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VOL. 36 | NO. 32 | Friday, August 10, 2012

The mother of all venues

Best room in town? That’s easy, Nashville’s veteran musicians say: It's the Ryman

Kim Carnes’ unforgettable Bette Davis Eyes voice dances happily as she professes love for the spot she calls the best musical venue in the city.

Acuff gave Bush his push at the Ryman

Mandolin superstar Sam Bush – founding member of the groundbreaking New Grass Revival – says The Ryman Auditorium shaped his career.

Ryman acoustics: Louder is definitely not better

Yes, The Ryman Auditorium is a history-drenched temple of music, but for a good show there a musician best treat the place with care.

Art Crawl patrons bring life to downtown

When Anne Brown opened The Arts Company on Fifth Avenue in downtown Nashville 16 years ago, there wasn’t exactly a thriving arts community. In fact, there wasn’t much of anything going on down there at all.

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


Highballs & Hydrangeas. Live music by the Wooten Brothers, cocktails, wine and food from Nashville Originals restaurants. 7-10 p.m. Friday $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Information: highballsandhydrangeas.com.

more events »

Grafitti gaining recognition as art form

Outdoor art in Nashville tends to make a big splash.

Music museum options expanding

Nashville’s major music museums are in various stages of development: one will reopen this year, one is expanding, another is slowly progressing, and the last is on the back burner.

Cheekwood works to broaden features, reach

Although Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art is about 10 miles from downtown Nashville, where much of Nashville’s arts activities take place, it has developed a strategy to draw visitors to its slightly out-of-the way location, and so far, that strategy is working successfully.


Armchair QBs offer views on recovery

Inman News held its annual real estate Connect conference in San Francisco last week, attracting a number of informed speakers to discuss the real estate market and predict what trends might emerge.


Top residential sales for July, 2012

July 2012 real estate trends for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford and Wilson counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.


TriStar Centennial CEO announces retirement

TriStar Centennial CEO Thomas Herron, FACHE, will retire from TriStar Health and HCA after 44 years of service in the health care industry.


Pinterest piques retailer interest

With photo-sharing tool Instagram off the market – selling to Facebook earlier this year for a billion dollars – Pinterest is now the hottest social media startup in Silicon Valley due to its rapid growth as the fastest social media platform ever to gain 10 million unique users. Today, Pinterest boasts 17 million accounts, up from 5,000 in the fall of 2010, making it the third-largest social network after Facebook and Twitter, according to Forbes.


What’s on, what’s off economic table?

On the Table: Conversational Easing With the data stream lukewarm at the moment, markets needed policy support for handholding. Recent history demonstrates that when market anxieties rise, fiscal and monetary authorities intervene. We have described this as the “Punch/Counterpunch” market.


Help me, help you

One of the more memorable lines from the movie “Jerry Maguire” was when Jerry, a sports agent, pleaded with his client, “Help me, help you!” Recently, I conducted a training session with a group of administrative assistants. To prepare for the session, I decided to do some research to find out more about what it’s like to be an administrative assistant.


These crossword clues stink worse than skatoles

Dear Judge Vic, “So, in last week’s column, you’re saying that those vintage ’50s & ’90s xword answers are no longer tolerated? Geesh! What will I do now to make fun of you?”


Best of both worlds: Sweet and cheesy

It is Vacation Bible School time at our church and, as always, I am helping teach. This year, I am teaching the fifth-graders (who are going to sixth grade), and it is somewhat intimidating to me because they are smart. Real smart!


Judge won't void US Senate Democratic primary

NASHVILLE (AP) - A federal judge on Thursday refused to void the Tennessee Democratic primary for U.S. Senate won by an anti-gay candidate the party has disavowed.


Moore, Krauss groups lead Bluegrass nominations

NASHVILLE (AP) — Perennial favorites Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out and Alison Krauss & Union Station lead nominations for the International Bluegrass Music Awards.


