Top News: B’ham Stadium Strikes Naming Rights Deal; New Direct Flights Launched

New agriculture data: Alabama is #2 in broilers, catfish and peanuts
New data shows lots of details about Alabama’s farmers and the state of agriculture in the state. The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries announced the results of the 2017 Census of Agriculture, from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Alabama producers sold $6 billion worth of agricultural products in 2017, but it cost $4.6 billion to produce the products. – WVTM

House passes bill to allow hunting deer over baited fields
The Alabama House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday that would allow hunters to purchase a special license from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources so that they can shoot feral hogs and whitetail deer over bait.

State Representative Danny Crawford, R-Athens, sponsored House Bill 97. Alabama has a major problem with a growing herd of feral swine. Hunters and wildlife managers argue that they need to be able to bait the hogs in order to control the swine population. – Alabama Political Reporter

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Protective Life gets naming rights for Birmingham’s new stadium
Birmingham’s planned $174 million open-air downtown stadium will be branded by Protective Life, in a deal with the Birmingham-based insurance company expected to last 15 years. Sources said Protective could pay as much as $20 million and at least two other brands $5 million each over the same period for stadium-connected deals. – AL.com

Nonstop flights from Birmingham to Pittsburgh, Austin launched
The first nonstop Via Airlines flights out of Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport began Thursday morning. Nonstop service to and from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Austin, Texas, began Thursday. These flights will operate four times each week to and from the Birmingham airport. Flights to Pittsburgh International Airport from Birmingham will run every Sunday, Monday, Thursday and Friday at 9:06 a.m. – AL.com

Coffee house to connect town’s past with its future
Coffee has been known to revive those who can’t function until they get that first sip in the morning. But can it help revive an Alabama town? One entrepreneur hopes it can. Joe Posey owns a building that was a coffee shop nearly 100 years ago in downtown Tarrant, a blue-collar town north of Birmingham. – ANC

GM talks with Rivian on electric pickups may have stalled
Talks between General Motors Co. and electric-vehicle startup Rivian Automotive Inc. about the largest U.S. carmaker buying an equity stake have reached an impasse and may be dead, people familiar with the matter said. GM had negotiated taking a stake in Rivian and forging a partnership that may have helped the Plymouth, Michigan-based startup bring fully electric trucks to market faster. – Bloomberg

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