LOCAL BUSINESS

New pharmacy coming

A new independent pharmacy is coming to East Akron, filling the last available space in Dave’s Middlebury Market Place shopping plaza, off East Exchange Street.

Officials with the city and the Greater Akron Chamber and the Small Business Development Center will celebrate the arrival of the Akron Health Mart pharmacy in the plaza with a June 5 ribbon cutting at 10 a.m.

Owner and registered pharmacist Sherif Mankaryous said the pharmacy will open later in June, once he has an OK from Medicaid to be an approved provider for Medicaid patients.

Mankaryous, who has worked as a clinical staff pharmacist for nearly three years at Akron City Hospital, said it has long been his goal to open a business. He praised local economic development officials for helping him with finding a site, writing a business plan and obtaining financing.

Dave’s Middlebury Market Place — anchored by Dave’s Supermarket — opened in 2004. The East Akron Neighborhood Development Corp. worked with neighborhood leaders and the city to bring the plaza to East Exchange, after the area’s last grocery store had closed eight years earlier.

Mankaryous said he chose the location in part because the closest pharmacy is about a mile away. He plans to offer some clinical services including bone density scans and blood glucose tests.

The chamber’s manager of business services, Dennis West, said the pharmacy is giving the area a boost: “He’s taking up the last available space in Middlebury Market Place and he’s going into an area where there really aren’t that many pharmacies around.”

— Katie Byard

REAL ESTATE

Interest rates rise

Average rates on fixed mortgages jumped this week to their highest levels in a year, signaling slightly higher costs for homebuyers. But rates still remain low by historical standards.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate for the 30-year loan rose to 3.81 percent, up from 3.59 percent last week. That’s still not far from the 3.31 percent rate reached in November, the lowest on records dating to 1971. The average on the 15-year loan rose to 2.98 percent, up from 2.77 percent last week.

ELECTRONICS

Tablet idea dropped

HTC Corp. has scrapped plans to introduce a full-sized tablet computer with Microsoft Corp.’s Windows RT operating system on concern it will meet with lackluster demand, Bloomberg News reported. HTC decided not to make the device because it cost too much and demand for RT machines has been weak.

Windows 8 revisions planned

Microsoft is trying to fix what it got wrong with its radical makeover of Windows. It’s making the operating system easier to navigate and enabling users to set up the software so it starts in a more familiar format designed for personal computers.

The revisions to Windows 8 will be released later this year. The free update, called Windows 8.1, represents Microsoft’s concessions to longtime customers taken aback by the dramatic changes to an operating system that had become a staple in households and offices around the world during the past 20 years.

Microsoft Corp. announced its plans for Windows 8.1 earlier this month. The first details are being offered in a posting on Microsoft’s website at http://tinyurl.com/ogjfknb.

Microsoft is hoping to quiet the critics by allowing users to start the operating system in a desktop design with an omnipresent Windows logo anchored in the lower left corner of the display screen. Users will also be able to ensure their favorite applications, including Word and Excel, appear in a horizontal task bar next to the Windows logo.

Compiled from staff and wire reports