Wednesday, November 20, 2013

ILLINOIS COMMUNITIES WORKING ON RECOVERY
People in the hard-hit town of Washington, Illinois are being allowed to search the rubble for their possessions today, as the recovery from this weekend's rain and tornadoes continues. They're having to work fast, since more rain is expected today. 

HEALTHCARE SITE BUILDER SAYS IT'S STILL NOT READY
The man in charge of building the online systems for the Obama administration's healthcare reform law says big pieces of that infrastructure are still unfinished.  Testifying before a House committee, Medicare deputy chief information officer Henry Chao [[ chow ]] said that somewhere between 30 and 70 percent of the I-T systems needed for the Affordable Care Act are still unfinished.  

INITIAL APPROVAL GIVEN TO SOUNDS BALLPARK
After a heated discussion last night, about whether constituents had enough time to look over the proposal, Metro Council decided to give initial approval for a new Nashville Sounds ballpark at Sulphur Dell.  The council will discuss the ballpark project again at its December 3rd meeting.

ILLEGAL TO START YOUR CAR AND LEAVE IT TO WARM IT UP
If you're thinking of starting your car to let it warm up while you go back inside, remember it's illegal in the state of Tennessee to leave a running car unattended. Violating the law will not cost you any points on your license, but is punishable by a fine... of about 70 bucks. And, if your car is stolen, YOU are responsible for the damage caused with it. 

ONLINE SHOPPING MOST POPULAR HOLIDAY SHOPPING METHOD
For the first time, online shopping is more popular than in store shopping. The annual survey from Deloitte links the change to  the growing popularity of smartphones.  61 percent of holiday shoppers now have one, and most who do say they'll use their smartphone to help them find store locations and contact stores to make sure what they want is still available.

MTSU STUDENT ROBBED AND KIDNAPPED
A Middle Tennessee State University student says he was kidnapped and robbed this weekend at the College Grove Apartments by two armed men. He says once they realized his wallet was empty they forced him to drive to an ATM and withdraw cash for them, then forced him to drive to his apartment and stole his iPhone. They got away.

WOMAN FOUND SLEEPING IN WALMART AISLE
Customers found a woman sleeping, sitting up, in an aisle at the Walmart in Murfreesboro Monday morning. They woke her up, determined she was okay, and arrested her. 33 year old Summer Pate is charged with-- among other things-- public intoxication. She had drugs in her purse, including Valium, morphine and Xanex. 

TN LAW LETS YOU USE SMARTPHONE OR TABLET TO SHOW PROOF OF INSURANCE
A new law that many Tennessee drivers don't know about lets you use your electronic device to show proof of insurance if you're pulled over. Some people forget to replace their insurance cards in the glove box, but if you have your ECARD saved in your documents on your phone, knowing how to get to that quickly could save you from a ticket and a court date.

TECHNOLOGY THAT'LL CHANGE YOUR MOVIE WATCHING IN 2014
There are more changes coming in the way we watch movies, including Digital Kiosks. Think Redbox, but instead of taking home a CD, you download movies in seconds, to a USB flash drive, or, wirelessly, to your computer. They're already starting in some areas, like airports, where people want to download a movie to watch on the plane, and the rest of us should see that next year. 
And to compete with the comfort and convenience of watching movies at home, theaters are working on more things to lure us in, like 4D Seats - that make you feel like you're in the movie - and 3D Sound.

GOOGLE SPYING ON YOU THROUGH PHONES, TABLETS
It's not just the government, and it's not just that some people are paranoid, you really are being spied on. Google has -- without admitting guilt -- agreed to settle with 37 states and Washington D.C. and pay 17 million dollars over allegations it bypassed security settings and implanted cookies in iPhones and iPads without customers' knowledge or permission. Cookies are small files that track your user activity online. So the fine for doing it is 17 million. Google is set to earn 47 billion dollars this year.

WORLD LEADERS MEET TO DISCUSS SITUATION IN IRAN
World leaders will be trying again today to get a preliminary deal to stop or at least slow Iran's nuclear program when talks resume today in Geneva, Switzerland.  Western powers suspect Iran is enriching uranium with the intent of developing nuclear weapons.  Iran denies the charge.

