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VOL. 35 | NO. 39 | Friday, September 30, 2011

Who needs bosses?

Tired of layoffs, cutbacks and mergers, Nashville entrepreneurs take the leap

It’s no secret Nashvillians are having a tough time finding work. With Tennessee’s unemployment rate still hovering just below 10 percent, those lucky enough to find jobs are often “underemployed” or struggling with part-time gigs that offer no benefits.

Use connections, networking to bypass HR gauntlet

Cathy Shannon, job searching since last November, worries she doesn’t have a chance of standing out in the “mob” of resumes. She says the gap in her employment from 10 years as a stay-at-home mom means companies won’t give her a second look, even though she has extensive experience as a marketing director and as a customer service manager.

Social media changes search strategies

As social network sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook continue to grow, they are giving a boost to the traditional methods people use to find jobs. Employers and job seekers have both taken notice.

Negotiating pay, perks can be tricky business

One of the more difficult issues facing job seekers is how to negotiate a compensation package after a position has been offered. There is little room for discussion with some employers, while others are open to some give and take. Understanding negotiations can prevent the process from becoming a barrier between you and the job you want.

Zoning change lifts Bellevue’s spirits

The 49-year drought of no liquor stores in Bellevue may be over, but the battle for liquor-store customers is only just beginning.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
A Few Clouds
Wind: Northeast at 9.2 mph
Humidity: 50%


Chamber and P2020 Annual Meeting. The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors and Partnership 2020 investors invite all members to the 2011 Annual Meeting, today, 9:30-11 a.m. This event will feature a multimedia presentation celebrating the accomplishments of the past year and the opportunities of the year to come. The keynote speaker will be Joel Kotkin, a nationally recognized journalist who has published some of Nashville’s biggest recent accolades in his weekly “New Geographer” column for Forbes.com. Presented by Fifth Third Bank. Information: nashvillechamber.com, 743-3115.

more events »


Might be good time to ‘love the one you’re with’

I ran into an executive from the automobile industry at the Elvis Costello concert at the Ryman. A smashing performance by Liverpool’s Elvis and an interesting conversation with the man from the motor trade, a term made famous by some other Liverpudlians.


When Mawae left, running game went with him

Everyone has a theory as to why Chris Johnson and the Tennessee Titans’ running game remains stuck in neutral.


Frist joins Vanderbilt cardiac surgery faculty

Former U.S. Sen. William H. Frist, M.D., who founded the Vanderbilt Transplant Center and served as its director from 1989 to 1993, has been appointed adjunct professor of surgery in the Department of Cardiac Surgery and clinical professor of surgery at Meharry Medical College.


Who’s holding you back? Might be you

You’ve run out of breath just running in place.


‘Iz’ apparently OK to mangle lyrics

The columns on mondegreens and incorrectly sung lyrics generated viewer mail.


Sandwich on a stick: Easiest recipe ever

I am thinking, pondering and exploring the possibility of buying a bike. I have been thinking, pondering and exploring this issue for about a year, maybe even two, now. So far, I haven’t gained much momentum with it, because I still don’t have one. Maybe this is the month for it!


Amazon to collect tax, add 2,000 jobs in Chattanooga area

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam announced Thursday that he has reached a deal with Amazon.com for the online retailer to begin collecting Tennessee sales tax in 2014 and add 2,000 full-time jobs at two new distribution centers.


Feds: Gibson wood seizure linked to criminal probe

NASHVILLE (AP) - Federal prosecutors confirmed there's a criminal investigation under way related to the recent raid on Gibson Guitar in a filing that asked a judge to delay efforts by the company to reclaim wood that was seized.

Lebanon proposes retail center, hockey arena

LEBANON (AP) — City officials in Lebanon have announced a proposal to build a retail and office space facility, followed by an arena-events center.

Former attorney general to join Nashville law firm

NASHVILLE (AP) — Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales is joining a Nashville law firm.


30-year mortgage below 4 pct. for first time ever

WASHINGTON (AP) — The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage this week fell below 4 percent for the first time ever, to 3.94 percent.

Retailers report solid gains for September

NEW YORK (AP) — September offered the latest sign that Americans will shop, but only when they think they're getting a deal.

Steve Jobs told us what we needed before we knew

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Steve Jobs saw the future and led the world to it. He moved technology from garages to pockets, took entertainment from discs to bytes and turned gadgets into extensions of the people who use them.

Obama remembers Steve Jobs as visionary, innovator

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is remembering Apple co-founder Steve Jobs as one of America's greatest innovators and says the world has lost a visionary.

Oil near $81 on hopes of Europe action on banks

Oil prices rose above $80 a barrel Thursday, continuing a rebound from 12-month lows on signs that European finance officials are moving to bolster the region's banks.

Retail trade group sees modest holiday sales gain

NEW YORK (AP) — The National Retail Federation, the nation's largest retail trade group, expects winter holiday sales to rise 2.8 percent to $465.6 billion this year.

APNewsBreak: Obama to step up power line projects

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration wants to speed up permitting and construction of seven proposed electric transmission lines in 12 states, as it moves to create jobs and modernize the nation's power grid.


