Top Headlines: Flash drought across South, Blue Bell issues recall

‘Flash drought’ brings dust, dread to Southern farmers
Across a vast expanse of the South stretching from Texas to Maryland, there are growing concerns for the cattle, cotton and corn amid a worsening drought fueled by this summer’s record high temperatures. Across the South, the drought has ravaged the pastures where cattle and other livestock feed. Those lands are in either poor or very poor condition in Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported in its most recent crop report. – AP

‘Limited’ public hearing set on Alabama Power’s sunshine fees
The Alabama Public Service Commission on Monday announced it would hold a “limited” public hearing to discuss a complaint over Alabama Power’s fees to customers with solar rooftop arrays.  For many months it was unclear whether the PSC would allow the environmental group complainants — Energy Alabama and the Birmingham-based Gasp, represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center — to make their case for abolishing the extra fees to the commission in a public hearing. – AL Political Reporter

Jones holds forum on challenges of Gadsden’s Goodyear plant
Could Gadsden’s Goodyear Tire Plant be in trouble? A number of public officials in Gadsden seem to think so. The plant opened 90 years ago next month, but has laid off 175 workers in the last few months and is now offering contract buyouts for eligible workers. That’s why Senator Doug Jones held a forum at Gadsden State Community College Wednesday. Local Union President Mickey Williams gave a presentation about some of the things the company is considering right now, including the fact that it’s a high-cost plant to operate and is the oldest Goodyear plant in North America. – WBRC

Journalist learns he’s got the Wrong Stuff at Mazda Toyota
They call them industrial athletes. That’s who Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA is looking to hire at their $1.6 billion plant in Huntsville. I am not an industrial athlete. I am an industrial klutz. Mazda Toyota knows this because I took part in the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing Assessment Center Media Day on Wednesday. –

Blue Bell recalls batch of Butter Crunch Ice Cream over ‘foreign object’
Blue Bell Creameries is recalling a batch of its Butter Crunch Ice Cream made at its Sylacauga plant over concerns that the half gallons may contain pieces of plastic, the FDA announced Wednesday. The Butter Crunch half gallons involved in the recall were made Aug. 26 at the Sylacauga plant on Aug. 26 and have the code “082621222” on the lid. The half gallons were sold in parts of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia; stores were told to remove the product from their shelves. –

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Automakers form Autonomous Vehicle Computing Consortium
We’re still very much in the collaboration phase of autonomous driving. That means there’s plenty of opportunity for things like the new Autonomous Vehicle Computing Consortium announced Oct. 9. This industry group includes Arm, Bosch, Continental, GM, Toyota, Nvidia, NXP and Denso, collecting top automakers along with some of the leading chipmakers and tier 1 suppliers. – TechCrunch

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