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OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) — Looking back, there are so many reasons Kyle Sandler was able to separate so many people from so much of their money.

Sandler rolled into this old railroad crossroads at a time when Opelika — and nearly every other city in America — was trying to bounce back from the Great Recession. Opelika's downtown, dating to the late 1800s, was dotted with vacant buildings. The city of 30,000 people needed a boost.

Internet giant Google plans to buy renewable power from Alabama and Tennessee solar farms under a new deal with the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Google announced Wednesday that it will buy 413 megawatts of electrical output from 1.6 million solar panels at several new solar farms in both Alabama and Tennessee, the combined size of 65,000 home rooftop systems.

The two largest solar farms will be able to produce about 150 megawatts each. Those will be located in Hollywood, Alabama, and in Yum Yum, Tennessee.

Huntsville city leaders have announced that Google is bringing high-speed fiber optic Internet and television service to the area.

Mayor Tommy Battle and Google representatives and others made the announcement today at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.

Battle expects faster Internet speeds to boost the local workforce and help provide more opportunities for residents to work from home.

A lawyer for VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor says he hopes to have the casino reopened by Christmas, despite a court order allowing the state to keep his seized gambling machines.

McGregor's attorney Joe Espy says VictoryLand will have to obtain new machines in order to reopen. However, Espy believes the casino will be able to do that.

The state has been in a long-running legal battle over the slot machine look-alikes.

The attorney general's office seized over 1600 electronic bingo machines and $260,000 in cash during a 2013 raid at VictoryLand.

The Mobile City Council is removing the Confederate flag and other banners from the official seal of city government.

The current Mobile city seal displays flags from six nations that have governed Mobile since 1702: the Confederacy, France, Great Britain, Spain, the Republic of Alabama and the United States.  The council vote today means only the U.S. flag will remain on the seal.

The University of Alabama Birmingham is launching a network to help advance more women to positions of leadership in higher education.

Officials say the new Alabama Network for Women Leaders in Higher Education is part of the American Council on Education (ACE) Women's Network. That’s a national system identifying leaders in higher education and connecting them to support and development networks.

The TVA’s Widows Creek power plant near Stevenson is shutting down soon, and it’s already found a new tenant.

Google plans to build a $600 million data center at the site with construction beginning next year.

The data center will be Google’s seventh in the U.S. and fourteenth worldwide. They expect to add 75 to 100 high-paying jobs to the north Alabama region once the new data center is operational. The facility is expected to support general Internet traffic as well as the many user services that Google offers.

Ryan Vasquez

Robert Robinson owns Sundries and Specialties. It’s a brand new business, and he wants a brand new website to go with it.

“Well the front page I wanted to show various items like what we may sell,” Robinson says.  “Our store being sundries and specialties we may sell sundries, which is various items and then we specialize in jewelry or certain antiques. So I want the picture to represent that situation and describe some stuff about or business.”