Top Headlines: NASA, Blue Origin sign pact, AGCO invests in Cullman

NASA, Blue Origin sign pact to further commercial space launches
Officials from NASA and the private company Blue Origin have signed an agreement that grants the company use of a historic test stand as the agency focuses on returning to the Moon and on to Mars, and America’s commercial space industry continues to grow. Under a Commercial Space Launch Act agreement, Blue Origin will upgrade and refurbish Test Stand 4670, at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville to support testing of BE-3U and BE-4 rocket engines. – News release

AGCO investing $5.7 million in Cullman operations, hiring 50
AGCO Corp. plans to invest $5.7 million in its Cullman County operations, moving production of its Farmer Automatic Aviary Systems and creating 50 jobs. Gov. Kay Ivey was at the facility in Bremen for a ceremony at the 32,000-square-foot expansion that will house the new production line. She called the move “a significant step for…all of rural Alabama.” –

UA alumna Marillyn Hewson named to Time 100
Lockheed Martin and University of Alabama alumna Marillyn Hewson has been named one of Time magazine’s top 100 most influential people of 2019. Hewson works tirelessly to build innovation capacity and give more Americans the skills necessary to thrive—in part through her support of STEM education, as well as trade and export expansion. – Time

Mobile takes steps to prevent another Carnival letdown
Eight years ago, without warning, Carnival Cruise Lines decided to move its Elation ship out of Mobile, leaving a void at the city-owned cruise terminal and plenty of hurt feelings. Now, Carnival is back in Mobile with a 2,056-passenger ship called Fantasy, and city leaders want to make sure there’s no repeat of 2011. –

GOP leaders ponder how to get rid of Roy Moore
Republicans in Washington are dead set against Judge Roy Moore being the party’s Senate nominee in Alabama next year and say they will do whatever is possible to prevent that from happening. Moore is expected to announce a decision soon on whether to challenge Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), a top Republican target, and a new poll shows him leading a field of possible GOP Senate candidates. – The Hill

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University of Alabama’s “Bachelorette” contract scrutinized
Anyone who watched the last season of The Bachelor knows the next Bachelorette, Hannah B., loves Alabama and its powerhouse football program. She’s from Tuscaloosa. She graduated from the University of Alabama and works “Roll Tide” into her conversations. So it’s no surprise that ’Bama will have a key role when her season of The Bachelorette premieres May 13. – Tampa

Silver Ships wins $11M contract for naval targets
Aluminum boat builder Silver Ships Inc. has been awarded an $11 million firm-fixed-price General Services Administration (GSA) contract for the construction and delivery of up to 160 high speed maneuverable surface targets (HSMST), accessories and deployment spare parts. The contract includes options that, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of the contract to nearly $19.7 million. – News release

Lupinacci takes on chairman, CEO role at Baker Donelson
Timothy M. Lupinacci has assumed the role of chairman and chief executive officer of Baker Donelson. Lupinacci, who was elected as the incoming chairman and CEO by the firm’s board of directors in October 2018, assumes the role from Ben C. Adams, who has served as the Firm’s chairman and CEO for the last 16 years. Adams is remaining with Baker Donelson and will continue his practice focused on estate planning and corporate law. – News release

Zoghby named state’s top public relations official
USA Health Marketing & Communications Director Jennifer Zoghby was named the top public relations professional in Alabama during the Public Relations Council of Alabama’s annual conference earlier this month in Tuscaloosa. The Philip Ryder Forrest Jr. Professional Achievement Award is the highest annual honor bestowed by the Public Relations Council of Alabama to a single practitioner. – News release

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