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Top News Links: Monday, July 18

Florida oyster farmer using Dauphin Island seeds

Donnie McMahon III, president of McMahon & Hadder Insurance, is leasing 10 acres in Escambia Bay from the state of Florida to grow oysters as a side gig. Eighty cages now float at the Magnolia Bluff site in Escambia Bay. The cages will soon be filled with seeds from the Auburn University Shellfish Lab on Dauphin Island and produce oysters for his startup, Pensacola Bay Oyster Company. – Pensacola Journal

Mercedes, Toyota execs to open CAR MBS

Two executives from automakers will kick off the Center for Automotive Research's annual industry conference in Traverse City, Michigan. Presidents from Mercedes-Benz U.S. and Toyota Motor Manufacturing will discuss their companies' investments and strategies during the opening World Class Manufacturing session at CAR MBS on Aug. 1. – PRNewsWire

Small businesses have many loan options

“This is an area we are definitely working on diligently and growing,” said Benson Bolling, chief lending officer for Alabama Credit Union in Tuscaloosa. “It’s been a good performing book of business for us, we want to serve members, and the dollar value on a commercial loan is typically higher than a consumer loan, so it helps us grow our loan portfolio.” – Forbes

Alabama’s Kids Count education ranking worsens

Education in Alabama ranks 48th in the 2016 Kids Count state data profile, but researchers and educators agree the situation isn't quite as grim as it appears. Still, the state ranked 45th last year and 44th the two previous years. Researchers with Voices for Alabama's Children gathered Census data, as well as data from other sources, and researched the issues affecting education. – TimesDaily.com

Just two have been built so far, but they’re awesome

Money can’t buy you a good golf swing but it can get you the world's best golf cart. The golf cart in question is a collaboration between Mercedes-Benz designers, a business division of Daimler, and Garia, a golf cart maker. It’s chock full of carbon fiber features, blending well with the metal and wood-trimmed surfaces. – AL.com

Redstone Arsenal turns 75 this year

That's cause for major celebration in Huntsville, and all of Alabama for that matter. Redstone is one of the state's major economic engines, and could be described as the Pentagon South. Since opening in 1941 as the Army's chemical weapons development site, it transformed Huntsville from the watercress capital of the world to the Rocket City we know today. – AL.com

Birmingham police somber after news of Baton Rouge

The men and women in blue in central Alabama were somber Sunday over the brutal killings of three Baton Rouge, Louisiana, police officers. Heath Boackle, a veteran Birmingham police officer and current president of Birmingham's Fraternal Order of Police, knows what it feels like to be shot at while serving. – WVTM

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