Top Headlines: Airbus delivers Delta’s 50th jetliner, Cotton still rules on family farms

Airbus delivers Delta’s 50th A321, with sustainable fuel
Airbus announced Friday that it had delivered Delta Air Lines’ 50th made-in-Alabama jetliner, an A321 that will help expand the industry’s use of sustainable fuel. The company’s Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Mobile has delivered 130 jets to 8 clients overall, according to Kristi Tucker, director of communications for Airbus Americas. After JetBlue, Delta is the second customer to receive jets tanked up on a blend of conventional petroleum-based jet fuel and sustainable fuel. –

Donald Watkins Sr. hit with millions in fines from SEC fraud case
A federal judge in Georgia has ordered Alabama attorney and businessman Donald V. Watkins Sr. to pay “the Securities and Exchange Commission $5 million for defrauding former NBA star Charles Barkley and other investors out of millions of dollars,” according to a report filed by Law360. This latest legal blow accompanies Watkins’ conviction on federal fraud charges in Alabama. The Georgia order stems from a 2016 SEC case that charged Watkins Sr. and companies he controls of “defrauding professional athletes and other investors out of millions of dollars, much of which he spent on his girlfriend and to cover personal expenses like alimony, past-due taxes and credit card bills,” according to filings in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division. – AR

Cotton, once king in Alabama, still rules on these family farms
Cotton made Alabama. It was perfect for the fertile soil settlers found in the area that fueled migration into territory originally settled by Native Americans. It lured Americans to flood the region and grow the crop, leading to a push for statehood. And today, long after cotton abdicated its status as king of the state’s economy to manufacturing, through ups and downs over two centuries, there are still Alabamians who grow it for buyers all over the world. –

Proposed Beach Express toll road extension will be up for vote
Baldwin County voters are going to be able to go to the polls to vote on whether or not, to approve a constitutional amendment allowing the construction of a toll road extending the Baldwin Beach Express from Interstate 10 to Interstate 65. The new 24 miles of road will go from Loxley where the existing Beach Express dumps its traffic on I-10 now north to a point on I-65 just to the northeast of Bay Minette. If Baldwin County voters approve the amendment it will create a toll authority to pay for it. – AR

Silicon Valley trip inspires University of Mobile biz students to do good
Five students in the school of business and Katie Allred, an assistant professor of digital media at the University of Mobile, went to Silicon Valley on May 14–18 to meet Christians who work in some of the world’s best-known high-tech companies. The students were part of the Good Work Agency at UM where Allred serves as director. Good Work Agency is a student-run marketing firm that helps churches, nonprofits and small businesses be more effective online. – Alabama Baptist

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Whaley named COO for USA Health
Alan Whaley, D.B.A., has been named chief operating officer for USA Health. Working in a dyad relationship with Chief Medical Officer Michael Chang, M.D., Whaley will work with leadership throughout the health system to plan and develop operational budgets and strategic initiatives that support USA Health’s mission, vision and values with well-balanced clinical, academic and research programs. – News release

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