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VOL. 43 | NO. 47 | Friday, November 22, 2019

‘He’s a nice guy if you tell him the truth’

Phil Williams: Nashville’s most feared journalist

Phil Williams is often described as the most feared man in local journalism. The longtime chief investigative reporter for WTVF-NewsChannel 5 has spent the last three decades in Nashville bringing down corrupt politicians, outing incompetents in public office – along with the shady machinations that put them in power in the first place – and exposing all manner of wrongdoing.

Childhood episode inspires new TMA president

One snowy Christmas Eve in New York, when Elise Denneny was a little girl, her mother pulled her father aside to share the bad news that their next-door neighbor’s wife had just died from breast cancer and that the widower could use some company.

JOE ROGERS: MY TAKE

Senate could use more statesmen like Howard Baker

Sen. Howard Baker was a little late that day for his talk on the Ole Miss campus, but we in the audience were a forgiving lot. We knew he had some pretty important business going on back in Washington. He explained the delay when he came in.

Local Weather
Currently
Nashville, TN
54.0°F
Light Rain Fog/Mist
Wind: Southeast at 4.6 mph
Humidity: 90%

EVENTS

Franktown Festival of Lights. Enjoy Williamson County’s only drive-thru light spectacular this holiday season. Attendees can enjoy the light displays from the comfort of their own car. Visit Santa’s Village, petting zoo, camel rides and more. Tickets $25 per car. Discount for Veterans, Active Duty Military and First Responders. Williamson County Ag Center, 4215 Long Lane, Franklin. Open 6-10 p.m. nightly through Dec. 28. Information

more events »

RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK

Tennessee disclosure form remains a work in progress

The Tennessee Residential Property Disclosure was designed as a safety net for homebuyers and a lawsuit deflector for sellers. Several years and many versions and revisions later, it is almost both of these.

REAL ESTATE

Top Middle Tennessee commercial sales for October 2019

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

US mortgage rates fell this week, boosting housing market

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. mortgage rates turned down this week, lowering the cost of purchasing a home and supporting the housing market.

TENNESSEE TITANS

Titans face important decisions on free agents

The Tennessee Titans are still harboring playoff aspirations with six games remaining.

Keys for Titans: Busy Henry, more disciplined Lewan

The Titans return after a week off to once again face a must-win situation with Jacksonville coming to town. The Titans have been notorious in recent years for following a big win, like the one before the bye against Kansas City, by laying a colossal egg in their next game.

Tennessee should win against Jacksonville, but must avoid trap

Titans 23, Jaguars 20: The Titans have had a bad habit of blowing games like this one against bad teams, especially when coming off a big win in their last previous outing. Maybe the bye week will help level the emotions. Whatever the case, the Titans should – and the emphasis here is on should – win this game at home. Whether they do is another matter altogether.

UT SPORTS

Barnes pleased with early play of rebuilding Vols

Rick Barnes isn’t one to dole out compliments very easily after games.

NEWSMAKERS

VUMC’s Roden wins Schottenstein Prize

Dan Roden, M.D., senior vice president for personalized medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, has been awarded the 2019 Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Prize in Cardiovascular Sciences by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s Heart and Vascular Center.

BRIEFS

Butler Snow makes Forbes most-trusted list

Forbes Magazine has named Butler Snow one of America’s Top Trusted Corporate Law Firms of 2019. The firm also was named “most recommended for” labor and employment law.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

Audi Q7 vs. Lincoln Aviator: Big, comfortable, expensive

Lincoln has reintroduced its Aviator SUV for 2020. This new three-row luxury SUV is spacious, comfortable and at the forefront of the brand’s efforts to introduce more attractive and desirable vehicles.

PERSONAL FINANCE

5 financial tasks you should tackle by the end of the year

A task without a deadline is just wishful thinking. Sometimes, you can get away with procrastinating. If you never get around to alphabetizing your spices, no one’s life will change.

CAREER CORNER

Dropping your baggage, keep open mind on applicants

Have you ever had a date with someone who had recently been through a bad breakup? There’s a good chance they were nervous about the possibility of going through the same thing again. You can practically see the fear in their eyes.

MUSIC INDUSTRY

Country star Sam Hunt arrested for DUI in Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) — Country singer Sam Hunt was arrested for driving under the influence and violation of the open container law after police in Nashville stopped him for driving the wrong way down a one-way road.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Tennessee drafts rules, hires director for sports betting

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee is releasing proposed rules and has hired a director for its online-only sports betting program. But there's still no indication of when people can start placing bets.

In reversal, Tennessee aims to keep vouchers not taxable

NASHVILLE (AP) — Reversing course, Tennessee's Department of Education says it aims to ensure its school vouchers won't be taxable.

