Top Headlines: Honda shifts overseas production, GOP leadership urges gas tax hike

Honda shifting production from overseas to North America
Honda has confirmed the United States and Canada stand to benefit from its decision to close its only factory in Europe and another facility located in Turkey. Its North American plants will help meet demand when the two overseas plants go offline in 2021. “Given our efforts to optimize production allocation and production capacity on a global scale, we have concluded that we will produce the Civic for North America in North America,” Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo told industry trade journal Automotive News. – Left Lane News

Center for Domestic Preparedness getting $20 million
Anniston’s Center for Domestic Preparedness will get an extra $20 million to modernize its facilities. The money will benefit the center, which offers training to first responders around the nation in how to deal with chemical, biological, explosive, radiological and other incidents. The center will also receive its annual appropriation of $66 million. –

Former Regions CEO elected to Great Southern Wood board
Former Regions Financial Corp. Chairman and CEO Grayson Hall, Jr., has been elected to the board of directors of Great Southern Wood Holdings Inc. Hall retired in December from Regions after 38 years in banking. In his time with the company, Hall was elected vice chairman, president and CEO before becoming executive chairman last year. –

GOP state leadership urges against gas tax hike
The Alabama Republican Party sent a strong message that the party does not support plans to raise fuel taxes to finance more road projects, putting the party leadership’s legislative plans in question. The Alabama Republican Executive Committee voted Saturday for a resolution urging the legislature not to pass a fuel tax increase. – Alabama Political Reporter

Forbes gives Auburn good marks for small business growth
Good news for east Alabama- Forbes has ranked Auburn No. 25 on its 2018 list of the Best Small Places for Businesses and Careers in the U.S. Auburn-Opelika was only one of two Alabama metropolitan areas to make the top 50. Forbes evaluated places based on metrics such as job growth, costs of business, income growth, and educational attainment. – WTVM

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Austal USA says it plans more hiring in 2019
Austal USA says new contracts for shipbuilding and post-delivery work mean it will hire “hundreds” of employees in 2019. Austal USA builds Littoral Combat Ships and Expeditionary Fast Transports in Mobile for the U.S. Navy. In 2018 the company opened an office in San Diego to support ships in the LCS squadron stationed there. More recently the company announced that the Navy had given it a $16.3 million contract to do post-delivery work on LCS 20, the future USS Cincinnati, before it leaves Mobile for San Diego. –

Walk-On’s to open soon in Montgomery
Jim Wilson & Associates LLC, recently completed the sale of a 1.5-acre site, adjacent to EastChase Market Center in Montgomery, to Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar, a leading full-service family sports restaurant. The hot spot aims to provide residents a go-to community restaurant that embodies the go-getter spirit of a walk-on athlete while providing superior service and mouthwatering All-American menu items with a taste of Louisiana. – News release

California lawmaker proposes an American Autobahn
After years of seeing posted highway speeds creep up around the country, perhaps it’s no surprise that a California legislator would propose the ultimate in motoring freedom: No limits at all. State Sen. John Moorlach’s vision for a Golden State version of Germany’s famed Autobahn — a stretch of pavement where you can drive as fast you want — is just the latest in a series of moves by states to put the pedal to the metal when it comes to speed limits. – CNN

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