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Top News Links: Friday, April 20

Insurance payouts tied to one week

Almost all of Alabama's weather-related insurance payments for last year  — $3 billion out of $3.2 billion — were paid for claims from the April 22-28  tornado and severe weather outbreak. — Insurance Journal

School funding cuts proposed

The state Senate has approved an education budget that trims spending by $150 million, nearly 3 percent, with most cuts from higher education. — Bloomberg Businessweek

HealthSouth to expand

HealthSouth's rehabilitation hospital in Huntsville has announced plans to expand, more than doubling in size. — Huntsville Times

Immigration law changes approved in House

The Alabama House approved changes to the state's immigration law, among them giving businesses three strikes instead of two before they're shut down, easing restrictions on rental property and on school data collection. — Montgomery Advertiser

Anti-trust claims filed against Blue Cross

Richards and Sons Construction Co. of Bessemer filed lawsuit this week charging that Blue Cross limits competition. — Birmingham News

Blue Creek coal project update

Walter Energy is still working toward permits and approvals, but chairman says it could begin work at major Blue Creek site as soon as the third quarter of this year. — Birmingham News

Bargaining power

Bill would give up front funding to cities trying to lure major enterprises to their super sites, especially helpful to Huntsville's proposed TVA megasite. — Huntsville Times

Closer look at Birmingham schools

A state team appointed to check on Birmingham schools' governance will now expand its review to cover academics and finances. — Birmingham News

Some BBVA insurance sold

A New York firm, USI Insurance Services, has purchased some of the BBVA Compass' insurance assets. — Birmingham News

Birmingham looks at plans

New plans for Birmingham's entertainment-district-in-progress, unveiled today, show rooftop pools and an enormous screen to share concerts. — Birmingham News

Traditional show, new venue

Monroeville's annual production of "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee opened last night in new amphitheater donated by Georgia-Pacific. — Sacramento Bee

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