NASHVILLE NAMED ONE OF THIS YEAR'S TOP OFF-PEAK WINTER DESTINATIONS
Music City has been listed as one of this year's top off-peak winter destinations. The article lists five cities that tend to be less expensive to travel to during the winter, saving travelers money in the colder weather. Nashville made the list alongside Russia, Rome, the United Kingdom and Kyoto. Referring to the city as "hip" and "vibrant," the article notes Nashville has a packed schedule of music events year-round, providing tons of entertainment without having a distinct low season in the winter. Flights to the city tend to be a little less expensive during winter as well. Travelling from the East Coast to Nashville is roughly $100 cheaper than in the summer, a high season. The article also highlights the New Year's Eve celebration held downtown on Lower Broadway. Hailing the event as "budget-friendly" but a "decidedly big ticket" celebration, the article explains the free event boasts live music from country greats such as Hank Williams Jr. and is capped off by the celebratory Music Note Drop at Midnight.

FREE BUS RIDES ON BLACK FRIDAY
Black Friday traffic is always a nightmare, so Metro Transit has come up with a plan. They'll let you ride the bus free on Black Friday. That way you can get to stores, malls and back without having to do the vulture circle-thing in parking lots, looking for a parking space.

GREEN HILLS GROUP SUES OVER PLANNED TOWER
A neighborhood group is trying to stop the construction of a 22-story tower in the middle of Green Hills.  It's part of a development project planned for Hillsboro Pike and Richard Jones Road that includes apartments, and office and retail space.  The Green Hills Neighborhood Association says the project's site plan violates zoning laws and final approval was given by the planning department's staff, not the commission.

FORMER PRESIDENT CONCERNED ABOUT GIRLS AND WOMEN IN AFGHANISTAN
Former President George W. Bush is concerned about the security pact negotiations between Afghanistan and the United States that would allow American soldiers to remain in the country after 2014.  On Tuesday's "Tonight Show With Jay Leno," the president said women and young girls will suffer if the U.S. leaves Afghanistan.  

CELLPHONE CARRIERS SAY NO TO ANTI-THEFT FEATURE PRICE
A number of American cellphone carriers are rejecting a new smartphone anti-theft feature being introduced by Samsung, apparently due to its fee.  "New York Times" blogger Brian Chen says companies such as Verizon, Sprint and AT&T are afraid the yearly fee of around 30 dollars will reduce enrollment for insurance plans provided by the carriers.

KELLY CLARKSON CONFIRMS PREGNANCY
Kelly Clarkson  has announced she's going to have a baby, and calls it the Best early Christmas present ever. She married Brandon Blackstock October 20th here in Tennessee. Blackstock is Blake Shelton's manager and the stepson of Reba McEntire.  He has two children, a 12 year old boy and 8 year old girl from a previous marriage.

TIM AND FAITH SAY THE DIVORCE RUMORS ARE FALSE
Tim and Faith say, once again, the rumors are not true. They're not headed toward a divorce. Just to set the record straight. Faith made the comment last week in a People Magazine interview. 
 

CAPITOL CHRISTMAS TREE MAKES STOP IN NASHVILLE ON WED.
The 2013 Capitol Christmas Tree is scheduled to make a stop at CoolSprings Galleria this afternoon, (Wednesday, November 20th from 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.) in the Macy's parking lot. "The People's Tree" is making its way from Colville National Forest in Northeast Washington State, where it was harvested on November 1st, to the West Front Lawn of the United States Capitol, where House Speaker John Boehner will oversee its lighting in a special ceremony in early December. The 88-foot Engelman spruce is decorated by kids from Washington, with the theme: "Sharing Washington's Good Nature." 

JIM BRICKMAN BIRTHDAY TODAY (WED)
Pianist/composer/nice guy Jim Brickman turns 52 today.
 
SAMSUNG SELLS 800 THOUSAND SMARTWATCHES IN TWO MONTHS
Even if you're not a big fan of the concept, Samsung says they've sold 800,000 Galaxy Gear Smartwatches in two months.