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Top News Links: Wednesday, Nov. 2

Polaris celebrates plant grand opening in Huntsville

They came from Montgomery and Washington D.C. to throw bouquets at Polaris, heralding the formal grand opening of its new manufacturing plant in Huntsville as an economic windfall to the state. Greg Canfield, Alabama Secretary of Commerce, described the financial impact of the facility that plans to eventually employ 1,700 people at the Huntsville plant as more than $2 billion over 20 years. – AL.com

Toyota starts new hiring effort at Huntsville engine plant

Huntsville engine maker Toyota is looking to recruit skilled maintenance technicians in an effort to maintain its 1,400-person workforce. Alabama Industrial Development Training, which assists Toyota in workforce recruitment and development, is now conducting skill assessments for potential employees looking to work for the major Huntsville employer. – WAAY

Tallest crane ever for Alabama now ready in Mobile

Since it was delivered at the Port of Mobile last week, a massive, 490-foot-tall crane has been stationed along I-10 off Rangeline Road in Theodore, causing some drivers to slow down as they marvel at its stature. "There are only three anywhere in the Southeast and just a couple dozen in the entire country,” said William Dickerson, chief executive officer of Daphne-based Power Inc. Crane and Rigging, which recently acquired the crane. – AL.com

Colonial aims to reopen pipeline this weekend

Executives at a pipeline company say their goal is to restart the line as early as this weekend after an explosion and fire shut down gasoline shipments to millions across the South. The deadly explosion near Helena sparked a geyser of fire Monday and closed off the vital pipeline, raising fears of another round of gas shortages and price increases. It's Colonial Pipeline's second accident in two months. – AP/WVLT

Initial indicators suggest weak hiring in October

Businesses added 147,000 jobs in October, payroll processor ADP said Wednesday, possibly signaling the government this week will report a third straight month of disappointing employment gains. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected ADP to report 165,000 job gains. – USA Today

Honda sees 4.2 percent sales drop last month

American Honda got an unpleasant October surprise with sales dipping 4.2 percent for the month to 126,161 vehicles sold. Car sales for both the Honda and Acura divisions were particularly hard hit, dropping a combined 10 percent while light-truck sales were up 2 percent overall, Honda said Tuesday. – Automotive News

Know how to deal with a social media crisis? Here’s how

Social media has undoubtedly brought businesses many communication advantages but it can also be an added complexity and even be a cause of additional pressure in a crisis situation. As well as meeting the huge demands of the traditional media during a crisis media management situation, communication teams are now faced with a range of extra channels to monitor, manage and feed. – Media First

USA, Spring Hill College to offer cross-registration

University of South Alabama students will soon be able to enroll for courses offered at Spring Hill College. And Spring Hill students could, likewise, sign up for classes at South. This new partnership, called “cross-registration,” will take effect in January 2017 with the beginning of each institution’s spring semester. – News release

Your mom was right, first impressions count

You walk into an expensive restaurant and approach the hostess station to confirm your reservation. The hostess is texting and has her back to the customers waiting to be seated. Her blouse is wrinkled, she has chipped nail polish, and she’s chewing gum. If you’ve never been to this restaurant before, what’s your expectation of the service likely to be? – Medium.com

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