Morning Links: 15 January 2007

UPDATED 11:20 a.m. with Diane Neighbors' response to conflict-of-interest accusation --
Conflict claims against At-Large Council member, Cookeville sucks up post-Katrina remnants of vacuum maker Oreck, Franklin firm banking on healthcare, and more...

Local blogs are alight with neighborhood group's claims that At-Large Councilperson (and Vice-Mayoral candidate) Diane Neighbors has conflict of interest in current Council matter

UPDATE, 11:20 a.m.:
Diane Neighbors tells "The car wash bill has been around since last August.  Former Council Lady McClendon introduced the bill prior to her election as judge. Previously she had introduced and the council passed legislation that placed restrictions on car lots and car repair establishments. She stated that it was never her intention to include car washes and introduced the current legislation to correct that. She asked that I handle the bill when she departed. Since that time others have signed on as sponsors.
"There have been conversations concerning a deferral. It was deferred at the November public hearing in order for the Planning Commission to consider the legislation.  The Planning Commission recommended approval of the car wash bill... with conditions.
"Since the entire council originally passed the legislation that included car washes, the entire council needs to vote the current legislation up or down."

NYT reports that home appliance maker Oreck will shift the rest of its manufacturing to new Cookeville plant, leaving the Katrina-soaked town of Long Beach, Miss. high and dry; locals there are bitter at the departure of what was thought to be a mainstay of the recovery effort

Franklin-based firm wants to be the hub for healthcare transactions via financial institutions rather than docs, seeks to shift paradigm in that direction

Miami Herald publishes an evocative remembrance of George V. Crawford Sr., father and grandfather of attorneys at Nashville's Gullett Sanford law firm, who passed away earlier this month at 95