IRS employee sentenced for false tax returns

NASHVILLE (AP) - A federal judge in Nashville has sentenced an Internal Revenue Service employee to two years in prison, calling his actions an egregious abuse of public trust.


S&P 500 creeps near four-year high; Cisco surges

NEW YORK (AP) — Encouraging earnings from Cisco and hopeful signs in a housing report lifted the stock market Thursday. The gains nudged the Standard & Poor's 500 index near the four-year high it hit earlier this year.

Justice Dept approves Verizon-cable deals

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department's antitrust division on Thursday approved deals between Verizon Wireless and four of the nation's largest cable companies but applied conditions.

CO2 emissions in US drop to 20-year low

PITTSBURGH (AP) — In a surprising turnaround, the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere in the U.S. has fallen dramatically to its lowest level in 20 years, and government officials say the biggest reason is that cheap and plentiful natural gas has led many power plant operators to switch from dirtier-burning coal.

Study: Companies paid more to CEOs than in US tax

NEW YORK (AP) — Twenty-six big U.S. companies paid their CEOs more last year than they paid the federal government in tax, according to a study released Thursday by a liberal-leaning think tank.

US unemployment aid applications up by only 2,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits edged up slightly last week but remained at a level consistent with modest gains in hiring.

US home construction permits rise to highest level since '08

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. builders slowed their pace of housing construction slightly in July. But in a hopeful sign for future construction, applications for building permits rose to their the highest level since August 2008.

Oil prices top $94 on big drop in US supplies

LONDON (AP) — Oil remained above $94 a barrel Thursday after an unanticipated drop in U.S. crude inventories and stronger retail sales helped keep near three-month high.

Facebook hits new low as IPO lock-up ends

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Facebook are plunging to all-time lows after the expiration of a lock-up period that has provided early investors and insiders with an opportunity to exit.

Ikea to launch budget hotel chain

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Best known for its flat-pack furniture, Ikea is now planning to launch a budget hotel chain in Europe.

Sears 2Q loss narrows; sales keep falling

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (AP) — Sears Holding Corp.'s push to turn around its ailing business is showing early signs of paying off, though the retailer failed to stem declining sales.

Wal-Mart 2Q profit rises 5.7 pct, raises outlook

NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s second-quarter net income rose 5.7 percent as the world's largest retailer is wooing back frugal shoppers across the globe by doubling down on low prices.


Undoing Obama Medicare cuts may backfire on Romney

WASHINGTON (AP) — GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's new promise to restore the Medicare cuts made by President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law could backfire if he's elected.

Lacker says Fed's power to fix economy now limited

WASHINGTON (AP) — A voting member of the Federal Reserve's policy committee is cautioning that the Fed's power to fix the U.S. economy is limited now.

Gov't finalizes safety rule for offshore drilling

WASHINGTON (AP) — Government regulators issued a final set of safety rules for offshore drilling Wednesday, fine-tuning a series of emergency measures put in place after the BP oil spill in 2010.


Nashville, state education officials at odds over charter schools

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman says the Metro Nashville school board's decision to delay a vote on a charter school application is a violation of state law.

Panel to discuss 50 years of Metro Nashville

NASHVILLE (AP) — Members of Nashville's first Metro Council will join political leaders in a panel to discuss 50 years since the Metro government was created and pay tribute to former Mayor Richard Fulton.


Judge asked to stop Tennessee vote certification

NASHVILLE (AP) - A federal judge will consider Thursday whether to stop Tennessee from certifying the vote in this month's U.S. Senate Democratic primary election.

Democrats seek details on Tenn. voting problems

NASHVILLE (AP) — Democrats in the state House have written a letter to elections officials seeking to find out how many people were given improper ballots or were otherwise prevented from voting in the Aug. 2 primary.


Stocks mostly higher on signs of economic growth

NEW YORK (AP) — Signs that the U.S. economic recovery is advancing, albeit slowly, sent stocks bouncing up and down in narrow ranges for much of the day Wednesday.

