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VOL. 39 | NO. 25 | Friday, June 19, 2015

Building green in a red-hot market

What’s good for business doesn’t have to hurt the environment

Counting cranes has become a Nashville pastime, and the perks of all that development are clear – a robust economy, vibrant real estate market and more jobs.

Climate change as faith issue a tough sell

It’s been a tough few years for Tennessee Interfaith Power and Light. The state affiliate of a national network of faith communities, the organization offers its members a spiritual way to respond to climate change issues and challenges from political and other sources.

Proton’s Weaver wizard of tech innovation

On any given day, business executives, scientists and chemical engineers from across the U.S. and around the world come to East Tennessee to see for themselves the renewable energy technology developed by Lenoir City-based Proton Power Inc.


Running state like a business rings hollow for workers

More and more, Tennessee’s state employees are feeling the same harsh realities of those working – or formerly working – in corporate America.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Wind: South at 3.5 mph
Humidity: 74%


Asurion Hiring Event. The company plans to hire 400 people by October and will hold a hiring event and open house Thursday to interview candidates. The openings are for customer support technicians at its Nashville call center, located at 5720 Crossings Blvd. in Antioch. Average pay rate for a customer support technicians is $14.50. 9 A.M.-4 p.m. Interested candidates should text “Nashville” to 617-207-6382617-207-6382  to RSVP or call 262 439-1941262 439-1941.

more events »

Capitol Commission to review which historical figures should be honored

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and House Speaker Beth Harwell are encouraging the Tennessee Capitol Commission to evaluate the characteristics of Tennesseans honored in the Capitol Complex.


Sales volume raises risk of closing snafus

The Greater Nashville Association of Realtors’ May sales data show sales continuing to rise.


Top residential real estate transactions for May 2015

Top residential real estate transactions, May 2015, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

Middle Tennessee real estate trends for May 2015

May 2015 real estate trends for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford and Wilson counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

Average US rate on 30-year mortgage eases to 4 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates eased this week after hitting their highest levels this year in the previous week.


Bass, Berry & Sims welcomes 2 attorneys

Susan K. Bilbro and Shannon E. Pinkston have joined the Nashville office of Bass, Berry & Sims PLC.


Taller, narrower European-style vans arriving in US

A touch of the Old World has come to American cities in the form of European-style vans that look like skinny, tall breadboxes.


Using past performance to predict future revenue

Far too many companies look to past growth as the single-best predictor of future growth in setting annual revenue targets with little analysis of the factors driving that past progress, anticipated market shifts over the coming year and the predictability of the sales and marketing strategies built into their annual plan.


Want to stand out in crowd? It’s all about timing

One of the quickest ways to stand out from the crowd is one of the easiest. And, unfortunately, it can make you look very good or incredibly bad. The concept I’m referring to is timing. Your timing can have a huge impact on your outcome on multiple fronts professionally.


What would Peanuts characters be doing today?

Charles Schulz died Feb. 12, 2000. This column ran March 3, 2000. There is no connection between this column and today’s I Swear Crossword.


Tennessee reactions to the US Supreme Court's health care ruling

NASHVILLE (AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to uphold health insurance subsidies in states that do not operate their own insurance exchanges means the more than 155,000 Tennesseans who use the subsidies will not lose their health insurance. Here's a look at who is getting subsidies in Tennessee and what Tennesseans are saying about the ruling:

Supreme Court upholds nationwide health care law subsidies

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the nationwide tax subsidies underpinning President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, rejecting a major challenge to the landmark law in a ruling that preserves health insurance for millions of Americans.

5 things: Public opinion behind government on health care

WASHINGTON (AP) — Most Americans wanted the Supreme Court to side with the government on whether the federal government could continue subsidizing insurance premiums in all 50 states under President Barack Obama's health care law, according to polls conducted before the justices' ruling Thursday.

The Latest: Scalia calls health care overhaul: 'SCOTUScare'

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Supreme Court's decision on President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

Supreme Court upholds key tool for fighting housing bias

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court handed a surprising victory to the Obama administration and civil rights groups on Thursday when it upheld a key tool used for more than four decades to fight housing discrimination.


Hospital stocks leap after Supreme Court backs overhaul

Investors in hospital stocks rejoiced Thursday after the Supreme Court upheld a key portion of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul and eliminated the prospect of a sudden influx of uninsured patients seeking care.


Average US rate on 30-year mortgage edges up to 4.02 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates were mixed this week, marking slight increases or declines but remaining close to high levels for the year.


Test score results show gains in all high school subjects

NASHVILLE (AP) - Results from the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program show students made significant gains in all high school subjects and in the majority of subjects in grades 3 through 8.

