Business

Local unemployment rate continues to go down

The December unemployment rate in St. Joseph County decreased by one-tenth of a percent compared to a month earlier. The monthly labor-market analysis by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget showed St. Joseph County’s 4 percent December unemployment rate was less than November’s 4.1 percent. December’s unemployment rate was 2.9 percent less than the same month one year …

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This may end up in court

Sturgis Township officials said they are prepared to go to court if the owner of an unlicensed salvage yard on White School Road isn’t permanently closed and cleaned. During last month’s meeting, township clerk Mike Bobalik said Southwest Salvage operator Lester Butler’s state license to operate the facility expired in 2013 and was not renewed. According to Bobalik, the township …

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Former grocery property has been sold

The sale of the former Centreville Village Market property to a second entity has been completed, according to Carol Snow-Penn, Centreville Downtown Development Authority representative. The village’s DDA took over the property in January 2013. The former Village Market sold to Centreville Equities for about $85,000. According to Snow-Penn, the DDA has actively managed the property since its acquisition. The …

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Consumers feeling good about the economy

Consumer optimism rose in January to its highest level in the past decade. That’s according to the University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers which monitor consumer attitudes and expectations. U-M economist Richard Curtin, who directs the surveys, says most of the gains were recorded since mid-2014. The surveys found the gains during the past six months were as large among households with …

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Lane closures around sinkhole

Three Rivers officials are advising motorists to use caution around the intersection of South Main and Broadway streets, where a small sinkhole has been detected. Partial lane closures in the area will be in place until a repair has been completed and the area subject to repair is in a condition to handle traffic. Motorists who approach the area should …

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Gas prices are up

After several weeks of gas prices under two-dollars per gallon in Michigan, they’re up above that level. An increase in wholesale gasoline prices is resulting in the price at the pump going as high as $2.19 a gallon in southwest Michigan and $2.39 in Detroit. GasBuddy’s Patrick DeHaan is not expecting prices to fall under the two-dollar mark anytime soon in the …

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Holiday retail sales report

Michigan retailers report that sales during the just-completed holiday season were “positive” and better than last year, even though they did not meet pre-season expectations. A new survey from the Michigan Retailers Association found that a strong December made up for a slow start in November, as retailers posted an average year-to-year sales improvement of 1.1 percent. That was slightly …

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Decrease in state unemployment level

Michigans unemployment in December fell to its lowest level in more than 12 years. The Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget says the jobless rate last month was down by four-tenths of a percentage point to 6.3 percent. That’s the lowest monthly rate for the state since the November 2002 rate of 6.2 percent. The states labor force was …

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Low gas prices good news for St. Joseph CTA

The St. Joseph County Transportation Authority has saved more than $5,000 a month the past two months as the result of low gas prices. CTA director Steve Yorks said the agency’s monthly fuel bills are typically about $25,000. In November it spent about $19,000 on gas, while its December fuel expense was about $18,000. Yorks said neither he nor anybody …

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Gas prices below $2 a gallon; 1st time since ’09

Gasoline just keeps getting cheaper in Michigan, where the average pump price dropped Thursday to $1.97 a gallon — the lowest since March 2009. Prices on New Year’s Day 2015 were down 13 cents in the past seven days, AAA Michigan said. Gas was 42 percent cheaper than it was one year ago, when the average price per gallon was …

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