Top Headlines: Manufacturers of the Year, Mobile’s downtown airport opens

ZF, Milo’s Tea, OnPoint honored as Manufacturers of the Year
Businesses in Tuscaloosa, Bessemer and Florence took home honors in the Business Council of Alabama and the Alabama Technology Network’s 2019 Manufacturer of The Year award. ZF Chassis Systems, Milo’s Tea Co. and OnPoint Manufacturing were honored in the large, medium and small manufacturing categories Wednesday during a luncheon ceremony at the Alabama Activity Center. – AL.com

NASA opens life-sized model of new Lunar Gateway module
Boeing unveiled its demonstration prototype for a deep space habitat today in the same NASA building in Huntsville, where space station modules were built in the 1990’s. “It was one of the reasons we decided to come here and build and demonstrate our exploration system – the evolution of those 20 years of operating (in space) and, now, applying those lessons to NASA’s plan to going back,” Boeing Global Sales Marketing Director Kevin Foley said. – AL.com

‘Awesome moment’ as Downtown Mobile Airport opens
As Margaret and Bill Kilgore stood inside the new terminal at the Downtown Mobile Airport Wednesday, they couldn’t help but be satisfied with not having to drive an extra hour or so to Pensacola. With the opening of the new airport terminal at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley, the family gatherings became more convenient. – AL.com

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U.S. has little to no answer right now for China’s hypersonic missiles
China’s development of hypersonic glide vehicles seems deliberately targeted at upending the tenuous strategic stability that has been in place since the end of the Cold War. Yet this latest arms race still has a “Dr. Strangelove” quality to it; outside the strategic community and select think tanks, few acknowledge the risk that is posed by these new weapons systems, which upend the traditional calculus regarding defending against missile attacks from hostile powers. – The Hill

Perkins named president for Vulcan Southern Division
Vulcan Materials Company has named new division presidents for its Southern & Gulf Coast Division, headquartered in Birmingham, and its Central Division, headquartered in Nashville. General Counsel Jerry F. Perkins Jr. takes the Birmingham position, with senior management responsibility for the company’s construction materials businesses in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and the Florida Panhandle. – Yahoo Finance

CBD oil sales expected to top $1B by 2020
Is it a medical miracle in a bottle or is CBD oil nothing more than modern day snake oil? The jury is still out with limited research on claims it can help with pain, anxiety, depression and trouble sleeping. Regardless of that, the public is becoming more sold on CBD leading to a boom in business. Stores have opened in Clanton, Birmingham along Highway 280, and Tuscaloosa. CBD oil once carried a negative stigma because it’s an extract from the cannabis plant. Now the industry is expecting sales to top a billion dollars by 2020. With storefronts popping up across the country it seems CBD has gone mainstream. – ABC3340

Coalition seeks to speed up internet in state’s rural areas
A growing group of business, civic and government leaders across Alabama wants to improve high speed internet access, especially in rural areas. Representatives of the group held a news conference Wednesday morning in Montgomery to highlight their efforts. “We are dedicated to addressing the infrastructure problem in our state that keeps many people and businesses in Alabama from sharing in the 21st century economy,” Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth said. – ANC

Toyota sees April sales in U.S. fall 4.4 percent
Toyota Motor on Wednesday reported a 4.4% fall in U.S. sales in April, hurt by slack demand for its sedans, including Corolla and Prius. The Japanese carmaker said it sold 162,506 vehicles in April, compared with 170,706 units a year earlier. Major automakers reported a weak U.S. new vehicle sales in the first quarter but are bullish that a robust economy would encourage consumers to buy more vehicles in the coming months. – CNBC

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