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VOL. 41 | NO. 28 | Friday, July 14, 2017

From Main Street to Mars

Pets are becoming a big part of the Midstate economy

Renee Bell enjoyed some serious success during her 30 years in the music industry.

Thinking vet school? It’s competitive, costly

Becoming a doctor of veterinary medicine is not a decision to be made on a whim.


Legislature losing some powerful, familiar members

A shakeup in leadership is looming for the state Legislature, though it may portend more of a change in personalities than party strength.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Wind: Calm mph
Humidity: 89%


Chamber of Commerce Joint Mixer. Join Williamson Chamber, Spring Hill Chamber of Commerce and Maury Alliance at Homestead Manor, 4683 Columbia Pike, Thompson’s Station, for a networking opportunity. Thursday, 5-7 p.m. Food and drinks. Fee: Free. Information: http://cmdev.williamsonchamber.com

more events »


‘Unprecedented’ market climbs back to 2006 levels

I predicted last month that the number of closed sales for June in the area would drop below those that closed in June 2016. That forecast was based on the fact that the pending sales for May 2017 were considerably lower than those reported in May 2016.


Middle Tennessee real estate trends for June 2017

June 2017 real estate trends for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford and Wilson counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

Middle Tennessee real estate trends for second quarter 2017

Second quarter 2017 real estate trends for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford and Wilson counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

Average US mortgage rates rise; 30-year at 4.03 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose this week for the second straight week. The benchmark 30-year rate surpassed the significant 4 percent level for the first time since May.


Jones has definitely proven he can recruit

When in doubt, do what you do best – recruit. That seems to be the approach of Tennessee Vols coach Butch Jones.


Gibson honored with TJC’s Pro Bono Award

Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Jeff Gibson has been named the Tennessee Justice Center’s 2017 Pro Bono Attorney of the Year.


Tennessee Bank & Trust gets state approval

Tennessee Bank & Trust has received approval from the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, moving the organization one step closer to becoming the first bank to open in the state of Tennessee in 10 years. The charter for the bank was filed with the state of Tennessee on June 30, 2017.


Too much media? You can start by skipping this book

Your phone will not stop ringing. It chimes constantly, too, letting you know that you’ve got mail. Facebook announces itself with a “thwock,” and another noise works as a calendar notification.


Shedding light on prospects who go dark

If you’ve been in sales, you’ve found yourself wondering about a prospect who was highly interested in your offering – and for whom you invested significant time – only to find them suddenly incommunicado.


How to deal with workplace bullies

Growing up, it seemed like one of the perks of being an adult was a lack of bullies. After all, bullying stops after high school graduation, right?


Judge: School district violated federal disability laws

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that a Tennessee county's department of education violated multiple federal guidelines protecting students with disabilities when it removed a student with Down syndrome from an elementary school.


McConnell prods senators on health care bill, amid dim odds

WASHINGTON (AP) — Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spurred Republican senators Thursday to resolve internal disputes that have pushed their marquee health care bill to the brink of oblivion. Yet the GOP's reeling effort to dismantle much of President Barack Obama's health care law may face even longer odds because of Sen. John McCain's jarring diagnosis of brain cancer.


Average US mortgage rates fall; 30-year at 3.96 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates declined this week after two straight weeks of increases. The benchmark 30-year rate slipped back below the significant 4 percent level.


US stocks waver as earnings and central banks dominate

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S stocks are wavering between small gains and losses in early trading on Wall Street Thursday. Energy and health care companies are gaining, but basic materials companies are lower. Investors are focused on second-quarter results from large companies like American Express and Philip Morris as well as the latest commentary from the European Central bank, which left its key interest rate unchanged. Major stock indexes closed at record highs a day earlier.

US weekly requests for jobless aid fall to 233,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans applied for jobless aid last week, as the number of people seeking benefits stays near historic lows pointing to a robust job market.

ECB's Draghi expected to remain cagey on stimulus exit plans

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The European Central Bank has left its interest rate benchmarks and policy statement unchanged, underlining its reluctance to roil markets with premature signals about an exit from its stimulus efforts.

