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Top News Links: Tuesday, Dec. 6

Toyota names new president for Huntsville plant

Toyota Motor North America has announced a new president for its Huntsville engine plant. Effective Jan. 3 current plant Vice President David Fernandes will begin as president. Fernandes joined Toyota in 1998 as a group leader at the company’s West Virginia manufacturing facility. Current Toyota Alabama President Jim Bolte has been named as a TMNA group vice president of manufacturing efficiency. – AL.com

Verizon announces plans to hire 300 for call center

Verizon on Monday announced plans to hire up to 300 full-time employees throughout 2017 at its Huntsville call center. The wireless communication company will hold an onsite career fair Saturday at its Huntsville call center at 475 Quality Circle. – AL.com

New York Magazine weighs in, with sanctimony, on Trump

It is hard to get an overall handle on what Donald Trump’s America is going to be like (other than Great Again, of course). But the much-ballyhooed intervention to convince a particular company to keep particular jobs in a particular place triggered something familiar in my mind. Trump is acting like the governor of a backward Southern state, chasing smokestacks with inducements and threats and a generally small-bore approach that treats economic development as a deal-making enterprise with public resources used as chips. – NYM

Toyota plans to up hybrid game over next 5 years

Toyota Motor Corp. will expand the development of its gasoline-hybrid technology over the next five years to speed up the introduction of lower-emission engines in the face of stricter global-emissions standards. The automaker aims at making greener cars as global automakers face tighter regulations in the U.S. and other regions that will require more environment-friendly cars soon. – Automotive News

ULA wins $269M contract mod for rocket

United Launch Alliance has received a $269.2 million contract modification to configure the Delta IV Heavy rocket as part of the U.S. Air Force‘s launch vehicle production requirement for fiscal year 2017. The Defense Department said Friday work will occur in Centennial, Colorado; Decatur, Alabama; and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, through April 30, 2020. – GovConWire

Founder of Unclaimed Baggage Center dies in Scottsboro

The founder of one of Alabama's most unique businesses is being mourned this weekend. Doyle Owens, who founded Scottsboro's Unclaimed Baggage Center, died Saturday at the age of 85. Owens was a part-time insurance salesman in Scottsboro in 1970 when he started the business along with his wife Mollie Sue. – AL.com

Huntsville, Birmingham top list for smart credit card use

A recent survey of credit card use revealed that Huntsville tops Alabama cities for wisdom about the use of cards as measured by credit card debt as a percent of income, credit utilization and late payments rate. – News release

Saad Healthcare to break ground on new facility in Mobile

Saad Healthcare will break ground Friday for its new 34,000-square-foot inpatient hospice facility to be built immediately behind Saad’s existing offices at 1515 University Boulevard South in West Mobile. The new facility is expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2017. – News release

Train derailment damages outgoing BMW vehicles

120 BMW X models were damaged when train cars carrying the vehicles derailed on Sunday afternoon en route to the Port of Charleston, S.C., for export to overseas markets. BMW said damaged models include the BMW X3, X4, X5 and X6 but did not specify how many of each model was damaged. The vehicles were heading to Charleston from BMW’s plant near Spartanburg, S.C., which exports about 70 percent of all X models manufactured at the plant. – Automotive News

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