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Top News Links: Tuesday, October 11

Boeing CEO says Musk will eat dust in race to Mars

Watch out, Elon Musk. The race to put the first person on Mars is heating up. Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg says his company plans to beat Musk's SpaceX to the Red Planet. "I'm convinced that the first person to step foot on Mars will arrive there riding on a Boeing rocket," he told an innovation conference in Chicago. – CNN

New sawmill operation planned for Demopolis

Two Rivers Lumber Co. plans to invest $65 million to build a state-of-the-art sawmill in Demopolis that will create 55 jobs initially and a total of 95. Bid Group will design and build the sawmill, which will have an annual capacity of 200 million board feet. Construction is slated to begin in January with mill production expected to start in September 2017. – Alabama News Center

Birmingham native helps meld worlds of tech, law

Jonathan Waldrop is one of those people with a complicated sounding job title and responsibility that is vital to big corporations like YouTube and Adobe. The patent litigator specializes in trademark litigation involving interactive web technologies, video-on-demand, cable technology, telecommunications and medical devices for commercial litigation firm, Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman LLP. – Ebony

AT&T to make ‘major announcement’ on tech this morning

Officials from AT&T will be in Huntsville this week to make a "major announcement" about new technology in the area. AT&T Alabama State President Fred McCallum, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, Madison Mayor Troy Trulock and Alabama House of Representatives Speaker Mac McCutcheon will gather at 10 a.m. today at the DirecTV Call Center on 400 Diamond Drive. – AL.com

Kona Grill prepares to open in Huntsville

Kona Grill is preparing to open its first Alabama restaurant next week at Bridge Street Town Centre in Huntsville. The 7,000-square-foot contemporary American and sushi eatery will launch Oct. 17 in Building 435 next to Belk. – AL.com

Sears modernizes stores at 8 Alabama locations

Evolving to meet changing consumer needs and to embrace its nationwide branding as "America's Appliance Experts," the refresh of eight Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores in Alabama culminates with a grand reopening celebration October 14-15 at the locations in Arab, Cullman, Daphne, Foley, Monroeville, Moundville, Prattville and Thomasville. – Nasdaq

United Bank, USDA announce $40M in low-cost loans

The United States Department of Agriculture and United Bank this week announced a $40 million relending program designed to provide long-term, low-cost financing for the construction, acquisition, maintenance or renovation of essential community facilities in rural areas. – News release

Auto dealers in several states clean up after hurricane

Many auto dealerships in areas of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas hammered by Hurricane Matthew over the weekend remained without power and were in the cleanup stage today, while other dealerships in the region were open and waiting for customers. – Automotive News

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