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America's Best Contacts & Eyeglasses has opened a store in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, offering a selection of designer eyeglass frames, contact lenses and eyeglass accessories.

National Vision, one of the largest optical retail companies with more than 1,000 stores in 44 states, is expanding into the Chattanooga market with its new location on 97 Parkway Drive. The chain already operates stores in the region in Hixson and Dalton, Georgia.

The store offers a free eye exam by an optometrist with two pairs of eyeglasses for just $69.95.

National Vision operates five retail divisions: America's Best Contacts & Eyeglasses, Eyeglass World, Vision Centers inside select Walmart stores, and Vista Opticals inside Fred Meyer and on select military bases.

 

Pilot Flying J hires 5,000 more workers

Pilot Flying J, the largest travel center chain in North America, is planning its first-ever National Hiring Day on May 2 aiming to hire more than 5,000 new team members across its network of more than 750 travel centers.

"Making the decision to start a career at Pilot Flying J provides the opportunity to work hard, have fun and live up to one's full potential, while also advancing professionally," said Paul Shore, chief people officer of Pilot Flying J. "Hiring 5,000 enthusiastic team members to join our company in a wide array of positions across North America is an exciting challenge, especially during a time of low unemployment. ... That's why we're inviting everyone to join us on National Hiring Day."

Candidates are invited to visit all Pilot and Flying J travel centers and Truck Care service centers on Thursday, May 2, from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. for on-the-spot interviews and information. The company is hiring an average of 10 positions per location with some states adding more.

 

U.S. wins trade case with China

The World Trade Organization handed the United States a win Thursday in a trade dispute with China, ruling that Beijing did not fairly administer quotas on U.S. wheat, rice and corn.

The WTO, the Geneva organization that oversees the rules of global trade, found that China had not been transparent, predictable or fair in managing so-called tariff rate quotas on U.S. grain exports. The import tax, or tariff, is higher on U.S. grain shipments that exceed the quota.

The case, started by the Obama administration, is not directly related to a larger U.S.-China trade standoff: President Donald Trump has slapped tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports in a dispute over Beijing's aggressive drive to challenge U.S. technological dominance; China has retaliated by targeting $110 billion in U.S. products.

 

BMW expands recall over engine fires

BMW is adding nearly 185,000 vehicles in the U.S. to a 2017 recall for possible engine fires.

Two years ago the company recommended the vehicles be parked outdoors until problems are fixed. The expansion brings the total number of vehicles recalled for the problem to about 925,000.

The recall expansion covers a dozen 3 Series, 5 Series and Z4 models from the 2006 model year.

BMW says in documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that moisture can get into the cars' positive crankcase ventilation valve heater and cause plastic parts to degrade. That can lead to an electrical short and a possible fire even when the engine isn't on.

Dealers will replace the heater at no cost to owners. The recall is scheduled to start May 28.

 

Mortgage rates rise this week

U.S. long-term mortgage rates increased this week, though they remain lower than a year ago in a positive sign for home sales.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.17% from 4.12% last week and 4.47% a year ago. Average mortgage rates have been trending downward since peaking at nearly 5% in November, helping to increase home sales after a rough 2018.

The average rate this week for 15-year, fixed-rate home loans rose to 3.62% from 3.60%.

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