Top Headlines: Auburn’s new tech company, Huntsville’s MidCity project details revealed

Ribbon cut for new tech manufacturer in Auburn
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey was in Auburn Thursday for the grand opening of a plant for technology company Winkelmann Flowform Technology. It will bring 50 jobs to the area to continue to lower unemployment numbers in Alabama. German-based WFT develops parts from metals such as titanium and steel and create designs for use in the aerospace and defense industries. – WTVM

Alabama case pulls back the covers on workplace sex rules
At what point does a company’s application of its anti-fraternization policy become sex discrimination? Last week, a federal court in Alabama found that the answer to this question may be determined by a jury. The application of anti-fraternization policies on a non-disparate basis has long been difficult for employers. In Collins v. Koch Foods Inc., U.S. District Judge Annemarie Carney Axon examined such a policy and its subsequent revisions, deciding that a former employee could proceed to trial on her sex discrimination claim after she was not selected for a promotion and was later discharged for violation of the company’s anti-fraternization policy, while her partner, who later became her husband, was not. – Lexicology

New details revealed on Huntsville’s MidCity project
Two multi-floor buildings designed for Class A office space with retail space as well are on the way to the MidCity development in Huntsville, has learned. Also in plans are multiple office buildings that will also have ground-floor retail and restaurants. Altogether, MidCity developer RCP Companies said more than 350,000 square feet of top-flight office space is planned for the development at the site of the former Madison Square Mall. –

Nearly 400K dental patients affected in Alabama ransom attack
In July, staff at Sarrell Dental, with 15 locations across Alabama, discovered malicious software on the organization’s network servers. The ransomware was accompanied with a message demanding payment in return for the key to decrypt impacted files. Sarrell Dental did not pay the ransom—it deactivated the network and engaged help from ID Experts to investigate the attack. But the damage was done, and eventually the chain determined that information of 391,472 individuals was affected. – Health Data Management

Former nursing home exec charged with embezzling money from resident
A four-count information was filed Thursday in federal court in Birmingham charging a former Oak Landing Assisted Living Facility employee with embezzling money and assets from a former resident at Oak Landing. Lisa Talton Wells Daugherty, 52, of Rainbow City, is charged with is charged with one count each of wire fraud, money laundering, filing a false tax return, and theft of government property. She is a former Unit Coordinator at Oak Landing Assisted Living Facility in Atalla. The complaint claims Daugherty transferred the victim’s assets to herself and purchased a primary residence, multiple vacations homes, automobiles, and paid her ordinary living expenses. – AL Political Reporter

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Toyota looks in to the future, gears up for hybrid SUVs
Toyota Motor Corp.’s largest plant in the world sits on 1,300 acres surrounded by rolling fields of bluegrass in rural Kentucky. With floor space equal to about 170 football fields, the Georgetown factory houses more than 2,000 industrial robots, 6 cafeterias, 2 paint shops, and an indoor basketball court. Walking down crowded aisles between parts bins and half-assembled cars, plant manager Susan Elkington scans the facility, obsessed with finding more open space. “I talk a lot about space,” she says. “If you want something new, you need space first.” Say for room to build a RAV4 sport utility vehicle, which isn’t presently built in Georgetown but Elkington expects will be starting in January. – Bloomberg

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