Business in brief: Family-owned sawmill sold
Stimson Lumber Co. bought the Regulus Stud Mills Inc. from the Hern family this week.
The mill employs about 80 people in St. Maries.
Portland-based Stimson closed its DeArmond mill in Coeur d’Alene last month. Andrew Miller, the company’s CEO, said the Regulus mill will provide a market for trees cut from Stimson’s timberlands near St. Maries. Stimson also owns a mill in Plummer, Idaho, but it specializes in small-diameter trees.
30-year mortgage rates decrease
Rates on 30-year mortgages, which had been rising for five straight weeks, posted a decline this week as signals from the Federal Reserve eased worries about imminent rate increases.
Freddie Mac, the mortgage company, reported Thursday that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 6.35 percent this week. That was down from 6.45 percent last week, which had been the highest level since last September. The decline pushed the rate to its lowest level in three weeks but it remained above 6 percent, where it has been since the week of May 29.
No holiday break on gas prices
Soaring fuel costs are taking some of the celebration out of this holiday weekend.
Oil prices headed into the busy Fourth of July break by racing past $145 a barrel for the first time Thursday. The story was no different at the gas pump, where the national average soared to within a whisker of $4.10 a gallon.
Last Independence Day weekend, drivers paid $2.95 a gallon for gas, about $1.15 less than today.
SALT LAKE CITY
Utah first to adopt shorter workweek
Starting next month, it will be “TGIT” for Utah state employees. As in: “Thank God It’s Thursday.”
In a yearlong experiment aimed at reducing the state’s energy costs and commuters’ gasoline expenses, Utah is about to become the first state to switch to a four-day workweek for thousands of government employees.
They will put in 10-hour days, Monday through Thursday, and have Fridays off.