Oil prices rise on big drop in US supplies

An unexpectedly large drop in U.S. crude oil inventories is pushing up the price of oil.

US factories, builders lift struggling economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy looked more resilient Wednesday after reports showed factories produced more goods in July and homebuilders grew more confident in the housing recovery.

US homebuilder confidence at 5-year high in August

LOS ANGELES (AP) — U.S. homebuilders grew more confident in the housing recovery in August, as many reported that prospects for sales are the best they've been since the home bubble burst five years ago.

US industrial production rose 0.6 pct. in July

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factories made more cars, computers and airplanes last month, a hopeful sign that manufacturing is recovering after a weak spring.

US consumer prices flat for 3rd time in 4 months

WASHINGTON (AP) — US consumer prices were unchanged in July from June, as a small drop in energy costs offset slightly higher food prices. The consumer price index hasn't increased since March, evidence that the weak economy is keeping inflation in check.

Retailers to launch mobile app for payments

NEW YORK (AP) — A bevy of big-name retailers including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Best-Buy Co. and Target Corp., are teaming up to create a company that will give customers another way to make purchases: with their cellphones.

Target reports flat 2Q profits, but sales up

NEW YORK (AP) — Target is reporting that net income for the second quarter was unchanged, with results dragged down by the retailer's upcoming move into Canada. Yet customers are again spending money and the cheap chic discounter raised its earnings outlook.

UK bank settles Iran money probe in NY for $340M

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A British bank accused of scheming with the Iranian government to launder billions of dollars will be subject to two years of monitoring at its New York branch and will permanently install personnel to oversee and audit offshore monitoring as part of a $340 million settlement with financial regulators.


House members' VIP loans excluded from subpoena

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Democratic committee chairman overrode his own subpoena three years ago in an investigation of former subprime mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp. to exclude records showing that he, other House members and congressional aides got VIP discounted loans from the company, documents show.

Ryan: GOP ticket to wait to disclose tax specifics

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan says he and Mitt Romney will wait until after they're elected to disclose what tax loopholes they plan to get rid of.

The other Paul Ryan plan: $800B in Medicaid cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Paul Ryan's plan for Medicare gets all the attention, but the GOP vice presidential candidate has proposed more fundamental changes to medical care for the poor and disabled.

US government launches new immigration program

WASHINGTON (AP) — Young illegal immigrants are scrambling to get passports and other records in order as the Homeland Security Department starts accepting applications to allow them to avoid deportation and get work permits.


Matheny considers challenge of Harwell for House speaker

NASHVILLE (AP) - State Rep. Judd Matheny is mulling a challenge to House Speaker Beth Harwell for the top chamber's top leadership position, the Tullahoma Republican confirmed in an interview with The Associated Press.


George Jones gets set for one last road tour in 2013

NASHVILLE (AP) - Country music icon George Jones says he's ready for one last go-round on tour before retiring from the road.

Taylor Swift releasing new album 'Red' on Oct. 22

NASHVILLE (AP) — Multi-platinum superstar Taylor Swift is releasing her fourth studio album called "Red" on Oct. 22.


Components maker expanding in Mount Juliet

MOUNT JULIET (AP) — A manufacturer of custom metal-formed components is expanding operations in Wilson County.


FedEx CEO gets pay package worth $13.7M

NEW YORK (AP) — FedEx says its founder and top executive Frederick W. Smith received total compensation worth $13.7 million in the most recent fiscal year, nearly double the pay package of a year earlier.


Luxury cars do poorly in new crash tests

DETROIT (AP) — Most midsize luxury cars — including the Mercedes-Benz C-Class — performed poorly in a new frontal crash test developed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Toyota Camry sales rise, attracting younger buyers

DETROIT (AP) — A top Toyota executive says a new version of the Camry is selling well and attracting younger buyers.


Stocks lose steam after confusing economic reports

NEW YORK (AP) — Shoppers are starting to spend, but business owners aren't so sure their customers will keep coming back.

