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VOL. 39 | NO. 10 | Friday, March 6, 2015

Space race: Office shortage has Middle Tennessee builders, renters scrambling

Businesses looking for office space in Nashville are learning a painful lesson that homebuyers already know – prices are high, and if you take time to shop around for a better deal, someone else is likely to snap up the property, leaving you out in the cold.

Eakin: Rising rents hitting all of Middle Tennessee

Selling business people on the idea of relocating to Nashville is easy for commercial real estate broker Barry R. Smith because he, too, bought into the city’s charm when he first came to town in 1981.

Ryan: Be flexible on location for more office space options

After 22 years heading up the Metro Housing and Development Authority for Nashville, Phil Ryan certainly knows the Middle Tennessee housing market.

Top commercial real estate transactions March 1, 2014-March 1, 2015

Top commercial real estate transactions, March 1, 2014-March 1, 2015, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

Drive! consortium pushes regional auto industry

Tennessee’s bustling automotive-industry sector is going to get a whole lot busier in the coming months, at least if a large group of businesses, agencies and related parties behind the Drive! for the Future Consortium (Drive!) have anything to say about it.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Partly Cloudy
Wind: Southwest at 5.8 mph
Humidity: 51%


Nashville Chamber Member Orientation. Learn about member benefits and involvement opportunities from Chamber staff. You’ll also learn how your business plays a role in the Chamber’s mission of creating regional economic prosperity. Wednesday, 11:30 a.m., Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, 211 Commerce St, Nashville. Information: nashvillechamber.com, 743-3063.

more events »


Eliminating Hall income tax raises new problems

Republican lawmakers are lining up legislation to reduce or phase out Tennessee’s Hall income tax on investments, even though Gov. Bill Haslam is concerned about losing revenue amid the state’s economic ups and downs.

Desperate families beg Legislature to legalize cannabis oil

Josie Mae Mathes had her first birthday recently, but because she suffers from childhood epilepsy and infantile spasms, she’s so medicated she can barely move.


Affordable housing gets foot in the door in mayoral election

In recent weeks, the mayor’s race has taken a new focus: Affordable housing.


Charging 'labor fees' for public records a bad idea

The fastest way to shut down access to government records is to charge fees people can’t afford to pay.


Aerial Development CEO wins Woman of the Year

Britnie Turner, founder and CEO of Aerial Development Group, is a 2015 Enterprising Woman of the Year, Enterprising Women magazine’s annual tribute to the world’s top women entrepreneurs.


Nissan’s Z sport coupe remains an affordable performer

Thank you, Yutaka Katayama. Katayama, who died last week at age 105, was the executive who renamed the sports car Nissan exported to the United States in the late 1960s. It had been called the Fairlady, and nothing against “My Fair Lady,” but it wasn’t an appealing name for a sports car in America. The new name, the company’s code designation for the project, had more pizazz: the 240Z.


Digital marketing for all generations

While speaking to the Vancouver Board of Trade a few years ago, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz talked about the need for companies to use social media to build a “reservoir of trust” rather than just to sell more products.


Are you willing to market yourself with a $5 resume?

Occasionally, I’ll meet with a new client who apologizes profusely in our first meeting. They apologize their resume isn’t well done, and that many of the facts in it are incorrect.


Language purist no fan of ‘dictionaried’ words

I am blessed to have as a regular reader one Kathy Young.


Is eating Phil really the answer to winter blues?

These past few weeks have me thinking that the renown, not-so-accurate Punxsutawney Phil of Gobbler’s Knob, Pennsylvania, was right – we do have six more weeks of winter. At least it’s looking that way outside today.


Haslam may meet with school directors next week

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam says he will try to meet with the state's four largest school districts as early as next week to discuss education funding.

Tennessee launches statewide pothole repair plan

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Department of Transportation has launched a massive mission to patch the plethora of potholes across the state.

Auto collection to be auctioned to benefit Baker Center

KNOXVILLE (AP) — An antique car collection of the late U.S. Sen. Howard Baker is being auctioned off this weekend to benefit the University of Tennessee center that bears his name.


Dollar General 4Q profit rises on strong sales gains

GOODLETTSVILLE (AP) - Dollar General's fiscal fourth-quarter profit rose on strengthening sales at its discount stores.


