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VOL. 35 | NO. 34 | Friday, August 26, 2011

Flood of tourists lifts city

Hall of Fame, Belle Meade Plantation, Grassmere celebrate record attendance

Tourism continues to sag nationwide under strains of a poor economy, high gas prices and brutal temperatures.

New developer sparks hope for Bellevue, mall

After a few slow months, signs of life and new development are beginning to stir in Bellevue.


Young farmer leads while learning from the past

Eric Wooldridge never intended to come back to the Bells Bend area of West Nashville after college. In fact, the 24-year-old thought it was the last thing he would do.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
A Few Clouds
Wind: Calm mph
Humidity: 62%


22nd Annual Franklin Jazz Festival, Saturday and Sunday, has the distinction of being not one of the longest-running and best jazz festivals in the Southeast. In addition to providing musical entertainment and food, the festival helps to raise awareness and money for the non-profit organization GEAR foundation. The 2010 festival drew an estimated 10,000 people for the two-day event. 6-10 p.m. both nights in downtown Franklin. Tickets $8 in advance, $10 at the gate. Information: TNeventinfo.com.

more events »


Here’s a headache Munchak didn’t need

Who’s the real loser in Chris Johnson’s holdout with the Tennessee Titans?


HealthSpring’s Fritch joins CEO Council

Herb Fritch, chairman and CEO of HealthSpring, Inc., has joined Council Ventures’ CEO Council. With Fritch’s addition, the CEO Council includes 24 experienced chief executives who give portfolio companies access to important networks and expertise to complement their capabilities.


When offered a choice, go with resume instead of application

When applying for a position, job seekers often are presented with the choice of an application and submitting a resume. Having an option might seem like a great opportunity, but really it is an opportunity to make the wrong decision.


Despite rates, it’s a terrible time to buy a house

Interest rates have dropped again, and home prices have stabilized, perhaps experiencing a slight uptick. The word historically has become an overused adjective when modifying the word rate. Yet the market is experiencing once again historically low rates, below 4 percent.


Know how to deal with all ‘types’

Strong salespeople read their prospects quickly and adapt their style accordingly. Prospects can generally be categorized as having one of four personality types: analytical, driver, amiable and expressive. Once you’ve determined their personality type, you can adapt your approach to ensure you build a solid relationship. After all, people relate most easily to those like them


Did artist really sing the incorrect lyric?

“Dear Judge Vic, Knowing what a stickler you are for proper word usage and grammar, I had to write …,” the note began. “Oh no,” I thought, remembering the ribbing I received recently about the lie-lay-lain rule.


’Bye trusted cookbook, hello Food Network

The other day my daughter called around the time most mothers and wives are preparing the evening meal. I asked her what she was having, and she said crab cakes, which was somewhat funny because I told her we were having salmon patties. Seems we were both on the same wavelength that day.


August driest-ever month for Chattanooga; Nashville gets half of normal rainfall

NASHVILLE (AP) — There has never been a drier month in Chattanooga. Not in any year since records started in 1928 or on any page of the calendar.

August Auto Sales: Nissan up 19.2 percent

FRANKLIN (AP) — Nissan North America Inc. said Thursday that its August U.S. sales rose 19.2 percent on strong demand for its top-selling Altima sedan.

Jack Daniel's give Brown-Forman stock a kick

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Liquor maker Brown-Forman Corp. mixed a new Jack Daniel's honey-flavored whiskey with strong sales overseas to come up with a 6 percent increase in its first-quarter profit.

Highway construction halts for Labor Day travel

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee transportation officials have told road contractors to knock off at noon Friday for the Labor Day weekend.


Economy shows signs of moving past August shocks

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumers and businesses are not so worried that the economy is about to tumble into a recession after all.

Unemployment benefit applications fell to 409K

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer people applied for unemployment benefits last week, a sign that the job market may be improving slightly.

Retailers report solid gains for August

NEW YORK (AP) — Shoppers remained resilient in August despite wild stock market swings and worries about the U.S. economy, resulting in what's winding up to be a respectable back-to-school shopping season for many merchants.

August US auto sales better than expected

DETROIT (AP) — Car buyers shrugged off bad economic news and a major East Coast hurricane last month, lifting U.S. sales for most automakers.

Manufacturing activity largely unchanged in August

WASHINGTON (AP) — Manufacturing grew a little slower in August than the previous month but didn't contract as some had feared. The 25th straight month of growth was a hopeful sign that U.S. factories weathered a difficult summer for the economy.

