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Top News Links: Wednesday, Dec. 10

Mississippi still leads obesity Olympics

Rising rates of obesity and physical inactivity threaten Americans’ quality of life, even as Americans progressed in several key health metrics in 2014, according to the 25th Anniversary Edition of America’s Health Rankings. Obesity and physical inactivity increased in 2014 after showing encouraging results last year. The obesity rate increased 7 percent from 27.6 percent to 29.4 percent of adults. –BusinessWire

Alabama Power makes its rate hike case

Alabama Power spent Tuesday morning showing a small crowd the details behind its $1 billion plan to convert or retrofit its plants by 2016 in order to meet federal environmental standards. It was part of a day-long hearing meant to explain to the public why it’s asking customers to pay nearly $7 more per month on average starting in January. – Montgomery Advertiser

Birmingham adult theater going legit

A group of investors led by East Lake merchant Vince Amaro purchased the Cinema Blue adult theater in Birmingham last week with plans to turn it into a performing arts space. The Cinema Blue has operated for 40 years near the intersection of 1st Ave. N and 76th Street. Before it became an outlet for adult entertainment, the theater operated as the College Theater, which opened in 1947. – AL.com

Remington hiring for Huntsville plant

America's oldest gun maker is in the market for qualified machine operators and maintenance and machine technicians for its new $110 million firearms plant in Huntsville. North Carolina-based Remington Outdoor is hiring for the positions through Alabama Industrial Development Training in Montgomery. – AL.com

IAC expands Anniston operation

International Automotive Components, a leading automotive interior components supplier, has opened its newly expanded manufacturing operation in Anniston. 
The 126,000 square foot expansion, constructed adjacent to the existing IAC manufacturing plant, expands IAC's Anniston production capacity to approximately 262,000 square feet. The operation will support the hiring of approximately 350 new associates, increasing the total workforce to more than 500 by 2016. – AreaDevelopment.com

UAW makes progress in Tennessee

The United Auto Workers union said on Tuesday it will train workers at Volkswagen AG's plant in Chattanooga in an effort to form a U.S. version of a German-style works council, while continuing to push for collective bargaining rights at the factory. The UAW is also trying to organize workers at Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz plant in Alabama, but will likely be unable to follow a similar model there, said Dennis Cuneo, an attorney with expertise in the automotive industry. – Reuters

Gulfstream picks PPG as key supplier

PPG Industries aerospace transparencies group has been selected by Gulfstream to supply windshields, side cockpit windows and passenger-cabin window assemblies for the G500 and G600 business jets. The passenger-cabin windows will use OPTICOR advanced transparency material to maintain optical clarity and provide a quieter cabin. – News release

Obama sets aside $1B for early ed

President Barack Obama is following up on his promise to expand early education opportunities for tens of thousands of children by announcing a $1 billion public-private investment in programs for the nation's youngest learners. Alabama is included in the states named to get a share of the new money; Mississippi is not. – AP/Journal Review

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