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Top News Links: Thursday, August 10

Alabama said to be on short list for new Toyota-Mazda plant

Japan's top automaker had initially planned to start building the Corolla sedan at the $1 billion Guanajuato plant but said last week it would switch production to a new U.S. factory to be built with Mazda Motor Corp. States on the companies' shortlist are Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina, WSJ reported, citing unnamed sources familiar with the potential investment. –HiTech

Governor tours Mobile, gives USAMC $4M grant

Do hospitals count as infrastructure critical to economic development? Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey argued Wednesday that the answer is yes - and she put some money on it, with a $4 million grant to help expand the emergency department at USA Medical Center. Ivey made several stops in Mobile on Wednesday as part of her ongoing "Listen, Learn, Help, & Lead Tour." – AL.com

Sessions, others asked to stay out of Birmingham Superfund probe

There's a new call for Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Birmingham's new U.S. Attorney to recuse themselves from a case. The Project on Government Oversight, or POGO, sent letters on Wednesday to Sessions and U.S. Attorney Jay Town asking them to recuse themselves from any cases relating to north Birmingham's Superfund site. POGO wants Sessions and Town to remove themselves because of their connections to key players in an ongoing investigation. – WBRC

Would you fly in a plane without a pilot?

A UBS poll of 8,000 airline passengers reveals that 54% would refuse to fly in a completely self-piloted plane, even if the flights were cheaper. The study claims that autonomous aircraft could result in savings for airlines of more than $35 billion a year, made up of $31 billion, and $3 billion from eliminating the need for training courses, along with fuel savings of $1 billion, all of which would presumably mean cheaper tickets. – LinkedIn

Columbia Southern works with Army on Fort Bragg career center 

Columbia Southern Education Group and the Soldier for Life Transition Assistance Program recently commemorated the grand opening of the Career Resource Center in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The CRC provides transitioning service members, veterans and family members with a bridge from the military to civilian employment and careers. – News release

Boone Newspapers to buy west Georgia daily paper

An Alabama media company is purchasing a daily newspaper based in west Georgia. The Valley Times-News reports that a subsidiary of Boone Newspapers Inc. of Tuscaloosa intends to purchase the Times-News from Valley Newspapers Inc. and its owner, Nell Walls. – AP/Miami Herald

Coca-Cola United pays it forward with summer internships

Coca-Cola United’s Central Region recently hosted 10 students representing five local Historically Black Colleges and Universities for a weeklong internship program at the company’s Birmingham and Montgomery offices. The program offered the students firsthand experience in roles including operations management, packaging, pricing, event planning and philanthropy. – Birmingham Times

Alabama’s wine crop put to the test by judges

Here’s a bit of Alabama history for you. In 1880, state wineries produced some 423,000 gallons of wine. That’s enough wine to make the state the 8th largest producer in the country. Unfortunately prohibition completely dried up Alabama’s wine industry. In 1979, the Perdido Vineyard near Mobile was a new beginning. Now there are 17 wineries in the state, and their products were recently sampled to decide this year’s Gold Medal winners. – WHNT

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