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VOL. 38 | NO. 29 | Friday, July 18, 2014

Right place trumps wrong time for Avenue Bank

Middle Tennessee’s diverse economy helps young bank thrive despite pre-recession launch

This month marks Avenue Bank’s seventh year of business. Count backwards and you’ll see that Avenue was founded during one of the most challenging times in U.S. history – five months before the U.S. economic recession officially hit, sending asset values, interest rates and bank margins plunging.

Mortgage departments ramp up to meet demand

If you see a mortgage banker sweating, don’t blame the weather. Low interest rates and a hot real estate market have local mortgage lenders feeling the heat.

Middle Tennessee banks make good consolidation targets

Prevailing wisdom says community banks need to reach about $1 billion in assets to absorb new regulatory and compliance costs imposed by the Dodd-Frank Act and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Not all bankers agree.

Arkansas bank pushes into Tennessee via acquisitions

A similar history, a foundation in agriculture lending and growth potential attracted Arkansas-based Simmons First National Corp. to buy Community First Bancshares Inc. of Union City and its $1.9 billion subsidiary First State Bank, says Simmons’ Chairman and CEO George A. Makris.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
A Few Clouds
Wind: Northwest at 3.5 mph
Humidity: 61%


Summer of Street Food. A gathering of 15 to 20 local food trucks. This event will take place every other Thursday through August 21. Trucks will be parked on Deaderick Street between 4th Avenue North and 5th Avenue North. Information: www.nashvillefoodtruckassociation.com.

more events »

Top Middle Tennessee lenders for June 2014

A look at Davidson County’s top lenders based on total number of all loans, commercial and residential.


Top Middle Tennessee residential real estate transaction for June 2014

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


Can’t sell your house? In this market? Really?

No surprises in the latest sales date from the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors: Home sales show an increase of 9.4 percent compared to June 2013, and prices are understandably on the rise.


Constangy, Brooks & Smith adds to Nashville office

National labor and employment law firm Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP has hired attorney Phylinda Ramsey as an associate in its Nashville office.


Surprise! 10 interesting social media findings

Social media is evolving quickly, and it’s tough to keep up.


Internet research vital before you go to your interview

One of the biggest struggles many job seekers face is gathering enough information. It’s important to understand how much a company pays, if the environment is healthy, and how the interview process works.


Creative bull behind lawyer’s elephant analogy

Several years ago, a Mr. B. testified as an expert witness in a plane crash case. The lawyer cross-examining him worked awfully hard, providing some entertainment along the way.


Complicated cheesecake a great first try

The last part of June and the first part of July has already been so busy for us with birthday celebrations, a vacation and a conference.


Tennesseans to share $10 million in refunds

NASHVILLE (AP) - More than 336,000 Tennessee residents will split $10 million in refunds from health insurance companies because of a provision in the Affordable Care Act.

THP to begin taking cadet applications on July 30

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Tennessee Highway Patrol will start accepting applications for its new trooper cadet class on July 30.


140 Chinese students to take part in MTSU program

MURFREESBORO (AP) — A partnership agreement signed last year between Middle Tennessee State University and Guangxi University in southern China is bearing fruit.


US new-home sales plummet in June

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of new U.S. homes plunged in June, a sign that real estate continues to be a weak spot in the economy.


GM profit 2Q falls 85 pct. on recall costs

DETROIT (AP) — Recall expenses chopped $1.5 billion from General Motors' bottom line in the second quarter, as it added up the costs of repairs for nearly 30 million cars and set aside funds to compensate victims of small-car crashes.

Ford 2Q net income rises 6 percent to $1.3 billion

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co. beat Wall Street's expectations in the second quarter as it chalked up a record profit in North America and made money in Europe for the first time in three years.


IMF cuts US and global growth forecasts for 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — The International Monetary Fund foresees the global economy expanding less than it had previously forecast, slowed by weaker growth in the United States, Russia and developing economies.

US unemployment aid applications drop to 284,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits fell last week to its lowest level in eight years.

