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Top News Links: Tuesday, Sept. 29

Bentleys agree to divorce settlement

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and first lady Dianne Bentley have agreed to a divorce settlement, ending their 50-year marriage, the governor's office said Monday. The settlement was filed Monday, just four weeks after the first lady filed for divorce, saying their marriage had suffered an "irretrievable breakdown." The governor said he has asked a judge to unseal the case file so the public and media can see it. – CBS

Russian threat drives Lockheed missile sales

Lockheed Martin doesn’t like to say it, but their best salesman isn’t getting a bonus this year. That’s because his name is Vladimir Putin. An increasingly aggressive and well-armed Russia is clearly driving its neighbors to build up their own arsenals, and in highly specific ways. Thus the international success of Lockheed’s Strike Systems division, which builds long-range, radar-evading missiles capable of penetrating a Russian or Chinese-style defense-in-depth. – BreakingDefense.com

Economy’s tightness changes business real estate

Brian Bailey, a senior financial policy analyst at the Fed's Atlanta bank, recently told Realtors that as the economy continues to rebound, real estate investors and owners are having to adapt to new business models.  "Employers are putting more employees in the same amount of square footage, or smaller square footage," Bailey said. "What that's leading to, and we're seeing it, is that technology is accelerating the obsolescence of some of the buildings." – ACRE/AL.com

Whole Foods to cut 1,500 jobs, some in Alabama

Whole Foods Market Inc. will cut 1,500 jobs over the next two months, and the layoffs will impact Alabama stores. Whole Foods said the job cuts are "part of its ongoing commitment to lower prices for its customers and invest in technology upgrades while improving its cost structure." – BizJournals.com

University of Mobile spreads out to serve community

Nearly 1,300 students, faculty and staff at the University of Mobile, a Christian university in north Mobile County, took a day off from classes on Sept. 25 to volunteer at 63 locations across two counties. It was the 5th annual Project Serve, a university-wide effort to celebrate volunteerism, community and faith. – News release

Iron City Lofts aims for January completion

Iron City Lofts, a six-story 70-unit apartment project near Pepper Place, is scheduled to have construction finished in January. Doster Construction Company started construction on the multifamily project in January 2015. – AL.com

Huntsville to host 2016 FIRST Robotics regional

Huntsville will host a 2016 FIRST Robotics regional competition -- named the “Rocket City Regional” – for the first time at the Von Braun Center March 23-26. Sponsored in part by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, this inaugural regional competition pits high school teams and their student-designed robots against each other in a fun and competitive robotic game. – News release

Avion offers plan to cut energy waste

Avion Solutions Inc. is introducing a 5-Step Energy Solutions program designed to help Huntsville businesses find practical ways to lower operating costs at their facilities. Rooted in cost savings, Avion created the program after tracking its own energy efficiency and discovering a 50 percent reduction in building energy costs in operations in just four months. – News release

UAH awarded $3M for innovation center

The University of Alabama in Huntsville is receiving a major funding boost for its proposed $10 million technology business incubator. The United States Economic Development Administration has awarded UAH a grant of nearly $3 million for its proposed Invention to Innovation Center (I2C), which will be constructed adjacent to the university's Business Administration Building. – WAAY

Alabama A&M restructures debt for improvements

Through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Education, Alabama A&M University has restructured a portion of its debt, while also acquiring the funds necessary for capital improvements on its campus, university officials announced Friday. – News release

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