Quick takes

NEW CANDY: The first new candy bar to carry the Hershey’s name in more than two decades is set to hit shelves next month.

The Hershey, Pa.-based candy maker says Hershey’s Gold will go on sale Dec. 1. It’s described as a caramelized cream bar embedded with salty peanut and pretzel bits. Hershey’s says the bar is a response to trends that it says show “the rising popularity of crunchy multi-textured candy.”

Hershey’s Gold will be the fourth bar for the brand and the first new one since Hershey’s Cookies ‘n Creme was introduced in 1995. The original Hershey’s bar was released in 1900 and was followed up by the special dark variety in 1939.

Holding Steady: The costs of borrowing money to buy a home held steady this week as U.S. mortgage rates hover near relative lows.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages didn’t budge from last week’s 3.94 percent. One year ago, the benchmark rate was 3.54 percent. Historically, the average has been around 6 percent.

Long-term home loan rates tend to track the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes, which have risen since early September, possibly in anticipation of tax cuts pushed by President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress.

Average mortgage rates rose after Trump’s election a year ago in anticipation of tax cuts, climbing to as high as 4.32 percent at the end of 2016. But rates ticked back down this year as the Republican tax plan — made public Thursday morning — unfolded more slowly than expected.

Closing: The largest shopping mall in the country is again pushing back on early Black Friday sales by closing on Thanksgiving — but this time, it plans to take it a step further.

The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., is offering holiday pay on the Friday after Thanksgiving for the 1,200 people it directly employs.

Mall of America was among the retailers that took a stand against encroaching on Thanksgiving last year, as other shopping centers and big box stores opened on the holiday to capture early sales.

But owners of other malls are taking similar steps. The Star Tribune reports that CBL Properties will close its 75 shopping centers around the country on Thanksgiving, though stores, theaters and restaurants with exterior mall entrances will be given the option to open.

Denied: The federal judge presiding over the fraud trial of four former executives at the truck stop chain controlled by the family of Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has denied a company attorney’s request for real-time transcripts of court proceedings.

U.S. District Judge Curtis Collier ruled Thursday that the rough transcripts should not be made available to attorneys for Pilot Flying J because the company is a not a party in the case.

Pilot attorney Aubrey Harwell earlier in the week filed a notice with the court that Pilot is a “non-party with a substantial interest” in the trial scheduled to begin on Monday.

Fourteen former staffers have pleaded guilty to charges related to Pilot’s fuel rebate scam. The Haslam brothers have denied any prior knowledge.

Objecting: The builder of the Dakota Access oil pipeline and the federal agency that permitted the project are objecting to an effort by American Indian tribes to bolster protections for their water supply.

Lawyers for Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners and the Army Corps of Engineers argue separately in court documents that the proposals by the Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux are unnecessary or unwarranted.

The dispute centers around the $3.8 billion pipeline’s crossing of the Missouri River’s Lake Oahe reservoir in southern North Dakota. Both tribes get water from the lake and fear contamination should the pipeline leak.

From wire reports

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