Time lapse video: First morning at new Huntsville Times/AL.com hub

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – Compressing four hours into approximately 3 minutes, this GoPro video shows activity at the new Huntsville Times/AL.com downtown hub on our first morning.  It begins  on the first floor with final cleanup at 7:30 a.m. and the arrival of employees for the first time.

 Moving to the second floor, employees gather for their first staff meeting at the new location. 

Article source: http://blog.al.com/breaking/2013/08/timelapse_video_-_1st_morning.html

Possibility of Syrian strike sends stock soaring for Tomahawk missile maker Raytheon (video and links)

tomahawk.JPGPrized for its ability to penetrate complex anti-missile defense systems, the Tomahawk is designed to precisely hit targets with minimal collateral damage. (Contributed photo/Raytheon) 

A handful of large defense contractors could see a boost if the
U.S. carries out a military attack against Syria. That’s particularly true for
Raytheon, manufacturer of the Tomahawk cruise missile, the weapon most feel would be used in a Syrian strike.

Even the possibility of a strike was enough to send
Raytheon’s stock price soaring to a 52-week high of $77.93 per share this week,
according to a report in Politico.

Raytheon has facilities in Huntsville, including a
state-of-the-art missile integration and testing facility at Redstone Arsenal.
That facility produces Standard Missile-3s and SM-6s but it is another Raytheon
missile – the Tomahawk – that will likely come into play should the U.S. carry
out a Syrian strike.

Prized for its ability to penetrate complex anti-missile
defense systems, the Tomahawk is designed to precisely hit targets with minimal
collateral damage. The Tomahawk’s newest version, the Block IV, can circle for
hours, shift course instantly and send a pictures back to controllers halfway
around the world.

According to the Politico report, the Pentagon typically buys about 196
Tomahawk missiles a year, just enough to maintain the supply chain. However,
hundreds of the missiles were fired by the Navy during 2011′s civil war in
Libya, forcing production to be accelerated.

Raytheon has delivered 252 missiles this fiscal year and 361
last fiscal year at a cost of about $1 million each. The Politico report says
the White House is asking for about $325 million for Tomahawks in the 2014
budget.

For the Politico report go here.

For more on the Syria situation:

Fox Business

Clash with Syria could be a windfall for Tomahawk missile maker
Raytheon

International Business Times

A strike on Syria could mean big profits for defense contractor
Raytheon

The Hill

Raytheon stock rockets amid news of Syria strike

Boston Business Journal

Raytheon stock hits all-time high on talk of Syrian
intervention

Military Times

Syria draws Tomahawk missiles back into spotlight

For a look at other weapons systems that could come into
play in Syria, go here.

Article source: http://blog.al.com/breaking/2013/08/possibility_of_syrian_strike_s.html

Chief of Naval Operations: Sequestration will not affect Austal’s existing LCS and JHSV contracts


austal2-22.JPG

Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle (L) and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Johnathan Greenert, discuss sequestration and how it will affect Austal’s Mobile shipyard, Feb. 22, 2013 in Mobile, Ala. (al.com/ Ellen Mitchell)


 

MOBILE, Alabama — Sequestration cuts will not affect Austal USA’s 10-ship, $1.6 billion joint high-speed vessel contract with the U.S. Navy, nor will it affect its contract to build five 127-meter littoral combat ships, according to Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Johnathan Greenert.

During a tour of the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile today, Greenert said sequestration cuts will not affect projects that are already under contract, including Austal’s JHSV and LCS Navy deals.

“Sequestration will impact every single program; it requires a cut in every budget line,” Greenert said. “However, all those ships here that are under contract will not be affected, but we’ll have to move some money within the program line.”

Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle said Austal is optimistic that it’s providing a low cost
solution to the Navy, and does not expect any job cuts from
sequestration in regards to Austal’s existing Navy contracts.

“All
of our focus right now is delivering a great quality product to our
customer and that’s what we can control,” he said. “We’re confident,
based on the feedback that we’re getting from our customer, that we’re
stable on the contracts we have going forward.”

Standing alongside Perciavalle, Greenert addressed sequestration concerns, recent LCS criticisms and the future of the Navy’s partnership with Austal.

