RICHFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - Records show that a company that's buying up mineral rights from private property owners in Genesee County also is interested in possible oil and gas beneath the surface of about 90 acres of land in two parks. Filings with the state Department of Natural Resources say Western Land Services has asked the state to include more than 25 acres of Richfield County Park and more than 67 acres of Holloway Reservoir Regional Park in a May 1 oil and gas lease auction. There's been no final determination by the DNR whether the land will be included in the auction. A decision on that could happen soon. County officials and others oppose the proposal. The DNR is accepting public comments on the possible leases until Friday.
DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) - AAA Michigan says gasoline prices have risen about 4 cents during the past week to a statewide average of about $3.77 per gallon. The auto club says Monday the average is about 7 cents per gallon more than this time last year. Of the cities it surveys, AAA Michigan says the cheapest price for self-serve unleaded fuel is in the Marquette area, where it's about $3.66 a gallon. The highest average is in the Grand Rapids and Lansing areas at about $3.83 a gallon. Dearborn-based AAA Michigan surveys 2,800 Michigan gas stations daily.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - President Barack Obama plans to visit Michigan on Wednesday to discuss his proposal to raise the national minimum wage. The White House on Monday released details of the planned afternoon event at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Obama has endorsed a bill to gradually raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 by 2016. Senate Democrats are planning votes on a bill, but Republicans are working to block it. The president told Congress in his State of the Union Address that raising the minimum wage "will help families." Michigan's minimum wage is $7.40 an hour. The school says tickets for the speech will be available to University of Michigan students at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the Michigan Union Ticket Office.
DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) - AAA Michigan says gasoline prices have fallen about 1 cent during the past week to a statewide average of about $3.72 per gallon. The auto club says Monday the average is about 10 cents per gallon less than this time last year. Of the cities it surveys, AAA Michigan says the cheapest price for self-serve unleaded fuel is in the Detroit area, where it's about $3.67 a gallon. The highest average is in the Flint and Traverse City areas at about $3.78 a gallon. Dearborn-based AAA Michigan surveys 2,800 Michigan gas stations daily.
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) - A refreshing sign of spring has arrived in Michigan: The annual release of kegs of Oberon beer. The Kalamazoo Gazette reports Bell's Brewery Inc. on Monday began offering the summer beer. Events are planned at bars around the state. The wheat ale is a popular offering from Kalamazoo-based Bell's. It's being sold this year in cans as well as the standard bottles, kegs and mini-kegs.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal appeals court has handed a defeat to a coalition of retail groups that challenged as too high the Federal Reserve's cap on how much banks can charge businesses for handling debit card transactions. The ruling issued Friday by the U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia overturned a lower court's decision in July that favored the merchants and was a setback for banks. In the July ruling, a federal judge struck down the Fed's cap on so-called "swipe fees", saying the Fed didn't have the authority to set the limit the way it did in 2011, improperly including data that made the cap too high. The fee cap averages 24 cents per transaction. Before the cap, fees averaged 44 cents per swipe.
NEW YORK (AP) - Wendy's is rolling out a program that lets customers pay using their smartphones, following a similar plans unveiled by Burger King this week. The Wendy's Co., based in Dublin, Ohio, has been testing the mobile payment option over the past year and said the majority of its roughly 5,800 U.S. locations are now ready to accept the payments. The move reflects a push by fast-food chains to court younger customers by tapping into the attachment they have to their phones. Burger King Worldwide Inc. also said this week it would introduce a mobile payment program at its U.S. restaurants in April. McDonald's Corp. has acknowledged the importance of mobile payments but is still in a testing phase.
NEW YORK (AP) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. told The Associated Press that it has rolled out an online tool that allows shoppers to compare its prices on 80,000 food and household products to those of its competitors. The retailer began offering the feature that's called "Savings Catcher" on its website last month in seven big markets that include Dallas, San Diego and Atlanta. The move by Wal-Mart, which has a long history of undercutting competitors, could change the way people shop and how other retailers price their merchandise. Other retailers including Target and Best Buy offer to match the lower prices of rivals - but only if shoppers do the research on their own. The idea behind Wal-Mart's online feature, on the other hand, is to do the legwork for customers.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages declined last week, edging closer to historically low levels. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate for the 30-year loan fell to 4.32 percent from 4.37 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage eased to 3.32 percent from 3.38 percent. Mortgage rates have risen about a full percentage point since hitting record lows roughly a year ago. The increase was driven by speculation that the Federal Reserve would reduce its $85 billion-a-month bond purchases, which have helped keep long-term interest rates low. Deeming the economy to be gaining strength, the Fed announced in December and January - and again on Wednesday - that it was reducing its monthly bond purchases.
SCOTTVILLE, Mich. (AP) - An estate sale for part of the property of a popular western Michigan antique dealer is about to go on sale. The Muskegon Chronicle reports that collecting the items was a passion for Neil J. Frick. He died in July at the age of 87. Some of the items he collected at Frick's Old Country Store and in his apartment go on sale at the Scottville store from Thursday through Saturday. Other items will be auctioned in April. Items he collected during more than 50 years include advertising signs, political memorabilia, lithographs, farm machinery, oil lamps and cowboy artifacts Eds: APNewsNow. An AP Member Exchange. Will be updated.