Top Headlines: Senator looks to phase out ABC stores, Addressing Alabama’s teacher shortage

State senator proposes getting rid of state’s alcohol pipeline
Alabama Senator Arthur Orr is again trying to shake up the state’s alcohol retail sales. He’s drafting a bill to file in the Alabama Legislature’s upcoming session in March that would eventually do away with state-run ABC stores. Orr (R-Decatur) is looking to phase out Alabama’s 170 ABC stores over a period of several years by privatizing the retail function of the Alcoholic Beverage Control board. – WHNT

Military looks to ease Alabama’s shortage of teachers
The military is aiming to ease Alabama’s shortage of teachers. Military officials are leading two efforts designed to increase the number of teachers in the state’s public schools. “In order to replace teachers that are retiring and those that are choosing not to go into the field, it’s almost becoming a crisis to find good, qualified teachers in Alabama, especially where we are,” said James Carter, superintendent in rural Greene County. – AP

Southern Sky Aviation expanding into Atlanta
Birmingham private aviation firm Southern Sky Aviation is expanding into the Atlanta market with a new office located at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport (PDK). At the new location, Southern Sky plans to offer both charter and aircraft-on-ground (AOG) maintenance services, as well as full-service maintenance, charter, brokerage and management services through its Birmingham operation. – AL.com

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Mark your calendar to take part in Innovate Huntsville 2019
Innovate Huntsville 2019 is a week of collaboration and celebration of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in North Alabama. The event, Feb. 22-March 3, is dedicated to bringing entrepreneurs and innovators together with local resources to build connections and opportunities. The week features events, panels, and social activities, including the region’s brightest entrepreneurs, investors, strategic advisors, and community supporters. – News release

ProctorU partners with Google on certification program
A company headquartered in Riverchase is partnering with Google in a venture to provide testing and certification for digital workers using cloud-based technology. ProctorU, which recently celebrated its 10th year in business, rolled out its work on Monday with Google’s G Suite Certification. – AL.com

Small businesses stress on trade issues but take out loans
Small-business owners in Alabama and Florida are feeling more uncertain about the economy. Issues like the threat of a trade war, expansion of tariffs and slowing economic growth in other countries are worrying business owners here, according to the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s first small-business index survey of the year. Southeastern credit unions, meanwhile, outperformed their industry colleagues in several areas last year, including business lending. Member business loans at the state’s 135 credit unions grew by 14 percent through the first nine months of last year, according to a new report from the League of Southeastern Credit Unions & Affiliates. That bettered the U.S. average of 8.5 percent. – Herald Tribune

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