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Top News Links: Friday, April 5

Alabama row crops reach $1 billion valuation

State agriculture officials say the value of Alabama's row crops is now $1 billion, up some 23 percent from 2011. — Southeast Farm Press

Airbus protections enacted

Alabama enacts law to limit time space for lawsuits again aircraft manufacturers; says it now matches neighboring states. — Miami Herald

Mississippi sees new Alabama law as lure to ensure Airbus suppliers move to Alabama instead of neighboring states. — Mississippi Business Journal

Guns, permits, armored vehicles

A new study by liberal Center for American Progress links weak gun laws with high violence, says Alabama has among loosest gun laws and third highest gun violence record. - American Progress

Alabama senate approves plan for free, lifelong permits for guns in cars. — WWNT Radio

Mercedes introduced armored version of  M-Class SUV

A variation on the Alabama-built M-Class Mercedes SUV is designed to withstand bullets and hand grenades. — Birmingham News

Mercedes opens on-site medical clinic and wellness center

A new physician-staffed medical clinic at Mercedes' Vance plant offers workers the chance to get medical care and wellness counseling on site, with no deductibles and no co-pay. — MBUSI PR

Plans for Baldwin Wind farm hit snags

A proposal to develop a wind farm near Foley have been delayed by the Baldwin County commission, citing concerns about potential detrimental affects on tourism. — al.com

Bill would give tax credit for historic home preservation costs

A bill that would give homeowners a tax credit for the cost of preserving historic buildings has passed the state House and headed for the Senate. — Selma Times-Journal

State ranks high for new woman-owned business, not so high on other scales

Alabama ranks 12th for the number of new women-owned businesses, but much lower for the increase in revenues and employment in those businesses. — American Express Open

Union vote underway at Drummond's Colombian mines

Workers at Drummond International's Colombian coal mines are beginning negotiations for a three-year labor contract; workers at rival mines were on strike for a month while resolving contract issues. — Businessweek

Dickerson named to national post

Birmingham's Bob Dickerson, longtime leader in efforts to fund small business in low to moderate-income areas, has been named chair of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition. — Birmingham News

New advertising look for Gulf Shores

West Coast firm helps Gulf Shores develop "Small Town, Big Beach" branding campaign. — al.com 

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