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Top News Links: Thursday, Jan. 26

St. Vincent Health System CEO Biddle to retire in June

St. Vincent's Health System President and CEO Neeysa Biddle will retire June 30, the hospital announced Wednesday. Biddle started as interim CEO in September 2014 before taking the position of Senior Vice President at Ascension Healthcare and Birmingham Ministry Market Executive permanently in February 2015. In that role, she served as President and CEO of the health system. – AL.com

SACS, Bentley at war over board positions

Gov. Robert Bentley believes a request from an accrediting agency to remove him from the boards of all state colleges and universities is politically motivated, but the agency that made the request said it’s simply a matter of aligning the governance structure of Alabama’s universities with other states. – Alabama Political Reporter

Toyota announces plant to up U.S. investment

Toyota joined the parade of manufacturers seeking to highlight their U.S. investments in the President Trump age with an announcement Tuesday that it would expand its Princeton, Ind. factory. Following criticism from Trump over its investments in Mexico, Toyota said Tuesday that it would add 400 jobs at the Indiana plant to bolster production for the Highlander SUV. – USA Today

Thomas Jefferson Towers redo nearing completion

The $30 million redevelopment of one of Birmingham's tallest buildings is almost complete. The first residents of Thomas Jefferson Towers have moved in and the building is moving closer to completion after nearly two years of construction. Work on the first two floors is complete, as well as floors 14 through 20. Construction on floors three through 12 is expected to finish by the end of March (there is no 13th floor). – AL.com

Alabama bucks trend, sees construction jobs drop in ‘16

Thirty-two states added construction jobs in 2016 but Alabama was not among them, instead being in the eighteen states and District of Columbia grouping that saw such jobs decrease. Alabama lost 6,100 jobs, or 7.4 percent, according to an annual survey by the Associated General Contractors of America. – News release

Tax credit for historic structures sought as priority for ’17

State Sen. Jabo Waggoner of Vestavia Hills said he plans to re-sponsor an Alabama historic tax credit bill in the Legislature to rehabilitate abandoned buildings. The Legislature convenes Feb. 7. Waggoner wants to renew Alabama’s historic tax credit which has benefitted nearly two dozen projects in Birmingham and more than 50 statewide, including the Lyric Theatre. – Birmingham Times

Kia the latest automaker to draft a Trump plan

Kia Motors said it is drawing up a contingency plan to cope with the policies of U.S. President Donald Trump, reflecting growing wariness by Asian exporters about the prospect of U.S. protectionism. Trump has promised to revive U.S. industrial jobs by forcing automakers to stop making cars in Mexico. – Automotive News

Birmingham’s bright green bikes hailed as success

Hundreds of bright green bicycles have collectively logged nearly 100,000 miles crisscrossing Birmingham, as the city’s new bike sharing system has become a hit with residents and visitors alike. Zyp BikeShare, a REVBirmingham initiative that launched in October 2015, gives riders a new way to make a quick trip to the grocery store, spend an afternoon exploring favorite landmarks or take many other excursions around the city. – Alabama News Center

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