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Top News Links: Friday, Oct. 16

Toyota to stop making gas-powered cars by 2050

In an effort to eliminate carbon emissions, Toyota said it plans to stop the production of most gasoline-powered vehicles by 2050. The Japanese automaker, which operates an engine factory in Huntsville, said it will focus research on the development of hydrogen cars rather than electric vehicles, the alternative technology favored by most other automakers. Toyota has already introduced the Mirai, a fuel-cell vehicle. – AL.com

Lockheed Martin to lay off 250 …

A Lockheed Martin spokesperson says 250 workers will lose their jobs nationwide through November. The global security giant confirmed the layoffs, first reported by Reuters, are in its Missiles and Fire Control business. The company has two major hubs of employment in Alabama, including Huntsville and Troy, which both house Missiles and Fire Control employees. – WAAY

…Despite new $305M missile contract

Lockheed Martin has received a $305.4 million contract from the U.S. Air Force for continued production of the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) and its Extended Range version. The Lot 13 contract includes 140 baseline JASSMs for U.S. and international partners, 140 JASSM-ER missiles, data, tooling and test equipment. The missiles are produced at the company's facility in Troy. – Street Insider

Which are the drunkest cities in Alabama?

Cullman – which once hosted what was touted as the "world's only dry Oktoberfest" – is now on a website's list of the drunkest cities in Alabama. But Gulf Shores tops the listing, ranked by the number of bars, wineries and liquor stores per capita; social media messages related to alcohol; and each city's divorce rate (marriage+alcohol=high rate of divorce, apparently.) – AL.com

11th Circuit: No dues collected with taxpayer funds

A panel of federal judges in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that union dues cannot be collected using taxpayer funds, and squashed an Alabama Education Association (AEA)—the state’s teachers’ union—effort to subpoena several of Alabama’s top political leaders. – Yellowhammer

Husband of Harper Lee’s lawyer dies in plane crash

The husband of author Harper Lee's attorney was killed in a small plane crash in Montana late Wednesday, authorities said. Patrick Carter, 52, of Alabama, died when his single-engine aircraft went down during a botched takeoff from the Missoula International Airport in western Montana, Montana sheriff's spokeswoman Brenda Bassett said Thursday. – New York Daily News

State agency heads told to ignore state senator

Gov. Robert Bentley on Thursday asked state agency heads not to attend a meeting requested by a state senator who fought tax increases in recent legislative sessions. Bentley's finance director sent a memo to agency heads saying the governor had instructed him to ask they not attend the meeting requested by Sen. Paul Bussman, R-Cullman. – Montgomery Advertiser

UA opens new Center for Cuba

As the University of Alabama dedicated its new Center for Cuba Collaboration and Scholarship on Thursday, the faculty and administrators who helped pioneer the initiative praised the new space as a sign of UA’s long-term commitment to the program. “One of the things this represents to me today is the roots of the program are sinking deeper,” said Robert Olin, dean of UA’s College of Arts and Sciences. – Tuscaloosa News

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