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Top News Links: Tuesday, October 3

Southern Automotive Conference kicks off tomorrow

Key auto industry decision makers from across the Southeastern U.S. 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 kicks off Wednesday at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, features a lineup of industry experts including executives from Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Hyundai, Toyota, Nissan, General Motors, Kia, and many suppliers and support firms. – Made In Alabama

From Nigeria to Detroit to Alabama: One worker’s story

As auto production grew over the last century in Detroit, so did its melting pot of nationalities, attracted by good jobs. Detroit is still a gateway for immigrants like Francis Chukwudolue, who came from Nigeria to Wayne State University in 1988, intent on a career in the industry. But when Chukwudolue got his first job on the assembly line in 1990 like thousands of emigres before him, it wasn’t with a Detroit automaker — it was with Honda in Alabama. – Detroit News

Coca-Cola United takes over 10 sales, distribution areas

In a sweeping Coca-Cola consolidation, a Birmingham-based bottler has taken over a production facility in Mobile as well as several sales and distribution territories along the Gulf Coast. Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, based in Birmingham, announced Monday that it had closed transactions with Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated and the Coca-Cola Company. Coca-Cola United takes over 10 sales and distribution territories: Mobile, Leroy, Robertsdale and Florence in Alabama; Laurel and Ocean Springs in Mississippi; Bainbridge, Columbus and Sylvester in Georgia; and Panama City, Fla. – AL.com

Researchers win $5.7M grant for MS study

Researchers studying methods of exercise delivery and the effects on people living with multiple sclerosis have been awarded $5.7 million in funding by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. The research represents a collaboration between Robert Motl, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Health Professions and Deborah Backus, P.T., Ph.D., director of Multiple Sclerosis Research at Shepherd Center. – News release

First US Bancshares relocating to Birmingham

First US Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ: FUSB) announced Friday that it is relocating its principal executive offices and the headquarters of the company’s wholly owned banking subsidiary, First US Bank, to Birmingham. The offices will be located at the bank’s newly opened office complex at 3291 U.S. Highway 280, at the intersection of U.S. Highway 280 and Pump House Road. – Street Insider

Scout & Molly’s plans opening celebration in Huntsville

Scout & Molly’s Downtown Huntsville, the new women’s fashion boutique bringing a unique and personal shopping experience to downtown Huntsville, announces its Grand Opening Celebration to take place the weekend of Thursday, October 5 through Sunday, October 8. – News release

Alabama Maker does art, not cutting boards

Craig Skowronek doesn’t make cutting boards. Oh, they might look like cutting boards and function like cutting boards, but that’s not what Skowronek went into his woodshop to create. Skowronek took his woodworking hobby and turned it into Lula Woodworks of Hoover. – ANC

Nissan accused of fighting dirty in Mississippi anti-union vote

Automakers have battled hard to keep organized labor from gaining traction in the U.S. south. Mostly, they’ve won -- as Nissan Motor Co. did when workers at its Mississippi plant voted in August against joining a union. But the Japanese company has been accused of fighting dirty. It could prove a test case for labor in the age of Donald Trump. – Bloomberg

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