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Top News Links: Wednesday, April 22

Alabama to benefit in Tate & Lyle restructure

Tate & Lyle PLC will exit from the substantial part of its European Bulk Ingredients business and restructure its Splenda sucralose business, the company has announced. Plans include lowering its future cost base by consolidating all Splenda production into its McIntosh facility and closing its Singapore facility in spring 2016. “The McIntosh facility operating at a higher scale and utilisation level than it does currently will provide a materially lower-cost manufacturing position from which to operate,” the company said in a news release. – BusinessWire

Birmingham owns you, Lima and Ufa

Birmingham has made it official—signing the agreement to hold the World Games in 2021. Mayor William Bell and International World Games Association President Jose Perurena signed the host city contract Tuesday during the SportAccord convention in Sochi. Birmingham was selected as host in January, beating bids from Lima, Peru, and Ufa, Russia. – Fox Sports

Birmingham to Montgomery: Raise min wage

The Birmingham City Council is urging lawmakers to increase the minimum wage in Alabama. The council this afternoon unanimously passed a resolution asking the Legislature to increase the state minimum wage to $10 an hour. The nonbinding resolution comes at the same time the state House of Representatives consider a bill to restrict the ability of local governments to set their own minimum wage rules. – AL.com

Greenetrack wants New York casino bids redone

A law firm that represented one of the failed casino license applicants has written to state Gaming Commission Chairman Mark Gearan urging him to reopen the bidding process for four upstate casinos. Michelle Merola contends in a 12-page letter that members of the commission's Gaming Facility Location Board added selection criteria after the initial bids were submitted last summer. Merola's firm, Hodgson Russ, represented Greenetrack, an Alabama company that was one of the competitors looking to build in Orange County. – TimesUnion

Bike-sharing heads to Birmingham this fall

An innovative new chapter in bike-sharing will be written in Birmingham, Alabama, where a city-wide program will be the first in the Americas to integrate electric assist bicycles. The first Bewegen bikes will be available to the public fall 2015. Riders will have access to a total of 400 bikes - of which 100 will be electrically assisted - across 40 docking stations. PRNewswire

Payday lender says his bank disappeared

Brian Lynn, CEO of a Jacksonville, Florida based payday lending company that operates 26 stores in Florida, Georgia and Alabama under the Speedy Cash and Lending Bear brands, says the federal government is trying to shut him down. He says his bank dropped him recently and he blames Operation Choke Point, the Obama administration’s project involving the Department of Justice, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) whose goal is to shut down industries it does not like by “choking off” their banking relationships. – Breitbart.com

Toyota honored for environmental sustainability

Toyota's engine plant in Huntsville was among North American manufacturing facilities recently honored for environmental sustainability by the EPA. The automotive company has won its 11th consecutive Energy Star Partner of the Year award, the most by any automaker. Toyota said it has saved nearly $600 million, reduced 14 billion kilowatt hours of energy and cut CO2 emissions by 40 percent per vehicle since benchmarking began in 2002. – AL.com

Lilly Co. acquires Toyota Materials Handling

Memphis-based The Lilly Co. has acquired Toyota Materials Handling of Alabama. According to the BBJ's sister publication in Memphis, the Irondale servicing dealership for Toyota brand forklifts and material handling equipment was purchased this month. The transaction closed for $1 million this month, according to Jefferson County public records. Toyota Materials Handling of Alabama had three branches in the state, aside from the Irondale location, in Montgomery, Dothan and Mobile. – BizJournals.com

Opinion: Budget cuts will be awesome

Stop stressing out about Alabama's state parks closing. Greg Lein, the director of Alabama's parks who selfishly wants the state to maintain its parks instead of allowing God to do it, started telling people a few day ago that 15 parks could close if the Legislature goes ahead with a proposed budget that includes no tax increases and steep cuts, and ever since there's been nothing but needless fear. Do not listen to this pro-tax, liberal garbage. – The Montgomery Advertiser

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