Top Headlines: Huntsville tech pioneer dies, Cadence Bank merger complete

Huntsville tech pioneer Lonnie McMillian dies
Lonnie McMillian, a pioneering Huntsville entrepreneur who co-founded a major electronics company and a genetic research institute, died on Dec. 30, the institute said. He was 90 years old. McMillian co-founded Adtran, one of the city’s most successful technology companies, in the 1980s and the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in the early 2000′s. – AL.com

Birmingham begins search for Small Business Council members
The Birmingham Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity is accepting applications for a new 21-person Small Business Council that will advise Mayor Randall Woodfin and guide minority- and women-owned businesses. “Entrepreneurs have a vision and a voice,’’ Woodfin said in a statement. – AL.com

UAB outsources revenue-producing antibodies to SouthernBiotech
In a move to maintain revenue and expand opportunities to produce and license new monoclonal antibodies, the University of Alabama at Birmingham has outsourced its selection of marketable monoclonal immunoreagents and hybridomas — the cells that produce monoclonal antibodies — to the Birmingham-based Southern Biotechnology Associates Inc., also known as SouthernBiotech. Monoclonal antibodies are key tools in molecular biology and medicine because of their exquisite ability to bind to specific targets. – News release

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Cadence Bank merger complete
Cadence Bank’s merger with State Bank Financial Corp. is complete. The merger of Cadence, formerly headquartered in Birmingham, with State Bank and Trust Co., became effective Jan. 1, according to holding company Cadence Bancorporation. Upon conversion in February, the Cadence Bank subsidiary will operate as Cadence Bank across its entire footprint covering 99 locations in Texas, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. – AL.com

Gadsden buys old railroad line for pedestrian trail
The City of Gadsden took a step Wednesday to turn an old railroad line into a pedestrian trail that would run from Alabama City to nearly the Coosa River. The City Council agreed to buy about 3.1 miles, about 21.39 acres, of railroad line from The Alabama Great Southern Railroad Company for $214,000. – Gadsden Times

Many Alabama Power customers will see rate hike for 2019
Alabama Power has more than a million residential customers who will see an average increase of $4.49 each month if they consume 1,000 kilowatts of power. Michael Sznajderman, a spokesperson for Alabama Power, said this cost will vary with the amount of power used. – WBRC

Pike County prepares for a new year of economic growth
It’s a new year which brings new opportunities for growth. Several industries that were announced in 2018 will open their doors in 2019. “We were extremely blessed last year to have had so many new companies take a look at Troy and Pike County,” president of the Pike County Economic Development Corporation Marsha Gaylord says. – ANN

VW proposes portable charging stations for EVs
Volkswagen has an interesting solution to the dilemma of owning an electric vehicle without a permanent place to charge it: they’ll bring the charging station to you. The German automaker offered a glimpse of its new mobile charging strategy last week, which envisions mobile charging units that can be delivered directly to electric cars in need of power, rather than frazzled EV owners having to use their last bit of juice to find the closest charging station. – The Verge

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