published Sunday, November 25th, 2012

Business Briefcase: Esquire names Lodge top product

Esquire names Lodge top product

A hibachi manufactured by South Pittsburg, Tenn.-based Lodge Manufacturing Co. has made Esquire magazine's list of Great American Things.

The magazine said the hibachi is made of quarter-inch-thick cast iron. The Lodge unit boasts a handy hopper for adding fresh coals and a sliding vent for heat control.

The cost is $145, the magazine said.


Wind association salutes TVA

The American Wind Energy Association named the Tennessee Valley Authority as its "Utility of the Year" for bringing wind-generated electricity to customers in its 7-state region.

TVA has signed nine contracts with eight wind farms since 2008, bringing in wind power from as far as Illinois, Kansas and Iowa. It also installed its own utility-scale wind turbines on Buffalo Mountain near Oak Ridge, the first in the Southeast. TVA is purchasing 1,340 megawatts of wind-generated power that is operating today and expects another 200 megawatts by the end of the year.


Mortgage pact gives relief to state

The $25 billion National Mortgage Settlement with major lenders should provide an estimated $146 million in relief to Tennessee homeowners, according to the state's attorney general.

A progress report issued last week said Tennessee homeowners have already received over $85 million in relief from March through September from five major banks and lenders participating in the settlement. The relief comes in the form of loan modifications, refinances and facilitated short sales.

The servicers participating in the National Mortgage Settlement announced in February are Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, Citi, GMAC/Ally Financial and Wells Fargo.

"This progress report shows that these five servicers are continuing to provide assistance to Tennessee homeowners, but there is still more work to do," Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper said.

Struggling homeowners can call the state's mortgage assistance hotline toll-free at 855-876-7283 (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. CST) and speak to a representative who can direct them to a free foreclosure prevention counselor and explain various housing assistance programs.


HealthSouth exec speaks in Sewanee

Aaron Beam, founder and former chief financial officer of HealthSouth, will give an insider's perspective on the collapse of HealthSouth and the jailing for former CEO Richard Scrushy during a Nov. 28 lecture at the University of the South.

A panel discussion is planned at the Sewanee campus at 4:30 p.m. CST Wednesday in Gailor Auditorium. Following his presentation, Beam will participate in a panel discussion with a theologian, a philosopher and the attorney who won a $2.9 billion civil judgment against Scrushy.

The participating panelists are the Rev. Dr. Julia Gatta, professor of pastoral theology at Sewanee's School of Theology, on "Forgiveness and Redemption;" Andrew Moser, visiting assistant professor of philosophy, on "Business Ethics;" and John Q. Somerville, attorney at law in Birmingham, Ala., on "Legal Damages and Collections."

HealthSouth was one of the nation's three largest health care companies until a 2003 accounting scandal nearly drove the company into bankruptcy and sent several HealthSouth executives to prison.

-- Compiled by Dave Flessner and Mike Pare

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