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Top News Links: Tuesday, August 12

North Alabama gets job money

The U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration is giving $200,000 in grants to two North Alabama organizations to support economic recovery in the Tennessee Valley. Both entities will use the funds to develop new strategies to recover from major job losses in the past year. – AL.com

This city has very engaged employees

Where are America’s most engaged employees? Huntsville, according to Quantum Workplace, which looked at the data collected for 41 cities as part of America’s 2013 Best Places to Work initiative. The Rocket City boasts 77.6% of employees reporting a feeling of engagement. – Forbes

Oyster harvest off in Louisiana

Fisherman Randy Slavich drags a clunky metal net through an underwater oyster bed in Lake Machias, a brackish body opening into the Gulf of Mexico, and pulls up dozens of empty, lifeless oyster shells. Gulf Coast oyster harvests have declined dramatically in the four years since the BP PLC oil well disaster. Whether the spill contributed to the decline is part of an ongoing study; hurricanes, overfishing and influxes of oyster-killing fresh water had already taken a toll. – AP/Huffington Post

Segregated sororities? Gals love ’em

One year after the University of Alabama's student newspaper revealed that many of the school's sororities were actively keeping minority students from joining, more women than ever have signed up to go through UA's rush process this week. – Business Insider

Second job fair for Hillshire workers

A second job fair will be held today to help displaced Hillshire Brands workers in Florence find work. The free event will occur from 1-6 p.m. at the Florence-Lauderdale Coliseum. In April, Hillshire announced it will close its Florence plant and eliminate 1,100 workers. – AL.com

Drummond says strike no problem

Maintenance contractors at Colombia's biggest coal mines have voted to end a month-long strike, but the union that organized the stoppage says it will appeal to have the decision annulled. Birmingham-based Drummond said it has been able to maintain normal operations by finding substitute contractors and the strike has had no significant impact on the European coal market. – Reuters

Evonik looks to expand near Mobile

Employment at Evonik Corp. in Theodore could eclipse 800 by 2017, if the Germany specialty chemical company proceeds with plans to invest nearly $114 million in its Mobile County facility. The Industrial Development Authority of Mobile County voted unanimously Monday to approve about $7 million in non-educational property and sales tax abatements for Evonik over the next 10 years. – AL.com

Robins & Morton starts Miami job

Robins & Morton celebrated groundbreaking last Friday for the new Miami Cancer Institute at Baptist Health South Florida. The $430 million facility is scheduled to open in 2016 with construction value estimated at $177 million. – News release

Law firm opening San Francisco office

Maynard Cooper & Gale PC will open a new office in San Francisco. Existing clients and related opportunities led to the decision to expand the firm’s presence on the West Coast. This new office will initially focus on three practice areas:  insurance and financial services litigation, complex ERISA litigation (including class actions), and sports and entertainment law. – News release

Watch what you tweet, athletes

At St. Paul's Episcopal School in Mobile, Ala., the high school that produced Crimson Tide quarterbacks AJ McCarron and Jake Coker, student athletes are getting the social media talk. It's about more than minding their manners. As college programs increasingly use social media accounts to evaluate a player's character, one wrong comment can cost a scholarship offer. – AP/Tuscaloosa News

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