Sears and Amazon; Alexa, turn up my Kenmore sales

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (AP) — Sears will begin selling its appliances on Amazon.com, including smart appliances that can be synced with Amazon's voice assistant, Alexa.


Attorney general has no plans to resign despite Trump rebuke

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he has no immediate plans to resign a day after President Donald Trump excoriated the nation's top prosecutor for recusing himself from the probe of suspected Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign.

Trump cutting hundreds of planned regulations

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration has withdrawn or delayed 860 proposed regulations in its first five months, the beginnings of a regulatory overhaul meant to bolster economic growth.

By embracing Russia, Trump bumps up against top advisers

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's persistent overtures toward Russia are placing him increasingly at odds with his national security and foreign policy advisers, who have long urged a more cautious approach to dealing with the foreign adversary.

Trump campaign inner circle called before Senate committees

WASHINGTON (AP) — Members of the Trump campaign's inner circle, including his eldest son and son-in-law, are being called before Senate committees next week to talk about the 2016 election.

Trump's critique of Sessions reflects long-held frustrations

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's extraordinary public denouncement of Attorney General Jeff Sessions reflected a long-simmering frustration with one of his staunchest allies, but was not a calculated attempt to force Sessions from the Cabinet, according to two Trump advisers.

McCain's brain tumor is particularly aggressive type

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. John McCain's tumor is one of the most aggressive forms of brain cancer, and his family and doctors are deliberating next treatment options.


Ex-banker who helped bring World's Fair to Knoxville dies

CLINTON (AP) — Jake Butcher, who helped bring the World's Fair to Knoxville before his family's East Tennessee banking network collapsed amid a federal investigation, died Wednesday. He was 81.

Tennessee education coalition focuses on teacher diversity

NASHVILLE (AP) — A new report released by a group of Tennessee educator preparation programs focuses on eliminating the barriers preventing diverse candidates from choosing teaching as a career.


CBO: 32 million would lose health care with ACA repeal

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the Republican bill erasing but not replacing much of President Barack Obama's health care law would mean an additional 32 million uninsured people by 2026.

Q&A: How Trump could help sink Obama health law

Health insurance markets created by the Affordable Care Act may not be on the verge of collapse, but President Donald Trump could nudge them in that direction by following through on his plan to let the Obama-era law fail.

AP-NORC poll: Negotiate on 'Obamacare,' don't just kill it

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans overwhelmingly want lawmakers of both parties to work out health care changes, with only 13 percent supporting Republican moves to repeal "Obamacare" absent a replacement, according to a new poll.

Health plan's fall brings dread for 'Obamacare' recipients

DENVER (AP) — One American was able to afford her toddler's latest heart operation. Another had the means to go back to college to pursue her dreams.

Not dead yet: Trump exhorts Senate to pass Obamacare repeal

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lecturing fellow Republicans, President Donald Trump summoned GOP senators to the White House Wednesday and told them face-to-face they must not leave town for their August recess without sending him an "Obamacare" repeal bill to sign.


Judge lifts federal oversight on Tennessee children services

NASHVILLE (AP) — After more than 16 years, the Tennessee Department of Children's Services is free of federal oversight from a 2001 settlement over its treatment of foster care children.


US housing starts rebounded in June

WASHINGTON (AP) — Homebuilders ramped up construction in June to the fastest pace in four months, led by surges in the Northeast and Midwest.


Panel approves bill to boost testing of self-driving cars

WASHINGTON (AP) — A House subcommittee has approved legislation designed to allow automakers to increase the testing of self-driving cars on U.S. roads.

Last year's models are this summer's bargains

Buying a new car, truck or SUV that is about to be replaced by a new, redesigned model might seem like a bad idea. Actually, it's one of the best times to negotiate a good deal. Dealers are eager to clear out the current models before the new versions arrive, so you can use that leverage to negotiate a favorable price.


Amazon isn't technically dominant, but it pervades our lives

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon is already a huge part of many people's lives. And its $13.7 billion deal for the organic grocer Whole Foods will likely bind its customers even more tightly.


Technology and health care lift stocks to record highs

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks continued to climb Wednesday, led by technology, health care and energy companies. Media companies also rose as stock indexes set record highs.

