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Top News Links: Friday, June 19

UA picks Bell as new president

Stuart Bell was selected as the new president of the University of Alabama in a trustees meeting Thursday.  Bell comes to UA from Louisiana State University, where he was executive vice president and provost. Earlier, Bell taught in UA’s engineering school for 16 years. — AL.com

Boeing kicks off new tech center with virtual ribbon cutting

Emphasizing the cool, high tech nature of its new $6 million Research & Technology Center in Huntsville, key Boeing Co. officials pulled out their tablet computers instead of their scissors and performed a simulated ribbon cutting Thursday. The center already has about 220 engineers on staff and the company is looking for another 80. The center will focus on metals and chemical technology, composites, electromechanical technology and systems integration. — AL.com

Ground broken for new museum in Decatur

City officials broke ground for the new Cook Museum of Natural Science, a 57,000-square-foot, $10.5 million facility with major funding from the Cook family, who own Cook’s Pest Control. — Decatur Daily News

Guntersville airport expanding

A new runway at Guntersville Municipal Airport will be ready for use after a ribbon cutting Sunday. In progress since 2013, the project received more than $6 million in federal funding. — Guntersville Advertiser-Gleam

Sessions asks for visa reform, wins Department of Labor investigation

Alabama’s Sen. Jeff Sessions joined several other national legislative leaders calling for a federal investigation of H1-B visas, saying that U.S. companies are bringing foreign workers in to replace capable U.S. workers, rather than because no suitable workers are available — thereby violating the original intent of the special class of visas. The U.S. Department has launched an investigation. — AL.com

Craft Beer Championship slated for Shoals

The Shoals area will host the state’s first Craft Beer Championship, possibly as early as next year. Local officials hope to turn the event into an event that will draw tourists that way music festivals do. — Florence Times Daily

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