Business briefs (July 18)

July 17, 2014 

Pizza chain has eyes on Coast

Pie Five Pizza Co. announced Thursday it plans to open restaurants in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, with cities in South Mississippi on the company's "radar," a spokesman said.

It has awarded 26 franchise units to national restaurateurs Fred Gustin and Kurt Guttshall of Quality Restaurant Concepts LLC. The duo own and manage 60 Applebee's franchised restaurants across the Southeast.

At Pie Five, guests can choose from more than a million combinations of handcrafted pizzas and a variety of specialty pie choices prepared in less than five minutes on one of four crusts.

The company has 21 locations in six states.

Gustin and Guttshall expect to open their first restaurant in the Birmingham market by early 2015.

Chamber lunch is for speed networking

BAY ST. LOUIS -- 12@12 Speed Networking event will be held for chamber members Tuesday at the Hancock County Chamber office, 111 Court St.

Details: 467-9048 or

Average US mortgage rates dip slightly

WASHINGTON -- Average U.S. mortgage rates declined slightly this week with rates remaining near historic lows.

Mortgage company Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the nationwide average for a 30-year loan dipped to 4.13 percent, down from 4.15 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, edged down to 3.23 percent, compared with 3.24 percent last week.

Senators call on CEO of GM to fire top lawyer

WASHINGTON -- Lawmakers on Thursday demanded General Motors fire its chief lawyer and open its compensation plan to more potential victims as a Senate subcommittee delved deeper into GM's mishandling of the recall of small cars with defective ignition switches.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who chairs the subcommittee, told GM CEO Mary Barra that she should have fired GM's corporate counsel, Michael Millikin, based on the conclusions of an internal report, which found that GM's legal staff acted too slowly to share details of settlements it was making in cases involving Chevrolet Cobalts and Saturn Ions where the front air bag hadn't deployed in a crash, possibly due to a defect in the ignition switch.

The lawyers didn't alert engineers or top executives to a potential safety issue.

-- Staff, wire reports

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