Top Headlines: Proposed bill would help wineries, Royal Cup selects COO

Former astronaut, Huntsville resident Owen Garriott has died at 88
NASA officials confirm that former astronaut and long-duration spaceflight pioneer Owen Garriott, 88, died Monday at his home in Huntsville, Alabama. Garriott flew aboard the Skylab space station and on the Space Shuttle Columbia and spent a total of 70 days in space. – WHNT

Proposed bill would help farmer-owned wineries thrive
A Senate bill sponsored by Sen. Tom Whatley, R-Auburn, would allow small farmer-owned wineries the ability to sell and distribute their products more competitively. In a time when more consumers are clamoring for locally sourced produce, it might seem odd that Alabama’s homegrown wine industry is grossly prohibited from selling its products to Alabamians. For years, big wholesale beer and wine distributors have blocked small-farmers’ efforts to be able to offer their products to a broad audience of Alabama consumers. – Alabama Political Reporter

Royal Cup picks Chip Wann as COO
Chip Wann is the now the first chief operating officer of Birmingham’s Royal Cup, Inc. The company’s board of directors has unanimously approved naming Wann to the post, which was created to oversee all aspects of the company’s day-to-day business and personnel decisions. Wann is currently chief financial officer, a post he has held for more than two years. –

Alabama couple has an eye for chai
East meets West in a cup of tea. Though they hail from opposite sides of the globe, Rebecca and Clint Denson share a passion for tea. It’s that bond that led the Densons to launch Sachai Tea Co., the first business of its kind in Alabama that specializes in producing authentic Indian chai. Their company also blends and sells loose-leaf black and green tea sourced from small Indian tea gardens. – Alabama Political Reporter

65-acre parcel set for auction near 280 and I-459
A large tract of undeveloped land near two major Birmingham-area thoroughfares will be auctioned in May. Granger Thagard Auction has announced 65 acres near U.S. 280 and Interstate 459 will be auctioned May 9 at the Hampton Inn, 3400 Colonnade Parkway, at 1 p.m. The land, in three parcels, will be sold as is with its current zoning, according to an announcement from Granger Thagard. –

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