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Top News Links: Tuesday, August 11

Session will apparently end without budget

The Alabama House of Representatives on Monday killed a budget that would have cut millions of dollars from Medicaid, mental health services and other state agencies. House members voted 92-2 Monday night against a Senate-passed spending plan that included such cuts. The move means the special session will conclude Tuesday without a budget and sends lawmakers back to the drawing board as they anticipate another special session to try to reach an agreement. – AP/TimesFreePress

Kamtek plans new $80M manufacturing plant

Auto parts supplier Kamtek is looking to expand its operations in Birmingham with a new, $80 million manufacturing facility. Kamtek plans to invest about $80 million to establish the 148,000-square-foot facility on Sterilite Drive in Pinson Valley. The facility will produce aluminum automotive casting parts for major auto manufacturers in the U.S. The expansion will create an estimated 120 jobs. – AL.com

Hornady Transportation merges with Daseke

Texas-based Daseke Inc. said Monday it has merged with Hornady Transportation of Monroeville. Daseke is the largest owner of flatbed, open-deck and specialty trucking capacity in North America with more than 3,000 tractors and 6,000 trailers. Hornady operates a terminal in Birmingham with a fleet of 230 late-model tractors and 325 flatbed trailers, primarily supporting the building products and steel industries. – TheTrucker.com

Report ranks Alabama 39th for schools quality

A new report ranks Alabama in the bottom half of the nation for the quality of its school systems. WalletHub ranked Alabama 39th overall for quality of school systems, despite recent strides in metrics like graduation rate. Alabama received poor marks for its math test scores, ranking 49th overall. – BizJournals.com

Lane Regional joins in antitrust case

Lane Regional Medical Center in Zachary has become the latest plaintiff in an antitrust case advancing in Alabama federal court, alleging Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurers are functioning as an illegal cartel. A complaint filed in Baton Rouge federal court late Friday does not name Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana as a defendant, but accuses 71 other companies of having “conspired with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana” to reimburse health care providers at rates below competitive levels for services. – Business Report

Southern diet keeps heart doctors busy

If your dinner plate often includes fried chicken, gravy-smothered liver, buttered rolls and sweet tea — your heart may not find it so tasty. Eating a Southern-style diet is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, according to research published in Circulation, an American Heart Association journal. – WCTV

Pondering a success story called Aflac

There is a very iconic company founded in Alabama that has made state, southern, national and international history. It is an insurance corporation known as Aflac. Aflac is one of the greatest success stories in American business lore. Although it is headquartered on Alabama’s border in Columbus, Ga., we in Alabama claim it as our own because its origins are in Coffee County. – Selma Times Journal

NerdWallet ranking praises Madison, Vestavia Hills

According to a recent ranking by personal finance and economics website NerdWallet, two Alabama municipalities are among the best small cities in the country for working parents. Coming in at Numbers 8 and 6, respectively, Madison and Vestavia Hills both made it in the top 10. – Yellowhammer

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