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Here is today's summary of economic development news, a free service of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, representing Alabama's private sector investment in economic development.  If you enjoy NewsFlash, thank an EDPA Partner


In this issue:
State board selects 8 people to interview for chancellor
ALDOT commits $2 million for medical college road work
Grant may bring new jobs, industry
Google helps Birmingham's small business owners go digital
Fairhope one of top towns for retirees

State board selects 8 people to interview for chancellor of Alabama's two-year colleges

11:14 PM, Aug. 9, 2012 

By Phillip Rawls 


The state Board of Education has picked eight people, including some with Alabama ties, to interview for chancellor of Alabama's two-year college system.


The board voted unanimously Thursday to interview eight recommended by a consultant, who reviewed 29 applications.

Those chosen for interviews include John Schmidt, senior vice chancellor of advancement at Troy University; Gregory Gray, chancellor of the Riverside Community College District in California; Blake Flanders, vice president of workforce development for the Kansas Board of Regents; and Daniel Howard, executive vice president and provost of Arkansas State University and a former vice president at the University of North Alabama.


Also on the list are Bruce Murphy, vice president for academic affairs at the Air Force's Air University in Montgomery; Michael Wartell, chancellor emeritus at Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne; Mark Heinrich, president of Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa; and Kandis Steele, director of academic programs for Alabama's Department of Postsecondary Education.


Gov. Robert Bentley, who is chairman of the school board, said the panel will interview the eight Aug. 23 and 24 in Montgomery and then invite about three back for a second interview on Sept. 13. The board plans to vote that day on its choice to replace Freida Hill, who headed Alabama's two-year college system from December 2009 until March. The board bought out her contract after some members criticized her leadership style.




[Montgomery Advertiser]  



ALDOT commits $2 million for medical college road work

By: Greg Phillips | Dothan Eagle
Published: August 09, 2012


The Alabama Department of Transportation has committed $2 million to Dothan and Houston County for road work needed to accommodate the new medical college being constructed in east Dothan.


Houston County Commission Chairman Mark Culver and Dothan Mayor Mike Schmitz made a joint announcement Thursday morning about the funding, saying the money will be used to offset the predicted $2.3 million cost of work that will include construction of a new road and realignment of existing ones near the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine.


"Everyone knows the importance of the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine to our community," Culver said. "It's going to change the face of east Dothan and east Houston County. I think it'll be one of the biggest things we've ever had. After some negotiations (with the State of Alabama), we want to announce today that we're proud (ALDOT) has agreed to make available $2 million to the City of Dothan and Houston County for road improvements so we can jointly (make this happen)."




[Dothan Eagle



Grant may bring new jobs, industry

By Hannah Mask


A $1.9 million grant from the Economic Development Administration's disaster recovery fund may be on the way to help Phil Campbell continue rebuilding after the April 27, 2011, tornado outbreak devastated the majority of the town.


Nationwide, the disaster recovery fund holds about $200 million, with $35 million earmarked to go toward the seven Southeastern states.


The grant requires a 20 percent match, which will be covered by nearly $400,000 Gov. Robert Bentley has allocated to Phil Campbell, Mayor Jerry Mays said. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is responsible for administering funds.


No matching funds are required for the $389,352 grant, made available through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to ADECA officials.


Keith Jones, executive director of the North Alabama Council of Local Governments, said the two grants go hand in hand, so if Phil Campbell isn't approved for the $1.9 million disaster recovery funds, the $400,000 ADECA grant will be reallocated.


The town will know in approximately 60 days whether the $1.9 million is approved.


"(The money) will be used to build the necessary infrastructure to get industries to come to North Phil Campbell Industrial Park," Jones said.






Google helps Birmingham's small business owners go digital

Published: Thursday, August 09, 2012, 4:19 PM    

By The Birmingham News 


BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Business owners from around the metro area got free advice about how to move their businesses online from Google and several Alabama organizations today.


The California tech company partnered with the Association of Small Business Development Centers,SCORE and Intuit to run workshops at WorkPlay, on 23rd Street South.


Owners of restaurants, clothing shops, health care firms and real estate agencies were among those who took advantage of the free service.


The seminars were meant to help small businesses that have no web presence learn to build and maintain websites, and do business on the internet. According to Google, 97 percent of Americans look online for products and services, but more than half of Alabama businesses have no online presence.




[The Birmingham News


Fairhope one of top towns for retirees
Published: Thursday, August 09, 2012, 5:08 PM 
By Kathy Jumper, Press-Register

FAIRHOPE, Alabama -- This laid-back coastal gem was named one of the 15 best "low-cost towns" for retirees by "Where To Retire" magazine.


"With below-average living costs, affordable homes and low taxes, these 15 towns let your retirement dollars go further," said Mary Lu Abbott, editor of the Houston-based national publication.


The top destination towns will be featured in the September issue that hits newsstands Tuesday, Aug. 14. The towns include the coastal communities of Fairhope; Biloxi, Miss.; Palm Coast, Fla.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; and Savannah, Ga. The other cities are Chattanooga, Tenn.; Greenville, N.C.; Hot Spring, Ark.; Paducah, Ken.; Roanoke, Va.; Boise, Idaho; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Green Valley, Ariz.; St. George, Utah; and Spokane, Wash.


"Fairhope is an easy sell," said Realtor Mary Cane of Courtney & Morris in Fairhope. "People come here for a lifestyle. I had a couple from Colorado here a week ago who wanted to move here. They said the people were friendly and the town was clean and beautiful." 



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