GOP choice of experienced Romney, novice Perry

WASHINGTON (AP) — The GOP presidential field apparently set, Republican primary voters are likely facing a choice between an experienced, establishment candidate in Mitt Romney and an insurgent presidential campaign novice in Rick Perry.


PR alliance featuring McNeely Pigott & Fox offers statewide reach

A new statewide alliance has been formed by communications experts from Memphis to Knoxville to provide blanket geographic coverage for products and issues in Tennessee.


First Tennessee joins debit card fee trend

When officials with the parent company of First Tennessee Bank walked through the company’s second quarter earnings in July for analysts, they noted that the implementation of stricter rules governing debit card fees would mean an annual $15 million to $20 million hit to the company’s revenue.

Retailers applaud Tenn. AG opinion on Amazon tax

NASHVILLE (AP) — An association of brick-and-mortar retailers says a legal opinion from state Attorney General Bob Cooper should cancel a sales tax exemption for online merchant Amazon.com.

State judges, attorneys create education program

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee judges and attorneys have joined forces to create a program geared to educating the public about the legal system.

UT to help train food safety officials

NASHVILLE (AP) — The University of Tennessee will help train food safety officials at the local, state and national levels.


Stocks rise on hopes for European banks

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks rose for a second straight day Wednesday on signs that the U.S. economy grew in September and that European officials are moving to support the region's struggling banks.

Report shows service firms cut workers last month

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. service companies cut workers last month for the first time in 13 months, according to a private survey. The decline is a pessimistic sign two days before the government reports on job growth in September.

Bank of America website woes last into 6th day

NEW YORK (AP) — Bank of America's website is having troubles for the sixth straight day, meaning customers may still have difficulty signing into their accounts.

Costco 4Q profit climbs; will hike membership fees

ISSAQUAH, Wash. (AP) — Costco Wholesale Corp.'s fiscal fourth-quarter net income climbed 11 percent as the wholesale club operator made more money on membership fees and saw its sales rise.

Oil rebounds from 12-month lows

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil is rebounding from 12-month lows on signs that financial leaders will move to bolster struggling European banks.

EU bank plan hopes help European stocks higher

LONDON (AP) — Stocks in Europe recouped some recent losses on Wednesday on hopes that European policymakers were thrashing out a plan to shore up the banking sector, which has been damaged by fears of a Greek debt default.

In Kodak's troubles, a snapshot of an icon's fall

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — Buffeted by fierce foreign competition, then blindsided by a digital revolution, photography icon Eastman Kodak Co. is teetering on a financial precipice after a quarter-century of failed efforts to find its focus.


Senate Democrats rewriting Obama's jobs bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats are scrambling to rewrite portions of President Barack Obama's jobs bill as they seek elusive party unity around the measure, even as Obama tries to pin the blame on Republicans for Congress' failure to act.

Court: Can gov't get involved in church dispute?

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court will decide whether the government can get involved in a workplace dispute between a church and one of its employees.


State to purge noncitizen voters from its rolls

NASHVILLE (AP) - A new law designed to curb illegal voting by noncitizen residents has gone largely unnoticed, overshadowed by Tennessee's new voter identification law.

Haslam cites fiscal strength in Tennessee debt ratings

NASHVILLE (AP) — Rating agencies have decided not to downgrade Tennessee's debt after the state submitted a detailed game plan for how each agency would respond to deep federal spending cuts.

Driver service centers expected to get busier

NASHVILLE (AP) — State officials expect the already busy driver service centers to get even more crowded over the coming months.


Apple unveils faster, more powerful iPhone

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — Apple Inc. unveiled a new iPhone on Tuesday that is faster and more powerful but stops short of a more radical upgrade. It said Sprint customers will now be able to use one.

Businesses ordered more long-lasting goods

WASHINGTON (AP) — Businesses ordered more computers, communications equipment and other big-ticket items in August, a sign they aren't cutting back spending plans despite weak economic growth.

Ford to pay workers $6,000 bonus in new contract

DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. will pay its U.S. factory workers a $6,000 signing bonus and add thousands of U.S. factory jobs as part of a four-year contract deal reached Tuesday with the United Auto Workers union.

Stocks take another dive on Greek default fears

LONDON (AP) — Stocks slid again Tuesday as Europe's debt crisis showed few signs of being solved any time soon and officials said Greece will have to wait until November to get its hands on much-needed bailout cash.

Oil drops hits new lows for 2011, again

NEW YORK (AP) — Investors are running out of reasons to bet on higher oil prices.


Officials: Bush-era probe permitted guns transfer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two federal law enforcement officials say that during the presidency of George W. Bush, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Tucson, Ariz., ran an operation called Wide Receiver in which it permitted hundreds of guns to be transferred to suspected arms traffickers.

Senate GOP leader: Vote on Obama's jobs bill now

WASHINGTON (AP) — If Democrats want President Barack Obama's jobs bill, the Senate should vote on it right away, a top Republican says. But Senate Democrats aren't ready to bring it up for a vote yet.

Bernanke warns Congress to be careful with cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is reiterating that Congress should not cut spending sharply while the economy is weak.

