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Top News Links: Tuesday, Sept. 13

Navy overhauls LCS program, limits deployments

After a year of mechanical breakdowns plaguing its $360 million littoral combat ships, the U.S. Navy has announced a major overhaul of the program that will include designating the first four of the ships as testing vessels and limiting their overseas deployments to emergencies. – CNN

Minimum bid $36.4M for unfinished nuke plant

After spending more than 40 years and $5 billion on an unfinished nuclear power plant in northeastern Alabama, the nation's largest federal utility is preparing to sell the property at a fraction of its cost. The Tennessee Valley Authority has set a minimum bid of $36.4 million for its Bellefonte Nuclear Plant and the 1,600 surrounding acres of waterfront property on the Tennessee River. – NBC

Four major projects near completion in Birmingham

Four major construction projects are nearing completion in downtown Birmingham: The Pizitz Building, Thomas Jefferson Tower, Empire Hotel and Birmingham’s Intermodal Facility. Mayor William Bell says the projects will be a game changer for downtown. – ABC3340

HudsonAlpha partners with ORIEN on cancer treatment

Researchers at the Huntsville-based HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology are playing a role in a national effort to better treat cancer patients. The nonprofit research institute will assist the ORIEN (Oncology Research Information Exchange Network) Avatar Research Program, which is an alliance of several U.S. cancer centers, by providing DNA sequencing for 20,000 patient samples by 2019. – WAAY

Drought takes toll on state’s lake levels

The drought affecting portions of Alabama continues to reduce flows in rivers and streams that feed Alabama Power’s lakes. The conditions have resulted in lower levels at Alabama Power reservoirs. Scattered summer showers in July and early August helped slow the drop in lake levels. Since then, however, dry conditions have returned. – NewsAegis.com

Spire acquires EnergySouth in $344M deal

Spire Inc. has acquired EnergySouth Inc., parent company of Mobile Gas and Willmut Gas, from Sempra U.S. Gas & Power. The purchase consideration of $344 million included the assumption of $67 million of debt. The acquisition was funded with proceeds of an equity offering in May and a $165 million private placement of unsecured senior notes that closed last week. – Street Insider

Air Hydro Power acquires Total Hose Inc.

Kentucky-based Air Hydro Power Inc. has acquired Total Hose Inc. of Decatur and Huntsville. Total Hose Inc. brings over 34 years of experience in the hydraulic and industrial hose fields, as well as the accessories market. They currently represent Parker Fluid Connectors, as well as other Parker lines, and have two Parker Stores. – News release

Kelley Foods of Elba to be acquired

Texas-based Ben E. Keith Foods will purchase Kelley Foods, according to company officials. The acquisition includes all assets of Kelley Foods including the Elba distribution center and the manufacturing division, which produces sausages and hams. Closing is expected to occur September 30. – Perishable News

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