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Top News Links: Friday, Sept 22

Prep work for all-electric EQ SUV will start with retooling

To prepare for production of its all-electric EQ SUV, Mercedes-Benz announced a $1 billion investment Thursday into its Tuscaloosa manufacturing hub. Mercedes reports the planned expansion will create 600 new jobs for the region. This sizeable investment will be spent on three different areas, beginning with retooling and reworking portions of the primary plant in preparation for the forthcoming EQ model. This will be the first all-electric SUV from the automaker, and one of the first products of the new EQ sub-brand. – Motor Trend

Gov. Ivey on new auto plant: Y’all come

The automotive world has been a buzz for the last few months over a $1.6 billion Toyota Mazda manufacturing plant. A site for the plant has not been announced, and Alabama is reportedly in the hunt for it. State officials have been tight-lipped about Alabama's chances, saying they prefer not to comment on potential projects. But during a Thursday press conference at Mercedes-Benz's Tuscaloosa plant, Gov. Kay Ivey was asked whether she feels Alabama is in a good position to attract the Toyota Mazda plant. Her answer could be translated as 'y'all come." – AL.com

UAB breaks ground on new Arts and Sciences Building

 The University of Alabama at Birmingham broke ground on a new 160,000-square-foot Arts and Sciences Building, which is slated to open for the fall 2019 semester. GMC designed the new $39.5 million academic facility, located on the corner of 10th Avenue South and 14th Street South. – News release

Trump in Huntsville tonight for Luther Strange rally

Many of President Donald Trump's most prominent, longtime supporters are actively working against his interests in Alabama's special election to replace former senator and current Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Trump endorsed incumbent Sen. Luther Strange and tonight Trump will appear alongside Strange at a rally in Huntsville. But many of the major players in the pro-Trump crowd are backing Strange's primary opponent, Roy Moore. – Business Insider

Politeness was first casualty at Strange-Moore debate

Alabama Sen. Luther Strange and challenger Roy Moore on Thursday night traded jabs in a contentious debate, as they sought to sway voters ahead of the state's closely watched U.S. Senate primary runoff. Politeness was quickly abandoned in the moderator-free debate, as the two Republicans swapped barbs for more than an hour over Strange's appointment to the Senate seat, Moore's knowledge on federal issues and the millions being spent in the high-stakes race. – AP/USN&WR

PAC-3 MSE test successful from remote launcher

A Lockheed Martin PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) interceptor successfully intercepted a tactical ballistic missile target on Saturday in the first-ever MSE test from a remote launcher. As part of a U.S. Army-led missile defense flight test at the Reagan Test Site at the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, the test demonstrated the expanded defended footprint available by deploying the launcher remotely from the Patriot radar. – News release

HudsonAlpha to offer Tech Challenge in November

Students and technology professionals will convene at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology Nov. 4-5 for the inaugural HudsonAlpha Tech Challenge. This two-day hackathon will bring together individuals interested, or currently working, in computer science or other creative fields who will attempt to solve life sciences challenges through collaboration and creativity. – News release

ASRC acquires U.S. Coatings in Mobile

ASRC Industrial Services, a provider of industrial and environmental services throughout the United States, has acquired U.S. Coatings Inc., a marine specialty coatings company in Mobile. USC will become a component of AIS’s Construction, Maintenance and Repair operating group. – Area Development

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