Top Headlines: BBVA Compass name change, Fuel tax funds transportation projects

Young Mobile entrepreneurs hit challenge with big plans
“Congratulations for being willing to take the risk,” some of Alabama’s youngest entrepreneurs heard Wednesday in Mobile. “It’s hard to put yourself in a situation like this, where maybe you win and maybe you lose.” The situation in question was the final round of the Junior Achievement Business Plan Challenge, a “Shark Tank”-like challenge being conducted in Mobile for the first time after being held for several years in Birmingham. –

New tech tracks convention-goers, is that a good thing?
Good things come in small packages for organizers of Huntsville meetings and conventions, thanks to technology created by a local entrepreneur. Nick Hanson of Huntsville invented a portable rechargeable wireless gizmo the size of a deck of cards that can read small chips assigned to individual attendees. The chips can be attached to custom-designed name badges or lapel pins Hanson also manufactures himself, and read by the unintrusive chip reader that quickly recognizes and “remembers” it. –

BBVA Compass changing name, rolling out new logo
BBVA is dropping its U.S. name for a new global brand identity. The financial services group, based in Spain, announced today it is embracing a unified brand that will show up at locations in months to come. The banking firm BBVA Compass has 644 branches in the U.S. and 89 in Alabama. –

Alabama Power hit the airwaves this week, back in 1922
Alabama’s first licensed radio station was launched April 24,1922. Alabama Power launched WSY-AM from a studio near its Powell Avenue Steam Plant in Birmingham. The radio station was used to communicate with isolated steam plants and rural work crews, and the company soon started receiving letters from residents thanking them for broadcasting things like weather reports and making programming suggestions. The utility responded by adding interviews, stock quotes, an orchestra composed of Alabama Power employees, five Birmingham church services and more to their programming. – ANC

Fuel tax to fund transportation projects in Autauga and Cherokee counties
Gov. Kay Ivey announced on Tuesday that transportation projects in Autauga and Cherokee counties were selected by the Alabama Department of Transportation as part of the Rebuild Alabama First Year Plan 2020. Ivey signed the Rebuild Alabama Act into law on March 12. The bill will gradually increase Alabama’s fuel tax over the next three years to fund projects like those in Autauga and Cherokee counties. – AR

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CBS Banc-Corp and PrimeSouth BancShares announce merger
Russellville’s CBS Banc-Corp, Inc. and PrimeSouth BancShares of Tallassee are merging. The two companies say the move is expected to occur in the third quarter of this year, subject to customary closing conditions. The merger will create the state’s largest privately held, and the fourth-largest Alabama-based, financial institution. The combined company will operate under the CB&S Bank brand, with 50 locations in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee, and with total assets of more than $1.9 billion. –

Hold on to your hats: Medical marijuana bill heads to Senate
A bill that would allow for limited legal medical marijuana sales in Alabama was advanced by state lawmakers earlier this week. The bill was advanced in a 6-2 vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee following a public hearing. The bill will now be decided upon by the Alabama Senate. – 420Intel

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