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VOL. 43 | NO. 12 | Friday, March 22, 2019

Betting our schools on Lee’s voucher plan

Education savings accounts offer choice, little evidence of improving outcomes

State lawmakers who want school vouchers in Tennessee have watched their plans go up in flames for years after clashing with public school advocates in both urban and rural districts. But Gov. Bill Lee has brought new life to the idea by pushing for a voucher-like program known as education savings accounts.

Voucher promoters employ old model for new effort

Parents and teachers will join Tennessee lawmakers this spring in trying to determine what Gov. Bill Lee’s Education Savings Account proposal, a school-choice option that is similar to school vouchers, would mean to them.

Public funds for religious schools? There is a precedent

How could it be constitutional to use state tax dollars to send a child to a private religious school?

JOE ROGERS: MY TAKE

Griffey ignores constitution with Trump shout out

This week’s topic requires that I temporarily forsake my goal of making this a Trump-free zone. For that I blame Rep. Bruce Griffey.

Local Weather
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Wind: from the North at 15.0 gusting to 19.6 mph
Humidity: 55%

EVENTS

Downtown Connect Quarterly Coffee. Meeting will discuss the economic impact the NFL Draft will have on the city, hear information regarding traffic commute changes and alternatives, as well as suggestions to employers on flexible scheduling for employees during this time. Baker Donelson-Special Events Center, 211 Commerce Street, First Floor Baker Donelson Center. Tuesday, 8-9 a.m. Fee: Complimentary to attend, but registration is required. A light breakfast will be served. Information

more events »

TIM GHIANNI: STREET LEVEL

Boy with a gun is now man with a plan to help at-risk teens

The guy who long ago buried “Trigga” – his gun-slinging street name – is running a few minutes late because he’s straightening out a work-site problem concerning one of his employees.

RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK

Let the seller beware when the buyer’s house hasn’t sold

Sellers in a frantic real estate market are not likely to accept an offer contingent on the sale of the buyer’s current residence.

REAL ESTATE

Top Middle Tennessee commercial sales for February 2019

Top commercial real estate sales, February 2019, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

US average mortgage rates fall; 30-year at 4.28 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. long-term mortgage rates fell this week, giving an incentive to potential buyers as the spring homebuying season opens.

PREDATORS

Granlund finding his footing with Predators

Zach Parise didn’t hesitate when asked what he will miss most about his former linemate, Mikael Granlund.

NEWSMAKERS

GSRM Law welcomes Bashinsky as associate

The law firm of Gullett Sanford Robinson & Martin PLLC has hired Lisa Bashinsky as an associate attorney. Bashinsky will practice in the firm’s Business and Corporate section, with a focus on providing legal representation to businesses, entrepreneurs, individuals and professionals with their business transactions and commercial needs.

BRIEFS

Latest US News rankings boost VU grad programs

Vanderbilt University’s schools of nursing, education and medicine have moved up on U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 graduate school rankings.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

Are prepaid car maintenance plans worth it?

Prepaid car maintenance plans are one of the most common items a dealership finance and insurance manager will offer you when you buy a new car.

PERSONAL FINANCE

How to give money advice to someone not seeking help

Unsolicited money advice is like stale fruitcake: Most people wish the givers would just keep it to themselves.

CAREER CORNER

Something odd about that job offer? Wait for another

The premise of my column, which comes from one of my career mentors, might sound a bit confusing.

UT SPORTS

Tennessee blows 25-point lead, beats Iowa 83-77 in OT

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Admiral Schofield ran around the court in sheer joy, waving a March Madness towel after Tennessee made it back to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2014.

PREDATORS

Predators assign Watson to AHL on long-term injury loan

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Nashville Predators have put forward Austin Watson on a long-term injury loan to their American Hockey League affiliate, a week after he earned reinstatement from the NHL.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Volkswagen's Chattanooga plant ups minimum wage to $16 hourly

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — Volkswagen is increasing the minimum wage at its Chattanooga plant to $16 an hour.

HEALTH CARE

$775M settlement reached in Xarelto blood thinner lawsuits

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The pharmaceutical companies behind the widely advertised blood thinner Xarelto reached a $775 million settlement in 25,000 lawsuits alleging patients were not adequately warned about the risks of life-threatening complications, plaintiff attorneys and the manufacturers said Monday.

