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Top News Links: Friday, April 14

Kay Ivey works on stabilizing ship of state

Gov. Kay Ivey has two immediate goals: Restore public trust in government, and work to improve the state’s image after an unprecedented series of leadership scandals. “There’s no doubt there’s been a dark cloud hanging over our great state,” Ivey said Thursday, in her first press conference since becoming the state’s chief executive Monday. “People all over the world had their eyes on Alabama, and not for the right reasons. People have lost trust in government leaders.” But beyond that, Ivey, 72, was scrupulously noncommittal on questions about her agenda and future moves within the executive branch. – Montgomery Advertiser

Gas tax delayed, probably dead this session

Alabama House Speaker Mac McCutcheon said Thursday that a proposed gas tax increase is defunct for the session after the legislation encountered heavy opposition in early debate. House members on Thursday delayed a vote on a proposed gas tax increase to pay for road and bridge construction. Under the proposal, the state gas tax would have risen by four cents per gallon this year and another two cents in 2019. – AP/USNWR

Procrastination wins: Tax Day not until Tuesday

Don’t freak out if you haven’t finished your taxes. The IRS is giving last-minute filers a reprieve until Tuesday. The usual April 15 deadline falls on Saturday this year. That would normally push the deadline to Monday. But Monday is a holiday in the District of Columbia, so by law, the filing deadline is extended until Tuesday. – ANN

Lawyer fees are the only business upside in Bentley case

Alabamians are on the hook for roughly a million dollars between Governor Bentley's legal fees and costs associated with the transition of power in Montgomery, and the cost to taxpayers is still adding up. For a whole year, the Alabama Ethics Commission investigated Governor Robert Bentley after allegations arose that he used public resources to hide an affair with his top aide Rebekah Mason. – WPMI

Opinion: Universities hold key role on vision team

The public universities in Alabama and across the nation are catalysts for change and instrumental to progress. The failure to provide equitable funding to universities and the other areas of public education has cost Alabama in per capita income, job growth has suffered and salaries are not competitive. Alabama’s ranking in per capita income is 48th in the nation. Further, Alabama’s job growth from 2006 to 2012 was under 2 percent, ranking in the bottom category in the Southeast. (Southern Regional Education Board-SREB) – Montgomery Advertiser

Real estate investor sentenced for rigging bids

An Alabama real estate investor was sentenced on Monday to serve 12 months and a day in prison for his role in a bid-rigging conspiracy and a fraud scheme related to public real estate foreclosure auctions in Mobile, Alabama, the Department of Justice announced. Oscar Celso Anez pleaded guilty to bid rigging and conspiracy to commit mail fraud in the Southern District of Alabama in June. – Military-Technologies.net

Auburn deals with visit from white nationalist

Auburn University says a white nationalist is paying $700 to rent a room where he’s scheduled to speak on campus next week. A school spokesman says Richard Spencer also must pay for security expenses such as police. Spencer operates the National Policy Institute and made waves last year by giving a Hitler salute and praising President Donald Trump during a speech. – ANN

Teen’s clothing line benefits Cahaba River Society

The way Gage Laswell tells it, he was sitting in a class at Vestavia Hills High School last year talking to a friend about clothing when they got the idea to form a company to market their own line. The senior, who turns 18 Sunday, is now the owner of Cahaba River Clothing, a line of T-shirts and other items which benefit its namesake. For every item sold on the company website, $1 is pledged to the Cahaba River Society. – AL.com

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