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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A judicial panel has decided to consolidate hundreds of lawsuits against Volkswagen over its emissions cheating scandal in California, a focal point of the carmaker's troubles.

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation gave U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer in San Francisco oversight of more than 450 suits filed against the carmaker nationwide.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A bipartisan public policy group seeking to end the U.S. trade embargo with Cuba has formed a special council in Tennessee to help its cause.

Engage Cuba held a round table discussion with business and community leaders from across the state in Nashville on Monday.

The organization announced the formation of a 15-member Tennessee State Council, representing a wide array of sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, business and the arts.

Catherine Glover is president of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and a council member.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Skilled trades workers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga have given the United Auto Workers Union its first inroads into a foreign auto plant in the American south.

This past week the skilled workers who maintain the plant’s equipment and robots at VW's lone U.S. plant voted to have the UAW negotiate their collective bargaining agreements. The workers approved unionization by a vote of 108-44 over two days of voting that ended Friday.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Metro Nashville officials have decided to stop allowing gun shows at the city's fairgrounds until those who operate the events adopt stricter measures.

According to media reports, the Board of Fair Commissioners voted 3-0 to stop allowing the shows after this weekend.

Before voting, commissioners cited three recent criminal cases in which guns purchased at the fairgrounds were linked to felons.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Thousands of Tennesseans will have to find new doctors or pay higher fees following a decision by the Vanderbilt Medical system to opt out of a BlueCross BlueShield healthcare plan.

WSMV says Vanderbilt University Medical Center and affiliated practitioners are leaving the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Medicare Advantage program.

BlueCross says about 20,000 policy holders, mostly senior citizens, will be affected. A spokesperson for BlueCross tells the station Vanderbilt has simply gotten too expensive.

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