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VOL. 37 | NO. 47 | Friday, November 22, 2013

The Voice of Nashville: WPLN reporter Blake Farmer feeds a nation’s appetite for Tennessee stories

Regular listeners to WPLN, Nashville’s public radio station, have been hearing local newsman Blake Farmer’s stories increasingly broadcast on National Public Radio network shows.

Small shops of East Nashville are a big hit

While visiting Nashville for a John Prine and Steve Earle concert at the Ryman Auditorium, Minnesota residents Gene and Maureen Greden found themselves shopping for fine leather goods at the Idea Hatchery, an enclave of East Nashville shops in spaces no larger than the average suburban dining room.

Merger brings together Nashville’s PK Pictures/NuMynd Studios, Zoe Creative Services

Picture this: Your laptop screen is a framed picture of a dragon, like in a museum. You take your smart phone, switch it to camera and look at the laptop. All of a sudden, the dragon leans out of the frame, looks up, down and all around.

Even after reprieve, state ROTC cadets face uncertain futures

Sarah Short, 18, had carefully planned her college future – and, then the U.S. Army threw her a curve.

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


Battle of Franklin Anniversary. The annual Battle of Franklin Illumination Ceremony, this year marking the 149th anniversary, will take place Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at Carnton Plantation. The ceremony is open and free to the public. Some 10,000 luminaries will be on display to commemorate the approximately 10,000 casualties inflicted during the battle. Information: leigh@battleoffranklintrust.com, 794-0903,

more events »


That’s a lawn, not a grassy knoll: Conspiracy theories of real estate confronted

CNN is running a documentary this week titled the “The Assassination of President Kennedy.” Having been a conspiracy buff since reading Mark Lane’s Rush to Judgment in 1979, I have watched the show twice and finally, after 34 years, have concluded that Oswald was the lone assassin. The chase was fun.


Top Midstate commercial real estate transactions for Oct. 2013

Top October 2013 commercial real estate transactions for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.


Playoffs!? Even the Titans can dream

Somewhere Pete Rozelle is smiling, knowing his vision for the NFL is being realized.


Woodmont Investment hires vice president

Woodmont Investment Counsel, LLC has hired Robert Perry as vice president.

Nashville Rotary marks 100th anniversary

The Rotary Club of Nashville, Tennessee’s oldest and largest civic organization, commemorated the 100th anniversary of its first Club meeting this week at the Wildhorse Saloon.


‘The XX Factor’ isn’t XXactly worth your time

Your mother worked for as long as you can remember.


Online marketing ideas to enhance holiday sales

December is crunch time for retailers and B2B companies reliant on crucial holiday sales to hit annual sales targets. In fact, Google reports that 70 percent of consumers wait to make holiday purchases until after Thanksgiving, with the majority conducting at least some of that shopping online.


Who wants to ‘kill all the lawyers?’ Not Henry VI

One of my favorite quotes is from a Shakespearean play: “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” It gets me hot and bothered when people abuse and/or misuse this nugget of literature.


Diet buster: Fried mac and cheese balls

Last week, Don and I attended an American Court and Commercial Newspaper Conference (ACCN) in Baltimore. We stayed downtown, across the street from the Chesapeake Bay, and had a beautiful view from our room of the USS Constellation, which is now a permanently docked museum.


Obama's gatekeeper now point man on health care

WASHINGTON (AP) — White House chief of staff Denis McDonough was ready to vent.


Judge moves airline merger step closer to takeoff

A federal bankruptcy judge has cleared the way for American Airlines and US Airways to close their merger and create the world's largest airline.

Gauge of US economy's health edges up 0.2 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — A measure of the U.S. economy's health increased in October, suggesting consumers and businesses mostly shrugged off the 16-day partial government shutdown.

US jobless claims drop to 316,000, as layoffs slow

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped 10,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 316,000, a sign that workers are in less danger of being laid off.