US stocks rise at midday on stronger earnings

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks edged higher in midday trading Thursday as investors digested second-quarter results from companies across several industries, including Facebook, Ford and Caterpillar.

Oil drifts down despite China manufacturing bounce

The price of oil fell below $103 a barrel Thursday, giving back part of its gains from the day before, despite improvements in Chinese manufacturing.

Caterpillar 2Q profit rises, revenue declines

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Caterpillar's second-quarter net income rose 4.1 percent even as revenue slipped.


Beretta: Maryland gun law forcing move to Gallatin

ACCOKEEK, Md. (AP) — Beretta U.S.A. announced Tuesday that company concerns over a strict gun-control law enacted in Maryland last year have made it necessary to move its weapons making out of the state to Tennessee.


Tennessee man accused of threatening to kill Obama

NASHVILLE (AP) - A man left profanity-filled voicemails with Tennessee's homeland security office threatening to kill President Barack Obama and other officials, saying in one that he would "light Nashville up," according to court documents.

Tennessee diamond dealer sued over pricing

NASHVILLE (AP) - A Tennessee jewelry store is being sued after a customer accused them of selling diamonds for more than the jewels are worth.


State signs out-of-state firm for 'Made in Tennessee' tourism ads

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee officials have signed a five-year, $60 million contract with a Kansas City, Missouri firm to produce the "Made in Tennessee" tourism campaign.

Walking horse group forms advisory panel

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration has formed a veterinary advisory committee.


GM issues 6 more safety recalls

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is issuing six more recalls covering a total of almost 718,000 vehicles in the U.S.

Chrysler recalls Jeep SUVs for ignition switches

DETROIT (AP) — The ignition switch defects that engulfed General Motors are now a rapidly growing problem at Chrysler.


Health advocacy groups file lawsuit against state

NASHVILLE (AP) - Three advocacy groups filed a class action lawsuit on Wednesday accusing the state of Tennessee of failing to provide certain services required by the federal health care law.

Agents get subsidized 'Obamacare' using fake IDs

WASHINGTON (AP) — Undercover investigators using fake identities were able to secure taxpayer-subsidized health insurance under President Barack Obama's health care law.


US economy, though sluggish, may now be sturdier

WASHINGTON (AP) — Out of a seemingly hollow recovery from the Great Recession, a more durable if still slow-growing U.S. economy has emerged.

IMF cuts forecast for US economic growth in 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — The International Monetary Fund has shaved its forecast for U.S. economic growth this year, mostly because of a sharp contraction in the first quarter.

SEC poised to end $1 a share for some money funds

WASHINGTON (AP) — Regulators are expected to vote Wednesday to end a longtime staple of the investment industry — the fixed $1 share price for money-market mutual funds — at least for some money funds used by big investors.

US stocks drift higher following mixed earnings

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes edged mostly higher as traders looked over a mixed batch of corporate earnings.

Oil gains on sharp drop in US supplies

The price of oil rose Wednesday after the government reported that U.S. oil supplies rose more than expected.


Senate agrees on $11B highway funding measure

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate agreed Wednesday on an $11 billion measure to temporarily fix a multibillion-dollar shortfall in federal highway and transit programs, setting up a vote next week on several alternatives.

Senate bill targets companies that move overseas

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate voted Wednesday to advance an election-year bill limiting tax breaks for U.S. companies that move operations overseas. But big hurdles remain.

Senate panel backs McDonald for VA secretary

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee on Wednesday endorsed former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald to be the new secretary of Veterans Affairs.


Nashville getting new area code, 10-digit dialing

NASHVILLE (AP) - A growing population and the explosive expansion of the use of hand-held electronic devices has prompted the creation of a new area code for Nashville.


Tennessee gets high marks in child welfare report

NASHVILLE (AP) - The latest national ranking of the well-being of children shows Tennessee is among five states that made the biggest improvement in the last year.


