Top Headlines: Mazda, Toyota form joint company, Culverhouse urges UA boycott

Mazda, Toyota affiliates to form $60 million joint company in Alabama
An auto supplier affiliated with Toyota, and two car seat makers working with Mazda, this week announced a plan to form a $60 million joint production company in Alabama. According to reports in The Japan Times and other outlets, a unit of Toyota Boshoku overseeing the company’s operations in the United States will create a joint venture in Alabama later this year with Delta Kogyo Co. and Toyo Seat Co. – AL.com

Culverhouse, top UA donor, urging boycott of school over abortion bill
In September, the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa announced that its law school would be named for Hugh F. Culverhouse Jr., a Florida business executive, to honor his $26.5 million donation. On Wednesday, Culverhouse encouraged out-of-state students to stay away from the university to protest the state’s new law effectively banning all abortions in the state. The university says Culverhouse has been in a dispute over his gift and has been demanding the return of some of the funds. – Inside Higher Ed

Liquor sales at SEC stadiums: What could go wrong?
Alcohol sales inside SEC stadiums like Bryant Denny have been an ongoing topic for years. It’s expected to come up again this week at the annual SEC meeting in Destin. Right now, SEC rules prohibit alcohol sales to the general public inside stadiums unless it’s for a private event or in premium seating areas. A number of colleges outside the SEC do allow alcohol sales in the general seating areas. The SEC is the only power five conference that has an alcohol ban. – WBRC

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Poarch Creek purchase of Pennsylvania casino approved
Alabama’s Poarch Band of Creek Indians has gained regulatory approval to expand its casino holdings with the acquisition of the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Penn. According to a statement issued Wednesday by the PCI Gaming Authority, doing business as Wind Creek Hospitality, the deal has “a total enterprise value” of $1.3 billion. Wind Creek Hospitality (WCH) received approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board after about 14 months of review. – AL.com

Mobile’s Austal USA has one less competitor for Navy contract
Competition to build the Navy’s next generation of guided-missile frigates has just dropped from five companies to four, with Mobile’s Austal USA still in the running. Lockheed-Martin tells USNI News it will not submit a bid for the design and construction of the proposed FFGX Vessels. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Lockheed-Martin and Mobile’s Austal USA are currently building different versions of the navy’s littoral combat ships. – NBC15/WPMI

Trump encourages Roy Moore to stay out of race
President Donald Trump doesn’t want Roy Moore getting in the way of Republicans winning back a U.S. Senate seat next year in the reliably red state of Alabama. “I have NOTHING against Roy Moore, and unlike many other Republican leaders, wanted him to win. But he didn’t, and probably won’t,” Trump tweeted Wednesday morning, mentioning his prior endorsement of Moore, a former judge who has been accused of committing sexual misconduct against teenage girls decades ago. – CNBC

Clyde May’s brand offering first (legal) rye whiskey
Clyde May, a World War II veteran who came home to Alabama and started making whiskey outside the law, is probably the most famous moonshiner ever to come from the Yellowhammer State. (Of course, fame in that career can lead to unwanted attention from the authorities, and in May’s case, that led to a prison stint.) Though May has been gone for years, his family business lives on as a popular Alabama spirits company known as Conecuh Brands. – Nashville Scene

VW Chattanooga union election dates are set for June
Volkswagen Chattanooga workers will decide next month whether to join the United Auto Workers union. An election in the East Tennessee assembly plant has been scheduled June 12, 13 and 14, the UAW reported Wednesday. Scheduling the vote ends a lingering dispute between the German automaker and the Detroit union about going forward with an election. – Commercial Appeal

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