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December 19

Tennessee is getting a  new Education Commissioner.  Governor Haslam appointing Dr. Candice McQueen to that post.  She was an elementary and middle school teacher before becoming Dean of Lipscomb University’s College of Education.  McQueen starts her new job on January 20th and will dive right in to issues like reforming or repealing Common Core and how student test scores effect teacher evaluations.

We’re living longer, and no one can complain about that.  Worldwide the result is that we’re living about 6 years longer than we were 25 years ago.  In the U.S. it was a 3 year age gain.

It’s the last weekend before Christmas and we want to invite you to join us on Sunday for our Fish Christmas Concert with Francesca Battistelli.  Takes place at Cornerstone Church in Madison.

Been a busy week at Post Offices and the service says that tomorrow is the deadline to send packages to get them to their destination in time for Christmas. 

If you are wrapping up the Christmas shopping over the weekend, remember to pick up a 25 dollar gift card from a big retail store.  Your gift will provide coats, gloves, shoes and toys for the kids at Sophia’s Heart Home in East Nashville. 

This is also the final weekend for the Nashville Ballets “The Nutcracker”.  Performances run through Sunday at TPAC’s Jackson Hall.

We also want you to bring the family out Sunday afternoon for The Christmas Experience at Lane Agri Park in Murfreesboro.  It’s a free live drama and musical of the nativity.  The event runs from 3 till 7.

December 18

Fourteen people, including the two co-founders of a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy responsible for the 2012 outbreak of fungal meningitis were arrested on Wednesday.  Over 700 people became ill from the outbreak that resulted from the use of tainted steroids.  Tennessee one of the hardest hit states.

Now that the Metro Council has approved the tax incentives, Bridgestone will move ahead with plans for their 200 million dollar headquarters downtown.  The 56 million dollars worth of incentives will keep over a thousand workers here and bring in another 600 from other states.

The college bowl season kicks off on Saturday but we’re looking ahead to the Music City Bowl on the 30th.  The game, which gives us a nice economic boost, has LSU going up against Notre Dame.  Fifty-five thousand tickets have already been sold for the matchup at LP Field.

Central Nashville is big when it comes to apartments.  We are the 4th busiest apartment market in the country.  A report from Property Management Insider found there has been a 48% apartment expansion rate in the last two years and over 2700 units were under construction in the third quarter.

American Contractor Alan Gross in back in America after spending five years in a Cuban prison.  He had been accused of spying.  He landed in Maryland on Wednesday and shortly after that the President announced the U.S. would take steps to normalize relations with Cuba including easing some travel and trade restrictions.

Electric cars are only as good as where their electricity comes from.  If they are powered up from renewable sources like wind and solar, that’s a good sign.  An electric car that gets its juice from coal is four times worse for the environment than a gas powered vehicle.

December 17

Jeb Bush says “I’ll be in touch”.  That was the end of a statement from the former Florida Governor yesterday who says he is exploring the possibility of running for President.  The first of what will probably be a long list.  Bush plans to launch a political action committee next month.  

Teens are staying away from tobacco, alcohol and painkillers.  Though a number of prevention efforts over the last five years the number of teen smokers has been cut in half.

Christmas time and the stories of kindness flow more than any other time of the year.  A non-profit paid off the lay aways for customers at a K-Mart on Donelson Pike.  Last week there was the 20 thousand dollars donated to do the same at a Toys R Us, and earlier this week a man who said you can just call me Santa B gave 50 thousand to pay off all the lay away accounts for Walmart customers in Pennsylvania.  It’s the most wonderful time of the year in more ways than one.

Retailers are feeling optimistic that there will not be a repeat of last year’s gifts not getting to where they needed to be in time for Christmas.  Amazon has extended their free shipping deadline to the 19th, a day later than last year.

Probably never thought mumps would be in the news again.  The CDC says over a thousand have been diagnosed with mumps this year.  More recently 5 different NHL teams reported some players had come down with them.

Some good news.  A majority of Americans say they don’t have a problem with religious displays on public property during the holidays.  The Pew Research Center found that more than 70% think Christian symbols should be allowed on government property.


December 16

More employers are having Christmas parties this year, but still many of us don’t go.  Only 2 out of 5 say they will attend the company bonding event that employers hope will show appreciation for all your hard work.  Ninety six per cent of workers would rather get a bonus than a party.

The cost of jet fuel is down, so why are why are tickets still so high?  That is a question that New York Senator Chuck Schumer wants an answer to.  He wants the justice department to look into why we’re paying 10 per cent more for a ticket than five years ago.

We want to know more about culture.  Merriam-Webster says that was the most looked up word in 2014 through their on-line dictionary.  Nostalgia, insidious and legacy were also checked out a lot. And Sonic selling boneless chicken wings had many of us looking up je ne sais quoi.

