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Top News Links: Friday, Nov. 6

Harbert wins contract on $145M embassy

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations has awarded a contract to BL Harbert International to provide design-build services for the new U.S. Embassy Campus in Niamey, Niger. Located on the existing 10-acre embassy compound in the Yantala neighborhood, the $145.6 million, multi-building campus will include an office building, a U.S. Marine Security Guard Residence, community facilities, and associated support facilities. – News release

Walter Energy assets head to bankruptcy auction

Senior lenders of Walter Energy have entered into an asset purchase agreement with the Birmingham company that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July. The company on Thursday requested a federal judge's approval to auction its assets as part of that agreement. – AL.com

Louisiana parishes speed up with Adtran

Adtran Inc., a leading provider of next-generation networking solutions, announced Thursday that EATEL has joined the company’s Enabling Communities, Connecting Lives program. Residents in Louisiana’s Ascension and Livingston Parishes can now experience one of the nation’s fastest broadband speeds with 1 Gigabit Ethernet Internet connections – 10 times faster than the typical connection. – News release

Auburn biomechanics team invents Drumbelt

Marching band drummers may have fewer back pains in the future thanks to a team of Auburn University Marching Band alumni. Ande Sumner, a 2012 graduate of biomechanics in the School of Kinesiology, led the team that invented the Drumbelt to increase the support properties of the metal drum carrier. – News release

Former Zoe’s team reveals more on new project

Miss Dots – a new, Southern-themed fast-casual restaurant concept created by former Zoe's Kitchen CEO John Cassimus – is expected to open its first locations in Mountain Brook and Tuscaloosa by late December. Cassimus and his business partner, Tyre Stuckey, the former vice president of operations at Zoe's, have spent the past year developing the Miss Dots concept, and this week, they revealed the name, the menu and more details about the restaurants. – AL.com

Bo Bikes Bama happening on April 30

Two-sport legend Bo Jackson has announced that his 5th annual Bo Bikes Bama charity bike ride will take place the morning of Saturday, April 30, in Auburn. More than 2,000 participants have joined Jackson since his inaugural ride, and Jackson expects the event to continue growing. – News release

NASA reaches out to Mobile businesses

NASA depends on American businesses to supply it with everything from software to paperclips. Last year, the federal space agency spent $1.8 billion on direct and indirect contractors. On Wednesday, NASA officials reached out to small and medium-sized businesses in Mobile to help get them involved. – AL.com

Former Adams Produce exec closer to jail

Steven Finberg, the former chief operating officer for Adams Produce Co. that filed for bankruptcy and closed in 2012, was sentenced Thursday to six months in prison for failing to report a felony –  government contract fraud. U.S. District Court Judge Scott Coogler said he would recommend Finberg serve the sentence at a Federal Bureau of Prisons halfway house near where he now lives in Texas. Finberg is to report to prison Jan. 4. – AL.com

Design firm Stantec to expand in Alabama

North American design firm Stantec will expand its presence in Texas and Alabama with the planned acquisition of the Infrastructure Americas division of KBR, expected to close in December 2015. With offices in Houston, Austin, and Dallas, Texas; and Mobile, Infrastructure Americas will bring approximately 180 professionals with experience in transportation, water/wastewater, and aviation projects. – TWST.com

Walmart looking for 1,500 holiday hires

Walmart announced this week it expects to hire approximately 1,500 associates at more than 100 stores in Alabama over the next few months to help during the busy holiday shopping season. The Alabama hires are among the 60,000 seasonal workers the company estimates it will add nationwide. – Cullman Sense

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