Rolled joints for aching joints: More seniors use marijuana

LAGUNA WOODS, Calif. (AP) — The group of white-haired folks — some pushing walkers, others using canes — arrive right on time at the gates of Laguna Woods Village, an upscale retirement community in the picturesque hills that frame this Southern California suburb a few miles from Disneyland.

US experts revisit breast implant safety after new concerns

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — U.S. medical authorities are revisiting the safety of breast implants used by millions of American women, the latest review in an ongoing debate about their potential health effects.

TECHNOLOGY

Apple details new magazine, news app at services event

CUPERTINO, California (AP) — Apple on Monday laid out the details of its news subscription service, Apple News Plus, at an event Monday. It's also expected to launch a video service that could compete with Netflix, Amazon and cable TV itself.

Apple announces its long-awaited streaming TV service

CUPERTINO, California (AP) — Apple announced a new streaming service, Apple TV Plus, which will house its original shows and movies and could compete with Netflix, Amazon and cable TV itself.

COURTS

Avenatti charged with trying to extort millions from Nike

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Michael Avenatti, the attorney best known for representing porn actress Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against President Donald Trump, was arrested Monday on charges he tried to extort millions of dollars from Nike and embezzled a client's money to pay his own expenses.

High court won't referee dispute over Michael Jordan images

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court said Monday it won't step in to referee a copyright dispute between Nike and a photographer who took a well-known image of basketball great Michael Jordan. That means lower court rulings for the athletic apparel maker will stand.

TRANSPORTATION

US setting up expert panel to review FAA, Boeing

NEW YORK (AP) — The Transportation Department says it's creating a special panel of experts to review Federal Aviation Administration procedures for approving new planes including the Boeing jet involved in two deadly crashes.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stock indexes end an indecisive day mixed

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks ended an indecisive day of trading more or less where they started as traders try to make sense of newly pessimistic views on the economy.

Slower manufacturing likely drag on small business optimism

NEW YORK (AP) — The growing evidence of a slowdown in manufacturing is likely contributing to the dip in small business optimism that began early in the year.

UK's May: Parliament support too low for 3rd Brexit vote

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Theresa May conceded Monday that Parliament would defeat her twice-rejected Brexit divorce deal again if she put it to a new vote, but said she still hopes to change lawmakers' minds and get the agreement approved.

Chinese leader visits France, giant Airbus deal announced

PARIS (AP) — Chinese President Xi Jinping was greeted with full honors Monday during a state visit to France where he attended the signings of multibillion-dollar deals, including a major sale of 300 aircraft from European plane maker Airbus to China.

Survey: Business economists see slowdown in growth this year

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's business economists foresee a sharp slowdown in U.S. economic growth over the next two years, in sharp contrast to the Trump administration's predictions that growth will accelerate this year and next.

UK leader meets Cabinet as she fights to stay in power

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Theresa May was under intense pressure Monday to resign as the price of breaking the country's Brexit impasse and winning support for her unloved EU divorce deal.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Dems demand full Mueller report; Trump says OK with him

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Monday the release of special counsel Robert Mueller's full report "wouldn't bother me at all" as congressional Democrats clamored for the Justice Department to release the entire document and not just the summary from Attorney General William Barr.

Russia savors Mueller's report but expects tensions to stay

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia savored an "I told you so" moment Monday after special counsel Robert Mueller found no collusion between President Donald Trump's campaign and Moscow. Government officials also dismissed the extensive evidence uncovered by Mueller of Russian cyber-meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Justices reject foreign company appeal over Mueller subpoena

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is rejecting an appeal from a company owned by an unidentified foreign government that has refused to turn over information demanded by special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

Mueller finds no Trump collusion, leaves obstruction open

WASHINGTON (AP) — Special counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence President Donald Trump's campaign "conspired or coordinated" with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election but reached no conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice. That brought a hearty claim of vindication from Trump but set the stage for new rounds of political and legal fighting.

Trump budget would nix ban on dumping sediment in Lake Erie

CLEVELAND (AP) — President Donald Trump's new budget proposal is seeking to end Ohio's ban on dumping dredged material from Cleveland into Lake Erie.


FRIDAY, MARCH 22
STATE GOVERNMENT

Tennessee House advances gym tax repeal bill

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers aren't breaking a sweat over a proposal designed to repeal a $10 million amusement tax on gym memberships.

Bill to provide more scrutiny on public records exemptions

NASHVILLE (AP) — Proposals seeking to create more exemptions to Tennessee's public records law would face more scrutiny under legislation advancing in the statehouse.

