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Top News Links: Friday, July 24

Do state’s brewers make a profit?

Making beer takes water, grain, hops and yeast. Making a profit as a craft brewer is a more complicated recipe. Alabama's craft beer industry is definitely enjoying a boom: Membership in the Alabama Brewers Guild has swelled to 31 companies. That's not the same thing as having a license to print money, though. Like any business, a brewery has to recoup its startup costs. Like any businessman, a brewer has to translate initial passion into a stable long-term operation. And so when you ask if Alabama's breweries are actually making money, the answer is a definite "maybe." – AL.com

Tuition increasing at state’s two-year colleges

The board of trustees for Alabama’s two-year college system approved a tuition increase for the fall during its meeting Wednesday. Base tuition rates will increase by $2 to $115 per credit hour in the fall as part of an automatic annual increase for the Alabama Community College System’s community and technical campuses, system Chancellor Mark Heinrich said. The tuition rate for nonresident students would be $230 per credit hour. – Tuscaloosa News

ALDOT picks Thompson for bridge engineering

The state transportation agency on Thursday selected Thompson Engineering to develop plans for a new Interstate 10 bridge across the river. The existing I-10 bridge across Mobile Bay will also be widened. The value of the Thompson Engineering contract hasn't been determined, but the entire project is expected to cost some $850 million. – AP/Gulf Live

Call center to hire 300 in Montgomery

Less than a month after a global call center company announced a new hub and 500 jobs in Montgomery, a second call center company has announced a major expansion and said it plans to hire 300 more workers here. Expert Global Solutions has already started hiring for its 4520 Executive Park Drive expansion, adding leadership positions and agents. – Montgomery Advertiser

E-cig industry nervously eyes tobacco tax

A higher tobacco tax proposed to help ease Alabama’s multimillion-dollar general fund shortfall is no longer limited to tobacco-based products. The e-cigarette and vaping industry is affected too. Right now, many vapor shop owners are on edge. They worry that if legislators pass a proposed cigarette tax the growing e-cigarette business, with many shops in Alabama, would shrivel up. – WIAT

Boeing continues hiring at research center

Boeing is still looking to hire plenty of workers to fill up its new Research & Technology (BR&T - Alabama) wing in Huntsville. More than 20 positions are still being advertised on the company's website, ranging from cybersecurity researchers to material physics and processes engineers. – WAAY

Stimpson pleads case for Ex-Im Bank

Port City mayor Sandy Stimpson met with President Obama Wednesday to discuss the possible impact on Alabama’s economy if the Export-Import Bank is not reauthorized. The Ex-Im Bank finances exports for American companies that would be too risky for traditional lenders by making guaranteed loans to the foreign purchasers of those exports. – Yellowhammer News

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