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Fisk books recruiting gains

With its financial and accreditation issues resolved, Fisk University this year nearly doubled the number of applications it received, thanks in part to moving some recruiters into large cities around the country. Nina Cardona has some more details about the university's quest to double its student body in the next four years and change.

Recruitment Director Anthony Jones says his office changed its approach to target specific states, even certain schools, where Fisk might have the most appeal. They also got more alumni involved in talking to potential students.

Apr 21, 2014 8:37 AM

Lee Co. adds in Alabama

Local construction and repair services stalwart Lee Co. is growing its presence in the Huntsville market. In addition to its commercial facilities work, the 70-year-old company, which is based in Metro Center, is adding various residential services such as plumbing, electrical and appliance repairs.

Apr 21, 2014 7:11 AM

BNA-Eastern Kentucky connection on hold

Nashville International Airport was to have been connected to Pikeville, Ky., starting last Monday. But the Appalachian Air planes haven't started making their flights because the Eastern Kentucky airport hasn't met all the standards laid out by the Federal Aviation Administration. Area officials say they're working hard to obtain certification in the near future.

Apr 21, 2014 6:55 AM

How casual dining can get its groove back

Restaurant industry consultant Nancy Kruse has some good thoughts on how casual-dining brands can better hold their own in a restaurant arena that increasingly prizes fast-casual concepts as well as more authentic and artisanal experiences. Kruse says chains can be forgiven for feeling like they're "being nibbled to death by ducks" but there is a way out.

They have leverageable assets of location and market presence, not to mention strategic competitive advantages in areas like the dinner daypart, bar business and culinary innovation. But while the old chain model prized sameness, the new model rewards a localized, personalized approach. This means that they should all step away from the flatbread and take a look at what they can learn from the upstart competitors. Their new formula can’t look formulaic, and success may require a wrenching but necessary reengineering of the brand to bring it in tune with the zeitgeist.

Apr 21, 2014 6:41 AM

Antitrust questions force LP, Ainsworth to extend deal deadline

The leaders of Louisiana-Pacific and Ainsworth Lumber have agreed to extend to June 2 today's deadline to obtain regulatory approval of their planned $1.1 billion combination. The companies say their extension is the result of "continued discussions" with the Canadian Competition Bureau and the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Either company can add another 45 days to the deal's timeline if needed.

Shares of LP (Ticker: LPX) are down about 1 percent this afternoon to $15.25. Investors appear to be expecting not-so-good news about the Ainsworth acquisition and have pushed the stock down nearly 20 percent since the beginning of March.

Apr 18, 2014 1:35 PM

Employment litigation reforms on their way to Haslam

Amid their late-session surge in activity, state lawmakers this week passed a bill reforming several aspects of workplace-related litigation. Among other things, the changes cap compensatory damages that can be awarded — aligning state statutes with their federal counterparts — and streamlines the path for whistleblower claims. Baker Donelson attorneys Ben Bodzy and Larry Eastwood, who drafted most of the legislation, have a summary here.

Under the new legislation, an employee may only proceed under the statutory claim, which requires the employee to prove that the alleged whistleblowing was the "sole cause" of the termination.  This effectuates the legislature's "sole cause" standard already incorporated into the TPPA, and it prevents employees from invoking the common law's lower causation standard.  The effect of this legislation will be to facilitate the defense of questionable whistleblower claims.

SEE ALSO: The bill summary from The General Assembly's website

Apr 18, 2014 12:27 PM

Chem-Dry inks India deal

Chem-Dry executives have signed a master franchise agreement with an Indian entrepreneur based in the southeastern city of Chennai as it looks to gain a foothold in the world's second-most populous country. The company also is working to hook up with regional franchisees across the country.

Apr 18, 2014 11:11 AM

Five area Michaels stores affected by data breach

Arts and crafts retailer Michaels said Thursday that about 3 million customer credit cards have been affected by breaches of some of its payment processing systems that started last May. To see the five Nashville-area stores affected, go to page 37 of this document.

Apr 18, 2014 9:57 AM

Noranda to get summer answer on push to cut Missouri power costs

Noranda Aluminum's request to lower the electricity prices it pays at its massive Southeast Missouri plant will "move forward on an expedited schedule," writes American Metal Market. The Missouri Public Service Commission will start its hearing June 23 and is expected to issue a ruling by the end of July.

SEE ALSO: Noranda looks to lower Missouri electric rates

Apr 18, 2014 8:42 AM

Cincy steakhouse owner plans Nashville spot

Cincinnati-based restaurant entrepreneur Jeff Ruby is scouting the central Nashville area for a spot to open a high-end steakhouse. Matt Rogers at Eater Nashville has plenty more info here, including the three neighborhoods being considered. No big prizes for guessing what they are...

Apr 18, 2014 7:12 AM