Top Headlines: Ivey signs gas tax increase, OWA works on Phase II

And just like that, Ivey signs gas tax increase
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has signed a 10-cent-a-gallon gasoline tax increase into law. Ivey signed the bill Tuesday afternoon about two hours after the measure was approved by the Alabama Legislature. The Republican governor proposed the increase to fund road and bridge construction. Ivey said the money is an investment in the state’s future and every dollar will be scrutinized to ensure it is used appropriately. – AP

Mazda names executives ahead of Huntsville plant project
Mazda’s North American Operations on Tuesday announced several leadership moves with connections to its $1.6 billion joint operating plant with Toyota in Huntsville. The changes are all effective April 1. Masashi Otsuka is being promoted to the new position of senior vice president of the Alabama business unit. Mazda said Otsuka will lead the new operations in Alabama by working with suppliers, handling logistics for the plant and managing quality assurance. –

OWA adding Paula Deen restaurant, new rides for Phase II
A new Paula Deen restaurant, a “Legends in Concert” tribute show and a haunted house theme park ride are among the top new attractions coming to the OWA amusement park in Foley this summer. A lot of work remains to be done: For example, the imposingly large building that will house Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen still has earth-moving equipment and piles of dirt inside it. However, OWA officials made clear during a media tour that they’re pushing forward with Phase II development of the destination development that opened in 2017. –

Cuts may be in store for Remington Huntsville factory
Remington Arms, which has a manufacturing facility in Huntsville, is planning to cut 200 employees, according to media reports Tuesday in New York. The cuts will take effect at the company’s facilities in Ilion, N.Y., and Lonoke, Ark., as well as Huntsville, according to the Utica, N.Y., Observer-Dispatch. The report cited comments by Ilion Mayor Brian Lamica. –

OrthoAlabama Spine & Sports Hoover facility to open in 2020
OrthoAlabama Spine & Sports says its new Hoover location should be completed by next spring. Groundbreaking was held last week at the location at 118 Mars Hill Road, and construction has begun for the 17,256-square-foot medical facility. TurnerBatson has designed a stone and brick two-story building with examination rooms, diagnostic equipment, a physical therapy and rehabilitation suite and administrative offices. JohnsonKreis is the general contractor. –

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Alabama exports just short of 2017 record tally
Alabama exports topped $21 billion for the second straight year in 2018, even as trade tensions rattled markets around the world. U.S. Commerce Department figures had Alabama shipping nine percent fewer automobiles than the year before, but higher amounts of chemicals, paper products and aerospace parts. In all, exports from Alabama totaled $21.3 billion in 2018, down from 2017′s record tally of $21.8 billion, a 2 percent decrease. –

USA educator brings home an Emmy award
Andrew Hongo, an instructor at the University of South Alabama, recently brought home an Emmy for his work as a field producer on NBC Dateline’s interview with former president Barack Obama titled “The Reality of Hope.” The interview took place in Chicago after Obama’s farewell speech. As a field producer Hongo helped with filming B-roll, coordinating the interview and getting media back to New York. – Jag Media

RealtySouth Producers donate toward Red Mountain Grace housing
RealtySouth’s 150 Top Producers recently gathered their celebratory funds to go toward adopting an apartment for charitable use for an entire year. Chosen to benefit was Red Mountain Grace, founded locally in 2013, which has served over 350 patients and guests receiving medical treatment in Birmingham. The group started with 2 apartments and now has 22 to serve patients. – News release

Honda recalls more than 1M vehicles for air bag inflators
Honda has recalled more than 1 million Acura and Honda vehicles in the United States with air bag inflators that, if deployed during a crash, could explode and shoot pieces of sharp metal at the driver and passengers the safety feature is intended to protect. The car company announced the recall on Tuesday, marking the latest in a series of recalls linked to automotive supplier Takata. – NPR

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