Austin Peay makes list of 'Great Colleges To Work For'

NASHVILLE (AP) - Two Tennessee universities have made the "honor roll" of a publication's 2014 list of "Great Colleges To Work For."


US home sales increase 2.6 percent in June

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of previously owned homes rose for a third straight month in June, pushing activity to the highest level in eight months and providing evidence that housing is regaining lost momentum.


Dueling rulings: Courts split on health law clash

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's health care law is snarled in another big legal battle, with two federal appeals courts issuing contradictory rulings on a key financing issue within hours of each other Tuesday.


Contrarian's case: Why US could dip into recession

NEW YORK (AP) — Just as the U.S. economy is strengthening, other countries are threatening to drag it down.

US consumer prices up 0.3 percent in June

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer prices rose in June at a slightly slower pace than in May with two-thirds of the June advance driven by the largest jump in gasoline prices in a year.

US stocks climb as earnings reports roll in

NEW YORK (AP) — Solid earnings for a range of big companies helped nudge the stock market higher on Tuesday.

Oil gains further on concerns over Ukraine, Gaza

The price of oil rose above $103 a barrel Tuesday on persisting jitters over the situation in Gaza, the standoff over the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner in Ukraine and expectations of a fall in U.S. crude inventories.

US job-training review emphasizes data, employers

WASHINGTON (AP) — A six-month review of federal job-training programs concludes that the government needs to better engage U.S. employers, improve the use of data, and boost apprenticeship programs so workers can earn while they train.

Coke's sales miss estimates as Diet Coke flags

ATLANTA (AP) — Coca-Cola Co. reported quarterly sales that fell short of Wall Street estimates on Tuesday as demand remained weak for Diet Coke in North America.

Comcast 2Q earnings top views on Internet hookups

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Comcast Corp.'s second-quarter net income rose 15 percent to nearly $2 billion as it added high-speed Internet customers at a faster pace than a year ago and video subscriber losses moderated.

Verizon 2Q profit rises 93 percent

NEW YORK (AP) — Verizon is reporting that its second-quarter earnings nearly doubled after securing full ownership of Verizon Wireless.

Detroit retirees back pension cuts by a landslide

DETROIT (AP) — A year after filing for bankruptcy, Detroit is building momentum to get out, especially after workers and retirees voted in favor of major pension changes just a few weeks before a judge holds a crucial trial that could end the largest public filing in U.S. history.


Lawmakers face long to-do list, uncertain success

WASHINGTON (AP) — A gridlocked Congress failed to do the big things: overhauling the nation's immigration system, reforming the loophole-cluttered tax code and stiffening background checks on gun buyers. Now it's time to see whether it can just do the basics.

2008 law unexpectedly at center of border debate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Dianne Feinstein recalls turning on her television and seeing a young Chinese girl crying before a judge, without even an interpreter to help her after surviving a harrowing journey to the U.S.


Nashville airport handles record 10.6M passengers in FY 2014

NASHVILLE (AP) - Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority officials say the facility handled more than 10.6 million passengers in the 2014 fiscal year marking a record for the airport.

Sounds prep for peanut free game tonight

NASHVILLE (AP) - While they may buy Cracker Jack at the Nashville Sounds ballpark, for at least one night there will be no peanuts.


Battle of Franklin flag losing fight with time

FRANKLIN (AP) - Time is defeating a flag that last flew 150 years ago during the Battle of Franklin and donors are trying to come to its rescue.


$530 million spent at Tennessee national parks in 2013

NASHVILLE (AP) — A report shows more than 8 million people visited Tennessee's national parks last year, spending $530 million in the process.

Tennesseans have until Aug. 1 to file DRAM claims

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennesseans who purchased the memory storage component installed in most electronic devices known as Dynamic Random Access Memory have until Aug. 1 to participate in a $310 million settlement.


Check doctors' vitals, before they check yours

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans consider insurance and a good bedside manner in choosing a doctor, but will that doctor provide high-quality care? A new poll shows that people don't know how to determine that.


