North Alabama sales of Iron Bowl victory shirts down; stores expect rebound if Bama wins SEC


Paul Huggins | phuggins@al.com

By

Paul Huggins | phuggins@al.com

The Huntsville Times

on November 29, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Brought to you by


HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — Donned in a long-sleeve Crimson Tide
T-shirt, Meagan White walked out of Sports Mania without what is traditionally a
must-have T-shirt following an Iron Bowl victory.


Iron Bowl shirts
Sales of Iron Bowl victory shirts have been down this year, perhaps because the game lacked its usual intensity. (Paul Huggins/phuggins@al.com)

She and her husband, Jamie White, strolled past the racks
with the “Over Easy. 49-0″ and “Your Season’s Cooked” but didn’t even bother to
check a price tag.

“I haven’t even thought about buying one this year,” Mrs. White,
a Scottsboro resident, said.

Whether the disinterest was because Iron Bowl was such a
snoozer or there’s little joy in rubbing the score in when the rival plays so
poorly, or perhaps the family is weary of buying so many state and national
championship shirts in recent years, she couldn’t say.

Then her husband chimed in, “I’m waiting to get the national
championship shirt.”

While store officials at Sports Mania said Iron Bowl victory
shirts sales are on par with last year, upstairs at Parkway Place Mall, the clerks
at Hibbett Sports said sales are slower than usual.

They said they normally would nearly be out of game shirts
by Thursday, but they still had two full racks.

Specifically, there were 66 short sleeve, 28 long sleeve and
14 youth shirts left.

Drew DeArmond, owner of Sports Mania, said he sold half his
inventory through Thursday. The triple extra-large sizes sold out in an hour,
he added, and only about 25 percent of the long sleeve game shirts remain.

“I don’t know if I would say it’s saturation,” he said about
why there isn’t greater demand for game shirts. “They’re still selling. But I’m
not sure anything will top the 2009 SEC Championship. That was crazy.”

The 2009 conference championship shirts after the win over
Florida even outsold the national championship shirts after the Crimson Tide
beat Texas, DeArmond added.

“It had been 10 years since they won the conference, and,
really, that (SEC championship) game was for the national championship,” he said.


Iron Bowl win shirt
Store managers expect SEC championship shirts will sell better than the Iron Bowl shirts if Alabama beats Georgia on Saturday. (Paul Huggins/phuggins@al.com)

Since Alabama didn’t play in the SEC championship game last
year, there’s no sales comparison to 2009. But if Alabama advances to the national
championship game and beats Notre Dame, DeArmond expects that game shirt will
outsell this year’s Iron Bowl shirts.

Carol Polston, store manager at Martin’s Family Clothing in
Decatur, which draws customers from all across North Alabama to its 25,000
square-feet college clothing department, also said sales of Iron Bowl victory shirts
are down a little from previous years.

The rivalry game didn’t seem to have the same intensity it
traditionally enjoys, she said.

“But the SEC championship sales are going to be great,”
Polston said. “I expect the SEC shirts to be the big one.”

DeArmond said sales of Auburn merchandise at Sports Mania
has slowed this fall as the football team finished winless in the SEC, but he
said sales will pick up once the university names its new football coach.

“And every spring, people get more optimistic, and sales
will pick up,” he said.

Article source: http://blog.al.com/breaking/2012/11/sales_of_iron_bowl_victory_shi.html

Madison County judge rejects efforts to dismiss lawsuits over deadly 2010 Redstone Arsenal explosion


Brian Lawson | blawson@al.com

By

Brian Lawson | blawson@al.com

The Huntsville Times

on November 29, 2012 at 5:40 PM, updated November 29, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Brought to you by


Two Injured In Redstone Explosion

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — A Madison County Circuit Court judge denied a number of defense motions seeking to have lawsuits dismissed that were filed by the widows of two men killed in an explosion at Redstone Arsenal in 2010.

Circuit Judge Jim Smith issued the orders this afternoon. Smith also agreed to continue discovery on motions by some defendants in the case who are asking that their cases be dismissed.