In a Bloomberg article released this week, critics inside the Navy referred to the LCS as the “Little Crappy Ship.” The article also discussed the debate over how vulnerable the LCS may be to attack, and cited numerous problems with the newly built vessels, including a six-inch crack in the hull of Lockheed Martin Corp.’s USS Freedom that had to be repaired, and “aggressive” corrosion in the propulsion area of Austal’s USS Independence.

Greenert said despite the LCS coming under fire recently for its design and cost, he’s looking forward to the Navy’s use of the ship.

“The Freedom and the Independence have proven their worth for the design of the ship,” he said. “Some folks felt that the ship should be used for missions or for capabilities which it frankly will not do. Some folks will put it in a situation and say ‘it’s not made for this, it won’t do well in this.’ I would acknowledge that.”

Greenert went on to say that the Navy has intentions to operate the ship in conjunction with other, larger ships, so he’s very optimistic that the ship will do well.

Lockheed Martin Corp., based in Bethesda, Maryland and Austal Ltd., based in Henderson, Australia, build two separate versions of the LCS. The dual sets of ships were meant to get them built faster, at a rate of four a year rather than two a year.

Lockheed makes a steel-bodied version in partnership with Marinette Marine Corp., at Marinette’s yard in Marinette, Wis., while Austal makes an aluminum version in partnership with Falls Church, Va.-based General Dynamics Corp. under a 10-ship, $3.5 billion contract. The estimated price to build each LCS is $440 million.

The LCS is intended to perform missions such as destroying mines, hunting submarines, interdicting drugs and providing humanitarian relief.

“As a customer, I’m here to check out the wares that we buy,” Greenert said of his shipyard tour. “I’m very impressed with what I’ve seen. Perhaps more importantly, they’ve got a lot of capacity for future building.”

Article source: http://blog.al.com/press-register-business/2013/02/chief_of_naval_operations_sequ.html

Alabama State Port Authority: Shipping report for Feb 24


port.jpg

The MSC LAURA docks at APM Terminals Mobile, June 4, 2012 in Mobile, Ala. (Photo courtesy of the Alabama State Port Authority)


 

MOBILE, Alabama — The Alabama State Port Authority provides its weekly port activity report, including ship departures and arrivals for the next week.

Departure and arrival dates, vessel name, berth, destination and cargo are provided below. Look for the report here on al.com each Sunday.

Arrivals:

Feb. 23: OSTENDE MAX; ASD MCDUFFIE 2; NEW ORLEANS; BULK CARGO

Feb. 23: INTERLINK ACUITY; ASD PIER SOUTH D 1; ORANJESTAD, AW; GENERAL CARGO

Feb. 24: STAR EAGLE; ASD PIER 2 – CONTAINER BERTH; PANAMA CITY; GENERAL CARGO

Feb 24: AM CONTRECOEUR; ASD MCDUFFIE 2; SWINOUJSCIE, PL; BULK CARGO

Feb 24: MSC JORDAN; APM TERMINALS MOBILE; ANTWERP, BE; CONTAINER

Feb. 24: MSC BARCELONA; APM TERMINALS MOBILE; ANTWERP, BE; CONTAINER

Feb. 24: LIJUN C; ASD SOUTH B 2; KINGSTON, JM; GENERAL CARGO

Feb. 25: BBC ROMANIA; ASD PIER 5; HOUSTON; GENERAL CARGO

Feb. 25: LETO; ASD MCDUFFIE; IMMINGHAM, GB; BULK CARGO

Feb. 25: SPIEGELGRACHT; ASD RIVER END C; ORANJESTAD, AW; GENERAL CARGO

Feb. 26: BANDA SEA; ASD RAIL FERRY RAMP; COATZACOALCOS, MX; RAIL

Feb. 26: OCEAN BEAUTY; ASD NORTH A 2; NEW ORLEANS; GENERAL CARGO

Feb. 26: STELLA BECRUX; ASD MCDUFFIE 2; CONSTANTZA, RO; BULK CARGO

Feb. 26: THOR; ASD PINTO ISLAND; UNKNOWN, US; GENERAL CARGO

Feb. 26: SEA-LAND EAGLE; APM TERMINALS MOBILE; MIAMI; CONTAINER

Feb. 26: MALTE B; ASD PIER 5; ORANJESTAD, AW; GENERAL CARGO

Feb. 27: STAR EPSILON; ASD NORTH A 2; GENERAL CARGO

Feb. 27: MARITIME SUZANNE; ASD LIQUID BULK TERMINAL ; NEW ORLEANS; BULK CARGO

Feb. 27: LATMAR; ASD NORTH A 2; BROWNSVILLE-CAMERON COUNTY; GENERAL CARGO

March 1: ALBION BAY; ASD PIER 2 – CONTAINER BERTH; HOUSTON; GENERAL CARGO

March 1: CMA CGM NEW JERSEY; APM TERMINALS MOBILE; MIAMI; CONTAINER

Article source: http://blog.al.com/press-register-business/2013/02/alabama_state_port_authority_s.html

