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Top News Links: Wednesday, March 29

Tentative hearing schedule set on Bentley impeachment

The House Judiciary Committee Tuesday released a tentative schedule for hearings on Gov. Robert Bentley’s possible impeachment.  But attorneys from both sides stressed that the dates were subject to change. “There are a number of variables, internal and external, that could have an impact on this schedule,” Jackson Sharman, the special counsel for the House Judiciary Committee, wrote in a letter to Bentley’s attorneys dated March 23. – Montgomery Advertiser

Constellium installs new recycling furnace at Muscle Shoals

Constellium, a Netherlands-based aluminum company with operations in Europe and the United States, has completed the installation of a recycling furnace at its Muscle Shoals aluminum facility. The fully operational furnace is expected to increase the total recycling output of the plant by 170 million pounds, or by 5.2 billion additional used beverage cans (UBC), per year. With the new furnace, Constellium’s Muscle Shoals facility will be able to recycle nearly 20 billion aluminum cans per year, the company says. – Recycling Today

Lawmakers concerned over ABC’s 5 percent price hikes

Within the proposed 2018 General Fund budget is additional millions for district attorneys and the court system - if the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board raises its markup on bottles of liquor by 5 percent. But some lawmakers are balking at what they're calling a tax increase made by an unelected body. – WVTM

Officials continue to deal with bird flu outbreaks

Georgia agricultural officials have confirmed a case of low pathogenic bird flu reported in Chattooga County, and the quarantine zone affects part of Alabama. That makes Georgia the fourth state in the Southeast to report the less serious strain of avian influenza, joining Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky. Officials still say the strain does not pose a risk to the food supply, and no affected animals entered the food chain. – AL.com

Bentley praises Airbus as prime economic development

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley toured the Airbus facility in Mobile on Tuesday, holding the company up as a prime example of economic development and job creation while resolutely deflecting questions about his political future. Bentley has visited the Airbus Final Assembly Line before, including the occasion in spring 2016 when it delivered its first finished jetliner to the plane's new owner. – AL.com

Alabama bank prepares to enter Nashville market

An Alabama bank is entering the Nashville area market through the acquisition of a Nolensville-based bank holding company in an all-cash deal that’s the latest sign of a revival of mergers and acquisitions in the local banking sector. Scottsboro-based FNS Bancshares Inc. will gain branches in Nolensville and in Ardmore, Tenn., and Grant, Ala., upon completion expected by October of its purchase of Commerce Bancshares Inc., the parent of Peoples State Bank of Commerce. – The Tennessean

UAH names new director to Davidson Center

The University of Alabama in Huntsville has tapped Rigved Joshi as its new director of the Dorothy S. Davidson Innovation to Invention Center. Joshi, an MBA holder who recently managed new ventures, strategy and innovation at Vanderbilt University, has a wide range of business experience, ranging from venture capital and private equity to startup incubation. – AL.com

Alabama Launchpad looks to expand regionally

Alabama Launchpad, a program of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, is looking for communities that want to replicate the statewide competition on a local level. EDPA is accepting requests for proposals for the Alabama Launchpad Regional Partnership Program through April 3, and will admit two regions per year over the next five years. –Alabama News Center

Surge Trampoline Park joining renovated Pepperell Corners

Surge Trampoline Park – the first of its kind in the Auburn-Opelika market, will join the retail line-up at Pepperell Corners, currently undergoing a $3 million renovation to improve its overall façade and functionality. “Opelika is a great market for Surge Trampoline Park with its accessibility to an expansive and diverse trade area that includes Auburn University,” said Ray Jones, leasing agent with The Shopping Center Group. – News release

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