The lawsuits were filed on behalf of the families of Jerry A. Grimes, 58, of Hartselle, and James R. Hawke, 53, of Hazel Green, who both died after suffering massive burns.

The explosion took place at the Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center’s Building 7352 on the arsenal on the morning of May 5, 2010. The two men were working on a new process to separate ammonium perchlorate – an oxidizer used in solid rocket propellant – from other elements in missile fuel contained in old rocket motors.

The two lawsuits both list more than a dozen defendants, including Indiana-based U.S. Centrifuge, seller of a centrifuge in use at the time of the explosion.

The Grimes lawsuit also includes the company that employed the two men, Amtec Corp., but the Hawke lawsuit does not.

One motion argued the state court does not have jurisdiction in death or injury cases that occurred on federal property, Smith noted that the same matter had been raised three times with the federal district court in North Alabama and four opinions issued by various federal judges all rejected that argument.

Smith also rejected the motion.

Smith also dismissed a request by some defendants employed by companies named in the lawsuits, who argued they did not have personal jurisdiction over the issues in the case. Smith ruled that depositions of the defendants could go forward after finding they were “closely involved in transactions at issue in this case.”

The judge also denied a request to stay discovery in the case while many of the same motions were presented to the Alabama Supreme court.

Hawke’s attorney Harvey Morris has said their case is essentially a “products liability case” and argues that the U.S. Centrifuge defendants told James Hawke they had a suitable product for separating the ammonium perchlorate and represented that it was “explosion-proof quality.” Company representatives instructed the Amtec employees on how to operate the decanter centrifuge and installed it, the lawsuit alleges.

The decanter centrifuge had a catastrophic failure that caused a violent explosion and fire, the Hawke lawsuit argues, and he suffered burns over 98 percent of his body and he died 11 hours after the explosion.

The Grimes lawsuit argues the design of the centrifuge, its sale to Amtec, the recommendation for its use, the training on its use and other steps were negligent. Grimes also died from burns suffered in the explosion.

Amtec has strongly disputed the findings and has filed its own lawsuit

Related Stories


Lawsuits over 2010 fatal explosion at Redstone Arsenal move forward


Amtec attorney: Army statement about investigation of deadly Redstone Arsenal explosion paints ‘inaccurate picture’

Article source: http://blog.al.com/breaking/2012/11/judge_rejects_requests_to_dism.html

BAE hosts keel-laying for Great Lakes Dredge & Dock dump scow


bae.JPG
The first piece of steel is cut for the first of two dump scows to be built at BAE Systems for Great Lakes Dredge Dock Co., Oct. 2, 2012 in Mobile, Ala. (Photo courtesy of BAE Systems)

MOBILE, Alabama — BAE Systems Southeast Shipyard Alabama LLC in Mobile this afternoon had a keel-laying ceremony for the first of two dump scows to be built for Great Lakes Dredge Dock Co.

The Pinto Island shipyard hosted the traditional keel-laying for the ship, during which Great Lakes Dredge Dock Vice President of Plant Equipment and Chief Mechanical Engineer Steven Becker welded his initials into a steel panel on the hull of the yet unnamed vessel.

About 200 people gathered at BAE Systems to witness the event for the dump scow, a ship used to transport and dump sediments acquired while dredging waterways.

Construction of the 295-foot-long and 62-foot-wide vessel started last month. The ship is expected to be completed and delivered by April 2013, according to company officials.

BAE Systems received the contract in June from Oak Brook, Ill.-based Great Lakes Dredge Dock to build the dump scows. The contract also includes the option for the shipyard to build two more.

Construction of the second ship also began last month and it will be delivered in August of next year. The additional dump scows, if built, would be completed in 2014.

Great Lakes Dredge Dock has had a long history with BAE Systems, using the company when it was Atlantic Marine for the repairs of over 20 vessels.

BAE Systems is located where the Alabama Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Company sat from 1916 until it reorganized the company in 1983, changing its name to Addsco Industries. In 1988, the company ceased operations and leased the facility to Atlantic Marine, which then acquired the entire company in 1992. Atlantic Marine sold the shipyard to BAE in 2010.

