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VOL. 41 | NO. 3 | Friday, January 20, 2017

Is Legislature finally ready to fund transportation projects?

Frustrated commuters look to better roads, light rail

Angie Graves has always been a resident of Portland in Sumner County, pretty much on the same property. She is currently living in the same home her father once rented when she was a child.

From frustration to fixed: The long life of a road project

One surefire way to get some heated interaction on social media ­– other than talking politics – is a discussion of traffic, road conditions or both. But ranting about why there isn’t an interstate ramp here or a turn lane there simply won’t get the job done.

Moving Forward issues first transit scorecard

NASHVILLE – In its first scorecard, Moving Forward finds that the Middle Tennessee region has made progress in a number of key areas, most notably in developing a regional transit plan. The challenge ahead is securing funding from local and state sources.

SAM STOCKARD: VIEW FROM THE HILL

Legislators change tune on who can offer broadband

Rural broadband backers such as Misty O’Beirne in Rutherford County can take heart. Legislation to spread high-speed internet into cyberspace deserts is making the right connections.

Local Weather

Weather in Nashville, TN

EVENTS

Supplier Diversity Forum. An interactive forum connecting small, diverse-owned businesses to major Middle Tennessee employers in key industries (construction, manufacturing and distribution) with a commitment to supplier diversity. Learn from successful minority-owned business leaders, engage with decision makers from major companies and build your network of buyers and other suppliers. Music City Center, 201 5th Avenue South, Nashville. Fee: $25 (includes lunch, parking, and networking reception). Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Information: nashvillechamber.com

more events »

RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK

Buyers bypass hibernation to post big winter sales numbers

Many among the hordes relocating to Nashville have admired the changing of the seasons in the area, especially those coming from California. And lately, of course, they’ve been able to enjoy all four in a matter of 24 hours.

REAL ESTATE

Top Middle Tennessee commercial transactions for 2016

Top commercial real estate sales, 2016, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

Top Middle Tennessee residential transactions for Dec. 2016

Top residential real estate sales, December 2016, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

DAVID CLIMER: OUT OF LEFT FIELD

Is Saban's dominance bad for SEC? Of course not

I keep reading that Nick Saban is ruining SEC football because his Alabama program is so dominant. And I just don’t get it.

TERRY McCORMICK: TENNESSEE TITANS

Final 4 is proof NFL teams must have elite QBs

Now that the NFL playoffs are down to four teams remaining, it is easy to point out the common thread among them: Elite play at the quarterback position.

Conference championship predictions

After going 4-0 on predictions last weekend, it’s on to the conference championship games to determine which teams will play in Super Bowl LI.

NEWSMAKERS

Bradley elevates 2 attorneys to partner

Travis G. Lloyd and Junaid Odubeko have been named partner at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

’17 Pacifica has more technology than earlier Chrysler vans

The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is a sharp-looking, roomy and versatile minivan with more technology than previous Chrysler vans and thoughtful features that other minivans can lack.

GUERRILLA MARKETING

Raise prices and keep customers? Yes you can

When planning your price increase, you probably thought about:

CAREER CORNER

The real reason a company doesn’t return your interest

Interviewing for a job is an incredibly personal process – at least for the job seeker.

STATE LEGISLATURE

Haslam to unveil second major priority item for 2017 session

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is scheduled to release his second major priority item for the 2017 legislative session on Thursday.

REAL ESTATE

US new-home sales tumble in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans pulled back sharply from buying new homes in December, but sales for all of 2016 were the highest since 2007.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US stock indexes drift mostly lower in morning trading

U.S. stock indexes drifted mostly lower in morning trading Thursday as the market gave up some of its gains from the day before, when the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 20,000 for the first time. Technology stocks were down the most, while financial companies led the gainers. Investors have their eye on the latest company earnings news.

US unemployment claims tick up to 259,000, but remain low

WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, but jobless claims remained low enough to suggest that most Americans enjoy job security.

Your cable company wants to be your phone company, too

NEW YORK (AP) — Your TV provider may soon become your phone company. Which seems only fair, because your phone company also wants to be your TV provider.


WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25
STATE LEGISLATURE

State DAs: Haslam's plan would hurt DUI enforcement

Tennessee’s district attorney generals are negotiating with the governor’s office to keep $5.6 million for DUI enforcement and prosecution, federal funds they could lose in an unintended consequence of his proposed IMPROVE Act.

NASHVILLE AREA

Tennessee State Museum selects new executive director

NASHVILLE (AP) — The deputy director of the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville is being offered the job of executive director of the new Tennessee state museum.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Dow Jones industrial average breaks through 20,000 milestone

The Dow Jones industrial average crossed the 20,000 mark for the first time Wednesday, the latest milestone in a record-setting drive for the stock market.

Dow 20,000: What does it mean and where does it go?

