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Top News Links: Friday, Sept. 15

Clyde May whiskey makers to build distillery in Troy

Conecuh Ridge Distillery, makers of Clyde May's Whiskey, have announced plans to consolidate operations in Alabama. The company will build an artisan distillery, rackhouses and a bottling hub in Troy, alongside a tasting and experience center and a replica of the original still that Clyde May used when first distilling his whiskey in the hills of Alabama in the 1940s. – Business Insider

Lockheed Martin opens new $2M training center in Troy

Lockheed Martin today opened its $2 million, 7,000-square-foot Advanced Manufacturing & Technology Center in Troy. The center, funded through AIDT, the state's workforce development outlet, will allow employees to advance their educations online, provide team meeting space and serve as a training center for local military and state agencies. There are 450 employees at Lockheed Martin's Troy facilities. – AL.com

Apple Hospitality completes purchase of Birmingham hotels

Richmond, Virginia-based Apple Hospitality REIT Inc. says it has completed its acquisition of a hotel property in Birmingham for $38.4 million. The newly constructed, dual-branded Hilton Garden Inn and Home2 Suites by Hilton property has a  combined total of 210 rooms. – Virginia Business

Corvex continues aggressive push on Energen sale vote

Activist investor Corvex Management said it would go ahead with its plan to get Energen Corp’s investors to vote on its proposals and called the company’s decision to seek court’s guidance on Alabama’s shareholder rights law a “distraction.” Corvex, in a letter on Thursday, said the U.S. oil and gas producer's management was "attempting to hide behind the Court", instead of welcoming shareholder talks and that it would "not rest until shareholders' voices are heard." – Reuters

Northport considers putting retail space in city hall

A town in Alabama may offer its city hall for sale in hopes of attracting retail development. The Tuscaloosa News reports city council members in Northport are scheduled to vote on the idea Monday. Councilman Jeff Hogg says the city loses millions of dollars in sales tax revenue because its 25,000 residents do much of their shopping in nearby Tuscaloosa or in Birmingham. – AP/USN&WR

BMW ponders whether car keys should even exist

BMW is reviewing the necessity of car keys, Ian Robertson, the company’s board member responsible for sales told Reuters. The fact that customers now all carry a smartphone and the availability of a BMW App which allows customers to unlock their vehicle, has made old fashioned keys less relevant. – Reuters

Yellowhammer website changes owners again

For the second time this year, the Alabama conservative political website Yellowhammer has a new owner. Allison Ross, a consulting, real estate and public relations entrepreneur who lives in Memphis, is the new owner and publisher, the website announced today. – AL.com

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