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Top News Links: Thursday, April 11

President suggests privatizing TVA

President Obama's 2014 budget suggests that the federal government consider selling the Tennessee Valley Authority, electrical provider for north Alabama and nearby states, because the utility's projected construction costs will outstrip its borrowing capacity. — Huntsville Times

State house passes education budget with raise for teachers

Teachers will get a 2 percent raise, the first in several years, under the $5.7 billion education budget approved by the Alabama House yesterday. — Birmingham News

More Alabamians on their own for health insurance

The number of Alabamians receiving health care coverage through their employers has dropped from 70 percent in 2000 to 60 percent in 2011, according to a study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. — Birmingham News

Protective Life set to buy Mony Life Insurance for $1 billion

Birmingham-based Protective Life has announced plans to buy the Mony Life Insurance holdings from French insurer AXA SA with a reported price tag of just over $1 billion. — Insurance Journal

Mercedes posts 1,000 job openings

Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, gearing up to add a new model to the line up at the Vance plant, has posted openings for 1,000 new workers. — Tuscaloosa News

Belle Foods replacing full-timers with part-timers

Belle Foods, a grocery chain that purchased Bruno's stores from bankruptcy last year, has announced plans to hire 300 part-time employees to replace full-time workers, offering part-time jobs to affected workers. — Birmingham News

Adtran bests expectations, share prices up

Huntsville-based network equipment maker Adtran beat analyst expectations in the first quarter; in response to the news, stock prices gained more than 12 percent. — Bloomberg Businessweek

Port improvement funding in federal budget

President Obama's budget plan includes $600,000 for engineering and design studies preparatory to widening the ship channel at the Alabama State Port Authority. — Mobile Press-Register

Sterne Agee in talks to buy Gleacher & Co.

Reports are circulating in business news outlets that Birmingham's Sterne Agee investment group is working on a deal to purchase boutique investment firm Gleacher & Co. — City A.M. (London)

Hatch Mott MacDonald tapped for Airbus project

Consulting engineering firm Hatch Mott MacDonald has been picked by Hoar Program Management to join the Airbus construction team in Mobile. — Mobile Press-Register

Mobile tops state for new construction jobs

With a 12 percent year-over-year jump in construction jobs, Mobile let the state for new construction employment and ranked 24th among more than 300 metro areas surveyed by Associated General Contractors; Tuscaloosa, Auburn-Opelika and Birmingham also saw gains, though the star as a whole lost 2 percent. — AGC

Alabama joins auto innovation group

Alabama has teamed with other Southeastern states in the Automotive Accelerator Alliance, allowing innovators to pitch ideas to potential investors, the Associated Press reports. — Cullman Times

AT&T adds 4G capability in five Alabama markets

AT&T is rolling our 4G capability in Tuscaloosa, Troy, Huntsville, Florence-Muscle Shoals and Monroeville-Evergreen and more than 70 other markets nationwide. — PC Magazine

Birmingham women earn 76 cents on the dollar compared to men

Annual gender pay-gap study shows Alabama women still earn less than men for the same jobs. — National Partnership for Women & Families

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