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Top News Links: Tuesday, June 14

Motus Motorcycles production gearing up in Birmingham

American motorcycles are typically associated with a thumping big V-twin engine. But the two creators of Motus Motorcycles, Brian Case and Lee Conn, saw things differently. They set out to build the first sports-touring motorcycle the U.S. has seen since World War II, and it doesn’t have a V-Twin engine. In fact, it has a V4. The company started as a result of a chance meeting between the two in 2008. It has been developing two motorcycles – the MST and MST-R – which are now making their way to customers. – BehindTheWheel.com

Amsted Rail laying off 155 workers in Bessemer

Amsted Rail is laying off 155 workers as it idles its Bessemer wheel facility, according to records from the Department of Commerce. The Chicago-based railway wheel designer and manufacturer cited a reduction in new railcar demand and improved efficiency of American railroads. – AL.com

Jockeying under way for House leadership role

The first thing that came to Rep. Victor Gaston’s mind after hearing of former House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s conviction and removal from office Friday was Hubbard’s family, said Gaston, who automatically became acting speaker with Hubbard’s departure. “And then my phone started ringing.” – Montgomery Advertiser

Marriott Townplace Suites going up in Montgomery

RAM Hotels has started work on its second Montgomery hotel in the Eastchase development, less than three months after the first one opened. The company opened the 115-room Hilton Garden Inn inside the retail hub this spring. Now, construction is under way on a four-story, 93-room Marriott Townplace Suites behind the new Kobe Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar — and directly across the street from the company’s first hotel. – Montgomery Advertiser

ACHE approves AUM’s entrepreneurship degree

The Alabama Commission on Higher Education has approved Auburn Montgomery’s BSBA in Entrepreneurship. Graduates of the BSBA in Entrepreneurship will be able to seek self-employment in their own business start-ups after graduation. In addition, they will be able to seek employment in corporate jobs that are focused on new venture development functions of business. – News release

More details revealed in Walmart solar project

A new solar energy generating facility to be built in east Alabama will help the world's largest retailer move a step closer to meeting renewable energy goals. Under a long-term contract with Alabama Power, Walmart will subscribe to a majority of the solar photovoltatic facility's environmental attributes, also known as renewable energy credits (RECs). – DothanFirst.com

Wilmington Trust opens office in Birmingham

Wilmington Trust has opened an office in Birmingham, the company announced. The Delaware-based bank opened the new branch as part of an effort to expand its corporate trust services in the Southeast. The Birmingham office is part of Wilmington Trust's Global Capital Markets division, which provides services for institutional and corporate clients including acting as trustee, register and paying agent in municipal and corporate bond transactions. – Delaware Online

SMP Automotive starts hiring process for expansion

SMP Automotive Alabama on Monday began accepting online applications for pre-employment training classes. The automotive supply company is now building a 700,000-square-foot, $154 million plant at Cedar Cove Technology Park in Cottondale. The company expects to hire about 650 people. – Tuscaloosa News

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