Top Headlines: Lockheed Martin plans Huntsville expansion, Mazda revives rotary engine

Lockheed Martin plans $19 million expansion in Huntsville
In the aftermath of winning a $347 million U.S. Army contract – which will result in creating 200 new jobs in Huntsville – Lockheed Martin is planning a major expansion of its campus in Cummings Research Park. Lockheed Martin has communicated to the city of Huntsville that it will spend at least $19.3 million at its Huntsville location on Bradford Drive to help support the new Army contract to serve as the Long Range Hypersonic Weapon prototype system integrator. –

Jefferson County commercial properties seeing tax hikes
Several high profile commercial properties in Jefferson County could be seeing significant increases of up to 40 percent on their property taxes next month. That’s as the county rolls into the final year of a four-year annual equalization cycle under the state’s appraisal manual. And Mobile and Baldwin counties will be among nine to see similar increases next October. –

Christmas for nerds: Mazda bringing back rotary engine
It’s happening, folks: Mazda is bringing back the rotary engine. According to Autocar, the company released an announcement on Chinese social media that it will reveal a new generation of its iconic powertrain this week. Where it’ll show up, however, remains to be seen. Mazda head honcho Mitsuo Hitomi previously confirmed would use a rotary engine as a range extender for its first electric car, expected to debut this year — but he also suggested further, more exciting applications of the rotary engine to come. – Gear Patrol

Huntsville dedicating big outdoor climbing wall at MidCity
High Point Climbing and Fitness and Huntsville city leaders will cut the ribbon Friday on the new outdoor climbing tower located in the public park at Huntsville’s MidCity development. The outdoor tower is 45 feet tall with more than 6,000 square feet of climbing surface. –

How gas tax funds will be spent In Jefferson County
The new gas tax in Alabama will pave the way for several new road projects in Jefferson County. Puns aside, the first phase of the tax increase — a 6-cent increase that went into effect Sept. 1 — has brought in revenue that opens the door for multiple projects. The next increase will occur in October of 2020, with another 2-cent increase in October of 2021. – Patch

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US new home sales climbed a healthy 7.1% in August
U.S. new home sales jumped 7.1% in August, as low mortgage rates pull buyers into the housing market. The Commerce Department says that new homes sales increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 713,000, up from a revised 666,000 in July. So far this year, sales have risen a healthy 6.4%. – AP

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