Made-in-USA goods can be pricey and elusive. Just ask Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's push this week to get Americans to buy goods "made in America" is harder than it might seem.


House panel moves ahead on budget with hopes for tax reform

WASHINGTON (AP) — A key House panel on Wednesday took a critical first step toward enabling Republicans to revise the tax code, kicking off a daylong debate over a GOP budget that slashes safety net programs for the poor while rewarding the military with a $70 billion boost.

Privatization plan hits turbulence; supporters still upbeat

WASHINGTON (AP) — A plan to privatize the nation's air traffic control operations has hit turbulence in the House, raising questions about whether one of President Donald Trump's infrastructure priorities can survive.


Last duet: Kenny, Dolly announce final performance together

NASHVILLE (AP) — Two of country music's biggest stars, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, whose onstage chemistry spawned hit duets like "Islands in the Stream" and "Real Love," will be making their final performance together this year.


Wilson county trustee clerk charged with $14k theft

NASHVILLE (AP) — A former Tennessee county trustee's office clerk is facing charges of stealing more than $14,000 from property tax payments.


West End Holdings acquires American Hometown Publishing

American Hometown Publishing Inc. announced today it has been acquired by Nashville-based West End Holdings LLC, and will immediately begin seeking additional local media properties to add to its portfolio.

Police officer decommissioned for water bottle theft

NASHVILLE (AP) — A police officer in Tennessee has been decommissioned after he was accused of taking a water bottle from a business while investigating a burglar alarm.


Lawsuit: New TennCare rates endanger hemophilia patients

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee lawsuit claims the state is breaking federal law and endangering people with bleeding disorders like hemophilia by reimbursing less for prescription blood-clotting drugs through its Medicaid program.


What's next? Senate GOP scrambles after health care flop

WASHINGTON (AP) — Now what? Senate Republicans were scrambling to pick up the pieces Tuesday after their attempt to repeal and replace the Obama-era health care law collapsed a second time.

'Let Obamacare fail,' Trump says after GOP plan collapses

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump declared Tuesday it's time to "let Obamacare fail" after the latest GOP health care plan crashed and burned in the Senate, a stunning failure for the president, Republican leader Mitch McConnell and a party that has vowed for years to abolish the law.

McConnell moving on to repeal of Obama law

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Senate will soon vote on a fresh bill repealing much of President Barack Obama's health care law.


US homebuilder sentiment declines in July

U.S. homebuilders are feeling less optimistic about their sales prospects, although their overall outlook remains positive.


Stocks mostly waver; S&P 500 hits a high

Stocks struggled to a mixed finish on Wall Street even as gains for technology companies nudged a few key indexes to more all-time highs.

Ready-to-cook meals from Amazon in bid to expand groceries

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon has begun selling ready-to-cook meal packages for busy households in a bid to expand its groceries business.

Lower sales of new motorcycles ding Harley-Davidson

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Shares in Harley-Davidson tumbled nearly 10 percent after the company reported lagging retail sales and shipments as new riders opted for used motorcycles over newer, more expensive ones.


House budget blueprint key to success of Trump tax agenda

WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite opposition from Republican moderates and conservatives, House leaders are pressing ahead with a budget plan whose success is critical to the party's hopes to deliver on one of President Donald Trump's top priorities — a GOP-only effort to overhaul the tax code.

Growing cast of lawyers signing up to defend Trump and team

WASHINGTON (AP) — As the government's Russia investigations heat up, a growing cast of lawyers is signing up to defend President Donald Trump and his associates. But the interests of those lawyers — and their clients — don't always align, adding a new layer of drama and suspicion in a White House already rife with internal rivalries.

California lawmakers extend landmark climate change law

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers voted Monday to extend a climate change initiative that Gov. Jerry Brown holds up as a model for states and nations looking to lower carbon emissions.


Former VP Biden going to Nashville in November on book tour

NASHVILLE (AP) — Former Vice President Joe Biden will speak in Nashville this November as a part of a book tour.

500 jobs available at Topgolf Nashville

Topgolf has 500 job openings for its Nashville location, which will open this fall.


Boyd says he's raised $2.3M for governor's race

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican Randy Boyd says he has raised $2.3 million and added $2 million of his own money in his bid for governor.

