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Top News Links: Monday, August 6

Continental Motors commences $70M upgrade in Mobile

Sixteen months after Continental Motors announced a $70 million dollar project to transform its manufacturing operation in Mobile, the company has announced the start of construction. The lengthy delay appears to have been driven at least in part by property negotiations between Continental and the Mobile Airport Authority. The MAA oversees land use at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley, where Continental has been a major tenant for decades. It employs 400 people in Mobile. – AL.com

Space shuttle veteran gets ticket back to space with Boeing

Chris Ferguson, who led the final space shuttle mission, will make his fourth spaceflight when he and NASA astronauts Eric Boe and Nicole Mann take the new Boeing CST-100 Starliner commercial crew spacecraft to the International Space Station. The three pioneers will help restore American access to space from U.S. soil, a capability that ended when the shuttle was retired seven years ago. Mann will also make history as the first female astronaut on the inaugural crewed flight of a new U.S. spacecraft. – News release

Cottage-style home development coming to Birmingham's Avondale

A long-time investor in Birmingham's Avondale is developing a 10-home community in the popular neighborhood. Developer Charley Duggan started buying, fixing up and renting out 100-year-old homes in the neighborhood about 20 years ago. He said he could rent them, largely to young professionals and University of Alabama at Birmingham medical students, as quickly as he could list them. – AL.com

Trump’s changes to EPA gas rules pondered in Alabama

The Trump Administration's move announced yesterday to freeze gas-mileage rules after the 2020 model year obviously could have huge implications for the auto industry. It's probably too early to tell how automakers will respond, especially after they've spent years preparing for new emissions and mileage standards by investing in development of autonomous vehicles, lighter weight designs and electric and hybrid models. – AL.com

Survey suggests Alabama schools among worst in nation

Alabama public schools have long had the unwelcome designation as being one of the nation's worst school systems. According to a recent report from the personal finance website WalletHub, this year isn't much better. Using 25 measures of quality and safety, from math scores to median standardized tests to high school dropout rates, WalletHub has ranked Alabama 44th in the country. – Enewscourier

Two Austal vessels complete Navy sea trials

Two vessel's built at Austal USA's Mobile shipyard have completed Navy acceptance trials within days of each other. On Aug. 3, NAVSEA reported that the Navy's 10th Expeditionary Fast Transport, Burlington, had successfully completed acceptance trials after two days of under way evaluation in the Gulf of Mexico. That followed the Aug. 1 completion of acceptance trials by LCS 18, Charleston. – Marine Log

State taking input on plan to put Medicaid recipients to work

Alabama is accepting comments on its proposal to put a work requirement on 74,000 Medicaid recipients. The Alabama Medicaid Agency opened a new public comment period on the proposal. The proposal would require 35 hours of work, job training, education or volunteer service each week. Exceptions would be made for people with young or disabled children. – ABC3340

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