LOCAL BUSINESS

Michaels opens in Jackson

Michaels, the crafts retailer, will mark the grand opening of its store in The Strip shopping center in Jackson Township on Aug. 26.

The Irving, Texas-based Michaels Stores Inc. is locating the unit in the former Sofa Express site.

Michaels joins two other crafts retailers with stores in Jackson: Pat Catanís Craft Stores and Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. Pat Catanís is headquarted in Strongsville, and Jo-Ann has its main offices in Hudson.

Cleveland developer Stark Enterprises is the owner of the The Strip, and its portfolio of shopping centers includes Crocker Park in Westlake and, in Summit County, Rosemont Commons in Fairlawn and the Shops of Fairlawn.

In Cuyahoga Falls, Stark Enterprises is developing the Portage Crossings shopping complex on the site of the former State Road plaza.

The new store actually marks the second time Michaels has located in Jackson. It previously had a store in the building that now houses an Aldiís grocery store, on Belden Village Street Northwest.

The Michaels at The Strip store will host a ribbon cutting at 9:45 a.m. Aug. 26, with the doors opening at 10 a.m. that day.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Ford Escapes recalled

Ford Motor Co. will recall more than 484,000 Escape sport utility vehicles internationally, including 421,000 in the U.S., because of a problem that can cause the gas pedal to stick.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened a probe of the problem this month after it noted 68 complaints, including 13 accidents, nine injuries and one fatality.

The issue affects Escapes from the 2001 through 2004 model years that are left-hand drive and with the 3.0-liter V-6 engine.

AIRLINES

United earnings down

United Continental Holdings Inc. said it earned $339 million for the quarter, or 89 cents per share. Excluding integration costs and other items of $206 million, United would have earned $545 million, or $1.41 per share. A year earlier, United earned $538 million, or $1.39 per share.

Revenue rose 1.3 percent to $9.94 billion.

United said absorbing Continental pushed its second-quarter profit down 37 percent as workers and passengers endured changes ranging from new software to fewer spare planes.

REAL ESTATE

Rates hit record low

The average interest rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage fell again, this time dropping below 3.50 percent for the first time on records dating 60 years. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on the 30-year loan declined to 3.49 percent. Thatís down from 3.53 percent last week and the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s.

The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage, a popular refinancing option, dipped to 2.80 percent. Thatís below last weekís previous record of 2.83 percent.

ENTERTAINMENT

Roku gets investment

News Corp. is taking a stake in Internet video streaming set-top box maker Roku Inc. and putting its chief digital officer on Rokuís board of directors as it seeks a greater role in distributing video over the Web. The media giantís investment, along with that of its part-owned subsidiary British Sky Broadcasting, is part of a fifth round of funding for Roku of $45 million. It brings total funding in Roku to $77 million since it was founded in 2002. The capital injection puts off the need for Roku to make an initial public offering of stock. Roku has sold more than 3 million set-top devices as of the beginning of the year and it hopes to expand its platform onto Web-enabled TVs.

Compiled from staff and wire reports