Obama: No regrets about Solyndra loan

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama said Monday he does not regret a $528 million loan to a solar energy company that later collapsed, saying officials always knew a clean energy loan program would not back winners 100 percent of the time.

Gov't report: Fannie knew of 'robo-signing' in '03

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mortgage giant Fannie Mae knew about allegations of improper foreclosure practices by law firms in 2003 but did not act to stop them, a government watchdog says.

APNewsBreak: Obama seeks debt collector proposal

WASHINGTON (AP) — To the dismay of consumer groups and the discomfort of Democrats, President Barack Obama wants Congress to make it easier for private debt collectors to call the cellphones of consumers delinquent on student loans and other billions owed the federal government.

House to wrap up emergency spending bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is poised to fund the government for six weeks to give President Barack Obama and lawmakers more time to work out some $1 trillion of unfinished agency budgets for the fiscal year already days old.

Obama, GOP push and pull on economic plans

WASHINGTON (AP) — Seeking to gain political advantage, President Barack Obama insisted Monday that Congress vote on his entire $447 billion economic plan this month, a step promptly rejected by Republicans who called for both sides to find common ground in their competing proposals to stimulate growth.


Nissan's September sales rise 25.3%

FRANKLIN (AP) - Nissan North America Inc. said Monday that its September U.S. sales rose 25.3 percent on strong demand for both its cars and trucks.

Former AG Alberto Gonzales to teach at Belmont

NASHVILLE (AP) — Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will be teaching at Belmont University College of Law starting next year as the Doyle Rogers Distinguished Chair of Law.


Chrysler says US sales jump 27% in September

DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler's U.S. sales jumped 27 percent in September, boosted by strong demand for new models of car and trucks.

Construction spending up but pace is still weak

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. builders increased spending on homes, office buildings and other projects in August after a big decline in July. The gain still left the construction industry far below levels considered healthy.

Manufacturing expanded slightly in September

WASHINGTON (AP) — Manufacturing grew at a faster pace in September than in August, though the pace of growth remains weak.

Yahoo, ABC joining forces in news partnership

NEW YORK (AP) — ABC News is joining forces with Yahoo to deliver more digital news content to their audiences. With the deal, the companies say ABC News content will be prominently featured on the Yahoo News and Yahoo front page.

Fiat to make Jeep SUV in Italy

ROME (AP) — Fiat said Monday it will produce Jeep SUVs at its Mirafiori factory in Turin from 2013 as it takes advantage of flexible work rules approved earlier this year by union rank-and-file.

Apple expected to unveil new iPhone this week

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple fans are amped. The computer and gadget maker is expected to announce a new, more powerful version of its wildly popular smartphone this week — more than a year after it unveiled the iPhone 4.

Oil drops to lowest price since 2010

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil begins the last quarter of 2011 at its lowest level in more than a year as fears of another recession spread.

Retailers bank on Kindle Fire for holidays

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon's Kindle Fire is a Catch-22 for retailers: The $199 tablet computer could both help Christmas traffic and hurt future sales.

Long road from farm to fork worsens food outbreaks

WASHINGTON (AP) — The recent listeria outbreak from cantaloupe demonstrates one likely cause of large-scale occurrences of serious illnesses linked to tainted food: the long and winding road what we eat takes from farm to fork.


19th annual MTSU economic conference is Friday

MURFREESBORO (AP) — An annual conference being held today and sponsored by Middle Tennessee State University is designed to promote free enterprise.

State sponsoring document shredding Saturday

NASHVILLE (AP) — State officials are sponsoring document shredding Saturday in Nashville to promote identity theft awareness.


Consumers spend more, but their incomes fall

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumers spent slightly more last month but earned less for the first time in nearly two years. The new data on spending and incomes suggest Americans tapped their savings to cope with steep gas prices and a weaker economy.

Economy gaining but not enough to cut unemployment

WASHINGTON (AP) — The economy is showing signs of modest improvement — not enough to reduce high unemployment but enough to ease fears that another recession might be near.

More bad news for bank customers: Debit card fees

NEW YORK (AP) — Bank of America will start charging debit-card users $5 a month to pay for purchases. The move comes as the cards increasingly replace cash and as banks look for ways to offset the loss of revenue from a new rule that will limit how much they can collect from merchants.

Rate on 30-year mortgage falls to record 4.01 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fixed mortgage rates have fallen to historic new lows for a fourth straight week and are likely to fall further.

Contracts to buy homes fell 1.2 percent in August

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes fell in August, after a weaker-than-expected peak buying season.


Military retirees to pay higher health premiums

WASHINGTON (AP) — Military retirees will pay slightly more for their health care starting Saturday, and more cost increases are on the way.

Watchdog: Regulators bowed to banks on bailout

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators bowed to pressure from big banks seeking a quick exit from the financial bailout program and did not uniformly apply the government's own conditions set for repaying the taxpayer funds, a new watchdog report says.

Health care law looms over new Supreme Court term

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nine justices of the Supreme Court, who serve without seeking election, soon will have to decide whether to insert themselves into the center of the presidential campaign next year.

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