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Top News Links: Friday, Jan. 6

UAB’s lessons about football addiction now going national

Once a school fields a top-division football team, it’s nearly impossible to reverse the commitment. The University of Massachusetts is one of 10 schools to join the Football Bowl Subdivision since 2009, and most are struggling financially. In theory, they have alternatives—drop down to the Football Championship Subdivision, known until 2006 as Division I-AA, or cut football entirely. Neither is a panacea, as the University of Alabama at Birmingham has learned. – Bloomberg

State’s automotive OEMs top 1 million in production

Alabama’s auto production climbed to a new record high in 2016, as workers at the state’s three auto assembly plants kept up a brisk pace of building SUVs, pickups and sedans for markets around the world. The Alabama factories of Honda, Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz combined to produce at least 1,048,597 vehicles, according to year-end figures reported by the companies. – Made In Alabama

As with all things, use social media with care

The Webster Parish tourism director who live-streamed an intimate moment between herself and her husband has been placed on paid leave. Lynn Dorsey, 61, of the Webster Parish Convention & Visitors Bureau, live-streamed nude the night of Dec. 19 in what was intended to be a private session with her husband while she was in Baton Rouge on business. Instead, the video was streamed from Dorsey's work-assigned smartphone to the tourism board’s public Instagram account. – KSLA

Japan defends Toyota after Trump broadsides

The Japanese government defended Toyota Motor Corp. on Friday as an "important corporate citizen" of the U.S., after President-elect Donald Trump singled out the automaker and threatened to slap punitive tariffs on its Mexico-built cars. Trump has repeatedly hit out at U.S. companies for using lower-cost factories abroad at the expense of jobs at home. – Automotive News

Regions appoints New Orleans insurance exec to board

Regions Financial Corp. has appointed a New Orleans life insurance executive to its board of directors. Jose Suquet will serve on the Birmingham company's Risk Committee and Compensation Committee. Suquet is CEO of Pan-American Life Insurance Group, the parent company of New Orleans-based Pan-American Life Insurance Company. – AL.com

Ground broken on Cullman Regional Med Center upgrade

Doster Construction Company broke ground on a 30-bed, 20,000-square-foot vertical expansion and CEP renovation at Cullman Regional Medical Center on Tuesday, January 4, 2017. The project is scheduled to complete in early 2018. – News release

Turner Construction employees take on storm duty

Members from Turner Construction's Huntsville and Nashville offices spent several days in December in Rosalie, Alabama and Gatlinburg, Tennessee offering help in the relief efforts following the recent wildfires and tornadoes that caused significant damage in these communities. While there the Turner teams donated and prepared hundreds of meals for both storm victims and rescue crews. – Alabama Construction News

Winter storm coming, Alabama Power offers tips

Forecasters are predicting a winter storm across the state starting early Friday morning and lasting through Saturday, with bitter temperatures capping off the winter weather weekend. Alabama Power is monitoring the changing conditions and doesn’t anticipate a significant number of outages from the wintry weather. Crews are prepared and ready to respond when and where needed. – ANC

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