HEALTH CARE

Glitch in Medicare drug plan finder could cost consumers

WASHINGTON (AP) — A glitch in Medicare's revamped prescription plan finder can steer unwitting seniors to coverage that costs much more than they need to pay, according to people who help with sign-ups as well as program experts.

Vape debate: Are e-cigarettes wiping out teen smoking?

WASHINGTON (AP) — In almost any other year it would be hailed as a public health victory: The smoking rate among U.S. high schoolers took its biggest hit ever this year, federal figures show, falling to a new low.

REAL ESTATE

US home sales rose 1.9% last month, lifted by lower rates

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans took advantage of lower mortgage rates and purchased more homes in October, though sales were held back by a shortage of available properties.

AUTO INDUSTRY

How GM ended up suing its crosstown rival

DETROIT (AP) — Automakers sue each other on occasion, but no one in Detroit can remember one accusing another of bribing union officials to get an unfair labor cost advantage.

Fiat Chrysler chairman 'not worried' by General Motors lawsuit

MILAN (AP) — The chairman of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is indicating that the merger with French carmaker PSA Peugeot will not be affected by a General Motors lawsuit.

China bats away rumors, says trade talks with US continue

BEIJING (AP) — China is working to resolve conflicts with Washington over trade, a Commerce Ministry official said Thursday, dismissing speculation the talks might be in trouble as inaccurate "rumors."

COURTS

House urges court to lift hold on subpoena for Trump records

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats and Manhattan's top prosecutor told the Supreme Court Thursday that President Donald Trump's arguments to shield his tax returns and financial records are weak, and not deserving of the justices' intervention.

California justices reject law requiring Trump tax returns

LOS ANGELES (AP) — President Donald Trump does not have to disclose his tax returns to appear as a candidate on California's primary ballot next spring, a unanimous state Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

Judge temporarily stops 1st federal executions since 2003

WASHINGTON (AP) — A judge has temporarily halted the first federal executions in 16 years, saying death row inmates scheduled to be executed are likely to win their legal challenge.

Lawsuit alleges McDonald's puts employees in physical danger

CHICAGO (AP) — A group of employees from 13 McDonald's restaurants in Chicago filed a lawsuit Thursday alleging that the company's drive for profits puts workers at "daily risk" of physical attack by dangerous customers.

ENVIRONMENT

US agency to consider expanded drilling in Alaska reserve

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Trump administration will consider a new management plan and expanded oil drilling for the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, an Indiana-size area that former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar characterized as an "iconic place on our Earth."

EPA prosecutions of polluters approach quarter-century lows

WASHINGTON (AP) — Justice Department figures show criminal prosecution and convictions of polluters have fallen to quarter-century lows under the Trump administration's Environmental Protection Agency.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks close with modest losses amid US-China trade anxiety

Stocks closed modestly lower on Wall Street Thursday after a mostly listless day of trading handed the market its third straight drop.

Macy's cuts outlook for the year with holidays around corner

NEW YORK (AP) — Macy's weak third-quarter earnings report threw coal on the holiday season and offered the latest sign of challenges for traditional clothing retailers operating at malls.

Legal hemp, CBD stir more farmers to grow unfamiliar crop

CLAYTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Dave Crabill and two business partners started small for their first foray into farming hemp, growing two strains of the now-legal cousin of marijuana on an acre along a dirt road outside the industrial city of Flint.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Aide says ambassador on 'political errand' for Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — In riveting testimony, a former national security official declared Thursday that a U.S. ambassador carried out a controversial "domestic political errand" for Donald Trump on Ukraine, an allegation undercutting a main line of the president's defense in the impeachment inquiry.

Pelosi: Trump undermined national security

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says there is clear evidence that President Donald Trump has used his office for his personal gain. She says doing that "undermined the national security of the United States."

Impeachment hearing takeaways: A 'domestic political errand'

WASHINGTON (AP) — The final testimony of an extraordinary week of impeachment hearings came from a former White House national security adviser who wrote the book on Vladimir Putin — literally — and a political counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine who overheard a pivotal conversation between President Donald Trump and European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland.

AP FACT CHECK: Trump, GOP claims on Ukraine corruption

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and his GOP allies pressed a defense Thursday that he acted appropriately in withholding military aid to Ukraine out of concern over the country's corruption and claimed the House impeachment hearings amounted to a rogue process.

Senate passes stopgap spending bill, averting shutdown

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-held Senate passed a temporary government-wide spending bill that would keep federal agencies up and running through Dec. 20 and avert a government shutdown after midnight Thursday.

Trump says Navy won't remove Gallagher's SEAL's designation

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump insisted Thursday that the Navy "will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher's Trident Pin," inserting himself into an ongoing legal review of the sailor's ability to hold onto the pin that designates him a SEAL.

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