Oil prices march higher, gas tops $3.70

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil is holding on stubbornly to its recent gains, and that's causing pain at the pump for U.S. drivers.

Facebook insiders can sell stock as 'lock-up' ends

MENLO PARK, Calif. (AP) — Facebook's early investors and a handful of top executives become eligible on Thursday to sell stock they own in the social networking company. It marks the beginning of a time-honored process for public companies, which will culminate in the fall, when many Facebook employees receive the same right to sell their shares.

Chinese companies pull out of US stock markets

BEIJING (AP) — Just a few years after Chinese companies lined up to sell shares on Wall Street, a growing number are reversing course and pulling out of U.S. exchanges.

US business inventories up 0.1 percent in June

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. companies barely increased their stockpiles in June from May, and sales plunged by the largest amount in more than three years.

Higher US retail spending lifts hopes for economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hopes that the economy may emerge from its slump got a lift Tuesday from a report that Americans increased their spending at retailers in July by the most in five months.

US wholesale prices rose 0.3 percent in July

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. wholesale prices increased in July from June, pulled up by higher costs for cars and light trucks and the biggest increase in corn prices in nearly six years.


GOP's Campfield seeks to boost Clayton credibility

NASHVILLE (AP) - An embattled nominee for the U.S. Senate is turning to a Republican state senator to try to underscore his Democratic credentials.

FedEx to offer US staff buyouts in cost cut effort

NEW YORK (AP) — FedEx Corp. will soon begin offering buyouts to U.S. employees in an effort to cut costs.

Wildlife agency seeks fields to lease for hunts

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency wants to lease fields for the upcoming mourning dove season.

Mars plans expansion of Tennessee plant

CLEVELAND (AP) — Mars Chocolate North America is planning a $67 million expansion of its plant in southeastern Tennessee to make pretzel M&Ms.


Murfreesboro keeps Spring Fling, basketball tournaments

MURFREESBORO (AP) - The Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association board will continue to hold its state basketball tournaments and the Spring Fling championships in Rutherford County for five more years.

MTSU to help military study use of robots, drones

MURFREESBORO (AP) - Middle Tennessee State University has signed a deal with the Army and Marine Corps to study how to coordinate robots on the ground with unmanned vehicles in the air.


Taylor connects with fans on YouTube

NASHVILLE (AP) — Country star Taylor Swift will be talking to her fans around the world live during an online webcast on YouTube.


Governors group selects Nashville for 2014 meeting

NASHVILLE (AP) - The National Governors Association has decided to hold the group's annual meeting in Nashville in 2014.

Gaylord Entertainment share offering priced at $40

NASHVILLE (AP) - Hotel and Grand Ole Opry owner Gaylord Entertainment Co. said on Monday that a secondary offering could bring in as much as $259.6 million for the selling shareholder, TRT Holdings Inc.

Home nursing company to pay $9M settlement

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's largest home nursing provider has agreed to pay $9.375 million to resolve a lawsuit filed by the federal government alleging it violated the False Claims Act.


USDA buys meat to help drought-stricken farmers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government will buy up to $170 million of pork, lamb, chicken and catfish to help drought-stricken farmers, the White House said Monday as President Barack Obama brought his re-election campaign to rural voters in Iowa.

Stocks fall as economic malaise spreads to Japan

U.S. stocks fell Monday as evidence piled up that the global economic slowdown is dragging on Asia.

Oil falls on new signs of slowing global economy

The price of oil fell Monday on a new sign that Asian countries won't make up for slackened oil demand in Europe.

Iraq warns Total over oil deal in Kurdish region

BAGHDAD (AP) — A government spokesman says Iraq has asked French oil giant Total S.A. to choose between working with the self-ruled northern Kurdish region or to quit developing one of the major oil fields in southern Iraq.