Tennessee county's schools cancel class for eclipse

KNOXVILLE (AP) — Students in a Tennessee school district won't have to skip class to catch next month's solar eclipse.

Tennessee, 4 other SE states cracking down on speeding

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Police in five Southeastern states are launching a weeklong program to reduce summertime wrecks and traffic deaths.

Deadline approaching to apply for drought assistance

NASHVILLE (AP) — The U.S. Small Business Administration says the deadline is approaching for small businesses in certain Tennessee and Kentucky counties to seek disaster loans stemming from drought that began in October.

Pence to headline Tennessee GOP fundraiser

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Republican Party says Vice President Mike Pence will be the keynote speaking for its annual fundraiser next month.


House Speaker Beth Harwell running for Tennessee governor

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell says she is running for Tennessee governor.


Preventive care, screenings could be compromised by GOP bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has often said he doesn't want people "dying in the streets" for lack of health care.

Health plan hinges on the young, but they're a tough sell

WASHINGTON (AP) — Julian Senn-Raemont isn't convinced he needs to buy health insurance when he loses coverage under his dad's plan in a couple of years — no matter what happens in the policy debate in Washington, or how cheap the plans are.

CBO delays analysis of latest health care bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — There's another possible delay to the Senate's consideration of a Republican bill to repeal and replace the Obama-era health care law.

Lawsuits: TN hospitals engage in illegal billing practices

MEMPHIS (AP) — Two lawsuits seeking class-action status allege several Tennessee hospitals routinely overcharge patients through illegal billing practices.


August union vote set for Mississippi Nissan plant

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Workers at Nissan Motor Co.'s Mississippi plant will decide on Aug. 3 and 4 whether the United Auto Workers will represent them.

Auto parts supplier to Nissan to invest $16M, add 100 jobs

GLUCKSTADT, Miss. (AP) — A supplier to Nissan Motor Co. will add nearly 100 jobs in Mississippi, bringing its total employment in the area to about 600.


US stocks wind up mixed as retailers rise, health care dips

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks hardly budged Monday as smaller firms and retailers rose while health care companies and banks declined. Chemical and mining companies rose as the dollar weakened.

Delta tells Ann Coulter her insults are 'unacceptable'

NEW YORK (AP) — Delta Air Lines has pushed back at Ann Coulter after the conservative commentator berated the carrier on Twitter over a changed seat assignment.


US to create independent military cyber command

WASHINGTON (AP) — After months of delay, the Trump administration is finalizing plans to revamp the nation's military command for defensive and offensive cyber operations in hopes of intensifying America's ability to wage cyberwar against the Islamic State group and other foes, according to U.S. officials.

With 2018 looming, Democrats divided on their core message

NEW YORK (AP) — House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley hesitated when asked about his party's core message to voters.


Nashville adopts paid family leave for city workers

NASHVILLE (AP) — Nashville officials have adopted a paid family leave plan for its city workers.

Senate confirms Hagerty as Japan envoy

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has confirmed Tennessee businessman William F. Hagerty as President Donald Trump's ambassador to Japan.


Tennessee Democrat Mackler raises $451K in US Senate bid

NASHVILLE (AP) — Nashville attorney and former Army helicopter pilot James Mackler says he has raised $451,000 in his Democratic bid for the U.S. Senate.

'Scopes monkey trial' town erects evolution figure's statue

NASHVILLE (AP) — The famed "Scopes monkey trial" pitted two of the nation's foremost celebrity lawyers against one another, but only one of them was memorialized outside the Tennessee courthouse where the landmark case unfolded -- until now.

Trump taps Tennessee Senate leader, 3 more to judgeships

NASHVILLE (AP) — President Donald Trump has nominated Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris and three others to federal district court judgeships.

NAACP asks for removal of Confederate statue from courthouse

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — A Tennessee chapter of the NAACP is urging officials to remove a statue of a Confederate general from in front of a county courthouse, echoing similar efforts throughout the South.

UT, Vanderbilt to help study Haslam's higher education push

NASHVILLE (AP) — The University of Tennessee at Knoxville and Vanderbilt University will help study results from Gov. Bill Haslam's initiatives to increase the percentage of residents with higher education degrees.

