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Top News Links: Wednesday, April 5

Another dangerously stormy day predicted for state

While many may still be reeling from violent thunderstorms early this week, a new storm was already bringing the return of severe weather to the eastern U.S. on Wednesday. Warm and humid surging northward from the Gulf of Mexico is setting the stage for powerful storms to form. – AccuWeather

Alabama automakers pull ads from ‘O’Reilly Factor’

Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai, both of which have auto plants in Alabama, have pulled advertising from Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor" following sexual harassment claims against host Bill O'Reilly. In a statement, Hyundai said it had "upcoming advertising spots on the show" but were pulling them "due to the recent and disturbing allegations." – AL.com

State’s education budget stalls in Senate

An Alabama senator is delaying a vote on the state education budget, saying that it pulls too much money away from K-12 schools. Cullman Republican Sen. Paul Bussman did calculations on a dry-erase board Tuesday to show that if this year's budget passes, nearly $43 million will have been removed from public schools in the last five years. – AP/NewsTribune

Auburn College of Business about to break ground

 Fifty years after Auburn University founded a school of business, the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business will celebrate the groundbreaking of a facility that will play a vital role in its future growth. The college will host a groundbreaking ceremony Friday at 2 p.m. for a second building that will house graduate programs and classroom and meeting spaces for undergraduate and graduate students. The event is open to the public. – AP/USNWR

APC Forest Products merges with McVantage Packaging

APC Forest Products Inc. of Muscle Shoals, a wooden pallet and crate manufacturer, plans to merge with McVantage Packaging, LLC of Tuscumbia. The Muscle Shoals area operations will be combined into one company and will operate under the McVantage name effective immediately. – News release

Trump administration looks to slash EPA funding

The Trump administration would nearly eliminate federal funding for the EPA's budget for light-vehicle emissions and fuel-economy testing but will seek to raise fees on the auto industry to pay for some testing, a government document shows. The cuts would slash by more than half the staff of the EPA department that conducts vehicle, engine, and fuel testing to verify emissions standards are met and mileage stickers are accurate. – Automotive News

Business aviation pioneer Chuck McKinnon dies at 101

Business aviation pioneer Charles "Chuck" McKinnon, who was the founder and long-time manager of IBM’s flight department, died March 30 in his hometown of Trussville. He was 101. "Chuck McKinnon was a trailblazer for business aviation,” said National Business Aviation Association CEO Ed Bolen. McKinnon learned to fly in a Waco biplane from an auto racetrack on a site that is now Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, according to the NBAA. – Business Jet Traveler

Arkansas-based insurance company opens in Birmingham

Little Rock's Stephens Insurance has opened a property and casualty office in downtown Birmingham. Stephens Insurance is an affiliate of the investment banking firm Stephens Inc. The office is in the Wells Fargo Tower at 420 20th St. N. – AL.com

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