Top Headlines: Motus building Gadsden plant, Boeing snags Army contract

Motus to build $15 million plant in Gadsden, employ 100
Tier I auto supplier Motus Integrated Technologies will build a $15 million manufacturing plant in Gadsden and employ 100 people. The plant, which will produce automotive interior parts and headliners, will begin construction within a few weeks and is scheduled to open mid-2020. The plant will be built in the area of Gadsden’s Airport Industrial Park, with 90 people to be hired. About 10 jobs will come from Motus’ Cottondale facility, city officials said. –

Watkins Sr. gets 60 months in prison, ordered to repay $14M
A judge sentenced Donald Watkins Sr. to 60 months in prison on Tuesday. The judge also ordered Watkins Sr. to pay restitution of over $14 million. Donald Watkins Jr. was sentenced to 27 months in prison and ordered to pay more than $13 million in restitution, coherent with his father. On Nov. 29, 2018, federal prosecutors indicted Birmingham Attorney Donald Watkins Jr. and his father Donald Watkins Sr. of Atlanta on 10 charges, including bank fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy. – WBRC

Boeing snags $96.9M Army contract for Apache aircraft support
The Boeing Company recently secured a modification contract to provide integrated logistics support, product assurance and Longbow Crew Trainers for Apache aircraft. Work related to the deal is scheduled to be complete by Dec 31, 2024. Valued at $96.9 million, the contract was awarded by the U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal. Boeing will carry out the task in Mesa, AZ. – Zacks

STEM talent exists in South, but funding falls far short
Earlier this month, sports and culture news site The Undefeated published a story about NASA mathematician Clyde Foster. His calculations and computations helped launch rockets into orbit during the Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War era of the 1950s, ’60s, and early ’70s. – Brookings

Lear lowers 2019 financial outlook based on global economic decline
Lear Corp. is tempering expectations for its second quarter earnings by revising its 2019 financial outlook lower due to a global economic decline. The Michigan-based seating and electronics supplier, which has an Alabama production facility, Tuesday lowered its full-year outlook by more than $1 billion to revenue between $19.8 billion and $20.3 billion from a previous projection of up to $21.7 billion. – CDB

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Birmingham company aims to mine near Okefenokee Swamp
A company is seeking permits to mine minerals near the edge of the Okefenokee Swamp, a vast and unspoiled wilderness that’s home to the largest national wildlife refuge in the eastern U.S. The Army Corps of Engineers issued a public notice Friday that Twin Pines Minerals LLC of Birmingham wants to mine titanium dioxide less than 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) from the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge near the GeorgiaFlorida state line. The proposal comes 20 years after chemical giant DuPont abandoned a similar mining plan amid staunch opposition. – AP

JH Berry opens new Homewood headquarters
Insurance and risk management firm JH Berry Risk Services is now in its new 16,000-square-foot Homewood office headquarters, located at 2552 18th Street S. The building has three floors of workspaces, private offices, outdoor gathering areas and conference rooms, along with a glass storefront and floor-to-ceiling windows with expansive views of Homewood. –

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