Top Headlines: Home sales fall 8.9% in April, U.S. Space & Rocket Center reopens this week

Alabama statewide home sales fall 8.9% in April from 1 year ago
April home sales in Alabama decreased 8.9% year-over-year from 5,820 to 5,300 closed transactions. Going against seasonal trends, sales were down 6.9% from March. Sales are now up 4.9% year-to-date, but are likely to decline in the months ahead because of the growing economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. – AL NewsCenter

Mercedes stays the course on plan for all-electric S-Class sedan
Daimler AG is pushing ahead with plans to produce an all-electric version of its flagship Mercedes S-Class sedan from next year even as it cuts back in other areas to weather a slump in demand across the industry. The company’s main Mercedes-Benz cars unit aims to make all of its factories carbon-neutral by the end of 2022, Chief Executive Officer Ola Kallenius said Monday in a webcast. The goal was previously restricted to Europe, but Kallenius said a visit to Mercedes-Benz U.S. International in Tuscaloosa convinced him other plants could achieve the same goal. – AL NewsCenter

U.S. Space & Rocket Center announces reopening date
The U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, the state’s most popular paid attraction, has announced plans to reopen after being closed for more than two months due to the coronavirus pandemic. The rocket center said on Facebook it would open Friday to museum members from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The opening to the public will be Saturday at 10 a.m. –

Sanders Trust completes $23 million Iowa rehab hospital project
Birmingham’s The Sanders Trust has announced the completion of a $23 million rehab hospital in Iowa. The 54,000-square-foot Mercy Iowa City Rehabilitation Hospital is located in Coralville, just outside of Iowa City, Iowa. The hospital is a joint venture between Mercy Iowa City, an affiliate of MercyOne, and Kindred Healthcare Operating, LLC, which selected The Sanders Trust as their development partner. –

UWA first university in Alabama to become Registered Apprenticeship sponsor
The University of West Alabama (UWA) is the first university in the state to be recognized by the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship as a Sponsor for Registered Apprenticeship programs according to a joint announcement from UWA and the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship along with employer partner, Alabama Pellets and Pinnacle Renewable Energy. – Demopolis Times

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DeBuys joins Valent Group’s Employee Benefits practice in Alabama
Valent Group, the risk consulting and insurance division of EBSCO Industries (EBSCO), has hired former attorney and business owner Billy DeBuys as vice president in its Employee Benefits practice. DeBuys comes to Valent Group after serving as a workers’ compensation litigator for privately held companies such as Georgia-Pacific, Buffalo Rock, Drummond Company and Rockwood Casualty Insurance. He also has previous experience as commercial business owner in the Birmingham area. – Insurance Journal

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