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Top News Links: Tuesday, Dec. 13

Trump picks Huntsville aerospace exec for transition team

A Huntsville aerospace executive and former NASA manager has been named to President-elect Donald Trump's NASA transition team. Steve Cook, vice president of corporate development for Dynetics Inc., was named to the team Friday, a Dynetics spokesperson confirmed. – AL.com

Pickups, Priester pecans and plenty more

A Trussville-based specialty vehicle manufacturer rolled out a new high-performance, off-road pickup this year. The 2016 Black Widow boasts extras including a 6-inch suspension lift system, stainless steel performance exhaust, pocket style fender flares and red ambient cabin lighting. It’s just one of many of the possibilities for holiday gifts that hail from our state. – Made In Alabama

Birmingham wins grant for bus rapid transit station

Birmingham has won a federal assistance program that will help support a new bus rapid transit station. The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration announced the program Monday as part of its Transit Oriented Development Technical Assistance Initiative, which supports efforts to create mixed-use, walkable communities near transit. – AL.com

UAB’s Cancer Center has both medical and economic benefits

With a 14-to-1 return on investment, the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center has a significant financial impact statewide. Research gives doctors new weapons in the fight against cancer, and moves them down the road to the ultimate goal: a cure. But along the way, it also has another benefit, Dr. Ed Partridge says. “Our research enterprise at UAB, and at the Comprehensive Cancer Center in particular, is a major economic driver for Alabama.” – Alabama News Center

Fazoli’s restaurant chain expands to Huntsville

Fazoli's announced the signing of a franchise agreement to develop a restaurant in Huntsville. The news comes on the heels of another month of strong sales results for the brand's franchise restaurants. The Lexington, Kentucky-based company reported a 5.1 percent same-store sales increase for its franchised locations in November. – QSR Magazine

UAB breaks ground on Collat School of Business building

UAB broke ground Friday on its new $37.5 million business school building that will house both the Collat School of Business and Bill L. Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The four-story building will include breakout rooms for team projects, classrooms, a high-tech trading room, labs for behavioral research, a three-story atrium, a career services space and study rooms. – AL.com

Punta Clara Kitchen in Point Clear a heavenly destination

Many kids dream of growing up in a candy store. Kim Clay came pretty close. “My grandmother, Dot Pacey, started making fudge in a backyard outbuilding in 1952,” Clay, co-owner of Punta Clara Kitchen in Point Clear, says. “Pretty soon it turned into a full-time job.” – Alabama News Center

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