With the Dow Jones industrials above 20,000, it's natural to ask what's going on and what, if anything, investors should do. Here are some answers to common questions that people have about the stock market.

Restaurants: The next front for the immigration debate?

CHICAGO (AP) — The national debate over immigration policy could be coming to a diner near you.

Fear of US trade sanctions grows among German managers

BERLIN (AP) — A closely-watched survey of business confidence in Germany, Europe's largest economy, dropped in January as managers worried about the uncertainty associated with the advent of Donald Trump's presidency.


TUESDAY, JANUARY 24
STATE LEGISLATURE

Norris steers clear of pushing fuel tax as he eyes run for governor

Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris is set to tag-team sponsorship of a comprehensive tax plan designed to bolster Tennessee’s transportation fund.

MUSIC INDUSTRY

Gospel singer Vicki Yohe apologizes for Trump posting

NASHVILLE (AP) — A gospel singer is apologizing to her fans after posting an image on her social media account suggesting that Jesus was returning to the White House under President Donald Trump.

COURTS

Trump says he'll announce Supreme Court nominee next week

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Tuesday he will announce a candidate next week to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court.

REAL ESTATE

Existing US home fell in December as supplies hit 17-year low

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans retreated from purchasing homes in December, as the number of properties listed for sale sank to its lowest level since 1999.

AUTO INDUSTRY

How a Trump tariff could sideswipe US auto industry

DETROIT (AP) — The threat from President Donald Trump to tax Mexican-made cars sold in the U.S. would throw the industry into disarray, analysts say, forcing some uncomfortable choices: Raise car prices or swallow the cost. Stop selling Mexican-made cars in the U.S. but risk losing customers. Move production to the U.S. but make less money.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

New study: Trump inherits $559B deficit, stable economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has inherited a stable economy and a government that is on track to run a $559 billion budget deficit for the year, congressional analysts said Tuesday.

S&P 500, Nasdaq set new closing highs

NEW YORK (AP) — An afternoon buying drive on Wall Street sent the Standard & Poor's 500 index and the Nasdaq composite to all-time highs.

Trump acts to advance Keystone XL, Dakota Access pipelines

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump signed executive actions Tuesday to advance construction of the huge Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines, moving aggressively to overhaul America's energy policy and dealing a swift blow to Barack Obama's legacy on climate change.

Philadelphia bars employers from requesting salary history

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Despite a threat from cable giant Comcast to take legal action, Philadelphia has banned employers from asking potential hires to provide their salary history, a move supporters say is a step toward closing the wage gap between men and women.

Oscars go gaga for 'La La Land' with record-tying 14 nods

The candy-colored love letter to musicals "La La Land" has landed a record-tying 14 Academy Awards nominations, matching it with "Titanic" and "All About Eve" for most nominations ever.

Complete list of 2017 Academy Awards nominees

List of nominees for the 89th annual Academy Awards presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Peyton Manning to address GOP lawmakers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning will give a motivational speech to Republican lawmakers at their annual policy retreat in Philadelphia.

Senate Democrats propose $1 trillion infrastructure plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats on Tuesday offered a plan to spend $1 trillion on transportation and other infrastructure projects over 10 years, challenging President Donald Trump to join them on an issue where they hope to find common ground.

Trump courts business, labor in delicate balancing act

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's opening work day offered a look at his tricky balancing act between American businesses and the working-class voters who propelled his march to the White House.

Push to save Pacific Rim trade deal after US exits TPP pact

SYDNEY (AP) — U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as promised, is prompting other member countries to seek ways to salvage the trade pact.

EU to Trump: Trade barriers, building walls 'doomed to fail'

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union trade chief says the trade policies U.S. President Trump has set out are "doomed to fail" and that the world's biggest trading bloc remains committed to open borders and economies.


MONDAY, JANUARY 23
STATEWIDE

Former SEC commissioner Roy Kramer to receive Summitt award

NASHVILLE (AP) - Former Southeastern Conference Commissioner Roy Kramer is the 2017 winner of the Pat Summitt Lifetime Achivement Award from the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.

Haslam taps Barnes to head Human Services

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is tapping Danielle Whitworth Barnes as the state Department of Human Services commissioner.

Tennessee State Museum under audit after director gets raise

NASHVILLE (AP) - State officials have authorized a special audit of Tennessee State Museum operations after its executive director received a 26 percent pay raise.

STATE LEGISLATURE

McNally adds new staff to speaker's office, keeps spokesman

NASHVILLE (AP) — Newly-elected Tennessee Senate Speaker Randy McNally has announced more staff changes in his office at the state Capitol.

HEALTH CARE

Trump can do plenty on his own to unravel Obama health law

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump can do plenty on his own to unravel the Obama health care law, but some of those actions would create disruptions that undermine his administration's early promises. Other less sweeping steps could open the way for big changes, but might not get as much notice.

