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Top News Links: Thursday, March 6

Johnston Barton Proctor & Rose shutting down

Two Southeast-based law firms on Thursday announced they have expanded their Birmingham offices with the addition of two dozen lawyers from Johnston Barton Proctor and Rose LLP, which is shutting down after 88 years. – al.com

Fitch upgrades Alabama Port Authority’s bonds

Fitch Ratings has affirmed its 'BBB+' rating on the Alabama State Port Authority's $303.5 million docks facilities revenue bonds. The Rating Outlook has been revised to Positive from Stable. – Businesswire.com

Radio Shack to close 65 stores in Alabama

Radio Shack has announced plans to close 1,100 underperforming stores across the United States — including 65 locations in Alabama. – Cullman Times

Opp jubilant as American Apparel returns

American Apparel has announced it will reopen its doors in Opp after being closed for nearly a year. The announcement means jobs for 70 to 75 people, and the company CEO said he hopes American Apparel can hire as many former employees as possible. – Andalusia Star News

Amtech growing at Pell City Industrial Park

American Metal Technology will add about 25 jobs when it adds 30,000 square feet to its operations at Pell City Industrial Park, according to company President Jim Davidson. – Dailyhome.com

Publix sees sales gains of 5 percent for year

Publix has reported sales gains of more than 5% for the fourth quarter and for all of 2013. Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix, a privately owned company with 1,077 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee and North Carolina, reported a 5.2% increase in sales for the fiscal year ending Dec. 28. – Thepacker.com

Rausch & Pausch cuts ribbon in Auburn

A German automotive supplier has cut the ribbon on a new plant that will mean 105 jobs in Auburn. Rausch & Pausch unveiled the production center and headquarters on Wednesday morning. The 70,000-square-foot facility is located in Auburn Technology Park West. – The Associated Press

Bill passes state Senate for skilled worker training

A bill to set up a scholarship program for high school students to train at two-year colleges to become welders, electricians, mechanics or other types of skilled workers won final passage this week in the Alabama Senate. – al.com

Navistar’s rocky road continues in 1Q

Navistar International Corp. said its loss expanded in its fiscal first quarter as sales volumes fell. Navistar reported a net loss of $248 million, or $3.05 a share, in the quarter ended Jan. 31, compared with $123 million, or $1.53, in the same quarter a year ago. – Ttnews.com

Foley plans $27M sports complex

Foley is moving forward with plans to build a multi-use, state-of-the-art sports complex that will provide the city with the capacity to host large indoor and outdoor tournaments. Construction of the $27 million sports complex could begin as early as March, according to Foley Mayor John Koniar. – Visitfoley.org

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