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Top News Links: Thursday, Feb. 19

Doster Construction Company recently broke ground on the Iron City Lofts project, located in Birmingham, Alabama.

Doster Construction Company recently broke ground on the Iron City Lofts project, located in Birmingham, Alabama.

Doster starts on Birmingham lofts

Doster Construction Company recently broke ground on the Iron City Lofts project, located in Birmingham, Alabama. Construction on this 67- unit urban infill begins immediately. The project consists of a modern fitness center, elevated pool and deck, urban leasing center, and surface level parking. Iron City’s location will provide a gateway between the bustling Lakeview district and Pepper Place. – News release 

Defrauded Indian workers awarded $14.1M

A federal jury in Mobile has awarded $14.1 million to five Indian guest workers who claimed they were defrauded and made to live in squalid conditions after being lured to work for an Alabama-based marine and fabrication company following Hurricane Katrina. – AP/AL.com

Weather brings closings for parts of state

Some business and school closings and delays have already been announced for Thursday as forecasters warn that winter weather will continue through the rest of the week. The National Weather Service in Huntsville said mid-morning that a storm system will move across north Alabama on Thursday night and into Friday morning, bringing with it light snow. – AL.com

Opinion: State too focused on incentives

Fanfare has surrounded the announcement that Polaris will be building a manufacturing plant in Huntsville to create a projected 1,700 new jobs. We should, however, be careful to distinguish between job announcements and actual jobs. Given the long history of failure for state and local economic incentive programs to produce sustainable jobs, and the steep costs of these programs — up to $47,000 per job for Polaris— celebrations are premature. – Montgomery Advertiser

Carlson Engineered Composites coming to Anniston

Fiberglass component manufacturer Carlson Engineered Composites recently announced plans to expand its operations to Anniston. The Canadian company will be locating in an existing 67,000-square-foot building with operations scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2015. The project represents a capital investment of $3 million and will create 75 new jobs in Calhoun County. – ReliablePlant.com

Student loan delinquency increasing

The New York Fed has released the Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit for the fourth quarter of 2014. Overall, aggregate balances increased by $117 billion, or 1 percent, boosted by increases in all credit types except home equity lines of credit. Delinquency rates improved overall, although the improvement was not across the board, as there were upticks in the delinquency rates for both student loans and auto loans. – News release

Huntsville man named Engineer of the Year

An engineer at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville has been named 2015 Engineer of the Year by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).  Bill Emrich was honored for his work in a nuclear rocket engine simulator. – AL.com

Birmingham’s ECA buys Kaplan campuses

Education Corporation of America, a privately held for-profit chain, will buy all 38 Kaplan College campuses. Kaplan Higher Education will continue to operate its Kaplan University and eight professional schools. Terms of the deal were not released but both sides said the all-stock transaction would give Kaplan a "preferred equity interest" in ECA. – Inside Higher Ed

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