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Top News Links: Thursday, April 2

‘Bleak’ first draft of state budget: 11.5 cuts

Alabama state agencies could see funding cuts of 11.5 percent or higher next fiscal year unless lawmakers find additional money. Members of the legislative General Fund committees on Wednesday distributed copies of a rough draft of a budget without additional revenue. House General Fund budget chairman Rep. Steve Clouse said the results were "bleak." – AP/ABC3340

Austal USA gets nod on two more LCS

The Navy on Tuesday awarded Austal USA $691 million for two Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) and Lockheed Martin $441 million for one LCS and advance procurement funding for a second ship next year. With its shipbuilding budget under pressure, the Navy last February broke from its four-a-year procurement strategy. – USNI.org

Cahaba GBA laying off 131 in Birmingham

Local Medicare provider Cahaba Government Benefit Administrators will be laying off 131 employees in Birmingham, according to the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. Cahaba GBA is a provider of Part A and Part B Medicare with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and has been in operations since 1966. – BizJournals.com

Nine plead guilty in $20M identity theft case

They stole more than 7,000 identities, defrauded the government of more than $20 million and now face the possibility of more than 130 years in prison. Nine Montgomery and Columbus, Georgia, residents have pleaded guilty, three this week, to roles in a scheme to steal identities — some from soldiers deployed to Afghanistan — in a more than $20-million, stolen-identity refund fraud, according to U.S. Attorney George L. Beck Jr. – Montgomery Advertiser

Alabama ranks well for doctor karma

Alabama has been ranked 12th best in a ranking of the country’s best and worst states for doctors by WalletHub, based on wages, malpractice payouts, competition and other factors that shape their working environment. The financial website compared each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia using 12 measures such as the cost of malpractice insurance, availability of jobs and the rate of state medical board disciplinary actions. – Syracuse.com

B&G starts work on Thomasville project 

Brasfield & Gorrie of Birmingham has started construction on Thomasville Regional Medical Center (TRMC), a new $24 million hospital and medical office building in Thomasville. A groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday marked the start of work. – News release

Carlisle new CEO of Sirote and Permutt

Sirote and Permutt PC has named Todd Carlisle its new CEO. He will succeed the firm's longtime leader, John Cooper, who is retiring from the post he has held for more than 10 years. – BizJournals.com

Tickets going fast for Ben Carson banquet

Tickets are going fast for the 10th annual University of Mobile Leadership Banquet is on April 30 with guest speaker Dr. Ben Carson, according to Tonya Gollotte, director of Scholars Initiative at the Christian university. Individual tickets are sold out, she said. Tables seating 10 are available starting at $2,500. – News release

HomeUnion adds Birmingham to markets

HomeUnion, an online, real-estate investment management firm enabling value investing in single-family rental properties, announced today that it has added Birmingham to its list of active investment markets.  Investors can now find SFR investment properties in Birmingham on the company's website.  – WKRG

MAX upgrades desktop, mobile banking app

MAX Credit Union has updated its Bill Pay desktop and mobile banking app to make life easier for its customers. Whether it’s the cable bill, power bill, car payment, or mortgage, they can all be paid with this one convenient service that can be accessed from a desktop or through MAX’s mobile banking app. – News release

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