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Top News Links: Wednesday, August 23

Challenger forces run-off in Birmingham mayor race

Randall Woodfin advanced in his bid to unseat the incumbent mayor of Birmingham on Tuesday, raising the hopes of progressives who had rallied behind his candidacy. Mayor William Bell, 63, and Woodfin will face off in an Oct. 3 run-off. In Mobile’s mayoral race, incumbent Sandy Stimpson won over Sam Jones. – Huff Post

Royal Cup buys New Orleans cold brew coffee company

In a move that will put Royal Cup on store shelves with a vastly expanded product line, the Birmingham-based company has acquired Goodrich Gourmet, maker of the Icebox brand of cold brew coffee and concentrates. Royal Cup last week announced the closure of the acquisition, which included both the Icebox brand trademark and the New Orleans company’s production facilities. Icebox founder and president Bebe Goodrich has joined Royal Cup as director of liquid product innovation, overseeing the newly formed ready-to-drink arm. – BevNet

Virtual reality’s uses go beyond video games

When most people think of virtual reality, they think of video games. But don't put the technology in a box: virtual reality is both a lot more accessible and useful in a lot more ways. Sidewalk Film Festival partnered with commercial application sellers for a TechTuesday event as part of Innovation Week. Panelists ranged from traditional filmmakers to a professor of social work, all talking about unexpected uses for virtual reality. A top one: marketing. – AL.com

Pinnacle wins challenge on NASA contract exclusion

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings recently secured a favorable decision from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) on a bid protest that was filed on behalf of the firm’s client, Pinnacle Solutions Inc. of Huntsville. Pinnacle had protested the exclusion of its proposal from the competitive range under the request for proposals (RFP) issued Aug. 19, 2016, by NASA. Pinnacle argued NASA misevaluated its proposal and unreasonably excluded it from the competitive range. – AL.com/News release

Space & Rocket Center gets $10M for Cyber Camp

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey gave the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville a $10 million economic development grant today to fund a new U.S, Cyber Camp and help construct a new building to house it and link the rocket center's two existing exhibit halls. "Expanding cyber camp in Alabama's No. 1 tourist attraction was a logical investment for the state," the governor said. – AL.com

Survey identifies counties where your Social Security goes farther

Planning where you’ll spend your retirement can be difficult, especially for folks who will be relying heavily on Social Security as a main source of income. There are, however, places across the Yellowhammer State where Social Security goes further than others and in a new study, SmartAsset, a New York-based financial company, has crunched the numbers to find them. Think Walker County. – ALToday

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