Mobile business news has moved to a new location on AL.com


We've Moved (Blogs)



Read the latest Mobile business news at al.com/business/mobile, or read all our business news at al.com/business.

Article source: http://blog.al.com/press-register-business/2013/02/mobile_business_news.html

Books-A-Million sees dollars in ducks, will sell "Duck Dynasty" merchandise


DuckCommander.jpg

The Duck Commander display that will be installed in Books-A-Million stores. (Special)

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – Things are just ducky at Birmingham-based Books-A-Million Inc.

The bookstore chain today announced that its stores will sell more than 40 items from Duck Commander, the line of goods associated with the popular reality TV show “Duck Dynasty.”

Camo store displays will be stocked with DVDs, books, t-shirts, hats, key chains and other novelties. The displays also will include duck calls, the product that made the extended Robertson family wealthy and ultimately got them on television.

The show, which is AE’s highest-rated program, follows the antics of the unconventional Louisiana family and its business. The show’s popularity led to the extended Duck Commander product line. On the Duck Commander website duck calls range in price from $24.95 to $179.95.

Jeff Skipper, Books-A-Million vice president of marketing, said the push to sell Duck Commander merchandise is in response to explosive demand.

“We saw a tremendous amount of interest in all things “Duck” during the holiday selling season,” he said in a prepared statement. “Our team made the decision to create a custom, in-store display so that we could give our customers a one-stop-shop for all their favorite Duck Commander gear.”

The displays will be installed in all Books-A-Million stores before the television show begins its third season on Wednesday, the company said.

Article source: http://blog.al.com/businessnews/2013/02/books-a-million_sees_dollars_i.html

Friday recap: The week’s Alabama business news in review

Alabama business news you may have missed this week:

J.D. Power and Associates releases its 2013 Vehicle Dependability Study.

Best Buy to extend its price matching guarantee to major online competitors.

Communications experts dissect Carnival Cruise Lines’ response to the Triumph debacle.

Vulcan Materials begins blasting on Gurley Mountain.

A Montgomery auto dealer is named vice chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association.

The Department of Defense considers an alternative to sequestration that would reduce civilian employees’ pay and hours by 20 percent.

HealthSouth saw a 6.7 percent increase in full-year revenue in 2012, generating $2.16 billion in business over the 12-month period.

Mobile’s Brookley Aeroplex eagerly awaits the addition of new tenant Airbus.

Work begins on the new Birmingham School of Law.

Investors with Audley Capital Advisors accuse Walter Energy’s leaders of having mismanaged the company.

International Shipholding is preparing a $25 million stock offering.

Lesley McClure, regional executive at the Atlanta Fed’s Birmingham Branch, sees strength in the state’s auto industry.

Alabama’s brewing industry has doubled in size each of the last three years, a new report shows.

AirWalk, a new extreme trampoline arena in metro Birmingham, draws thousands.

Office Depot is set to acquire OfficeMax, a move that may accelerate the closing or selling of stores. The retailers have a combined 32 stores in Alabama.

Alabama’s second annual sales tax holiday for severe weather gear kicks off Friday.

Walmart plans to hire 175 people for two of its Neighborhood Markets opening in Decatur and Florence.

How many engineers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Huntsville is celebrating National Engineers Week.

The Mobile Boat Show kicks off Friday as optimism is again running high in the marine manufacturing industry.

Alabama’s economy supports slightly fewer jobs than it did at the start of 2000. But non-manufacturing jobs have increased.

BAE Systems Ship Repair in Mobile will avoid layoffs.

First Watch, a Bradenton, Fla.-based restaurant chain, is headed for Birmingham.

Winn-Dixie is moving into a space in Inverness Corners vacated by Bruno’s market.

