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Top News Links: Friday, Aug. 21

Trump preps for Alabama visit with radio interview

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump did an interview with a radio station in Alabama on Thursday that involved a conversation about criminal, undocumented immigrants. "A lot of the gangs that you see -- it doesn't hopefully pertain to you guys so much -- but when you look at Baltimore, when you look at Chicago and Ferguson and a lot of these areas, you know a lot of these gang members are illegal immigrants," Trump said. "They're going to be gone. ... We're going to get them out so fast out of this country. So fast." – KSPR

Auto supplier plans $150M plant in Tuscaloosa

An automotive parts supplier plans to build a new $150-million facility in east Tuscaloosa County that will employ 650 and provide parts for the Mercedes Benz U.S. International plant in Vance. Andreas Heuser, Samvardhana Motherson Group managing director and head of Corporate Office Europe and Americas, said the new 700,000-square-foot plant will produce painted bumpers, rocker panels, spoilers, interior door panels and other parts. Construction will begin by the end of 2015 and the Alabama facility will be operated by SMP, a subsidiary of SMG. It will be will be called SMP Automotive Systems Alabama Inc. – Tuscaloosa News

Pondering the fallout of Birmingham wage hike

In two years, Birmingham's lowest-paid residents will make more than $10 an hour after city leaders decided to raise the minimum wage this week. The key questions to consider: Will the minimum wage increase -- well above the national minimum -- lift people out of poverty? Or will it create more hurdles for downtown businesses to be successful? – AL.com

Ashley Madison hack suddenly gets political

Hundreds of U.S. government employees — including some with sensitive jobs in the White House, Congress and law enforcement agencies — used Internet connections in their federal offices to access and pay membership fees to the cheating website Ashley Madison, The Associated Press has learned. – AP/Huff Post

Simulation Tech wins $100,000 Army contract

A Huntsville defense contracting small business was recently awarded a $100,000 Army contract to further develop technologies to enable screen size-independent software. Simulation Technologies Inc. received the Phase I Small Business Innovation Research contract for a six-month project that will fund research for the execution of software logic regardless of screen size. – AL.com

Regions gives Madison County ARC a boost

For more than 60 years, the ARC of Madison County has provided services to people with intellectual or developmental disabilities.  On Thursday, the agency’s work was honored with a $5,000 donation from Regions Bank. – WHNT

Procter & Gamble’s Passerini joins Culverhouse

World-class information technology strategist Dr. Filippo Passerini has been appointed executive professor of business analytics at The University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Commerce for the 2015-16 academic year. Passerini recently retired after serving more than 30 years at Procter & Gamble with more than 10 years as chief information officer. – News release

Verizon scores highly in RootMetrics ranking

Verizon customers in Alabama are enjoying all of the benefits of America’s most reliable network, according to the Alabama RootScore® Report, conducted by Seattle-based RootMetrics. Additionally, this marks the fourth consecutive time Verizon’s wireless network has been acknowledged as the leader in overall performance among national wireless service providers in the U.S. – PR Newswire

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