HSV Voted No. 1 Small Airport in the US

Huntsville International Airport (HSV) has been named the “No. 1 Small Airport in the US,” as part of the 2020 USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards. It is the only airport in Alabama in the top 20.

Rick Tucker, CEO of Huntsville International Airport, announces the results of the voting. (Photo/Kimberly Ballard)

Nominees were chosen by a panel of experts which included editors from USA Today, editors from 10Best.com, expert contributors, and sources from other Gannett media properties. Finalists were chosen by an online public vote that took place over the course of four weeks.

“We are ecstatic that Huntsville International Airport has been chosen by voters as North America’s best small airport for USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice awards,” said Rick Tucker, Chief Executive Officer, Huntsville International Airport. “Our team works each and every day to provide excellent service to passengers, but we also work to represent this region well so that a visitor’s experience will reflect positively on the state of Alabama as whole.
“We are so grateful to our community for supporting HSV by voting. We share this honor with them and will continue to work hard to provide North Alabama and Southern Tennessee residents with even more great options at their local airport.”
Airports are categorized by type of activities, including commercial service, primary, cargo service, reliever, and general aviation airports. The percentage of annual passenger boardings at a particular airport in relation to the overall number in the U.S. determines the hub size classification of an airport.

School of Cyber Technology & Engineering Announces Funding

The Alabama School of Cyber Technology & Engineering has received $250,000 in new funds, according to an announcement Thursday.

To date, the school’s foundation has raised close to $11 million locally. The goal is to raise $35 million from throughout the state.

Facebook and a pair of Huntsville-based companies made the most-recent contributions.

Facebook, which is building a data center in Huntsville, donated $100,000; Sentar, with owners Peter and Karen Kiss, will contribute $100,000; and DESE Research President Michael Kirkpatrick announced a $50,000 contribution.

ASCTE President Matt Massey recognized Oakwood University and its President Dr. Leslie Pollard, who was in attendance at the announcement.

The school will open this fall at Oakwood, which is serving as the interim site for the first two years while the permanent location is built at the intersection of Bradford Drive and Wynn Drive in Cummings Research Park.

Construction is expected to be finished in the summer of 2022. Initial enrollment is approximately 100 students, with plans to expand to 300 in grades 9-12, with approximately half living on campus in dormitories.

Madison County Moving to Meet Continued Growth

An elevator shaft stands tall as crews move dirt and erect structures over nearly eight acres of land at the corner of Oakwood Avenue and North Memorial Parkway, the latest project taking shape in the city landscape that is changing daily.

 This project — on the site that was housed grocery chain stores Albertson’s and Bruno’s and most recently a Halloween haunted house – will become the Madison County service center.

 The 60,000-square foot complex will house county offices of the tax assessor, tax collector, license director, voter registrar, sales tax and probate judge.

“This is scheduled to be open first quarter of 2021,’’ Madison County Commissioner Dale Strong said. “There will be right at 400 free parking spaces for Madison County residents to do their business.’’

Strong recently visited a major project — the new FBI campus in the center of Redstone Arsenal.

Strong said he was also briefed by Robert Hamilton, the FBI Senior Executive at Redstone Arsenal. Hamilton is leading the transition of multiple FBI offices there.

 “There is right at $700 million currently under construction and 500 employees working for the FBI,’’ Strong said. “They are anticipating for 2020 there will be 1,000 people who will be hired.

“We’re going from 500 to 1,500 by the end of 2020; so that’s really exciting.’’

The FBI has announced plans to bring as many as 4,000 job to the new site over the next eight to 10 years.

Strong also said there is $350 million worth of transportation projects either under construction, in design, or recently completed in the county.

“That’s the efforts of a lot of hard work not only here locally by mayors and county commissions, but also with our legislative body in Montgomery and also with our folks in (Washington) D.C.,’’ he said. “We’re looking in the next three years to have somewhere around 14,000 new jobs to be filled with a 1.8 percent multiplier, which leads you to about 25,000 jobs.

“Then, if you look at the retail commercial businesses like McDonald’s and Walmart, we probably are looking at a somewhere around 50,000 in the next three years in employment numbers.’’

Strong, who graduated from Sparkman High School, will deliver the annual State of the County address Jan. 28.

“These are exciting times,’’ he said. “This is the best economy my generation has ever seen.’’

