Top Headlines: Diamondback Energy ready to drill, Tax-free storm prep gear

Post-merger Diamondback Energy ready to drill
Midland oil company Diamondback Energy is ready for a round of new drilling projects in the Permian Basin – less than three months after completing a $9.2 billion merger with Alabama oil company Energen. Diamondback recently filed 27 drilling permit applications with the Railroad Commission for projects on a dozen leases in Glasscock, Martin and Reeves counties in Texas. –

Alabama man’s fight with Postal Service reaches highest court
Mitch Hungerpiller thought he had a first-class solution for mail that gets returned as undeliverable, a common problem for businesses that send lots of letters. But the process he helped develop and built his small Alabama technology company around has resulted in a more than decade-long fight with the U.S. Postal Service, which says his solution shouldn’t have been patentable. – AP

Survey: Business leaders concerned about workforce training
Alabama business executives cite education and workforce training as the top issue facing the state, according to a survey by a University of Alabama center. More than 70 business executives participated in the November 2018 survey by the Center for Business and Economic Research within UA’s Culverhouse College of Business. “Business leaders expressed concern in their comments over the tightening labor market,” said Viktoria Riiman, socioeconomic analyst at UA’s CBER. – News release

Score tax-free storm prep gear this weekend
Consumers in Alabama can save up to 10 percent on the purchase of most emergency preparedness items during the eighth annual Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday. The tax-free weekend begins Friday and ends at midnight Feb. 24. “Severe weather can occur at any time, in any season,” said Rick Brown, president of the Alabama Retail Association. – TNS

Payless ShoeSource about to close throughout U.S.
After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and reorganizing its structure with 400 location closures back in 2017, Payless ShoeSource is set to close all 2,100 of its stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. According to reports, the American discount footwear retailer is also set to close its e-commerce operations. Payless is expected to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after it begins liquidation Feb. 24. – HypeBeast 

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Alabama jury awards $152M in Ford rollover case
An Alabama jury awarded $151.8 million to a young man paralyzed in 2015 rollover accident involving a Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle, Ford and lawyers in the case said on Sunday. The jury awarded $100 million in punitive damages and the rest in compensatory damages after finding on Friday that the 1998 Ford Explorer did not meet Ford’s own safety guidelines. – Reuters

Mom was right: Drink more water
Drinking Diet Coke every day increases your risk of dying young, experts have warned. Two or more artificially sweetened drinks a day ups the risk of stroke by a quarter and heart disease by a third, new findings show. And compared with people who never touch them, the risk of early death is 16 percent higher for diet drink guzzlers. – NY Post

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