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Top News Links: Thursday, April 14

ULA cutting up to 500 jobs next year, some in Alabama

United Launch Alliance's quest to become more nimble and agile in order to compete effectively in the space industry will include workforce reductions beyond the 375 job cuts confirmed last week. Chief executive Tory Bruno said Wednesday that Centennial-based ULA plans to reduce its workforce by another 400 to 500 people next year. The reductions in 2017 will be spread across all five of ULA's sites in Alabama, Colorado, California, Texas and Washington, D.C. – Denver Post

HudsonAlpha Institute teaming with billionaire Sean Parker

Huntsville's HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology will join a major new cancer-fighting effort led by one of Silicon Valley's most successful innovators. The institute will collaborate with the newly formed Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy established by billionaire Sean Parker, co-founder of Napster and first president of Facebook. – AL.com

Austal three-peats for Manufacturer of the Year

Austal USA was named Alabama’s manufacturer of the year by the Alabama Technology Network and the Business Council of Alabama during a ceremony in Montgomery. Austal is a three-time honoree in the award’s 16-year history; once as a medium company and twice as a large company. – Maritime Professional

Changes may be coming for Birmingham city rule

Changes could be on the horizon after state lawmakers approved a bill that would redistribute certain powers to the Birmingham's mayor. The legislation would give the mayor more oversight when appointing members of a government board, prohibit council members from being able to vote on any of the committees they are appointed to and give the mayor more control over the budget and ability to award contracts. – BizJournals.com

Map shows cities in Alabama with best 401(k) plans

A recent study by New York financial technology company SmartAsset points out where in Alabama people have access to the best 401(k) benefit plans, and Birmingham made the list. – News release

Koch Foods hosting job fair in Fort Payne

Koch Foods will host a job fair next week for first- and second-shift employees for  its poultry processing plant in Collinsville. The hiring event will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday at the Alabama Career Center on 2100 Jordan Road S.W., in Fort Payne. – AL.com

Walmart expands grocery pickup service

Grocery shopping just got easier for Mobile-area shoppers. Walmart, the largest grocer in the U.S., launched its online grocery pickup service at two Mobile-area stores. The free service enables customers to order groceries online and pick them up at their local Walmart store without even leaving their cars. – News release

State’s regs protect serial daycare disasters

Deborah Stokes has operated at least a dozen Christian day cares across southern Alabama. Every time she is chased out of town by furious parents, workers or landlords, she reopens in the next town over. In the process, she has collected at least $86,000 in taxpayer funding to run her day cares with almost no oversight. – Center for Investigative Reporting

Saad Development working on FedEx expansion

Developers say part of the old Evangeline Downs Racetrack in Carencro will be the new home of a 236,000-square-foot FedEx Ground distribution center. James Saad, of Mobile-based Saad Development, told The Advocate the distribution center is scheduled to be completed by next spring, and FedEx is expected be operating there by the summer. – AP/Lebanon Daily Record

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