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Top News Links: Tuesday, April 16

Company stays neutral on Mercedes worker union talks

The United Auto Workers, in conjunction with German auto union IG Metall, is trying to organize workers at the 3,000-employee Mercedes-Benz plant in Vance; company spokesman says the decision is up to workers. — Birmingham News

HealthSouth plans Orlando hospital

Birmingham-based rehab hospital company HealthSouth has announced plans to build a $24.3 million facility near Orlando. — Orlando Business Journal

Engineers grade Alabama infrastructure

Roads in disrepair are costing each Alabama driver an average of $141 in repairs, and a quarter of the state's roads are in need of repair, the American Society of Civil Engineers reports, adding that nobody is watching out for safety of the state's dams. — ASCE

In turnabout, Carnival agrees to pay for aid to its disabled ships

After suggesting that maritime tradition required aid to its disabled cruise ships, which provoked outrage from Senate Commerce Committee chair Jay Rockefeller, Carnival Corp. said yesterday it will pay an unspecified amount for Coast Guard assistance, the Associated Press reports. — WVTM-TV

Jefferson bankruptcy judge halts action on related case

The judge overseeing the Jefferson County bankruptcy in federal court in Alabama called a halt to a similar case in New York state court, saying it covered the same issues with the same participants and could disrupt the proceedings in the Jefferson County case. — Bloomberg Businessweek

Pension fund sues to recoup losses

The Birmingham Retirement and Relief System has filed suit against investment company SAC Capital Advisors, seeking to represent a class of investors that lost money over Wyeth LLC stock; SAC has settled federal securities charges for $602 million but admitted no wrongdoing. — Pensions & Investments

Alabama ranks 3rd for gun violence, report says

Statistics compiled by the Center for American Progress rank Alabama 3rd for its level of gun violence, with 5.92 deaths per 100,000, and ranks in the top 10 for firearm deaths of women, children and law enforcement officer.— 24/7 Wall Street

Sylacauga eyes property for sportplex

Officials in Sylacauga are once again considering a site at U.S. 280 and Alabama 21 for a sports complex with amphitheater, nature trails and more. — Talladega/St. Clair Daily Home

Decline in Chinese demand for coal knocks Walter stock prices

As Chinese demand for coal has dropped, Walter Energy stocks dropped 12 percent over 18 months; other leading coal producers saw similar stock price drops. — Businessweek

Economic developers create website to promote options near Airbus

Chambers of commerce and area economic developers have teamed up to create Alabama AeroSupply, a website that includes information about land and opportunities near the now-under-construction Airbus aircraft plant in Mobile. — Mobile Press Register

Hibbett Sports moving facilities

Hibbett Sports has announced two moves — relocating its warehouse from Birmingham to Alabaster and relocating its office, but within Birmingham. — al.com

Dothan nuke plant offline for scheduled work

Plant Farley, a Southern Company nuclear plant near Dothan, has been taken offline for scheduled refueling and maintenance. — Power Energy

Aviation maintenance conference slated in Atlanta

Atlanta will be host to a national conference on aviation maintenance next week; organizers say the city is a good fit because it's home to the world's busiest airport and one of the biggest maintenance firms, and that the industry will grow there because of its proximity to Boeing aircraft plants in South Carolina and the planned Airbus plant in Mobile. — Atlanta Business Chronicle

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