Haslam's communications director leaving for private sector

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam's director of communications is leaving to become a communications consultant in the private sector.


State Museum exhibition looks at history of THP

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee State Museum says an exhibition detailing the history of the state Highway Patrol is set to open.


To sway regulators, Charter pledges to play nice on Internet

NEW YORK (AP) — Charter is trying to convince the government that consumers will benefit if it is allowed to create a cable giant through its proposed $67.1 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House.

Tinder, Match.com looking for love on Wall Street

NEW YORK (AP) — Match.com and Tinder are looking for a Wall Street hookup as their parent group spins off the dating sites as a publicly traded company.


Takata CEO: Air bag defect still under investigation

TOKYO (AP) — The CEO of Takata Corp., the Japanese air bag maker at the center of a defect scandal that has resulted in recalls of more than 33.8 million vehicles, appeared at a news conference Thursday for the first time since the problems emerged but shed little light on the underlying cause of the problems.

Spanish auto parts maker Gestamp expanding in Chattanooga

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — Spanish auto parts maker Gestamp is beefing up its operations in Chattanooga with a $180 million investment that the company says will triple its capacity in the city and create 550 new jobs, officials announced Tuesday.


US consumers ramp up May spending; largest gain since 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer spending surged in May with the biggest monthly increase in nearly six years — a sign of stronger economic growth ahead.

Applications for US jobless aid rise to still-low 271,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment aid rose slightly last week, but remained at a historically low level that signals an improving job market.

US stocks move higher following a surge in consumer spending

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are edging higher in midday Thursday as investors were encouraged by a report showing a strong rise in consumer spending last month. Health care stocks rose sharply after the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act's insurance subsidies. European markets were mostly lower as talks to keep Greece solvent stumbled.

Greece, creditors at loggerheads as debt deadline looms

BRUSSELS (AP) — Greece and its international creditors remained at loggerheads Thursday over reform measures that Athens must introduce to unlock billions of euros in loans and prevent a likely bankruptcy of the country.

Stronger economy, cheap gas expected to spur holiday travel

NEW YORK (AP) — A stronger economy, rising consumer confidence and cheap gasoline will likely have Americans traveling in big numbers this Independence Day.


Conservatives to the rescue: Obama's health care, trade wins

WASHINGTON (AP) — Cracking the often-lamented partisanship of Washington, a Republican-led Congress and a conservative Supreme Court chief justice delivered back-to-back victories for President Barack Obama's ambitious trade and health care initiatives.

Senate and House prepare to complete Obama's trade agenda

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is wrapping up President Barack Obama's trade agenda, one day after handing him the big prize of "fast track" negotiating authority.


Call grows louder to remove bust of Confederate general

NASHVILLE (AP) — The call to remove a bust of a Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan leader from the halls of the Tennessee Capitol got louder on Wednesday.


Ford jumps into the car-sharing pool with pilot program

NEW YORK (AP) — Ford is following the ride-sharing craze, launching its own pilot program in six U.S. cities and in London.

Qatari fund among potential buyers of F1

A wealthy Qatari investment fund teamed with the owner of the Miami Dolphins NFL team is among several potential buyers of a stake in Formula One, a person with knowledge of the talks says.


US economy not as bad in 1st quarter, paving way for rebound

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy contracted in the first three months of the year, just not as much as previously estimated. More recent data show that the weakness was largely temporary, with a rebound in the works for the April-June quarter.

Stocks retreat as optimism about a Greek debt deal fades

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are closing lower as progress remained elusive in talks between Greece and its lenders.

Divisions remain on Greece as officials meet for last push

BRUSSELS (AP) — Greece's leader was trying to bridge differences with creditors Wednesday on a plan to make more reforms in Greece in exchange for bailout loans the country needs to avoid a potentially disastrous default next week.


Senate poised to hand Obama big victory on negotiating trade

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress was poised to hand President Barack Obama a major victory on trade Wednesday, with the Senate set to approve "fast track" negotiating authority and House Democrats dropping their opposition to a part of the legislative package.

GOP-led Congress prepared to let Export-Import Bank expire

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional Republicans are poised to deal a sharp blow to their traditional allies in the business community by allowing the federal Export-Import Bank to go out of business at the end of the month. But it may only be temporary.


UBS adding new office in Williamson County

NASHVILLE (AP) — State officials say financial services company UBS is investing $11 million in a new office in Williamson County, adding 350 jobs in the next several years.


Haslam favors removal of Confederate statue from Capitol

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam says he supports removing the bust of Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest from the state Capitol.

