Top Headlines: Coal exports hit $2 billion, Chilton lands ‘Alabama Farm Center’

State’s metallurgical coal exports hit $2 billion in 2018
In 2018, 11 million tons of Alabama-mined met coal was exported to global steelmakers, which totaled $2 billion worth of the coal being shipped through the Port of Mobile. This high dollar amount has not been recorded in recent history. The Alabama Coal Association released statistics on Tuesday detailing met coal exports for 2018 that showed the dollar impact that the met coal industry is having on the state. Met coal exports accounted for 70 percent of Alabama’s total coal production in 2018, according to the statistics. – Alabama Political Reporter

Alabama Farm Center to be built in Chilton County
Chilton County was selected as the site of the proposed “Alabama Farm Center,” which could bring 300 to 400 new jobs and $40 to $55 million to the region per year. The announcement was made Tuesday evening during a program hosted by The Chilton County Industrial Development Board at Clanton City Hall. – ABC3340

How an Alabama city fell for a massive, $1.9 million scam
Looking back, there are so many reasons Kyle Sandler was able to separate so many people from so much of their money. Sandler rolled into this old railroad crossroads at a time when Opelika — and nearly every other city in America — was trying to bounce back from the Great Recession. Opelika’s downtown, dating to the late 1800s, was dotted with vacant buildings. The city needed a boost. –

Utility-scale solar projects brighten state’s tech recruitment efforts
Massive new utility-scale solar farm projects are poised to dramatically expand Alabama’s solar power capacity as major technology companies make their first significant investments in the state. In the last three months alone, the Tennessee Valley Authority has announced plans for large solar installations in north Alabama tied to data centers being constructed by Google in Jackson County and Facebook in Huntsville. – Made In Alabama

North Alabama water problem may have solution in Minnesota
The people of Lawrence County asked WHNT News 19 to find answers after potentially harmful levels of manufacturing chemicals were found in their drinking water in 2016. Our quest to find those answers started with the West Morgan East Lawrence Water Authority, took us to Montgomery and finally nearly 1,000 miles away in Minnesota. – WHNT

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Muscle Shoals Sound Studios sets 50th anniversary celebration
The house The Swampers built is taking a victory lap. Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, the small but mighty music recording facility where The Rolling Stones, Staple Singers, Cher and countless others recorded hits and classic tracks turns 50 this year. The studio is celebrating with a 6 p.m. April 27 event at its famous Sheffield address, 3614 Jackson Hwy. –

University of Mobile president resigns
University of Mobile’s Board of Trustees has announced the resignation of President Timothy L. Smith, effective immediately. The fourth president of University of Mobile informed the board of his decision on Monday, Feb. 25, citing personal reasons. Smith has served as president of University of Mobile since April 2016. – News release

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