In Brief

America First Credit Union will open branch in Henderson

America First Credit Union of Riverdale, Utah., said it will open a branch at 370 N. Stephanie St. in Henderson on Monday . It will be the credit union’s sixth location in the area.

America First took over five branches of Community One Federal Credit Union after federal regulators shut down Community One a year ago.

The Utah-based credit union has $5.1 billion in assets around the country and 534,000 members.

LV to remain top station for Southwest, schedules show

Flight schedules running through late winter show that Las Vegas will remain the top station for Southwest Airlines.

As of August 15, Southwest had 224 departures a day from McCarran International Airport, compared to 216 for second-place Chicago Midway. Starting Nov. 1, Southwest will cut its Las Vegas departures to 212 in a typical autumn adjustment, while Chicago will drop to 208. On February 2, the numbers will change again to 213 and 201.

Southwest is by far the largest carrier at McCarran, accounting for about 40 percent of the passengers, more than triple that of second-place Delta.


Tax payments up in 2010 for Nevada mining industry

The Nevada mining industry’s net proceeds tax payments have soared to about $123 million for 2010, up from $97.5 million in 2009 and $91.8 million in 2008.

University of Nevada, Reno associate economics professor John Dobra told the Elko Daily Free Press that the latest figure is far more than expected and due to higher gold prices.

Gold prices closed at $1,248.90 on Thursday and have are hovered around $1,250 an ounce. They’ve continuously exceeded $1,000 an ounce since October 2009. The average gold price in 2009 was $972 per ounce.

The mining industry agreed to prepay its 2010 net proceeds of mining taxes to help the state deal with its budget crunch.

Nevada is the world’s sixth-largest gold producer behind South Africa, Australia, China, Russia and Peru.


Cold drinks, hot summer fuel rise in sales for McDonald’s

August’s summer heat provided a lift for fast-food giant McDonald’s, pushing a key revenue figure up 4.6 percent in the U.S. during the month as customers came in for frappes and fruit smoothies.

But the results weren’t as strong as analysts were expecting, largely on weakness in Europe, and shares fell Thursday.

The world’s largest hamburger chain said that August sales at restaurants open at least 13 months climbed 4.9 percent. While the performance was strong and beat growth of 2.2 percent from in August 2009, it is down from July’s 5.7 percent rise. The measurement is key for restaurant operators because it measures growth at existing locations. It excludes growth at stores that open or close during the year.

McDonald’s Corp. said the figure climbed 2.2 percent in Europe on strong results in the U.K. and Russia. In the rest of the world, those sales were up 7.8 percent — marking a reverse from a drop of 0.5 percent in the same period last year. Among the strongest performers were Japan, China and Australia.


Mortgage rates increase as fears about economy subside

Mortgage rates mostly edged up last week as investors’ fears about the economy eased.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate for a 30-year fixed loan was 4.35 percent, up from 4.32 percent the week before. It was the second rise in the past 12 weeks. Last week’s was the lowest number since Freddie Mac began tracking rates in 1971.

The average rate on a 15-year fixed loan remained at 3.83 percent after falling last week. It’s still the lowest rate on records dating to 1991.


Burger King buyer names rail executive as future CEO

Burger King’s soon-to-be new owners have named a former Latin American railroad executive to be CEO of the fast-food chain after the $3.26 billion deal goes through.

The appointment of Bernardo Hees by 3G Capital is a signal that the investment firm is serious about expanding the Burger King brand further into Latin America and elsewhere abroad. Hees will replace John Chidsey, who had been CEO since 2006 of the fast-food chain, which has struggled in the economic downturn to keep people dining at its restaurants .


You call that Log Cabin syrup all natural? Vermont says ‘no’

A new Log Cabin syrup touted as "all natural" looks a lot like the pure, 100 percent maple product that’s the pride of Vermont, right down to its packaging in a plastic beige jug.

But Vermont officials, seeking to protect the state’s signature commodity, contend that Log Cabin All Natural Syrup is not what it seems, enticing consumers into dousing their pancakes with ingredients that include caramel color, xanthan gum — a natural thickener — and a paltry 4 percent maple.

They want the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to investigate whether Log Cabin Syrup, a division of Pinnacle Foods LLC, is violating FDA labeling laws.

"While most Vermonters have a discerning eye and palate for real maple syrup, the countless consumers outside of our state who have come to expect quality from natural Vermont products may be fooled by this misleading labeling," U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., said Wednesday in a letter to FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg.

The FDA said it does not have a definition for "natural."

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