Top Headlines: Black Friday sales record, John Merrill exits Senate race

Black Friday online sales hit record $7.4B
This year’s Black Friday was the biggest ever for online sales, as fewer people hit the stores and shoppers rang up $7.4 billion in transactions from their phones, computers and tablets. That’s just behind the $7.9 billion haul of last year’s Cyber Monday, which holds the one-day record for online sales, according to Adobe Analytics. Adobe measures sales at 80 of the top 100 U.S. online retailers. – AP

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill pulls out of U.S. Senate race
Alabama’s Secretary of State John Merrill has suspended his campaign for U.S. Senate in Alabama. “After thoughtful consideration, much prayer, some honest discussions with my family and campaign team, I have decided to suspend my campaign for the United State Senate, effective immediately,” he said in a release distributed over the weekend. – NBC15

Rosa Parks statue unveiled in Montgomery
A new statue of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks was unveiled Sunday in downtown Montgomery. The unveiling coincides with the anniversary of Parks’ historic Dec. 1, 1955 arrest for refusing to give up her seat on a public bus to a white man. Her arrest sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement. The statue will be placed approximately 30 feet from the spot where Parks is believed to have boarded the bus. – AP

Mercedes parent company announces job cuts
Mercedes-Benz’s parent company Daimler became the latest German automaker to announce job cuts as the industry deals with the transition to electric vehicles, struggling sales and tariff tensions. Daimler’s Wilfried Porth, board member for human resources, said the job cuts would amount to a “low five-figure number” over the next three years, meaning at least 10,000. – AL.com

Tailgate Guys has been throwing pigskin parties for 10 years
It’s been a busy 10 years for Tailgate Guys – the business formed in Auburn to outfit gameday festivities. Parker Duffey and Michael Otwell had only known each other for about three months before they entered into business. One minute, they were meeting at a friend’s party – the next, they were renting out tailgate equipment for eager fans at Auburn’s 2009 opening game with Louisiana Tech. – AL.com

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Albertville family will continue to star on TLC
Don’t touch that remote – Alabama’s Waldrop family will return to your television sets next year. “Sweet Home Sextuplets,” the popular reality show documenting the Waldrops of Albertville, their three sons, and their sextuplets born in 2017, will return next summer to TLC. Mom Courtney Waldrop confirmed on her Facebook page this week that filming has begun on the program’s third season. – AL.com

Southern states split on EPA’s coal ash rollback
As the Trump administration scales back federal regulation of the waste from coal-fired power plants known as coal ash, a handful of Southern states have passed laws forcing utilities to clean up or contain the toxic mess. Other states, though, have done little or nothing. Four years ago, the Obama administration put in place America’s first comprehensive regulations for disposing of coal ash, the residue left after coal is burned. Now, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, has proposed softening rules that aim to limit the leaching of coal ash toxins into water supplies. – Pew Trusts

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