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Top News Links: Friday, Jan. 29

ULA’s Air Force launch contract under scrutiny

United Launch Alliance, the Boeing-Lockheed Martin joint venture, is drawing the ire of a key member of Congress and the reservations of senior Pentagon officials over its decision not to compete for future military satellite launch contracts. The blowback stems in part from an $800 million yearly option awarded to ULA by the Air Force as part of a larger launch agreement that runs through 2019 in support of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program. – DefenseSystems.com

SynVivo’s new proprietary chip getting attention

SynVivo CEO C. Richard Piazza believes he has a game-changing piece of medical technology. The product, developed by CFD Research Corporation, is aiming to recreate what happens when you administer a drug to a patient. CFDRC recently completed its spin-out of SynVivo as its own company in 2015. – WAAY

Uberizing your start-up could kill it dead

In July, Kevin Gibbon made an announcement that could turn out to be the best, or worst thing to ever happen to his startup — depending on who you talk to. Gibbon is the founder and CEO of Shyp, a three-year-old package delivery start-up with $62 million in funding. The app-based service, lauded by many as the “Uber for shipping,” allows users to summon a courier to their door and pick up anything that they want to ship across the country. – LinkedIn

Teacher raises, tenure changes proposed

As legislators prepare to return to work Feb. 2, one of the issues percolating in advance of the session is Senate President Del Marsh’s call to increase teacher pay while fundamentally changing the teacher tenure system. – WHNT

Birmingham Times sold to new owner

The Birmingham Times has new ownership and new leadership as its founder and publisher retires, the newspaper announced Thursday. Jesse Lewis Sr., 91, founded the Times in 1964 to give the black community a greater voice during the civil rights struggle. He has been serving as publisher. – AL.com

Orbital ATK has successful missile defense test

Orbital ATK, a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, successfully launched and tested its Orbital Boost Vehicle rocket for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency as part of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense Controlled Test Vehicle-02 Plus mission. Orbital ATK has facilities in Huntsville and California. – BusinessWire

Changes may benefit new GED participants

The Alabama Community College System joined the GED Testing Service this week to announce major changes to the GED Test which will help to provide greater opportunities for those successfully passing the test. According to the GED Testing Service, there has been a recalibration to the GED test passing score and the addition of two new performance levels. – News release

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