Top Headlines: Birmingham’s big investment, Homegrown treats for the holidays

Birmingham region saw $492 million in capital investment in 2019
The seven counties of the Birmingham metropolitan area saw 32 projects by new or expanding companies in 2019, representing $492 million in investment with 1,180 jobs announced. That’s according to Birmingham Business Alliance CEO and interim president Fred McCallum, who spoke Wednesday night at the BBA’s 2019 Chairwoman’s Annual Meeting at the Lyric Theatre. –

Birmingham nanomaterials company wins big at Alabama Launchpad
A University of Alabama at Birmingham spinoff company, TruSpin Nanomaterial Innovation LLC, won Alabama Launchpad’s concept stage category and received a $50,000 cash prize. “Participating in Alabama Launchpad was an honor that provided opportunities to learn at every stage, and UAB’s Anvil Student Startup Bootcamp, led by Lydia Dick, was the ideal environment for our company to cultivate a strong foundation during its earliest days,” said Anthony Brayer, chief scientific officer of TruSpin. – News release

Homegrown treats sweeten Made In Alabama Holiday Gift Guide
Whether you live far away or down the street from Mom and Dad, there’s nothing that creates the warm feelings of the holidays quite like a taste of home. Alabama-made food and beverages have long been popular Christmas gifts. And these days, tried and true favorites share shelf space with newer flavors. – Made In Alabama

Hangout Fest producer shares planned improvements
The festival veteran stepping into a new leadership role at next year’s Hangout Music Fest has shared some details about planned improvements – and about how he came to feel an “intimate awareness” of the event long before he had any responsibility for its success. The recent announcement of a 2020 lineup topped by Billie Eilish, Post Malone and the Red Hot Chili Peppers seemed to prompt a strong positive reaction among potential patrons.  –

Bullied fan’s T-shirt design helps raise $950K for nonprofit
Sales of a University of Tennessee T-shirt designed by a bullied fourth-grade boy in Florida have raised over $950,000 for an anti-bullying organization. The fourth-grader had designed his own University of Tennessee logo to put over an orange T-shirt for his school’s college colors day this fall. In a Facebook post that went viral, the boy’s teacher said he was teased by classmates over his shirt with the homemade design. – AP

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Alabama Supreme Court reverses $500,000 ruling in negligence suit
The Supreme Court of Alabama has reversed a lower court’s decision in a negligence lawsuit over a tenant’s alleged injuries from carbon monoxide poisoning. In the 11-page ruling, Justice Alisa Kelli Wise reversed and remanded the case because she said the Chambers County Circuit Court had mistakenly ruled for default judgment against defendant Woodruff Brokerage Co. and awarded plaintiff Patricia Beatty $500,000 in damages. – Legal Newsline

Fiat Chrysler’s UAW members ratify new four-year contract
The United Auto Workers (UAW) union said on Wednesday that rank-and-file members at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV have voted in favor of a new four-year labor contract with the automaker, helping the Italian-American firm avoid a strike as it works to merge with France’s Groupe PSA. – Reuters

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