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Top News Links: Friday, June 10

Jurors expected to get Hubbard case today

Prosecutors and defense lawyers in the ethics trial of Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard in Opelika will make their final attempt to sway jurors this morning before the panel begins deliberating his fate. The lawyers will offer dueling views of the 54-year-old Republican, as either: A greedy man who used the power of his office to bring $2.3 million in business to his companies or a citizen legislator trying to earn a living and targeted by overzealous state prosecutors. – AP/Mining Journal

Boeing breaks ground on missile expansion, 70 new jobs expected

Dozens of new jobs are coming to north Alabama next year as Boeing Strategic Missile & Defense Systems expands in Huntsville. The company held a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday to kick off the construction of a new 28,000-square-foot building for Boeing's Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missile Seeker program on 499 Boeing Boulevard near Port of Huntsville. The expansion will create about 70 full-time engineering and manufacturing jobs. – AL.com

Boeing staff reductions likely won’t hit Huntsville hard

Boeing is planning massive staff reductions, but most Huntsville workers will not be at-risk during the aerospace company's strategic changes. The major Huntsville employer is looking at staff reductions totaling 4,000 workers in its Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) business. The company does employ BCA workers in Huntsville. One of the Boeing Huntsville team's recent contributions was toward the 787-9 Dreamliner design effort, including elements of the fuselage design. – WAAY

Glimpses seen of fourth-generation Mercedes GLE

Automotive News reported this week that Mercedes-Benz likely will bring out the fourth generation of its Vance-made GLE in 2018. The automotive trade publication/website posted spy photos of a camouflaged vehicle that reportedly showed the redesigned GLE crossover. The photos were taken by KPG Photography, which reported the GLE prototype will have a much different design with a lower, sleeker profile. – Automotive News/Tuscaloosa News

Birmingham-Southern using gift to hire EIR

Birmingham-Southern College is hiring an entrepreneur-in-residence to work full time with students in the Business Department and from across campus who want to start their own businesses or are seeking pre-professional experience. The McCain Executive-in-Residence in Entrepreneurship position, which begins this fall, was made possible by a $500,000 contribution from David O. "Dave" McCain III and his sister, Susan C. McCain. – BSC.edu

Airbus to use PPG cockpit windows for A320neo

Airbus has selected PPG enhanced-design sliding cockpit windows for installation in an A320neo airplane. After the aircraft is delivered, PPG will work with Airbus and the Federal Aviation Administration to gain Parts Manufacturer Approval to sell windows directly to airlines as replacements in the aftermarket in place of the current design. – News release

Governor creates cabinet-level office on minority affairs

Governor Robert Bentley has signed into law legislation making the Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs a cabinet-level office. Alabama is only the second state in the nation to have such an office, which will be led by Nichelle Williams Nix. She is a native of Mobile and has a political science degree from Spelman College in Atlanta, a master’s of public health degree from Emory University, and a law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law. – News release

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