Worker output fell, labor costs rose in spring

WASHINGTON (AP) — Worker productivity fell this spring more quickly than previously estimated and labor costs rose at a faster clip. The decline in worker output could mean that some companies need to hire if they want to meet growing demand.

Gasoline close to record high before Labor Day

NEW YORK (AP) — Gasoline is near the highest it's ever been for this time of year, just ahead of the Labor Day weekend.

Construction spending down 1.3 percent in July

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. builders cut back on spending by the largest amount in six months in July with sharp reductions in outlays for government building projects.

European stocks slide on darkening outlook

LONDON (AP) — European stocks failed to keep up with gains in Asia on Thursday as downbeat reports on the manufacturing sector darkened investors' moods.

With new tablets, Sony takes aim at iPad in Japan

TOKYO (AP) — Sony Corp. said Thursday it wants to become the biggest player in Japan's growing Android tablet market by changing the way the devices are used.


Shutdown of transportation programs possible

WASHINGTON (AP) — Bills necessary to avoid shutdowns of federal transportation and aviation programs are high on Congress' to-do list when it returns to work next week.

Timing clash settled, Obama sets sights on speech

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will a deliver rare address to a joint session of Congress next week to introduce a long-awaited plan for jobs and economic growth, but not before being forced to yield in a test of wills with House Speaker John Boehner over when he would speak.

Huntsman: Controversy over Obama speech 'nonsense'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman calls the fuss over the timing of President Barack Obama's job speech "nonsense," saying it is "what people hate about politics."

Infrastructure bank could be part of jobs package

WASHINGTON (AP) — A national infrastructure bank that would entice private investors into road and rail projects could be a major part of the jobs package that President Barack Obama hopes will finally bring relief to the unemployed.


Tenn. Supreme Court considers bidding system

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court is considering having lawyers bid on representing the poor in certain types of cases.

Retailer Genesco narrows 2Q loss

NASHVILLE (AP) — Genesco Inc. said Wednesday its second-quarter loss narrowed as it saw big revenue gains from its Journeys shoe and Lids hat stores and an acquisition. The retailer also raised its fiscal 2012 earnings forecast.

Federal cuts could cost state more than 5,000 jobs

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee agencies would have to cut more than 5,000 jobs if Congress reduces the state's federal funds by as much as 30 percent.

GOP govs: Let states decide Medicaid spending

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's Republican governors, seeking a voice in Congress' upcoming debt debate, pushed Tuesday for looser restrictions on how states spend money on health care for poor and disabled Americans.


Dow up for a fourth day, turns positive for 2011

NEW YORK (AP) — It's a quiet end to a wild month for financial markets.

Unemployment rates fell in most US cities in July

WASHINGTON (AP) — Unemployment rates fell in a majority of U.S. cities in July, despite the weak economy that is producing few jobs.

Strong autos drove July factory orders up 2.4 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factory orders rose strongly in July on the biggest jump in demand for autos in more than eight years and a surge in commercial airplane orders. The increase suggests supply chain disruptions created by the Japan crisis are easing.

Justice Department blocks AT&T-T-Mobile merger

WASHINGTON (AP) — An administration official says the Justice Department is moving to block AT&T's $39 billion deal to buy T-Mobile USA.

Natural gas rises, crude oil edges lower

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of natural gas, a major energy source for power plants, jumped nearly 4 percent Wednesday as power started to come back in the U.S. East following widespread outages caused by Hurricane Irene.

World stocks rise on Fed stimulus hopes

LONDON (AP) — World stock markets rose Wednesday as investors hoped that the Federal Reserve would respond to mounting signs of weakness in the global economy by providing more stimulus to the U.S. economy.


Obama to push for transportation spending

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will make a push for more transportation spending today.

Security on rise nationwide for 9/11 anniversary

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government is escalating security around the country in preparation for the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and conducting confidential briefings with state and local law enforcement organizations. But officials say there is no specific indication that a terror plot against the U.S. is under way.

AP Exclusive: Up to $60B in war funds said wasted

WASHINGTON (AP) — As much as $60 billion in U.S. funds has been lost to waste and fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade through lax oversight of contractors, poor planning and corruption, an independent panel investigating U.S. wartime spending estimates.


Gallatin facility to expand, add 114 new jobs

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said a company that makes fuel systems for automotive and other manufacturers is investing $5 million in its Gallatin plant to expand and add 114 new jobs.