Former UT, NBA star Allan Houston to visit state Capitol

NASHVILLE (AP) — Former University of Tennessee and NBA star Allan Houston will be in Nashville on Thursday to discuss school choice with state lawmakers.


VW workers in Germany get $6,250 profit sharing checks

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Volkswagen AG says its workers based in Germany are getting 5,900 euros ($6,250) each in profit-sharing bonuses that reflect the company's strong 2014.

Honda running ad campaign to boost recall repairs

DETROIT (AP) — Honda is launching an unprecedented U.S. ad campaign urging owners to get vehicles that have been recalled for safety problems repaired.


3 things to know about HBO's new streaming service

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — In less than a month, people in the U.S. will be able to subscribe to HBO without a cable or satellite TV subscription. The stand-alone HBO Now streaming service unveiled this week will debut in time for the April 12 season premiere of "Game of Thrones."

Google's safe browsing system targets 'unwanted software'

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Get ready to see more red warning signs online as Google adds ammunition to its technological artillery for targeting devious schemes lurking on websites.


Average US rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 3.86 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose this week yet remained near historic lows reached in May 2013.


Applications for US unemployment benefits fall sharply

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits fell sharply last week, a sign that strong hiring will likely continue.

US retail sales fall for 3rd month as auto purchases drop

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. retail sales fell in February, as auto purchases dropped by the most in more than a year and Americans spent less at restaurants and home improvement stores.

Banks lead early gains in US trading; Dollar General up

US stocks open higher, led by gains for financial companies


Bid to end Tennessee carry permit requirement fails in House

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal to eliminate Tennessee's requirement to obtain a state-issued permit to openly carry handguns was defeated in a House subcommittee on Wednesday.

Haslam: Don't rush gun bills before NRA meeting in Nashville

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam on Wednesday urged fellow Republicans in the Tennessee General Assembly not to let the upcoming convention of the National Rifle Association in Nashville influence their consideration of a slew of bills seeking to loosen state gun laws.


Initiative aims to help Tennesseans live healthier

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam has launched an initiative that aims to get communities involved in helping Tennesseans live healthier.


'Blurred Lines' verdict likely to alter music business

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A verdict saying Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke copied Marvin Gaye's music to create their hit song "Blurred Lines" could ripple across the music industry, potentially changing how artists work and opening the door to new copyright claims.


Pastors, donors rip Baptist school over gay bishop's invite

NASHVILLE (AP) - The president of the historically black American Baptist College says some individuals are considering removing financial support after pastors criticized the school's inclusion of a lesbian bishop in a lecture series.

Metro Police officer resigns after kicking subordinate during argument

NASHVILLE(AP) - A Nashville police lieutenant who kicked a subordinate during a discussion of gun rights has resigned from the force.


Tennessee wing of Civil Air Patrol to install first female commander

MURFREESBORO (AP) — The Tennessee Wing of the Civil Air Patrol will make history this month when it installs its first female commander of the state organization.


Powdered alcohol gets federal agency's approval

NEW YORK (AP) — A powdered alcohol intended to be mixed up into drinks has gained approval from a federal agency.

US stocks slip at close, stabilizing a day after sell-off

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes closed slightly lower Wednesday, stabilizing a day after their biggest sell-off in two months.

The euro's tumbling – here's why

LONDON (AP) — The euro is notching one milestone after another as it drops against major currencies. On Wednesday, it hit a 12-year low against the dollar and many think its descent has further to go.


Bill to expand coverage for children with autism fails

NASHVILLE (AP) - Legislation that would have expanded health coverage for children with autism has failed this session.

Tennessee mulls removing control over guns in parks

NASHVILLE (AP) — Community parks, playgrounds and sports fields are among the few areas in Tennessee where local governments can ban people with handgun carry permits from being armed. Now gun-friendly state lawmakers are looking to change that.


TDOT 'a little overwhelmed' with pothole repairs

NASHVILLE (AP) — The snow and ice may be gone, but the damage they left behind is still evident.

New Tennessee handgun carry permits down 45 percent in 2014

NASHVILLE (AP) — The number of new state-issued handgun carry permits dropped sharply in Tennessee last year.

Greene schools superintendent joins Education Department

NASHVILLE (AP) — The superintendent of Greene County schools is joining the Tennessee Department of Education as its chief academic officer and one of three deputy commissioners.


Court: State does not have to release execution team names

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Tennessee Supreme Court says the state does not have to turn over the names of its execution team to the attorneys of death row inmates.

