More Industry at Mobile Aeroplex, Free Clinics in Southeast Alabama

Jun 17, 2015

MAAS Aviation hangar in the Netherlands

The Mobile area is winning even more aviation jobs from this week’s Paris Air Show. A German aviation company is expanding its south Alabama operation.

MAAS Aviation says it will build a new facility in Mobile for painting aircraft. The $39 million plan will include the creation of 80 new jobs along Alabama’s gulf coast.

The new MAAS facility will be at the Mobile Aeroplex site near the new Airbus manufacturing plant. Along with painting airplanes, it will repair and overhaul aircraft as well.

The Hutchinson Corporation made a similar announcement at the Paris Air Show. That company says it will open a new facility in Mobile to supply insulation materials to the new Airbus plant. The Hutchinson operation is scheduled to open later this year.

No word on how many new jobs this will mean for the Mobile area.  But, Hutchinson employs over 35,000 people in 25 countries.

Routine medical care will be available for free to southeastern Alabama residents thanks to a program training military members to provide health care during missions.

Officials with Alabama’s Department of Economic and Community Affairs say residents of Barbour and Macon counties are being offered free medical, dental and eye screenings through next Thursday, June 25. The clinics are being hosted by the Delta Regional Authority and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.

The clinics are being hosted at Barbour County High School, Eufaula High School and the Tuskegee Institute Middle School from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. No appointments are necessary.

Delta Regional Authority Co-Chairman Chris Masingill says more than 50,000 people have been served through the program in the past six years.

The oldest restaurant in Alabama is celebrating its birthday tonight.

The Bright Star in Bessemer turns 108 years old. The restaurant will be observing the occasion by serving dishes tonight from its 1935 menu.  Bright Star was the first establishment in Alabama to win the James Beard Award for American classics.

Andreas Anastassakis is a managing partner at Bright Star. He says the celebration is a salute to guests who have supported the restaurant for all these years.

“We are currently celebrating our 108th birthday. The restaurant is now currently in its fourth location, all here in historic downtown Bessemer. This year is a very special year, we are here for 100 years in this specific location and the restaurant is recognized by the state as not only the oldest family-owned restaurant in Alabama, but the oldest restaurant in Alabama.”

The Bright Star is like a museum with original tile floors, one hundred year old murals, and a 1935 menu in the lobby.

An Auburn University lab technician accused of possessing and intending to sell a chemical commonly used as a date-rape drug has pleaded not guilty in federal court.

Stephen Howard appeared in court yesterday in Montgomery. His trial has been scheduled for Jan. 4. Court documents describe Howard as an employee in Auburn’s poly-fiber engineering department.

Court records say 64-year-old Howard possessed butanediol, a chemical that when ingested metabolizes into the date rape drug GHB.  Howard was also in possession of a substance containing methamphetamine. U.S. Attorney George Beck said Howard sold two liters of a controlled substance to an undercover agent last month.

Howard was also charged with possession of a handgun during a drug trafficking crime.