Officials investigating high toxin levels at Tennessee plant

MEMPHIS (AP) — Health and environmental officials say they are investigating how high levels of arsenic and lead were found in groundwater under a Tennessee coal power plant.


Trump, administration press Republicans to back health bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — From both sides of the Atlantic, President Donald Trump and other administration officials lobbied Republicans Friday to support the Senate GOP's reworked health care bill, with the president saying wavering senators "must come through" to keep the measure from collapsing.

Tennessee hospitals group opposes GOP health bill rewrite

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's lobby group for hospitals says the rewritten Republican health care bill in Congress doesn't have the best interests of Tennesseans or hospitals at heart.

AMA says new GOP health care effort falls short

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's largest doctors' group says the new Republican health care bill falls short on coverage and access, particularly for low-income people on Medicaid.

Analysis: Trump will take health care credit or cast blame

WASHINGTON (AP) — If congressional Republicans succeed in repealing and replacing the Obama-era health law, expect a big Rose Garden celebration with President Donald Trump taking credit.

US charging 412 in health fraud schemes worth $1.3 billion

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. prosecutors announced Thursday that they have charged more than 400 people with taking part in health care fraud and opioid scams that totaled $1.3 billion in false billing.


Honda unveils new Accord as midsize cars fall out of favor

DETROIT (AP) — The latest version of Honda's venerable Accord midsize car is lower, wider, lighter and sleeker than its predecessor, and the company says it's faster and handles better.


Modest gains push US stocks indexes to record highs

Gains by big technology and health care companies pushed U.S. stocks modestly higher Friday, lifting several major indexes to new highs.

US retail sales fall for a 2nd month as consumers pull back

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans curtailed their shopping in June, with less spending at restaurants, department stores and gasoline stations. The spending pullback came despite a healthy job market and suggests that economic growth could remain sluggish.

Cheaper gas, wireless plans keep US inflation in check

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lower costs for gas, airline tickets, new and used cars and wireless mobile phone plans kept U.S. consumer prices flat in June, evidence that inflation remains muted.

Yellen calls risks of inflation 'two-sided'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Thursday said she believed the risks concerning inflation are "two-sided," stressing that price gains could both accelerate or slow down.

DraftKings, FanDuel call off daily fantasy sports merger

BOSTON (AP) — The two leading daily fantasy sports companies DraftKings and FanDuel have scrapped their proposed merger about a month after federal regulators sued to block it.

US budget deficit rose in June to $90.2 billion

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal budget deficit rose sharply in June compared to a year ago, although much of the increase reflected calendar quirks.

CBS News announces partnership with BBC

NEW YORK (AP) — Britain's BBC News is ending a long-running agreement to share reporting and resources with ABC News in the United States and instead will match up with CBS.

Walmart unveils new tools to help shoppers save time

NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart is pushing convenience for the back-to-school shopping season as it tries to compete better with Amazon.

Encouraging news from Target

NEW YORK (AP) — Target boosted its guidance for the second quarter after its campaign to revitalize the brand pushed sales higher and boosted customer traffic.


Russian-American lobbyist says he was in Trump son's meeting

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Russian-American lobbyist says he attended a June 2016 meeting with President Donald Trump's son, marking another shift in the account of a discussion that was billed as part of a Russian government effort to help the Republican's White House campaign.

Trustees project biggest Social Security increase in years

WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions of Americans who rely on Social Security can expect to receive their biggest payment increase in years this January, according to projections released Thursday by the trustees who oversee the program.

Jimmy Carter back to building homes in Canada after hospital

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter was back at a Habitat for Humanity worksite Friday, a day after he was hospitalized for dehydration while working with the organization to build homes for needy families in Canada.

CBO: Trump's budget doesn't balance federal ledger

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new government analysis of President Donald Trump's budget plan says it wouldn't come close to balancing the federal ledger like the White House has promised.

AP-NORC Poll: Three-quarters in US say they lack influence

WASHINGTON (AP) — Linda Bell, a beekeeper and farmer who makes about $11,000 a year, feels Washington power brokers have no intention of making health care affordable.

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