US companies report rising sales, employment in 2Q

DETROIT (AP) — Rising sales helped boost hiring and wages at U.S. businesses in the second quarter, and companies are optimistic that the trends will continue this fall, according to a new survey by the National Association for Business Economics.

US stock slip to start the week; Six Flags sinks

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market started the week with a slight loss on Monday as investors weighed a mixed batch of corporate earnings against mounting political turmoil.

Oil prices rise above $104; natural gas sinks

The price of oil rose more than a $1 for the third time in the last four trading days, and closed above $104 for the first time since July 3.

McDonald's, KFC in China face new food scandal

BEIJING (AP) — McDonald's and KFC in China faced a new food safety scare Monday after a Shanghai television station reported a supplier sold them expired beef and chicken.


Tennessee #10 in job creation over past 5 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — Since the Great Recession officially ended in June 2009, the U.S. economy has generated 7.8 million jobs. But the gains haven't been spread evenly across the country.

Early voting underway today for Tennessee primary

NASHVILLE (AP) - Early voters began casting their ballots Friday for Tennessee's primary election, with tea party-styled challenges to U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander's bid for the Republican nomination to a third term.

FedEx charged with assisting illegal pharmacies

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Federal authorities on Thursday charged FedEx with assisting illegal pharmacies by knowingly delivering painkillers and dangerous drugs to customers without prescriptions.


2 Tennessee hospitals working on merger

MANCHESTER (AP) — The two hospitals in Manchester that are less than three miles apart may merge.


New Toyota minivan makes it easier to yell at kids

DETROIT (AP) — Toyota wants to help you scream at your unruly kids.

GM says it's replaced 491,000 ignition switches

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors says it has replaced faulty ignition switches on just under 20 percent of 2.6 million small cars that are being recalled.

Senators call on GM CEO to fire top lawyer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers on Thursday demanded General Motors fire its chief lawyer and open its compensation plan to more potential victims as a Senate subcommittee delved deeper into GM's mishandling of the recall of small cars with defective ignition switches.


Health Department seeking input on health plan

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Department of Health is seeking public input on the State Health Plan.

Largest US insurer's move signals industry shift

The nation's largest health insurer expects to play a much bigger role in the health care overhaul next year, as the federal law shifts from raising giant questions for the sector to offering growth opportunities.


Google's 2Q earnings rise 6 percent

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google's second-quarter earnings rose 6 percent as World Cup fever drove more traffic to the Internet company's search engine and YouTube video site while Android devices spurred more sales of movies, music, books and applications through its mobile store.

Facebook tests 'Buy' button

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook is testing a "Buy" button in its latest effort to help businesses drive sales through the world's biggest online social network.

Microsoft cutting 18,000 jobs, signals new path

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Microsoft announced the biggest layoffs in its history Thursday, saying it will cut 18,000 jobs as it streamlines its Nokia mobile device business to focus on using the Windows Phone operating system.


Stronger earnings from Google, others drive stocks to higher close

NEW YORK (AP) — Earnings gains from Google, Honeywell and other big U.S. companies drive the stock market to a higher close, wiping out much of its loss from the day before.

Oil price remains high on global turmoil

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil retreated slightly Friday but remained elevated because of political turmoil around the world.

Gauge of US economy rises 0.3 percent in June

WASHINGTON (AP) — A gauge designed to predict the economy's future health increased in June for a fifth consecutive month, supporting the view that economic growth should accelerate in the second half of this year.

Amazon launches Kindle Unlimited service

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon is rolling out a new subscription service that will allow users unlimited access to thousands of electronic books and audiobooks for $9.99 a month in the online giant's latest effort to expand its services to attract more users.


House passes tax breaks to boost charitable giving

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House passed a package of tax breaks Thursday designed to boost charitable donations by seniors, private foundations and procrastinators.

Senate Dems, GOP woo female voters for this fall

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic and Republican Senators are pouring significant time and energy into pursuing female voters, a coveted prize in the Nov. 4 elections.

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