Tennessee House passes contentious anti-discrimination bill

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's GOP-dominated House on Thursday approved an anti-discrimination business bill that some critics say is dangerous for LGBTQ people.

Bill to nix 1 court death penalty review goes to Lee

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Lee appears ready to sign into law a measure that could speed up the implementation of a death sentence.

REGION

Unprecedented spring flooding possible, US forecasters say

The stage is set for unprecedented major flooding this spring for most of the nation, U.S. weather officials said Thursday.

Tennessee Valley Authority plans to increase solar power

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — The nation's largest public utility plans to rely more on solar power in the future, according to proposals in a draft long-range power plan.

NASHVILLE AREA

Man accused of dragging Tennessee officer with ATV arrested

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — U.S. Marshals have arrested a man suspected of driving an off-road vehicle that dragged a police officer when a group swarmed a downtown street in Tennessee's capital.

MIDSTATE

Midstate mayor: Police chief falsified gun training records

PORTLAND (AP) — The mayor of Portland, Tennessee, says an investigation has determined that the leadership of its police department falsified documents related to firearms training.

VANDERBILT SPORTS

Vandy fires coach Bryce Drew after 9-23 year, winless in SEC

NASHVILLE (AP) — The worst season in the history of Vanderbilt men's basketball has cost coach Bryce Drew his job.

PREDATORS

Crosby, Penguins beat Predators 2-1 in shootout

NASHVILLE (AP) — Late goals have hurt Pittsburgh lately. Sidney Crosby and the Penguins were able to reverse the trend Thursday night.

SPORTS

Big defensive stop allows Maryland to escape Belmont, 79-77

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Maryland's Eric Ayala deflected a pass to set up a steal by Darryl Morsell that stopped Belmont's last-second attempt at an NCAA Tournament upset and the Terrapins escaped with a 79-77 victory Thursday in the East Region.

UT SPORTS

Police: Vols DB George Jr. arrested for punching officer

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Tennessee defensive back Kenneth George Jr. has been arrested for allegedly punching a police officer on the side of the head.

REAL ESTATE

US existing-home sales jumped 11.8 percent in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home sales soared 11.8 percent in February, aided by accelerating wages and falling mortgage rates that are improving affordability.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Trump slams European automakers, threatens US tariffs

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump criticized European auto makers Friday, suggesting he could impose tariffs on imports from companies such as BMW and Mercedes unless they build more plants in the United States.

GM announces 400 jobs, $300M investment for electric

ORION TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Less than a week after a series of critical tweets from the president over an Ohio plant closure, General Motors is announcing plans to add 400 jobs and build a new electric vehicle at a factory north of Detroit.

TRANSPORTATION

Boeing to make safety feature standard on troubled Max jets

Boeing will make standard on its troubled new airliner a safety feature that might have helped the crew of a jet that crashed shortly after takeoff last year in Indonesia, killing everyone on board.

HEALTH CARE

Poll: More Americans say too little spending on health

WASHINGTON (AP) — A growing majority of Americans want greater government spending on health care, and the increase is being driven by both Democrats and Republicans.

TECHNOLOGY

Top US general to meet with Google on China security worries

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top U.S. military officer will meet with Google representatives next week amid growing concerns that American companies doing business in China are helping its military gain ground on the U.S.

Facebook left millions of passwords readable by employees

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook left millions of user passwords readable by its employees for years, the company said Thursday , an acknowledgement it offered after a security researcher posted about the issue online.

ENVIRONMENT

EU leaders postpone decision on 2050 climate goal

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union leaders on Friday pushed back a decision on the bloc's long-term efforts to fight climate change, with some countries opposing a pledge to end most emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050.

Floods show national security threat posed by climate change

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. (AP) — The Missouri River floodwater surging on to the air base housing the U.S. military's Strategic Command overwhelmed round-the-clock sandbagging by airmen and others. They had to scramble to save sensitive equipment, munitions and dozens of aircraft.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks, bond yields fall sharply as growth worries spread

Wall Street was roiled Friday by new signs that global economic growth is slowing. The jitters triggered a sell-off in stocks and sent bond yields sharply lower, flashing a possible recession warning.

US budget deficit sets February record of $234 billion

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government posted a record budget deficit in February, pushing the overall deficit for the first five months of the budget year up 39 percent from a year ago.

Potential recession signal: A key 'yield curve' has inverted

NEW YORK (AP) — One of the most closely watched predictors of a potential recession just yelped even louder.

