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Top News Links: Tuesday, August 4

RUAG to open Alabama manufacturing operation

Switzerland-based RUAG announced Friday that it will launch an Alabama manufacturing operation after forming a strategic partnership with United Launch Alliance, which produces rockets at a factory in Decatur. RUAG, one of Europe’s leading suppliers of products for the space industry, said the new Alabama operation will produce carbon-fiber components for ULA’s Atlas V rocket and for the planned Vulcan rocket. – Yellowhammer

This governor’s figured out how to fix roads, pensions

Mending a state pension system on the verge of collapse is a worthy closing act for any politician. Now it’s clear Gina Raimondo was only warming up. Four years ago she was treasurer of Rhode Island -- the smallest state headed for the highest unemployment -- when she took on the pension’s unfunded $6.8 billion liability and set it on a path toward solvency. – Bloomberg

Alabamian up for Philadelphia Geek Award

First on the list is Chris Gray, the inventor of scholarship app Scholly. Growing up in a poor, single-parent household in Alabama, Gray applied for 74 different scholarships and ended up winning over $1.3 million to support himself in college. He created his mobile app to make that scholarship search easier for others (he had to do his research at a library! An actual library!) – PhillyVoice.com

State’s economy predicted to grow modestly

The state’s economy is estimated to grow by approximately 2.2 percent, slightly higher than the 2.0 percent growth rate seen in 2014, according to the Q3 Alabama Business Economic Outlook produced by the University of Alabama. – News release

Auburn, NASA sign Space Act Agreement

Auburn University and NASA last week signed a Space Act Agreement to explore and advance the applications of additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing. The signing took place during the university's forum on additive manufacturing, a process that uses 3-D printing to make a three-dimensional part or instrument, providing substantial technological advances and cost savings over traditional manufacturing methods. – News release

GulfQuest among this year’s tourism honorees

Touted as the first museum dedicated to the Gulf Coast's rich maritime traditions and only the third interactive maritime museum in the world, Mobile's GulfQuest National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico will be honored a little ahead of schedule as the 2016 Attraction of the Year by the Alabama Tourism Department. The 90,000-square-foot museum – shaped like a vessel and located next to the Alabama Cruise Terminal on Water Street – is slated to open Sept. 26 and attract an estimated 300,000 visitors annually. – AL.com

Caddell wins $40.8M project for aerial range

Caddell Construction Co. has been selected to construct a new Aerial Gunnery Range compound in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, encompassing about 2,000 acres.  This facility will provide targets on the ground for aerial bombing and live fire aerial gunnery practice. The $40.8 million project should get under way by November 2015 and be completed by January 2018, the company says. – News release

Air Hydro Power opens Birmingham branch 

Kentucky-based Air Hydro Power recently opened a branch in Birmingham with 2,300 square feet, fully equipped to support any type of customer. The company’s first Alabama location was in Montgomery. The Birmingham location, at 100 Oxmoor Blvd., Suite 190, has a vision lab and a training room, among other features. The new facility will provide in-house product training as well as custom tech support. – News release

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