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Top News Links: Thursday, Aug. 20

First special session made tiny progress

The first Special Session of 2015 ended on Tuesday, Aug. 11, without accomplishing the primary objective of passing a General Fund budget for the 2015-2016 fiscal year. Ultimately the Senate passed a budget that level-funded Medicaid and cut most other agencies by approximately 18%. The House rejected the Senate budget and the Legislature adjourned sine die. It is important to note that the Legislature passed and the governor has already signed or is expected to sign several bills that are estimated to generate up to $35 million annually in new revenue. It is anticipated that the governor will call another special session to address the General Fund in early September. – BABC

Get ready: Trump visits Mobile on Friday

Presidential candidate Donald J. Trump will be in Mobile Friday for a campaign rally at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The rally was originally scheduled to be held in the Mobile Civic Center Theater, but the event quickly outgrew the 1,950-seat capacity. Free tickets are available at TrumpAlabama.eventbrite.com. – AL.com 

CityCentre developers aim for permits by January

A large hotel-dining-apartment development on the vacant former downtown Holiday Inn site in Huntsville should be under construction early next spring. According to a recently revised contract with the city, the developers of the $70 million CityCentre at Big Spring project intend to start work first on the hotel and retail space. The contract says developers hope to have the necessary building permits in hand by Jan. 11, 2016, and start construction exactly two months later – on March 11, 2016. – AL.com

MSN: Alabama a great spot to start a career

A new list on MSN.com ranks Alabama among the top 25 states in the U.S. to start your post-college life. Using each of the top 25 degrees on OnlineDegrees.com's Most Employable Degrees list, MSN ranked every state on average and leftover salary, job potential and cost of living with data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Center for Education Statistics, American Community Survey and Council for Community and Economic Research. – AL.com

Montgomery near top for black businesses

Alabama’s capital city recently took the No. 2 spot in NerdWallet’s new ranking of best cities for black-owned businesses, trailing only Atlanta. Montgomery’s black population is growing faster than any other city on the list, and nearly a third of businesses are owned by black entrepreneurs. NerdWallet

Designer Billy Reid schools fashion world on Alabama

Most fashionistas wouldn’t think rural Alabama could produce much of consequence when it comes to style, but designer Billy Reid — worn by Reese Witherspoon and Daniel Craig, among others — has turned that notion on its head by hosting a chic weekend called Shindig No. 7, which brings together clothes, food and music. Beginning Thursday, Aug. 27 and running through Sunday, Aug. 30, Florence is the place for a jam-packed itinerary that any Southern style-savant could appreciate. – Hollywood Reporter

Adtran slashes time to market for gig broadband

Adtran, a leading provider of next-generation networking solutions, today announced the integration of a captive portal and wireless video delivery into the ADTRAN Gigabit service architecture. Service providers are now able to drastically reduce the time of adding new broadband and business subscribers from hours to minutes. – News release

RFG partners with Shreveport advisors

Birmingham-based Reliance Financial Group recently continued its expansion throughout the Southeast via a partnership with Williams Financial Advisors in Shreveport, La. Williams' six independent financial advisors will now operate under RFG's hybrid business model. – News release

AEA Group named to Manderson award

The University of Alabama’s Manderson Graduate School of Business at the Culverhouse College of Commerce named Accounting, Economics & Appraisals Group, LLC its Manderson Partner of the Year. The award was presented at Manderson’s recent Speakers Edge luncheon. The annual luncheon marks the conclusion of orientation activities for incoming MBA students. – UA News

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