BAE Systems to Purchase Collins Aerospace’s Military GPS, Raytheon’s Radio Businesses

BAE Systems said it intends to buy Collins Aerospace’s military Global Positioning System business  and Raytheon’s Airborne Tactical Radios business for a combined $2.2 billion.

The two high-performing businesses are being sold in connection with obtaining the required antitrust clearances for the previously announced pending merger between Raytheon and United Technologies Corp, BAE Systems said in a news release.

According to BAE, the asset purchase agreement for the Collins military GPS business calls for cash of $1.925 billion, with an expected tax benefit of approximately $365 million. For Raytheon’s ATR business, the purchase agreement calls for cash of $275 million, with an expected tax benefit of approximately $50 million.

“As militaries around the world increasingly operate in contested environments, the industry-leading, battle-tested products of these two businesses will complement and extend our existing portfolio of solutions we offer our customers,” said Jerry DeMuro, CEO of BAE Systems. “This unique opportunity to acquire critical radio and GPS capabilities strengthens our position as a leading provider of defense electronics and communications systems, and further supports our alignment with the modernization priorities of the U.S. military and its partners.”

These proposed acquisitions are subject to the successful closure of the Raytheon-UTC transaction and other customary closing conditions. Upon closure, both business lines would be integrated into the company’s Electronic Systems sector.

BAE Systems, Collins Aerospace and Raytheon have facilities in Huntsville.

“These are strong businesses with talented employees who share our focus on quality and technology innovation,” said Tom Arseneault, President and COO of BAE Systems. “We are confident of a smooth transition that will accelerate our future together and look forward to welcoming these new employees to the BAE Systems team once the transactions are approved.”

For the Love of Pets, Greater Huntsville Humane Society Mission is Clear

The Greater Huntsville Humane Society dedicates itself to furthering the humane care and treatment of animals, by providing adoption services for unwanted and homeless animals.

The Greater Huntsville Humane Society relies on a small staff and dozens of volunteers. (Photo/ Steve Babin)

What many people don’t realize is the size of the Humane Society’s footprint in the Huntsville-Madison County community.

Now in its 51st year, the Humane Society continues to grow under the leadership of new CEO Anne Caldwell.

What the public also may not know: the Greater Huntsville Humane Society is funded entirely by donations and grants; the organization does not receive any government funding. With a small staff and more than 200 volunteers, the Humane Society is run on a shoestring budget.

The organization’s best-known fundraiser is the annual Dog Ball, now in its 31st year.

This year’s event will be Feb. 8 at the Von Braun Center South Hall. Over the years, the Dog Ball has continued to grow and each years’ clever theme with accompanying artwork seems to outdo previous years. This year’s theme will be “Bark Avenue.”

This year’s Dog Ball theme is “Bark Avenue.” (Photo/Steve Babin)

The money raised goes toward providing medical care and finding homes for shelter animals.

“The Dog Ball helps provide critical funding that enables GHHS to offer such programs and services as healthcare and food to low-income households, humane education and outreach, and a safe place for homeless pets to find their forever homes,” said Caldwell. “This fun-filled, elegant evening is consistently our largest fundraiser – even after all these years!”

The Humane Society’s Thrift Store has been recently updated to better serve its customers.

“The thrift store is our bread and butter,” said Caldwell. “Last year, it brought in over $200,000.”

The store sells a wide assortment of items; its mission is to sell donated goods and provide funds in support of the shelter animals. In fact, 100 percent of every sale goes to support the Humane Society’s mission.

In addition to caring for the needs of the shelter animals, there are several programs designed to help the local community and their pets.

The Greater Huntsville Humane Society was named the Nonprofit of the Year for 2019. (Photo/Steve Babin)

The King’s Community Kitchen provides low-income pet owners with food for their dogs and cats. In 2018, over 35,000 pounds of pet food was distributed to area families in need.

In partnership with the Humane Society, Rocket City Mobile Vet offers Pet Wellness Clinics on the second Saturday of each month. These discounted services are provided to pet owners with a household income below $35,000. Clinics offer wellness exams, annual vaccinations, heartworm and flea/tick preventative and microchipping, if needed.

Its newest community program is Huntsville Hounds on Transport (HHOT Dogz). Last spring, the Humane Society began monthly treks to the Humane Society of Washington County, Md., and to the Humane Rescue Alliance in Washington, D.C.

