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Top News Links: Thursday, Sept. 21

Daimler amps Alabama plant with $1B bump for electric SUV

Daimler AG plans to invest $1 billion in its Alabama manufacturing operations and start production of a fully electric sport-utility vehicle, a move that comes as the German automaker expands its U.S. footprint and global electrification drive. The company will begin production of an electric SUV early next decade at its Tuscaloosa plant and begin construction next year of a nearby facility to assemble battery systems for use in those and other vehicles, according to people familiar with its plans. Combined, the new plans are expected to add as many as 600 new jobs, these people said. – MarketWatch

Trump’s decision on Iran deal could tank Boeing sales

President Trump says he has made up his mind on whether to exit the Iran nuclear deal. He would not say what his decision is. The 2-year-old agreement limits Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. If it unravels, it could affect the company Boeing, which has deals with the Islamic Republic for passenger planes worth billions of dollars. – NPR

High-profile attorney slapped with lawsuit over ad payments

One of the state’s most high-profile personal injury attorneys was slapped with a lawsuit last Thursday by the Alabama Media Group in an attempt to recoup close to $300,000 the media chain claims it is owed for unpaid advertising bills. AMG, the parent company of al.com, filed suit in Mobile County Circuit Court Sept. 14 in an attempt to have Birmingham-based plaintiff’s attorney Alexander Shunnarah pay $276,072 for advertising run on the al.com website. – Lagniappe

Calhoun CC to break ground on Auto Tech center Sept. 28 

Calhoun Community College will break ground on the new Automotive Technology Training Center at 10 a.m. Sept. 28 on the north side of the old Fine Arts building, Decatur campus. The event is free and open to the public. The one-story, 23,400-square-foot building will be developed over two major construction phases to facilitate the curriculums’ specialized needs, particularly technical repair training for automobiles and heavy diesel machinery. The $6.9 million facility will be located on the southeast corner of the campus facing Highway 31. – News release

Mason named new Grandview Med Center CEO

Grandview Medical Center has promoted Drew Mason to be its new CEO. Mason replaces Keith Granger, recently promoted to regional president and market CEO of Alabama for Grandview's parent company, Community Health Systems Inc. Mason first came to Birmingham as Assistant CEO of Trinity Medical Center in 2014. He was named Grandview's Chief Operation Officer in 2015. – AL.com

Southern Cancer Center global leader in kidney cancer clinical trial

Southern Cancer Center, a premier oncology clinic in Alabama and a practice in The US Oncology Network, is the first site in the world to open enrollment for a new clinical trial for newly diagnosed kidney cancer patients. This phase 3 clinical trial will look at various investigational combination therapies including an immune checkpoint inhibitor. – News release

Active hurricane season sapping housing industry optimism

With Hurricane Maria still smashing up Puerto Rico, the economic costs of this year's hurricane season continue to grow by the minute. It will take a while for economists to tally it all up. But this much already is clear: The recent enormous storms have taken a toll on the housing industry. – APR

Montgomery County agencies hit by ransomware attack

Montgomery County officials are still trying to get to the bottom of a computer ransomware attack on government computers. Officials say they aren’t giving in to the ransom demand from the attacker, and are focusing on getting affected county operations back up and running. Officials say no personal data was taken in the security breach, but several Montgomery County offices are still recovering from the attack that crippled many of their systems. – ANN

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