guaranteed aisle seat, special meals, access to the VIP lounge — and tickets to a musical?

Spain borrowing cost crisis: Rate at euro-era high

MADRID (AP) — Spain's benchmark borrowing rate hit its highest level Tuesday since the country adopted the euro currency, after ratings agency Fitch downgraded 18 banks on Tuesday and investors continued to find more questions than answers in the country's decision to seek help for its ailing bank sector by tapping a €100 billion ($125 billion) eurozone bailout fund.


US states forecast highest tax revenue in 5 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. states expect to collect higher tax revenue in the coming budget year that combined would top pre-recession levels, according to a survey released Tuesday. The increase could reduce pressure on states to cut budgets and lay off workers.

White House: No timetable for Bryson's return

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House said Tuesday there was no timetable for Commerce Secretary John Bryson's return from medical leave, as California officials indicated the Cabinet member may not face criminal charges if a blood test shows no sign of drugs or alcohol.

FEC allows campaign donations via text messaging

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal election officials say small-dollar donors may use their cell phones' text messaging to contribute to political campaigns.


Tenn. Chamber of Commerce to replace president

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Chamber of Commerce is replacing its president following two years of spirited legislative debate over business measures ranging from firearms at the workplace to discrimination against gay employees.


MTSU making efforts to increase graduation rate

MURFREESBORO (AP) - Middle Tennessee State University is making efforts to increase its graduation rate, but still just over half its students are completing college within six years.

Transparency groups see problems in mosque ruling

NASHVILLE (AP) — A court ruling that sets higher standards for a central component of the Tennessee's open meetings law hasn't drawn loud cheers from government transparency advocates.


Rescue loans for Spain's banks buys Europe time

WASHINGTON (AP) — A $125 billion plan to rescue Spain's banks won't solve Europe's debt crisis or ease the pain of double-digit unemployment across the continent.

Stocks fall; Spain rescue seen as 'temporary fix'

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks on Wall Street are closing sharply lower. Investors are skeptical that a deal to save Spanish banks will do much to resolve the debt crisis in Europe.

Oil prices fall on global economic concerns

Oil fell Monday on the realization that a short-term fix in Spain won't offer a long-term solution to Europe's debt crisis.

US Internet advertising spending hits $8.4B in 1Q

NEW YORK (AP) — An advertising industry group says revenue from Internet advertising in the U.S. hit $8.4 billion in the first three months of the year.

UnitedHealth plans to keep overhaul elements

Insurer UnitedHealth Group Inc. sees some parts of the health care overhaul as sound medicine and plans to keep them regardless of whether the law survives an upcoming Supreme Court ruling.

$257 billion invested in renewable energy in 2011

GENEVA (AP) — Global investment in renewable energy reached a record of $257 billion last year, with solar attracting more than half the total spending, according to a U.N. report released Monday.

Apple introduces MacBook with sharper screen

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple says it's introducing a laptop with a super-high resolution "Retina" display, setting a new standard for screen sharpnessj.

Independent bookstores embrace digital publishing

WASHINGTON (AP) — Clare Dickens only wanted to share her story to help others. But in the process, she became a successful independent author — with the help of a local bookstore and its instant publishing machine.


Key senator wants tax overhaul to reduce deficits

WASHINGTON (AP) — An overhaul of the nation's tax code should raise additional revenue to reduce massive budget deficits and should help strengthen the economy, the Senate's top tax-writer said Monday.

Poll: Americans know how to save energy, but balk

WASHINGTON (AP) — When it comes to saving energy, people in the United States know that driving a fuel-efficient car accomplishes more than turning off the lights at home.

FACT CHECK: Looming tax hike not the biggest ever

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans are calling it "Taxmageddon," the big tax increase awaiting nearly every American family at the end of the year, when a long list of tax cuts are scheduled to expire unless Congress acts.


Bridgestone sets $74M Des Moines tire plant expansion

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Bridgestone Americas plans to invest $74 million more through next year to expand its Firestone tire factory in Des Moines.

Nashville airport promotes city's music scene

NASHVILLE (AP) - As the Nashville International Airport celebrates its 75th birthday, it's also celebrating the city's best known product: music.


Reunited, The Mavericks ready to run at CMA Fest

NASHVILLE (AP) - For years, people have been approaching Raul Malo with an annoyingly frequent question: When are The Mavericks getting back together?

Former Fleetwood Mac member Bob Welch found dead

NASHVILLE (AP) - Bob Welch, a former member of Fleetwood Mac who also had a solo career, died Thursday of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said. He was 65.


State working on smartphone app using traffic data

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Department of Transportation is working on a free smartphone app using the traffic data it already collects.

Tenn. Supreme Court rules in favor of worker

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court has reversed a trial court's decision and ruled in favor of a worker diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Haslam: Pre-K funding, vouchers no package deal

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam is weighing both an increase in funding for the state's public pre-kindergarten program and creating a school voucher system in Tennessee, though the Republican says he doesn't consider the two proposals linked.


US wholesale stockpiles grew 0.6 percent in April

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. wholesale businesses restocked faster in April, responding to a strong gain in sales. The increase could be a good sign for economic growth in the April-June quarter.

Stock market posts best week of 2012

The stock market is wrapping up its best week of the year.

Oil price slips on weak economy

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil fell slightly Friday on the prospect of weak economic growth with no immediate assistance from the U.S Federal Reserve.

US trade deficit narrowed to $50.1 billion

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit shrunk in April, but only because a big drop in imports offset the first decline in U.S. exports in five months.

Bernanke signals no imminent steps to aid economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Slumping job growth has alarmed some economists who fear the U.S. economy is in trouble.

McDonald's sales rose 3.3 percent in May

NEW YORK (AP) — McDonald's Corp. says strength in the U.S. and Europe drove up a key revenue figure in May, but noted that ongoing economic volatility around the world is pressuring its second-quarter results.

Olympus whistleblower wins millions in settlement

TOKYO (AP) — Former Olympus Corp. Chief Executive Michael Woodford will receive 10 million pounds (1.2 billion yen, $15.4 million) in a settlement over his dismissal from the Japanese camera and medical equipment maker. Olympus also announced it will cut nearly 3,000 jobs.

Fed proposes stricter capital rules for banks

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve wants U.S. banks to set aside more money to cushion against unexpected losses, a key step in preventing another financial crisis.

Key points of proposed bank rules

WASHINGTON (AP) — BIGGER RISK CUSHION FOR BANKS: The Federal Reserve wants U.S. banks to set aside more money to cushion against unexpected losses, a key step in preventing another financial crisis.

US consumers cut back on credit card use in April

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans cut back sharply on their credit card purchases in April, a sign that some may be worried about the slowdown in hiring.

Stocks helped lift US household wealth in Q1

CHICAGO (AP) — Americans' wealth rose sharply in the January-March quarter, boosted mainly by the best quarterly gain in stock prices since 1998 and partly by the first rise in home values since 2006.

US unemployment aid applications fall to 377K

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people applying for U.S. unemployment benefits fell last week for the first time in five weeks. But the drop suggests only modest job growth after three months of weak hiring.


House passes homeland security spending bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — The GOP-controlled House passed a $46 billion measure Thursday funding the Homeland Security Department, including more than $5 billion in disaster relief spending that complies with a budget agreement last summer opposed by tea party conservatives.

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