Top Headlines: Rural internet expansion, Utilities partner for faster internet services

Tombigbee Communications gets $29.4M from feds for rural internet expansion
Tombigbee Communications, a subsidiary of Tombigbee Electric Cooperative, on Thursday accepted a $29.4 million grant/loan package from the U.S. Department of Agriculture as part of the federal ReConnect Pilot Program. The company will use the money to develop an All-Dielectric Self-Supporting fiber network and extend the company’s ultra-high-speed fiber optic service to 1,100 square-miles of unserved areas of Marion, Lamar, Fayette, Franklin, Winston and Walker counties in northwest Alabama. – OA Online

Electric utilities help bring high-speed internet to Alabama
Alabama state and local officials are touting a partnership between C Spire and Alabama Power, expected to bring faster internet services to Birmingham and central Alabama in 2020. Broadband laws enacted last legislative session allow electric providers to install, operate and maintain broadband systems within their easements and the areas of property used by utility companies. – GovTech

Judge delays decision on suit over Alabama Democratic chair
A lawsuit filed by the longtime chair of the Alabama Democratic Party challenging a newly elected leader can continue, at least for now, a judge said Thursday. Montgomery Circuit Judge Greg Griffin said he will wait for a decision from the Alabama Supreme Court in an earlier appeal before deciding whether to dismiss the lawsuit filed by longtime party chair Nancy Worley. – AP

Nothing says ‘Happy Holidays’ like year-end tax strategies
As 2019 comes to a close, while most people are busy making holiday plans, dutiful tax advisors and financial planners are burning the midnight oil to minimize their clients’ tax bills that will be due in a few short months. Year-end planning strategies include an evaluation of a taxpayer’s potential federal and state income tax liabilities and ways to harvest losses or otherwise lower 2019 taxable income. – Lexology

Toyota’s biggest problem is keeping hybrid models in stock
Toyota Motor Corp. has a problem with selling its hybrids — it can’t get enough of them. “The only thing holding us back on hybrids is capacity,” Bob Carter, Toyota’s North American executive vice president for sales, told reporters on Thursday at an event in Detroit. “We can’t make enough Corolla and RAV4 hybrids.” – Bloomberg

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