A sign that the economy is getting stronger is with the latest US manufacturing numbers.  They rose twice as much in November than what was predicted.  Up 1.1% and that was its largest increase in 9 months.

The Predators are back at it tonight at Bridgestone against the Boston Bruins.  The Titans will try to improve things in Jacksonville Thursday night.  The team closes out the season at LP Field on the 28th when the Colts come to Nashville.

What do you do during your lunch hour?    A 17 year old high school boy in Queens has been trading stocks and it worked out well for him.  He’s now worth 72 million dollars and he rewarded himself with a new BMW, which he can drive once he gets a drivers license.  He also has a really nice Manhattan Apartment, but his parents won’t let him move out yet.

December 15

Might have to wait a bit longer at the post office today.  It’s traditionally the busiest day for them.  Between Thanksgiving and New Years Eve some 15 ½ billion cards, letters and packages will be mailed.  Break time at UPS processing centers will be a biggie.  The company says they will move 584 million packages today.

Two state lawmakers are creating a bill that would end racial profiling by law enforcement in Tennessee.  Republican Senator Brian Kelsey and Democratic Rep John Deberry are working on that one.  The legislators will be back in session on January 13th.

The holiday travel season is kicking in.  If you do have tickets to fly out over the next three weeks expect Nashville International to be crowded.  Best thing you can do is leave twice as early as you normally would.  Getting to the airport 90 minutes to 2 hours before you leave is a good idea.

Over the weekend the Senate passed the just over one trillion dollar spending plan.  Meaning that the Government will avoid a total shutdown between now and September. 

For most of the 90’s the U.S. employed more working women than any other country in the world.  That has changed now.  Family responsibilities the main reason for the drop in women in the workforce but that’s not to say they wouldn’t go back to work. Most say they would return if the job offered flexible hours or allowed them to work from home.

We’ve been through Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the other days tucked in encouraging you to do some Christmas shopping.  This Thursday might be the last of those with “Free Shipping Day”.  More than a thousand retailers will participate with no minimum order requirements and delivery by Christmas Eve is guaranteed.

December 12

More Metro kids will be getting free pre-k beginning next year thanks to a grant from the Federal Government.  Metro schools getting just over 8 million for next year and another 25 million the following three years.

Sunny days and clear nights over the weekend.  That should make it ideal to check out the Geminid Meteor Shower.  Between 60 and 80 per hour and you just may see a few of those if you look south Saturday night into Sunday morning.

Another weekend option is you getting your share of some Christmas cash on Sunday at the Fish Open House Christmas.  Join us at  Puckett Station in Murfreesboro Sunday from two to four with a free Veggie Tales DVD for every family… plus GiGi’s cupcakes… and other fun stuff throughout the afternoon.

Gas prices continue to tumble.    The Wall Street Journal says Tennessee is one of eight states where gas could drop to below two dollars a gallon not long into 2015.  A station in Oklahoma City was one of the first to drop their prices under two bucks.

Christmastime is when 70% of us tip those that don’t always get one.  The garbage collector, baby sitter and UPS and Fedex drivers we’ve come to know over the year.  The mail carrier and many teachers cannot except cash, but probably wouldn’t turn down some cookies.  If you don’t have the extra cash, a nice note is always a good thing.

This is the final weekend for the Springhouse Theatre Company production of “It’s a Wonderful Life”.  Performances of this Christmas favorite run through Sunday.  For show times and tickets just head to www.springhousetheatre.com

December 11

Looks like TennCare will scrap their 38 million dollar computer system.  It was supposed to be up and running over a year ago but delays and design defects held things up.  Some aspects of the system may be salvaged and that decision will come before the end of the year.

Mom, Dad, there is a reason you are shuffling the kids off to games and practices.  Sports are the number one extracurricular activity for kids ages 6 through 17.  Thirty five percent of them participating in a sport at school.

Working for Google is a good gig.  Taking into account their perks, pay and opportunities to advance, “Glassdoor” says it’s the best place in the U.S to work.  Breakfast, lunch and if you are working late, dinner, is always free.  It’s also listed in the UK as the top place to work.

Governor Haslam has a few proposals that would help teachers.  Among them would be modifying teacher evaluations by changing how much student’s test scores are factored in.  The Governor also wants to make communication between teachers and collaboration better.

Suffer with FOMO?  Fear of missing out.  That is what has us constantly checking our phones and emails.  If you google “digital detox”, there are millions who are looking for a way to unplug.  Start now.  The holidays are a good time to disconnect from the electronics and reconnect in a face to face kinda way.

Did you have the ipod Classic?  Maybe you still have it tucked away in the drawer after getting something new.  You may want to revisit it.  Since Apple discontinued it in October they have become hot sellers on Ebay.  Three thousand sold, some for as much as 400 dollars.

 

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