The company has 946 workers at its Mobile yard and expects to reach 2,000 by the end of 2013.

Article source: http://blog.al.com/press-register-business/2012/11/bae_hosts_keel-laying_for_grea.html

Mobile area home prices stay the same in October


house.JPG A home at 1815 Dauphin Street, Sept 21, 2011 in Mobile, Ala. (Press-Register file photo)

MOBILE, Alabama — The median list price for Mobile area homes did not change from September to October and also stayed the same year-over-year, according to the real estate website Realtor.com.

In October, the median list price for homes in Mobile was $189,900, as was the national median list price. The national median list price also was the same as October 2011, but had a 0.83 percent decrease compared to September.

Analysts say that the housing market in 2012 is in better shape than it
was a year ago, but the recent erosion in the median list price may
foreshadow a dampening of recent increases in housing prices.

The active for sale inventory of homes in Mobile last month was 6,687, a, 15.91 percent decrease from October 2011 and down 0.34 percent from 6,710 in September. Homes were available 117 days in October, a drop of 10.68 percent from the same period last year but up by two days compared to September.

National inventory counts for October were 1,756,818, a 17 percent decrease compared to a year ago and 2.58 percent decrease from September’s number of 1,803,347. The median age of inventory nationally was 97 days in October, increasing from 95 days the month before, but down 11.81 percent from the same period in 2011, according to Realtor.com.

Mobile was also the 97th most-searched real estate market in the country last month, moving up three spots from 100th. Birmingham moved up to 72nd from 76th and Huntsville remained in the same spot from September to October, at 136th.

Nationally, Realtor.com said the top 10 most-searched markets in September were Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles-Long Beach, Detroit, Atlanta, Dallas, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Boston-Worcester-Lawrence-Lowell-Brockton, Phoenix-Mesa and Orlando.

Article source: http://blog.al.com/press-register-business/2012/11/mobile_area_home_prices_stay_t.html

Austal enters trading halt pending company announcement


AUSTAL
Austal’s Mobile River facility, Oct. 1, 2008 in Mobile, Ala. (Press-Register file photo)

Austal Limited, owner of Austal USA in Mobile, has entered a trading halt “pending the release of an announcement,” next week.

The Australian Securities Exchange released a statement Thursday that said the Perth-based shipbuilder had requested the halt until an announcement on Tuesday, Nov. 20. The release also said Austal was using the halt to “consider potential capital management measures.”

Austal, which is battling a tough market for manufacturers, said in August that it had experienced a nearly 50 percent drop in annual profits from the previous year.

Severe cuts to the U.S. defense budget, expected to take place in January, have also been worrisome for the company, but Austal expects its contracts for littoral combat ships and joint high-speed vessels will be safe.

Austal is currently under contract with the Navy to build nine 103-meter Joint High Speed Vessels under a 10-ship, $1.6 billion contract and five 127-meter Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ships, four of which are part of a 10-ship, $3.5 billion contract.

Austal is also looking to hire an additional 1,500 employees in the next 12 to 18 months, growing its Mobile shipyard from about 3,000 to 4,500 employees.

Article source: http://blog.al.com/press-register-business/2012/11/austal_enters_trading_halt_pen.html

How would the end of the world impact prices? Plus, Birmingham incomes and South Carolina jobs (podcast)

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Article source: http://blog.al.com/businessnews/2012/11/how_would_the_end_of_the_world.html

Alabama industry report: State aims to boost exports to Nordic Region


exports.jpg
A crane moves a shipping container at the Intermodal Center at Huntsville International Airport. State officials are targeting the Nordic Region as a growth area for Alabama exports. (The Huntsville Times file/Dave Dieter) 

Alabama exports to the Nordic Region have more than doubled in recent years, and state trade officials hope to bolster that growth with a strategy that aims for even more goods and services shipped to those countries.

This week, Marianne Ruud, a commercial specialist with the U.S. Embassy in Oslo, Norway, met with Alabama business owners and representatives about the prospects for selling their products in the region, which includes Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.

