Top Headlines: Record year for foreign investment, Data centers land major client

Record year for foreign investment sparks growth in Alabama
With major new growth projects moving forward across Alabama, foreign direct investment (FDI) continues to play a vital role in the state’s economy, building on a record total of foreign investment approaching $4.2 billion last year. Last year, companies from 16 countries launched projects with more than 7,500 new jobs. So far in 2019, FDI projects approaching $1 billion in value will bring another 3,300 jobs to the state. – Alabama Department of Commerce

Data centers in Birmingham, Huntsville land major client
A data storage company announced Tuesday it had landed a major client for its facilities in Birmingham and Huntsville. DC BLOX said that Huntsville-based Torch Technologies has chosen the Atlanta-based company to “deliver colocation, network services, and cloud storage in its Huntsville and Birmingham data centers.” Torch Technologies is one of the nation’s top 100 government contracting companies with 2018 fiscal year revenues of more than $409 million. –

ICE agents raid Mississippi food processing plants, arrest 680
U.S. immigration officials raided numerous Mississippi food processing plants Wednesday, arresting 680 mostly Latino workers in what marked the largest workplace sting in at least a decade. Workers filled three buses — two for men and one for women — at a Koch Foods Inc. plant in tiny Morton, 40 miles east of Jackson. Koch Foods operates three similar food processing plants in Alabama. – AP

Pizza Hut closing as many as 500 dine-in restaurants
In a shift towards increased focus on delivery and carryout, Pizza Hut said it plans to close as many as 500 dine-in locations. “We are leaning in to accelerate the transition of our Pizza Hut U.S. asset base to truly modern delivery/carryout assets,” said David W. Gibbs, president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer for Yum! Brands, in an Aug. 1 earnings call. “This will ultimately strengthen the Pizza Hut business in the U.S. and set it up for a faster long-term growth. –

Alabama man indicted in fatal tanker truck crash
Authorities say they’ve arrested a man who was driving a tanker truck full of jet fuel on Interstate 85 when it crashed into a car and killed an Auburn University student. A statement from Auburn police says 45-year-old Robert Anthony Lockwood of Montgomery has been indicted on a manslaughter charge in the July 2018 death of Cassidy Meadows, 20. He was arrested Tuesday, and his bail is set at $30,000. – AP

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Capital dining: EatMGM Restaurant Week begins Friday
Montgomery restaurants are getting ready to welcome diners this coming weekend for EatMGM. This is the fifth year for the city’s annual restaurant week. This edition will feature 10 days of deals, online contests and foodie meet-ups, taking place Aug. 9 through 18. The event is organized by the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Convention & Visitor Bureau. –

Trump plan to freeze car efficiency standards may hike gas cost
President Donald Trump’s plan to freeze U.S. vehicle efficiency standards would hike costs for motorists without doing anything to boost highway safety, according to an analysis by Consumer Reports that undermines the administration’s chief talking points. The analysis comes as the White House reviews a final drafted plan for easing vehicle emissions and fuel economy standards, despite escalating pressure from some automakers and California to change course. – NewsMax

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