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Top News Links: Friday, July 17

Top salaries spiked as Walter Energy hit rocks

The CEO of Walter Energy's total compensation more than doubled the year before the Birmingham company declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Walter Energy hasn't reported a positive annual net income since 2011. And while the net loss has decreased 55 percent since a low of $1 billion in 2012, CEO Walt Scheller's pay has grown 140 percent to $6.3 million in the same time period. – AL.com

Signal’s financial ties to RSA a complication?

Shipyard Signal International LLC lost a lawsuit—the first of dozens—earlier this year. Several Indian citizens accused the company of luring them to work on oil rigs damaged by Hurricane Katrina under false pretenses. The first case to go to trial resulted in a $14 million jury award against the company. But it is not abnormal for large companies go bankrupt, so why are Alabama taxpayers on the hook this time? The Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA) owns more than 47 percent of Signal International. The RSA is currently owed $70 million by Signal, and has offered to loan an additional $20 million to help the company through the restructuring process of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. – Yellowhammer

Hargrove working on $100M Evonik expansion

Hargrove Engineers + Constructors has secured a contract with Evonik Industries to provide services for expansion of the latter's manufacturing facility in Theodore, Alabama, US. The $100m expansion involves the addition of a new production plant for an agrochemical intermediate, process plant structure, off-gas and waste water collection tank farm, raw materials, and product tank farm. The scope of work under the contract also includes loading / unloading stations, plant-specific utility systems and environmental treatment systems. – Chemicals-Technology.com

Alabama Innovation Awards names 20 finalists

Twenty finalists from across the state are up for the 2015 Alabama Innovation Awards presented by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama. The annual awards honor companies and individuals dedicated to creating jobs, innovation and addressing a local or global need. Winners will be recognized Sept. 2 at the fifth-annual Alabama Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference in Birmingham. – AL.com

APM gets first tax abatement for $47.5M expansion

APM Terminals secured Wednesday the first of three requested tax abatements for its planned second-phase, $47.5 million container terminal expansion on Choctaw Point. The request, which came before the city of Mobile's Industrial Development Board, represents the first local request approved invoking recently passed "Made in Alabama" jobs incentives legislation. The project, which will also expand the company's container yard by 20 acres, represents a continued partnership between APM and the Alabama State Port Authority that has already seen the investment of nearly $50 million. – AL.com

Dot map plots every job by category in Alabama

A fascinating new dot map compiled by Robert Manduca, a Harvard sociology PhD student, reveals how cities have distinct regions for different industries. Manduca created the map using labor data from the 2010 census. “These kinds of maps are great when you’re talking about individuals,” he said, “especially when you’re talking about jobs, because jobs are more concentrated than people. It gets across how tightly packed they are in many U.S. cities.” – Yellowhammer

Corridor X sees another delay

The interchange between Interstate 65 and the new Interstate 22 north of Birmingham is facing another delay. The massive project, initially slated for completion in 2014, will not be completed until at least November 2015, according to Gary Smith, construction engineer with the Alabama Department of Transportation. – BizJournals.com

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