She also conferred with Alabama tourism officials, who hope to sell Nordic travelers on Alabama’s state parks, beaches and other attractions. Currently, their top U.S. travel destinations are California, New York and Florida.

“Nordic consumers are pretty active,” she said. “They like to go experience things.”

Ruud’s trip was supported by the Alabama Department of Commerce’s International Trade Division and other U.S., state and local agencies involved in international trade.

Ruud made stops in Birmingham, Mobile and Huntsville, sharing insight on the culture and market conditions in the Nordic Region, which is considered one of the 10 largest economies in the world.

Her tips included:

–During July, do not try to do business in the region, as it’s a dead period when people are usually on vacation. And on a related note, summertime office hours are more relaxed, with many workers going home early.

–There are high fuel and auto taxes. In Oslo, for example, a taxi ride will cost at least $20, even if only last five minutes.

–Nordic people are highly educated and well-traveled, with high median incomes. For instance, in Norway — the world’s seventh-largest exporter of crude oil — the median income is about $85,000 per year.

–English is widely spoken, and business etiquette is similar to that in the U.S. Sometimes, Nordic people have a reputation for being a bit cold.

In fact, Ruud said, they are just quite direct. Personal chit-chat is brief, then it’s down to business.

The Nordic Region is a sophisticated market, said Robert Stackpole, senior international trade specialist in the Birmingham office of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

People who attended the meetings with Ruud this week included representatives from biotechnology, information and communication technology, aerospace, defense and shipbuilding firms.

“It does represent a really good opportunity for some of the emerging sectors we have here in Alabama,” Stackpole said.

A state trade mission to the Nordic Region is planned next spring.

Last year, the value of Alabama exports to the Nordic Region topped $125 million, compared to $53 million in 2009. So far this year, the state’s Nordic Region exports have grown more than 100 percent over 2011.

Top exports include aircraft parts, coal and industrial and electric machinery.

Related: Alabama exports on the rise this year, led by autos, iron and steel

Article source: http://blog.al.com/businessnews/2012/11/alabama_industry_report_state_1.html

Alabama Bankers Association, Community Bankers Association of Alabama now merged

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — The Alabama Bankers Association (ABA) and Community Bankers Association of Alabama (CBAA) have merged. The new organization will be known as Alabama Bankers Association, Inc.


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Scott E. Latham.


Article source: http://blog.al.com/businessnews/2012/11/alabama_bankers_association_co.html

MEADS successfully completes first intercept flight test (With video)


Leada Gore | lgore@al.com

By

Leada Gore | lgore@al.com

The Huntsville Times

on November 29, 2012 at 4:18 PM, updated November 29, 2012 at 4:32 PM

Brought to you by



MEADS test

MEADS test
The Medium Extended Air Defense System, or MEADS, successfully intercepted an air-breathing target in its first-ever intercept flight test. MEADS International officials said the test “achieved all criteria for success.”
Watch video

The Medium Extended Air Defense System, or MEADS,
successfully intercepted an air-breathing target in its first-ever intercept
flight test. MEADS International officials said the test “achieved all criteria
for success.”

Today’s test at White Sands Missile Range utilized MEADS
full-perimeter, 360-degree defense capabilities with the PAC-3 MSE performing
an over-the-shoulder maneuver to detect, track, intercept and destroy the
target.

“This is a proud day,” said Gregory Kee, general manager for
the Huntsville-based NATO MEADS Management Agency. “Since 2008, we have
executed every task on schedule and within the budgets that three governments
have tasked us to do in the MEADS project. This is a demonstration of the
capabilities that the nations can harvest as they move forward.”

MEADS, a joint project of Germany, Italy and the U.S. with
major subcontractor Lockheed Martin, is designed to be a ground-mobile air and
missile defense system that incorporates 360-degree radars, netted and distributed
battle management, transportable
launchers and the hit-to-kill PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement. It is intended
to provide increased protection against tactical ballistic missiles, cruise
missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles and aircraft. MEADS officials said it
defends up to 8 times the coverage area of other systems.