Memorial today for former chief justice Birch

NASHVILLE (AP) — A memorial service will be held today for Adolpho A. Birch, the first black chief justice on the Tennessee Supreme Court and consistent challenger of death sentences in Tennessee.


TennCare could see $2.2B in cuts from federal loss

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee's expanded Medicaid program would have to make $2.2 billion in cuts if Congress reduces the state's federal funds by as much as 30 percent.

New facility to bring 400 jobs to Perry County

NASHVILLE (AP) - An automotive supplier will open a new $23 million manufacturing plant and create 400 jobs in the next five years in Perry County, where the unemployment rate in recent years has reached nearly 30 percent, Gov. Bill Haslam announced Tuesday.

Smokies get bump in visitors from Hurricane Irene

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Smoky Mountain tourist area has received an unexpected boost from Hurricane Irene as summer-end travelers move away from the storm-battered coast.

Battle over disaster aid brewing in Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) - A political battle between the tea party-driven House and the Democratic-controlled Senate is threatening to slow money to the government's main disaster aid account, which is so low that new rebuilding projects have been put on hold to help victims of Hurricane Irene and future disasters.

State accepting applications for business grants

NASHVILLE (AP) — The state is accepting applications for a competitive grant to support nine regional business accelerators across Tennessee.

Proposal would end ACT-only path to scholarships

NASHVILLE (AP) — A special legislative panel is considering a proposal that would end high school graduates' ability to qualify for Tennessee lottery scholarships through their ACT scores alone.


Spring buying boosts home prices in US cities

WASHINGTON (AP) — Spring buying pushed home prices up for a third straight month in most major U.S. cities in June. But the housing market remains shaky, and further price declines are expected this year.

Oil above $87 amid improving US consumer demand

SINGAPORE (AP) — Oil prices hovered above $87 a barrel Tuesday in Asia amid signs of improving consumer demand in the U.S.

Business, consumer optimism slips in Europe

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Business and consumer optimism in the 17 countries that use the euro fell in August, reinforcing fears that the region's economy will slow in the months ahead as political leaders struggle to contain a crisis over government debt.

Irene likely to lead to higher insurance premiums

WASHINGTON (AP) — The $7 billion in estimated losses from Hurricane Irene will compound the vast damage caused by weather in the United States this year. Yet despite billions they've paid out for floods, tornadoes and earthquakes, big insurance companies can expect another profitable year.

Tourism dilemma: Irene's gone but summer's not

SPRING LAKE, N.J. (AP) — If you fix it, they will come.


Obama faces tight restraints in crafting jobs plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hamstrung by budget cuts and a tight debt ceiling, President Barack Obama is preparing a September jobs package with limited tools at his disposal to prime the economy and crank up employment.


Tenn. lawmaker defends new role as labor president

NASHVILLE(AP) - A Democratic state lawmaker is shrugging off Republican attacks over his new position as leader of the state AFL-CIO.

Census: Fewer Tenn. kids living in married homes

NASHVILLE (AP) — Newly released Census data finds that fewer Tennessee children live in homes with married parents and more children are living with a single parent or with a grandparent compared to a decade ago.


Insurers drive stocks higher after weak Irene

NEW YORK (AP) — So much for Irene.

Consumer spending rebounds, rose 0.8 pct. in July

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer spending grew in July by 0.8 percent, the largest amount in five months. That followed a decline in June and helped ease fears that the U.S. economy is on the verge of another recession.

Contracts to buy homes fell 1.3 percent in July

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes fell in July, further evidence that the depressed housing market remains a drag on the economy.

Oil rises on stronger consumer spending

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil prices rose Monday after the U.S. government said consumers spent more in July, easing concerns about another recession.

Stock markets rise after Fed chief's speech

LONDON (AP) — World stock markets rose on Monday, heartened by Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke's call on the U.S. government to help the economy and his refusal to rule out more monetary stimulus by the central bank.

Drought, high demand makes hay hard to find

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A scorching drought in the southern Plains has caused hay prices to soar, benefiting farmers to the north but forcing many ranchers to make a difficult choice between paying high prices or selling their cattle.


House GOP to spike rules as part of jobs agenda

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Republican agenda this fall will focus on repealing environmental and labor regulations that GOP lawmakers say are driving up the cost of doing business and discouraging employers from hiring new workers.

Obama taps Krueger for economic post

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has chosen labor economist Alan Krueger for a top administration post as the White House scrambles for solutions to boost a fragile economy with the 2012 election looming.

