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Top News Links: Thursday, May 4

Alabama, Airbus partner on aviation center in Mobile

Alabama and Airbus have joined forces to bring a new Airbus Aviation Center to Mobile, saying it will help "inspire young people to pursue careers in the state's growing aerospace cluster." The plan was announced Wednesday by Gov. Kay Ivey, whose office is providing $5 million of the project's $6.5 million budget. Airbus is contributing $1.5 million "from AIDT reimbursements for job training." – AL.com

Kimberly-Clark to add $75M power plant in Mobile

Kimberly-Clark Corporation has approved a $75 million investment to build a new on-site combined heat-power plant at its tissue mill in Mobile. The plant, to be constructed over a two-year period, is expected to improve the facility’s long-term energy efficiency and costs, as well as boost overall competitiveness within Kimberly-Clark, it says. – Pulp & Paper Canada

State education budget passes House

Alabama lawmakers have passed the state education budget. The House of Representatives unanimously approved the $6.4 billion budget proposal Wednesday. Tuscaloosa Republican Rep. Bill Poole says the budget will keep state schools mostly funded at the same levels as last year but provides some increases for K-12 schools. It sets aside money to hire 152 more teachers in fourth through sixth grades. – AP/USN&WR

Was Southern Company’s gasification plant worth it?

The nation’s second integrated gasification and combined cycle facility may finally come on line by month’s end. Mississippi Power’s $7.2 billion advanced plant, initially projected to cost $2.8 billion and to be in service in 2014, will capture carbon dioxide and use it to enhance oil recovery. The question that both regulators and consumers are asking is whether this much treasure should have been placed into building such a unit when Southern Co. could have constructed a common combined cycled natural gas plant with fewer headaches. – Forbes

New Leaf Digital founder resigns, faces charges

The founder of New Leaf Digital and CoWorking Night has resigned after what the Huntsville nonprofit described as an "unfortunate incident" on a dance floor. Details about the incident, which New Leaf said happened on April 22, were not immediately known but a statement from New Leaf said Chris Beaman has experienced a "general deterioration in his wellbeing, which in turn led to some instabilities in his life" as a result of business success. – AL.com

Solar array project completed at Fort Rucker

After almost a year of labor, a renewable and alternative energy source project for Fort Rucker has been completed. On Thursday, April 20, Fort Rucker and Alabama Power Company held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the completion of the solar energy array facility located on post that will produce up to 10 megawatts of energy. – Southeast Sun

Owa plans to open amusement park by mid-July

Planners of a resort being built in Baldwin County say they're aiming to open a new amusement park by mid-July, requiring 400 seasonal workers. The Park at OWA is the amusement park section of the 520-acre resort that's now under construction. OWA is the first major non-gambling development in Alabama backed by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. – AP/Tribune

Hoover man arrested, charged with stealing $180,000

An Alabama man has been arrested on charges of stealing more than $180,000 from former employers. The FBI arrested 32-year-old Randall Sho Woods on Wednesday. An indictment says Woods stole more than $30,000 from Ingram's Accounting & Financial Management Inc., and stole more than $130,000 from State Traditions. He also stole $20,000 as treasurer of the University of Alabama's Million Dollar Band association. – AP/USN&WR

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