Top Headlines: Beach businesses navigate re-openings, Lawmakers headed back to Montgomery

New investments in Alabama hit $7.1B in 2019
Governor Kay Ivey announced today that economic development activity across Alabama last year generated $7.1 billion in pledged capital investment and 13,454 job commitments, providing a potential spark for economic revival once the shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic ease. The results include strategic investments that reflect long-term growth plans in Alabama by major global companies, which can help the state regain momentum amid the nationwide economic downturn. – Made In Alabama

Alabama’s beach businesses prepare to navigate re-openings
Garnet Holt opened her small woman’s clothing and gift store on Alabama Route 59 in early February with hopes of capturing large sales and big crowds during Spring Break. The spring breakers never came thanks to coronavirus. Now, after an unexpected closure of The Lazy Magnolia for more than a month, Holt and her 18-year-old daughter Blaise were busy preparing for a reopening this weekend hopeful that visitors arriving to coastal Alabama’s reopened beaches will support local businesses and be safe. –

Wisconsin shipyard wins $795M contract to build new frigates
Austal USA learned Thursday that it was not awarded the U.S. Navy contract to construct the Guided-Missile Frigate FFG(X). Austal has delivered 11 Independence- variant LCS with six more under construction and two awaiting start of construction. The Navy awarded the $795 million contract to Fincantieri to begin building the new class of frigates in Wisconsin. – Fox 10

Lawmakers back in Montgomery on Monday to work on budgets
Alabama lawmakers go back to Montgomery Monday, leaving them just two weeks to wrap up the legislative session after the coronavirus pandemic prompted an extra-long spring break. With the time left, Republican leaders plan to focus primarily on the state’s budgets. That’s tricky, as the economic fallout from the outbreak is still unfolding. – WBHM

Winners and losers: Pandemic gives a boost to pawn shops
Across the country pawn shop owners reported a bump in business from people buying and selling items during the pandemic. WAAY-31 spoke with a pawn shop manager in Decatur about what changes he’s seen and how he plans to re-open parts of his store. At Mid City Pawn Shop in Decatur guns, gaming systems and computers have been top sellers. – WAAY

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Alabama sues Tyson Foods over 2019 wastewater spill, fish kill
The state of Alabama sued Tyson Foods on Thursday over a 2019 wastewater spill that caused the largest recorded fish kill in the state. The Alabama attorney general’s office filed the suit, saying Tyson was negligent “by causing a public nuisance.” A pipe failure at the Tyson plant caused over 200,000 gallons of “insufficiently-treated wastewater” to flow into the Mulberry Fork of the Black Warrior River, leading to the death of around 175,000 fish, the attorney general’s office said. – AP

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