Chattanooga judge says cap on damages is unconstitutional

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Chattanooga judge has ruled that a state law that caps the amount of money someone can win in a personal injury lawsuit for noneconomic damages is unconstitutional.

Tennessee Supreme Court overturns forfeiture of home

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled that the government must show that it complied with state forfeiture laws — both procedurally and substantively — if it is going to seize someone's property.


Volkswagen will invest $1 billion in Mexico

MEXICO CITY (AP) — German automaker Volkswagen says it will invest $1 billion to expand its plant in central Mexico, where it plans to produce a version of the Tiguan sport utility vehicle that will hit the market in 2017.


Feds: More than 231,000 Tennesseans enrolled in ACA plans

NASHVILLE (AP) - Figures released Tuesday show that more than 231,000 Tennesseans have enrolled in the federal health insurance marketplace passed into law at the urging of President Barack Obama.

Report: Specialty drugs drive prescription spending jump

Prescription drugs spending jumped 13 percent last year, the biggest annual increase since 2003, according to the nation's largest pharmacy benefits manager.


Apple's Tim Cook cites record sales and "unbelievable" year

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — Apple CEO Tim Cook took a figurative victory lap at his company's annual shareholder meeting, one day after he announced details about the new smartwatch Apple plans to start selling next month.

Apple Watch moves Internet out of your pocket

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple wants to move the Internet from your pocket to your wrist.

Early Look: How does Apple Watch stack up vs rival watches?

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple made a strong case for how you can use its upcoming Apple Watch, and the device stacks up well against the competition.


US stocks sink as investors worry about higher rates

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes fell sharply as fears of over possible interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve roiled financial markets around the globe.

US job openings reach a 14-year high, and more workers quit

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers advertised the most jobs in 14 years in January, and more workers quit — both signs of a steadily strengthening job market.

US wholesale stockpiles increase 0.3 percent in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. wholesale businesses increased their stockpiles by a modest amount in January as sales plunged by the largest amount in six years.

Secret Service testing drones, how to disrupt their flying

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mysterious, middle-of-the-night drone flights by the U.S. Secret Service during the next several weeks over parts of Washington — usually off-limits as a strict no-fly zone — are part of secret government testing intended to find ways to interfere with rogue drones or knock them out of the sky, The Associated Press has learned.


TVA to rely more on natural gas, renewable energy

NASHVILLE (AP) - The country's largest public utility will rely more on natural gas and renewable energy in the future.


MTSU to provide guidance to 2-year college students

MURFREESBORO (AP) — Middle Tennessee State University is providing some guidance to community college students interested in attending its four-year institution.


Open meetings laws don't apply to Tennessee transparency panel

NASHVILLE (AP) — A panel of experts assembled to offer advice on transparency issues is not subject to the state's open meetings law. At least that's the opinion of Ann Butterworth, who heads the Comptroller's Office of Open Records Counsel.


Opry Mills owner launches $16B hostile bid for rival

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Simon Property Group, which owns Opry Mills and Lebanon Premium Outlets, as well as Knoxville Center and West Town Mall, has launched a $16 billion hostile bid for Macerich Co. after saying its rival refused to discuss a combination of two of the largest U.S. mall operators.

Busloads of Nashvillians go to Bloody Sunday commemoration

NASHVILLE (AP) — Organizers of a trip to Selma, Alabama, to commemorate the "Bloody Sunday" march of 1965 say they hope youth making the trek will be inspired by those individuals who sacrificed their lives so they might have the opportunities they do today.


Justices side with Labor Department in overtime pay dispute

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has sided with the Obama administration in upholding a rule making mortgage brokers eligible for overtime pay under federal labor law.


GM plans $5B stock buyback, averts showdown with hedge funds

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors announced a $5 billion stock buyback as part of a plan to return more cash to investors. In return, an activist shareholder decided to drop a potentially divisive bid for a seat on the company's board.


Apple Watch anticipation: Features, functions unveiled

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Apple Watch. CEO Tim Cook is expected to unveil the company's newest device and make the case for why it's a must-have gadget at a San Francisco event later Monday.


US stock indexes climb; GM gains on buyback announcement

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market's bull run turned six on Monday. The anniversary was marked with modest gains.