Lawmakers question bust of Klan leader in Tennessee capitol

NASHVILLE (AP) — A bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate general and an early leader in the Ku Klux Klan, sits in an alcove outside the Senate chambers at the Tennessee statehouse.


Nashville officials seek to cover up Bedford statue

NASHVILLE (AP) - As Tennessee lawmakers seek to remove a bust of Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest form the Capitol, a couple of Metro Nashville Council members are seeking to cover up a private statue of Forrest that sits along the Interstate 65 corridor.


Google adds free ad-supported tier to music app in the US

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Google is adding a free tier to its subscription streaming music service in the U.S., aiming to convert the millions of people who click on the Google Play Music app every month but turn away because they're prompted for payment information.


US new-home sales in May climb to best levels since 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) — Purchases of new U.S. homes surged in the Northeast and West in May, as steady job growth over the past year has lifted the real estate sector.


Senators express frustration with Takata, regulators

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senators expressed anger and exasperation Tuesday with both air bag maker Takata Corp. and federal auto safety regulators over a problem with defective air bag inflators that has escalated into the largest auto-safety recall in U.S. history.

Reports: Federal agency fails to hold carmakers to account

WASHINGTON (AP) — An upcoming government audit says the nation's auto safety regulator failed repeatedly over a decade to discover the General Motors ignition switch defect that's linked to more than 110 deaths.

Flint City Council supports tax abatement for GM investment

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — The Flint City Council is supporting a tax abatement for General Motors Co. if the automaker invests $161 million at its Flint Assembly plant.


Facebook now worth more than Wal-Mart on stock market

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook is now bigger than Wal-Mart, at least when it comes to its value on the stock market.

Ride-hailing apps get kids around town when parents are busy

A ride-hailing service that caters to youngsters is allowing them to book their own rides when mom and dad are too busy to drive.


Big retailers feel pressure on Confederate flag merchandise

Even as national retailers pull Confederate flags from shelves and websites after the shooting deaths of nine black church members in South Carolina, manufacturers that produce the divisive symbol say that sales are now surging.

EBay bans sales of Confederate flag on its site

NEW YORK (AP) — Calling it a "contemporary symbol of divisiveness and racism," eBay said Tuesday that it will ban the sale of Confederate flags and similarly themed merchandise.

Stocks make slight gains amid optimism on Greek debt deal

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are closing with a small gain as investors wait for a deal between Greece and its creditors. Greece faces defaulting on its debt without new loans.

Amazon changes rules for some publishing royalties

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon is adjusting its royalty payments for writers who publish with its Kindle Direct Publishing platform to encourage addictive page turners.

Durable goods orders retreat again in May

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting manufactured goods fell in May, pulled down by a sharp drop in demand for aircraft. But a category that reflects business investment rose last month, a hopeful sign for manufacturing.

Greece: We had no choice but to propose 'harsh' reforms

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece's economic reforms plan includes "harsh" measures the government would not have proposed had it had a choice, a spokesman said Tuesday.

Anthem reaffirms commitment to its $47-billion bid for Cigna

Anthem sees its more than $47 billion bid to buy rival Cigna as a way to muscle up on technology that helps consumers and to strengthen its rapidly growing Medicare Advantage business.


Key issues, and what lies ahead, for Obama's trade agenda

WASHINGTON (AP) — TPA, TAA, TPP — It's an alphabetical mix on trade that requires an explanation. The bottom line is President Barack Obama's trade agenda, a top priority of his last two years in office, is back on track.

Senate vote moves Obama's trade agenda to brink of enactment

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's long-pursued trade agenda took a giant step toward becoming law on Tuesday, and opponents grudgingly conceded they now must fight on less-favorable terrain.


Apple changes tune on royalties after Swift complains

PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) — Taylor Swift has Apple changing its tune.


Nun who vandalized uranium bunker likely to remain free

NASHVILLE (AP) - An 85-year-old nun and two fellow Catholic peace activists are likely to remain free because the government said Monday that it will not seek to have a sabotage charge reconsidered.

High court voids routine police check of hotel registries

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court struck down a Los Angeles ordinance Monday that allowed police to inspect hotel guest records on demand.

High court strikes down raisin program as unconstitutional

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Monday that a 66-year-old program that lets the government take raisins away from farmers to help reduce supply and boost market prices is unconstitutional.

Tenn officials waiting for gay marriage ruling before action

NASHVILLE (AP) — In Tennessee, state and local officials say they are taking a wait-and-see approach to the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court could overturn the state's ban on gay marriage.


