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Top News Links: Friday, Dec. 2

Harper Lee perhaps spinning as ‘Trail’ plans emerge

A bold new plan to transform Harper Lee's hometown of Monroeville into a major tourist destination for fans of the late author and her writings is slated to roll out beginning as early as March. Behind it is a tight-knit coalition, including Lee's attorney Tonja Carter and wealthy paper mill magnate George Landegger. – AL.com

Your Pie opens second pizza location in Birmingham

Your Pie, a fast-casual pizza chain, will open its second Birmingham-area location at Uptown on Friday, Dec. 9. Lloyd Peeples is the franchise owner and this is second of three restaurants in the area. He opened a location in Homewood last year and has signed a lease for a third location in Liberty Park next year. – AL.com

Mobile added to fed’s TechHire initiative

Mobile has been added to the federal government's TechHire initiative, which backers say will train and hire workers for hundreds of technical jobs in the area. Another city already involved is Birmingham, where participants have set the goal of training 300 people in "fast track tech programs" by the end of 2016. In Mobile, the aim is for 500 workers to be trained and hired in technical jobs. – AL.com

United takes over Montgomery Coke facility

Coca-Cola Bottling Company United has taken over the Montgomery production facility at 300 Coca-Cola Road and started operations there this week. The facility will produce the soft drinks, bottled water, sports drinks, juices, milk, energy drinks and more that make up the company’s portfolio. – Montgomery Advertiser

USA Medical Center names new administrator

Sam Dean has been named the new administrator of USA Medical Center, which serves as the region’s only Level 1 Trauma Center and includes one of the busiest burn units in the country, the Arnold Luterman Regional Burn Center. In his new role, Dean will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the 1,400-employee acute care hospital. – News release

Birmingham ranks no. 7 on ‘Unbanked List’

In 2015 across the U.S., 7% of households were unbanked, which means no member had a savings or checking account, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households released in October. That percentage is down from 7.7% in 2013 and 8.2% in 2011. – Money

Home Depot guy continues to call currency shots in Venezuela

The socialist government led by President Nicolás Maduro has had to contend with the collapse of oil prices, corruption and high inflation. For ordinary Venezuelans, that means their currency, the bolivar, has become mostly worthless — mostly, but not entirely. And right now, any value the bolivar does have depends largely on one guy who works at a Home Depot in Hoover. – Public Radio International

U.S. light-vehicle sales snap losing streak in November

After three straight monthly dips, U.S. light-vehicle sales in November rose 3.6 percent from a year earlier, helped by more generous deals and strong truck demand. Ford, Honda, Nissan, Toyota and General Motors posted increases in November as a rise in incentive spending helped put the industry back on a winning track. – Automotive News

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