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Top News Links: Wednesday, Dec. 21

Honda to reveal 2018 Odyssey minivan in Detroit

Honda’s onslaught of new products will continue in January with the debut of the 2018 Honda Odyssey minivan at the Detroit auto show. The fifth-generation Odyssey that will debut in Detroit promises redesigned styling, powertrain updates and undisclosed “innovative features” -- remember this is the brand that first put a shop-vac in the cargo area. – Automotive News

NASA expansion may be gaining ground with Trump

Venture capitalist Peter Thiel and others have successfully pushed for advocates of commercial space ventures to join President-elect Donald Trump’s NASA transition team, a result of an internal tug of war over policy directions and future decision makers at the agency. – Wall Street Journal

Auburn students join small satellite movement

Right now, floating somewhere over the earth's surface, is a satellite built by undergraduate students from Auburn University. And there will be more. The school's Small Satellite Program is producing two satellites that will be launched sometime in the next two years. The team working on the project comprises students from freshmen to graduate level. – AL.com

Montgomery 2016 capital investment totals $411 million

Montgomery officials said this week that the area attracted $411 million in new capital investment this year, with a lion’s share of that total coming from existing businesses. Led by companies such as Alfa, Baptist Health and Jackson Hospital, existing businesses announced plans for $319.7 million in new investment in the Montgomery area in 2016, officials said. – Made In Alabama

Downtown Mobile getting a food truck court

When developers found themselves with some extra space on the footprint of the new Hilton Garden Inn currently under construction across Conception Street from Bienville Square in downtown Mobile, they realized it would be the perfect spot for the city's first food truck court. The Back Lot will be on Joachim Street between Dauphin and St. Francis streets and provide space for three food trucks to hook up to permanent power, eliminating generator noise. – AL. com

Analyst declares Twitter is ‘toast’ after exec departures

Twitter is "toast" as a company and the stock is not even worth $10, according to a research note published Tuesday, following the departure of another top executive at the social media service. The microblogging platform's chief technology officer, Adam Messinger, tweeted that he would leave the company and "take some time off", while Josh McFarland, vice president of product at Twitter, also said he was exiting the company. – CNBC

Avadian Credit Union opens new Homewood Branch

Avadian Credit Union opened its doors Monday at the new Homewood Branch, 475 Green Springs Highway next door to The Purple Onion and down from Publix. Avadian purchased the former Regions Bank space after learning the Avadian location inside the Buffalo Rock office building would be torn down at the end of the year to make room for Buffalo Rock's growing fleet of trucks. – News release

Texas-based company buying Soluble Therapeutics

San Antonio-based CytoBioscience announced this morning that it has acquired Soluble Therapeutics, a Birmingham company developing protein solubility and stability technology. CytoBioscience said it will move Soluble Therapeutics to its San Antonio location. Financial terms of the acquisition were not announced, however the companies said there was a "multimillion-dollar" price tag associated with the purchase. – Texas Tech Pulse

ASE Credit Union to pursue ten new branch openings

ASE Credit Union has announced the most ambitious growth plan in its 62-year history. ASE opened a new branch in Prattville on Dec. 15 and will follow with nine more branch openings within the next three years, beginning with a branch in Clanton in early April 2017. “ASE’s growth has been steady, and it’s been a thrill to watch unfold,” said Board of Directors President Ken Blankenship. – News release

Interstate Plastics opens new branch in Birmingham

Interstate Plastics is pleased to announce a new branch location in Birmingham. Interstate Plastics employees, customers, vendors and local officials participated in an official ribbon cutting ceremony recently to commemorate the new facility at 288 Snow Drive. – News release

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