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Top News Links: Thursday, April 3

Austal wins $7M services contract

Austal has won a $7 million engineering services contract to support testing of a class of warship it builds for the US Navy. The work will be done at the company’s Mobile shipyard. – The West Australian/Yahoo News

Campaign ruling changes the landscape

Alabama businessman Shaun McCutcheon describes politics as a hobby, but on Wednesday he helped overhaul the rules of campaign finance. – Wall Street Journal

Liquor store owners cry foul

A group of package stores is challenging the legality of Dallas County Drug Court’s funding methods. A lawsuit, filed on February 14, asks for a declaratory judgment on the constitutionality of a 5 percent tax on liquor in Dallas County. – Selma Times Journal

Airbus supply chain focus of conference

With aerospace executives in Alabama for an industry conference, the state’s top economic developers are moving forward with plans to target the Airbus supply chain and pursue projects that involve advanced materials and additive manufacturing, also called 3-D printing. – Made In Alabama

Wayne Farms to lay off 560 workers

Wayne Farms will discontinue the deboning lines at its Dothan facility, resulting in 560 layoffs. The company announced Wednesday that a long-term agreement to supply all of the poultry slaughtered at its Dothan plant to AlaTrade makes deboning lines in Dothan unnecessary. – Dothan Eagle

You just think you’re being taxed to death

Alabama is ranked 10th lowest in the nation for state and local tax burden, according to the Annual State-Local Tax Burdens report. The Tax Foundation report shows Alabama residents paid 8.3 percent of their collective incomes on state and local taxes in 2011. The national average: 9.8 percent. – Dothan Eagle

Common core repeal, loan cap dead

A repeal of the Common Core curriculum standards and a cap on payday loan interest rates are among the legislative proposals that are dead for the session. – AP/Miami Herald

Your medical data may be exposed

Decatur-based PracMan Inc., a billing company used by many Alabama physicians, has announced a subcontractor caused a data breach that exposed the personal and health information of 3,100 patients. – BeckersHospitalReview.com

Country Living moves to Birmingham

Country Living magazine, which last fall announced it would move its offices to Birmingham from New York, has opened its new headquarters in Pepper Place. – al.com

LCS acquires Hoover senior community

Iowa-based LCS announced Thursday that the company acquired Danberry at Inverness, a senior living community located in Hoover. – PRWeb.com

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