Health insurer Cigna rejects Anthem takeover bid

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Health insurer Cigna Corp. has rejected a $47 billion offer to be acquired by its larger rival, Anthem Inc., saying the terms of the bid are inadequate and "woefully skewed in favor of Anthem shareholders."


Here's why home sales are finally surging

WASHINGTON (AP) — Real estate has gotten hot again.

US home sales jump in May, average prices close to 2006 peak

WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans bought homes in May, a sign of economic strength that is pushing up average prices.


Vibrating, rollicking 4-D seats in theaters growing

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mike Koenig sat back in his seat for a recent screening of "Mad Max: Fury Road." But this was no ordinary theater chair.


US stocks climb on Greek optimism, more deal news

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are closing higher on optimism that there will be a breakthrough in bailout talks between Greece and its lenders this week.

Martha Stewart Living acquired for $353 million

NEW YORK (AP) — Martha Stewart Living is being acquired in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $353 million.


Bernanke: Dump Jackson, not Hamilton, on US currency

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Federal Reserve chief-turned blogger Ben Bernanke is calling for the U.S. Treasury to abandon plans to drop Alexander Hamilton from his featured spot on the $10 bill and to dump Andrew Jackson from the $20 instead.

Dispute over trade highlights turmoil among House Democrats

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress' upheaval over trade has exposed turmoil within a House Democratic caucus that's grown smaller and more liberal in recent years as moderates have been ousted in successive election bloodlettings.


Rep. Joe Armstrong pleads not guilty to fraud, tax evasion

NASHVILLE (AP) - State Rep. Joe Armstrong of Knoxville has pleaded not guilty to federal fraud and tax evasion charges connected to an increase in the state's cigarette tax.


Feds say Tennessee can't trademark embattled new logo

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam has said one of the main points of creating a new state logo is that Tennessee can't trademark its flag or seal.

State: Lawsuit not needed to protect TennCare applicants

NASHVILLE (AP) — An attorney for the state of Tennessee told a federal appeals court Thursday that a court order is not needed to protect TennCare applicants because they are no longer being left in indefinite limbo.


Franklin bank employee foils robbery attempt

FRANKLIN (AP) — Authorities say an employee foiled a robbery attempt at a Franklin bank.


GM adds more than 243,000 cars to Takata air bag recall

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is adding more than 243,000 compact hatchbacks in the U.S. and Canada to the growing recall for air bags that can explode with too much force.

California reveals details of self-driving car accidents

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California state officials released reports Thursday detailing six accidents that involved self-driving car prototypes, reversing a policy that had shielded details of how the next-generation technology is performing during testing on public roads.


Gov. Haslam requests 3 new nominees for judgeship vacancy

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has asked the state's judicial nominating panel to send him three new attorneys' names for him to consider in filling a vacant Hamilton County Criminal Court judgeship.


Report: Higher deficits, more uninsured if health law tossed

WASHINGTON (AP) — Repealing President Barack Obama's signature health care law would modestly increase the budget deficit, while the number of uninsured Americans would rise by more than 20 million, said a nonpartisan government study released Friday.

House votes to kill health care law's medical device tax

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House defied a White House veto threat and voted Thursday to abolish a tax on medical device makers as a group of Democrats uncharacteristically joined Republicans in moving to kill part of President Barack Obama's health care law.


Need reason to pay by phone? Apple, Google add new features

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The tech industry has been saying for years that smartphones would make traditional wallets obsolete. But most people still use cash or plastic when they shop in stores.


Greece gets temporary lifeline, turns hope to new summit

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — With the clock running down on Greece's chances of avoiding a painful exit from the euro, the country got a temporary lifeline Friday to help it cope with a bank deposit drain and turned its hopes to a European leaders' summit next week.

US stocks slide as a three-day rally peters out

U.S. stocks are closing lower, shedding some of the gains that pushed a key index to a record level a day earlier.

EPA proposes tougher mileage standards for trucks

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration on Friday proposed tougher mileage standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks, the latest move by President Barack Obama in his second-term drive to reduce pollution blamed for global warming.

Comcast founder Ralph Roberts dead at 95

NEW YORK (AP) — Ralph Roberts, who built Comcast from a small cable TV system in Mississippi into one of the nation's largest entertainment companies, has died. He was 95.

Office Depot shareholders approve sale to Staples

NEW YORK (AP) – Office Depot shareholders have voted overwhelmingly in favor of the company's $6.3 billion acquisition by one-time rival Staples.


House revives Obama's trade agenda, but Senate vote awaits

WASHINGTON (AP) — Working closely with the White House, the Republican-controlled House revived President Barack Obama's trade agenda on Thursday, voting to strengthen his hand in global negotiations and clearing the way for a showdown in the Senate.

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