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Top News Links: Monday, Feb. 15

Gulf ports ready for post-Panamax traffic

The eyes of Texas and other U.S. Gulf ports are fixed on the opening of the new Panama Canal locks later this spring. Port executives expect the long-delayed opening to post-Panamax vessel traffic will be a seminal event in the growth of their volumes, but later rather than sooner. “We are talking to quite a few carriers in different trade routes that are looking at Mobile,” said Jimmy Lyons of the Alabama State Port Authority. – JOC.com

Alabama startup fund loves the ruble again

Some of the biggest asset managers have scaled back their wagers on the ruble as the Russian currency posts the world’s widest price swings. An Alabama startup investment firm sees it as one of the best ways to grow its fund. R-Squared Macro Management has greatly increased its position in the ruble. – Bloomberg

Radiance, Dynetics win Pathfinder contract

NASA has awarded the Radiance Technologies and Dynetics team a delivery order under the Engineering Solutions and Prototyping contract to fabricate, assemble and transport the Space Launch System Core Stage Pathfinder Vehicle. The CS PV is a form/fit representation of the SLS Core Stage and is approximately 213 feet long and 28.5 feet in diameter, weighing approximately 230,000 pounds. The objective of the Pathfinder contract is to produce a low-cost simulated core stage with weight, center of gravity and length of the integrated core stage. – Space Foundation

Amtrak makes an appearance on Gulf Coast

Marching bands will lead Mississippi pep rallies in Gulfport, Bay St. Louis and Biloxi while a jazz band will serenade a gathering in Pascagoula. In Mobile, the Excelsior Band will be on hand in what could be a Mardi Gras-themed welcoming. Amtrak is making its first trip from New Orleans east toward Jacksonville, Fla., since before Hurricane Katrina blasted through a decade ago. – AL.com

UA students test waters of comic book business

For more than a year, Ethan Newsome-Jackson and Kris Pearce have been obsessed with the same woman. She only exists on paper, but for the two University of Alabama students, creating the character in the upcoming comic book "Breeze" has been grueling, mainly in how to present the heroine's duality. – Miami Herald

Product helps surgeons with new compliance demands

Birmingham-based Vincari has seen an 86 percent adoption rate for Lightspeed Valet, the virtual assistant for surgeons and proceduralists to reach 100 percent Joint Commission compliant and ICD-10 specific operative reports. Vincari leads the market in providing proceduralists the "virtual" assistance needed to document effectively under the new CMS and other payor programs. – PRNewsWire

CSX to reduce maintenance shop in Montgomery

Railroad operator CSX is reducing operations at its Montgomery train car shop and 15 others around the country where volume is low and to improve efficiency. The Jacksonville, Florida, company said the reductions will affect a total of 116 CSX mechanical employees, some of whom will be given opportunities to fill positions in other higher-demand areas of its network. – The Advocate

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