July was a hot month for local Realtors.

The Greater Owensboro Realtor Association reports that 154 homes were sold that month -- up from 144 a year earlier.

The median price was $142,500 -- up from $131,000.

Total sales topped $24.4 million -- up from $21.4 million.

The average home sold 77 days after it was listed.

That was up from 71 days last year.

• Big Lots will open its new Owensboro location in the former Hobby Lobby store in Towne Square North at 8:30 a.m. on Aug. 23.

The first 50 shoppers that day and on Aug. 24 will receive "a reusable shopping bag filled with tasty treats from Big Lots," according to a news release.

The chain said it will donate $5 to New Beginnings Sexual Assault Services each time a "BIG Rewards loyalty member" redeems a reward at the store through Oct. 5.

• Fuji of Japan Owensboro said on its Facebook page last week that it will close the restaurant at 4028 Frederica St. on Aug. 18.

"We appreciate every one of you for sticking with us up until this point," the post said. "We would like to thank you all so much for your loyalty and such great kindness. The people we encountered and got to know personally are some of the best most kind-hearted people and we will never forget you all."

The restaurant opened in Sherwood Plaza Shopping Center in 2008.

• Walmart picked up a building permit last week for a $650,000 remodeling of its Kentucky 54 store.

• Walgreens announced last week that it plans to close 200 stores.

• Sears is closing 21 stores and another five Kmarts.

• Gas prices are continuing to dip.

On Friday, prices in Owensboro ranged from $2.19 a gallon to $2.49.

Most were between $2.21 and $2.39.

Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301, klawrence@messenger-inquirer.com.

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