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Top News Links: Thursday, July 21

Polaris begins production at Limestone County plant

Polaris is now producing two vehicles at its brand new Huntsville-annexed Limestone County plant. Polaris chairman and CEO Scott Wine said the company began producing RANGERS in the beginning of June, while Polaris workers started assembling Slingshots in early July. The start of Huntsville production comes as the company works on belt-tightening measures based on what Wine calls 'a weaker retail sales environment.' – WAAY

Utz to pay $135 million for Golden Enterprises

Pennsylvania snack food company Utz Quality Foods will be acquiring one of Alabama's largest public companies, which the Utz CEO said would allow both companies to grow. Hanover-based Utz on Tuesday announced it would acquire Birmingham-based Golden Enterprises for $135 million, a deal expected to close in the fourth quarter. – BizJournals.com

State pledging $7 million for Walmart center

An incentive approval by the Mobile City Council has brought a two million-square-foot Walmart distribution facility closer to fruition. In addition to the $4.6 million from the city and county, the state of Alabama has pledged $7 million, according to the attorney for Mobile County Jay Ross, but hasn’t approved them yet. – Deli Market News

Takata recall cuts into Mercedes-Benz Q2 profits

Daimler reported weaker profit from its Mercedes-Benz Cars unit in the second quarter because of the cost of refreshing its lineup and one-time charges related to recalling cars with faulty Takata airbags. The profit margin at the Mercedes-Benz Cars division, which includes the Smart brand, dropped to 6.4 percent, compared with 10.5 percent last year, the automaker said today. – Automotive News

Sears home stores in Dothan, Selma to reopen

Sears Evolving to meet changing consumer needs and to embrace its nationwide branding as “America’s Appliance Experts,” the refresh of three Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores in Alabama culminates with a grand reopening celebration today through Saturday at the locations in Dothan and Selma. – Globe Newswire

Pepsi sign controversy continues to fizz

When UAB got involved with the controversial sign on the Birmingham skyline, officials were told the company had all the permissions it needed, the University said in a statement. 84 Outdoor, a Pennsylvania advertising company, appealed a March decision made by the Birmingham Design Review Committee last week. – AL.com

RCP Companies adds $300 million Atlanta project

The same firm launching CityCentre at Big Spring and MidCity Huntsville just added another mixed-use development to its growing portfolio. RCP Companies announced this week it will open Jodeco Atlanta South, a $300 million project with Cabela's and a 12,000-square-foot Mt. Olive Market food hall. – AL.com

Southern Union merger being ‘paused’

Those who struggled and fought against the merger of Southern Union State Community College with Chattahoochee Valley Community College and Central Alabama Community College did not break into cheers when it was announced the merger was being "paused" last Thursday afternoon. The merger is being postponed indefinitely. – Randolph Leader

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