Trump to nominate conservative Stephen Moore for Fed board

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Friday that he will nominate Stephen Moore, a conservative economic analyst, to fill a vacancy on the Federal Reserve's seven-member board.

Mother Russia: South Florida sees a boom in 'birth tourism'

MIAMI (AP) — Every year, hundreds of pregnant Russian women travel to the United States to give birth so that their child can acquire all the privileges of American citizenship.

For EU, Brexit has trashed May's 'strong and stable' image

BRUSSELS (AP) — Prime Minister Theresa May used to promise "strong and stable" government. Fellow EU leaders used to believe her.

S&P 500 ends 2-day losing streak as tech leads stocks higher

Technology companies powered a broad rally for U.S. stocks Thursday, snapping the market's two-day losing streak.

Levi Strauss has big day after going public again

NEW YORK (AP) — Levi Strauss & Co., which gave America its first pair of blue jeans, is public for the second time.

Trump, corporate leaders discuss economic, business issues

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is discussing economic and business issues with some of America's top corporate titans.

Export slump deepens for American whiskey producers

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — American whiskey producers are suffering a worsening hangover from the Trump administration's trade disputes.

Grudgingly, Europe says Brexit delay is still possible

BRUSSELS (AP) — Worn down by three years of indecision in London, European Union leaders on Thursday were grudgingly leaning toward giving the U.K. a bit more time to ease itself out of the bloc, but they warned that if Britain's Parliament spurns the offer, a chaotic exit loomed in just over a week.

Consumers should soon see benefit of Fed's patience on rates

NEW YORK (AP) — So much for those worries about rising interest rates. Just a few months ago, rising rates were bearing down on everyone from home buyers to stock investors after the Federal Reserve put through seven quarter-point increases in 2017 and 2018.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Mueller concludes Russia-Trump probe; no new indictments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Special counsel Robert Mueller on Friday turned over his long-awaited final report on the contentious Russia investigation that has cast a dark shadow over Donald Trump's presidency, entangled Trump's family and resulted in criminal charges against some of the president's closest associates.

Now what? Mueller ends the Russia investigation

WASHINGTON (AP) — Now what? Special counsel Robert Mueller has concluded his Trump-Russia investigation and on Friday delivered his final report to Attorney General William Barr.

Beyond Mueller report, Trump faces flurry of legal perils

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump portrayed Robert Mueller as the bane of his existence, but even with the special counsel's Russia investigation wrapped up, he may still have to contend with state and federal investigators in New York.

Trump reversing new sanctions on North Korea

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he is reversing his administration's decision to slap new sanctions on North Korea, ordering them withdrawn.

GOP senator proposes modest deficit curbs in new budget

WASHINGTON (AP) — A senior Senate Republican Friday unveiled a five-year budget plan that would modestly curb budget deficits that would otherwise soon breach $1 trillion, while rejecting President Donald Trump's gimmick of using war funding to sustain big increases for the Pentagon.

Treasury grants further relief on IRS withholding penalties

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department announced Friday that it is expanding again the relief it grants taxpayers who had too little in income taxes withheld from their paychecks in the first year of a sweeping tax overhaul.

Pompeo says Trump is like biblical queen who saved Jews

JERUSALEM (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says it's "possible" that President Donald Trump is like Queen Esther, who saved Jews in the Old Testament.

Venezuela is key topic between Trump and Caribbean leaders

PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The political and economic crisis in Venezuela tops the agenda of President Donald Trump's meeting Friday with leaders from the Caribbean, a region that has been far from united in joining the U.S. call for the ouster of President Nicolas Maduro.

Italy, China deepen ties under wary gaze of US, EU

MILAN (AP) — Italy's head of state told visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday that China's new "Silk Road" linking Europe and Asia must be a "two-way street," addressing concerns among Western allies that the colossal infrastructure project is meant merely to amplify Beijing's global influence.

Trump blames Fed for holding back economic growth in 2018

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says the economy would have grown much faster last year if the Federal Reserve had not been tightening credit last year.

CFPB's Kraninger reverses Mulvaney changes to advisory board

NEW YORK (AP) — The new head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is reversing yet another policy set by her predecessor by giving more sway to a group of committees that advise the financial watchdog.

Trump to order colleges to back free speech or lose funding

President Donald Trump will sign an executive order on Thursday requiring U.S. colleges to certify that they protect free speech on their campuses or risk losing federal research funding, White House officials said.

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