Top Headlines: Airbus breaks ground in Mobile, Google to build solar farms

Airbus breaks ground on second assembly line
The first shovelfuls of dirt went flying at the new Airbus Final Assembly Line in Mobile Wednesday morning, followed by fireworks — all celebrating that when the new A220 line gears up, Mobile will be the fourth largest producer of commercial aircraft in the world. Right now it’s rolling out more than four a month of the aircraft company’s A320 family, on the way to producing five a month. When the new Final Assembly Line is at full production, turning out another four a month, Mobile will move into the world’s fourth ranking. – Business Alabama

Google putting 1.6 million solar panels in Alabama, Tennessee
Google announced Wednesday that it will partner with TVA to build solar farms in Alabama and Tennessee, a plan that will create the largest solar site ever built by the tech company. The output of the solar farms, which Google does plan to purchase from Tennessee Valley Authority per a Power Purchase Agreement, will total an estimated 413 megawatts of power from 1.6 million solar panels, an equivalent of 65,000 home rooftop solar systems. – WRCB

Buffalo Rock’s PepsiCo lawsuit shines light on Birmingham soft drink history
A lawsuit filed this week by Birmingham’s Buffalo Rock against PepsiCo contends that one of the historic underpinnings of the U.S. soft drink industry is in jeopardy. The suit, filed Tuesday in Jefferson County Circuit Court, names the soft drink company, as well as several other defendants, in a dispute over “transshipping” – the encroachment of soft drink bottling companies into another bottler’s exclusive territory. –

Disgraced ex-governor gone, but his prison plan is still around
Alabama’s prison system could soon undergo a major transformation. In her inaugural address, Governor Kay Ivey said Alabama’s poor prison conditions create a risk to public safety and changes must be made. Department of Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn told ABC 33/40 there’s a plan in the works similar to the one state lawmakers rejected in previous years. – ABC3340

Incysus raises $10 million for work in Birmingham
Incysus Therapeutics Inc., a biopharmaceutical company with its scientific operations based in Birmingham, announced it has raised $10 million in Series A financing. The company is focused on developing scientific advancements for the treatment of cancers, specifically leukemia, lymphoma and glioblastoma. Proceeds from the financing will be used to support advancement of Incysus’ drug-resistant immunotherapy technology in both pre-clinical and clinical programs. – BBA

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USA football palace has a name: Hancock-Whitney Stadium
The University of South Alabama and Hancock Whitney announced today that the University’s new on-campus football stadium, scheduled to open in 2020, will be named Hancock Whitney Stadium in recognition of a new, comprehensive financial partnership between the two organizations. “We look forward to a long and successful relationship with Hancock Whitney, and we look forward to welcoming our students, alumni and fans to Hancock Whitney Stadium in 2020, ” said USA President Tony Waldrop. – News release

Huntsville CEO embezzled $10M, bought BMWs, Porsches, lawsuit says
A former Huntsville CEO, who was arrested on a felony theft charge this week, is accused of embezzling more than $10.2 million from a local tech company, a lawsuit says. Steve Ray Shickles until this past month was CEO of Simple Helix, a Huntsville company that hosts websites for businesses and operates a data center. Shickles, 40, resigned after the company confronted him about a PayPal account he had been secretly operating for years, according to a lawsuit filed this past week. –

Former Alabama lawmaker pleads guilty in health fraud case
A former Alabama lawmaker who led the 2017 impeachment push against then-Gov. Robert Bentley has pleaded guilty in a health care fraud case. Former state Rep. Ed Henry pleaded guilty in Montgomery Wednesday to theft of government property. The case involved co-payments that doctors waived for Medicare patients who enrolled in chronic pain management services provided by Henry’s company. – ABC

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