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Top News Links: Thursday, October 5

Alabama high court rules Poarch Creek Indians can be sued

The Alabama Supreme Court last week issued rulings in three civil cases involving the Poarch Band of Creek Indians and its business enterprises, concluding that the tribe, despite having sovereign immunity, can be sued civilly if an injured party has no other option for relief. In one of the cases, justices also acknowledged “genuine questions” about the validity of PCI’s federally recognized trust lands in the wake of a 2009 ruling of the United States Supreme Court. – Lagniappe

Southern Automotive Conference continues today

Key auto industry decision makers from across the Southeast and beyond will be in Alabama this week to learn about new innovations, share solid business practices and build stronger relationships with their colleagues. The Southern Automotive Conference, which began Wednesday at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, features a lineup of industry experts including executives from Mercedes-BenzHondaHyundaiToyotaNissanGeneral MotorsKia and many suppliers and support firms. – Made In Alabama

Governor visits UTC Aerospace in Foley

UTC Aerospace Systems' Aerostructures business welcomed Alabama Governor Kay Ivey to tour its recently inaugurated facility expansion where nacelle systems will be assembled and integrated with the Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan™ engine for the Airbus A320neo. – Business Insider

Toyota donates $90,000 for mobile fabrication lab

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama is recognizing Manufacturing Day in a big way. As part of its Manufacturing Day program, the Huntsville plant announced a $90,000 donation to Huntsville STEAM Works to build a new mobile fabrication lab. The mobile fab lab will travel to area schools (at no cost) giving students experience in digital fabrication design and manufacturing, using technology such as 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC machines, and design programs. – News release

Z Modular expanding to Valley East Industrial Park

Z Modular, a division of Chicago-based Zekelman Industries, will be opening a new 106,000 SF state-of-the-art facility in Birmingham’s Valley East Industrial Park. Z Modular is a one-stop shop for modular construction products and services. In this facility, Z Modular will produce modular units that will be shipped across the U.S. to modular construction projects. According to Ogden Deaton of Graham & Company, who brokered the deal, Z Modular will be occupying the former O’Neal Steel facility and will eventually have 100 employees. – News release

Delta Regional Authority to invest $1M in growth

Governor Kay Ivey and the Delta Regional Authority, together with their federal and local-based partners, on Tuesday announced more than $1 million in new DRA investments to strengthen Alabama’s infrastructure, workforce and economy. DRA’s investments will support public and private partnerships and bring $7.1 million in new investment to Alabama. – ANN

Cities, including Birmingham, doing odd things for Amazon

The efforts to lure the tech giant to town have been both big and creative, from sending a giant cactus to CEO Jeff Bezos to offering big tax breaks. A Georgia town even said it would de-annex some of its land and name it the city of Amazon. Last month, Amazon announced plans to open another headquarters in North America. Called "HQ2," the facility will cost at least $5 billion to construct and operate, and will employ as many as 50,000 workers. – CNN

Residential sales show healthy growth in Huntsville area

Huntsville/Madison County residential sales totaled 675 units during August, a growth in sales of 8.5 percent or 53 units from the same period last year, according to the North Alabama Multiple Listing Service. Year-to-date sales increased 10.9 percent from the first half of 2016. – ANC 

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