Due to shelter overpopulation here in the South, many independent agencies have been transporting shelter animals to the Northeast, where spaying and neutering of pets is more stringently enforced, resulting in fewer adoptable animals in the northern shelters. The HHOT Dogz program helps GHHS save the lives of more shelter animals by giving them a better opportunity for a loving home elsewhere.

The Paws for Reading program was designed to enrich the lives of shelter animals while also helping children develop sound reading skills.

Children ages 6- 15 years old can participate if accompanied by a parent; it’s also open to volunteers over 16. Paws for Reading is a win-win for the children and shelter animals alike. It helps the animals develop socialization skills, which will help them become more comfortable with people. Those people skills are critical for a shelter animal to be adoptable.

The Humane Society is also a partner of Pets for Patriots, a national service that pairs veterans and adoptable animals. The goal is to make the benefits of shelter pet adoption a reality for military personnel, ensuring many years of friendship, companionship and joy with their honorably adopted dog or cat.

For more information, visit https://ghhs.org/

 

 

 

Rocket City Trash Pandas are Hiring

MADISON – If you’ve wanted to work for a professional sports team, here is your chance.

The Rocket City Trash Pandas, the Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels, are holding a job fair Saturday, Jan. 25, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Bob Jones High School cafeteria. The school is at 650 Hughes Road in Madison.

“We are building a team of passionate, energetic, and driven individuals to deliver the best experience in Minor League Baseball,” the team said in a statement.

The Trash Pandas will be hiring for more than 100 positions in more than 30 game-day roles. Positions include ticket takers, ushers, servers, bartenders, vendors/hawkers, concessionaires, warehouse, cooks, housekeeping, production room, camera operator, concessions stocker, parking lot attendants, promo team member, game-day runner and more.

Candidates are urged to bring a completed application to the job fair. Applications can be found at www.trashpandasbaseball.com.

Anyone looking for an internship can also interview at the job fair and are encouraged to bring resumes.

Representatives of the Trash Pandas will be on hand to provide information and answer questions.

The Trash Pandas’ home Opening Day is April 15 against the Mississippi Braves at Toyota Field. Season tickets, mini plans and group outings are on sale now. Visit www.trashpandasbaseball.com or call 256-325-1403.

Nominations Open for Fifth Annual Entrepreneur Awards

The Catalyst Center for Business & Entrepreneurship is accepting nominations for the fifth annual Entrepreneur Awards – a culmination of the 2020 Innovate Huntsville Week events. The Entrepreneur Awards recognize and honor the skill and courage of entrepreneurs to develop a business from an idea.
“The Catalyst is excited to host the fifth annual Entrepreneur Awards as culmination of Innovate Huntsville Week,” said Tracy Junkins, Women’s Business Center Project Coordinator for The Catalyst. “This event honors and recognizes the talented entrepreneurs within the community. The Entrepreneur Awards is where entrepreneurs come together to celebrate one another’s successes in building up the unique community of North Alabama.”
Award categories include: Entrepreneur of the Year, Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year, Creative Entrepreneur of the Year, Female Entrepreneur of the Year, Veteran Entrepreneur of the Year,  Youth Entrepreneur of the Year, People’s Choice, and Entrepreneur Champion of the Year.
Nominations close Jan. 21 and may be made at www.innovateHSV.com. The winners will be announced at the Entrepreneur Awards ceremony Feb. 28.
For information, visit www.innovateHSV.com or www.catalystcenter.org.

Qualis Acquires Bonham Technologies

Qualis, an integrator of technical and engineering services to the Department of Defense and NASA, has acquired Bonham Technologies, a diversified Service Disabled, Veteran-Owned, Small Business.

Bonham, which like Qualis is Huntsville-based, provides technical, programmatic and logistical support services for combat weapon systems and associated support equipment.

Founded in 2004 by retired Army Col. Louis Bonham, BTI has provided a wide-array of UH-60 fleet support and systems integration, test and evaluation, and training support for ground vehicles.

“The acquisition of such a reputable company as BTI will significantly enhance Qualis’ unmanned and rotary wing aviation capabilities in the competitive Huntsville market,” said Qualis President Roderick Duke.