MEADS successfully completed its first flight test on Nov.
17, 2011 against a simulated target attacking from behind. A PAC-3 MSE
Certified Missile Round was employed during the test along with the MEADS
lightweight launcher and battle manager.

“MEADS provides advanced capabilities that detect, track and
intercept evolving threats from farther away and without blind spots,” MEADS
International President Dave Berganini said. “Today’s successful intercept
proves MEADS’ advertised capabilities are real. Its digital designs and modern
hardware and software ensure high reliability rates and dramatically reduced
operational and support costs.”

Article source: http://blog.al.com/breaking/2012/11/meads_successfully_completes_f.html

North Alabama sales of Iron Bowl victory shirts down; stores expect rebound if Bama wins SEC


Paul Huggins | phuggins@al.com

By

Paul Huggins | phuggins@al.com

The Huntsville Times

on November 29, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Brought to you by


HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — Donned in a long-sleeve Crimson Tide
T-shirt, Meagan White walked out of Sports Mania without what is traditionally a
must-have T-shirt following an Iron Bowl victory.


Iron Bowl shirts
Sales of Iron Bowl victory shirts have been down this year, perhaps because the game lacked its usual intensity. (Paul Huggins/phuggins@al.com)

She and her husband, Jamie White, strolled past the racks
with the “Over Easy. 49-0″ and “Your Season’s Cooked” but didn’t even bother to
check a price tag.

“I haven’t even thought about buying one this year,” Mrs. White,
a Scottsboro resident, said.

Whether the disinterest was because Iron Bowl was such a
snoozer or there’s little joy in rubbing the score in when the rival plays so
poorly, or perhaps the family is weary of buying so many state and national
championship shirts in recent years, she couldn’t say.

Then her husband chimed in, “I’m waiting to get the national
championship shirt.”

While store officials at Sports Mania said Iron Bowl victory
shirts sales are on par with last year, upstairs at Parkway Place Mall, the clerks
at Hibbett Sports said sales are slower than usual.

They said they normally would nearly be out of game shirts
by Thursday, but they still had two full racks.

Specifically, there were 66 short sleeve, 28 long sleeve and
14 youth shirts left.

Drew DeArmond, owner of Sports Mania, said he sold half his
inventory through Thursday. The triple extra-large sizes sold out in an hour,
he added, and only about 25 percent of the long sleeve game shirts remain.

“I don’t know if I would say it’s saturation,” he said about
why there isn’t greater demand for game shirts. “They’re still selling. But I’m
not sure anything will top the 2009 SEC Championship. That was crazy.”

The 2009 conference championship shirts after the win over
Florida even outsold the national championship shirts after the Crimson Tide
beat Texas, DeArmond added.

“It had been 10 years since they won the conference, and,
really, that (SEC championship) game was for the national championship,” he said.


Iron Bowl win shirt
Store managers expect SEC championship shirts will sell better than the Iron Bowl shirts if Alabama beats Georgia on Saturday. (Paul Huggins/phuggins@al.com)

Since Alabama didn’t play in the SEC championship game last
year, there’s no sales comparison to 2009. But if Alabama advances to the national
championship game and beats Notre Dame, DeArmond expects that game shirt will
outsell this year’s Iron Bowl shirts.

Carol Polston, store manager at Martin’s Family Clothing in
Decatur, which draws customers from all across North Alabama to its 25,000
square-feet college clothing department, also said sales of Iron Bowl victory shirts
are down a little from previous years.

The rivalry game didn’t seem to have the same intensity it
traditionally enjoys, she said.

“But the SEC championship sales are going to be great,”
Polston said. “I expect the SEC shirts to be the big one.”

DeArmond said sales of Auburn merchandise at Sports Mania
has slowed this fall as the football team finished winless in the SEC, but he
said sales will pick up once the university names its new football coach.

“And every spring, people get more optimistic, and sales
will pick up,” he said.

Article source: http://blog.al.com/breaking/2012/11/sales_of_iron_bowl_victory_shi.html