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McDonald’s to be built on Wheeler

McDonald’s is building a new restaurant at 3646 Wheeler Road across from the entrance to Doctors Hospital.

William Rhodes, the marketing manager for McDonald’s, said the restaurant should be open in early to mid-August and will be hiring from the local workforce.

Rhodes said the restaurant will be constructed in the company’s new image design, similar to that of locations on Wrightsboro Road and in Evans and Martinez.

The lot is 1.29 acres and is being leased to McDonald’s by Blanchard and Calhoun Commercial.

Late auto payments fall to record low

LOS ANGELES — The rate of late payments for auto loans fell nationally in the first three months of the year to the lowest level in more than a decade, even as lenders financed more vehicle purchases for high-risk borrowers.

For the January to March quarter, the rate of U.S. auto loan payments at least 60 days overdue declined to 0.36 percent, or down about 27 percent from the same period last year, credit reporting agency TransUnion said Wednesday.

That’s also down about 22 percent from the last three months of 2011.

The latest rate is the lowest since TransUnion began tracking auto loan data in 1999. The highest rate recorded by the company was 2.39 percent in the first quarter of 2000.

Ford regains assets posted as collateral

DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. is getting its blue oval logo back.

Moody’s Investors Service raised Ford’s debt ratings to investment-grade Tuesday for the first time in seven years. The upgrade means that all of Ford’s U.S. assets, including factories, the blue oval and the trademarks for the F-150 pickup and Mustang sports car, are back in the company’s hands and will no longer be used to secure the company’s debt.

Ford never stopped using its logo or factories, but posted them as collateral in 2006 in order to get a $23.5 billion loan and avoid bankruptcy.

Teachers to oppose Wal-Mart nominees

NEW YORK — One of the nation’s largest pension funds says it will vote its 5.3 million shares against all of Wal-Mart’s board nominees – including the company’s current and former CEOs – at the retailer’s annual meeting next week.

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System, known as CalSTERS, said Tuesday that it has lost faith in the board’s independence amid allegations of bribery in Wal-Mart’s operations in Mexico.

The pension fund filed what’s called a “derivative” lawsuit in Delaware state court in early May seeking changes in corporate
governance and improvements in internal procedures at the world’s largest retailer.


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Property tax jump OK'd

Augusta commissioners broke a seven-year trend Wednesday and agreed 7-0 to raise property taxes by 1.75 mills to cover a deficit and provide employees a small bonus.
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