“We wholeheartedly welcome Lou and team,” said Qualis Founder and CEO Elizabeth Morard. The acquisition “marks a meaningful growth milestone in Qualis’ history to add this capable group of people to the Qualis family.

“I appreciate the initiative and dedication of Rod and team to make this happen.”

BTI has become a proven aviation contractor throughout its history providing aviation and missile weapons systems support to organizations such as the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation and Missile Center, formerly known as the Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center at Redstone Arsenal. Over the past decade, BTI has provided innovative solutions to the rotary wing industry with both integrity and a commitment to excellence.

“This acquisition will be advantageous for Qualis’ strategic direction as we continue to expand our aviation service offerings,” said Duke.

Bobo Development Closes Funding for Madison’s Alexandria Apartments

MADISON — As Bobo Development Group announces the closure of the funding phase of its multifamily luxury apartment development, residents are one step closer to having a new, “future-ready” place to call home.

The Florence-based investment group raised a total equity of $11.8 million, closing its funding phase last month.

The group plans to begin construction of Alexandria Apartments on a 16.54-acre site just west of Madison Medical Park on Balch Road no later than Jan. 31.

BDG entered into a joint venture partnership with Michigan-based Electrical Capital Partners and Florida-based Morrison Avenue Capital Partners. Blake Janover of Janover Ventures, Miami, Fla., helped source construction financing of $28.3 million from BancorpSouth. Birmingham-based Capstone Building Corp. will be the general contractor for the project.

Keeping in step with the area’s technologically advanced population, residents of Alexandria Apartments will enjoy a variety of “smart” amenities, such as cold storage lockers for grocery delivery services, electric vehicle charging stations, a “functional fitness” center, and resident programs focused on 360-degree whole health.

“The Huntsville Metro area is home to a multi-faceted population of professionals, a large percentage of them transplants. These people are looking for a living space that makes daily life a little easier while nurturing a community” said James Bobo, II, CEO of Bobo Development Group and the project’s developer.

“By creating a future-proofed space, the community our residents create can stand the test of time.”

Alexandria Apartments will include 258 units consisting of one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments along with 29 garage units equipped with electric vehicle charging stations. It will also feature a dog park and clubhouse with a co-working space.

The total capitalization of the development will be $40.1 million, according to Bobo Development Group.

Visit bobofamilygroup.com.

 

Frontier Airlines Adds Flight to Orlando and Restarts Denver Service

Frontier Airlines will be adding a weekly flight to Orlando just in time for summer vacations.
The low-cost carrier also said it will restart nonstop seasonal service to Denver from Huntsville on May 1. The flights to Orlando International Airport will begin June 1.
“We’re excited to continue our success in Huntsville by offering an additional weekly flight to Orlando and restarting service to Denver in June,” said Josh Flyr, vice president of network and operational design for Frontier Airlines. “We appreciate the outstanding partnership we have with the airport and community and look forward to welcoming area residents aboard our affordable, nonstop flights to these exciting destinations.”
Huntsville International Airport Executive Director Rick Tucker said the travelers helped prompt the expansion.
“Our community has been very supportive of Frontier Airlines since their entry into the market, as indicated by the 22 consecutive months of increased passenger traffic that the airport has experienced” said Rick Tucker, Executive Director for Huntsville International Airport. “Given that 19 of those months have reflected double digit increases we certainly consider the partnership to be a great success. Frontier Airlines has filled a void in our market and provides our leisure and business travelers with more options for a lower price.
“Our MyHSV program that provides a free travel agent to passengers has received an increased number of calls from passengers who want to fly from their local airport and are pricing HSV first.”
HUNTSVILLE (HSV) to/from ORLANDO (MCO)
Depart HSV: 12:42 p.m. Arrive MCO: 3:52 p.m.
Depart MCO: 10:47 a.m. Arrive HSV: 11:57 a.m.
Aircraft: Airbus A320 Family
Frequency: Monday, Wednesday, Friday
*2 flights weekly with Wednesday flight addition starting June 1 *
HUNTSVILLE (HSV) to/from DENVER (DEN)
Depart HSV: 6:41 p.m. Arrive DEN: 8:51 p.m.
Depart DEN: 2:14 p.m. Arrive HSV: 5:57 p.m.
Aircraft: Airbus A320 Family
Frequency: Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Service Start: May 1
Seasonal