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Top News Links: Monday, Aug. 31

HealthSouth buying CareSouth Health System

HealthSouth Corporation, a leading provider of post-acute healthcare services, today announced its Encompass Home Health operating unit has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the home health agency operations of CareSouth Health System Inc. for a cash purchase price of $170 million. CareSouth operates a portfolio of 45 home health locations in 7 states and generated revenues of approximately $104 million in 2014. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2015. – News release

China, U.S. duel for jobs in rural outposts

When Chen Mingxu was a boy, U.S. businessmen poured into rural China, welcomed with tax breaks and steamed turtle. Thirty years later, in a kind of reverse migration, Chen finds himself in southwestern Alabama smiling wanly over bacon-wrapped meatloaf and banana pudding. As the U.S. prepares for a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the end of September, the countries’ economic relations are undergoing a profound shift. – Bloomberg

Bentley divorce raising eyebrows around state

Alabama's First Lady Dianne Bentley filed divorce papers yesterday seeking to end her 50-year marriage to Gov. Robert Bentley, citing "complete incompatibility of temperament." The Bentleys' case is unique both in the length of the union and the fact they have been so successful in keeping their domestic troubles out of the public eye. As recently as July, they were sending out warm anniversary wishes to each other via social media and have continued to make numerous public appearances as a couple. – AL.com

Blue Bell heading to shelves today

The wait is over. Blue Bell Creameries started distributing ice cream to select stores in Alabama and Texas today, nearly five months after halting production because of listeria concerns. The first phase of distribution includes stores in Birmingham and Montgomery as well as the Texas cities of Brenham, Houston and Austin. – USA Today

AEgis puts UAS system to work in Detroit

The AEgis Technologies Group has successfully fielded a Vampire Unmanned Aircraft System classroom simulation to the Coleman A. Young International Airport in Detroit, Michigan. A nonprofit, educational organization has purchased the Vampire simulation as part of a state-of-the-art learning lab located at the airport. The simulation will be used to teach students the most up-to-date information on drone technology. – News release

Alagasco operations center opens in Birmingham

Alagasco has opened a new operations center in downtown Birmingham where 200 people will work. The 40,000-square-foot office, called the Metro Operations Center, at the corner of 1st Avenue North and 14th Street will house some of Alagasco's field operations, dispatch and fleet maintenance staff. – AL.com

Auburn’s brewery studies make her an expert

When the intricacies of brewing beer came up at Singin’ River Brewing Co., Michelle Forsythe Jones sometimes found herself wanting to ask questions. She and her husband, Rob, opened the first microbrewery in the Shoals, but while Rob brewed beer in college, her background was in business and finance. – TimesDaily 

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