Deficit panel members had moments of independence

WASHINGTON (AP) — Even lawmakers most loyal to their leaders and political party on occasion buck them with a flash of independence or bipartisanship. That includes some of the six Republicans and six Democrats given the task of finding up to another $1.5 trillion deficit savings over the next decade.

AP-GfK Poll: Obama faces trouble with key voters

WASHINGTON (AP) — Whites and women are a re-election problem for President Barack Obama. Younger voters and liberals, too, but to a lesser extent.


Gibson CEO says wood is properly imported

NASHVILLE (AP) — The head of Gibson Guitar Corp. said Thursday that the company is being unfairly targeted after a raid by federal authorities at factories in Memphis and Nashville.

Belmont building $48 million facility

NASHVILLE (AP) — Belmont University is planning to build a $48 million, five-story facility on campus, but the school's chief says the purpose of the building is undetermined.

Nashville Chamber of Commerce wins 3 national awards

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce has won three awards for communications and performance from the American Chamber of Commerce Executives.

Nashville forum to help women in auto field

NASHVILLE (AP) — A forum in Nashville Friday is designed to help women in the automotive field get promoted.


Tennessee's 1st black chief justice remembered

NASHVILLE (AP) - Adolpho A. Birch, the first black chief justice on the Tennessee Supreme Court and consistent challenger of death sentences in Tennessee, has died. He was 78.

Haslam handed off decision on Memphis fuel waiver

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam's request for a federal waiver on gasoline standards is a first major test of his campaign pledge to recuse himself from issues that could affect the family-owned chain of Pilot Flying J truck stops.

Haslam team still assembling incentives framework

HENDERSONVILLE (AP) — Tennessee is still trying to come up with a standard approach toward offering incentives for business prospects, Gov. Bill Haslam said Thursday, adding that the task involves complex considerations about how each development deal is structured.

US tobacco crop rises, but down from a decade ago

SHELBYVILLE, Ky. (AP) — It's harvest time in much of the nation's tobacco patches and this year's harvest is expected to be among the smallest in at least a decade.

Lawmakers scrutinize Judiciary Court once again

NASHVILLE (AP) — A state legislative committee is planning to meet once again to scrutinize the commission that disciplines Tennessee judges.


Bernanke proposes no new steps to boost economy

JACKSON HOLE, Wyoming (AP) — Chairman Ben Bernanke is proposing no new steps by the Federal Reserve to boost the U.S. economy while hinting that Congress may need to act to stimulate hiring and growth.

Economy grew at slower 1 pct. rate this spring

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew at a meager 1 percent annual pace this spring, slower than previously estimated. The downward revision will likely increase fears that the economy is at risk of another recession.

Slower growth estimate could fan recession fears

WASHINGTON (AP) — The economy likely grew at a weaker pace this spring than the government first estimated. The anticipated revision could rattle an already edgy Wall Street and exacerbate fears that the U.S. economy is dangerously close to another recession.

Pew: Half of US adults now use social networks

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A new study says half of all American adults are now on social networks, and use among Baby Boomers is growing.

Oil falls on slow economic growth

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil held above $85 per barrel Friday on news that the economy didn't grow as fast as previously expected. Slower growth lowers energy demand.

Stocks sink; Banks rise on BofA deal

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks fell in late afternoon trading Thursday, erasing early gains. Bank of America Corp. led other bank stocks higher on news that Warren Buffett will invest $5 billion in the bank.

Delta confirms plan to buy 100 Boeing planes

NEW YORK (AP) — Delta Air Lines on Thursday confirmed its plan to buy 100 Boeing 737 jets as part of a fleet upgrade, with delivery set for 2013 to 2018.

Airlines begin canceling flights as Irene nears

Airlines began to cancel flights and get planes out of the way as Hurricane Irene barreled toward the U.S. mainland on Thursday.


Poll: GOP voters feeling better about prez choices

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans party elders are still grousing about the GOP choices for president — but the voters who will choose the nominee are growing more satisfied with the possibilities with Texas Gov. Rick Perry now in the race.

AP-GfK Poll: 87% in US disapprove of Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans are plenty angry at Congress in the aftermath of the debt crisis and Republicans could pay the greatest price, a new Associated Press-GfK poll suggests.

AP-GfK poll: Views on economy, Obama role sour

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans' views on the economy have dimmed this summer. But so far, the growing pessimism doesn't seem to be taking a toll on President Barack Obama's re-election prospects.

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