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Top News Links: Tuesday, Jan. 3

Former Gov. Albert Brewer dies Monday at 88

Albert Preston Brewer, who brought a New South touch to the Alabama governor's office but lost a bid for a full term when George Wallace made an issue of his support from black voters, died Monday at the age of 88. Brewer took over the role of governor in May of 1968, after Governor Lurleen B. Wallace lost her struggle with cancer. He is the only governor in Alabama history to have held the offices of speaker, lieutenant governor, and governor in succession. – AL.com

Four people die in heavy storm near Dothan

Alabama’s governor said four people were killed in a building in an area hit by severe weather as a heavy storm system pounded the South with rain, hail and strong winds on Monday. Gov. Robert Bentley said in a message on Twitter the four fatalities occurred in a building in the area of Rehobeth, just outside the city of Dothan. – Reuters/SRN News

Mobile’s Airbus plant starts new phase of evolution

When an Airbus A321 begins to be born in Mobile, its future is literally laid out in front of it: Ahead of it in line, nose to tail, are three sister aircraft in various stages of completion. The newcomer is a wingless fuselage that's still in sections; the sibling at the far end, facing the exit, is almost ready for flight. – AL.com

State selects Muscle Shoals Sound Studio as top attraction

A fabled music studio where acts including the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan recorded hits hasn’t even reopened following an extensive renovation, yet it’s already being named Alabama’s No. 1 tourist stop of 2017. The Alabama Tourism Department has selected Muscle Shoals Sound Studio as the state’s top attraction of the New Year. – AP/National Post

State’s space industry awaits signs of Trump impact

Donald Trump has only hinted at the future of NASA. But his campaign suggestions — more deep space exploration, less Earth science — seem to bode well for Alabama and for Marshall Space Flight Center. The center's 6,000-person workforce is a key part of Huntsville's economy. And deep space exploration plays to Marshall's strengths as NASA's propulsion center and manager of the Space Launch System (SLS), the new rocket capable of going beyond Earth orbit to deep space. – AL.com/SacBee.com

Grand Hotel in Point Clear undergoing a $32 million transformation

Standing inside a guest room that's been completely stripped down to the cinder-block walls and concrete floor, Sam Sealy, wearing a hard hat, yells over the din of a jackhammer and the beep-beep-beep of heavy equipment going in reverse. Surrounded by ladders, wheelbarrows and hanging wires, he looks through the sliding-glass doors that provide a stunning glimpse through the branches of an oak tree, jutting into Mobile Bay. "The only thing staying is the view," said Sealy, the director of engineering for the Grand Hotel in Point Clear. – AL.com

Honda plans Super Bowl ad to push redesigned CR-V

Honda plans to run a Super Bowl ad for the second straight year with the automaker using this year's game to plug the redesigned 2017 Honda CR-V. Honda agency-of-record RPA will handle the spot. Honda declined to reveal creative details or the length of the ad. – Automotive News

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