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Top News Links: Friday, Feb. 10

Regions not shy about cutting branches, investors told

Regions Financial Corp. (NYSE:RF) is cutting branches about as fast as any bank in the country, an executive told investors in an earnings call last week. "We are down 28 percent, which is really more than anybody else in the industry," said John Turner, head of the Corporate Banking Group. – AL.com

IBM helps Birmingham be a smarter city

In discussions about smart cities, population hubs like New York and Singapore or tech-heavy communities like Palo Alto, Calif., spring to mind. But Birmingham has been elbowing past larger metro areas thanks to partnerships with University of Alabama Birmingham and Alabama Power and some consulting help from IBM. – GCN.com

Farmers Federation calls Luther Strange ‘strong defender’

“Attorney General Strange is a strong defender of the law and has already shown leadership at the national level by pushing back against regulatory overreach,” says Alabama Farmers Federation President Jimmy Parnell. “Alabama farmers have enjoyed a close working relationship with Luther for 20 years, and we look forward to helping him address the needs of rural Alabama as U.S. senator.” – SoutheastAgNet.com

Heinrich retiring from Community College System

The head of Alabama's two-year college system is retiring. Mark Heinrich will step down as chancellor of the Alabama Community College System on April 1. System trustees accepted his notice at a meeting in Montgomery on Wednesday. Heinrich has been on medical leave since August, with Jimmy Baker serving as acting chancellor. – EnewsCourier

Troy University improving ties with local employers

When it comes to building a local employer base, Troy University plays a big part in building relationships with businesses that give students opportunities after college. Coordinators of the university’s career services department have seen an increase in students getting jobs locally. Attendance tripled at their last career fair with a record number of 65  employers. – ANN

Florida, Alabama peanut farmers gather in Dothan

Farmers from across the Wiregrass came together for the 12th annual Alabama-Florida Peanut trade show Thursday in Dothan. The trade show was held this morning at the Peanut Festival Fairgrounds. More than 700 farmers attended to check out some of the latest peanut producing technology. – WTVY

Bad news for GM: People buying their redesigned cars

General Motors redesigned several of its top-selling cars in 2016, including the Chevrolet Malibu and Cruze. And unfortunately for GM, some people actually bought them. Even worse, GM’s engineers and designers had the nerve to do their jobs so well that the Malibu had its best year since 1980. In earnings speak, GM refers to this trend as an "unfavorable" product mix. – Automotive News

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