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Top News Links: Tuesday, April 7

BC/BS tax exemptions under scrutiny

A lawsuit in Alabama filed three years ago by a chiropractor survived an effort by Blue Cross plans to get it dismissed last year and was recently consolidated into a large federal class action. It alleges antitrust violations against Blues plans, accusing them, among other things, of conspiring to fix what they pay doctors and other medical-care providers across the country. The allegations are vigorously denied by Blues plans. – Forbes

Yellowhammer: New med panel ‘stacked’

Gov. Robert Bentley signed an executive order Monday morning creating the Alabama Healthcare Improvement Task Force to “address ways to improve the health” of Alabamians. A cursory look at the 38 men and women appointed to the task force shows it to be stacked with advocates for Medicaid expansion. – Yellowhammer

How a beloved artist’s career was born

Mose Tolliver’s life changed forever when, while sweeping up the delivery area of the McLendon Furniture Company, one of his many part-time gigs, a half-ton crate of marble fell on him. Tolliver just barely survived; his left ankle was left crushed and both legs were damaged, leaving him unable to walk without assistance for the rest of his life. After a period battling depression and alcoholism, Tolliver turned to art as an outlet for his physical and emotional pain. Tolliver is now one of the most beloved folk artists in American history. – Huffington Post

Edgar’s arrives in downtown Birmingham

Terry and Dottie Smith opened their original Edgar's Bakery & Cafe 18 years ago in The Shoppes of the Colonnade off U.S. 280. Now, they've finally made it to downtown Birmingham. This morning, the Smiths held the grand opening celebration and ribbon-cutting for their newest Edgar's on the first floor of the Financial Center at 20th Street and Fifth Avenue North. – AL.com

Alabama One CEO takes the stand

John Dee Carruth, CEO of the troubled $603 million Alabama One Credit Union, testified in federal court Friday that the credit union is paying criminal lawyers to represent him, former Member Business Lending Manager Tammy Ewing and perhaps other employees, according to courtroom sources. – CUTimes

SBA honors Huntsville’s Donna Coleman

Donna Coleman, chief executive officer and president of Huntsville-based Aetos Systems Inc., was selected Monday as Alabama’s Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Aetos does engineering services, information technology, energy management and other professional services, according to the company's website. – PR Newswire

TakeDownCon returns July 20-21

EC-Council Foundation’s TakeDownCon Rocket City IT security conference will return to Dynetics this summer for a third consecutive year. Pre-conference training will be July 16-19, and the two-day conference will be July 20-21. Both the conference and the training will take place in the Dynetics Solutions Complex, 1004 Explorer Blvd., in Huntsville’s Cummings Research Park. – News release

Students experiment with electric cars

The fourth annual Electrathon Alabama took place Monday at Barber Motorsports Park, with students driving electric-powered vehicles around the famed circuit for one hour to see how far they can go. Fourteen teams participated in the event. Alabama Power, SKY (Skilled Knowledgeable Youth) Barber Motorsports Park and Zoom Motorsports sponsored the event. – AL.com

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