Sears spinning off some stores into separate company

NEW YORK (AP) — Sears Holdings Corp. has filed paperwork to spin off its smaller Hometown and Outlet stores as well as some hardware stores into a separate publicly traded company.

Google cutting 4,000 at Motorola unit

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — Google is cutting about 4,000 jobs at its Motorola Mobility wireless phone business and will close or consolidate about one-third of Motorola's 90 locations.

Julius Baer to buy Merrill Lynch non-US assets

GENEVA (AP) — The Julius Baer Group says it has agreed to pay 860 million francs ($879 million) to buy Bank of America Corp.'s Merrill Lynch wealth management operations outside the United States.


Ryan's Medicare plan would be tricky to pull off

WASHINGTON (AP) — The idea behind Paul Ryan's Medicare plan is to slow growing costs and keep the program more affordable for the long haul.

Tea party gets its man in Ryan for vice president

WASHINGTON (AP) — The tea party didn't get its man in Mitt Romney. But the movement got one of its ideological heroes in the Republican presidential ticket's No. 2 slot.

GOP VP pick's Medicare plan back in spotlight

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Paul Ryan's blueprint for Medicare could prove as polarizing in the campaign as President Barack Obama's health care overhaul has been. Even Mitt Romney may not want to go there.


After long fight, Murfreesboro mosque opens

MURFREESBORO (AP) - Muslims in the Tennessee city of Murfreesboro were able to celebrate Friday prayers in a new mosque after more than two years of controversy about the building.


New charges filed in nuclear weapons plant breach

NASHVILLE (AP) — A federal grand jury has toughened the charges against three anti-war protesters who authorities say cut their way through three security fences and spray-painted slogans on the walls of a nuclear weapons plant in Tennessee.

Ky., Tenn. among worst toxic pollution states

NASHVILLE (AP) — Kentucky is the worst state in the nation when it comes to toxic air pollution from coal-fired power plants, according to a report released Thursday by the Natural Resources Defense Council.


US gas prices spike; refinery problems cited

NEW YORK (AP) — A surprise surge in gasoline prices is taking some of the fun out of summer.

US budget deficit rises to $974B in July

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. federal budget deficit increased $70 billion in July and is on track to top $1 trillion for the fourth straight year.

Wishy-washy stock market ends slightly higher

NEW YORK (AP) — After trading slightly lower most of the day, major stock indexes edged up in late trading to close slightly higher.

Oil falls below $92 after weak China trade data

Oil prices fell below $92 a barrel Friday as weak Chinese figures suggested growth continues to slow in the world's second-largest economy and the International Energy Agency lowered its forecast for global crude demand.

FTC finalizes privacy settlement with Facebook

NEW YORK (AP) — The Federal Trade Commission voted Friday to finalize its settlement with Facebook, resolving charges that the social network exposed details about users' lives without getting the required legal consent.

USDA cuts corn outlook as drought takes toll

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The government slashed its expectations for U.S. corn and soybean production for the second consecutive month Friday, predicting what could be the lowest average corn yield in more than 15 years as the worst drought in decades scorches major farm states.

Penney's sales slide, but shares up

NEW YORK (AP) — Six months after J.C. Penney Co. launched a bold new pricing plan, customers still aren't buying it.

US economic outlook brightens on jobs, trade data

WASHINGTON (AP) — The outlook for the U.S. economy brightened a little Thursday after new data pointed to improvement in hiring and greater exports.

E-Trade ousting its CEO; naming chairman to post

NEW YORK (AP) — E-Trade Financial has ousted its CEO, Citigroup veteran Steven Freiberg, just two years into a four-year contract as the online broker deals with declining trading by customers.

US rate on 30-year mortgages rises to 3.59 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose for the second straight week, staying slightly above historic lows.


Postal Service reports $5.2B loss in 3rd quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nearly bankrupt U.S. Postal Service on Thursday reported losses of $57 million per day in the last quarter and warned it will miss another payment due to the U.S. Treasury, just one week after its first-ever default on a payment for future retiree health benefits.

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