Need storm shelter? U.S. Space & Rocket Center opening doors to public if severe weather strikes

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - If severe weather strikes north Alabama later today,
the U.S. Space Rocket Center in Huntsville plans to open its doors to area
residents seeking shelter from storms.

USSRC spokesman Tim Hall said the space museum is currently open for
business but will accommodate individuals or families in the event tornado or severe
thunderstorm warnings are issued.

“Historically, people traveling down I-565 have stopped off
here during dangerous weather,” Hall said in an email. “We have ample space to
assist anyone seeking shelter during potentially dangerous weather.”

For more details about today’s severe-weather forecast, click here.

Article source: http://blog.al.com/breaking/2014/04/need_storm_shelter_us_space_ro.html

Jay Stowe is Huntsville Utilities’ new president and CEO; longtime leader William C. Pippin to retire Wednesday

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – Huntsville Utilities Chief Operating Officer
Joseph “Jay” Stowe has been hired to replace William C. Pippin as utility president
and CEO.

Pippin is retiring effective Wednesday after leading the
city-owned utility for the past 21 years. Stowe was tapped to replace him
following a Tuesday morning joint meeting of the utility’s electric, natural gas and
water boards. The vote was unanimous.

“Huntsville Utilities promotes from within,” said Dr. Jimmy Wall,
chairman of the Natural Gas Waterworks Board. “When a vacancy occurs,
even the position of president and CEO, we the boards did what we encourage
management to do by policy, and that is to look within the organization first
when promotional opportunities are available.

“Gladly, we didn’t have to look any further than to Jay Stowe,”
said Wall.

Stowe joined
Huntsville Utilities in November 2005 as vice president of operations. He was promoted
to chief operating officer – second in command to Pippin – in late 2009. Before
coming to Huntsville, Stowe worked as utilities director for the City of
Shelby, N.C., and as public works and utilities director for the City of
Newton, N.C. He graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in
civil engineering.

Huntsville Utilities President and CEO William C.jpgView full sizeWilliam C. Pippin 

“Huntsville
Utilities has been under adept care of Bill Pippin, and now he is passing it on
to Jay Stowe in better shape than he found it,” said Dr. Dorothy W. Huston,
vice chair of the utility’s Natural Gas Waterworks Board.

“It will be
Jay Stowe’s challenge to maintain the distinct character of HU, plan for and
execute the next quarter century, and ultimately pass the mantle to the next
leader so that quality utility service is always provided for Madison county
residents,” said Huston.

In addition
to his duties at Huntsville Utilities, Stowe is chairman of the Huntsville
Botanical Gardens Board of Directors and past chair of Phoenix Industries. Stowe
is a graduate of LEADERSHIP Huntsville/Madison County Class 22. He and his wife,
Elaine, have a teenage daughter, Emma.

Pippin joined Huntsville Utilities in July 1985. He served as vice president of operations and vice president
of administrative services before being tapped to succeed Edward E. Cobb as general manager in January 1993.

In 2012, Pippin was awarded the Richard C. Crawford
Distinguished Service Award — the highest honor bestowed by the Tennessee Valley Public Power Association.

“Bill Pippin is a man of strong convictions and character
- an American patriot,” said Ronnie Boles, chairman of the Huntsville Utilities Electric Board. “When he was selected in 1985, I had the highest
expectations of him and he has performed in a capacity that has been best for
our customers and employees. I have no doubt that Jay Stowe will do the same
for the next quarter century of Huntsville Utilities’ history.”

Huntsville Utilities serves
approximately 175,000 electric, 50,000 natural gas, and 90,000 water customers
in Huntsville and Madison County.

Article source: http://blog.al.com/breaking/2014/04/jay_stowe_is_huntsville_utilit.html

Clements barbecue joint devastated by storm offering free food for ‘as long as it takes’

COXEY, Alabama – Limestone storm volunteer Bethany Siniard took a much-needed lunch break this afternoon at Blue Springs
Elementary, where she received a free grilled hamburger and side of pinto beans
from Hickory Barn BBQ.

The meal wasn’t fancy, but
Siniard was grateful for the nourishment after a long morning of storm
recovery.

“I lost my grandparents three
years ago in the Hackleburg tornado,” she said, choking back tears. “I didn’t
give back, so I’m trying to give back now.”

Hickory Barn BBQ owner Bill Davis was
prepared to feed storm victims Sunday night after hearing reports that severe
weather could produce tornadoes in north Alabama, but he had no idea the nearby
community of Coxey would suffer so much devastation.

Davis’ 6-year-old Clements restaurant
endured extensive damage in the storm, which killed two people Monday night in the Billy
Barb’s Court mobile home park in Coxey. Hickory Barn BBQ’s pit house was destroyed and roof was damaged.

Instead of working to recover his own
losses, Davis went straight to Blue Springs on Tuesday morning to serve free food to
emergency workers and residents who have lost their homes or are without power.

“We’re getting to meet people we
haven’t met before,” he said. “The tornado was pretty bad and devastated a lot
of places. I think this event will bring a lot of people together, and good
things will come out of it.”

Hickory Barn BBQ is stationed in front
of the Blue Springs gymnasium and will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner to
storm victims “for as it takes,” Davis said. Hamburgers, hot dogs, hams, pizzas,
chili and pinto beans were available at the barbecue stand at lunchtime
Wednesday.

Davis said area officials from
Limestone and Madison counties have offered their support, and Tyson
Co. plans to deliver an 18-wheeler full of chicken to the school Thursday.

Davis, who fed thousands of Monrovia residents after the April 27, 2011 storms, estimates at least
2,500 Limestone residents and emergency workers came by for free food Tuesday.

“Today will be at least that many
and it will keep growing as the days go on and more people find out,” he said.
“Plus, we’ve got the sheriff’s department taking some of the food out into the
community and dropping it off to people.”

If you would like to donate, Davis said residents and businesses should check the Facebook page,
where donation ideas are posted throughout the day.

As for his business, Davis doesn’t appear too concerned. He plans to get the barbecue joint up and running again as
soon as possible.

“We’ll come back,” he said. “When
I first opened up, I cooked under a tent. I didn’t have a pithouse, so I’ve
cooked in a lot worse places than this.”

Article source: http://blog.al.com/breaking/2014/04/clements_barbecue_joint_devast.html

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


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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


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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


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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.


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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


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 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

3 things Alabama’s DNA experts say your job-hunting student should know

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - Friday April 25 is DNA Day, and scientists around the world celebrated the breakthroughs since DNA’s “double helix” structure was first understood 61 years ago and a complete human DNA profile, or genome, was mapped in 2001.

At Huntsville’s HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, the celebration centered on live video chats between the institute’s scientists, business executives and educators with students in classrooms around Alabama. Here’s what the experts wanted the students to know:

1. The field of biotechnology touches so much of your life already – food, medicine and disease just for starters – that you need a framework to understand it, to separate the scary spin from the harmless facts. Genetically modified crops? They’re out there, and you’ll want to know how to think about that issue. Not what to think about it – that’s up to you – but how to think about it. And that’s just one example.

2. There are more jobs in life sciences than just lab work, and not all require a PhD or even a science degree. Computer know-how, business experience, communications – all of these skills and more are needed now.

3. It’s HudsonAlpha’s job to help Alabama students – and Alabama residents – understand all this. Education is – along with business development and research – a key component of the institute’s mission. HudsonAlpha offers DNA information here and also here. Registration also opens in July for Vice President for Educational Outreach Neil Lamb’s popular Biotech 101 lectures for the general public.

Article source: http://blog.al.com/breaking/2014/04/3_things_alabamas_dna_experts.html