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Top News Links: Wednesday, Dec. 6

Toyota-Mazda plant decision pushed to early 2018

Toyota is expected to announce the location for a new vehicle assembly plant in the first quarter of 2018. Jim Lentz, chief executive of Toyota North America, told Reuters in an interview Monday that a final decision has not been made on the $1.6 billion plant. Toyota and Mazda plan to build a new factory that is expected to build a Mazda SUV and Corollas for Toyota. – WAAY

Alabama’s auto execs think on industry’s mysterious future

Alabama's billion-dollar auto industry is positioned for the future, its executives say. But what that future will look like continues to be a mystery. That was the theme of comments from executives with four auto companies who participated in a panel discussion Tuesday night at the Birmingham Business Alliance's annual Chairman's Meeting at the Alys Stephens Center. – AL.com

Exec says Piggly Wiggly’s hanging tough, staying strong

Piggly Wiggly stores in the South and the Upper Midwest have remained steady operators despite heated competition from Wal-Mart and other retailers, according to Supermarket News. Piggly Wiggly Alabama President David Bullard credited his division’s cost-plus concept and high customer loyalty, and said encroaching Lidl stores shouldn’t have any impact on sales. – Food Dive

Churches draw IRS attention with political messages

Churches in Alabama and Florida were caught in violation of the long-standing law barring them from engaging in political speech when they expressed support for Alabama senatorial candidate Roy Moore. Two pictures circulating online beginning on 30 November 2017 showed a billboard that appears to belong to Living Way Ministries in the Alabama town of Opelika. – Snopes.com

Bannon whips up GOP faithful for Moore in Fairhope

Steve Bannon labeled Arizona GOP Sen. Jeff Flake a "total embarrassment" and said Mitt Romney "hid behind" his Mormon faith to avoid military service in Vietnam during a Tuesday night campaign rally for Alabama Senate hopeful Roy Moore. A day after Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, had tweeted criticism of Moore's honor and integrity, Bannon said that Moore "has more honor and integrity in a pinkie finger than your family has in its whole DNA." – CNN

First National Bankers elects two new board members

First National Bankers Bankshares Inc. recently elected two new members to the Board of Directors for FNBB, Inc. and its banking subsidiary, First National Bankers Bank. The terms for Russell S. Bennett and J. Chad Jones began in October 2017.  J. Chad Jones is President and Chief Executive Officer of First Bank of Alabama in Talladega. Russell S. Bennett is President and Chief Executive Officer of First National Bank of Clarksdale in Clarksdale, Mississippi. – PRNewsWire

Four arrested in connection with ‘pill mill’ operation in Montgomery

On Tuesday, December 5, four individuals were arrested after being indicted by a federal grand jury for their role in operating a “pill mill,” out of a Montgomery medical office. A “pill mill” is a medical clinic that is dispensing controlled substances inappropriately, unlawfully, and for non-medical reasons. – ANN

Information Transport Solutions joins MGMix

Information Transport Solutions, Inc. announced today they are joining the Montgomery Internet Exchange. The Montgomery Internet Exchange, also called the MGMix, is an open internet exchange led by a visionary collaboration among Montgomery County, the City of Montgomery, research universities, Maxwell Gunter Air Force Base, and the new Cyber College of the Air Force. – News release

Macon County construction company owner indicted over license

A contractor has been indicted for forgery of paperwork related to the renewal of his license with the Alabama Licensure Board for General Contractors. Morris Mitchell, 51, of Grayson, Georgia, surrendered at the Montgomery County Jail on December 1 and was released on bond. – ANN 

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