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Top News Links: Friday, August 11

Children’s of Alabama gets OK for $54M construction project

Children's of Alabama in Birmingham got clearance this week to demolish a warehouse as part of a larger project to build a 12-story parking deck and six-story office building in a $54 million investment. The parking deck will go on what is currently a surface parking lot used by Children's employees between 16th and 17th Streets on the hospital campus. – AL.com

Hearing hashes out idea of having a brewery as a neighbor

It'll be at least a few more weeks before the fate of Mobile's Haint Blue Brewery is decided, following a daylong circuit court hearing on Thursday. Entrepreneur Keith Sherrill announced plans in spring 2016 to launch a new brewery to be located in downtown Mobile. At the time he'd leased building at 806 Monroe St. part of a site used for decades by the Crystal Ice Co. By September 2016 he'd launched a call for investors and an online fundraising campaign that drew enthusiastic response, bringing in more than $260,000. Then a zoning appeal was filed. – AL.com

Out of prison, Siegelman still argues his innocence

After more than six years in federal prison and house arrest, former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman is campaigning again. The 71-year-old Democrat isn't asking for votes. But he hopes to convince people that the bribery and obstruction of justice charges that put him behind bars were the fruits of a Republican conspiracy that extended to President George W. Bush's White House and lingered into the Obama administration. – AP/SFChronicle

Wilcox County hospital closing over financial strains

A hospital serving one of Alabama's poorest and most rural counties is scheduled to close by Sept. 1, citing falling population, poverty and low reimbursement by Medicaid and Medicare. George Alford, board chairman of Camden's J. Paul Jones Hospital, told WSFA-TV that the hospital is losing $1 million annually. "The economy in this county is so bad it's hard to support it," Alford said. – AP/Miami Herald

Tenants signing on at new Publix development in Huntsville

Construction is under way at the new Publix grocery in the Pinnacle of Providence shopping center in Huntsville, a store spokeswoman says. The store is on track for a March 2018 opening. The project has two tenants - a Luxury Nail Spa and dentist office - already confirmed. A total of 14,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space is in the project including one out parcel. – AL.com

HudsonAlpha associate company iCubate earns FDA clearance

iCubate Inc., an innovative molecular diagnostic device company at HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, announced Thursday it has earned U.S. Food and Drug Administration clearance for its platform, the iC-System, and its first clinical assay, the iC-GPC Assay, which detects pathogenic bacteria associated with bloodstream infection. The iC-GPC Assay is the first of the company’s portfolio to earn FDA clearance. – News release

Applebee’s chain may close up to 135 restaurants

Applebee's will close up to 135 restaurants in the coming year, as sales at the chain continue to slide. In financial disclosures released today, DineEquity Inc., parent company of Applebee's, reported same-restaurant sales declines of 6.2 percent for the second quarter of 2017 with projected year end totals of as much as negative 8 percent. – AL.com

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