US durable-goods orders fall 2 pct. in October

WASHINGTON (AP) — Businesses spent less last month on machinery, computers and most other items, lowering orders for U.S. long-lasting factory goods. The decline suggests companies may have been reluctant to invest during the 16-day partial government shutdown

Why holiday sales could ride on lower gas prices

WASHINGTON (AP) — No one begs Santa Claus for cheaper gasoline. Yet falling gas prices are shaping up as an unexpected gift for drivers — and for people on their holiday shopping lists.

Stocks rise following encouraging jobs news

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market edged higher after encouraging news about the economy Wednesday.

Oil near $93 ahead of US supply report

BANGKOK (AP) — Oil wallowed near $93 a barrel Wednesday as energy markets waited for a U.S. report on crude supplies.


Tennesseans can now access driving records online

NASHVILLE (AP) — State officials are giving Tennessee residents an online option to access driving records.


Gun advocates appeal 'Firearms Freedom Act' ruling

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Gun advocates asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday to overturn a lower court's ruling against state laws designed to buck federal gun rules.


Catholics in Nashville sue over health law

NASHVILLE (AP) - A lawsuit filed by the Catholic Diocese of Nashville says the new federal health care law requires it to violate its religious principals by offering contraceptive services to employees.

Supreme Court will take up new health law dispute

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to referee another dispute over President Barack Obama's health care law, whether businesses can use religious objections to escape a requirement to cover birth control for employees.


Dow, S&P 500 nudge higher; Nasdaq ends above 4,000

NEW YORK (AP) — Upbeat news from the housing industry and luxury retailer Tiffany & Co. nudged the stock market higher Tuesday.

Oil drifts below $94 ahead of US supply report

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil fell Tuesday as traders wait to see if the government reports a 10th straight weekly increase in U.S. crude oil supplies.

US banks earn $36 billion in third quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. banks earned less in the July-September quarter than they did a year earlier, marking their first year-over-year profit decline since the spring of 2009 when the country was still mired in the Great Recession.

US home permits rise at 5-year high on apartments

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. developers received approval in October to build apartments at the fastest pace in five years, a trend that could boost economic growth in the final three months of the year.

US home prices rose at slower pace in September

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices rose more slowly in September than in August, a sign that weaker sales are preventing the kinds of sharp price gains that occurred earlier this year.

Men's Wearhouse makes $1.54B bid for Jos. A. Bank

NEW YORK (AP) — Never say never. Just when it looked like a potential combination of Men's Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank was dead in the water, the script has been flipped.

WTO chief says no chance of global trade deal

GENEVA (AP) — The director-general of the World Trade Organization says negotiators have failed to craft the first global trade deal in more than a decade, which could have given the world economy a $1 trillion boost.


Obama pushes back against critics of Iran deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pushing back hard, President Barack Obama forcefully defended the temporary agreement to freeze Iran's disputed nuclear program on Monday, declaring that the United States "cannot close the door on diplomacy."


Billboard to update Christian, gospel charts

NASHVILLE (AP) - Billboard is updating its Christian and gospel song charts, continuing a modernization process intended to reflect the use of the Internet on listening habits.


Haslam wraps up hearings with Transportation Department

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Tennessee Transportation Department commissioner said Monday that the state won't be able to start any new highway projects if it loses federal funding next year.

Judge OKs $84.9M payout in Pilot Flying J truck stop scandal

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A federal judge in Arkansas approved a settlement Monday that pays $84.9 million to 5,500 trucking companies who were cheated out of promised rebates by Pilot Flying J, the nation's largest diesel retailer.


Fiat says no Chrysler IPO in 2013

FLORENCE, Italy (AP) — Chrysler won't be offering its stock for sale on the public markets this year.


Contracts to buy US homes fall for 5th month

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes fell in October for the fifth straight month. Higher mortgage rates, price increases and the 16-day partial government shutdown held back sales.

Wal-Mart CEO steps down; McMillon is successor

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Wal-Mart Stores CEO and President Mike Duke plans to step down Feb. 1. The company says Doug McMillon, head of international operations, will succeed him.

BlackBerry shakeup continues as COO, CFO depart

TORONTO (AP) — BlackBerry's interim chief executive has shaken up BlackBerry's management team in a move seen as prelude to him taking the top job himself.