Federal judge rejects Aetna's purchase of Humana

A federal judge has rejected health insurer Aetna's bid to buy rival Humana on grounds that the deal would hurt competition in hundreds of Medicare Advantage markets, ultimately affecting the price consumers pay for coverage.

TECHNOLOGY

'Net neutrality' foe Ajit Pai is new FCC head

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump has picked a fierce critic of the Obama-era "net neutrality" rules to be chief regulator of the nation's airwaves and internet connections.

Samsung says batteries caused Note 7 fires, delays new phone

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung Electronics says flaws in the design and production of batteries used in its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, not its hardware or software, made it prone to catch fire.

COURTS

Lawsuit: Trump businesses violate Constitution

NEW YORK (AP) — To fight what it called a "grave threat" to the country, a watchdog group on Monday filed a lawsuit alleging that President Donald Trump is violating the Constitution by allowing his business to accept payments from foreign governments.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US stock indexes close slightly lower; oil prices slide

Energy companies led U.S. stock indexes slightly lower Monday as the price of crude oil fell.

OPEC, allies says production cuts ahead of schedule

VIENNA (AP) — OPEC and key non-OPEC oil producers are near their target of taking 1.8 million barrels of crude a day off global markets less than two months after agreeing to do so in efforts to push up the price of crude, Russia's energy minister said Sunday.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Trump moves to pull US out of Pacific-Rim trade deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump moved to pull the United States out of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact Monday, dealing a quick blow to Barack Obama's legacy as the new chief executive began fulfilling campaign promises in his first full week in office.

Tillerson heading for confirmation as secretary of state

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of state headed for approval in a key Senate committee Monday after Florida Sen. Marco Rubio announced his support, backing off from a challenge to the new president.

Trump wants plan from business leaders in month

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has tasked a group of top business leaders with coming up with a series of actions to help stimulate the American manufacturing sector.

Trump White House ringed by 'swamp' denizens despite pledge

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mike Pence has returned to Washington. So has his closest political ally, Bill Smith.


FRIDAY, JANUARY 20
NASHVILLE AREA

Hundreds in Nashville silently protest Trump swearing-in

NASHVILLE (AP) - Hundreds of people sat in silent protest at a Nashville park while President Donald Trump took the oath of office.

STATEWIDE

State giving $1 million to 29 communities for tourism

NASHVILLE (AP) - State officials say 29 Tennessee communities will receive more than $1 million in grants to improve tourism infrastructure.

Tennessee preliminary unemployment rate up in December

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee's preliminary unemployment rate for December rose slightly to 4.9 percent compared with November.

HEALTH CARE

Costco agrees to pay $12M over lax pharmacy practices

SEATTLE (AP) — Costco Wholesale Corp. has agreed to pay nearly $12 million to settle Justice Department allegations of lax pharmacy controls over a four-year period.

GOP governors who turned down Medicaid money have hands out

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Republican governors who turned down billions in federal dollars from an expansion of Medicaid under President Barack Obama's health care law now have their hands out in hopes the GOP-controlled Congress comes up with a new formula to provide insurance for low-income Americans.

COURTS

Uber pays $20 million to settle claims of driver deception

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Uber Technologies is paying $20 million to settle allegations that it duped people into driving for its ride-hailing service with false promises about how much they would earn and how much they would have to pay to finance a car.

NY lawsuits blame social media in terror attacks

NEW YORK (AP) — Twitter says it has suspended 360,000 user accounts in the past 18 months for threatening or promoting acts of terrorism.

AUTO INDUSTRY

US ends probe of Tesla fatal crash without seeking recall

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. safety regulators have closed an investigation into a fatal crash involving electric car maker Tesla Motors' Autopilot system without seeking a recall, but they criticized the way the company markets the semi-autonomous driving feature.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Dow industrials break 5-day losing streak

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are ending higher, recouping much of the market's loss from a day earlier and breaking a 5-day losing streak for the Dow Jones industrial average.

Will Trump end globalization? The doubt haunts Davos' elite

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — It's been impossible to escape the shadow of Donald Trump at this year's gathering of the business elites at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos.

Russia invites Trump to its top investment forum

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — A top Russian official says President-elect Donald Trump can only succeed if he cooperates with Russia — and invited Trump to the country's flagship investment forum to boost economic ties.

ECB keeps stimulus on high even as economy picks up

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The head of the European Central Bank has warned there is still little sign of an enduring pick-up in shop prices and workers' wages in the eurozone — a symptom of economic weakness that means the bank will leave its stimulus programs running nearly full blast at least until year-end.

WTO chief frets over trade war talk

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — The World Trade Organization's top official has voiced his concern that talk of a trade war between the U.S. and China could become self-fulfilling.