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Top News Links: Monday, August 20

Bidders go after Hartford Life business

Prudential life appears to have edged out Alabama's Protective Life in efforts to acquire the life insurance business of The Hartford Financial Services Group, a deal worth roughly $1 billion. — Reuters

Alabama ranks 7th for federal funds

Alabama received $11,820 per capita in federal funds, while paying only $1,164 each in federal taxes, ranking it seventh for receipt of federal funds based on analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau Consolidated Federal Funds report. The state is second for fund received for retirement and disability and seventh for procurement for defense spending. — 24/7 Wall St.

Sugar power

Huntsville scientists at CFD Research Corp. are working  to perfect a bio-battery, powered by sugars. — Huntsville Times

Walter Bell steps down at Swiss Re

Mobilian and former state insurance commissioner Walter Bell, who has lead the world's largest reinsurer Swiss Re since 2008, will step down from the chairmanship Oct. 1 but remain on the board. — Mobile Press-Register

Colombian coal shipments increase as rail strike ends

Colombian coal miners, including Birmingham-based Drummond, announced plans to increase shipments to catch up with pent-up demand caused by a strike on the mine-to-port railroad. — Bloomberg Businessweek

Face lift in progress at Birmingham's Galleria

Everything from shopping areas to parking decks, pedestrian bridges to restrooms getting a makeover at Birmingham's Galleria, Hoar Construction officials say. — Birmingham News

A-P-T Research Inc. selected for NASA project

NASA has awarded a $36 million contract for mission assurance, engineering and risk assessment at Kennedy Space Center in Florida to Huntsville's A-P-T Research Inc.  — PR Newswire

Southern Light acquires ServerCorps

Mobile-based fiber optic provider Southern Light has acquired ServerCorps, which provides fiber optic service to the University of South Alabama Technology and Research Park. — Southern Light PR

New oil terminal for Alabama & Gulf Coast Railway

Alabama & Gulf Coast Railway (AGR), a unit of RailAmerica, is now serving a new crude oil-unloading terminal developed by Genesis Energy in Walnut Hill, Florida. — Rail Resource

Hornsby Tires moves into Birmingham

Hornsby Tire Distributors Inc., based in Dothan, has acquired David Tire Company and will expand into the Birmingham distributor's territory. — Modern Tire Dealer

Mobile's DRC wins debris contract in Tangipahoa parish

Tangipahoa parish, just north of New Orleans, has chosen Mobile's DRC to collect storm debris, planning to seek state and federal funds to foot the bill. — Action News 5

Army worms march into Alabama fields

Fall army worms have been attacking lawns and crops in Sumter, Jefferson, Baldwin, Randolph and Chambers counties; state entomologists offer advice. — State Farm Press

Subpoenas, gag order in Nodine case

The judge hearing a murder case against former Mobile County Commissioner Steve Nodine has issued a gag order; the defense has issued subpoenas including on to Baldwin County District Attorney Hallie Dixon. — Mobile Press-Register, Local 15 TV

Rockwell exhibit to open in Birmingham

Birmingham Museum of Art will host an exhibit of American icon Normal Rockwell work this fall; show attracted record-breaking crowds in London. — Birmingham News

Airport wildlife management firm opens office in Huntsville

Loomacres Wildlife Managements, which helps airports deal with wildlife issues, has opened an office in Huntsville to serve its Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi clients. — Loomacres PR

Pinnacle Bancshares posts major gain in net income

Jasper-based Pinnacle Bancshares reported net income of $465,000 for the second quarter of 2012, compared to $304,000 for the same period last year. — Businesswire

HudsonAlpha offers teacher workshops

Huntsville's HudsonAlpha Institute is offering workshops in October to help teachers learn about and teach genetics and related topics. — HudsonAlpha

Sausage recall affects Alabama

Alabama is among states were packages of Johnsonville turkey with cheddar sausage were distributed; the product with a best by date of Aug. 20 is being recalled by the manufacturer. — PR Newswire

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