Top Headlines: Nissan not worried about NAFTA, Maddox weighs in on lottery

Nissan not worried about NAFTA: ‘We’re heavily American’
Nissan Motor Co.’s North American division chief said on Tuesday that the Japanese automaker is awaiting details of the U.S.-Mexican trade agreement but is confident it can comply with its rules because it assembles around 1 million vehicles annually in the United States. – Reuters

Brasfield & Gorrie starts Georgia Aquarium expansion
Representatives of Birmingham’s Brasfield & Gorrie took part Tuesday in the groundbreaking for the Georgia Aquarium’s Expansion 2020 project. The 104,100-square-foot addition, slated to be complete in 2020, will add a new four-story structure to complement the existing building’s iconic boat façade. It is one of the largest expansions in the facility’s history. –

Gubernatorial candidate calls lottery situation ‘senseless’
Gubernatorial challenger Walt Maddox on Tuesday said it is “senseless” that Alabama is one of the few states without a state lottery and stepped up his criticisms of Gov. Kay Ivey, calling her a candidate without solutions and suggesting her advisers are scared for her to meet him on the debate stage. – AP

Outdoor retailer REI putting first Alabama location in Huntsville
The Rocket City will soon become the home of a new outdoor retailer to the state. REI Co-op will be opening its first location in Alabama at MidCity Huntsville in fall of 2019. The store will have direct access to MidCity Park, a 40-acre public space with a trail system, lakeside dock and outdoor amphitheater. – WHNT

She lost $3.3 million but found a role as equal pay advocate
Lily Ledbetter smiles pretty big these days for someone who famously lost out on $3.3 million. In Birmingham Tuesday, Ledbetter spoke to the Alabama chapter of the Public Relations Society of America’s Ethics Day program. The equal pay advocate recounted the story of her lawsuit against Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. after working more than 19 years at the company’s Gadsden plant. –

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Federal, local experts to address human trafficking at conference
The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Birmingham Division will host their 13th annual joint conference on Sunday, Sept. 16 and Monday, Sept. 17. This year’s conference focuses on the increasingly prevalent crimes of human and labor trafficking. The general public is invited to hear a lineup of nearly two dozen federal, state and local law enforcement and community leaders speak to current events and developments. The conference is free but registration is required at – News release

Calhoun College plans STAR open house Thursday
Calhoun Community College has planned a ribbon cutting/open house event Thursday to introduce its new STAR (Student Tutoring and Academic Resource) Institute, located in the Sparkman Building Student Success Center at the college’s Huntsville campus. The event will begin at 10 a.m. and is open to Calhoun students, faculty and staff as well as the general public. – News release

Virginia College closing Gulf Coast locations
Virginia College in Mobile is no longer enrolling new students. The school has posted on their website Virginia College in Mobile stopped enrolling new students beginning Monday. They’ll be closing the doors for good in two years, on April 1, 2020, after serving the community for more than two decades. More than a dozen locations are closing across the southeast, including three in Alabama, as well as the campuses in Pensacola and Biloxi. – WKRG

NFIB Small Biz Index hits record high in August
The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index soared to 108.8 in August, a new record in the survey’s 45-year history, topping the July 1983 highwater mark of 108. The figure is driven by small business owners executing on the plans they’ve put in place due to dramatic changes in the nation’s economic policy. – News release

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