There was a leadership shuffle at Mobile’s White-Spunner Construction Inc.

Express Oil Change Service Center, a Birmingham-based company with operations in 12 states, acquires Tire Engineers.

Ignite Fitness, a Crossfit affiliate, is expanding in Vestavia Hills.

Cahaba Brewing and Hop City unite to make beer backing home brewing law.

Mercedes plant gets a new boss, but it’s a familiar face.

Knology buyer Wow! investing and rebranding in North Alabama.

Divided Birmingham Water Works Board approves $145 million bond deal.

Airbus plant, along with expanding training and infrastructure programs, cited as progress for Accelerate Alabama.

Regions CEO Hall to assume chairmanship in May.


money.jpg



     

Article source: http://blog.al.com/businessnews/2013/02/friday_recap_the_weeks_alabama_1.html

Birmingham business news has moved to a new location on AL.com


We've Moved (Blogs)



 To get the latest Birmingham-area business news, please visit al.com/business/birmingham. For more business news, visit al.com/business.

If you’re an RSS subscriber, you can find the new feed here.

Article source: http://blog.al.com/businessnews/2013/02/birmingham_business_news_has_m.html

Army’s Game Studio, based at Redstone Arsenal, launches ‘America’s Army: Proving Ground’ (video)

Army video game.JPGScenes from America’s Army video game. The game’s newest version, “America’s Army: Proving Grounds,” launches today. (Contributed photo/U.S. Army) 

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – Fun and games are serious business at
the Army Game Studio.

Based at Redstone Arsenal, the studio is tasked with
developing and maintaining the America’s Army video game series. Its newest
project, America’s Army: Proving Grounds, the fourth in the series, is being
launched today.

The studio’s work is about more than just playing games,
according to Marsha Berry, project manager for America’s Army.

“We’ve been able to repurpose the technology from the video
games to use for training,” Berry said. “That makes training a lot more
immersive and makes for a better training environment for soldiers. It’s also
very cost effective to repurpose what we do.”

Launched in 2002, America’s Army original version was
followed by America’s Army: Special Forces in 2003 and America’s Army 3 in June
2009. The game, which is rated “T” for teen, can be downloaded free and is
designed to give players a first-person perspective and virtual role in the
training, technology, skills and careers of an Army soldier.

It is produced by the Army Game Studio, part of the U. S.
Army Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center
at
Redstone Arsenal. The studio utilizes a variety of software developers, as well
as military experts, to develop the game scenarios. It oversees the game
project from start to finish, and also develops the companion Army comic
series.

“We work to maintain our cutting edge and appeal to the
younger generation,” Berry said. “We built America’s Army: Proving Grounds to
appeal to novice as well as experienced America’s Army players.”

The new game

Berry said America’s Army: Proving Ground contains some past
game favorites, as well as new scenarios.

“For AA fans we are
bringing back some of the much loved maps from AA2 and also introducing a new
map style that’s smaller and more focused, allowing players to be much more
thoughtful and strategic in their gameplay,” she said. “For new AA players, the
intuitive style of gameplay will allow players to gain experience and
confidence much easier.”

The new version of the game stresses small unit tactical maneuvers
and training, similar to the shift the Army has undergone in recent years. Set
in the fictional country of the Republic of Ostegals, players are in the role
of an infantryman practicing combat maneuvers at JTC Griffin, a fabricated
training environment. The game features a variety of training exercises where
players can take on other players in a virtual urban environment.

“Our emphasis on teamwork will allow new players to succeed,
and allow experienced players a new level of depth in how they wish to
strategize with their clans and train for competition,” Berry said.

The game also allows players to register and reserve their
soldier’s name for the game.

America’s Army: Proving Ground can be downloaded free from
Steam.

Article source: http://blog.al.com/breaking/2013/08/armys_game_studio_based_at_red.html

Time lapse video: First morning at new Huntsville Times/AL.com hub

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – Compressing four hours into approximately 3 minutes, this GoPro video shows activity at the new Huntsville Times/AL.com downtown hub on our first morning.  It begins  on the first floor with final cleanup at 7:30 a.m. and the arrival of employees for the first time.

 Moving to the second floor, employees gather for their first staff meeting at the new location. 

Article source: http://blog.al.com/breaking/2013/08/timelapse_video_-_1st_morning.html