How new changes by credit-reporting firms may affect you

The three big credit reporting agencies are making changes that could help steer some consumers clear of the credit dog house.

The bull market for stocks turns 6

NEW YORK (AP) — In 2009 the stock market was filled with panic.

Major credit agencies agree to changes sought by advocates

NEW YORK (AP) — The three largest credit-reporting agencies will change the way they handle records in a major revamp long sought by consumer advocates.


Obama calls for effort to boost high-tech training, hiring

WASHINGTON (AP) — Targeting stagnant wages in an otherwise improving economy, President Barack Obama on Monday called on employers, educational institutions and local governments to develop a home grown high technology workforce that could help drive up higher-income employment.


Mayor's morning winter storm update

NASHVILLE – With the brunt of the winter weather behind, the city is seeing significant improvement in conditions outside.


Ceramic tile company to open first US facility in Maury County

NASHVILLE (AP) — Officials say a ceramics company will be opening its first U.S. manufacturing plant in Tennessee, creating 180 new jobs and investing $80 million to construct a new facility in Maury County.


Gov. Haslam requests probe of 11 hypothermia deaths in Feb.

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam has asked the Department of Health to investigate why 11 people froze to death during last month's winter storm.

Death toll from latest winter storm reaches 4 in Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) - Temperatures will gradually warm up over up over the weekend, but meteorologists are warning motorists to be careful of black ice caused as a result of snow melting and then refreezing when the thermometer plunges in the evening.

Wife of Tennessee congressman Phil Roe dies

NASHVILLE (AP) — The office of U.S. Rep. Phil Roe says his wife Pamela has died.


3 reasons Apple's watch will — or won't — change the game

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — No one can argue that many Apple devices have changed the way people live their lives. The company's iTunes, iPhone and iPad have shaken up music, phone and computer markets worldwide. Is the Apple Watch going to be able to do the same?


Nissan recalls more Altimas for hood latch problem

DETROIT (AP) — Nissan is recalling 625,000 more cars in the U.S. as part of a growing problem with faulty latches that can allow hoods to fly open while cars are moving.


Average US rate on 30-year mortgage drops to 3.75 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term mortgage rates have fallen for the first time in four weeks and remain near historic lows reached in May 2013.


US stocks drop; strong jobs report raises rate hike prospect

NEW YORK (AP) — A strong jobs report shook up the financial markets on Friday.

Why 5.5 percent unemployment isn't as great as it seems

WASHINGTON (AP) — Unemployment in the U.S. has dropped to a seven-year low of 5.5 percent — the level normally considered the mark of a healthy job market. Yet that number isn't as encouraging as it might sound.

US consumers increased their borrowing by $11.6 billion

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumers increased their borrowing in January at the slowest pace in more than a year with borrowing on credit cards actually declining for the second time in the last three months.

US adds a robust 295K jobs; jobless rate falls to 5.5 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers extended a healthy streak of hiring in February by adding 295,000 jobs, the 12th straight monthly gain above 200,000. It was the latest sign that the U.S. economy is further strengthening and outpacing other major economies around the world.

US trade deficit in January falls 8.3 pct to $41.8 billion

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit in January dropped sharply as both exports and imports fell.

4 members of FDA tobacco panel leave after court ruling

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration says four members from its tobacco advisory panel, among them its chairman, have left after a court ruled some of its members had conflicts of interest.

Apple will replace AT&T in the Dow Jones industrial average

NEW YORK (AP) — Apple is in. AT&T is out. In another victory of sorts for the popular and profitable iPhone giant, Apple will replace AT&T in the aged, but venerable Dow Jones industrial average on March 19, the manager of the index announced Friday

Largest US banks all pass latest round of Fed 'stress tests'

WASHINGTON (AP) — All of the nation's 31 largest banks are adequately fortified to withstand a severe U.S. and global recession and keep lending, the Federal Reserve said Thursday.

Mayor to NYC business leaders: Start pay at $13 an hour

NEW YORK (AP) — Mayor Bill de Blasio, promoting his message of income equality and empowering the less fortunate, pressed influential New York City business leaders on Thursday to raise their workers' starting pay to $13 an hour.

Snuggie seller settles charges that it deceived customers

NEW YORK (AP) — The company behind the Snuggie, Perfect Bacon Bowl and other "As Seen on TV" products has agreed to pay $8 million to settle charges that it deceived customers.

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