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Top News Links: Friday, Aug. 14

Polaris plant on schedule for early 2016 opening

Construction on the new Polaris off-road vehicle factory in Huntsville-annexed Limestone County is on schedule for an early 2016 opening. The Minnesota company is working with Nashville-based T.W. Frierson Contractor and Design Constructors to build the more than 700,000-square-foot, $48 million facility west of Greenbrier Road. The project, which will employ at least 1,700 workers, is expected to start early production by January. – AL.com

Governor’s Planned Parenthood move may be illegal

Louisiana and Alabama may be violating federal law by ending state Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood, federal health officials warned the states after both announced they were cutting off the payments. Kevin Griffis, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said Thursday that the federal Medicaid agency notified the states of the possible violation. – AP/NOCB

She never saw that throwed roll coming

It says right on the big restaurant sign that you're about to enter the "Home of Throwed Rolls." But Troy Tucker says she never saw the bread coming straight at her, which banged her in the eye and damaged her cornea. The 67-year-old St. Louis woman wants $35,000 from Lambert's Café in Sikeston, Mo., for injuries she says she suffered when a server lobbed a roll that bopped her in the head. Lambert’s operates one restaurant in south Alabama. – NY Daily News

‘Shattering the Glass Ceiling’ forum Aug. 26

U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne and his wife, Rebecca Byrne, will host "Shattering the Glass Ceiling: A Forum for Today's Women," on Aug. 26, featuring Missouri Congresswoman Ann Wagner. Rebecca Byrne, CEO of the Community Foundation of South Alabama, said as a working woman she has a "great appreciation for the unique issues and challenges facing today's women." – AL.com

Painting brings Birmingham much love in HuffPost

I have fallen in love in Birmingham, Alabama. Not something that I particularly thought would happen, but there's no other way to put it--because it is with a painting. I have to declare this right now: the Birmingham Museum of Art has one of the most important paintings by an American artist in this country. It's "The Barricade" by George Bellows, painted in 1918 as a series of four monumental canvases Bellows produced to protest the horrors of WW1. – Huffington Post

Montgomery, Infinitus Energy are great partners

The City of Montgomery and Infinitus Energy have been awarded the 2015 Alabama Innovation Award for Outstanding Public-Private Partnership by Alabama Launchpad, a program of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama (EDPA). – Yellowhammer

USDA chief announces $4.9M for state projects

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited Alabama Thursday to announce $4.9 million in new funding for projects that will protect public safety and health, improve water and wastewater infrastructure and create expanded economic opportunities in rural Alabama. – RealEstateRama

BBVA Compass issuing most SBA loans this year

Lenders doled out $175.7 million in Small Business Administration loans through the first 10 months of the 2015 fiscal year, according to new SBA data. That loan volume came from 375 loans. Last year, SBA lending in Alabama totaled $234.1 million for the entire fiscal year, meaning there is some ground to make up to match or exceed the total for the 2014 fiscal year. BBVA Compass ranks as Alabama's top SBA lender so far this year. – BizJournals.com

It’s life on the farm for this 6-year-old

Emma Blankenship is by most indications your typical 6-year-old girl. But the one thing that might separate Emma from many girls her age today is the time she spends in play clothes and boots tending to chickens on her family’s farm in Newville. She does that working alongside her brothers, cousins and parents, Eric and Brandy Blankenship, on a farm her great-grandfather Perry “Webb” Blankenship started about 70 years ago. – Dothan Eagle

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