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Top News Links: Wednesday, January 3

Muscle Shoals music powerhouse Rick Hall dies

Rick Hall, the founder of FAME Recording Studios and a pioneering force on the Muscle Shoals music scene, has died at age 85. According to a story in the TimesDaily in Florence, Hall died Tuesday at his home. Judy Hood, a board member of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame and the wife of bassist David Hood of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, confirmed Hall's death. – AL.com 

Morgan County books $535 million in 2017 investment

Morgan County in 2017 announced two new industries, thirteen non-confidential expansions, and five confidential expansions or equipment upgrades for a total of $535,439,962 in new capital investments and 436 new job, according to the Morgan County Economic Development Association. Morgan County is home to approximately 150 industries, including twelve Fortune 500 companies and eight Global 500 companies. – News release

Alabama ranks 9th in Atlas Van Lines migration study

Alabama was found to be a top inbound state in 2017, ranked ninth amongst all 50 states in Atlas Van Lines’ annual migration study. As one of the nation’s leading moving companies, Atlas tracks yearly interstate (or between states) moves to define trends in nationwide migration. This year’s data classified Alabama as an inbound state in 2017, with 57.0 percent of the state’s moves being into the state. Alabama classified as balanced in 2016—meaning outbound or inbound numbers don't exceed the threshold. – News release

Regions to raise its minimum wage based on tax reform

Regions Financial Corp. today announced it will increase its hourly minimum wage to $15 an hour by year's end, just one move in what it says is a series of targeted, long-term investments in response to last month's rewrite of the nation's tax laws. That includes an increase in spending on capital spending and a contribution to the company's charitable foundation to benefit communities. – AL.com

Anniston newspaper icon in trouble for alleged spankings

The chairman of a company that publishes six newspapers in Alabama has been accused of assaulting female employees by spanking them while he was a newsroom executive decades ago. At least three women say H. Brandt Ayers, who became a nationally known voice of Southern liberalism during his tenure as editor and publisher at The Anniston Star, assaulted them in the mid-1970s. – AP/SLT

Birmingham’s Lakeview to get new mixed-use development

Demolition work has started on the site of an upcoming mixed-use apartment, condo, retail and restaurant development in Birmingham's Lakeview neighborhood, Engel Reality says. The former Davis School located at 4th Avenue South and 29th Street is being cleared to make way for the development called Lakeview Green. The property is located one block from Pepper Place. – AL.com

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