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Top News Links: Monday, August 21

Solar eclipse: Another reason to goof off

Don't flash those solar eclipse glasses in front of the boss around lunch time tomorrow. Even though plenty of your coworkers probably will, the boss may be in a bad mood. A study of Bureau of Labor Statistics data estimates U.S. businesses may lose $694 million in productivity due to the eclipse. – AL.com

State’s jobless rate falls to 4.5 percent

Alabama's unemployment rate has fallen to 4.5 percent. A news release from the state says the jobless rate dipped one-tenth of a percent in July from June. That puts the current rate well below the unemployment rate of one year ago, when it was 5.8 percent. The national rate has fallen to a 16-year low of 4.3 percent. – AP/AL.com

Sorting out Alabama’s chances of a new Toyota plant

Alabama is reportedly in the hunt for a $1.6 billion Toyota Mazda manufacturing plant, but what areas of the state might have a better chance? USA Today handicapped the odds for the 11 states supposedly with an inside track to the plant, and North Alabama may have a better shot. – AL.com

UAB employees take control with Pack Health coaching

Taking control of your health doesn't have to be an overwhelming proposition – at least not when you're supported by Pack Health, a digital health coaching company that provides personalized support for individuals with chronic conditions, and The University of Alabama at Birmingham. – News release

Ground broken in Montgomery for Peppertree Plaza

Spring 2018 is the projected opening date for Montgomery's Peppertree Plaza. City and business leaders held a groundbreaking Thursday for the development. The shopping center will be located on Halcyon Park Drive across from Peppertree One and Two. Kyser Property Management Co. projects the development will occupy more than 23,000 square feet with 14 shops and restaurants. – AL.com

New UAB Accelerator to power start-up growth

A new effort at the University of Alabama at Birmingham seeks to provide critical support for startups in the earliest stages of development. The UAB Commercialization Accelerator will officially launch next week during Innovation Week Birmingham, an annual event that spotlights new technologies and inventions, along with the entrepreneurs behind them. – Made In Alabama

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