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Top News Links: Tuesday, June 27

Amazon founder wants rocket engines from Huntsville

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' private spaceflight company is planning to build a powerful new rocket engine in Alabama, the company and state officials announced Monday. Blue Origin President Robert Meyerson said his company is seeking a production contract with United Launch Alliance, a private company that provides satellite launches for the U.S. government and others. – CBS

Teasing out threads of the Blue Origin announcement

So, why a big public announcement for a plant Blue Origin won't build unless it wins a ULA contract it hasn't won? Why was a detailed package of state incentives totaling nearly $50 million released, along with details of Huntsville's own $6 million in incentives? There was even a movie welcoming Blue Origin as an heir to Wernher von Braun. Blue Origin wasn't answering further questions Monday, and it's possible the answer is as simple as the Huntsville chamber has a good reason to expect Blue Origin will win. – AL.com

Washington state quickly found it was out of running

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space company will build its next-generation BE-4 rocket engines in Huntsville, bringing the prospect of more than 340 manufacturing jobs and $200 million in capital investment to that city. Washington state, the home of Blue Origin, was not even a finalist in the state-versus-state competition to select a location, according to Brian Bonlender, director of Washington’s Department of Commerce. Alabama is providing more than $50 million in incentives, and local governments plan their own inducements, officials there said. – Seattle Times

AIDB to break ground on $1.3M facility in Talladega 

The Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind will break ground in August on a $1.3 million nursing center to enhance health care services for AIDB students across its Talladega campuses. The 5,000-square-foot facility will include three hospital bedrooms, a nursing station, waiting area, and administrative space. – News release

Velocity Accelerator company releases iPhone app LikelyAI

The company that traveled the farthest to be part of Birmingham’s inaugural Velocity Accelerator class has marked a major milestone with the release of its app for iPhone. LikelyAI came to Birmingham from Slovakia to be part of the program that helps promising startups develop business plans and earn financing as they make their companies more marketable. – Alabama Today

Physician not sold on new snortable chocolate powder

Do you have a nose for chocolate? A new cocoa powder product is making its way onto the shelves here in Alabama. "Coco Loko" contains raw cocoa with a special energy blend, according to the company’s website. The company's recommended method of delivery? Snorting. The company says the powder gives the user a feeling similar to the feeling of being on ecstasy because of a serotonin rush. – ABC3340

Former chamber CEO, two others face securities fraud charges

The former CEO of the Navarre Beach Chamber of Commerce, along with her husband and son, is facing securities fraud charges in Alabama. Judy Morehead, who headed the chamber since October 2015, announced her resignation Wednesday, citing family responsibilities. At the time, she made no public mention of the pending criminal allegations. – Pensacola News Journal

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