Stocks end mixed on quiet day; energy stocks fall

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market paused Monday, ending on a mixed note, after a string of records in recent weeks.

Oil prices drop after Iran nuclear deal

The price of oil dropped to near $94 a barrel Monday as a deal between Iran and six world powers on the country's nuclear program raised the possibility that sanctions choking Iranian oil exports will be lifted.

Americans not willing to spend without deals

NEW YORK (AP) — This holiday season, Americans may not spend their green unless they see more red.


Defense bill caught in Congress' political divide

WASHINGTON (AP) — For 51 years of war and peace, Republicans and Democrats rallied around a bill to pay the troops, buy ships and aircraft and set military policy.

Lawmakers look to sanctions if Iran deal falters

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers are making contingency plans for what happens if — or when — the nuclear accord with Iran falls apart.


Owner of Nashville pediatric practice pleads guilty to fraud

NASHVILLE (AP) - The former owner of a Nashville pediatric practice has pleaded guilty to health care fraud and was ordered to pay $1.6 million in restitution and damages.


John Prine has operable form of lung cancer

NASHVILLE (AP) — Country singer-songwriter John Prine says he's been diagnosed with an operable form of lung cancer.


Government expects to finish GM stock sale by year end

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. government expects to sell the last of its stake in General Motors by the end of the year, bringing an end to a sad chapter in the 105-year-old auto giant's history.


Experts: HealthCare.gov fix needs more time, money

NEW YORK (AP) — Technology experts say healing what ails the Healthcare.gov website will be a tougher task than the Obama administration acknowledges.


S&P 500 index closes above 1,800 for first time

NEW YORK (AP) — The Standard & Poor's 500 index is closing above 1,800 for the first time as encouraging news from the drug industry pushes stocks higher.

Oil slips, but stays higher for the week

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil slipped to just under $95 Friday but still finished the week with a gain of $1 a barrel.

Don't bet your shirt on a great 2014 for stocks

NEW YORK (AP) — Don't bet your shirt on a repeat performance. That's the message from some of the nation's biggest investment firms as the Dow Jones industrial average has closed above 16,000 for the first time and the Standard & Poor's 500 index is on the cusp of its best year in a decade with a gain of 25.9 percent.

US job openings, overall hiring reach 5-year highs

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. job openings and overall hiring both reached five-year highs in September, signaling steady improvement in the job market.

Loud cellphone talkers next bane of air travelers?

NEW YORK (AP) — Airline passengers have already been stripped of their legroom, hot meals and personal space. Now, they might also lose their silence.

To spin or not to spin: Does Microsoft need Xbox?

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates donned a cool leather jacket when he first introduced the Xbox onstage in 2000. More than a decade later, the video game console is still the hippest brand in Microsoft's portfolio. But as the company begins selling its first new Xbox in eight years on Friday, some critics say Microsoft should spin the gaming unit off. They argue that Xbox distracts management from the company's fast-growing cloud computing business and its effort to catch up to rivals in tablet and smartphone sales.

Jury orders Samsung to pay Apple $290 million

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A Silicon Valley jury on Thursday ordered Samsung Electronics to pay Apple $290 million for copying vital iPhone and iPad features.

NJ becoming 3rd state to offer Internet gambling

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Six of the seven casinos given permits to conduct Internet gambling in New Jersey were cleared to start taking bets Thursday night, while one — the Golden Nugget Atlantic City — was left out of the test after its systems did not pass rigorous state testing.


White House urging Democrats to focus on economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Eager to draw contrasts with Republicans, the White House is pushing its economic agenda as it attempts to give Democrats something to talk about other than the troubled health care rollout.

Democrats vote to curb filibusters on appointees

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats eased the way for swift approval of President Barack Obama's current and future nominees on Thursday, voting unilaterally to overturn decades of Senate precedent and undermine Republicans' ability to block final votes.

Senate panel advances Yellen's bid to lead Fed

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate panel on Thursday advanced Janet Yellen's nomination to lead the Federal Reserve, setting up a final vote in the full Senate after lawmakers return from a two-week Thanksgiving break.

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